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The Brotherhood Without Banners

Published 26 May 2017 | A Game of Thrones: The Card Game

The Brotherhood Without Banners

Announcing the Sixth Chapter Pack in the Blood and Gold Cycle

Unsmiling, Lord Beric laid the edge of his longsword against the palm of his left hand, and drew it slowly down. Blood ran dark from the gash he made, and washed over the steel. And then the sword took fire.
  
–George R.R. Martin, A Storm of Swords               

Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce The Brotherhood Without Banners, the sixth Chapter Pack in the Blood and Gold cycle for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game!

The tumult of the War of the Five Kings shook the foundations of Westeros, fracturing the peace that had endured since Greyjoy’s Rebellion. In this new war, the Great Houses were forced to choose sides, some supporting Renly or Stannis Baratheon, others lending aid to Robb Stark, Joffrey Baratheon, or Balon Greyjoy. Yet there are also those who fight for no king, but for the people. To some, they are no more than outlaws, but for others, these men and women are champions and heroes—true knights.

Take up arms with outlaws in The Brotherhood Without Banners, the sixth Chapter Pack of the Blood and Gold cycle! As the cycle draws to a climactic conclusion, you’ll have the chance to see the themes of the cycle more fully realized, with new economy cards and new support for the bestow keyword across all eight factions. Whether you’re serving the Night’s Watch with Donal Noye or leading the brotherhood with Beric Dondarrion, this expansion has plenty to offer, including a brand-new agenda inviting you to join the brotherhood without banners.

The Forgotten Fellowship

Choosing an agenda for your deck is one of the most crucial decisions you’ll make while deckbuilding for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game, and there are obvious reasons why that’s true. Your agenda decides the focus of your entire deck, whether you’re choking your opponent’s economy and reserve with Kings of Winter (Called to Arms, 38), revealing unexpected Schemes with "The Rains of Castamere" (Lions of Casterly Rock, 45), or pursuing some other route to victory.

In The Brotherhood Without Banners expansion, a new agenda enters the game, and it immediately opens the door to a wealth of new decks. Yet from its first line, The Brotherhood Without Banners (The Brotherhood Without Banners, 119) agenda immediately sets itself apart from every other deck that you may choose to create.

If there’s been one constant across all agendas released so far, it’s that you can rely on the aid of your main faction’s most iconic characters. House Lannister can always call upon Tywin Lannister (Core Set, 90), for instance, while House Baratheon has the sole privilege of fighting alongside Robert Baratheon (Core Set, 48). All of your old alliances change, however, when you join the brotherhood without banners—this agenda prevents you from including loyal characters in your deck.

Obviously, you’d expect to gain something significant in exchange for giving up some of your most powerful cards, and The Brotherhood Without Banners delivers by dramatically increasing the effectiveness of neutral characters. The agenda reads, “Reaction: After the challenges phase begins, kneel your faction card to choose a neutral character you control. Until the end of the phase, that character gains (choose one): insight, intimidate, renown, or stealth.

Ultimately, what you gain from The Brotherhood Without Banners is a supreme versatility as you approach the challenges phase. If you’re short on cards, you can grant insight to draw more cards. If you need power to close in on the win, you can gain renown. Or, if you need help to push challenges past your opponent’s characters, you can grant one of your own characters intimidate or stealth. No matter what the current state of your game, The Brotherhood Without Banners can offer a powerful benefit.

The one thing that you need for The Brotherhood Without Banners to have its full effect is a healthy supply of neutral characters. After all, if you’re caught without any neutral characters in play, your agenda offers you nothing. Characters like Jaqen H'ghar (There Is My Claim, 77) are natural fits, though one of the best ways to use The Brotherhood Without Banners, at least initially, is with the Wildlings. It’s easy to see the benefits of giving intimidate, stealth, insight, or renown to powerful characters like Rattleshirt (Watchers on the Wall, 39) or Crow Killers (Watchers on the Wall, 41).

Still, there are few characters better suited to this agenda than the leader of the brotherhood— Beric Dondarrion (The Brotherhood Without Banners, 117). Designed by 2014 European Melee Champion Jakob Hultman, Beric Dondarrion is a formidable leader for your characters—not least because of his near-immunity to death. When Beric Dondarrion first enters play, you’ll place six kiss tokens on him. Then, whenever Beric would be killed, you can discard a kiss token to save him! Removing these kiss tokens reduces Beric’s STR, but if you’re surviving Valar Morghulis (There Is My Claim, 80) or absorbing military claim without sacrificing your board, the kiss of life is a small price to pay. Just like in A Song of Ice and Fire, Beric will keep on fighting for your cause long past when lesser men would have given up and died.

It’s also important to note that Beric Dondarrion bears the R’hllor trait. Beric’s devotion to the Lord of Light means that he works perfectly with Melisandre (Core Set, 47) to keep your enemies knelt. As more brotherhood characters swearing allegiance to R’hllor enter the game, you may find one of the best homes for The Brotherhood Without Banners in allegiance to House Baratheon.

A Flaming Sword

A new agenda is coming to A Game of Thrones: The Card Game, and with it, new options for every faction. Will you take up the fiery sword of R’hllor with Beric Dondarrion and the brotherhood?

Look for The Brotherhood Without Banners (GT21) at your local retailer in the third quarter of 2017!

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The copyrightable portions of A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Second Edition is © 2015 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. Licensed by George R.R. Martin. The names, descriptions, and depictions applied to this game are derived from works copyrighted by George R.R. Martin, and may not be used or reused without his permission. A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Second Edition, its expansion titles, Living Card Game, LCG, the LCG logo and Fantasy Flight Supply are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved to their respective owners.

Secrets Lie in Ruins Old and New

Published 26 May 2017 | Eldritch Horror

Secrets Lie in Ruins Old and New

Devastation Reigns in Cities in Ruin for Eldritch Horror

“Destruction of cities through the upthrust of mountains, the centrifugal rending of continents, the seismic convulsions of land or sea-bottom, and other natural causes was a matter of common record;[...] The vast dead megalopolis that yawned around us seemed to be the last general centre of the race;[...] It appeared that this general region was the most sacred spot of all, where reputedly the first Old Ones had settled…”
  –H.P. Lovecraft, At the Mountains of Madness

So that’s it then. The city is just gone. Just like that. One moment it was there, and then that horrible rending and screeching ran through the air like a siren, the sky opened up and bled... You can’t yet face the memory of those horrors. No one should have seen what you have witnessed. You force yourself to the top of a ridge of rubble and survey the wreckage below. As you look down, you realize that there are dozens of grubby, confused faces gazing up at you. Shaking the fog from your mind, you start to clamber down the hillside towards the dazed survivors. There has to be a way to put a stop to this, and these poor people just might have some answers. 

The world is gripped by disastrous weather patterns and the ground quakes as Shudde M’ell, the Cataclysm from Below, begins to wake from is slumber. In Cities in Ruin, the newest expansion for Eldritch Horror, the Ancient One’s dreams rend reality as its slumbering form thrashes about, wreaking havoc on the world of man. In our last preview, we looked at how the new Disaster cards can level a city. So, what is left for the investigators when these former havens are laid low by disaster and invaded by cthonian monstrosities?

Clues Buried in the Rubble

Cities all over the world are left as smoldering or soggy shells of what they once were, but there are still secrets to be learned and there are victims that need help. When a city is devastated, a Devastation token is placed over the location, and it is no longer considered a city space. All of the Clues, Expedition Encounters, and defeated investigators that were in that place are wiped from the map. Any investigators picking their way through the destruction can choose to resolve a Devastation Encounter instead. Obviously these locations have been hotbeds of recent activity related to the Ancient One, and there are opportunities to help survivors or to explore clues that Shudde M’ell’s touch have left behind.

If a ruined structure crumbles around you, will you try to claw your way back to the surface or dig deeper in hopes of finding another passage? When you come upon a crowd of townsfolk in the thrall of one of Shudde M’ell’s cthonian spawn, will you try to wake them from their trance or follow them to the source of its call? Devastation Encounters provide the investigators with choices and tests that can yield an array of rewards and some serious setbacks, so undertake these forays into blighted areas at your own peril. 

The Secrets of Shudde M’ell’s Prison

These recently ruined cities may bring new information to the investigators, but the ancient secrets buried in G’harne that originally bound Shudde M’ell to slumber in his prison in aeons past may be just as valuable. One Mystery introduced in Cities in Ruin allows your bold and desperate team to venture below the Heart of Africa and into G’harne itself!

The Elder Things that once inhabited the city are no longer present. No wise and otherwordly creatures are there to keep a close watch on the cthonian monstrosity that they had once imprisoned deep within the earth. With the seals that bound the Ancient One crumbling, the “Exploring G’harne” Mystery takes investigators into the heart of Shudde M’ell’s ruined prison. The investigators must attempt to plumb the depths of city while dodging plundering cultists, defeating horrible creatures, and witnessing arcane secrets that no human mind can safely contain. Will the investigators return from G’harne with the secrets they sought, or will the city’s dark corners hide things no human can see and survive?

The world trembles as Shudde M’ell strains against his bonds beneath Africa. Can you uncover the secrets of his prison even as it crumbles around the investigators? How many cities will fall before the Cataclysm from Below is calmed? Is all hope lost if Shudde M’ell wakes?

Try to save the world from complete devastation in Eldritch Horror: Cities in Ruin (EH08), coming soon to your local retailer!

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The copyrightable portions of Eldritch Horror are © 2013 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. Eldritch Horror and Fantasy Flight Supply are trademarks of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. Arkham Horror is a registered trademark of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc.

An Adventure Worthy of Song

Published 25 May 2017 | The Lord of the Rings LCG

An Adventure Worthy of Song

Beneath the Sands Is Now Available

"There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West. Some courage and some wisdom, blended in measure. If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."
     –J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

The time has come for a small band of Middle-earth's greatest heroes to set forth on the next leg of their perilous homeward journey through the hostile lands of southern Harad… Beneath the Sands, the third Adventure Pack in the Haradrim cycle for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, is now available at your local retailer and online through our webstore!

So far, these heroes have endured a shipwreck, desert crossing, and an assault upon the village where they had been granted a chance to rest. They have made allies of a small band of Haradrim willing to resist the Dark Lord. They have traveled with these noble Haradrim into the jungles to tame the wild Mûmakil, and they have crossed the barren wastelands, racing hard to stay ahead of the band of Orcs and Wargs that nearly spelled their doom.

Now, as the Haradrim cycle continues to follow these heroes and their allies along their northward trek, it finds them in the desert once more, where the sands don't just make for long, hard days of travel—they also conceal whole nests of deadly predators.

And when these predators strike, abducting several of the heroes' new friends during the night, these heroes—your heroes—must act swiftly to save them. They'll descend into an underground series of tunnels, navigate labyrinthine corridors, and fight hordes of deadly creatures. They'll save their friends, or they'll die trying. But either way, it will be an adventure worthy of song!

Fireside Song

In his introduction to the Haradrim cycle, developer Caleb Grace discussed how the nature of the heroes' journey and their alliance with the Haradrim led to the exploration of new side quests and Trait-based designs that influenced many of the cycle's new player cards.

"One idea we latched onto early in the process was the idea of powerful events that require you to control heroes with different Traits. We felt this would be a fun way to represent the ways that the heroes needed to make allies in a hostile territory and the idea of different types of people coming together to accomplish what neither could do on their own."

And while this renewed exploration of the game's many Traits has already led to such cards as Proud Hunters (Race Across Harad, 32) and Hunting Party (Beneath the Sands, 57), it hasn't been restricted solely to these events that require the pairings of different Traits. This ongoing exploration has also led to the development of new cards that lend greater strength to decks built around some of the game's more thematic Traits.

In The Mûmakil, for example, we gained a new Pipe, the Dwarf Pipe (The Mûmakil, 7), which lent new strength to both Pipe decks and Dwarf decks that "mine" their decks with cards such as the Zigil Miner (Khazad-dûm, 9).

