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Examining the Guard Class in Heroscape Part 6: Chainfighter

Posted August 12th, 2010 at 11:24 PM by Filthy the Clown
Unique abilities tend to add a bit of flavor to strategies, leading away from the standard, mundane battle plan of moving forward and attacking. With that in mind, the newest member of the guard class adds a powerful and interesting ability, and with nothing more than a length of chain. Enter the Drow Chainfigher, a highly mobile guard unit with the ability to pull distant units into adjacency.

Drow Chainfighter

The drow chainfighter looks like he stepped out of a Judas Priest video, but don't let appearances fool you: he is a sturdy (and relatively inexpensive) member of the guard class, and he brings a unique offensive special to the table: the Chain Grab. With a modest d20 roll, one can deny the enemy's small or medium figures the advantage of choice terrain. This is a powerful ability, useful for snagging units from height, moving Raelin or other heroes into engagement strike (and out of a protective aura), removing threats from your assets, throwing units into lava (just remember that the snagged figure needs to end up on the same-level as the chainfighter), and other fun methods of mayhem. As a member of the Drow race, the chainfighter also benefits from Hide in Darkness, which increases his chances of surviving attacks.

Despite the obvious advantages of chain grab, you should also rely on your opponent's perception of what the chainfighter can do. With this in mind, simply moving a chainfighter up can force an opponent into a move that can benefit you (hastily moving Raelin back; spending more costly order markers to move rats up, and so forth). An X order marker on a chainfighter can go a long way in slowly hacking away at your opponent's mental conditioning.

To round off your 25 point investment, the chainfighter is also resilient. With Hide in Darkness, a good d20 roll (and a whole lot of shadow tile) can let your chainfighter ignore wounds. This ability helps to offset the limitation of only one attack per OM, and further cements the use of your chainfighter as a 'shock factor' unit, encouraging your opponent to take irrational acts...Which not only limits his strategic ability, but also helps to protect your key assets.

To recap: 6/4/4 stats, Hide in Darkness, Chain Grab, and scare factor; this is a bargain for 25 points.

Successful Builds:

Robber went 4-1, placing 3rd in the Maryland Collecters Corner tournament with:
10th regiment x3, Raelin, Fen Hydra, Drow Chainfighter

Matthias used the following build in Heroes vs. Squads 2010:
Warden - 90
Chain Fighter x 13 - 415
1-2-1 (12th place)


Gen Con 2010 Heroes Only:
Jotun - 225
Krug - 345
Shurrak - 505
Marcu - 525
Chain fighter - 550
5-0 (1st place)

Speculative Builds:

Brunak 110
Chain x2 160
Stingers x 4 400
Raelin 480, 17 spaces
~Brunak hauls the chainfighter, which will hopefully threaten your opponent enough that he targets your chain while you move up stingers, or keeps Raelin backstage. An X OM should do the trick. When your chains die, haul Raelin around, using Blood Hungry to clear rats and approaching melee from your stingers.

Gladiatrons x3 240
Blastatrons x2 360
Warden 816 450
Chainfighter x2 500, 23 spaces
~ A guard-heavy build; use your chainfighters to snag units into the waiting claws of the gladiatrons, where your blasts can blow them to smithereens. Six movement for blasts, and seven movement for your chainfighters means that you will have highly mobile guard units, also protected by soulborg immunities and Hide in Darkness. Save the Warden for the end-game.

Prison Chain Gang:
The Warden = 90
Prison walls (Granite Guardians) x3 = 390
The chain gang (Drow chain fighters). x4 = 490
Prison administrators(Krav Maga) 590
Escape artist (Isamu) = 600, 18 spaces
~Watch Escape from Alcatraz, Lockdown and Shawshank Redemption, and then play this prison hardened army. Get mad as hell, and let them know that you won't take it any more!

Closing Points:
  • The chainfighter has a Wild personality, so go crazy. Attack random enemies occasionally, mix up your order markers, and keep your opponent guessing as to who will feel the wrath of your chain.
  • You don't have to attack the figure you chain grab. Sometimes it can pay dividends to just tie the figure up and deny scatter, remove a glyph guarder, and so forth.
  • With Warden 816 in your army, your chainfighters get a movement of 7, which can be used to easily place your chainfighters in strategic locations.
  • Pulling enemy units into engagement strike can be a useful strategy, so don't forget to draft units like the Nakita Agents, Major X17, and the Greater Ice Elemental.
Examining the Guard Class Part 1
Examining the Guard Class Part 2
Examining the Guard Class Part 3
Examining the Guard Class Part 4
Examining the Guard Class Part 5
Total Comments 6


S1R_ART0R1US's Avatar
The DC did work for me in my last tournament. HiD is great for a cleanup figure (how I used him). Nice review. He's a good filler (but I'm not sure if he's better than Marcu.
Posted August 13th, 2010 at 12:31 AM by S1R_ART0R1US S1R_ART0R1US is offline
Fedex worker's Avatar
Mika Connour really helps these guys.
Posted August 13th, 2010 at 02:01 AM by Fedex worker Fedex worker is offline
Filthy the Clown's Avatar
I would also prefer Marcu for filler, as he makes a worthy wound-soak. Eternal Hatred always tends to flare up in the end-game, so having a cheap end-game unit with death defying abilities, like the chainfighter, gives me a bit more of a warm, fuzzy feeling.

Good point in regards to Mika. The chainfighter can set the stage for Shadow Ambush.

I also neglected to mention Lloth's Wrath, which could be a viable option once your chainfighter has chain grabbed a key opponent. I don't think that I would put my faith in it, though.
Posted August 13th, 2010 at 10:30 AM by Filthy the Clown Filthy the Clown is offline
rednax's Avatar
What about some Chainfighters with Tor-Kul-Na?

TKN 220
Warden 816 90
Marrden Nagrubs x3 90
Chain Fighters x4 100
Total 500/15

Posted August 13th, 2010 at 07:24 PM by rednax rednax is offline
Filthy the Clown's Avatar
It sounds good. TKN + 3 (7-movement) grubs is solid, and the Warden makes a decent end-game figure, but I am not sure if 4 chainfighters can be justified in this build? It might make more sense to either add anti-range (Krav?), or add range in general (Marro Warriors as a substitute for 2 chain fighters, perhaps?). Actually, I like the sound of the MW; lead with them and the chainfighters, with the goal of drawing your opponent out to advantageous terrain. Then, bring in the hivelord and let loose with Trample Stomp. In this case, the chainfighters are going to be more of a diversion, drawing away fire from your hivelord...But with 7 movement, the occasional OM can help you snag a glyph-grabber.
Posted August 14th, 2010 at 12:36 PM by Filthy the Clown Filthy the Clown is offline
dok's Avatar
With 190+ points left after TKN+grubsx3, I'm looking to either back those guys up with Raelin, or add something that disrupts opposing ranged squads. I like the majors or the Krav in this role; I'm less sold on the Marro Warriors because ranged commons tend to pick them off pretty quickly.

I like the Phantom Knight build because not only do the PKs do a good job thinning out opposing ranged squads, but the PKs that are still alive when I switch my OMs to TKN are still sitting on the high ground, which forces my opponents to go to level ground if they want to shoot at stompy.

The biggest drawback to the chainfighter is that he isn't Marcu, and Marcu is great if you have glyphs in play (especially wound). But the DC is almost certainly the best of the three 25 point common heroes, and can easily earn his points on any map where he can get within three hexes of key choke points or high ground on his first activation.
Posted August 16th, 2010 at 12:27 PM by dok dok is online now
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