Which Bloody Unit? The Menoth Tarpits that actually do other stuff too

A common question I see online is for prospective Menoth players to ask which unit they should purchase for their fledgling force. Invariably the reply is either Errants, or a reply along the lines of they’re all good you can’t go wrong. There is also a fairly lengthy thread in the Protectorate forums about which units are taken more often than they should be.

The topic I’d like to discuss today is a look at what I see as the three “core” infantry units available to the Protectorate, namely the Exemplar Errants, the Holy Zealots, and the Temple Flameguard. I feel that outside of specific skew lists taking all jacks and support, almost every Protectorate army will contain at least one of these units. As such, these units are very good to establish a good level of play with. Though often referred to as tarpits, this often not their only role, and they all go about that task quite differently also. I’ll go through a rundown of each in turn, and where their strengths and weaknesses lie.

Exemplar Errants have probably become the most commonly seen Menoth unit since there Unit Attachment was released in the Mark II Menoth book. The unit is a very capable all-rounder unit, with solid melee and shooting capability, and the excellent Self Sacrifice ability serves as denial for a lot of different triggered abilities, and as a way to reduce melee casualties, particularly against non reach infantry. Defensively, they have a mediocre initial statline that is particularly vulnerable to ranged attackers, however this statline improves significantly with almost any of the many Protectorate buff spells (Defenders Ward in particular takes them to solid levels in both DEF and ARM). Thanks to their UA, they also cannot be targeted by spells, which is also very useful in some matchups. They are probably the most reliable of these units offensively. Quick Work can often allow them get shots off on normally hard to reach support, such as Legion Shepherds, Beast Handlers etc.

Strengths:

  • Versatility
  • Excellent against non-reach infantry
  • Significant inbuilt denial abilities
  • All round offense, with the capacity to reach support models
  • Excel with defensive buffs

Weaknesses:

  • Capability (both offensive and defensive) is significantly reduced vs. Reach infantry
  • Without defensive buffs, they have mediocre defensive stats and are especially vulnerable to ranged attacks

Holy Zealots are a unit that seems to come into and out of vogue. I believe this in part due to the fact they are one of the best jam units in the game, and the viability of jamming as a strategy tends to change from year to year with different Steamroller packs. In 2010, jamming was excellent, while in 2011 it was not as needed, but it came back again in SR2012. To think of them only as a jam unit is somewhat understating their abilities though, as these guys can pack quite a wallop! With their POW12 base bombs and a +2/+2 buff available to them, they are often hitting at POW14 with POW8 blast damage, which is very respectable against a lot of the more annoying units in the game (e.g. Kayazy, Nyss, Bloodtrackers). I’ve already hinted at it, but probably the biggest reason this unit is taken is for the minifeat on their UA. The minifeat makes the unit invulnerable apart from damage caused by spells and feats. They also have the ability to be untargetable by spells, so they can become an extremely hard to kill unit on that feat turn. This is also the source of their power as a jam unit, however consideration should be given to holding the minifeat so that it can be used offensively as well as defensively, as this effectively allows the unit to ignore free strikes and position themselves for throwing bombs.

Strengths:

  • Hardest unit to kill under minifeat
  • Surprisingly good defensive stats with buffs due to ARM buff after damage
  • Very reliable at killing high DEF, low ARM infantry, and capable of doing solid damage to low DEF, high ARM targets also
  • Spell denial

Weaknesses:

  • Lose a lot of steam once the minifeat is gone
  • Can be tied up by melee infantry, particularly Reach infantry
  • non-targeted magic attacks, particularly sprays

Temple Flameguard are probably the least utilised of these units in the current meta. Most factions have a similar analogue to this unit – a cheap reach unit with mediocre defensive stats. The Set Defence ability also helps them with these threat range battles, as it buffs their defence against charges to a very respectable 15. The TFG benefit from the highest melee threat range among these units. With SPD6 and Reach they are quite fast. However this speed is at odds with one of their protective abilities – Shield Wall. The way this unit is used and the value attributed to their unit attachment tends to vary heavily depending on how this rule is perceived. I personally value the mobility of the TFG highly, so I do not use the Shield Wall very often. This also means I don’t value the unit attachment greatly, as its main value is the Iron Zeal minifeat, which combined with Shield Wall, can make the unit ARM21 for a turn. Without Shield Wall however, the unit is very vulnerable to ranged attacks, and can die quite quickly. I often value TFG in a role where I intend to collect souls for this reason. TFG benefit greatly from speed buffs and melee to hit buffs, meaning they perform very well for Harbinger. They can also be a good target for a defensive buff to their DEF stat, as going to DEF17 vs. charges is very good, and DEF15 vs. other attacks also increases their survivability very well. If the Shield Wall/Iron Zeal path is being used, then ARM bonuses are also useful.

