Hordes: Metamorphosis Part 3 – Units
Welcome to the third installment in my discussion on the various aspects of the new Hordes book, from a Legion of Everblight point of view. The Legion got several interesting new toys to play with that, in my opinion, are compatible with all of our warlocks and bring new options to the table for us to use. They may not necessarily be optimal choices and they can change the way that one would usually expect that warlock to play but nonetheless I wish to emphasise that everything in the book has a place in our armies. Of course this comes with the caveat that while all things are equal, some are more equal than others.
First we have our unique character beast, Typhon, a fairly solid beatstick and beautiful model. Stat and role-wise, he is pretty similar to a Carnivean with a few different tricks – first he he has a 360 degree front arc and can use his initial attacks to make any combination of breath and melee hits, even if he is in combat. His RAT is on par with the Carnivean’s so don’t go expecting him to break up enemy formations with any sort of ease. Quite honestly I’m not a big fan of the Blight Breath as a weapon in that it doesn’t have the strength to crack open anything that Typhon is likely to hit and he doesn’t have the RAT to hit anything that would actually be affected. If I were going to attack, for instance, Man-o-War Demo Corps, I would just have him use his jaw on three of them for better accuracy and almost ensured kills, and I could just buy more attacks anyway. That said, he does have potential to be better at breaking up crowds of light infantry with Rhyas, and the fact that you get three shots at each unit in the area of effect, possibly in several different directions, gives him a threat radius beyond what even his Reach would suggest. His lack of All Terrain provides another reason to still take a Carnivean; he doesn’t suffer from the same flaws as the Warmachine character warjacks in that regard, and his animus is a really interesting one that can give him a lot of survivability if you cast it on him. He can also handle a lot of hits as a transfer target if your warlock is under threat. I wouldn’t bother casting Excessive Healing on a warlock though, you’ll probably want to transfer damage and that doesn’t trigger the ability. Absylonia with Typhon as a transfer magnet makes angels cry.
The Nephilim Protector is our other new warbeast and one I’m really excited about. He gives us a bit of attrition so that our battles aren’t determined by the first few turns when we’re at our strongest. It also gives Legion the ability to play a non-assassination army much better by giving us a beast that has staying power, with its toughness comparable to that of the Axer and our ability to give it plenty of armour buffs. Its ability to leap in front of ranged attacks is neat too, and takes at least some of the heat off a threatened warlock by potentially blocking charge lanes when she gets shot. Its animus is one I like, especially against warlocks like Grim Angus who keep man-trapping my Carnivean and boosting to damage – I’m quite happy letting them waste their fury now and I can quite cheerfully let the Nephilim run hot in the knowledge that I can transfer to it. However it must be noted that its combat skill is sub-par compared to most units unless it charges, so a warlock like Rhyas can get some interesting offensive use out of it by giving it Rapport. That said, a Soldier is probably better for this sort of role in that it has Glide and can reach a wider array of targets. This is purely a defensive beast, with a really useful animus.
Our new infantry unit are the Warspears; something we’ve known about for awhile but have never known exactly what they will do, and quite frankly I didn’t expect them to be able to Ambuscade. With their SPD 6, this gives them a tremendous threat range and allows them to potentially deal very high damage. Give them Foreboding and they’ll be able to ambuscade twice in one game. Fields of Slaughter will almost guarantee that they hit their targets. Draconic Blessing on the Vassal will give you the edge you need if you truly want that model dead. With Rhyas they’re just another unit for killing things so she may get perhaps less use out of them than the other warlocks, but they still benefit from her Dash and being able to Ambuscade out of melee. The one who really shines with them is eLylyth, in my opinion, with the ability of Decimation to add +4″ of range to their throwing spears and give them extra shots, they can be pretty devastating. Pin Cushion on any target that you really must have dead. Shadow Pack to let them move around unmolested. Snare to stop things that try to get in their way.
As for the unit attachments…I don’t think there’s anything for me to say. Both of them boost their respective units to new levels of wrong. As a certain podcast once said, they aren’t unit attachments, they’re errata for the unit. Sure they increase the point cost but having Swordsmen that can charge across rough terrain allows me to sleep that much easier in the knowledge that Inhospitable Ground no longer applies to me. I am so going to crush Irusk the next time I see him.
I have to go run errands and stuff, so discussion on solos will have to wait until later.