Total War

A Treatise on the Implimentation of Southern Realms, Dogs of War and City States in general

Like a lot of people in this community, I am very excited by the precedent of Kislev and Cathay’s addition to Warhammer 3 sets, and in the news drought since the announcement in January I have been thinking (a lot) about how I would want to see the Dogs of War and the City States represented in game. I know I am treading well trodden ground here so sorry if I am repeating other people’s ideas, but I would be keen to hear how you guys would implement the faction. In my view, this hypothetical DLC would be split into two components; Dogs of War and the City States.

Dogs of war (DoW): These are the set of ragtag units from all factions and beyond, and available to all factions (although every faction would have access to different subsets of these units). Most of these units, unlike the Regiments of Renown, would be tied to a geographical location and/or certain conditions. This could be as simple as building a specific landmark, or maintaining corruption above/below a certain level. As an example, Truthsayers will work with your faction as long as you keep corruption low on Albion, whilst conversely, Dark Emissaries would require high Chaos corruption. However beyond these basic requirements, I believe you could have a lot of fun with these unit requirements, for example:

– As the Empire, if you keep public order high in the Moot, and give an elector count position to a halfling, you will get access to the hot pot, the fighting cocks, and badger riders

– As any order faction other than Bretonnia, if you leave a territory unoccupied for Bertrand the Brigand to create his own peasants barony, you will get access to herrimaults, faceless, and some buffed (but still pretty rubbish) peasant units.

These kind of requirements could be extended to include the existing roster in the Dogs of War army book, but could also be readily expanded to areas outside of existing lore, depending how adventurous CA and GW were feeling. Here’s some ideas I pulled out my idea hole:

– If you keep taxes low in Bilbali, the local Toreros, foolhardy young bull-riding nobles, will fight with your faction (reskinned pistolier variant with charge bonus).

– If you rebuild his temple on the Indic subcontinent, and return his stolen blood steel artifacts, the giant four-armed elephant-headed beastman known as Gilgadresh will come to your aid (reskinned Gorgon (lol)).

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– The dwarfs of Karak Zorn are rich in gold and precious stones, but poor in iron. If you were to provide them with iron they could provide a unit of unique shotel-wielding slayers (reskinned slayers with magical attacks).

This would be an excellent way to include units from minor factions, such as Albion, Amazons and Halflings, adding a lot of regional variety and flavour without the need to develop a full roster or cram in more factions to the map. Not every Dogs of War unit would be available to every faction, allowing you to discover new units on repeat playthroughs. The exception to this would be the City State factions, which brings us to the second component of the DLC.

City States: These effectively represent the new playable factions of this DLC, including the Southern Realms (Estalia, Tilea and the Border Princes) and Marienburg (hence why I refer to them as City States and not just by Southern Realms).

Mechanically these factions would play along similar lines. The idea is to play tall, expand your trade influence across the world, and ensure the glory of your own family whilst dealing with internal politics. Not unlike the Wood Elves, the focus of these factions is to concentrate on the development of their capital city, all whilst globally expanding their personal wealth and trade influence, through diplomacy or by force. And whilst they can conquer territory, the purpose of these outposts, either through conquest or through trade depots, is to siphon wealth back to the capital city. Consequently, the loss of the capital should be a heavy blow to these factions.

These factions would initially have access to a limited roster of core units (pikemen, crossbowmen, etc. for southern realms factions, a subset of the Empire roster for Marienburg). However, unlike all other factions, the City States not only have access to every Dogs of War unit, they also acquire them much more easily, as these mercenary units come from far and wide for the promise of gold. This is largely achieved by the construction of Trade Depots in other faction’s territory through the Merchant Prince/Paymaster agent.

As well as being an essential component of all City State armies, the Merchant Prince, as an agent, can establish Trade Depots in other cities. This is mechanically similar to the Skaven undercities/pirate cove mechanic, however there are three key differences:

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– Establishing a Trade Depot is not covert

– It can only be done in territory owned by factions with whom you have a trade agreement/alliance

– it is mutually beneficial, enhancing trade income (and your diplomatic standing) for both factions

Once you establish your “little Miragilano” or similar in the host factions city, you can then develop it in two ways; you can enhance the trade and resource output from the city, or you can build a mercenaries guild, which gives you global recruitment access to every DoW unit within a certain radius of the depot, as well as a subset of the lowest tier units of the host faction.

Once you have established a Trade Depot in a factions territory, you can then develop a District back in the capital city, as immigrants from the host faction move to your capital for a better life. The amount of Districts you can build in your capital is limited, but it increases as the city upgrades, and you can swap them out at a later time. These Districts would enable local recruitment (rather than global) of units associated with the Host Faction, as well as additional specific benefits depending on the Host faction. Note that should diplomatic relations sour with the host faction, you would lose access to the trade depot. However, all benefits of the District would be retained.

Eg. Whilst playing as Marienburg, the player sends a Merchant Prince to nearby Karak Ziflin. This gives them increased trade profits, access to resources, and the ability to recruit some rudimentary dwarf units in global recruitment. Additionally, Marienburg can now build the Dwergsbezit, or Dwarf district, in one of their district slots, allowing the local recruitment of those warriors, a reduction to building construction time, and an increase in research rate as Dwarf citizens and engineers settle in the city. Should Marienburg go to war with Karak Ziflin, they would lose the benefits from the trade depot but would still retain those from the Dwarf District within Marienburg.

There may be an argument for only allowing Districts for order or neutral factions, however I think it would be more fun to allow Districts to be built for non-order factions as well (with the possible exception of Skaven, Beastmen and Warriors of Chaos), but with associated negative penalties. The rulers of the City States don’t care where profit comes from after all, as long as it still flows. Therefore you could include a Dark Elf, Vampire, Greenskin or Norscan district at the risk of taking a hit to public order, growth, and/or corruption.

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As far as internal politicking mechanics go, I am less sure of how this would work. It has been a long time since I played them but I think Rome and Rome II had senate mechanics which may be transferable, particularly if you were vying for power as a Merchant Prince in Miragliano, or one of The Ten in Marienburg…

Thank you for listening to my TED Talk. I think this would be a great way to add diversity and “lost factions” to the map, without ruling out their more complete inclusion later down the line, and the universal availability of the DoW units means the DLC would be of interest to players of every faction. As a side benefit, this implementation may be an ideal opportunity to “fix” Sartosa, by allowing Aranessa access to the Mercenary Guild building in her pirate coves at the expense of vampiric corruption. The obvious downside of this idea is that these factions would be highly dependent on diplomacy, which as it stands is in need of a rework. Let me know your thoughts.

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