KoW Armada: Flotten Previews
Mantic stellt zwei Flotten für „Kings of War: Armada“ vor.
Empire of Dust:
After taking a look at the Basileans and orcs, today we’re giving you a taste of one of the first fleets to launch in 2021: the Empire of Dust.
Raised from the depths by bale-eyed High Priests, the great war-barges of the Ahmunite Empire serve their unloving masters once more. Their hulls now built from the polished bones of the Mighty Dead, their crews silent, tireless, the warfleets of the Empire of Dust prepare to restore glory to Nehkesharr.
The sight of a fully arrayed warfleet upon the ocean is enough to strike dread and awe in even the most hardened heart. Upon decks of bone, golden statues gleam in the sunlight, the Jewels of Shobik crackling with barely contained energy. As battle-lines are formed, the fleet comes to a halt, silent, immovable, oars raised in salute to those who have fallen before, and who shall fall again. And then the drums beat, the oars dip, and with alarming speed the silent warships of the golden empire approach, the ghosts of past glories now very real, and very dangerous.
It is some small mercy that the Empire of Dust has so far been contained to the Infant Sea. By the efforts of the salamanders most of all, and in part the Imperial Dwarfs, their every attempt to pass the Straits of Madness and gain a foothold in Upper Mantica has been thwarted. But the resources of the long-dead Ahmunites seem limitless, their ambitions of empire undaunted. One day, they will amass a fleet of such size that the very gods would not oppose them. And when that day comes, all will be dust…
Main Battle Ships
Empire of Dust fleets rely upon a combination of wind, oar-power and sorcery to drive their fleets onwards. They form lines of battle much as they did in olden times, though once battle is joined their oared galleys are highly manoeuvrable, allowing them to make the most of the short-ranged weaponry and magic.
It is said that the power of Shobik flows from Nehkesharr, outwards across the old lands of the Ahmunite Empire. It is this innate magical energy that is harnessed by the High Priests, allowing them to infuse the dead with some spark of unlife. The Monoliths – largest of the Ahmunite Warships – carry a portion of Nehkesharr’s power. Through the great temple of Shobik built upon its stern, and the glimmering Jewels of Shobik embedded into the fabric of the vessel, these enormous galleys are true remnants of the necropolis-city – where a Monolith sails, Nehkesharr lives. Captained by no less than an Ahmunite prince, and carrying the power of an entire cabal of priests, Monoliths are a force to be reckoned with.
When a Monolith reaches the line of battle, it makes its presence known swiftly and decisively. The High Priests intone the Rituals of the Elements, causing the skies to darken, the seas to rage, and lightning to fork from the Jewels of Shobik. Balefire catapults bring fire upon the foe; heavy ballistae unleash enchanted bolts capable of piercing the thickest hulls, or exploding on impact; while serried ranks of skeletal archers fire hails of arrows at the enemy crew. The grim efficiency of the Monolith crew is a sight to behold – they cannot be reasoned with, accept no parley, and offer absolutely no mercy.
Millennia ago, the Ahumnite war galleys were a dominant force in what is now called the Sandstone Sea, vying for supremacy with the frigates of the salamander empire. Now, they are fewer in number, but no less powerful despite the passing of the ages.
War Galleys cross the open seas with square-rigged sails, but when battle is joined they lower their oars to outmanoeuvre the foe. Enemy captains often make the mistake of believing War Galleys to be crewed by mindless revenants, summoned into being by hapless necromancers – but nothing could be further from the truth. In death, as in life, galley captains are skilled tacticians, and highly disciplined. Their crews are obedient and efficient, and do not tire. Only when the lines of battle close, and ballistae skewer their hulls as if they were papyrus, do the enemy understand…
These swift-moving sailships, so named for their blade-like silhouette, are designed to entangle enemy ships, buying time for the War Galleys to arrive in support.
Upon the deck stands a cohort of powerful Revenants, the elite troops of the Empire of Dust. Once engaged, the prow of the Khopeshii acts like a boarding ramp, allowing the Revenants to fight their way aboard the enemy vessel, slaughtering all in their path.
All this week we’re introducing the four launch fleets for our new epic naval wargame, Armada. Yesterday we introduced the heroic Basileans and today we’re looking at the other half of the two-player starter set – the marauding orcs.
