When Flavor and Mechanics Collide: Moonshadow

Hello everyone! I’m here with another article on how flavor and mechanics overlap in Factions: Battlegrounds! Check out my last article where I explain what I mean by “flavor” and “mechanics”, and see some examples from Zyan. Without further ado, let’s look at the flavor and mechanics of Moonshadow!

First, some quick honorable mentions in the form of Jabari Shadow Knight and Vukazi Scout! They mechanically capture the flavor of their units in the same way as some of the units I mentioned in my Zyan article (Vukazi Scout’s high mobility and low prowess let it be an actual scout, and I’ve already mentioned how the “Joust” ability is a great representation of mounted comabt), so it’s only fair I give them a little shoutout here!

Since Moonshadow is a faction all about ambush, Assassin Squad has a lot of pressure put on it to be an effective and flavorful assassin, and I think it does a great job! The combination of high mobility, ranged attacks, Evade 3, and low health encourage you to keep this unit on the outside of the battlefield and pick off enemies from safety. That makes it a nice ranged unit, but what’s so “assassin” about it? Well, it has a single use of the “Slayer” ability, which can instantly kill any unit with a prowess of 7 or less (fun fact: over half of all the units in the game fall into this category)! It’s kind of hard to get assassins to work in a game with perfect information, but all of Assassin Squad’s parts fit together in just the right way to make it work!

“Hantu” is the Indonesian and Malay word for ghost or spirit. It’s a pretty general label, as there are a ton of different kinds of hantu, not all of which are malevolent (although most of the more famous examples are). The Hantu in Factions: Battlegrounds are both cheap, utility-focused fliers. This is really fitting of Hantu, since they’re ethereal creatures that are free from the confines of a real physical body, so having high physical stats wouldn’t make sense (flying is extra appropriate, since a lot of the verbiage about hantu evoke birds). While poison itself isn’t really relevant to hantu, the Poison Orb spell’s effect of draining attack power is a good representation of their ability to drain vital energy from people.

Let’s round things out with the Ahool Nightstalker, based on the Ahool, a gigantic bat creature from Indonesian folklore. Similar to Kragg’s Feral Griffin, Ahool Nightstalker is an opportunist, utilizing its high mobility and complete immunity to ranged attacks to apply pressure over a large area, and rewarding clever positioning with double damage through its Swiftstriker ability!

I hope you all enjoyed my look at the flavor and mechanics of Moonshadow, let me know in the comments or on the discord which faction you’d like a write-up about next! And as always, I’ll see you all on the battlegrounds!

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