Runewars Versus: Nobles and Demons
The Fourth Entry in the Matchup Series for Runewars Miniatures Game
The fight for Terrinoth rages on. Four powerful factions battle for control of the realm in Runewars Miniatures Game, the epic strategy game of rank-and-file fantasy warfare that turns two players into military leaders. Upon taking command, these players must build armies and clash against dangerous enemies to prove that they alone have the strength and skill to rule. Now, we're pleased to offer you a closer look at the action on the battlefield as the Runewars Versus series continues!
Today’s matchup is between Owen’s noble Daqan Lords and Lizzie’s demonic Uthuk Y’llan. Both leaders won their first battle and, with reinforced confidence in their skill, they have chosen not to adjust their army lists for the upcoming clash. While both these fighters have proven themselves in the heat of battle, this self-assurance is destined to prove a fatal flaw for one of them. Only one can walk away the victor.
Before they lead their armies into battle, we met with each of our commanders for a few words.
Are you worried about anything in this matchup?
Owen: I won my first match of the “Runewars Versus” series easily and would now describe myself as a “Runewars Veteran,” so I feel there is very little to actually be worried about.
Lizzie: Absolutely not. He has humans, I have demons. There is only one way this can go.
What did you learn from your last match that you hope to apply in this one?
Owen: I think for my particular setup, it's more beneficial to select the objective than it is to select the setup. If I get to choose, I’m going for the objective.
Lizzie: I need to be more careful about the order in which I send out my units that move at the same initiative. Last time I had to spend a good chunk of time getting out of a mess I put myself in.
Is there anything you would like to say to your opponent?
Owen: Do you like apples? Because my army is going to crush yours. How about them apples?
Lizzie: Your shiny-armored Daqan are just a bunch of rejected trashcans, not even good enough to hold trash.
With the return of the deadly sorcerer Waiqar the Undying, all eyes in Terrinoth have turned to the Mistlands and the gathering forces of the undead. But while the lords of Daqan look to the north, another ancient danger has sprouted anew in the east. Within the Ru Darklands, the Uthuk Y’llan have patiently waited since their near extinction, using ancient rites and blood sacrifices to summon the demons of the Ynfernael and bend the dark creatures to their will. Now, they are ready to launch a new assault upon the realm.
The locust swarm leaves the steppes of the Ru behind and begins their glorious conquest with the city of Sudanya in the Borderlands. This small city should be easy prey for the Uthuk and their howling tribesmen, but what they do not expect is that the city is currently host to two of the Daqan’s greatest heroes: Lord Hawthorne and Kari Wraithstalker. They will defend Terrinoth until their last breath, but will their combined powers be enough?
As the Uthuk prepare their attack and the Daqan march forth to confront the locust swarm, the two armies find themselves at the opposing edges of a Long Canyon where they will attempt to Take the Ridge. For this objective, each leader will place an objective token on the field during setup. Then, at the end of each round, each player will score a five-point objective token, so long as they are the only player with a unit at Range 1-2 of the objective token. A thorn-choked circle is one of the few growing things this far into the Borderlands, but the influence of the ethereal Latari Elves, who live just south of here, can still be seen in the form of a sacred font.
During deployment, Owen and Lizzie send out their forces to create near mirror images of one another. To the north stand the infantrymen: the Uthuk Berserkers against the Heavy Crossbowmen. In the center of the battlefield are the cavalry: two units of Flesh Rippers facing the Oathsworn Cavalry and Lord Hawthorne. The siege units and heroes have been placed in the south: the Spined Threshers and Ravos the Everhungry opposite the Rune Golems and Kari Wraithstalker. Before the battle has even begun, it is clear that neither side is willing to give even an inch to their enemy. This battle will be a test of strength against strength alone.
Battle in the Borderlands
The Daqan commander will not risk harm to his units early in the battle and as a first matter of business, he orders Kari, Hawthorne, and the Rune Golems to hold back and rally, thus removing the panic tokens inflicted by Ravos’s Ynfernael Presence. This act of patience also provides him with the opportunity to gauge the Uthuk’s unstable speed, seeing what they may be capable of in later rounds. However, this also provides the Uthuk with the opportunity to move within Range 2 of both objective tokens before the Daqan Lords even get close—granting Lizzie ten points right out of the gate!
In round two, the Uthuk find two unstable energy runes, which somewhat restricts the Flesh Rippers, but provides them with enough speed to close the distance between them and the Oathsworn Cavalry if the Daqan move first. But the demons of the Ynfernael are too hasty, believing that all peoples of Terrinoth experience the same bloodlust. They miscalculate when the Oathsworn Cavalry will charge and receive a panic token. Subsequently, the Oathsworn Cavalry makes their attack at initiative seven, charging in to kill three demon dogs and forcing the other to flee as it experiences a Loss of Faith.
Closing in, Ravos is now close enough to Kari to inflict a wound, but still within range of the objective token to earn another five points for his dread commander. Then, in the third round, the Uthuk champion finishes the job. Ravos charges and cuts down Kari before she has a chance to fight back. As the first of the high-value units falls, the Daqan rally to prevent any more losses. The Oathsworn Cavalry continue their assault on the Flesh Rippers, bringing about the doom of two more. In retaliation, the remaining two rippers attack and each bring down a horseman, stunning those who remain. Next, the Spined Threshers speed in to assist their Ynfernael allies and wipe out three cavalrymen in a single charge.
