Friday, 6 January 2012

Legion of Everblight: pVayl, 35pts


After a long break, we are back.

Trollbloods are my primary army, but I have played them so much, that I really needed to take a break and give my Legion a chance. During the last few months I was playing Legion almost exclusively - I won one tournament and many friendly games. This was also a bit annoying - I have never won any tournaments with Trolls, but as soon as I switched to Legion I was victorious. Oh, what the hell. Anyway, I played several lists during this period and there's one I want to write about. 

First, I want to make one thing clear - when I was building this list, I had the local metagame in mind. I was not trying to make the list that has answer to every possible situation (I believe this is impossible). This list can probably have some success outside my playing environment, but I won't discuss that here. I want to focus on the reasons for playing this list, how to play it and how to tweak it. My main opponents, most of the time, are Menoth, Cryx and Circle (there are also other armies, but I played against these the most). Circle player usually plays beast heavy, Menoth player uses heavy infantry supported with 'Jacks and Cryx player usually has 2 units of infantry on the table (in most cases, Bane Knights and Bane Thralls). 

This is the list I played the most during the last few months:
  • pVayl
  • Carnivean
  • Typhon
  • Shredder
  • Nephilim Bolt Thrower
  • Blackfrost Shard
  • Forsaken
  • Strider Deathstalker
  • Shepherd
I love this list very much, because it can do a lot of things, it's very flexible and you have good melee and ranged options as well as a lot of good spells. You can try to go for the caster kill, or you can play hit & run attrition game. On the other hand, this list is not so easy to play (I think that pVayl is one of the casters that require a lot of practice). Now, let's see how this list works and why did I choose to play this list.

First of all, I am going to assume that you are familiar with Vayl and her spells and abilities, so I will not discuss them in detail. Instead, I will focus on the interactions between the models in this list. Vayl's spell list is very good. There are three spells that I used in almost every game - Chiller, Incite and Leash. These spells allow you to get some extra movement, hit harder and be more accurate. Hoarfrost can take your opponent by surprise if you score a critical hit (so you usually want to boost to hit when you cast this spell). But, there is one spell in Vayl's arsenal that really shines when you are facing Hordes armies - Rampager. That spell is great. If your opponent leaves some beasts in the open, you can send the Shredder forward, hit him with the Oraculus and then channel Rampager. Usually, you move the beast as far as possible and change its facing (so it's facing you backwards). Then you can charge it with Carnivean or Typhon or (in some cases) destroy it with sprays and ranged attacks. You can also use this spell just to drive your opponent crazy, by sending his slow models back, so they loose a turn or two just trying to catch up with the rest of the army. This way, you can keep enemy heavies out of action until you deal with the rest of the force.

Of course, Rampager is only usable against Hordes armies - when you are playing against Warmachine armies, you have to do some extra work. Pick your targets carefully, try to kill them from distance (if possible) or at least put a lot of damage on them, then use your feat to move back. Next turn, move and shoot again, or charge and kill what's left. Whit this list, I always tried to focus on something and kill it, then focus on another target. Vayl's feat allows you to play hit and run; this way your opponent is forced to chase you, while you're slowly picking his force apart.

Now, there is something you should aways keep in mind: this list benefits A LOT from the terrain. A lot of models in this list have Pathfinder. If there are forests on the board, try to use them to your advantage. All your beasts have eyeless sight, so they can ignore forests. The ideal situation is to have forest near the center of the board - you can charge at enemy models, then use Vayl's feat and go back, constantly keeping the forest between your models and the rest of the enemy army. In many cases, your opponent won't be able to engage your models, so on your next turn, you can charge him again, or move further back and shoot whatever you can (or finish the models that were damaged during the previous turn). All your ranged attacks are POW 14, POW 16 if you get the enemy models within 9 inches of Vayl (with Incite) and POW 18 if the enemy model was hit by Kiss of Lillyss. You have five such attacks and even better, four of them are sprays! These sprays kill heavy infantry, but they also damage (or even completely destroy) enemy heavies. The fact that you can stand behind a forest and shoot at enemy models is just scary. 

