Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Video Battle Report 1: Malekus, the Burning Truth vs. Lylyth, Reckoning of Everblight (Ravens of War)


This is a pretty exciting and new step in my Warmachine journey - I haven't ever tried to produce something like this before, and it was a very interesting process, one that I fully expect will get easier and create better results on each subsequent report.

A couple of points - yes, not we are not playing fully painted. This footage was originally just intended to be test footage to see if the set up worked (hence the goofy lists).

Furthermore, only two of my regular opponents have fully painted armies, and I can only play Circle fully painted (and even then, not always), so there will be unpainted models in these reports - sorry :(

I realized after I had uploaded the report that I had neglected to include the army lists, so here they are:

- Heirophant
- Reckoner
- Reckoner
- Eye of Truth

Wrack x2

Cleansers and CA
Zealots and CA


Lylyth 3
- Neraph
- Seraph
- Bolt Thrower
- Protector

Anyssa Ryssyl
Spell Martyer
Deathstalker x2

Raptors x2

I had commented to my opponent that I didn't think a Lylyth 3 gunline was likely to kill Malekus since most Legion warbeasts have fire typed ranged weapons. In typical fashion, he decided to try and prove me wrong.

Hopefully you enjoy this report, I certainly had fun making it. I'd love constructive feedback on the format if there is any to be had.


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Battle Report 102: Una 2 (Devourer's Host) vs. Kreoss 2 (Exemplar Interdiction)


Following the recent discussion on Facebook regarding my assessment of the faction, I decided to break my longstanding "play it painted" rule for Circle and test out a list that I had formerly written off as sub-optimal.

I've been hearing talk of double Tharn Ravagers in Devourer's Host being good enough to play, and DGI even had a top 3 place with it as a third list, so I copied it model for model and decided to put it onto the table.

My opponent had chosen, unbeknownst to me, a very infantry heavy Kreoss 2 list, a list which I believe gives the Tharn a great opportunity to show off what they can do.

Una 2
- Gorax
- Scarsfell x5

The Death Wolves
Tharn Ravagers (max) x2
- CA x2 (free)
Tharn Bloodtrackers


Kreoss 2
- Vanquisher
- Fire of Salvation

Bastion Seneschal (free)
- Crusader
Wrack x2

Knights Exemplar
- CA
- CA
Rhoven and Co.

We rolled up Extraction, and I was able to go first - again, optimal conditions for my list.

Blood Pack on the right are Ravagers #2, and the Whiteman is their CA.

I put prey on the Errants, distribute my corpse tokens to the Death Wolves, and off we went.

Circle turn 1:

Una goes first and puts Mirage on the right unit of Ravagers, Hand of Fate on the Bloodtrackers, and advances.

Side note - I just got the Circle upgrade pack from Broken Egg Games, and it is SO nice to finally have the Hand of Fate token.

The Bloodtrackers ran up to 10.1 inches away from the Errants, with Ravagers behind them. On the right, the Tharn run up and the Birds all fly into spaces where they can land.

Menoth turn 1:

Kreoss puts out some spells, Sacrosanct on the Errants (ewww), Inviolable Resolve on the Knights Exemplar, and then charges forward.

Errants assault a couple of targets, picking off a Bloodtracker and dinging up a Ravager on the right hand side, triggering Vengeance.

The Bastions run up behind the wall, and the Knights do as well.

On the right, Crusader and Seneschal move up.

Circle turn 2:

Una pulls Fury, upkeeps both spells, and Vengeance and Apparition extend the Ravagers threat range by 5 inches.

Una moves up first, shooting down two Errants.

With her up so far, I am able to move Griffons around, kill a couple Errants each, and then Sprint back.

By the time I get around to activating my Ravagers, there are only four Errants left, three behind the wall and then one on the flag.

My Ravagers activate, and the comedy of errors ensues. First of all, I screw up placement and let my opponent freestrike one as I charge the KE behind the right hand Errant (mark your arcs guys, it saves so many headaches).

Then I forget that the Bastion Seneschal has defensive strike and lose another one that way.

THEN I miss four attacks in a row needing 5s and 7s. I was laughing my head off by the end of that activation.

Tharn: 0, Exemplars: 2

The Bloodtrackers murder the remaining Errant over there, getting a knocked down guy thanks to Sacrosanct. 

I toss a random spear into a Bastion and hit, doing 6 damage thanks to Hand of Fate.

Ravagers and Death Wolves move up.

Menoth turn 2:

Ravagers die en masse on the right side, leaving two alive at the end.

Kreoss puts Sacrosanct on the Bastions and moves up.

The Bastions jam me, and Fire runs up over the wall rather than risk being trapped behind it for the rest of the game.

The Vanquisher gets Eyeless Sight from Rhoven and blasts my clump of Griffons, doing over half their health each and lighting them all on fire.

Circle turn 3:

I upkeep both spells, and somehow all but one griffon loses fire.

Apparition plus Vengeance = two dead Knights Exemplar and a Corpse Token on both my remaining Ravagers.

Bloodtrackers with Hand of Fate gun down the Bastions and get knocked down all over the place. Silly girls, don't go falling for Exemplars, they'll just die on you. I run the back Griffon to engage Fire, use Una to heal a damage off each Griffon that was hurt, and pop Feat.

Gorax puts Primal up, and that Griffon walks into Melee with Fire, killing him.

Two more Griffons go in and only do about half the health on the Crusader.

I get one point after running the Ravagers into the flag.

I forgot to photograph this turn, but Circle moves to 1-0.

Menoth turn 3:

He's got about 8 models left, but with Kreoss' feat, I still lose nearly half my army, including two Griffons and a bunch of Tharn.

He contests my flag with Choir and gets a point.

Score 1-1

Circle turn 4:

With Knocked down Bloodtrackers, I can't do a whole lot. 

Tharn go in and kill Rhoven, but not his buddies. 

Una kills off the last two Knights Exemplar. 

The two usable Griffons kill off the Crusader, and one sprints out. Prey swaps to Rhoven and buddies. 

I take my flag again and go to 2. 

By this point, my opponent and I have combined 8 minutes left on our clock. 

Score 2-1
Advantage Circle

Menoth turn 4:

Kreoss charges in and kills off four Tharn. The Vanquisher and Seneschal leave the right hand Griffon on 1 box and on fire.

Gaius and Cassian charge in and kill a Tharn and a Griffon and contest. My opponent clocks himself in here somewhere but we keep going.

I didn't take a picture here, but look at the next turn picture and imagine Gaius and Cassian in there somewhere.

Circle turn 5:

Fire on the Griffon goes out!

The remaining Male Tharn kill off Gaius and Cassian, and Prey swaps to Kreoss.

Bloodtrackers with Prey and Hand of Fate need sixes to hit Kreoss at dice -6, and the Warcaster dies under a hail of spears.

Victory for the Druids!

Post-Game Thoughts: infantry list for my POW 13 weapons to handle, Bastions (which are insanely squishy and ineffective outside of Harbinger it turns out), and terrain that heavily favored me, and I still felt like I had serious options to lose the game despite these advantages. 

The only thing that was exceptional about this list, I felt, was Hand of Fate on Bloodtrackers, and let's be honest - Hand of Fate on weaponmasters has never been disputed as strong.

First impression of the list - I'm not particularly impressed so far. Had this been a bunch of Menoth heavies under Kreoss, I would have basically bounced off them with my Ravagers, killed a couple with Griffons (like I did) and then lost most of/all of my Griffons to the ensuing counter-feat. I'd kill another heavy with Bloodtrackers probably, and then run out of steam.

