Since we have last spoken there have been subtle shifts in the way that Dragon Dice has played. The Amazon’s reprint Kickstarter was extremely successful and a wonderful start to SFR’s 25th anniversary. Celebrating with new dice, the elemental relic and Dracolem will be discussed later. Now lets talk about the humans of Esfah. Possibly the most controversial change is the augmentation to the Species Traits of these warriors. For that we need a ground up revamp of my previous advice for Amazons.
During a march, instead of taking the manoeuvre step, you may bury a minor terrain the marching army controls. Amazons in that army may then count maneuver results as if they were missile results during a missile action this turn.
During a march, instead of taking the manoeuvre step, you may bury a minor terrain the marching army controls. Amazons in that army may then count manoeuvre results as if they were melee results during a melee action this turn.
So when you declare a march you can choose to bury a minor, skip your manoeuvre and then you can get those 83% melee, or 65% missile results from cavalry. This just goes to show you what humans can do with proper planning. I’ll get more on this when we talk tactics but you will be doing a lot of setup for the new Amazons.
Amazon units generate magic results matching the colors of the terrain where they are located. Amazon units in the Reserves Area generate Ivory magic, which may only be used to cast Elemental spells.
Want to cast a spell? Got the land for it? Feel free to bring a minor in to get access to and astounding FOUR elemental schools of magic. Need the triple threat of Dancing Lights, Transmute Rock to Mud, and Wall of Fog? A highlands/Feylands backed up by the respective opposite will give you the Fire/Earth/water combination that you need for an amazing position of magical ability. You have the ability to pick and choose your magical spells based on whatever you need.
Esfah’s Gift: Amazon: 3: Reserve: Cantrip
Target a minor terrain in your BUA. Move that terrain to your summoning pool.
With the change of the Charge passives Esfah’s Gift is so much more important to the Amazon’s play. In activating your charge this spell can restore the buried minor terrain to your summoning pool to be summoned again for a charge when you need it most.
Rally: Amazon: 5: Reserve
Target up to three (stacking) of your amazon units at a terrain. Move those units to any other terrain where you have at least one Amazon unit.
Path at +1 cost for 3 units is amazing when you have monsters or a reliable manoeuvre army to move around. So long as you have a unit at the target terrain you have a great chance of dealing with almost any situation when you have the tactical mind to do so.
War Chief: Rare: 3 Health: 2 Manoeuvre, 4 Melee, 3 Melee, 3 Save, 4 Smite
Warrior: Uncommon: 2 Health: 2 Save, 2 Melee, 2 Melee, 2 Manoeuvre, 3 Melee
Soldier: Common: 1 Health: 1 Save, 1 Melee, 1 Melee, 1 Manoeuvre, 2 Melee
Amazonian Heavy Melee can be some of the most efficient melee in the world. When they have time to set up a charge they have an astounding 83% chance of contribution to a Melee roll! On ALL RARITIES no less!
Harbringer: Rare: 3 Health: 3 Manoeuvre, 3 Melee, 3 Melee, 3 Save, 4 counter
Envoy: Uncommon: 2 Health: 3 Melee, 3 Manoeuvre, 2 Manoeuvre, 2 Missile, 2 Save
Runner: Common: 1 Health: 1 Melee, 2 Manoeuvre, 1 Manoeuvre, 1 Missile, 1 Save
The Light Melee of the humans are devious and vicious at the same time. They are versatile when setting a charge with the same success rate of their heavy cousins. Also remember that the Harbinger has a coin flip chance of saving against damage thanks to counter.
Spearer: Rare: 3 Health: 2 Melee, 4 Missile, 3 Missile, 3 Save, 4 Bullseye
Javelineer: Uncommon: 2 Health: 2 Save, 3 Missile, 3 Missile, 2 Manoeuvre, 2 Melee
Darter: Common: 1 Health: 1 Save, 2 Missile, 1 Missile, 1 Manoeuvre, 1 Melee
Um, well. That just happened. You have the best bit of distance runners in Esfah. They are amazing at ranged, great at close range. I still suggest keeping them at Missile range though. Hold for a charge then let fly and see the bodies of your enemies fall.
War Driver: Rare: 3 Health: 2 Missile, 3 Trample, 3 Trample, 3 Save, 4 Melee
Battle Rider: Uncommon: 2 Health: 2 Melee, 3 Manoeuvre, 3 Manoeuvre, 2 Melee, 2 Save
Charioteer: Common: 1 Health: 2 Melee, 1 Manoeuvre, 1 Manoeuvre, 1 Save, 1 Manoeuvre
Versatility is the Strength of the Cavalry. On the Charge they are amazing, usually contributing to melee, and ranged attacks. The only thing they don’t do well is magic. Don’t worry, well get to that soon. Cavalry should be used to support your other resources due to their massive advantages when charging across the battlefield.
Oracle: Rare: 3 Health: 2 Save, 5 Magic, 4 Magic, 2 Manoeuvre, 3 Cantrip
Visionary: Uncommon: 2 Health: 1 Save, 4 Magic, 3 Magic, 2 Manoeuvre, 2 Magic
Seer: Common: 1 Health: 1 Save, 1 Magic, 1 Magic, 1 Manoeuvre, 2 Magic
The Mages do what they do like most humans, only they don’t need to hold for a charge beforehand. They may get varying results but they will be consistent in producing results. More on these marvellous casters in the tactics sections.
