This will hopefully be the first of a fairly regular series of articles where, with some loose application of structure, I’ll waffle about the things I’m currently experimenting with, report on what’s worked and what hasn’t worked, with an occasional battle report or tournament report to mix things up a bit.
For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a fairly devoted Circle player who also happens to have a bad case of Faction ADD, and thus the Circle occasionally get shelved for whatever else tickles my fancy. I get around my fair share of tournaments so there’s normally something on the horizon that I want to try out new things for.
So, without further ado, let’s actually talk about the Woldwrath.
I’m going to touch on a few things that spring to my mind when looking at the stats behind this ‘beast, and then share one of the lists I’m hoping to try him out as a part of.
The latest addition to Circle’s armoury, and not a 1pt wonder that we’ve been treated to in the Forces of Hordes: Circle Orboros book (Shifting Stone UA) or Domination (Gallows Grove), he’s a 20pt ‘beast which already makes him difficult to fit into a list.
He’s a Construct. Biggest drawback to this is that he can only be healed (currently) by either incarnation of Baldur, or Shifting Stones. He has very large damage spirals for both ‘Body’ and ‘Spirit’, with his ‘Mind’ aspect being the weak link. My opinion is that this isn’t as bad as it seems on first glance, with the exception of things with Knockdown immunity, his RAT (including possible aiming) and MAT are high enough to have a reasonable chance of hitting the hard targets that he should be going for with just 2D6. In most situations, it’s one turn of sub-optimal performance while the Shifting Stones port up behind him ready to heal next turn. Less than ideal, but not the end of the world.
Spell Ward. In my opinion this is more of a negative than a positive. One of the Warlocks that would really make him shine (Baldur2) is unable to drop Roots of the Earth on him (+3 ARM) every turn, instead having only one turn of Feat protection. It means we’re unable to cast Stone Skin on him to up his damage output, or cast Lightning Tendrils on him to give him Electro-Leap. On the flip side, it does mean he’s immune to nearly every debuff in the game (there’s a couple you can catch him with, but I’m keeping those to myself for now Drop a comment below if you can work them out!).
His ranged attack, Lightning Strike (not to be confused with the Warpwolf Stalker’s animus!) is completely unlike anything else Circle have on a ‘beast in their arsenal, the range is brilliant and the POW is enough to put big dents into enemy heavies before sending in one of your own. The Storm Generator rules are quirky, but I think they have potential for shenanigans which I’ll touch on later when discussing one of my test lists below, particularly against non-Reach enemy melee troops. Bane Thralls come to mind, stopping the quintessential heavy killers can only be a good thing!
Stone Fists & Earth Shaker. Using the aforementioned Storm Generator AOE’s (plus any other damaging AOE’s, looking at you Krueger!) it’s entirely possible to limit the infantry that can safely charge him. Once he’s survived a charge and has a bunch of infantry sat in his front arc, hitting central models and knocking down nearby models makes them easy pickings for a nearby Blackclad Wayfarer’s spray. They’re also P&S 19, which is the highest Circle has access to on their Construct ‘beasts, relevant for the predominantly Construct theme forces (Rock of Orboros, Hour of Reckoning, Giants of Stone, Wake of Destruction).
And finally… Druid’s Wrath, his animus. This, in my opinion, is absolutely immense. Getting an additional die (i.e. not a boost) when targeting models within 10” of him with Magic Attack rolls offers a lot to a Faction that has access to a lot of models that cast spells.
For things like Druids of Orboros, and the Blackclad Wayfarer it offers them an accuracy boost that Circle previously wouldn’t have had access to (barring Telekinesis aided back strikes, Spirit Fang debuffs, or Pendrake’s Beast Lore for Magic Attacks vs ‘beasts). For our Warlocks and Geomancers, it offers incredibly accurate spell casting. For any magic users, it offers increased chances of Critical effects happening, such as Critical Knockdown on Druid Force Bolts, or Baldur1′s Earth Spikes. On that note…
As an avid Baldur1 player, my tried and tested Tier 4 Rock of Orboros list was always going to be the first list that I’d test the waters of the Woldwrath with.
For comparison, this is the 50pt (49, actually) Tier 4 list that I’ve used unchanged for a while;Baldur the Stonecleaver - Megalith - Woldwarden - Wold Guardian Druids of Orboros - Druid of Orboros Overseer Shifting Stones - Stone Keeper Shifting Stones Sentry Stone & Mannikins Druid Stoneward & Woldstalkers Druid Stoneward & Woldstalkers Blackclad Wayfarer
ReinforcementsWold Guardian Blackclad Wayfarer
It’s a fairly standard build, given there’s not a huge amount of wiggle room at 50pts. The proposed list, still Tier 4, incorporating the Woldwrath is;Baldur the Stonecleaver - Megalith - Woldwarden - Woldwrath Shifting Stones - Stone Keeper Shifting Stones Sentry Stone & Mannikins Druid Stoneward & Woldstalkers Druid Stoneward & Woldstalkers
ReinforcementsDruids of Orboros - Druid of Orboros Overseer
Both Megalith and the Woldwarden still get to Advance Deploy, freeing up space in my deployment zone to ensure that the Woldwrath gets placed in the best spot for him. I started by trying to squeeze Druids into the list, but there simply aren’t enough points, and for now I think this will be a happy medium.
The synergies, as I see them, are fairly simple;
- Druid’s Wrath allows for super-accurate Earth Spikes, 4D6 to hit has as high a chance of a Critical Knockdown as it’s possible to get (as well as marginally more accurate Rock Hammers from the Shifting Stone UA);
- Earth Shaker plus aforementioned Critical Knockdown allows the Woldstalkers to go to town on enemy heavies with Concentrated Fire. Earth Shaker on infantry also makes them easy pickings for Woldstalker shots (in the absence of the above mentioned Blackclad Wayfarer!);
- Forest Growth from the Mannikins, and Rapid Growth from Baldur allows for much LOS blocking (to the heavies at least, and still slowing down non-Pathfinder charges to Woldwrath) to allow me to dismantle my opponent’s list piecemeal. Throw in 3” Lightning AOE’s blocking infantry charge lanes, and Baldur’s Feat, and I believe the list has the potential to control the tempo of the game;
- Shifting Stones are to threaten teleport vectors, whilst also acting as blocks in the zones my opponent needs to score in (always funny when Arcane Tempest Gun Mages are trying to clear a zone with Shifting Stones in!) freeing up the Woldwrath to have an impact on the zone that I’m trying to score in.
Reinforcements are the main thing that I’m not 100% on, but if Steamroller 2013 as spoiled doesn’t change then it may be less relevant come next year!
The list will certainly need some testing, that’s for sure. Anyhow, that’s all for now folks, until next time!