I like to start off by saying I’m not a professional player. I have very few players in my circle but they usually stick to a single army. Most of this article is theory and therefore subject to conjecture until proven in the fields of Esfah.
Welcome to a look into Frostwings! The Batcats are missile specialist who are tough and precise. This guide will look at various units and their synergies in the game of Dragon Dice as well as take a look at various health army ideas and building views.
Frostwings only have heavy melee troops:
Vindicator (Rare: 4 smite, 3 save, 4 fly, 2 melee, 3 melee)
Defender: (Uncommon: 4 melee, 2 maneuver, 2 fly, 3 melee, 1 melee)
Advocate: (common: 2 melee, 1 maneuver, 1 fly, 1 melee, 1 melee)
These Heavy melees have a lot of 50% chances. The Defender and Advocate have great maneuverability while the Vendicator has lots of melee and good save faces. Using 4 Advocates, 2 Defenders, and 2 Vindicators you haave 14 points of Fast, durable melee and a great horde army.
Devastator: (Rare: 4 bullseye, 2 save, 3 fly, 3 missile, 4 missile)
Dispatcher: (Uncommon: 4 missile, 2 save, 2 fly, 1 melee, 3 missile)
Destroyer: (common: 2 missile, 1 save, 1 fly, 1 melee, 1 missile)
Usually the bulk of any Frostwings force the Heavy missile units favor both saves and missile results. They could be called “Jacks of all Trades” dice due to the single melee face, but really they just like to take a hit and toss ice darts at foes.
Assailer: (Rare: 4 volly, 3 melee, 4 fly, 3 missile, 2 missile)
Assaulter: (Uncommon: 3 missile, 2 melee, 2 fly, 2 missile, 3 missile)
Attacker: (Common: 2 missile, 1 melee, 1 fly, 1 missile, 1 missile
Light Missile units are more offensive based with more attacks on the melee faces but less survivability than their heavy counterparts. They could make an excellent supplement to a missile contingent but lack enough power to be an army unto itself.
Bear master: (rare: 4 rend, 2 melee, 4 save, 3 maneuver, 3 melee)
Wolf master: (uncommon: 3 maneuver, 2 missile, 2 save, 3 melee, 2 maneuver)
Houndmaster: (common: 2 maneuver, 1 missile, 1 save, 1 melee, 1 maneuver)
Calvary are the true “Jacks of All Trades” units for Frostwings. They are great at Maneuvers but can be unpredictable in other areas. You may wish to supplement a Heavy Melee force with these guys to cover distance quickly while the melee blends through the opposition.
Magi: (rare: 4 cantrip, 2 missile,4 fly, 2 magic, 4 magic)
Magus: (uncommon: 3 magic, 3 missile, 3 fly, 1 magic, 2 magic)
Apprentice: (common: 2 magic, 1 missile, 1 fly, 1 melee, 1 magic)
The use of Cantrip to cast Hail Storm and Palsy can help on occasion. It’s very situational though. Your Magic Negatinion ability only kicks in if you have a Deadlands in play or Frostwings in your DUA, and only up to 5 per dragon you bring. It looks bleak for Frostwings as far as magic is concerned. But, with access to spells like Wind Walk, Lightning Bolt, Touch of Death, Summon Dragonkin, Summon Dragon, Soiled Ground and Fields of Ice, the Frostwings have a lot of tricks they can play with. They don’t have the best success rates for magic though. So if you do bring magic. Bring at least 1/3 your army’s health worth of them, group them together and plant them on an eight face.
Due to the nature of monsters a caveat must be put into place at each one has situational usefulness. For instance Howl and Frost breath will work well with both melee and missile armies, however the primary use of monsters are for melee. It is recommended that you use monsters to flesh out what you need as most Frostwings forces will usually be heavy in the missile or magic ranges. But don’t discount a good melee presence when you are holding an 8th face.
Chryohydra: (double strike, save, melee, maneuver, double strike, maneuver, melee, save, Frost Breath)
The cryohydra is best at home In the throes of melee. Double strike and Frost breath both work well at close range.
