Greetings and salutations, fellow menites! Today I would like to bring you the lawgiver’s wisdom regarding a very particular distance. Now, you’ll hear a lot of people (all enemies of the Lawgiver) tell you that 12″ is just a number and that you shouldn’t be so obsessed with distance. I say nonsense – 12″ is the most important distance to consider in all matters, but particularly in Steamroller 2013. Why? Well, thanks to the fact that zones have been standardized, that’s how much it takes to get from anywhere in a circular zone into anywhere else in a circular zone, and from one end of a rectangular zone to the other. It’s also the distance between several objectives, such as the ones in the fan favorite scenario Incursion.
What’s the significance of this? Well, it means that any model with a 12″ threat is a huge asset as a contesting model in a zone – meaning it can toe in to one end of a zone and still threaten the entire zone. In fact, this makes our lives easier – we don’t have to plead with the Lawgiver that we don’t short a charge, because we KNOW that our 12″ threat model can get there. The enemies of Menoth will be very wary to enter a zone with such models present, as they know His wrath awaits.
So, What models in the Protectorate fulfill this criteria? Well, here’s the exhaustive list:
– Nicia, Tear of Vengeance (12″)
– Exemplar Vengers (13″)
– Fire of Salvation (once one of his buddies has died – 13.5″)
– Literally Every Protectorate model with a ranged attack except Zealots
Not the longest list in the world, but each of those have their purpose. Nicia in particular forces the enemy to commit more than a handful to a zone, while Vengers can hang out even outside a zone and still threaten it. Naturally every gun in the Protectorate is capable of laying into a model that happens to stray into a zone. Many of them even threaten from a long ways outside of a zone. Generally, though, we value those models that can stand within a zone and give us contesting power from maximum distance while still threatening to obliterate anything that our opponent brings in to contest.
Of course, that’s before any buffs are applied. We have a number of buffs that extend our threat range by a significant margin – most often 2″, but there are effects like Warpath or Perdition that can make them reach even further. These have huge value in terms of creating models that can contest and control zones with ease.
Let’s add True Path (or Escort, or Thyra’s Feat, where applicable) and see which models make it on to our list:
– Revengers (12″)
– Devouts (12″)
– Reckoners (12″)
– Sanctifiers (12″)
– Avatar of Menoth (12″)
– Zealots (Yay! – 13″)
– Temple Flameguard (13″)
– Daughters of the Flame (12.5″)
– Rhoven & Honor Guard (12″)
– Allegiants of the Order of the Fist (12.5″)
– Vilmon (13″)
– Reclaimers (12″)
– Probably something I forgot (sorry Menoth!)
Well that’s certainly a more serviceable core of options, and a great asset to our warcasters with speed buffs. Of particular note are Reckoners, who also have the advantage of being able to shoot from one end of a zone to another – particularly helpful if you know you won’t get charged in return. Temple Flameguard are also notable, as they have an impressive threat range but aren’t the best zone clearers. They are, however, quite good at defending zones thanks to their relatively high defensive stats, especially with a defensive buff. Daughters are also very effective, as they can clear out ostensibly screened models (at least, 1-wound ones) with ease and are also difficult to dig out of a zone, even without any defensive buffs.
So the next time that you’re considering an army that’s built to take scenarios hard, strongly consider the models above – their ability to threaten an entire zone while keeping it safely in the hands of Menoth is not to be overlooked.