Bears. Beets. Battle Engine Errata (Part 2)

Prologue:

Yesterday we did the Warmachine Engines, today we'll look at the Hordes side of things. 

The Hordes engines were almost universally maligned after the edition change, with the odd Fulcrum being run by Dan Y. in his Mohsar list, and the occasional Sacral Vault or Meat Thresher. 

That's all about to change. 

Again, the screenshots are from the Pre-CID Engines. 

The War Wagon:

The new and improved War Wagon is cheaper at 16 points, and is also much tougher at 38 boxes. The Pounder gun got stronger as well, with a bump up to POW 17. This is actually a critical number, as it means that it also moves up a POW of blast damage from POW 8 to POW 9. 

On the back of the card, it also gained Crushing Weight (see the previous review for how this rule works, it's complicated) just like the Khador Gun Carriage

It also gained a new rule in Shooting Gallery, which gives it +2 to ranged attack rolls against models within five inches of it. 

It traded off Momentum and Trample Power Attack for Knockdown on the mount (oof) and the special rule Ton of Bricks, which says that anything hit by a non-impact attack made by the mount gets slammed d3 inches. 

Tougher than a heavy warbeast for a similar cost, with decent damage output, speed, and infantry clear, I expect to see some interesting builds with this thing come around. Calandra and Grissel both love it, and I could see Madrak 3 taking one as well. 

Celestial Fulcrum:

Ah the Fulcrum, a model near and dear to my heart. 

This model got perhaps the biggest set of buffs out of any of the Battle Engines. 

First of all, it gained eight boxes, which brings it up to an arguably higher survivability than most of Circle's Warbeasts, especially when you consider that it is immune to fire damage (Menoth and Legion), Electrical Damage (Cygnar), and Cold Damage (.....Glacier King? Greylords?). 

It lost Fury Generator and instead gained two really amazing abilities. 

The first of these is Fury Vault, which allows Faction Warlocks to move Fury from themselves to the Fulcrum during the Warlocks activation. It also limits the amount of Fury the Engine can hold to 3. 

The second is a new ability called Power of the Stones, which allows it to leach Fury from Wolds in its ten inch command range during the Control Phase. This is either a hindrance or a boon depending on how you build your list, but it does allow and encourage you to run your Wolds hotter than normal so you can fuel the Fulcrum with them. 

The Fire weapon lost the Smoke rule, so it no longer makes a cloud, but the other really significant buff it gained was Veteren Leader [Blackclad], which gives Blackclad Models +1 to hit in its command range. 

This ability is amazing. All of Circle's warlocks barring Wurmwood, Kromac, and Grayle are Blackclad. Druids, Wayfarers, Stoneshapers and Mist Riders are all Blackclads, as is the Fulcrum itself (so if you run two they each get +1 to hit). 

I am incredibly excited for this Engine, and the battle report I am posting today has two of them in it....

Siege Animantarax:

 

Okay I lied, this thing got the most buffs out of the Errata, and most of them came after the end of the CID cycle so we had no idea they were coming. 

The Siege is now base speed 8, gained a point of ARM to 20, and got 11 more damage boxes to a total of 35. It also gained an inch of range on the Club Tail. 

Cantankerous lost the ability to increase its speed (which is good because it's already crazy fast), and the Independent Attack rule got a massive buff.

Now the Animantarax can attack with the Spears before it moves and they are not considered part of its normal combat action. This means that it can kill things around it and aim, or kill things and then move under Haley 2's feat or Stranglehold. 

I don't think I can emphasize this enough, but this is a huge deal. 

The Tail lost Critical Smite and gained straight Knockdown, which is amazing as well. 

To summarize - it's as fast as Cavalry, harder to kill than a Khador heavy, can wreck a heavy in melee and also has a solid ranged presence AND it now fits into Skorne's theme force. I can't imagine we will see many Skorne pairings without at least one of these in them. 

