Kirb your enthusiasm!
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
Monday, June 11, 2012
Posted by Kirby Enthusiasm
So the new Menoth caster is coming to town - and he's on a horse! And he gives bonuses to the Menite horsies. So yay for them? Being the Menoth fan I am, a new caster is of course an exciting proposition so I've been devouring the information we have in relation to Legendary Kreoss, 3Kreoss, 3oss, Kr3oss, Kreoss3 or whatever else you're taking to calling him. Let's see what he can do and what this might lead to.
His base stats are a slight improvement upon prior versions of Kreoss but still lacks the survivability of say eFeora - not uncommon for Menoth. With a large base this means Kreoss is pretty vulnerable to ranged attacks and being on a large base (I assume as other cavalry are on large bases), not much is going to protect him from this. His SPD is obviously greatly increased due to being on a horse and despite not getting weapon master he does have signs & portents which he gives to Exemplar Vengers as well (this includes their Mounts) making charges with Kr3oss and Vengers quite reliable and powerful.
Kr3oss also heals himself when other models around him die - not going to save him from dedicated assaination runs but any superficial damage he takes early on can be healed up over time.
He comes with a bunch of spells we've all seen before - just not all in Menoth. The bog standard Ignite, Death Sentence and Holy Ward are all upkeeps. Ignite brings more damage to the table for any unit. Holy Ward brings improved defense and spell immunity for any given unit and Death Sentence allows re-rolls against an opposing model (great against casters or high DEF targets but more situational than the others and less likely to see 24/7 use).
What's new though is Force Hammer (Rahn, Scyrah), Crevasse (eBaldur, Circle) & Warpath (Kromac, Circle). Warpath is extra gravy on the already awesome jack support of Menoth - particularly with the excellent and efficient anti-infantry options Menoth can bring to the table (i.e. it's going to trigger). This gives Menite jacks that extra bit of threat range and angles for charges or shooting (particularly units with beat back, arc nodes, other movement options such as Fire of Salvation, etc.). With slow to average speeds on most Warjacks this is great as any extra movement is always appreciated. It can also be used defensively to pull jacks who have already activated. A spell which should be upkept if there are any Warjacks around. Force Hammer is a ranged POW12, D6" slam but costs a very high four focus and is great for causing knock-downs and pushing units around - particularly if an Arc Node is brought (benefiting from Warpath) to sling the spell and create different angles from which it can impact the game. Crevasse is a low-cost infantry clearing spell (with a secondary spray if the target is boxed) - great for messing up with shield walled units and killing infantry in general. Both are short-ranged offensive spells though (10" & 8" respectively) which would benefit from an Arc Node.
All enemy upkeeps/animi immediately expire in Kreoss' control range and he can cast all his upkeeps for free.
This is basically the spell Purification (pKreoss, Menoth) and all of Kr3oss' spells for free - or 11 focus worth of a feat - solid but not omgamazing. Importantly it lets Kr3oss either cycle upkeeps for free and therefore get the maximum out of his units and still have a bunch load of focus or simply keep a bunch of focus and go on a rampage himself. Purification makes sure all those annoying spells of your opponent's, regardless if they are upkeeps or animi, aren't going to bother you for that extra turn.
Thoughts & List Considerations:
All in all, not bad I think - he's clearly not a frontline caster with only so-so defensive statistics and a large base is going to make him hard to defend. A babysitting heavy (Vanquisher?) or some sort of cloud effect (Gorman?) to limit LoS to him might be important. Then again, he can turn his statline to 16/17 with Holy Ward (and spell immunity) plus however much Focus he camps (max of 16/23 or 14/24) which is pretty solid.
Beyond that, well Vengers are obviously a unit which works much better under Kr3oss than normal. With signs & portents and ignite boosting their mount and charge damage (plus the potential for battle-driven), they can be quite a reliable charge piece but still quite expensive and annoyingly fragile as most cavalry are. Holy ward can help this but then you lose ignite, etc.
Other units which would benefit Kr3oss would of course be the choir - he's not a super warjack caster but has the focus and Menoth support pieces to run several relatively well and the Choir always helps make these better. Otherwise any unit which can help trigger warpath from a distance - Errants jump to mind here though cheaper non-ranged units such as Temple Flameguard or Zealots could see use if the expensive Vengers are getting tabletop time as well. They don't trigger Warpath early (ranged battlegroup?) but allow more support pieces to be brought into play and will obviously trigger it once the armies engage and Warpath is more useful.
