We’re back Vanguard fans – or should we say, Fanguards? Nope. Ok, we’ll never mention that again *whispers Fanguards*. Anyway, we’re back with another sneak peek at the soon to be released Ice & Iron supplement.
Yesterday, we had a quick look at the campaign elements of the new book. The campaign makes up around half of what you’ll find in Ice & Iron, while the second half of the book includes the updated warbands. Like football, it’s a game of two halves.
Almost a year on since Vanguard shipped to Kickstarter backers, we thought this was a good opportunity to tweak and update the warbands that have been in the book or available as warband cards since last year. We’ve received plenty of feedback from people playing Vanguard and have analysed tournament results to see if any factions where below or above the curve *cough, orcs, cough*
Although Vanguard is mainly a game about creating your warband and watching it grow across the course of a campaign, we also want to make sure it’s competitive for tournaments. After all, we’ve had a great response to our sold-out Spearhead events here at HQ and third party tournaments (like the upcoming WOFcon weekender) continue to sell out too. So, with that in mind we wanted to do a bit of adjusting.
Before we go on to the warband changes, we want to make it clear that alongside the printed lists in the book, any updates to existing warbands will also be available on EasyArmy from August 19th and we’ll be producing a new starter warband PDF on the website too.
Plus, if you like to have the warband cards as a reference, we mentioned that these will be coming for free with purchases of Ice & Iron from the Mantic website. Anyway, enough with the public service message, let’s get on to some of those key warband changes!
BASILEANS – OR HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE IRON RESOLVE
The elephant in the room for Basileans was certainly Iron Resolve. In the original version of the rules, Basileans could spend two Power to roll Armour saves at an unmodified 3+. Turns out that was quite powerful!
In Ice & Iron this has been subtly changed so that each model can only use Iron Resolve once per Round. This means you’ve got a difficult decision to make about when to use it. Plus, opponents can throw weaker attacks at you, to keep chipping away and potentially force you into using Iron Resolve – knowing you won’t be able to use it again later in the Round.
What’s more, the Basilean Sergent no longer generates any Power Dice.
DWARFS – FEEL THE POWER!
Dwarfs were one of the factions that we felt were a little behind the curve – particularly when it came to positioning and producing Power. The first change for the Dwarfs is the addition of a new Warband Special Ability: Bullheaded. This gives them +1 to Headstrong rolls, so you’ve got more chance of clearing Fatigue without spending Power. Of course, the benefit to this is that you can potentially push your Dwarfs harder without worrying about Fatigue in the following Round.
The other big change for Dwarfs is reducing the cost of some units and also changing their type. For example, the Mastiff Pack Master is now a Warrior, rather than a Support – which makes it much easier to add them into your warband.
Some of the key units have also had a makeover. The Steel Juggernaut drops from 48 points to 44 points and the Tremor Stromp now only costs 2 Power to use. He also gains the Headstrong ability, so you don’t have to worry so much about Fatiguing him and his speed has increased to 5!
In similar fashion, the Flame Priest also gets a points decrease from 36 to 30pts, as does the Ironguard, dropping from 27 to 23.
There’s also the addition of a brand-new unit: the Berserker Lord. This chap is an absolute beast in combat, thanks to the Frenzy special rule. When Charging an injured model, the Berserker Lord is potentially rolling seven(!) dice and hitting on 4+. Get ready to delete some fools.
NORTHERN ALLIANCE – DAZZLE & DELIGHTS
First up, we’ve cleared up any confusion regarding the Hardy Veterans special rule and made it clear that this can be used any number of times during a Round. Next, the Ice-Queen has been give a little boost with the addition of the Dazzle spell and the Lash ability, which allows her to cast Lightning as a Short action. Elsewhere the Thegn’s Head Swing ability has been improved, as targets now suffer a -1 modifier on their Nerve Tests.
Meanwhile, the Ice Kin Hunter has had a tasty points drop (going from 26 to 22pts), plus the wording for Rapid Fire has been tidied up. Finally, the Snow Troll Prime gains the Inspiring ability.
OGRES – BRUTAL BUT BEAUTIFUL
Brutal Roar has been amended to firstly ensure it can be used any number of times during a Round and also to stop the target unit Retaliating. This is handy when going up against powerful units, like the Snow Troll Prime.
No changes here, but that’s because they’ll be getting a full warband release early next year *excitement intensifies*
FORCES OF THE ABYSS – WONDER WARLOCK
A handful of changes for the Forces of the Abyss. The Hellhound has dropped in points from 19 to 15, making it easier to squeeze at least one into your warband.
The Warlock – one of the great models to walk this earth – also has a few changes. It now generates a Red Power Die (helping you to hopefully use that Range Boost ability) and gains the Steady ability, so he’s harder to knock down. The inclusion of the Red Dice has increased his points slightly, but only from 35 to 36.
EDIT – the Warlock has also lost the LARGE keyword and is now just classed as a SPELLCASTER. This was to make it easier to add to a warband, so you could potentially have two or even a Decimator and Warlock.
EMPIRE OF DUST – NO LONGER SEEING RED
Nothing major here, apart from the Pharaoh’s Champion losing a Red Power Die.
NIGHTSTALKERS – POWER BOOST
A number of the changes for the Nightstalkers, as it was felt they were struggling to generate enough Power to trigger their mind-melting abilities and some options were a little too expensive. For starters, the Shadowhound has dropped from a whopping 22 points to just 17 points.
On the Power front, the Shade has received a boost from one white and one red Power Dice, and now generates two white dice. Even better, the points stay the same! Likewise, the Reaper Souldrinker now generates two red Power Dice (rather than one), which should make it easier to Trigger the Soul Thirst ability.
ORCS – KRUDGED
Well, well, well… you know there may be a problem when a faction places first, second, third and fourth in a tournament – and that’s exactly what happened with Orcs at our Spearhead event. Orcs were the perfect storm really, a Krudger generating three red Power Dice each Round and cheap, effective shooting units, courtesy of Skulks.
The Krudger has been amended so it is now only generating two red Power Dice each Round, plus the Savage ability has been increased to cost two Power. It also loses Stubborn, which was a little pointless, as it was already Inspiring.
Skulks have lost Scout – so you can’t deploy them so easily, which will make it harder to control the battlefield. But it’s not all bad! The Krusher gets a boost to generate one white Power Die each Round and can now Inspire Grunts and Warriors. It has even dropped in points from 38 to 34… although its Melee has dropped to 3D8.
Elsewhere the God Speaker now generates one white Power Die per Round and gets the God-fuel spell as standard. Although it has increased in points from 28 to 31. Overall then, a slightly harsh but definitely fair adjustment to the Orcs.
No changes as the warband has just been released. However, if you picked up the Undead Warband Set at Gen Con, the Wraith card has got the wrong points on. We’ll be replacing these cards free of charge. Just contact firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know.
Ice & Iron also include all the stats from the faction previously only available as a downloadable PDF. No a great deal of changes here, apart from the Twilight Kin and Herd factions have been knocked back a bit.
Crikey, so a lot to digest there! Alongside the release of Ice & Iron we’ll be producing a new errata and FAQ too, which will make it clear which stats you should be using in your games. Stay tuned for that! Tomorrow, we’ll be taking a look at the new Undead warband.