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Bhelliom

Want to learn more about the factions? Read on...

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Ok this is gonna be a work in progress, and I'm going to need to lean on you fine folks for input! Recently a prospective new player asked for a breakdown of the themes, lore, and mechanics for each faction, and I realized I didn't have a great place to point them, so I'm going to make one!

Jump to Waiqar

Jump to Latari

Jump to Uthuk

The Daqan Lords:

Beyond the rare plowed fields, decaying roads, and remote walled towns of Terrinoth rise the ruined monuments of the past. The extravagant edifices of the Soulstone Dynasty and older regimes, laid waste by forgotten devastation, stretch their crumbling towers up above the grasping vines and lowering trees, even as they are reclaimed by the wild. This is the realm of the Daqan Lords.

Named for Daqan, the legendary night and baron, the human lands of Terrinoth are vast and past their glory. The realm is ruled by the Council of Thirteen, Barons holding free cities and the lands around them, but stretches of dangerous road and woodland lie between them, and there is no shortage of danger to be had. Although by-and-large well-intentioned, the Barons nevertheless fall prey to petty squabbling and greed, and are not yet united against the coming darkness.

More than anything, Daqan armies have versatility on their side. They don't support each other as directly as Waiqar, don't have the Latari's maneuverability, and can't project force like Uthuk, but they've got options. The only army with widespread attacks early AND late in the turn, you can be sure to take on exactly the amount of risk you want. They also have high defense on their side, with Rune Golems and Lord Hawthorne being some of the absolute toughest* units in the game, and Baron Zachareth turning them into real walls. Some Daqan armies will hug their deployment zone, stacking up Inspiration Tokens and protecting their powerful Heavy Crossbowmen, and some will take the fight to the enemy with Oathsworn Cavalry thundering across the table with Outland Scouts, ensuring the enemy has no time to react. However you build, you'll rarely find these humans unable to respond.

*sometimes

Heroes:

Kari Wraithstalker

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A skilled scout and tracker, Kari holds a burning hatred of Waiqar's undead legions, and has ventured further into the Mistlands than most that still breathe. She is equally deadly with blade and bow, and has been known to hurl knives while fighting, presenting a dire threat to anyone neaby. Having spent some of her youth living with the Latari elves, she has learned their ways and can call on their aid in times of need.

Kari is the Daqan hero in the Core set. She stands out for three reasons:

  • She is incredibly quick to act. With three different actions at initiative 2 and her latest at 5, you can be confident she'll do what she needs to do.
  • Her ranged attack is Brutal and Precise with a white and blue die, and she loves the artifact Fortuna's Dice. Combined with her ranged attack being at initiative 2 (5 is normal, 4 is great, 2 is ridiculous), she puts out extremely consistent, highly targeted damage. Probably the best scalpel in the game.
  • In melee, she can spend surges to deal damage to nearby foes, ignoring line of sight. Often called the "Kari bomb", this ability can tip the scales in your favour so fast your opponent's head will spin. If she can get engaged with a non-threatening opponent, she can use it like a lightning rod, scything down the vulnerable backline.

She also lets you bring a single unit of Latari infantry in your army, which currently means either Deepwood Archers or Darnati warriors. As a figure upgrade, she adds a blue die and her surge ability, so she's a good fit in units that can generate lots of surges - Outland Scouts, for example, will be rolling three blue dice.

Lord Hawthorne

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A veteran commander of the barbarian attack (led by Ankaur Maro!) on the town of Seragert, Hawthorne is a stalwart commander, inspiring his troops with his booming voice and unshakable resolve. He leads from the front, sweeping his Dawnblade before him like the rising sun.

Hawthorne is a commander more than a fighter, and his strengths are thus:

  • His dial is Very Good. He basically combines the best parts of infantry and cavalry options, and improves them. Fighting at initiative 2 with +1 Defense is excellent, though he has no rerolls on his white and red dice melee attack, so he doesn't typically do all that much damage personally.
  • He can make a great tank. His Unique upgrade Might of Daqan increases his Defense by 1, and with a white +1 Defense modifier he easily sits at Defense 5. Combined with the Artifact Shield of Margath, he can completely stop even huge units in their tracks. Beware mortal strikes.
  • As a special action, Hawthorne can give an Inspiration token to each friendly unit near him, which they can use in later turns to keep themselves fighting at full strength.
  • His army-building ability, Lessons of Seragert, lets you reconfigure the trays of your units before battle, which can be hugely valuable, particularly for Oathsworn Cavalry. It's not something you always want, and the 4x1 unit is particularly difficult to maneuver, but the extra threat can be really scary.
  • As an upgrade, Hawthorne adds a white die and the ability to attack every unit engaged with you. Most useful on a large unit, this not only makes its attack more powerful, but also makes combined flank charges (one of the best ways to deal with large, clumsy units) into a very bad proposition indeed!

His alternate build uses the upgrade Sweeping Strikes to let him attack EVERY enemy at close range to him, which certainly sounds fun (especially if he's barricaded in defensive terrain!) but is probably less useful than using him as a brick wall. Mostly you'd choose to bring him for his excellent army support, but his truly excellent dial makes him a pleasure to command.

Baron Zachareth

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The ruler of the Barony of Carthridge, Baron Zachareth is many things to many people, and no one, particularly his peers of the Council of Thirteen, know quite where his loyalties lie. As a young man, Zachareth studied at the magic colleges in Greyhaven, and excellent in the Trials of Elements. Unwilling to accept doctrine, Zachareth experimented with the magic that animates the mighty Rune Golems, theorizing it could amplify the living and grant boundless strength to his soldiers. One thing is certain, and that is that Zachareth knows all too well the threat that Waiqar's legions pose, and has attempted to rally support from the other Baronies to personally lead an army to reclaim the dark Thirteenth Barony once and for all.

Zachareth is quite interesting, and has several potential battlefield roles. Key things in the preview include:

  • Vitality tokens are a new type of boon, which effectively act as an additional wound. You get one on three units for bringing him, and he can produce more during the game (we'll get into that in the next bullet). Considering Daqan's access to high-Defense models (particularly Rune Golems) this looks to be a very cool ability. Note that it can also protect figure upgrades in units to a certain extent - this could use an FAQ, but it currently looks like using a vitality token to prevent a wound leaves the accuracy result still assigned, so it's not much use on low-defense figures, but things up at 3 and 4 (hello Lance Corporal) get twice as tough.
  • Once per game, Zachareth can choose to gain either the Savior or Betrayer condition, which has an effect when he chooses it and gives access to a new ability. Saviour lets everyone nearby perform a Rally action, and then lets him hand out Vitality tokens as a Skill action in exchange for taking a Stun token himself; Betrayer lets him put a Stun token on a nearby ally whenever he makes an attack to add a red or blue die, and the Skill action is to himself gain a Vitality token while stunning an ally. This duality lets you choose mid-game whether you need to support your army or unleash powerful attacks.
  • His dial is interesting. He's quite dangerous at short range, but fairly poor at charging overall. His green options are awesome, and being able to shoot while shifting, marching, or reforming is very cool. If you can pull it off, you probably want him shooting and nudging up the board until he's close enough to charge in.
  • Each of his three Uniques deserves a look:
  • Nerekhall Training upgrades his ranged attack from one red to one white die, and makes his melee simply two red. More importantly, during a ranged attack he can spend a unique surge to give the target one bane of any kind. Hitting a unit that is poised to charge with an immobilize, or a powerful melee unit that's already in combat with a blight are some of the very very strong options available with this upgrade. It relies on a surge though, so either adding a blue die with Betrayer or bringing along Fortuna's Dice is probably necessary if you want to rely on the result at all.
  • Greyhaven Runelore grants impact (stable runes) and a unique surge to reduce the enemy's defense by one during a melee attack (note that defense can never be reduced below one, so its value is low against most infantry). The impact is a cute bonus, but you'll mostly bring this to make his damage more impressive, and it certainly does that. Again though, it wants that surge, so consider Fortuna's.
  • Lord of Subterfuge is the game's first "spying" ability: after the command phase, you can exhaust it to look at up to (stable runes) enemy command dials in line of sight and at range 1-5, and then change one friendly dial. This is one of those abilities that is very very difficult to evaluate. Some games it will not be very good, and others it will be a huge turning point. One thing it's very good at is solving coin flips - does my opponent charge before my melee attack, or after? Do these Leonx stay and fight, or bounce? Are those Reanimates bracing for impact or getting cute and trying for a charge? Combine this information with Daqan's propensity for flexible options and initiative values (talk about perfect synergy with Raven-Pennon Bearer) and I think this card can really tilt the game in your favour.

