Until the Sun Shines Again
A preview of two Voynik units and Perseverance ability from the Lords of Vlachold faction.
Once the lands of Vlachold was like the other Holds of Men: noble lords ruled over peasants but also protected them from bandits and invaders. The wealthiest could become yeomen, free commoners who served in local militias that a lord could call up to bolster their lines. After making their dark pacts, the Lords of Vlachold abandoned their oaths of loyalty and honor, ruling instead through fear and malice. For the Voyniks, the free commoners of Vlachold, hope was replaced with fatalism, and courage with perseverance. All that was left was to endure, they said, until the sun shone on Vlachold again.
The Voynik Swordsmen and Voynik Spearmen are Core units in the Lords of Vlachold faction. They are experienced warriors, not professional soldiers. During peacetime they work in fields and pastures or as tradesmen. Come strife or invasion, they don well-worn armor and grab weapons handed down to them from their parents. They fight to protect their families, and march to war knowing the Lords leading them are as much a threat as the enemy.
The Voynik Swordsmen and Spearmen unit have fairly decent stats, especially when comparing them to their Hawkshold counterparts, the Militia. They have higher Offensive Skill, Toughness, and Courage. This reflects the battle-hardened nature, and makes them comparable to Hawkshold Swordsmen & Spearmen.
Where they are lacking is in their hit boxes. They have only 3 Green hit boxes, similar to Hawkshold Militia, but lacking when compared to Hawkshold Swordsmen or Spearmen. The Voyniks are experienced but not trained how to hold a formation. However they have 5 Yellow hit boxes. Once the initial shock of combat has passed, and the battle devolves into a grand melee, they doggedly fight it out.
This makes Voyniks play in a mirror image to Voivode Knights we saw in last week’s preview. Voynik Swordsmen and Spearmen are vulnerable to routing early and creating a hole in your line. However, if they stand fast then you can count on them to stolidly endure for a while or even grind out a victory.
All Voynik units have the Vassal keyword, allowing them to be Drained by vampire units to fuel their Blood Powers. However with their low number of Red hit boxes on Voynik units, Draining them requires a delicate balancing act. You may find that Draining eats away at those generous number of Yellow hit boxes Voyniks normally have.
All Voyniks (and in fact, most mortal units in the faction) also have the Perseverance checkbox ability. This is an incredibly flexible ability, allow you to manipulate just about any die rolled. Anytime your unit rolls to-hit or to-wound or when your opponent rolls to-hit or to-wound you can modify one die up or down by 1. Also when your unit makes a Courage Check, you can modify one die down by 1.
It may not seem like a lot to modify a single die, but the game often hinges on one extra wound. Marking off that last Green hit box is a check your enemy has to make now instead of later. Changing a to-wound die could mean that your Voynik unit doesn't take that crucial third Green box’s worth of damage on the first turn of combat. And of course, changing a Courage Roll by 1 can be the difference of passing or not.
Perseverance is an ability that can turn a near miss into a hit or allow you to negate a disastrous rout and hang on for a little bit longer. It captures how the beleaguered Voyniks overcome insurmountable odds through sheer will.
This, along with their other stats, makes Voyniks more than just cannon-fodder units. A Vlachold player could reliably count on them to bolster the offense of the vampire units, or conceivably even field an army without the vampire overseers while still have a chance to emerge victorious.
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