[mainline] Changing the Dunefolk's(Khalifate's) unit names

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What should the Shuja -> Khalid be named?

Poll ended at February 2nd, 2018, 2:11 am

Dune Blademaster -> Dune Conqueror
4
24%
Dune Blademaster -> Dune Warmaster
6
35%
Dune Blademaster -> Dune Warlord
3
18%
Dune Champion -> Dune Warmaster
1
6%
Dune Champion -> Dune Conqueror
3
18%
 
Total votes: 17

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Re: [mainline] Changing the Dunefolk's(Khalifate's) unit nam

Post by Vyncyn » January 1st, 2018, 11:16 pm

Celtic_Minstrel wrote: I do kinda agree that it's a bit weird for a shieldmaster to level up to something that lacks a shield.
Pentarctagon wrote:Khalid: Warmaster - To me, this sounds the best, given that the unit gives up its shield for a second sword. Warlord would also fit, I think, though that might have a more negative connotation.
The lvl 4 unit still has the "shield bash" attack though, it's just not visible in the spirte. Warmaster is a good name and would fit regardless of whether the unit has a shield or not.

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Re: [mainline] Changing the Dunefolk's(Khalifate's) unit nam

Post by SigurdFireDragon » January 2nd, 2018, 4:17 am

Taking a better look, here's my stab at it, mixing and matching from previous suggestions and other sources:

In some cases, I deliberately paralleled existing unit lines, ie, Warrior & Swordsman being used for level 2 units elsewhere in mainline (though some parallels were already present)
Arif Line
ImageImageImageImage
Arif Names: Soldier
Ghazi Names: Warrior
Shuja Names: Warmaster, Elite
Khalid Names: Padishah, Warlord, Sultan, Khan
ImageImageImage
Arif Names: see previous
Mudafi Names: Spearbearer
Rasikh Names: Spearmaster
Hakim Line
ImageImage
Hakim Names: Herbalist
Tabib Names: Physician
Jundi Line
(Switched the order here to help me think)
ImageImageImage
Jundi Names: Infantry
Muharib Names: Veteran
Batal Names: Tarkhan (alt spelling for more flavor)
ImageImageImage
Jundi Names: see previous
Monawish: Swordsman
Mighwar: Blademaster
Khaiyal Line
ImageImageImage
Khaiyal Names: Piercer
Faris Names: Sunderer
Mufariq Names: Cataphract I think it works here instead of for the Hadaf, as it's the slowest horse & has a lance like historical Cataphract
ImageImageImage
Khaiyal Names: see previous
Qanas Names: Raider, Pillager
Hadaf Names: Marauder, Raider
Naffat Line
ImageImageImage
Naffat Names: Burner, Combuster
Qatif-al-nar Names: Firebrand
Tineen Names: Incinerator
Rami Line
ImageImageImage
see previous
ImageImageImage
Rami Names: Rider, Scout (Rider solves the prefix problem)
Saree: Swiftrider, Cavalry Archer
Jawal: Windrider

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Re: [mainline] Changing the Dunefolk's(Khalifate's) unit nam

Post by Celtic_Minstrel » January 2nd, 2018, 4:51 am

Hmm, some of those are quite different (by which I mean you've applied the same names but to different units). Maybe this still requires more thought...

By the way, has anyone looked at the existing unit descriptions? Would it make sense to draw ideas from those, or would we be rewriting them from scratch anyway?

Upgrading a swordsman to a blademaster does kinda make sense... and marauder seems like a good name... burner is no better than combuster though in my opinion. I don't even know where padishah came from, and I really don't like warmaster as a name. Also, to me it really doesn't fit for a soldier to level to warrior (or even the other way around); to me, they imply quite different types of fighters. I think of a soldier as the rank and file of a disciplined military unit, while a warrior is more independent.
Vyncyn wrote:The lvl 4 unit still has the "shield bash" attack though, it's just not visible in the spirte. Warmaster is a good name and would fit regardless of whether the unit has a shield or not.
Hmm, that's interesting but a bit contradictory. How can he wield two swords and a shield? The best I can think of is that he needs to sheath one of them before doing a shield bash...

