Army Design Challenge: Durani – The Khan’s Pyre

Greetings Knights,

We have a challenge to set before you!

While talking with Golem Arcana players, we’ve found many new players would like an easier starting point in the army creation process. Staring at an empty list of armies can be a bit daunting at first, with so many Golems and Relics and Knights and Ancient Ones to choose from.

So our plan is to create some pre-built armies for the app. These will be organized by what expansion boxes are available at retail so as to more easily allow new players to match armies with the Golems they own.

In a recent blog post, Emissary Glasswalker shared his favorite Durani army design, and there are more such blog posts on the way. We love seeing how you, the Knights of Eretsu, create endless strategies and combos for every situation and need, and we’d like to reward such creativity in ways that benefit everyone.

Our challenge for you then is this:
for the next couple months, we’re going to have a series of Army Design Contests. We’ll create a discussion thread on our forum where you can post your proposed army lists and discuss them with each other. When we’ve reached a critical mass of options, we’ll create a VOTE post in the forum for you to choose your favorite.

We’ll kick all this off with a call for 500-point armies using the Golems and Relics of the Durani: The Khan’s Pyre expansion (available from the online store).

Go to this forum thread and post your army design today!


League of the Hundred Skulls: Challenge of Fortitude Week 3 Winners!

The third week of the League of the Hundred Skulls is over, and that means there are new champions to announce and prizes to be awarded. Each of the following players won a League event and will be rewarded with Er-Haka the Storm, a powerful new Ancient One. Congratulations to all of this week’s winners!Ancient One Er-Haka the Stormrider

  • Bladerkeks
  • N33dl3s
  • Ladywolfam
  • Zombie Messiah
  • Warbringer25
  • Dyson
  • Fillonius

Didn’t get a chance to play last week but still want to get into the action? Competitive League Play continues through April 28th.

Check here to find Events happening in your area!

Competitive League Events are hosted by Emissaries, who will be on hand to answer questions and help show players the ropes. Players earn prizes for participation as well as victory.

No events in your area? Passionate about Golem Arcana? Apply to become an Emissary today!

Click here to learn more.

Gilded preserver thumbnail

From an Emissary: The Might of the Durani

Hey everyone, this is Glasswalker, Emissary to the Great White Frozen North… that is, Canada.

In light of the new competitive landscape emerging with the launch of Organized Play in Golem Arcana, HBS has been approaching Emissaries and asking them to chime in here on the blog with our thoughts on competitive army composition. Since I’ve always been a vocal supporter of the Durani, I was asked for my thoughts on a competitive 500-point Durani army.

I’d have to say my favorite Durani army to play so far is fairly traditional, in that it leverages units from the earlier releases. Specifically, it’s made up entirely of elite units:

  • Winged Vanguard
    • Commanded by Laghu Chandrisetra (and no, I didn’t just pick him because he’s got a strikingly familiar face)
  • Gilded Preserver
    • Commanded by Mardin of Chatzuk
  • Gilded Ram
    • Commanded by Vitan Rahita
    • Carrying the Bulwark of Vajra

This army comes out to an even 500 APV (hopefully no future APV changes invalidate it). The combo is quite powerful, while staying fairly flexible.

I’m sure there are several ways to easily counter this army, but I’ve yet to see a generalist army that has a decided advantage (though I’ve certainly seen several that have given it a run for its money, and I’ve seen cases where I’ve made mistakes playing this army that resulted in sure losses).

The general strategy is slow and deliberate, with surgical strikes, leveraging strong defense and crowd control to battle on your own terms.

Gilded RamGilded Ram:

Using the combo of this pilot’s Steady Aim ability, the Bulwark Relic (if needed), and the unit’s defensive capabilities (high Armor and Melee ability), this unit can be parked somewhere strategic as a defensive turret, using Concussion Blast for crowd control. Pick the highest risk target, and blast it back to control the battlefield. Ideally if you want to optimally use this unit, find some  Open Cover to take advantage of the negation of Critical and Lucky hits (thanks to the Gilded Protection ability), but that’s not an absolute requirement. The highest priority is to find a clean line of sight to the main skirmish area of the map (or possibly a defensive point of interest if the scenario warrants it). To get the Ram into position, take it slow, plan your course, and use Cover and bonus Cover from the two Preservers to get him to his target. If at all possible, don’t use the Concussion Blast unless you’ve taken a rest for one turn. This will give you the +30 Accuracy bonus from Vitan, and as a result, you practically can’t miss.


