The next expansion and set of recruitment cards for Mortal Gods has started shipping. Having received my order, I take a look and discuss what’s new. With over 40 new cards including units, as well as gifts, there’s plenty for any aspiring Thrakian Warlord!
With these small expansions, Footsore has taken a different tack to the Lochos boxes of the Athenians and Spartans. Instead of a box set with figures, booklet, and obviously cards, it’s important to note that this set is just cards. Whilst a booklet with some history on Thrakia and how it fits into the setting of Mortal Gods would have been warmly welcomed, I can see how it would have added significantly to the production and shipping costs.
A (very) brief history
For those unfamiliar, Thrake, or Thrace, was the area to the north of Greece around the Balkans. This includes coastlines of modern Bulgaria and Turkey. A tribal people, they are depicted as barbarian like invaders during this period. Often found in the employ of others, they can also serve as useful allies. It’s definitely worth checking out Phatis’ blog posts for historical primers.
I won’t be discussing in too much detail the pros and cons of each new unit as I haven’t got many games with them under my belt. Consider this more a feel for the flavour of whats on offer. Anyway, enough ramblings, lets see what’s what.
Included in the set is a new rules card detailing EVADE and INSUBORDINATE. Evade is a nice new reaction allowing units to use an activation to potentially avoid combat by making a hasty retreat. Insubordinate reminds me of the animosity rule for Orcs and Goblins in Warhammer where there’s a chance that your companions become unruly. This can nullify actions so you need to plan wisely…
To lead your new lochos, we have the option of either a generic character or the mighty noble, Skorylos. I like that you aren’t stuck with named characters and can tailor your lists. A big part of the appeal of games like Mortal Gods is the ability to forge your own epic stories. Regardless, both of these are fairly solid fighters as you’d expect. The novel twist with Skorylos, and the other named character Dromichaites, is the inclusion of javelin!
New Companions & Gifts
Asides from the warriors and peltasts that one might expect, we have the inclusion of rock throwers or leusteres. Oh and cavalry. Lots of cavalry. Whilst we all eagerly await the release of Greek horsemen, the Thrakians come out of the blocks with a number of useful options. As well as mounted ippakontistes (javelineers), there’s also toxotes (bowmen), and nobles. I particularly like the look of the nobles and eager to try out their charge rules which seem a tad hit and run. Oops, I almost forgot to mention the option of taking a mounted lochagos – silly me!
On top of the recruitment cards we get a nice stack of ten new gifts specifically for the Thrakians. These add a lot of flavour and depth of options highlighting and emphasising the fast moving nature of these invaders from the north. I would have liked to have seen some additional omen cards but it’s not a deal breaker.
Worth picking up?
From my initial read, I think these will feel similar in play to the Welsh in Saga (a force I enjoy). Lots of swift movement and harrying attacks whilst utilising the terrain around them to good effect. I’m worried, given my dice rolling, how devastating the insubordinate rule may be but until I’ve really got to grips with them I’m not going to get too disheartened.
Given the quality of the card stock and the extra options this set brings, if you like Mortal Gods, it’s really a no brainer. You will want to pick these up. Whether you want to add some Thrakian flavour to your growing mercenary or city state lochos, or want to carve out new territory for your own noble, this has you covered. The biggest downside to this is not having enough time to assemble, paint, and play everything.
I’m looking forward to trying these out and eager to see how others get on with them. I’m sure it won’t be long before there’s a raft of nobles crowing of their exploits over on the Mortal Gods Facebook group. After a few games I’ll need to revisit and see what tactics are good both with and against them. I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve also picked these up or maybe considering it. Drop a message here or join in a discussion over on the Facebook page.