Flavor and Mechanics: Doom Sand

Hey everyone! Today I’m going to be looking at how the units from Doom Sand! Something really interesting about Doom Sand that I quite enjoy is that two cards that share an ability can have very different contexts and flavors to them, and yet still fit into the same world.

Doom Sand Outlaw and Tyrant Chieftain both have the extremely unique ability: Kidnap! Kidnap allows units to capture (but not eliminate) nearby units if they have prowess equal to or less than 2+the kidnapping unit’s prowess. The only way for your opponent to get their unit back and catch up on points is to spend the necessary gold to re-recruit that unit, effectively paying its ransom! Not only is the ability itself quite flavorful, but it takes on a new context on each of these cards, with one being a regular criminal abducting someone and the other being a tyrant storming into a village and taking a hostage. Tyrant Chieftain’s Dominion ability also rewards players for hoarding resources (like a tyrant), by giving them victory points for controlling both resource centers of the same type!

The teleport spell is really simple, and could hypothetically fit onto any spellcaster, but the fact that Doom Sand has it on these two spellcasters in particular adds to the stories these units tell. At first glance, the Assassin Mage’s 1 attack and 2 movement make it seem like a poor excuse for an assassin. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Assassin Mage’s combination of Teleport and the high single-target damage spell Mystic Sliceblade turn it into an incredibly lethal unit that could only really exist in Doom Sand, which loves both underhanded criminals and casting spells. Genie Khan, on the other hand, deals damage to units in its row/column with Wave of Blades, which can be cast after it teleports. This can leads to huge swing turns where your Genie Khan appears out of nowhere and takes out multiple enemies, like a genie granting your wish for victory!

Finally, here are two spellcasters that deal damage to multiple enemy units, but do so in unique ways that feel appropriate for their flavor. Sirocco is a hot, dry, North African wind, so it makes sense that Sirocco Conjuror would only affect enemies on desert tiles. Anubite Astromancer, on the other hand, conjures meteors! And it really feels like you’re throwing meteors at your opponent when you do it! This affects an entire 2×2 Terrain Tile, and even hits flying units (which makes sense for a storm of meteors). This is one of my favorite spells in the game because of just how well the actual gameplay matches up with the unique conceit of the spell.

That’s all for Doom Sand! If you think I missed anything or want me to write up one of these for your favorite faction, leave it in the comments or tag me in the Factions: Battlegrounds Discord with @Afraid. As always, see you all on the battlegrounds!

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