Maybe it would make more sense to remove the attack. I don't think there'd be any balancing concerns in modifying the khalid, though if an attack is removed it should probably be replaced with something else (maybe he can throw his sword or something, I dunno). In any case, there's plenty of time to consider whether to change his attacks after the names are settled on.
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Re: [mainline] Changing the Dunefolk's(Khalifate's) unit nam

Post by Vyncyn » January 2nd, 2018, 10:11 am

Celtic_Minstrel wrote:Maybe it would make more sense to remove the attack. I don't think there'd be any balancing concerns in modifying the khalid, though if an attack is removed it should probably be replaced with something else (maybe he can throw his sword or something, I dunno)
How about the infamous pommel-throw :lol:
Joking aside; There is no reason why he has to wield two swords (other than the rule of cool), so a sprite change might suffice, if he keeps the attack.


Here are some additional suggestions:
Arif (lvl 1): Militia
Arif line (lvl 2 or 3): Scimitarfighter/-warrior/-master
Mudafi: Spearguard sounds better that spearbearer imo.

Exept for Padishah, I like the names SigurdFireDragon has. I'd go for Warlord or Khan for the Khalid.


By reading so much about them, I'm slowly getting used to their old names :P

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Re: [mainline] Changing the Dunefolk's(Khalifate's) unit nam

Post by Caladbolg » January 2nd, 2018, 3:15 pm

I largely agree with SigurdFireDragon's names though the Arif line could use some work. Maybe Soldier->Hero->Elite->Warmaster/Sultan/Khan?
As Vyncyn said, maybe Spearguard instead of Spearbearer for Mudafi.
For Hakim line, I wouldn't mind Alchemist or Thaumaturgist as their healing abilities might seem like miracles to outsiders, but Herbalist->Physician is also fine.
I think names like Padishah or Tarkan should be avoided as they tell the player nothing about the unit. On the flip side, I think it'd be ok to keep Naffat as a name for, well, Naffat, because it sounds similar enough to 'naphta' and I think it'd work nicely.
EDIT: Oh, and prefix Dune.

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Re: [mainline] Changing the Dunefolk's(Khalifate's) unit nam

Post by Celtic_Minstrel » January 3rd, 2018, 2:20 am

Vyncyn wrote:Arif line (lvl 2 or 3): Scimitarfighter/-warrior/-master
These names don't flow well; they're awkward to say. It's also pretty unnecessary to be so specific - for the dunefolk, "scimitar" and "sword" are essentially the same thing (or to put it another way, "scimitar" is the default kind of sword), so what's wrong with "swordfighter" etc?

That only works for two out of three though; "scimitarwarrior" is awkward on both ends, meaning that "swordwarrior" is still awkward, and while "swordmaster" is fine, I feel "blademaster" sounds nicer.
Caladbolg wrote:For Hakim line, I wouldn't mind Alchemist or Thaumaturgist as their healing abilities might seem like miracles to outsiders, but Herbalist->Physician is also fine.
I still maintain that thaumaturgist is quite inappropriate. Maybe it doesn't technically mean "magician", but it does very strongly imply one.
Caladbolg wrote:On the flip side, I think it'd be ok to keep Naffat as a name for, well, Naffat, because it sounds similar enough to 'naphta' and I think it'd work nicely.
Yeah, naffat is probably the one name in the existing khalifate that I don't think I'd ever be confused by. I suppose you could also respell it "naphat" to emphasize the relation to naphtha a bit more.
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Re: [mainline] Changing the Dunefolk's(Khalifate's) unit nam

Post by SigurdFireDragon » January 4th, 2018, 1:38 am

Vyncyn wrote:Mudafi: Spearguard sounds better that spearbearer imo.
Agree
Caladbolg wrote:Maybe Soldier->Hero->Elite->Warmaster/Sultan/Khan?
Seems like a possibility.
Celtic_Minstrel wrote:I don't even know where padishah came from
Saw it on the wiki page for Sultan. Its a superlative sovereign title of Persian origin. Also found Khan there as well (Mongolian title for a sovereign or a military ruler)
Celtic_Minstrel wrote:
Caladbolg wrote:For Hakim line, I wouldn't mind Alchemist or Thaumaturgist as their healing abilities might seem like miracles to outsiders, but Herbalist->Physician is also fine.
I still maintain that thaumaturgist is quite inappropriate. Maybe it doesn't technically mean "magician", but it does very strongly imply one.
Maybe Alchemist or Thaumaturgist could be made to work, though it would need a spin on their abilities in the description like there is for the Dwarvish Thunderer line, or a completely new description.
Celtic_Minstrel wrote:burner is no better than combuster though in my opinion.
That would make combustor better since it is different from burner (there's already one in mainline)
More possibility for the Naffat line: (moved Firebrand to lvl 1, as based on the definition it doesn't seem like it should be lvl 2 compared to other options)
Firebrand -> Firespitter -> Firestorm
Firebrand -> Scorcher/Combuster -> Incinerator



