Sunday, November 20, 2011

Domination Impressions: Blindwater Congregation

Everyone else is undoubtedly posting opinions on Domination, so why shouldn't I?

This time around, I'll be hitting on the Blindwater Congregation, as I've been playing with them as of late.  Blindwater picked up a warlock, a pair of beasts, and a solo.

Maelok the Dreadbound
Hey, technically we have enough guys to rock an Unbound game? (...who owns enough Posses to make that worthwhile, though?).

Thematically, Maelok gives Blindwater a bit more of its nasty voodoo flavor, since he's kinda undead and he's got some of the voodoo himself between his spell list and feat.

Amphibious is kind of a given with gators.  Undead and Terror kind of go together,  but you do get some extras with Cull Soul (which you'll be hard-pressed to use) and Spirit Eater (which is neat, but would be difficult to use).

Spell List
With a 6-fury caster, four spells isn't a huge shock.  However, you do get some quality in them. 

Death Pact is a +2ARM buff with a drawback of being undead.  Our beasts would love +2ARM, though you get more mileage out of dropping it on units.  The Posse is already a pain in the arse to deal with at ARM16, going up to ARM18 and adding in Unyielding means you're probably gonna laugh off infantry that isn't charging you.  Oh, and you can always add Spiny Growth to it...

Malediction goes with the front-line theme.  You start out with some three POW12s and MAT6; Malediction puts you up to MAT8 with POW14s.  The other important part is that this is your debuff; you have to get the enemy within 2" of Maelok but you slap 'em with -2DEF/-2ARM.  As Gators have issues with armor, this is welcome but will be tricky to use, as you have to put Maelok up there.  Hey, who doesn't love high-risk/high-reward scenarios?

Revive is your tricky spell.  Slap one guy back into play, with some limits on how close you have to be to Maelok and the unit.  Want to position someone for a charge?  Here's how you can do it.

Venom is your token magic spell.  Given Maelok's FURY6 and the SP8, you'll have to be in close and your preferred target is low-DEF, high-ARM infantry for the corrosion.  This DOES let you reach out and touch someone for some magic damage, but it's probably the spell you'll use the least.

Feat: Spirit World
Everyone gets Incorporeal for a turn, and undead models get +2ARM.  With the Witch Doctor solo, you can make sure more than just the Death Pact guys get the bonus.  You'll be able to either weather the storm, OR fire your guys through enemy lines for an assassination if the enemy doesn't have a ton of magic weapons.

Initial Impressions
This guy looks like he's an attrition warlock that eats the first punch, then slams through enemy lines and decapitates the other army.

Man, I'm kinda glad I'd picked one up for RPG purposes, as the price went up, I'm sure.  The Blindwater boys get another light beast, though this one is more expensive.  Thematically, we get some more undead lovin'. 

DEF13/ARM15 is reasonable enough, and you've got 20 boxes.  MAT6, POW12 on the one attack is so-so at best.  You get SPD5, which is also so-so.

The interesting ability is related to corpse token.  Whenever you tag a living OR undead model with a melee attack, you get a corpse token.  You can hold three, and use them one of two ways: 1) +1STR/+1ARM for each token, and 2) heal d3 for each token you spend.  The STR/ARM bonus is always useful, as you can suddenly end up at P+S 15 and ARM18.  The healing is nice as it's something that occurs outside of your warlock's activation and without taxing the fury.

Here's the moneymaker.  Blindwater gets access to Swarm, which grants this model concealment and slaps a -2 to attack rolls for enemy models within 2".  Considering that Blindwater already has some DEF buffs in there (IE: Iron Flesh) this can make people even sadder.

First Impression
The corpse mechanic is interesting, but honestly I think this is a beast that people will pick up for its animus.  Run one behind a posse, and once you engage, make a hole, move this into it, and pop the animus + Dirge of Mists for a poor man's Iron Flesh for a unit.  It's not very killy, but at 4 points I don't think it's terrible.  If the enemy ignores it and lets it take a couple corpse tokens, it can start to threaten lights.

Swamp Horror
When Cthulu Attacks! (...ok, that probably goes to Proteus, but whatever).  We get another heavy for Blindwater, and thankfully it brings some new stuff to the table.  Plus, hey, it's a giant tentacle monster of doom.

