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No-Preview Blues Tuesday: Generic Heroes

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Well, since we're not abuzz with news of Zachareth's dial and/or upgrades as I would have hoped, let's talk about generic heroes. I like the named heroes that we have, since they get to be involved in the lore and out moving and shaking, but there's always something appealing about a character that's uniquely your own. Plus, sometimes the narrative scale fits better with an unknown lieutenant leading a skirmish than the exalted heroes of a faction.

So here's what I'm thinking:

  • Pick your faction, and make a baseline profile for a generic hero - nothing too exciting to start
  • Give it a handful of upgrade slots
  • Create as many unique upgrades for it as you can think of, such that you can put together a variety of thematic builds

Here's mine, the Daqan Lietenant

20 points, 3 Def/3 Wounds, Red + Blue melee attack, Unique Infantry model, 2 unique slots, 1 artifact slot. Dial the same as Spearmen, but the turn and wheel modifiers go from -1 -2 to 0 and -1.

Unique upgrades available (all are Daqan Lietenant only):

  • Citadel Guard, 8pts: Gain Protector and Protected (1)
  • Weapon Mastery, 6pts: Gain Brutal (1)
  • Prototype Crossbow, 7 pts: When you reveal a [melee attack], you may treat it as a [ranged attack] of the same stance with red+blue dice.
  • Cautious Outrider, 4 pts: Gain Scout. When you reveal a [march], you may decrease its speed by 1.
  • Inspiring Presence, 5 pts: When a friendly unit at range 1-2 would suffer a morale test, you may exhaust this upgrade to reduce the severity of that test by 1.
  • Frontline Coordinator, 9 pts: When a friendly unit at range 1-2 reveals a [reform] action, if your dial is revealed, you may exhaust this upgrade to treat that action as a speed-1 [shift] which may not be used to disengage.
  • Lead by Example, 4 pts: When another friendly unit performs a [melee attack] targeting a unit you are engaged with, it gains Precise (1).
  • Veteran Commander, 16 pts: One friendly unit in your army may begin the game with the Veteran Troops condition.
    Veteran Troops: While at range 1-2 of a friendly Daqan Lietenant, gain Lethal (1), Protected (1), and Resilient (stun)

So it can be made into several different little toolkits, ranging from frontline combat to army support. I'm not worried about the balance, though the points values I've used give a sense for how powerful I think each option can be. In particular, Lead by Example gives Rune Golems the reroll they so desperately want, Inspiring Presence helps defend against big morale tests, and Frontline Coordinator brings shifts where and when they are otherwise impossible. It's possible that I'm focusing too much on shoring up faction weaknesses, but those are the obvious things to include, and it's not like it's going to be real anyway!

I'd love to see some more!

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Great ideas. I'd like to see mid-level necromancers, like in WFB.

2/3 or 1/4

Dial similar to Reanimate Archers

Melee B / Ranged RB

-> Invigorate (Skill): cause a friendly unit to perform a speed-1 march (may be modified my a soft turn)

-> Steal soul (Ranged Attack): Surge-surge: add a tray to infantry within 1-3

-> Ranged Attack: Unique Surge-surge: add a model to cavalry within 1-3 following rules for Regenerate

-> Ranged Attack: Unique Surge-surge: remove a wound from a hero or seige within 1-3

-> Visions of Death (Skill): Add a panic token to an enemy within 1-5

And because Waiqar lacks a good source of inspiration (although I understand that's part of their design):

-> The Sonorous Bell (Artefact): Exhaust this card to cause all allies at range 1-5 to gain one inspiration token. Also, you may suffer one wound to cause all enemies at range 1-3 to discard all boons, even if this card is exhausted.


Finally, something I'd like Ardus to take:

->  Field of Skulls/Rampant Hallucinations/Some Appropriately Scary Name Here (Skill): Exhaust this card to cause one ally to rotate their command tool dials by up to two positions each (clockwise or counterclockwise)

Edited by escutcheon
Added artefacts

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Uthuk Warlock

2 defense, 3 wound threshold.

Attack Profile: ranged: 1 blue; melee: 1 red

Upgrade options: 1 unique, 1 artifact, 1 equipment

Action Dial:
3 - Skill (G)
4 - Melee (R)
5 - March-1 (B); Ranged (R)
6 - March-2 (B); Skill (Y)
7 - March-3 (B)

Modifier Dial:
Blue - Turn; Wheel -1; charge
Red - Surge
Green - Shift 1; Reform
Yellow - Skill
White - Rally

{unique surge} {unique surge} Remove 1 wound from this unit.

Cost: 20

Unique Upgrades (Each one of these upgrades is unique, so you can bring multiple Warlocks, but you can't spam the unique upgrades.)
Rain Fire: {Skill} Choose an enemy unit at range 1-5 and in line of sight. Roll {unstable energy} red dice. That unit suffers damage equal to the number of hits rolled. (10 points)

Dreamwalk: {Skill} You may suffer 1 wound to look at one unrevealed command tool of an enemy unit. (7 points)

Ynfernael Summons: {Skill} Place 1 tray of Flesh Rippers at range 1 of this unit. Then suffer 2 wounds. [Maybe 3 wounds? I'm not sure.] (5 points)

Telepathic Link: {Skill} Choose a friendly unit at range 1-{natural energy} with an unrevealed command tool. Activate that unit after your activation. (5 points)

Nightmares: {Skill} Perform a morale test on an enemy unit at range 1-5 and in line of sight. Reveal {stable energy} additional morale cards. (3 points)


Disclaimer: I don't think I ever want to see abilities like this in the game. Or rather, I'm afraid these may be totally broken since they haven't been playtested, so I hope that if abilities like this get added eventually, they get playtested like the alpha and beta testers are preparing for World Championships.

Regardless of that sentiment, I thought it would be neat to come up with a support unit. The idea is that each of these unique abilities are powerful effects that you can only get off a few limited number of times during a game. The cost should basically be the cost you would pay for that one- or two-time effect. But mostly, I just wanted to take some of the lore about warlocks and brainstorm what it would look like in Runewars.

Coming up with the command tool was fun. The unique abilities all use skills and the skills are very powerful. I wanted them to be able to activate early to make this unit a threat, but I feel that's okay because he's pretty squishy. I also wanted to be able to pair the unique abilities with runes, which is why he has the equipment upgrade. You can Rain Fire and then use Fire Rune! But to offset the power, the yellow skill action is initiative 6, so you are only doing two skills at that late initiative. But the early skill has the shift one or the reform. I thought it would be interesting to have a reverse of the reform + skill combo that the Berserkers do by making the skill happen before the reform. This makes it harder to get Fire Rune, Corruption Rune, or Rain Fire to line up, but I'm okay with that.

The attack actions are both red so they can take the surge modifier. If the warlock rolls 1 surge with the surge modifier, he can heal 1 wound.

What other combos are there? You could put Shield Wall on him. The white rally means he could skill at initiative 3 to ready it every single turn. Of course, that's probably only viable with Rain Fire or Nightmares because they don't cause wounds.


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