Some other possibilities:

Fighter -> Warrior could be done, for either the Arif or Jundi lines (though I think it's a better fit for the Jundi)
Infantry -> Veteran could be used for the Arif line

Arif
Solider/Infantry -> Veteran -> Champion

Jundi -> Batal
Fighter/Infantry -> Warrior/Hero -> Ranger

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Re: [mainline] Changing the Dunefolk's(Khalifate's) unit nam

Post by Celtic_Minstrel » January 5th, 2018, 3:00 am

Some of these ideas do sound good. I could probably get used to "Firebrand -> Firespitter -> Firestorm", though something about it doesn't quite sit right with me... still, sharing the same secondary prefix is nice, at least.

I also want to point out that alchemist has far fewer magical connotations to it than thaumaturgist. Alchemy is the ancestor of modern chemistry, after all, though the term is also used in fantasy to refer to the brewing of magic potions and such, so there are some magical connotations there.
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Re: [mainline] Changing the Dunefolk's(Khalifate's) unit nam

Post by Caladbolg » January 5th, 2018, 8:38 pm

Hmm... about the Naffat line. Alchemy is usually associated with middle east, which is where this faction draws inspiration from. Even if we don't use the name 'Alchemist' for the healer line, maybe we could use it for the Naffat? And surely the Naffat don't use only naphta but also other flamable stuff. Considering fire has been associated with sulphur in alchemy, maybe we could also draw inspiration from there? Maybe meddling with sulphur and other stuff leaves yellowish hue on their hands so others call them 'Goldhands'? Or maybe they use 'Sulphurous' as a title?
Aside from alchemy associations, maybe the flames can linger on their white capes, making them appear like they're burning, leading to names like 'Brightcape'/'Brightcloak'. Maybe due to the fact they cover their mouths and the fact that the odour of chemicals they use is disgusting, people believe they don't actually breathe and call them 'Breathless'?

I think that some of the already proposed names like Firebrand or Scorcher are good and the names I proposed here are, admitedly, not the best, but I'm just putting them forth as examples of names that don't follow the very direct association with fire and are a bit more creative. I believe that names which have some kind of a lore tie-in (e.g. Thunderer, Drake Enforcer & Arbiter) are better than those that are a literal description of what the unit does in battle. It'd be a shame not to explore these sorts of more creative, lore-rich names when the faction has such potential for it.

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Re: [mainline] Changing the Dunefolk's(Khalifate's) unit nam

Post by SigurdFireDragon » January 6th, 2018, 1:51 am

I'm in favor of Dune as a unit prefix. It would also work well for the associated movetypes.
Celtic_Minstrel wrote:Also, to me it really doesn't fit for a soldier to level to warrior (or even the other way around)
I think I've got a better grasp of this now, hopefully that is reflected below.

Here's a refinement of my suggestions, with other good options added.
I'm still a little unsure about Arif -> Khalid line, other than shieldbearer/shieldmaster is not a good way to go. (It would need backup in the lore to name a unit by its secondary attack, and I'm not sure what amount, if any, would be sufficient.)
Arif Line
ImageImageImageImage
Arif Names: Soldier
Ghazi Names: Veteran
Shuja Names: Elite, Champion
Khalid Names: Khan, Padishah, Sultan
ImageImageImage
Arif Names: see previous
Mudafi Names: Spearguard
Rasikh Names: Spearmaster
Hakim Line
ImageImage
Hakim Names: Herbalist, Alchemist, Healer
Tabib Names: Physician, Thaumaturgist, Alchemist, Healer
Jundi Line
ImageImageImage
Jundi Names: Infantry, Fighter
Muharib Names: Warrior, Hero, Veteran
Batal Names: Ranger, Tarkhan, Champion
ImageImageImage
Jundi Names: see previous
Monawish: Swordsman, Sword Dancer
Mighwar: Blademaster
Khaiyal Line
ImageImageImage
Khaiyal Names: Piercer, Lancer
Faris Names: Lancer, Sunderer
Mufariq Names: Cataphract, Sunderer
ImageImageImage
Khaiyal Names: see previous
Qanas Names: Raider, Pillager
Hadaf Names: Marauder, Raider
Naffat Line
ImageImageImage
Naffat Names: Firebrand, Combuster, Burner
Qatif-al-nar Names: Scorcher, Combuster, Firespitter
Tineen Names: Incinerator, Firestorm
Rami Line
ImageImageImage
see previous
ImageImageImage
Rami Names: Rider
Saree: Swiftrider
Jawal: Windrider
Caladbolg wrote: I believe that names which have some kind of a lore tie-in (e.g. Thunderer, Drake Enforcer & Arbiter) are better than those that are a literal description of what the unit does in battle. It'd be a shame not to explore these sorts of more creative, lore-rich names when the faction has such potential for it.
I think this is a good idea, though I'm not sure how to go about.

