So yesterday I got a chance to go down to my FLGS and play a few games, 3 to be exact. I ran 2 lists, pretty much the same except for the Warlocks (and one had gobbers) and I have thought about how I feel about this since last night. I figured I would first do a quick overview of the 3 lists I faced (roughly) and how I fared. For those who want the short of it: I lost all 3 games.
First match was against Legion: Vayl, 2 Carniverans, Shredder, 2 units of Striders (The archers) and 2 of the solos that can do Snapshot. Second match was against Menoth: Reznik, Avatar, Reckoner (the mace/gun dude), Revenger, 5 Bastions, Covenant, Choir, Vassal. Third was against Khador: eButcher, Beast, Marauder, Mechanics, Great Bears, Fenris, Alten, 2 Manhunters, Yuri. In all 3 I lost, and in most cases pretty badly, but I did have fun. All games were 35 points.
So lets go over each unit I used and how I felt about the changes. First up the 2 Warlocks.
pMadrak: Ok so the new pMadrak has his spell Surefoot, Carnage, and Stone Fall. He is still 5 Fury. His RAT went up but he lost Richocet. His axe critical is nice as it prevents transfers and healing for a turn. Overall he seems pretty solid save for 1 thing. He is not a beast friendly caster. Why do I say this? Well he is Fury 5 and wants to keep that. Sure Foot is now an upkeep so you can cast it turn 1 and then just upkeep it, but that leaves him with 4 Fury. His spell Carnage, which you WILL want to use, is 3 Fury. Furthermore, with the Trolls lower THR scores, running your beasts even the slightest bit hot can screw you up. He wants Infantry, lots of it. Kriel Warriors and Champs are his friend. Also the KSB is a useful piece for the his army but he will have issues filling it. Overall a decent caster. But I do not have the Troops to really support him. His feat is unchanged as well.
Calandra: She kept Befuddle and Star Crossed, gained Bullet Dodger which is a nice upkeep, and also switched out her damage spell. Her stat line is still the same, and her feat is completely different. Her feat basically makes it impossible to roll a 1 or 2 on attack rolls. Its much more offensive oriented. Her Befuddle gained 2 inches of range but is no longer an upkeep. Still awesome, and Star Crossed is unchanged. But here is my issue with Calandra. With the low DEF of most of our models (12 is the average) and the MAT buffs alot of other factions have access to, Star Crossed doesn’t help as much as it used to. Back in Mk1 when I could get my Champs up to DEF 14 ARM 19 (B2B and the KSB) Star Crossed gave people fits. Instead now I can get em to DEF 12 ARM 20, and that is much easier to hit even on 3 dice. To be exact, Star Crossed never once stopped someone from hitting me. Ever. During either game I used it in. However the extra range on Befuddle actually DID allow me to use it to move a Carnie out of the way so I can throw a spear at Vayl. Didn’t do much but at least I hit her! Overall, Calandra is a mixed forces caster at best. You want a few beasts as she still has Soothing Song to help lower their fury, and you want Troops (Ranged are KILLER) for her Feat Turn. 2 Units of Champs getting a charge off on her feat can cause much havok. Bushwackers and a Blitzer are also crazy dangerous on her feat. Solid caster I feel, but I gotta learn how to use her better.
Next up we got the Beasts I used.
Axer: Oh Axer how do I love thee, let me count the ways. +1 MAT, Thresher stayed, and he gained Reach. His Animus is now +2 Move and Pathfinder. He is DEF 12 ARM 18 base. Its like having a Mini Heavy and at 6 points there is no reason NOT to use this guy.
Impaler: He lost a point of DEF. In all other aspects he is the same, save that his animus can only effect Trollblood models now. 5 Points for him means that in a ranged list you should take one.
Mauler: The biggest changes for this guy are the +1 MAT and the change to his Chain Attack. His new Chain Attack allows you to hit various power attacks, my favorite being the 2 Handed Throw. Of course you could also Headbutt to knock your target down and then buy more attacks. I got the chain attack off twice, but in both cases it was against Jacks, and they just stood back up. Didn’t help a huge amount but since Throws use MAT now, you could theoretically hit a target more reliably and cause some damage. 9 Points seems a bit much though to me.
Finally the Troops and Solos:
Kriel Stone Bearers: They are for the most part unchanged. They still do the +2 ARM, its still 4in + 1 for each fury point on em, and they still have it as a Special Action. Unchanged. But their UA is a bit better.
Stone Scribe Elder: Now here is where the changes came in. He no longer replaces the aura but rather adds to it. He can grant everyone immunity to Continuous effects and expire the ones existing, he can let you target Stealth and Incoporeal models in the Aura (this is just silly if you ask me) or he can give +1 STR. Any of those and the +2 ARM. For 1 point you should always nab him if you are nabbing the KSB.
Champions: They can now be bought in either 3 or 5. They are all 8 wounds, and now instead of +2 DEF in B2B its +2 ARM. This actually kinda bothers me now that I have seen it in action. Most things I have faced can cause some serious damage even WITH 20 ARM, and furthermore, they are still very easy to hit. Also, they are now Weapon Masters and no longer have concert. On average you could expect to do more damage on a charge, but thats if you are lucky. I have crap luck (example: 4 Champs get a charge on a Carnie during my Feat (Calandra) and do a grand total of 7 damage between all 4) so yea. They lost some POW on their weapons, so are PS11 now. I want to see em more in action.
Fell Caller: Being able to Fell Call and attack is amazing. Also he is RAT 6 now meaning his 8in Spray can hit more reliably. I would have to say killing a Great Bear with it (Pow 12) was awesome. He is unchanged otherwise, save he lost some range on 2 of his calls, and his stand up call is his CMD area and effects beasts. His other 2 do not. Oh, and he no longer grants +2 RAT. He only grants MAT.
Chronicler: This guy has changed for the better. He can now read his stories in any order, and they are CMD Ranged. He is also effected by his story as well. One grants concelment (14 DEF vs Ranged/Magic Champs? Cool!), one makes an enemy get knocked down if they kill a model in the unit, and the last gives +2 damage to the unit if there is a beast engaging their target. Champs with that story charging a model engaged at reach with an Axer = Pain.
All in all we changed for the better overall I think. But it was not a huge boost to be honest. Mulg still is kinda iffy, and the EBDT costs as much as Mulg does! 11 points each…eww. We have no fury management, but we can use Whelps to stop a frenzy. That doesn’t really help to be honest.
I do want a Thumper Cannon if it doesn’t change though. Base RNG 14 POW 14 RAT 7 (if the crew is in B2B), Impaler Animus means its RNG 18 and its currently Auto Slam, with a POW 14 collateral damage roll.
Oh and for the record: The List I Ran:
KSB (Full Unit)
Or the same list as above, just switch Calandra for pMadrak, and add Gobbers (who are not so great anymore, as they dont grant -2 to attack rolls, just concelment)