Age of Sigmar is getting a book of mercenaries for various armies to use – but the Grimdark needs it even more.
A month back, Games Workshop announced that Age of Sigmar has an upcoming expansion that will be be a reimagined Dogs of War. For those you of who don’t remember here’s what that means:
The larger part of regular armies are common militia, whose training and equipment is often lacking. Most of the standing regiments tend to be elite units, and therefore many times simply too few in numbers. Therefore most rulers, facing an arduous campaign, will employ free companies of mercenaries.
Regular Bretonnian armies all but refuse to hire mercenaries considering them dishonourable (and most Bretonnian lords care precious little for their peasants anyway – treating them as disposable ‘cannon fodder’).
On the other extreme are the Tilean city-states which simply don’t have a regular army at all, employing whole mercenary armies, composed of several mercenary companies. These armies are sometimes even commanded by an experienced mercenary general. The majority of Mercenaries tend to be Tilean as well, noticeable by their trademark golden or bronzed armour. Tilea has produced the greatest Mercenary Generals and Paymasters.
In the Empire the standing of mercenaries seems to vary; skilled and professional free companies tend to be respected by most Imperial commanders while disorganized or unwilling rabble is often despised.
The book included rules for these units:
- Malakai Makaisson‘s Goblin Hewer
- The Cursed Company
Back to the Grimdark
So I’m assuming we will see a Battletome with a bunch of individual units for Age of Sigmar armies. But here’s the issue – 40K has a much more severe allies problem that Age of Sigmar does. Over in the Mortal Realms, we have lots of armies that are much more balanced against each other and less of a “winners and losers” segregation, compared to what we see in 40K.
With many Grimdark armies have few or no allies, and having to stand against the insanely large unit choices the Imperium can throw against them – Warhammer 40k REALLY needs that Dogs of War book yesterday.
To Build a Codex
Here is what I would put in it – with the goals of expanding mercenary unit options for the minor races, and providing a lot of bang for buck in player excitement for a small amount of new unit boxes:
Squats – 2 units (Troops Squad, Bike Squad) – Will ally with anyone except Nids, Orks (you got the cash, they will work).
Kroot Mercs – Use existing models – Will ally with anyone except Nids.
Hrud – Single Squad Box – Will ally with anyone except Imperium, Nids (Heck would the Necrons even notice they cause rapid aging?)
Tarellian Dog Soldiers – Single Squad Box – Will ally with anyone except Imperium (who nuked their homeworlds), Nids
Loxatl – Single Squad Box – Will ally with anyone except Imperium, Nids
Mercenary Commander Box – 5 HQ models, 1 from each race
6 boxes total
A book like that would get both players and hobbyists super excited for the new races being brought into the tabletop at last. It also sets up a petri dish for GW to study what is actually popular with an eye to one day expanding some of these ranges into full armies – like happened to Necrons and Deathwatch.
~How would you handle a Dogs of War book for 40k?