Winged VanguardWinged Vanguard:

This unit can be absolutely devastating when used for blitz attacks with Laghu. His Swoop ability can make him very effective when Flying into a Region, and the dual Melee attacks coupled with the Air Onslaught ability of the Golem mean that in a single turn you can deal 95 damage in two Melee attacks with 95 Accuracy in a single Turn. Immobilizing Stab serves to further restrict your opponent’s movement for additional crowd control. Keep in mind you have to carefully set up these blitz attacks, keeping the Vanguard behind cover if possible, but within striking distance of targets. This maneuver will consume all your AP for the Turn’s, but is usually worth it, as it can in some cases eliminate a Golem entirely, or at the very least severely wound or crippl another Titan.

Gilded PreserverGilded Preserver:

This unit fills the role of the finisher, as well as the survivor. In the case where your Ram or Vanguard is neutralized, the Gilded Preserver with Mardin’s Persistent Zeal will become your backup unit, as he can survive very well. During normal play, he is useful to provide either Ranged backup using his two effective Ranged abilities, or, when the odds are in your favor, his Death Blow ability. If Death Blow is used following a previously successful blitz from the Vanguard, this can usually finish off nearly any unit (excepting Colossi). Again, if the odds cooperate, Death Blow can also be useful combined with a Charge Attack to finish off an enemy Titan that has been hit on the previous turn by the Vanguard’s blitz. However, as the Region will be full, unfortunately the low Accuracy of this ability can leave you at risk if it is not carefully used.

Overall this army provides a solid mix of Melee and Ranged capabilities. The entire army is heavily armored (as is fairly standard for a Durani Army), and with the pair of Preservers you have a good amount of mobility with their Flying abilities. In a push you can move quite quickly, for example late in the game as an escape tactic, or early on to reach a key objective. Do not underestimate the power of their crowd control either. By coupling the Concussion Blast with Immobilizing Stab, you can keep the majority of the enemy’s forces frozen and unable to move (and keep them away from the fighting).

Some obvious weaknesses to be wary of are that, once placed, the Ram will be vulnerable to Ranged attacks. Be watchful for anything that pierces Armor! Normal attacks require a massive amount of Damage to affect the Gilded Ram (with the Bulwark, you would have 24 Armor for Damage reduction), but if it pierces Armor the Ram can fall quickly. The enemy will want to close in and take out the Ram, and you can use this to your advantage to set up maneuvers with the Preservers. Also keep in mind that the Vanguard will be swooping into risky areas regularly, and will likely be the first unit to die. It is highly important to be careful to plan your blitzes well, as one wrong move can put you at a significant disadvantage early on, when the blitz will have consumed your entire AP pool and, if botched, will leave the Vanguard at your enemy’s mercy.

Another major drawback is the lack of ways to use Mana. As a result, gathering Mana is a low priority (meaning you can pass up mana for strategic benefit), but it also means you don’t benefit from the death bonus. If you lose units, you don’t have a way to recover.

Hopefully this review has given some valuable insight in ways to use the strengths of units together within a faction. And if all goes well I may be back again soon with more insights as we progress into the second block of Season 1 League Play!

Good luck in battle Knights!

Think the Durani have the might to take the prize in the League of the Hundred Skulls? Join the conversation on the Forum.


Designers’ Favorite Golems for 500-Point Armies

With the League of the Hundred Skulls now in full swing, 500-point battles are on a lot of people’s minds. While relics, Ancient Ones, and Knights are indubitably important to any army’s roster, it is the Golems you choose that form the backbone of your strategy. With this in mind, our design team here at Harebrained Schemes has picked their favorite Golems to field in their 500-point armies.


