Revisiting the Defenders of the Temple

Being as fond of theme forces as I am, I too was keen to hear the rumour that there’ll be new theme forces for Feora, Protector of the Flame, and Lord Assassin Morghoul. What amused me greatly was that some folks were posting pics of the Defenders of the Temple theme force for Feora… which is, of course, the theme force she was given in Forces of Warmachine: Protectorate of Menoth. In other words, it’s from 2010… but given how long again that was, and the shinies we’ve received in recent years, I wonder if it’s not time to have another look at it.

feora2theme1

The theme force has some of the things I immediately like to see in a theme – A point reduction/something for free, and a not one but two mobility boosters. At the same time, the requirements to get to the point where you can take advantage of it all are pretty model intensive before you even consider adding warjacks. There’s nothing there I wouldn’t consider taking anyway, but to need to spend 22pts on units at the bare minimum to get to tier 4. Thankfully, Temple Flameguard are very points efficient. If you’re taking full units of Flameguard and Cleansers you’re spending 31pts. That immediately tells me that this is not a theme force that you can expect to perform optimally below 50pts. That’s not uncommon for earlier theme forces, so no biggie, but it’s a consideration when you’re building your lists.

It’s also worth considering that you’re talking a bare minimum of five infantry units for a warcaster whose abilities are rather ‘jack-centric. She gives them all Inspiration and can cast Ignite on one unit, but beyond that they’re going to be on their own, and to make the most of Feora’s abilities you’re going to want to bring a decent Warjack complement, so you’re not going to have a huge amount of wiggle room for things like units of Flame Bringers, who would love Ignite – P+S11 CritFire Weapon Masters, with Sidestep, SPD 11 on the first turn and that extra 2” deployment zone?

I’ll note that even going first, the zones in the middle of the board are 17” away from a standard deployment zone. 15” away if you’re running at Tier 4; your Flamebringers can be clear on the other side of zones, blocking opposing access to the zones from the very start of the game.

See, now I’ve convinced myself that I want the ponies in the mix as well, and two units because the theme allows for it and super fast ponies means you can run a unit up each flank and (assuming you’re going second) be 32” across a 48” board on the first turn, threatening flanks and forcing your opponent to consider diverting forces while your Daughters run up the middle supported by TFG and a slower moving wall of Cleansers, with Feora and her Warjack complement launching volleys of burning Menoth’s Fury at the opposing ranks.

With that image in my head, I am of course ponding warjacks with impressive ranged potential. Now, we don’t know the full details of the warjacks coming in Reckoning, including the Revelator (the new Colossal) and the Hand of Judgment (a character warjack for Feora?), but we can find Skyhammers both on Redeemers and in the Judicator’s rocket pods.  A bonded Judicator with +2” movement every turn thanks to Escort, four 3”AoE’s per turn thanks to the dual rocket pods and their secondary blasts all causing auto-fire and potentially gaining additional FOC through Convection meaning less need for initial allocation? Ooh, my inner pyromaniac is giggling…

To make it all work at 50pts will take some corner cutting though. We’re talking minimum units across the board, which makes me sadface, but with Inspiration [Flameguard] there’s less concern about units breaking once the casualties start mounting

  • Feora, Protector of the Flame
  • -Judicator
  • Temple Flameguard (6) + UA
  • Temple Flameguard (6) + UA
  • Flameguard Cleansers (6)
  • Daughters of the Flame (6)
  • Flame Bringers (3)
  • Flame Bringers (3)
  • Choir of Menoth (4)
  • Visgoth Juviah Rhoven + Honor Guard

 

50pts on the nose. No Nicea, no Mechaniks to repair the Judicator so I’ll freely admit there’s risk, but the Flame Bringers and Daughters should be crossing the table swiftly to engage ranged models, Rhoven will be helping the Judicator see stealthy models, there’s two solid walls of Terror-causing TFG (especially solid under Iron Zeal) and holy crud there’s potential for a lot of fire tokens on the board.

Is it any good? Who knows. Will it be tournament viable? With that much infantry I’d be very wary of the clock. Is it potentially stupid fun for casual games? I think I’d be giggling quite a lot…