Mittwoch, 13. März 2013

Khador 2013 - Part 07 "T.A.C. Previews"

A different three dwarves.
In this "breaking news" article for Khador 2013, I'm going to highlight something non-Khadoran: the Tactical Arcanist Corps. A mercenary Rhulic unit of three magic users that works for Khador (and Cygnar, bleh), constituted of extremely drilled battle mages from the Brand of Odom. Aside from the fact that they seemingly outshine other options (like the Greylord Ternion, in part), and are a uber addition to Searforge, I'll look into how they'd benefit us, what we can give them (esp. with Valachev), and which caster I think can benefit the most.

So, what exactly was spoilered about them? It mainly boils down to the following:
DEF 11
ARM 16

Hit Points: 5
Point Cost: 4
Mace w/ (crit) FlameBurst (or Righteous Flames? from the Cinerators)

Immunity (Fire)
Battle Wizard
Magic Ability (7):
- Flameburst, Rng 10, Pow 13, Crit: Fire
- Cloud Effects (like Smoke bombs)
- Vortex of Flames: Models ending their activation within 2" suffer the Fire continuous effect
With ARM 16/5 boxes, they are very sturdy (they are also very slow). The other nice thing on them is the POW 13 on Flame burst. Walking Greylords have the same threat range (bar the 1.5" inch of the circular template) on their spells. The utility of SPD 4 smoke template is to be debated, it may highly depend on whether you went first or second. Vortex of Flames seems good against jamming units that run to engage, or when they're behind Kayazy Assassins, setting those on fire that charge the Assassins (again, speed could prove a problem, but the K.A. themselves can be used as accelerators). Satyxis have advanced deploy, yes, but the sheer presence of Vortex of Flames could be a beneficial deterrent.

Merciless Ming!
Adding Valachev to the unit gives them a number of things (as it tends to do), the main thing being the 3" placement from Zephyr, which goes a great length to mitigate their lack of speed. It also has stupid interactions with the clouds - three mages cast the clouds, Valachev zephyrs them - outside their clouds. So no LoS to the TAC, either. That could be a tricksy application, but I wouldn't count on it.
Disbinding won't really come into play, Frostbite does not affect them (unless it clips them, of course). Valachev also opens them up to all the in-faction boni, mostly coming from feats. Which, first of all, tends to be a big "Hello!" from the Butcher of Khardov, who actually would appreciate some bigger cloud-coverage (Gorman is nice, but he can only go into one list) as much as the TAC appreciates additional damage dice.

The TAC's main issue is their slow speed - they can't cast whenever they run, so it'd be difficult for them to even keep up with man-o-wars, so they are easier-to-use clouds, but very slow ones. The Old Witch and her Prowl could like them, though, but she's got her own cloud and is too fast at times. So they might provide another layer of Protection for 'Casters that tend to hang back, or they could harmonise with Assault Kommandos - if the AKs are tied up, firing Flame Bursts at their backs might help a lot in declogging them. But then again, we're talking about AKs.
Strakhov's feat would definitely be their chance to get into melee first, club something down (which is not too difficult with P&S 13+3d6), and follow up with a battle-wizarded Flame Burst.
El Vlad and the Dash spell make them speed 5 (resulting in an 8" move) which is a little more respectable since their clouds can hide the man on his horse. Hand of Fate, however, has certainly better targets, though the TAC is not a bad pick in a pinch.
Epic Irusk would be able to either replicate Valachev's movement effect with Tactical Supremacy, or just stack with it, but he'll likely have better targets (unless you avoid Man-o-War, and then you'd still prefer that on, say, Iron Fang Pikemen).

So, as a concluding statement - is the TAC better than the GLT? Could it replace it? I think not. They may be sturdy and a whole lot more survivable than the Greylords, but it feels to me like they almost require Valachev to work while in Khador, because the other slow stuff we have (Jacks, MoW) can be either sped up, or isn't played at any rate. I will very likely get a unit, though (because I have certain hopes towards their models looking awesome), and it gives me yet another reason to finally get and play Valachev, and I could just hand them to my wife for her Searforge if severe disappointment comes up. Searforge loves these guys hardcore.
After all that, it'll come down to some test runs. And until then, farewell.
"We can haz 5 boxes, No?"