Now, as our heroes embark upon yet another adventure worthy of song, we get a new Song to commemorate their endeavor, Fireside Song (Beneath the Sands, 61).

Playable only on a Hobbit hero, Fireside Song adds a point of Willpower for each Song the hero has attached, including Fireside Song. At the very least, then, Fireside Song functions much like The Favor of the Lady (Core Set, 55), but its true potential is far greater.

In a deck that uses three copies of Love of Tales (The Long Dark, 85) to gain resources each time it plays a Song, it's quite easy to imagine a Hobbit like Bilbo Baggins (The Hunt for Gollum, 1) or Sam Gamgee (The Black Riders, 2) loaded with Songs such as Song of Travel (The Hills of Emyn Muil, 81) and Song of Battle (The Dead Marshes, 104).

These Hobbits may even be paired with a Noldor character, such as Galadriel (Celebrimbor's Secret, 112), who can take advantage of such Songs as To the Sea, to the Sea! (The Grey Havens, 14) and the Tale of Tinúviel (The Dread Realm, 146). And they're likely to gain even greater mileage by playing such Songs as Hope Rekindled (Across the Ettenmoors, 63) and The Road Goes Ever On (The Sands of Harad, 12). After all, each new Song they play may fuel their Love of Tales, providing them the resources to pay for yet more Songs, and taking heart from those songs, gaining courage to face the trials that lie before them in the spiders' den.

So it is that even while the Haradrim cycle throws your heroes into a seemingly unending series of deadly encounters, it also provides them new ways to rise to the occasion. Your heroes' northward journey leaves them plenty of time for exploration and self-reflection, and many of the new player cards, like Fireside Song, go beyond their immediate impact to suggest whole new ways of looking at the Traits that already exist within the game.

What Will You Discover in the Spiders' Den?

From adventure to adventure, the Haradrim cycle races headlong through a hostile realm, begging you to explore and gain your bearings at each new turn. And there's plenty to explore—from the cycle's new side quests to its alliances and the new Trait-based decks it promotes.

What will you find along your journey? The time has come to find out. The next leg awaits you—this time within the darkness Beneath the Sands!

Beneath the Sands (MEC58) is now available at your local retailer and online through our webstore. Pick up your copy today!

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The copyrightable portions of The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game and its expansions are © 2011 - 2013 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. The Lord of the Rings, and the characters, items, events and places therein are trademarks or registered trademarks of The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Middle-earth Enterprises and are used, under license, by Fantasy Flight Games. Living Card Game, LCG, LCG logo and Fantasy Flight Supply are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved to their respective owners.

An Audacious Undertaking

Published 25 May 2017 | Android: Netrunner LCG

An Audacious Undertaking

Earth's Scion Is Now Available for Android: Netrunner

“Toying with them is where the job satisfaction comes in.”
– Henry Phillips, NBN Sysop

A philosophical question lurks beneath the myriad conflicts on Mars: What does Mars owe the Earth? For some, this question has an easy answer: Mars was settled by colonists from the Earth. It imports most of its technology and resources from the Earth. Even the names of its largest cities, nodes, and starports are indebted to the authors and scientists on Earth who dared to imagine life on the Red Planet. 

But, the Martian Clans argue that their ancestors took the real risks involved in settling on a cold, lifeless world. They built the first domes, found the first ice fields below ground, and planted the first real crops on Mars. They suffered and died so that their decedents could live free—not so they could live in fear of Warroids run amuck across an unregulated R&D lab the size of a planet. 

And yet it seems like the corporations that funded Earth's war against Martian independence successfully purchased the rights to pursue their agendas with impunity all across the planet's surface. So, while Haas-Bioroid develops new Bioroids capable of taking human life without human oversight and Jinteki maintains its stranglehold over Martian agriculture, NBN is reforming education to promote greater compliance while the Weyland Consortium is laying the groundwork for a new Martian Beanstalk. 

The sixty new cards (three copies each of twenty unique cards) in Earth’s Scion—on sale today—explore the complicated relationship between Earth and Mars in Android: Netrunner. But no matter what the lawyers and philosophers say about the legacy of Mars’s exploration, one thing remains certain—the conflict between Runners and Corps will never end.

Dream Big

The Big Four aren’t shipping materials and technicians all the way to Mars for safe investments or gradual improvements—they’re taking audacious risks to seize the next breakthrough before anyone elsedoes. Weyland’s newest  Operation— Audacity (Earth’s Scion, 58)—captures the corporate spirit on Mars. By sacrificing a few cards from their HQ, a Weyland player can place up to two advancement tokens on up to two cards that can be advanced. 

With the ability to advance an Agenda once with a single Operation, you can install Project Atlas (What Lies Ahead, 18), advance it once, and then score it by playing Audacity. Alternately, with Audacity, you can stack advancement counters on a couple pieces of ice as you prepare to hire some Red Planet Couriers (Earth’s Scion, 59). Couriers may seem antiquated and slow when information shoots across the Net faster than anyone can hope to understand it—but the steadfast investors on the Weyland Board know that they can’t be hacked, and they may yet be the key to seizing control of the Martian government (Government Takeover, Order and Chaos, 6).

Inherit The Stars

The corporations aren’t the only ones with big dreams for Mars. Many Clan members still dream of forging a new destiny for Mars—a destiny free from Earth’s past. 

So, while the corporations hire native Martians to clean their offices and maintain their buildings, they can never be certain about their loyalties. They can never know for sure when a member of Clan Aeneas (Aeneas Informant, Earth’s Scion, 44) may leak crucial information to someone who can throw a Spike (The Valley, 4) into their servers—someone who might prefer that Mars wasn’t too profitable Earth-based companies. 

Get your copy of Earth’s Scion (ADN45) today and find out whose dreams will shape the future of Mars.

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Netrunner is a TM of R. Talsorian Games, Inc. Android is TM & ©2017 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Netrunner is licensed by Wizards of the Coast LLC. ©2017 Wizards.

Pinnacle of Perfection

Published 24 May 2017 | Legend of the Five Rings LCG

Pinnacle of Perfection

Preview the Crane Clan in Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game

From their perfectly manicured gardens to their impeccable style, the Crane Clan are the true personification of beauty and grace in Rokugan. The Crane bring this sense of sophistication to the courts of the Emerald Empire, where they dominate political conflicts with unmatched technique. Their warriors and courtiers are quick to become honored, and their dueling skills are unparalleled in the Emerald Empire.

Today, we’re previewing Crane Clan in Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game. Excelling in the political realm, the Crane Clan seek victory by honoring their characters and limiting their opponents’ options.

The Height of Fashion

Honoring characters isn’t just an advantage the Crane give themselves, it is essential to their very identity. Their philosophy card, Way of the Crane  (Core Set, 146) lets you honor one of your characters at a cost of zero fate, if you target a card like Savvy Politician  (Core Set, 45), you can double Way of the Crane's value by honoring an additional character. Honored characters add their glory value to their skill values, giving Crane players big advantages in any type of conflict.

These honored characters excel in the political realm, especially when supported by characters like the Asahina Artisan  (Core Set, 40), a Shugenja who can boost the political skill of another Crane character by three during a political conflict. Not only does the Artisan boost other characters, but her shugenja trait allows Crane players to use powerful spells like Cloud the Mind  (Core Set, 202).

When engaging with the Crane, it is not just the conflict on the line, but honor itself. Kakita Asami  (Core Set, 48) allows Crane players to drain an honor from their opponent while they are winning a political conflict. Using Kakita Asami early in a conflict when you have a character at the Height of Fashion  (Core Set, 143) is an easy way to drain honor from an opponent whose style is far outclassed by yours.

The Crane can also turn honored characters into boons. Asahina Storyteller  (Core Set, 50) not only has the “Sincerity” keyword, which lets you draw a card when the character leaves play, but also gives every honored character you control Sincerity as well! This means that not only will you receive an honor for an honored character leaving play, but a card from your conflict deck as well.

One on One

While conflicts represent forces meeting on the field of battle or in court, sometimes things get a little more personal, and a duel occurs. Dueling in Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game works much like an honor bid. A duel will be initiated through a card ability, like the Crane Clan’s Kakita Kaezin  (Core Set, 49). And will let players know both what type of duel is occurring (military or political), who is participating in the duel, and what the effects are. Then, players will use their honor dials to bid honor and add them to the appropriate skill value of their character participating in the duel. The player who bids more pays the difference to the character who bids less, and whomever has the highest combined skill wins the duel.

The effects of duels can be powerful, while Kakita Kaezin can remove all characters not involved in the duel from a conflict, Duelist Training  (Core Set, 142) allows any of your characters to challenge foes to a duel, with the loser becoming bowed. This can be the perfect way to defend your provinces from attack. 

Beyond Reproach

As the arbiters of beauty, style, and honor, the Crane do not simply let others walk over them during a conflict; they are beyond reproach, and have several ways to deny their opponent's tactics.

The most straightforward of these methods is Voice of Honor  (Core Set, 145), which allows you to cancel the effects of an opponent’s event if you control more honored characters than they do. Meeting the honored requirement should be no issue for the Crane, and their foes will have to think twice before playing important events.
When a voice isn’t enough, certain characters are simply Above Question  (Core Set, 141), and can’t be targeted by events at all. Placing Above Question on high-fate cost characters ensures they remain safe from effects that could lessen their impact. Other Crane characters can limit effects that occur during conflicts they are participating in— Steward of Law  (Core Set, 139) stops characters from becoming dishonored during conflicts and, as a conflict card, can be played in the middle of a conflict to surprise your opponent. Meanwhile,  Guest of Honor  (Core Set, 51) simply stops your opponent from playing events at all during a conflict.

A Peaceful Home

The Crane’s stronghold of Shizuka Toshi  (Core Set, 2) solidifies the Crane’s dominance of the political arena. You may bow the stronghold during a political conflict to bow a participating character with two or lower political skill. To compete with the Crane, Shizuka Toshi ensures a certain threshold of skill must be met to politically spar with the glorious Crane courtiers.

Like every clan in the Legend of the Five Rings Core Set, the Crane have their own unique province only usable by them. The Art of Peace  (Core Set, 9) has four province strength, and has a devastating effect for opponents who decide to attack it. When Way of Peace is broken, every attacking character becomes dishonored and every defending character becomes honored. While the Crane may lose a province, their grace and nobility in defending their lands gives them a huge advantage.

Her Father’s Daughter

“The face looking back at him from under the hood shone like alabaster, striking beauty framed by snow-white hair. Nerishma recognized it immediately and took an astounded step back.
It was Doji Hotaru, Champion of the Crane Clan, and his lord and master.”
   
-D.G. Laderoute, Her Father’s Daughter

When Doji Satsume relinquished the title of Crane Clan Champion, the responsibility was passed to his daughter, Doji Hotaru  (Core Set, 52). Though new to the position of champion, Doji Hotaru leads her clan gracefully. After you win a political conflict in which Doji Hotaru is participating, you may activate the effect of the contested ring. This is in addition to the effect you get for winning a conflict as an attacker, meaning the contested ring is activated twice when on the offensive. Doji Hotaru's ability could be used to gain four honor with the air ring, or remove two fate from your opponent’s characters with the void ring.

Doji Hotaru's ability can also be used after you win a political conflict as the defender, not only denying your opponent an opportunity to use a ring effect, but getting to use that ability for yourself. 

Winning a conflict with Doji Hotaru provides a powerful swing, and with six political skill and three military skill, she is a force to be reckoned with. Additionally, with three glory, honoring Doji Hotaru means her military skill value is increased to six, and her political skill value is increased to nine. These are some of the best skill levels in the game, and foes of the Crane will have to dedicate a vast amount of resources to keep up with Doji Hotaru in conflicts.

Perfection

With unmatched elegance, the Crane believe they embody every aspect of style and beauty, and with a force of honored courtiers, there are few who would argue against them. 

