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AncientDeadConcept

Ancient Dead concept drawings

The world wasn’t always like it is now. Ruins dot the map, mass graves, sunken castles. But where did they come from?

Many hundred years ago, in a different era, an empire of man spanned much of the known world. What has fallen into ruin now, what was abandoned to nature and beast, what has long been forgotten, all this was that of man once. An empire, not of petty noble houses, but one of a dozen provinces, from the frozen tundra of the north to the blistering sands of the south, of a dozen peoples under one banner.

So many peoples, so many cultures and ideas under one roof, all vying to pull the empire into a direction of their own. Could those not be reconciled? Did they, in the end, just pull the empire apart? As remote lands became provinces of the empire, so could local cults become religions that swept across its entirety. Was the authority of the emperor lost to religion? Was it the gods that punished man for worshipping spirits that promised to give what they would not?

Does it matter now what brought it down? The ancient dead are rising again, not living and yet not dead. Long lost legions heed the call of their emperor. They march once more, tirelessly and without emotion, to claim again what was once theirs. What brought down the empire in the end, and what is bringing it back to unlife, is for you to piece together based on clues hidden within the world, if you want to learn more.

Military Tactics Edit

The bulk of the ancient dead is made up of the ancient legions. They are what conquered most of the known world once, and they may well do so again. Legions that never tire, legionnaires that know no fear, a cold machine that ever marches forward. What could stop them?

The legions fight like they did hundreds of years ago – in tight formation two ranks deep, with shields in front and polearms in the back. They rely quite heavily on the front row providing protection with their shields and locking down the enemy, while the second row uses polearms to inflict heavy damage on their opponents. A formation like this doesn’t charge like undisciplined rabble, but advances slowly and makes heavy use of shields to protect against arrow fire. They don’t possess any ranged weaponry and don’t do flanking maneuvers, preferring to simply walk through any enemy. Because much of their strength is in their formation, they’re at a disadvantage when fighting in difficult terrain, such as forests. They are also the missing piece of the puzzle that makes resolve an important attribute, as fighting them continually puts a test to the morale of the men.

The ancient legions come with a whole lot of unique armor, helmets and weapons. It’s old, it’s brittle and sometimes broken, but it can still be deadly.

SkeletonsEdit

For more detailed info on how to deal with various enemies, here's an excellent (but partially outdated) guide by Dialetheia.

Ancient Auxiliary Edit

Recruited from local vassals was the light infantry, the ancient auxiliaries. Because Battle Brothers, at least for now, focuses on a pseudo-germanic region of the world, the equipment of these auxiliary troops is based on the look of ancient germanic and celtic warriors.

An auxiliary is armed with spear, short sword or falx – a new weapon unique to them. They’re lightly armored, often just with the remains of cloaks sporting the pattern of their ancient clans, and sometimes helmets passed down through the family. Time has taken a toll on both weapons and armor, and so you may find them attacking with broken swords seemingly unaware of it.

Skeleton 01 orientation Ancient Auxiliary
Strengths
  • Unbreakable, suffers no fatigue increase on attacks/movement
  • Extremely resistant to ranged attacks (80%) [1]
  • Resistant to piercing attack (50%) (avoid lances and switch billhooks/pikes for goblin halberd)
  • Critical hits to head do normal hp damage. The +50% extra damage on a head blow granted by axes does not apply to them either (?)
  • Immune to bleed
  • Can be reanimated by Necromancer
Weaknesses
  • Low HP (50) and either weak armor or no armor. Typical armors include: Ancient Household Helmet (95), neckguard(70)
  • No base melee defense bonus (0)
  • No base ranged defense bonus (0)
Tactics

Ancient Legionary Edit

Ancient legionnaires make up the medium infantry. Once professional soldiers, legionnaires enlisted for several years to be trained and used in the empire’s campaigns in exchange for land they could settle at and call their own. Legionnaires are well-armed with metal armor, sword and shield, or pike.

Legions from all the different eras of the empire answer its call, so you’ll find legionnaires that died a hundred years apart, all with different armor, helmet and shield design, to march together.

