This week we’re taking a look at Exigence, faction by faction (though not in book order, because that would be just crazy). Today we welcome Lostie TheGreatGaspy into the writer’s circle. It’s been a little while since he painted a review model for us, so we beat him around the head with a keyboard until he agreed that he’d totally be up to write up a quick overview of the Legion of Everblight releases from Exigence.
Okay folks. I have been asked to jot down a few thoughts on Everblight’s latest bio-engineered monsters, so with out further adieu, lets jump in.
My initial reaction on Absylonia was… well… gob smacked. With Conferred Rage, Flight, Energy Siphon and a feat that gives reach and extra strength to her battle group, I hadn’t even read her spell list and was amazed! The spell list is no less impressive, as Fortify in a faction with access to Spiny Growth and tenacity puts Legion heavies on a whole new level of tough as nails. Once that Fortified beastie takes it on the chin, you will of course want to heal the warbeast up, so why not use another spell, Psycho Surgery, heal that beast, heal her other beasts, heal Absylonia and all for just 2 Fury!!! The third spell on her list is Return Fire, a spell that does pretty well exactly what it sounds like it might. When targeted by ranged attack the affected model can make a melee attack or ranged attack after the attack is resolved. In Legion? That is just nuts. There are just way too many beasts that can make excellent use of an extra shot a turn. The final spell on her card is pretty well the crux of her game plan: Teleport allows her to roll in, kill a target, trigger Conferred Rage and Teleport back behind the front lines to keep her relatively safe from reprisals.
Having said all of the above, Absylonia does have a few weaknesses. The first is a medium base on caster with virtually zero defensive buffs (such as mass concealment, Stealth, naturally high armor etc.). This means you are relying on defensive animi to keep her safe. The second relates to the first, in that she wants to play near the front to trigger Conferred Rage, and that will quickly expend all her Fury if you choose the wrong targets. The third weakness is that she has no zappy spell. No way to reach out and remove those irksome solos (looking at you, pistol wraiths) or the like. That said, these weaknesses are pretty tame in Legion. Want a defensive animi on yourself? Take a Bloodseer or a Succubus. Want magic attacks? I hear the Naga is kind of a big deal! All in all, I expect to have to play a lot of her in the not so distant future.
Well, Legion was the first of the factions to have lesser warbeasts, and as such it is no surprise they are among the first to have a unit of beasts bent to their will. These little terrors are interesting. At first glance, you are looking at a 5 wound, pow 8 attack for a point apiece. Let’s be honest, that isn’t overwhelming on its own. It isn’t until you look at what else they bring to the table that the numbers begin to come together. The Blight Wasps have the Hunting Pack rule, increasing their accuracy and attack power based on how many of them are ganging up on a target. Factor in that they can boost or buy attacks, and the fact that they have critical poison, they can hit way above their weight class. Adding to the carnage, what else these little blighters (Hah! – Gday) can dish out is a solid animus in the form of Overwhelm. That one gives killing spree to a target beast pack unit. Free attacks and advances are just one more way for these critters to zero in on one target and bring it down.
The icing on the cake is the extreme mobility we have come to know and love in Legion. Eyeless Sight, Flight, and speed 7 means they get to pick their fights. Once these little guys get dug into melee they will be relying on one little thing to keep them alive – the “annoyance” rule. Yep, the same one the Troll Whelps have! Enjoy your -1 to attack rolls just for hanging out.
I am of the opinion these little terrors will shine with Epic Thagrosh under Manifest Destiny and with his feat going. Vayl with Incite and Chiller up and running should make short work of a unit of infantry as well. All in all, I am liking these critters more and more as I think about them.
The Neraph is the melee version of the Seraph, and as such, has the same basic stat line and a solid Fury stat. The big things that the Neraph offers are the Grasping Tail melee weapon and Vortex animus. Grasping Tail has what is essentially sustained attack but with one step up. Instead of automatically hitting with the weapon in question (the weaker tail attack), all of the Neraph’s melee attacks automatically hit. This means the Neraph can buy the more powerful Hammer Head attacks to put a rapid end to its targets.
Anyone who has played more than a handful of games of Warmachine knows just how important placement and push effects can be for getting your forces into position or pulling an enemy out of said position. The Neraph’s Vortex animus is a 2″ pull effect for any enemies in 2″ in the order you choose. Pull them in, destroy them, rinse and repeat.
Ohhh, Zuriel. You are all the things I had hoped you would be! Flight, Eyeless Sight, Gunfighter, two decent power attacks, and a spray attack round out his rather nasty offensive package. Zuriel is a blender, easily capable of trashing a poorly placed or caught out-of-position unit of infantry with his ROF 2 sprays and a fearsome infantry-clearing animus in the form of Predator’s Instinct, which gives him an additional attack die on all attacks against non-warlock/warcaster infantry. This killing power goes one step further when you look at his Chain Attack: Char, where you roll in, tag a heavy target in melee, and launch a fire continuous effect-causing spray down field.
Now, the best part (in my opinion) of any character beast is the affinity. For Zuriel, this is with the twin warlocks Rhyas and Saeryn. With Rhyas, Zuriel gains Stealth while in her control area, but with Saeryn is where things get mean. Saeryn can arc her plethora of fearsome spells through him! Yes, I think we can all agree that is just rude.
Fyanna the Lash:
Alright. I know there is some hate out there for Fyann, but consider… Fyanna is a 3-point offensive utility solo. Need a lane cleared? Toss the offending model out of the way with a Pitch attack, use Rapid Strike and beat back to clear the offender out, or if it has the misfortune of being a warbeast, roll in and dismember that critter. Between Pathfinder, Evasive, Prowl, 4″ reach, Chain Weapon and MAT 7 she offers unprecedented offense for a mere 3 points. The real advantage here is that you get all of these abilities at no real cost to your warlock. No need to force for Power Attack: Throws or Tramples, or to tie up your expensive beasts on grunts locking down a charge lane.
It is a pretty well accepted fact that ambushing units are a nasty surprise. Imagine the look on your opponent’s face when you tell him you have a speed 7, Stealth’d, Combined Melee Attacking, Critical Grievous Wounding unit rolling in on a board edge! Just the threat of such a unit will keep most warlocks or warcasters in the middle of the table. They might need a little help to get the kill but thankfully Legion has fair number of boostable sprays and buffs to lend them a hand in getting the job done.
All in all, as a Legion player I am pleased by all of these releases, and I think most if not all of them will be added to my collection in time.