But, you also have powerful melee options: with Incite up and Kiss of Lillyss on the target, Carnivean's bite is P+S 22 and his claws are P+S 20 AND he has +2 to hit. Since he has 4 Fury, he has 6 attacks on the charge (he spends one fury for the charging) and four of them are P+S 22. Oh, yeah - he can also spray the target on the charge. Typhon is also scary -with mentioned buffs, he can make 7 attacks at P+S 21 and + 2 to hit (6 attacks if he charges). But, in some cases, Incite is not enough - some casters can have very high DEF stat, so even with this +2 bonus you can be forced to boost to hit. Because of this, it's good idea to cast Chiller on the beast before it charges. With Chiller and Incite, your warbeasts basically have +4 MAT which is great (this bonus can be even greater because Blackfrost shard can reduce the DEF of the enemy model even more). Don't forget that with Incite and Kiss of Lillyss, your Nephilim Bolt Thrower can also land a few powerful blows (do not think of him as ranged-only beast and don't be afraid to charge something with him if you have a chance to finish it). 

When it comes to support, you have models that make your fury management easier (Shepherd and Forsaken), and models that provide some kind of support or deal with the enemy solos (Blackfrost Shard and Strider Deathstalker). Deathstalker is amazing - he is very useful, because he can take out some important models and mess up your opponent's support. For example, he can go and hunt Menoth choir boys, Trollblood stone scribes, or some other unit. He can make two attacks and if you have two of them, whit a little luck, thay can bring down a whole unit in two turns. I know that every single time my opponents saw this model, they always tried to destroy it. If your 2-point solo is attracting so much attention, that's great. Later in the game, if there are no targets for this model, you can just use it to block some of the opponent's models, and with DEF 15, it's not easy to take him out. 

I have some doubts when it comes to Blackfrost Shard. After many games against different opponents, I feel like I could take something else instead of these guys. It's not that they are bad - they are not, but usually I end up sacrificing them. While I love their ability to give the enemy models -2 DEF, as well as Kiss of Lillyss, in most games it felt like an overkill. Usually, I did not need additional buffing to destroy something - Incite and Chiller were more than enough. On the other hand, there were rare occasions where I was glad I had them - for example, when I am facing Venethrax camping on focus. While I don't think it is bad to use them as "sacrificial pawn" unit (because people can be afraid of their abilities) I also do not use their abilities a lot - so I am thinking about replacing them with something else. They can kill things on charge, but I would mostly use them for killing infantry and solos or for finishing damaged light beasts/jacks. 

When it comes to line-up changes, I think I am going to give Ravagore a try (and throw Carnivean out). Yes, I am loosing a powerful melee attack, but I am getting VERY powerful ranged attack and decent melee options. This, combined with Typhon and Nephilim Bolt Thrower can really put some serious damage on the enemy heavies before they get to you - and allow you to easily destroy them later. If terrain favors you, try to use the most of it and shoot as much as you can, even use your feat to move further back only to soften the enemy army as much as possible, before moving in for the kill. One idea is to throw out Blackfrost Shard as well and add another Nephilim Bolt Thrower, but then you will have to worry about all that fury.  Another model that is worth including is Spell Martyr - because he allows you to channel spells. If you want to play bigger games, I suggest adding Anyssa Ryvaal and Raptors at 50 points. Raptors have good SPD, they have pathfinder, they shoot, they can hit hard in melee, they have "light cavalry movement" rule, and Anyssa makes them better at hitting things. This means that they can constantly go back and forth, shooting at enemy models, which perfectly fits in the hit & run tactic.

So, that's all. This post was long - sorry for that, but I really wanted to give you detailed description of this list. Hope you like this post. Since this is my first post in 2012, happy New Year!

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