Saturday, October 26, 2013

Preferred Enemies - Warriors of Chaos: Lords and Heroes pt. 2

Warriors of Chaos - Lords and Heroes - Part 2.

The Chaos Sorcerer Lord/Sorcerer – the madmen that actually seek to embrace the magic of Chaos and foolishly seek to gain power from it.  These are by far some of the most dangerous models on the board when you field a Warriors of Chaos army.  The Sorcerer Lord and Hero share the same statline as your standard hero from another army book, not to mention they also come with Chaos armor that provides them a 4+ armor save.  In close combat he is handled much like you would the Exalted Hero, isolation and assassination.

The real threat that the Sorcerer Lord and Hero pose is with their magic.  Sorcerers have the option of being marked or unmarked.  If they choose to be Marked and gain the benefits of that mark, then they have their access to the Lores available to chaos restricted.

A.      Unmarked Sorcerer – access to: Lore of Death, Shadow, Fire or Metal.
B.      Mark of Tzeentch Sorcerer – access to Lore of Tzeentch or Lore of Metal.
C.      Mark of Nurgle Sorcerer – access to Lore of Nurgle or Lore of Death.
D.      Mark of Slaanesh Sorcerer – access to Lore of Slaanesh or Lore of Shadow.

M            WS         BS           S              T              W            I               A             LD                          

Chaos Sorcerer Lord       4              5              3              4              4              3              5              3              8

Chaos Sorcerer                 4              5              3              4              4              2              5              2              8

Special Rules: Eye of the Gods
                The Chaos Sorcerer Lord and Hero are far more difficult to slay in close combat since they are tougher, fight like normal heroes and can blast you with their chosen magic.  They only become even more deadly when they are mounted (and they have the same options available to them as the Chaos Lord/Hero). 

                The biggest benefit that a Sorcerer Lord or Hero would gain from being mounted would be from when they ride a Daemonic Mount where they gain +1 T and a Sorcerer Hero gains a wound.  The other benefit is mobility, with so many of the spells from the Lore of Death or any of the specific Chaos Lores requiring shorter range, having a mounted sorcerer provides a tactical advantage for unleashing spells.

As mentioned before in the Chaos Lord/Exalted Hero post here are the benefits and how to deal with mounted Sorcerer Lords and Sorcerers.

A Chaos Sorcerer Lord may be mounted upon the following mounts:

A.       Chaos Dragon – One of the most destructive choices that a Sorcerer Lord may choose and most expensive.  This creature shares a stat line similar to an Ancient Treeman and two breath weapons (one Str 4 and one Str 2 that allows no armor save).  The Sorcerer Lord benefits from the Large Target rule and if he is the army general his Leadership bubble is 18”.  Wood Elves are no longer able to Killing Blow the Lord off the Dragon with Waywatchers so they face a new challenge in that they must now find different options to deal with this power combo.

a.       Highborn w/ Bow of Athel Lorn and Arcane Bodkins – you can shoot the Lord and hopefully kill him with shots that permit no armor save.

b.      Hail of Fire – devote one or two units worth of Glade Guard fire at the unit and hope that you score enough wounds to cause failed armor saves on the Lord.

c.       Engage in close combat with a mounted hero (Stag/Elven Horse/Eagle) that is equipped with the Annoyance of Netlings and Glittering Scales (properly augmented).  The mounted hero/lord will prevent your character from eating Thunderstomps from the chaos dragon.  The most ideal option in this instance is to use the Highborn with the Annoyance of Netlings, Stone of Crystal Mere, Glittering Scales and a Great Weapon.  Augmented with Flesh to Stone and you have a T8, S6, -1 to hit (6’s in a duel), +3 ward save character that can stand toe to toe with the Chaos Sorcerer Lord.
B.      Manticore – the other Monstrous option choice for a Lord is the Manticore.  The manticore is half the cost of the dragon and yields almost as many benefits.  You may handle the manticore riding Lord the same as you would a Chaos Dragon only no worries about the Breath weapon.
C.      Gorebeast Chariot/Chaos Chariot – both of these options are brutal as they provide the Lord with an opportunity to inflict Impact Hits upon a unit and also his mounts are incredibly tough.  The best way to deal with a Gorebeast/Chaos Chariot is to either shoot the Lord/Hero off his ride or shoot the ride out from under him.  More often than not since the Gorebeast chariot is T6, you will have a difficult time trying to kill that in close combat without using augmented Treekin or a Treeman.  Also keep in mind that the Impact hits on the Gorebeast chariot have Killing Blow.
D.      Chaos Warshrine – not an option that you often see as the Chaos Lord is better suited for other roles in the army but you do see the Sorcerer Lord on it, the Warshrine can still be a difficult adversary to deal with.  The warshrine will provide the Sorcerer Lord a ward save and will ensure that he is in the very center of the army.  The best way to deal with it is to hit the unit with Treekin on one side while the Annoyance of Netlings Hawk Rider hits the other flank.
E.       Daemonic Mount – the Daemonic Mount comes in five flavors.  Your standard Daemonic Mount is a Monstrous Beast that turns your Hero into a 3 wound, T5 model.  On the lord it becomes a fairly cost effective mount for fitting into cavalry units or charging down the field.

