The Final Days are upon us, my friends!
We saved our most ambitious and dramatic add-on for last because, well, it’s the Apocalypse! It would be strange to carry on afterwards as if the end of the world hadn’t happened…
Medieval apocalyptic imagery is not just slightly bizarre, it’s cranked all the way up to 11 at times. We started with the ideas in Revelation, as presented to the masses in the Middle Ages, and tried to make some sort of coherent tale from them. This is complicated as most of Revelation was probably not supposed to be taken literally, and it’s sometimes very hard to understand what it might mean. Plus, what is written and what was believed and drawn are not always the same thing. Sometimes by quite a margin. So we have had to make lots of decisions on which version of each story we wanted to use, what many of the strange visions would mean in terms of miniatures on the board, and then bridge the remaining gaps with our own imaginings.
Through all of this we have tried to recreate the unsettling and bizarre apocalyptic world vision of the Medieval mind rather than settle for the much more sanitised modern versions. This isn’t intended to always be a comfortable and familiar visual ride. You will be challenged, and that sense of unease is exactly what you should feel when you confront the end of humanity. The Apocalypse is important and it’s supposed to be both awesome (in the original sense of inspiring awe), and a little unnerving.
In the following run through, I’ll not tell you much about the individual units (unless I can’t help myself) because you got the rules to play with yesterday. The rules explain how to read a card, and what the skills do, and you don’t need me to tell you what you can read for yourselves.
The units in this expansion fall into three groups. The first is clearly Unholy, the last is clearly Holy, and in the middle we have one group who are sometimes portrayed as one, and sometimes the other.
- ALL THAT IS UNHOLY
We begin our tour of the Unholy ranks with the seemingly modest threat of the Sabbat Witch.Modest until you realise she can fly, which suddenly makes her much more dangerous. Anyone that can fly cannot be boxed in and captured or killed easily, and makes a mockery of all but the deepest defences.
The dead do not always rest easy, and the witch is the sort of unsavoury character who consorts with them. Some that do not rest at all are the unquiet spirits that appear as spectres and skeleton knights.
These grim reminders of ancient wars are variations of undead knights, who form a mobile core of units around which the Unholy forces can build an army. These and the lesser demons are your stock troops. Mostly they are simply variants of the living knights in terms of abilities and prowess, though being dead has given the mounted spectres the additional ability to move through and around other units and terrain. Oh, and they cannot die. Always useful.
These two groups of nightmare horsemen are each commanded by a Damned Rider. He is a better version of his followers in every respect, being able to Jump over obstacles and enemies to reach the victims he especially wants to test his ample combat prowess against.
I mentioned demons a few lines ago. This expansion includes some strikingly weird-looking new demons called Devourers. You can guess that they would be able fighters, and the fact that they fly won’t come as much of a shock either. What might be a surprise is their ability to carry other small units into the air, and fly about with them. The possibilities of being able to airlift units into far corners of the battlefield to cause mischief should have you cackling with glee.
The first of these is Conquest, and he is quite unusual in having both Holy and Unholy versions of his card. He has a neutral outlook, although we haven’t given him a neutral card as we don’t think he should be found in French and English armies.
The other three Horsemen are simply Unholy. True, they were originally released to do the Lord’s bidding, cleansing the world of wickedness and sin (like an equine version of Noah’s flood). If you look no further than this, then they are clearly Holy because they are doing the Lord’s work. On the other hand, they are unarguably going round the world doing their best to obliterate humanity. They were supposed to cleanse the world of sinners, but instead they have indiscriminately destroyed everything; saints and innocents included. This abandonment of their true mission makes them Unholy in our book (and game).
Leviathan is the third and last of our Gigantic Creatures, and he is certainly Gigantic. He is a huge and fearsome beast, whose lethality in combat is legendary. He is not a complex and subtle monster at all, simply searching out every way he can manage to squeeze that little bit of extra carnage out of each attack. Your best bet would be to flee for your life.
Where there is light, there is dark, and where there is goodness there is evil. The antichrist represents the extreme end of this malevolence, and though he is not as imposing as the gigantic winged Devil from the Unleash Hell box, he is nonetheless a deadly foe. A subtle one though. He has no direct attack. Instead he has a talent for overcoming the willpower of a target so that it will do his bidding. Why fight when you can be the master of puppets who will die for you? Especially when you have an aura that grants all your sacrificial pawns an extra attack dice while they are in your area. The antichrist is the insidious, smiling face of evil.
- SHADES OF STONY GREY
Some things are harder to classify as purely good or purely evil. These are things like gargoyles.
Originally placed on churches to ward off evil spirits, they are also monstrous, and so could be both protective and threatening. Consequently, we have 2 versions of them: Holy and Unholy. Both versions are fast fliers who have a nasty ranged attack, so they are adept at staying out of reach of reprisals.
- HOLY WARRIORS
The Holy army looks as strange and unlikely as their deadly foes. You have seen Flagellants before, and here we have some more of their kind. These are so reverential that they have a relic with them in the form of a mummified Pope.
