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Thread: Loose The Locust Of War

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Groningen, Netherlands
    Aaron: Yes please, I loved my draconians

    Asmodai: Point is clear, let me grind my grey matter on that
    An orc is a fire plug of a fighting machine made of muscle, hide, talon, and tusk, with a villainous dispostition and a mean sense of humor. And, of course, an orc is a poor dumb grunt - the much abused foot soldier of the Evil Horde of Darkness.

  2. #12
    Mage’s Assistant
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    I would put a different spin on the insects. Either a confederation of hives(hiveminds exist only for a single hive/city with a queen on top, the queens deal with each other diplomatically and have grudges etc) or an alteration on the concept of wealth. For instance, insectoids value mana more than anything and harvest it more than even food, as it is necessary to keep the hivemind up(and efficient). And it so happens that gold is a good conductor of mana(for mana nodes or arcane buildings or wands or such). This means that they do actually need gold since it has a practical value(explains why magical jewelry is so powerful, since it's based on gold too). But they'd also need great amounts of mana to get production and food bonuses, if their mana income is too low, the hivemind's communications are disrupted and a great amount of waste energy appears(numerous groups of insects set out to do the same task so it's wasteful) which means they'll possibly even get penalties to production.(You could have a mana "taxrate", the higher it is, the more mana you extract from the hivemind for spell purposes, but the more inefficient your production becomes). You could also use it to incorporate other races to the hivemind, they'd have a greater mana upkeep/less efficient production, so as a player you'd favor insects but others are okay as well.
    You could also make it so that the insectoids are so fond of mana, they act like locusts and drain entire areas of mana, making spellcasting more difficult(turning it into "drained terrain" or permanently removing magical sites). This'd make other wizards distrust them of course, but okay with it so long as they don't expand too much.

  3. #13
    Those are some interesting concepts.

  4. #14
    Archmage of the Central Tower Happerry's Avatar
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    Apr 2013
    Honestly, if I did insects.. I'd make it so they didn't have a hive mind. After all, Ants and Termites in real life don't have the normal science fiction or fantasy hive mind, and they do ok.

    A nation with a people utterly loyal to it's rulers, because each and every one of them are the children of those rulers, and they love their mothers, and would sacrifice themselves for their mothers, but are still individuals, can still trade and fight and have feuds among themselves....

    Well, that just strikes me as more interesting, you know?

  5. #15
    It is an interesting idea to be sure. This is why cultural differences matter so much. Personally, I LOVE hive mind, but I also like your concept. When Insectoids end up on the roster we can discuss which culture to go with first. The beautiful thing about DLC is that eventually we could do both.

  6. #16
    Archmage of the Central Tower Happerry's Avatar
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    Apr 2013
    The other version of an insect race that could be done would be to drop the idea of queens all together. Take inspiration from some forms of wasps, which build group hives even though they're all fertile females. You don't need some all controlling queen to make cities, we don't have one after all, so why should some insect descended race have to be dependent on some?

    This also lets us make insects be the token amazon race. Just suggested because an amazon race with no swimsuits to be seen, chainmail or otherwise, would be something I'd find enjoyable.

  7. #17
    Archmage of the Central Tower Happerry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Myrodant Hive
    The Myrodants are a human sized race of, well, ants. Ants who have evolved to stand on there hind legs and to posses hands.. but, still ants.

    Each Myrodant Hive City is centered around it's senior High Queen, who is, in larger cities, also served by a array of secondary, younger queens who are descended from her. When resources become lacking or a hive gets to crowded, the Senior Queen will select one of these Young Queens to go out into the wilds and start a new city, which will theoretically be loyal to their home hive. (This works about as much as human attempts to make subordinate cities to their own cities do, long term wise). Well, either that or a young queen makes herself annoying enough politically to get kicked out.

    The Princes, or Fertile Male Myrodants, on the other hand, have no greater loyalty to home city or hive, though they often in possession of some loyalty to their mother, and wander the hivelands seeking knowledge and chances for fame, so that they may be invited to marry a newly mature princess who has become impressed by their skill and valor.