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Re: [mainline] Changing the Dunefolk's(Khalifate's) unit nam

Post by Celtic_Minstrel » January 6th, 2018, 2:04 am

Caladbolg wrote:I believe that names which have some kind of a lore tie-in (e.g. Thunderer, Drake Enforcer & Arbiter) are better than those that are a literal description of what the unit does in battle. It'd be a shame not to explore these sorts of more creative, lore-rich names when the faction has such potential for it.
For a lore tie-in, in my opinion the obvious thing would be some sort of Jinn reference for the L3. Not exactly sure what that would look like, though.


Regarding Sigurd's latest suggestions...
  1. I personally prefer Champion to Elite, and still dislike Khan. Other than that, I have no problems with your arif line suggestions.
  2. Hakim line is fine.
  3. The infantry -> warrior progression gives me the same sort of feeling as the soldier -> warrior one did. I don't like it. Maybe warrior -> hero -> ranger? (Not entirely satisfied with hero either, though.) For the other branch of the jundi line, no objections.
  4. Your horsemen seem just about perfect now.
  5. Still unsure about the naffat line.
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Re: [mainline] Changing the Dunefolk's(Khalifate's) unit nam

Post by SigurdFireDragon » January 6th, 2018, 3:24 am

Celtic_Minstrel wrote:I personally prefer Champion to Elite, and still dislike Khan. Other than that, I have no problems with your arif line suggestions.
I'm fine with Champion. I wasn't sure about using Elite.
Maybe Tarkhan for the Khalid?
Celtic_Minstrel wrote:The infantry -> warrior progression gives me the same sort of feeling as the soldier -> warrior one did. I don't like it. Maybe warrior -> hero -> ranger? (Not entirely satisfied with hero either, though.) For the other branch of the jundi line, no objections.
I want to avoid using warrior for an Lvl 1, as all the uses in mainline are 2 or 3
Possibilities:
Fighter -> Warrior -> Ranger
????? -> Warrior -> Ranger
Infantry -> ??????? -> Ranger
Celtic_Minstrel wrote:Still unsure about the naffat line.
Possibilities:
Flamethrower -> Scorcher -> Incinerator
Flamethrower -> Firebrand -> Firestorm

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Re: [mainline] Changing the Dunefolk's(Khalifate's) unit nam

Post by Celtic_Minstrel » January 6th, 2018, 5:51 am

Fighter -> Warrior seems fine to me; "fighter" has no particular connotations and could be either a soldier-type or a warrior-type.

Regarding the khalid, I just don't particularly like (tar)khan or padishah because it's not really clear what this means. If you want something that isn't explanatory I'd probably just prefer to stick with the original name; if it's being changed, I'd prefer something more explanatory such as sultan or warlord.

For the naffat... flamethrower refers to the device, so it doesn't strike me as a good unit name. Firebrand is a great name, firestorm is pretty decent too. It could perhaps be made a bit more exotic by tweaking the spelling (eg firestrom... though that sounds vaguely Germanic which might be bad). And I still like the idea of some sort of Jinn reference for the L3, so that would give something like firebrand -> firestorm -> something jinnish. It's still pretty half-baked though...

As an aside, I'd like to draw more attention to the existing unit descriptions. Obviously these could be changed, but they might also have some useful ideas to inspire someone. Spoiler-tagged because they're a bit long. I've provided some commentary on each one, too. I didn't end up thinking of many name ideas myself, unfortunately, though I think there's one or two. There's also some lore/mechanics ideas which are a bit off-topic here.
Arif Line
Image
Arif wrote:The Arif form the backbone of any Khalifate foot advance. Many come from noble or military families, and have spent most of their lives training their craft. Given their intense focus on swordplay, they are often sent against fortified enemy positions to create a breach for the remaining troops to exploit. The sight of Arif on the march, shields high, has caused many a defender to worry about the strength of their walls.
It sounds like these are your basic disciplined foot soldiers. Nothing particularly special. If you're going to use the name "soldier" or "infantry" for any unit, it would have to be this one.

