This book is made up of a series of different additions to the Oathmark – special formations for use with existing units, new units, kingdom events and military expeditions – each of which modify the basic game.
We start with special formations, new options that can be used to alter the way existing units fight. Most of these are fairly simple changes – giving minor stat changes (for example phalanx, which boosts the fight stat for combat to the front, but lowers it for attacks from the flank and rear), but square and skirmisher affect the way the unit forms on the battlefield.
Two types of new units are included – animated stone (living statues, colossus, animated idols) and chariots. These use special abilities introduced in other books, but luckily the required rules are repeated here. The special abilities are what make these new units special, so the undead become harder to damage with missile weapons, never fail morale tests but suffer damage instead, and are harder to activate, while chariots have limited maneverability and suffer if they run into rough terrain.
Next comes the largest part of the book, looking at random events that can affect each player’s kingdom between games. The idea here is to give the kingdoms created in the basic rules a history other than just their record of battles, as well as creating a timeline. There is a good selection of events, so they are unlikely to repeat too often. Some of these rules need other books in the series (Oathbreakers or Battlesworn), so if you don’t have them can’t be used. Most of them have some impact on the next battle, but normally a fairly minor one. Others allow you to modify your kingdom by gaining a new territory. I rather like this idea – it gives the kingdoms more variety, and I found the kingdom system a major part of the original game, so to have it improved is great. The impact is likely to be fairly mild – things like the ability to reroll a couple of morale dice, get a particular type of unit for more or less points. In theory a good roll for one side and a bad one for the other might unbalance things, but that seems unlikely.
Author: Joseph A McCullough