Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Special Characters

So Call to Arms allowed Special Characters and the world hasn't ceased to turn.

Only one of the lists in the Top 10 had a SC and that was Tim Joss' Tomb Kings. He had Khalida in a block of 50 archers. The anecdotal feedback I received was that it wasn't the most fun list to play against but I'm not sure whether that was down to Khalida or the two Screaming Skull Catapults and the dual Caskets. The firepower from the army was sufficient to stop all but his last opponent's army contacting the block.

Certainly I think Tim found a very strong build where Khalida's worth was magnified given the rest of his list.

Michael Vercoe's Throgg list appeared to suffer from too many Trolls - he had 23 + Throgg - which meant he was very very one dimensional in terms of options. However despite that he finished a very credible 11th and I know his opponents enjoyed the list.

Neil Williamson's Green Knight provided an interesting twist for a standard Bretonnian list but was neither overpowered nor overly annoying (except when it came back a third time). James Milner's Tyrion was overpointed for his contribution. The same with Queek and his Stormvermin. I didn't hear any comments about Festus the Leechlord all weekend so I assume he was fine.

From my point of view, if I was revising the SCGT pack I'd consider limiting Khalida to 30 archers but other than that the SC on offer didn't bend the game.


  1. With a limit of 30 archers you wouldnt see her to be fair. You would end up paying 18 points + per archer to get a 4+ st3 poison shot off, which isnt worth it imo.

    In the first game the archers spent the entire game trying to kill one unit of grave guard, second game had no effect at all on Basils VC, but they where enormasly strong against the Chaos Warrior lists (thanks to the caskets), and they only got one round of shooting off vs Sams Orcs.

    At any rate Im not sure I would use her again as the army is a bit too one dimensional to be fun.

    I should have the first few of my battle reports up tomorrow

    1. If a limit to 30 archers questions her inclusion then it is probably around the right level. To me 50 seems a no-brainer yes, 20 a no brainer no.

      However as I said I don't think the 50 models was necessarily the problem - perhaps limit her to one one casket and one catapult

  2. I faced Throgg and Tyrion, and found neither to be overpowered (apart from grumbling about breath weapons; Throgg's killed 8 Hammerers, Tyrion's 12 Warriors). Both were actually fun to play against.

    But I thought the inclusion of SCs was a good idea, a real turnaround from my opinion a couple of years ago. I still don't like them for fluff reasons (every skirmish for a village seems to feature some valiant hero of legend), but that's for me to get vexed about. If other people want to use them, good on them. To be honest, if I'd had another 20 miners painted up, I'd have trotted out a Bugman ranger/miner list.

  3. I'm just not sold on the double rare thing myself

  4. Well, there are scary rares and meh rares. Double Abomb is scary, double plague cat, or WLC, less so.

  5. I only face one Special character, which was queek, and he died in turn two ... due to artillery fire. So I dont really have much to say 'aboot' the special characters but it seemed to me that everything was fine.


    1. yeah passing look out sir rolls helps.

      Queek's strengths were his ld 8 and the upgraded stormvermin, rather than himself. Tyrion had him for breakfast as did Josh's assassin.

      WS5 S5 I5 Armour piercing stormvermin with skavenbrew and a buff spell went through things like chaos warriors do, which was unexpected by most opponents.

      Queek and a Grey Seer as lords would be perfect I think, but can't be done if you are in any way worried about the fluff (Queek "intensely distrusts" grey seers) so would never be fielded together.


  6. I have no problem with semi comped SC. Also no problem with double rares, except for abombs and hydras.

  7. I found the Green Knight fun to play with and gave me some useful extra options. The ability to enter behind the lines (sometimes) and ethereal was his most useful feature. Many troops could not fight back against him. Being unstable was his biggest weakness.

    Against Throgg he came on behind the lines in turn one and engaged the hellcannon on turn two. It was a slow grind but the hellcannon fell on turn 4 and he then engaged some trolls but the regen stopped any rampaging thoughts.
    Throgg was the only special character I met and I didn't have an answer for him so I kept out of his way, march blocked him and kept spelling curse of anraheir on him.