SPD4 is so-so, but nothing new for Blindwater.  Amphibious is a given (...seriously, how could this thing NOT be?  Better question: how is it not tethered to water?  Wait, I think I suspended my disbelief when I got to 'gatorman'...)  There are a couple of new ones for Blindwater: Steady and Impervious Flesh.  Steady means we have something to hide behind.  Impervious Flesh means that while this guy is ARM17, enemies are at -1d6 when shooting this thing.

This thing DOES have a heap of attacks, though.  You have a trio of POW12 Open Fists with Reach.  This gives you a nice range for throws (walk up and throw from 6" away, which beats the wrastler by a whopping half-inch).  More importantly, these piddly attacks give you Pull; if you hit someone with an equal/smaller base, you can pull them up to you.  This may burn your charge attack, but it gives you three chances to get an enemy closer, and get your PS16 beak into them.  The critical effect on the beak cleans out the last column/spiral you get to, but this is under 'nice bonus' rather than 'OMG BOOST FOR THIS!'

2 fury for reach.  Because, hey, boosting your threat range is never a bad thing, right?  Thus far, this is the only warbeast for Blindwater that has reach.  This should be viewed largely as a threat range increase, as it lasts for one turn.  You don't get a round; with a round you would be able to tie up ranged enemies and the like.  With Reach that expires, you can't tie up as many targets, and you might find yourself not engaged and thus slightly more vulnerable to shooting.

First Impression
At 8 points, this guy certainly has a place in the Congregation.  You get your power attacks, you get a hitter (PS16 versus the Wrastler's PS17 isn't a huge leap), you get a sweet animus.  It would certainly like Spiny Growth with its mighty ARM17.  I think that Calaban would like this guy, as once you drop Parasite on a target, this guy's volume of attacks starts to get nastier.  It will take some testing, but I think I can get to like this guy. 

Gatorman Witch Doctor
Hey, we finally get a Gatorman solo, for all those tiers that specify 'gatorman solo'!  We ALSO get a thematic addition to our undead motif.  Honestly, I like this guy, and I think the factions do as well.

You've got two big moneymakers here, and then Dominate Undead.  Magic Ability 7 is solid.  Dominate Undead is pretty situational, but it DOES give us something for when we're facing undead enemies (...just look at how many of our extras specify 'living'....).

Sacrificial Strike is stupidly useful.  If you're running mostly Posses, this is a late-game thing; you fire off a mostly-dead Gatorman as an auto-hitting POW16.  This is nice for assassination, or finishing off crucial targets.  If you have Bog Trogs, you have a heap of guys just waiting to turn into POW14 missiles.  Note that it must be a Faction model, which means he's useful when you're running other Minions in a factioned army.

Zombify is bound to be popular with factions; a unit gets Undead and Tough.  Maelok likes the 'Undead' part for his feat, and everyone can love the Tough thing.

Oh, and Beast Master: you can force friendly faction warbeasts in its command range.

Past that, you have so-so melee capacity.

This guy is a welcome addition to the Blindwater rolls.  In a faction army, you get Tough and Sac Strike, which are both useful, and with Sac Strike you have a potent assassination assist.  Faction armies are going to like him for free Tough.  I suspect non-Maelok players will want to own one for the utility; Maelok tiers will want to pull a pair in as you can get two for 4pts, whereas this guy is normally a bit pricy for multiples at 3 each.

Despite getting only four models, Blindwater picked up a fair amount of utility.  Maelok offers a different playstyle, as he has durability and a counterpunch via his feat.  The Boneswarm is cheap and offers a defensive animus.  The Swamp Horror provides another heavy hitter and a pretty fantastic animus.  The Witch Doctor brings a pair of nasty abilities, and offers Maelok help for his feat.


whitestar333 said...

Great analysis but I'm confused as to why you think being Undead is a drawback? There are far fewer abilities that affect undead models specifically than there are that affect living. I think being undead is a really under-costed ability as it shuts down a lot of spells and abilities (Rasheth, Circle Bloodweavers, poison, Ashen Veil, etc.)

NickKendall said...

What Whitestar said with the added benefit of being immune to command tests. Undead is nothing but a boon with a few corner cases where it might hurt you.