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Lords from On High

A preview of the Voivode Princes and Drain ability for the Lords of Vlachold.

Centuries ago, the hordes of the First Orc Invasion swept over the Known Lands, and the realm of Vlachold found itself cut off from the other Holds of Men. Desperate and without hope, the Great Prince known as Dagan prayed before the altar of the Holy Flame for salvation. What answered was neither holy nor offering salvation.

The Voivode Knights are an Elite unit in the Lords of Vlachold faction. They are the eldest and greatest vampires. They ride forth on nightmare steeds with fiery hooves, wielding wicked glaives and protected by dragonscale armor. They fight with the skill of centuries, supplementing their prowess with mystical abilities fueled by the life’s blood of those they were meant to protect.

At first glance, Voivode Knights seem to function like most knight-type units. They are cavalry units, getting an impact hit and boost to their Power and Defensive Skill on the charge.

And like most cavalry units they don’t have a lot of hit boxes: seven total boxes, in line with most knight units. However Voivode Knights have a 6” Movement instead of the usual 5” Movement of other knight units. This allows the Voivode Knights to turn a flank or re-position to the most favorable match up in a way no other knight unit can do.

Don’t think that this difference matters? Compare how long it takes the Hawkshold Knights to come around a flank vs how quickly the Vlachold Knights achieve the same maneuver.

It will take the Hawkshold Knights three turns to flank the enemy line. This is because with the Movement 5” the Hawkshold Knights can only move 3.5” sideways every turn. They won’t be able to flank the enemy line until turn four.

By contrast...

...the Voivode Knights need only two turns to get around the line, their Movement 6” allowing them to move 5” sideways each turn. This positions them to charge the enemy flank on the third turn.

The other difference for Voivode Knights is that they get +2 Power when charging. Most other knight units only get +1 Power when charging. This makes the Voivode Knights just as deadly during the initial combat.

Where the Voivoide Knights are lacking compared to other knights is in their Courage. At only a Courage 11, the Voivode Knights are downright cowardly. These vampires are sadistic bullies, and the universal for all bullies is that they have no stomach for a fair fight.

Finally, being vampires the Voivode Knights also have a keyword unique to Vlachold: Drain. This ability fuels the Blood Powers of vampire units. A unit with the Drain keyword can choose a friendly unit with the Vassal, if that Vassal is within the range of the Drain ability.

When drained, the Vassal unit marks damage boxes from left to right. This is opposite the normal way damage is marked, and this damage does not cause rout checks. However if it’s the last box marked, the Vassal unit is destroyed.

Then the draining unit marks a number of blood boxes equal to the damage inflicted on the Vassal unit. These blood boxes can be erased later to fuel Blood Powers, which will be described in a future sneak peak.

The Voivode Knights use the Drain ability, marking three damage boxes on the Voynik Spearmen. Note that the damage is marked left-to-right (i.e. opposite the way damage is normally marked). The Voivode Knights then mark three blood boxes.

The Drain ability requires equal parts patience and boldness. Used too little and you’ll find your Voivoide Knights unable to achieve that rapid breakthrough they need. Used too much, your lines will crumble as the Vassal’s damage boxes are marked off left and right. Your vampires may emerge victorious, but find themselves surrounded.

All of these stats and abilities combine to make a unit that strikes first, strikes hard, and shows no mercy. However, just like other villains that live by that code, the Voivode Knights must crush their enemy’s spirit quickly to win.

Click here for other Vlachold previews.

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