Runewars Versus: Battle for the Aymhelin
The Third Entry in the Matchup Series for Runewars Miniatures Game
Terrinoth is a land of magic and discord. Four powerful factions vie for control of this rich realm in Runewars Miniatures Game, the tactical game of epic, rank-and-file warfare. Players become martial leaders in charge of expansive armies, filling their ranks with unique soldiers and monsters that will lead them to victory. Today, we invite you to take a closer look at the grand battles of Runewars Miniatures Game as we continue the Runewars Versus series!
Thus far in our matchup series, each of our four commanders have led their armies into battle and discovered firsthand the strengths and weaknesses of their factions. Now, they have the opportunity to adjust their strategies and army lists, if they so desire, before squaring up again. Today, Rose returns to lead Waiqar the Undying, facing down Allen and his army of Latari Elves.
Calm Before the Storm
As the forces of Waiqar prepare to launch their siege and the Latari bolster their defenses, we caught both leaders for a moment to ask about the upcoming battle.
Are you worried about anything in this matchup?
Allen: Not really. The Waiqar seem like pretty big pushovers. I might be worried about hurting Rose’s feelings… also maybe her Death Knights. I’m sure it’ll be fine.
Rose: I’m worried “AJ” will hurt my feelings. He’s too intense. He takes the trash talking very seriously. I’m doing my best. Also, I'm concerned about the speed at which the Latari travel. I didn’t move so quickly last match.
What did you learn from your last battle that you hope to apply in this one?
Allen: Mainly, to use the advantages built into my army. I need to use the maneuverability of the Latari more than I did in my last match. I also intentionally built my army with a lot of units and didn’t really take advantage of my superior numbers last time.
Rose: Ankaur Maru is going to be much closer to the skele-dudes. And I’m going to take better advantage of ranged attacks, I hope.
Is there anything you would like to say to your opponent?
Allen: I’m sorry that you can’t find any new friends so you have to keep reanimating your old ones.
Rose: Tell me about the Latari elves, Allen. Are they related to elf on a shelf? Do they live in a tree? Do they like cobbling shoes? Well, skeletons don’t need shoes. You’re obsolete, man.
The army of Waiqar the Undying has invaded the Aymhelin Forest under the command of the dark necromancer Ankaur Maro. In defense of their home, Maegan Cyndewin and Aliana of Summersong unite their forces to confront the undead and drive them back into the grave. The opposing armies meet on either end of a Long Canyon, where there is no hope of escape. The goal of the leaders involved in this battle is to focus their sights on the enemy and Demoralize Their Forces. In this fight, whenever an attacking unit collides with an enemy’s flank or rear, they score an objective token! Each of these tokens are worth an impressive twenty points, meaning even one of these could mean the difference between victory and defeat.
This objective will prove an interesting challenge for the Latari army, whose strength lies in ranged attacks. Their commander will have to switch strategies to take full advantage of the objective, using the elves’ maneuverability combined with the terrain to catch Waiqar’s forces off guard. However, ranged attacks will still be a vital part of Allen’s strategy. He positions both units of Deepwood Archers in the center of his deployment zone, ensuring that they will be within range of as many enemies as possible while keeping far enough back that Waiqar will need at least two turns to reach them.
Meanwhile, Waiqar’s army must attempt to cross the battlefield quickly and engage their enemies before they take too much damage from ranged attacks. To this end, Rose positions her Death Knights, the unit with the greatest combined speed and defense, to move into the center of the battlefield. While they may briefly suffer some pain at the hands of the Deepwood Archers and the Aymhelin Scions, they will be ready to strike at any unit that proves dangerous in the early rounds.
In the first round of a match, many leaders may have their units wait until a higher initiative so they can move further, but this battle is too important for the Latari—the fate of their home is at stake. Instead, most of the Latari forces deploy before the legions of Waiqar the Undying even begin to move. Aliana of Summersong leads the charge at Initiative 3, soon followed by her loyal Leonx Riders and the Aymhelin Scions. Maegan also takes a strategic position, claiming the high ground in some temple ruins. By having his forces execute shorter march actions, Allen can stay out of reach of Rose’s undead army until he can better read their intentions. But the undead are far from careless. Remaining in the rear of their ranks, Ankaur Maro rallies and becomes inspired by the glorious magic of his dark overlord. With this early boon, he is prepared to face the Aymhelin Scions and their Vicious Roots.
Moving into round two, the opposing armies and their champion sorcerers find little arcane magic to harness with only one natural and two stable runes. However, this grants the Scions a defense of three which emboldens them to lumber forward in support of Aliana. But the moment that the elven heroine is within range, Rose’s Carrion Lancers seize the opportunity to spit their acidic blight at her. Upon seeing their leader attacked, the Scions attempt to counter with a ranged attack, but with a threat of just one, their assault is ineffective against the beasts’ thick hides and deals no damage to the Lancers.
