Welcome, dear readers. After having gone through each of the battle boxes, I’d like to offer my humble suggestions on how to proceed from there. I’ll be starting with my primary faction, Circle Orboros.
For the next couple episodes, I’m going to examine in some detail each of our options for expanding your forces. Understand, dear readers, that these are only suggestions to expand your starting force. What works in my meta might not work for yours, and of course, they are all geared towards beginners, and primarily within faction.
Today, the Circle options for light war beasts will be explored. I’ll look over each in turn, and what they really offer us. Keep in mind, each of these choices might be a good choice for a particular warlock, but a poor choice outside of one or two lists. Where possible, I’ve mentioned any obvious synergies to help narrow down options.
Now one of Circle’s biggest strengths is that we have two very different sets of beasts. Where most factions have a variation on a single theme, Circle has variations on two themes. And each has merits and strengths that work well together, or operate independently without necessarily suffering for it. I’ll try to shine a bit of light on each, suggest possible warlocks to try them with, and give an overall appraisal of how important the model is to the overall effectiveness and strength of your Circle Orboros army.
First up, light beasts. We have 6 options in faction.
Argus – Personally, outside of Kaya 1, I have never once fielded an Argus. I do like them with her though, as they are speedy little slam missiles and combo attack dogs that work excellently together to take out things. They even have a range spray that (with boosts) does OK. That said, I do not see any benefit to owning two, let alone three of them, and their animus rarely comes into play as the majority of Circle beasts have pathfinder innately. Recommendation- 1/10.
Gorax – Now, the Gorax on the other hand… That little guy is a must have eventually for just about every Circle warlock. While I do try to go without using him (and his animus) in some lists, the times where I don’t include him in something with living heavies is rare. The main reason that I like to have the Gorax is his animus, Primal. Primal gives +2 MAT and +2 STR, with the beast auto frenzying the next turn. Auto frenzy is a HUGE drawback… but if something tough needs to die, I’d much rather make sure it dies than let it have a chance of it surviving. Also, as more than one person (at least two) has realized, a primaled Gorax is a force to reckon with on it’s own. And for a light beast, it has excellent fury battery capabilities (4 fury – nice). Recommendation – 9/10.
Scarsfell Griffon – The Griffon is something I’m not entirely sold on personally. I feel like it has good potential, but it just doesn’t quite make the list at this point. It has three initial attacks, but they are all weak. It has average MAT and average speed. It can fly, but what good that is with it’s only average speed is something time will tell. It does have hunter, allowing it to ignore many potential hiding spots for enemies, and long leash, letting it operate way out on a flank or far in advance of it’s controlling warlock. With two open fists it has the potential to toss important models towards the fight or lock down a shield arm. It’s animus is situationally useful, granting freedom to ignore free strikes. Essentially, this is a choice that would be made on which warlocks you as an individual like the most. I’m going to say it is most useful with Grayle, either Kaya, Kromac, or Krueger 1, but by no means is an auto include even with them. Recommendation – 5/10.
Winter Argus – Unfortunately for Circle warlocks everywhere, we didn’t get a huge lift in the Winter Argus either. It has two short sprays that will have trouble hitting infantry without boosting, let alone warcasters. Even with boosting, average dice won’t get you to average warcaster defense. It has two bites, but lost the option to combo strike (a redeeming feature of the regular Argus). Its sprays do grant critical freeze…but since it would rarely hit anything anyway (even Khador heavies are just barely average) it’s not a good ranged beast. Its animus might have been worthwhile if it had given us Tenacity or Spiny Growth… or even if it had simply just given us the option of casting it on another beast. I feel the Winter Argus, right now, is a puppy without teeth or a pack to call it’s own. Possibly worth taking for Grayle or either Kaya. Recommendation – 3/10.
Woldwatcher – This fella is actually really, really handy in scenario play. With defense crap, but solid armor, and the ability to be forced to go to armor super, the woldwatcher is something that can get into a zone and simply be tough to get rid of. Let your opponent throw a heavy warjack/warbeast or some weaponmasters at it, the woldwatcher will likely survive all but the most determined attack. To make things even better, have him advance near a key piece (solo, UA or warlock) and shield guard any thing that comes too close. Its animus makes it (or the caster!) immune to knockdown and stationary. To make things even better, he can shoot someone and create a 3″ forest or charge in and create two 3″ forests (assuming he hits, which is not necessarily a guarantee). Unfortunately, he is pretty expensive points wise, and I often have trouble fitting him into a list outside of the Baldurs, but he can be very effective with the Kruegers as well. Recommendation – 6/10.
Woldwyrd – The Woldwyrd is a great ranged hunter. He has great speed, decent range, and low power on his gun. However, try tossing him against something with iron flesh, defenders ward, or something like that. You get an extra die on attack AND damage rolls! Holy heck Batman, you mean that if you can work it so that your opponent’s caster is in range, you can hit def 16 on average, and armor 20 without boosting (19.5 and 23.5 with boosts)? Yes, (clearly, in this alternate reality, I’m Batman), dear readers, that’s what I mean. This guy presents a solution to the winter guard death star, defenders’ warded things, and it’s shots are magical, so even if choir screams don’t shoot our jacks, he can bust them up. His animus even might be useful! If you can advance him up behind a wall or in a forest near a caster (but not in threat range of something to scrap him) he can make your opponent’s casting life a nightmare. However, he does come in at 5 points, and it’s often hard to squeeze him in. I would take him with just about every caster and not feel bad about it. Recommendation – 7.5/10.
All in all, there are two ‘paths’ that you can follow – living beasts or constructs. The majority of Circle casters operate best with a mix. Depending on the casters you prefer, the beasts you select will clearly change.
This ended up being a lot longer than I had planned…So next week, we’ll look into heavy war beasts for Circle. Afterward, we’ll look into units and solos!
If you have any questions regarding why or how I came to the conclusions I did, let me know! Also, if you’re looking for advice on which goes best with the warlock you prefer, I’d be happy to offer suggestions as well.
Until next week, dear readers.