Monday, November 21, 2011


Okay so what's on for today?  Well at the end of today's article you will find some pictures from my first game with a Domina Today I will briefly talk about each of the character warbeasts that were released in Domination - all of whom seem to be some variation on the theme of smashing things to bits.    I will not be ranking these guys, even in order of my favorites, but rather just talk about the strengths of each and where I see them fitting into the current meta (at least my local one).  One interesting thing to note is that each has the rule special issue [warlock], meaning that they can be taking as a part of that warlock's themed list and are also bonded to that warlock.  Aside from that, there are no direct affinities like the other character warbeasts, so there's no real disadvantage to taking them with other warlocks.  I have to warn you that today's post is a little long, but thorough, so hopefully you'll find it useful without being too long.  Let's start in the order in which they are presented in the book:
Rok is the new character warbeast for the Trolls and he ‘belongs’ to Borka Kegslayer.  Rok is a character Mauler, which basically means that he started as a regular Mauler warbeast but has the following stats:
SPD 5, STR 12, MAT 7, RAT 5, DEF 12, ARM 18, CMD 5 (Ha!), FURY 5, THR 7 (Ha!), 28 damage (Mind: 9, Body: 10, Spirit: 9), Cost 11
He also brings along the following abilities:
Immunity: Cold, Assault, Berserk, Regeneration [d3], Snacking, Special Issue [Borka]
His weapons:
Frost Breath (H) – SP 6, ROF 1, POW 14, Damage type: Cold, Critical Freeze
Battle Axe (L) – P+S 18
Big Meaty Fist (R) – P+S 16
Animus: Primal (same as Circle Gorax)

Borka Kegslayer... what a champ!
So now that we see his stats, let’s chat shall we, about how awesome it is for Trolls to have Rok.  He does have a high-POW spray, but it’s short-ranged so he’ll likely just be using it with assault and boosting to hit, hopefully freezing his target.Trolls have no real problems with hitting hard, as many of their models are consistently P+S 16+ with their melee attacks, so Rok’s battle axe is just gravy.  While Rok is certainly very expensive, what you are mostly paying for is his animus.

Primal is a great animus, and one that Circle uses fairly often to make sure that their beasts wreck whatever they’re fighting.  What is usually the big disadvantage for Circle is that some warlocks (like the Kaya’s) or ‘beasts (Stalker) like to hit-and-run away, and Primal means that you auto-frenzy, so it’s not always a good idea to use it.  This is not usually a problem for Trolls.
You wouldn't like him when he's angry

Trolls love running their warbeasts hot.  Trollblood casters are generally averaging lower fury values than other factions and while they can take whelps for fury management, they usually just love to run their beasts super hot, charge in and kill some stuff, and if it survives it’ll just frenzy anyway.  Essentially, you see why Primal will be such a boon to Trollblood players.  Also, Primal gives a much-needed boost to MAT – dire Trolls usually hover around MAT 6 – and so this will allow Trollblood players to count on their power-attacks more for clearing out lanes.  A heavily damaged Mauler would be a perfect target for Primal, and then as he tramples over infantry (with a MAT 8, POW 14), he’ll be clearing out most infantry with ease and then snacking on their corpses to heal back up.  Yikes!

Ghetorix is a Circle’s character Feral Warpwolf.  Some people have assumed that he is a character Stalker, but he has more in common with a Feral than a Stalker.  There’s been a lot of hate for this guy on the internet, but until we see him more on the table, I think he will continue to be much-maligned.  The fluff for this guy is also really cool, and I strongly recommend reading it to give you an interesting perspective as to how this guy became a character warbeast for Kromac.  Here are his stats:
SPD 6, STR 11, MAT 7, RAT 3, DEF 14, ARM 17, CMD 8, FURY 4, THR 8, 28 damage (Mind: 7, Body: 12, Spirit: 9), Cost 11
He also brings along the following abilities:
Terror, Controlled Warping – Hyper Aggressive, Snacking, Warp Strength, Regeneration [d3], Special Issue [Kromac], Unyielding
His weapons:
Bite (H) – P+S 14
Great Axe (-) – P+S 17, Reach, Powerful Charge
Animus: Ornery (same as Minion Ironback Spitter)

Kromac in "human" form
So why all of the hate for Ghetorix (or, as the internet is calling him: Ghetto-rix)?  Well the first comparison is naturally to a Warpwolf Stalker, as everyone in Circle loves him.  Ghetorix also brings a weapon with Reach (although interestingly, since it has no location, it can’t be weapon-locked, methinks), but while the Stalker is good at killing off heavy infantry, Ghetorix doesn’t have Berserk at his disposal, and is clearly inferior according to the internet.

