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Forbidden Stars» Forums » Variants

Subject: Dark eldar ideas rss

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Oak Wolf
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I am quite new at this game but i wondered if anyone thought of how possible a Dark Eldar faction would be.

From battlefleet gothic i remember they do not use large ships, but rather "corsair" escorts and cruiser class variants. On the ground, they don't use titans either (they never appeared in epic 40k).

However, as a race, they are experts in hit and run and typically do not fight for ground control as much as other races.

This means it would translate as a very low morale, skilled, mobile and aggressive faction.

Units could be as follow:

Cabalite Warriors 2 1 1
Corsair Frigates 3 2 1
Wytch Cult Warriors 3 2 2
Talos Pain Engine 4 3 2
Torture Class Cruiser 4 3 3

They wouldn't have access to a titan sized unit.

Structures:

Web way portal: counts as a factory
Enslaved Hive: counts as a city

They wouldn't have access to a bastion

The general idea is that dark eldar hit quite hard and are very demoralizing to fight against. Many cards would get effects to reduce opponents morale, and routing opposing units. They would also be specialists at retreating key units during the execution phase, perhaps even by sacrificing lower value ones.

Since they do not have access to the same defensive capacities of other races, nor any ultimate ground units, they could compensate with powerful mobility abilities and a general high flexibility as to where to apply their forces.

Just ideas
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Pierre-Alexandre Fortin
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Can we make "print on demand" cards, and test that idea? I want more!
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Oak Wolf
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Nice to see some interest. As i get to know the game better in the next few weeks i'll explore this idea into clearer details. I don't have any skill to produce the cards and artwork, but i am generally good with rules and i like them as balanced as can be. FS is a complex game so i'll need more experience with it to make sure these things aren't breaking the balance while providing fun as well. They maybe we can find a talented artist to even try to get this on the table.
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steve mathers
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Hi. Ive done 4 factions already. What Ive learnt from doing that is

- try to come up with a 'theme' for your faction that makes it distinct from the other factions. Then use this as your guide when working out your units stats, combat cards, events etc...

- give the theme strengths and weaknesses. And then back those up - i.e. if a faction is supposed to have poor strategic mobility dont give it a dominate ability or event that lets it move units easily. Consider the strategic (holistic/overall) strengths and weaknesses of your faction first, and worry about the tactical stuff second.

I think this is more important than making your faction exactly like the WH40K cannon in all respects. You can still use the cannon as a touchstone though, by selectively emphasising or de-emphasising certain faction characteristics to achieve your faction's theme strengths and weaknesses.

For instance the themes I came up with:

Necrons - extremely tough units and the ability to teleport within their own territory, but very few units.

Tau: - Very solid land units and good tactical mobility (i.e. within a system) but poor strategic mobility modelled by few ships. Very adaptable tactics (dominate allows them to switch upgrades for free)

IG - ability to pump out homogeneous units very efficiently but they need to assemble their armies with mixed units to get the most from their combat cards.

Nids - ground forces are glass cannons that find it hard to hold ground, but their end game is using their ships as mobile factories.

the above is the strategic level strengths/weaknesses - crons can easily spread themselves too thin, but clever use of teleportation can help them get to spotfires. Nids will be preoccupied with preserving territory in the early game then rapid striking at objectives once their hive ships appear. Tau are like a creeping wall that must keep expanding every turn or they wont get to their objectives in time. The Guard player will be playing tin soliders marshalling troops here and there from factory worlds in order to maximise their combat potential.
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Salman Qaisar
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stevenmathers wrote:
Hi. Ive done 4 factions already. What Ive learnt from doing that is

- try to come up with a 'theme' for your faction that makes it distinct from the other factions. Then use this as your guide when working out your units stats, combat cards, events etc...

- give the theme strengths and weaknesses. And then back those up - i.e. if a faction is supposed to have poor strategic mobility dont give it a dominate ability or event that lets it move units easily. Consider the strategic (holistic/overall) strengths and weaknesses of your faction first.


You, my friend, are the only hope for FS.
Your work is a beacon of hope in the dying embers of FFG/GW divorce!
Have another GG.

How goes the play-testing?
Nearly there yet?
Have u designed some nice cards + faction sheets yet?

Cheers, Sal
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steve mathers
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Zalman wrote:
stevenmathers wrote:
Hi. Ive done 4 factions already. What Ive learnt from doing that is

- try to come up with a 'theme' for your faction that makes it distinct from the other factions. Then use this as your guide when working out your units stats, combat cards, events etc...

