21 July 2010

Calandra, the sexiest caster on the PP line- A guide on how to use her... oh baby - by Vash1318

My donation to the troll tactica forum for all who wish to listen... read, will be for my favorite caster, Calandra.

The Intro: so to begin, this wonderful lady is Calandra Thruthsayer, Oracle of Glimmerwood. She is one of our support casters, along with E Doomy, or Grissle, but instead of finding a niche solely in infantry or beasts, our pretty lock finds a awkward but nice place in the middle.

Stats: A very pitiful warlock statline, she is as fast as e doomy, which is slow for most casters, has low str, very low mat and rat for a caster (and even base infantry models) and a low def and arm for a warlock, so be careful because if you are playing on a game table with weather and you make rules for a slight breeze on a sunny day, she might get killed before the enemy gets there. The thing that makes up for all of this is a wonderful but rare fury 7, planting her in her niche of support caster, allowing her to stay back to stay safe and still having plenty of range for ctrl spells and keeping beasts under control. To finish she has a very simple beast point amount, equal to e maddy or borka.

Weapons: she has a knife, its not too good, its got a low pow, and it gets extra dice against models already hurt, but unless she is killing something directly endangering her, and you cant somehow have something else take care of it, you will never use it. I had something like over 10 games with her before i ever used it once.....

Abilities/ Feat: Now the good stuff, as i said she is a support caster, but i also said she does not really support solely infantry or beasts, this will lead you to ask, "well vash1318, what does she support", well im glad you asked, and pay attention, IN A GAME OF DICE, CALANDRA SUPPORTS DICE. we will start with her ability that isnt the one that every troll model minus whelps get... which is

Fate Blessed- Once per roll of an attack or damage roll our wonderful beauty may drop a fury to literally buy a reroll for a in faction model in her control area. This can be used one of two ways. On the long shot, trying to get that last important roll in a win or lose scenario because you were losing terribly but managed to squeak by and need a 11 or 12 on two dice and you failed the first time but GOOD NEWS, you can buy another... you will probably still fail, but hey it was another try. Or the better use, if silly snake eyes decide to try and mess up your day, you can say "i play calandra, and she supports dice".

Then there is her wonderful amazing SUPER AWESOME FEAT

Good Omens- ALL FRIENDLY (yes minions too) models in her control area gain wonderful rerolls of all 1s and 2s on the attack and damage rolls, once per die of course. See sevs wonderful table for the exact numbers of how this helps, but your chances, to crit go bananas and your average is raised from 7 to roughly a 9 on 2 dice. I will talk about just how good this is when i get to specific models but if you cant tell why this is great already i plea you to keep reading.

Spells: Now i have addressed just how this caster supports dice, and though she does it magnificently, if it was all she did it would not be enough. Onto a wonderful spell list

Soothing Song: a simple beast control spell, can let you run beasts a little hot if you need to and pull some fury off beasts for a low cost spell

Force Blow: a long range, hand cannon pow, knockdown spell. Hit a model, damage it, and it goes down, easy enough, a cost 3 will steer you away from it some games, but it has its uses.

Befuddle: OH A WONDERFUL spell, if this long range spell hits, watch as you gain the ability to move the ENEMY model hit (except warcasters and locks) up to 3 inches as you choose (which means you can also face them anyway you wish). This allows you to move models in and out of charge lanes, free up models in combat that you need out of combat, pull models into range, put them backwards for free strikes, stand them on their head if your opponent will let you , the possibilities are limitless, a great spell for a measly 2 cost that will find uses every time "that dam model is in the way". NOTE- befuddled models can not be targeted by free strikes.

Bullet Doger: a small def buffer against shooting to keep a single model safe. It is an upkeep and will also allow your model a 2 inch movement per missed shot on it which is immune to free strikes and normally best used to try and get your model out of range of the rest of what will be shooting it, weather the solution is out of range or into further cover or even out of sight. This spell is nifty for solos you need alive, or to keep your frail calandra safe from sneaky ranged assassin lists.