Join Fantasy Flight Games on our Facebook page this Friday at 11:00 a.m. CST for an L5RLive Facebook Live Stream with Story Lead Katrina Ostrander and Designers Nate French and Brad Andres to discuss the Crane Clan. Don’t forget to tweet your questions to @FFGames on Twitter using the hashtag “#L5RLive” for a chance to have them answered on air!

Join the ranks of the Crane and purchase Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game (L5C01) at Gen Con 2017 or from your local retailer in the fourth quarter of 2017.

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That Which Doesn't Kill Us…

Published 23 May 2017 | Arkham Horror: The Card Game

That Which Doesn't Kill Us…

Using Experience to Gain Strength in Arkham Horror: The Card Game

"I ought to be hardened by this stage; but there are some experiences and intimations which scar too deeply to permit of healing, and leave only such an added sensitiveness that memory reinspires all the original horror."
     –H.P. Lovecraft, At the Mountains of Madness

In Arkham Horror: The Card Game, it is the Roaring Twenties, and there is an electricity in the air. Hidden speakeasies play hot jazz in the cool of the night and young men and women walk through the moonlit streets, adorned in suits and dresses to fit the newest fashions. It is an age of automobiles, telephones, radio, and motion pictures.

But in the sleepy New England town of Arkham, there's yet another energy in the air—and it leaves you uneasy. You can't quite put your finger on it, but something about the town is… wrong.

You can't explain your beliefs in any manner that others would consider sane, but there are tremors—or shivers—in the world that most people ignore. Things you can feel, but only slightly, and that you cannot explain. Still, you have begun to recognize patterns among these sensations, and they lead you to believe that Arkham's gambrel roofs and stoic veneer conceal unspeakable and unfathomable horrors.

This is a town in which people suffer strange disappearances. And when their mutilated bodies emerge in the dark woods, the local police attribute their deaths to wild animals. But you suspect other forces—cultists, dark rituals, foul sorcery, and otherworldly monsters.

Layers Upon Layers of Mystery

In Arkham Horror: The Card Game, the deeper you look, the more convinced you become that things are never so simple as they may first appear. As you explore more of Arkham's many mysteries, each new clue hints at a deeper layer of truths, and when you pull back that layer, you find only another mystery underneath.

It is this spiraling descent into the game's mysteries that makes the Arkham LCG® such a fantastic take on the Lovecraft mythos, and it's this focus on the extended campaign that pushes the LCG far into the nebulous realm between the traditional card gaming and roleplaying experiences.

It's true that you can play your Arkham LCG adventures as standalones—perhaps using those games as chances to experiment with your decks or to probe their treacheries with investigators that you're prepared to sacrifice before you commit to the whole scope of the larger investigation. But, that fact aside, the core Arkham LCG experience focuses so heavily on the campaign that its scenarios are less like the self-contained games you expect from most customizable card games and more like the gaming sessions you'd enjoy within the framework of a larger roleplayign campaign.

You don't expect to know after a single session if you have "won" or "lost." You can only learn whether you've moved closer toward your goal or if it appears that you've lost a step.

And one of the ways that the Arkham LCG best mirrors this roleplaying experience is in its use of experience points.

Learning from Experience

The ability to gain and spend experience runs central to nearly every roleplaying system, providing you the means to grow and improve your character between adventures. While this growth isn't typically a part of card games, it's a key part of the Arkham LCG campaign experience—one that creates yet another series of bonds between you, your investigator, and your deck, which represents your investigator's unique personality, talents, weaknesses, and assets.

While the Core Set comes with a campaign of three scenarios, players are just now able to appreciate the full Arkham LCG experience as they play through The Dunwich Legacy campaign. With six of its eight adventures now in circulation—plus the ability to follow detours through the Carnevale of Horrors and Curse of the Rougarou side missions—The Dunwich Legacy allows us to better experience the richness of the game's mechanics for character creation—and evolution.

To summarize briefly, you create your investigator's deck at the beginning of the campaign, and then it remains unaltered throughout your adventures—except where you choose to spend the experience you've gained to make adjustments. Each card in Arkham Horror: The Card Game has a level, indicated by the number of pips by its resource cost in the upper left, and you can spend experience equal to a card's level to add it to your deck, replacing an existing card when necessary.

Have you had trouble dealing with the thugs and monsters you've encountered? You can spend four experience to arm yourself with a Shotgun (Core Set, 29), or you can spend three experience to draw upon the dark powers with which you've forged a Blood Pact (Blood on the Altar, 191).

You can also spend one experience to replace a zero-level card like Barricade (Core Set, 38) with a different zero-level card like "I've got a plan!" (The Miskatonic Museum, 107). And this ability ensures you have all the flexibility you need to adapt to the challenges before you, as does the fact that you can upgrade a lower level card like the level-one Aquinnah (Core Set, 82) for a higher level version by paying only the difference between the two.

Altogether, each expenditure of your experience points goes a long way toward shaping your investigator and the course of your investigations. And we have started to see a number of emerging trends.

Which Type of Investigator Are You?

The developers of Arkham Horror: The Card Game recently posted a survey through which they gathered a great deal of information about your experiences with The Dunwich Legacy. Among the many topics the survey addressed, one question asked, "What has been your favorite experience point expenditure?"

We saw a good variety of responses, but there were clearly a handful of cards that had sparked more passion. And, more importantly, these cards represented a few possible archetypes for how players—you—might choose to spend your hard-won experience.

The Opportunist

The first of our archetypes, the Opportunist, is marked by a tendency toward reactive card purchases and deckbuilding. The Opportunist is no hoarder, but most frequently views each experience gain as a chance to spend experience. The plan isn't to build toward a grand, sweeping strategy, but simply to take advantage of the new tools the next Mythos Pack offers in order to survive the challenges that lie before her in her next adventure.

Accordingly, the Opportunist tends to favor low-level purchases aimed toward greater flexibility, such as Pathfinder (The Miskatonic Museum, 108) and Adaptable (The Miskatonic Museum, 110).

Furthermore, the Opportunist's desire to find new tools with which she can combat the game's cultists, monsters, and mysteries may also spur her to travel on side missions to see what they may have to offer. After all, if she can book her ticket to Louisiana or Venice, the Opportunist might even find some new curios she can put to good use.

The Strategist

The most popular archetype at this time, the Strategist is more intentional with her experience point expenditures, using them to effectively reshape her investigator's approach to her adventures.

This archetype is best defined, at this point, by Permanent purchases like Charisma (The Essex County Express, 158) and Streetwise (Blood on the Altar, 189), both of which begin the game in play and lead to larger-scale deckbuilding considerations. By allowing you to recruit an additional ally, Charisma permits new card interactions, and Streetwise largely replaces any need for skill cards or assets that offer intellect or agility boosts but, instead, places greater weight on cards that grant you additional resources.

The Ritualist

Instead of looking for brand new tools or strategies, the Ritualist focuses on upgrading the cards already in his deck. At this point, this third archetype is marked primarily by upgrades to cards like Peter Sylvestre (The Dunwich Legacy, 33), Deduction (Core Set, 39), and Shrivelling (Core Set, 60).

Where others may react a bit more strongly toward the threat of failure, the Ritualist focuses, instead, on constantly improving his strengths—constantly building upon what's already working. Just as he might perfect his rituals with practice, he uses his experience to refine his deck, making it stronger and smarter card by card. His overall strategy won't change much, but his cards will be more efficient, more resilient, and will leave him better prepared for the challenges ahead of him.

The Collector

It takes a bit of restraint to become a Collector. With all of the game's monsters and treacheries pressing in upon you from all sides—and all of the low-level tools you can find in the Core Set, The Dunwich Legacy, and the various Mythos Packs—it takes a good deal of patience, or a discerning eye, to save your experience for the larger expenditures.

Marked by his interest in powerful and high-level artifacts like the Grotesque Statue (Core Set, 71), the Collector is willing to pass on smaller expenditures in order to save for these big, thematic purchases. Yet there's no shortage of flashy purchases available to these Collectors, and as we draw nearer the end of The Dunwich Legacy, we're only going to find even more of them.

We've already seen previews of the Lightning Gun (Lost in Time and Space, 301) and The Gold Pocket Watch (Lost in Time and Space, 305) that appear in the cycle's final Mythos Pack, but even if you can't quite hold out on your purchases until the bitter end, you can still find powerful tokens like the Jewel of Aureolus (Where Doom Awaits, 269) in the cycle's penultimate expansion, Where Doom Awaits.

Events May Challenge Us, But We Define Ourselves

No matter which archetype—or combination thereof—best suits you, the growth and evolution you enjoy over the course of an Arkham Horror: The Card Game campaign is a massive part of the game's appeal. And it's one of the hardest things to appreciate through your earliest adventures.

As we draw nearer to the end of the The Dunwich Legacy, we're finally starting to see the game's larger scope. It's part card game, part roleplaying. It's breaking down the barriers between dimensions. And even as it leads us toward the first campaign's thrilling finale, we cannot help but feel there are greater mysteries lying still deeper beneath everything we've seen.

Maybe some new card will help us resolve our ongoing investigation…

Are you intrigued by the principles of Arkham Horror: The Card Game? Then talk to your local retailer today. Your descent into madness begins with the Arkham Horror: The Card Game Core Set (AHC01) and The Dunwich Legacy (AHC02)!

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© 2016 Fantasy Flight Games. Arkham Horror, Fantasy Flight Games, the FFG logo, Living Card Game, LCG, and the LCG logo are ® Fantasy Flight Games.

The Fury of the Forest

Published 22 May 2017 | Runewars Miniatures

The Fury of the Forest

Preview the Latari Elves Army Expansion for Runewars Miniatures Game

“The ways of Latariana are courage and wisdom. Courage to meet headlong friend and foe alike, and wisdom to know the difference.”
  
–Aliana of Summersong

Beneath the boughs of the towering Aymhelin Forest on the southern borders of Terrinoth, the Latari Elves have honed their skills and their martial prowess for years. Though in the past they have preferred to remain defensive, guarding their boundaries and protecting their way of life, their peace is about to be shattered. The darkness of the Locust Swarms—the Uthuk Y’llan—is stirring in the east, and even the Latari Elves have been forced from their seclusion to take the battlefield in force.

A third faction joins the epic, fantasy battles of Runewars Miniatures Game with the Latari Elves Army Expansion, and you’ll soon find that commanding an Elven army is significantly different than the forces of the Daqan Lords or the legions of Waiqar the Undying. As you prepare to lead the Latari Elves onto the battlefield, we start our previews of the Latari Elves Army Expansion with a closer look at their first hero: Aliana of Summersong.

Leader of the Wildstalkers

Aliana of Summersong has made a name for herself as a Leonx champion—bonded to the fearsome beasts that serve as the Latari Elves’ cavalry. While mounted on her own Leonx, Wildcall, Aliana is a fearsome foe, as you can see from just a glance at her command tool.

Few command tools can equal the sheer mobility of Aliana’s command tool, which features no fewer than five white modifiers that can be paired with any action. Not only does this command tool give you unprecedented control over exactly where Aliana ends up on the battlefield, it also allows you to explore cunning new maneuvers. By pairing a charge or a turning charge modifier with a shift action, you may be able to charge sideways or even backwards, crashing into enemy units and catching them in their flank without warning.

You’ll also notice that Aliana’s opportunity to attack falls very early in the round—at initiative three. With such an early attack and the potential to modify it with an additional panic result, Aliana can shred enemy units long before they have a chance to attack her in response. And her deadly combat prowess is only enhanced by the stats on her unit card.

In battle, Aliana rolls a white die, a red die, and a blue die, giving her a wide spread of surges and damage. This is only enhanced by the fact that Aliana automatically adds a mortal strike result to every melee attack, guaranteeing at least one wound. One more wound might be a small blessing against a huge block of infantry, but when attacking heroes or high-defense units like the Rune Golems, additional mortal strikes will easily break through their defenses.