I don't think it's going to be very common to bring this many dudes without threat extensions, so next time I play this list I'm going to ask my opponent to bring a bunch of warjacks and see how it goes.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Tactica Time: Tanith the Feral Song, the Update


Tanith was the first Warlock I wrote a tactica for, way back in November 2016. Since then, we've seen Sentry Stones get worse, Scarsfells lose Long Leash, Woldwyrds became amazing, and Loki (and our theme forces) came out, so I figured it was time for an update article.

I'm not going to change too much when it comes to straight up stats, but I'll add some model synergies into the list, talk about playing her in theme, and also tidy up the formatting from the original.

As our battlebox caster, Tanith is the Warlock that most newer players will play first, and this is both a wonderful and terrible thing. She has so much power and potential for game breaking plays, but without a firm understanding of both your list and your opponents list, she will perform sub-optimally.

Stats and Abilities:

Tanith has an extremely average stat line. Speed 6, MAT and RAT 6, DEF 15 and ARM 15 with 15 boxes says solidly middle of the road. She also has an average FURY stat at 6.

For other defensive tech, she has Prowl, which gives her Stealth while she has concealment. This is actually not too bad with easy access to clouds (Gobbers) and the general decrease of models that ignore Stealth out there.

She will die to virtually any dedicated assault in the game, which makes playing her extremely tricky because she really, really wants to utilize the most important part of her card....

Jaws of the Earth

This weapon looks fairly unassuming based solely on the front of her card, and indeed were it a normal RNG 10 POW 12 magic gun, it wouldn't be great.

Fortunately, it has two incredible abilities. First of all, this weapon ignores the defensive benefits of concealment, cover, and elevation. This is huge, making her RAT 6 seem like a much less useless stat.

Second, and more important, if this weapon directly hits an enemy model, it centers a 4 inch AOE on top of that model. Any ENEMY model touched by that AOE suffers Shadow Bind for a round (-3 Defense and cannot advance except to change facing).

I cannot begin to describe the various applications of this weapon, but I will try to hit a few extremely relevant points.

First, it is absolutely bonkers against Shield Wall units. I have used it to successfully stop 5 of 7 Cetrati from doing anything but sit there for multiple turns in a row. I've caught 6+ Temple Flame Guard with it, rendering them completely impotent as they sat a mere inch outside of the Zone they desperately wanted to contest.

Second, it is truly absurd against models with any of the following abilities or spells on them: Dodge, Counter-Charge, Admonition, or Enliven. It also completely messes up Vyros 2's feat.

This has been relevant for me innumerable times. I've shot Warpwolves with Admonition on them to enable my own beasts to finish them off. I've used it on Man O' War Drakhuns to prevent them from countercharging my models as they go in. I've hit Menoth jacks with it to prevent Enliven from saving his heavy.

Third, it lowers DEF by 3, which is a huge deal in a world where arguably Circle's best beatstick is a Warpwolf Stalker at MAT 6. There are lots of heavies in the game the Stalker is capable of killing without Primal...if he can connect, and this really fixes those problems. I've found myself almost never casting Primal with her since I rarely need it between her gun and the spell Scything Touch (I'll get to that in a minute). It also enables some pretty legitimate Assassination runs, which is awesome.

If Circle ever, EVER gets a model with Far Strike as an animus, Tanith will immediately become one of the top Warlocks or Warcasters in the game based solely off of this weapon.

Spell List:

Tanith has one of the absolute best spell lists in the entire faction. She has a DEF debuff, an ARM debuff, Admonition, and two nuke spells.

I'm going to list these spells in the order I value them, there's not a real rhyme or reason to this.


this spell is so wrong in Circle. I played a lot of games with a 4 heavy version of her list where basically I threw a Feral with Admonition on it at an enemy heavy, and then sent in a Stalker to finish it off with Scything Touch and then Sprint out. The opponent would generally have to dedicate two heavies to kill the Feral because the first one would trigger Admonition and the Feral would dance away. He'd send in the second heavy to murder it, and then I'd kill his two (sometimes three) heavies easily with the remaining Feral, Stalker, and Ghetorix.

The other application this spell has is a massive threat extender. This often comes up later in the game when your opponent sends a heavy after your Admonition target to jam things up. Instead of Admonitioning back, you can easily Admonition your heavy forward. This is most useful if your opponent has next to nothing left to activate.

I've gotten free assassinations off of this tactic as my opponent parks their warcaster 12 inches away from my Pureblood, only to run random dudes to jam me at the end of his turn and watch my Pureblood Admonition TOWARD his warcaster, only to get buffed up the next turn and murder them. It doesn't have to be on Warcasters either. A Pureblood (the most pillow fisted Warpwolf) with Scything Touch and Primal is MAT 8 PS 20, and that will fairly likely one round most other heavies in the game.

Another note, and this is important, is that it can keep Loki ridiculously safe. Loki moves up, hooks something juicy, does a few damage and then lets another beast (probably a Stalker) come in and murder it before Sprinting out. Loki can sit there at 14/19 with Admoniton and Evasive up, making him absurdly difficult to kill.

Scything Touch: 

This spell is such a big deal, especially with the new melee range clarification. For those that don't studiously read infernal rulings, the new melee range ruling means that any model within whatever RNG the longest melee weapon on a model with Scything Touch has will get -2 ARM from Dark Shroud.

For example, a Stalker with Scything Touch can kill something, Sprint away, and turn its back arc to an enemy model to give it -2 ARM without engaging it so that other models can shoot it for example. This could be especially important if you take Reeves or Bloodtrackers or....well any shooting model to be honest. It synergizes well with Sentry Stones and Pureblood Warpwolves too, although only because it now affects a larger area of the board than it did before.

Unfortunately, that ruling got reversed in the January errata, meaning that while Scything Touch is extremely good still, it doesn't cover a 27 square inch bubble anymore.

What this spell does is let Tanith play without crutching on Primal, unlike so many other casters in Circle. As a result, your opponent has to worry about your whole army all the time, which is something that people playing against Circle are pretty unused to.

But what about a hit fixer? (I hear you wondering how a MAT 6 Warpwolf Stalker can actually kill anything) Well outside of her gun, which is a pretty darn good one, she also has....


This is a relatively straightforward spell, and one that I don't end up casting in about half of my games. This offensive spell reduces the DEF of a model/unit affected by 2, and also stipulates that if an attack directly hits an affected model and fails to break ARM, the model still takes 1 point of damage. Note that this means electro leaps and blast damage do NOT trigger the auto point from Affliction as they are not direct hits and electro leaps are not attacks.

This spell is a big part of the reason Tanith is so flexible. She can play easily into infantry swarms, while simultaneously taking on big ARM lists thanks to Scything Touch. I have used Affliction and two-three Mannikin sprays to single handedly eliminate an entire unit of Horgenhold Forgeguard in Wall of Steel and under Ossrum's feat (Effective ARM of 20+).

You won't actually cast this spell every game, simply because there isn't always going to be a target that you desperately need to swing -5 DEF on or there isn't a unit of infantry that you need to mulch through, but when it's good, it's absurdly good.

The Nukes:

Tanith has the obligatory crummy nuke spell or two in the form of Bleed and Rift. These are corner-case to cast, and I realize that's a controversial statement in many ways, but I believe it is true.

The "dream" is to use her Feat to reduce the cost of bleed to 1 and then KD a warcaster and use boosted Bleeds to kill the warcaster in question. In my experience, this is almost mathematically impossible into most warcasters, and isn't worth the time. At best, use Bleed to remove an annoying model in the way of your soon to be charging heavy.

Rift, on the other hand, has a few more applications by nature of leaving an AOE 4 of rough terrain. This is a huge deal against certain factions (Menoth in general and much of Khador and Cygnar jacks) where you can use a Mannikin as a target for a Rift in front of your army to really neuter your opponents' threat ranges. If they don't have pathfinder, this spell is far more useful for its controlling aspect than it is for doing damage.

