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Monday, April 9, 2012

Thoughts on Reznik


So I've been looking through the Menoth casters to see if there are any I'd like to try out next. There were of course several but I'd like to try out Reznik as he's very different from what I would normally run (I like spellcasters and the like over brute force). So a quick look at Reznik!

He's a medium base which isn't great on a warcaster - harder to hide him though Menoth do have some decent medium base options (Bastions looking at you). He's otherwise a decently durable but not great warcaster with DEF/ARM 14/17, 17 health boxes and no defensive spells. Focus of six is a bit limiting but workable with some solos. Otherwise Reznik's spell list and special abilities are geared towards a very offensive playstyle.

Ignite is a +2 attack/damage roll upkeep - great for a unit or in a pinch anything else really for more damage. Engine of Destruction turns Reznik into a MAT11/P+S18 monster with a threat range of 12". His weapon also allows him to, once per turn, place a Wrack within 3" of a model he boxed that turn. This not only gives him more focus options later in the game but excellent anti-infantry clearing options (kill mode, plant bomb, kill bomb, laugh at fiery explosion!). He also gains an additional attack/damage roll against enemy's with upkeeps/animi on them - something your opponent will attempt to ensure doesn't happen but the extra reliability or forcing your opponent to rely less on their own support is great. Hex Blast is a spell counter to this which strips upkeeps but is nice utility to have, particularly at POW13 (though at 3 focus it's expensive).

Where Reznik really comes forth though to me is the combination of Iron Aggression, Perdition and Witch Hound. Iron Aggression is an upkeep which allows a Warjack to run, charge, slam or trample for free and gains boosted attack rolls. That makes any single Heavy 'Jack very efficient. Perdition is a POW10 spell which allows one Warjack in the battlegroup to make an immediate full advance and single attack if the attack causes damage. That's extra movement added to a threat range, ability to move over obstacles, ability to open new charge lanes, etc. but requires the spell to hit and damage (which at Focus 6/POW10 isn't too reliable). And finally, Witch Hound - anytime a friendly model is hit by a magic attack, a Warjack in the battlegroup gets to make a full advance + a single attack. Again, your opponent shouldn't be casting much magic at you with such an ability but if they do awesome benefits for you and if they don't, you're limiting what their army does. This is obviously most effective against magic squads such as Druids or Battlemages and spell-slinging Warcasters.

Finally, his Feat removes all focus/fury from models in his control area and focus is not gained/spells cannot be upkept for one round. Just for icing on the cake, any enemy who casts a spell gets set on fire.

So there's some pretty hefty discouragement against magic with Reznik and some nice offensive options for Warjacks. The problem here though is two-fold IMO:

1) 6 focus is tiny. Reznik gives quite a bit to 'Jacks but with EoD + two upkeeps that's down to 2 focus already - just enough to cast Perdition but without any boosts. There are ways to increase this (i.e. Wracks + Heirophant) but it's a small pool to start with.

2) Anti-magic is so strong it's almost a list which you want to use against magic based armies and will be less effective against non-magic based armies. Whilst stopping one or two spells against your average list is great, really putting down hard on lists which use it more would see such a list do better. The question is - against lists without a reliance on magic, can Reznik still perform?

So let's look at a list I've been toying with!

Reznik (+6)
- Reckoner (8)
- Vanquisher (8)
- Fire of Salvation (9)
Full TFG (6)
Full Choir (3)
Vassal of Menoth (2)
Heirophant (2)
Reclaimer (2)
Wracks (1)

So first we have three heavies - that's a lot, particularly with Focus of six. However, the Vanquisher is pretty focus efficient, it's really just there to throw out AOE4" continuous fire blasts and anytime Witch Hound or Perdition goes off - add in another one. Oh and Vassal can add in an extra one, too. Iron Aggression can then be used on the Reckoner who now becomes a lot more efficient - free charges = free shooting with gun and auto-boosted attack rolls. Load with focus for one turn and you can shoot and charge for free and then buy three more attacks. Sweet. Fire of Salvation gets something similar with its Imprint - free boosted attack rolls and the ability to get more attacks as it kills enemies. Lack of Reach limits this but three focus here can still net you some nice damage. FoS also gets a free move + attack if the opponent kills a friendly model the turn before - so more extra movement and attacks.

The Choir & Vassal obviously support the Warjacks with the Heirophant, Reclaimer and Wracks giving Reznik some focus relief. With the Heirophant and Wracks, Reznik effectively has 8 focus when casting a spell (and can cast Perdition up to 17" away). Minus two for upkeeps and there's a lot more options available there, particularly with a Reclaimer able to fully fuel a Warjack by itself.

And this is where the TFG come in. Decently durable with Shieldwall but not so durable they aren't going to be fueling the Reclaimer. Cheap enough that you're not crying as they die and with ignite + CMA they pack quite a punch in a pinch. Lack of UA is annoying though but something we can deal with.

The list essentially packs the ability to throw two heavies around with one very likely always getting a bonus move (FoS thanks to Righteous Vengeance) and with Reclaimer support, a boosted Perdition can ensure the other one gets a bonus move, too. This gives each Warjack some insane threat ranges, particularly if Witch Hound comes into play multiple times or Perdition + Vengeance + Hound is stacked (5"+5"+5"+5"+3"+0.5"=23.5"!). In a pinch, Reznik is a pretty killy machine himself though his lack of defensive options should put a slight damper on his ability to tear after anyone (which is why I didn't include any Pathfinder options at 35 points).

In a move up to 50 points I'd be looking to add in Bastions (8) to make shooting Reznik harder, TFG UA (2) to make the TFG better and some extra support pieces like Saxon for Pathfinder on Reznik or perhaps more bodies with another cheap unit to fuel the Reclaimer(s).

Anyway, something I'll be trying out but would love to hear opinions and whether or not something would be viable as another caster to chuck into my Menoth arsenal.

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