Men of Broken Souls

A preview of Curteni Halberdiers and Heavy Archers for the Lords of Vlachold faction.

For every free Voynik, there are a dozen unfree peasants in Vlachold. These serfs are tied to their lands, property in all but name to the undying Lords. The ablest sons of these peasants are drafted at irregular intervals to serve as court bodyguards. Their obedience is maintained by threat of retribution to their families.

Some say the Lords do this to counterbalance Voynik uprisings and cow the serf families through fear. Others say it is to have a ready supply of life-giving blood or simply because it is in the Lords’ cruel natures. The most pessimistic say that all of those are true at once. Whatever the reasons for service, the Curteni receive the best equipment and supplies. They drill in formation under their Lord’s watchful eye. Failure or even the hint of disobedience are harshly punished, and death is not the worst they can face. Fear of death quickly becomes numb acceptance. The worst tortures the Lords inflict is when they send their Curteni to perform tasks on their behalf.

The Curteni Halberdiers are a Core unit in the Lords of Vlachold faction. They fight with bill-hook polearms designed to hack and dismember. Their relatively heavy armor is brightly colored brigandines with reinforced splint armor. They fight in tight formation, unlike the more disorganized Voynik units. This makes them more defensive and immobile on the battlefield.

The Curteni Halberdiers have a Power 6 and a Toughness 3, from their two-handed polearm and their heavier armor. Their lack of shields is represented in their lower Defensive Skill. They have 4 Green boxes and 4 Yellow boxes, differing from the Voynik units. This reflects their training at maintaining formation.

However this same training gives them a 2.5” Movement, slower than regular infantry units. They are not as skilled at maneuvering while in formation and this translates into a slower speed on the battlefield. Finally, Curteni have a Courage 11. A life of unending horror at court as broken their will.

Like many units in the faction, Curteni are Vassals to be Drained. They are also the first Power 6 unit to have the Spears keyword. This makes them quite a threat even to heavily armored knights.

The Curteni Heavy Archers are a Standard unit for the Lords of Vlachold. Armed with recurve bows and secondary warhammers, they are also equipped with the same heavy armor as Halberdiers. They are a close-support unit, following the main line in case they are needed to contain an enemy breakthrough . . . or in case the Lords find themselves low on life-giving blood.

The Curteni Heavy Archers have a shorter range and fewer ammo boxes than most archer units. They have the same Defensive Skill and Toughness as the Halberdiers. And, like other Curteni, they have a slower movement and lower Courage.

What differentiates them from most archer units is that they have lesser penalties when Engaged. For example, Hawkshold Bowmen have –2 Offensive Skill and –2 Power when Engaged. The Curteni Heavy Archers only low –1 Offensive Skill.

They are less skilled in combat than with their bows, but not severely. Their Power is unchanged, as their secondary weapons are quite potent. Unlike most archer units, which wither quickly in combat, the Curteni Heavy Archers can finish off a weakened foe.

The Curteni Halberdiers and Heavy Archers seem at first glance to be a variation of Voynik units, but in practice they fight in a completely different manner. Their defensive fighting style lends itself to a more traditional Hammer & Anvil tactic when used with vampire units. They present a different way to play for the Vlachold faction, or when paired with Voynik units, allow for a tactical mix in different places on your line.

Click here for other Vlachold previews.

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