Insider 09-22-2017

Previously in our theme force Insider series, my fellow staff member (and fellow Will) Will Hungerford talked about the Talion Charter theme. In it, he waxed eloquently about the joys of a pirate’s life and the thrills and derring-do of being a pirate on the high seas of Immoren.

Well, today my friends, I’m going to blow away that PG-13 bright-skies-and-sunny-waves pirate’s life dream world that Hungerford and his mouse-idolizing ways inhabits, and I’m going to show you what real pirates look like in the Iron Kingdoms.

Fair warning, dear reader, these pirates don’t belong on amusement rides. Unless it’s in the amusement park of your deepest darkest nightmares.

Slaughter Fleet Raiders is all about the living, non-Satyxis side of deplorable Cryx piracy. These pirates don’t show up to your town, do some light looting, and return to their ship to sing a merry little a song about it. No, these are the pirates that raze your town to the ground, slaughter without mercy, and eat anyone unfortunate enough to have been spared the butchery.

Being composed primarily of Black Ogrun, Blighted Trollkin, and Scharde models, the Black Fleet Raiders doesn’t have the largest selection of options. . . yet. During the Lock & Load 2017 Keynote (which you can watch here), we revealed a number of upcoming releases that will bolster the ranks of these fearsome and downright awful pirates. However, just because this theme force is a little light on models for a few more months doesn’t mean it lacks some seriously fun potential.

First up, the theme force allows you to take one Mercenary unit and one Mercenary solo. In addition, the Devil’s Shadow Mutineers becomes a Cryx unit choice in a Slaughter Fleet Raiders force rather than a Mercenary unit choice. So, you can squeeze a little more diversity out of your Mercenary options. Second, for every 20 points you spend on Cryx units, you get to add one Cryx solo or command attachment to the army for free.

And you’ll want to take a fair number of units in your army because warjacks in the theme force pick up Gang Fighter, giving them +2 to attack and damage rolls when making melee attacks against enemy models within the melee range of another friendly Faction warrior model. Combine that with +2˝ of deployment zone, and I think it becomes clear why this army is known as the Slaughter Fleet.

While I’ve been playtesting Slaughter Fleet Raiders with all the upcoming options, I have been toying with a fun little build that utilizes the most bloodthirsty of the bloodthirsty, so to speak.

Goreshade the Bastard +27
Deathripper - 6
Reaper - 13
Reaper – 13
Bloodgorgers (full) – 15
Bloodgorgers (full) – 15
Black Ogrun Boarding Party (min) – 7
Black Ogrun Boarding Party (min) – 7
The Devil’s Shadow Mutineers – 8
Gerlak Slaughterborn – Free
Aiakos, Scourge of the Meredius – Free
Stalker – 8
Stalker – 8

I love Goreshade 1 in this list for a lot of reasons. Lamentation is fantastic, you’ve got plenty of troops to target for Soul Gate, and Shadowmancer combines with Gang Fighter to give his battlegroup an effective +4 to their damage rolls. But the best part of all is that his feat lets you drop a minimum unit of Bane Warriors on the table. There’s something so delightfully Bastard-y about being able to “cheat” and put a unit on the table that isn’t allowed in your theme force.

While this specific list may not win any major championships, it’s still a heck of a lot of fun to play in casual pickup games. It lets you do your best to choke your opponent with blighted trollkin while Aiakos and Goreshade do their sinister and sneaky Cryx thing and scalpel out the enemy’s key pieces. All of this while they try and deal with the mountain of medium-based models rushing toward them. Remember, while Aiakos’ Stalkers may not benefit from Shadowmancer, they do still benefit from Gang Fighter, making this trio a very self-sufficient and potent assassination threat.

Until next time, may the real pirate’s life bring you plenty of booty and bloodshed for the glory of the Dragonfather.