December 2017 Dynamic Update Developer's Notes

December 2017 Dynamic Update – Developer’s Notes (Blindwater CID)

Below are the adjustments we’ve made to existing models as a result of the Blindwater CID cycle. Thanks once more to the community for helping us make this game the best it can be. You people are so lovely!

Animi

Spiny Growth

Reduce the COST of the Spiny Growth animus to 1.

Affected models: Carnivean, Bull Snapper, Ghetorix, Razor Worm, Rhinodon.

We made the Spiny Growth animus 1 point cheaper. In practice, many warbeasts rarely had the resources to cast this animus. Having to forgo a large amount of offensive potential or put a huge stress on the warlock to leach all the fury generated made this animus less efficient than we wanted. In most situations where a warlock would cast this animus, it was better to simply have two more transfers. The reduction in cost should make casting this animus the preferred option more often.

Counterblast

Reduce the COST of the Counterblast animus to 1.

Affected models: Chiron, Gun Boar, Ironback Spitter, Mammoth, Skarath, Stinger, Teraph.

Similar to Spiny Growth, Counterblast felt like it simply cost too much for beasts to really feel rewarded by casting it. Similarly, warlocks using this animus felt very taxed by its cost and very vulnerable. Reducing it to COST 1 helps alleviate both issues.

Skorne

Extoller Soulward

In the Guidance (★Action) rule, delete the word “Faction.”

The Soulward received this wording update to match the change on the Bog Trog Mist Speaker (see below).

Grymkin

Death Knell

In the second sentence of the Bring Out Your Dead! rule, remove the word “Faction.”

In the Special Delivery rule, remove the word “Faction.”

These changes are a by-product of developing the Boil Master & Spirit Cauldron unit. While removing “Faction” offers almost no functionality change inside the Grymkin Faction, it does allow the Spirit Cauldron to function in a much more interesting way.

Minions

Jaga-Jaga, the Death Charmer

Reduce the warbeast points to +27.

Increase the RNG of Serpent Strike to 2.

Replace Jaga-Jaga’s feat Legion of Death with Vengeful Spirits:

Feat: Vengeful Spirits

In a torrent of mystical power, Jaga-Jaga rips free the souls of soldiers under her command, sending their vengeful spirits to tear through the enemy and rend their flesh with ghostly claws and fangs.

Choose up to d3 + 5 enemy models currently in Jaga-Jaga’s control range. Remove from play one friendly Faction warrior model within 5˝ of each chosen enemy model. Each chosen enemy model suffers a magical damage roll  with POW equal to the base ARM of the corresponding removed model. Models destroyed by Vengeful Spirits are removed from play.

Replace the Spellpiercer spell with Signs & Portents:

Signs & Portents           4           Self         Ctrl         –         Turn         No

While in the spellcaster’s control range, friendly Faction models gain an additional die on attack and damage rolls. Discard the lowest die in each roll. Signs & Portents lasts for one turn.

Reworking Jaga-Jaga into a simpler and more streamlined ’caster was one of the goals of this cycle. Updating her feat removed a lot of confusion during the game while keeping the flavor of the character. Replacing the situational Spellpiercer with Signs & Portents, which is always useful, makes her a more consistently powerful warlock. A few other tweaks bring Jaga-Jaga more in line with other warlocks and puts her in a stronger position moving forward.

Maelok the Dreadbound

Replace the stats and text of the Death Pact spell with the following:

Death Pact                    3           Self         Ctrl         –         RND         No

While in the spellcaster’s control range, friendly Faction warrior models gain +2 ARM and Undead . Models are not affected while out of formation. Death Pact lasts for one round.

Add the Soul Harvester spell:

Soul Harvester             2             6             –           –          UP           No

When target friendly Faction model/unit destroys a living enemy model with a melee attack, the spellcaster gains the destroyed model’s soul token regardless of the proximity of other models.

We wanted to bring this ’caster up in power level and make him more active and interesting, particularly when using the Blindwater Congregation theme force. To that end, we increased the consistency with which Maelok can gain souls and upped the impact of his signature spell, Death Pact. These changes allow him to really help his army and remove some of the strain put on his fury pool.

Blind Walker

Reduce the point cost to 10.

The Blind Walker was not performing in a way that justified its point cost, and this reduction is a simple way to make it a more attractive choice.

Boneswarm

Add Pathfinder to the Boneswarm.

Add the Steady rule to the Boneswarm:

Steady – This model cannot become knocked down.

A couple of small bumps for the Boneswarm in the form of Pathfinder and Steady, combined with the new models and updates to old ones (e.g., Spirit Cauldron, Gatorman Witch Doctor) help make it a more powerful light warbeast.

Bull Snapper

Reduce the COST of the Spiny Growth animus to 1.

Replace the text of the Torpid rule with the following:

If this model destroys a living enemy model with a basic melee attack, it can immediately end its activation after the attack is resolved. If this model’s activation ends as a result of Torpid, you can remove 1 fury point from this model.

A common point of feedback on the Bull Snapper was that it had no firmly defined role. It didn’t do quite enough damage to tackle hard targets, and Torpor made it inefficient against warrior models. Making Torpid an optional rule slightly bumps up the Snapper’s efficiency against infantry. Additionally, the cost of Spiny Growth came down a point, as discussed above.

Ironback Spitter

Reduce the point cost to 14.

Reduce the COST of the Counterblast animus to 1.

The Ironback Spitter is almost exactly where we wanted it to be. All it needed was a slight drop in its point cost to bring in in line with other heavies with similar roles, plus the above-mentioned adjustment to Counterblast.

