This article is part of a sponsored series of articles exploring Freecompany’s Eldfall Chronicles tabletop miniatures game.
Behold the glorious southern realm of the Helian League, a collection of like-minded people intent on upholding justice and defending the people of Calad from those that seek to do them harm. These brave warriors have developed a well-deserved reputation as the leading military force of the world, though time will tell if they can continue to stand alone or if desperate times will see them join forces with others.
Fighters of the Helian League are well-equipped and well-trained. While all factions of Eldfall Chronicles work best in combination, this faction especially benefits and plays into a game plan that involves party members supporting each other. An experienced party will play off each models active and reactive actions to move and/or get in extra attacks or blocks that normally wouldn’t be possible.
General recruitment strategies
Something you’re going to come away with very early is that Helian League models are expensive. In a starting list of 60pts you’re only possibly going to have three models unless you’re just playing for laughs and fielding four Flameshapers. For a solid starting list, it’s suggested you try the core party of Expeditionary Heirophant, Citadel Guard, and Flameshaper. This will give you a solid starting mix of melee, ranged offense, and high-end defensive spellcasting and cost 57pts, leaving you with a small amount to spend on upgrades.
Helian League models
Overall your faction models here are going to be defensive in nature, either as well-armored tanks or as support spellcasters. You’ll see a few traits and abilities repeat here, specifically the SOLDIER class, which allows models to stack buffs for others within their Awareness range, and Chain Attack, which allows models to strike out with a free hit when another friendly party model scores a hit against an eligible target. They’re not going to get a ton of attacks generally, so you need to be planning to cooperate to take targets down and focus things down.
A powerful defender and ally, the Citadel Guard is a scary opponent to be staring down if you’re a spellcaster or middling fighter. At Defense 16 and Armor 6, with Vigilance and Fencing I which puts a -3 modifier on incoming attacks, most enemies are going to have a dismal time having anything land in combat. Not only that, but Resistance II against Sorcery and Enchantment mean a good amount of available magic is simply useless against them! Depending on the opposing faction, there are some matchups where a Citadel Guard will be night invulnerable.
As a SENTINEL and Protector, the Citadel Guard does what their name implies very well: guard your spellcasters. As a reactive action, so long as the model is within half Speed distance it can elect to spend an activation point, move to base contact with another party member, and become the target for an incoming attack. This allows you to tank low-to-mid threat hits that might outright down your spellcasters and potentially position to strike with a reactive attack next if you can reach the enemy while you’re at it.
Lastly, as a SOLDIER it’s pretty obvious but if you have the points an upgrade to a Companion of Herion is extremely valuable here. Getting a flat +1 bonus to all its relevant stats is huge.
The core of any self-respecting Helian League party, an Expeditionary Hierophant is a powerful wielder of divine magic. As a MAGE and VITALIST, they can spend an activation point to re-roll a crucial failed spellcast and for healing spells they don’t even need to roll if the target isn’t seriously injured/dead.
As party leader, the Hierophant has access to two very useful Authority stratagems. Nursing Aura is an automatic heal for up to three models anywhere on the table, including those that are incapacitated so long as you make a successful Intellect check. This seems very powerful (and it is) but be mindful that Helian League models don’t have too many HP to begin with and a canny opponent (especially one with a Scheme to do so) is going to take an extra moment to take out your fighters permanently so they don’t deal with them reviving the next round. While your party is healthy, Spiritual Paragon improves the group Morale to a degree that it would be very difficult to cause any of them to break. Generally not as useful, but it might come in clutch against certain matchups and/or if your party drops to half strength.
As is the spellcasters lot in life, the Expeditionary Hierophant is comparatively frail and needs to be well defended, either hiding behind cover or directly bodyguarded by a Protector model. In this case, this is not as big of a hinderance as you’d think. Clairvoyance allows this model to cast spells during its active role and react to enemy actions without line of sight in their Awareness range. You can maneuver your models wherever they need to be so long as they remain within the reach of their spells.
Purgation: Eliminates any enchantment, removes many status effects, and automatically inflicts a Wound against Undead* and Profane models on a target within 16″. Helpful for clearing debuffs and potentially ruinous against enchanters who are relying on their spells to function.
* Undead have not been seen in the game system at the time of this publication, but its clear they’re shambling this way
Curative Touch: A “melee” full heal and status clear. Hilariously this has an “attack” value of the models Stamina, so you could potentially do this to two models in base contact.
Protective Barrier: A 16″ reach enchantment that negates one successful hit against the model and then disappears. If an enemy scores multiple hits, the player gets to choose which hit is negated which allows the possibility to ignoring a critical. Note that it has a Strike rating of Stamina, so you can bubble two models.
Blinding Light: A 16″ reach small AoE that Blinds any target within range until the end of the turn. A very useful ability in either the active or reactive role, as Blinded models cannot perform any offensive actions for the turn and have no LoS which means they can’t react unless they have special rules to do so. Expect to be using this quite often–taking enemy models out of the fight for a full turn is incredibly helpful.
Warding Barrier: A stationary barrier to protect any party member within 11″ from incoming enemy spells. A spell with a clear use, but unless you need a direct counter to Sand Kingdoms it’s not going to be where you’re spending your activations. It also keeps out enemy Spirits, if and when those appear.
Smite: A bit of a mechanically weird one–Smite is a large AoE with Armor Piercing and Burn (I) that can be dropped anywhere within casting aura (11″) and has a power equal to the models Morale (12). Bear in mind Spiritual Paragon boosts your Morale by +4, so you can put out hefty hits if your opponent is foolish enough to close distance and cluster models. If cast outside of LoS your targets likely won’t get to react to taking this hit which is just gross.
Curative Miracle: A 16″ range full heal and status clear. Simple, effective.