Overall Zachareth is a technical hero with a lot of different ways to get value. His dial can be incredible or very awkward, he can be extremely durable and hit hard or become stranded and die alone.

Infantry:

Spearmen

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The standard infantry unit of any Barony, the Spearmen are far from being individualistic warriors, and each spearman knows that he is only as strong as those he fights alongside. In fact, the baronies’ spear infantry commonly train in tight order, locking shields and presenting a thick bulwark that bristles with spear points. Such a formation is deadly to charging cavalry and keeps most other foes at arm’s reach. 

Spearmen are the "normal" melee infantry option in Daqan. Their dial is pretty flexible and generalist, not excelling in any particular area (until upgrades). They are the most defensive of any faction's infantry, and can be built to really absorb damage well. Some highlights:

  • Some of the Infantry Command upgrades can REALLY open up their dial. Lance Corporal in particular makes any modifier white, allowing you to charge at speed-4 or attack with +1 Defense. It makes them more flexible and unpredictable.
  • Units as small as two trays can take a Rallying Cornicen, acting as good backfield support for your more combat-oriented units, and even small units can hold a flank pretty well.
  • At its biggest size of nine trays, Spearmen can include a Rune Golem in their unit, gaining its powerful Brutal [stable] ability. This increases their damage substantially, and a fully-equipped Spearmen unit (often called 'spearstar') is among the most dangerous units in the game, though it will cost nearly half your points in a standard match.

Overall, Spearmen are not as straightforward as you might expect, and excel when you have a specific battlefield role for them in mind. Caught unprepared, they can die quite quickly, making them a careful investment, but applied correctly they excel.

Heavy Crossbowmen

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Paragons of disciplined training and wielders of some of the most sophisticated military weaponry available, the heavy crossbowmen of the Daqan Baronies represent one of the greatest defensive forces in Terrinoth. Armed with specially designed bulwark shields and heavy crossbows, these warriors can withstand even the fiercest hail of enemy fire while unleashing their own torrent of death.

As Daqan's only non-hero ranged unit, Crossbowmen have big boots to fill, and fill them they do. With probably the scariest pure ranged damage output in the game, Crossbows will treat you VERY well if you can protect them.

  • They can be taken as a 3x1, giving the coveted 3-threat without gobbling too many points. They have built-in the ability to deal a mortal wound when shooting at close range. It doesn't come up much, but it's a help.
  • They are commonly taken with Ranked Discipline and Tempered Steel, routinely putting out 6-9 damage per volley.
  • They have Protected [1], which reduces the damage they take from every enemy attack by one. It doesn't sound like much, but GOLLY does it ever prove useful in keeping alive the last model on a tray and keeping their threat up.

Terrifying damage makes them a great ranged unit, and if you get the opportunity to shoot more than a few times, chances are you've got the game in the bag.

Outland Scouts

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Among the distant villages across the back country of Terrinoth, and in the untamed woods that separate the baronies, men and women rise to meet the call of the Daqan and do their part to hold the line against the rising darkness. These simple folk rarely join the regimented ranks of spearmen or knights, but many isolated hamlets owe their continued existence to the vigilance of these scouts, who stamp out small dangers without ever being seen or rally garrisons to fend off larger threats.

Scouts bring an interesting technical option to the otherwise somewhat defensive Daqan forces. Most important is the new Scout keyword, which lets you deploy the unit after everything else and then immediately perform a blue action and matching modifier. This helps guarantee they go up against the right target, and gives them a substantial head start in whatever they do.

  • Their dial is a little bit meh, but white Reform bonus actions are always very strong, and shifting two and then reforming or shifting again is a really really good flexible mobility option. They'll get where they want to be.
  • Over and above the Scout keyword, Seasoned Pathfinder lets them deploy AFTER turn 1, touching any piece of terrain. It's difficult to overstate how great this is - if you opponent moves up virtually at all, your scouts will be able to exploit any weakness. Charging archers? Flanking units? Blocking a pass? Very exciting stuff. This upgrade really begs for a solid 5 or 6 point bid so that you can control the terrain deployment.
  • The Scout keyword also makes this unit a promising candidate to house the Uncontrolled Geomancer, a very interesting but somewhat maligned Champion upgrade that deals damage to all surrounding units (its own included) based on the number of trays in each unit affected, this will practically be a precision explosive against large enemy formations.
  • Other notable inclusions are Kari as a figure upgrade to take advantage of the blue dice, and a 3x2 with artifact bearer and Dawnblade. Expensive, but puts out some truly frightening damage.

Scouts bring an interesting, offensive option to Daqan list building, and it will be interesting to see the kind of armies that make good use of them. Scout puts you up the table early, so you'll either use them to establish a very reliable screen for your ranged attackers or flank support for more aggressive builds.

Cavalry:

Oathsworn Cavalry

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If your Spearmen are the backbone of your army, the mounted cavalry of the Daqan Lords are the tip of your spear. Knights are the soul of Terrinoth’s way of war: trained over years, selected though great tournaments, sworn to loyalty by their barons, and proven in battle. Not all knights are as pure as the heroes from songs, but the virtues of knighthood do inspire great valor and the honing of a deadly prowess. Armored in thick plate and mounted on magnificent destriers, the swift, shattering charge of a body of knights can break almost any formation.

Oathsworn go fast, hit hard, and then fight to the bitter end. They are great at moving in a straight line, but need room to change direction, and have the absolute latest reform in the game - they do not respond to unforeseen threats well. Still, they provide a swift, efficient offensive force.

  • With the ability to attack at initiative 3 with two red and a blue dice and a +1 Defense modifier, Oathsworn excel in prolonged combat.
  • Wind Rune can help shore up their fairly wooden mobility, landing more surprise angles and dodging threats.
  • The 2x2 and 2x3 formations are particularly interesting with Lord Hawthorne for his ability to turn them into 4x1 and 3x2 respectively. Hard to beat that value!
  • At Defense 2, they go down quite quick, so it's worth trying to charge AFTER the enemy has an opportunity to fight back. You really want to make good use of that +1 Defense modifier.

Siege:

Rune Golems

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These hulking stone figures are a secret to all but the barons, their generals, and the Runemasters of Greyhaven. No one knows precisely when they were crafted or by whom, but each golem slumbers until a unique runebound shard is placed upon its brow. When a golem is awakened, it strides forth like a mighty rampart given the will and strength to fight, the arcane channels in its surface running bright with energy.

Strong contender for the coolest-looking unit in the game, Rune Golems are a bit strange on the table. Essentially, they're variable, with performance depending on the Runes. One turn they'll surge forward and crush their enemies, the next they'll be stranded and at your opponent's mercy.

  • Two red dice and Brutal [stable runes] makes them very dangerous, even alone. No reroll until the costly 4-tray unit hurts their damage consistency, but you never know when a single Golem on a flank is going to do 12-18 damage.
  • At initiative 4, Golems can move a distance equal to the unstable runes: 0, 2, or 4. It will be 0 25% of the time, so if your battle plan relies on them moving before initiative 7, be prepared for it to fail. On the upside, they have white Rally and Reform modifiers, so they can be battle-ready and facing the right direction easily.
  • At 4 Defense and 2 Wounds (and the ability to get up to 6 Defense) they are simultaneously very tough and very brittle. Smaller units especially can be almost incapable of damaging them, but anything that deals wounds directly will very rapidly dispose of them. Baron Zachareth can make them last longer more reliably, increasing their stock as blockers.
Edited by Bhelliom

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The Legions of Waiqar the Undying:

In a time now lost to the mists of legend, a great man took an oath to stop the reckless work of a wise fool, and reshaped the history of our world. What passion and commitment fueled that oath with the power to transcend death itself, I would not presume to say. Waiqar made his vow, and to this day he is driven mercilessly to pursue it. No force in the world will dissuade him.