Regarding the meaning of the word, from what I can tell, it basically means "sharp edge", so... a blade. Fitting for what is essentially a swordsman, I guess?

Image
Ghazi wrote:Armed with their sword, shield and faith, Ghazi are warriors of some renown among the Khalifate armies. They have further refined their combat arts, adding a powerful shield bash to knock back unsuspecting enemies. Though few in number, their presence can be decisive in dislodging even the most hardened redoubt.
So they've trained in unconventional use of a shield. Nothing else of note here, really. I'll also add that I dislike that first phrase - the mention of "faith" feels like it hews too closely to the real-world meaning of caliphate. (Side note: their bash doesn't actually knock back, does it?)

The word itself is Arabic for "hero" or "champion". Sadly it seems to have some religious connotations vaguely related to "crusader", though I think it's still possible to use it outside this context.

Image
Shuja wrote:Distinguished for their bravery and skill, Shuja are the leaders among the Khalif's ranks. Their exploits are well known among their cohorts, inspiring soldiers to fight for their cause. Despite this, they are often found leading from the front, taking down their foes with sword and shield.
Nothing special. Just a better ghazi. There is the one note that they tend to be leaders, which would lend itself to a name similar to "general". It's also a unit you might expect to have leadership... but nope, it doesn't. Oh well.

I couldn't find the word "shuja" on Wiktionary, and without knowing the Arabic spelling it's hard to be sure whether it has an entry at all. A quick Google did reveal that it seems to be somewhat common as a name, but what it means, I'm not sure. I did check BehindTheName (since it seems to be used as a name), but it's not there either; the closest Arabic name I found was Suha (meaning "forgotten"). There was also Sujay (meaning "great victory"), but it was an Indic name, not Arabic. Also, a user-submitted entry claiming that Suja means "break of dawn".

Image
Khalid wrote:Among every generation, a warrior elevates himself above his peers and foes; They seem to be able to alter the destiny of the world themselves. Often given the name Khalid, after a legendary leader of old, these individuals are celebrated for the piety and skill. Their travels and travails are told endlessly around the campfire with the reverent tones of those that speak of living legends.
This description evokes "hero" more than "warlord" or "sultan", though it does note that they are leader material, so "sultan" would not be totally out of place.

The word is Arabic for "immortal", "glorious", "eternal". I guess that explains where one of the name suggestions comes from, though I definitely still don't like that suggestion.

Image
Mudafi wrote:Although the Khalifate armies are known for their astonishing mobility and fierce attack, they can be able defenders. Mudafi excel at holding their ground, keeping opponents at bay with long, razor sharp spears. Their preferred strategy is to gradually wear down enemies, until they can be defeated in a vicious counter stroke.
Interesting. It's the advancement without a shield focus that excels in defense? I guess it's a different kind of defensive strategy than the dwarvish guardsman line. In any case, there's not really anything special here that I can see. It's basically a spearman.

It appears that mudafi comes from a verb meaning "to defend", "to ward off". It may alternatively come from a noun meaning "motivator", but the former seems more likely to me. On the other hand, neither of those source words contain an M, so I could be way off.

Image
Rasikh wrote:Spread across the Khalifate's lands are lonely towers and garrisons that provide shelter to caravans and locals from bandits and monsters. These bastions are defended by the most determined of soldiers, who have often faced off against overwhelming odds only to repel the invaders. In an army they can be trusted to hold any position or line, long after lesser soldiers and men have fled in terror.
Here's another description which evokes "hero". Hmm. I wonder if they even have levels of defense that back up the description, though. From the description, you might expect them to have the resistance ability, but they don't.

I couldn't find rasikh on Wiktionary, but I did find this name page which claims it means "deep-rooted" or "stable". I guess it makes sense for a defense-focused unit?
Hakim Line
Image
Hakim wrote:Hakim are learned individuals who have given up their urban life in order to assist the Khalifate armies in their travels. Their motivations are many; some look to it as an adventure or as a steady source of pay, while others feel it to be a requirement of their faith. Regardless, Hakim are highly respected by all. They are trained with the advanced medical techniques and possess a potent clutch of medicines and herbs, which allows them to quickly heal even the most gravely wounded allies.
Okay, this doesn't tell us anything we didn't already know. These units are physicians, medics, herbalists. While alchemist would also work, I guess it's a bit less appropriate.