Aliana also bears the Impact 2 and Precise 1 keywords. By panicking your target after a charge and allowing you to reroll dice, respectively, these two keywords ensure that Aliana can stand toe-to-toe with heroes like Ardus Ix’Erebus or Lord Hawthorne. But it’s also noteworthy that Aliana has proven herself adept as an unpredictable commander. When Aliana of Summersong is fielded as a hero in your army, you can reposition one unit of your Leonx Riders after deployment, potentially forcing your opponent to deploy without knowing the final position of your high-impact cavalry.


Aliana uses a shift with the charge modifier to charge sideways into the Reanimates' flank!

Packleader

Aliana’s effectiveness on the field of battle is compounded by a variety of upgrade cards. For example, you may equip the Packleader's Spear. This card can be exhausted during a melee attack to gain Lethal 3—adding three damage to the results that you roll on the dice! Obviously, this can be incredibly powerful, but to use the Packleader’s Spear again, you need to destroy an enemy engaged with you. Obviously, if Aliana is wielding the Packleader’s Spear in your army, you should be well equipped to take on enemy heroes and other high-defense units.

Alternatively, you may improve your mobility still further with Wildcall's Instinct. This upgrade card—unique to Aliana of Summersong—states that whenever you perform a march or a shift, you may treat it as though it has a turn modifier, without losing speed. Not only does this unlock new maneuvers, it also allows you to change the way that you decide to move on the fly, reacting to any enemy units that may have moved before you. By driving Aliana’s already-formidable maneuverability to new heights, Wildcall’s Instinct lets you weave through the battlefield with peerless agility.

Finally, you may decide that you’d prefer to stay in reserve and wait for the crucial moment to strike. Ambush Predator is an upgrade that allows you to do just that. First, this upgrade states that enemy ranged attacks cannot target you, ensuring that your ambush will not be spoiled before you choose to strike. In addition, when Aliana performs her first melee attack of the game, you can deal additional damage equal to the number of the current round! You’ll have to choose carefully how long you want to keep a powerful figure out of the battlefield, but if your attack wipes out an enemy unit in a single blow, it may be worth holding Aliana in reserve.

For the Aymhelin!

The Latari Elves have spent decades honing their craft—and now it’s time to see it used upon the fields of Terrinoth.

Plan your armies with Aliana of Summersong, and pre-order the Latari Elves Army Expansion (RWM14) at your local retailer today!

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TM & © 2016 Fantasy Flight Games.

Play the Aggressor

Published 22 May 2017 | X-Wing

Play the Aggressor

A Preview of the TIE Aggressor Expansion Pack for X-Wing™
 

"Squad leaders, we’ve picked up a new group of signals. Enemy fighters coming your way."
     –A New Hope

At the conclusion of the Clone Wars, and after the defeat of the Separatist Alliance, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine eliminated the Galactic Republic. He reformed it as the Galactic Empire and appointed himself its Emperor.

This Empire possessed a different character than its Republic predecessor, and as its vast military sought to establish order among the galaxy's countless star systems, the Imperial Navy changed to reflect the Empire's new character. The old Republic vessels were almost immediately repainted, and they were slowly retired in favor of new Imperial craft—imposing Star Destroyers and staggering quantities of TIEs.

Flying in the skies of occupied worlds, these TIEs served as reminders of the Empire's power and ambition. They helped establish its cruel order. They represented the Empire and its tyrannical regime. And they are the ubiquitous reminders of the Empire's far-reaching military might in X-Wing.

From the Classic Core Set and Wave I through the releases of the TIE interceptor, TIE bomber, TIE phantom, TIE defender, TIE advanced prototype, and TIE Striker, the TIE fighter and its many variants have fought to preserve the Empire's interests throughout the galaxy and around the globe.

Now, the upcoming release of the TIE Aggressor Expansion Pack looks to add new muscle and utility to this line of TIE variants, even as it hews closely to the aesthetics and mechanics that allow it to serve as an unmistakable symbol of Imperial power.


A 360-degree view of the TIE aggressor.

Performance and Versatility

During the development of the TIE aggressor, Sienar Fleet Systems valued performance and versatility over raw cost efficiency. Its unique weapons loadout and maneuverability were carefully balanced so that it would thrive in extended engagements, and it was flown primarily by elite pilots specifically trained to leverage the ship to full effect.

In X-Wing, the TIE aggressor's weapons loadout consists of a primary weapon with an attack value of "2," plus the ability to equip a turret and as many as two missiles—or the new Unguided Rockets upgrade. And these upgrade slots, considered alongside the ship's relatively open maneuver dial, allow you to adapt the TIE aggressor to nearly any role in your squad.

You could even build a squad with four of these Sienar Specialists and buzz around your opponents, stinging them with a series of shots fired from long range.

  • Alternatively, you could fly a number of these Sienar Specialists equipped with Unguided Rockets, using them in your squad much like a set of extra durable TIE interceptors whose attack dice cannot be modified except if you spend a focus token for its standard effect.

This serves as a necessary restriction because of the upgrade's potential interaction with Guidance Chips , and it means that "Howlrunner" can't really boost your TIE aggressor wing. But it also means your opponent can't force you to reroll your dice with M9-G8 or convert your hits to focus results with a Sensor Jammer .

  • And if you're looking to have your TIE aggressor do more than simply damage your opponent's ships, you can add a measure of control by equipping an Ion Cannon Turret or Ion Pulse Missiles .

Even a single Sienar Specialist can add a lot of control to your list when equipped with an Ion Cannot Turret, Ion Pulse Missiles, and Guidance Chips, and it does so for just twenty-five squad points. Or if you're concerned about your pilot skill value, you could drop the Ion Pulse Missiles and Guidance Chips and fly an Onyx Squadron Escort with an Ion Cannon Turret at a pilot skill value of "5" for just twenty-four squad points.

Press the Attack

Even among the limited number of elite pilots the Empire trained to fly the TIE aggressor, some stood head and shoulders above the rest. You'll find two of these ace pilots in the TIE Aggressor Expansion Pack— Lieutenant Kestal and "Double Edge."

At a pilot skill value of "7," Lieutenant Kestal is the quickest shot among the expansion's various pilots and the one best able to react to her enemies' maneuvers. She's also the most aggressive of them, capitalizing upon the accuracy of her Synced Turret with a unique pilot ability that allows her to spend a focus token to cancel all of an opponent's blank and defense results.

Lieutenant Kestal is also an excellent candidate for elite pilot talents like  Predator and Expertise , especially if she's firing multiple modified shots from a Twin Laser Turret.

Here, it's worth noting that Kestal's ability to cancel all of her opponent's blank and defense results works even if she's firing outside her arc—making her an excellent counter to any enemy ships equipped with Autothrusters .

Alternatively, you could capitalize upon her above average pilot skill by sending her to battle with the elite pilot talent, Intensity . So equipped, Lieutenant Kestal doesn't have to choose between focusing or performing her barrel roll to line up the shot she most desires. Instead, she can barrel roll and flip Intensity to gain her focus token, as well.

At a later point, Lieutenant Kestal can then spend a focus token to flip and refresh her Intensity. In this way, over the course of multiple rounds, she can get the most from her shots with her Synced Turret, and even if she ends up without a target in arc, she still gains utility from her combat tokens.

Where Lieutenant Kestal excels at pushing her advantages, the expansion's other ace, "Double Edge," is a relentless hunter whose unique pilot ability is roughly the equivalent of a built-in Gunner upgrade. Once per round, after he performs a secondary weapon attack that doesn't hit, he can perform another attack with a different weapon.

This makes "Double Edge" another good candidate for the Predator or Expertise upgrades since both modify multiple attacks, but it also makes him an ideal pilot to wield the notoriously fickle Unguided Rockets. They don't cost many of your squad points, they offer a good increase on the raw number of dice his ship can fire, and it doesn't matter so much if he hits or misses with those rockets.

In fact, the truth is that there are multiple ways to take advantage of his misses. A nearby Operations Specialist might pass a focus token to another ship. Or if you gave "Double Edge" an Ion Cannon Turret, you could force an enemy pilot to spend his focus and evade tokens to avoid taking an ion token. That would then leave the target without tokens as you fire your XX-23 S-thread Tracers to give all your TIE bombers the target locks they need to line up their awe-inspiring barrage of Proton Torpedoes .


"Double Edge" forces Poe Dameron to make a difficult decision—spend the focus to avoid being ionized, or take the ion token so that "Double Edge" can't fire his XX-23 S-thread Tracers and potentially give the TIE bombers the target locks they need to unload their Proton Torpedoes.

The Role Player

While the TIE aggressor can be outfitted to play many different roles, there is one role that it doesn't play very well. It doesn't quite fit into the standard TIE swarm. It doesn't feature the raw efficiency that the TIE fighter offers when you weigh its attack and agility against its squad-point cost. You could likely find a great deal of success with four Sienar Specialists outfitted with Twin Laser Turrets, but even so, you wouldn't fly them as a swarm; you would want to fly them out of formation.

The TIE aggressor just isn't a swarm ship. It's a role player. It begs to be assigned a unique duty within your squadron, whether as a flanker, an ace, or a control ship that balances the main thrust of your squad with an entirely different sort of threat. It begs exploration.

How will you fit the TIE aggressor into your Imperial squadron? Share your thoughts with the other members of our community forums. Then head to your local retailer today to pre-order your copy of the TIE Aggressor Expansion Pack (SWX66)!

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© and ™ Lucasfilm Ltd.

Rapid Deployment

Published 19 May 2017 | Star Wars: Armada

Rapid Deployment

Preview the Imperial Light Carrier Expansion Pack for Star Wars™: Armada

"Fighters coming in."
     –Lando Calrissian

Imperial fighters will soon flood the vastness of space, carried into battle by the Quasar Fire-class cruiser-carrier…

The Imperial heart of the sixth wave of expansions for Star Wars™: Armada, the Quasar Fire-class cruiser-carrier promises to add new punch to the Empire's squadrons when it arrives with the Imperial Light Carrier Expansion Pack. TIE fighters, TIE bombers, TIE interceptors, TIE Advanced—they're all about to get a major boost, and you'll find more Imperials across the galaxy looking at the Rogue bounty hunter squadrons and quietly shaking their heads, muttering, "We don't need that scum."

Why might this be the case? It's because the Imperial Light Carrier excels at providing your Imperial fighters the kind of support they need. Not only does it tout a commanding squadron value of "4," but it is also accompanied by a wealth of upgrades, including three new Titles that add speed, resilience, or versatility to your fighters—whichever best suits your fleet.

Your Mobile Stronghold

Frequently used to garrison occupied worlds, the Quasar Fire-class cruiser-carrier was a massive ship well-suited to serving as a transport and mobile base for dozens of smaller fighters. These fighters were divided between the Light Carrier's four hangar bays and could launch swiftly into action at short notice.

But it's not just the Light Carrier's ability to send its squadrons into battle that makes it a great command vessel; the Light Carrier's three different Titles afford it three different approaches to its squadron support.

  • The Pursuant Title ensures that you'll never be without your squadron command when you need it most. At just two fleet points, this is the least expensive of the Light Carrier's Titles, and its single-use effect compares nicely with that of the Veteran Captain , even while it leaves your officer upgrade slot open for other options.
  • The Squall , on the other hand, offers a persistent boost to your squadrons' mobility, but one that requires a bit of clever thinking to maximize. Whenever you activate the Squall, you can choose up to three unengaged friendly squadrons at close-medium range to move up to distance "2," but they cannot end their movement engaged.

It's the Squall's final restriction that requires some consideration. You can't quite use the Squall to cheat "free" squadron commands. Instead, you have to position yourself to intercept enemy ships or squadrons, or just to end in better position for the next round. However, because you don't activate these squadrons, it's still possible to follow up the Squall's effect with a standard squadron command and fling your TIE bombers a whopping total distance of "7" to harass your opponent's flagship from the game's first activation!

