"Bring Forth the Heroes!"
Heroes, Monsters and Special Units in Age of Might and Steel by Steve Hazuka
The theory and added mechanics for the effective use of Heroes in the Age of Might and Steel (AoMaS) 15mm Fantasy system.
Magic Users, Heroes, Generals and Monster Units are Special Units in AoMaS. These units add modifiers to either combat, morale or unit activation. Each figure has the same value as a stand for the purpose of counting units for combat as well as modifiers for combat or morale.
The Benefits of Some Extra Muscle
Monsters and Heroes are an important aspect of AoMaS. Their proper placement in a formation can add moral bonuses or additions to combat modifiers that can turn the tide of the battle. The AoMaS book lists a selection of different profiles for these monsters starting on page 38. You can see that adding a Cadaver Giant to you Undead army adds a Shield Spell to whomever they are attached to. This in effect can help decrease the damage your unit is taking when fired upon by opposing archers. Also by adding an Animal Pack to your Dwarven army can beef up a 6 stand unit to 7 stands and if they need to be deployed to another unit can detach and add their strength to another unit.
Remember there is no limit to how many Special stands maybe attached to a unit and their individual effects accumulate for combat purposes. Units having been in battle and suffering losses will look for a Griffon for instance attached to it to give them an automatic Rally Spell helping their Activation Roll and freeing up a Magic User from having to use their spell to assist the unit.
Another advantage to a Monster Unit is their rate of movement; they move as Light Infantry when unattached and can detach and attach to another unit to give them the benefit of their bonus or strength. Imagine a Heavy Elf Infantry unit getting to add half of their movement rate on a charge by adding a Pegasus to their formation going from 8 to 12 inches on their attack.
Monsters cannot be part of a Heroic Band but they have a special place in combat too. Being the last stand to be removed in combat the unit can continuously be bolstered by adding another Monster to the unit. Therefore the unit can remain at strength and remain in combat longer.
Some Monster units such as Giants, Troll, Ents, and Mammoths can even be used in the role of battering ram in attacking a fortress or castle. Also in the relief of the siege or aid in the defence Monsters that have the ability to fly may move into the surrounded fort to help.
Why are Dragons So Limited and So Expensive in Points?
In the issuing of points for AoMaS it was a rather simple formula to keep the game easy to use. Natural Creatures without the ability of adding either a Moral or Combat Effect are a basic 35 points. Magical Creatures are a basic 50 points, since the Dragon had the ability to fly and a Fright Spell plus a Magic Attack Spell they should be more expensive.
It is my own theory too that Dragons are a bit rare also and should be a higher value anyway. With regards to the point system you’ll notice that Were Creatures even though listed as Magical and Evil are only 35 points. This was to include them into the category so if the Opposing Player used the Pure Light spell they would have to detach from the unit prior to the combat.
On page 25 of the rulebook you’ll notice only one listing is given to Monster for 35 points, this should be two categories one for Magical and the other Natural. Magical Creatures, except Were Creatures, should be 50 points.
Heroes as Special Stands
Heroes add awesome killing power to a unit. When AoMaS was sold as an electronic file it included a Combat Chart that at the bottom stated:
“If Hero attached to unit +1 to the Die Roll”.
However this was not included in the body of the rules so when it went to print it was not included By making that change to page 13 of your rule book you’ll soon appreciate the might of a Hero. This bonus is not however cumulative for additional Hero stands in a unit.
Remember this Hero bonus goes to the die roll not the Base Number.
Talismans as a Special Stand
Talismans are also an overlooked Special Unit. Costing 50 points each they can strengthen a unit to drive forward or do greater damage. Talismans can be designed by the player by selecting a spell from the list provided in the rules and creating a stand that clearly portrays its role.
A group of Monks standing around a crystal could designate a constant Pure Light spell that when attached to a unit provides the benefit. Creating a Talisman provides a Victory Condition for the opposing player as well. Capturing them would be a major coup to the enemy. Talismans could also be the goal of a battle having them on the field to be captured or destroyed by the players.
This article was originally published on Alternative Armies' content portal Barking Irons Online in 2011 and is reproduced here with permission.
You can buy The Age of Might and Steel rules direct from Alternative Armies on thier web site here.
Barking Irons Online was Alternative Armies' official content portal that I ran for them from 2011 until 2013, You can find (almost) all of the content it hosted on Orcs in the Webbe in the respective categories in the menus or browse through it all by clicking on the maroon "Barking Irons" tag below.