Path of Devastation: Shattered Lives

We started down the path of devastation treading by shearing the chains that held us back. With these bonds riven, we trod heavy in the dust, cobblestones cracked and worn beneath our feet. These broken roads only reminded us of how things used to be, before the dragons stirred. Now our reality lies in tatters. Truly, we are living… Shattered Lives.

In other words, the rules for Path of Devastation Season 3: Shattered  Lives have dropped!

This season, you travel to lands utterly decimated by war and lacking infrastructure to protect their peoples. Denizens of these regions desperately seek safe haven from fiendish predators. Now is your chance  to save – or exploit – those made defenseless by years of violent conflict. Gather your troops, call forth your greatest heroes, and prepar to leap headlong into the fray!

shattered

As with the previous leagues, you can find the rules HERE.

As with the previous Path of Devastation leagues, participants will earn points by playing games and achieving milestones. These translate to upgrades for models specific to the current league. Shattered Lives, however, diverges from the previous leagues by giving you option to upgrade a unit, rather than a solo. Well, kinda a unit. Your heroes for this season are unit leaders, and I’m a tad excited.

Depending on your personal factional bias, you could be fielding upgraded Daughters of the Flame… Bloodgorgers… Trollkin Scouts… Karax… but for today’s mental meander I thought we’d see what Everblight was up to.

One of the things I love about leagues like this is how they can make us look at – and reevaluate – models that we may not have considered for some time. If you happen to be a Legion devotee, your league model this season is the Blighted Nyss Grotesques leader.

The Grotesques don’t seem to get a lot of love, and I have to assume that this is for reasons other than the difficulty of transporting  a small horde of gargoyles. At 4/6pts, they’re cheap. Spd5 isn’t much to write home about, but MAT5 goes to MAT7 with Gang and Flight will get them in the way of your opponent’s models without too much hassle. Despite their being solid cannon fodder, they just don’t see a lot of table time… is it the DEF13/ARM13 combo?

grotesques

Well, let’s see now… As you build you up your XP in Shattered Lives, we start with three options at tier 1 for a measly 5XP apiece. Remember, you do have the option of buying multiple upgrades from each tier, there’s no reason you can’t get all three if you wish.

  • Mutant Alpha – the unit gains +1 SPD.
  • Blight Shards – Unless your hero is killed, the unit gets Blade Shield.
  • Extended Claws – Your leader gets Rapid Strike

A solid start. SPD6 might be all you needed to give the Grotesques the mobility they needed to get in the way sufficiently. Blade Shield means your unit is DEF15 against ranged attacks, which will do wonders to help keep them alive as they close with the foe. Extended Claws adds a single extra attack to the unit. Okay, but I think I’d lean towards the other two.

Ramping it up a little, the tier 2 upgrades cost 10XP and you must have at least one tier 1 upgrade first.

  • Savage Mutation – While the leader is in play, the unit gains Fearless and Abomination
  • Enormous Wings – The leader gains Wind Screen, allowing him to choose the direction for any enemy AoE’s scattering within 6”
  • Self-Proclaimed Prophet of Everblight – +2 CMD and Sucker!

Well, Abomination can be a double edged sword, but as someone who’s played a lot of Rahn lists, being able to redirect opposing AoE’s away from your squishies is a significant deal. More to the point, declaring yourself the prophet opens up the formation spacing for the Grotesques by 4” (2” either way), and Sucker! will help keep your unit leader alive, for those abilities that are dependent on his being there (like tier 1’s Blight Shards).

Finally we hit the big ones at tier 3, costing 15XP and requiring you to already have a tier 2 upgrade.

  • Bizarre Mutation – The leader gains Consume on his claws, removing small based non-warnoun models from play when hit
  • Twisted Freak – +3 ARM and Awe for your leader
  • Everblight’s Experiment – While he’s in play, the unit gains Immunity: Corrosion and Blight Burst – when they die, you centre a 4” AoE and everything under it gets Corrosion

Oh my. So you can have your unit leader removing enemy models from play without needing damage rolls – twice if you happened to take Extended Claws, you can make the entire unit harder to hit in melee since enemy attack rolls initiating within 6” (or 8” if you’re the prophet) get a debuff, or your suicide runs into opposing single-wound infantry are suddently going to take a much larger toll on the opposing lines…

And then, of course, there are the league scenarios to consider, and the IKRPG scenario, which I really kinda sorta want to talk about but at the same time I don’t want to ruin it for players… I’ll just close out by saying I’m loving the direction these leagues are taking in terms of model upgrades, and that the broader Iron Kingdoms fanbase is also being fed with more IKRPG stuff. I am happy with this.


2 Responses to Path of Devastation: Shattered Lives

  1. For myself I don’t use them because of the sheer number of pieces they come in (life’s too short to clean, pin & assemble that many bits for a 4/6 unit), but also because their regular stats are a bit naff, legionnaires seem the better 4/6 choice. They’re too slow to do much with 1/2″ melee range, I’d expect them to be wiped off the table before engaging anything against most opponents…

  2. Avatar cyric036
    cyric036 says:

    They just don’t stack up well when compared to Legionnaires. For me the thing that pushes them from I might try to stick them in every once in a while to I am not sure I will ever play them is their command 6 combined with speed 5. At a full unit of 10, trying to keep them together but not become AOE bait while remaining viable to move the entire unit where you want them is generally impossible.