Once a loyal friend to the wizard-lord Timmoran, Waiqar was the greatest general to stand against the Uthuk Y'llan in the first darkness. Taking the fight deep into enemy territory, Waiqar was captured and tortured by the wicked Llovar, but remained steadfast and gained critical information that would lead to the destruction of the demonic hordes. Afterwards, wisely discerning that Timmoran's plan to create the Orb of the Sky would place too much power in the hands of the wicked, he confronted his old friend, who unleashed hateful magics upon Waiqar and his loyal army. Cursing himself to unlife, Waiqar managed to preserve his Deathborn Legion as undead warriors and slay Timmoran, but not before the Orb of the Sky was shattered and spread across the land.

Now, ruling from the Mistlands north of Terrinoth, Waiqar musters his forces, ready to march again to undo the catastrophic work of his erstwhile friend. The Thirteenth Barony is still no longer.

Waiqar exemplify cooperation, synergy, and control. Alone, their units seem like pale shadows of the other factions', and if you go into a straight fight without a plan, the odds are against you. Of course, if you can use the right tools for the task and engage on your terms, your opponent will find their units unable to fight effectively, blocked at every turn. At the core of this toolkit is Blight, a bane (almost) unique to Waiqar. Not only can you spend it when an enemy attacks to force them to remove one of their dice, but it also enables a number of more specific abilities. When a single tray of Reanimate Archers completely prevents your biggest unit from attacking turn after turn, when a lone Carrion Lancer pops out of the woodwork and turns your mighty hero to a pile of goo in one attack, when Wraiths glide through you and kill your ranged units, you'll know Waiqar's strength.

Building a Waiqar army is walking a razor's edge - too much support and you can't effectively fend off your opponent, too little and your army can't leverage its strengths. Whether it's hordes of shambling Reanimates, Death Knights that track their prey like the inevitability of mortality itself, or the unblockable Wraiths and Vorun'Thul that truly don't care if you're in their way, Waiqar has the tools to get the job done. Just make sure you use them right.

Heroes:

Ardus Ix'Erebus

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A member of the original one better exemplify the strength of the Deathborn Legion than Ardus Ix'Erebus. In life, he was a cold, methodical commander. His victories were many, but often more costly than some might have hoped. When Waiqar’s oath shattered his host, remaking them into the Deathborn Legion, Ardus was beside him, and since that day, he has been one of the Mistlands’ most renowned generals.

Quick by undead standards, Ardus still isn't breaking any records. While he looks at first glance like a solid beatstick hero, he's truly more nuanced, and running him out on his own will just get him killed.

  • Two white dice with Brutal (and a cheap upgrade for Precise) means he DOES do solid damage, and fighting at initiative 3 with the options of a hit, +1 defense, a rally, or a surge is pretty good. He's particularly well-suited to Dimodian Blades, gaining both benefits. If he can get on a flank, he'll chop some opponents, but this is not the reason to take him. 
  • His army building ability, Host of Crows, lets you treat each of your units as one size larger for the purposes of taking upgrades. This enables combos and synergies that might otherwise be impossible, and shows you the kind of thing Ardus is really all about. It will only get better with literally every new unit and upgrade available, so expect him to be relevant for years to come.
  • While attacking, Ardus gains access to the Surge abilities of his nearby allies, so he really wants to fight in close support to such units. Most notably, we have things like Reanimate Archers for blight and Carrion Lancers for mortal strikes, but there are several interesting upgrade combinations available. Again, army-building, synergy, support.
  • As an upgrade, Ardus brings one of his white dice and his surge-borrowing ability to a Waiqar infantry unit. Very powerful, but costly at 23 points.

Ardus truly takes purpose to get good use out of, so he's not a good fit for every army. If you just run him forward blindly you'll be disappointed, but he is the absolute paragon of Waiqar's careful, deliberate approach to strategy.

Ankaur Maro

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As death sweeps across the land, the armies of Terrinoth search not only for allies to aid them, but ancient magic to gain the upper hand over their foes. While the Daqan dig through ancient ruins, the forces of Waiqar know where true power lies; in flesh, blood, bone, and death. Of all Waiqar’s servants, few exemplify this like Ankaur Maro, a fearsome necromancer whose ambition and lust for power knows no bounds. Those who oppose the undead legion are subject to the dark magic of the necromancer, and may even end up serving Waiqar themselves.

Ankaur is a sort of spell-slinger, with essentially two different builds. In either case, he acts very late in the round - his earliest movement option is at initiative 5, though as a cavalry unit he can cover decent ground when he does move. He attacks at range with a number of white dice equal to the number of unstable runes, so his power is very unpredictable. As a Special Action, he can add a number of trays to a Waiqar infantry unit up to the number of stable runes, and then suffer an equal number of wounds. Lastly, when he attacks at range, he can spend two surges to remove one wound, giving a little longevity to his summoning. That is, until you look at upgrades:

  • Violent Forces switches the runes used for his ranged attack and his summoning Special Action, plus gives him Brutal. You'll be rolling either one or two white dice at threat 2 on the attack, which doesn't sound that great until you notice he has a modifier with two hits. That's 4 damage before even rolling dice, and a maximum of 12. Take Fortuna's Dice and you can guarantee 8 per shot, or Heartseeker to shelter safe behind allies while raining death on your opponent.
  • Regenerative Magic favours his summoning ability by decreasing the number of surges required to trigger any abilities he has by one (to a minimum of one). With it, he can recover a wound for each and every surge he rolls, potentially keeping him alive long enough to bolster your army considerably.
  • Ankaur doesn't shoot until initiative 6, when most ranged units do so at 5, so he is particularly vulnerable to being shot to death. Care must be taken to keep him alive.
  • His army-building ability lets you bring a single non-unique unit from any faction, though they start the game with two blight tokens. Shoring up a weakness in your list that Waiqar units don't quite fulfill is a great option to have, and makes for some cool opportunities.
  • As an upgrade, Ankaur brings his summoning ability. Particularly great in a unit of Reanimates because they're cheap and they regenerate the wounds the ability inflicts, letting you bolster your other forces while keeping the necromancer swaddled in protective skeletons.

Lord Vorun'Thul

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Lord Vorun was a renowned defender of the land and a knight of unquestionable honor. When his liege swore allegiance to Waiqar the Undying, Vorun was faced with a choice. Torn between his duty to Terrinoth and his oath of fealty, Vorun chose to trust in the wisdom of his master and continue his service despite his misgivings, and so the lord of House Ammanas joined the other great nobles of Bilehall in a fateful ritual that transformed them all into undead horrors. Upon realizing the full truth of what he had done, Vorun was overcome with shame and self-loathing, and he found himself unable to tolerate any reminder of his lost honor. He turned upon the lesser nobles and servitors of his house and hunted them down one by one, forcing them to join him in service to Waiqar.

Vorun'Thul is an absolute apex predator. Core to his gameplay is the transformation mechanic, which lets him switch between his humanoid and monstrous forms. As Lord Vorun'Thul, he is quick and flexible but not very damaging; when he transforms into Vorun'Thul the Cursed, he becomes another type of monster altogether. Although you lose options from your dial, he does great damage and gets quite tough, making him a fearsome combatant.

  • Maybe most powerful of all is that when you transform, you do a "short" teleport, placing the corresponding new figure within range of the old. In practical terms, this ends up being an almost guaranteed flank charge, faster and longer than virtually all competition. When Lord Vorun'Thul is nearby, be very, very afraid.
  • Transforming back to humanoid form lets you jump even further, and you can do it while you're in combat, vanishing in a cloud of mist and bats. I've mocked up a little diagram showing the kind of mobility this ability gives him:

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  • Although he can be almost assured to dictate the terms of any engagement, he needs to stick around a while to do real damage. Although he gets to make an attack on the turn he transforms into Vorun'Thul the Cursed, you have to remove one of your dice for that attack, and without being able to dial in the surge, you're not very likely to get up to threat 3.
  • Anyone with threat 3 and a white die is a great candidate for Fortuna's Dice, and he'll also be a good platform for Obcasium's Gauntlet, diving in, applying it, and getting away scot-free.
  • Depending on whether you start the game as Lord or Cursed, you can give one enemy unit a stun or immobilize token. It doesn't sound very dramatic, but it can really disrupt first turn plans.
  • His uniques are Thirst of Bilehall, which lets him recover wounds, discard banes, or ready upgrades as he kills enemies, and Enthralling Gaze, which lets him shift any enemy unit at range 1-5 and in line of sight. It means he's not doing his pounce and murder thing that turn, but the utility from shifting enemies is huge.
  • He has a heavy slot figure upgrade! Reanimates finally have access to a Brutal upgrade, meaning threat 5! 

