Battle Engine CID Week 3: Celestial Fulcrum




A quick touch on the latest changes to our (extremely pretty) battle engine. 

The original CID Fulcrum gained the following:

+10 boxes (30 total)

Fury Vault (Your warlock can give it fury during the Warlock's activation, to a max of three)

Quieting the Stones - able to leach Fury from Friendly Faction construct warbeasts within 5".

Veteren Leader [Blackclad] - Blackclad models within 10 inches of this model get +1 to hit. 

It also lost Fury Generator, so it no longer creates Fury every turn to supplement what it pulls from Wolds. 



This week, the CID packet gave us the following changes:

Reduce cost from 19 to 18. 

Reduce boxes by 2 to a total of 28. 

Lose Fury Vault. 



I was all onboard with the changes until I saw the last one. The Fulcrum was a bit pricey, fitting it into lists with an odd points cost in Circle is hard since we have access to a single one point model, so seeing it go down to 18 points is nice. 

I can also understand the drop in boxes - the Fulcrum is immune to electricity (Cygnar Shooting) Fire (Menoth and Legion Shooting) and Corrosion (Cryx Shooting), and so it's already fairly hard to kill at range. 

Losing Fury Vault....well that might be a deal breaker. 

I'm going to be echoing some of the thoughts Dan Y. posted on the CID forum, since he raises several valid points. There will be some expansion with my own ideas, but the framework is his.

In order to fuel the Fulcrum, you were already playing two Woldwyrds, making it a 37 point module - that's the same point cost as a Woldwrath. 

Why Woldwyrds? Well let's take a look at our other options. 

Ranged:

Woldwrath - this is honestly one of the better choices to run with the Fulcrum - it can fully fuel the Battle Engine by itself, doesn't want to commit to the fight too early, and between the two of them you can block LOS to your Warlock easily. 

That being said, a Woldwrath and a Fulcrum is now 55 points, which is well over half of your list, and while it is a solid gunline (two boostable POW 15s, a boostable POW 14, and a boostable POW 12), the Fulcrum needs to be quite a bit closer to the fight than the Woldwrath does in order to utilize its guns, meaning you might be exposing your colossal earlier than you would normally want to. 

Woldwatcher - inferior to the Woldwyrd in every way except surviveability, I never even consider this model when building lists. It has no role, it serves no function, and it cannot do enough damage to justify including it. 


Melee:

Megalith - this is probably the next best escort for the Fulcrum after Woldywrds. He almost always has a spell to cast, is hardy, fuels the Fulcrum alone, and is just all around a solid piece. 

He's also 20 points, bringing this module to 38 points now, or again, the cost of a colossal. 

Woldwarden - the budget and seriously inferior version of Megalith, this guy is not a terrible choice for some lists, but at Fury 3 and PS 16, he's not denting most heavies, and at Mat 6 with no Mat buff, he's not killing infantry en masse either. Add to that his inability to fuel the Fulcrum should he commit to a melee target some distance away and I find myself shying away from this guy. 

Woldguardian - I like this guy least of all. He contributes nothing to the Fulcrum's damage output until very late game, is expensive, has low melee damage output, and, like all of the other melee options cannot fuel the Fulcrum if he goes in to the melee fight.


Let's recap - outside of the Woldwyrd, we have a couple of decent options in Megalith (can't be taken in theme with most casters) and the Woldwrath. 

Melee options aren't good because, simply put, they're in there to get in melee, which will often leave them far out of the way from where the Fulcrum wants to be in order to pull fury. 

This doesn't even account for the fact that outside of the Wrath, Wyrd, and Megalith, the Wolds are bad beast options - expensive and pillow-fisted. 


Okay...soo.....?

Apart from this, the fact that you have to take other (expensive) models in order for the Fulcrum to do anything is a problem. None of the other battle engines have such stringent requirements to be effective. 

In Skorne, Beast Handlers are a small points investment and are almost always in the list anyway. 

Menoth mechaniks are 1 point a piece. 

None of the other engines that I can think of require any support at all. 

In order to make the Fulcrum effective, you must now bring an additional (minimum) of 16 points for a Woldwarden to tail it around all game, making our battle engine actually a 34 point model. 

Thirty. Four. Points. 

Now I know that the default is going to be a Fulcrum and Two Wyrds (37 points guys), but that is a module that has a relatively short threat range for a ranged package - heck, Menoth Reckoners have the same ranged threat as a Woldwyrd - and is completely reliant on the Spirit boxes of two ARM 16 lights be intact. 

This package is only one Woldwyrd nerf away from being borderline unplayable, as many of the Fulcrum's native weaknesses (no way to mitigate RAT outside of aiming or getting crit freeze and short range guns) are made up for by its ability to boost. 


Suggestions:

Give it back Fury Vault - this is my preferred as it allows it to be taken with many Warlocks who wouldn't otherwise. 

Reduce the point cost and give it back Fury Generator. 

Increase the range of Quiet the Stones from 5 inches to 10 inches - I don't like this one as much because it still makes the Fulcrum less and less useful as the game goes on AND keeps it completely reliant on bringing almost twenty points of other models with it. 


I'm going to hopefully get a couple of playtest games in with the current rules this weekend, but first impressions lead me to believe that this iteration of the Fulcrum is probably worse than it's pre- CID rules.