As the opposing cavalries fight in the center of the battlefield, they form a blockade for the Uthuk Berserkers, keeping them sealed in the back ranks behind a thorn-choked circle that their unit is too large to move into. The Heavy Crossbowmen pick off a single tribesman and, knowing they are unable to fight, the Berserkers flee west until they are out of range. The Heavy Crossbowmen then turn to offer ranged support to the Daqan cavalry, ready to confront all the powers of the Ynfernael in defense of their comrades.
The battle rages on into round four with almost all units engaged and relentlessly exchanging blows. The humans are becoming weary. Lord Hawthorne uses his skill as an experienced commander to inspire every troop in his army. Beyond much-needed inspiration, the round brings four unstable, two stable, and one natural rune to strengthen soldiers who possess an arcane link, two of whom are already prepared to clash. The Rune Golems and Ravos the Everhungry both use the unstable runes to fuel their charges, but the Daqan’s two-tray siege unit moves first and inflicts an incredible four wounds on the Uthuk hero, destroying more than half his health.
In the fifth round, the brutal Ravos takes out one Rune Golem and wounds the other with a slash of his Reaping Blade. Both siege units are seriously injured and only need one wound more to die. The Golem is able to strike true and bring down Ravos, saving itself from the demon's End Phase ability. But the Uthuk are not out of the game yet. The Spined Threshers are flanking the Oathsworn Cavalry and gain an extra red die. With this added to their normal combat dice, they roll five hits. Combined with their threat and the Brutal 1 keyword, they inflict fifteen damage, knocking out five horsemen and eliminating their back rank to deny them rerolls.
Seeing his fellow horsemen in peril, Lord Hawthorne charges the Flesh Rippers. He raises the Dawnblade to glint in the sun just before he brings the sword down on the heads of the demons with a mighty fury, killing two of the hounds in one fell strike. But it is not enough. The Oathsworn Cavalry are simply overrun by the horde of demons and the last of them fall. Though now, even if Hawthorne does not kill the rest of the Flesh Rippers there are too few of them to be worth anything to the Uthuk commander.
The Fall of Sudanya
This fact provides little comfort to the Daqan, as in round seven the Spined Threshers, still hungry after snacking on the Oathsworn Cavalry, take off after the Rune Golems and use a morale test to make them panic and face away. Now flanking, the Spined Threshers have three red dice to help tear the Daqan guardians apart.
The Rune Golem’s only hope for survival is to find enough stable runes to increase their defense. But in the final round, there is only one stable rune and two natural runes. The Uthuk’s siege unit tears the Golem apart easily as the final Flesh Ripper feasts on Lord Hawthorne nearby.
All is lost for the Daqan, but there is still one unit of Heavy Crossbowmen and one round left to the battle. Victory may be out of reach, but if they are to fall, they will bring as many of the demons down with them as they can. They load their weapons with exacting precision and set their sights on the Spined Threshers. Their aim is true, but the arrows do little to slow the beasts.
Sudanya is doomed.
Following the events of the battle, we met with Owen and Lizzie to talk about what transpired.
How do you think it went?
Owen: Well, I lost so it wasn’t my ideal match, but I still had a good time! I learned a lot about the game, so in that sense I guess you could call me a winner!
Lizzie: Kneel before me, peasants! Choke on the ashes of your burned dreams!
Were there any surprises?
Owen: I was surprised how aggressive the Uthuk were. Ravos the Everhungry is extremely difficult to deal with from close range and I felt like every unit had a ton of defense that I had to chew through.
Lizzie: I was surprised by Hawthorne’s ability to inspire his troops during battle. He made Ravos’s setup ability practically useless and I had to be careful about when to spend their panic tokens since they became a precious resource.
Is there anything you would change?
Owen: I need to remember my units’ abilities more often. I got into a rhythm of doing similar actions and didn’t necessarily explore what else the Daqan had to offer.
Lizzie: I caused a traffic jam again… The Berserkers were stuck between Flesh Rippers and terrain and did nothing for the entire match!
What did you learn?
Owen: I felt like I got the hang of range, as well as when to charge versus when to simply march. I also learned how to use inspiration tokens to get me out of a couple tight jams and I feel like it’s an important mechanic I didn’t previously use.
Lizzie: While it was an accident, the incident with the Berserkers taught me that I don’t have to send out every unit every turn. Keeping a unit safe for points is a strategy that I hadn’t thought to utilize.
Defend the Realm
Despite a valiant effort by the Daqan Lords, the southern Borderlands have fallen to the might of the Uthuk. But all hope is not lost. This portion of the realm has a second defender in the Latari elves, whose territory of the Bloodwood stands on the edge of the land the Uthuk have just claimed. The Latari will not take this threat lightly. The battle for Terrinoth is far from over.
To stage your own battles in Terrinoth, pick up Runewars Miniatures Game (RWM01) at your local retailer or on the Fantasy Flight Games website here! Be sure to watch our website for the next entry in the Runewars Versus series!