  • Finally, the Stronghold is the most expensive of the three Titles at a five-point fleet cost, but it's also a game-changer for Imperial admirals looking to combat Rebel X-wing Squadrons with their fragile TIE fighter and TIE interceptor Squadrons . Whenever one of these squadrons—or any other squadron with Swarm—is defending against an attack while at distance "1–2" from the Stronghold, that attack is treated as though it were obstructed.

While the Stronghold doesn't do anything for Rogue bounty hunters like Bossk and Boba Fett , it does wonders for your TIE swarms, as well as the ace squadrons led by "Howlrunner," "Mauler" Mithel , and Soontir Fel . It can also make the Stronghold and its swarming cloud of fighters a serious threat to enemy ships who, now, will have a much harder time dealing with your fighters and their anti-squadron armament.


The Stronghold makes your friendly TIE Fighter Squadrons immune to ships with anti-squadron armaments of only a single die.

Finally, even though it's still slower to plink away at ships with your TIE fighters than a wing of TIE bombers , the new options permitted by Admiral Sloane and your Imperial Carrier's Boarding Troopers allow you to completely strip your enemies of their defenses.

No Enemy Out of Reach

By serving as a transport for all the fighters and bombers in its docking bays, the Quasar Fire-class cruiser-carrier ensures that no place in the galaxy is more than a quick lightspeed jump away from Imperial rule. But it's not just the Light Carrier's fighters that make the ship a potent weapon. It's more than capable of defending itself in battle.

Both the Quasar Fire I-class Cruiser-Carrier and the Quasar Fire II-class Cruiser-Carrier boast a respectable total of six hull behind two points of shielding on all sides, except for the rear's one point of shielding. But there's little reason to let your enemy flank you since the Light Carrier has a top speed of "3" and a reasonable measure of maneuverability, especially when flying at speed "1."

To these more defensive considerations, the Quasar Fire-class cruiser-carrier adds a battery armament of three dice to its forward hull zone, plus two dice from each of its sides and one from its rear. These won't yield the dominating and terrifying sorts of volleys you'd expect from a Star Destroyer, but they are substantial nonetheless. And they can prove deceptively effective if, for instance, you discard your Disposable Capacitors and strike with five blue dice at long range.

Between these Disposable Capacitors and your Boarding Party, then, the Quasar Fire-class cruiser-carrier might even prove more effective at close- and long-range combat than at medium-range combat, despite the fact that most of its dice are blue. At least, you have options—engagements at the different ranges lead to different sorts of threats. Accordingly, the new officer upgrade in the Imperial Light Carrier Expansion Pack helps you establish your engagement on your terms.

For just four fleet points, The Grand Inquisitor lends a remarkable measure of responsiveness and resolve to your Light Carrier's flight. And it can be used both defensively and offensively. If your opponent's ship accelerates in order to flank your Light Carrier, you can slow down to prevent the flank or accelerate to put more distance between you. Alternatively, if your quarry accelerates to break away, you can accelerate as well, and you don't even have to spend a navigation command.

Furthermore, The Grand Inquisitor's ability will, again, play well with your Light Carrier's ability to command its fighter squadrons. If you're sending your fighters to buzz about a Mon Calamari cruiser as you pass it by in the other direction, you need them to stay engaged with that ship—even as it changes speeds—and that could potentially mean that they'd race along with the cruiser's forward section and outpace your ability to issue commands.

But with The Grand Inquisitor, you can more effectively respond to your enemy's adjustments to its speed and, by doing so, you can stay within command range of your squadrons.


Unable to slip away from the MC80's punishing left hull zone, the Light Carrier responds to the MC80's speed adjustment by slowing down so that it can remain in range to activate the nearby bomber squadrons before the MC80 can fire.

A New Imperial Resolve

With the Quasar Fire-class cruiser-carrier, its ability to coordinate your fighter squadrons, and its ability to engage your enemies effectively—and differently—at every range, the Imperial Light Carrier Expansion Pack may just prove to be the versatile new ship that gives your Imperial fleet the tools it needs to quickly put down every hint of rebellion.

If you hope to preserve the Empire's order, look no further than the Imperial Light Carrier!

Discuss your favorite uses of the Imperial Light Carrier with the other members of our community forums. Then be sure to head to your local retailer to pre-order your copy of the Imperial Light Carrier Expansion Pack (SWM26) today!

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Star Wars: Armada is an epic two-player game of tactical fleet battles in the Star Wars universe. Massive Star Destroyers fly to battle against Rebel corvettes and frigates. Banks of turbolasers unleash torrential volleys of fire against squadrons of X-wing and TIEs. As Rebel and Imperial fleets collide, it is your job to issue the commands that will decide the course of battle and, ultimately, the fate of the galaxy.

© & TM Lucasfilm Ltd.

 

Fearsome Riders

Published 19 May 2017 | Runewars Miniatures

Fearsome Riders

Announcing the Death Knights Unit Expansion for Runewars Miniatures Game

Called the Dread Horsemen by some and Doomriders by others, the Death Knights are ever at the forefront of Waiqar’s army, riding from the mists to cut down the living. Donning ancient armor and aided by the speed of their terrible steeds, these mounted warriors demonstrate a skill in battle unmatched by lesser undead. Unencumbered by the weakness and doubt brought on by the fear of death, these cavalry descend upon the countryside of Terrinoth to herald the coming of Waiqar and his undying legion.

Serving as the unholy counterparts to the mounted knights of mortal realms, the Death Knights are capable of fighting on long past the limits of mortal men. Possessing none of the weaknesses of living flesh, Death Knights know nothing of hunger, fatigue, or fear. Similarly, the vampiric steeds of these dread riders are capable of speed and stamina far beyond even the greatest stallion, particularly when they have caught the scent of fear or blood in the wind. When the Equius Cumir must feed, they are known to devour the flesh of man and Elf alike, sating their terrible hunger on the corpse-laden fields of battle.


 

Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce the Death Knights Unit Expansion for Runewars Miniatures Game!

The Death Knights Unit Expansion features four Death Knight figures and two plastic cavalry movement trays for use with the forces of Waiqar, as well as five upgrade cards to customize your Runewars Miniatures Game armies. The expansion also includes panic, stun, and unit ID Tokens, alongside a new condition card and token, for use with a special new type of upgrade included with the Death Knights.

Undead Speed

The Death Knights bring fear to all unfortunate enough to encounter them. Any time they collide with an opposing unit, the Impact keyword gives the opposing unit panic tokens equal to the number of stable energy runes on the field. Additional panic tokens immediately puts the Death Knights' target at a disadvantage, and they're now in position to be targeted by the Death Knights' deadly melee attack—two red dice and one blue die. 

The Death Knights also come with built-in defenses. Anytime an enemy unit targets them, a mortal strike is subtracted from the attack, which nearly ensures their hefty defense of three will have to be penetrated if the foes of Waiqar have any hope of taking the riders down. Furthermore, with the Steadfast [Fear] ability, the Death Knights are difficult to rattle, increasing the morale icon of fear cards by one during morale tests.

The figures and trays included in the Death Knights Unit Expansion can be fielded together for 24 points, and additional copies can be purchased to field 42 and 55 point units. 

A Thunderous Cavalry

The Death Knights bring a new level of speed to the forces of Waiqar. With terrifying steeds, the Death Knights can chase down any foe and pin them down with brutal melee attacks.

The Death Knights' command tool features four different march actions at various speeds and initiatives. The Death Knights can take the initiative early in the round with a speed-one march or close great distances with a speed-three march later in the round. Every one of these actions can be modified with an additional speed-two march, meaning the Death Knights can quickly close the distance between themselves and their foes.

The Death Knights only have one red modifier for their melee attack, but it comes in the form of a mortal strike, ensuring that at least one wound will be dealt to their target. This makes the Death Knights a constant threat, and with their multitude of mobility options, escape from the undead riders is all but impossible.

Relentless Pursuers

Utterly implacable and devoid of mercy, the Death Knights of Waiqar the Undying serve their master with vicious efficiency. Riding at the fore of an endless army of the undead, the Death Knights are the first sight the enemies of Waiqar witness in battle, as well as the last thing they see before suffering a brutal death.

Mount your vicious steed and order the Death Knights Unit Expansion (RWM21) for Runewars Miniatures Game from your local retailer in the third quarter of 2017!

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TM & © 2016 Fantasy Flight Games.

Deadly Aim

Published 18 May 2017 | Runewars Miniatures

Deadly Aim

The Reanimate Archers Unit Expansion for Runewars Miniatures Game Is Available Now

Even the bravest warriors serving the Daqan Lords know to flee for cover when they hear the hiss of the Reanimate Archer’s blighted arrows. Those unlucky enough to be caught in the open are witnesses to a sickly sight as the projectiles pierce their flesh. Skin peels away, foulness spreads, and bones crumble and crack. The ability to rot their opponents from the inside out makes the Reanimate Archers fearsome to any foe of Waiqar the Undying.


 

Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce the Reanimate Archers Unit Expansion for Runewars Miniatures Game is available now!

The expansion features eight Reanimate Archer figures, enough to field a two-tray unit on its own or attach to a larger unit. These figures are identical to the ones found in the Runewars Miniatures Game Core Set and feature five new upgrade cards to help customize any army.

Cursed Strikes

The Reanimate Archers are experts at ranged attacks, and the figures found in the Reanimate Archers Unit Expansion can be combined with the figures found in the core set to create a 32-point unit, or can be fielded on their own as an 18-point unit.

The arrows of the Reanimate Archers do more than puncture. They get inside their target's skin, infecting them with rot and disease, represented by their ability to spend two surges to give their target a blight token when they make a ranged attack. Blight tokens can weaken opposing units by removing their die before an attack, and with the Reanimate Archer’s ability to add a free surge to their strikes with their modifier dial, it’s something they can accomplish often. Furthermore, the shambling bowmen are united in their service to Waiqar, and with the "Steadfast" keyword, it becomes difficult to shake their resolve with a doubt card during a morale test.

For an in-depth look at the Reanimate Archers, click here.

A Rain of Death

Rain down death and destruction with the Reanimate Archers and curse those who would stand against Waiqar.

Ready your arrows and purchase the Reanimate Archers Unit Expansion (RWM08) for Runewars Miniatures Game (RWM01), available now at your local retailer!

 

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TM & © 2016 Fantasy Flight Games.

Undead Reinforcements

Published 18 May 2017 | Runewars Miniatures

Undead Reinforcements

The Waiqar Infantry Command Unit Upgrade Expansion for Runewars Miniatures Game Is Available Now

The forces of Waiqar the Undying come in many forms and take many shapes. Though they all serve their master faithfully, some perform their work through swords and blades, others through the art of necromancy. Still others rally the hordes of undead around them, keeping the rhythm of armies with sinister percussion or heralding the destruction of all who stand in their way as standard bearers.

Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce the Waiqar Infantry Command Unit Upgrade Expansion for Runewars Miniatures Game is available now!

With four new figures and eighteen new upgrade cards, the Waiqar Infantry Command Unit Upgrade Expansion offers plenty of ways to customize your Runewars Miniatures Game armies while bolstering the forces of Waiqar the Undying.

The Dread Standard Bearer strikes fear into all who catch a glimpse of Waiqar’s banner, the devastating Champion leads his units into ferocious battle, the rhythmic drummer keeps Waiqar’s armies in order, and the feared Necromancer ensures the fight is never over.

The Forces of Waiqar

The undead legions of Waiqar the Undying are no mere mindless skeletal warriors. Each cursed soldier has spent lifetimes on the battlefield, honing their tactics and skills. These champions, raised using the essence of the fallen death knights, retain a measure of the legendary martial prowess wielded by their progenitor. Enhance your infantry units with a champion like the Executioner to strike fear into your foes.

