Welcome to the last crack I get at these short faction evaluations. First of all, thanks to everyone who provided feedback and kind comments about the last few posts. If you have a specific comment to share with the community, don’t hesitate to post it in this thread I’ve set up for just that purpose.
The Blindwater Congregation (affectionately known as Gatormen) have a fantastic battlegroup option in Bloody Barnabas, a Blackhide Wrastler, and an Ironback Spitter. Barnabas has good defense, that becomes great with Iron Flesh upkept on him. His armor makes him very tough in melee, and he has a strong enough set of attacks to close out games by himself. Add to all of these things to a solid feat, and Big Barny will win games solo. Luckly, in this battlebox he doesn’t have to. You have the Ironback Spitter, who gives the Gators what a much needed ranged game. Don’t forget that all models hit by the AoE will suffer continuous corrosition You also have the Wrastler who is capable of some impressive power attacks and has the hitting power you’d expect of a heavy beast. All three of these models will make you a happy gator collector for some time, appearing in most lists.
The first thing to add to the Blindwater is a posse (everyone needs a posse!). The Gatorman posse is a fantastic unit that shines even more in a faction capable of supporting it. After you’ve purchased the a unit of posse, Maelok is an excellent second Gatorman warlock. He has an almost Cryx like set of abilities who plays the “dark voodoo magic” side of gators nicely. Be careful playing him though; he’s not as tough in melee as Barnabas and can get killed if taken by surprise. If you hunger for wins, the Congregation welcomes you.
Lord Carver, Bringer of Most Massive Destruction, Esquire, the Third also has a battlebox. He’s another heavy hitting warlock with respectable amounts of support for his army, although when expending with Carver in mind you will want more infantry, especially farrow brigands to take advantage of him granting them Combined Ranged Attacks. He gets a War Hog and two Gun Boars, who will get decent support from Mobility and Batten Down the Hatches. His feat makes your beasts truly terrifying and should ideally be used on a turn you charge, getting great threat range with mobility and then 5d6 on you damage roll. It’s hard to recover from a good Lord Carver feat turn.
For a second warcaster, Doctor Arkadius is a personal favourite. He’ll run a huge battlegroup of massive beasts and literally force you to become acquainted with frenzying rules (an important thing for all hordes players to know well). He’s also a bit more spell oriented than Lord Carver and will give you a new and different way to play out your big beasties. If you’re keen to keep capitalizing on these beasts, getting a Road Hog is a purchase you will not regret; it’s a strong beast with a powerful set of attacks. Farrow Brigands will work well with Carver and have a good toolbox of abilities, so I’d advise them as a first unit. Everybody loves bacon, right? Mutant bacon could only be better.
In Mercenaries the first battlegroup option is Magnus the Traitor with a Mangler a Renegade and a Talion as a part of the Four Star Syndicate. Including two of Magnus’s signature warjacks, (one field-able with other casters, one only with him) forces players of this battlebox into a bit of a Magnus focused army. As a caster, he offers great support to these warjacks, who all embody the rough and ready feel of mercenaries. If this is your battlebox choice my second warcaster recommendation would be epic Magnus as he’ll give you a different set of supporting powers while still running these warjacks. For the collector, this is a narrow battlegroup to choose and it would not be my first choice, although it is strong and will teach you the fundamentals of the game well. Magnus lovers are advised to pick up Steelhead Halberdiers as a first unit.
Searforge Commission or Highborn Covenant players have the option of playing with the second mercenary battlegroup: Gorten Grundback with a Ghordson Driller and a trio of Grundback Gunners. This is obviously a very dwarf oriented battlegroup, but it still has a lot going for it. Dwarf jacks are cheap, hard to kill, and generally better than their human counterparts. In exchange they can only be used by dwarves (who use no other jacks). This means your second warcaster in this group really should be another dwarf for which I recommend General Ossrum. With just the battlegroup Gorten has some great abilities, including armor 19! His feat can make your opponent feel like the slow and cumbersome army, with a huge push back and a speed penalty. If you’re building a Searforge Army, consider Horgenhold Forge Guard. If you’re going to build your mercenary army as Highborn Covenant the Forge Guard are still a very good option, but I would purchase the one unit of Arcane Tempest Gun Mages allowed to the Highborn.
The last option for a battlebox is Captain Bartolo Montador who will serve as a member of the Highborn Covenant, Four Star Syndicate, or Talion Charter. His battlebox also uses a Mariner, a Freebooter, and a Buccaneer. This is the “pirate” box with the pirate warcaster who best supports an all jack list. Bart will make these warjacks tough and let them deliver some respectable ranged punishment. Hot Shot especially is a spell that will add a lot of extra damage to blasts, as even secondary damage is boosted.
If you’re using Bart as a pirate warcaster, you can’t go wrong by picking his rival Captain Phineas Shae. With the latter caster’s amazing support for infantry, pick up a unit of Sea Dogs and maybe a few of the pirate solos who support them.
Well those are the mercenary and minion battlegroup options. With mini-factions who are so flexible and have so many options, it’s hard to go wrong building a 11 point jack list with any of the casters. If you have questions, comments, advice, or just want to disagree with me, feel free to post a comment in our forums. And good luck to everyone in the journeyman league!