Secrets of The True Law – BDSM

 

Greetings once again, fellow Menites. Today I’d like to share a personal memory helper of mine, one that’s aided me countless times in my crusade against the heathen of the world. The Protectorate is a faction built around the glorious synergy of the faithful – from the beautiful hymns of the Choir to the deadly flare of the Condemnor cannon, true Menites are always working in concert to bring the word and flame of the lawgiver to Caen.

As commanders of Protectorate forces, we all know how hard it can be to keep the synergy working properly. Warjacks are committed to battle without the proper Hymn, warcasters activate before their attendant Hierophants, and models shoot at previously un-engaged models now locked in melee with the faithful. We feel our soldier’s (and our own) pain each and every time this happens, as it can often turn a rousing victory into a demoralizing defeat. It happens even to the most experienced among us.

Fortunately the True Law provides guidance in all things, and it has short, simple mnemonic to keep your crusade flowing with all the proper pieces in place. BDSM is the True Word of the day – and no, it’s not what you think, there’s an entirely separate section of the True Law that deals with that. BDSM stands for Buffs, Debuffs, Shooting, and Melee, and I’ve found it’s a great guideline to keeping your turns simple, straightforward, and effective. Here are some examples of the things that fall into each category, as well as some exceptions, in order to illustrate the point.

choir

Buffs

The first and most vital part of your turn are the buffs your soldiers will need to accomplish their goals. Chief among these is the Choir of Menoth, a unit both essential to any battle plan and often taken for granted. The Choir should often be the first activation of any turn, even if you’re still unsure of your plan. Forgetting the Choir is punishable by up to three days on the Wracks, as well as public ridicule, so get

There are also other buffs that should go down during this phase. The Hierophant’s Harmonious Exaltation ability is high on the list, but it also includes spells like Ignite, Eye of Menoth (when in need of re-cast), Lurynsar’s Touch (a.k.a. “magic weapons” from Aiyana), and March (a.k.a. “pathfinder” from Rhupert). Basically if your troops are going to need it to get work done, it should be the first thing you do during a turn.

 

severius

Debuffs

This category is probably the most nebulous of our four, but we can basically boil “debuffs” down to “things you inflict upon the unbelievers that don’t do direct damage.” Debuffs include such effects as Death Sentence, Cleansing, Purification, Kiss of Lyliss (a.k.a. Harm), Flare, Disruptor Bolts, and even things like Knockdown, as applied by Force Hammer, Slams, or possibly Chain Attack: Smite. If it’s reducing the DEF or ARM of an enemy model, even indirectly, it belongs in the debuff category.

We do debuffs after buffs because they typically come from our illustrious Warcasters, and usually benefit from things like Hierophant or Choir activations. We don’t have a lot of options in the debuff department, but forgetting to apply something like Kiss of Lyliss or Flare before making actual attacks will come back to haunt you.

 

redeemerShooting

The classification of these attacks should be fairly obvious – it’s anything fires from a distance or cares about proximity of friendly models. As many a maimed daughter of the flame can tell you, there’s a massive difference between charging with daughters and then shooting redeemer rockets than vice versa. Don’t screw that one up unless you fancy deadly ninja chicks coming for your head in the dead of night.

Shooting after buffs and debuffs also means that you are making attacks with maximum possible effect. Hymn of Battle and Kiss of Lyliss make a huge difference in damage output of warjack guns, and the lawgiver smiles upon those who inflict Death Sentence on their enemies before filling them with blessed crossbows.

Shooting before committing to melee also allows you to pick off “screening” models that are getting between your front lines and your opponent’s back lines. It only takes 2-3 Reach models to stifle an assault completely, but picking a couple off with ranged attacks can seriously increase your penetration.

seneschalMelee

Ah, melee. Nothing heartens the soul like cutting down swathes of heretics in one holy swoop. Melee comes dead last on our list because it is the most restricted of all our options. Buffs, debuffs, and shooting are generally all effective from range (or at least we hope they are, damn Krueger2…) Melee, on the other hand, involves getting into spitting distance and having a clear lane to do so. Giving our enemies +4 DEF against the lawgiver’s wrath is also frowned upon.

Melee should be the ultimate culmination of our sequence – Crusader’s Call and Guided Hand is up, our enemy is affected by Kiss of Lyliss and Flare, screening enemies have been reunited with their ancestors in Urcaen, and our Knights are chomping at the bit.  Then and only then is the order to charge given, once the enemy’s spirit has been broken completely. All that remains is to break their bodies as well.

 

kreossExceptions

The BDSM rules outlined above are a great guideline, but as any Paladin of the Wall can tell you, there are always exceptions to the rules. Just don’t tell the scrutators we’re telling you to break rules, here.

Sometimes our attacks fall into two different categories. Fortunately, these are often compatible with each other and the only dilemma we have is which to apply first. Do we shoot our Condemnors before or after applying Kiss of Lyliss? The answer almost always depends on the DEF of the target – against DEF15 models, the Flare is generally better to do first.

There are other effects where this is less obvious – Chain Attack: Smite is a series of Melee attacks that apply a debuff in the end (knockdown), but we still want to benefit from debuffs like Flare or Kiss of Lyliss. So we may buff our model with Ignite (buffs), debuff the enemy with Flare (debuffs/shooting) then proceed directly to melee with our Seneschal to apply a debuff (knockdown). After the KD is applied we go back to Shooting to put more damage into our target. Such interactions are certainly complicated, but fortunately they are not common, so breaking the framework is generally not required. Still, look for opportunities to get the most out of your models even if it means bending the BDSM a bit.

Lastly, we have effects that may conflict with each other – Purification being the prime culprit. Casting Defender’s Ward before Purification is generally not optimal – fortunately these effects are on the same model, so we can simply adjust the order. Noting negative interactions and correcting for them, even if they break BDSM, is important before committing to a battle plan. The lawgiver frowns on those who squander his divine gifts!

 

I hope this little tidbit from the True Law finds its way into your devout hearts and allows you to smite your enemies with maximum efficiency. Remember, BDSM is the key to success, and I would encourage you to chant it aloud as you engage in purgation against the enemies of the Protectorate!

Author: KestrelM1

I'm a recent convert to Warmachine/Hordes and tabletop gaming in general. My first tabletop game was Battletech, and I've moved through games like D&D, Star Wars Miniatures, 40k, and Infinity before getting into Warmachine. I am a die-hard fan of the Protectorate of Menoth. If you see any hand-drawn images in my posts, they are most likely the work of my lovely wife.

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