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.


Comments


BuckWilde commented:

First! Woot! The cards look amazing!

Posted on 2014-08-11.

tristak commented:

Ooh. Really liking the color scheme!

Posted on 2014-08-11.

Barliman commented:

I would have had this up sooner, but there was a bug in the news article settings which needed to be fixed before I could publish it.

Posted on 2014-08-11.

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Saucy_Salem11 commented:

Awesome! Love the color scheme and the new Sand Cloaks logo that is superimposed on the card. Definitely adds a new dimension to the game! Can't wait to give it a shoot!

Also - really looking forward to seeing a map of Itharia!

Posted on 2014-08-11.

Barliman commented:

There are some duplicate comments for some reason, including this one which was a duplicate. I'll delete the other duplicates.

Posted on 2014-08-11.

Adam commented:

I love the look of the cards and the summoner. I also love the concept for these cards. So much to like. This is the alliance I am most excited about. One question: it says you can give these abilities to any Sand Cloak. Does that mean it can also be given to Sand Goblins and Cloaks, or only units that are specifically both?

Oh, one other question, she is being previewed next week? Not Thursday?

Posted on 2014-08-11.

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glenn3e commented:

Marek looks hot :-P

Posted on 2014-08-11.

killercactus commented:

Sand Cloak = Cloak, Sand Goblin, or Sand Cloak.

Suck on that, turtle decks.

Also if you want some insight on Marek's ability, I'd suggest re-reading the teaser battle.

Posted on 2014-08-11.

Barliman commented:

@Adam: On Thursdays Joe will be previewing different factions! His first alliance is one that did surprise me.

Posted on 2014-08-11.

glenn3e commented:

My guess is Marek is able to give an Event ability to another Unit once per turn?

Posted on 2014-08-11.

killercactus commented:

Read my comment above. That's true of all Alliance factions.

Posted on 2014-08-11.

Irisches Glueck commented:

I am loving the look of these cards! Background definitely meshes the factions, great mash up of the two symbols, and the icon in the upper left is a nice touch!

As for the cards, I think they create a lot of possibilities! Theif or Spider with Greater Sneak, Sand Wyrm with Flee, Kreep or Snipers with Escape, and Slayers with Marked Target... I think I am in love with Marek already =]

Posted on 2014-08-11.

ZeeJr commented:

Awesome.

These abilities all make perfect sense. The only one that doesn't quite fit in my mind is Retribution. There must be a unit ability we haven't seen yet that combos really well with Retribution. Actually, now that I think about it, SG Scavengers would pair pretty well.

I like that the inclusion of Escape gives some disincentive to spamming SG Shaman. Not to mention a tiny bit less reason to use Scam, who is arguably the most powerful champ out of the Cloaks and Sand Goblins. Likewise, including camouflage gives a little reason not to spam Javelineers. I was hoping for a few copies of those two abilities, but it's also sweet to have the diversity of nine separate abilities.

Now my brain is blazing with all the combo possibilities.

One notable combo is a thief with greater sneak.

Bombers or Violet with Far Shot.

A Scrapper can often be blindsided into position where Blitz will be effective. (If the damn blindside roll lands)

If Marek is ranged, I'm sure that

Posted on 2014-08-11.

killercactus commented:

Looking for an ability that combos with RETRIBUTION? How bout the Admiral?

Posted on 2014-08-11.

joepinion commented:

Marked Target could help the blindside roll land. :D

Posted on 2014-08-11.

ZeeJr commented:

KC, I take it you're referring to The Admiral engaging a unit himself, right? Since it wouldn't work when he's covering another unit.

Posted on 2014-08-11.

killercactus commented:

Well, if the other unit has RETRIBUTION and it gets attacked, the Admiral can COVER it, and then you get a RETRIBUTION roll.

Posted on 2014-08-11.

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brock commented:

Wow! Very cool! I like the Sand Cloak logo.

Posted on 2014-08-11.

Justantula commented:

I think Marek has the ability to either exchange Event Abilities of two units or give any unit the Event Ability she has placed under her for a turn or something like that.

Very cool cards!

Posted on 2014-08-11.

GeneralRolando commented:

welp.... it was a long time coming, but Tacullu is no longer my favorite summoner. Haha

Posted on 2014-08-11.

Caleb Wolfbrand commented:

So... Spider has access to Greater Sneak? :D

I am SO excited. Can't wait to deckbuild ahhhh my addiction!

Posted on 2014-08-11.

brock commented:

It says "under any Sand Cloak," so I assume this means not Sand Golbins or Cloaks. So no Greater Sneak for Spider :(

Posted on 2014-08-11.

killercactus commented:

Wrong Brock - as I said above, Cloaks are considered to be Sand Cloaks, as are Sand Goblins. This is the golden rule of Alliances. Spider can sneak away. Let's see Tundle Meditate through that.

Posted on 2014-08-11.

freezinpee commented:

Well done plaidhatgames. Good job playtesters. I'm sure a lot of work went into this project. I'm not worthy, whoa.

Posted on 2014-08-11.

Iliad_Keys commented:

Love the combined logo look, hoping the other factions combined logos look as snazzy. Her abilities sounds amazing! I'm very excited to see the new previews coming out! I hope that I will finally be able to store all of my Summoner Wars decks in ONE box, although with sleeves that may not work out...

[edit] I suppose we'll find out soon enough about Marek's special ability, but I wouldn't be surprised if it allowed her to recall EA's back to your hand or swap them between units for a MP.

