9 January 2017 | Runewars Miniatures

Marching Orders

Movement in Runewars Miniatures Game

#RunewarsMinis

You are the general of a fantasy army, leading the highly trained legions of the Daqan Lords or the shambling reanimates of Waiqar the Undying into combat. Here, you’re far from a tiny skirmish in the woods or an unimportant border dispute. These are the titanic battles of the next great war, fought by regiments of soldiers who march and battle and die in measured ranks. You’ll command blocks of infantry to wheel or hold position, order cavalry to charge the enemy flank, and send monstrous creatures smashing into the enemy vanguard. In your games of Runewars Miniatures Game, the choices to be made and the glory to be won belong to you.

Runewars Miniatures Game invites you to journey into the realm of Terrinoth and experience warfare on an epic scale, taking command of a fantasy army. Our last preview explored how you’ll use command tools to order your units at the beginning of each round, predicting your opponent’s movements to gain the advantage. Today, we turn our attention to the activation phase and explore how you’ll maneuver your units around the battlefield!

Forward!

Movement is one of your most important concerns in any miniatures game. The game is played on a flat surface covered with terrain, rather than a board with spaces, meaning the precise positioning of your units can make the difference between victory and defeat. The most skilled commanders pay careful attention to how their units can move, and in Runewars, every unit has different options for movement. 

The most common way to move your units is by revealing a command tool displaying the march action. Every march action features a small black number on the right side of the icon. This number is the speed of your maneuver, and it determines exactly which movement template you will use.

For example, the block of Reanimates shown above has revealed a march order with a speed of three. To execute this order, you’ll take the “3 speed straight” movement template, align it with one of the front corners of your Reanimates unit, and then slide the unit along the template until it reaches the end. All march orders use the straight movement templates, unless you use a modifier to alter your movement. 

As you can see on the dial above, there are four blue modifiers that you could pair with the Reanimates’ march order—turn, wheel, charge, and turning charge. Turn and wheel both allow you to use differently curved movement templates instead of the straight template. However, leading a block of trained soldiers through these motions can be quite complex, so both of these modifiers have the side effect of reducing your speed.

For example, you may choose to execute the march order with a speed of three, and choose the wheel modifier. This modifier has a “-2” attached to it, reducing your speed to one. In this case, you’ll use the “1 speed wheel” movement template, and move your unit along it as shown above. 

Under normal circumstances, you don’t want your unit to collide with an enemy unit while you’re marching. In fact, doing so will inflict panic on your unit, which can be spent during combat to force a morale test! (We’ll explore panic and morale tests in much greater detail in our next preview.) Of course, you definitely want to collide with the enemy units and engage them in melee combat—but you want to do it when your units are ready for battle. That’s where the charge and turning charge modifiers come into play. 


The Reanimates charge into battle with Kari Wraithstalker!

When you choose a modifier with the “charge burst” at the end of the arrow, you’re sending your unit racing into combat. If you’re charging, you don’t receive a panic token when you collide with an enemy unit and you can perform an immediate attack for free! Since you typically have to plot an attack action on your command tool if you want to attack, the charge modifier is the only way for you to move and attack in the same activation. Of course, if your units come up short of an enemy unit, they’ll be understandably dismayed at finding their target our of reach—any unit with a charge modifier that does not collide with an enemy unit at the end of its movement must take a panic token!

Finally, when a unit collides with an enemy unit, it must square up and prepare for melee combat. To square up, your unit first rotates until its front edge is parallel with the enemy unit’s edge. Then, you will slide your unit sideways until it has at least one tray aligned with the enemy unit, as shown in the diagrams below. 


First, the Reanimates collide with a unit of Spearmen during a charge.


Then, the Reanimates square up with the unit of Spearmen, locking into melee combat!

At this point, your units are locked in melee combat, and can target each other by choosing the melee combat action on a command tool! We’ll take a more detailed look at combat in our next preview.

Form Your Ranks

Though the march action is the most common way for your units to maneuver the battlefield, its not the only one. In fact, there are several more flexible ways to move your units, though they lack the raw speed and power of the march action. 

The first action you may perform is a shift. Shift is identical to the march action, except that you can extend your movement template off of any corner of your unit, instead of just the front, enabling your unit to move sideways and backwards, as well as forwards. The tradeoff in most cases is that your shift action has a significantly lower speed than your march actions, and on most dials, your shift action has a different stance from your march orders, preventing you from using most of your movement modifiers. 


The Reanimates use the shift action to retreat from danger.

The shift action also has the benefit of letting your unit move while engaged, perhaps sliding along the enemy unit to gain a better position or retreating from the engagement to escape an incoming attack. Retreating from melee combat inflicts a panic token on the retreating unit, but that’s often better than losing more of your figures to a brutal melee attack. 

The final movement-related action is the reform action. Choosing this action simply rotates your unit around its center point, but turning and repositioning your unit is critical in the midst of battle. Not only does this allow you to line up your marches and your charges to greater effect, it can even allow you to turn and face your attackers in the midst of combat, denying them any bonuses from flanking your unit. 

Into the Fray

Together, these three actions—march, shift, and reform—are the tools that you will use to position your army. By selecting these actions on your command tools, you’ll send your units forward, jockeying for position, charging into an engagement, and wheeling about to face new threats. Combat may be your only way to remove enemy figures, but in many cases, the way you move and position your units will determine the outcome of your battles.

Join us next time for our combat preview, and enter the battle for Terrinoth when you pre-order Runewars Miniatures Game at your local retailer today!

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