I have recently begun a new Hordes army, the Legion of Everblight, in fact I have already shown you a lot of pictures of units and warbeast the talented Christian painted for me. As the army has reached the stage where it is possible to use it on the table, I have had a number of games with it and want to discuss my impressions so far. I have had 10 games so far, winning 7 and losing 3.
The first four were all with Vayl, Disciple of Everblight, who I also used in games 8 and 9, so the bulk of my experience was with her. She is 5-1 at the moment. I have used two versions of the army, both of which can be found in this article. I am very happy with the way the list works, using 5-6 heavy warbeasts to pummel people into submission, then have Vayl unleash her feat to blow things to smithereens. The one game I lost with her was due to a mistake on my side, I advanced her into a central position against a Khador cavalry list, in order to have all her beasts in her control range so they could force to buy more attacks or boost rolls, then had two fury left after casting a few support spells. I had the choice between camping two to have two transfers in case I got hit next round, cast Admonition on her to let her move away if an enemy got too close or Occultation to gain Stealth against the whopping two shots my opponent had, both of which would need highly above average on account of her high DEF. Of course, like the numpty I am I go for Occultation, when the correct play would have been either of the other two. Vlad3, the Great Prince of Umbrey then casually jump over a wall on his horse, charged the Seraph in front of her,cast Hand of Fate to gain an extra dice discard lowest on all attack and damage rolls, hits the Seraph and does a ton of damage, sidesteps closer to her thanks to his feat, then turns to no longer see the Seraph and casts Flashing Blades 4 times to kill Vayl and her Succubus. If he hadn’t turned around to avoid seeing the Seraph, he would have had to attack it too as Flashing Blades is an attack against every enemy model in melee reach, which would have killed it and allowed me to reave its 4 fury, making Vayl impossible to kill with all those transfers. Of course, if I had cast Admonition on her, she could have run away when he charged the Seraph or rather kept him from doing it in the first place. As I was leading on attrition, having murdered a lot of his cavalry and locked the rest in melee with heavy warbeasts, I could have taken the game home easily if I had thought about what spell to use for a minute.
In game 9 on the other hand, Vayl made me proud as she was standing with her back against the wall, having lost all but two Warbeasts against Butcher 3 and then seeing the Ravagore miss him with its ranged attack. So it was down to Vayl, an Angelius and a plucky Shepherd to kill the 7-foot murder machine that had just killed 3 heavy warbeasts in a single round of combat and was currently ARM23 thanks to camping 5 focus. So the Shepherd goes first, charging a Doom Reaver that was locking the Angelius in combat. She knocked him out with a backstrike with her staff to his head. Then Vayl activated, popped her feat and cast a free Icy Grip on the Butcher to drop him to DEF12, then the free Obliteration, boosted to hit and damage of course and a second Obliteration with boosted damage. At dice -8 (POW15 vs ARM23), she does 6 points of damage to him, bringing him to 14 damage boxes. One model was left and it was the Angelius. It was now free to charge without risking a free strike and had Armour Piercing on its first attack, dropping the Butcher to ARM14 against POW14 for that one. All other attacks would be dice -9 as he would revert to ARM23 for them. Luckily, the Angelius lived up to its name and did 14 damage on the first roll, killing Butcher with exactsies.
Games 5 and 6 were with Saeryn, Omen of Everblight, using a modified version of the list mentioned in the same article (some models were not available as Christian was not able to paint them in time), but to be honest I cannot remember the exact changes made. I think I replaced the Deathstalkers with a Warbeast and switched some of the Warbeasts to ones I already had. Both games were against Goreshade3 piloted by Christian. In the first game I used her, I went second, which was weird after beginning all games with Vayl thanks to her +1 to starting rolls in the theme force. With that and the fact that it was my first game, I was too defensive in turn 1 and as a result allowed myself to be boxed in. In turn 2, I popped feat and advanced aggressively, but could not do much damage as I was too far away from the units I could actually hurt (the frontline was mostly incorporeal). However, I was immune to all his melee attacks and he had no ranged attacks to speak off, so what should happen, right? Well, he still had Syphon Bolt and I had 2 Fury on Saeryn, so he bolted her, stole a Fury, I transferred to get rid of my last Fury, then he cast another 2 boosted to hit and damage Syphon Bolts and that was that. Turns out that if your Warlock can be immune to all but magic due to her feat and has a spell to be immune to magic, you should cast that spell on her too. I guess lessons learnt the hard way are lessons that stick, so it was a good learning experience. In game 2, I was more aggressive and remember to use Banishing Ward on her. As a result, I was able to turn the game into an attrition match with my feat being the decisive factor, as I could alpha strike him without fear of retribution, then sit back and score scenario points quickly. He made a last-ditch attempt to assassinate her, turned out to be out of range, so I tried to counter-assassinate him, failed, but still had enough units around to hold the flags and score the last points needed (in fact, I could have simply begun my turn, resolved continuous effects, then waited for the minimum 15 seconds a turn has to have, then said ‘End of turn’ and scored my points, but what’s the fun in that?). Based on those two games, I can say that I really enjoy how Saeryn plays, with her spells, abilities and feat making her nigh-on impossible to kill unless you play her like a complete numpty. DEF16 is quite high against melee even if she is not feated, DEF18 against shooting and being immune to blast damage means people can’t simply try to scatter AOEs on her or aim at easier targets in front of her and Banishing Ward is an easy way to protect against spellcasters without Purification or Dispel.
