In the first posting of this series, I looked at constructing a Dragon Dice 36 health army starting by choosing one of the 12 races, the Selumari, or Coral Elves as they are better known, and expanding the selection with reference to their racial abilities and their strengths and weaknesses. This time I am going to take a totally different approach by considering a single die and try to work a full army around that.
The die that I am going to use is a Fire Dragonstaff (see below), which is an artifact and, as such, is not classed as a unit in the army, but still requires the ‘space’ in the army of the equivalent of 3 health out of my 36 available to me.
As can be seen from the Dice Browser information, this is pretty much the same as a Mage but with these differences:-
- The Summon Dragon SAI which, when at a terrain and is rolling for magic, allows the army to summon a fire, fire hybrid, ivory or ivory hybrid dragon as if using the Summon Dragon spell.
- It has to be ‘carried’ by a unit of the same colour, which means that it can be treated as ‘luggage’ under spells such as ‘Path’ and SAIs, such as ‘Ferry’ and does not count toward the baggage allowance!
- It cannot be targeted by any action or SAI, only needing to be accompanied by a suitable unit.
- It can be used to cast the Fire Racial spells of the unit that is carrying it.
With a 70% chance of generating magic, or a magic effect, I am therefore going to build my army around a magical theme.
Given that we are using a Fire Dragonstaff, which has to be carried by a unit with the fire element associated to it, we have a choice of basing the army on:
- Dwarves – Red / Gold
- Firewalkers – Red / Blue
- Scalders – Red / Green
- Lava Elves – Red / Black
At the time of creating this army, I was sadly lacking in Magic Vagha (not a single wizard), and I was awaiting the delivery of my Scalders from Midlam. Given that I had already used Firewalker mages in my previous Standard Army, and I wanted variety, this left me no choice but to use the Lava Elves as the race on which to construct the rest of the army.
Morehl Mages, like all other races, come in three sizes. The 1 health unit is the Adept, the 2 health is the Warlock and the 3 Health is the Necromancer. Their statistics can be found using the Die Browser, once again.
The Necromancer, as is normal for a 3-health mage, has the Cantrip SAI, which can be used to cast both Palsy and Ash Storm, which are very useful spells when attacking, but not so useful in defending, unless the army has a counter attack.
As can be seen, the Warlock, in particular, has a poor save ability, so we will try to make up for this with units that can assist us to get over this weakness in our magic-rich army.
On order to make sure that we maximise the usefulness of having a battalion of mages, we need to try to ensure that the magic action is going to be available to us as easily as possible. This can only be done if the terrain die is on a magic action face, or the minor terrain die allows magic.
There is no minor terrain that gives a magic advantage, having a 1 in 4 chance (only) of appearing in any roll on all four types. It therefore stands to reason that we pick a Major Terrain than has plenty of opportunity to use magic. Any Highland terrain will therefore assist here.
As we are building an army that is going to rely on Magic as its major weapon, we are going to consider what could happen to thwart our plan. The obvious answers are Dispel Magic and Countermagic.
There is not much that we can do about units that have Dispel Magic but, as Frostwings can only use their countermagic ability if they have units in the DUA, we will reduce this number by trying to bury them. The temple, along with heavy use of Soiled Ground, will assist in this tactic.
Back to our problem of defence, I am going to use two ways of getting over our lack of saves on Morehl Mage units. Firstly, my old friends the Eldarim, which allow us to bring on a dragonkin unit, with its autosave ability, every turn, and secondly, we are going to hide.
The Dragonlord is an Eldarim Champion and, as such, he allows us to introduce up to 4 health of dragonkin to the terrain over four rounds, eventually ending up with an extra 4 save results against normal attacks.
In addition, he has some pretty mean SAIs, including a Cantrip which allows all colours of Magic, and a very nasty Sneak Attack. As a Champion, he also has the ability to tame a Dragon of any colour (except white) and ‘ride’ it to another terrain.
This brings me to my second line of defence, namely hiding.
The Rakshasa is a Morehl Monster, which has a pretty nifty bit of camouflage, known as the Illusion SAI.
As can be seen from his statistics, there is a 20% chance of getting this SAI to appear every time an attack of any type, or a counter attack, is rolled.
With a bit of Magic, a reasonable save and a Counter this would appear to complement our home army perfectly, especially against a melee attack.
We can now put together our Morehl Mage Home army with 2 Necromancers, a single Warlock and 2 Adepts to bring us up to our 18 health limit.
“What happened to the Dragonstaff?” I hear you ask. The answer to this lies in Part 2, coming shortly to The Esfah Chronicles. Spoiler alert – The header photo might give it away!!