For example, I played a game of Tanith into Butcher 3 in the finals of a semi-local Steamroller and was able to prevent Butcher from killing my whole army by sniping out his dogs to prevent relentless charge and then casting Rift at him and his heavies. I would have instantly lost that game without the spell. You can read that game here, and the relevant part is Circle turn 2.


Tanith's feat lets her channel through models in her battlegroup and reduces the casting cost of friendly faction models' spells by 1 in her control, to a minimum cost of 1 (important note).

This looks pretty underwhelming, but it actually gives you a lot of flexibility. Upkeep Scything Touch somewhere, charge in, activate Tanith, cast Affliction for one and boost, cast Scything for one, cast Primal on something, and camp a couple is a typical feat turn.

It also makes Wraithbane on the Pureblood cost 1, and Primal on the Feral and Gorax cheaper as well.

There are supposedly times when the correct thing to do is to use her feat to assassinate.

To that I say....seriously?

Take Sevy 2, DEF 14 ARM 15, 16 boxes. Say he has no focus.

If he's not KD, I'm going to have to boost every Bleed I put into him. An unboosted bleed does 2 damage, and I'll get three of them.

If he IS KD, then I get 3 boosted bleeds, which do 16.5 damage on average, so sure, he's dead there, but if he's camping even 1 focus, this doesn't work, and Sevy 2 has among the worst defensive lines of any warlock/warcaster in the game.

I'm not saying this is never an option, just please don't go into the game expecting to use this as your primary win condition. It's much better to toss around cheap animi and Afflictions.

A Quick Note on Fury Management:

Tanith wants to use her Fury, a LOT. She wants to be up in the middle of the table shooting things so that she can affect the game. 

How can you do this without dying? There are a couple of ways. 

You can use your Sentry Stones to literally do nothing but create a mobile screen with her, and some games, this is exactly what you want to do with them. 

You can also keep her relatively safe by clouding up around her with the Gobbers, since many lists won't have ways to ignore Stealth. If you pre-measure correctly, you shouldn't have to worry about melee threats.

Loki also helps immensely, as he has Shield Guard, allowing him to pull the random Flare shot or KD bolt headed at her away. 

A final way is to put Admonition on her, so that should anything come after her she can dance away. 

Model Synergies:
Image result for nature synergy

Sentry Stone and Mannikins:

If you don't have two of these in your list right now (Nov 2016) then you're playing a sub optimal list.

While Sentry Stones are incredibly solid still, I don't think that they're necessarily an auto include with Tanith anymore, especially with two of three theme forces not allowing them.

They still hunt solos incredibly well, prey on high DEF/low ARM or low DEF/High ARM single wound infantry, and can even assassinate every once in a while.

More importantly, a pair of Sentry Stones brings a mobile LOS and spray blocking wall to hide Tanith behind, and sometimes that is worth the points investment alone as you can keep her in the middle of the table without too much fear of reprisal. Tanith wants to use her gun as often as possible, so this is a very important option.

Their best synergy with Tanith comes from Affliction making their sprays into RAT 6 auto point attacks, which is pretty incredible into Shield Wall or Wall of Steel units like Sentinels, Halbardiers, Forge Guard, Iron Fang Pikemen, Karax, etc. I've used Affliction plus one unit of Sentry Stone Mannikins to wipe out a ten man unit in one activation easily.

Reeves of Orboros:

You want infantry clear? These guys will do it no problem. With Affliction, they all become RAT 7 auto point shots with two attacks each, for 20 attacks on the base unit or 22 with the CA (You should always take the CA if you can).

It's also great fun to put 22 damage onto a Heavy Jack with a bunch of POW 8 shots and then kill it with a Scarsfell Griffon/Stalker/Pureblood spray/Mannikins on the charge.

They also have Combined Ranged Attack, giving them the potential for two RAT 17 POW 19 shots, which is going to do about 1/3 of an average heavies health on it's own with no support whatsoever.

I have drifted away from this unit simply because Sentry Stones tend to clear the infantry well enough with Affliction that having Reeves feels redundant, but they are definitely a strong choice.

I like this unit more and more with Tanith the more I play with it. I even went so far (on a dare) to play a Tanith list with basically nothing but guns in it for a team tournament, including two units of Reeves, FOUR Woldywrds, and Loki, all in the Wild Hunt theme. You can find those reports here, here, and here, the last game featuring Reeves gunning down a Marauder from full health with Single Shots.

Swamp Gobbers Bellows Crew:

These little dudes are kind of an auto include for Tanith if you're playing her out of theme. They give her Stealth, they give the Stalker Stealth, they give Loki Stealth, they add to the LOS denial with the Sentry Stones, and they're high enough def that they can contest moderately well.

Add to that their incredibly cheap cost (2 points!!) and the fact that they have a weapon now, and I don't see a reason to ever leave these two at home (again, when not in theme).

Bloodweaver Night Witch:

If you're not bringing Reeves and still want to slaughter a unit without using your Sentry Stones, consider this 4 point mini Madrak. With Affliction and the ability to boost to hit, this lady has chewed through entire units of Dawnguard Sentinels, Temple Flame Guard, and Iron Fang Pikemen for me. Sure she only threats 10.5 inches, but that can be a big deterrent for zones and flag control.

Natural Stealth is a plus.

Druid Wilder:

Tanith wants to upkeep at least 2 spells every turn, and that can get pricey fury wise. The Druid Wilder helps out with that immensely, leaving Tanith an extra fury to boost a hit roll with or to camp. She can also force warbeasts outside of Tanith's control range which has randomly been useful, and she can heal or leach fury from beasts, another big deal in a faction with such finicky fury management.

Gallows Grove:

This is not an auto-include, but can be very strong with her. Very often, you'll want to arc an Affliction after her feat turn, and it is frustrating as all get out when you don't have a bark node in your list. While they're not mandatory, they're definitely a good option.

Also they stop Imperatus from triggering Phoenix Protocol within 5 inches, so that's always a good thing right?

Scarsfell Griffon:

This model has fallen out of the spotlight recently, but he is still Circle's answer to the question "How do we piece trade effectively?"

With Tanith, this guy can be MAT 8, PS 16/15/15 on its initial attacks. That's not going to kill a Khador heavy (average dice on a charge against a Khador heavy says 22 damage without hunters mark, and 26 with) but it will scrap any ARM 18 heavy in the game (average dice says 27 damage without hunters mark and 32 with it) assuming you get Hunters Mark on it.

If you use Tanith primarily as your Circle drop, this is of extreme value since you can pretty reliably trade an 8 point light for a 17-19 point Warpwolf.

Also note that their animus gives them dodge, and I've had games where my opponent misses one attack on a unit that charges the griffon, allowing me to dodge away from the rest of his unit and take no damage whatsoever. Also a useful animus on Tanith.

Without Long Leash, the ability to run a pair of them on Una 1 is more or less gone, but it might be worth playing a single or pair of Griffons in your list on Tanith herself.

Warpwolf Stalker:

Tanith can make this guy incredible. Any time you do NOT have to Primal your heavy hitters is amazing, and Tanith, thanks to Scything Touch and her pair of defense debuffs, allows the Stalker to hit accurately and at PS 20 even without Primal.

Add in a hunters mark, and this guy will do 39 damage to a Khador heavy with just his reach attacks, meaning he probably has one fury left over to cast Lightning Strike and Sprint out.

The other thing is that his melee range is 2", which is about as good of coverage as you're going to get for Scything Touch. Even more importantly, if he kills whatever he goes into and can sprint out, he can apply Scything Touch in two places in one turn. Efficiency!

