Monday, November 30, 2015

New Empires

So I'm trying to come up with an idea for this weeks blog entry.  I've got no hobby stuff right now (yes, I've been horribly lazy since Gencon).  I've go no new models as I still have not gotten anything from Dungeon Saga.

It then occurs to me that Uncharted Empires has officially been released, and even though I don't have a hard copy yet, I do have the Mantic Digital PDF version, and I can talk about that.  Except I already did back in September - Off Into Uncharted Territory.  However I guess I can give a bit more information now that the super-secret lists are not so secret anymore.

The book
So for the seven 'known' lists descriptions, check out my previous post.  But now I can finally talk about the two secret lists.  I've actually known about them for quite some time, as I was invited to be one of the playtesters for them.

Trident Realm of Neritica

Naiads, for both Forces of Nature and Trident Realms of Neritica
When The Lost were rescued by Brave Kyron, those of the sea fled to the oceans to escape his brothers evil curse.  It took centuries, but the fishmen slowly emerged from hiding and began to explore the new world.  As have so often been requested across the interwebs, the fishmen have arrived to battle for the fate of Mantica.

As an army rule, the trident realms units all have 'Ensnare' (unless otherwise indicated on their specific unit entry).  So the slippery fish-men are more difficult to hit when charged to the front.  

The trident realms share some units with the Forces of Nature - specifically Naiads (both the Ensnarers and Heartpiercers and Wyrmriders) and both types of Water Elementals.  But these are not the only troops available.  Thuuls are described as a bizarre blend of haflings and octopus (so yes, you can now have a unit of squid headed Cthulu-esque creatures in an army!).  Placoderms are De 6+ armored fishmen with spears and tridents given them the "Phalanx" rule.  

Riverguard are flying amphibians (though slower than other flyers, with only Sp 6), and Nokken are a regenerating, vanguarding unit with a breath attack.

Depth Horrors are standard large infantry, while Tidal Swarm are the irregular units made up of the smallest of sea creatures.  Gigas are giant crabs that are another large infantry unit.  Unlike most though, they are only height 1, but make up for this with the big shield rule and a whopping CS(3) (even if they don't have ensnare).  

Of course would any fishmen army be complete without a Kraken - and the accompanying cries of "Unlease the Kraken" when they are played.  But they also have Coral Giants and Knuckers (huge water wyrms) for monster selections.

It took me several games playing against these when testing them to realize that the Leviathan's Bane, the sole war engine for the army, was not so much a cannon as a giant spear gun (think whaling ships).

Of course each unit has it's accompanying hero, but the one that stands out is the Living Legend Siren[1] - which has a wind blast(8) spell that instead of moving units away from it, pulls units toward it.  In addition it also automatically disorders the target.   So not only can it shut down shooting or remove Thunderous Charge for the next turn, but if you happen to have that unit staying just out of range of your elementals, it can be a great spell to pull them closer so the Thuul Mythican can surge the elementals in for that charge!

In playtesting this army came together very quickly, and was easily balanced due to using several existing units.   I look forward to seeing all the conversions that will be coming with these.

Night Stalkers
One of many concept sketches for Night Stalkers
 This is the most unique army concept out there.   Elves were exploring other realms with the aid of Oskan, the trickster, leaving their bodies behind while their spirits wandered further and further away.  When the Fenulian Mirror was shattered, the backlash of power destroyed the city where the elves bodies were, and the souls of all living creatures for miles were ripped from their mortal shells and scattered across countless dimentions.   Much later, when Domivar created the Abyss with the axe of Oskan, it also created a rift in the fabric of reality itself.  It is from this rift that the Night Stalkers come, unimaginable things desperate to return to the world from which they were torn, manifestations of the dreams, nightmares, fears and horrors of mortals.

Not undead, but creepy monsters with little substance, the army has the special rule "stealthy" for most units, making them difficult to shoot at.  In addition, they have no inspiring units, and cannot take the Inspiring Talisman artifact.  Instead, all units have the Mindthirst rule - which allows them to use enemies inspiring units with 12" as their own.  This makes them very interesting to play against - as you may not want to bring up your inspiring hero to help your units as it will be helping the enemy now as well.

So what kind of creatures come out of our nightmares into the night?  Scarecrows are much like zombies, shambling relentlessly behind you in your dreams, no matter how fast you run.  Reapers are CS(1) infantry, while Spectres have the Firebolt ranged attack with Piercing(1).  Dopplegangers are one of the more interesting unit - as when they charge an enemy the can use the enemy units Me, Att and Crushing Strength for their own.  Do not let this regiment get in range of your legion of ogres.  Bloodworms are another unit available as a legion - not strong but with Lifeleech(2) they are a difficult to move off an objective once they take it.  Phantoms are very similar to undead wraiths, flying shamblers with CS(1).

Butchers are the large infantry choice, much like Ogres but with CS(2).  In addition are the needle-fangs - a black tide of crawling, skittering, shapeless things that have both pathfinder and vanguard, as well as being height 0.

Shadowhounds are the light cavalry choice, though irregular and height 1.  Nightmares are irregular large cavalry, flying death incarnate sitting astride their six legged demonic mounts.  Fiends are spider like monsters that provide a second large cavalry choice.

I find the monsters extremely appealing (though take my opinion with a grain of salt, as during the playtesting with this army I never managed to actually win a battle).  The Mind-screech is a height 2 monster with Pathfinder and Firebolt - 12 attacks with Piercing (3).  The Shadow-Hulk on the other hand, has 9 attacks, CS(3) and strider! (so it is never hindered).   Planar Apparations have Ensnare, Heal(7), Nimble, Pathfinder and Regen(4+), so are very hard to kill.  A terror is the spirit of a Kraken ripped from the oceans, and a Screamer has Lightning Bolt(5).

The only ware engine is the Portal of Despair[1], a living legend that has the Advanced Deployment rule (so is deployed anywhere before any other troops), and modifies the waver and rout values of any enemy unit within 9" by -1.

The heroes have more choices than the standard character version of units.  Horror provides surge(6), while the Banshee has Windblast(7) and fly.  It is the Void Lurker however that I like the best - 10 Att, CS(2), TC(1), Fly and Regen (5+) (though it loses stealthy) this beast is a monster in combat.  The Dream Hunter[1] is a living legend that adds Lifeleech(1) to all friendly, non allied units within 9".

So give these new, unique armies a try - because it is all fun and games . . .

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