- give the theme strengths and weaknesses. And then back those up - i.e. if a faction is supposed to have poor strategic mobility dont give it a dominate ability or event that lets it move units easily. Consider the strategic (holistic/overall) strengths and weaknesses of your faction first.


You, my friend, are the only hope for FS.
Your work is a beacon of hope in the dying embers of FFG/GW divorce!
Have another GG.

How goes the play-testing?
Nearly there yet?
Have u designed some nice cards + faction sheets yet?

Cheers, Sal


Pretty happy so far - have played or opposed each new faction at least 7-8 times.

There are faction sheets and another BGG fan is redoing all the cards with proper symbls and stuff, which is awesome.

Cant wait to see what Oak Wolf comes up with thumbsup
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Salman Qaisar
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stevenmathers wrote:
Zalman wrote:
stevenmathers wrote:
Hi. Ive done 4 factions already. What Ive learnt from doing that is

- try to come up with a 'theme' for your faction that makes it distinct from the other factions. Then use this as your guide when working out your units stats, combat cards, events etc...

- give the theme strengths and weaknesses. And then back those up - i.e. if a faction is supposed to have poor strategic mobility dont give it a dominate ability or event that lets it move units easily. Consider the strategic (holistic/overall) strengths and weaknesses of your faction first.


You, my friend, are the only hope for FS.
Your work is a beacon of hope in the dying embers of FFG/GW divorce!
Have another GG.

How goes the play-testing?
Nearly there yet?
Have u designed some nice cards + faction sheets yet?

Cheers, Sal


Pretty happy so far - have played or opposed each new faction at least 7-8 times.

There are faction sheets and another BGG fan is redoing all the cards with proper symbls and stuff, which is awesome.

Cant wait to see what Oak Wolf comes up with thumbsup


Will we be able to play these factions with just 1 copy of FS? I.e just use the faction sheets + cards with existing minis?
Getting a second copy is pretty hard now!


And any particular association of base MINI's with new faction? eg use Marines minis when playing Tau (sorry i dont know anything about W40k!)
Sal
 
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Oak Wolf
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Thanks for the tips! I don't think i can match the quality of what you have done, but i will do my best and see what i come up with.

As for minis, using Battlefleet Gothic miniatures is expensive but certainly looks the part.
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Peter Tan
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Thanks for the update!

I just got this game about 1 month ago and still haven't fully explore all races yet. Me and my friends are big 40k junkies and it is natural that we all love this game.

Will be waiting for more play testing and updated graphics from your side, heroes!
 
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Kandras 78
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Anyone around toying with the idea to come up with new factions for FS might find these hints from Samuel insightful...

https://www.reddit.com/r/boardgames/comments/4wfe30/for_anyo...

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1604044/gen-con-announcemen...

https://boardgamegeek.com/article/23727369#23727369

 
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Oak Wolf
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Good to read and keep in mind. I've done some grunt work so far and it's taking shape (theme, units, most combat cards). Then i'll need to test it a bit and see if it's ok to post here.
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Oak Wolf
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Hi again, the first draft of the race is written, but it's not tested yet so i have no idea how balanced this currently is.

I've taken the concept of a Wych Cult (Cult of Strife) to make sure it has a different feel from the Eldar. The Cult of Strife is one of the more proeminent Wych cult there is, supported by the top dogs of Dark Eldar Society (Kabal of the Black Heart).

Dark Eldar as a whole are very mobile, like their less twisted counterparts, but they do not hold a position well at all. As such they'll be good on the attack, and poor on defense. To represent this, the race will not have an easy access to bastions, nor a command level 3 titan. Their fleet will be similar to the eldar one, albeit slightly more aggressive in nature.

The race will start strong, and will need to keep moving and try to gain momentum otherwise it will fall to the troops of the opponent and will waste precious time against enemy bastions.

Wyches will be the elite CL1 unit, and many combat upgrade cards will focus on them. I also want the combat cards to instill an elite feeling to their units, which is in theme with the race in 40k. It is through the cards and dice that the race will be able to survive despite a generally lower morale and health.

The fact they do not care about land will make them retreat rather than hold ground in battle, and poor morale values across the board will illustrate that, however some combat upgrade cards will enable a sort of terror doctrine.

While the value of their reinforcement tokens is low, they will get them much more easily than their eldar counterpart and will have more uses for them, representing the use of slaves, pit fiends, warp beasts and also the fact that dark eldar are more numerous than their craftworld cousins.

---------

Units are still similar to what i had in mind before.

