Conquest is a game of mighty armies clashing for dominance over the Battlefield, however, no matter the size of a force, it is the skill, charisma and pure prowess of their leaders that can win and lose wars. Characters are distinct entities in Conquest in that although they perform any Action their Regiment takes, they have access to their own set of unique Abilities and Special Rules.
In previous articles from the “Highlight” series we discussed how Magic is used and what the role of Characters in List Building is. Today we will be focusing on how they Activate, Fight and on the powerful Abilities they bring to the tabletop. At first sight the Stat line of a Character is nearly identical to the one of a regular Regiment. The identifying factor is the “Character” Special Rule and the Faction specific upgrades available to them.
When a Regiment’s Command Card is drawn the Regiment will take their two Actions and the Character will perform the same. However, a Character as with any game entity has its own card in the Command Stack. Unlike a Regiment the Character can only take one Character Action.
Entering the Battlefield
“…suddenly, in the crowd, Hunfrid saw him.
His robes bore the pearly color of the mist, a dead shimmer of a rainbow on a field of black and violet. The weird mask looked like a trunk or tentacle sprouting beneath large, dead eyes, and leading to a fleshy bag at his side belt, which gurgled as if alive, gassy sounds of deep, hollow pants accompanying the wet gargles. Two horns came out of his back, hollow, for fumes kept puffing smoke, which now and then burst in clouds that spread around him. The smell of alcohol and sulfur reached the men-at-arms’ nostrils. Some gagged at the stench of it but the line held, pushing still.”
- From Nepenthe: The Price
When the Character enters the Battlefield from Reserves it can only be done while being Attached to a Regiment of his/her Warband and of the same type. It is important to remember that when designing your Army List you give your Character at least one Regiment of the same type to be able to come on to the Battlefield. The classification of the Regiment (e.g. whether it is Light, Medium or Heavy) does not matter for the purposes of when a Character can come in from Reserves.
Duel (Character Combat Action)
“His eyes were set on the thing before him. It looked different than the drones he’d seen with spears. Its chitinous armor fit it perfectly, designed for its size precisely, including legs and arms. The helm covered its entire head and even the expression on it was meant to intimidate, with large, sharp teeth showing in a grin. Most dangerously of all, the creature lacked the uncertain body stance of the drones. It drew two knives from behind the back and stood before Hunfrid, full of purpose and obvious intelligence. It mocked him with its stance, Hunfrid realized, it mocked him before they’d even started fighting.”
- From Nepenthe: The Last Argument
A Duel may be issued as an Action only when the Character’s Regiment is in Combat with an enemy Regiment that has a Character joined. Once the challenge is issued the enemy Character opts to whether accept the Duel and fight their enemy in glorious combat or deny and hide behind the ranks of their Regiment.
Leader not a Fighter
“…a battered spireling, shield arm broken in two places and ankle trampled beyond repair, growl and shriek in pain as it got up. The one eye visible through the broken helmet was frantic with surprise, as if moving was not the creature’s decision and it had to witness its own body move. But up it did get and it held the spear, trying desperately to raise the shield with the broken arm as well, the command to do so obviously given, but the body failing to comply. Other spirelings like it did the same, ignoring wound and injury. Three or four spearmen lines behind, a puff of smoke from the Pheromancer died out.”
- From Nepenthe: The Price
Although martial prowess and exceptional heroism help to turn the tides of battle, some Characters excel in tactical maneuvering and supporting their troops. When selecting a Character most often you will be given a list of skills and items to choose from that bolster your Character's prowess on the Battlefield. A great example is the Pheromancer’s remarkable ability to adapt to his Opponents battle plan by rearranging the top cards of the Spires player’s Command Stack. Keep these Characters safe away from combat and allow them to bolster the tactical and fighting capacity of your forces.
No matter what Characters you choose to employ each entry provides its own unique and thematic set of abilities, allowing you to fully customize your battle plan and add a level of strategy to the game unique to Conquest!
Killing a Character
“I have a message for him” Fredrik said.
“He would convey one himself, Prince of Men” the Pheromancer said but the Prince waved dismissively, weighing the sword in his hand.
“One of the advantages of royalty is that I get to insist that you deliver mine first” Fredrik said. He pierced through the Spirelord’s torso with his sword, then shoved harder, the other hand pushing from the botom of the hilt.”
- From Nepenthe: The Price
Characters in Conquest are not self-sufficient entities in that they only operate joined to a friendly Regiment of the same type. Characters fight and maneuver as a whole with their soldiers and should a Regiment is swept away due to overwhelming force, the Character perishes as well. No matter how big and mighty a hero is, a Character is as great as the strength of those who fight beside him/her. Many times, enemy Characters meet each other in Combat and when such great warriors meet, rarely both live to tell the tale. When a Character card is drawn you get a great opportunity to call out your enemies and challenge them to fight to the death.
Characters are an important aspect of every Army List in Conquest, it is their strength, utility and prowess that sets them appart. However, no matter how strong and charismatic they are, the soldiers next to them is what allows them to reach their full potential.