Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Thoughts on the Blindwater Battle Box

We've got a Journeyman League underway locally, and I decided to indulge my faction ADD, and grabbed some Gatormen.  Frankly, I already have a posse and some various other minions from playing Legion, so this was more of a 'grab battle box and go' kind of decision.

We've polished off our battlebox week, and some games have given me a perspective on said box.

Bloody Barnabas
At the battle box level, you're not getting everything out of Bloody B that you otherwise could.

He has a certain amount of damage output, what with the two PS14 attacks (one with Reach and Blood Boon) and a PS12.  His defensive stats are so-so; DEF13 is pretty easy to hit without a boost, and ARM17 (even with unyielding) isn't THAT hefty when a warnoun is gently tapping you.  Counter-charge looks counterintuitive, but you can use it to get some free movement against non-reach enemies (...of which there are plenty in the battle box; just make sure you aren't opening yourself up for abuse this turn).

Spell List
A whopping 6 fury nets you four spells.  The Flesh Eater is a so-so spell; you might use it to finish off a wounded target but it's not going to get a ton of use in a battle box game.  A couple times, I'd considered trying it as a potential finisher on pop-and-drop, but two of them leave you without any fury and one is only so-so with a boosted damage roll.

Bloody B is the only target for Iron Flesh, and it pushes him from a so-so DEF13 to a very respectable DEF16.  If he's got a little fury on him, Iron Flesh plus a transfer target might let him survive a run that doesn't knock him down.

Swamp Pit is still the moneymaker.  Shallow water can slow people down, and you can deny the enemy shooting.  The latter is pretty important.

Warpath is neat, but outside of a Legion battle box you are unlikely to get off more than one good move out of it.  Once you get to a 25-35 point game, I expect it to be very useful.

Hey, it's knockdown that's useless in a mirror match.  At this points level it's hard to hide casters at all, and you don't have enough ranged power in the battle box to make a viable drop-and-pop happen on an undamaged caster.

On the other hand, this can be a valuable setup/denial feat at this points level.  Knocking down the other guy's army means he's got to spend fury/focus to stand up and do anything.  It's a resource game; if you can't close the gap in another way you can limit their ability to react.

The Warbeasts
With the Blindwater box, you get both of the heavies in the gator stable: Blackhide Wrastler and Ironback Spitter.  In a way, it reminds me of the Khador box.

He's reasonably durable, he can hit pretty hard, and you get a sick animus with a pair of open fists.  Snacking is a bonus, but by and large this guy is either going to be your assassin, or be the one KOing an enemy heavy.  As you've got a pair of models that can throw, you can abuse the Rise animus, or just use it for the simple 'death roll the other guy and get up' maneuver.

Basically, if you're going after a high-DEF target, consider a boosted attack roll plus a Death Roll, get that one boosted PS17 in on them and then rip them apart without having to roll to hit.  Or, hell, if Barnabas hasn't activated, you might as well make it a sure thing with a Death roll and let Barnabas use Rise on the Wrastler to at least make the other guy roll to hit you.

Ironback Spitter
Ok, this guy's sculpt screams 'GET OFFA MA LAWN!' (at least, in conjunction with the 'ornery' animus it does).  You're losing speed, MAT, and ARM over the spitter.  You keep the open fists, but lose some POW off the fists and your main attack is a PS15 instead of 17. 

So, what's this guy got?  A gun, and Bloody B means you can fire without retaliation.  RNG12 means you can generally take shots without being in charge range, and a RAT5, POW14 boostable is very workable.  In a pinch, a good scatter with boosted damage roll can ding up a caster and make the other guy play a little more conservatively.  In a pinch, a volley of PS15s from the bite aren't bad, and you can always throw/slam.

Putting it Together
This box reminds me a bit of the Khador box: you've got a reasonably well-defended caster, a shooty heavy, and a punchy heavy.  You lose some of the speed for a slower game that can deny shooting.  Your lock's defense is a bit one-dimensional (if they can get to you while you don't have Iron Flesh up, you're reliant on ARM17/19, whereas Sorscha is reliant on a high DEF score), but your feat is nice for slowing an enemy army or setting them up for death.  You have a solid threat-range enhancer (two-handed throw + Rise), too.

Most of my games have involved using Swamp Pits to shoot at the other guy (thus forcing him to close with me) and trying to KO heavy hitters.  In mangled metal/tooth 'n' claw I can't afford to ignore anything that can KO my heavies in short order.  Boosted POW14s can ding up lights, or soften up heavies.

The other threat is of course slamming warjacks into Swamp Pits.  Turn off one or more warjacks when there's just a caster available to reactivate them?  Yeah, no one likes that.  It takes some work to set up (given that Swamp Pit can't go over any bases and must be wholly within BB's control area) but the mere threat of it apparently draws cries of 'CHEESE!' from those who are not imaginative enough to work around it.

The one thing I havent' gotten off yet is the throw-rise-kill assassination run. 

No comments: