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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Friday, April 13, 2012

Making pKrueger Work

Hey everyone, it's time for another list building article from the Steam-Powered Gamer!  Today I want to share one of my favorite Circle Orboros warlocks: Krueger the Stormwrath (pKrueger).  Unfortunately, Krueger gets ignored fairly often in a tournament environment in favor of his epic version, Krueger the Stormlord.  While I will not argue the awesome power that is the Stormlord, I want to highlight the Stormwrath because I tend to have a lot of success with him, and decided that it was time to share my perspectives on what makes him such a great warlock and how I make him work.  This article will be especially sweet because I have recently had a game with pKrueger and wrote a battle report for it on my blog.  So, once you've read up on pKrueger here, feel free to trundle over and see how I played him (although admittedly, I made a lot of mistakes!).  As you know, I always like to start with looking at either the feat or the spells of the warlock that I investigate, and with pKrueger, let's start by looking at his spell list.

Krueger has an interesting spell list but the first one is the most important (in my opinion): Chain Lightning.  It's very important that you understand exactly how this spell works.  Upon a hit on the target model, the model takes a POW 10 electrical damage roll, and then the lightning arcs to the next d6 targets within 4" of the last target it.  In other words, this spell has the potential to hit 7 separate targets with a POW 10, and the last target can be potentially ~24" away.  Granted, both situation is rare, but it's important to understand how effective this spell can be.  What's also important to note is that while you need to roll to hit the target, the d6 additional leaps are automatic hits!  This is great for hitting high-DEF infantry, but even a POW 10 still has a great chance at killing infantry that are ARM 15.  The trick, of course, is hitting that initial target, but we'll get back to that later.

Kruger's offensive spells... essentially
Krueger's other offensive spell is Tornado, which I must admit I have never actually used.  Even still, it can be quite the effective spell if you need it to be, despite it's expensive fury cost.  Like I said, I haven't used it at all in my experiences playing with Krueger, but I do believe that it could be useful at moving a threatening target away from you or throw a model on top of a more valuable target.  For example, you could angle Krueger so that you could potentially fling a heavy warjack on top of the opponent's warcaster.  Situational, but worth remembering if the situation arises.

The rest of Krueger's spells are quite interesting and provide the impression that Krueger is also decent at supporting his force.  Deflection is a simple and cheap upkeep that provides +2 ARM for warrior models against ranged and magic attacks.  While this doesn't sound particularly great (since most Circle infantry is low-ARM anyway), it can be situationally useful for our heavy infantry like Ravagers or Skinwalkers, or even bumping the ARM of Shifting Stones to 20 if you're worried about ranged attacks against them.  Lightning Tendrils is his last support buff and it's pretty great, although you'll want to throw it on something that already can get a relatively high P+S, as it only grants Reach and Electro-Leap, and not a damage bonus.  The last spell that Krueger has is Skyborne, and it's one of my favorite spells for him.  It's non-upkeepable (meaning it's immune to Purification!) and it grants +2 SPD, DEF and Flight to Krueger.  This is great because it lets you move throughout your lines without worrying about getting boxed-in.  It let's Krueger move away from threats and get into tight spots that he might not be able to get to otherwise.  On top of that, it gives him a flat DEF of 17 that even Legion will have a hard time hitting (take THAT Eyeless Sight!).

Before I look at Krueger's feat, I do want to mention quickly that he does shoot lightning from his fists at a whopping POW 13 plus Electro-Leap.  That's pretty impressive and you should be shooting your lightning as often as possible, if for no other reason than to hit a heavy target and leap onto something else nearby.  He also has some assassination potential, thanks to Sustained Attack, but even at MAT 5, you shouldn't go after anyone DEF 15+ because if you miss that initial boosted swing, you'll probably not have enough fury to complete the assassination run.  Okay, last but not least, let's look at pKrueger's feat.
Pictured: Krueger's feat
pKrueger has one of the most interesting feats out there because it lasts more than one round and can have a huge impact on the flow of the game.  He puts down three 3" AOEs within his control area and any model touched by the AOE takes a POW 10 electrical damage roll (boostable).  This is huge because it's perfect for taking down high-DEF models since they're auto-hit, but even higher ARM targets like Bane Knights can still have a decent chance of getting killed.  Additionally, any model which enters or ends it's movement in one of the AOEs also takes a POW 10 damage roll.  But wait!  There's more!  Not only do you get great board control with his feat on top of dealing damage instantly to models, but at the start of each maintenance phase (before leeching fury and paying for upkeeps), you have to choose one of the templates to remove from the game.  That means that pKrueger's feat actually lasts for three rounds, and depending on the placement of those AOEs, you can some significant benefits from it!

Okay now that we've looked at pKrueger himself, I'll share my list with him at 35 points:
pKrueger (+5)
- Woldwarden (9)
- Woldwarden (9)
- Feral Warpwolf (9)
Druids of Orboros (7)
- Druid Overseer (2)
Shifting Stones (2)
Shifting Stones (2)

This is a simple and straight-forward list that's a lot of fun.  The best features of this list are the pair of Woldwardens and the Shifting Stones, and that's because of Geomancy.  Woldwardens have an ability called Geomancy which allows you to force the Woldwarden to cast one of your warlock's spells that costs 3 fury or less, that doesn't have a RNG of SELF or CTRL.  This means that for pKrueger the Woldwardens can cast Lightning Tendrils or Chain Lightning - for the cost of forcing with one fury.  What this means is that in my list my two Woldwardens can shoot out 2 Chain Lightnings per turn, chewing through a ridiculous amount of infantry.  While the spell is great, the most elegant part of all of this is that even models with Stealth or have a high-DEF are still easy to hit, thanks to the Shifting Stones.  Since Shifting Stones are ARM 18 and have 5 boxes, they are quite resilient to getting shot with Chain Lightning, and since they're DEF 5, they are basically hit automatically.  How it works is that I shift the stones their ~9" (since Shift is 'within' 8" and not 'completely within') near my intended target, and since Chain Lightning arcs 4" to the next target, I can target models deep into my opponent's lines.  Once again, all for the cost of forcing my Woldwarden.

With my Woldwardens chucking out Chain Lightning all over the board, this allows me to keep my opponent busy while the Druids advance under the cover of Vortex and Counter Magic, and Krueger can even throw out a Chain Lightning if I need another, and he can still shoot.  All this equates to dealing with most infantry without much of a problem.  This means that the Feral Warpwolf is able to sit back and wait patiently for his time to pounce, and with Lightning Tendrils his threat range is 13" when he warps for SPD, and with MAT 7 he'll rarely need to boost to hit his intended targets (other heavies) and can instead boost damage if he needs to.
The new Feral model is quite beautiful
(and is quick and easy to assemble!)

Lastly, I have to admit that lately I haven't been sold on the Overseer.  Originally he was intended to provide immunity to electricity for the Druids if I wanted to arc off of them, but since I'm already pretty good with the stones (especially since they can't engage), I find that the immunity isn't really helpful.  Similarly, I don't find myself using The Devouring too often.  The only real benefits I've seen for having the Overseer is Advance Deployment (which is admittedly pretty great) and the extra inch for Counter Magic.  We'll see if he stays.

Now you should go check out my battle report to see how I did using the list!  Make sure to also read the debriefing, as it'll clue you in on what kinds of errors I made and how I could have used the list more effectively.

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