To convey ancient battle plans, skeletal drummers beat the steady, inexorable march of the Sunderlands. It is said their grim kettle drums incorporate the ancient remains of the legionnaires who did not follow Waiqar against the wizard Timmorran. Keep your army in line with the rhythm of the Tactical Drummer to have complete control over your forces.


The gaunt standard-bearers further assist in keeping the ranks of Waiqar organized by providing a point of focus for the Reanimates’ simple perception. Many of the banners are mouldering remnants first hoisted in the battles of an earlier age. Others are the personal devices of Waiqar’s more prideful or obstinate lieutenants. Spread the rot of Waiqar’s forces with bearers like the Blighted Vexillum Bearer to overrun your enemies.

Necromancers stalk the ranks of Waiqar the Undying’s army, raising the fallen to fight again in the name of their lord. Some may yet be mortal, carrying out their grudges against the society that spurned them or discounted their abilities. Others may be as old as Waiqar—ancient sorcerers afflicted by the same black curse that struck down and raised up the rest of his army at the Tower of Meringyr. Regardless of their origins, these dark servants, like the Deathcaller,  ensure that Waiqar’s forces are bolstered every time they slaughter an opposing force.

For a full preview of the destruction these infantry upgrades bring to the battlefield, click here.

An Unstoppable Force

With the Champion, Standard Bearer, Drummer, and Necromancer infantry upgrades, no army is safe from the endless march of the forces of Waiqar.

Raise the dead and pick up the Waiqar Infantry Command Unit Upgrade Expansion (RWM10) from your local retailer today.

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TM & © 2016 Fantasy Flight Games.

Expand the Ranks

Published 18 May 2017 | Runewars Miniatures

Expand the Ranks

The Daqan Infantry Command for Runewars Miniatures Game Is Available Now

From Wizards to Banner Guards, every soldier has a role to fulfill in the armies of the Daqan Lords. When the time comes, these warriors band together to craft one of the most fearsome forces in Terrinoth, with the ability to crush those that would stand against them underfoot.

Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce the Daqan Infantry Command Unit Upgrade Expansion for Runewars Miniatures Game is available now!

This expansion includes four brand-new figures as well as eighteen new upgrade cards, many of which are used to bring these figures into your army by replacing a standard figure in the upgraded Daqan Lords unit with one of several powerful warriors. The mystic wizard brings the power of ancient runes to your infantry units, the mighty Champion leads soldiers to unlikely victories, the inspiring Cornicen brings discipline to wavering soldiers, and the unyielding Banner Guard reminds inspires formidable loyalty.

Inspiring Forces

To lead a company of Daqan’s finest, a soldier must first be a trusted leader and peerless warrior both. These champions have faced death time and again on the battlefield, but where such hardships would break lesser men, these warriors persevere, and their stolid bravery is an inspiration to those under their command. The Daqan Infantry Command Unit Upgrade Expansion allows you to upgrade your forces with several different Champions including the Lance Corporal and the Citadel Weapons Master.

The roar of the lion horns of Daqan relay orders and stiffen the backs of wavering soldiers. Crafted in ages past as gifts by the Dwarves of Yrthwright’s Forge, each baron or city council has only a few such horns to entrust to its most storied formations, marking them as Terrinoth’s finest. Enhance your forces with leaders like the Aggressive Cornicen and Marching Cornicen Cornicens.

Flying over Daqan armies are colorful banners that swirl in the wind. These battle standards have histories as long as the Baronies of Daqan, a symbol of the staunch loyalty each soldier pledges to their home. Only the bravest soldiers are chosen to guard the standard, as under no circumstances may they allow the company’s symbol to fall into enemy hands. These warriors are Banner Guards, an unwavering reminder of the honor the armies of the Daqan fight for. Outfit your army with Banner Guards like the Raven Pennon Bearer to remind your soldiers of what they fight for.


Master wizards from the circles at Greyhaven and Nerekhall bolster the ranks of the Daqan Lords, wielding destructive power and an arsenal of runebound shards to devastate their foes. Whether it’s the power to move the earth or channel powerful energies, these wizards, like the Uncontrolled Geomancer,  enhance the forces of Daqan with a magical edge.


 

For a full preview of all these infantry upgrades, click here.

Daqan's Finest

Enhance your armies with a Wizard, Banner Guard, Champion, or Cornicen, each of which offers unique upgrades to power-up Daqan infantry units.

Call in the reinforcements and purchase the Daqan Infantry Unit Upgrade Expansion (RWM05) for Runewars Miniatures Game (RWM01) from your local retailer today!

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TM & © 2016 Fantasy Flight Games.

The Cavalry Have Arrived

Published 18 May 2017 | Runewars Miniatures

The Cavalry Have Arrived

The Oathsworn Cavalry Expansion for Runewars Miniatures Game Is Available Now

The most frightening sound during battle with the Daqan Lords isn't the clash of blades, the winding of crossbows, nor even the creaking of the Rune Golem's massive limbs. No, it is the growing roar of the relentless hooves of the powerful Oathsworn Cavalry. Enemies of Terrinoth live in fear of these lifelong warriors, sworn to a baron or free city until their dying breath. The fear is well founded, as any lucky survivor of a battle will tell you of the flash of steel crashing through the battlefield, the swords and spears of the riders perfectly in sync with their mounts, cleaving through whatever enemies stood in their way.

Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce the Oathsworn Cavalry Unit Expansion for the Runewars Miniatures Game is available now!

Blinding Speed

The Oathsworn Cavalry Unit Expansion features four Oathsworn Cavalry figures, enough to field a two-tray unit or increase the size of another unit, as well as five upgrade cards for use with any army. The Oathsworn Cavalry Unit Expansion is one of the quickest ways to expand your army and customization options in the Runewars Miniatures Game.

With unparalled speed and brutal melee attacks, the Oathsworn Cavalry can quickly enter a battle and make an impact. The new figures can be combined with the ones found in the Runewars Miniatures Game Core Set for 34 points or fielded on their own for 20 points.

On the defensive, the Oathsworn Cavalry are difficult to take down. Their defensive value of two makes dismounting a rider difficult to achieve, and with a white defensive modifier on their dial, they can become a defensive wall, provided you’re willing to give up other helpful modifiers.

The Oathsworn Cavalry's resolve is also difficult to shake, their loyalty never in question. With the ability to spend two surges to get an inspiration token, placing a bane token on the cavalry and having it stick is quite a monumental task.

For an in depth look at the full capabilities of the Oathsworn Cavalry, click here.

Ride Into Battle

With an army featuring the Oathsworn Cavalry, no enemies will be safe from the blades of the Daqan. Able to chase down any foe with blinding speed, the brave riders are sure to cut a path to victory.

Mount your steed and purchase the Oathsworn Cavalry Unit Expansion (RWM03) for Runewars Miniatures Game from your local retailer today!

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TM & © 2016 Fantasy Flight Games.

Go Boom!

Published 17 May 2017 | Star Wars: Age of Rebellion

Go Boom!

Learn More About the Incoming Age of Rebellion Engineer Sourcebook

 

 

The battlefields of the galaxy are no place for the weak-willed. Warriors of countless species charge into war against the Empire oftentimes armed with with little more than a blaster, a grenade, and a stone-carved resolve. Fully Operational, the Engineer's sourcebook for your games of Star Wars™: Age of Rebellion, provides players and gamemasters with a trove of information about Engineers, those brave Rebels who provide an additional level of support for the cause with their technical skills and talents. The needs of the Rebel Alliance change daily, and Engineers must be ready to apply their knowledge in whatever capacity is necessary; creation and destruction are just two sides of the same credit chip.

New Specialization: Sapper

The Sapper performs brings the role of Combat Engineer to an unparalleled level. Conditioned to the chaos of combat, Sappers utilize their expertise on the front lines of battle in two very crucial ways. First, Sappers can efficiently construct impromptu defenses from the materials and landscape at hand which can provide cover to allies and equipment. Second, they are experts at the devastation explosives can bring. Whether brought to bear against enemy soldiers or fortifications, Sappers gain some very formidable bonuses throughout their talent tree.

Improved Defenses and Improved Position allow the Sapper to make a Survival or Mechanics check, respectively, to fashion a crude fortification that provides a cover bonus, and can even increase the benefit of that cover to two ranged defense by spending additional Advantage or Triumph from the roll. Offensively, the Sapper features two vital explosive-oriented talents at the end of the specialization tree: Weak Foundation and Master Demolitionist. Weak Foundation grants a bonus Success or two Advantage against an enemy structure or emplacement the Sapper has been able to swiftly study and scrutinize to identify vulnerabilities. This bonus applies to everyone, not just the Sapper, thus providing critical support for the forces of the Rebellion. When careful analysis is not the order of the day, though, the Master Demolitionist talent turns the Sapper into the archetype of explosive devastation. For a very modest Advantage cost (or a slightly more immodest Triumph), the Sapper can increase the area of effect range for personal-scale explosives and ordnance; blasts that affect engaged characters can now affect those at short range, with the same effect for short into medium range. Coupled with Strong Arm to increase the range of thrown weapons by one range step, Sappers can create an unrivaled threat zone in which everyone approaching is subject to concussive doom. 

Casualties of War

The Bith are a species accustomed to strife. Centuries ago, their homeworld was devastated by a vicious civil war that saw some of the most terrible consequences of military and biological technology brought to bear. Both the quarantined Bith on Clakk’dor VII and the diaspora who were unaffected by the conflict suffered a tumultuous relationship with the Republic, and their support for the Separatists during the Clone Wars has caused the Empire to treat them rather unfavorably.

Bith are not particularly hardy, but their wound threshold does not suffer for it. Their cultural status as accomplished musicians has arisen not for a natural aptitude for music per se, but a highly advanced sense of hearing that provides them a more complete awareness of the nuance of sounds which a trained musician can readily craft into song. This species bonus to Perception is countered by an increased susceptibility to sonic-based attacks. A naturally boosted Cunning score makes Bith a good fit for roles requiring subterfuge and obfuscation, and perhaps no spy in the galaxy has had an easier time blending in than a Bith posing as a touring musician.

Reshape the World One Explosion at a Time

“A plan never survives contact with the enemy, but a garrison wall never survives contact with me, so…”

Fully Operational also comes carrying a crate of new explosive materials and rules perfect for completely ruining the day of whatever and whoever happens to be nearby. Requiring a Mechanics check to prepare, these new explosive compounds and devices can have a wide range of purposes, with compounds useful for everything from area denial to anti-infantry, from perimeter breach to complete starship destruction. 

A standard Detonite charge can do catastrophic damage to a small area—or a larger one when used with the Sapper’s Master Demolitionist talent—and is inexpensive, easily available, and benefits greatly from additional charges. An easy-to-use version called the Flex-5 Detonite Tape is also available at a slightly increased price, but is ideal for less trained soldiers to use for small-scale destruction such as breaching doors or eliminating datapads full of sensitive information.

On the other end of the spectrum is the potent and volatile Baradium charges, which are essentially a collection of enough thermal detonator material to do damage on the planetary scale instead of personal. These charges are incredibly pricey and rare and would likely be provided to operatives solely on a mission-required basis. 

Fully Operational (SWA47) is preparing for mobilization soon, so don’t forget to check back for more information on this explosive sourcebook!

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© & ™ Lucasfilm Ltd.

Her Father's Daughter

Published 17 May 2017 | Legend of the Five Rings LCG

Her Father's Daughter

Read a New Short Story Set in the World of Legend of the Five Rings

 

At the dawn of the Empire, after the Kami had fallen from the Celestial Heavens, they found themselves plunged into a mortal world rife with cruelty and war. The Kami Doji—sister of Hantei, the first Emperor—resolved to bring order to this savage realm. The embodiment of elegance and grace, Doji walked among the primitive peoples, calming them in the way fair weather calms a storm-tossed sea. From her, they learned writing so they could record their achievements, politics to govern their affairs, economics and commerce to manage their wealth, and art and culture to lift them from their lives of misery. Those she touched the most became her devoted followers, the first samurai of the Crane Clan.

