Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Review - Blindwater 25pt holiday bundle

Privateer Press is selling some 25pt army Holiday Bundles for Christmas, one for each faction. Except Minions, who get two bundles - Blindwater and Thornfall. Funny that.

The list

So let's assess what you get:

  • Bloody Barnabas - the man, the legend. An excellent competitive caster with a variety of tricks, relatively simple to learn and difficult to master. Definitely the best choice of the three current Gatorman casters for a new player or veteran player moving into the faction.
  • Bull Snapper - One of the best light beasts in the game, and a backbone of the Blindwater Pact.
  • Blackhide Wrastler - Hardest hitting model we currently have at the moment, so with Barnabas' lack of damage buffing, this guy is a must-have in my opinion.
  • Swamp Horror - Not a bad beast but I'm surprised this was put in instead of a Spitter. It is able to kill a bit more infantry and control the board a bit better, but a powerful AoE gun at low points size is so good! I think this was put in here more for the ranged hate aspect - you can have Posse, Wrastler and Barnabas safely in two Swamp Pits, and your Horror can stay outside it without too many worries thanks to Impervious Flesh. He also hits harder than a Spitter, although not by much.
  • Gatorman Posse (max) - Wooooooooo. Legit. Survivable, great synergy with Barnabas, crap ton of quality attacks. Best medium infantry in the game?
  • Pendrake - Mmmm... cool I guess. The nature of Blindwater lists always tend to leave annoying list gaps like this, and Pendrake is probably as good as anything else to fill the gap.
  • Mini rulebook + tokens - Neato. I'm very anal when it comes to tokens so including tokens in starter sets is a pro move in my book. I personally prefer white squares with the spell written on them (easier to read), but the PP tokens are also pretty nice.
The cost? 161 USD. Doesn't seem like a stellar deal, when you could buy it for about 155 AUD from Defiant Gaming, without the mini rulebook and 'special ornament', whatever that is. Some of the other bundles seem to be significantly cheaper - so if you can just buy this list by itself cheaper, why not?

Overall I think this is a good starter list for 25 pts. I personally would swap out the Horror for a Spitter in order to provide some ranged support and a stronger assassination angle with Barnabas' feat. You lose a few reach attacks and a little punch, but gain some ranged game. I have played this list with a Spitter instead at 25pts competitively and it did reasonably well. It almost plays itself. You could switch out Pendrake for a Croak Hunter, or Feralgeist + Swamp Gobbers for models that you will probably use more in the long-term than Pendrake.

Good combos

Interested in getting into a new faction at the same time as a friend, or getting a friend into the game? Here are my opinions on the best/most fun match-ups for the Gator bundle, as well as the worst/least balanced match-ups. As you can see, Hordes tends to play better against Hordes at low point values, but I tried to vary things a bit.

Top 3 'best' match-ups

  1.  Skorne - Naaresh, Gladiator, 2x Savage, Min Paingivers, 10 Nihilators, Marketh
    This one would be a good old slugfest. Iron Flesh troops and casters would be a problem for most armies, but with Posse and a KD feat, you have an answer. I think the Gator player probably has a slight advantage in the match-up as Naaresh usually needs either more support or light infantry to kill to really shine, but it's balanced enough that the better/luckier player should win.
  2. Trolls - Grim Angus, Pyre Troll, Impaler, Bomber, 10 Fennblades, Fell Caller
    It was a toss-up between Trolls and Legion, I think both are well-balanced. This list is quite ranged heavy so make good use of your Swamp Pits. The Fell Caller is also a key support piece, being able to give Fennblades Pathfinder and remove KD - if you can somehow take him out quick, the game gets much easier for you.
  3. Cryx - pSkarre, Slayer, 2x Deathripper, Defiler, 10 Satyxis, Skarlock, Satyxis Captain The only really ball-busting thing here is that the Satyxis Captain more or less negates your feat vs Skarre and troops, so kill her quick. Skarre's feat giving +5 ARM to all her stuff is rough, but most of the stuff there is pretty low ARM anyway so it's weatherable. She also doesn't have the focus factory and no Necrosurgeon to heal up, so it's almost.... balanced? Also, Satyxis without the UA are killable and won't completely destroy the Posse and your beasts.

Top 3 'worst' match-ups

  1. Khador - pVlad, Destroyer, Juggernaut, Full Demo Corps, Widowmakers, War Dog
    I think pVlad by himself can pretty much beat the Gator list... Blood of Kings + camp 3 focus over 50 turns, then he eventually wins. Two Khador heavies is also really hard to kill. Basically you have zero chance in a game of attrition at this points size, outside insane luck on damage rolls.
  2. Cygnar - eStryker, Ironclad, Lancer, Charger, Full Stormguard, Squire, Journeyman
    eStryker? Wow. The problem here is mostly that Arcane Shield on either the Ironclad or eStryker with a few focus means those things are not dying. Stormguard + Arcane Shield are not a problem at all for Gators. But the combination of Rebuke and Tremor will take care of the Posse (Iron Flesh or not), then he spend his time lolerskating around till he one-shots your caster or a heavy. Again, armor is the main problem, and there is very little chance of killing Junior as he will hide on the back table edge.
  3. Circle - pBaldur, Woldwarden, Woldwyrd, Wold Guardian, Wold Stalkers, Shifting Stones + UA
    All non-living models with decent ARM? Having no feat due to Solid Ground? Forests everywhere blocking LoS, forcing you to run to engage Woldstalkers, just so they Zephyr away and shoot you in the face? Awesome. The Circle player has the tools to basically just run around and pick off things, and slow the rest of your stuff down. Best chance for you would be a straight assassination if the Circle player is careless with Baldur (and he really doesn't have to be).

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