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  1. #1

    Potential Newbie

    Hi guys, been looking at Dark Age on and off for years. As I've now broken free of the yoke of another company's games I've been looking at other systems and Dark Age, with it's updates looks interesting.

    I like the look of CORE (with their really expensive starter box) as well as Dragyri (Fire or Air Caste) and also Skarrd. I was just wondering, knowing nothing of the game, if there was some kind of run down of playstyles for these forces so I can try and marry up how I like to play against the models that I like the looks of.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Northern Utah

    I just made this post, feel free to check it out

  3. #3
    Never Knows Best's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Appleton, WI

    First off, if you wish, let us know specifically what it is you typically like in a faction or if you have questions on some best practices on how to build an effective forcelist.

    Generally, here are some quick pointers on Core, Dragyri, and Skarrd:


    Difficulty to Build Force: Slightly above Average
    Difficulty to understand/Play: Slightly below Average

    Faction Strengths:
    -Have a number of versatile choices when building a forcelist (as well as Generic/3 Cults to choose from)
    -Have a good range of low point to high point models, perhaps atypically strong for their cost
    -One of the best at preventing Malfunctions

    Faction Weaknesses
    -Very few ranged fighters
    -Each Cult has an exploitable weakness
    -Mostly Below-Average armor

    Summary: Above perhaps any other faction, the Skarrd have many models that either enhance other friendly models or diminish enemy models around them. They have a very strong core "Generic" list of models to build from, and then very specialized "Cult" models to add - This means, unlike perhaps any other faction, you could build a completely effective army using just Generic models and then add on a Cult that you like later.

    As a rule, when I think Skarrd, I think of a bunch of swarming or hulking masses trudging up to the front lines of the enemy and terrorizing them. They have the ability to cast spells but their spells, for the most part, are not super-strong and are mostly for the ability of altering models or combat conditions in their favor. Each cult plays very, very differently so if you think you might be interested in one, ask more about those.

    Dragyri (Air Caste)

    Difficulty to Build Force: Average
    Difficulty to understand/Play: Moderately Easy

    Faction Strengths:
    -You can potentially field more models per point than any other faction
    -The Air Caste is one of the most mobile-moving factions
    -Better than average defense makes them hard to hit

    Faction Weaknesses
    -The worst faction at "preventing" Malfunctions (they can't) and almost no models that can "heal"
    -Mobility however is somewhat hindered by a lack of "Infiltrate" and "Gliding Deployment" models

    Summary: There are two things that define the Dragyri, one which defines the Air Caste most of all. First, they can field low point models called Slaves as well as, on average, lower cost models in general. This makes them most like a typical "horde" army, able to field large numbers than any other faction. Second, the can cast spells and their spells are very powerful.

    The Air Caste specifically have spells that will drive your opponents crazy. Area denial, damage, mobility, attack enhancing; all are in their spell book. However, if you are a person who likes to be able to mitigate "rolling 20" (in Dark Age, 20's are bad), the Air Caste will Malfunction a decent amount and there is no way for them to prevent this - which is a trade off to their power. Otherwise the Air Caste is pretty effective - lot's of powerful and defensive characters, good ranged attacks, lots of ways to move around the board ignoring buildings and terrain.

    Dragyri (Fire Caste)

    Difficulty to Build Force: Average
    Difficulty to understand/Play: Slightly Above Average

    Faction Strengths:
    -Devastating fire attacks and many at range
    -Have all the average Dragyri traits but are also able to heal and avoid malfunctions
    -Still able to field hordes of slaves

    Faction Weaknesses
    -Requires some careful tactical play to maximize each model's potential (Ex. Fire vs. Combustion)
    -Moreso than any other faction, some models potentially harmful to other friendly models around them

    Summary: One of the newest factions, the Fire Caste is definitely attractive from the prospect that they have a lot of fire attacks - whether in the form of a ranged, blast, stream or spray - and fire is one of the better attack abilities in the game. While many of your models are also immune to fire, care must still be taken that you don't put your own models in the line of fire.