Frost Ogre: (smite, save, missile, maneuver, missile, cantrip, magic, save melee)
The best way to describe the Frost Ogre is a jack of all trades and master of none. While he has the somewhat situational cantrip he can be useful stuff any range, but not most of the time. It’s a toss up, but he’s a generalist of all styles of play.
Remorhaz: (swallow, save, melee, maneuver, swallow, save, melee, maneuver, save)
The Remorhaz is another offensive monster who can snipe important units with swallow. How well it does really depends on what you have to support it though as the rest of its faces are rather lackluster
Wolf pack: (howl, rend, melee, maneuver, maneuver, save, melee, howl, rend).
Just looking at one of the most common monsters in the Frostwings is enough to make you want to play them. Rend at first glance is incredibly nice. Once you see Howl this may be your best friend for maneuvering your missile army, however, the icons don’t seem to come up when you need them, and don’t forget, this is a melee based unit.
Yeti: (save, melee, missile, maneuver, melee surprise, rend, surprise, rend)
The Yeti is interesting in that it’s melee based, can stop a counterattack with Surprise, and has Rend. This unit should be a must for any Frostwings army that has melee in it, as it will lead to less casualties from a counterattack and deny some armies, dwarves and feral, their more powerful racial abilities.
So now that we have a rundown of the units let’s talk racial abilities.
Winter’s Fortitude: after dragon attacks, the Frostwings player may move a Frostwing from his buried unit area to its DUA if they have at least one Frostwings unit at a terrain with blue in it. This can be very good for players who use Soiled Ground and a strong melee or missile force. Remember that Soiled Ground may not be cast from reserves, neither can your offensive spells, like Lightning Strike.
Magic Negation: for every 5 units in your DUA per dragon you bring you may make a roll at the same time your opponent rolls for magic, the opponent then deducts the amount of non ID magic results that you roll, up to the max stated above, from their results. It’s a harassment tool and it encourages you to bring a wide variety of rarities in your army. However, it can pay off in the late game by stopping a critical magic roll.
Fields of Ice: this racial spell targets a terrain and deducts 4 (stacking) maneuvers from any maneuver roll there. It also shifts the Balance to the counter maneuvering player for ties.
Magic Drain: When this spell is used it negates 2(stacking) magic results from the target army’s next magic roll. While it isn’t ‘cantripable,’ it can be of great use in forcing your opponent to miss out on buffing another army with magic before marching with them. A few casts of this along with a good mage presence could coax the opposing player to not cast spells at all that turn.
Frostwings favor any terrain with air and lots of missile faces, Coastlands (tower or city depending on your build) are a must for this army’s home terrain. The race also benefits from getting into melee or magic combat, so instead of looking at the colors of the die let’s look at the placement of icons. A grove is quite nice for a magic and melee build having only 1 missile face but in order to keep it you much forfeit going first. With a good mage presence you should be able to keep your opponent at bay during the first magic roll of the game.
Bringing the right minor terrains is essential for Dragon Dice. They can help you achieve your racials and also maintain a better position should you find yourself at a stubborn range. For Frostwings I suggest bringing 2 Deadlands, to jumpstart your Magic Negation if you brought mages, a Coastlands minor, and a Flatlands minor. Each color can be found on most of the lands your opponent ‘could’ be fielding. For games larger than 24 points I would suggest also bringing a Wastelands minor to be able to add blue to any terrain you may need it at.
OK! So we’ve talked about the army, we’ve talked racial abilities, and we’ve talked about minor terrains and major terrains. So let’s bring it together and get to building forces. I like to take Frostwings in a combined arms approach, half the army melee or magic, half the army missile. It has been my experience that going the magic route will lengthen the game tremendously by looking up spells. However both are viable options.
The key is to keep things moving around the board and force your opponent to react to you. If you need them to go to a bad terrain then find a missile range and make them sweat. If you have a sizable melee force then find a melee range and go to town.
Please leave comments on if this was helpful. The warriors from the sun are next so join me again when we talk firewalkers.