Hello and welcome back, dear readers, to yet another look into the enigmatic Circle Orboros faction. Today, I examine each Circle solo available, and the battle engine. I’ll go through each of the various uses of the solos, and good times to include each. As always, I encourage feedback, criticism, and condescension.
Blackclad Wayfarer – The blackclad is one of my favorite models, in every sense of the word. He looks sweet, and has sweet rules. This guy is an awesome toolbox of utility for a mere 2 points. First, he has a decent enough speed to get places, has good MAT if he wanted to punch someone in the face, and solid defensive stats, especially considering he’s immune to fire, lightning and frost. He has a magical reach weapon for making people think twice about free strikes and threatening the odd incorporeal model/unit. The real reasons to bring him, though, are his abilities. First, his magic ability is the same as his MAT, so he’s pretty decent at using it. He has hunter’s mark, which has an average range and gives the amazing +2″ to charges and slams, and allows beasts to do so for free. This can phenomenally extend the threat range of your beasts, and really improves their fury efficiency as well. One risk, however, is that they may then charge straight out of your control area. Be sure to keep your caster or druid wilder in range of the target so your beast can eat its’ face. Also, this ability stacks with other modifiers, like bounding from the gnarlhorn, and dog pile from Kaya 2. That, dear readers, is very nice. He also has phase jump, so you can quickly redeploy to the other side of the table. Essentially, it allows the blackclad that is very close to the stone a free place completely within 12″ or to be placed within 2″ of a shifting stone. Note that after you do this your activation does end, so no attacking after. Finally, he has a medium range spray, with crit knockdown, and a high enough power that any infantry will most likely be killed. This guy is phenomenal if you’re planning on running our slower constructs, especially outside of the Baldurs. I already mentioned the synergy with Kaya 2 and the gnarlhorn. He also works great for just infantry clearing. I take 2 in the vast majority of my lists, and I can honestly say I’ve never regretted having either. Recommendation: 9/10.
Celestial Fulcrum – That’s not a moon! The fulcrum actually represents 3 moons, if I remember correctly. It is huge based, and comes with a hefty price tag. It has fairly average stats for a model of its size, and is pretty easy to kill from non-elemental damage (being immune to the elements). It does have the nifty ability to boost to hit or damage any of its 3 shots. The first is a powerful, short ranged firey attack with a medium sized AOE, which leaves a cloud effect in its location. The second is a moderately powerful, moderate ranged electric attack with electro-leap. And lastly, it has a spray that has crit freeze. It has the nifty ability to fire anywhere in its front arc of 360 degrees, and while in melee too. Unfortunately, none of Circle’s warlocks have any buffs for ranged attacks, and as it is a battle engine, many of our buffs won’t help it much either. Due to its size, it takes up a lot of space on the table, and so can seriously threaten any zone, but at the same time, it’s very slow and none of our teleportation and movement buffs help it. Right now, it’s one of the sweetest models in Privateer’s line up, but I’m just not sure the models cost is representative of its utility. Of course, Baldur 2’s theme force will certainly help it, and it’s not precisely a bad choice with anyone, and Cassius and Mohsar’s armor debuffs will help it deal more damage too, so consider it with them first, other locks after. Recommendation: 6/10.
Gallows Grove – This model is probably the best 1 point investment you can grab. It acts as an arc node, so you can sling spells from farther away. Distance is the best defense in this game, and the gallows grove allows your caster to stay farther away from the action. Stat-wise, the only thing that matters is it is stationary and so is automatically hit in melee and has OK armor with average solo boxes. It can only move by its own movement, and therefore can only be placed within 5″ of its current position. It does have prowl and so is stealthy while in concealment, and that certainly helps keep it alive better. To make things even better, if you can manage to get it up close and personal with a unit that is tough or has self -sacrifice, it can prevent tough and healing, meaning they die much more often! In my opinion, gallows groves are absolutely necessary with Krueger 1, Cassius, and Mohsar. Also, they are a really, really good choice with anyone else. Buy at least one pack. Recommendation: 10/10.
