Saturday, March 10, 2012

Warmachine the Way I See It: Synergy...Ad Naseum

Yeah, I know.  I've mentioned synergy quite a few times in regards to important parts of the Warmahordes dynamic.  It's quite obvious.  However, I really found this out from a practical standpoint this week in my games at my FLGS

My example:

Temple Flameguard aren't all that flash when sizes up.  MAT 6, P+S10.  Their greatest asset is shield wall.  This gives them a respectable ARM 17. Add to them the UA and you have terror, fire attacks that give out continuous fire, and minifeat that yields a one turn additional +4 to ARM.  So, where's the synergy? 

This week I played a pSeverius list.  I found that Eye of Menoth and Defender's Ward are worth their weight in gold.  +1 to attack and damage rolls for the entire control area is great.  +2 to DEF and ARM for a unit is also great.  pSevvy synergizes so well with these guys.  He makes them more efficient at handling other infantry.  On top of that, Defender's Ward is great on jacks, but amazing on units of infantry.  If you steadily move forward staying in shield wall, you are adding an additional +6 to ARM (19) at DEF 15.

This makes Flameguard amazingly resilient.  On top of that, with Eye of Menoth up, you can generally pose some sort of threat to enemy infantry and casters. This is where the synergy makes Flameguard great.  They won't scratch a jack unless you throw down a massive CMA, but they do pose a threat to everything smaller.  Because of their resilience and threat to infantry, they become what I call a shepherd unit.  They corral those smaller units by spreading out and moving forward.  In a turn where you are preparing for that calculated strike, they can go into shield wall and pop their mini-feat, you are looking at DEF 15/ARM 23 models.  Not much will punch through them and then, when your turn occurs you can go for the counterpunch. 

The point:
Alone Flameguard are underwhelming.  Through synergy, they become nigh impossible to completely remove.  In both of my games, they were impossible to completely destroy and did a good job of being cast out as a net to entangle and cordon off areas to my opponents.  They even killed a few things including nihilators in one game and Harlan Vesh and some gun mages in my second game. Furthermore, they provide Menoth with something that it lacks in general, an anvil unit.  Thus, the unit contains its own forms of synergy, but also provides synergy for the entire army on the battlefield. 

Here are some other Warmachine articles:
Warmachine the Way I See It: Warcaster Study, pKreoss
How Important is the Front Arc, Really?
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