Vorun'thul is durable, excellent at escaping bad situations, and excellent at picking and selecting targets. You still have to be careful not to get him killed, but he exerts a huge threat on the board that helps your other units not get harassed.

Infantry:

Reanimates

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When Waiqar Sumarion brought the curse of eternal life upon himself and his armies, his warriors became more powerful than anyone imagined. All mortal weakness had been burnt away, leaving only the strength and resolve of bone and steel. These champions became known as the Deathborn Legion, and a single member of the Deathborn can turn the tide of a battle.

Even when these champions fall, their legacy endures in Waiqar’s army. Dark priests and necromancers render the champion’s bones down to dust, and fleshwrights and bonemasters then use this essence to reanimate the bodies of fallen enemy warriors. In fact, the remains of a single Deathborn champion is enough to reanimate thousands of enemies. Built upon the bones of lesser foes, Reanimates do not match the prowess of the Deathborn, but they fill the ranks of Waiqar’s armies with untiring dedication all the same.

Slow and numerous is the name of the game with Waiqar's line infantry. Sporting some of the worst movement values in the game, Reanimates rarely get the charge and often take it.

  • Rolling two red dice with a morale modifier on the dial, they can inflict some serious panics tokens, even with just a single tray remaining. Leave them alone on your flanks at your own risk.
  • Regenerate [natural runes] is a nice ability, but not really something to plan your game around unless you take Lingering Dead, which IS good, though competition for the Training slot is fierce. That said, if you're playing demo games and never see it come up, don't feel bad - 4 damage is such an incredibly common number in those games, my opponent and I were sure the ability was useless. Now that the game has matured, you'll often see all sorts of damage, so it kicks in much more regularly.
  • Notable combos include Aggressive Drummer to turn the 3 or 4 tray wide units wheel movement into a charge, covering a surprising amount of distance, Deathcaller + Support Carrion Lancer + Simultaneous Orders to apply and then immediately spend blight to cause wounds at range, Aggressive Drummer + Executioner to charge and immediately kill something high-value, Blighted Vexillum Bearer to blunt charges, Necromancer + Lingering Dead for a truly resilient batch of skeletons, Ankaur Maro as an upgrade to make the rest of your army stronger.

Reanimate Archers

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Not all Reanimates are equipped with melee weapons and sent into pitched battle. Some choose to harry their foes from afar, firing tainted arrows into the hearts of the living. The heads of these missiles oozes with unclean energy, and those afflicted with it find themselves enervated, unable to fight the undead hordes.

Reanimate Archers are an essential part of many Waiqar builds, because they generate blight. By default, blight is a bane that can be spent to remove a die from an enemy unit's attack, but it also triggers several powerful abilities in the undead army. Units of Reanimate Archers fall roughly into three categories:

  • The blight battery. A 2x1 unit with Combat Ingenuity converts each surge into a blight on their target, meaning 1-4 per volley. At 24 points, it's not cheap, but if you can protect them and control the pace of engagement, they can completely negate your opponent's front line units. They do also do a bit of damage, which is nice.
  • The damage-dealer. Going to 3x2 gets you access to threat 3 as well as a batch of good upgrades. Wind Rune is a great way to keep the unit safe, Tempered Steel adds more damage, Raven-Standard Bearer has them shoot before anyone but Kari, and Close-Quarters Targeting keeps the arrows flying even if they're engaged. Blight is not usually the focus of a unit this size, but it is still very useful.
  • Something else. Maybe you have something specific in mind, or only have enough points for a small fire-support unit. Call it a cop-out, but the third category is literally "miscellaneous"

They're fragile, and can be a pain to protect, but if you can position just right and keep your enemies at bay long enough, you can put them in a bit of a headlock, in which by the time they've removed the blight, you've piled more on, leaving your units to take them apart at your leisure.

Cavalry:

Death Knights

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Called the Dread Horsemen by some and Doomriders by others, the Death Knights are ever at the forefront of Waiqar’s army, riding from the mists to cut down the living. Donning ancient armor and aided by the speed of their terrible steeds, these mounted warriors demonstrate a skill in battle unmatched by lesser undead. Unencumbered by the weakness and doubt brought on by the fear of death, these cavalry descend upon the countryside of Terrinoth to herald the coming of Waiqar and his undying legion.

Serving as the unholy counterparts to the mounted knights of mortal realms, the Death Knights are capable of fighting on long past the limits of mortal men. Possessing none of the weaknesses of living flesh, Death Knights know nothing of hunger, fatigue, or fear. Similarly, the vampiric steeds of these dread riders are capable of speed and stamina far beyond even the greatest stallion, particularly when they have caught the scent of fear or blood in the wind. When the Equius Cumir must feed, they are known to devour the flesh of man and Elf alike, sating their terrible hunger on the corpse-laden fields of battle.

Waiqar's heavy cavalry is an elite unit indeed, a substantial departure from the cheap Reanimates. Not only are the Defense 3 at all times, but they ignore the first mortal strike that hits them every attack, making them the toughest cavalry unit available. Their mobility is good, their damage is good, so what's not to like? Well, let's take a look:

  • They are quite expensive. A 2x2 will cost you 42 points without any upgrades, and you're going to want some upgrades.
  • Their melee modifier is a Mortal Strike, which, while great against high-defense targets, is actually often WORSE than a hit against infantry because it doesn't scale with threat. This pushes them towards the role of hunting hard targets.
  • Their available maneuvers for charging are quite good, but with no 4-speed move on the dial, they're not as good at covering long distances as the other races. Notably, however, they have a move at initiative 9, the latest in the game. No one can approach them safely, and they will always be able to see your opponent's moves before their own, which is also great with their...
  • White Reform modifier. Facing the perfect direction after every move is an awesome ability, and helps them pursue the targets they want.
  • They have an artifact upgrade slot! Reaping Blade is pretty good on a unit that rolls two red dice and wants to go after elite enemies, and so is Obcasium's Gauntlet - your 29 point unit will surely die, but they will curse a target of their choice to an inevitable death in the process. Talk about evil!

Don't charge blindly forward, or you'll end up fighting cheap infantry and making a bad trade, but take advantage of their strong points and be mindful of target selection and you'll see good dividends.

Wraiths

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Every barony in the Land of Steel has its share of ghost stories, but few of them agree about the details of the spirits. The nature of Wraiths is speculated on in everything from the tales of peasant folk to a troubadour's courtly ballads—even in the dusty halls of Greyhaven—but little more than supposition is truly available. For every verified encounter, there are a dozen stories spread by frightened travelers or passed down to misbehaving children.

But now, these dark forces, older than Waiqar himself, awaken once again in the cold lands of mist. The undead embodiment of nightmares, the Wraiths, have declared for the dark lord of the thirteenth barony and now glide across the battlefields of Terrinoth, leaving destruction in their wake. 

Wraiths are an interesting, very mobile sort of unit. They have three cool special rules:

  • When defending, before the attacker rerolls, they can force them to reroll a die. Little bit of defensive ability, especially if your opponent has no rerolls for some reason.
  • After you perform an [advance] or [shift], you may perform a free [reform]. Now, I've already talked about how good white reform modifiers are, so getting to do it without even needing to use your right dial is incredible. Really really nice flexibility of movement.
  • During an [advance] or [shift], you may ignore any number of units and terrain. That's right, you can walk through walls. There are some seriously funky maneuvers you can pull off, gliding right through solid rock to crack open the delicious ranged units in the backfield the LEAST of them. Honestly, the variety of neat stuff they can pull off is outside the scope of this primer, but let it be said - they have options. Check out this thread to see some of the stuff they do.
  • One of the best ways to get an advantage in Runewars is to deploy terrain such that it disrupts your opponent's ability to bring their army to bear against you, creating "holes" in their lines. Well, wraiths can walk right over terrain, meaning there are no holes. 

Also notable, if they can afford to wait until initiative 6, they get to make two melee attacks. Considering they have a 3x1 configuration, that could be some serious damage, and two of their upgrades focus on morale effects. Expect these to be phenomenal in the hands of an experience player, wreaking havoc on backline, harrying flanks, and expertly slipping past the opposition.

