Runewars : Lord Hawthorne & Ankaur Maro

On June 15th the latest set of expansions were released for Runewars. The rank and file Spearmen, and Reanimates boxes as well as the exciting new heros Lord Hawthorne and the dreaded Ankaur Maro joined the scene.

This of course results in a bunch of new upgrade cards and all the joys of combining to reassemble the army I’ve been playing.

We held a release event at FFGC in Roseville. Dave was awesome enough to throw in some prizes. I wasn’t expecting it as just having new stuff to play was more than enough for me. All in all we had 7 show up which isn’t a bad showing for a Thursday night with a few that stopped by to say hi but were busy with other games.

For prizes it was the new set of alt art cards. Since the product launch that makes for 6 alt art cards now being out. Sure makes me wonder what will be in the first initial store prize kits when those get released soonish. (Runewars will be part of worlds this fall, so there will be some cycle of Store Championships, Regionals, Worlds)

For my first game Alex and I squared off. Both of us running Daqan with Lord Hawthrone. It wasn’t quite a mirror match tho as in my case I ended up putting the good Lord into my spearmen. We figured out before we got going that in doing so I couldn’t take advantage of expanding out the frontage on my Cav units to 4×1, so I adjusted and did them as 2×2 vs of course Alex’s 4×1 Cav alignment. This would be a good test as far as just how useful is that increased threat.

Otherwise my force was 2 Golems, and a block of 9 spearmen with a Golem included, shield wall and some other minor goodies added.

The tale of the game goes something like this. I kicked my Golems out to protect my right flank. On the far left I put my 2×2 of Cav, then the Spearmen followed by the other block of Cav. It ended up going in such a way that one block of 2×2 took on his Hawthorne, which was all sorts of nasty with the Shield of Margath. At 6 points, dealing damage equal to his shield AFTER you attack him is pretty crazy. While my block of Cav tied up his Hawthorne for a good portion of the game they sure weren’t going to win that battle and ended up perishing.

My Golems on the other hand protecting my right flank faced his 4×1 block of Cav. Through some incredible luck … I was able to move them in such a way that his Cav missed the Golems with their charge and my Golems got onto his flank and that was it for that unit.

On the other side of the field of battle, my Cav finally met his spearmen and the remainder of my spearmen was able to get in to help with finishing them off.

At the end a bloody affair but a victory for me having picked up both of the victory tokens in the scenario. I forget the name of the scenario it was the one where you put two tokens on your units and two on who you are facing.

We did have the good fortune of using the graveyard from the set of new terrain.

Lessons learned from the first game. Lord Hawthorn integrated with a unit is just really adding a white die to that unit’s roll. Pretty meh at 18 points. Alone with Shield of Margath the guy can solo Cav pretty easy.

For game two, Ian wanted to play so he put together a Waiqar list featuring a couple of 2×1 archer units, Ankaur Maro, couple of carrion crawlers and then a big block of reanimates.

I played pretty much the same list tho with one small adjustment on my upgrades.

I selected one of the new deployment schemes where your opponent is in a ‘box’ and my army was deployed within 3 across the line.

This gave me a bit of a start to try and go for an encirclement of some sort.

Ian placed the terrain in such a way to keep my Cav from having any good direct ways to get after his forces.

Ian was able to drop a lot of blight tokens on my forces. He primarily went after the spearmen, having 3 tokens on them at one point. Without the independent version of Hawthorne I didn’t have a great way to get rid of them. As a result I had a round of combat with no dice until the tokens were gone.

That hurt. A lot.

My cav charged across the table as fast as they could and ended up getting into Ankaur. Due to the lack of damage he wasn’t really needing to use his abilities to pull in empty tiles to fill full of new recruits.

While my cav was able to contact, they just couldn’t get the job done with the x2 threat. Having a full 4x threat is really needed.

On my left flank the Golems took a few turns but ended up churning through the carrion crawlers tho given the slow speed on the approach, it added to the time to get things done.

Unfortunately my middle just fell completely apart. Without being able to deal damage due to the loss of all my die due to blight tokens, then taking damage back, then losing a complete tile due to a morale effect, it was all bad news.

Throw in that my other Cav unit couldn’t get around my spearmen to change into the archers, it ended up being a useless force until it finally got in and took out one unit of archers at the very end of the game.

All in all a loss and very good lesson of why Hawthrone’s ability to hand out inspiration tokens is absolutely critical against Waiqar. Given that the ability goes off on a ‘2’, it basically means you can spend them as units activate that turn and thus be way more effective as they hit the enemy.

Thanks again to FFGC for the prize support as well as just being a completely awesome store to play at.

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