Star Crossed: one of her top spells, she does not only support your dice, but screws your opponents, for a 3 cost, this ctrl range spell does essentially the opposite of vlads signs and portent, thought the enemy must be in the control, instead of just your models and it only effects attack rolls, not damage. They must roll an extra and drop the highest. This drops the average on 2 dice to 5. Making your normally low def trolls very hard to hit. This spell might seem weak, due to its effect on only attack rolls, but you will see, just as calandra, makes you feel secure by allowing you to feel safe and secure with those random cube doohickeys in your hand, what was a worry for your opponent, just became worse, there will be more snake eyes, more low rolls, and of course less hits all together on your very lucky trolls, your opponent will now need to boost everything he wants to hit instead of being able to trust averages. This will make his infantry weak and spread his fury or focus very thin. 

Beast Synergies:

The winter troll- he is and has been terrible, but under her feat, his spray is a useful tool... unfortunately there are still many better choices for our sexy caster to use, so your winter troll can keep gathering dust.

The Pyre Troll- Just like the winter, her feat helps his AOE hit better and deal more damage, but also like the winter, there are better options... leave him at home.

The Slag Troll- In a friendly game, or a list you are tailoring to combat warmachine, this guy will wreck jacks under her feat. 4 dice spit (do to boost) with rerolling 1s and 2s, or paying for fate blessed to reroll a all around terrible roll, that my friends is a good thing.

The Swamp Troll- Though he has not been out enough for me to fool around with too much, i see immediate synergies. Calandras feat and fate blessed increases chances for crits which means he will be crit consuming many models . Also his animus is very good for calandra and can bring her def against shooting to a wonderful 18 when paired with bullet dodger.

The Axer- Just like the other lights his damage output will raise, on a better note than the pyre or winter, his thresher becomes a very very scary tool under her feat, allowing you to probably clear, even def 14 units.

The Impaler- just as the swamp troll this is also a very good light to take with her. Her ability to increase your chances to crits means more smites and more board control. His animus is also great for some of the heavies i will try to convince you to take.

all and all, if you are gonna take lights with her, i recommend the guys that already work, as she makes them even better, swamp, axer, and impaler.

The DTM- The troll stand by heavy. It is great at making things dead, calandra makes it even better at making things dead with near guaranteed superb rolls.

The EBDT- subtract the "the troll stand by heavy" part from above, the rest applies to this guy too.

The Bomber- Well if the bomber wasnt enough for you already, lets do the math. Under calandras feat, your average roll raises to a 9ish. that means on his normally ok blast damage of 8, you go from needing to roll below average to kill very light infantry, average to kill medium, and near perfect to kill shield wall, to you will kill medium infantry and it is very possible to even kill shield wall infantry with simply blast damage alone. "wow vash1318, i can really kill shield wall infatry with blast damage?" well sir i wouldnt guarantee it, but i have done it in tight spots i would more like to stress the ability for this to crack armor 15 to 16 rather easily. "But are you saying that it still really only good at killing troopers then?" NO SILLY, the bomber has much larger targets. Thanks to calandras feat, your bombers rolls sky rocket, this guy can and will put a large amount of damage on even khador heavies on her feat turn, and will be able to hit casters (with a boost) up to def 16 pretty regularly, and the damage it will put on the caster with a direct hit under calandra's feat is amazing. and even if you have already used the feat, fate blessed is wonderful to use in case you have a lame snake eyes roll when trying to put some heavy damage on a caster. This guy is great with calandra, i cant stress it enough.

The blitzer- Though his unreliable rof can be scary calandra makes this guy very good. he just as reliably as the bomber under her feat and that pow 13 shot is alot more dangerous with her re roll abilities. I have used him to finish off units the bomber just barely didn't, finish off heavies the bomber put heavy damage on (ive killed the death jack from 12 inches out with these to guys twice now) and even made caster kills with him. If any caster can make the blitzer shine, calandra can, where grim will only make him hit better, she will even make his damage output great.

Mulg- Hypothetically, if Mulg couldn't kill things he didn't like on his own, calandra would make him good at it... luckily we live in a world where nukes are still scary, and so is mulg. If PP comes out with something heavier than a devastator, you will need mulg and calandra, i dont see this happening, so he is normally not worth the points with her.

