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Old June 18th, 2009, 08:27 AM
Tai-Pan Tai-Pan is offline
 
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Gladiators and Dwarves

I was going to post in the Q9 thread down in General Discussion, but thought perhaps my thoughts might warrant a new thread.

I was looking at the Dwarves and Gladiators, and realized there are many similarities, and, although the Gladiators seem to be pretty hyped up because of Steamroller, the Dwarves seem to have quite an advantage in certain situations. One thing to keep in mind: I wrote this comparing two armies, but not as though the two armies would be facing each other. This comparision can of course be made, but was not my intention. Think of it more like two different armies fighting the same opposition army or armies.

Starting off:



At 70 points per squad, the comparison is begging to be made. In and of themselves (not taking into account their heroes), they are similar, but with a definate advantage going to the Dwarves. Without their leader they have one more move than the Gladiators. Additionally, they have one more squad member and +1 defence and attack against large or huge figures. Gladiators do however have a +3 initiative bonus, but only if you are only using Gladiators this round. Considering this part of the analysis is about the squads independent from their heroes, all order markers on a 3/3 3 member squad may not be a good idea. The Dwarves are also able to move up to 5 hexes higher, whereas the Gladiators are limited to 4. Another advantage is the small size of the Dwarves. Being 2 hexes shorter than the Gladiators means two things. First, they will be able to hide a lot better from ranged attacks. Second, their low height is going to screw with your enemy when fighting on uneven terrain. It's not possible for a melee figure to get more than a two hex advantage on a Dwarf, and if a figure moves up to three hexes above the Dwarves (only logical for a ranged figure that is engaged), they will be taking a disengagement hit. Squad to Squad, no Heroes, the Dwarves have the definate advantage, moving faster, hitting harder, being shorter, and taking out the big stuff better than the Gladiators.

Both of these squads being bonding units, I must also consider how they work with their heroes. That being said, let's introduce the heroes:




An attentive Scaper will have realized that I left out a third Gladiator hero, Retiarus. The reason for this is threefold. First, he rarely sees the tabletop in most circles. Second, Migol Ironwill compares better to Crixus. Third, Retiarus is not featured in Steamroller, the Gladiators' renowned formation.

This portion analyzes the function of the squads bonded with their heroes. For the moment, Spartacus will only be taken into consideration for his Gladiator Inspiration. So, the Dwarves and Migol compared to the Gladiators and Crixus. Due to the inclusion and assumed use of Migol and the presence of Spartacus for the Gladiators, the stats for both units have been changed. The Dwarves are now 4/1/3/3 against small and medium figures and 4/1/4/4 against large and huge figures. The Gladiators, now being inspired, become 6/1/4/4.

Squad analysis, second go-around: This time the Gladiators have a +2 movement, a +1 defence and attack when attacking medium and small figures, and a +3 initiative advantage over the Dwarves. However, the Dwarves still have a one squad member advantage. They may not seem like much, but I will revisit this point later.

Hero analysis: Crixus and Migol are surprisingly similar. Crixus has 5 lives, with 6/1/6/4 (inspired) stats and costs 90 points. His only special ability is One Shield Defence, a highly useful ability that generally allows him to take one wound maximum. Migol shares this ability, also has five lives, but has 5/1/2*/4 stats, costs 20 points more, adds a deadly strike ability, and has the advantages of being short as discussed above. So, Crixus has a 1 move, 2 attack (Migol's attack of two with deadly strike is perceived as being an attack of 4), and 20 point advantage. Migol is short, and has a higher probability of landing a 4+ skull attack on an enemy than Crixus. I'm going to call this one as being pretty dang close.

Spartacus: Spartacus is what allows the Capuans to be better than the Dwarves in some areas, and brings Crixus to a more or less even stance with Migol. However, what is the price that comes with those enhancements? 200, one might answer right off the bat, but that would be incorrect. 200 points is not what one pays for inspired Gladiators. I imagine the correct value is right around 100 points. Spartacus himself is arguably a 100 point hero, with six lives and 5/1/6/4 stats and no special abilities. (Compare with Agent Carr and Valguard, I reckon 100 points is about right) Now the Dwarven army has one hero less, but 100 extra points that are counted towards Gladiator inspiration.

The Armies: All loaded up to be used the way the designers meant them to be, the Dwarves have a +1 squad member, being short, 80 point (Migol's cost minus Crixus' cost, plus the cost of Gladiator Inspiration) advantage, while the Gladiators have a +3 initiative, +2 move, +1 attack and defence, +1 hero advantage. Looks pretty good for the Gladiators at the moment.

Army builds (500 points):

Dwarves:
Migol Ironwill
Axegrinders x5
40 extra points

Gladiators:
Capuans x3
Crixus
Spartacus

Whoa, what happened there? For the 200 points spent on Gladiator inspiration and an extra hero, the Dwarves are able to add 2 squads and have an extra 40 points left over! That 40 points could go to a number of things to help give the Dwarves a hand against the stronger Gladiators.

The Armies Revisited: Well, in addition to already having 1 more squad member per squad on the Dwarven side, they have added two more squads. The Dwarves are running in with 20 squad members and 1 hero, while the Gladiators are only packing 9 squad members and 2 heroes. Are the statistic bonuses the Gladiators are receiving enough to make up for almost double the number of enemies? You can work on an answer for yourself, but one thing is certain: as soon as Spartacus drops, the game is done. In addition to having half as many figures as the Dwarves and one less attack per turn, the Gladiators will lose all but a +1 move and +3 initiative advantage and Crixus loses 1 attack, defence, and move, dropping him from his more or less equal status with Migol. On the other side, if Migol falls to the enemy, the Dwarves will gain 2 movement, possibly allowing the Dwarves to avenge their leader and carry the day. Additionally, if these armies are going up against large and huge figures, the Gladiators won't have the +1 attack and defence bonus in the first place.