Also, native Pathfinder is a big deal in this era of heavy terrain on boards.


This Warpwolf is an extremely strong choice with many of our Warlocks, but with Tanith he might be an auto-include. Shield Guard is an extremely powerful ability, allowing him to keep Eiryss bolts, KD shots, or Flare guns from touching Tanith. His hook extends the threat range of the entire army, and with Admonition, he can be extremely safe afterwards. 

He also has native pathfinder (woot!) and his bond with Tanith gives him Prowl, further increasing his already very good survivability. 

I really like thinking about Loki as part of a 1-2 punch, either with guns softening up his target, or with him bringing it in for something else to kill. 


Circle's very best warbeast, the Woldwyrd loves Tanith's ability to effective make them RAT 11. They provide a strong disincentive for your opponent to use upkeep spells, are very fast, and can constantly threaten assassination. 

I can't imagine playing a Circle list outside of the Tharn theme without a pair of these in the list, they're that good. 

Post-CID Celestial Fulcrum:

What does Tanith like better than a really strong ranged platform? A really strong ranged platform that helps with fury management and makes her RAT and Magic Ability 7. Mmmmmmm....

I think the Fulcrum is good enough with her to play a Bones of Orboros gunline with some extremely strong matchups. Two Fulcrums, some number of Woldwyrds, Loki, support to taste. I'm pretty excited about that list actually, and I will not be surprised if it's as good as Bret keeps telling me it is. 

Theme Forces and Tanith:

Circle (currently, late May 2017) has three theme forces, and Tanith only really plays nice with two of them.

The Wild Hunt:

This theme gives Tanith two things she really wants - Reeves and Woldwyrds. It also gives her beasts Tracker, which is an awesome buff for something like a Warpwolf Stalker or Pureblood, and makes a unit of Wolves have Ambush. This is probably the most absurd benefit of the theme if you build your list around it, and forcing your opponent to gum up in the middle of the table to avoid being charged by weaponmasters from either side of the table is exactly what Tanith wants her opponent to be doing. 

I've played quite a few games with this theme, and I think it can have some strong matchups if you go infantry heavy. I've yet to play a beast brick with it, but that could have merit as well. 

Bones of Orboros:

Guns, guns, and more guns. I really think Tanith can be built well here, with access to Loki thanks to her bond, Woldwyrds, Celestial Fulcrums, and maybe even a Woldwrath to anchor the list. 

It also allows her to play with Sentry Stones, which are an excellent choice for her still. 

List Building:

Tanith is a hard warlock to build lists for by virtue of....well she can kind of do anything. Need a -5 DEF swing? On it. Need an ARM debuff? Here ya go! Need to murder shield wall units? (Something Circle traditionally has a hard time with) Easy peasy.

I've played her multiple ways, so I'm just going to give you some general ways to build her and then give you my sample list.

The ARM cracker:

This build focuses on 2 important spells - Scything Touch and Admonition.

I play it with four heavies (two Ferals, Stalker, Pureblood) and the idea of the list is to chuck a Feral at something while it has Admonition on it, and then follow up with a Stalker with Scything Touch to kill it and Sprint out.

Your opponent then has to deal with an Admonitioned heavy in their lines, usually requiring 2 heavies to kill since you just scoot away from the first one.

The following turn, you get to go in and kill two more heavies, and your opponent is down 3 heavy warbeasts/warjacks for the price of a Feral (who might not even be dead, DEF 14 is a thing).

This is great against any Warjack heavy list outside of potentially Harkevich and a billion jacks, and it's also fairly easy to play.

Sample List:

- Wilder
- Pureblood
- Loki
- Feral
- Stalker
- Scarsfell

Gallows Grove
Blackclad Wayfarer

Shifting Stones
Sentry Stone x2
Swamp Gobbers

Bones Gunline (Post CID Fulcrum):

This list basically has a lot of high powered boostable shots that are all fairly accurate, and uses Tanith's defensive debuffs to become even more accurate. Between Shadow Bind and Affliction, you can actually run something with Scything Touch into melee and still have a net -1 DEF.

Veteren Leader on the Fulcrums gives every Blackclad (including eachother) +1 to hit rolls, and that means that Tanith and the Stoneshapers are more accurate as well.

The Wold Guardian is in there because, well, it was that or more Woldwyrds and I think that having a second Shield Guard AND a PS 19 (thanks Scything Touch) backline beater isn't the worst thing.

Alternatively, you could drop two Wyrds, Guardian, and the Gallows Grove for a Woldwrath, but I'm unconvinced that it's a better build.

- Loki
- Wold Guardian
- Woldwyrd
- Woldwyrd
- Woldwyrd

Celestial Fulcrum
Celestial Fulcrum

Blackclad Stoneshaper x3 (free)
Gallows Grove

Shifting Stones

Other options:

Tanith can be built so many ways. Literally stick models in her list and go, and she'll probably perform okay.

A common (ish) alternate build I've seen with her is taking double Reeves to capitalize on Affliction. The math is pretty gross actually. 44 Auto Points if they all get shots is enough to kill any heavy in the game and to severely cripple even the toughest colossal. At that point your Stalker goes in and mops it up pretty easily.

While I don't know I'd really recommend picking up a second unit of Reeves just to do this, I can say that it certainly is an interesting idea.

Having now played the Tanith double Reeves build a LOT, I can honestly say it's far more potent than people expect it to be. Auto killing a heavy a turn is respectable, and being able to switch back and forth between killing infantry and cracking armor isn't anything to sneeze at either.

This is the list I played, and be advised, this is extremely skewy and probably isn't perfectly tuned - adjust as needed to your meta.

- Loki
- Wyrd x3
- Moonhound x2

Reeves (max) and CA x2
Wolves (max) and CA

Again, this is more for fun than anything, but it can certainly win games.

What NOT to play her into:

Tanith has a really, really hard time with gunlines, especially those that ignore Stealth. Specifically, I'm looking here at Caine 2 and 3 and Sloan, since against Issyria, DEF 15 is still hard for unboosted shots to hit under feat.

This is a common problem among Circle casters, and a big, big part of why you'll see Wurmwood or Baldur 2 in most Circle pairings - they really punish those gunlines by not letting them do their thing or by being ARM ridiculous.

She also has a really hard time with massive amounts of Spell Ward on High Arm infantry like Precursor Knights or Banishing Ward onto Karax or Flameguard.

Belay that, Woldwyrds are a thing. Outside of natural Spell immunity, you want your opponent casting their upkeeps.


I absolutely love Tanith. She plays super cat and mouse with your opponent, laying traps and springing them with Admonition and Shadow Bind. She can play into literally anything in the game with the right build, and her gunlines are extremely powerful as an alternative to a melee focused build.

If you don't own her yet, try her out. If you lose with her for the first little while, don't get discouraged! She's immensely hard to play well, as every single turn has a massive amount of options and ways in which to approach it.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, May 26, 2017

State of the Faction (5/5): Conclusion

I only use this picture now cuz it bugs Bret :D

For those of you who haven't seen the first four articles, I highly suggest that you read them. You can click the links for Warlocks, Warbeasts, Units, and Solos.

Now that you're back, the big question - what now?

It's a bit of a grim time to be a Druid, I will not lie. We have dwindling answers to the scary lists out there thanks to a combination of nerfs to our models and extremely strong theme forces coming out for other faction.

Jaws of the Wolf, the new Khador theme force, gives us fits by removing our Advanced Deployment and incentivizing and rewarding Khador players for putting eight to ten heavies on the table, often with Harkevich for speed boosts and pathfinder.

Oracles of Annihilation is one that we can actually fight fairly well if we bring a Wild Argus, but without that most of our other answers just do not work, and Neraphs trivially remove Warpwolves from the table.

