Relic Knights Intel: Noh Empire Overview
Relic Knights Intel:
Noh Empire Overview
“We have ravaged unnumbered civilizations across dozens of galaxies. Our dragon fleets have darkened uncountable skies and heralded the end of races.”
-Grand Warlord Mamaro To
The Noh Empire serves the hydra god, Nozuki. The Noh roam the universe in vast dragon fleets, raiding for slaves and the resources needed to sustain a nomadic existence. Every Noh serves Nozuki, either through dedication to martial prowess or as priestesses and priests. Because they cannot waste time on mundane tasks, the Noh rely on slaves to build, maintain, and operate their ships. Slaves serve another purpose within the Noh Empire: blood sacrifice as demanded by Nozuki. The Noh are ruthless and cunning combatants, preferring brutal melee weapons. They are rightly feared as one of the biggest threats to life in the universe, and are appropriately associated with the red esper of entropy. Though the Darkspace Calamity threatens their way of life, the Noh have faith that all things happen according to Nozuki’s schemes.
AT A GLANCE
The Noh are not only dangerous melee combatants, but also cunning strategists. Having perfected the arts of battle over eons of raiding, the Noh have paired their brute strength with a tactical mind. They use martial techniques and psychic abilities to flush their quarry into the open before closing in for the kill. Their close combat styles have been perfected to prevent their prey from escaping once battle is joined. Ranged specialists soften prey and pick off those who try to flee.
Noh Empire players must always be on the offensive, but never blindly so. As a primarily melee faction, Noh players must read the battlefield expertly: melee clashes offer far less protection than shootouts, and even with good health and defenses, charging into the middle of an opponent’s force rarely ends well. Instead, by utilizing the Noh Empire’s many options for forcing movement, crafty players can manipulate conditions to their advantage.
As chronicled in the Kelendrak Tablets, Nozuki, the Hydra God, Serpent of Endless Hunger gave the Noh a choice: become his champions and travel the stars, or wither and die with their planet. Already a deadly warrior race, there was little hesitation. Nozuki reshaped the Noh, heightening their physical and mental abilities; Their society was remade to focus all their efforts on serving the Serpent God's desire for blood, souls, and terror. Nine cults arose, each one dedicated to a different head of the hydra. Nozuki, through prophecy, lead the Noh to a nearby system where they discovered and backward-engineered rift generator technology. These devices would allow Nozuki’s Chosen to travel unfathomable distances in mere moments. As the Noh prepared to begin their intergalactic raids, they destroyed their homeworld as a gesture of devotion to their ever-hungry god.
Each cult has a dragon fleet, a massive armada of combat and support ships that allow the Noh to maintain a truly nomadic existence. While the fleets followed each other from galaxy to galaxy on their raids, they generally had little contact with each other, and subtle differences in philosophy began to take root. Eventually, the cult of Gomandi started to sympathize with the prey species, which was seen as a sign of weakness. As Nozuki ripped off the offending head, the other fleets descended upon Dragon Fleet Go, destroying it.
The Darkspace Calamity is troubling to the Noh; they realize that as galaxies disappear, they have fewer souls to reap for their ravenous god. And now, with all the fleets gathered in the Last Galaxy, the estranged Chosen of Nozuki are beginning to resume regular contact.
The Noh Empire is unequaled in melee combat. It is not the faction’s large number of melee-focused units that earns them this distinction, it is the abundance of the trait No Escape. This passive ability drastically decreases the chances of enemy units disengaging from melee. Noh units also boast above-average speed, which tends to be front-loaded, allowing them to threaten a melee attack from quite a distance. When shock troops add the ability charge for an extra burst of movement, only the most distant enemies are safe from Noh melee attacks.
The faction’s other strength lies in forced movement. Most units have push, pull, or compel, either as part of an attack or as a support action. These abilities allow cunning Noh warriors to affect prey outside their considerable melee threat range. At their most basic, forced movement abilities can disrupt enemy plans and cause collateral damage. Used with forethought, the same effects can set up Noh’s enemies for future attacks or even act as defensive stopgaps.
With few exceptions, Noh units are on large bases. This means Noh units have an overall larger engagement area, but also that Noh units have a harder time hiding behind small terrain. And while the Noh Empire boasts high-speed values, the faction has very few movement abilities. This limited mobility can make battlefields with many stark elevation changes problematic.
The Noh rely on shielding technology for their active defenses. In conjunction with armor, Noh warriors have the potential to stop a lot of damage. Though the Noh Empire share a common goal in serving Nozuki, they do not generally utilize esper to bolster the defenses of their allies. Instead, the few area of effect actions they have are focused on damaging and weakening their prey. When they do wish to increase the combat effectiveness of their warriors, Noh units have access to actions that channel Nozuki’s bloodlust, granting their target the ability to immediately take an action. The upgrades for Noh Empire units are all worth taking if points allow, but tend to require planned positioning or be resource heavy to get their full effect.
Unlike other factions that will generally deploy behind terrain, Noh Empire forces have to balance deploying in safety against being able to close the gap into melee range quickly. When activating during the opening turns, players should prioritize moving into engagement with enemy models that have not yet been activated. This will help to limit the opponent’s choices and ability to damage Noh units that have been deployed and moved aggressively. The faction includes a few solid ranged units. Depending on how a cadre is arranged, these units can play a supporting role to Noh’s melee masters, or they can be used as primary damage dealers while the melee units run interference.
As a combat-oriented faction, Noh forces will want to prioritize red (entropy) esper to power their attacks, and green (creation) esper to enhance them. Purple (corruption) esper pays for their defenses, gaining additional effects when enhanced with yellow (essence) esper. Support actions are initiated with orange (chaos) and blue (law) improves them.
The Questing Knight High Priestess Zineda makes for a strong choice to lead Noh cadres. Her cadre ability adds Backlash to defense actions, which can make opponents think twice before attacking, especially if the attacker is already injured. While Zineda has a strong melee attack, it is her two support actions which really stand out. They allow her to disrupt enemy plans or to help Noh units that have already engaged to finish off their prey. Spite, her Cypher is also a perfect compliment to the faction’s focus, buffing melee damage by a huge amount or limiting enemy options by forcing them to discard a card from their hand. Hatriya Warriors are a versatile two-model squad with high survivability and a great set of skills for attacking enemy units or assaulting objectives.
Very few Void units use the same color costs as Noh Empire for their actions, meaning resource management and activation planning will become even more important when recruiting Void units. If you feel the need for increased mobility, many Void units have fly, which can make them excellent additions to a Noh Empire cadre.
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