Hey all, and welcome to another stimulating Thursdays with Thanan! This week we dive into the unique Legion of Everblight battle box. The Legion in general loves to run with lots of beasts, and that is exemplified even in the battle box. The Legion box comes with Lylyth 1 (aka pLylyth), a carnivean, and 4 (!) shredders. Most Legion players agree, the battle box is an excellent pickup for new Legion players, and Lylyth 1 will teach you many important things, and is a solid warlock in her own right.
Lylyth 1 – Lylyth is a ranged warlock, superb with the bow, and very…unreliable…in melee. She has good speed and RAT, with above average defense and just below average armor for a warlock. Her ranged weapon, Hellsinger, has decent range, and the same POW as its range, as well as ROF 2. This means she can spend one fury to buy an additional ranged shot, either plinking something twice or shooting two different things. This is important, due to the special abilities her bow comes with. Lylyth has eyeless sight, meaning she ignores terrain, stealth, concealment, clouds, etc. Essentially she can see your soul, and no amount of smelly smoke or thick forest will hide your soul from her. She also has pathfinder, allowing her to move through terrain with no penalty. In addition to these two abilities, Lylyth has bushwhack, allowing her to make her combat action (she can shoot) BEFORE she moves. This is important, as her bow Hellsinger has two important abilities. First, the magical bow can make all of her beasts charge enemy models hit by the attack without being forced. So she can shoot two different things, for example, two heavies, and every model in her battlegroup can charge for free at either of them. Second, her bow has witch mark, and she can cast spells at it and automatically hit, regardless of range or line of sight.
Let me break this down for you. Let’s say you’re facing off, and you find yourself within range of two Khador heavies. You shoot one, do no damage, shoot the other and do 1 point of damage. Then you walk away speedily. Now that you’re far away, you choose to cast Parasite on Khador heavy #1. All of your beasts can charge it for free, it is -3 armor from your spell, and you are too far away for any retaliation. That, dear readers, is cool.
Lylyth does have very low fury, the lowest of any warlock. This means that without her auto hitting after shooting something, she would need to boost magic most likely. And her spells are a bit high fury wise. Speaking of spells, let’s examine each in turn.
- Bad Blood – This offensive upkeep spell makes leaching a bad idea for warlocks. If they do choose to leach the fury from their beast, it hurts them 1 pip for each fury they leach. In addition, the target warbeast can’t be healed or regenerate (trolls and warpwolves). This spell has no effect on warjacks.
- Parasite – This offensive upkeep spell has the target model suffer -3 armor, and gives Lylyth + 1 armor. This is great against high armor jacks and beasts, or heavy infantry units.
- Eruption of Spines – If you hit the target of this spell, d6 nearest models within 5” take a low POW hit. This can hit your own models. Due to the low POW of the damage, it might be best to use this against a low defense, high armor big guy, like a jack or beast, that is hanging around with his high defense low armor troopers, like Kayazy Assassins, Winterguard, or Bloodtrackers. That way, Lylyth doesn’t have to boost the hit roll (especially if it’s auto hitting, like it should be if you shot the warjack/beast first), and the d6 will auto hit the high defense troopers, who have low armor. This spell isn’t very worthwhile in the battle box arena, but once you start adding units it will be much better.
Lylyth’s feat – Field of Slaughter means that every friendly faction model in her control area gains an additional die on the hit roll for ANY attack. Melee attack, magic attack, ranged attack, all 3. Due to the nature of this feat, and her allowing her warbeasts to charge anything she shoots for free, and cast spells that will make them hit harder, she should do this first, then shoot something(s), cast a spell(s), then have her army activate. A super special note: you can still boost with this feat. So a Carnivean can assault + spray with 4 dice to hit, then melee with 3 dice to hit on each attack (or 4 if he boosts, but really he should hit on 3 dice most often.)
Shredder – The shredder is unique among the battle boxes as it is a lesser, and not a light war beast. This means it cannot make power attacks. It can still charge, but as it is smaller than human size (and has no arms!) it can’t slam, throw, trample, headbutt, etc. The shredder is decently speedy, with a single low POW attack that generally needs to boost to hit. Its defense is good for a beast, and armor is incredibly low. Coupled with the fact that it has very few damage boxes, one good punch is going to smite this wee beastie. On the plus side, it does have several things going for it. Shredders have eyeless sight and blood creation. This means that even if Lylyth is the closest model when a shredder frenzies, it will never choose her as a target. Rabid allows the shredder to gain +2 speed, pathfinder, and both boosted attack AND damage rolls. This means he can charge (for free if Lylyth shot something) 11” with two fully boosted attack and damage rolls. Further, shredders have snacking, which heals d3 after boxing a living enemy model. This probably won’t come into play much, as most times, when injured, the shredder will actually die. And shredders are soulless and don’t generate a soul when killed. The shredder’s animus is tenacity, which gives +1 defense and +1 armor, great on casters and beasts alike!
Carnivean – The Carnivean is a pretty tough beast. He is fairly speedy, has great strength, three good melee attacks that hit pretty regularly. His rat is really bad, but he can boost, so that isn’t too bad, and his spray attack is a solid long spray, with great fiery POW. One good special ability he has is assault, allowing him to spray (possibly getting a bunch of infantry, or say, a caster) and then also get to make all three initial melee attacks, AND BUY MORE! This is superbly awesome. His defense is not good, and his armor is pretty solid. In addition, he has eyeless sight, pathfinder, blood creation, and soulless. His animus is spiny growth, which adds +2 armor, and deals d3 points damage to ‘jacks and ‘beasts when hit in melee. This is another great animus to put on casters and beasts both.
Legion battle box play style and tactics – the battle box relies on hitting hard and efficiently. If Lylyth can get in range of one or two enemies, feat, shoot and parasite, then follow up with several shredders or a carnivean charge, then things will die. Lylyth’s feat means that you probably won’t need to boost on her feat turn, barring perhaps a carnivean spray. And all her beasts charge for free against things that you shot with Lylyth. To give yourself the best chance of alpha striking your opponent, use her parasite, as well as tenacity or spiny growth, and this should help keep your beasts alive better getting into position and minimizing retaliation against your caster and beasts after they get in melee.
Warnings and such – Legion’s play style lends itself heavily towards alpha striking the enemy, and the battle box maximizes fury efficiency on the turn that you’re trying to alpha strike. By getting free charges and an extra dice on the to-hit rolls, this is a solid threat to any opponent. But it is pretty simple, at least right now. Opponents will be able to judge distances, and without any speed or movement shenanigans they will be able to plan ahead. If you try to over extend, you risk spreading yourself out, and having things too far away to reave or force. One thing to watch out for is that your shredders can probably be killed in one good hit by most things, or two poor ones. Remember to ask to see cards, and ask about anything you don’t know or understand.
Next week, I look into Khador’s battle box!