Thursday, June 23, 2011

Moonlighting with Mercs: Menoth

Thus far, I've covered merc options for Cryx and Khador.  As the symbol to the left might indicate (along with the title) this time it's Menoth's term.

I would have to say out of all the factions, Menoth gets a rep for being the least merc-friendly, as I've heard some casters described as 'buff-bots' and this isn't wholly inaccurate.  However, it's not as simple as that.

Unit of Note: Choir of Menoth
Ok, so we're trying to play as merc-heavy as possible.  If you're taking more than one warjack, it's probably worth investing 2pts into the Choir.  +2MAT/+2 damage is pretty disgusting on things that already hit like trucks, and going up to MAT8 on most jacks is also disgusting.  Past that, there's great utility in denying the enemy chances to shoot or cast spells on the jacks.

The Attendent Priest
I have to say when this guy first came out, I think he got the most hate on forums as he was compared to Valachev and Murdoch.  There's a big difference: this guy is FA:2.  As such, you can bring TWO units to turn into token Menoth faction units.  For 2 points, he doesn't bring a ton of melee prowess, but you do get the ability to go Pathfinder at any time, which frees up the way you can approach the target.  Magical weapons are more of a bonus than a necessity, but are the kind of things you're glad you have when you need them (IE: Machine Wraiths going Ghost In The Shell on your jacks).  Denying the enemy the ability to hit you with spells is situational, but some things like Venom and Hellmouth are worth avoiding.

The Warcasters
High Allegiant Amon ad-Raza - Frankly, this guy is a battelgroup-friendly caster.  His spell list and feat mention 'infantry' only in terms of Convection, which kills an infantryman for a focus for a jack.  He also wants a large battlegroup.  Honestly, he's not really what we're looking for hee.

Feora, Priestess of the Flame - We could call her a super-solo and be reasonably accurate.  She has one buff, Ignite, which is +2 damage and critical fire for friendly models/units, so that works for mercs.  Past that, her spells and feat are about spell denial, movement denial (wall of fire) and setting things on fire.  She'd be happy to have self-supporting infantry, because frankly she's not going to help them herself unless you count setting stuff on fire.

Feora, Protector of the Flame - Like the prime version, her only buff is Ignite.  She'll be taking a jack or two to benefit from Escort, and be moving up the field.  She probably wants a Redeemer for the rocket volley, but past that she would be fine with self-supporting infantry.  You do miss out on Inspiration: Flameguard, though.

The Harbinger of Menoth - Parade Float Girl has one faction-specific buff in Crusader's Call (good for +2 movement on charges).  Combine that with a wonderful movement-denial feat (POW14 fire hits for getting closer to her with her mighty 20" control area) and if you're willing to take a couple of priests with your melee guys, you'll enjoy her.  She also buffs accuacy with guided hand, good for an additional dice on melee attack rolls.  The only thing you really miss out on with mercs is Martyrdom, but it's also something of a trap, since she's ALSO a large base with DEF14/ARM14.

The High Reclaimer - Honestly, this guy COULD run with attendant priests, but if the enemy ever KO'ed them, you're screwed.  Why?  Reclaim.  You need lots of friendly faction models, as when they die he gets souls which turn to focus.  I'm not sure I'd really want to risk this guy with merc infantry just to watch the enemy gun for/kill my Priests, and hose me up.  Why is this a worry?  He's FOCUS 5, and while he can deliver an army via Burning Ash clouds, you'll spend the game hoping your priests don't bite it too fast.

The Testament of Menoth - Revive and Reclaim both specify Faction, and like the Reclaimer, your feat is faction-specific.  You stand to lose a LOT if your priests get splattered, and you don't even have a good way to make clouds.