Siege:

Carrion Lancers

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The fleshwrights are adept at raising more dead to serve Waiqar the Undying, and what little they do not use are fed to the carrion worms that live on the edges of an encampment. As these creatures grow fat on the remains of Waiqar’s enemies, they can be trained as swift and terrible mounts for the fiercest Reanimate soldiers. Acidic ichor drips from the carrion worms’ maws, and this foul substance can corrode nearly any metal, not to mention flesh.

Lancers are, apart from one of my most favourite models in any game, one of the most useful, versatile units in the game. They seem straightforward at first, but have a few really useful finer points:

  • Rally/Reform at initiative 3 with +1 Defense: this lets them take and often redirect a charge really well. 12 damage on the charge is no mean feat, so it blocks most units for at least a full turn.
  • Rally into speed-3 Advance at initiative 3: moving 3 at 3 is immense, and means that (if they're facing the right direction) they can engage an enemy unit to lock it in combat VERY early in the turn. Big scary unit going to charge something you like? Run into it with a Lancer, their move is cancelled, you just bought at least one turn. Something have a charge lined up on your Lancer? Bump into it before it has a chance. 
  • Attacking at 5 IS slightly bad, but critically it's the same initiative as your Reanimate Archers shoot. Use them to apply blight, then immediately attack with the mortal strikes. Even an enemy with Inspiration tokens would have to activate at initiative 5, exactly between your Archers and Lancers. It's possible, but extremely limiting.

The 2x1 with Rank Discipline fights like an extremely tough unit of cavalry with a couple amazing tricks up its sleeve, while the 1x1 is a great blocker/nuisance that has the ability (with admittedly finicky setup) to kill hard targets in one attack. Plus, they're amazing objective runners. I won't claim that they're easy to use, but do keep in mind - if your opponent isn't letting you get the favourable engagements off (particularly blighting a hero and then unleashing the mortal strikes) that means they are playing around the ability. In effect, the threat of your Lancers is controlling the way your opponent plays, which gives you power. 

Edited by Bhelliom

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The Latari Elves

"Latariana ascended to the stars in the great glade that lies at the heart of the Aymhelin, the great forest. Her children have dwelled beneath its emerald boughs for untold ages, living among its mighty trees and alongside countless wondrous creatures."
  -Loremaster Erenil of Verdelam

Beneath the boughs of the towering Aymhelin Forest on the southern borders of Terrinoth, the Latari Elves have honed their skills and their martial prowess for years. Though in the past they have preferred to remain defensive, guarding their boundaries and protecting their way of life, their peace is about to be shattered. The darkness of the Locust Swarms—the Uthuk Y’llan—is stirring in the east, and even the Latari Elves have been forced from their seclusion to take the battlefield in force.

If you're looking for an army that uses mobility to engage on its own terms, look no further. The Latari elves make battlefield maneuvers a sprightly dance, keeping close enough to their enemy to strike, always denying the opportunity to retaliate. That is, until you slip up and find just exactly how fragile they can be. Boasting the most ranged units of any faction, you can expect a Latari army to pick unfair fights, bringing overwhelming force against a target before it has a chance to attack, then moving on to the next.

Your army might include lots of ranged units and blockers for them, hoping to buy enough time to shoot the enemy that they can't effectively take you down, or it might focus on the highly mobile Leonx, able to stay one step ahead of the enemy. Either way, you'll need to fight smart, because drawn-out battles of attrition are NOT where you excel.

Heroes:

Aliana of Summersong

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The greatest of the Leonx Riders is their champion, Aliana of Summersong. With her shimmering Moonblade and Leonx Mount Wildcall, Aliana of Summersong commands the Leonx Riders with a strength and ferocity worthy of one who leads these passionate warriors into battle. No stranger to the horrors of war, Aliana is more compassionate than many of her contemporaries, going so far as to defend human refugees that set foot in the Aymhelin.

Aliana is quick, mobile, and dangerous, though she does not want to be stuck in a long fight. She is among the few heroes without any Brutal, so you know her damage is going to be a little trickier than most. For one thing, she automatically inflicts a mortal wound in combat, and she has a unique surge to add a hit, and her upgrades tend to stack a bunch of Lethal as well.

  • Upgrades are where she really starts to shine. Wildcall's Instinct is super cool and makes especially her shifts really crazy maneuverable. Want to charge someone behind and beside you? This is your jam. Ambush Predator is probably more useful overall though - not only does it mean ranged attacks can't target you until you engage, but it also gives your first attack of the game Lethal equal to the current round. Even in games where she attacks pretty early that's likely two or three damage, and if you're truly patient you can just pile it on. This configuration obviously makes her good at stalking ranged units, who, unable to shoot her, must rely on their allies to defend them.
  • She's quite fragile. Ambush Predator can keep her safe from ranged attacks, but not ranged effects such as Kari's melee surge ability or Waiqar's Deathcaller, so be careful.
  • Target selection is everything here. Use her mobility to pick unfair fights, don't just throw her up against a big unit of infantry. She can't disengage until initiative 6, so you have no get out of jail free card if you get yourself in trouble. You want archers, small units with high defense, etc.
  • As an upgrade, she gives a white die and a point of impact for only 12 points, which is a pretty good price! Works nicely in Leonx.
  • Her army building ability lets you redeploy a unit of Leonx Riders after setup is complete, so you can place them early (still make sure to put them somewhere good, you don't HAVE to redeploy and your opponent will expect it) and then move them somewhere to get close to a good matchup.

Maegan Cyndewin

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How can the last known heir to the Ynfetaar and a halfblood daughter of the Twice-Fallen Elves sit beside the King Aeoneth of the Latari in the white halls of Caelcira? She is believed to be a ruthless schemer at best, or an agent of the Ynfernael at worst. Regardless of what the nobles may think of her, Lady Maegan Cyndewin has proven herself to be a fierce warrior and powerful sorceress. She fights for love, redemption, and ultimately the safety of her people.

Those who have seen the power of Lady Maegan Cyndewin’s sorcery and the influence she wields as consort to the king would never guess at her humble birth. Sired by a mysterious Elven father and a human mother far beyond the boughs of the Aymhelin, blood and birthplace both marked Maegan an outsider. Maegan’s father belonged to the Daewyl tribe, the ancient enemy of the Latari, and her mother was a child of the Loth Caara, a human tribe with ancient ties to the Elves. Her parents’ brief union was the fruit of prophecy: they had both seen a vision that any child born to them would be destined to one day rule the Elven people from the white throne of Caelcira.

Maegan is a big old bomb. It's tough to get an accurate sense of her power from looking at just her card, so let's break it down:

  • Two dice at range, four dice in melee, but neither Precise nor Brutal.
  • Letal (natural runes) and Protected (stable runes)
  • In either a melee or ranged attack, you can spend surge+ to deal damage equal to the number of surges spent to each enemy unit at range 1 to (unstable runes) of your target. Note this always includes the target itself.
  • So when you attack, you deal damage to your target equal to (number of hits you roll) + (number of surges you roll) + (number of natural runes) AND deal damage to nearby enemies equal to the number of surges you roll. In melee, this often works out to 6-8 to the primary target and 2-3 to surrounding enemies, which is quite deadly.
  • Her upgrade Martial Magic reduces the range of her ranged attack to 3, but increases her Defense by 1. Combined with Protected (stable runes) this makes her medium tough, and she even has a +1 Defense on the dial (though it's blue so hard to use well)
  • The other unique option for her is Arcane Mastery, which lets her choose enemies at various (rune-based) ranges to receive panic, stun, and remove a boon. Probably not much use right now, but notably the upcoming Vitality tokens are boons, so this could be real sweet if invincible Rune Golems become a thing.
  • She has pretty flexible Artifact selection. Malcorne's Bequest is nice to have along if you care about the runes, Packleader's Spear adds to her pile of damage and helps her terrorize small units, and Reaping Blade is nice when you're throwing 4 dice with no rerolls. Fortuna's IS good, but with no brutal it's of slightly reduced value. That said, flipping to a double surge face when you need to fry nearby enemies...

 

Prince Faolan

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After Prince Faolan’s rash military strategies led to the death of one dear to him, he vowed to tirelessly defend his people, never risking their lives for his own glory. He sentenced himself to lonely exile and traveled the length of the Aymhelin, slaying bandits, marauders, and other trespassers with his loyal cyrssaerele, Silanel, as his only companion. As the ages passed and news of his deeds spread, he regained the trust of his elven brothers and sisters, and now he leads a great host of loyal warriors as the Aymhelin Forest falls under threat once more.

