14 November 2011

Baka's Domination reaction corner - War Wagon

Welcome all to the second of my planned series of Domination reaction corners, today I am going to be looking at and giving my reactions to the War Wagon, the Trollblood battle engine released in Domination.

War Wagon
Statistically it draws a great many comparisons to the Khador Gun Carriage, with identical SPD, DEF, MAT, RAT and points cost with one less ARM but two more POW on the mount attack.  However the similarities end there, in place of the ranged weapons on the Gun Carriage we boast a Scattergunner spray and the Pounder, a RNG10 AOE5 POW16 gun with Quake and Arcing Fire.

Similarly to the Gun Carriage, the War Wagon is a Cavalry battle engine and also boasts the same Weapon Platform, Trampling Hooves and Power Attack: Trample rules as its Khadoran counterpart.  Similarly the mount attack boasts automatic knockdown, however unlike the Gun Carriage it also ramps up the mount attacks to POW14 and has Horthol's amazing Linebreaker ability.  This ability alone makes the War Wagon far more devastating on the charge than the Gun Carriage while losing relatively little in terms of ranged firepower.

Baka's Reaction
I love the War Wagon, every ability that it has is awesome and fits thematically plus the model is superb.  I see the War Wagon and see warlock protection, tactical flexibility and incredible assassination potential rolled into one.

First and foremost it is a battle engine, this means that just by being what it is, the War Wagon is immune to slams, throws, pushes and knockdowns.  Besides that it boasts a formidable 22 damage boxes and an ARM value easily boosted to 21, even 23 if you are prepared to take an Earthborn and Janissa.  This makes it the perfect LoS screen for some of our squishier casters or as the center piece of a brick.

Secondly it is a cavalry model, this means that it has impact attacks at MAT6+3d6 thanks to line breaker and can charge a target behind any model on a small base size than its own.  However because it is a cavalry model, it also has access to the ride by attack ability, allowing it to interrupt its movement at any point to perform its combat action before using up its remaining movement.  This allows some of our casters (such as Jarl) to effectively allow it to move 4 1/2 inches, attack (including all its guns) and then fall back another 4 1/2 inches if under the effects of quicken.  On top of being a cavalry model, it also has built in Pathfinder thanks to being a battle engine, allowing it to shrug off rough terrain with impunity.

Finally the assassination potential.  Linebreaker is the major difference here between why the War Wagon is a great assassination tool and the Gun Carriage not so much so.  MAT6+3d6 will hit DEF16 on averages, and if that attack hits then the other 3 attacks that follow will virtually be guaranteed hits, and on averages an ARM17 caster will take a total of 19 damage from all four blows.

Fitting the War Wagon into existing lists
Any list which uses a beast brick of some form (like pMadrak) will easily be able to find the battle engine a home, as will any warlock who struggles for fury while still wanting a large concentration of firepower in a relatively small area.

Similarly, any warlock who loves the Impaler (such as Jarl, Gunnbjorn, Grim) will also love the War Wagon.  At RNG14 it becomes a lot more likely that the War Wagon will be able to aim his Pounder and get that RAT up to a far more useful value of 7, allowing it to hit DEF14 on average rolls.

The problem with a base as large as the War Wagons, is that collateral damage from its impact attacks against friendly models can be somewhat difficult to avoid.  Luckily enough for us we have a unit that are immune to impact attacks in the hugely popular Fennblades, who happen to make most lists anyway due to their sheer awesomeness and low monetary cost.

Unfortunately the only way we have to buff its MAT is via Carnage with pMadrak or Calamity from pGrissel, so its also a great option if you only wish to run a single Fell Caller (or as with my pGrissel lists none at all).  The War Wagon's own abilities are all it really needs to have an impact on the battle field.

Sample List
eMadrak (-5)
> Bomber (10)
> Impaler (5)
War Wagon (9)
War Wagon (9)
Max Burrowers (6)
Min KSB and Scribes (3)
Max Fennblades (8)
> UA (2)
Fell Caller Hero (3)

First look at this list tells you it isn't a typical eMadrak list.  However you lose the cheap expendable infantry to protect eMadrak by instead using the two War Wagons and Bomber to screen him with the KSB behind him operating as a last ditch Grim Salvation sponge.

It still packs a massive melee punch in the form of maximum units of both Fennblades and Burrowers, but what it also has is an extremely viable drop and pop assassination potential.  It only takes one shot from the battle engines to hit, and suddenly eMadrak can pop his feat and the enemy caster is looking at 5 POW16s and 2 boostable POW16s at range.  If the opportunity comes for one of the War Wagons to charge a caster, then assassination is almost guaranteed.

1 comment:

  1. Great article! Thanks for taking the time to write it. I am really looking forward to getting this BE, love the model and rules. Plus it is only 8pts in eGrissel's tier! BTW, are you planning to do an article on her tier? I would love to read it.