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Old August 25th, 2009, 09:32 PM
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Re: Looking at "Other" Melee Armies, and Raelin Musings

OK, to continue my discussion....

Romans / Warlords

The Romans are another melee-based army that's been somewhat overlooked now that the Knights are so popular. As the point toals increase, the cheap Romans begin to look less and less attractive. The only Special Power that the Romans / Warlords have that gets around Raelin / Rats is Me-Burq-Sa's Paralyzing Stare, which is pretty unreliable. However, they do benefit from the smaller maps, but they also benefit greatly from Raelin. Again, the Romans have a tendency to cluster up, thanks to Shield Wall and Marcus' attack boost, making Raelin look more appealing. Their base defense of 2 also makes Raelin look like a good helper, and even though they get up to 4 from Shield Wall, if one dies that number can drop.

Plus, it should be remembered that Marcus is one of the very few Heroscape units that can grant an attack bonus to ranged figures. Both the Airborne Elite, 4th Massachusettes Line and 10th Regiment of Foot can get a nice boost from him. The cheap price tag of the Romans allows them to draft some ranged support while matching numbers with the Knights or Orcs. At 500 points, a cute little army might be:

Marcus - 100
Romans x3 - 250 (or drop a squad for MBS)
Airborne Elite - 360 (could also sub for Valguard)
4th Massachusettes Line x2 - 500

Sacred Band / Warlords

I could say many of the same things about the Sacred Band, but they don't benefit nearly as much from Raelin as the Romans do. They need Parmenio to discipline her, and their strength lies in being able to spread out. They're better suited to draft a bunch of ranged, disciplined soldiers IMO.

Dwarves

The Dwarves are still a wildcard in my eyes. They seem to me like a slightly weaker version of Knights - a 70 point, 4 figure squad that can get better movement and has a solid hero. They have a metagame advantage if heroes like Q9, Nilfheim and Braxas get more popular in favor of squads. Raelin helps Migol's One Shield Defense, and can be of some help to the Dwarves if they want to utilize the bonding and only move 4 spaces, staying close to Migol, but its not my favorite place for her amongst melee armies. She might have some value alongside the Krav here though to draw the opponent in, so that the Dwarves can become engaged and not lose anything to activate Migol.

Zombies

Ahhh.... the Zombies. One of the more underrated units in my opinion. When considering the 4 reasons the Orcs performed so well, the Zombies popped into my head as well. Lets take a look again:

1) Rats - the Zombies are one of the few melee squads afforded a Special Attack, which can prevent Scatter. Also, Deathreavers are Small and not Undead, making them vulnerable to Zombies Rise Again. Plus, if the Deathreavers tie down the Zombies, Horde Movement will allow them to move up reinforcements while still attacking the Rats. It actually seems like a good situation for the Zombies.
2) Smaller maps - that oncoming horde of Zombies looks a lot scarier when it starts closer to you.
3) Ignore Raelin's Aura - Zombie Onslaught is usually strong enough to pierce Raelin's Aura. If you can get into Onslaught position, the Zombies can just attack right through her.
4) Raelin makes sense - if there's any melee squad in the game that Raelin makes sense for, this is it. Horde Movement has Raelin written all over it. The slow Zombies can move 6 figures at a time and not very far - the perfect situation for Raelin to fly out and wait as the Zombies shamble into her aura. Then, once they reach the enemy, Raelin can help keep the engaged figures alive so that reinforcements can move up while the engaged Zombies attack. Plus, if Raelin is close enough to protect the engaged Zombies, any Zombies that Rise Again may very well also be in her Aura! Raelin is a must-draft alongside the Zombies. On small maps at 500 points, this army might be quite intimidating...

Raelin - 80
Zombies x7 - 500

Dividers

Again, another wildcard army because I haven't really seen a lot of results yet. But, the Dividers seem to have the survivability to be a real melee force.

I don't think Raelin is too great an asset to the Dividers, but she might be quite a psychological force with them. Between their decent base defense of 3 and Cell Divide, the Dividers can seem annoying enough to kill. Raelin can increase that annoyance, as well as casting her aura over any new Dividers lucky enough to be reborn. At only 3 attacks per Order Marker and 3 figures moving, they might have some issues though. Further playtesting is in order.

One thing that, out of these armies only the Dwarves have, is the presence of a hard-hitting Hero with a bunch of life for Raelin to protect, just like dok pointed out. I think that was one thing that made the Orcs so dangerous - the inability to kill Grimnak quickly before he could wreak havoc. That's where she's at her best - when those extra shields she provides actually help more often due to squad figures "excess skull immunity". However, the Romans, Band and Zombies all have ways to get big attacks - just no big target for Raelin to protect. But, that's the point (at least with the Romans and Zombies anyway) - Raelin can be useful to them even without that big target.

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