CROM Mechanics Teaser #3 – Movement and Charging
In our last teaser we discussed how attacking is handled in Conan: Rise of Monsters, and we happened to mention charging when we did that. So in this one we’re going to talk about movement and charging and why the Scion of Set’s 12″ charge is extremely powerful.
Each unit has a movement rating that gives its base movement in inches. Standard infantry units are typically around 6″, but the range varies from as slow as 4″ to as fast as 9″ for a cavalry unit. If a unit ends its normal movement in contact with an opponent, it may make an attack. Otherwise, a unit may forego its attack to Run, moving its full movement rating twice, but it cannot end a Run within 1″ of an enemy unit.
Charging is a special move that lets the unit move 1.5x its rating and gain +2 attack dice for Melee attacks. However, this requires a straight line of unobstructed movement. And making that happen may be harder than you think…
The most important complication with regard to movement is that there is no pre-measuring in CROM. So when you’re fielding units with different movement ratings, you’ll have to be very careful with your estimations.
The other factor that you must take into account is that each model is tracked separately for movement. However, units must maintain coherency, so it is entirely possible for a charge to fail or a movement action to be slowed because one of the models clips some difficult terrain.
To add to the unpredictability, there are a number of Fate cards that allow for reactions to a charge: “Stand and Deliver” allows a volley of ranged fire into the attackers, and the charge halts if any Wounds are dealt. “Caltrops” may be placed to stop a unit from charging at all.
In general, the Circle of Iron is quite good at both dishing out and taking charges. Gunderland Pikemen eliminate the extra bonus dice from a charging unit, whereas Poitainian Knights and other Shock Units re-roll Sigils during a charge. Also, Conan the Barbarian is a Trailblazer, ignoring the extra cost for difficult terrain. (Units with Flight do the same.)
In the Set deck, “Lemurian Sorcery” lets you move an enemy unit 4″ in any direction, and “Jhebbal Sag’s Blessing” gives bonus movement to monster units.
Which brings us back to the Scion of Set. Let’s compare two cards side-by-side. First there’s the Oliphant, an excellent unit whose high movement and Trample ability make it a devastating combatant. But it only charges 10.5″. If the Scion is able to strike first, its Venomous ability and high MA can give it a significant advantage, and that extra inch and a half of charge distance means it may just be able to guarantee that first strike.
When the monsters rise, where will you stand?