Well, I started this thread trying to show that perhaps the Dwarves are a niche army that would do better in certain circumstances than the Gladiators, but I think in the process I may have convinced myself that the Dwarves are actually better. Hope you enjoyed!

Jugger

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Last edited by Tai-Pan; September 25th, 2009 at 08:51 PM.
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Old June 18th, 2009, 08:43 AM
Devil's Advocate Devil's Advocate is offline
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Re: Gladiators and Dwarves

Cool post, I liked the Card pics posted next to each other. Would have been extra cool to run a battle report at the end to see if your suspicions that you list turn out that way.
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Old June 18th, 2009, 09:24 AM
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Re: Gladiators and Dwarves

I would throw Eldgrim into that Dwarf army above. Come on, we all know he looks like a dwarf anyway.

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Old June 18th, 2009, 09:36 AM
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Re: Gladiators and Dwarves

Nice comparison...I'm interested in seeing results when these squads are released...+rep.

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Old June 18th, 2009, 10:06 AM
Tai-Pan Tai-Pan is offline
 
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Re: Gladiators and Dwarves

Quote:
Originally Posted by Devil's Advocate View Post
Cool post, I liked the Card pics posted next to each other. Would have been extra cool to run a battle report at the end to see if your suspicions that you list turn out that way.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Land-based AE View Post
I would throw Eldgrim into that Dwarf army above. Come on, we all know he looks like a dwarf anyway.
Also good for a +1 movement bonus after he dies. Now if only he were a Dwarf hero.

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Old June 18th, 2009, 10:24 AM
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Re: Gladiators and Dwarves

Nice job! However, you might want to edit your post so the pics aren't side-by-side... it made reading the text difficult, with having to scroll from side to side due to the forced wide-screen.

edit: Much better now!

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Last edited by Snotwalker 8000; June 18th, 2009 at 11:11 AM.
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Old June 18th, 2009, 11:10 AM
Tai-Pan Tai-Pan is offline
 
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Re: Gladiators and Dwarves

Changed! I wanted it that way in the first place, but couldn't figure it out.

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Old June 18th, 2009, 11:58 AM
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Re: Gladiators and Dwarves

Great analysis! I think Steamroller is fun, but in a 500 point tourney setting I think it has to drop a squad of Gladiators, Crixus, or both to spend 70, 90 or 160 points on addressing weaknesses. The best answer probably being to drop Crixus in favor of 2xRats or Repulsors + Isamu. That adds 6-8 cheap screening figures which will help the chop shop version of the Steamroller get into the knife range where they're truly deadly.

~Aldin, who actually thinks subbing Zettian Guards for a squad of Gladiators offers some good synergy

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Old June 18th, 2009, 12:47 PM
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Re: Gladiators and Dwarves

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldin View Post
Great analysis! I think Steamroller is fun, but in a 500 point tourney setting I think it has to drop a squad of Gladiators, Crixus, or both to spend 70, 90 or 160 points on addressing weaknesses. The best answer probably being to drop Crixus in favor of 2xRats or Repulsors + Isamu. That adds 6-8 cheap screening figures which will help the chop shop version of the Steamroller get into the knife range where they're truly deadly.

~Aldin, who actually thinks subbing Zettian Guards for a squad of Gladiators offers some good synergy
But then you loose both gladiator inspiration and initiative advantage in any round in which you have an order marker on the rats/repulsors/isamu.

Last edited by padlock; June 18th, 2009 at 12:58 PM.
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Old June 18th, 2009, 12:57 PM
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Re: Gladiators and Dwarves

Quote:
Originally Posted by padlock View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldin View Post
Great analysis! I think Steamroller is fun, but in a 500 point tourney setting I think it has to drop a squad of Gladiators, Crixus, or both to spend 70, 90 or 160 points on addressing weaknesses. The best answer probably being to drop Crixus in favor of 2xRats or Repulsors + Isamu. That adds 6-8 cheap screening figures which will help the chop shop version of the Steamroller get into the knife range where they're truly deadly.

~Aldin, who actually thinks subbing Zettian Guards for a squad of Gladiators offers some good synergy
But then you loose both gladiator inspiration and initiative advantage in any round in which I have an order marker on the rats/repulsors/isamu.
Fixed. The "X" on Sparty is all you need for inspiration.

~Aldin, not too worried about initiative early on

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Old June 18th, 2009, 12:59 PM
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Re: Gladiators and Dwarves

That's not how I read it.

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Old June 18th, 2009, 01:00 PM
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Re: Gladiators and Dwarves

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldin View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by padlock View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldin View Post
Great analysis! I think Steamroller is fun, but in a 500 point tourney setting I think it has to drop a squad of Gladiators, Crixus, or both to spend 70, 90 or 160 points on addressing weaknesses. The best answer probably being to drop Crixus in favor of 2xRats or Repulsors + Isamu. That adds 6-8 cheap screening figures which will help the chop shop version of the Steamroller get into the knife range where they're truly deadly.

~Aldin, who actually thinks subbing Zettian Guards for a squad of Gladiators offers some good synergy
But then you loose both gladiator inspiration and initiative advantage in any round in which I have an order marker on the rats/repulsors/isamu.
Fixed. The "X" on Sparty is all you need for inspiration.

~Aldin, not too worried about initiative early on
Nope:

Gladiator Inspiration

If all Order Markers for a round are placed on Gladiator Army Cards, and at least one Order Marker is placed on Spartacus, then all Gladiators you control (except Spartacus) become inspired. Inspired Gladiators add one to their Move number and add 1 extra attack die and defense die for the rest of the round.
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