Hold the Line
The runes remain unchanged in round three, offering no advantage to either side. With many units close to being engaged, the battle comes to a sudden, tense halt. Now is the duel of minds where each commander attempts to read their opponent’s intent and charge first. There are no safe moves for either commander and they both have to take chances… but without risk, there can be no reward.
Soon, the respite must end, and the battle erupts into madness. Maegan begins by closing in on the Death Knights, and uses her Arcane Mastery to inflict a stun token on them. On the opposite edge of the battle, Aliana attempts to charge the Carrion Lancers, but falls short and receives a panic token as the Lancers blight her pack of Leonx Riders to keep them from rushing to her aid. The Death Knights then attempt to charge, but their stun token cancels their modifier, making it just a speed-two march. Luckily, they do not collide with another unit, but in following rounds, the bloodshed is sure to begin in earnest as ranged warriors can now select targets and powerhouse fighters engage.
The chaos continues into the fourth round as Aliana of Summersong charges the Carrion Lancers, striking them with her Packleader’s Spear. With a devastating blow, she deals ten damage as her weapon flies through one of the foul worms, killing it instantly and inflicting a wound on the other. In the confusion that follows, an Aymhelin Scion flanks the Death Knights, which earns it an objective token—but the dice fall against the Scion and it fails to inflict any damage. Worsening the forest guardian's luck, the Death Knights anticipated the Scion’s attack and they are ready to counter with a melee action and a mortal strike modifier. Since the Scion only has a defense of two this round, the Death Knights are able to inflict enough damage to splinter it into pieces and destroy it.
Twist of Fate
Aliana decides that she has no time to waste on the Carrion Lancer before her when Ankaur Maro is able to infinitely replenish his skeletal infantry. They must be destroyed. In a decisive act, she uses a morale test to force the Carrion Lancer out of her way and clear her path to the Reanimates, leaving the Lancer to be dealt with by the Leonx Riders.
Waiqar the Undying is prepared to return the elves’ attacks blow for blow, as seen when Maegan inflicts another wound on the Death Knights. Still, there is a price to be paid. The Death Knights' Shield of Margath causes Maegan to receive an equal amount of damage and suffer a wound herself. They attempt to further counter her assault with a melee, but the dice fall against them and they're unable to do more damage. Now, they are in a precarious position, surrounded by the forest sorceress and another Scion, with Deepwood Archers within range.
Luck turns against both commanders in these middle rounds with poor dice rolls on both sides. They are still able to deal some pain to their enemies, but neither is able to firmly grasp the upper hand, as seen in round six when Maegan Cyndewin only rolls one hit on her attack and subsequently falls before the Death Knights. Across the battlefield, Aliana wipes out the infantry faster than Ankaur Maro can revive them, but as the closing rounds commence, all he needs is to keep them holding on a little longer.
A vital shift occurs in the seventh round of the battle when the Reanimates, locked in battle with both Aliana of Summersong and an Aymhelin Scion, find luck out on their dice roll. With double hits on both of their red dice and a threat of three, they eliminate Aliana and leave the Latari without heroes to lead them. The Reanimates in turn are killed by the Scion in the final round, but they return to the grave knowing that their purpose has been fulfilled.
End of the Siege
A final survey of the field shows that even with both Latari heroes gone, the elves have nearly twice as many units left standing as their undead enemies. Waiqar’s army has no choice but to end the siege and return to the Mistlands. The Reanimate Archers, Death Knights, and Ankaur Maro retreat into the forest shadows, but the necromancer turns back to take a final look at the Latari capital. Waiqar waited centuries for his power to return—surely his lieutenant can wait a little longer. He will be back.
After the end of the battle, we met for a word with the faction leaders.
How do you think it went?
Allen: It went much better than my first game. I was surprised how quickly my heroes went down against larger numbers and a couple of upgrades like Shield of Margath on the Death Knights caught me off-guard, but I felt much more confident and I actually had a distinct strategy.
Rose: I lost, but I’m happy. I still made a lot of mistakes, but it went significantly better than last time.
Is there anything you would change?
Allen: Once I got ahead on points, I should have played more conservatively and maintained my units. Instead, I tried to thin her army and that probably worked against me.
Rose: I thought I positioned the archers and infantry incorrectly in the beginning, but I think things worked out okay. If I could change my dice-rolling luck, I would do that!
What did you learn?
Allen: I learned to take advantage of my units’ distinct strengths. Also, I learned how weak Waiqar is, at least under the command of one player I know.
Rose: Latari ain’t nothing. It really isn’t as intimidating to play against them as I originally thought.
The Latari successfully defended their home deep in the Aymhelin Forest and earned victory for their people, but will their strength continue to prevail? There are more dangerous forces lurking on the edge of Terrinoth and there is no telling what their future may hold.
To stage your own battles in Terrinoth, pick up Runewars Miniatures Game (RWM01) at your local retailer today or on the Fantasy Flight Games website here! Remember to keep an eye on our website for more matchups in the Runewars Versus series!