What to do with the Fennblades
I can’t tell what these guys want to do. Who should I throw them into? Can they do well into armor? Are they supposed to be a front line or retaliatory unit? I’ve decided to pit them against a slew of Khador units to see how they perform. I’m skipping weapon crews, since I’m fairly certain that once the Fenn arrive, they’re sure to kill the bastards with their oversized swords.
I’m going to use the Odds Machine for calculating probability to kill. Depending on the hour of the evening, I may make mistakes. Send me a note if you catch anything glaring, and I’ll evaluate and correct any errors.
Who are the Fennblades?
Our Fennblades have a 11” range nominally, and a 13” range with the officer yelling “NO QUARTER!” They sport an average MAT, slightly above average damage with their swords, and good armor. The leader hits a touch more accurately, and drummer has no weapon. The Sorcerer can attach to get rid of enemy upkeep spells on the unit, or do Rng 10/Pow 12 magic 6 attack. Or give magic weapon. If I’m fighting Cryx, I can definitely see the advantage of the magic weapons.
Fennblades vs Assault Kommandos
Kommandos have a threat of 9.5” with their gun blade, but with their assault they can reach 19” and their carbine can either be a POW 10 or unleash strangle gas. That gas is deadly. It nullifies Tough. They’ve got some flame thrower attachment that tosses out continuous fire with a spray. They’re probably designed to kill off Menoth, Cygnar and Cryx units, but they seem pretty effective against trolls as well.
So we line up on either side of a line, and approach. The Kommies get first attack. They charge from 19” away, and take assault shots. They have a 60% chance of killing a normal guy, but their chances drop to 40% when you factor in Tough. The canister actually has a 72% chance of hitting. So they launch 5 canisters to remove Tough from the trolls. For all their efforts, they will probably take out 3 trolls. I’m going to assume they focus on the officer and then the drummer and finally the sorcerer to take out some of my bennies. The three flame throwers don’t get close enough to do anything. They also don’t have assault.
The Kommies are within the trolls’ charge range. The Fennblades get to work. Each blade has a 70% chance of killing, so 7/10 of those Khadorans are going down. The Fens are going to hit the flamethrowers first to prevent sprays. We’ll assume all of them die. That leaves 6 guys.
The Kommies are too close to use their carbines now, so they’ll use gun blades. The Kommies swing their gun blades around, but with a MAT 6 and average POW, they only have a 34% chance of killing a troll. Let’s say they take out two Fen. And then the Kommies are quickly Fennished off. So it looks ugly, but doable.
Fennblades can kill Khador Assault Kommandos
Fennblades vs Battle Mechaniks
The Battle Mechs repair jacks. They have no real offensive capability, and are usually lagging behind a group of jacks or battle engines. There is no contest here. Fens will slaughter them.
Black Dragons with Officer and Standard
These guys are amazing jack killers. They’ve got shield wall, they have practiced maneuvers and a crit knockdown. They’ve got a high MAT (probably unnecessary since they’re tackling jacks), they’ve got a CMA POW13 hit with a 2” reach. They’re only ARM 14, which I think is a little low. They look more like a Spd5/ARM15 or 16. But they do have shield wall, so maybe that’s the key. They also have Iron Zeal and Side Step. Wow. How do the Fen handle these jack killers?
The Fen and the Dragons both move at the same speed, and have a 2” weapon. The Fen will back off if the Dragons use their Iron Zeal on the onset. So Iron Zeal can’t be up if they’re both in range of a charge. Also, the Fen actually have 2” further threat than the Dragons, due to the officer’s orders.
So the Fen charge and close to 2” away. The Fen should be in Shield Wall, so their ARM is 18. I try to get two guys in close to their leader, but they’ve probably been travelling in two ranks of 5, with their officer and standard in the back. Their brick will be hard to break. We only have the outside 5 guys to attack. My officer and drummer will shadow a few inches behind. I don’t want to lose them on the return attack. My trolls have a 65% chance to kill on the charge. When they get a kill, they can Cleave. This contributes to an 88% chance to kill with just the charge attacks and extra attacks, and a very good chance at taking out 4 Dragons.
The 6 remaining dragons plus officer strike back. Iron Zeal goes up. Each dragon should have an 83% chance of killing a troll, but the trolls have Tough. Their chances drop to 55%, or 59% when you add in their Critical Knockdown. They can double up and do a CMA, with 2 guys on a troll, bringing their chances up to 63%. Their chances are actually better if they attack singularly (63% of 4 is 2.5 or 59% of 6 is 3.4).