Though he has dedicated his life to protecting the Aymhelin and his kinsmen, a seed of ambition grows in the prince, despite his previous losses. As the wars of Terrinoth continue with no end in sight, would the Latari not be safer under his leadership than his uncle’s?

So if Aliana is a scalpel and Maegan is a grenade, this guy is a beatstick, and a very mobile one at that. He's got some pretty good movement options, especially the three 1-speed advances at initiative 6, letting him do something wild like swing 180 degrees and then charge. That's going to need table time to figure out.

  • He sure does roll a lot of dice. Although he has to drop one after rerolls, chucking WWBBB is pretty nuts, and with Brutal and Precise he makes great use of them.
  • The Spirit Sword lets you gain Inspiration with surges, and spend Inspiration to cancel dice icons, so he can play really defensively if he wants to. Kinda works like blight, where it's more effective against units that have fewer dice.
  • Giving out Inspiration tokens after setup is solidly good. Not earth-shattering or anything, but you will almost certainly find a use for them.

Infantry:

Deepwood Archers

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Even the Harazan Skirmishers of Al-Kalim and the Sagittarii of Lorimor cannot match the skill of the Deepwood Archers. No other race can spend the time the Latari Elves dedicate to honing their craft, making these warriors the undisputed masters of bow. The careful study of the Deepwood Greatbow is more than just a discipline: it is a way of life. Once committed to the Path of the Arrow, these archers train until their bow is an extension of their hand and their arrow is an extension of their eye. Centuries may seem to pass as swiftly as the seasons, but the Latari archers feel that no amount of time will be enough to completely master their craft.

Good ranged unit.

  • They have access to shifts while shooting. By default it takes two surges for one, a Support Scion gives them one if they're neat Overgrown terrain, and Lay of the Land lets them do another. So, yeah, they stay on the move as they fire.
  • Speaking of fire, Fire Rune is a great fit because it benefits from their built-in Precise!
  • Speaking of Fire Rune, it synergizes really well with Maegan in the unit, because her Lethal [natural runes] applies to the Fire Rune attack as well!
  • Their dial is great. I mean mostly it's boring archer stuff, but the blue Reform modifier lets them line up shots really well, and the initiative 8 shift-shift is so so good for responding to incoming threats. Unit of cavalry heading your way? Back up. Enemy playing it safe and staying out of range? Move up.

Darnati Warriors

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The Darnati Warriors are elusive and enigmatic even for the Latari. Although they have always answered the call of the war horn in times of need, in times of peace they are scattered throughout the Aymhelin forest, seeking wisdom and redemption through a mysterious, ascetic, and silent lifestyle. For those rare few who have witnessed the speed and grace of the Darnati, however, there is no denying the sheer beauty—and effectiveness—of their techniques.

Finally, a home for some of the melee-centric command upgrades! Darnati have an interesting dial, in that their short charges are pretty good, but they can't charge at anything farther than a 2. So they're much more of a defensive knife-fighter than an offensive powerhouse.

  • Still waiting on official clarification, but it is assumed that removing one die happens regardless of the number of rerolls (including zero). This makes it another form of reliability like Precise, so it's a good ability.
  • Fighting at 4 with a hit is good, just ask Berserkers. A surge for a point of Lethal is pretty nice, and means they can be quite dangerous even at a single tray.
  • White Reform modifier is always a star, so look out for that.
  • These guys are the natural home for several of the currently under-utilized infantry command upgrades. Avenger of Latariana makes the versatile threats, Dreamweaver Sorceress hands out stuns, Firstblade of Lord Aenoth makes opponents move which might be good, and Warsong Herald is the natural "tarpit while archers do the work" option. Interesting stuff.

Cavalry:

Leonx Riders

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Though the Leonx Riders of the Latari Elves are of low status, and shunned by some for their passions and roughness, those who forge a bond with the mighty Leonx gain a share of their strength and ferocity. These riders operate alone or in small family groups, much like their beast-friends. Their attacks are unexpected by foes of the elves, and hit with a savage and brutal ferocity. A few of these beast-attuned warriors can turn the tide of a day with the surprising onslaught they bring.

None exemplify the primal, wild nature of the Verdelam more than the Leonx Riders. Charging into battle atop their ferocious Leonx, large felines native to the Aymhelin, these Elven warriors pierce through enemy lines with the force of a storm, only to use their lightning speed to evade counter-blows and change their angle of attack with the swiftness of a gale. Each half of the pair trusts each other with its life, and the bond a Leonx shares with its rider is akin to family. In battle, these wild riders coordinate their movements as one, fusing Elven skill with the predatory instincts of one of the most fearsome beasts in the world.

Yeah, this is what you want from Cavalry. Fast, hard-hitting, and great at flanking.

  • Two blue and a red is not as immediately damaging as two red and a blue, but with built-in Mastercrafted Weapons (two surges for a hit) the math actually works out pretty close. They also have the two unique surges for a mortal strike, a nice option that lets them better take on hard targets.
  • They generally have the charge advantage in the early part of the round. Charging two at initiative 3 and three at initiative 4 is pretty much the gold standard in Runewars, and you can improve it further with Raven Tabards.
  • Fast unit with a white Reform modifier = flank charges. Plus, double shift is always good, and especially so with Lay of the Land.
  • You can disengage from combat at initiative 3. That's before most units even have a chance to attack, so if you're ever in combat with Leonx, you have to ask yourself: "will they stay or will they go?"
  • With Aliana and a Bull Pennon, they can scare the pants off even Ynfaernal demons of the Uthuk Y'llan, so that's a cool build to consider.

Ventala Skirmishers

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According to the Latari Loremasters, the Ventala first emerged in Mennara through the energies released in the War of the Shadow Tear. Although they have not always been allies with the Latari, a friendship between the two cultures blossomed many centuries ago, and the Ventala are proud to offer their services as scouts and warriors when darkness threatens the Aymhelin. These hoofed warriors are adept at passing through wood and plains alike, preferring to use their speed and the power of their arms to hurl javelins at distant enemies.

Well, I knew the dial system would do a good job representing skirmishing cavalry archers, and here we are with the proof. Ranged attack on the modifier dial makes for all kinds of interesting stuff:

  • For starters, they do have a normal ranged attack at initiative 8, which is so late that it's kinda good. The usual way to attack ranged units is move into range after they have a chance to shoot, then charge in before they can shoot. Most units won't be able to do that with Ventala.
  • Next, ranged attack after moving means they can shoot someone from way downtown, and again, pretty late in the turn.
  • Unless they're within range 3, they only roll one red die for their ranged attack, so to get the real damage out of them you're gotta be up in the action. They're pretty decent in melee too, so not so bad if they get caught in a fight.
  • One of their upgrades is Flank Fire, which basically lets them use a side edge as the front edge for a ranged attack, including threat. With it, that 1x3 is going to be running circles around the enemy, filling them with javelins. So cool.

Siege:

Aymhelin Scions

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In war, Aymhelin Scions march alongside their Latari allies to protect their home. Their roots can feel the shifting of earth and stone, granting them an almost preternatural awareness of enemy movements. Cutting through enemy lines with their powerful limbs and withstanding blow after blow with their tough natural armor, these beings are powerful allies to the Elves as much as they are terrible foes to all others. As long as the Latari offer their songs in gratitude, the Aymhelin itself will move in alliance with the Elves. With the very might of nature as an ally, no foe can withstand the power of the Latari, who will stop at nothing to protect their sacred forest from destruction.

Absolutely premiere blockers. A single Scion is cheap, does a fine job getting where it needs to be, and gets in the way. In larger units they're more respectable fighters, and the ranged attack on an otherwise melee unit is a great bonus, letting you get in some casualties while closing.