a.       Base Daemonic Mount – Daemonic Attacks, Fear
b.      Mark of Nurgle – Daemonic Attacks, Fear
c.       Mark of Slaanesh – Daemonic Attacks, Fear, Fast Cavalry, Armor Piercing and Poisoned Attacks.
d.      Mark of Tzeench – Daemonic Attacks, Fear, Fly.

Daemonic Mounts are best handled or are easiest to deal with when they are in a cavalry unit or infantry unit.  You can Waywatcher strike a unit of Chaos Knights and isolate the Lord or you may Dweller’s below the infantry unit and pick off the remaining models with archers.
F.       Chaos Steed – your most comment and cheapest mount option.  Provides+2 armor save (with barding) and has a S4 attack.  This option is by far the best of the cheap mounts.


The Lores of Chaos –

Lore of Tzeentch:

Lore Attribute: Boon of Chaos – when a spell from Lore of Tzeentch is successfully cast, make note of how many 6’s were rolled.  The Wizard gets a power die for each 6 that only he may use.

Signature Spell:
Blue Fire of Tzeentch:  Cast on 5+/8+
Magic Missile with 24” range.  Causes D6 Strength D6 hits with Warpfire special rule. May increase range to 48”

Treason of Tzeentch – Cast on 7+/10+, Hex
Range 24”/48” – until next magic phase enemy unit may not use General’s Inspiring Presence or the BSB’s Hold your Ground special rule.
Pink fire of Tzeentch – Cast on 8+, Direct Damage
Teardrop template, roll artillery die and move it accordingly. All models under template suffer a S D6 hit with Warpfire special rule.

Bolt of Change – Cast on a 8+, Magic Missile
24” range, Bolt thrower spell that does Str D6+4 hit with Multiple Wounds (D3) special rule

Glean Magic – Cast on a 8+, Direct Damage
18”, targets enemy wizard.  Wizards roll a D6 and add their wizard level to the score.  For every point the caster beats the enemy wizard, the enemy wizards suffers a S3 hit and loses a wizard level and a spell.  The casting wizard then gains the spell and all stolen spells use the Boon of Magic lore attribute.

Tzeentch’s Firestorm – Cast on a 13+/16+, Direct Damage
Small round template within 30”, Large round for larger casting cost.  – scatter D6”.  All models under template suffer a S D6 hit with Warpflame rule.

Infernal Gateway – Cast on a 16+, Direct Damage
24” range, unit suffers 2d6 Str 2d6 hits with Warpflame Special rule.  If 11 or 12 is rolled, al hits are resolved at Str 10 and the unit suffers 3d6 hits instead.

Warpflame Special Rule: at the end of the phase, any unit that suffered an unsaved wound from a spell with the warpflame special rule must make a toughness test.  If they fail they suffer D3 additional wounds with no armor saves.  If they pass, they gain Regeneration (6+) or +1 to their current Regeneration (max 3+).

The Lore of Tzeentch is difficult to combat since it is primarily direct damage and magic missiles.  Caster’s will spend most of their defensive dice trying to disallow the big spells like Infernal Gateway or Firestorm and might allow things like Treason and Bolt of Change to get through.  Glean Magic is the big spell that should worry a Wood Elf Lore of Life caster.  Losing a spell level and a critical spell like Dweller’s Below or Flesh to Stone can be disastrous for the Wood Elves.  So a good wizard will always hold onto some dice to prevent that from happening if they know their opponent has that spell.


Lore of Nurgle:
Lore Attribute: Bloated with Disease – When a Lore of Nurgle spell is successfully cast, roll a D6 after resolving the spell effects.  On the roll of a 6, the caster’s Wound’s and Toughness are both increased by 1 for the rest of the game.

Signature Spell:
Stream of Corruption – Cast on a 7+, Direct Damage
Teardrop template with large end touching caster’s base, all models touched by template must pass a Toughness test or suffer a Wound with no armor save allowed.

Miasma of Pestilence – Cast on 5+/10+, Augment
18” range, until next magic phase any enemy unit in base to base contact with target unit have their Weapon Skill and Initiative reduce by -1.  The bigger version of the spell reduces it by D3.

