After several days showcasing the new hotness, today we’re
cooling things down with a preview of the brand-new Northern Alliance army!
After their debut in Vanguard, the Northern Alliance – with its mix of humans,
half-elves, dwarfs, trolls and other creates – has become one of our most popular
factions. So, it seemed only fitting this new faction should form the centrepoint
of our Third Edition releases.
As previewed earlier this week, the Northern Alliance are
the joint stars of our new two-player starter set, Shadows in the North.
However, that’s only just the beginning of what we’ve got planned for these frosty
fighters. In today’s blog, we’re showcasing the new units you’ll find in the Northern
Alliance Army and Mega Army sets.
The humans of the Northern Alliance come mostly from the Northern Clans who have sworn allegiance to Talanaar, but can come from many disparate lands. Of these, some are remnants of eastern tribes devastated by Varangur raids. Others are refugees of wars to the south, or exiled from the numerous Kingdoms of Men. Whatever their heritage, each has found a home as part of the Alliance, and will fight to their last breath to protect it.
ICE KIN HUNTERS
The Ice Kin are more rugged than their southern brethren. They
dress in thick furs and leather, the delicate fabrics worn by the other elves
not being suited to the lands of the north. Despite their rougher appearance,
these elves are every bit as graceful and swift as those of other kindred. With
sharp blades and sharper senses, they fight to protect their newfound home,
their winter attire doing little to stymie their elven celerity.
More impetuous and hotblooded than their elven kin, they
struggle with their dual heritage, constantly fighting internal battles to
retain control. Only the Ice Kin, backed by the understanding of Talannar for
their plight, are willing to take these unfortunate beings in, helping them to
temper their anger and focus it on the field of battle for a good and worthy
cause. As such they are ferocious fighters, shunning armour and embracing the climes
of their adoptive home.
Packs of Tundra Wolves are commonly spread throughout the
northern regions of Mantica. Their thick arctic fur is a prized possession
among the human tribes and clans, but many have also become semidomesticated. The
ultimate prize for any hunter are wolf pups, which, when trained, become
ferocious guardians and invaluable hunting aides.
Snow foxes also make for great hunting companions and are
used by both Ice Kin and clansmen alike. Sometimes, they are trained in packs
to harass and disrupt enemy lines, distracting them for long enough for other,
hard hitting Alliance units, to move into position.
ICE KIN BOLT THROWER
Bulky war engines are impractical in the environments the
Alliance operates within and defends. Treacherous snow and ice, steep rocky
landscapes and inclement weather all curtail the use of what many armies would
consider mandatory and conventional artillery. The Alliance is not without
ingenuity however, and the Ice Kin have adapted the bolt throwers of their
southern kin to develop their own version capable of great mobility and
light-weight practicality, while still delivering a chilling and devastating
punch to their foes.
Snow Trolls are remarkably intelligent compared to other
members of their race. Those that march into battle alongside the Alliance
could almost be called clever, to a degree. They wear armour, rather than
having it crudely nailed into their flesh, and can understand and obey orders
as well as most humans. When it comes to combat, however, they still tend to
grab the biggest object to hand and pummel it into the enemy.
SNOW TROLL PRIME
All trolls are fighters, even the smarter ones found in the
far north. When that intellect is turned to warfare, some Snow Trolls seem to
be gifted with tactics and strategy beyond expectations. Elevated above their
kin to a command role, Snow Troll Primes are greatly respected by the Trolls
they lead, as well as the other warriors in the Alliance for their fearsome
leadership and brutal efficiency.
There are Naiad populations spread all over the world – even
beneath the polar ice. These beings have adapted to the colder climate they
dwell in and can survive near-freezing temperatures both above and below the
waves. Wielding weapons with crystalline ice blades many times harder than
steel, these implacable beings now fight alongside the forces of Alliance as
long as the Talannar’s promises hold true.
To be a skald in the clans is to bear an immense responsibility.
Little is physically documented and tradition dictates that all the memories,
knowledge and history of the tribes and clans are learnt, maintained and retold
by their skalds. Due to their vast knowledge of what has gone before, skalds are
often close advisors to both Thegns and Lords alike.
The tribe chiefs and clan lords serve directly in Talannar’s
Witan, the council where all strategic decisions are made, whether political or
military. Accompanied by their personal champions, the Skjoldcarls, they are
the generals in his armies and such are the demands of the role, and the difficulty
in travelling and maintaining order across the vast areas they are responsible
for, they may only visit Chill once or twice a year.
THEGN ON FROSTFANG
Serving under the chiefs and lords are the Thegns. These powerful and imposing warriors command deep respect from friend and foe alike. Few of the clans in the foothills and lower slopes of the Howling Peaks and in the northern-most limits of the Ogre Lands have managed to tame the brutal and elusive Frost Fangs. These beasts are an ancient, primeval ancestor of the Gur Panthers that the forces of Basilea employ in battle. Where the panthers are sleek and graceful, the Frost Fangs are heavy-set but hugely powerful. Known to the shattered clans as Direfangs, they are savage killers, covered in a thick hide and dense white fur.
Pre-orders for the Northern Alliance and all the other Third Edition releases will be going live with retailers and on the Mantic website from today!
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