The 6 trolls and leader try to finish off the 6 dragons. Shield Wall is still up, and now Iron Zeal kicks it up a notch. Each troll only has a 12% chance of killing a dragon. The likelihood of any dragon falling is slim to none. The dragons stab with their pikes, again taking out another 4 trolls. I’m down to 2 trolls and the leader. The swing again, and they kill one more dragon. The remaining 6 dragons finish off the trolls, and will most likely take down the leader.
The Dragons are too heavily armored for my trolls to wade through unassisted.
Doom Reaver Swordsmen & Greylord Escort
The Reavers have similar stats to the Fenn. Reavers have slightly higher DEF and MAT, and both have Tough. However, the Fenn have a greater threat range. Initiative will go to Fenn on the charge. There’s 10 Fenn and 6 Reavers. I think the odds are in Fenn favor, but I’ll play this out.
The Fenn charge, and with a 38% kill rate, knock out 3 Fenn. With the Cleaving, the Fenn probably will knock out one more. That leaves 2 Reavers and the Escort.
The two Reavers try to take out a few trolls. Each Reaver has a 55% chance of killing a troll, so between the two of them, they KO one. The Greylord and Berserk attack from the Reaver’s kill probably will take down another troll.
The trolls get to attack during my maintenance phase. According to Odds Machine, trolls get to take down 3 more Reavers, and I haven’t even really started my turn. The remaining Reavers don’t stand a chance against the larger troll unit. Their main problem is hitting and overcoming Tough. The Reavers are definitely suited to some other target. Heavy infantry, cavalry with multiple hit boxes and maybe even some jacks.
Great Bears of the Gallowswood
A tough, three-man unit with 5 boxes each. They can flank to gain a +2 to attack rolls and give themselves a +2 ARM. Their Rapid Strike gives them 2 attacks with their 2-handed Great Axe. It’s best for the bears to walk up together. Their flanking makes them good wolf killers, but I think their limited number is going to be bad for this engagement.
Trolls have the furthest threat, so they charge. And unfortunately for the bears, 10 trolls with 2” blades can probably squeeze together in such a way that they have LOS to the bears. The trolls can definitely get 2 guys on a bear, maybe 3 guys. Their base chance of success is 32%, and in groups of 3, it’s 80%. Either way, the bears are done in one, maybe two turns.
A cavalry unit, 5 guys with 5 boxes. They have a 13” threat with their P&S 10 axes, but they also have an 8” spray for a 17” threat. The Outriders will get initiative.
They move up to 8” and spray my guys. They can move back 5” to be 13” away from my trolls. Knowing the trolls only have a 13” threat if the officer is intact, they will target the officer. He will probably die (91%). Since each individual guy only has a 22% chance of killing, the Outriders will most likely be repeatedly attacking, limiting the number of targets falling under their sprays. At first, I was thinking they would be able to hit more than one troll, but my trolls have medium bases and have no reason to stagger or group into ranks. The only guys who walk behind are the sorcerer and the drummer.
With the officer dead, my trolls get a 3” move and attack. They all step up 3”, but have no attack targets. Thing is, the 3” bonus is enough to put them back into charge range. They charge. Each troll has a 48% chance of killing an Outrider, and I can squeeze three trolls easily into an Outrider’s base. The trolls will make quick work of the Outriders, certainly killing four on the onset. The last one can run away, but he will probably take a couple of attacks on the way out. Or he can try to kill a troll, but will die the next turn after. If the troll leader lived, then they would have a few more chances to kill the last Outrider on the first turn.
With a lower number of dudes, the Outriders are no match for the trolls on their charge.
The Greylord Ternion has the same problem as the Greylord Outriders, in the since that their numbers are too few to really do damage to the Fennblades. The Ice Cage may make a troll stationary, or they could fire off a couple of sprays. They’re really a support unit. They either screen with clouds or freeze a single guy or throw out some DEF debuffs. Alone, they’re troll food.
Iron Fang Pikemen, Officer & Standard
The Pikemen are cool. They can charge, reposition, and put back on their Shield Wall. With the 6” speed and 2” pike, they’ll threaten 11” on the charge. Assuming our Fennblade officer is intact, we’ll threaten at 13”, so trolls get the charge again. Thing is, the battle is going to be like the one with the Black Dragons, so we’ll flip this and give initiative to the Pikes.
Pikes have 10 guys, plus their leader for 11 total, thhen a reposition and shield after a charge. They don’t have the Iron Zeal of the Dragons, but their ARM 18 is really tough for the trolls to get through. The pikes take out 5 trolls, leaving 5 to eat through the ARM 18. Instead of backing up, they should stay at 2” range, actually moving closer and squashing together in a shield wall. Ugh.
The trolls do essentially get two sets of attacks, so they will swing 6 times, counting the leader, and the sorcerer will throw in his weight as well for a total of 14 swings this turn. The 42% kill rate means 5 pikes will drop.