Skeleton 02 orientation Ancient Legionary
Strengths
  • Medium Armor. Typical armor includes: Ancient Breastplates (Range from 100 - 135) and Ancient Legionary Helmet
  • Unbreakable, suffers no fatigue increase on attacks/movement
  • Extremely resistant to ranged attacks (80%)
  • Resistant to piercing attack (damage to hp applied at 50% effectiveness)(avoid lances and switch billhooks/pikes for goblin halberd). Armor still takes regular damage though.
  • Immune to bleed
  • Can be reanimated by Necromancer
Perks
  • Rotation, Shield Expert, Fearsome
Weaknesses
  • Low HP (about 60)
  • No base melee defense bonus (0)
  • No base ranged defense bonus (0)
Tactics
  • Use your archers to break down their armor as they approach

Ancient Honor Guard Edit

Recruited from the ranks of veteran legionnaires are the ancient honor guard, once used as personal bodyguards and as heavy infantry to tip the scales of battle. The highest honor a common legionary could hope to achieve, joining the honor guard involved a symbolic death to shed the weakness and frailty of man, and being transformed into a tool of the emperor. No longer a man, but the manifestation of the emperor’s will, the honor guard was encased entirely in armor that did not show any flesh, becoming essentially a living, moving and fighting statue.

Honor guards make use of heavy weaponry from all corners of the ancient empire, such as the warscythe, the rhomphaia and a two-handed cleaver. They were once among the finest and most dedicated warriors of their time, and although now but bones in rusty armor, their skill still echoes through their every swing of the sword.

Skeleton 03 orientation Ancient Honor Guard
Strengths
  •  ?
  • Heavy Armor. Typical armor includes: Ancient Harnesses (Range from 180 - 310) and Ancient Honor Guard Helmet
  • Powerful weapons like Crypt Cleaver and Warscythe
  • Unbreakable, suffers no fatigue increase on attacks/movement
  • Extremely resistant to ranged attacks (80%)
  • Resistant to piercing attack (damage to hp applied at 50% effectiveness)(avoid lances and switch billhooks/pikes for goblin halberd). Armor still takes regular damage though.
  • Immune to bleed
  • Can be reanimated by Necromancer
Weaknesses
  • Modest HPs (about 65-70)
  • No base melee defense bonus (0)
  • No base ranged defense bonus (0)
  • Can be stunned
  • Slower to act, compared to other Skeletons
Tactics
  • Use your archers to break down their armor as they approach
  • Axes to destroy Shields
  • Use armor destroying weapons like you would on Orc Warriors; warhammers, fighting axes, billhooks...
  • Don't die. Seriously, this time if your men die, they risk reanimation.

Ancient Priest Edit

The empire had countless religions and cults, and each had priests spreading the word of their gods, performing rites and proclaiming miracles. The ancient priest was one such individual once. Now brought back to unlife, his very existence is making a mockery out of his faith. His work is turned into a perversion of what he once devoted his life to; no longer does he bless acres, he brings foulness and rot, and no longer does he bring comfort, he brings but horrible visions of a world beyond ours.

The ancient priest joins the ranks of the few spellcasters, and like all spellcasters fills a support role. He’s of little danger all by himself, but with ancient legionnaires holding the ranks, he can slowly work to rout a whole company. And then, there’s always his ancient honor guard protecting him.

The ancient priest’s first skill is to summon miasma, a thick mist of foulness and rot that is harmful to any living being. Miasma is created in an area of 7 tiles and sticks to these tiles for several rounds. Any living being ending its turn on a tile affected by miasma will lose hitpoints – it’s only a few each round, but no armor does protect against breathing in the foul fog, and it does eventually add up if you don’t move out your men

The ancient priest’s second skill is called ‘Horror’, and as the name implies, it brings horrific visions to it’s unfortunate victims. It’s an area-of-effect spell, like ‘Miasma’, but targeted at people and not tiles. Anyone affected will have to make a morale check – the higher the resolve, the higher the chance that they won’t be affected at all. If a character fails the morale check, their morale will drop by one level. Additionally, if the character fails critically (meaning with a dice throw higher than 140% of their resolve, subject to change) they’ll be affected by the new ‘Horrified’ status effect for one turn and be unable to act.