Since that time, the Crane have become both the poets and the poetry of the Empire, at once the swordsmiths and the duelists wielding the smith’s blades. In every aspect of their lives, the Crane strive for mastery in all things, an ideal that the other clans can only hope to emulate.

Fantasy Flight Games is proud to present “Her Father’s Daughter” by D.G. Laderoute, the first piece of new fiction for Legend of the Five Rings!

“Her Father’s Daughter” features the Crane Clan, the pinnacle of beauty and grace in Rokugan, and can be downloaded by clicking here (pdf, 14 MB).

Join us next week as continue spotlighting the Way of the Crane with an in-depth look at their gameplay mechanics in Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game. Be sure to check the Fantasy Flight Games website every other week for new Legend of the Five Rings fiction!

Embrace your honor and purchase Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game (L5C01) at GenCon 2017 or from your local retailer in the fourth quarter of 2017.

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Reinforcements Are on the Way

Published 16 May 2017 | The Lord of the Rings LCG

Reinforcements Are on the Way

A Preview of Beneath the Sands for The Lord of the Rings

"He sank on one knee and presented the arrow to Théoden. 'Hail, Lord of the Rohirrim, friend of Gondor!' he said. 'Hirgon I am, errand-rider of Denethor, who bring you this token of war. Gondor is in great need.'"
     –J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

Beneath the Sands, the third Adventure Pack in the Haradrim cycle for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, arrives at retailers next Thursday, and it finds several of Middle-earth's greatest heroes in the midst of Harad, having already spent weeks traveling northward from the southern reaches of that hostile nation.

These heroes hope once again to see the shining walls of Gondor and to find their safety therein. But even though their journey has already led them through treacherous jungles and deserts, they still have hundreds of miles to go.

The land they cross is both strange and dangerous—littered with hostile patrols and natural predators. Our misplaced heroes would likely have perished numerous times were it not for the help of their new Haradrim friends. Even in Harad, the heroes found noble men and women willing to resist the Dark Lord and his forces. And, working together with these brave Haradrim, they have tamed several fearsome Mûmakil, and they rode the beasts hard to outpace the pack of Orcs and Wargs that nearly caught them.

Now the fates of these heroes and these Haradrim are closely entwined. They have fought side by side. They have shared food and drink. And the dangers that befall any one of them are dangers to them all.

Thus, when the heroes wake one morning to find that giant desert spiders have dragged some of their Haradrim allies into a network of caverns beneath the sands, they don't hesitate; they don their armor, grab their weapons, and plunge swiftly into the dark and unknown tunnels.

To the Rescue

This is the scenario of Beneath the Sands—the heroes race through darkened, underground tunnels in a desperate attempt to find and rescue their new friends and traveling companions.

Of course, in The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, there are many heroes from which you can choose to send into the tunnels, and there are many ways you can have them go about their rescue attempt. The card pool has grown to allow a fantastic array of different fellowships and deck types.

You can explore the caverns with Dwarves, Dúnedain, Hobbits, or Noldor. You can marshal a team of Scouts or arm one or two heroes with an arsenal of Weapons, Armor, and healing effects. You can explore the depths of a single Trait and all it offers, or you can follow the example set by The Sands of Harad deluxe expansion and explore the strengths of a deck built around pairing your Traits.

Likewise, you can split your heroes across the different spheres of influence in order to take your pick of allies, events, and equipment. Or you can focus on a single sphere, committing yourself to its singular strengths and then racing forward along that narrow path.

It is this final approach that we explore today as Beneath the Sands lends a great new measure of flexibility to the Tactics sphere and its military drive.

Some of this flexibility derives from the introduction of the new side quest, Keep Watch (Beneath the Sands, 59), which hinders each attacking enemy and thereby increases the effectiveness of all our defenders. But even more of this new flexibility derives from the Adventure Pack's new Tactics hero, Hirgon (Beneath the Sands, 55), and his powerful Response ability.

"Response: After Hirgon quests successfully, play a Tactics ally from your hand, reducing its cost by 1 (to a minimum of 1). Then, you may raise your threat by 1 to give that ally +1 Attack Strength and +1 Defense Strength until the end of the round."

Played correctly, Hirgon's ability is effectively an extra resource each round, plus the chance to play an ally that can bypass all the potential treacheries it might otherwise encounter in the quest phase.

Moreover, if you have enough Tactics allies in your deck, Hirgon can help you decide the order in which you play them. For example, in Beneath the Sands, as your heroes weave through the scenario's labyrinthine nest of subterranean, spider-infested corridors, Hirgon can hold back your allies until you round the next corner—at the end of your quest phase—and then call forth a defender if a spider leaps out of the darkness. Or if you simply find another fork in your path, Hirgon might recruit an Ent like the Derndingle Warrior (Escape from Mount Gram, 31) so that it can join the group prior to the refresh phase.

Spiders and Warriors

With all the scenario's ebb and flow—as you find your way On Track (Beneath the Sands, 80) at some points and end up hopelessly Off Track (Beneath the Sands, 79) at others—Hirgon provides a natural response to the changing rhythms. Playing allies at the end of the quest phase allows you to take advantage of moments of relative safety to build up your forces incrementally, or react to immediate danger by playing an ally that might be able to survive the next spider's venom—or that may be willing to sacrifice itself for the greater good.

The scenario's ebb and flow also makes it an ideal adventure in which to experiment with side quests like Keep Watch, and the sample deck below makes use of both Hirgon and Keep Watch, pairing them both with Théoden (The Morgul Vale, 134) and Éowyn (The Flame of the West, 2) in a way that allows you to quickly build an army and surge forward through the tunnels, cutting down spiders at every turn!

Deck Created with CardGameDB.com The Lord of the Rings Deckbuilder

Total Cards: (46)

Hero: (3)
1x Théoden (The Morgul Vale)
1x Eowyn (The Flame of the West)
1x Hirgon (Beneath the Sands)

Ally: (29)
1x Azain Silverbeard (Flight of the Stormcaller)
1x Beechbone (The Battle of Carn Dûm)
1x Bofur (Over Hill and Under Hill)
1x Boromir (The Road Darkens)
3x Derndingle Warrior (Escape from Mount Gram)
3x Descendant of Thorondor (The Hills of Emyn Muil)
3x Eagles of the Misty Mountains (Return to Mirkwood)
1x Grimbold (The Flame of the West)
1x Gwaihir (Trouble in Tharbad)
3x Legolas (The Treason of Saruman)
1x Skinbark (The Land of Shadow)
1x Treebeard (The Antlered Crown)
3x Vassal of the Windlord (The Dead Marshes)
3x Vigilant Dunadan (The Sands of Harad)
3x Winged Guardian (The Hunt for Gollum)

Attachment: (9)
3x Raiment of War (The Thing in the Depths)
3x Rivendell Blade (Road to Rivendell)
1x Favor of the Valar (The Battle of Carn Dûm)
1x Arod (The Treason of Saruman)
1x The Red Arrow (Beneath the Sands)

Event: (9)
3x Foe-hammer (Over Hill and Under Hill)
3x The Eagles Are Coming! (The Hunt for Gollum)
3x Wait No Longer (The Mûmakil)

Side Quest: (3)
3x Keep Watch (Beneath the Sands)

With Thédoen, Éowyn, and Hirgon, you can start questing with a whopping eleven Willpower on the first turn. That's almost guaranteed to allow you to trigger Hirgon's ability and to set you up for success, again, on your next turn. The result is that you can quickly build up a force that has the Willpower, Defense Strength, and Attack Strength to handle just about anything the encounter deck can throw your way.

Card draw becomes critical. Even though Hirgon and The Red Arrow (Beneath the Sands, 58) give you the means to play on tempo even while recruiting powerful allies like Boromir and the Eagles of the Misty Mountains, you need to stay ahead of your draw, and this is where Legolas comes into play, as well as the deck's Weapon attachments, Rivendell Blade and Raiment of War, as they can be exhausted with Foe-hammer to grant you even more card draw.

Finally, once you've assembled your army, the deck allows you to charge boldly toward the scenario's end with three copies of the new event, Wait No Longer (The Mûmakil, 5). The Tactics sphere doesn't provide much in the way of cancellation, but it has plenty of muscle to overcome whatever monsters you may face.

The Brood Mother Awaits You

The tunnels of Beneath the Sands may be trickier and deadlier than you expect. Even with an army of Tactics allies at your back, you may find yourselves heading all in the wrong direction, and there's no telling just how many of the brood mother's progeny are lurking about in the dark.

The only things of which you can be certain are that your friends need your help, and it's better to march into the tunnels with an army at your back than to delve them by yourself.

Take Hirgon's advice and rally your troops. Beneath the Sands (MEC58) is headed to retailers next Thursday!

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The copyrightable portions of The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game and its expansions are © 2011 - 2013 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. The Lord of the Rings, and the characters, items, events and places therein are trademarks or registered trademarks of The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Middle-earth Enterprises and are used, under license, by Fantasy Flight Games. Living Card Game, LCG, LCG logo and Fantasy Flight Supply are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved to their respective owners.

Flesh, Blood, and Bone

Published 15 May 2017 | Runewars Miniatures

Flesh, Blood, and Bone

Preview the Dark Magic of Ankaur Maro in Runewars Miniatures Game

As death sweeps across the land, the armies of Terrinoth search not only for allies to aid them, but ancient magic to gain the upper hand over their foes. While the Daqan dig through ancient ruins, the forces of Waiqar know where true power lies; in flesh, blood, bone, and death. Of all Waiqar’s servants, few exemplify this like Ankaur Maro, a fearsome necromancer whose ambition and lust for power knows no bounds. Those who oppose the undead legion are subject to the dark magic of the necromancer, and may even end up serving Waiqar themselves.

Today, we’re previewing the Ankaur Maro Hero Expansion for Runewars Miniatures Game. The expansion features one infantry and one cavalry figure for Ankaur Maro as well as new terrain and upgrade, objective, and deployment cards to expand your Runewars Miniatures Game collection.

Master of Death

As a necromancer, the runes on the field greatly influence Ankaur Maro’s abilities. The dark wizard's power ebbs and flows with the ancient magic of Terrinoth.

Ankaur Maro's hefty ranged attack fluctuates in power, with his controller rolling a number of white dice equal to the amount of unstable energy runes on the field.

While unstable energy affects Ankaur Maro’s pure attack, stable energy fuels his necrotic power. Using his special modifier, Ankaur Maro can add full trays to Waiqar infantry units within range 1-5 equal to the number of stable energy runes on the field. While this is a powerful ability that can quickly grow the ranks of the undead, dark magic has a price, and Ankaur Maro takes wounds equal to the number of trays added.

With two stable energy runes on the field, Ankaur Maro can use his special modifier to add two full trays to a friendly infantry unit within range 1-5. He then takes two wounds, paying the price for his dark magic.

Though this is a harsh drawback, Ankaur Maro has ways to heal himself. Spending two surges during a ranged attack allows him to use his dark magic to recover one wound. Combined with a defensive value of two and a wound threshold of five, Ankaur Maro is a difficult hero to keep down.

As a master of death, Ankaur Maro can also use his dark magic to convert his deceased foes to the cause of Waiqar. If your army includes Ankaur Maro, it can include one non-unique unit from any other faction. But this conversion comes at a price, as the unit receives two blight tokens after a setup, remnants of Ankaur Maro’s dark magic.

Necrotic Tactics

While Ankaur Maro has a variety of movement options and modifiers on his command tool, including a shift, he truly shines with the modifications available to his red attacks.

Both Maro's melee and ranged attacks can be modified by two hit symbols, a surge, or a mortal strike, allowing players to adjust Ankaur Maro’s attacks to what is most helpful in the current situation. Low defense targets can be devastated with additional hits, the high defense of stronger targets can be pierced with the mortal strike, and the surge can be used to help Ankaur Maro recover or fuel an upgrade. Whatever you choose, Ankaur Maro is sure to prove himself as a worthy servant of Waiqar.

