After several days showcasing the new hotness, today we’re cooling things down with a preview of the brand-new Northern Alliance army! After their debut in Vanguard, the Northern Alliance – with its mix of humans, half-elves, dwarfs, trolls and other creates – has become one of our most popular factions. So, it seemed only fitting this new faction should form the centrepoint of our Third Edition releases.
As previewed earlier this week, the Northern Alliance are the joint stars of our new two-player starter set, Shadows in the North. However, that’s only just the beginning of what we’ve got planned for these frosty fighters. In today’s blog, we’re showcasing the new units you’ll find in the Northern Alliance Army and Mega Army sets.
The humans of the Northern Alliance come mostly from the Northern Clans who have sworn allegiance to Talanaar, but can come from many disparate lands. Of these, some are remnants of eastern tribes devastated by Varangur raids. Others are refugees of wars to the south, or exiled from the numerous Kingdoms of Men. Whatever their heritage, each has found a home as part of the Alliance, and will fight to their last breath to protect it.
Packs of Tundra Wolves are commonly spread throughout the northern regions of Mantica. Their thick arctic fur is a prized possession among the human tribes and clans, but many have also become semidomesticated. The ultimate prize for any hunter are wolf pups, which, when trained, become ferocious guardians and invaluable hunting aides.
Snow foxes also make for great hunting companions and are used by both Ice Kin and clansmen alike. Sometimes, they are trained in packs to harass and disrupt enemy lines, distracting them for long enough for other, hard hitting Alliance units, to move into position.
ICE KIN BOLT THROWER
Bulky war engines are impractical in the environments the Alliance operates within and defends. Treacherous snow and ice, steep rocky landscapes and inclement weather all curtail the use of what many armies would consider mandatory and conventional artillery. The Alliance is not without ingenuity however, and the Ice Kin have adapted the bolt throwers of their southern kin to develop their own version capable of great mobility and light-weight practicality, while still delivering a chilling and devastating punch to their foes.
Snow Trolls are remarkably intelligent compared to other members of their race. Those that march into battle alongside the Alliance could almost be called clever, to a degree. They wear armour, rather than having it crudely nailed into their flesh, and can understand and obey orders as well as most humans. When it comes to combat, however, they still tend to grab the biggest object to hand and pummel it into the enemy.
SNOW TROLL PRIME
All trolls are fighters, even the smarter ones found in the far north. When that intellect is turned to warfare, some Snow Trolls seem to be gifted with tactics and strategy beyond expectations. Elevated above their kin to a command role, Snow Troll Primes are greatly respected by the Trolls they lead, as well as the other warriors in the Alliance for their fearsome leadership and brutal efficiency.
There are Naiad populations spread all over the world – even beneath the polar ice. These beings have adapted to the colder climate they dwell in and can survive near-freezing temperatures both above and below the waves. Wielding weapons with crystalline ice blades many times harder than steel, these implacable beings now fight alongside the forces of Alliance as long as the Talannar’s promises hold true.
To be a skald in the clans is to bear an immense responsibility. Little is physically documented and tradition dictates that all the memories, knowledge and history of the tribes and clans are learnt, maintained and retold by their skalds. Due to their vast knowledge of what has gone before, skalds are often close advisors to both Thegns and Lords alike.
The tribe chiefs and clan lords serve directly in Talannar’s Witan, the council where all strategic decisions are made, whether political or military. Accompanied by their personal champions, the Skjoldcarls, they are the generals in his armies and such are the demands of the role, and the difficulty in travelling and maintaining order across the vast areas they are responsible for, they may only visit Chill once or twice a year.
THEGN ON FROSTFANG
Serving under the chiefs and lords are the Thegns. These powerful and imposing warriors command deep respect from friend and foe alike. Few of the clans in the foothills and lower slopes of the Howling Peaks and in the northern-most limits of the Ogre Lands have managed to tame the brutal and elusive Frost Fangs. These beasts are an ancient, primeval ancestor of the Gur Panthers that the forces of Basilea employ in battle. Where the panthers are sleek and graceful, the Frost Fangs are heavy-set but hugely powerful. Known to the shattered clans as Direfangs, they are savage killers, covered in a thick hide and dense white fur.
ICE KIN HUNTERS
The Ice Kin are more rugged than their southern brethren. They dress in thick furs and leather, the delicate fabrics worn by the other elves not being suited to the lands of the north. Despite their rougher appearance, these elves are every bit as graceful and swift as those of other kindred. With sharp blades and sharper senses, they fight to protect their newfound home, their winter attire doing little to stymie their elven celerity.
More impetuous and hotblooded than their elven kin, they struggle with their dual heritage, constantly fighting internal battles to retain control. Only the Ice Kin, backed by the understanding of Talannar for their plight, are willing to take these unfortunate beings in, helping them to temper their anger and focus it on the field of battle for a good and worthy cause. As such they are ferocious fighters, shunning armour and embracing the climes of their adoptive home.