Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Thinking Cap: Initial thoughts on the Woldwrath

I think I inadvertently creating a shooting list with eBaldur.  I got to play with the Woldwrath for the first time a couple of weeks ago against a Cryx player at the Battle Standard.  He usually doesn't play in tournaments much but it was my first time with the Woldwrath anyway so I have no allusions that it's OMG BROKEN or anything but I do want to share my brief insights on the model.  I wanted to try out a 50 point game because Templecon is coming up soon and I need some practice.  I crafted a 50 point list for eBaldur a while ago but I finally got to try it out and so I need to share my findings.

Here's the list:
eBaldur (+5)
- Megalith (11)
- Woldwrath (20)
- Woldwyrd (4*)
- Woldwatcher (4*)
Druids (7)
Lord of the Feast (4)
Shifting Stones (2)
Shifting Stones (2)
- Stone Keeper (1)

Like I said, I think I inadvertently created a shooting list here.  Everything in the list has shooting (Megalith has Geomancy) and most of it can be boosted too, which is quite scary.  The Woldwrath performed admirably and while he didn't actually get in range of much to beat face, he was a big force multiplier in a couple of ways.  Let me break down my observations into a quick breakdown of how I foresee the Woldwrath changing the way I play Circle:

1) "No one should have given Circle a RNG 14 gun, let alone one that is POW 15."
I like shooting things.  That's why I love playing my Cygnar and my Mercenary lists include lots of shooting.  Shooting things is fun and it allows for a more interesting game with your opponent as he tries to overcome your shooting and outmaneuver you to get you to stop.  With Circle, however, most of the shooting is reserved for the constructs, otherwise you have to mostly rely on your spells.  The faction does have an abnormally large number of sprays at the disposal, but generally there aren't many ranged attacks in the faction, and with the exception of Reeves (which I struggle to find a use for), most of it is RNG 10 or less.  There's a reason why we have such short range, and that typically is because we have some high SPD values and we have shifting stones.

Giving the Woldwrath a RNG 14 gun was a bad idea.  I mean, I love Privateer Press and all, but I am totally going to exploit it!  I already love my RNG 10 dudes but being able to shoot 14" away and with a POW 15 shot that is freely boostable?  Oh my.  I'm going to have sooooo much fun with that.  It allows Circle to reach out and hit things that you normally would have to wait for or set-up some kind of trap.  Nope, now I can shoot key models while I set myself up to teleport into my opponent's face.  Awesome!

2) Druid's Wrath will be tricky to use but offers incredible options.
Druid's Wrath is potentially one of the most powerful animi in the whole game.  Adding an additional die to attack rolls for spells that target models within 10" of the Woldwrath is absolutely jaw-dropping.  Let's also not forget that this is a faction with Druids, one of the most utility units in the game, and it makes their Force Bolts that much more devastating.  Circle relies on precision movement and getting those Force Bolt spells to knockdown key models more often is huge, let alone increasing their chance to hit more often.  You can now hit DEF 17 on average dice rolls and that can make a huge difference when you need that caster to be just another inch or two closer.  This animus only really appears in Circle because we're not exactly known for our cheap offensive spells and so it's far less abusive than it would be in, say, Menoth or Legion.

Of course, the biggest challenge with the animus is figuring out activation order and if you activate the animus first on the Woldwrath, that means he will likely not benefit from more accurate Force Bolts pulling the enemy closer, or getting that extra charge range from a boosted Hunter's Mark.  What this just means, though, is that you have more options at your disposal and the Woldwrath can potentially have a different function each turn.  He could advance, shoot, and pop animus, or you can charge him into a heavy to beat face.  You could, of course, get around this by having your warlock cast Druid's Wrath, but you might run into a similar problem where you don't want to activate your warlock first, it'll chew into your fury supply, and in order for it to work well there needs to be enemy models within 10" of your warlock.  It will take some getting used to, but you will need to effectively play like you're thinking about what you'll do on your next turn.

3) Board Control.
I know.  All of the Colossals and Gargantuans give you better board/scenario control, but this case is different due to the nature of how Circle plays.  In my experience with Circle, spreading yourself out is a recipe for disaster.  While you might have fringe elements like a shooting unit (like Woldstalkers), solos (Blackclads), or tarpits (Sentry Stone + Mannikins) running along a flank occasionally, they are often in their position to allow your core force to do its job more efficiently.  Circle does, in fact, "brick-up" but not in the same way as forces like Trollbloods do.  No, Circle likes to treehug so we can have multiple attack vectors, kinda like playing offense in football.  There are a lot of fast elements, models that can hit hard, and models that can play a little bit of hit & run, but you generally will launch those elements from a fairly centralized position to benefit the most from both your control range and various spells and buffs you have.

How the Woldwrath changes all of this is that you will need to extend him off to the flank a bit just because of how big his base is.  With Baldur you can clump two heavies, a light, and maybe even half a unit of druids in between some shifting stones with him, but there is no room for a Woldwrath in there too!  While Shifting Stones will be very helpful for keeping the Woldwrath running, there's no need for him to be in the triangular formation anyway, so you might as well keep him off to the side and that allows you to spread yourself out a bit and have a much greater degree of board control.  You can extend the Woldwrath much further because his huge base means that he can threaten wayyyy across the board and still remain in your control range.  Circle players will love this and it will allow Circle to *gasp* control more than one zone/flag/objective at once!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...