The orcs could never be considered a seafaring race, but from the day they gazed out across the sea and saw two warring fleets ablaze as cannons roared, their greatest Krudger declared: ‘Yessssssss!’ And so began the orcs’ naval adventure.
The downside to Orcish ambitions were twofold: firstly, the Orcs couldn’t decide where to start, and every time they tried to make a plan, they simply fell to bickering and fighting. Secondly, not a single Orc had the first idea how to construct anything bigger than a raft, let alone how to sail it. Thankfully, both these problems had the same solution: Goblins.
All Orc vessels are designed by goblin Gadjits and built by a swarm of brow-beaten goblin workers. They vary hugely in design, cobbled together out of whatever raw materials lie close to hand, or from whatever enemy ships they can commandeer. As long as they follow the Orcs’ two cardinal rules (‘Make them faster,’ and ‘Make them more brutal’), the Orcs don’t really care what they look like. They simply represent a thrill-ride to a new and previously undreamt-of theatre of war. The thudding of long-guns; the roar of ships aflame; the screams of enemy sailors as they plunge into shark-infested waters… these are music to the ears of the Orcs, and the stuff of dreams.
To more civilised eyes, an Orc flotilla resembles nothing more than enormous piles of wreckage floating merrily along on the tide. Only when sails unfurl and the motley mountains of detritus change course and head directly towards them do most sea-captains start to worry. When the great hulks come closer still, and the massive prows reveal insane spinning sawblades, gigantic drills and ridiculously over-sized battering rams do they really start to panic. And rightly so – for up close, an Orc fleet is the most ludicrous and dangerous foe on the high seas. A foe that cares only for destruction and conquest for its own sake, and will go to any lengths to achieve it.
Main Battle Ships
The largest orc vessels are, at first glance, little more than floating shanty towns, complete with palisade walls, rusting armour plates, towers and huts, and swarming with goblins who constantly patch up damage and make ‘improvements’ on the fly. Up close, however, orc battle ships are a different prospect entirely.
The largest and most improbable orc vessels are the Ripper Hulks – and hulks they indeed are. Towering higher than most land fortresses, these behemoths of the sea appear to float only through sheer force of will, for there is nothing about its lines, construction or handling that indicates the slightest seaworthiness. They move primarily under a frankly unnecessary amount of tattered sails, but are forever accompanied by the sound of clanking and banging, and crunching gears, the purpose of which has never been discerned.
Captained by the highest-ranking Krudger in the fleet, their tactics are simple but effective. In battle, they sail slowly and inexorably towards the biggest, most heavily armoured enemy ship they can reach, and set to work with their crude machinery – huge saws powered by goblin crank-wheels that can cut a three-decker in half, mechanical battering rams capable of denting even a dwarf Ironclad, and other devices more at home in a siege than on a ship. Any enemy vessel unfortunate enough to stray within reach may well find itself caught in the vice-like grip of an enormous grappling arm, which will hold onto its prey long enough for the Ax warriors to board it, shouting maniacally with the thrill of battle coursing through their veins.
The simplicity of the Smasher’s design makes the Ripper Hulk seem like a marvel of ingenuity. Despite that, these large warships are remarkably effective at what they do. They have one simple task in battle, and that is to harness every breath of wind in their sails, and ram full-speed into the first enemy vessel they reach.
To aid in this mission, the bows of these vessels are plated in thick armour and massive spikes, usually layered and beaten to resemble the face of some bad-tempered and hard-headed creature, such as a gore or slasher. Upon impact, fragile sailing vessels will likely be reduced to so much flotsam. Sturdier vessels might, however, find themselves impaled on the Smasher’s great ram, and must thus face the unfortunate prospect of close-quarter fighting against a horde of ruthless Morax.
The smallest battle ships in the orc fleets, Hammerfists do not really have the bulk or impetus to ram enemy warships, but this simple fact does nothing to deter the Gadjits, who set about embellishing their ship with enormous mechanical flails and pneumatic battering rams.
These seemingly impossible engines of destruction can achieve with ingenuity what a Smasher can only achieve with size, inertia and a fair wind, and are the vessel of choice for the true thrill-seeking orc.
Mantic Games ist unter anderem bei unserem Partner Fantasywelt erhältlich.
Quelle: Mantic Games