Strengths:

  • High threat range
  • Reach! It gives them the largest potential footprint of any of these units
  • Cheap – with the UA being less important for this unit, they come in the cheapest at 6pts

Weaknesses:

  • Can be an awkward unit to get the most out of its abilities
  • Slowest unit with Shieldwall, easiest unit to kill without it
  • No ranged capability
  • Lower damage output

I’ll now go through a number of lists that have these units in them, and explain why I’ve chosen that particular unit for each list.

 

Intercessor Kreoss (*5pts)
* Repenter (4pts)
* Repenter (4pts)
* Repenter (4pts)
* Reckoner (8pts)
* Reckoner (8pts)
* Hierophant (2pts)
Choir of Menoth (Leader and 3 Grunts) (2pts)
Choir of Menoth (Leader and 3 Grunts) (2pts)
Deliverers (Leader and 5 Grunts) (5pts)
Holy Zealots (Leader and 9 Grunts) (6pts)
* Holy Zealot Monolith Bearer (2pts)
Reclaimer (2pts)
The Wrack (3 wracks) (1pts)
Vassal Mechanik (1pts)
Vassal of Menoth (2pts)
Vassal of Menoth (2pts)

lKreoss offers a melee damage buff and a DEF buff combined with anti-spell buff to his units, while wanting a unit that can reliably cause damage early in a turn to trigger Warpath. For me, the protective buff he offers is somewhat redundant with Errants, though Ignite does make them do a lot more damage in melee. The Protective buff would be a solid fit for TFG, but in my opinion the Holy Zealots fit this list like a glove. The spell ward part of Holy Ward allows the Zealots to use their +2/+2 offensive buff more, making them a more reliably offensive unit. They also have the advantage of being able to almost automatically trigger Warpath against quite a lot of opponents with their short ranged blast damage.

 

Grand Scrutator Severius (*6pts)
* Judicator (18pts)
* Reckoner (8pts)
Vessel of Judgement (9pts)
Choir of Menoth (Leader and 3 Grunts) (2pts)
Exemplar Errants (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
* Exemplar Errant Officer & Standard Bearer (2pts)
Visgoth Juviah Rhoven & 2 Honor Guard (4pts)
Exemplar Errant Seneschal (2pts)
Vassal Mechanik (1pts)
Vassal of Menoth (2pts)

pSevvy buffs everything offensively, as well as having Defender’s Ward, which means he does well with ANY of these units. However I really wanted to skew the list heavily towards shooting, so the Errants superior shooting really was the dominant factor in including them in this list.

Harbinger of Menoth (*5pts)
* Reckoner (8pts)
* Templar (8pts)
* Templar (8pts)
Avatar of Menoth (11pts)
Choir of Menoth (Leader and 3 Grunts) (2pts)
Temple Flameguard (Leader and 9 Grunts) (6pts)
Anastasia di Bray (2pts)
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist (2pts)
High Paladin Dartan Vilmon (3pts)
Reclaimer (2pts)
Vassal Mechanik (1pts)
Vassal of Menoth (2pts)

In this list the primary requirement is for the unit to yield souls early on to allow Harby to fuel the jacks and still be aggressive. I therefore choose TFG for this job, as they need to be fast enough to keep ahead of the main army, protect them from early alphas, and die just quick enough to fuel up the Reclaimer. As a side benefit, with Crusader’s Call and Guided Hand, the TFG are often capable of a surprisingly solid alpha strike on turn two.

Harbinger of Menoth (*5pts)
* Reckoner (8pts)
Avatar of Menoth (11pts)
Choir of Menoth (Leader and 3 Grunts) (2pts)
Vessel of Judgement (9pts)
Exemplar Errants (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
* Exemplar Errant Officer & Standard Bearer (2pts)
Exemplar Errant Seneschal (2pts)
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist (2pts)
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord (2pts)
The Covenant of Menoth (2pts)
The Wrack (3 wracks) (1pts)
Vassal Mechanik (1pts)
Vassal Mechanik (1pts)
Vassal of Menoth (2pts)
Vassal of Menoth (2pts)

Yay it’s another Harbinger list! This is very similar to the list Other Chuck leant me for the Gencon Hardcore Army Swap Extravaganza, and which enabled me to qualify for Masters. This particular list is a very grinding shooty list that switches very quickly to melee in the late game. As such, the versatility of the Errants really makes them shine here, though with the lack of defensive buffs, Rhupert and the Book have been included to help them survive longer.

Author: chunky04

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