Blades of Putrefaction – Cast on 8+, Augment
12” range, Unit gains Poisoned Attacks.  If they already have Poisoned Attacks they then wound on a 5+ rather than 6+ to hit.

Curse of the Leper – Cast on a 10+/13+, Augment/Hex
18” range, If cast on friendly unit then unit gains D3 Toughness til next magic phase.  The spell cast as a hex on enemy unit it then reduces their toughness by D3.  The higher casting extends range to 36”.

Rancid Visitations – Cast on a 10+, Magic Missile
18” range that inflicts D6 Str 5 hits.  The target unit must then pass toughness test or suffer an additional D6 Str 5 hits and this will continue until unit passes a toughness test.

Fleshy Abundance – Cast on an 11+/22+, Augment.
18” range that provides regen to target unit.  If unit already has regen it improves it by +1 up to max of +2 regen save.  Spell my target all friendly units within 18” with the larget casting cost.

Plague Wind – Cast on a 15+/25+, Magical Vortex
Remains in play, small round template. Roll artillery die and multiply result by caster’s wizard level. The template then moves that number of inches in the direction the player indicated.  If misfile place template over caster and roll scatter die then it moves the # of inches of the caster’s level.  All models that pass under template must pass a toughness test or suffer a wound with no armor saves.  Move randomly in subsequent turns.

The Lore of Nurgle is a primarily defensive lore with some pretty brutal synergy for combos.  Curse of the Leper should never be allowed to be cast as it is just too good.  A unit affected by Curse and then hit with Rancid Visitations or Plague Wind is just going to die.  If you anticipate that you’ll be getting into combat with a unit with the Mark of Nurgle, do not let Miasma of Pestilence get off as it could mean that if you have your weapon skill reduced too much you would be hitting on 6’s.  The Lore of Nurgle almost requires you to kill the wizard’s unit first in order to prevent a prolonged and protracted combat from happening.

Lore of Slaanesh
Lore Attribute:  Bliss in Torment – When a spell from Lore of Slaanesh is successfully cast, roll a D6 for every unsaved wound caused by the spell.  For each 6, the caster’s Weapon Skill, Initiative and Attacks are increased by 1 until next magic phase.

Signature Spell:
Lash of Slaanesh – Cast on a 6+, Direct Damage
24” range, extend a line 24” in length within caster’s forward arc.  Any model touched suffers a S3 hit with armor piercing special rule.

Acquiescence – Cast on a 6+/9+, Hex
24”/48” range.  Target unit gains Always Strikes Last and Random Movement until next magic phase.

Pavine of Slaanesh – Cast on a 7+/10+, Direct Damage
24/48” range, targets single enemy model.  Target must pass LD test on 3d6 or suffer wound with no armor saves.

Hysterical Frenzy – Cast on an 8+, Augment/Hex
Remains in Play.  24” range – if cast as an augment or hex the target unit gains Frenzy which is not lost if they lose combat.  However the unit also suffers D6 Str 3 hits.  If the unit had the Frenzy special rule they gain +2 attacks

Slicing Shards – Cast on a 10+, Magic Missile.
24” range – target suffers D6 Str 4 hits with Armor Piercing Rule.  The unit must then pass a LD test or suffer an additional D6 Str 4 hits with Armor Piercing rule.  The unit wil continue to make LD tests until they pass a LD test or the unit is removed as a casualty.

Phantasmagoria – Cast on a 10+/20+, Hex
24” range – Until next phase on all LD tests, the unit must add an additional d6 and discard the lowest roll.  The spell may affect all enemy units within 24” with the greater casting cost.

Cacophonic Choir – Cast on a 12+/24+, Hex.
12” range.  Target unit takes 2d6 hits that wound on a 4+, no armor saves allowed.  If at least 1 unsaved wound is inflicted, unit gains Always Strikes Last and Random Movement(D6) rules.  May affect all enemy units within 12” with the greater casting cost.

The Lore of Slaanesh is a deceptively dangerous lore to fight against.  If you are a good leadership army like Wood Elves, the threat is slightly minimized but still there nonetheless.  You obviously never want Phantasmagoria to get off as this will ensure the spells like Cacophonic Choir and Slicing Shards completely wreck your army.  Also spells like Acquiescence and Cacophonic Choir remove one of the big advantages that Wood Elves have which is high initiative.  It is best to block Phantasmagoria and try to weather the rest .

The next installment of Preferred Enemies will cover the Magic Items, Chaos Mutations and Powers as well as the final Lord option … The Daemon Prince.