Kabalite Warriors 2 1 1
Corsair Assault Frigate 3 2 1
Wych Cult Warriors 3 3 2
Ravagers 4 3 3
Torture Class Reavers 5 4 3

Dominate ability: They'll be able to swap 1 Kabalite Warrior for one Corsair Assault Frigate in the active system, and vice versa. This make them very flexible and mobile. This is a strong ability, for sure, and will help compensate their low capacity for defence. This will also place a threat on undefended worlds, and hopefully put people in fear of an imminent dark eldar raid.

I'll post the details here this week if i get the time, although i again must state that it has not been tested.

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Oak Wolf
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Alright let's start. This is not the final thread for this project, i'll make another one when the work is over.

Dark Eldar - Wych Cult - The Cult of Strife

Expert Raiders: When you resolve a dominate order, before collecting assets. you may remove 1 Kabalite Warrior in the active system and place a Corsair Assault frigate in an empty or friendly void in the active system. Alternatively, you may remove one Corsair Assault Frigate in the active system and place 1 Kabalite Warrior in an empty or friendly world in the active system.

Reference sheet


Structures:

Factory (Webway Portal : Cost 2

City (Enslaved): Cost 3

Kabalite Warriors: Cost: 2 Atk: 2 Def: 1 Mrl: 1 Max: 6

Corsair Assault Frigate: Cost: 2 Atk: 3 Def: 2 Mrl: 1 Max: 6

Command Level 1

Wych Cult Warriors: Cost: 3 Atk:3 Def: 3 Mrl: 2 Max: 6

Command Level 2


Ravagers: Cost: 4 Atk:4 Def: 3 Mrl: 3 Max: 3

Torture Class Cruiser: Cost: 5+1(f) Atk: 5 Def: 4 Mrl: 4 Max: 3

Initial Forces:
2 Kabalite Warriors
2 Wych Cult Warriors
1 Corsair Assault Frigate
1 Factory




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Oak Wolf
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BASE COMBAT CARDS:



Pirates of Comorragh: G:1 S:0 M:0
Gain one die
Kabalite Warriors/Corsairs:
The oppponent must spend one die or rout one of his units.


From the void: G:1 S:0 M:0
Gain 2 (s)
Kabalite Warriors/Corsairs:
Gain 1 [m]


For slaves and souls: G:0 S: 0 M:1
Gain 1 (s)
Kabalite Warriors/Wyches
Gain 1 reinforcement token. You may assign it to this battle if you wish.


Wych Cult Raid: G:1 S:0 M:0
Gain 1 (g) and 1 (s)
Wyches
The opponent must re-roll a die of your choice


Thirsty Mandrakes G:0 S:0 M:1
The opponent must rout 1 unit unless he spends 1[g]
Kabalite Warriors/Corsairs
Gain 1(s)


EVENT DECK


Lelith Hesperax
Scheme: place this card in your play area, returning any scheme in your deck.
Use this card only if you have unrouted wyches participating in a battle at the start of the 3rd execution round. Destroy 2 units of CL0 or 1 unit of CL1 at this battle


The Scourges are upon them
Scheme: place this card in your play area, returning any scheme in your deck.
The first enemy unit routed this exectution round is destroyed.


Slave trade
Scheme: place this card in your play area, returning any scheme in your deck.
When you gain materiel during the refresh phase, you may use this card to spend reinforcement tokens to gain 2 materiel for each token spent.


Incubi bodyguards
Scheme: place this card in your play area, returning any scheme in your deck.
Spend this card whenever one of your unit is about to be destroyed. It is not destroyed and is rallied.


Haemonculi experimentation lab
Tactic
You may replace one friendly City with one Bastion. Gain 1 Materiel and 1 reinforcement token if you do so.


Establish a new path
Tactic
You may purchase a factory and deploy it in a neutral world in any system. You may spend a reinforcement token instead of materiel to pay for the structure.


Harlequin troupe
Tactic
Each opponent must give you one asset token of their choice. Gain one reinforcement token for each player that have no asset token to give.


Harlequin Solitaire
Tactic
Destroy any one of your units or spend a reinforcement token (CL0) to destroy 1 unit of equal command level of each opponent.


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Oak Wolf
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ORDER UPGRADES

Upgrade to deploy order CL0
Enslave them all
After your purchaces. Destroy one friendly city to claim 2 forge tokens and 2 reinforcement token

Upgrade to Advance order CL1
Webway portals
If your advance order created a contested area. Add 1 reinforcement token to the battle.