The remaining 5 pikes and leader attack to kill off another 3 trolls. Three trolls get to attack 6 times, killing 2 pikes, leaving 3 and the leader. Two more trolls fall, leaving only the leader, who will probably not be able to take down any pikes and will die next turn.
If the trolls have initiative, they can take out 5 pikes. The remaining 6 can take out 3 trolls, leaving 8 plus a sorcerer. They take out 3 more pikes, who take out another troll.
The trolls attrition out the pikes in this scenario, but take some losses along the way.
The trolls will win against normal Iron Fang Pikemen if they have the charge. Otherwise, the winner should be the Pikemen.
Iron Fang Uhlans
Another 5 box, 5 member cavalry, the Iron Fangs are heavily armored, have some major speed and good MAT. The Uhlans have a 13” threat, same as the trolls.
If the trolls have initiative, each swing kills 45% of the time. The Uhlans will die on a charge from the Fennblades. However, if the Uhlans have initiative, they can charge some trolls with a 59% kill chance. They easily take out 2, maybe 3 trolls. The 8 remaining trolls take their maintenance attack, but without the extra die from charging, they’re only scoring a 2% chance to kill. However, the trolls can hit 72% of the time. To do a single point of damage, they need to make an 8 on their damage roll. They each have a 41% chance to roll an 8, so that means each troll has a 29% chance to do 1 point of damage. Khador’s Uhlans will take 2 points of damage, probably spread around to different guys.
The Uhlan will be able to retaliate, but only have POW 10. The mounts are POW12 though, so they have that going for them. The POW 10 pommel attack has a 46% chance of killing, and the POW 12 mount has a 54% chance. So the Uhlan will have the ability to kill 2.3 and 2.7 trolls… 5 trolls.
The trolls might do another point of damage, but I don’t think so. It looks like the trolls are doomed to die. The Fennblades can’t kill the Uhlan unless the trolls get the charge.
Trolls have better threat range, so away they go! They plow into the Kayazy with a 58% chance at killing. Five Kayazy should die, and they retaliate. They are missing acrobatics, but have Gang, so they’ll get a bonus to attack rolls. Without gang, they have a 71% chance at killing, and with gang, it’s a 91% chance. No matter what, they’re doing a point of damage and denying the tough check. Damn assassins. Five trolls die. Vengeance triggers, and the trolls manage to kill off 3 more Kayazy, leaving 2. The final Kayazy die on their main turn.
If the Kayazy had a chance to attack first, things would be different. Do not let the Kayazy get the drop on the trolls! They will slaughter them. Seriously, trolls will die to Kayazy if the Kayazy get the chance to attack.
The eliminators can kill off four trolls, but the trolls will swarm the eliminators. They’re similar enough to the Assassins to figure this one out at a glance. Their numbers are their weakness. However, the little buggers make me want to run a Khador list with nothing but assassins. With the other Kayazy, they could clean up some Fennblades pretty handidly. I wouldn’t mind running a Khadoran list with Kayazy Assassins, Eliminators and Widowmakers.
The woodsmen have a 16” threat with their arrows or whatever. Their RAT 4 gives them a 27% chance at killing a troll. So 3 trolls die, which means they move up 3” and take their charge. They kill off 5 woodsmen. The woodsmen have a hand weapon, but it’s not very strong. With a 28% chance, they might kill one more troll before succumbing to the Fennblades.
With a threat of 14”, the bombers will get the first shot. They’ll be better off if they all focus on the officer, but split up their shots so that 3 guys attack first, then two others. With two sets of attacks, they should have a 95% chance of killing the leader.
The trolls will move up 3”, and charge 11”. They’re up in the bombers’ faces. They kill 34%, so half the bombers die. The bombers take out one troll (55%) before being pried out of their armor by the Fennblades.
Man-O-War Demolition Corps
The Demolition Corps will lose at least two guys on the Fennblade charge. They can probably take down 1 or 2 trolls, then the trolls will seek their Vengeance, slaughtering the remaining Man-O-War.
Man-W-War Shocktroopers & Officer
This time, there are 6 guys. Unfortunately for Khador, the trolls should get the drop on them and they’ll face the same fate as their comrades.
Fun! These guys are going to be combined with the Marksman even though he’s a solo. The scouts start shooting at 14” away. Their RAT 7 means they have an 83% chance of killing a troll. The Marksman can hit 91% of the time. If he sinks his three shots into the leader, he can kill the leader on the next turn. But he also grants Swift Hunter. So if he just shoots another troll, the whole unit can advance 2”, placing them 16” away from the trolls.
The Widowmakers kill 5 trolls, and move back 2”. The trolls move 3”, then run 12”, and threaten 2”. They’re up in the Widowmakers’ faces, so they can’t fire. If they try to move away to shoot again, the trolls could kill on 41% of their swings. The trolls will end up killing off the Widowmakers in melee.