Monsters: 4 Health
Centaur: Manoeuvre, Missile, Kick, Melee, Melee, Kick, Missile, Manoeuvre, Trample
When set the centaur can be one of the most reliable monsters in the game. With 2 missile faces and 5 melee (including trample) The centaur is a Great melee unit that can also support at missile range. Also kick is just amazing against dragons and melee.
Chimera: Melee, Smite, Rend, Melee, Save, Flame, Save, Fly, Melee
The Chimera is worth taking due to its ability to bury units in the flame ability. It is a melee unit and will work well there, with an 80% chance of contribution in melee combat.
Hydra: Melee, save, Melee, Save, Double Strike, Save, Double Strike, Save, Melee
Every race has a tank of a monster, dwarves have the behemoth, goblins have trolls, and the firewalkers have the phoenix. Amazons have the hydra. Hard to kill and hard hitting. While it may not have much movement it does have the best save chance of the Amazonian army.
Medusa: Melee, Stone, Melee, Save, Melee, Manoeuvre, Melee, Stone, Manoeuvre
The Amazons are good at most things, and the Medusa is a great example of their race. It can be amazing on a javelin charge and even better in the melee on a Kukri charge.
Nightmare: Trample, Trample, Firewalking, Melee, Fly, Manoeuvre, Fire Breath, Save
The mythical Nightmare is a terror on the field. Its melee capabilities are insane on the charge, but it also has the ability to whisk away units out of the melee should the need arise. There really isn’t any reason to not take this powerhouse.
Amazons may no longer simply resort to charges to get the job done. They need to have some icon focus while also having a magical focus to keep things moving. For the magical focus I suggest using a feyland church for your home terrain. The red and green will grant protective spells you can use to protect both your own mages and also augment your devastating melee or ranged attacks. Your proposed frontier should probably be a grove of some sort. I’d suggest a wasteland for this as it maintains your anti melee presence whiles also giving you some spot removal with air spells like Lightning Strike. If you choose to run with a heavy cavalry focus then you have a high chance of picking whether to go first or second based on the proposed terrain. If you feel you can maintain a healthy degree of units feel free to deny your opponent one of their precious major terrains and go with the magic heavy option.
Minor terrain selection is another important choice for the Amazon Warchief. They are your charges, first and foremost, they supply a third magic school for your mage army, and they also give tactical options for your missile or melee focus. If you are going for melee I suggest bringing villages, for missile combat consider Knolls. I suggest at least one highlands, 1 coastland and a deadlands for your primary terrain selection, your fourth minor (in a 2 player game) can be what ever you wish. Think to expand on the magic you have access to at any given point, perhaps run a wastelands minor for your mages to get access to blue at your home terrain, but the goal is usually to have the trifecta of Dancing lights, Wall of Fog, and Transmute Rock to Mud accessible at any given time. While all of those spells are 6 magic cost they are better than magical saves from watery double or stone skin because they prevent damage before it happens. “A Morehl’s cursed bullet means nothing if the shot goes wide.”
Once again let me point out that the old method of charging every march once at a favourable distance is not going to win games any more. You must play strategically. You must be able to adapt to your opponents capabilities, and most importantly, you MUST use cavalry for what they are, not what they convert into. The Cavalry units of the Amazons are still powerful. They can race better than most armies. They are also quite fragile. The key to winning with Amazons is to know your options and choose the best tactical option for your current situation. If your opponent is in missile range and you feel you can deal a devastating blow to an army, then magic your main force up with wall of fog, or slow down the enemy’s conversion rate if with Transmute Rock to Mud if they have a conversion passive, then Javelin charge, if possible, or run a plain missile attack. On the other hand I still suggest running cavalry heavy. That being said I think they should be used to keep terrain at a good range for your army and very bad for your opponents. Amazons now hit decisively when they need to hit.
I believe that a missile based approach will cover the army for all three actions given the proper unit and terrain selection. Six health-worth of javlineers with 9 health-worth of battle riders and an oracle for good measure, remember that you have a cantrip for not only the elemental properties of current terrain the army is at but also the spell ‘Gift of Esfah.’ Set a Javelin Charge and
with a roll of a cantrip get the minor you just spent back in your summoning pool. With the heavy emphasis on maneuver you shouldn’t have any trouble keeping your chosen terrain at missile range. Also, remember to charge when you feel the time is right, with a 50%-65% chance of Manoeuvre you can really mess with your opponent.
On the other side of the force you must have a competent group of mages to support your army using the first few turns to get a minor for more spell selection and also supporting your horde army with what ever you need of the “big defensive three” spells, then use the rest for of your results for either buffing the horde army further with burning hands or supplementing your save count by summoning dragonkin. The trick to Amazon magics is to remember you have the broadest tool box at your disposal. If you need spot removal, something very good in Dragon Dice, all your home terrain needs is a wastelands minor to get access to air magic, more importantly hailstorm, lightning strike, and wind walk. However should you feel that the dice opposing you would literally be against you, heavy units and you too Feral mages, bring in a deadlands for touch of death. It’s more expensive but it will kill the most common units without a save possible. Also should you feel the need to switch your third element, skip your march to ditch your current element, save 3 magic for Gift of Esfah, then use what is left to boost your attacking army. Next turn just bring in the color you need for what spell you feel you need to have.
I hope this updated guide gets you hyped for the fulfilment of the Kickstarter. Once again, Amazons have changed from the “Charge, Charge, Charge” mentality to the strategist who looks for the right opportunity to get the most out of your charge. Have a good one and keep rolling to victory!