Ulthuan

Ulthuan, Home of the Asur
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 Post subject: Real Army of Ulthuan
PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:47 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 4:51 pm
Posts: 27
Hey all,

Since i'm playing around with the new edition smoething was bugging me that i didn't notice before. And that is that the armies us high elves play with are not proffesional armies. They are just bands of specialized warriors and militia thrown together to form an army. I was thinking of doing something that would represent a proffesional army of Ultuan. I was thinking of cheap starting units that can be custimized into expensive models with good functionalities(for example normal elf 7pts, then add bow, spear, shield, heavy armour and end at 14 points or something). Monsterous cavalry in drake riders (dragens without wings), white lions on white lions (thats gona get confusing) an altar of vaul as chariot with breath weapon and reduction of total item cost on characters or something fluffy.

What do you guys think ? I'm looking for ideas and in due time if its going somewhere i'll post the list of what i have. Keep in mind this is supposed to be a real army of Ulthuan. So expensive units with customisation and spells and units that can set situations to their advantage.


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 Post subject: Re: Real Army of Ulthuan
PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 7:58 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:10 pm
Posts: 134
Location: Lancashire, England
I've never really got the whole "high elves are a dwindling race therefore they don't have a professional army." I fail to see the logic in a declining race sending its citizens (ie population producers) how ever well trained, off to war, with a measly 5+ save.

I think they'd have the best armour available, or ala craftworld ilyanden have some some sort of ghost warriors, golems, elementals to replace elves.

Lothern sea guard are the closest we have to core professional soldiers, so you should probably use those as a template. You could just rename our units to suit your taste. Eg I used a dragon model to proxy for a flamespyre phoenix (firedrake) in a caledor themed list.

Alternatively you could use the dark elf army book, using high elf models in a "counts as..." Sorta way.


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 Post subject: Re: Real Army of Ulthuan
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:01 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 02, 2011 10:27 pm
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Location: Rebuilding Tor Elasor
Just want to point out that the High Elves do have a "Real Army" but since Ulthuan is an island nation that army is rather small, the navy however is huge (think the British Empire 1800).

The "Real Army" of Ulthuan is mostly the Lothern Seaguard (as was mentioned) and the Swordmasters of Hoeth who travel all over the world and are deployed to the navy together with the Seaguard (though in smaller numbers). An educated guess puts these at 55 - 65 000 warriors (around 40 000 Seaguard and 20 000 Swordmasters).

In addition to these units comes the professional regiments of Phoenix Guards (10 000 troops), White Lions (15-20 000 troops) and Sisters of Avelorn (5- 10 000 troops), as well as the unorganized but semi-professional Dragon Princes, Ellyrian Reavers, Tiranoc Charioteers and Shadow warriors.

Silver Helms, Archers and Spearmen are really only used when the High Elves need to beef up their forces, such as in the face of full blown dark elf invasions, or in instances where local troops can get the work done on their own and there is no time to call up the professionals, small raids by norse and dark elves comes to mind here.

I always figured that the reason why warhammer armies often consisted of archers, spears and silver helms are because they represent the private armies of minor princes and nobles (which are us the players). When the high elves conduct invasions or major raids than the forces involved will probably lack any spear and archer regiments (silver helms are nobles so I would guess that these guys join such armies for the glory and will therefore be present in greater numbers).


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 Post subject: Re: Real Army of Ulthuan
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:27 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2014 12:42 am
Posts: 99
I have something similar in my Caledor army. The idea being that militia are great for home defence, but that long term deployments and campaigns would require dedicated troops.

Silver Helms, Seaguard and Shadow Warriors fitted the bill for me; but that's just because I already had ideas for units like Spearmen, Archers and Reavers.

However, the military composition of the Elves is actually reflective of actual medieval military organisation. Most infantry in the period was levied from the citizenry (bolstered by mercenaries), whilst the knights (Silver Helms and Dragon Princes) formed their own units based on feudal loyalties or familial bonds. In that sense, it seems entirely right for them to have organised the army the way they have.


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 Post subject: Re: Real Army of Ulthuan
PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 11:58 am 
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Citizen levies actually do have a long-standing history of producing effective armies. Ancient Greeks (with a few exceptions), Romans (certainly in the earlier periods), English longbowmen and the mandatory archery practise on Sundays, even medieval feudalism was essentially a form of citizen levy. The idea of raising a 'professional' army beyond that required for policing settlements and that isn't composed of mercenaries is a fairly recent one - usually, it's a matter of calling people up that would otherwise be mostly engaged in civilian pursuits when a conflict brews. Even without considering game statistics, the fluff of the High Elf citizen levy - spending three months out of every year together and under arms, training if not actively on campaign - puts them a big leg up over some medieval armies where the bulk of the infantry were peasants that were rounded up, given a weapon, and thrown on the battlefield in the hope that they'd hold up the enemy knights for a few minutes (but heaven forbid they actually inflict casualties, that might give them ideas above their station!)

In fact, it's worth noting that typically, archers and other light troops are raised from the poorer groups of the citizenry that can't afford the equipment to fight as heavy infantry. The current fluff for High Elf archers thus breaks the usual trend here in that they're archers because they're inexperienced, not because they cannot afford armour.

As a result, I'd expect long-term deployments and campaigns to still mostly be composed of citizen levy. If a deployment of campaign is expected to last significantly more than three months, they probably have a system to rotate soldiers in and out as tours of duty are completed (but even modern, fully professional militaries do this in times of war). Deployments and campaigns where this sort of thing isn't possible are probably the sort of thing where you would start looking for the more elite troops that can handle that, but again, in a modern military, this will also likely be the sort of thing where you call in special forces, or at least more elite units such as paratroopers or marines, who's training has hardened them for long deployments with limited support.

It's also worth remembering that most of the elite units have their own agendas. The Swordmasters are usually acting on behalf of the White Tower, they'll simply usually intervene if they happen to be nearby when a battle starts, and similar for the Sisters except it's the Everqueen instead. Phoenix Guard obey nobody's orders except Asuryan's. Shadow Warriors similarly usually just show up on the eve of (or during) a battle. White Lions are based on the Byzantine Varangian Guard - they're really supposed to act as bodyguards rather than being just another block of troops. Dragon Princes, for all their arrogance, are actually among the most normal of the elites, as in principle they're just the citizen levy from the nobility like the Silver Helms, they just happen to come from one of the most martially-oriented kingdoms.

None of these, though, come in large enough numbers to build an army from, and units like Silver Helms, Ellyrian Reavers, and even Tiranoc Chariots are all essentially noble citizen levies. Without forces recruited through the levy, there would be no core to the army, just a bunch of units that have their own agendas (be it defending a particular character on the orders of the Phoenix King, hunting pleasure cultists or Dark Elves, or whatever) until a crisis forced them all to come together. There may be special cases where a set group of units is present due to the nature of the mission (fast-moving all-cavalry forces, Teclis' honour guard of Swordmasters, and so on) but the typical Asur army, whether at home or abroad, is generally going to be based on the citizen levy, both the commoners of the infantry and the nobles in the cavalry.

The exception, of course, is the Seaguard, but they're the Marines of the Asur - while they do get deployed on land to support the other armies and they serve as Lothern's city guard, they're primarily the Marines of the Asur. They probably don't expect to have long-term deployments on land (except back at Lothern) any more than the citizen levy do - they probably expect to take part in amphibious operations and then be relieved by citizen levy forces so they can go off and engage in some other amphibious or naval operation somewhere else.


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