Upgrade to Strategize order CL1
Deviously Cunning
When you resolve this order, place an additional order token ( face-down, from your play area) on your event deck

Upgrades to Orbital Strikes

Slave Raid CL 1
If you destroy one enemy unit as a result of an orbital strike, you may cancel all dice and gain 1 cache token and 1 reinforcement token instead

Void Raven bombing run CL 2
Bastions do not prevent this strike. Discard 3 [g] to destroy an enemy bastion.

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Oak Wolf
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COMBAT UPGRADES


Command Level 0 (Cost:2)


Hekatrix Bloodbrides G:2 S:0 M:0
Gain 1(g)
Wyches:
Gain 1(s)and one [M]


Reavers Jetbikes G:1 S:1 M:0
Gain 1(g) and 1(s)
Wyches/Ravagers/Corsairs:
You may re-roll one die of your choice


Rampaging Hellions G:1 S:0 M:1
Gain 1(g)
Wyches/Corsairs:
Gain one reinforcement token. You may assign it to this battle if you wish.


Unleash the pit fiends G:0 S:1 M:1
The opponent must spend 1 [G] or rout one of his units
Wyches/Corsairs:
Spend one of your reinforcement token at this battle to force an opponent to destroy one of his units at this battle.


Command Level 2 (Cost 4):


Nightshields G:1 S:2 M:0
The opponent may not gain (g) tokens this execution round
Ravagers/Torture Class Cruisers:
Gain 2(g)


Voidraven bombers G:2 S:0 M:1
The opponent may not gain (s) this execution round
Ravagers/Torture Class Cruisers:
The opponent must spend 1[S] or rout one of his units


Deadly Succubus G:2 S:0 M:0
Gain 1(g) and 2(s)
Wyches/Torture Class Cruisers:
You may re-roll 2 of your dice


Command Level 3 (Cost 6)


The Art of Death G:4 S:1 M:0
The oponnent must discard 2 [S]
Wyches/Torture Class Cruisers:
Choose the first enemy unit to receive damage this execution round


Soul Harvesters G:1 S:0 M:4
The enemy must discard [G]
Ravagers/Torture Class Cruisers:
Gain 2 reinforcement tokens. You may assign up to 2 tokens to this battle if you wish. Then, you may spend a reinforcement token (from this battle or your play area) to gain 3(s)
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Peter Tan
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Awesome stuff Oak Wolf!

I hope that someone who is helping on Steven Mathers for the card graphics will assist you in transferring the text into cards.
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Oak Wolf
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Thanks for taking a look.

I am searching for images on the web and will propose some to be used, but as you mentionned, once the version is final i would certainly need help to transform these into cards. By now i need some willing souls to test it.

General tactics of the Dark Eldar army:

This particular army is themed around a Wych Cult. The Dark Eldar society is devided into 3 main groups, with sattelite cliques going around them. The most important ones are the Kabals, who are the most numerous and also the most powerful armed "clans" so to speak. They are all treacherous and would like nothing else than to turn on each other to prove their supremacy. But fear and deadly politics make those moves highly difficult.

Then there are the Wych Cults, fighting organisations sponsored by the Kabals, who gather some of the most potent combat specialists. They are often seen in the many arenas, displaying their skills in their favorite method. The army i chose to represent in FS is based on the most proeminent of these cults: The Cult of Strife. It is lead by the single most deadly dark eldar known to us: Lelith Hesperax. There is another seriously twisted faction that is also highly influencial: the Haemonculi, crazed geniuses who focus on the manipulation of life in all its shape. They basically create horrible creatures and combinations of machines and life...suffice to say that they are the worse bunch of the lot to be taken to. Their creations are particularily tough, but i chose not to represent them too much in this iteration of the dark eldar, as this would make them more like orcs than eldar.

As you can see from their roster sheet, they have no super-heavy troops on the ground, and limited ability to plant bastions. This make them weak on defense both early and late in the game. In return, they are extremely mobile right from the start and you can threaten enemy empty worlds easily. In the 40k universe, the dark eldar strike from nowhere, without warning, and are so twisted and cruel that they leave no one indifferent. The idea is to translate that into the game board: making other people fear of where the dark eldar will strike next.

The Dark eldar live in a city lost in some alternate dimension, they only appear in our galaxy to raid, gathering slaves and feast on souls or whatever they fancy. They do not relish any materials we would protect. As such there are unique combos available that are specifically in theme with the race. For example, due to their mobility, they are able to quickly capture empty worlds that are left undefended. Cities are a particularily interesting target for raids, and with a simple order upgrade, they can destroy that city and reap some assets from it, leaving nothing but emptiness in their wake and making sure that the enemy does not recover that structure again.