Anointment: A 16″ enchantment that negates enemy enchantments. It’s likely you’ll be spending your activations elsewhere, but it might come in clutch once in a while.
The Flameshaper has a very simple job: set people on fire and look professional doing it. As a SORCEROR, the model can re-roll any failed spellcasts (which is good because an Intellect of 12 isn’t stellar). As a SOLDIER, the model can benefit from other soldiers nearby and is an inexpensive way to boost your Citadel Guard and provide some much-needed ranged threat to your party.
With a weak defensive profile and 1HP you’ll be wise to play these cautiously, but if they can keep a distance and get LoS to your melee fighters they can quickly start to pay off by providing a flurry of fireballs via Chain Attack.
Art of Sorcery
Ignite: A 16″ reach fire attack with a power equal to their Intellect (12) and Burn (I). Keep in mind this has a Strike value of Stamina, so you can make two attacks with this each active role activation.
Flare: A 3″ reach defensive fire attack that strikes all models in the area at power equal to their Intellect (12) and Burn (II).
As the name implies, the Helrin Expatriate is someone who has left the Helian League for adventures elsewhere and may be willing to support other causes if the price is right. Their life of wilderness exploring has given them Survival (Difficult, Forest) as well as RANGER. As an ARTIFICER this model can automatically apply its Burning Touch spell to its attacks during the Strategic phase.
The Expatriate acts as a strong midfield model, providing the potential to screen enemy models from entering your backlines via Impede which can cause an enemy model to stop at the point am Attack of Opportunity is made, whether the attack hits or wounds. This can completely ruin a models movement/plan for an activation and is just a super handy (very mean) thing to do. Alternatively, they can help press an attack and join with a Citadel Guard or others, using Chain Attack to contribute extra strikes against a foe. For either of these two options, bear in mind that they have a handy dagger snuck into their belt.
Art of Enchanting
Burning Touch: A 16″ reach enchantment that grants the targets attacks Sweep I, Burn (I), and allows them to cancel Bleeding state on itself or other models in base contact.
Decisive Victory – Score 3VP if all your models are alive at the end of the game. So long as you keep your Hierophant alive, this should be a strong possibility.
Virtuous Commander – Score 1VP (up to 3VP) for every model in your party not Incapacitated or Dead. Notice a theme?
Relentless Advance – Score 2VP (up to 6VP) for every party model who is beyond the middle of the field at the end of the turn. Your faction is relatively slow, but this can certainly be accomplished if you play defensively and shepherd your casters forward. It’s one of the few schemes that scores more than 3VP max and has a huge payoff.
Fierce as Fire, Immovable as a Mountain – Score 1VP (up to 3VP) for wounding an enemy model as a Reaction. With some luck, Chain Attacks are going to give you the hits you need to score this over time.
Peacekeeping Paragon – Score 2VP for every enemy model not Incapacitated or Dead at the end of the game. This is hugely powerful–not only does this not cap, but it leans into the relatively low damage capacity of your faction. If you keep your own models alive via healing and score your schemes during the quest you can score the best possible value with no model taking damage.
Last Warning: Score 3VP if none of your models perform an attack action for a full round of battle. It definitely fits the pacifist theme, but may be giving up a bit too much depending on the matchup/quest.
Tactical Expertise (3pts) – Grants a model the Tactician trait, which allows it to deploy 5″ further. Handy for a number of reasons, especially if you’re looking to score Relentless Advance.
Seasoned Combatant (2pts) – The model gains Fearless. Not having to bother with Morale tests when you fall below half your starting force can potentially be huge, depending on how close the game this.
Companion of Hairon (2pts) – This upgrade is only available to SOLDIER models. A Companion of Hairon counts itself toward its SOLDIER bonus (meaning it gets +1 to Offense, Defense, Accuracy, Intellect, and Morale automatically). Super, super good. Take it.
Gift of Longevity (1pt) – The model gains +1 Intellect. A solid pick on your Expeditionary Hierophant.
Adept Shaper (3pts) – The model gains the next level of one of its spellcrafts. This is exclusively (at least for now) intended for Flameshapers to access Inferno, but it’s also incredibly pricey and technically not possible to use right now, as Inferno has a mana counter cost that a Flameshaper cannot generate because it is not a MAGE. Maybe this will be possible later?
Glyphscribe: Reduce Weight (3pts) – Either inscribes a weapon or shield, increasing its Strike value by 1 and reducing its weight by 1 or inscribes armor, increasing the models Agility and Speed by 1 and increasing inventory by 1. A very handy and expensive upgrade, likely best applied to a Citadel Guards small bludgeon but anyone will like a solid stat boost.
Glyphscribe: Hyperia’s Providence (3pts) – Forces anyone who attackers the inscribed to make an Agility roll when attacking or suffer a -1 Strike penalty and additionally causes a -3 hit penalty against shield-using models (the Citadel Guard) in its front arc. A little swingy, but the shield buff might be worth it on its own against the right attackers.
Expeditionary Tactics: Double Time (3pts) – Used at the Strategic phase, discard this to gain +6 to the Initiative roll. Potentially handy but in an army all about biding its time you’ll probably be using your points elsewhere.
Expeditionary Tactics: Surge Order (3pts) – Used at the Strategic phase, discard this to have up to three models in your party make Walk, Jump, or Climb roll that doesn’t provoke reactions. This is just generally great for positioning but another huge shot in the arm for Relentless Advance.
Dear reader, you have walked the righteous path of the Helian League today and we hope that your time here has left you endowed with great knowledge you will use to smite thine foes. While this article is a intended for a helpful introduction/refresher for the faction and its capabilities, be on the look out for further articles further fleshing out tactics.
If you’re interested in picking up Eldfall Chronicles yourself, you can find it on Freecompany’s store page.
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