    Hive Warriors : The common warriors of the hive are armed with short stabbing blades and given armor of hardened leather. Well trained and numerous, even the largest hive would find equipping all it's warriors with gear to match their long training to be ruination. As such, a long practice of looting the enemies gear, when reasonable, has arisen in their ranks.

    Warriors with short swords, light armor, and shields. On the high levels for Militia, but still the basic troop type. Can upgrade their equipment by killing enemies with gear made from better materials. (IE, kill someone with Mithril weapons to upgrade their own stuff to Mithril.) If that is plausible at least.

    Birdslayers : Birds! Is their any more hated a beast then the birds? Those monsters that ate the Myrodant's ancestors wherever they found them? On the wing, on the tree, on the ground... The honored Birdslayers are the Myrodant's reply to monsters on the wing, armed with light crossbows and armored as the Hive Warriors they defend against the terrible skies.

    Warriors with light armor and light crossbows. The basic ranged unit of the Myrodants.

    Gate Guards : Defenders of the Hive Gates, the Gate Guards block off the entrances and exits of the Hive Cities in times of war, warding off all attackers with their short spears and tower shields. They are recruited from the elite Hive Warriors for this important duty.

    More warriors, this time with tower shields and short spears, as well as medium armor. Solid second rank melee unit, if a bit slow.

    Drone Warriors : For each fertile male prince born, in the same clutch will be at least a dozen infertile brothers.. assuming said set of eggs has any fertile males. These Sterile drones have, unlike their sisters, wings fit for flying, even if they are smaller and less well hardy. This makes them a valuable resource for their hive, as they provide a key mobile striking power that their sisters alone lack.

    Warriors who fly, armed with javelins which they use for both melee and ranged combat, as well as light armor to keep their weight down. Somewhat fragile, but useful skirmishers and scouts.

    Beetle Knights : Beetle Knights are also required from the ranks of the Hive Warriors, but unlike the Gate Guards they look for the most aggressive far ranging of the Warriors, instead of the most steady and stout ones. They ride a specially bred breed of predatory giant beetles, and are armed with both a lance for outdoors work, and heavy chopping axes for the short ranged brutal fights that characterize combat inside an enemy hive.

    Heavy Cavalry unit, with Lance and Axe and Heavy Armor. Ride Beetles with a secondary Bite attack. Fighter instead of Warrior as well.

    Giant Moth : Giant Moths are a timid and pacifistic herbivore, but are often tamed and protected by the Myradants for their lifting abilities. However uselss in combat they are, strategically their ability to carry around whole armies is more then worth the effort.

    Giant flying insect, not worth much in combat but can carry other units around, acting as a flying transport.

    Bombardier Beetle : These giant insects serve as living artillery, able to send caustic blasts of incendiary acids flying across the map at quite a distance, and in melee.. um.. well.. they can bite people?

    Living arty unit. Sprays burny acid on units and enemy walls, and has some weak melee powers if anything gets to close. Might be one big bug with heavy attacks, or three or four smaller bugs working together.

    Royal Guard : The most elite of the elite, the Royal Guard is selected from the best of the gate guards, who are already selected from the best of the Hive Warriors. They have only one duty. To protect the Royals. Queens or Princesses, it does not matter. For an enemy to reach them, they must first make their way across a carpet of dead Royal Guards, all slain in the line of Duty. In the History of the Myrodant Hives.. No unit of Royal Guard has ever broken and run.

    High level Fighters armed with Warhammers and heavy spiked shields, as well as given heavy armor. Slow, but highly defensive, and should be immune to fear effects if possible. The Myrodants top level melee fighter.

    Hive Princess : Unwedded Princess, who have not yet been accepted into Queendom, they are still held with a devotion that is almost worship by the greater masses of the Drones. And from this adoration, they may channel the spirit and hopes of the hive into powerful clerical magic, fueled by the faith of their lesser sisters.

    Young Princess of larger cities, who do not like the idea of being yet one more minor queen in a hive, will often take to the battlefield, seeking fame, fortune, and the regard of their elders, with the goal of attracting an elite prince and gaining permission to forge their own, new, colony. Being as yet unwedded, they have not yet lost their wings.

    Mid-High level Clerics, with flying, and armed with staves while being armored in light armor. Offers Morale bonuses to units they share a stack with.