Posted on 2014-08-11.

thenightsshadow commented:

There's a lot to look forward to. While Marek's Event Abilities are certainly new and interesting, that's not the most outlandish thing in this set by far.

Enjoy what everyone brings to the table, and remember; the deckbuilding possibilities will be near endless now.

Posted on 2014-08-11.

dyeyk2000 commented:

Can I put a new Event Ability under a unit that already has one? How would that work? Do I discard the old one?

Posted on 2014-08-11.

killercactus commented:

Nope - event ability rules say you can't.

Posted on 2014-08-11.

dyeyk2000 commented:

So discarding is not an option to maintain the 1 EA only rule? Got it!

Posted on 2014-08-11.

Barliman commented:

Actually, those rules just say there cannot be more than 1 at a time. From what's written, we wouldn't know which is the case:
1- You cannot play an EA under a unit that has one.
2- You can play a second EA, but the first is discarded.
3- You can play a second EA, and the first goes back into your hand, like Mutations.
If I were reading it the first time, I would assume from the lack of further elaboration that #1 would be the case, but I would still want to know for sure.

Posted on 2014-08-11.

kalrhin commented:

Clearly it is option 2. It says that a unit can only have 1 EA, and says nothing about discarding or returning to hand.

Posted on 2014-08-11.

ZeeJr commented:

I see. (Regarding using Retribution with Admiral). That's a sweet combo.

I too am curious about changing abilities one they're in play. My reading of the rules card tells me that you simply can't change them.
Once you place one, it's there until the unit dies, then it goes to your discard pile.

Unless maybe Marek's ability allows you to retrieve them in some way. Perhaps from your discard. Perhaps from underneath the unit while in play. I'm hoping it isn't from the discard. Then she would be to similar to Demagogue.

Posted on 2014-08-11.

joepinion commented:

There is a unit that can manipulate EAs under units... You can't get rid of them otherwise.

Posted on 2014-08-11.

Cyprien Esenwein commented:

It's coming! Can't wait

Also, I didn't know the board would be a map of Itharia. Even more excited!

Posted on 2014-08-11.

Justantula commented:

@Joepinion The summoner, perhaps? :p

@ZeeJr what's wrong with a Demagogue like ability? The Sand Cloaks don't have any CUE so I think it would be fair to be able to retrieve the EAs with maybe a cost of Magic.

Posted on 2014-08-11.

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tortugatron commented:

Kreep with Escape would be pretty cool. You would need a reliable way to get these EAs for all these cool combos to work, so I wonder if it is a Demagogue-like ability. Without a SotJ or CoS like JE has, Moyra herself would need to be able to search a draw and/or discard pile. But if that's the case, her ability probably wouldn't be able to manipulate which EA is under a unit. Hmm....

Posted on 2014-08-11.

Micam commented:

She sounds like a lot of fun to play. I assume she can give herself an event ability as well.

What happens if Mimic is used to take one of these EA cards? Can only Marek play them?

Posted on 2014-08-11.

tortugatron commented:

I assume Tac can play it on any SC unit that he mind controlled/captured. Or actually he could play it on an enemy unit too, although I don't know why he would want to.

Posted on 2014-08-11.

ZeeJr commented:

@Justantula. Dema's ability is awesome for him. But this game's designers have done such a good job of making every Summoner completely different. Even Second Summoners within the same faction. I hope to see that tradition continue.



Posted on 2014-08-11.

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brock commented:

It says "under any Sand Cloak," so I assume this means not Sand Golbins or Cloaks. So no Greater Sneak for Spider :(

Posted on 2014-08-12.

Skydragon222 commented:

I can't believe that no one has brought up the potential of Dagger with greater sneak yet. Good luck watching your back when he can move five spaces.

Also, @Brock, I could be wrong, and if so my above comment is stupid, but I think every Sand Goblin and Cloak is considered a member of the Sand Cloaks.



Posted on 2014-08-12.

killercactus commented:

Skydragon is correct.

Posted on 2014-08-12.

xMagox commented:

Marek realy looks cool, SC is one of the most expected Aliances by me, the card and the logo looks great blahblahblah

Now: the fact that every event is unique on SC is awesome. With the possibility of changing them, taking back from discard or grating the same ability to more than 1 unit, as we will see when Marek card is revealed, the versatility of this deck will be huge.

and only one question

With blitz triggered can i atack units that are
1 adjacents to my atacking unit
2 to the unit that i atacked?

The first option is like a nerfed CG Beserker or a Hydrake, the second one is something new to the game i think.

Edit: On the forun, question answered.

Posted on 2014-08-12.

Iliad_Keys commented:

Much as I'd like it to be a Demagogue like ability, if you read the preview it seems that she gives each unit a unique boost and then uses some sort of speed boost on every single one. So maybe she grants something like the Vargath Rushers have?

Edit: I think I've cracked it you guys. After reading this preview and then her teaser battle it seems pretty clear: Marek can cast an EA on herself and then grant that ability remotely to her units. This may be an area of effect field around her, or who she chooses to target, or maybe only when units are newly summoned. Either way it means she can effectively stack some sort of power on top of the ones put underneath units! :-)

Edit again: reading the teaser battle it looks like she grants EVERYONE the SNEAK ability, and then that last unit also gets SWIFT. yet another seems to have GS plus BLITZ...

Posted on 2014-08-12.

thenightsshadow commented:

@Iliad Keys:

Not quite. Keep going. Try specifying what kind of ability she has.

Posted on 2014-08-13.

SaintGup commented:

I can't wait. I think my head is going to explode!

Posted on 2014-08-13.

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