So here I am again answering another request, this time from a good friend of mine, and great player who has greatly earned my respect in the game, Ohio Bob. Well with that mouthful out of the way I guess you have all figured out what the next piece of the puzzle is going to be now on this episode of “The Dark Horse Chronicles.” This week I will be focusing up Maelok, The Dreadbound. Though you will have to keep on thing in mind when looking over this list, other than the fact that I always build lists based on what I own and am able to play with, is that one key model is not out yet for this warlock so the list is built as you can currently play it as. I will however at the end of the article tell what changes I would make as to allow for the ever important model be fielded. I am doing this as I know it has already been mentioned that the list should show the important model included. Well lets take a look at the list:
Blindwater Congregation Pack: Place 2, 3″ AOE water terrain pieces before deployment
Swamp Horror 8
Ironback Spitter 8
Bull Snapper 3
10 Bog Trog Ambushers 8
Croak Hunter 2
Croak Hunter 2
Croak Hunter 2
5 Gatorman Posse 9
Totem Hunter 3
Viktor Pendrake 2
Wrong Eye and Snapjaw 9
So lets first take a look at our warlock. His basic stats are what you would expect out of a gator warlock. His SPD is the same as all gators, his MAT is average, his DEF is tied for the highest in gators, his ARM just 1 above basic gators, and lastly his damage is the highest of all the gators. Though is fury stat is average one might say that this is to be expected, however with his spell list we will look at later one will see that you will be at times starved for fury. He is undead and causes terror, more so because he probably smells bad and has skin falling off of him, which goes to say why he has a poor CMD as troops don’t usually find themselves close enough to him to listen. He does have 3 magical melee attacks, one bite and 2 claws. Though the bite is the only one with a special ability that allows you to reave fury from a warbeast destroyed by the bite. Lastly he has the ever famous Cryx ability to claim souls from enemy models destroyed close to him and turn them into fury the next turn.
Now for his spell list and feat. His first upkeep spell that is great is Death Pact, this affects a friendly faction model/unit and gives them a bonus to ARM and makes them undead, very important for his feat by the way. He as a deadly upkeep spell for himself called Malediction, this spell gives a penalty to DEF and ARM for enemy models within reach range of Maelok. He also has revive, this is a spell that costs about have his fury that returns to play one destroyed friendly faction grunt with one wound and it has to be placed in Maelok’s CTRL and within 3″ of another model in the unit, so this means if the unit is whipped out then that model is bye bye forever. The last spell he has is an attack spell Venom, low cost spell that is an average spray attack with low POW that is not only corrosion damage but causes the corrosion effect to models hit. Lastly his feat is a pretty solid one with 2 separate parts. The first part affects friendly faction models currently in his control area and gives them incorporeal for the turn. The last part is a “while within” factor and it gives friendly faction undead models a bonus to ARM.
So what do I like to do with the list? I definitely realize with the lack of undead models in the army the second part of the feat is not as good. But that is why he has Death Pact, and that mainly goes upon my Gatorman Posse as it allows for them to be ARM 18, 20 while engaged, and 22 on the feat turn for those that have the good mind to stay in his control area. I like to upkeep Malediction as even at times when I feel gutsy and throw him out there to kill things, or even just lower DEF and ARM of important models, he still can be a pain to kill with camping fury after paying 2 fury to upkeep both spells. I have not thrown to many venoms out there unless I was trying to free up a charge lane, and Maelok was unable to make it to melee with the target. Revive is also very useful, especially on gatormen, though usually after upkeeping both spells and casting this spell you only have 1 fury left for transfers, make sure you use your models to block potential threats. The feat is nice as with multiple models with reach, or ways to get it, and other models that charge living models at better distances, the incorporeal allows you to get to important models that are hiding, or even at times the warcaster/warlock. It any gives you a way to deal with difficult terrain. Though until that one model is finally released you will only have Maelok and whatever model/unit has Death Pact on to benefit from the second part of the feat.
As for the warbeasts in the list. The Swamp Horror is there mainly to allow for Maelok to have access to reach, as the Swamp Horror’s animus gives a model reach for its melee attacks. Don’t get me wrong I also use the Swamp Horror to take out units as well as damage heavies and lights. Though keep in mind he won’t do a lot on his own but as a good buddy always says you can send in the troops to hold up the enemy until your important stuff gets in there, like models that can boost. The Ironback Spitter is there to give some range support to a faction that sometimes lacks it. With an average AOE range attack that causes corrosion to models in the AOE, and with a decent POW this model can take care of some models. It also is able to hold its own in melee if it has to, though don’t rely on this but when in a pinch. The Bull Snapper is there to give Maelok some ARM bonus after he goes into melee, remember to use the Bull Snapper’s animus after Maelok goes in, so Maelok can have reach and then later the ARM bonus. Though the Bull Snapper can also deal with solos and is great on fury management as once he destroys a living enemy model he can remove a fury point from himself.
The units I have chosen were selected for a certain reasons, yes I know that is without saying but still chose to say it. The Gatormen are a great unit to hold up the enemy as well as can clear out infantry and zones. Though most of their great abilities come from attacking living models they still are good on their own. They especially can hold up a lot of things when they have Death Pact on them as I already showed what their ARM can get up to. The Bog Trogs are there simply for board control. They allow me to go after far away points or zones, as well as being able to threaten the flanks of the enemy and at times get to pesky support models that are in the back.
My solos, outside of one, all have something in common and that is at least one of their weapons have reach. Though this is to also say that a majority of my army does have reach without even the Swamp Horror but this is because of the Croak Hunters mainly. I try to send them in a pack together or after things that are in melee range of other friendly models as they get a bonus to attack and damage rolls that way. They also have average stats with the ability to ignore many things with hunter and they are stealth. Though their poison weapons have a limited amount of models they can affect it is still a welcome ability. My Totem Hunter usually gets to prey a model that is going to affect my army in a big way. Though if you ever doubt what model to prey you can always just prey the warcaster/warlock. Wrong Eye and Snapjaw are just models that you can always rely upon in any given gator army. With the ability to not be targeted by range or magic on the way in and decent offensive abilities they are definitely a welcome duo. Especially since you can charge through models on the feat turn can possibly lead to Snapjaw getting on a warcaster/warlock. The last model is Viktor Pendrake, this was my 2 point filler model that I later discovered a very cool thing you can do. Though he definitely is much better against warbeasts as all 3 of his abilities involve warbeasts and attacking them one of his weapons is quite useful, especially on the feat turn. His Bola, which is a range attack, will knock down the model hit by it. This means during the feat turn you can throw it at a model blocking LOS and it will on average hit DEF 13, once LOS is opened up then your other models can charge the once hidden model and through other models and terrain with incorporeal.
I of course would like to include the Witch Doctor as he makes one warrior model/unit undead and tough for a round but he is not out yet. But when he is out the changes to the list become dropping Pendrake and a Croak Hunter and adding one Doctor and adding a Swamp Gobber crew. The Doctor allows to give out tough, and ideally to the Bog Trogs, and the Swamp Gobbers make Maelok a hard target to hit with range and magic attacks.