The Exemplar Interdiction theme force has given new rise to Vindictus (oops...mah bad guys) and his insanely fast Cavalry are going to pose a serious, serious problem for Circle.

Add to that the ever-present threat of Cygnar, Ret's new and improved model selection and theme forces, and Skorne suddenly out threating, out tanking, and out muscling us, and Circle suddenly feels extremely vulnerable.

Finally, the changes in SR 2017 making Scenario wins much, much harder and making all of our placement effects more difficult to use with the probable restriction on movement markers (if you follow those guidelines), and we are in for a rough few months here.

Part of the problem is that we just don't have a faction identity with any real coherence.

We're supposed to be the fast faction right?

I present Skorne and Khador, that can get speed 6-8 heavies without too much work AND give them pathfinder, which, by the way, we don't have hardly any of.

We're supposed to be the terrain manipulation faction?

Well..we have a unit that makes a 3 inch forest and a crappy heavy that makes a 4 inch forest, hardly what I would call terrain manipulation, especially as, once again, we don't have pathfinder on most of our beasts.

We're supposed to play hit and run?

Well....we have the Stalker and Loki for that...and that's basically it. Without access to Sprint on all of our models like we used to, we have to commit to piece trades, and we have to do that with our insanely expensive heavies. Our Shifting Stones no longer extend our threat ranges, and outside of Hunters Mark and Dogpile, we don't really have any threat extenders.

The biggest problem with all of these aspects of our faction identity is that when they're powerful and relevant, they're massive negative play experiences.


Being constantly outthreated is no fun whatsoever, and we as Circle players have had to experience that for quite a while now.

Sitting across from Tiberion and realizing that I have the same or less threat range than he does depending on terrain and if he's with Xerxis 2 has been incredibly frustrating at times.

Knowing that I get no chance at all to avoid getting shot at changes my game plan significantly, and with the shifts in Scenario for SR 2017, I expect gunlines to be even better.

Circle used to be incredibly difficult to play against because of our odd threat ranges. Stalkers with Kromac 1 used to have a 15 inch nonlinear threat thanks to Shifting Stones and Warpath. 

Double porting Ghetorix into your opponents caster was fairly common, and had little to no counterplay.

Terrain Generation:

Just look at the uproar over Wurmwood and I think you will understand that this ability has no chance of ever getting balanced properly with the current terrain rules. If you could burn forests down or trample through walls with colossals etc., then I think giving Circle more terrain generation and manipulation abilities would be just fine - they'd shield our squishy models from incoming fire and still be removable with effort.

As it is, I doubt we will get too much more in this vein until the terrain rules themselves change.

Hit and Run:

Anyone else remember Morvahna 2 charging in 11.5 inches, killing a couple things, sprinting out 8 and then light cavalry moving back 5? Yeah that was miserable to play against, but it was also how Circle survived with expensive heavies.

We've completely lost the ability to move in, cheat a trade, and then move out again without using Stalkers or Loki, and there's been no counter adjustment to our models' point costs.

Moving forward, there will be lots of innovation required of us to remain competitive, and that's going to be tricky as both our models and our themes are largely lackluster. I'm thinking that since we don't get too much benefit from our themes anyway, we might see a return to early mark 3 Circle with DEF skews backed up by Star-Crossed on Wrong Eye.

For what it is worth, here is a short wish-list of changes for any eventual CID. I've given these some thought, and discussed them with the Leyline cast in various capacities.

Theme Forces:

Either we need ways to bring more points to the table (which is a design feature I hate) or we need theme forces that give our models interesting granted abilities. An interesting idea would be to give our infantry Force Barrier for example, or perhaps to universally grant our beasts Pathfinder.

I would like to see less of free points being the main way to measure the power level of beasts and more of theme forces adding unique rules to the models in the theme force.


Baldur 2: Make his feat impossible to ignore by blessed weapons again. This was a big rules change that left a sour taste in most Circle players mouths and basically made him unplayable into Menoth.

Bradigus: I can't even begin to understand how to make this guy playable, there are so many things wrong with him. Mostly making the Wolds better would go a long way, but his spell list is pretty terrible.

Grayle: Give him Field Marshal [Wolfsworn] - Done.

Kaya 1: Changing Spirit Door to "models placed by Spirit Door must sacrifice movement" would give her some really powerful ways to go for assassination. Giving her a battlegroup wide spell or feat for pathfinder and an extra point or two of movement would also be an excellent way to set her apart.

Kaya 2: Fury 7, done.

Kaya 3: Change her current charge for free spell to Dog Pile. 

Kromac 1: Give him Blade Shield, this will help him not randomly die to guns and also not be overpowered.

Krueger 1: Give his feat the ability to disrupt Warjacks and we could be talking. I'd also like to see him have a damage buff of some sort.

Krueger 2: This is a bit silly, but I'd love his feat to have the "no charge" clause attached to it again. Don't think he really needs it, but it would certainly be nice.

Mohsar: Tweak his defensive stats a bit. Give him Cloak of Ash or something similar. Also give the man a real feat, something like enemy warjacks cannot be allocated focus, cannot power up, and enemy models cannot leach fury.

Morvahna 1: Give her Mark 2 Regrowth. 

Morvahna 2: Put Scales of Fate back to control range,

Una 2: I'd be interested to see if it would be too good to give Sprint to her control range now that her feat doesn't last a round.


Brennos: 14-15 points, maybe let him remove multiple fury. 

Feral: 16 points, probably good there. 

Ghetorix: Drop down to 19 points, give Pathfinder

Gnarlhorn: Up to fury 4, Pathfinder. 

Loki: Drop to 18 points. 

Pureblood: Drop to 15 or 16 points. 

Razorwing Griffon: Give it the three initials the Scarsfell has, and let it use the POW of its wings to its trample rolls. 

Rip Horn Satyr: Fury 4, Pathfinder.

Rotterhorn Griffon: Make it the Mark 2 Rotterhorn again please, exact same everything but with the new defensive statline. 

Scarsfell: Drop it to two initials and give it back Long Leash.

Shadowhorn: Pathfinder.

Storm Raptor: Either Range 14 on it's gun, or give it Reposition 3 like the Archangel. Give it 2-4 more boxes, make it MAT 6. 

Stalker: 17 points or 18 points and MAT 7. 

Winter Argus: Rat 6, Spray 8, 7 points. 

Wold Guardian: Fury 4, 15 points, give him his old animus back. Drop Shield Guard. 

Woldwatcher: 8 points, Shield Guard. I'd also be interested to see a version of this guy where he has Wold Primal, something like "Target Friendly Faction Construct Warbeast gains +2 to melee attack and damage rolls for one round and cannot be forced next turn."

Woldwarden: 13 points. 

Woldwyrd: Possibly should get bumped up to 10 points. 


Death Wolves: Start with a corpse always, 8 points. 

Mist Riders: Initial shot is POW 12, Magic 7, can put Summon Vortex clouds on anything within 6-8 inches. Voulge goes to POW 11, unit reduced to 18 points for max and 11 for min. 

Druids: I'd just like mark 2 Druids back honestly. 

Shifting Stone Keeper: Granted: While this model is in play, this unit may use Shifting to place a friendly faction model completely within ten inches rather than completely within 8 inches. 

Stoneward and Woldstalkers: 7-8 points.

Blood Pack: Let them use corpses for ranged boosting, start the game with a corpse. Unit cost reduced to 16 for max and 10 min. 

Nuala: Granted: Reposition 3. 

Bloodweavers: 6 points or additional die vs. living and stay 8. 

Ravagers: Give them back Brutal Charge, decrease point cost down to 14 points max unit, 10 points min. 

Wolf Riders: Make their melee weapons PS 10 or 11, reduce point cost to 16 points max, 11 10 min. 

