Alive vs. Undead
Combating the Undead Faction in BattleLore
Armies of vengeful and brutal Undead are about to join the fray in BattleLore Second Edition! Soon two expansions, Terrors of the Mists and Heralds of Dreadfall, will bring a total of nine types of units to the battlefield, along with new lore decks and scenarios. The Undead offer any who command them innovative tactical possibilities, but their arrival in Terrinoth also means that the Daqan and Uthuk Y’llan are about to face incredible new challenges.
In earlier previews we introduced the units of Terrors of the Mists and those of Heralds of Dreadfall, as well as some of the new scenarios featured in these expansions. Today’s preview looks at what the Daqan and Uthuk Y’llan can do in the fact of such a terrifying, unnatural, and unprecedented threat. In addition, we've made the rulesheets for both Army Pack expansions available in the support section of the BattleLore Second Edition minisite. Even better, you will be able to test out your own strategies for fighting—or commanding—the Undead in advance of the official release. Wrath of the Undead preview events are taking place at local game stores across the United States over the next couple of weeks, and you can find out more information about those events here.
Keep Your Distance
The very touch of an Undead hand can corrupt living cells, causing them to disintegrate and torturing the spirit that inhabits them. Worse can befall those who approach the Undead—they may become blighted and weakened by a Barrow Wyrm's breath, or possessed by a disembodied Wraith . A Death Knight can charge up to a unit of armored guards or demon-blooded Uthuk infantry and, with the dark force of his immortal will, stop them in their tracks so that they cannot retreat. The best defense against the Undead is to keep your distance from them.
This means that your deployment might include more Ranged units than if facing another faction, perhaps even more archers than melee infantry. Yeoman Archers and Viper Legions , included in the Core Set Daqan and Uthuk Y’llan factions respectively, can thin out oncoming hordes of Reanimates and Bone Horrors before they engage with any melee forces you have deployed. The Siege Golem of Hernfar Guardians is a particularly powerful unit against the Undead since it can fire farther than any other unit and, with a result, damage units adjacent to your target. On the Uthuk Y’llan side, the Grotesque of Warband of Scorn become crucial. Their Bone Blast ability enables these Melee troops to make ranged attacks instead of advancing, and thus eliminate enemy units that have been forced to retreat.
The deadliest Ranged troops against the Undead, however, aren’t archers or artillery, but the Caster units of Hernfar Guardians and Warband of Scorn: the Greyhaven Battlemages and Blood Sisters . They have a higher combat value than the Viper Legion and the Yeoman Archers, and are the only type of unit that can attack spectral, ethereal Wraiths with full force. If you choose not to deploy any Caster units, you risk being not only overrun by these ghastly creatures, but exposing your units to possession and an untimely, cruel demise. Of course, the Undead have their own mages: Necromancers , who use their powers to manipulate the hordes of shambling, skeletal minions. If your opponent deploys a Necromancers unit, strive to eliminate it as soon as possible. By doing so, you'll render any Reanimates and Bone Horrors on the field more vulnerable and less powerful.
Call in the Cavalry
With archers and mages occupying somewhat fixed positions at a distance from the shambling Undead lines, you’ll want a smaller set of Cavalry units that can rush past those positions and engage in carefully timed and targeted melee skirmishes. Paired units of the Daqan army’s Riverwatch Riders make an excellent strike force that nothing can counter-attack. Together, each unit will have a higher combat value, so that these horsemen chiefly characterized by their speed able to take down even the most powerful units like the Banshee , or a trio of Death Knights. If commanding the Daqan, you might even deploy the Citadel Lancers of Hernfar Guardians alongside your Riverwatch Riders: with a combat value of three and the ability to damage supported units with results, they can easily mow down Bone Horrors and Reanimates, as well as fearlessly stand face to face with Death Knights and howling Barghests .
The Uthuk Y’llan Flesh Ripper Brutes have always been one of the fiercest, most effective units in BattleLore Second Edition, and the arrival of the Undead does not diminish their strength. Their Bloodthirst ability is particularly effective against Reanimates, whose combat value depends on their numbers. Flesh Ripper Brutes can also be dispatched to pursue and wear down the Banshee of Terrors of the Mists over the course of two or three determined assaults.
The Daqan have an incredible weapon against the Undead that Uthuk Y’llan lack: the majestic, soaring Roc Warrior . Overall, the Undead armies are best suited to melee combat, with only three exceptions: Necromancers, Skeleton Archers , and the Barrow Wyrm. The Roc Warrior, however, is best fought with Ranged units, which might be entirely absent from an Undead deployment. In addition, Mobility allows the Roc Warrior to attack and immediately flee before the next round. Moreover, should the Barrow Wyrm take the field, the Roc Warrior is the Daqan unit best able to damage it, despite the Undead dragon’s higher combat value.
The tactics that you relied upon in your battles against the Daqan or Uthuk Y’llan factions may not be so successful against the shambling, blight-bearing, and horrifying forces of the Undead. Armies that won countless fights may now be easily defeated, and units that you may have underutilized in the past are now in a position to singlehandedly grant you victory. Not only has a new faction joined the relentless war for the realm of Terrinoth, but their weapons and abilities are about to transform warfare as you know it. Only the most innovative, devious, and brazen commanders will be able to triumph in these new battles. Only those who do not fear defeat or death will be able to conquer the Undead.
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