I think it's fairly well-known on these forums that the word hakim means "wise" or "learned".

Image
Tabib wrote:Some men excel at medicine the way others do at strength of arms, and the Tabib are those whose knowledge is without peer outside of the Khalifate. Their remedies cannot only heal wounds but remove infection and poison as well, often to the disbelief of the injured. Hardened by years of travels, many are able to treat themselves.
Again, nothing new here. Just a better physician. The one minor thing I could say is that this may almost suggest "physician -> herbalist" rather than the other way around, but... that might be a bit of a stretch.

Similarly, I think the meaning of tabib has been much-expressed on these forums. Note that it specifically means physician, as opposed to an academic doctor.
Jundi Line
Image
Jundi wrote:Jundi in many ways represent the ideal Khalifate unit; flexible, mobile, equally effective in defense and offense as well as in ranged or close combat. They are most comfortable operating in terrain and environments common to them; the deserts and hills of their southern lands. Moreover they fight best at dawn or dusk, corresponding to the time when desert temperatures are the most reasonable.
Compared to the arif line, these sound like a lighter infantry. They might almost be scouts. The name warrior doesn't feel terribly out-of-place, though maybe it's not a perfect fit as they still seem to be part of an organized military.

If I'm not mistaken, jundi means "soldiers", "troop", or "army", which is actually closer to what I feel the arif seems like. Interesting.

Image
Muharib wrote:Muharib are often utilized as heavy scouts, no longer just probing the enemy but conducting raids on the supply lines or eliminating patrols. Often away from the main body of the army for long periods of time, Muharib have no issue pilfering these supplies, and so they tend to be more well-equipped than most.
And now it explicitly describes them as scouts. They're also saboteurs and more. They seem to be similar to the Japanese ninja, which makes me think that assassin could be a good name (since the word derives from an Arabic word that refers to a similar sort of order as the ninja).

In addition to generic "warrior", muharib appears to have a more specific meaning: "corporal".

Image
Batal wrote:Batal are the elite of the Muharib, engaging in constant hit and run attacks against an enemy army. Nimble as a goat and strong as a ram, they prefer to coordinate multiple attacks at the same time, sending foes running from their arrows only to be cut down by their axes. Given their penchant for taking on only the most daring missions, Batal are often heroes to the common troopers, an image they do not try to dissuade.
I'm not seeing any ideas here. It's basically a better muharib.

I guess batal means "hero" or "protagonist". Not 100% sure though.

Image
Monawish wrote:Those Jundi who are proficient at scouting are elevated into the ranks of the Monawish. Discarding their bow, the Monawish focus on developing their swiftness of foot to allow them to flow in and out of combat. They are often used to harry the flanks of opposing forces, and it is said to be easier to catch the wind in your hand than to catch a Monawish.
Here again the L2 is explicitly described as a scout. This one actually sounds more scout-like than the muharib, with better speed and less actual combat capability.

I wasn't able to find monawish on Wiktionary, and Google didn't have anything either (the second result is from Wesnoth itself!). Does anyone else know where this name comes from?

Image
Mighwar wrote:Mighwar hold themselves to a higher standard than the ranks of the Monawish from which they ascended. Not content to merely draw the enemy out, they combine their speed with an aggression that sends the Mighwar dancing through the ranks of the enemy, swords ripping and tearing at those around them.
Hmm. This very clearly evokes hit-and-run tactics, but that doesn't seem to inspire any potential names for me.

While I couldn't find an actual Wiktionary entry for mighwar, my best guess from that page is that it means "dauntless". It does make sense, too, which helps.
Khaiyal/Rami Lines
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Khaiyal wrote:The Khaiyal understand the psychological impact of a charging horse, and reinforce this by cladding themselves in heavy armor. Majestic at rest, a Khaiyal at the charge with lance in hand is often impetus enough to break men. On the rare occurrences that their charge fails to rout their foe, the Khaiyal ride into the resulting melee with their maces in hand, trusting their armor to keep them safe.
So, this basically sounds equivalent to the human lancer line - a knight on a horse with a lance. They don't have the charge ability though, which seems a bit weird. This also sounds like a heavy cavalry unit. The use of a mace for closer-quarters combat is also kind of interesting.

