10 December 2013

Janissa Stonetide: Or Rockwall on a Stick!

Janissa Stonetide: 
Or Rockwall on a Stick!
by GreenJello

Janissa is probably one of our most useful solos, practically an auto include in a number of troll lists by virtue of her Wall of Stone ability. However, she's a lot more versatile than just a wall on a stick.

Battlefield Role
She's primarily a support solo with some interesting combat applications.

Wall on a Stick
Her ability to generate a linear obstical is borderline broken. It allows our casters to gain +4 DEF vs Ranged Attacks, +2 DEF vs Reach Melee, and virtual immunity to regular melee units. It also enables the Earthborn Dire Troll's Transmute to add +2 ARM, enabling the beast brick strategy.

Magic Attacks
Trolls as a faction are lacking in magic attacks, which some solos and units in the game can often exploit with impunity against us. Janissa provides a short ranged AOE3" POW14, and her melee weapon is also magical.

Melee Finisher
Her melee weapon is armor piecing, allowing her to threaten medium or large based models. She's not going to drop anything her self, but she can certainly step in an finish off something that's been damaged by other models. If she fails to finish it, it's now locked in place, and she must be dealt with, often forcing the target to waste it's attacks on a 3 pt solo, rather than the softer targets it was going after. This can be a good trade on a Gargossal, or even a regular heavy.

She's got the same stats as a Kriel Warrior with +1 MAT, and 8 damage boxes. Her magic ability is an amazing 8, the highest, or one of the highest in the game. She also has built in Pathfinder, which is always nice.

Force Lock
Prevents models from leaving melee with her. Further she allows all Runeshapers to also gain this ability. It can come as quite a surprise to a number of people who haven't run into it before. First, it prevent running past her, and just suffering a free strike, even if the model is immune to free strikes. Second, it prevents cavalry from progressing past her unless they kill her via the impact attack. It can be a big kick in the pants to models that are dependent on side step, such as Molik Karn, since just hit her isn't enough.

Rock Hammer
Short ranged magic AOE attack with critical knock down. Her outstanding magical ability means she's likely going to hit whatever she's shooting at, and do some serious damage. However the short range means she'll be charged and killed if she didn't drop her target.

Tectonic Shift
Move models within 3" of her. It's situationally useful for scenario play, but often you're better off using the wall or rock hammer. Also useful for freeing up beasts and clearing charge lanes.

Wall of Stone
This is the money. Most people use her to place a rock wall every turn. It's hard to go wrong with terrain every turn, so when in doubt do this.

Her magical armor piercing attack. Her MAT and defensive stats aren't enough to make her a holy terror on the battlefield, but an Armor Piercing charge makes up for a lot of that.

All of our warlocks can make some use of a moving piece of terrain and magic attacks, to the point that character restrictions really make it hard to determine which list to put her in. To aid in that decision there are some warcasters that gain special synergy.

Since Gunnbjorn already has a rock wall, having two can make for some interesting results. First, no model may stop on a linear obstical, which really comes into play with two rock walls. It's possible to position them such that models with large or huge bases cannot move into some areas of the battlefield, slowing them, preventing charges, thus negating their offensive abilities.

Beast Brick
For any caster running a beast brick (which is often Doomshaper/Madrak) adding Janissa for Rockwall and the Earthborn Dire Troll for his Transmute animus means that 3+ models can gain an additional +2 ARM. This stacks with the +2 ARM from the Krielstone Aura for +4 ARM.

Her leadership gives them force lock as well, making for a very annoying blocking unit that must be killed or moved out of the way to gain access to support and our warlocks.

Her rock wall can help protect some of our slower infantry make it down field with some cover from enemy shooting. It's not effective with our front line unit, since they quickly outpace her, but possible for turn 1/2 for the slower units.

Slams can be guaranteed to add another die, if the wall is positioned behind the model being slammed. If the model doing the slam can boost, this can raise slam damage to a nasty 4 dice (2D6 + D6 boost + D6 from wall).

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