Do you know what’s sweet with Enliven?…This Guy !!!
by John DeMaris
Hello, Phatasian here. Welcome to my semi regular column about things that are interesting, probably only to me. Today I’m going to talk about Warmachine and Hordes. Specifically about my buddy the Vassal of Menoth. Truthfully we are more than buddies if you know what I mean. I just love my vassals. I’m going to call this article.
Winning Friends and Influencing People with Enliven
Enliven(*Action)- RNG 5. Target friendly Faction warjack. If the warjack is in range, the next time it suffers damage from an enemy attack while it is not advancing, immediately after the attack is resolved the warjack can make a full advance, then Enliven expires. The warjack cannot be targeted by free strikes during this movement. Enliven lasts for one round.
Pretty straight forward right? I mean your jack gets hit for damage and you get out of Dodge.
Unfortunately it takes enliven triggering only one time successfully to get your opponent to lay awake at night dreaming up ways to spoil your fun. If you are really a putz, you enliven into the waiting arms of a mechanic or two and repair all the damage they just did, to add insult to injury.
Getting your Avatar hit for 15 damage by Mulg and having your sword arm taken out is really unfun. Want to know how to turn that frown upside down? You enliven after you mark your 15 damage and move into the loving embrace of Joe the Vassal Mechanic. Then you roll 4 focus on your avatar like a champ. Joe fixes the Avatars sword arm. Sing some sweet music and put Mulg down. Permanently. Man is that awesome.
This is not a way to win friends and influence people. It is however a good way to win games. Protectorate does not have insane threat ranges. We are counter punchers. Correctly executed, Enliven is one of the most broken things you can do as a PoM player.
Remember when we talked about how our opponent is now laying awake at night dreaming up ways to stop enliven? It doesn’t take very many weaponlocks, slams, or being boxed in before you start to lose faith in your little buddy the vassal. I mean, I might as well get another attack if enliven can be thwarted so easily right?
This is where we start to tie a knot with different models in such a way as to almost guarantee that enliven goes off. Get good at tying your knots and the Boy Scouts will be knocking down your door for your “secret tech”.
The number one line of defense for making enliven work to your advantage is to bring the Covenant of Menoth. Reading is fundamental. Obviously singing the no knockdown , no stationary chant stops a whole slew of potential answers to enliven. Slam, headbutt, critical knockdown, critical freeze…. all answered by a quick trip to the library. Now for most people that would be enough to make the book a great value in a list with any high value jack and a vassal.
The book actually does a lot more though. This is where you can really impress the your new friends. If you position your book well you can make it extremely hard for your opponent to assassinate your poor vassal. Due to the Man Sized rule your vassal can happily see the jacks to enliven over the top of the book while being relatively safe by being out of the lines of sight of would be murderers. Here’s a pro tip; Combine the book with Gorman’s smoke to make a little safe haven for your buddies. Now we are creating a safe place to enliven from with the book.
Surely it’s pulling its weight now right ? It is, and then some. If you’re good with model positioning you can actually get more out of it. The book is nearly immortal and the perfect model to help keep something from making an end around to pin your jack from behind which brings me to my next point.
If you play with hard to remove models like Bastions or light jacks (Repenters are a favorite of mine) you can create enliven corridors to prevent your jack from getting pinned from behind. If you get really good you can create a little “S” shaped corridor that makes it look like your model is pinned from across the table but in reality it’s not. This is a matter of perspective. Here is a pro tip. Spend some time positioning models by your self and then step to the other side of the table to see what it looks like from your opponents point of view. Note how perspective makes things look pinned in when in reality they are not. Every time I do this I hear Admiral Ackbar in my head “It’s a Trap !!!” and giggle a little inside.
A special note about the Avatar of Menoth. Gaze clearly helps but don’t rely on it. A savvy opponent will understand the difference between towards and directly towards. They also can get around it by blocking LOS which thankfully most people don’t do. The best use for gaze it to keep stuff off your other jacks or screwing up charges.
All good Menites strive to convert others to our righteous cause. Some resort to sermon. Others resort to fire. If you get good at the techniques outlined above. Soon you will see more and more models on the table working towards the Glory of the Creator. This is truly a worthwhile path.
Peace and Love!