Mike Mulvihill, Lead Designer

Dune Viper

I’m a Mercenary King player by nature—I think it gives me the best of all possibilities. But if you drop a map on the table and say “500 points, let’s go,” then I’m selling my soul to Gudanna so I can grab the best Ogre-class Golem in the game: the Dune Viper.

Why? Because 22. That’s the Dune Viper’s Dodge while standing in Open Terrain (love that evasion-boosting passive ability). That’s right, it’s taking 22 off your Accuracy by standing out in the open. HA! Think about it: that’s reducing nearly every Golem’s chance to hit by one third to one half.

“But Mike,” you say, “it’s conditional, you have to be in Open Terrain, and blah and more blah…”

Oh, I stopped listening because with 1 AP I can move 3 Regions in any direction. If there’s open space, I’m finding it. Heck, for a measly 3 AP I’m moving 6. You can’t make a map that stops me from getting to an open space if I have to.

Toss in Spiked Volley, a basic Ranged attack for 2 AP, and I’m harassing you in your starting area on turn one. Boom.

“Yeah Mike, so my strategy is to come into your Region, then hit you with a Melee onslaught while tying you down with Breakaway penalties.”

Oh, I’m sorry, were you still talking…? While you attempt to hit me (22 DODGE remember that!) I have in my back pocket truly one of the best 1 AP melee attacks in the game: Slippery Strike. When I hit you (and you sure don’t have a 22 Dodge) I get to displace myself one Region away. No Breakaway, just freedom. And let’s be honest: once I’m out I can be 3 Regions away, safe and sound, for only 1 more AP.

Add the Knight Prakrti Sprayu, who gets an automatic self-displacement any time the Golem is hit (now I get that free move on your turn too! BWAH HA HA!) or the Knight Makriya Vil who adds an additional 1 Movement when in Ground Cover or Open Terrain (more move, more distance) and you have the ultimate harassing machine. You become the Road Runner to the opponent’s Wile E. Coyote.




JewelledHarpyBrian Poel, Producer and Lead Scenario Designer

Jeweled and Jade Harpies

When I’m fighting for the great Durani Empire and our Raja Sudhamra, I always try to find room in my army for the humble Jeweled Harpy, or its not-so-humble cousin the Jade Harpy.

I know we’re supposed to pick one, but they both serve the same tactical purposes: displacement, displacement, displacement! I absolutely LOVE being able to push my enemies around the map and put them exactly where I want them, or remove them from where they want to be.

When building armies, it always comes down to APV: at only 60 points for the Jeweled Harpy and a vanilla knight, she’s a bargain for all that she can do. Spring another 15 points and you can pilot her with Laghu Chandrisetra for an accuracy bonus to Buffeting Wings or the ever-popular Suvitra “Hard Child” for a big boost to Movement. BUT if I’ve got 90 points to spare, I’ll use the Jade Harpy and her exclusive Knight Abhra Roha, with auto-damage from cover and the Knight’s increased survivability, the Jade Harpy is amazing.

Bells and whistles aside, it’s still all about the displacement, with numerous tactics adaptable to any scenario:

- Push an enemy out of a VP-granting Region;

- Push an enemy into a Region with a second enemy, then hit it with an area-of-effect attack;

- Push an enemy out from behind cover so my ranged units can see it;

- Push an enemy into a region where my melee bruisers await;

- Push an enemy into a Pit or Swamp or Curse or some other nasty thing.

As new Knights and Ancient Ones and Golems are released, the Jeweled Harpy is still the ultimate complement to any Durani army’s strategy.