Skinwalkers Alpha: Granted [Rapid Strike].

Wolves of Orboros: Always Weaponmaster, Officer mini-feat gives +3 strength.


Bloodweaver Night Witch: Range 1, 3 points. 

Lord of the Feast: 2 inch reach, can spend Corpse tokens to boost ranged attack rolls, remove thresher and give him killing spree. (Might be too strong, but dang it he should be cool). 

Reeve Hunter: Give his Crossbow Armor Piercing. 

Ravager Shaman: 4 points. 

White Mane: 6 points, straight up Grievous Wounds, Crit Decapitation. 

Wolf Rider Champion: Stay as is and become 6 points, or alternatively give Wolf Riders Jump and stay the same. 

Una 1: Field Marshal [Long Leash].

Morraig: Rapid Strike, Weaponmaster always.


Circle is in a weird place. We're falling behind in theme force viability, we're short on playable models, and the ones that we do have that play well often get denounced as overpowered and unfun to play against. 

Privateer Press is going to have to think long and hard about how to rebalance the faction over the next few years, because as it is most of the models aren't any fun to play and the ones that are good enough to play competitively are no fun to play against. 

I'll be updating this in November or December with any new models, changes we've received via errata, and expect to see more battle reports, random strategy guides, and baseless speculation out of me between now and then!

Oh also, if you want a sweet look at a similar idea but for Protectorate, have a look at Chandler's blog - 

Thanks for reading everyone!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

State of the Faction (4/5): Circle Solos (and the Fulcrum)


Circle's solos span the entire spectrum from infantry shredding support pieces to infantry shredding lunatics with axes to infantry shredding babes with swords.

Wait...there's a theme here, I just don't know what it is...

Ah well, here's the rating scale, and if you want to read the preceding articles, I did one each on our Warlocks, Warbeasts, and Units.

Ratings Scale:

5.0: S-Tier BS, meta bending model or unit, a crutch of the faction. 

4.0: Extremely useful model or unit, high game impact, strong into many other factions and lists

3.0: Excellent meta choice, very strong into the correct matchups but not consistently good. 

2.0: Super niche, ADR model that will occasionally do something cool but is more often not. 

1.0: Nigh unto unplayable garbage, will not see the table in day two of a competitive event. 

I will always give a bit more context than just the rating, a quick paragraph or two describing how I think the beast plays out with the casters that want them the most. For solos, this scale will be based off of internal faction balance as it is too hard to do cross faction comparisons. As always, the comments mean as much or more than the numbers do.

Blackclad Stoneshaper:

Overall rank: 3.5

These guys are the default free solos for the Bones or Orboros theme list, and when you get them for free they're a real bargain. They repair for d6 on all of our constructs (including Sentry Stones!), have a reasonably accurate Spray 8 with crit KD, and can remove fury from construct warbeasts, all while being 15/15 in base to base with a friendly faction construct (including Sentry Stones and Shifting Stones!)

Definitely worth owning, definitely see play in every Bones of Orboros list I can think of, don't get a ton of love outside of that. 

Blackclad Wayfarer:

Overall rank: 4.0

The most common Circle solo to see play, the only real complaint I have about this model is how sad it is without elemental protection and how much I miss having Acceleration on the Rotterhorn. 

Hunters Mark is really important to a melee-alpha faction without hardly any other threat extension or ways to give free charges out (Kaya 2/3 obviously being exceptions), and his spray is yet another way to murder infantry with ease. 

These make their way into most of my lists, they're very much the lynchpin of a melee based Circle army, and when they fare well they're nightmares for your opponent. 

Bloodweaver Night Witch:

Overall rank: 2.0

A powerhouse of Mark 2, and one that made my trolls extremely sad when it was released, this lady still mulches through low DEF high(ish) ARM or high DEF low ARM infantry with ease. So long as she only has to boost once per attack, she can fairly easily kill off an entire poorly spaced unit. 

Unfortunately, she competes with so many other things in the faction that can do the exact same thing, and outside of being a free solo in the Tharn tier (unlikely) I don't see her getting played. Of note, she does give Bloodweavers killing spree, and if you think that Ghost Fleet is going to be a problem for you, this might be worth the extra points investment to field. 

Druid Wilder:

Overall rank: 3.0

Sometimes you really, REALLY need a free upkeep or another source of fury management, and in those situations, the Wilder is exactly what you want. 

There's not much to say here about her offensive or defensive tech (although I've had my Wilder charge in and finish off an enemy heavy or two as a last ditch effort), and it'd be druid of me to not include a list of warlocks I think she is wild about. 

Baldur 1 has a lot of upkeeps and always likes a free one, so do Tanith, Una 2 (if you can squeeze in the points) and Grayle doesn't mind Storm Rager being free so has more fury to murder stuff with. 

Gallows Grove:

Overall rank: 2.5

I wish I had ways to get this into lists more often, because they're really, really good. Unfortunately, I almost always end up cutting them in order to fit more things that kill stuff into the list. 

Channeling is an amazingly powerful ability, and there are a multitude of our casters that want to be able to do so. Krueger 1 and 2 really like to be able to toss out their offensive spells from a safe distance. Baldur 1 enjoys putting Earth Spikes all over the place, and Tanith likes a way to get Affliction out turn after turn.  Wurmwood also likes to be able to use Cassius for other things than arc node duty.

The ability to channel animi is also excellent, putting Primal or Wraithbane on models that would otherwise have been out of range can change the game. 

Finally, these little trees prevent damage from being removed from enemy models within five inches, and unlike Grievous Wounds, this works on colossals and gargantuans. I've definitely had games where Wurmwood Strangleholds an enemy gargossal and then parks the Grove within five but outside of threat ranges of other enemy models. Send in a Warpwolf or shoot it with Wyrds and suddenly the opponent has a real problem on their hands. 

Lord of the Feast:

Overall rank: 1.0

This guy....yeah he's horrible. If you HAVE to play him, use him in the Tharn theme and load him with corpses - you might get some work out of him. 

Reeve Hunter: 

Overall rank: 1.5

I just don't see a spot for this guy. He's more accurate with his POW 8 bow than he is with his with his PS 9 weaponmaster sword. He's got Sprint, which is cool, but unless your opponent hands you a model, he's going to put a scratch on something and then die. 

I don't think these are worth playing, even in the Wild Hunt as you can easily get free command attachments over them. 

Tharn Ravager Shaman:

Overall rank: 2.0

Free in the Tharn theme, the primary purpose for this model is to make Tharn steady so that their tough checks might occasionally mean something. 

It also hands out magical weapons, which is awesome into Ghost Fleet. 

I also like playing one with Kromac 2 to give him steady against a lot of knockdown tech. 

Tharn Ravager Whiteman:

Overall rank: 2.0

It's another infantry clearing solo, but it also has Veteren Leader [Ravager], so that can be a big deal. As part of the extremely expensive Tharn boat in the Theme, it can help the Ravagers hit stuff. 

I still don't like the Tharn theme, and I am aware that biases me, but I don't think it has a place in the competitive meta. 

Tharn Wolf Rider Champion:

Overall rank: 1.5

An extremely expensive solo with a host of mediocre abilities, this is one of the most beautiful sculpts in the whole game and will hardly ever see the tabletop. 

Una the Falconer (Una 1):

Overall rank: 2.0

Una used to be an amazing double Scarsfell package, but with the loss of Long Leash on the Griffons, she can no longer run them and stay safe. She has largely fallen out of favor, with the exception of a certain Baldur 2 list where she runs a Storm Raptor.

War Wolf:

Overall rank: 2.0

Situationally brilliant, these little guys can put serious dents in enemies with Gang Fighter and Sic' Em. 

