Harrowdeep Rivals Review 3: Exiled Dead
Previous Rivals Reviews
- All of the Beastgrave Warbands
- All of the Direchasm Warbands (blog here)
- Xandire's Truthseekers, Da Kunnin' Krew, Blackpowder's Buccaneers, & Illusory Might
- The Maze Breachers (White Dwarf 475)
The Exiled Dead
A 7 fighter (!) warband that introduces a whole bushel of new mechanics. Let's start with the conductive fighters (a new keyword). The Leader of the warband is Deintalos, a Move 3, 1 Block, 4 Wound, Level 2 Wizard with only a spell attack action (Range 2, Channels, 1 Damge + stagger) and one wicked on-card Action. The Danse Dynamic lets all conductive fighters (himself and 4 zombies) make either a Move or Attack (they must all do the same) AND allows him to resurrect an out of action conductive fighter. He inspires whenever a friendly minion takes an enemy fighter out of action (there are 5 in the warband) and gains a Range 2, 3 Smash, 2 Damage attack with stagger and his spell attack action gains cleave.
The conductive minions all start the game inspired (and become uninspired after an activation or power step if they have one or more Raise counters). Inspired, they're all Move 3, 1 Block, 2 Wounds and all of them have a Range 1, 2 Fury attack with Overload (+1 Damage if the target is staggered). Coyl hits for 2 Damage, Bault hits for 1 Damage with cleave, Vlash hits for 1 damage with knockback 1, and Ione hits for 1 Damage. Uninspired, they all go to 2 move and their primary attack loses Overload. They all gain a Range 1, 2 Fury, 1 Damage Scything attack with Arcs (+1 Dice for each conductive fighter adjacent to this fighter).
The two non-conductive fighters are Markov (Deintalos' assistant) and Regulus (Markov's minion). Markov is a Level 1 Wizard with Move 3, 2 Dodge, and 3 Wounds and he has a Range 1, 2 Smash, 1 Damage attack with Grievous. He also has the Puppeteer action: This fighter and a friendly Regulus can each make one action (and if Regulus is out of action, he can resurrect him). The wording on this is similar to other cards that permit you to take an action, so Regulus can still take actions after he has a Charge token. Markov inspires when a friendly Regulus' attack action succeds and his attack goes to 2 damage.
Regulus (the only non-conductive) zombie is Move 2, 1 Block, and 3 Wounds with a Range 2, 2 Smash, 2 Damage attack. Like the other minions, he begins the game Inspired and loses the inspire if he has one or more raise counters after an activation or power step. When uninspired, his attack goes to 2 Fury.
One important note: all of the minions (Regulus, Bault, Coyl, Ione, & Vlash) are all Beasts, which means they cannot take attack action upgrades and cannot hold objectives.
- Appalling End (Surge: Score this immediately after a friendly minion's Attack aciton that took the target out of action - you'll either be chaining attacks with Regulus or attacking with a lot of your conductive minions at once)
- Dread Puppetry (See the Play Style section for more. Surge: Score this immediately after a friendly Regulus is given a raise counter - don't push Regulus until you see this card)
- Dynamic Chain (Dual: Score this in an end phase if: Each surviving friendly conductive fighter is adjacent to one or more other friendly conductive fighters And Those fighters are in a single group - you want your conductive fighters close together anyway)
- Sparking Shuffle (Choose up to two friendly conductive minions. Push each chosen fighter up to 2 hexes - you knew we had to pick a push card!)
- Sudden Lurch (Reaction: Play this during an enemy fighter's Attack action, after the attack roll. Push a friendly Regulus up to 2 hexes so he is adjacent to the attacker - sets up Regulus to attack again AND it's after the attack roll, meaning the attacker can't change targets and Regulus adds supports on defence)
- Terrible Dynamism (Choose up to two friendly conductive minions that are out of action. Place each chosen fighter in a hex adjacent to your leader. Give each chosen fighter one raise counter - bring back two out of action fighters outside of an activation? Yes, please!)
- Dynamic Enhancer (Restricted to Deintalos or Markov, +1 Damage to friendly conductive minion's Range 1 Attack actions, other than Scything attack actions, while they are within 2 hexes - sets up a cluster of 2+ Damage attacks...)
- Prison of Grief (Reaction spell, cast on a Focus: Use this after an enemy fighter's activation, if that fighter is within 3 hexes. If cast, stagger that fighter - this warband likes stagger, just because of the re-roll; Overload is the icing on the staggered cake!)
- Spark of Life (Illusion, Do not spend any glory points when you play this card. At the end of the action phase, or when this fighter is chosen by a gambit or is dealt damage, break this card, +1 Move, +1 Defence - Regulus really wants this card)
BoardsChoose a board with sets of adjacent starting hexes focused on the middle of the board. You'll have some fighters in danger regardless, so make the most of your position and your early activations.
This warband wants to be aggressive, but is likely one of the trickiest to play and it certainly feels like it has a playstyle unlike anything we've seen before. There are two modes of attack: Use Markov to let Regulus attack over and over again OR swarm your opponent with conductive minions. But how you start your game is largely dependent on what you draw. We chose cards that focus on early Regulus aggression, but you won't always be that lucky. Regardless, we suggest using your first or second activation to Danse Dynamic your conductive fighters into one group just in no one's territory or just inside it (protect your territory) and then making activations from there. Remember, Deintalos is conductive, so he could hit with his Spell attack and stagger the target before the zombies go crazy.
Playing Against Them?
Kill Deintalos, bop the minions, and get in their territory. Leverage range 2 fighters or pushes to make them waste activations to get to you.
New Player Rating
Bronze. Only because of the complexities. This positional aggro is something brand new and not as straightforward.