Throne of Everblight:

I played in the same meta as PG_Satch, who many of you know from the podcast Blight Makes Right, and he had an unusual love for this model in Mark 2. Out of all the Hordes Battle Engines, this is either the coolest or the worst looking model depending on who you ask. 

Anyway, the Throne got cheaper, sitting at 16 points which is cheaper than most Legion heavies. 

It also got twelve boxes, bringing it to thirty-six total and gained a tentacle, so it now has four initials. 

It lost Bone Picker, the Feeding, and Death Feast, but it gained the Magic Attack Ice Cage

Ice Cage is a fantastic spell. It's range 10, and whenever it hits something the target gets a cumulative -2 DEF. If a model gets hit by three Ice Cages in one turn, it becomes Stationary. All of this has the provision that Ice Cage doesn't work against models with Immunity to cold. 

In combination with the new Necrophage rule which allows it to make a Magic Attack every time it kills or RFPS an enemy model, the Throne can do some truly gross things. 

It also gained the Snacking rule, which allows it to RFP enemy living models when it kills them with a melee attack to gain d3 health back. 

A solid buff to this Engine, and I'm sure there are some cool builds for it out there. Rhyas 1 looks promising (you can place Battle Engines, so her Feat will let it get to some truly disgusting places), as does Thagrosh 1 for Draconic Blessing and his debuff aura making the Throne a 16 point PS 18 model with four attacks and ARM 22 - Solid!

Meat Thresher

I regret selling my Meat Thresher, I'm going to be honest. This thing got a major boost. 

It's cheaper now, at 16 points, and it also has thirty-six boxes. 

It's ROF went from 2d3 to d3+1, which is basically a side grade (slight nerf), but it also went up a POW to 13 AND it gained a rule called Volume Fire, which gives the Thresher +1 to hit and damage against medium based models and plus TWO to attack and damage rolls against large and huge based models. 

It also gained an ability called Turn up the Heat which allows it to take d3 damage to get +2 speed (not movement, speed) AND it now gives Friendly Models within 3 inches (not completely within, just within) concealment.

It hits hard, it's fast - VERY fast, and it helps you deliver your army. As a Circle player I'm imagining this thing with Tanith, two Warpwolf Stalkers and Loki to deliver Stealthed up Warpwolves behind a Battle Engine that knocks things down. 

In Minions, I'm seeing lots of potential in pigs, as DEF 14 on the approach is a lot better than DEF 12, and it also comes in as the first wave while War Hogs and the like come in behind to clean up. 

 

Sacral Vault:

 

Once the most feared part of the Blindwater Congregation, the Vault fell into obscurity in the early part of Mark 3 despite not changing much. 

This new version keeps a lot of the same rules, but it also sports significant upgrades. 

First, it got cheaper - only seventeen points. It also gained eight boxes to a total of thirty, and increased to RAT 6. The ROF of its gun became 1, but it also gained Reload [2] which is much more reliable. 

Other than that, it now works for Trollbloods, which is nice, and it also gives Friendly Faction spellcasters +2 to hit on their magic attacks within command. 

Finally, Deathly Domination dropped the requirement of spending a Soul Token in order to take control of the enemy model, which makes this model much more efficient and deadly as it can use Souls to boost or use Arcane Vortex rather than taking over enemy models. 

 

Conclusion:

All of the Battle Engines seem completely playable now, with powerful offensive and support capabilities coupled to hardy models. 

I'm going to throw them roughly in the order I think they are in terms of playability, but they all seem like they have a place in competitive play now. 

Again, this is my opinion! And also again, they're all very close in playability now. 

1. TEP
2. Siege Animantarax
3. Celestial Fulcrum/Storm Strider/AFG
4. Vessel of Judgment
5. Meat Thresher/Wraith Engine/Siege Crawler
6. Gun Carriage/War Wagon
7. Throne of Everblight
8. Sacral Vault

Thanks for reading!