Days of Blood
Announcing the First Battle Pack from the Eternal War Cycle
This is a dark age, a bloody age, in a world seething with conflict. Breathe in the stench of constant bloodshed. Listen to the agonised screams of the dying and the harsh cries of the triumphant. These conflicts have raged for thousands of years; every nation and race is locked in a struggle for supremacy. –Warhammer, “An Age of War”
As lead developer Caleb Grace explained in his introduction to the cycle, Eternal War promises to shake up the Battlefield, making combat more engaging and less predictable. In Days of Blood, the cycle’s new strategies arrive to the front lines with a deafening roar. The new Ambush and Raider keywords allow players to surprise their enemies and gain wealth from the bodies of the fallen. Days of Blood features multiple units with each of the keywords. The Battle Pack’s sixty cards (three copies each of twenty individual cards) also include a Dark Elf legend filled with hatred, two Fortifications, powerful new tactics, and a veteran Empire Knight who benefits from his combat experience.
Arriving in Days of Blood, Ludwig Schwarzhelm (Days of Blood, 7) is the first unit in Warhammer: Invasion to benefit from a new mechanic for “experience.” While nearly all of the new units from the Eternal War cycle share abilities that lend emphasis to the Battlefield phase, some units gain experience to fuel increasingly powerful abilities every time they attack.
At first glance, the experience mechanic might appear more expensive than it’s worth. After all, each time a unit gains experience, it must attach a card facedown from the top of the controlling player’s deck. Your most veteran units may gain increasing strength, but they do so at the cost of other cards that you’ll never draw. The question then becomes whether or not these veterans can gain enough from their experience to justify its cost. Fortunately for Ludwig Schwarzhelm, the answer is almost always, “Yes.”
For his part, Ludwig Schwarzhelm gains Toughness equal to the number of experience attached to him. Toughness can prove quite valuable against units that deal targeted damage, like the Sorcerer of Tzeentch (The Twin Tailed Comet, 53), and it can also be handy when you need to soak up indirect damage. Still, Toughness is even handier when you can increase it, especially if you can do so rapidly. Ludwig is capable of gaining experience and, therefore, Toughness both when he attacks and when he defends. Thus, he can gain experience by attacking an unprotected zone, and then he can move to Protect the Empire (Arcane Fire, 106) via one of the Empire’s many mobility effects, such as the Red Arrow Coach (The Accursed Dead, 50). There, he can defend against your opponent’s units, no matter where they strike, and once you declare him as a defender, he can gain another experience for a second point of Toughness.
With three power and the potential to earn enough Toughness fast enough to outpace your opponent’s damage, Ludwig Schwarzhelm can make an astonishingly lethal and effective defender, giving players good reason to reconsider ever letting one of their zones suffer an attack undefended.
Reshaping the Battlefield
Will players see more defenders popping up to oppose their attacks? Will Raider units fuel a frenzy of new tactics? Will several exciting new supports prompt players to adopt pure faction-based decks? The answers to these questions will come as the Eternal War cycle unfolds, starting with the release of Days of Blood in the fourth quarter of 2012!
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