  • The immobilize token when you touch anything is great. Big scary unit coming for you? They'll kill the Scion, sure, but it will take the charge and then slow them down as they clear the immobilize. You can go even further and use Vicious Roots to immobilize at short range or in melee.
  • Fighting at 5 with a hit is pretty standard for a siege unit, and with three dice they're capable of genuinely good damage at two or three threat. Similarly a two-dice ranged attack WILL inflict casualties, ensuring these have value in almost any situation.
  • The cheapest siege unit, but also the least durable. Be prepared to use that +1 Defense modifier.
  • Vicious Roots notably removes all boons when it triggers, which currently just means Inspiration, but with Baron Zachareth will also include Vitality tokens. If invincible Rune Golems become a thing, look forward to this solving some of your issues.
Edited by Bhelliom

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Uthuk Y'llan

"The weak have forgotten who we are. We were exiles, yes—but heirs, also. Heirs to Llovar, the greatest of us all. Now the Westmen, the Dhawc, and the Ylairc shall know the bite of Llovar’s locusts once more!"
   –Malaana, witch of the Blood Coven

In the age of the First Darkness, Llovar led the locust swarm of the Uthuk Y’llan into glorious battle, consuming all that lay in their path. Only the combined strength of Humankind, Elves, and Dwarves under the combined leadership of Timmoran and Waiqar prevented the Uthuk victory as the locusts were thrown back and pushed to the edge of extinction. Over the course of centuries, the Uthuk gathered their strength. Timmoran has disappeared and Waiqar has turned against the mortals with his own force of undead warriors. Now is the time to strike.

East beyond the careful watch of Hernfar Isle in Terrinoth’s northeast, and as far south as the edge of the Aymhelin, the sun-bleached steppes of the Ru gleam across the wide Lothan River. The inhospitable lands are home to the vicious, demon-worshipping tribes of the Uthuk Y’llan. Once thought dead, the ancient enemy has returned from exile in the distant east to ravage Terrinoth once more.

Savage ferocity and sacrifice are the primary Uthuk themes. Everyone wants to fight on their own terms, but the Uthuk force their enemy to respond to them, giving absolutely no breathing room. Rushing across the field, you can start putting out the hurt early, striking where your enemy is weak, and ****, where they're strong too. 

With some of the more technical elements of the Uthuk lineup not yet released, the core plan is usually to leverage your overwhelming speed and efficiency to force the enemy into a straight fight, and revel in the carnage. Notably, many Uthuk units make excellent use of terrain, not nearly as tripped-up by it as most armies. If you like setting the pace of a game, they just might be the right fit for you.

Heroes:

Ravos the Everhungry

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The embodiment of ruthlessness and greed, Ravos the Everhungry manifests every aspect valued by the Uthuk Y’llan. The hulking creature is covered in bulging, sagging tissue and sharpened, bony growths. Open gashes crisscross his enormous belly and thighs and weep a foul substance with every movement. A stranger to both fear and mercy, the deadly warrior is armed with a brutal scythe of bone, inscribed with unholy bronzed scrawls. This foul blade means death for any who come too close, regardless of whether they are friend or foe. If there is any end to this demonic general's thirst for blood, no one has yet seen it.

Ravos is incredibly dangerous. More than any other hero so far, he is an offensive wrecking ball, charging deep into enemy lines to wreck things. Beware though, for his hunger knows no bounds, and he will inflict a wound to something nearby at the end of every turn, even if it's an ally, or, worse, himself!

  • With Brutal, Precise, and 3 attack dice, Ravos does plenty of damage. He attacks at either 3 or 6 with either a hit or TWO morale symbols, and has a unique surge to deal 1 wound to all enemies at range 1. So yeah, very capable combatant.
  • 2 Defense and 7 wounds means he's very tough, but vulnerable to being chipped away at. In emergencies, he can Rally and increase defense super early at initiative 2, increasing his total toughness by about 50%.
  • For bringing him, you put a panic token on every enemy unit after setup, which is somewhere between cool and awesome, depending on the enemy. If you opponent is planning to store up some inspiration tokens, this wastes their first rally, and otherwise it just makes for bigger morale tests earlier.
  • Goodness gracious he's fast. He can move 4 (+1 if you have a friendly Warsprinter) at initiative 8, then another 2 at the end of the round with Insatiable Hunger. Find him an opening, and he will rocket across the board to exploit it.

Kethra A'laak

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The witch Kethra A’laak stands apart from all others within the swarm. Although sworn to the Blood Coven which taught her, great and terrible ambitions burn within her, and her elevation into the coven has only strengthened her dreams of conquest and glory. Considered unpredictable by many of her peers, Kethra’s ruthlessness is not out of place amidst the sisterhood of the Blood Coven.

Kethra A’laak is known to travel among different territories to sow the seeds of discord among witches in the Ru Darklands. She stays long enough to stir rivalries between covens, then slips away before any retribution can befall her. But should a jealous sister of the Blood Coven attempt to confront her, she is more than capable of dispatching them: Kethra was marked by the Gore Claws tribe as a witch while still very young, and cast into a series of trials alongside numerous other would-be apprentices. Kethra fed each of her rivals to the Ynfernael one by one, spilling their blood and offering up their souls, until her pledge of service to the demonic powers was answered; the dark forces gifted her with unnatural strength, her very body suffused with unnatural magic.

Not as fast as Ravos, but quite quick and maneuverable, Kethra brings some cool stuff. Still quite dangerous with 2 white dice, brutal, and precise, you don't want to run her in wildly.

  • First, her skill action - you choose a friendly unit anywhere on the board and roll a white die. That unit and any enemies at range 1-2 suffer wounds equal to the number of hits. Uthuk are great at doing damage, but this lets you very flexibly apply direct wounds to hard targets.
  • As discussed, she does good damage, but her surge ability informs her target priorities: for each surge you spend, you deal 2 damage to your target. It's great, BUT, it's not a surge+ ability, meaning it does individual instances of 2 damage. If your opponent is Defense 3 or higher, it cannot hurt them. Use her to mulch infantry and some cavalry, but steer clear of the tough stuff (though she has a mortal strike on the dial, so...).
  • Her two unique upgrades specialize her role: Bonecaster lets her attack at range which is obviously incredible, and Kingsbone Armor increases her Defense by 1 and deals 2 damage to an enemy that collides with her/she collides with or that activates in contact with her.
  • For bringing her, you get to choose two allies at the beginning of the game to gain Unnatural Growths, which deals 2 damage to anyone that attacks them.
  • As a figure upgrade, she lets you replace one of your dice with a white, and also brings her excellent action ability, so you can pretty easily tech in some direct wounding if you need it.

Beastmaster Th'Uk Tar and Gorgemaw

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In the steppes of the Ru Darklands, parents pray for their children to be blessed by the dark touch of the Ynfernael, marking them for glory. Th’Uk Tar was thus marked with hooked legs and razor-sharp fangs, leading his mother to leave him in the heart of the Ru for him to grow strong or die, in accordance with the ancient Laws of Tarn'khara.

But the child did not die. Through some profane connection with the monsters that thrive in the broken lands, Th’Uk Tar was taken in by the deadly caecilian Gorgemaw and raised as its own. Years later, he returned to his village, followed by his monsters, to take his place as chief and to claim the title of Beastmaster.

So it's two different versions of the same hero: with and without his snake-monster pal. With it he is a quick, versatile striker, and without he is primarily a support model. Lacking Brutal in either form he's not an obvious big damage dealer, but we'll have to wait and see how that goes. Either way, he has long melee reach, being able to attack anyone at range 1 in his front arc.

  • With Gorgemaw, his Defense increases to 3 (combined with 5 wounds and Protected 1 makes him very respectably tough), he has the option of increasing the speed of any advances he reveals by 1, can modify shifts with a turn, and gains the scout keyword! Without knowing his dial it's tough to say, but this is certainly the setup for a quick fella. He also gets Lethal 1.
  • On his own, he has the special action ability to cause a wound to a non-unique ally at range 1-2 in exchange for making them do a Reform or Speed 1 shift. That ability is incredible, and will make for countless flank charges, dodges, and blocks.
  • After setup, if you have Gorgemaw, you can assign a wound to each ally at range 1-5 to give them an Inspiration Token, or if Th'Uk Tar is on his own he can redeploy a friendly non-unique unit to within range 1 of himself. I would say the redeploy is more useful, though an inspiration token in exchange for a single Berserker or wound on a Flesh Ripper is pretty great.

Infantry:

Berserkers

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No tribesman of the Uthuk Y’llan is weak after surviving the crucible of life in the Darklands, but only the truly mighty can survive long in the front ranks of a Berserker warband. These fearless assailants make up the infantry of the Locust hordes. Infamous for the unearthly scream they unleash as they run frenzied into battle strikes panic into the hearts of their enemies. Any soldier who hears their cry knows that their opponent is the embodiment of evil and, while they appear close to human, they have no sense of compassion and offer no mercy.

