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Juice up the Steamroller??

Posted August 31st, 2010 at 01:33 PM by Filthy the Clown
With 10 of the top 16 armies in Gencon 2010 playing melee-heavy, ratless armies, and with the focus on melee in D2 and D3 units (along with heroes), does the Gladiator-powered Steamroller have more validity in today's tournament scene?

Although inspired Gladiators have the stats to shred, their weaknesses have been related to their
  1. lack of numbers ~200 point Spartacus is a must, and that leaves room for only 3 squads of Capuan Gladiators, and a hero, in a standard point value of 500.
  2. Vulnerability to rats and other screens that rely on a special attack to eradicate them.

With an increase of new heroes and melee squads, and the lack of points available for consumption after said heroes/squads have been paid for points-wise, the gladiators could potentially have an increase in usage. With that in mind, is it worth forsaking Gladiator Inspiration early in the game to add a rat-hacker to your build? And, is it better to add another squad of inspired gladiators, rather than a second gladiator hero?

For example, the standard build, at 500, usually involves:

Spartacus 200
Crixus 290
Cap. Glad. x 3 500, 11 spaces

~This build can rock on the right map, and against the right build, but otherwise gets bogged down by rats and whittled down by superior numbers.

Speculative builds that could help the gladiators:

Spartacus 200
CG x 3 410
Heirloom 500, 11 spaces (or Repulsors x 2/490, 16 spaces)

~You are sacrificing a gladiator hero for a viable rat cleaning option. Initial order markers are spent on moving up your anti-rat units. The key is to have a leading unit that will be enough of a threat to force your opponent into moving up her rat screen. With 90 points left in a standard 500 point build, your special attackers/anti-rat options lean towards units such as Kumiko. Hierloom, Wyrmlings, and Repulsors. You are effectively moving your gladiators to the mid-game, so you want something that will be able to absorb a bit of damage, or thin out screens from a safe range. The downside is that you lose any board control that early gladiator movement earns you, but you can counter this by creating paths through your opponent's rat screen.

Another option involves going with more warm bodies:

Spartacus 200
CG x 4 480
Marcu 500, 14 spaces

~You are again forsaking a rat cleaner, but you gain safety in numbers, as well as a glyph grabber/wound soak in Marcu, if the need arises.

Either option allows for a bit more flexibility in the evolution of melee-heavy builds, as well as helping to make the gladiators a bit more playable.

I would love to hear about your experiences with Gladiator builds: what works, what doesn't work, and your own suggestions.
Total Comments 16


Filthy the Clown's Avatar
Thanks for the update, MegaSilver. I added your additions. As for Dupuis, it sounds like your opponent might have drafted that particular army with the bonding anticipation. I wonder what the build would have been otherwise.
Posted September 21st, 2010 at 10:51 AM by Filthy the Clown Filthy the Clown is offline
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