    Winged Prince : A young Prince who has not yet been accepted by a Princess, a Winged Prince has great instinctive aptitude with the powers of magic, and will seek out wars so that they may gain glory and renown, so that the princess will choose them to give their favor too. While they lack the studied powers of other races, the mystic might within their blood should not be scorned unless you like being set on fire.

    Sorcerers, who can fly. Mid-High Level again, and without armor or weapons. Keep them out of melee, but within range to drop a fireball or a wasp swarm.

    Young Queen : This Young Queen has proven highly promising, either on the battlefield or in court at home, and has been selected for the honor of making her own hive somewhere, where she reign as the High Queen, and have princesses of her own in due time. Being mated, she has lost her wings.

    Mama Mea! It's a Colonist!... Not much to say here.

    Worker Swarm : While the most seen Myrodants to leave their fortress cities are the Hive Soldiers, so do their unarmed worker kin at times, to build roads and forts for the glory of their mothers.

    Engineers, skilled at building, but utterly useless at combat. You know, like normal.

    Edit: I hope no one minds a double post, but I wanted to post these little buggers up now that I'm finished with them, as a demonstration of my point you don't need a hive mind for an insect race. And if anyone actually likes them, well, that's welcome extra goodness. ^_^

  8. #18
    Mage’s Assistant
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Here's another variant, in many ways similar to the one Happerry described above, but also different in crucial parts.


    The Famine That Moves. So is the locust swarm called by other factions, for where they land, famine arrives, as they consume the natural resources. Yet they are aggressive only when they must, preferring to utilize unclaimed wilds for their consumption needs. Highly aggressive toward the undead, for while the locusts indeed consume places bare, these places grow back in time, whereas areas defiled by the undead do not, making them hate the undead fiercely. Locusts often return to old consumed areas when they have regrown, moving in circles.

    They do not possess stationary cities like most other races, all of their cities can move 1 tile per turn.
    They drain nearby resources at a stable rate, so grasslands sustain them for longer than deserts.
    Can enter a migration mode where they produce nothing but move faster, allowing crossing of deserts and such.
    This means that so long as there's free space, locusts are friendly as there's no point in invading. But after food runs out in their area, they become aggressive and invade other nations to survive. If enemies are too strong, and their own lands are drained, they must wait until the lands grow back, but can produce nothing.

    Can use harvester units, like workers, that focus on a single resource tile, since if most of the area around it is drained, but it still retains value, it'd be good to be able to harvest it too. Harvesters provide the resource to the city they come from, with penalties from range. Alternatively cities themselves don't drain gathered resources, but units do. Cities could function fairly normally, but locust units can double the use of resources on a tile by standing there, which drains them. So you can choose to remain where you are without draining the area, or drain it quickly and get lots of stuff, but you have to move since a tile would take twice as long or more to recover than it did to drain.

    Either locusts can use food to produce units, or every time a city grows, you can choose to instead gain a number of low level units, losing the growth. Possibly scaling with city size, depending on how growth is handled.

    A much more complicated and probably unfeasible idea is that depending on the resources gathered from the ground, different units appear from the cities. Like if you harvest plenty of mana from the world, then the spawned units are level 1 mages and so on. With metal, they are well equipped warriors, etc.


    All units possess the following traits:
    All units take extra damage from gas based attacks due to breathing system without lungs.
    Swarming synergy bonus. If only 1 insectoid unit is in battle, it gets -1, if two 0, if four +1, if eight, +2. Possibly only units produced in the same city contribute to the swarm. So if you have 4 units, two from two different cities each, they all are at 0, as opposed to +1 if they were from the same city. Each city will specialize to produce a certain kind of locust, which gives a minor bonus to something(such as more movement speed, better attack, higher AC, desert survival(fire res?) etc)

    Grubs: All locusts start life as grubs. Hungry little beasties that achieve little more than consume things brought to them by their caretakers. Often they are herded to the wild where they consume everything they come upon.
    Lowest tier units - Small or tiny sized feeble locusts that have vicious natural attacks for their size.