Looks like khaiyal just means "horses" (yes, plural).

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Faris wrote:Those Khaiyal who distinguish themselves in battle are given the opportunity to prove themselves worthy of becoming a Faris. Those who pass the trial are given the traditional barding for their horse, distinguishing them from the rest of the Khalifate cavalry. Consummate horsemen, the Faris have long claimed they need only a single lance strike to kill a man.
Okay, so this basically sounds like a better khaiyal. More striking power, better defense.

As for the meaning, it looks like faris just means "horse". Who knew these names were so unimaginative?

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Mufariq wrote:The Mufariq are eminent horsemen, amassing titles and accolades that are as distinguishing for them as the scrollwork on their armor. Having honed their skill with a lance in years of battle, the Mufariq are an unstoppable force of nature. Fleeing enemies swiftly discover that hills do not deter these riders in the slightest, and the displaced air of a descending mace is the last sound they hear.
Again, just a better faris.

It looks like mufariq is derived from a fairly generic word whose meaning has to do with separation. Also of interest is the link from the final listed sense, which says it's a plural form of this word, among whose meanings are "troop" and "a separate herd". At least it's a bit more imaginative than the L1 and L2... maybe.

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Rami wrote:Rami are excellent horsemen, able to shoot from horseback better than most men can manage from foot. Disdaining the use of heavy armor, Rami use their superior speed and agility to circle and harass their foes, whittling down their numbers with relentless arrows.
Unlike the khaiyal, this is clearly a light cavalry unit. In addition, it's an archer, so they're more of a support from a distance kind of role. This doesn't give me any name ideas, though... they could be called a "scout" but the description implies the focus is more on the archery than the speed.

I couldn't find an entry for rami on Wiktionary apart from this Persian word, whose meaning seems only vaguely related to the unit itself ("herd of cattle" or "assemblage of people". I think it's more likely the source is elsewhere. Does anyone know where this name comes from?

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Saree wrote:Rami who demonstrate exceptional skill with the bow are made into Saree, spending hours every day practicing and building a rapport with their steed. This has made them the fastest riders in the Khalifate armies, and a wise Khalid uses this to their advantage.
Nothing to say here, just a better rami.

Uh. The only thing I can find on Wiktionary about saree is a verb meaning "to become". Can that possibly be right? Does anyone else know where this name came from? There is also a possibility that someone made a mistake and it should have actually been something more like daree, meaning "damage".

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Jawal wrote:The elite of the Saree are the Jawal, horse archers of such speed and dexterity that rumors are always spread that they have elven blood. Irritated at such mystical nonsense, the Jawal can frequently be found demonstrating their exceptional skill at the forefront of battle, riding with great speed through the lines of battle to rain arrows down upon the enemy.
Again nothing to say, just a better saree.

It doesn't seem like jawal has a page on Wiktionary, but fortunately I found a reference implying it means "to wander".

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Qanas wrote:Those horsemen who are not skilled enough to join the ranks of the Faris or quick enough with a bow for the Saree are instead placed with the Qanas. Far from being a sign of failure, the Qanas were created as a mounted counterpart to the Muharib, supporting the foot troops with mace or bow as needed. Qanas are often used to draw enemies into a position where they will be surrounded and crushed by Faris.
Okay, so by reference to the muharib, this is kind of a mounted scout/saboteur unit, so the "raider" names that people have been suggested fit decently well.

Does anyone know what qanas was supposed to mean? The best I could find on Wiktionary was that link, which seems supremely irrelevant here.

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Hadaf wrote:Those Qanas who prove to be particularly skilled are formed into units of Hadaf, which are often used to raid enemy depots and towns for supplies. This greater autonomy often means that these horsemen are gone for weeks at a time, returning to camp only for supplies and to pass on news of their exploits.
Basically just a better qanas. Also explicitly mentions raiding.

Hadaf appears to mean "target" or "goal". This kinda supports the vaguely assassin-ish vibe.
Naffat Line
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Naffat wrote:Naffat are a necessary evil in the ranks of Khalifate armies, utilizing fire to burn down enemy fortifications and sow terror among their ranks. While the use of fire in warfare is not a novel concept, the flames of the Naffat have proven disturbingly difficult for their enemies to extinguish.
Oooookay, so I abhor this description. A necessary evil? Just because they utilize fire, they must be evil? I don't like this. I like the idea that the dunefolk have an uneasy relationship with the jinn, which are similar to the fairies (difficult to find, difficult to understand) but live in desert instead of forest. Jinn are said to be made of "smokeless fire", so a culture that somewhat reveres them would have some respect for fire. Of course, there would be fear too, but...