While ‘Horror’ can be quite powerful against a company of weak-willed and deserters, it can be countered by investing into the resolve attribute of your men, picking certain perks, and making use of the ‘Rally the Troops’ skill.

Skeleton 04 orientation Ancient Priest
Strengths
  •  ?
  • Unbreakable, suffers no fatigue increase on attacks/movement
  • Extremely resistant to ranged attacks (80%)
  • Resistant to piercing attack (damage to hp applied at 50% effectiveness)(avoid lances and switch billhooks/pikes for goblin halberd). Armor still takes regular damage though.
  • Immune to bleed
  • Always protected by one to 3 Ancients Honor Guard
  • Can be reanimated by Necromancer
Weaknesses
  • Low armor (head 50/ body 35)
  •  ?
  •  ?
Tactics
  •  ?


NecrosavantEdit

As the ancient empire conquered most of the known world, so would foreign and remote lands turn into provinces. What was local custom or cult once, hidden away and not spoken of elsewhere, would suddenly find itself a part of the empire, and sometimes would creep deep into its very heart. From the blistering deserts of the south came a secretive cult that had its followers not worship fertility as they did in the capital, not strength, not humility and not compassion. They worshiped a perversion of death, the promise to transcend mortality, to exist beyond life and death, forever.

When you have nothing but misery, it’s easy to let go, to welcome the warm embrace of the gods that sets you free from all earthly burden and hardships. But it’s those that have everything on this earth, power and wealth, that cling to it at the end of their life, that clutch to it in desperation, that bargain, that curse, that would pay any price to stay. And it is those who would embrace not the gods, for their touch is not salvation for them, but whose touch would tear them away and apart from the earthly things they prize above all, the things that they have chosen to become. It is those who would forsake the gods and turn to the cult of death instead, that would die over and over again, and yet never leave this earth, forever bound to it, forever paying the price.

Whether an ardent cultist once, or a decadent noble seeking eternal life, they have long since become a being that measures time no longer in years but in lifetimes: a Necrosavant. It will wither away and die in time, again and again, but never leave this world as long as it is rejuvenated with the blood of the living.

The Necrosavant has the ability to turn into a flock of bats to quickly position itself on the battlefield, making it perhaps the most mobile opponent in Battle Brothers. However, it doesn’t wear any armor or shield, leaving it vulnerable to being attacked itself, especially if bereft of its major strength by being stunned or immobilized.

Vampire 01 orientation Necrosavant
Strengths
  • Unbreakable.
  • Able to teleport (Darkflight), even within melee range.
  • High HP (about 200).
  • Utilizes Nine Lives perk.
  • High base melee defense (+25).
  • High base ranged defense (+25).
  • Utilizes Anticipation perk to further boost ranged defense.
  • Heals for same amount as hp damage inflicted on every successful attack (indicated by the bite icon above their heads during an attack). As they usually wield Arming Swords or Noble Swords, highly armored targets won't take too much damage but unarmored targets will go down really fast and the vampire will heal by a large amount.
Weaknesses
  • Low armor (20 body armor, no head armor)
  • Suceptible to Bleed and Stun effect
  • Can spawn without a full health bar (minimum 1/3 Health bar)
  • Often isolated
Tactics
  • Don't leave archers isolated more than 4AP from a melee fighter, so that if a Vampire teleports into melee with the archer, then your melee fighter can move into melee and attempt one hit before the vampire can teleport out next turn (Keep your units somewhat grouped). Vampires hate being flanked. Put injured units next to 3+ Brothers, and a Vampire will instead attack a Brother on the edge of that group.
  • Jagged pikes may be a good idea, as ironically, vampires bleed. Jagged pikes also cost only 5AP to attack with, allowing you to attack from 2 tiles and have a bit of mobility.
  • Once weakened, don't allow vampires to deal damage to hitpoints and thus heal themselves.
  • Immobilizing vampires will rob them of their greatest strength. Netting or stunning a vampire will allow your mercenaries to focus on surrounding him. Give archers bludgeons as secondary weapons for the Stun attack.
  • Archers have an even lower chance of hitting vampires due to the vampires' Anticipation perk. Consider switching to a melee weapon and surrounding a vampire before attacking. Alternatively, placing a high risk archer into reserve may be a better choice.


ReferencesEdit

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