The time has come for Alliances previews!

There is so much to get excited about with the Alliances Master Set:

  •     It has 8 new factions inside. (The first Master Set had 6.)
  •     Each faction represents an alliance between 2 of the previous factions.
  •     Each alliance faction can deck-build with units from their component factions, and vice versa.
  •     The set comes with a new neoprene playing board, with a map of Itharia as background art.
  •     It also has deck dividers for every Summoner's deck and each set of faction reinforcements.

For more information, see here for pointers to a detailed podcast about Alliances, here for a video preview of the box art, and here, here, here and here for teaser battles involving these factions.

When I first learned about them, some of the alliances surprised me, but not the one I am about to reveal.  The Sand Cloaks are of course an alliance between the Cloaks and the Sand Goblins.  From the unit bios we learned that the founder of the Cloaks also invented gunpowder, a weapon we only saw among the Cloaks, a rogue Mercenary or two -- and a few Sand Goblins!  So there was a precedent for this alliance to appear.

The new Summoner of the Sand Cloaks is named Marek, but I will not show her to you until next week.  I am not being coy.  I want to show you her Events first, for they are the core of her ability and what her deck is about.  Marek's Events are called Event Abilities, and they introduce a new mechanic to the game:

Event Abilities Rules Card

As we see, Marek is a sort of reverse Vlox.  Vlox could copy the ability of any of his Cloak units on the field, while Marek can give abilities to any her Sand Cloak units on the field. Another exciting aspect of this is that each of the nine EAs is unique, leading to many tactical possibilities.

Without further ado, here they are:

Blitz, a Sand Cloak Event

Camoflage, a Sand Cloak Event

Escape, a Sand Cloak Event

Far Shot, a Sand Cloak Event

Flee, a Sand Cloak Event

Greater Sneak, a Sand Cloak Event

Marked Target, a Sand Cloak Event

Retribution, a Sand Cloak Event

Swift, a Sand Cloak Event

That should give you plenty to think about for a while.  Next week we start looking at Marek herself, and her units.