Fire of Salvation is another obvious unit which works well with Kr3oss - you get the affinity bonus and with the imprint + warpath, there's a lot of extra movement stuff FoS can do making him an excellent beatstick Jack with some dispel utility.
An Arc Node of some description is also going to be useful, particularly on Kr3oss' feat turn for cycling upkeeps if he himself isn't hogging focus. The Revenger is the standard light node (being the only one) and is a decent piece - particularly with the standard Warjack support for Menoth. The Guardian could potentially step in the Tier3+ list as Heavies without ranged guns become one point cheaper. At 9 points the Guardian is a bit overpriced but 8 is potentially more feasible though being a heavy you'd also wanting it to be engaged a little bit more than the light Revenger. Either way, an Arc Node allows Kr3oss to stay further back and throw out his two offensive spells or cycle upkeeps at a greater distance on Feat turn - both nice options.
Focus efficient Warjacks are the envy of all Warcasters so the Sanctifier, Vanquisher, Repenter and Avatar of Menoth are obviously all going to work well with Kr3oss as they don't take away from his focus camping or spell casting. They can also all figure a way to benefit from Warpath (though remember the Avatar does not benefit from this as it is not part of the battlegroup). Templar & Reckoner are both solid choices though can be a bit of a focus dump for Kr3oss though both benefit nicely from Warpath in extending their threat range and generating more angles for their abilities to come to fruition.
A Heirophant and some Wracks are also going to effectively bump Kr3oss to 9 focus whichis very useful considering he has one offensive spell he'd like to cast a lot and a bunch of upkeeps. He'll likely be maintaining three of them which drops him back to four focus so effectively getting those extra two can see him cast Force Hammer and still have some left over for +ARM or boosts, etc. and with a larger base, the extra ARM is always going to be useful.
Other important solos will really depend what else is in the list. Melee heavies (barring Avatar or Sanctifier) will nearly demand a Reclaimer so Kr3oss can cast spells or camp focus and any number of Warjacks love to have a Vassal or two along for the ride. The usual character solos are going to be strong bets here as well with Rhupert, Covenant, Gorman, eEyriss, etc. all bringing something nice to the table which the army can utilise. If running Vengers and Errants, Gravus might not be a bad bet either (horse theme!).
So this is what I was thinking at 50 as an example based on theorymachine.
- Reckoner (8)
- Templar (8)
- Revenger (6)
- Repenter (4)
Full TFG (6)
Full Choir (3)
Full Vengers (11)
Vassal of Menoth (2)
I've put in Gorman as the extra solo there to help protect Kr3oss from ranged shooting though with a control range of 14" and an Arc Node and SPD8, this might not be a huge issue. No ranged infantry to really take advantage of Warpath but a couple nice ranged options in the battlegroup. Opted for the Templar to really take advantage of Warpath over a second Reckoner or Vanquisher. Reclaimer + Heirophant + Wracks help fuel Kr3oss' focus pool and take the load off for charging in the heavies when the time comes. Vengers obviously fully benefit from Elite Cadre and Ignite with the TFG being an excellent tarpit & choice for Holy Ward. Vassal & Choir do their thing ^^.
Tier benefits aren't fantastic - +1 starting roll, cheaper heavies without weapons and Advance Move for a couple of Heavies. Easy to get but you're limited to only Exemplar units (expensive and the basic KE don't really seem to do much for Kr3oss here alone) and no Reclaimers or other focus support solos hurts the balance between spell-slinging and running jacks. Potentially something to run with focus efficient heavies such as Santcifiers alongside FoS with Errants & Vengers though the lack of focus support solos could be telling.
Kr3oss reminds me of your more typical general - doesn't get in the thick of it, calls the shots from far away in an advantageous position and is able to quickly move himself to where he is needed and hand out the hurt. He has assasination options with his speed and feat (seven focus with signs & portents can be pretty potent) but I think he'll be best used supporting the army and using his upkeeps/feat to get the most out of his units and his damage spells to change the layout of the board.
All in all he looks pretty solid and I'm eagerly awaiting the release of the model. I wouldn't say he's as good as what are considered the top four for Menoth (Harby, eFeora, pSevvy, pKreoss) but solid nonetheless and is one of the better options for running Vengers if you are so inclined.
Legendary Kreoss - Some musings