    Otherwise, Fire Caste is somewhat of an average of the other Castes. TThe have worse defense but better armor than the Air Caste - better defense but worse armor than the Ice Caste. They also feel a little more unique in that, on average, they seem to cost more points and perhaps would field less "slaves" as they also have access to "Slyths" which are slave-like but somewhat more specialized. They are the only Dragyri Caste that can avoid malfunctions and have the best options for "healing."


    Difficulty to Build Force: Hard
    Difficulty to understand/Play: Above Average

    Faction Strengths:
    -All models are "built" very tough and resilient
    -Each work very well as "pieces of a machine" fulfilling a purpose, making those around it better, or have the versatility of upgrades
    -Many "Panic" inducing models
    -It has been said that Core players are 10-15% cooler than average Dark Age players.

    Faction Weaknesses
    -If not played carefully, the "machine breaks down" as loosing essential models at bad times can be devastating to strategy
    -Many models are immune to panic
    -The Core currently have many models that are yet unreleased, meaning there are currently less options if you are considering serious competitive play like tournaments right away.

    Summary: I'll say right off the bat that the Core is my faction of choice. I love these guys. They can be very hard to build a force around and have some of the most complex rules to faction building but this all the more satisfying to me when I finally find a combination that works well.

    The Core, on average, cost a lot of points per model - not the most but enough so that you're likely to have less models per point than most other factions. They also have the most 80mm models (hence why the old starter is more expensive). 80mm are awesome to look at, awesome to paint but are more expensive and a tad more unwieldy on the battlefield (harder to move, easier for the enemy to attack, etc.)

    Still, these little buggers are tough. All are non-living which grants them immunity to a number of attacks. They have decent defense and better than average armor. Many models make up for the weakness of other models around them - if a model has lower defense, a model might provide a "shield" for it, other models require a "supervisor" nearby to prevent them from going crazy. So playing them feels a lot like marching a giant conglomeration of "parts" down the field, using each for it's intended purpose. This does take a lot of practice however for if too many of these parts drift too far apart or are killed, it can quickly devolve into a giant mess.

    The Core are the only faction still missing a number of models for release but you'll note they do releases monthly and getting the Core caught up is a priority. However, I'm not going to bet on the Core winning any tournaments this year [famous last words.]
    Last edited by Never Knows Best; 07-03-2014 at 08:20 PM.

  4. #4
    Well, after reading one of the other threads linked I went ahead and bought the Fire Caste starter, it does sound like I'd also enjoy the Air Caste but the models for Fire won me over. I may get CORE later because they do also look awesome but seem to have a much more limited selection right now.

  5. #5
    Elric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Appleton, Wisconsin
    Good choice Necrotix, the Fire Caste does seem to have a lot of really interesting units. Plus they are a very new faction, and thus your opponents will be at a disadvantage due to encountering something new.
    - Elric

    "If you don't like something, hit it.
    If it hits back, shoot it.
    If it's still moving - RUN!"

  6. #6

  7. #7
    AngelicOne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Cumming, GA
    Welcome to the Dark Age!

    Just as a quick note, the starters were re-balanced and just re-released. The new CORE box is now in line with all the others:
    Throne of Angels Video Blog - ARE YOU WATCHING?

  8. #8
    time to get my LGS to carry some of these!!!

  9. #9
    Still waiting on Wayland Games to actually deliver my goodies.

  10. #10
    AngelicOne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Cumming, GA
    Quote Originally Posted by Hoj View Post
    Good call. You'll enjoy the fire caste, it's a more forgiving army than starting w/ core or skaard. Never Knows Best laid out a nice summary of each, maybe it should get placed somewhere for new-ish players thinking about buying a specific faction/sub-faction
    I'll see what I can put together.
    Throne of Angels Video Blog - ARE YOU WATCHING?

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