From this description, it also seems clear that this unit is poorly represented mechanically. I'd expect it to confer an "on fire" status effect that has some similarities to poison. The naffat's specialty is not attacking humans; sure they have a flamethrower which they can use in self-defense, but their focus is more on attacking buildings. Thus, they probably use some form of naphtha, a petroleum gel that burns well and is difficult to extinguish. It could even be Greek fire (meaning it continues to burn even underwater for some period of time). The "on fire" effect, if implemented, might be extinguished only if you rest on a water tile. (I don't expect it to actually get implemented, mind you, but whatever.)

Siege equipment? Who needs siege equipment when you can coat the walls in jelly and set it all on fire? Who was it who said the dunefolk need siege equipment? Maybe these guys are their siege equipment. I recall there was a unit in Age of Empires II that was specifically designed to go against buildings. They were more of a suicide bomber than the naffat, mind you, but I wonder if remember what they were called would help me think of a name for units in this line...

As for the name itself, I'm pretty confident that naffat comes from the same root as the English word naphtha, and basically means oil, tar, bitumen, pitch, etc. There is one other possible source, but it doesn't fit the data nearly as well. If I'm right, this would make the naffat one of the few khalifate units with a Persian name rather than an Arabic name.
Qatif-al-nar wrote:Qatif-al-nar spend so much time experimenting with their weapons that they smell constantly of ash and flame. Regarded with wariness by their fellow troops, Qatif-al-nar can be easily located in battle by the cleared charred area around them, a testament to the success of their experiments.
Not much to say here. Just a better naffat.

This is clearly a phrase rather than a name. I couldn't find a Wiktionary page for qatif, but nar could mean "show" or "see". However, the presence of "al", the definite article, throws that theory into confusion, as it seems weird to place a verb after the article. Does anyone have further insight into the intended meaning of this name?
Tineen wrote:Qatif-al-nar who have shut out the world for their experiments are given the honorific Tineen, as both a sign of respect and of fear. No longer cognizant of the value of life, Tineen are caught up in the power of their caged fire and likely to test their latest naphtha jar at the first opportunity.
Again, mostly just a better qatif-al-nar. The use of the phrase "caged fire" though... perhaps these L3 units have formed some sort of limited bond with the jinn. It could grant them fire resistance or something, I dunno.

My best guess is that tineen comes from another Persian word, meaning "spin", "weave", or "twist". It doesn't quite fit my concept of the unit, but I can see how it might work.
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Re: [mainline] Changing the Dunefolk's(Khalifate's) unit nam

Post by Deciton_Reven » January 6th, 2018, 6:28 am

Ifrit are the jinn most associated with fire. I don't know how you might turn that into a name without just using it straight. I'd think the necessary evil part refers to how burning someone alive is not normally a very fast or painless death, it's pretty horrible even if it's the 'good guys' doing it. I particularly like Arsonist (probably for the lowest level), especially if the main use is really an anti structure unit in lore. Firestorm sounds more like an attack than a unit, though I'd say the same about Inferno and Hurricane and the Drakes do that. Incendiary can also apparently be used as a noun to describe someone that cause fire. If we ever need a lvl 0 fire starter we could go with Firebug, because that's kind of a cutesy one.

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Re: [mainline] Changing the Dunefolk's(Khalifate's) unit nam

Post by Pentarctagon » January 6th, 2018, 7:12 am

Celtic_Minstrel wrote:From this description, it also seems clear that this unit is poorly represented mechanically. I'd expect it to confer an "on fire" status effect that has some similarities to poison. The naffat's specialty is not attacking humans; sure they have a flamethrower which they can use in self-defense, but their focus is more on attacking buildings. Thus, they probably use some form of naphtha, a petroleum gel that burns well and is difficult to extinguish. It could even be Greek fire (meaning it continues to burn even underwater for some period of time). The "on fire" effect, if implemented, might be extinguished only if you rest on a water tile. (I don't expect it to actually get implemented, mind you, but whatever.)
That sounds pretty interesting, actually.
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