CROM Unit Preview #1 – Bossonian Archers

Over the last dozen weeks, we have teased most of the mechanics for Conan: Rise of Monsters. As we get ready to release the Quick-Start rules, we’re going to begin looking at the units that you might select for your army. First, let’s take a look at one of the signature units from the Circle of Iron: the Bossonian Archers.


“They were far outnumbered, and the Shemitish bow had the longer range, but in accuracy the Bossonians were equal to their foes, and they balanced sheer skill in archery by superiority in morale, and excellence in armor. Within good range they loosed, and the Shemites went down by whole ranks.” -The Scarlet Citadel

First, a quick overview of the information that you will find on the unit card:

In the main stat area in the middle, you can see the name of the unit, its affiliations, a row of numbers, and its special abilities. The numbers you see there are as follows:

M = Movement (in inches)
MA = Melee Attack (dice per model)
RA = Ranged Attack (dice per model)
RN = Range (in inches)
DE = Defense (total additional dice rolled)
W = Wounds (per model)

Down the right side you can see the number of models, the number of Destiny tokens, and the cost of the unit in points. Army building in CROM happens very quickly, since you purchase by unit rather than by model.

Notable Abilities

Just looking at the statistics line nothing really stands out about the Bossonians, but that’s deceptive. They have a solid one die per figure attack in melee and at range, and a good range of 18 inches. One die for defense seems weak, but their special ability “excellence in armor” allows one re-roll of dice that aren’t Shields, which significantly increases the odds of blocking a hit. Since you get a defense die for each hit done, Bossonians take big hits better than almost anyone. They also have “steadfast,” which means they roll three dice for morale instead of two and thus stand their ground consistently without needing any extra attention from Destiny tokens.

On the Battlefield

Since they can withstand so much punishment, Bossonians are a great unit to deploy for objectives, or to hold dangerous but critical areas. They also make excellent support for a single powerful melee figure. The fact that they have a solid ranged attack is a bonus. Throwing Destiny into their defense is always a good investment, since “excellence in armor” dramatically increases their odds of getting a shield. Stygian Archers are a decent counter because they have great defenses against the Bossonian’s ranged attack and better firepower at range. Against such a foe don’t be afraid to use the Bossonian’s like a melee unit – they’re just as dangerous in close combat, and “excellence in armor” gives them a significant edge. If the Stygians have taken high ground, the Bossonians are a great unit to dislodge them: tough enough to survive, and they can make deadly use of the elevation if they win!