28 February 2017 | Runewars Miniatures

Protectors of the Realm

Preview the Armies of the Daqan Lords in Runewars Miniatures Game


Beyond the rare plowed fields, decaying roads, and remote walled towns of Terrinoth rise the ruined monuments of the past. The extravagant edifices of the Soulstone Dynasty and older regimes, laid waste by forgotten devastation, stretch their crumbling towers up above the grasping vines and lowering trees, even as they are reclaimed by the wild. This is the realm of the Daqan Lords.

If you’ve dreamed of becoming the general of a fantasy army and leading warriors into battle, Runewars Miniatures Game puts you in total command. Our previous previews have explored the the command tools, movement, combat, and your objectives, but we have not yet taken a closer look at the two factions included within the Core Set—the armies of the Daqan Lords and the revenant legions of Waiqar the Undying. Today, we join the Daqan Lords and explore what their units can bring to bear against your foes.

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Warriors of the Baronies

In the Runewars Core Set, the Daqan Lords’ military might is composed of three distinct units, beginning with their standard infantry unit, the Spearmen. Far from being individualistic warriors, each spearman knows that he is only as strong as those he fights alongside. In fact, the baronies’ spear infantry commonly train in tight order, locking shields and presenting a thick bulwark that bristles with spear points. Such a formation is deadly to charging cavalry and keeps most other foes at arm’s reach. 

Looking at the Spearmen command tool, it features the blue modifiers to change your marches into turning or wheeling maneuvers—and your Spearmen also have the option to raise their defense as they advance with shields raised. You can also raise the defense of your spearmen when you perform a green action, preventing your opponent from catching you unaware as you shift your position or reform your troops.

It’s also important to notice the Spearmen’s versatility. For example, your Spearmen can march quite far across the battlefield, performing a speed-four march—but only if they wait until the end of the round, since this action has an initiative value of eight. If you only need to move a short distance, you can act much earlier in the initiative order. Similarly, the Spearmen have two options for melee attacks. One is fast, coming in at initiative three, but you can’t modify this attack for extra damage. If you wait until initiative seven, however, you can boost your attack, ensuring that your Spearmen hit much harder. Combine the inherent flexibility of the Spearmen’s command tool with their ability to gain inspiration tokens (which can be spent to shake off negative conditions), and you’ll soon find that Spearmen are a critical component of any Daqan army. 

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If your Spearmen are the backbone of your army, the mounted cavalry of the Daqan Lords are the tip of your spear. Knights are the soul of Terrinoth’s way of war: trained over years, selected though great tournaments, sworn to loyalty by their barons, and proven in battle. Not all knights are as pure as the heroes from songs, but the virtues of knighthood do inspire great valor and the honing of a deadly prowess. Armored in thick plate and mounted on magnificent destriers, the swift, shattering charge of a body of knights can break almost any formation.

The Oathsworn Cavalry’s command tool makes them extremely mobile. With a march action for every speed, and a full array of blue modifiers, you’ll have granular control over how your Oathsworn Cavalry move. Like the Spearmen, these knights of Terrinoth also have the ability to attack at two distinct points in the round—making a weaker attack early, or saving their strength to make a more crushing blow later in the round. Regardless of when you attack, you’ll want to start every combat by charging into battle—the Impact 1 ability means that you automatically inflict a panic token when you charge into an enemy unit, making it significantly easier for you to shake their resolve later.  

Once they’re engaged in combat, the Oathsworn Cavalry can also be surprisingly difficult to harm. They have a standard defense value of two, meaning that it takes two damage to inflict a single wound. You’ll also see that Oathsworn Cavalry can raise their defense value with a white modifier—a modifier that can be applied to any color action. With the ability to raise their defenses at will, your opponent may struggle to make a dent in your column of knights. And like the Spearmen, your Oathsworn Cavalry can spend two surges to gain an inspiration token, helping them to shake off negative conditions they acquire along the way. 

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Unbridled Power

Spearmen and Oathsworn Cavalry are integral parts of a Daqan Lords army, but few units can match the brute force of an awakened Rune Golem. These hulking stone figures are a secret to all but the barons, their generals, and the Runemasters of Greyhaven. No one knows precisely when they were crafted or by whom, but each golem slumbers until a unique runebound shard is placed upon its brow. When a golem is awakened, it strides forth like a mighty rampart given the will and strength to fight, the arcane channels in its surface running bright with blue energy.

Rune Golems can be extremely powerful, but they are also heavily dependent on the ebb and flow of magic in Terrinoth. In your games of Runewars, magic is represented by five energy tokens that are cast onto the battlefield at the beginning of each round. The visible runes determine the power of many magical figures. 

For example, the Rune Golems feature a march action, where the speed is equal to the number of unstable energy runes that are currently showing. Unstable energy can fluctuate wildly based on the energy tokens—in some cases, this march could have a speed of four, and in the next round, it could have a speed of zero. You’ll also notice that Rune Golems have a very peculiar style of movement. They have no turn or wheel modifier, essentially meaning that they can only move in straight lines. However, they can perform a reform action as a white modifier, meaning that at the end of any action, you can rotate the figure to face however you choose.

In combat, the Rune Golems are also inherently tied to the runes showing on the energy tokens. They have the Brutal ability, increasing their threat (and thus, the amount of damage that they deal in every attack) by the number of stable energy runes currently visible. Your Rune Golems can also select the special ability action to stun each unit engaged with them, again drawing upon stable energy runes to deal out stun tokens. As magical creatures, the Rune Golems have a different flavor from any other unit, and you’ll need to pay much closer attention to the balance of runes when you have Rune Golems in your army.

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The final Daqan unit in the Runewars Core Set is none other than their hero: Kari Wraithstalker. Kari is well-known for her hatred of the undead, and few can claim to have ventured into the Mistlands and escaped as often as she has. 

Like all heroes, Kari Wraithstalker can be fielded as her own unit, or embedded in another infantry unit with an upgrade card. Fielding Kari as her own unit consumes more of your points, but it could easily be worth the cost. A quick glance at Kari’s command tool gives you an instant impression of speed. With her slowest action having an initiative value of five, Kari will act before any of your opponents more often than not. She also has the distinction of being the only Daqan unit in the Core Set that can make ranged attacks, and since both of her attacks use the white combat die, you can be sure that she’ll hit hard. 

Even though her unit is only a single tray, Kari has the abilities to make up for it. Brutal 1 increases Kari’s damage from every attack, and Precise 1 allows you to reroll your dice and get the results that you need. Kari can even fling her knives to deadly effect while in melee combat, spending surges to deal damage to any other enemy unit within range! As a leader for your forces, Kari Wraithstalker is also an excellent choice for your battles against the undead. She even allows you to include a non-unique infantry unit from the Latari Elves in your army—and although the Latari Elves are not yet released, they’ll soon expand Kari’s options in your games of Runewars.

Vanquish the Undead

Gather the forces of the Daqan Lords and protect Terrinoth against all comers! Join us next time for our preview of the legions of Waiqar the Undying, and pre-order Runewars Miniatures Game at your local retailer today.

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