Point at enemy, let carnage ensue. Berserkers are great, if not very diverse: they're cheap, either tying or coming in a couple points more than Reanimates, they have a pretty solid set of maneuvers (no curved charge on the dial which is interesting), they have Steadfast (Fear) (this is great do not underestimate it), and they fight at 4 with a hit modifier. They also have the special ability to suffer up to two wounds to gain that much Lethal, which is often a good trade. Now, some finer points:

  • Like most infantry, they really shine with upgrades. The Front Line Spined Thresher gives them Brutal, making them a respectable deathstar. Aggressive Shrieker makes all of their maneuvers charges, which combines especially well with Warsprinter - on a good turn, you can charge seven. Add things like Bloodfire Witch to help control the Runes, Cacophony Reaver to tilt the morale game in your favour, and an Equipment slot to round things out.
  • Lethal 2 doesn't sound like a big deal, but it can often be the difference between killing a blocker and being stuck in combat for another turn. Berserker lives are cheap, trade them up!
  • Take a look at Bannerscamp and Bloodrage Conduit. I don't know if it's good, but there's some real neat stuff you can build for. Experiment!

Viper Legion Archers

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The ranks of the Uthuk Y’llan are filled with berserkers and demons from the depths of the Ynfernael, yet in the midst of these terrors lurks a less obvious threat that is no less deadly. One of the few truly sacrosanct traditions of the Uthuk Y’llan is the practice of Hgri’ech, where warriors follow in the steps of Uthuk heroes like Kul the Serpent, who killed thousands with his ambushes and deadly toxins. His worshippers, the cunning archers of the Viper Legion, provide ranged support to the armies of the Uthuk Y’llan with poison-tipped arrows that can kill with a single scratch. 

Ranged support! Up until now, Uthuk have been all about aggression, so some variety is quite welcome. Plus, when you get right down to it, it can be very difficult to fit 200 points up front and fighting, so a ranged attack can help you better leverage your offense. 

  • Cool synergy with the Uthuk panic engine. If the opponent has a bane on them, both of their surge abilities (maybe, it's not currently well-defined that unique surges are in fact surges) go down to costing just one surge. Surge for Lethal on a ranged attack with two blue dice is pretty dang good, and so is dropping additional panic.
  • Pretty good home for Cacophony Reaver, Bloodfire Witch, and Mutilated Grotesque, Rallying Shrieker.
  • Dial is pretty solid, with a standout option being the red reform. Being able to shoot while adjusting your firing arc is a great way to stay relevant.
  • Viper Trapmaster and Ritual Venom are great ways to get banes where you want them. Blight and Immobilize are particularly strong, so look forward to having your plans ruined by these creeps!

Cavalry:

Flesh Rippers

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Any who look into the glowing eyes of the Flesh Rippers know that death is soon to follow. Once one of these **** hounds has caught the scent of blood beating in the heart of its target, it will not give up the hunt until it has claimed the life of the damned. They answer only to their summoners, and at times even this is not enough to keep them from ripping their Uthuk handlers to shreds. 

The deadly Flesh Rippers are some of the most useful units of the Uthuk army. They are swift and unrelenting assailants on the battlefield, they can smell the blood of enemies’ hearts at great distances, and witches of the Blood Coven can reach into their minds to perceive the world through the beasts’ own senses. This magic allows them to know when a great host marches, or a village’s protectors redeploy, enabling strikes at vulnerable, unprotected targets.

Fast fast fast. Very fast, gotta go fast. Their dial looks a bit meh, but their defining ability is that at the beginning of their activation, they must perform a speed 1 advance. Let's look at that:

  • First off, one of their Unique upgrades (let's be honest, it's the good one) is Dead Sprint, which lets them either increase the speed of their mandatory speed 1 advance by 1 or treat it as modified by a turn. Either go faster, or change direction, so far so good.
  • Terrain. If you enter terrain with your beginning of activation move, it still ends their activation, but exiting is another matter altogether. If Flesh Rippers start the round in terrain, be very afraid, because they will pop out facing any direction and then move freely, probably charging somewhere you don't want charged.
  • Speed and maneuverability: it's worth playing around with on the table a bit, because they can cover some truly impressive ground. If you need someone to go to a variety of specific places on the board, you can do much worse than Flesh Rippers. As charging goes, they're pretty much the kings on initiative 3, though with their next advance coming at 5 AND with speed equal to unstable, they're less dominant outside of the early turn.
  • In combat they are solid. Rolling three dice will always be good, though their surge ability suffers against units with high defense. 1 defense 3 wounds is an interesting profile, tough but vulnerable to chip damage. 

Siege:

Spined Threshers

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A single spined thresher summoned from the Ynfernael is powerful enough to tear apart a barricade, decimate a village, or consume an unlucky patrol. In groups, these demons 
can withstand the charges of armored knights and tear down castle walls with ease. Among their only weaknesses are their unruly natures and the great difficulty and cost of the rituals used to summon them. However, as the Uthuk return to the lands of their ancient enemies, the difficulty of acquiring blood for the sacrifices lessens with each town razed or keep sacked, so more threshers are brought into the mortal realm to continue their gruesome harvest.

Dreaded, and for good reason. Spined Threshers are probably the most efficient pure combat unit in the game, combining durability and damage in a lovely mix, with a dash of morale for flavour - after they activate, each enemy at range 1-Unstable without a panic token gains one, and they get to reroll one die when attacking a unit with panic.

  • 2 defense 5 wounds is tough to chew through. 10 total damage is a fair chunk, and mortal strikes are not very valuable. They take effort to shift.
  • Two red dice with Brutal and a probably reroll is solid stuff. With the hit AND morale on the dial, you can be pretty well assured that they'll be dishing out damage and morale tests.
  • A little on the slow side as Uthuk go, but they can still get up close and personal pretty quick. The recently released Scuttling Horrors upgrade shores up their mobility pretty nicely too, letting them perform a speed 1 shift after all dials are locked in, but only sideways. Like Flesh Rippers, you can expect them to pop out of terrain and pounce.
  • As Heavy upgrades, you get either the Brutal and the reroll tech (Frontline) or the panic token distribution and Steadfast (Fear). Both are pretty great, but if you're spending 60+ points on a unit you're probably going for the extra threat.

Obscenes

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There are some among the Uthuk Y’llan who do not merely accept the gifts of the Ynfernael and instead choose to gorge themselves on all the power they can grasp. The Ynfernael shall gladly feed their appetites, but at a terrible cost. These select Uthuk tribesmen, known as the Obscenes, gain immense power, becoming huge and bloated while still maintaining a supernatural speed, provided they continue to feed. When the massive army of the Uthuk Y’llan takes to the battlefield, these ravenous tribesmen will continue to fight and feast until they are slain or nothing remains for them to consume.

The Uthuk's 'technical' unit, we don't yet know enough about Obscenes to get a good sense for them. Compared to Spined Threshers, they're a hair cheaper, lack the Brutal and reroll tech but DO get an extra blue die. Protected in exchange for one less wound is probably a slight increase in durability, but of course it depends on what's attacking. What's really interesting is their special action:

  • For a special action, they can choose an enemy engaged with them (that has no more than three times their number of trays) and force it to perform a speed-1 shift. 
  • This ability's usefulness is going to depend hugely on their dial. Attacking and then knocking away their enemy before a counterattack would be neat, as would the option to knock away at an early initiative. Personally I'm hoping they'll have the option to knock away and then charge back in, enabling them to beat a unit back across the field. In any case, interesting control tech. 
  • These will also be available as Heavy Upgrades, so we can probably look forward to Berserkers pushing units around.
Edited by Bhelliom

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This is great and very helpful, I thank you for doing this.

However, I did notice that you put the Reanimates regenerate ability uses stable runes, when its in fact natural runes.

Ill definitely be sharing this thread.

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I love how you've also done the strengths, weaknesses and basic tactics for the Daqan and Waiqar. I only assume that the same will be done for the Latari and Uthuk? I actually felt like I learnt something from reading your posts about Waiqar, so thank you for that!

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Quote is not edit!

So I guess this accidental update will be to say that I have now filled things in to a pretty basic level, but I would absolutely love to hear your feedback. 

Edited by Bhelliom

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