News for October 2011
Forces of Nature 10
A preview of Banners of War, the upcoming Runewars expansion
Runewars | Published 24 October 2011

To His Excellency Viscount Torvic of Bilehall,
Your presence before the Council is again requested with the utmost urgency, where you are to answer the charges made against you. The Council finds your refusal to admit its most recent envoy most unsettling, and the High Lords of Daqan would respectfully remind you of your sacred oath. Should you continue to ignore the summons of the Council, you will leave us with little choice but to seek an immediate diplomatic remedy.

      – from an unanswered message to Bilehall

Banners of War, the upcoming expansion for Runewars, will be on store shelves next month! So far, our previews have shown how heroes can take command of massive armies, how ancient cities hide valuable gifts for your faction, and how a range of developments can contribute to your war effort. Last time, we even saw four of the powerful new units players can bring to their forces!

Today, we’ll continue our overview of these new units, with a look at the fearsome Roc, lumbering Forest Guardian, profane Blood Witch, and loathsome Vampire. For complete details on how they are brought into play, be sure to read the previous article before continuing.

Death from above

Tamed as war mounts by the bravest of the Daqan Lords, Rocs are the largest birds of prey known to man. These mighty birds are capable of clutching a warhorse in each razor-sharp talon, and their remarkable mobility has given many a clever Daqan general the means to execute surprise attacks, devastating feints, and other ingenious tactics.

Recruited in lieu of Siege Towers, Rocs are both faster and hardier than their hexagon-based counterparts. Their initiative rating of four (which represents the immense difficulty in coordinating their attacks) still puts them among the slowest combat units in Runewars, but with four health points and a potentially devastating special ability, they make up for their deficiencies. Rocs present a handy way for the Daqan Lords to bolster their number of Tactics cards, and once they’ve done so, they become the undisputed masters of the sky!

The Forest Marches

Legends say that in times of great strife, the Latari Elves can call upon the trees of Aymhelin to aid them in battle. These lumbering giants are slow to strike, but their deliberateness should never be confused for a lack of dedication. Woe awaits the unwary enemies of the Forest Guardians, once their wrath has been fully roused.

The five-initiative Forest Guardian presents a number of clear and drastic strategic differences from the Pegasus Rider, the unit it optionally replaces. In contrast to its fast, flying counterpart, the Forest Guardian’s hexagon base means it typically hits much harder. What’s more, its Arbor Burst special ability has the potential to multiply the effects of each Fate card you draw.

Blood Magic

Little is known of Uthuk women or their place in the demon-worshippers’ religious and political structures; all that is known is that they are seldom seen on the battlefield. But few that have encountered the Blood Sisters have lived to tell the tale. Members of a terrifying coven, these deadly witches wield blood magic in service to their tribes.

While Blood Sisters can be recruited as an alternative to Warlocks, these she-devils have more in common with Berserkers. Both have an initiative rating of two, and both boast a special ability that allows them to dispense pain at the cost of their own lives. The Blood Sisters’ superiority to the single-minded Berserkers lies in their circular base, which gives a greater likelihood of triggering their devastating powers of Sanguimancy.

The price of immortality

The honorless Lords of Bilehall, tempted by the whispered words of the Great Betrayer, have foresworn their sacred oaths in the hopes of gaining immortality. Now capable of shifting into monstrous black bats, these soulless shells of humanity stalk the night with an unquenchable thirst for blood.

Recruited as an alternative to Necromancers, Vampires are flying abominations capable of spreading their poisoned promises of immortality, preying on the low morale of routed units. Their rectangular bases mean they’ll typically deal more damage than Necromancers, but at the cost of a slightly reduced frequency of special ability icons.

With eight alternate units, Banners of War presents a range of compelling options with each new game. Keep checking back in the coming days for the rules, and look for Banners of War on store shelves next month!

Runewars is an epic board game of conquest, adventure, and fantasy empires. Two to four players raise armies, gather resources, and race to collect the elusive and powerful dragon runes in the high-fantasy universe of Runebound.

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Comments (10)

Published: 10/28/2011 3:48:13 PM

 I'm not sure I understand the choice - you are comparing apples and oranges.  Two units from different factions are not going to have the same effect.

Take the Latari Archers vs the Daqan Bowmen.  Both have the same initiative, health, and shape - but the Latari ability is much better, as it gives the Latari player the power of choosing where to deal damage.  The Daqan ability does hurt multi-hit units, but the other player chooses, and could just as easily pick a unit he doesn't care about.  (And sometimes you don't WANT to hit multi-hit units, you want to hit something like a Necromancer).

It's true that the abilities between the Forest Guardian and Great Wyrm are very different.  And no, the units are NOT equal - but nothing indicates they should be.  It's NEVER a choice between a Forest Guardian or a Great Wyrm.  It's a choice between a Forest Guardian or Pegasus, and that choice IS a bit more meaningful - while the Pegasii are good, there are times where you want the extra HP and the added power.

There's nothing wrong with the Forest Guardian in the Latari army - it's a good addition to have a Hexagon unit, and since the Latari seem to have been geared towards having faster-but-weaker units anyway, this helps give them a strong unit, albeit slow with a weaker ability.

Published: 10/28/2011 4:34:15 AM

As i said in new recruits article, the Forest guardian it's wrong. You can't do a unit with the same type (hexagon), hit points, initiative with so unbalanced abilities.


Maybe the units upgrade make the difference between the two units, but at the moment seems to me just an awful choice.


Published: 10/26/2011 8:15:35 AM

Nice, but the special ability of the Forest Guardian sounds familiar... ^^

Published: 10/25/2011 2:40:55 PM

Even though some of them have iffy Special Abilities, this cards still PPP (pack punching power)!

Published: 10/25/2011 12:57:09 PM

Don't forget that you can utilize tactic cards in the expansion to assign a fate card result by choice, so maybe you will be able to determine the outcomes of the Forest Guardians' additional Fate card. However, two influence and a tactic card will be quite expensive for this effect...


The Vampire's special ability seems to be a misconception: It will be an initiative 3 unit that replaces the initiative 2 unit and it will need routed enemy units. So the only own unit that will be able to cause those routes will be the Skeleton Archer (and maybe a Necromancer) – in other words: most time there won't be any routed units before the Vampire's attack. 

Published: 10/25/2011 8:02:13 AM

Elves are my favourite faction, and Forest Guardians seem fine to me, even though they are strictly weaker in every respect than Great Wyrms. They're better at fighting than Pegasus Riders, and have an extra life. Personally, most of the time I wouldn't bother spending 2 Influence for the extra card, but if you do do it, you're more likely to draw multiple damage or multiple routs than you are to draw another orb.

Published: 10/24/2011 11:11:59 PM

I'm playing the elves most the time and was really excited that elf will receive a hexagon unit. However the Forest Gurdian don't seem to be e real deal. If you draw 2 special abilities you will punch out 2 wounds? That's not a lot, on top of paying 2 influence tokens

Published: 10/24/2011 8:32:54 PM

 Hmmm, maybe I went too far.  

Published: 10/24/2011 8:29:37 PM

 Fantasy Flight, what did I do deserve you? You are the wind beneath my wings.  Corey K., you had me at hello.  You complete me.

Published: 10/24/2011 6:21:18 PM

Banners of War gonna make my favourite game even better :D

I love the Vampire concept :D thx FFG :D

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