High Exemplar Kreoss - This guy's got a nice cross-section of spells/abilities going for him.  Want a buff?  Defender's Ward, for +2DEF/+2ARM, but you have the 'Faction' tag in there.  So, get a priest.  Past that, you've a pair of so-so offensive spells, and then the ability to shut down spellcasting and/or drop upkeeps.  Just remember that Purification kills your own upkeeps as well.  If/wehn your first Defender's Ward target dies, you can always make a jack more durable, or shore up Kreoss' own so-so DEF14/ARM15 stats.  And, of course, his feat is army-friendly.  This guy is definitely up for some merc work.

Grand Exemplar Kreoss - Unlike his prime version, this one's not so friendly with mercs.  Inviolable Resolve and Sacrosanct both require faction targets, and you get the most mileage out of them on units.  More so than that, his feat loves Faction models; they get an extra melee attack and hit automatically.  Frankly, this guy is like the Reclaimer/Testament in that you probably COULD roll an army with priests, but losing them before his feat is gonna cost you some serious offensive potential.

High Executioner Servath Reznik - This guy has a special place in the black void I call a heart: he knows exactly what he is, and rolls with it.  He's kind of like eFeora in that you've got Ignite and some battlegroup buffs.  If you like Steelheads, then Reznik's tier list in No Quarter 35 deserves a mention; he allows for small-based Steelheads (and Stannis Brocker) and gives them free attendant priests.  Let Steelheads deal with enemy infantry/lighter targets while Choir-backed, Iron-Aggression'ed jacks beat hard targets, and you've got a decent list.

Grand Scrutator Severius - Defender's Ward, Eye of Menoth, Vision and Death Sentence (re-rolls versus a target model/unit) all require friendly Faction models.  This guy's nasty, but his buffs suggest a Menoth-pure army is the way to go.  Like others, you can try this with Priests but be advised that if the enemy kills your priests, you're basically down to Ashes to Ashes, Immolation, and buffing the 1-2 melee jacks you brought.

Hierarch Severius - Amazingly, this guy's a bit more friendly towards mercs.  The only requirement for Faciton models is on his buff of Holy Ward (+2DEF, untouchable by spells), and the rest is a self-buff, enemy debuff, or battlegroup buff.  You're committing to an Arc Node, though, and should probably consider Blessing of Vengeance.  Still, he can work with one priest, and not lose too much if/when the priest bites it.

Vice Scrutator Vindictus - This guy is also fond of Faction models.  He can dump Pathfinder and Defender's Ward on friendly faction models, and his feat is a great way of saying 'Go Ahead.  Hit My Guys, I Dare You'.  The problem is that an enemy can defuse your feat by killing the priests quickly, and then you'e so-so after that.  That, and he likes Holy Zealots, so all in all Vindictus probably isn't the top choice for a merc-heavy list.

Thyra, Flame of Sorrow - Her money-making buff, Carnage, stipulates that you have to be a Faction model to get the +2 to melee attack rolls in her control area.  Her feat also requies friendly faction models for the 2" place, which is sick.  Silence of Death and Occultation are friendly-model spells, at least.  Sadly, killing your priests is a great way to screw you over, so expect canny enemies to try just that if you look to rock Thyra.

Menite Labor Pool

Steelheads - The small-based ones and Stannis deserve special mention with Reznik, as he keeps them in-tier and gives them free Priests for support.  Past that, the Steelheads are a workable self-sufficient set of bodies, and with Defender's Ward the Halberdiers get kinda disgusting at DEF15 ARM15; they're a pain to hit and probably won't care about blast damage.

Blythe 'n' Bull - Not sure I'd waste an attendant priest on them (as you're buffing two models) but if you want Remove From Play in your army, they'll do it for you in melee.

Croe's Cutthroats - Being Stealthy, they're kinda gonna leave the Priest unscreened outside of 5".  They get special mention in conjunction with High Exemplar Kreoss, as knockdown mitigates their RAT5 on poison weapons nicely.  Cutthroats + Kreoss + Living Models = Hilarity for you.