The fleet of the dark eldar is just as strong as that of their less evil counterpart. It's more aggressive, though, and somewhat less resilient.

The way it is meant to be played is to be on the move all the time. Defending enemy objectives will be very hard, so you need to hinder their path to these more than build a defensive force. Getting to your objectives, however, is much easier, and the concept is made to get your foe a bit paranoid. Like the early eldar, their combat dice is their main defense, and you'll find that many of the cards provide some defense token as well as offensive pressure. You have to balance your combat deck between offense and defense to survive.

I expect them to have a strong start, especially in the hands of a good player, because they can relocate their CL0 units easily. However as the other races become more and more well armed, i think they will find it harder to win big battles and will require more of a guerilla warfare, which is what the Dark Eldar are all about.
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steve mathers
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good stuff.

I like the idea of building the faction around the CL1 units. thats a real point of difference. How many wyches do you get, considering you dont get to field titans? you could go 9, but perhaps that would interfere with the 'small but elite' feel you are going for.

I would perhaps even accentuate this concept further with the cards, diminishing the utility of the other units towards a support role for wyches, by making the cards not so great unless you have wyches present in the fight. I think strategically that would be interesting, but I dont know if it fits the canon.

Again, without knowing anything of the canon, I think your idea of reinforcements being useful to the faction for other than their hitpoints is a good one - perhaps expand their utility beyond the starter deck? I did this with the tyranids where you can sacrifice guants pretty much with any card to get extra boost. Im not suggesting you go that far, but if CL0 had some thematic 'support' utility beyond the starter cards?

The dominate command of turning frigates into warriors and back is VERY powerful. I guess testing will say if its OP. To tone it down a notch, and play to the 'enslaving reinforcements' type of thing you have going, what if you only gave the faction 4 warriors, max? the combination of very few warriors figures AND no bastions would make holding territory a real puzzle for the faction, and place extra emphasis on them needing to bring in reinforcements to enable combat abilities.

keep going!
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Oak Wolf
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Thanks for the comments!

Interesting that you mention the 4 warriors limit, i had 4 max written initially, seems like you read my mind goo. I've put 6 for testing purposes, in order to find out if it's OP indeed.

They way i was seeing the balance from it was that they already have 3 less units (titans) on their roster, and a major hit on their defensive power without regular access to bastion. Also, Warriors only have 1 hit point so they aren't very tough. It's in the fact they can move and fight wherever they want that may reside some overpowered result, especially since the frigates are on par with the eldar ones.

If it proves too powerful, we could switch that power with the "Slave trade" scheme card, allowing them to turn reinforcement into materiel much more often, and still allowing them to switch warriors and corsairs once in a while. However, they'd loose alot of mobility and flexibility in doing so, and i'd like to see it on the table a few times before changing it.

The max for wyches is 6 right now, and yes 9 would make it a bit too many for that race (they are more numerous than eldar, but far from a swarm like orcs). Many cards do benefit from their presence and i want the race to represent the fact that this is a wych cult and not a kabal (which would get to play with the whole dark eldar war machine and probably be too much like the eldar we already have).

I am playing FS tonight but i won't be testing the dark eldar sadly, i need more experience with the basic races to get a better feeling when i get to test them. That said, i'll put up some suggested artwork this week-end.

Lastly, i'll look into giving them even more incentive to toy with reinforcement tokens.

P.S. As a bit of background, I used to play dark eldar in Wh40k since their initial release on the 3rd 40k ed. I've still got the books so i do refer to the lore as much as i can when i make those rules.
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Oak Wolf
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Made some slight modifications. Will get to test the faction properly soon. Artwork has also been selected, however i am not sure i have the right to post it?

Did you gets get some flak due to copyrights about the art for other Fan made races?
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steve mathers
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I don't think anyone cares as long as its all DIY non-profit stuff. If you can find images freely using google image search, then I think its pretty much fair game for people to be able to print them out for their own purposes.
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Oak Wolf
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Sounds good. I've found all images for the cards. Sadly i'll be away til next week but i'll upload them by then.

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Oak Wolf
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Alright, images uploaded. It should be more fun to look at by now

Please take a second look at these rules and let me know what you think.

I have found an image i like for the race itself and the reference sheet, but it needs some work to be useable, so that'st he next step.
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