I think what Ghetorix brings to the table is a front-line warbeast that does his job way better than any other Feral.  Sure, Ferals can warp ARM to be DEF 14 ARM 18, but then they can’t wreck face like this guy can.  Ferals have 3 initial attacks, so that warp strength goes a bit further, but then they can’t take hits back and will be murdered with a lousy ARM 16.

Kromac in beast form
What Ghetorix brings is the heavy hitting of a Feral, but he can survive some counter blows.  Think of him more as a bouncer at a club.  This guy sits at the front, takes a beating with DEF 14 ARM 19 in melee (thanks to unyielding),  and he can still have hyper aggressive and ornery on him!  You keep him on the front lines to bait some opposing heavies, hit them back with ornery, and if they shoot at you, you can move closer.  Your Ferals can counter-charge to free him up again, and then he charges at a target with MAT 9 with a POW 19 reach weapon – and that’s without any spells or animi buffs!  With Primal, you can see how this guy can be quite effective!

I think Ghetorix fills a niche that Circle didn’t have before: a beast that takes his licks on the cheek and then smashes your face back in.  A “bouncer” indeed!

Speaking of being a bouncer, let’s talk about Tiberion “The Bro” Skorne character warbeast.  This guy is just… wow.  He’s an appropriate beast for the tank known as Xerxis.  He’s a character Titan Sentry, which might give you a hint as to how this guy will behave.  Titan Sentries aren’t beasts you take because you want to wreck stuff, you take them for the same reason you’d take Ghetorix above – taking a charge and punching back into their face.  Well, I think Tiberion really drives this point home.  Let’s look at his stats:
SPD 4, STR 12, MAT 7, RAT 3, DEF 11, ARM 19, CMD 8, FURY 4, THR 10 (whoa!), 30 damage (Mind: 10, Body: 10, Spirit: 10), Cost 11
He also brings along the following abilities:
Immovable Object, Shield Guard, Special Issue [Xerxis]
His weapons:
Shield – P+S 13, Shield (+2 ARM)
Tetsubo – P+S 18, Reach, Critical Smite
Tusks – P+S 15, Hard Head
Animus: Bump (same as Troll Bouncer)

As if these guys were easy to move around before
This guy is a total bro and reminds me of a football offensive lineman.  He's a character Titan Sentry and his stats and abilities make his role clear: “You there, go stand in front of everyone!”  He’s a perfect addition for Xerxis, who, as a low-fury caster, generally likes to stay towards the front lines.  Tiberion will be absolutely necessary for Xerxis to keep him safe from melee assassination (Bump!) or a ranged-heavy army (thanks, Shield Guard on an ARM 21 model!). 

While Immovable Object might seem fairly situational, it means that your opponent can’t rely on any tricks to move him out of the way.  For you, it means that you can put him somewhere and know that he isn’t going anywhere.  That kind of certainly is huge in scenario play where sometimes you forget in the heat-of-the-moment that your opponent has some clever way of moving him to get at your warlock.  Considering how heavy the meta is right now with Telekinesis and Gallows handed out like candy, this guy is nearly an auto-include against Circle, Retribution, and Cygnar (Thunderbolt rounds)
Xerxis is the definition of "beat stick"

Tiberion will be incredibly fury-efficient and he will simply soak up those hits and then counter-charge whatever came after him.  With Bump on him, it will take several heavy warbeasts or warjacks to take him down, or at least some clever positioning – with the exception of Legion Angelius’ which wouldn’t mind the bump since their first hit is what matters.  Either way, your opponent will be investing a lot of resources and effort to take him down and if they don’t, they’ll get a P+S 18 spiked bat to the face.  Skorne doesn’t need any more heavy hitters – they already have Molik Karn – but what they get in Tiberion is an absolute tank.