Corpse CollectorJohn Swinkels, Ambassador of Awesome

Corpse Collector

The Corpse Collector is one of my favorite Golems for armies of all sizes. The combination of View From the Top and Swooping Strike make for awesome map control. I’m a big fan of up-front, thick-of-it fighting, and the Corpse Collector allows me to bring my opponents to me, or reposition them for maximum smashing. My current choice of Knight is Kashurra Hursag. Death’s Roar is fantastic after dragging an enemy golem into a region with your allies to brutally pummel them with your other Golems. I like to equip Zayla’s Cauldron, which makes the next attack a critical hit, and activate the relic while I follow up with Tear to add some injury to insult.
BramblehornZach Weisman, Playtester Extraordinaire


Consider the humble Bramblehorn. On the first, third, and possibly even the eighteenth look, the Bramblehorn may appear useless. However, when teamed up with the right Ancient Ones, a grove of Bramblehorns can become quite an effective fighting force. Weighing in at just 55 APV, you could take seven of them, the Prince, and the Assassin in a 500-point army. Since you have a mob of units, it’s easy to run three of your Bramblehorns out to be sacrificed for mana while the other four mass in a single hill region. The Prince’s blessing Pride of the Empire gives everyone in the Region +5 Accuracy and +5 Damage for each ally in the region, including the attacking Golem itself, meaning the Bramblehorns on the hill get +20 Accuracy and +20 Damage on all their Ranged attacks. All of a sudden, Scouting Flare has 105 Accuracy, 38 Damage, and 3 Range. You can fire off three of your four Bramblehorns’ amped-up Scouting Flares in a single turn! On your next turn, you can use the Prince’s miracle Heart of Stone to reduce their Cooldowns and increase all their ranged Damage by yet another ten points! This allows you to follow up the last turn’s bombardment with a second and particularly deadly volley. For some added fun, if you’re fighting a colossus, curse its region with the Assassin’s Open Wounds, making it so every time you deal damage to it, it also loses 5 Health each round for the next two rounds.



CarrionRaptorEric Fleuter, UI/UX Master

Carrion Raptor

As a Mercenary Kings fan, Golem selection may be more limited, but we’re certainly not worse off. In a 500-point game, the Carrion Raptor is my go-to heavy hitter. I focus on lock & shock tactics: hitting them with Paralyzing Spines, or my backup Golem’s Tendrils of Smera relic, as soon as they are in range. Patience can be key. Once the target is locked down, I use the Raptor’s omnidirectional, low-cost mobility to engage and spike some damage with a couple overclocked Skewers. To spice it up, I favor using the Knight Guna Tomis for an HP cost Accuracy boost (we can’t have the Skewer spam miss now, can we!) or, if I can afford it, I bring the Water Bearer Ancient One for some handy Revitalize blessing help, and the knight Upajosa Sri to assure early mana at a blood price. I barely use the Carrion Raptor’s Vampiric Cyclone, favored as it may be by others, because I tend to hunt bigger prey with this strategy… Even colossal prey.



Don’t see your favorite Golem here? Think Zach was too rough on the clearly awesome Bramblehorn? Join the conversation on the Forums.


League of the Hundred Skulls: Challenge of Fortitude Week 2 Winners!


AncientOne_StormriderThe second week of the League of the Hundred Skulls is over, and that means there are new champions to announce and prizes to be awarded. Each of the following players won a League event and will be rewarded with Er-Haka the Storm, a powerful new ancient one. Congratulations to all of this week’s winners!

  • Moonwyrd
  • Coz
  • Sir Real
  • Thul
  • Spyderbyte
  • Fightingfiend
  • Martur

Didn’t get a chance to play last week but still want to get into the action? Great! Competitive League Play continues through April 28th.

Check here  to find Events in your area!

Competitive League Events are hosted by Emissaries, who will be on hand to answer questions and help show players the ropes. Players earn prizes for participation as well as victory.

No events in your area? Passionate about Golem Arcana? Apply to become an Emissary today!

Just click here to learn more.


New Lore: Crow’s Flight

Follow Izvari, the Great Khans adopted daughter and heiress to Clan Sunu, as she flees the royal palace in the aftermath of the Khans assassination.

She reeked of smoke, sweat and soot. Gods, when was the last time she’d smelled of anything other than sweet kumari perfume and dala-rose oils? She couldn’t remember.

She cowered in the nighttime shadows here in the the city’s bazaar district, panting, desperate to remain unseen. The fat, full moon conspired against her. The alley was empty, but that meant little in Kutastha, her home for the past fifteen years. Here in the Gudanna Dominion’s capital city, eyes were everywhere … especially those of the Araska, the city’s elite guard.