In short she make our shooting beasts great, but hey, if you wanna get creative, try and melee mashem up list, your beasts damage will be very high and star crossed makes def 12 hard to hit for mat 5 and 6 models.

unit and solo synergies

Kriel Warriors- Our go to base unit, this doesnt get complicated, calandra's idea remains the same, support dice, kill opponents dice. Your kriels will hit more accurate and harder than the do even under fervor and star crossed will keep them alive, though a fell caller and a SSC or KSB can do that so its nothing to write home about.

KSBs- Calandra's got a lot of fury to throw around so these guys can see some action in her lists if you want, hell, star crossed is already making things hard to hit, making em hard to damage too might just make your opponent cry... not to mention star crossed will keep these guys alive better than any other troll caster can.

Thumper- nothing worth mentioning

Champions- THERE POWER LEVEL UNDER THE FEAT IS OVER 9,000... they will do alot of damage, but there cost is so high there are better infantry choices for her and i will get to them.

Fennblades- unfortunately fate blessed is restricted to re rolls during activation otherwise re rolling vengeance attacks would be the nuts. unfortunately this is not the case so they receive about as much of a buff as kriel warriors, though you can hope that star crossed makes it hard for them to kill many, ive gotten lucky many times and only lost one guy a turn and had great vengeance turns thanks to star crossed keeping the unit alive.

Long Riders- her ability to increase amount of crits means your mounts will knock more things down, a viable choice with her, though delivering them could be hard and large bases could get in the way of the bomber you should be taking and the blitzer i recommend.

Troll Runehapers- I believe a very good choice with her. Nothing in our army can increase there ability to hit and damage output, which is why its so high, but calandra can, this very above average unit turns amazing on her feat turn, reliably hitting def 14 and 15, and even hitting 16 pretty often. The increase in crits do to the amount of re rolls you can get means more knockdowns on the rockhammers, and then those nice pow 14 aoe 3 attacks will be outputting alot of damage. They are a very viable assassination tool. I give them a huge thumbs up for our sexy mistress

Scattergunners- This unit is still in a shouting match whether spd 6 makes them good or if there rat is simply too low, but under her feat those sprays can do alot, i havent been brave enough to try it, but if you could deliver those guys safely, them sprays could be a force to reckon with.

Pyg Burrowers- See Sevwall's burrownomicon, come back to this thread after and keep reading.

Pyg Bushwackers- the low rat hurts em, but breaking them into pairs for cra, under her feat they could be quite good, considering you have just read the burrownomicon, and are still drooling over them i doubt you feel the need to take these pygs at all.

Fell Caller- Well he is a great support in almost every list, her feat will make his chance to hit and damage output, be it melee or spray, amazing. Take the fell caller more based on what you take with calandra, not because you have calandra.

SSC- Considering how hard tale of mist can make your units to hit, to throw starcrossed on the plate is kinda mean to the person your playing with. Like the fell caller and many buffer solos for the trolls, you take him depending on whats in your army, not whos leading it.

Trollkin Champion Hero- DAMAGE OVER 9,000!!!!, if you need a three point wrecking machine, on her feat turn, his thresher will hit anything, and the amount of damage he will deal is sheer insanity.

Whelps-.... if you run alot of beasts, take whelps, Calandra has pretty much no effect on them at all.....

Horthol- along with linebreaker and her feat, your longriders are critting machine, expect to knock things down, as i type this i am tempted to simply fool around with long riders, horthol and calandra, just to see how many models i can Knock Down XD.

The Runebearer: Calandra is a pretty fury efficient lock, this guy only helps, the fact is, you will be casting star crossed almost every turn, to have it cost 2 for most turns, and on your feat turn when you will need animi and befuddles to go around, getting a free farstrike on that bomber or a forceblow on a caster for free, might be the game winner, and the means to leave calandra enough fury to keep starcrossed up in case things don't go well on that turn when you are supposed to roll amazing.

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