Ice and Iron

The first supplement for Vanguard is being released in about a week and a half, however Mantic did have a few copies available at Gencon (so of course I had to grab one - I'm not known for my patience after all).

Much like Kings of War and Deadzone, Mantic wants to put out a yearly update to the game to tweak and correct things.  (Kings of War does this with the Clash of Kings book).

The first half of the book is a new campaign.  This is meant to be used in conjunction with the existing campaign rules.  The idea is that the Abyssal Dwarfs, having survived the flooding of the abyss, are now seeking to capture the fabled artifact being held by the Northern Alliance.  It has several new linked scenarios (including a tunnel-fight one) that are also playable by themselves outside of a campaign.

Two new features of the campaign are the addition of weather and supplies (food).  Setting the campaign in the frozen northlands, the weather is much more a factor than in the more temperate zones of Mantica, and can have a huge effect on the games. In addition, supplies are much more difficult to find.  In addition to tracking your gold and experience, you also have to track your food points.  Food is spent to (of course) feed your warriors (even the undead (for balance reasons, even if it doesn't make sense)).  If you don't have enough food, then you have to decide who does and does not get to eat.

If you aren't able to feed a model in a warband that is taking place in a battle, then they begin the battle activated as a penalty.  Models that are not taking part of the current battle are left to forage for additional food - a model here that has not been fed brings back less food than one who has (hungry warriors tend to bring back less food than those who aren't for some reason (like, say, they end up eating it themselves)).

There are also new items you can buy to equip your troops (such as snowshoes) that can h sort.  elp your models in some scenarios.

These new changes look interesting, and I look forward to trying them.

There are also additional scenarios for more than two players as well.

Of course (and unfortunately) most of the people buying the book will completely skip the campaign part to go directly to the warband updates.

One of the challenges of a card based roster system is getting them updated.  All of the factions have updates of some sort, which replace the current on-line lists.  However they also updated the factions that have already been released for Vanguard.  While this great in theory, Mantic has not yet announced how to get updated cards for those factions.

Since this replaces the current lists available to download online, it includes ALL the units from there, plus a few new units for some.  As such it would have been really nice if they would have marked the changes in the book - adding a line in the margin next to the entry or SOMETHING so that the players don't have to search and compare every entry to see what might have changed and what didn't.

I'm especially concerned about those warbands that have been fully released (i.e. have cards), as these cards now need to be replaced (and still waiting to here how that will be done).

So, here are the changes that I was able to find.

  • Basileans
    • Gur Panther - dropped six points
    • Seargent - dropped three points.  Lost red die.  Added Helping Hand.
  • Forces of the Abyss
    • Hellhound - dropped 4 points
    • Abyssal Warlock - added 1 point, added a red die, lost large, added steady
  • NightStalkers
    • Shade - changed the red die to white die (so 2 white dice)
    • Shadow Hound - dropped five points
    • Reaper Souldrinker - upped three points, added a red die
  • Northern Alliance
    • Ice Queen - dropped a point, add dazzle(short), lash(1)
    • Ice Kin Hunter - dropped 4 points
  • Dwarfs
    • Steel Juggernaut - dropped eight points, added one sp and headstrong
    • Ironguard - dropped four points
    • Mastiff Packmaster - dropped seven points.  changed encumbered to cumbersome. Changed from support to warrior
    • Berserker Lord - BRAND NEW UNIT - command
  • Forces of Nature
    • Wild Companion - upped four points
  • Goblins
  • Trident Realm
    • Otter Bevy - lost a wound
  • Undead
    • Wraith - dropped four points.  The big problem here is that the card is being release the SAME DAY as this update, with the older point cost on this.
So what else has changed?
  • Elves
    • Battle Cat - dropped four points
  • Ogres
  • Abyssal Dwarfs
  • Empire of Dust
    • Pharaoh's Champion - lost a red die
  • Orcs
    • God-fuel changed for Long to Short spell
    • Krusher - dropped four points, change red die to white die, ME and NE both went up a point.  Add Inspiring(Warriors and Grunts only)
    • Skulk - lost scout
    • God Speaker - upped three points, added white die, added God-Fuel(short)
    • Krudger - lost a red die (back to 2)
  • Twilight Kin
    • Spell Summon the Reaper - ranged lowered to 6"
    • Reaper Guard - renamed to Impaler
    • ShadowHound - dropped five points
    • Summoner Crone - dropped two points
    • Executioner - dropped two points
  • League of Rhordia
  • Brotherhood
    • Longbowman renamed to bowman, dropped 7 points, change Longbow to Bow, Range 12".  Lost combined fire
    • Spearmen - dropped two points
  • Kingdoms of Men
  • Varangur
  • Salamanders
  • The Herd
    • Tribal Hunter - replace Throwing Knife with Sling.  Correct special rule (was called Two-handed Weapon - rule is (and is now properly named) Combined Fire)
    • Spirit Walker - dropped a point and lost the red die
  • Ratkin
This is what I've been able to find so far - but I'm not sure that I have everything.  And of course most of my demo warbands have changed (dropped in points in fact), but no enough to actually just add another model.

Because is it all fun and games . . .


  1. Thanks for posting! Love your blog and all you have been posting about Vanguard. There are very few other people posting anything about it!

  2. Dont suppose you noticed any change to Twilight kin spell 'reaper summoning' as i was fully expecting a nerf to this. Realise you only had a glance at the book.

    1. Thanks. The range dropped to 6".

      I have the book, but trying to go through everything looking for changes is a tedious and boring task and very easy to miss something (this is the 2nd thing I've missed). It really would be nice to have an official document listing the things to look at for changes.


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