Sam MacHorne & the Devil Dogs - These guys are built to kill anything they can knock down. Note that while Pronto is a nice drive on melee jacks, merc jacks don't benefit from the choir.  However, the defensive stats on these guys are comparable to Steelheads, and Defender's Ward would make this unit annoying to deal with.  You could always use something like a Talon or Buccaneer as a setup for other hitters, though.  The Choir is the one thing that holds me back, though.

Kell Blailoch - he's a magical sniper rifle.  There's no way to get solos in-faction, so bear that in mind when you have buffs.  The magical weapon may not be 100% necessary, but it's there if your particular build could use it.

Anastasia di Bray - Get close to the warcaster and let everything move up/attack?  It'll make opponents think a bit about how they move their caster, and at least it works on all friendly models.

 Madelyn Corbeau - Movement shenanigans for hire, for a single warrior model.  Situational at best.

Rhupert Carvolo - Pathfinder, or Fearless/Tough, or +1DEF/Terror?  Bloody useful, he is, especially since you're probably rolling with some infantry.

The Eiryss's - Curiously, some folks (IE: Harbinger, Kreoss) would probably take the Prime over the Epic, since the Epic's big selling point is being able to drop animi/upkeeps.  The original does have more versatile ammo.

Orin Midwinter - More denial if you can hide him, and a bit of lightning on the side.  Just be sure not to shut down your own spellcasting as well.

Taryn di la Rovissi - You lose out on her ability to screw with screens via Shadow Fire, and I find that to be her major selling point.  Otherwise, she's a pair of magical ranged attacks that can melt jacks (auto d3 to hull boxes isn't terrible, though the POW10 shot is unlikely to do much otherwise).  However, Menite jacks tend to, y'know, hit like trucks.

Rutger Shaw - He really wants to run a melee jack, and I can't help but think Choirs make menite jacks do it better.

Gorman di Wulf - Who doesn't love this guy's utility?  Seriously.  Walking debuffs 'r' me is his name, and as an added bonus he's immune to fire, which Menoth loves.

Privateers - Again, the whole package is ~16 or so points for Sea Dogs and supporting solos, or you can roll with Press Gangers.  The downside is that you can't bring solos into Faction status, so that limits some of the buffs.  Still, these guys can work as a decent melee core, and DEF15 from Defender's Ward and the like is obnoxious.

Aiyana & Holt - You won't need to bring them to faction status, honestly.  Their damage buff is never a bad thing, but their ability to grant magical weapons does overlap with the Attendent Priest.

Dirty Meg - She wants a melee jack.  You have access to choirs.

Horgenhold Forge Guard - They get a mention with the Harbinger due to Crusader's Call, and with Ranked Attacks, you can even put guns behind them.  When it has to hit like a truck, call Horgenhold.

Herne & Jonne - Want AoEs?  Menoth has sources too, but these are mercs, if that's what you're looking for.

Ogrun Assault Corps - They're generalists, with nice AoE guns and a decent POW12 axe.  Casters with Ignite might look at these guys for their infantry, since POW14's respectable enough and they can take some abuse with 8 wounds apiece.  Also, being medium bases, they can hide the priest a bit better.

Overall
All things considered, Menoth DOES have some neat suppot pieces that stipulate faction-only, like the Covenant.  You're going to miss out on some support if you go merc-heavy, but frankly that goes for ANY faction that goes merc-heavy. 

That being said, the Feoras and Reznik are top for merc compatibility, as they do not require attendant priests.  Reznik even has a Steelhead-friendly tier, for that matter. 

The Harbinger, High Exemplar Kreoss, and Hierarch Severius can work with the addition of Priests. 

Amon ad-Raza is a battlegroup-only guy, and the remainder of the casters are really, really hoping the enemy doesn't wise up and kill the Attendant Priests, as that costs you a lot of capabilities.

1 comment:

Big Rich said...

I enjoy using Kroess with the Devil Dogs + Priest + 2 Freebooters. Knockdown fun. Pop the feat, and clean up the mess. Make sure to use the Freebooters to throw something good at the warcaster or warlock if possible.