The last caster I used was Absylonia, Terror of Everblight, and she unfortunately confirmed the Internet’s poor opinion of her. She brings a lot of powerful spells to her Warbeasts and her feat, Panacea, can help in a free-for-all situation where both sides start hitting each other’s Warbeasts by healing every Warbeast for a point of damage on her per Warbeast healed, but that feat only works if the opponent is spreading out damage instead of killing them one at a time. Similarly, while she has a lot of spells that increase the offensive output of her battle group, she has no defensive spell or ability apart from the animi from her battle group, which means that she is usually affected by Tenacity and then DEF17 ARM15, but that is simply not enough if hit by Goreshade’s ‘Freeze then Syphon Bolt’ ploy or Butcher’s ‘Stop transfers, then apply axe to face’ tactic. She might have game for more experienced players, but right now she is beyond my skills as a Legion player.
Moving forward, I definitely want to get more games in with all of the Warlocks I have to gain more experience, as well as trying out Absylonia2, Daughter of Everblight. Unlike her first version, Abbie2 has better defensive options as she has Teleport, so can flee after punching someone out. She also has Conferred Rage, which lets all her beasts charge or make power attacks without being forced in her control area and in addition grants a SPD and MAT bonus to them if she has killed an enemy model that turn. This means that even ranged beasts like Ravagores have strong melee potential near her and turns Angelii or Scytheans into MAT8 SPD8-9 fighters. As the icing on the cake, her feat gives them a STR bonus, Flight and Reach to make them even more menacing. I have recently listened to a podcast where one of the commentators said that she actually has two feats, being able to use Metamorphose once per game and Conferred Rage every turn. As we all know, feats are game-breakers, so having a ‘second’ feat that can be used every turn is extremely powerful. She will also complement either eVayl or Saeryn very well, as both of them are good control casters, but do not add enough to their Warbeasts’ output to deal with high ARM units, which are Absylonia’s favourite targets.
There is a tournament mid-May in Trier where I plan to use Legion, so either Vayl or Saeryn with Absylonia or eLylyth to act as a brick breaker. In addition, I might go to the German version of Lock and Load in June, where I would also take Legion.
Christian has nearly finished my Legion army, so here are some more pictures of models he has painted.
Incubi solos: I am not planning on using Incubi in any of my armies, but the Afflictor can replace one living model he kills per turn with an Incubi under my control. As you can see, they actually spawn from other models, either through the Afflictor or their own rule which lets you replace a disabled friendly model with a token that turns into an Incubi at the beginning of your next turn. NB, I also took some pictures of the Afflictor Christian painted, but they seem to have gone.
A Teraph, a light warbeast with a decent ranged attack. He will join the two Ravagores in Lylyth’s list.
A Naga Nightlurker light warbeast. It can make attacks Magical and Blessed, thus helping against armies with Incorporeal units or strong defensive spells.
Hex Hunters: elite infantry with Stealth and Pathfinder who wield magical swords and can cast a strong, but short-ranged spell after killing an enemy model.
Legionnaires, the Legion’s namesake unit. They have average stats, but are really cheap to field. In the worst case scenario, they will die jamming the opponent out of a zone, at the same time feeding the Spawning Pot to let it create more Lesser Warbeasts. I don’t expect much from them, but someone has to die to buy time for the rest of the army.
The Forsaken: solos that absorb Fury off Warbeasts, then later use it to cause damage to all enemy models in a small area. The POW of their explosion is only 8, but it adds a damage die for each Fury or Focus on the enemy model, so they would deal an average of 12 damage to Butcher3 camping full Focus or even more against a Harbinger camping 10 Focus. I like Shepherds a lot as they provide easy Fury management, but Forsaken are the splashier version, which can either manage Fury or use it to deal damage.
Zuriel, character Warbeast. I initially only planned to use him with Saeryn, but there is a case to be made to use him with eLylyth, where he would have 3 sprays on feat turn and turn her into a murder-machine against warrior models, rolling 3d6 to hit and still being able to boost with his animus.