Veneration of holy relics was commonplace in Medieval times, and this is simply an extreme version of this form of worship. And very useful it is too.
The first of the Heavenly beings in this expansion are the Angelic Heralds, announcing the presence of the Ark of the Covenant with strident blasts of their trumpets.
The Ark is a powerful and almost indestructible artefact, that is only on loan to the army. Every turn you must pay a myth point to keep it in play. It’s worth it though, with powerful attacks and the ability to Command troops too. Plus, as I said, it’s virtually indestructible.
In keeping with the increasing potency of this list, we now come to Leo’s favourite angel miniature: Raphael.
He is a potent and majestic defender of all that is Holy, and is a fearsome warrior. Even so, he sometimes needs support, and the next unit is the epitome of protection. As you will have guessed, I am talking about The Lamb.
The Lamb can Command units very effectively, but its signature abilities are giving an extra Shield to his own and every adjacent area that contains friendly troops, every time they are attacked. And, for an experience point, taking a Disrupted unit from the Battle Board and putting it back into play. This is even more useful when you realise that The Lamb itself counts as a Rally Point, so he can effectively summon allies to his side. He can also fly. Of course he can.
While you saw the unicorn in the core box, you may not have realised that there was a much larger one on the way.
Triumph takes the form of a huge unicorn, who is fast and agile, and with Bodyguard can get to the thick of the fighting and intervene to save a loyal companion. He has retaliation to fight back when attacked, and the wonderfully useful ability to change a blank roll in either attack or defence into whatever result he chooses. An unusual combination of powers and skills, but one with many potential synergies.
The most powerful unit in the game is Judgement. He appears in the Book of Revelation, like the bulk of the units in this expansion.
“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war.”
We haven’t quite finished his sculpt yet, but we thought that you’d like to see him as he is so far. Even though lots more detail needs to be added you can see where we’re going.
Judgement has incredible combat power. Four red dice is devastating, and the fact that he converts “wasted” Shields in attack makes it even better. His ability to Command is very good, he has the same number of hit points as the Leviathan, and can even make a small Trample attack. Also, he can use his Bodyguard skill and large pool of wounds to protect others, knowing that Daredevil means that he can never truly die. Of course, he can also fly, to ensure that no enemies can hide from him, and no friend should ever go unprotected. An awesomely potent individual.
The Apocalypse expansion includes a total of 5 scenarios.
The first is a 2- or 4-player story called Sabbat. You can view this scenario as a prelude to the campaign if you like, or as a standalone scenario in its own right.
In it, the heavens have aligned to produce an eclipse. Sensing its imminence, a witch with great powers has summoned demons to participate in a Black Mass. During this, the one who would become the antichrist is conceived. At least, that is the plan. However, the clergy have heard of these nefarious plans and have sent a group of soldiers to stop this blasphemy. They must capture the witch, build a pyre, and burn her. Unbeknownst to the soldiers at the start, angels aid their every move. The antichrist must not be conceived!
The witch seeks to mate one of the demons she has summoned with an innocent, or perhaps herself. This must be done in the church, pentacle, or cemetery, and at the right moment, just as he eclipse is complete. The timing is crucial. Having meddling soldiers try to intervene is only going to make her angry.
The remaining 4 scenarios are arranged into a campaign that plots the rise of the Apocalypse. It allows you to optionally incorporate three other scenarios from the core box and stretch goals to create a 7-scenario narrative. If I include all seven, the sequence goes like this:
1) Inside Joan’s Head (from the core box).
2) Arrival of the Four Horsemen. A narrative skirmish of human slaughter.
3) Saint Michael fighting the Dragon (from the Legendary Dragon box). Saint Michael and a cohort of angels battle the Legendary Dragon.
4) The Beast (stretch goal chase scenario). A young woman gives birth to humanity’s saviour. Naturally, The Beast wants to eat him before he can grow up into his nemesis. Luckily, angels will aid the woman in her escape.
5) The Mark of the Beast. The antichrist is corrupting humanity and men rally to his evil cause, tempted by silver-tongued charm, and awed by the might of The Beast. The saints try to stop this army with the help of the angels and The Lamb.
6) Leviathan. The colossal monster is ravaging the land, and seeks to destroy the saints in this big battle scenario.
7) Armageddon. A final titanic battle is a stunning final showdown, with masses of miniatures on both sides.
If you are interested in this add-on, simply click on the blue “manage your pledge” button near the top of the page. Then increase your total by the amount of any add-ons you wish to include in your pledge. You can change your pledge as many times as you want while the campaign is running.
During the campaign, Kickstarter doesn’t let you tell us what the money you pledge is actually for, so don’t worry about that now. Instead, after the Kickstarter is over we will send you a “pledge manager”. This allows you to tell us exactly how you want to allocate your pledge, which add-ons you would like, how many core boxes, and (most importantly) where we need to send it all!
The Voice in Her Head
La version française de cette mise à jour sera bientôt disponible, pour la découvrir, cliquez-ici