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Better to Reign in Hell

A preview of Markyz Lancers and Voynik Crossbowmen from the Lords of Vlachold faction.

Centuries ago, the Lords of Vlachold sacrificed their souls to repel the Orcish invaders. And while the tide was initially only stemmed, over the centuries they were able to turn it back completely and reemerge to the world. Now insatiable monsters, the Lords of Vlachold began expanding their realm through conquest. The most loyal of their vassals were elevated to the ranks of the undying, becoming rulers of the marches. These Markyz Lancers were considered by the great Lords to be a sacrificial first line of defense.

Markyz Lancers are a Standard unit in the Lords of Vlachold faction. They are the youngest and weakest vampires in the realm, having only been reborn decades or a century ago. Many of them have still living ancestors or even immediate family. But this makes them no less cruel and monstrous, as any spark of kindness left them with their last breath. These new Lords ride into battle on mares birthed under a new moon and marked with the vampire’s own blood, harvesting enemy and their former kin alike.

The Markyz Lancers appear to be like many fast cavalry units in Battleground, but these are not skirmishers or scouts. They have six attack dice and when charging get +1 Power, putting them on par with medium cavalry. However their 7” Move means they have the speed normally only seen on light cavalry.

Also like many medium cavalry, the Markyz Lancers have 3 Green damage boxes, meaning they can absorb the initial counter attacks. However, they are not meant for the long fight. After those Green boxes are marked, the Markyz Lancer will have to take a Rout Check for every single point of damage they take. And with the typical low Courage of vampire units, they are not inclined to hang in there.

Being vampire units, they have access to all the Blood Powers, and their low number of blood boxes is both good and bad. They can’t make as effective the use of Inhuman Agility or Unholy Strength. But healing with Blood is Life or escaping with Misty Form has a relatively low cost in damage inflicted to Vassal units. And Markyz Lancers have the longest range for Drain, allowing you to spread the damage far and wide.

Most unique about Markyz Lancers is that they have both the Drain and the Vassal keywords. This means they can be Drained by Tepes Lords and Voivode Knights. When in a bind, the older vampires will not hesitate to harvest these upstarts.

Similar to the Markyz Lancers, the Voynik Crossbowmen are in an elevated position relative to the other Vassals in Vlachold. These extended families of the newest Lords accompanied the Markyz Lancers in occupying and settling the border marches. Although their lives are just as tenuous as the Voyniks living in the rugged mountain valleys, these lowland Voyniks also have slightly greater wealth from their conquests and the location of their new settlements.

The Voynik Crossbowmen are a Core unit. They have similar stats and hit boxes to other Voynik units, including the relatively low 3 Green boxes and relatively high 5 Yellow boxes. Like other Voynik units, this makes them fragile to the initial charge of combat but fairly durable after that shock. However they have a long ranged attack and four ammo boxes, which is standard for a line-of-sight weapon.

Voynik Crossbowmen are the first Core crossbowman unit of Battleground Fantasy Warfare. Unlike other factions with this type of unit you can create a line of just crossbowmen (almost certainly “supervised” by vampire Lords…). Once the enemy reaches their line, the Voynik Crossbowmen grab their swords and shields, fighting with the same effectiveness as Swordsmen.

Markyz Lancers and Voynik Crossbowmen provide versatility to the Lords of Vlachold faction. They give the player tactical options beyond the expected ‘hammer & anvil’ of sacrificial vassals and super-powered vampires. The Markyz Lancers can outmaneuver the enemy while the Voynik Crossbowmen form a solid line to whittle down an approaching enemy.

Click here for other Vlachold previews.

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