Lord of the Feast – The lord of the feast (LotF, henceforth) is what one calls a “super solo.” The reason is because he can single-handedly threaten not only other solos, but entire units, beasts, jacks, and even unsuspecting casters. The LotF has a slow for Circle speed with stealth, Trollish defense, and actually really solid armor, which surprises many people. He is tied for the highest MAT of any model in Circle, and really great RAT to go with it. He also has heavy infantry boxes, so he’s surprisingly tough and hits really hard with his reach, magical blade P+S 13. Only 13, you think to yourself, “Self, that doesn’t seem all that awesome. Why is the LotF so great?” Well, the reason is the following special abilities. First, his average range gun causes no damage but teleports LotF anywhere base to base with the model he hit. So, for example, there’s a line of low defense infantry blocking the charge on the enemy caster. LotF walks his speed, shoots his bird, and places directly behind the infantry. And right in reach of the caster. Another great example, you shoot a heavy ‘jack / battle engine, place base to base behind it, and follow it up with…blood reaper. LotF then makes a melee attack with his reach weapon at each model in his line of sight and range. He also has corpse eater, allowing him to gain up to 3 corpses from living enemy models he killed. He can then spend each to make an additional attack, or boost either the to hit or to damage roll. That, dear readers, is fracking awesome. He also has virtuoso, so he can do both his melee attacks and his ranged attacks in the same activation. The LotF can charge, kill 3 (or more, don’t limit him to just 3 if there’s a big cluster of infantry!), then raven into another cluster, and continue to buy attacks with his corpse tokens until he runs out of targets or corpse tokens. One fun thing to do is put him in a unit of shifting stones at the advance deploy line, shift him 8″ + base size, then raven 10″ and place to the back of the base and slaughter like 10 infantry, cause a terror check, oh, and buy attacks on a mostly defenseless caster. I’ve very nearly wiped out casters at the bottom of turn one this way. LotF works well in any army. He is really, really good. Unfortunately, he often gets thrown away early, and he’s really a ‘one hit wonder’ as the opponent’s entire army will focus him down. Of special note, is Grayle for storm rager, Baldur 1 for stone skin, Baldur 2 can give him a solid bump to armor, and both Kruegers can help keep his stealthy butt alive from drifting AOEs and the odd spray. Recommendation: 10/10.
Reeve Hunter – The reeve hunter is a combat solo, designed for taking out solos primarily. He is average speed for Circle, average MAT, and a little better at shooting. He unfortunately has the same defense and armor, and neither is really all that high. He does, thankfully, benefit from camouflage, so he gets +2 more in concealment and cover (+4/+6 respectively). His gun is pretty decent range, if lackluster power. He has two melee weapons, one at P+S 9, the other at 11. His more powerful weapon has powerful charge and so is more likely to hit on charges. He has a variety of special abilities that help him take out multiple opponents in the same activation. First, he has hunter, and as such ignores forests, concealment and cover for line of sight and while shooting. Next, he grants camouflage to nearby reeves of orboros. Do not take this to mean that you should include reeves of orboros with him. It’s still not worth it. He also has quick work, so if he destroys an enemy model in melee, he can then shoot someone. He also has snap fire, and so if he shoots and kills someone, he can then make one additional ranged attack. Finally, he has swift hunter, so if he destroys an enemy with a ranged attack, he can advance 2″. This leads us to the reeve hunter’s dream. It goes something like: reeve hunter charges someone with his sword, killing them. Quick work triggers and so he shoots another guy. He kills him, snap fires another dude, and kills him too. Then he takes his 2″ advance from swift hunter, and melees him with his other blade. He just killed 4 dudes, not bad. He also has further synergy with the war wolf (see below). The reeve hunter isn’t a bad choice. He certainly has…the opportunity to get stuff done. The problem lies with his lackluster power and to hit changes. More often than not, he simply will miss one or more attempts. He also dies really easily. He works well with Krueger 1, who can get him to kill more people with electro leap, and any caster that can help keep him alive better to enemy magic or shooting. Recommendation: 4/10.
Tharn Ravager White Mane – Another super solo, the tharn ravager white mane is a melee powerhouse that can realistically tear through whole units when positioned properly (or poorly, depending on your point of view). He has excellent MAT, average speed, ok defense and marginally better armor. His reach weapon is powerful enough that it will do some good damage to anyone it hits, and is very likely to hit on the charge due to powerful charge. Like the normal ravagers (and LotF, above), he has heart eater, and can gain up to 3 corpse tokens for boosts or extra attacks. This is particularly useful for him as he also has overtake. Overtake allows him to advance 1″ after killing a dude, then use the corpse token to buy additional attacks and lawn mower his way through clumps of infantry. He also allows friendly tharn ravagers nearby to move through other ravagers and ignore each other for line of sight purposes. This lets them charge through each other to get to the juicy targets out there. Like them, he also has treewalker, and so gains defense in trees. He also has sprint, so after he’s done killing dudes, he can waltz back out of threat. He ideally will be used against low defense, average – high armor troopers that are clumped together. Stormblades are probably one of his favorite meals, particularly unbuffed (mmm, 12 def 15 arm!), because they also tend to be very close together to benefit from their leader’s buff. Like the LotF, he benefits greatly from storm rager from Grayle, although thematically perhaps best fits with Kromac. I would bring him if you’re planning on running into infantry machine that isn’t dead (looking at you Cryx). He can take out solos (and other super solos), and is fairly survivable due to sprint and treewalker. Cassius and Mohsar can buff his damage, although anything that doesn’t die to a charging P+S 13 probably shouldn’t be his first target, as well as protect him better with Cassius’ feat and Mohsar’s pillars. Recommendation: 6/10.
