Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Lesser Warlock Zaadesh

Now that the kickstarter lesser warcasters are out and starting to see some table time (at least 3 of them were on the table during a 12 person local tourney last weekend), we've got the rules for the new lesser warlocks coming out in the next book. I'm not going to be talking about all three of them, though they all seem at least interesting. The one I'm going to talk about is obviously the Skorne lesser, Tyrant Zaadesh.

Compared to the other two he seems really straight-forward. nothing real crazy in his abilities or spells. But also no limitations like the others (including the beast mistress). all of them have to take lights (or lessers for legion), where Zaadesh has no such restrictions. you could give him character heavies if you wanted to. I don't think I want to, but the option is there.

So stat line. Zaadesh is somewhat unremarkable here. average mat and spd, defensive stats make him look like a swordsman (plus one armor). his sword is a reach pow 12 with magic and no abilities. so he's not exactly an amazing combat solo.

He has 2 spells he can cast with his 4 fury. the first seems like it will rarely be used. it's Perdition, which when it damages an enemy model allows one of the warbeasts in Zaadesh's control to make a full advance towards the closest enemy model. More threat range is always sweet, but this is going to be tough to use. it costs half of your stack (not including the upkeep for the second spell), and will have trouble hitting anything at Fury 4. then it has to do damage at pow 10. if you do have a good chance to use it (knocked down enemy infantry with lowish arm), it could be really helpful to get a warbest up the field but even then you have to worry about your tiny 8" control area. the limitation of towards the closest enemy hinders it, preventing you from using it to yo-yo a beast after it activates. it's a crappy nuke of crappy nukes. I doubt it will be used much at all.

his second spell is just about the only reason to include Zaadesh. it costs 3 but is an upkeep, and gives gang (under a different name) to models in the battlegroup (+2 hit/damage when attacking a model in melee range of another member of the battlegroup). This of course includes Zaadesh which boosts his limited usefulness as a combat solo (now mat 8 pow 14 with up to 4 attacks).

He also has a neat little reverse shield guard ability, letting him push off a shot or even a magic attack onto one of his beasts within 2" once per turn. can be really good for keeping alive.

Honestly at first glance I'm not terribly impressed with the guy. I haven't put him on the table yet, but I just don't feel excited about what he does. I have a feeling we're missing something, and it seems likely that something is the warbeast pack. if there's nothing keeping him from taking them, it seems like using him just to give gang to a unit of beast pack might be really good, making him almost a unit attachment for the pack. with currently existing models, he's a little less exciting. Without any actual playtesting I see 2 uses for him:

1. animus battery

give him one warbeast (likely a heavy) that has a good animus, then use the beast and his 4 fury to cast it 3 times on your front line models. an archidon could be good, handing out sprint. or a gladiator who really just sits in the back and casts rush most of the game anyways. both of them are useful second wave heavies who could charge in after Zaadesh to get gang and go up to Mat8 and +2pow to take out something big that just came in to kill one of your main Battlegroup heavies. I like the idea of using him with a Gladiator in a pMorghoul list to get those Rushes out without using any fury off morghoul.

2. flanking unit

this method is more in your face and aggressive. give Zaadesh a number of competent cheap beasts and leverage gang as much as possible. I'm looking at either 4 reptile hounds or 2 with a cyclops. even without the damage potential, 11 points for 57 boxes seems decent for gumming up a zone. gang and flank together make me actually like reptile hounds a bit, putting the second one up to a mat 9 pow 10 (12 enraged) weaponmaster. to jump on an isolated heavy you could run one hound, charge with the second, then charge with a cycplops savage at mat 8 pow 17 (enraged), then Zaadesh to finish it off. or throw the "unit" at a few tough troops with the reptile hound animus up on zaadesh (one of the few who can use it to full effect).

The big question for me is which configuration to use. do i go with all hounds (I would ahve to buy a second pack of them), or with a cyclops? if I go with a cyclops, do i go with a savage for +1 mat/pow and future sight, or a brute for more armor and a second shield guard per turn? or even a shaman for a gun and another model that can use the slaughterhouse animus?

This is the method I'll be trying first. I will be playing this list tonight to try out Zaadesh in a game:

* Archidon
* Krea
* Karn
* Gladiator
* Reptile Hound
* Reptile Hound
* Cyclops Savage
Max Paingivers
Max swordsmen + UA

At its core it's still a standard eMakeda list. instead of the bronzeback and another 2 point solo from my standard list with her, I'm dropping in the Zaadesh package. I think Zaadesh and his beasts will really like the Road to War boost (yeah spd 9 reptile hounds!), and it doesn't take away from Makeda's game plan. we'll see how it goes for a game or two before I try out the pMorghoul + Zaadesh with a Gladiator configuration.

Who else is playtesting this guy? I'm sure I'm not the only one! share what you're trying and what you're seeing out of him!

1 comment:

  1. How did the testing go?
    I haven't started building for him yet since I have an upcoming tournament to prepare for, but I'm actually pretty excited for playing him. I like the idea of Road To War providing benefits to his battle group, which is a nice bit of synergy.