    Famineers: After Grubs have consumed enough, they go into cocoons(or shed their husk?) where they spend months, ultimately coming out as one of many possibilities. The most common of these is the Famineer. They are the most migratory of the locusts, flying around the world and consuming things, often raiding lands and retreating when enemy armies approach.
    Low tier units - Flying locusts, core of their migrating armies. Each unit carries a number of darts, allowing them to skimish enemies and weaken them before closing in. Leather armor and natural AC. Natural attacks plus dual-wielded swords. Have good physical stats and monstrous creature HD, like lizardmen or the like. On average more powerful than most other factions basic troops.

    Nymphs: Tasked with caring for the Grubs, the Nymphs are the most stationary of the locusts, also responsible for moving their cities across the world.
    Low tier units - Medium sized locusts. Much slower than flying units, usually used to guard cities and gather materials near cities. Metal armor and natural AC. Medium shields and maces. Worse HD and physical stats than Famineers, but much better AC.

    Consumer: Often Grubs cannot bite into harder material with their feeble jaws, so it must be softened for them. Consumers emit acids that soften materials, both organic and non-organic, making it easier for the Grubs to eat.
    Mid tier unit - Highly specialized locusts that generate acid within them. Acid is used for multiple purposes. In battle, it can be used as a ranged attack that deals acid damage to single units, in melee their attacks are similar to rust monsters. Even more monstrous HD and stats than Famineers.

    Famine Seeker: So called due to their leadership of packs. They decide where the smaller swarms go by using divination magic. If they choose the wrong place, the swarm will suffer famine. If the right, another nation will suffer famine as they eat their crops.
    Mid level diviner/mentalism mages. - Have much higher sight ranges than other units in strategic map. Use mentalism type magic to annoy enemies and boost own guys. Possibly also enhance the swarming bonus somehow(requires less units to get higher bonus?)

    Grasshopper: Often the locusts encounter enemies that prove to be difficult to defeat. This is where Grasshoppers are needed. Much larger than normal locusts, they specialize in war. Despite lacking the ability to fly, they can move very fast due to their powerful jumping ability.
    High tier units - Large locusts that have lost their ability to fly. Instead use halberds and have the Spirited Charge feat due to their powerful hind legs which allow them to leap at their foe. Full attack consists of some natural attacks in addition to the halberd. Use mithril chain or other really light armor. Very large amount of monstrous creature HD.

    Lifebringers: The antithesis to the locust way of life is the undead. Disgusting creatures that permanently drain life from the world, making it impossible to feed. Thus Lifebringers exist, to destroy the foul creatures and banish their spirits from this world. The belief of the swarm that it has the right to consume the world brings power to the Lifebringers.
    Highest tier units - Specialized locusts that exist for the purpose of dealing with the undead. Highly mobile and flying so they can react easier to undead infestations. Use magical weapons and deal positive energy damage. Negative energy resist 5 and better saves vs death effects. Clerical magic available, either full level clerics, or only minor ones.
    Can either be medium sized with low monstrous HD and act in groups, or singular large(maybe even huge) monstrous HD beasties.

  9. #19
    Archmage of the Central Tower Happerry's Avatar
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    Apr 2013
    An interesting variant, though I'm surprised you didn't have an actual swarm of locusts as a unit.. No engineers either. Is that a deliberate absence or just didn't think up of a cool name for them? And have you decided what kind of siege they should have?

  10. #20
    Mage’s Assistant
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    My ideas are rarely deeply thought, they are more of the broad type.
    Thus it's not a surprise I've missed some obvious things. A swarm unit is quite obvious, yet I missed it.
    As for engineers, the stuff they do is thematically unsound for moving cities. Roads and fortifications aren't of much use if there's nothing for them to protect or lead to. Couldn't really think of anything cool for them to build that would make sense.
    Siege stuff could really be one of many things, depending on how sieges or walls work. If the bulk of the army is flying and ignore walls, siegeing units are fairly useless. But you could still spin a few different variants, like if Consumers or Grubs actually ate the walls with acidic saliva(probably a very slow process indeed), or you could have Grasshoppers leap-charge the walls with battering rams.
    Of course there's also bizarre solutions like shooting Grubs inside the city with catapults/dropped by flying units, which try to open the gates. Or Famine Seekers using divination magic to seek the weak spots in the walls, or mentalism to make enemies open the gates, or such.

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