I'd play them with Grayle and occasionally if I've got Reeves in the list and four points I don't have anything better to with. 

Wolf Lord Morraig:

Overall rank: 2.0

This guy has one use and one use only - making Grayle essentially magic 7 and giving Reeves plus 1 to their RAT. 

Outside of that, I would be surprised if there was ever a reason to play him. He's expensive, pillowfisted without a Wolfsworn model to get flank off with, and only gets one attack against a hard target. 

Celestial Fulcrum:

Pre - CID rank: 1.5 to 2.0
Post CID rank: 4.0 to 4.5

The pre-CID Fulcrum was a frustrating model to play most of the time. It made a cloud with its most powerful gun, which meant that it was harder for it to shoot the second shot at the target. It was fairly easy to kill from range, and didn't contribute much to the game outside of extremely specific lists. 

The post-CID Fulcrum is a different beast entirely. It's able to be accurate or powerful thanks to consistently being able to boost. It lets you run a couple of Woldwyrds hotter than you would be able to otherwise and still be able to use them to maximum efficiency the next turn. It makes thirteen of seventeen more Warlocks more accurate with spells, melee, and ranged, and it also contributes to Blackclad Wayfarers, Stoneshapers, and Druid's accuracy and viability. 

I firmly believe that this piece is going to be one of Circle's most viable models going forward, and I'm excited to have it in Warroom so that I can play with it all the time (fingers crossed for Lock and Load). 


Circle's has a couple of useful solos for general play, a few that are only seen in theme forces, and many that are complete garbage. They suffer from mostly doing the same thing - killing infantry in droves when there's less infantry out there - and by being expensive while still having fairly garbage defensive stats. 

I've got less complaints in the solo section than I did about Units and Warbeasts, but there are still a few stinkers (Wolf Rider Champion, Una 1, Morraig and LORD OF THE FEAST) that I think really need some attention in order to see the table on a more regular basis. 

Tomorrow I"ll have a short wrap-up, including a list of models that I think absolutely need to get changed and some general thoughts about the direction of the faction, and that will be the State of the Faction. I'll probably do a new analysis every six months or so. 

After that...maybe I'll actually put a battle report up! Who knows, I might even be playing Circle in it for a change ;)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Battle Report 101: Tanith (Storm Raptor, The Wild Hunt) vs. Thagrosh 1


I hadn't played a game with Circle in about a week, and I really wanted to bust Stormy out and put him on the table, so when my gaming group all were busy/out of town, I enlisted my roommate to let me get some of the Warmachine withdrawals out of my system.

I tossed together a really derpy list.

- Loki
- Pureblood
- Storm Raptor
- Woldwyrd x2
- Gorax

Shifting Stones x2

In the Wild Hunt theme to give the Storm Raptor tracker.

My opponent played:

Thagrosh 1
- Typhon
- Scythean
- Carnivean
- Seraph
- Protector

Deathstalker x2
Nyss Warlord

We rolled up Extraction, he won the roll off and correctly chose to go first.

I had forgotten how much Stormy makes taking pictures impossible. 

Off to the right, you can see my opponents homemade dice tray and then the Wyrmwood dice tray that I got sent last weekend to try out and review - expect that sometime soon!

Legion turn 1:

Fog of War goes up, which is annoying since Thagrosh will be too far back to really punish him for having the upkeep out. 

Everything runs at me, except the Deathstalkers who chill out. 

Circle turn 1:

Well I can move up and prevent him from charging me, but I can't really do much about his ranged presence. Fortunately, my opponent chose to put Typhon in the forest, and with that in mind, his threat range is really limited. 

Admonition ends up on Loki, who is in some Shifting Stones, and Scything Touch goes onto Stormy. I run the Gorax up the right side in case he doesn't contest on his next turn and I need something to take the flag with. 

Legion turn 2:

Another aggressive advance, the Seraph putting Flare onto both Loki and the Wyrd. His Carnivean moves up and shoots at the Woldwyrd, doing a small amount of damage. Typhon derps out of the forest, and the Protector moves up so it can shield guard the three combat heavies. 

Thagrosh moves outside of the killbox. 

Circle turn 2:

I get REALLY greedy this turn, and decide to try and shoot down at least one heavy and then commit Stormy to kill off another without Primal. 

Between Pureblood sprays and Wyrd shots, both Typhon and the Carnivean are on life support when Stormy does go in (I rolled really hot) and then proceeds to miss all but two (?) attacks, leaving them both alive. I should have just Primaled him.

Loki hooks in the Seraph but can't do enough damage to it. 

Tanith moves up, boosts a shot into the Carnivean and misses, hitting Stormy instead and doing 6 damage >< 

Stones port both Loki and Tanith back. I get a point from the Gorax, so...yay?

Score 1-0
Advantage Circle

Legion turn 3:

Stormy dies to the Scythean plus Carnivean, and then Typhon forces to regen and charges my Pureblood killing it. 

The Protector runs up to the flag, taking it and standing in Shield Guard range of basically everyone. 

A Deathstalker runs up to contest the flag where the Gorax is hiding out. 

Score 1-1

Circle turn 3:

I figure I can try and kill all of his heavies with Loki and Wyrds (not impossible actually) OR I can try and win here with the opening I've been given. 

Wyrds do 95% of the Protectors boxes, with the last Wyrd missing 2 of 3 attacks. 

Tanith moves up and shoots down the Protector, Feating, and casting Affliction onto Thagrosh. She puts Primal onto Loki and camps one - I should have put Scything Touch on Loki. 

Loki gets ported up, warps Strength, and boosts a hit into Thagrosh, yanking him in. His free attack connects and leaves him on 1 (should have been five, forgot about the Strength debuff). 

He's on two transfers and I have three attacks at dice damage, needing 3s to hit. 

I hit all three attacks, doing enough to force him to transfer every time, even with five boxes. The last attack connects and he fails his tough check. 

(Undeserved) Victory for the Druids!

Post-Game Thoughts:

Man I made a mess out of this. If Tanith could have shot at the Carnivean before Stormy went in (translation, if I hadn't boxed her out turn 1) he would have murdered both him and Typhon. If I'd just put Primal up, the Storm Raptor lives for another turn, as does the Pureblood. 

I got extremely lucky on my last turn with Loki's attacks all hitting and doing enough damage AND my opponent not making a tough check. Any one of those things change and I lose this game, plain and simple. 

A goofy list, I probably won't be coming back to it without extensive revamping - Stormy has to be playable with more than just Kromac 2 right? 

Thanks for reading!

State of the Faction (3/5): Circle Units


Circle's units are, almost universally, much maligned. They tend to be expensive, pillow fisted, and not capable of taking a hit from a Gunmage.

If we ever get a faction wide CID, units are going to be the first thing I hope to see Privateer Press revamp, followed shortly by Warbeasts.

Deep breaths, here we go.

Ratings Scale:

5.0: S-Tier BS, meta bending model or unit, a crutch of the faction. 

4.0: Extremely useful model or unit, high game impact, strong into many other factions and lists

3.0: Excellent meta choice, very strong into the correct matchups but not consistently good. 

2.0: Super niche, ADR model that will occasionally do something cool but is more often not. 

1.0: Nigh unto unplayable garbage, will not see the table in day two of a competitive event. 

I will always give a bit more context than just the rating, a quick paragraph or two describing how I think the beast plays out with the casters that want them the most. For units, this scale will be based off of internal faction balance as it is too hard to do cross faction comparisons. As always, the comments mean as much or more than the numbers do.

The Death Wolves:

Overall rank: 2.0

These guys have one place - the Tharn tier. Having lost both the ability to deliver themselves with their initial corpse token AND their natural prey (units), these guys don't have any real reason to see play outside of the one theme that allows them to start the game off already primed. 

