Visions in the Flames: The Lord of Bones and His Followers

Bannermen, last time we discussed some changes to the Night’s Watch, today we’re going to venture even farther north than the Wall into the realms of the Free Folk! If you want to catch up on these changes, you can begin reading here.

When it comes to Free Folk, the ideology is you have a faction of cheap, expendable forces meant to outnumber your opponent. This is done through Raiders, Spearwives, and various other cheap options. While you can certainly build an army that just floods the table via these choices, adding a number of “elite” units gives you that extra punch you might need. Elite in Free Folk is a bit subjective, but let’s go over one of the particular units that received a look at with the changes and how they were affected.

Out of all the Free Folk options, the Followers of Bone, and specifically Rattleshirt himself, are meant to have a strong focus on causing Panic in the enemy, as well as being the “elite offensive” option for the army. Unfortunately their offense wasn’t quite living up to what we needed it to, especially given their “hefty” cost of 6 points (which is indeed expensive in Free Folk, despite being mid-range at worst in most every other army!)

To this effect we worked to boost their offensive optional via the inclusion of Vicious, as well as giving them a substantial boost in their Attack Dice at their second and last ranks, allowing them to keep their offensive potential throughout the entire lifespan of the unit.

Now, as you might also know, Rattleshirt himself allows you to field a special Character-version of the unit: his elite personal band, The Bonelord’s Chosen. Coming in as currently the most expensive option in Free Folk, they should be absolutely terrifying to come across. The issue here was that, as scary as they could be, they once again fell into the issue of the army itself have a multitude of cheap options - and usually quantity wins out over quality here. We didn’t simply want to make them cheaper, we wanted these guys to be scary, so they received a number of buffs to bring them up to that level.

First, and easiest to explain, they received a raw number of stat increases, ranging from Morale to Attack Dice. Like the basic Followers, they also received Vicious. The biggest change, however, comes from them exchanging Prey on Fear for Cut Them Down!. This removes their build-in healing capabilities and instead switches it for more raw offense. Cut Them Down! means that, when either the unit attacks or triggers Horrific Visage, there is the risk of the enemy losing and entire rank from either instance.

Now, some may be lamenting the loss of Prey on Fear, but there is one other modification to them they received: the restriction of Rattleshirt: Lord of Bones has been replaced with simply needing Rattleshirt to be included in the army (keeping that he must still be attached to them). This means the unit is now “unlocked” by the mere inclusion of their leader, rather than him also needing to be the army’s Commander, and since the Attachment version of the Character has Prey on Fear… You can see where this is going…

Speaking of the Lord of Bones himself, he also received a minor, but significant rework in this update. Rattleshirt is all about distributing his various “Trophy” cards to his army. His Ability, however, made him very greedy in doing so, only allowing you to snag those cards and place them on his own unit. We’ve reworked it to keep the deck/discard searching feature, but now, instead of only benefitting his own unit, he simply allows you to search your deck/discard for one of his cards and attach it to the unit that caused the trigger. This allows you to spread those trophies out and begin “equipping” your various units as you see fit, rather than the focus being solely on his own unit.

And there you have the modifications coming to some of the most sinister and gruesome of the Free Folk. Join us next time as we continue our look at the updates coming to the Night’s Watch and Free Folk armies - we have plenty more in store for you!

Visions in the Flames: The Lord of Bones and His Followers

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