Sunday, November 06, 2011

Spoiler: Domination Warbeast Cards!

I have long given up on my Minions.  I once played Arkadius and loved my 4 lovingly-converted War Hogs, but alas, it was not meant to be.  I was frustrated with the lack of options and decided to delve into my original choice for a second Hordes faction: Legion.  But I digress.

I've been waiting to see what this guy does!
This weekend is Warmachine Weekend in Springfield MO, and something interesting has happened: some PP staff have been playing with some new models from Domination!  Not only do we get to see these new beast models, but the cards have also been spoiled - with their blessing!  How awesome is that?!  Very smart PP, spoil these awesome new models in a time when other companies (*coughgamesworkshopcough*) are cutting down on spoilers.
So here's what we have: The Winter Argus (Circle light), Boneswarm (Minion light, mentioned in my article here), and the Swamp Horror (Minion Heavy).

So let's break it down, shall we?  Let us begin with the Winter Argus.  The Winter Argus looks pretty neat!  I've always been a fan of the Argus - it always gets made fun of for being "so terrible" but I think it's a pretty neat 'beast for only 4 points.  So let's look at the Winter Argus, what's different?  The first thing to note is the immunity to cold, which is marginally useful, but more interesting is his animus, Winter Coat, which grants +2 ARM and immunity to cold.  Unfortuanately, this is a SELF animus, meaning that only the Winter Argus and your warlock can use it, although really only your warlock will use it, which will be only really be useful against Legion players and the occasional Khador player.  You are likely to see the +2 ARM being somewhat more useful for some of the more melee-based Circle warlocks like Kromac, maybe Baldur, and maybe even Cassius.  You might see him with eKaya as well, as he could offer her a little more survivability, but he is far from an auto-include.

The Winter Argus!  I LOVE the model!
The Winter Argus also brings two short-ranged sprays of decent POW, but without access to Guided Fire or any other ranged-attack support, I'm afraid that with the low RAT of 4, he will find himself having difficulty hitting anything worthwhile.  While he does get two attempts at it, the odds are still pretty lousy if he needs to hit anything higher than DEF 12, which are the exact kinds of targets he wants to shoot at with that Critical Freeze.  What I really see the Winter Argus being useful for is that 5-point slot when you don't want a construct, as right now our only options are a Woldwyrd (not discounting how awesome it is) and a Woldwatcher (hard to justify since it only has 2 fury).

Next, let's look at the infamous Boneswarm!  I already wrote an article which mentioned the increase in the price for the Boneswarm model, but for this article let's look at how it measures up in usefulness on the table.  The first thing I noticed was that it's reasonably priced at 4 points.  This is not a beast which will threaten any heavies on the table, but will certainly have some fun with infantry - living or undead!  I see this guy being very helpful against Cryx, who typically have low DEF scores anyway.  It won't be too difficult to see a Boneswarm collect its three tokens from those pesky undead.  Be careful, though.  If you don't have those tokens on it, the Boneswarm is pretty squishy, but if loaded up on tokens it will be ARM 18 with 20 damage boxes, and with the potential to heal itself thanks to Gross Anatomy, this guy can be great for dealing with pesky infantry!  Just to drive the anti-infantry point home, this guy comes with Swarm for an animus, which we've seen before on the Trollblood Swamp Troll.  This will also be very helpful for Gatormen Warlocks - particularly Bloody Barnabas... like he needed more survivability!  Despite the controversy over it's monetary value, this beast will be a solid addition to any Gator force, with special emphasis for Maelok's feat (of course!).

Lastly, let's look at the Swamp Horror!  I've been waiting for this guy since the awesome artwork which was previewed by Privateer Press in one of their Insiders (at the beginning of the article).  I do have to say that I think the model is pretty "meh", although that might just be because the artwork is just so goddamn AWESOME!  Either way, this guy is really neat because he offers lots of unique rules and stats that we haven't really seen before in a heavy warbeast.  His statline appears pretty unimpressive and really squishy (no surprise, I guess) at only DEF 10 ARM 17 and 27 damage spirals - this guy can be killed in one turn by any serious heavy hitter.  He does have the very helpful ability Impervious Flesh which might make you think that this guy is great against shooting armies, but when you realize how few damage he can take, and the fact that he's only ARM 17, you realize that he really can't take too much firepower without the help of an ARM boost.  Fortunately, Gators have really cheap access to Spiny Growth, so that will help this guy weather the storm rather well after all.

Next is his animus Elasticity which gives a model reach.  Pretty nice and very helpful for Gators, as their threat ranges are pretty low as it is.  The ability to spam this as an animus is also pretty appealing and it can make the Wrastler very threatening, as well as helping out the current low threat-range of Maelok!  At first you might think that this guy will really only be helpful clearing out infantry, but he might actually be slightly helpful against heavies.  Sure, his tentacles are only POW 12, but the Pull on his them is an on-hit ability, which means he can drag an unsuspecting victim towards that scary Beak of his, which has Critical Catastrophic Damage.  Yes, it's a critical so it's somewhat unrealiable, but I still think that this guy can crack armor if he has to, but he might be best pitted up against light warjacks/warbeasts.  I think he will be a really helpful addition to any Blindwater Congregation force to both improve the threat of those Wrastlers and I think he will fill a nice niche of killing off beefier solos (like Lord of the Feast) and enemy lights.  Unfortunately, his average MAT of 6 won't be helping him hit too often, so you'll definitely be using that fury for hitting.  I see him typically taking position behind a unit or two of gatormen posse, ready to lurch forward and pull any unsuspecting victims out of charge langes and/or towards those Wrastlers or other heavier hitters.
I just can't wait to see what other stuff is coming out in Domination!  So far everything is really unique and awesome and I especially can't wait to see the Circle Griffon!!!

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