Read More

After reading be sure to join the conversation on our forums!



League of the Hundred Skulls: Challenge of Fortitude

imageThe League of The Hundred Skulls is underway, and off to a great start! The League Play Series is a great way to get into competitive play for new Golem Arcana players and veterans alike.

During a League Play event, players battle each other with a single 500-point army across three scenarios using the same map, but with various victory conditions and deployment zones.

Challenges will vary over the course of events, as well as during each of the blocks over the 12-week League season, (now through April 28th). Details of the first challenge are below.

League Points

Players earn League Points for playing and winning League battles within an event. After all players at the event have played all three scenarios, the player with the most League Points is the winner of the event.

Earn a total of 40 League Points during the 12-week season for an invitation to a League of the Hundred Skulls Regional Tournament. We will soon publish more details on the Regional and Grand Championships, which will be held at GenCon.

As you battle across these scenarios, the outcome of each match will earn you League Points as follows:


Absolute Victory: 4 League Points

Secure a win via the primary victory condition.


Victory: 3 League Points

Win via secondary condition, or destroy your opponent’s army.


Tie: 2 League Points each

If a game ends with players having equal Victory Points.


Defeat: 1 League Point

If your opponent achieves an Absolute Victory or Victory, the defeated player is awarded 1 League Point.


Concession: 0 League Points

If a player concedes the match.


Challenge of Fortitude

Challenge of Fortitude is the first block of the series, and runs now through March 3rd. Here’s a look at the different scenarios you’ll be playing.

Scenario A

This scenario is a traditional battle to the last Golem standing, with victory achieved by destroying all your opponent’s Golems. You’ll place your Golems in either of the highlighted deployment zones, and battle is joined as you attempt to outmaneuver your enemy. Use the hills and mana wells to gain advantage and wipe out your opponent!



Scenario B

In the next scenario, things escalate and become a contest to keep control of your tower region (on the opposite side from your deployment zone) while denying the opponent control of the other tower. Will you move to take the exposed mana wells, or keep to the hills to defend your tower? With both objectives within just one region of each other, only the determined and clever will attain victory. Earn 3 Victory Points and the bragging rights are yours!


Scenario C

The final scenario presents a single contested victory region. With the centrally located objective, expect a hard fight for the prize. The contested area lies in shallows, meaning you and your opponent are unable to cast blessings and curses in the region. Wits and nerves of steel will be required to maintain control. Earn 2 Victory Points per turn that you control the region uncontested, and collect 5 VP total to win.


You can read more about The League of The Hundred Skulls [here], and find events in your area on the event calendar [here].


Go forth, to victory and great honor!


Negotiations, New Lore by Chris Rogers

Check out our new short story by Chris Rogers.

On the edge of the Great Waste, south of the ul-Napur Mountains, squats the miserable Durani outpost of Tel Najar. To visit Tel Najar is to yearn for another place.

In Tel Najar, Nandanna has unexpected guest waiting for her with a proposition.

Read more the story here!


Champions of Fortitude Week One!

The first week of the League of the Hundred Skulls is over, and the first round of champions can be announced and justly rewarded for their efforts. Each of the following players won a League event and will be rewarded with Er-Haka the Storm, a powerful new ancient one. Congratulations to all of this week’s winners! AncientOne_Stormrider



howlin’ mad murphy




azrael archer3600



Didn’t get a chance to play last week but still want to get into the action? Great! Competitive League Play continues through April 28th.

Check here  to find Events in your area!

Competitive League Events are hosted by Emissaries, who will be on hand to answer questions and help show players the ropes. Players earn prizes for participation as well as victory.

No events in your area? Passionate about Golem Arcana? Apply to become an Emissary today!

Just click here to learn more.


FenLord_1 - SR

Zikia: Spirits of the Wildwood Available Now!

The second Zikia expansion, Spirits of the Wildwood is available now!

This expansion includes three new Golems: The Fen Lord, Thornbeast, and Creeper.  In addition the set includes four new Relics to work into your strategy. For more information on the Spirits of the Wildwood check out our blog on them here.

You can get the Zikia: Spirits of the Wildwood online here!