Swamp Horror

Increase the point cost to 15.

Add the Chain Strike rule to the Tentacle weapon:

Chain Strike – This weapon becomes RNG 4 during this model’s activation.

The Swamp Horror gaining Chain Strike is a very exciting change for Minion (and Skorne!) players everywhere. A 4˝ melee range is a big deal, especially when combined with Pull. The Swamp Horror now adequately fits its designation as a “utility” heavy and continues to bring something unique and interesting to the table.

Bog Trog Ambushers

Reduce the point cost for Leader & 5 Grunts to 8 and for Leader & 9 Grunts to 13.

This slight reduction in point cost should make the Ambushers a more enticing option in many lists.

Croak Raiders

Reduce the point cost for Leader & 9 Grunts to 16.

Add Pathfinder to the Leader & Grunts.

Increase the POW of the Flaming Dart weapon to 11.

Croak Raiders are a unit we are being very cautious with. Reducing the point cost for a max unit, adding Pathfinder, and increasing the POW of their primary ranged attack by 1 are all baby steps that we hope will make this unit more exciting and compelling while not allowing them to replace broad swathes of Minion and Faction infantry alike.

Gatorman Bokor & Bog Trog Swamp Shamblers

Reduce the point cost to 10.

The Swamp Shamblers are now a point cheaper and should be a more attractive choice for players.

Gatorman Posse

Reduce the point cost for Leader & 4 Grunts to 16.

Replace the first sentence of the Offerings to Kossk prayer with the following:

Affected models can reroll missed attack rolls.

Dropping the maximum unit cost to 16 makes the larger units more efficient than minimum units, and removing the “living” qualifier from Offerings to Kossk means the Gatorman Posse can be a more consistent offensive force in every game.

Lynus Wesselbaum & Edrea Lloryrr

Replace the text of the Mercenaries rule with the following:

This unit will work for the Crucible Guard, Cygnar, and the Retribution.

Replace the Heal [d3] (★Action) rule with First Aid [d3] (★Action):

First Aid [d3] (★Action) – RNG B2B. Target friendly living model. If the model is in range, remove d3 damage points from it.

Remove Arcane Bolt (★Attack) from Edrea’s spells.

Add Wind Burst (★Attack) to Edrea’s spells:

Wind Burst (★Attack) – Wind Burst is a RNG 10, AOE 4, POW 12 magic attack. Cloud effects overlapping the AOE expire.

These changes bring additional utility to this unit, making their set of abilities something players will reach for during list construction both within and outside of Minion lists.

Bog Trog Mist Speaker

Increase the CMD to 8.

In the Guidance (★Action) rule, delete the word “Faction.”

Allowing the Bog Trog Mist Speaker to affect non-Minion models with Guidance will open up a lot of options in non-Minion lists.

Croak Hunter

Reduce the point cost to 3.

Add the Hunter and Reposition [3˝] rules to the Hunter:

Hunter – This model ignores concealment and cover when making ranged attacks.

Reposition [3˝] – At the end of an activation in which it did not run or fail a charge, this model can advance up to 3˝, then its activation ends.

Removing the Croak Hunter’s reliance on other models and reducing its point cost make this skirmishing combat solo a more attractive choice. With Hunter and Reposition, the Croak Hunter is a much more consistent performer.

Gatorman Witch Doctor

Change “Magic Ability [7]” to “Magic Ability.”

Replace the Dominate Undead (★Attack) spell with Death Ride (★Action):

Death Ride (★Action) – Friendly Faction undead models activating in this model’s command range gain +1˝ movement when advancing as part of their Normal Movement. Death Ride lasts for one turn.

Replace the Zombify (★Action) spell with Shadow Walk (★Action):

Shadow Walk (★Action) – RNG CMD. Target friendly Faction model. If the model is in range, it gains Ghostly for one turn. (A model with Ghostly can advance through terrain and obstacles without penalty and can advance through obstructions if it has enough movement to move completely past them. It cannot be targeted by free strikes.)

With some of the other changes in this dynamic update, we felt that the Gatorman Witch Doctor’s abilities were a little too repetitive or corner-case. Replacing Dominate Undead with Death Ride allows for some powerful interactions with Swamp Shamblers and any army lead by Maelok, and Shadow Walk gives Minion models the ability to move unhindered through terrain and ignore free strikes.

Thrullg

Reduce the point cost to 5.

Add Pathfinder to the Thrullg.

Add the Prowl rule to the Thrullg:

Prowl – While this model has concealment, it gains Stealth .

Adding Pathfinder and Prowl really opens up the places on the table that the Thrullg can be played and allows it to reach the thick of the battle more consistently. Additionally, the point cost reduction brings it into line with other utility combat solos.

Theme Forces

The Blindwater Congregation

Add Lynus Wesselbaum & Edrea Lloryrr to the Army Composition section.

Replace the second benefit with the following:

For every full 20 points of units and battle engines in this army, you can add one Bull Snapper warbeast, one Boil Master & Spirit Cauldron unit, or one solo without the Lesser Warlock special rule to the army free of cost.

Adding Lynus & Edrea to the allowed units and adding the Boil Master & Spirit Cauldron to the free options in the theme force opens up new and interesting list building options.

The Thornfall Alliance

Add Lynus Wesselbaum & Edrea Lloryrr to the Army Composition section.

The added utility of Lynus & Edrea within the Thornfall Alliance should help mitigate some of the issues that players have had with this theme.