I can see them played with Una 2, Tanith, and maybe one of the Kruegers or Baldurs in the Tharn tier. Other than that, you shouldn't feel hounded to play them as they'll likely be your death. 

Druid Mist Riders:

Overall rank: 1.5

Expensive, pillow fisted, and with no targets in a high ARM meta, these models are beautiful additions to anyones bookshelf. Careful though, they've been known to cause mildew in paperbacks.

Druids of Orboros and CA:

Overall rank: 2.0

Man these guys got the short end of the Mark 3 stick. They lost countermagic, they lost their fishing pulling spell, and they ALSO lost Advanced Deployment. 

In addition, their Clouds giving enemy models -2 to hit in them is almost a non-factor with the sheer amount of 1 and 2 inch reach running around, cannot trigger Prowl on anything with the changes to terrain rules, and lost Camouflage. Oh, and they don't fit in any theme lists. Whoof. 

The command attachment gives them Apparition, which is nice, and also the ability to be immune to elemental damage, but he's often not worth his points. 

They don't have a ton of good fits anymore, with notable exceptions being Krueger 2 for that sweet KD tech and Baldur 1 out of theme for their synergy with the Woldwrath and Druid's Wrath (subtle much PP?).

I can also see them getting a bit more love once the Celestial Fulcrum's new rules go live, but since they can't be taken in theme, that still seems unlikely. 

Reeves of Orboros and CA:

Overall rank: 3.5

Probably the best "big" unit Circle has now, these guys are extremely versatile and can toggle between infantry clearing and denting heavies with ease thanks to ROF 2 and CRA.

The CA gives them Go to Ground, which is a once per game ability that gives the unit cover and immunity blast damage, which is money, and he also allows them to CRA into melee, which is an even bigger deal.

After Sentry Stones, these are my highest recommendation for picking up, and anyone that does so and plays them with casters such as Tanith, Baldur 1, Wurmwood, and actually basically anyone playing the Wild Hunt theme will reeve their rewards in short orboros.

Sentry Stone and Mannikins:

Overall rank: 4.0

These were the breakout unit at the beginning of Mark 3, and they're still (post nerf) the rock upon which most Circle lists are built. The mannik build up of anger towards them pre-nerf, while perhaps unwarranted, led to a much more balanced unit, and they are still capable of more than earning their points back every game. 

With the ability to boost, recur endlessly, and stay relevant late into the game, this unit guards the highest spot on the Circle infantry totem with very little in the way of contenders. They're one of the few ways we have to proc prowl outside of table terrain, they keep casters safe, and they kill solos and infantry while maintaining the ability to dent heavies if they need to. 

They're going out of style a bit with the many themes that cannot take them, but they're always sentrily located in my battlefoam whenever I take a bunch of models to game night with no clear idea of what I'm playing. 

Shifting Stones (and CA if I must):

Overall rank: 3.0

Circle's fury management! Seriously though, these used to be the defining feature of the faction, increasing the threat range of most of our heavies by about an inch and allowing us to do some truly unique things. 

Now, with the shift to completely within 8 inches for their teleport, they are nowhere near as useful for threat extension as they used to be (except with Loki). 

Now, though, they're excellent fury management and healing, all for three points. 

Don't bother with the CA unless you're playing Kaya 3 or Morvahana 2, as Prowl is nowhere near as good as Stealth, and he will keep on looking pretty on your shelf. 

Stoneward and Woldstalkers:

Overall rank: 1.0

Take a Woldwyrd. Take two units of Sentry Stones. Don't let your warcasters offspring become wards of the Circle by playing this unit. They're bad, and I never consider them, preferring to stalk my bag with other models. 

Tharn Blood Pack:

Overall rank: 0.0

I can't think of a reason to play this unit, and tharn't enough good puns to make out of them to unpack an entire paragraph of text to cover it. 

Tharn Bloodtrackers and Nuala:

Overall rank: 2.5

I'm going to draw a lot of criticism for this, but I don't think this unit is very good either right now. They die to a stiff breeze, Stealth mitigation is everywhere, and without Reposition (formerly reform), they just don't track with their point cost.

Furthermore, the meta has really shifted away from infantry and towards armor skew, meaning that there's less punch behind boosted POW 9s or 11s compared to mark 2.

I take them with Baldur, Wurmwood, and Mohsar, and these are all occasional at best. Their only real saving grace is for the Tharn theme list, where they are the best way to get free points without paying points for garbage models.

Tharn Bloodweavers:

Overall rank: 2.0

These guys lost basically everything interesting about them in the transition, and now I take them solely as souls for Wurmwood, Sands of Fate targets for Mohsar, or as a way to apply Grievous Wounds if I haven't managed to weave Alten or a Nightwitch into my list. 

They kill infantry really well, but so does everything in the faction. They're speed seven, but with a half inch melee range they threat a static 10.5 inches - hardly anything to get the blood up. 

Tharn Ravagers and CA:

Overall rank: 2.0

I am aware that there's a Tharn theme list out there with two units of these, and for the life of me I can't understand why it does well at all. Anti-infantry is so good right now, and these guys have paper thin stats on the defensive end. 

When they do manage to 1) get across the table and 2) make it to a unit or light warbeast, they'll tear through them just fine, but topping out at PS 13 (15 with a couple casters) is just...not great. 

I'm definitely going to get ravaged for this one, but I just cannot recommend these guys the vast majority of the time. 

Tharn Wolf Riders:

Overall rank: 2.0

Hey look, Tharn that are niche and not great! What else is new? 

These guys are fast, moderately accurate, and have decent output against their assaulted target. That being said, they're PS NINE. I'm not interesting in paying 3.6 points PER MODEL for a PS 9 weaponmaster attack with garbage defensive stats. 

And defensively, 14/14 is not going to save these from basically anything that wants to shoot at them, and annoyance is a cute ability, but again, a warbeast just needs to boost to hit and then pretty much auto kill on damage. 

Warpborn Skinwalkers and Alpha:

Overall rank: 3.0

Probably the best heavy infantry in Hordes, these guys are still a bit disappointing. Trading off rapid strike for gang is...interesting at best, awful at worst. The small attack volume is a serious drawback, especially when the unit costs as much as a pricey heavy when the CA is included in the cost. 

Relentless Charge is nice, and if often means that they're charging forward every turn rather than running up the table, definitely not warpspeed by any means. Hyper-regeneration walks their survivability up a touch, but, like most healing effects in this game, there has to be a model on the table still for it to matter. 

I like them with both Baldurs, Morvahna 1 and 2 if you're interested in playing with them, and Grayle if you're going to play him in Wild Hunt. 

Wolves of Orboros and CA:

Overall rank: 2.5 to 3.0

Before the Wild Hunt theme, I would have given these guys a solid 1.5, but with the addition of possible Ambush, suddenly this is a unit to be feared in the right scenarios. 

I still find it a little (a lot) silly that their fluff blurb describes their spears as capable of "piercing the thickest of Armor" when the models are PS 9 with only one turn of weaponmaster a game. 

CMA helps with that a touch, but these guys get one turn of decent-ness before fading back into pillow-fisted obscurity. They, like most of Circle's units, have victim defensive stats and won't survive long once they're engaged. 


Out of all of the main frustrations I have with the faction, our limited, nay, nonexistent infantry choices for competitive play remains the biggest thorn. 

Is it any wonder that Circle lists all feature 60 ish points of battlegroup? (not that that's saying much, that's basically three beasts)

We need a serious slew of releases OR a dedicated Circle infantry/beast CID in order for this to change anytime soon. Nothing short of that or the game randomly swinging 100% back to infantrymachine is going to change that.