Winter Guard Infantry, Officer and Standard, Rocketeers
The Winter Guard are tricky. They have a ton of synergies with the Khador casters and with a few solos. On the onset, the infantry has range. They start shooting with their 14” rockets. Rat 5 means they’ll get a direct hit 58% of the time. They’ll only kill 38% of the time. We’ll say they get lucky and kill off one troll grunt. The whole unit repositions backward 2”, to 16”. The trolls move up 3” and run. They are in melee with the guard. The Winter Guard officer tells them to use their Grapeshot (a gun fighter spray attack, POW 12. They kill at 37%, and probably will take out 4 trolls with their 12 blunderbusses.
The trolls retaliate with a 72% chance at a kill. They knock out 5 guard on the Vengeance sweep, then another 5 guard. The remaining officer, banner and 3 rocketeers can’t do much. They only have melee left, since the grapeshot is only good for one blast. And since the trolls are in their faces, they would have to try to move back before shooting again. Each only has a 28% chance of killing with an axe, so it’s clear that the troll Fennblades dominate this scenario.
Winter Guard Rifle Corps, Rocketeers
The winter guard is going to face the same trouble as the infantry. The trolls will run up, engaging the rifle corps in melee, and taking them out. It’s no contest.
Winter Guard Gun Carriage
Although the Gun Carriage can take out a few trolls with their heavy cannon and rifle at 10” away, it needs to be 8” away to do anything with its mount abilities. If the troll Fennblades can charge, they’ll stagger themselves to allow for all 11 of them to attack. If they’re allowed to do so, they each get a 74% chance to do 1 point of damage. Therefore, we can reason that the trolls will only score about 8 points of damage on turn 1. Afterwards, they’re very unlikely to scratch the Gun Carriage’s armor.
In this scenario, the trolls aren’t likely to win. After the first turn, they’ve only a 27% chance at doing a point of damage. This one will go to the Gun Carriage, which can move around, stomp some trolls and shoot them at the same time.
Looks like the Fennblades are good at killing ranged infantry, and small units of infantry, but not heavily armored anything. Does the Trollblood faction have anything that can help the Fennblades crack armor?
Fell Caller Hero
War Cry offers a +2 MAT. Although the bump would give the Fennblades a MAT 8 attack, it doesn’t really improve their chances of killing high ARM.
The Kithkar gives the Fennblades another bump on their attack roll. An effective MAT 9 attack is awesome, but doesn’t help against ARM.
Stone Scribe Chronicler
This guy can boost MAT and Damage with his Charge of the Trolls story. The trick is that the trolls must be attacking something within the melee range of a friendly faction warbeast. Good for helping a beast finish off a heavy, or for laying into a group of medium to heavy armored guys that a heavy couldn’t get through. It bumps their P&S to 14.
Puppet Master can target the whole unit, and the unit gets to reroll an attack or damage roll. Against the Uhlans, the Fennblades’ chance to kill goes up by 10% in the Odds Machine. I suppose that is because you get an additional damage roll if you fail to damage the Uhlan with the first roll. Combine this with the Chronicler, and you have an additional 10%.
Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes with Stone Scribe Elder
The Bearer helps deliver the Fennblades by increasing their ARM to 16. The Elder can give them +1 STR, bringing their weapon to P&S 13, or 15 with the Chronicler in play.
Bottom Line on Support
On the charge against an ARM 19 and 5 box model at DEF 12, the Fennblades could get an 87% chance at killing. Thing is, the support piece would take 28 points from the army! I don’t know about you, but I find that utterly ridiculous.
Warlocks & Fennblades
Can Warlocks help Fennblades crack armor? Surely they can. Looking at it from a different angle, which Warlocks will help the Fennblades best?
Grissel Bloodsong, Fell Caller
Grissel 1 has Calamity, a DEF and ARM debuff. That’s pretty awesome, since it turns an ARM 19 Uhlon into an ARM 17 Uhlon. The Fennblades would need a bit of a bump from the Stone Scribe, and the Chronicler can bump that again to P&S 15 if a beast is nearby. Maybe Grissel can run some fast-moving light warbeasts in that group to provide the pseudo-flank bonus. P&S 15 vs ARM 18 is nothing to laugh at if you’ve got 10 guys hitting with it and rolling 3d6 on the charge. It is a lot to hope for though.
Grim 2 also has a DEF/ARM debuff that removes tough and healing. It would be fun for Fennblades, and pretty much anyone attacking that unit.
Honestly, I don’t see much for bumping unit strength or debuffing armor. The Fennblades are a fast unit, capable of destroying ranged units close up, and good at smashing through low and medium armor units.