    Against Kents VC he acted solo to harass Kent's left wing while the rest of my army went off to deal with Kent's right wing. He tried a run into the vampire lord, fluffed and died, came back again and didn't do much.

    Against Basil's VC he threatened but did not commit until finally coming to the rescue of the general by charging the flank of the Black knight bus.
    He saved the day there although he did crumble on the second round of combat, which was frustrating from my point of view as I would have preferred a stay there or flee roll. Still he popped back again.

    Joel neatly countered him by keeping his two White Lion units together (one had magical attacks). With no other target but the dragon he kept attacking the unit in the watchtower. Once the dragon was pinned he stopped playing at Don Quixote and attacked the dragon and nearly got him.

    Against Reid's VC he had had a bit too much to drink the night before and couldn't be bothered to turn up until turn 5. He wandered around, surveyed the carnage, and went back to his marsh for an early night.

    All in all, good to play with. He has the same stats as a lord (+1WS) and costs 35 points more than a fully tooled up lord.

    1. While he does provide something different, I found that in pretty much every situation, I'd rather have had a Heroic Killing Blow lord in my list, when I used the Green Knight.

      I think that's pretty much the situation with every combat SC I can think of. You can get a Character that fills the same hole for cheaper.

    2. Key word being "nearly" there Neil...my Prince knows how to pass ldship 7 break tests...having to use the BSB re-roll bottom turn 6 was just him showing off...

      The Green Knight was a real factor in how I deployed-keeping my hammers together and behind a forest vs an army where I would have preferred to spread them out a bit to maximise the carnage I could cause vs your units that have a very small frontage. I think my biggest issue vs him was the decision to out amulet of light on a unit champ not the BSB where it would be more mobile-and therefore more redeployable. You having to challenge = my BSB could always decline and still get the magic attacks benefit on the unit. Oh well I was VERY suprised I won that game as your Treb was on fire and I couldnt roll 2+ to wound or pass a panic test at all!

      On Khalida I really think the issue was the 50 archers PLUS the double catapult/casket. I prefer a lighter comp environment, but with the cautious SC introduction I think it would be wise to evaluate what sort of build a SC encourages and see where the "tipping point" lies.

      Joel V

    3. For me, the Smiting on the archers is the concern. I think 30-35 would be an acceptable number.

    4. If you cant beat it ban it?
      Nobody would take Khalida if you could only have 30. Shes not a viable choice with those numbers. The unit was worth over 900 points, so was basically my death star. One that still wont work unless you have the support of many other elements in the army.
      I would recommend you look at taking a goblin hero on giant spider with a 2+ rerollable armour save or similar. That way you have something fast to charge into then and stop them from shooting. When not fighting something like that, use it to hunt warmachines redirect etc
      Or just throw more dice at dispelling Smiting.

    5. Thing is I would have beaten it if they didn't have ws6.....
      I am contemplating on doing a Spider list. It will contain 6 Characters on Gigantic spiders.

    6. Well you would have won the first round of combat, but still lost all of the Savage Orc mob by the 5th turn, based on averages.

    7. I wasnt worried about Khalida at all tbh. The only thing in that list that scared me was the double casket magic phase. With a level 4 I'd have been fine though... It's just that list is very effective against big blocks which is The standard fantasy list for some reason, so it does well in tournies

  8. I played against Tyrion and Throgg.

    Tyrion didn't really affect my game one way or another (any more than another fighty lord level char would have) and I found the Throgg list an interesting one to play against.

    Glad I didn't have to face the Khalida list but (as has already been said) it probably wouldn't have been so bad without the double casket/catapult backup so that might not be so much a problem with the char and as with any list you still need a good general to use it well.

    Tom for example kicked my ass all over the table and it wasn't a problem with an unbalanced list or any special char, he simply played his army better than I did!

    Overall, happy to play with special char's and I will be using one myself for the next tourney.

    Dave A