Behold the Power

The Ankaur Maro Hero Expansion features six upgrades, which will not only allow players to use Ankaur Maro as a powerful infantry upgrade, but also strengthen his cavalry figure.

While Maro’s rival Lord Hawthorne wields the Dawnblade, Ankaur Maro can be outfitted with the Duskblade,  which the dread necromancer can use to lower his target's defense during a melee attack at the cost of two surges. This heightens the threat of Ankaur Maro from any range, and ensures that the foes of Waiqar will flee in fear of the wielder of the Duskblade.

It’s not just weapons that give Ankaur Maro the edge, with Regenerative Magic,  domination becomes even easier. Regenerative Magic can only upgrade Ankaur Maro and can be used to reduce the number of surges needed to activate abilities by one. This means that Ankaur Maro’s unit ability can be triggered with just one surge, doubling his healing potential, as two surges can now heal two wounds instead of one.

For true chaos, Ankaur Maro can be upgraded with Violent Forces to change the very nature of his magic. With the upgrade, Ankaur Maro rolls white dice equal to the stable energy runes on the battlefield, instead of unstable runes. His special ability to add trays to units is also flipped, with the targeted unit receiving full trays equal to the number of unstable runes on the battlefield. Violent Forces also gives Ankaur Maro the “Brutal 1” keyword, increasing his threat by one, allowing his already hefty attack rolls to deal even more damage.

The March of Death

With Ankaur Maro as the vanguard of Waiqar’s forces, there is little that can stand in their way. Every fallen ally and foe is just fodder for Ankaur Maro’s dark necrotic powers, as the dead rise and overrun those who would challenge Waiqar for control of Terrinoth.

Raise the dead and purchase the Ankaur Maro Hero Expansion (RWM11) for Runewars Miniatures game from your local retailer in the third quarter of 2017!

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TM & © 2016 Fantasy Flight Games.

A Duel of Champions

Published 15 May 2017 | A Game of Thrones: The Card Game

A Duel of Champions

Preview a Champion-Designed Card from The Fall of Astapor

“I will fight you one by one or all together. But who is there for the wench to duel? She gets cross when you leave her out.”
  
–Ser Jaime Lannister, A Storm of Swords

Throughout A Song of Ice and Fire, the reader is drawn close to dozens of iconic characters, following those characters through their desperate hopes, secret schemes, and pitched battles. Yet although these characters could be called protagonists or major players, none of them are invincible. Death may strike at any time, whether through unexpected poison or a fateful duel.

Today, Jonathan Andrews, the 2014 North American Champion, takes the time to explore his new card design for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game, and how it may endanger the lives of the most expensive characters in the game.

Jonathan Andrews on His Champion Card Design

When I won my champion card design at the 2014 North American Championships, I knew immediately what I wanted to create. In an ambitious project that would involve collaborating with multiple other players who had champion card designs, we would see the skinchanger Varamyr Sixskins brought to life, along with a pack of animals he could change into—a collection of champ cards, all designed specifically to synergize with each other!

It was perfect… and for logistical reasons it fell through, so I went back to the drawing board and came up with something completely different.

Epic rivalries and intricate duels have always been an important part of A Game of Thrones: The Card Game for me. Whether playing test games against my sparring partners like Alexander Hynes, Florian Maas, or Aaron Glazer, or squaring off in high-stakes tournament games against my favorite “villains”—the D.C. Meta led by Erick Butzlaff or Seth Low—I always found these stressful individual battles some of my favorites. Combining these feelings with some of the most iconic scenes from the books, like Jon Snow battling Qhorin Halfhand or the Red Viper fighting Ser Gregor Clegane, I had a theme of pivotal moments that I needed my card to capture. I even had an art idea in mind—obviously, I’d need two people to be fighting, me and someone else, so it was a matter of choosing my ultimate nemesis. I look forward to seeing the art for the first time when this article goes up!

My theme was set, but I also had plans for the mechanics behind my card. I knew I wanted to create a “release valve”-style card to help prevent the game from becoming a contest of spamming out high-cost, powerful characters faster than your opponent. Coming from the first edition of A Game of Thrones: The Card Game (the format where I won the design), big characters saw a lot less play, and I wanted to allow decks with cheaper characters to have more space and fighting power within the game.

With these key thoughts in my mind, I came up with my plot, which I presented as a fully-designed card. Of course, the prize I won was to design a card, not to develop it. The version that came out on the other side of playtesting has some differences from my original version, but Duel (The Fall of Astapor, 60) still does what I wanted when it’s played in a game—hurt big characters in a flashy, bombastic style, recreating those pivotal, thematic moments that I love in this game.

You’ll notice that the card is carefully worded to give your opponent control over its effect. If you have two characters of cost six or higher in play, your opponent can simply choose them both. If you each have one character, your opponent's character will kneel but yours will die. It's only when you have no characters of cost six or higher and your opponent has at least two—a situation in which your chances for victory would usually be negligible—that Duel shows its true power.

I consciously designed this card to be a release valve for “big character” metas, a card that players would consider for inclusion not just on whether it fits in your deck, but whether it fits the environment you’ll be playing in. It is a powerful effect, but one that requires work to leverage. A “normal” deck will find it dangerous to use, but it could shine in “mini-curve” decks that don’t run high-cost characters. It can punish big character decks, but it shouldn't render them useless or unplayable—instead, they'll just have to think harder when deckbuilding.

One worry I had when sending in this design as a “meta-answer” is that the meta would move past big characters, and that my card would be answering last year's meta instead of the meta we have now. However, recent results, such as the Spanish “Batalla por el Muro” tournament, show this is not the case, and if anything, with Great Hall (Guarding the Realm, 38) having just released, Duel may be more relevant than ever.

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The copyrightable portions of A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Second Edition is © 2015 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. Licensed by George R.R. Martin. The names, descriptions, and depictions applied to this game are derived from works copyrighted by George R.R. Martin, and may not be used or reused without his permission. A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Second Edition, its expansion titles, Living Card Game, LCG, the LCG logo and Fantasy Flight Supply are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved to their respective owners.

The Grotesque Undead

Published 12 May 2017 | Runewars Miniatures

The Grotesque Undead

Preview Two Unit Expansions for Runewars Miniatures Game

From the border of the Daqan Lords’ baronies, you can look out upon the ceaseless motion of the Mistlands. The movement of the mists can seem hypnotic—unpredictable, ephemeral, and eternal. But the guardsmen of the border would do well to stay vigilant. The vanguard of Waiqar’s undead legions has already crossed into Terrinoth, and reinforcements are on their way.

Today, we’ll take a closer look at two of the Unit Expansions arriving soon to Runewars Miniatures Game: the Reanimates Unit Expansion and the Carrion Lancers Unit Expansion!

The Ranks of the Dead

Striding inexorably out of the vile mists that shroud the Thirteenth Barony, Reanimates form the bulk of the dreaded host of Waiqar the Undying. Their wargear is ancient and caked with rust, but they wield it with arms that never tire. These skeletal soldiers fight relentlessly against any who oppose their master’s will, delivering a merciless and inevitable doom. Even when cut down and broken, Reanimates will pull themselves to their feet again and again, driven by Waiqar’s unquenchable ambition.

Centuries beyond the confrontation between Waiqar and Timmorran on the Night of Betrayal, the original fallen warriors that compose the Deathborn Legion now have their own hosts to command. Ardus Ix’Erebus leads the Host of Crows, while Calleum Pahaan marches ahead of the Breathless Legion. Some of the vampires of Bilehall have mastered the necromantic arts to raise their own personal armies, including the Sanguine Coterie. Even the ancient revenant, Lord Farrenghast, has a contingent of undead infantry under his command.

You’ve had the chance to battle with a block of Reanimates in your army since the release of the Runewars Miniatures Game Core Set, but the Reanimates Unit Expansion is the perfect opportunity to increase your forces. With the potential to field twelve-tray units of Reanimates in your army, the eight additional Reanimates figures in this expansion are a key part of growing your army base.

It’s also immediately apparent after any game of Runewars Miniatures Game that your Reanimates form the backbone of Waiqar’s infantry. Though their movement options on the dial are relatively limited, you can equip any unit of Reanimates with Trumpets, which dramatically increases their speed and maneuverability for just two points.

Reanimates are also well known for returning from beyond the grave. Even when struck down, these undead warriors will arise again and again, regenerating according to the flow of natural magic on the battlefield. Larger units of Reanimates can also take advantage of the Lingering Dead upgrade. Under normal circumstances, if your Reanimates take heavy losses, you’ll be forced to remove trays of figures, losing any chance for your Reanimates to return to those trays with their Regenerate ability. Lingering Dead, however, means that you won’t remove those trays until the end of the End Phase, giving you a chance to raise more dead and crush your foes beneath the weight of countless bodies.


Because the empty tray is not immediately removed, Lingering Dead allows your Reanimates to use their Regenerate ability to regain three figures from their unit!

Writhing Worms

Few in the realm of Terrinoth had seen them before Waiqar’s onslaught, but carrion worms have been often spotted following Waiqar’s armies, feeding on the scraps and offal cast off by the fleshwrights who tend his legions. Carrion worms are surprisingly swift for their size and expel gouts of digestive ichor before setting upon their prey with shearing mandibles. Ridden by spear-wielding Reanimates, the carrion worm’s bile melts armor and flesh alike, allowing their riders to strike mortal blows against even the best-defended targets.

Carrion grubs may be small, but their digestive acid is no less corrosive. Waiqar’s cruelest carrion worm masters discovered that they could feed the grubs nearly any substance, be it stone or metal or wood. As they grew, the grubs took on some of the properties of whatever they were fed. A diet consisting of chum and flesh would give the creatures a sickly, blood-colored cast, while those worms that feasted on bone would have a sallow, calcified carapace. Some of Waiqar’s most prized lieutenants ride atop carrion worms force-fed copper or even obsidian. Of course, most carrion worms have ingested several unlucky Reanimate handlers, as well.

As high-impact siege units, Carrion Lancers are among the deadliest troops in Waiqar’s battalions. In the Carrion Lancers Unit Expansion, you'll find two additional Carrion Lancer figures for your legions—one sculpt identical to the Core Set version, and one entirely new sculpt, showing the Carrion Lancer rearing up and ready to strike.

Whether you’re using a single Carrion Lancer to harry your opponent’s flank, or sending as many as six smashing straight into your opponents, you’ll be able to use the disgusting bile that the carrion worms vomit in order to gain an advantage. First, Carrion Lancers can use their Skill action to spew acid at an unengaged unit within range one to five and give that unit a blight token. Not only can this blight token inhibit that unit in battle, your Carrion Lancers can spend surges to deal mortal wounds if their target is blighted! When you’re facing off against high-defense units such as the Rune Golems, cutting straight through their defenses can be crucial to victory.

And of course, you also have the option to embed a Carrion Lancer into an infantry unit as an additional figure with the upgrade cards included in this expansion. Front Line Carrion Lancer allows you to use surges as mortal strikes if the defender has a blight token, while Support Carrion Lancer lets you inflict a blight token on an unengaged enemy within range. Obviously, either of these upgrades could be potent on their own—but perhaps the most dangerous usage is to combine them, spewing bile with one unit and cutting down your foes with a second unit.


From its position embedded in a unit of Reanimates, the Support Carrion Lancer spews bile at Kari Wraithstalker!

The Dead Pull the Living Down

Waiqar has already made his first incursions into the realm of Terrinoth, tearing past the outer defenses and clashing on the battlefields of Terrinoth. Soon, his reinforcements will join him, and every barony may fall into the mists.

Head to your local retailer and pre-order the Reanimates Unit Expansion (RWM12) and the Carrion Lancers Unit Expansion (RWM09) today! 

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