|I did not choose Kayazy Life - Kayazy Life chose me!|
So I'll dedicate this article to my ugly looking assassins, their great-looking female coworkers, and my love-hate relationship with them. Because, as much as I want to get away from using them, they keep going coming back to me to usher me back into playing them. Because that is what thugs do, so let's get to it.
I'll look at what Kayazy Khador has access to, what they offer, how we can apply them, how we can do a twist on their numbers, what Four Star options they have, what I'd like to see in the future - and my top 5 Kayazy Songs.
Kayazy come to Khador players currently in three distinct entries, two of which are intertwined: The Kayazy Assassins, the Kayazy Assassin Underboss, and the Kayazy Eliminators. To other factions, these may look like more of the same, but there are substantial differences between Assassins and Eliminators. And that's not simply looks-wise.
What both of them have to offer are defensive abilities that make them hard to tag and/or pin down. Assassins have "Parry", Eliminators "Acrobatics", which means that they are quite free at going where they want, and that you have a hard time hiding from them. Both have "Stealth", which situationally helps against shooting, but mostly doesn't. ;-) The Eliminators have "Duelist" hardwired, the Assassins can gain it (and a 1-turn acrobatics) via their Underboss - which is the reason that Assassins are always considered with their Underboss, because he's just so bloody (under)boss. "Duelist" makes fighting the Kayazy in melee a real drag with their natural DEF of 14 (or 15) being enhanced by another +2, meaning that most models need straight 10s or 11s to hit (not considering buffs). And up to now, all Kayazy models die when hit directly. ARM 11 is the armour value of padded clothing, after all. To sum it up, Kayazy excel at the proverbial "The best defense - is not to get hit". And I do not expect that to change.
Offensively (less board-threat-wise, more stabbing-people-wise), they offer MAT 7 - which is expert level - and P&S 10 blades. And that is before their other common ability, "Gang", which gives you another +2 to hit and damage, pushing the numbers into the range of ridiculous and works! If that is still not enough damage for you, Khador has access to Fury, Battle Lust, and a few other options of increasing damage output - which is good because you can rely on these guys to hit (and if you think you can't, use them under Irusk's feat, and behold MAT 11). Eliminators also bring a Combo-Strike that hits at P&S 15 under "Gang" conditions.
But how to apply them? Regular Assassins have backstab, but that never comes into play. Because Assassins tend to spearhead the rest of the force, meeting the enemy face-to-face, and hardly getting into their back arc before either dies. (Well, you could try and run a min unit as pure flankers, but they're too slow to do that effectively) Assassins are a good jamming unit due to their high number, high defense and defensive abilities that keep them around until they jam, but they aren't the fastest (those, still, are Doom Reavers). But to my experience - which is why I keep coming back to them - they can jam with the best of them, as long as I manage to keep the enemy's accuracy providers occupied. Given that, they certainly can grind away what they jam in time. Or pop Killstroke and strike at something completely different.
The Eliminators, due to there only being two of them, are more scalpel-like, even though I had them mess up units before. But the interactions of gang, acrobatics, and sidestep turn maximising that into a challenge. They're better at striking at UAs, Solos, and the like. And with SPD 7, they can do a decent job at flanking - but if they do, they hardly get to do sth. until turn three, and I'm not certain that's a great investment.
Twisting their numbers - and I do not mean "apply Iron Flesh" (People know how to deal with that. Don't do it!) is a very fun thing to do. It mostly correlates to increasing FA. Supreme Kommandant Irusk's theme force "Art of War" gives you access to unlimited numbers of Assassin units - but still only one Underboss. Even though highly unlikely and with a lot of horrible match-ups, that'd be fun. What's still better in my mind is Koldun Kommander Zerkova's "Hunting Wolves" theme forces, because it increases the FA of all Kayazy units and their UAs by 1, which is all you need in a normal sized game. You could field twenty Assassins with Underbosses accompanied by three teams of Eliminators (shudder). It's the fact that they are both good in defense and offense that makes it so plausible.
The other twist on their numbers that I really like is using them with Vladimir Xp, and just powering (Eliminators especially) through the roof, making them incredible in the Caster-assassination department.
Their Four Star options - or rather, their most prominent Four Star options - are:
1) Gorten Grundback safeguarding them with "Solid Ground" - quite nasty, tried that out myself, but the 10" CTRL makes it a little challenging. Still, that's a very repectable limo.
2) Durgen Madhammer "priming" them - this raises their offensive output and punishes the enemy for killing them, too. Haven't got around to try that one out, but it sounds very good, even though you'll have to be mindful of your positioning.
3) Drake MacBain(MacBain!!!) putting "Countermeasures" on them. They can't hit them from range, and when they're close enough, the enemy can no longer fire. This one is likely better on Eliminators.
4) Fiona the Black and "Roth's Mercy", probably one of the dirtiest spells ever. Now, on top of being hard to hit, you don't kill the Kayazy you did hit. That severely reduces the impact losses have, and strengthens your position.
What would I like to see in the future? Well, I did do an article on my own version of a Kayazy Caster, the "Queen of Shadows" on this very blog. A solo would be very nice, preferably with a ranged attack, just so that I can use more of Freebooter's Fate's Brotherhood models for Kayazy. But if we're going into a fun direction, I'd like these:
Kayazy Posers: Stats as Assassins. Two Weapons. Abilities: Ambush, Gang, Crit Brutal Damage, Brutal Charge, Powerful Charge, Acrobatics, Cool Poses, Rule of Cool
Cool Poses: Models in this unit that get placed on the board or boxed enemy models with an attack are DEF 5 for one round and gain "Flabberghasting".
Flabberghasting: Enemy models/units activating with this model any of their attack ranges must make a CMD check. If they succeed, they may attack this model normally. If they fail, they're too annoyed or busy facepalming.
Rule of Cool: If this model rolls only ones on an attack or damage roll, it dies of shame and is immediately removed from play. At the end of their activation, the Poser that rolled the highest result on any dice roll this turn becomes the new leader. Replace him with the leader model and the former leader with a grunt model.Oh, and my top five Kayazy songs?
5) Assassins Creed II OST - Venice
4) ??? - I got 99 Problems, but the B**** ain't one
3) AC/DC - The Razor's Edge
2) Billy Idol - Don't need a Gun
1) Linkin Park - When they come for me