Hello! Welcome back to #MortalRealmsMonday!
We’re in the final stages of playtesting for Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Soulbound, with regular playtests happening with the team in the office and a select few external groups. So this week we wanted to share a quick recap of what we’ve been testing.
Lights in the Gutters
Recently, we did some lunchtime playtesting to try out the new “Swarm” mechanics. The Soulbound headed into the ruins beneath the city of Brightspear (which you will learn more about in the Soulbound Starter Set) to investigate some strange lights. It turns out, the Skaven had burrowed deep beneath the city and their alchemical experiments were causing a whole lot of strangeness.
The group was faced with dozens of Skaven Clanrats, a Grey Seer, and a Rat Ogor. The Rat Ogor is a big heavy-hitting enemy, but isn’t too smart. The Grey Seer is a warpstone-devouring spellcaster, but is very squishy. The Clanrats aren’t much of a threat individually, but can be dangerous in a group — this is where the “Swarm” mechanics come in. GMs can group up a bunch of smaller “Minion” creatures into a Swarm. Each Minion increases the Swarms Toughness by 1 (Toughness being your health) and increases their dice pool for attacks by 1d6. This means that by working together the Swarm can tear through armour where an individual Clanrat couldn’t. For the players, it means every 1 Damage they do to a Swarm kills one of its members, reducing the Swarms Toughness and its dice pool for attacks. It’s a helpful tool for GMs when running large scale combats — it speeds up play, makes minor enemies still threatening, and makes players feel awesome for cleaving through dozens of enemies at a time.
Overall, the Swarm mechanic was a success. The only wrinkle in this playtest was the Grey Seer over-indulged on warpstone and ended up a Skaven-sized puddle on the floor. Oh well. Moving on!
The Haunted Well
In this playtest, a new settlement had been established around a well of precious Aqua Ghyranis — life-giving water from Ghyran that is vital to survival in Aqshy. The party was sent to investigate when the settlement went quiet. Sure enough, when the Soulbound got there they found everyone dead and ghostly apparitions haunting the well.
There were two goals in this playtest: to try out Environmental Hazards and to test the ethereal nature of Nighthaunts. The group faced about a dozen Chainrasps, a Chainrasp Dreadwarden, and two Myrmourn Banshees. When more than two Chainrasps occupy the same Zone (an area roughly 30 to 50 feet in diameter), they create an Environmental Hazard called Chill of the Grave. This Hazard deals 1 Damage to anyone who enters the Zone or starts their turn there, and the Damage ignores armour. The Hazard didn’t do any major damage to the group, but it was a consistent worry. Thematically it worked well, and GMs could easily boost the damage output for more fearsome spectres, such as the Knight of Shrouds.
The other worry for the group was that the ethereal nature of the Nighthaunts meant that mundane weapons only dealt half damage. Thankfully the Sigmarite weapons of the Stormcast Eternal and the magic of the Battlemage of Ghyran put a swift end to the spirits (though each of the Battlemage’s spells was at risk of being consumed by the Myrmourn Banshees).
All in all the playtest went well. The group soundly defeated the gheists without suffering major wounds and could move on to the next encounter. But more on that next week!
That’s it for #MortalRealmsMonday this week. Be sure to keep an eye on our website and social media channels for more Age of Sigmar: Soulbound updates.
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