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Consumed by Madness

A preview of Voynik Thralls for the Lords of Vlachold faction.

Voyniks are the free commoners of Vlachold, bound to serve as militia in exchange for their emancipation. This has remained true even after the Lords made their dark pact. Most of the Voyniks stoically accept their lot. Some dream of the day when they storm the strongholds of the undying Lords and put them to the flame. And some Voyniks worship their Lords as living gods.

These Voynik Thralls willingly serve the Lords of Vlachold. In the midnight courts these sycophants fawn over their undying masters, competing with each other for fleeting favor. They have given themselves over so completely that no task is too profane or malevolent for a Thrall. The highest honor is to be chosen to provide sustenance to their Lord, and they cherish that moment of blasphemous communion.

The Voynik Thralls is a Standard unit in Lords of Vlachold faction. They are less common than the other Voynik units, but there are still a fair number of them. They foot on foot, clad in the finest courtly vestments of silk and ermine fur over their lamellar armor. They wield curved cavalry sabers, emulating the Markyz Lancers they wish to become.

Voynik Thralls have many similarities with other Voynik units. They have similar stats and Courage, but have only an Offensive Skill 4, representing their relative lack of combat experience to other Voyniks. They also have asterisks with their defensive and Courage stats, which are explained below.

As with other Voynik units, the Thralls have only 3 Green hit boxes, but they swap out 2 Yellow boxes for 2 Red boxes. However two of their hit boxes bear a special icon.

Like all Voyniks, Thralls are Vassals meaning they can be Drained by vampire units. They also possess the Ecstatic Suffering Keyword, which is what differentiates Thralls from other Voynik units.

Whenever a Voynik Thrall unit is Drained to the point that you mark a hit box with the special icon, they gain +1 Toughness and +1 Courage. However they also get –1 Defensive Skill. Their euphoria at being chosen by their Lords makes the Thralls inured to pain and indifferent to the enemy.

This effect is cumulative. If a Voynik Thrall unit is Drained enough that the second hit box with the icon is crossed, they will gain a total bonus of +2 Toughness, +2 Courage along with a total penalty of –2 Defensive Skill. Draining the Thralls this way makes them almost immune to injury or routing, but it leaves them with only 4 total hit boxes.

These Thralls have been twice blessed. The Voivode Knights have Drained them a second time, marking off a total of 6 hit boxes on the Thralls and both hit boxes with the Ecstatic Suffering icon. This means the Thralls get a total +2 Toughness, +2 Courage, and –2 Defensive Skill.

Like many other components of the Lords of Vlachold faction, this requires a balancing act. The high Toughness makes Thralls a perfect defensive unit, but leaves them open to the vagaries of chance. One good die roll or clever Command Card play by your opponent and suddenly the Thralls could be destroyed, leaving an opening in your line.

Click here for other Vlachold previews.

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