So as you may or may not know I have for the past year been working dilligently on greating an Ironweld Arsenal fantome for Age of Sigmar that, as it naturally evolved, took on a distinct character and flavour integrating Cogwork technologies and Witchunting allies. This fantome is what spawned my Midnight City conversions that went on to be featured on the Warhammer Community page (as fact I am incredibly proud of) but those reflected just a sliver of what I had in mind had it been fleshed out into a full faction.
I loved the Cities of Sigmar battletome, and it beautifully encapsulates the fantastic variety of Cities across the scope of the Realms, however I cant help but crave something a little darker in terms of Cogwork technologies and a sense of gravity and loss within the realm, both key staples of my Ironweld Battletome. However as Cities now encompasses many of the units (or atleast similar) units I had included in the Ironweld Fantome I felt it best to get back to basics, rather than trying to duplicate scrolls across the board or repeat something that would end up feeling entirely unneccesary it was time to look at what made my faction unique, what defined it as new.
For everything I design I look for trigger words, a set of key words that must all (or atleast most) be featured as a staple across the range when designing the warscrolls. These are the key identifiers of the faction, so when restarting the Cogwork Witchhunter faction I selected the following:
Cogwork (Pretty Obvious)
Steampunk (see above)
Now these are nothing mind bending, nor has reality been shaken to its core but they are elements that define the faction and its differences from Cities of Sigmar. As it is a mortal faction of Order approaching it as a sattelite to Cities of Sigmar in a duality much like Legions of Nagash approaches the Death grand alliance, I could then pull those units shared across the factions into my own without having to rewrite whole warscrolls and risk duplication. After all a Handgunner is a Handgunner etc.
With this core concept in mind I looked at key game Mechanics that have recently been released, obviously Ossiarchs are key in my mind as they launched shaking up the core concepts of the game and what we percieved to be pliable (Battleshock, command abilities, command points, how death saves work etc) and the new concepts contained within the recent tomes (Retinues, Accessory Characters).
Things I have loved in these tomes is transitioning unit adornments to be something other than a+1 attack champion, and a +1 run banner, while easy to include without breaking the game they also end up diminishing the concept of a cemented command structure. I wanted to look at these concepts by way of using sergeants to LEAD instead of hit things, Banners to represent signalling orders instead of really waving hard in the wind to run faster. So below is the first concept allegiance ability for the faction:
The integrates some elements we’ve seen in both Ossiarchs and Cities through banners and unit leaders becoming integral to strategic moves within the army rather than simply combat champions, and I felt it also became a solid way of reinforcing a Cogwork, refined, almost artistic form of battlefield command.
I also wanted to explore a ZERO MAGIC faction, with so many spells getting flung around the battlefields these days its hard to find something more unique, more testing but still able to compete. For these artisan engineers, the idea of being able to strip or assemble a whole myriad of insane cogwork designs in an instant was appealing, with their designs sharing common elements and being able to almost magnetically pull their creations together from memory these would represent single, or teams of engineers working together to create a new innovation in the heat of battle. The initial draft of Cogwork Machinations is below:
A Vendati Speculator knows the Prismatic Emissary Machination.
With enough preamble for today, I have been working on a number of warscrolls each representing a key aspect of the army, two battleline units along with a Cogwork Witchunter able to issue “quests” of a sort to units pre battle to allow strategic completion to gain traits and command points, along with a new artisan engineer.