Immovable Object is right!

It’s funny to think that Everblight is starting to experiment a little more now with his mutations and decided that tentacles are going to be the wave of the future.  Aside from the mouth of tentacles, this beast brings some interesting tactical options to the “Legion of Alpha Strike”.  Although this character Carnivean was made by Absylonia, I think he will find use in just about any warlock’s battle group.  Let’s look at his stats:
SPD 6, STR 12, MAT 6, RAT 6, DEF 11, ARM 18, CMD 7, FURY 5, THR 9, 30 damage (Mind: 8, Body: 12, Spirit: 10), Cost 11
He also brings along the following abilities:
Eyeless Sight, Pathfinder, Blood Creation, Herding (!?), Soulless, Special Issue [Absylonia]
His weapons:
Tentacle Lash – RNG 6, ROF 1, POW 14, Chain Weapon, Drag
Tentacles – P+S 14, Reach, Chain Weapon, Pull
Talon – P+S 16, Open Fist
Talon – P+S 16, Open Fist
Animus: Heightened Metabolism (Cost 2, RNG 6, gives warbeast Snacking)

Apparently Privateer Press rules writers have been having the munchies, because Proteus makes 3 of the 4 character warbeasts that have access to Snacking, a rule which was previously unique to Trolls.  Sorry guys!

Is he a Ravagore?  Carnivean?  Scythean?  Nope.  Zoidberg.
I find a couple things fascinating about Proteus that really breaks the mold of what Privateer Press has done in the past.  First, we’ll notice that he did not get a bump (at all) in MAT.  What he did get an increase in over the Carnivean is his RAT – handy considering that his ranged attack can drag models into range for the rest of his attacks.  There's some speculation as to what he's a character of, as the usual trend is +2 points cost (putting him as a character Scythean) but with similar equipment and he seems very different from the other three similar beasts (his talons look like Ravagore talons on the model, but in the art they look like Carnivean talons).  It's also interesting to note that the Carnivean costs just as much as he does!  That’s likely because the Carnivean is just that awesome, but also because I think Proteus’ animus is kinda “meh” considering that Legion likes to wreck opposing heavies with regular attacks, and will rarely get more than one d3 from snacking.  Also, healing tends to be more useful before you make attacks rather than after.

A weird-looking beast for a weird-looking warlock
Proteus does drive the “alpha strike” nature of Legion home with his rules, however.  He is the first warbeast (or warjack, for that matter) who has Herding.  This basically means that you can run Proteus almost like a second warlock, running with his own herd of warbeasts on a completely opposite flank (as long as Proteus stays in your control area).  This is very handy and allows you to really envelop your opponent while you go for the jugular.  Combined with his ranged attack, it means that he can extend himself a bit more to tag a heavy, only to drag it towards him for his fellow warbeasts to gang up on.  His low MAT means that he’s going to be boosting a lot, so I think his fury 5 is absolutely necessary (unlike Ghetorix) if he’s going to be doing much in melee.  That said, I don’t think he’ll be doing a lot of direct damage, but think of him as a tool for getting your desired targets into range (especially ones with shields or bucklers!  Thanks Chain Weapon!).

Also it’s interesting to note that Proteus is the first Legion warbeast who can completely fill a Forsaken solo.  Some food for thought…

Oh and here are some teaser pictures from my first game since Domination was released!  Unfortunately our game got cut short, but I played with a local Troll player who's always been fun to play against.  We played against each other a lot when I was just starting out and I have a healthy respect for Trolls because of him.  We played through about Turn 3 before he had to play a game with someone else, but we got to play an interesting scenario with boulders (big washers) that could be slammed or thrown, blocked line of sight, and provided cover.  So while I don't have a battle report ready yet, I will at least show you the deployment pictures as a teaser:
eBaldur let's gooooo!

Wait... is that Gunnbjorn with 6 Impalers?!

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