War Wolf – The war wolf is another combat solo. He is pretty speedy, and has a pretty average MAT. His defensive stats are crap, but hey, he’s only 1 point. Actually, his combat stats are kind of crappy too. He does, however, gain gang fighter +2 to hit and damage rolls while targeting an enemy in the melee range of another friendly faction warrior model. He also has hunter, so he can sniff out those dudes through that forest. Finally, and the real reason to bring him, is sic ’em. If a reeve of orboros model shoots a guy (and that guy survives), the war wolf can charge with a boosted to hit roll. The reeve hunter counts as a reeve of orboros, so when he shoots something, the war wolf can charge it too, for free. He’s not bad if you’re planning on taking the reeve hunter. Unfortunately, it’s kind of ironic, but basically the reeve just gives him a free activation each round that the reeve doesn’t actually kill something. There’s no real reason to bring the war wolf outside of theme forces or if you’re bringing the reeve hunter (or, gasp, reeves), as we have access to much better 1 point solo models and we don’t really struggle generally with killing infantry, which is what this guy is going to do. Recommendation: 2/10.
Wolf Lord Morraig – Morraig is our light cavalry dragoon. He is phenomenally speedy, and has some awesome rules and rules interactions that allow him to threaten vast distances across the board. He is tied for the highest base MAT, but as a cavalry model hits more often on the charge. He also has superb defensive stats, coming with warpwolf stalker defense and armor while mounted. He does become less speedy and armored once dealt his initial 10 damage, but he’s still above par even then. His weaponmaster sword has a solid damage and reach as well as magical qualities. Combined with one of his special abilities, he can seriously threaten even heavy warjacks and warbeasts. While mounted, he also has a somewhat less awesome non-reach mount attack. Morraig has flank – wolves of orboros, and so if the opponent is in melee range of a wolf of orboros, Morraig gains an additional die to damage, as well as a nice +2 to hit, and the flank bonus also applies to his mount’s attack. He also has cleave, so if he kills one model he gets to make one additional attack. To make things even better, he has prowl, which grants him stealth while in concealment. Per his light cavalry model rules, Morraig can charge, kill one guy, cleave another, mount attack a third, then light cav move 5″ away into a forest. And you can put the stalker’s lightning strike animus on him as well, giving him a ridiculous distance to walk away from combat. On the charge with a flank and storm rager from Grayle, Morraig can reliably do 30 points of damage to a model with armor 17, or 27 damage to a model with armor 20 on his charge attack alone, not counting the mount or cleave attacks he can generate. Dear readers, that is pretty awesome. He works excellently with Grayle who tends more often to bring wolves of orboros, as storm rager is a phenomenal buff for him. The other casters don’t offer him quite as much in buffs or protection, but he still benefits from the odd spell here and there. He works well as a flanking force too, with his high speed, so consider bringing him and a minimum unit of wolves on from the flank if you’re already using Nyss, Bloodtrackers + Nuala, or both units of woldstalkers. Recommendation: 7/10.
Druid Wilder – The wilder is our caster attachment specialist. She has two really, really good abilities, and is worth taking a large amount of the time. First, stat wise, you don’t want your wilder mixing it up with pretty much anything, ever. Sure, she has a reach magic weapon, but she’s more likely to hurt herself with it than the opponent. She has pretty poor defensive stats as well, and is seriously threatened by deviating blast damage. Luckily, she’s best behind the lines. Firstly, she extends the control area of your caster for forcing by her somewhat poor command stat. She can remove fury or add fury on to a nearby friendly faction warbeast, which is good if you’re bad at math, or if you need something to die, but would have preferred not using 2 heavies worth of fury to do it. Lastly, and the real reason to bring her in my humble opinion, is that she can cast any non-self animus from friendly faction warbeasts in her command. This allows you to primal or lightning strike for free, leaving your beasts with more fury to attack and boost with. You don’t have to pick a beast either, you can cast sprint on Morraig or Lord of the Feast, and that would be sweet too. Unfortunately, she can’t cast very many different animi, and none from the constructs. As such, she does well with basically any caster but Baldur. Recommendation: 8/10.