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A New Adversary in Rise of the Dread Moon: Magus Guard

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A new challenger approaches. Magus Guard, Rise of the Dread Moon’s newest adversary makes an appearance.

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Prettier than a Dread Warrior

A bit of new content was revealed on the Avalon Hill Discord and Twitter today! Rise of the Dread Moon has a new minion to join the forces of Zargon: The Magus Guard! In two new images, we meet the Magus Guard. A sword wielding, shield blocking, spell slinging, killing machine. Here they are, in all their glory:

So, this new minion of Zargon has a sword, a shield, and the power to cast Ball of Flame, and Tempest once per quest.

I did a little bit of work trying to make a printable version of the card to analyze.

Magus Guard - Rise of the Dread Moon

Comparing him to a Dread Warrior, the stats are almost identical. The Magus Guard turns out to be a bit more agile than the Dread Warrior, with 8 movement instead of 7. The rest of the stats are exactly the same: 4 Attack, 4 Defend, 3 Body Points and 3 Mind Points.

Here’s my question! If he’s got a sword in one hand and shield in the other, what hand is he using to cast a spell!? Does the spell come out of his face?

Anyways, I took some time to playtest this guy against a party of brave heroes. Let’s see how it went.

What’s Scarier, Spells or a Sword?!

Previously we playtested the Specter, read about that here. Let’s get on with a playtest!

These guys definitely pack a punch. The Heroes made it out, but some were missing eyebrows…

I don’t have a suitable miniature to proxy for the Magus Guard, so for this playtest I’m just using the Scout from the Frozen Horror Quest Pack. I also added a Specter to this encounter, just to spice things up a bit.

Round 1:

The upon opening the door, the Barbarian and Guardian Knight rush into the fray and immediately attack the first Magus Guard they see. Both the Barbarian and the Guardian Knight are able to score a hit in this lucky first strike. The Elf, must have stumbled on a rock or something, she didn’t roll enough to even make it into the room. The Wizard, thinking he’ll be safer in the corridor, decides to stay where he is.

Badly wounded, the first Magus Guard casts Tempest on the Barbarian, then retreats into the corner. His comrade moves a few steps in front of his wounded partner, blocking him from attack, then also casts Tempest, on the Guardian Knight. Both Heroes in the room are now immobilized for their next turn. The Specter decides to take her chances and sneaks out the of the room through the wall. Seeing the Elf and Wizard in the hallway, she moves to cast Channel Dread on the Wizard, but the attack fails.

Round 2:

Unable to move due to the tempest swirling around them, the Barbarian and Guardian Knight sit tight for this round. The Elf moves to strike the Specter assaulting her friend, the Wizard, and manages to take it out in one swing of her sword. The Wizard, visibly shaken by the encounter, remains still for this round.

Both Magus Guards choose to attack the Barbarian with Ball of Flame spells, both are successful and remove 2 Body Points from the Barbarian each. Half of the Barbarian’s Body Points have disappeared in a single turn! The Magus Guards remain in their places, unable to open doors…

Round 3:

As the Tempest dissipates, the enraged Barbarian rushes forward to attack the unwounded Magus Guard, incredibly defeating it in a single blow! The Guardian Knight then rushed past his friend the Barbarian and attacks the remaining, wounded Magus Guard, but is unsuccessful. The Elf makes her way into the room, but with little to do, stands next to her friends, unable to reach the enemy. The Wizard also enters the room and attempts to give the Magus Guard a taste of it’s own medicine by casting a Ball of Flame. The Ball of Flame narrowly misses the Magus Guard and crashes against the wall behind it.

With little option, the Magus Guard attacks the Guardian Knight, but his wounds must be too much to bear, the attack is easily defended.

Round 4:

Unable to reach his target, the Barbarian waits impatiently. The Guardian Knight attempts to attack, but is blocked by the Magus Guard’s massive shield. The Guardian Knight moves out of the way to open up an opportunity for th Elf. The Elf moves in and finishes the job with another quick strike of her sword.

The minions of Zargon have perished, the Heroes have prevailed this day, though a little charred.

Thoughts on the Encounter

Well, nobody died… this time. They did come out a little worse for wear though. The Barbarian lost half his Body Points, and the Wizard lost a spell that could have been useful later on it the quest.

All-in-all, I like this new minion. It’s a decent addition to the HeroQuest family. It adds just enough flavour to feel like something new, but also classically reminds us of the Chaos… Dread Warrior.

Let me know your thoughts on the new Magus Guard, and if you haven’t already, pre-order your copy of Rise of the Dread Moon now!

Liked what you just read? Check out my playtest of the Specter here!

Thanks for stopping by, hope to see you again soon!

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11 months ago

Great article, as always! What I think about these new Monsters? Well… I see them quite strong due to their stats and their magical powers, especially about Ball of Flame, as demonstrated in your above playtesting. I would like to know how these former good guys are able to cast spells. Did they already have such magical knowledge before being part of Zargon’s Armies? or it is just a new ability they got once they succumbed to ChaosDread? Classic HeroQuest packs did not included any regular monster with magical abilities, so I see quite necessary to give us a solid background to accept this change, especially because we will already have another regular Monster in this expansiom with magical abilities too (the Spectre), and it starts to look a bit redundant initiative if not well supported by the story. Nevertheless, from game mechanics point of view, of course these new evil guys will spice up any combat against the Heroes, which is always something interesting in this game.

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