The Gatorman Witch Doctor, also known as Croctor, is a solid support solo with a pretty nice model (despite the official PP photo, which makes him look a little in-bred around the face). This write-up speaks to his use as a solo in Blindwater, although I suspect his ability to Dominate Undead and Zombify makes him relatively more useful in other Hordes factions in certain match-ups.
His stats are Gatorman stats, although a bit weaker and less able in melee than a Posse member. He has the following abilities:
- Beast Master - beasts can force while in the Croctor's command range.
- * Attack - Dominate Undead - see Alexia1. A much stronger version of Influence where you can advance with the undead model and make an attack.
- * Action - Sacrificial Strike - see Skarre. The ability is friendly faction only so will only work when sacrificing fellow Blindwater members, or goats.
- * Action - Zombify - makes a unit tough and undead for a round.
DamageLike most Gators, he has a decent bite attack. He also has a magical dagger, which for any other faction would be almost irrelevant but for the young Blindwater Pact, it is a welcome addition. All up however, he is not as good as a Posse grunt in melee, and his primary source of damage will be Sacrificial Strike.
He is a Gatorman - good ARM, 8 boxes so he can take a few small hits. Apart from that, his best defense is that he is usually a bit further back. He has no other special defense abilities.
UtilityThis is where the Croctor butters his bread. He brings a small array of very useful tools.
Beast Master at present is not a very useful ability since most of our beasts are pretty slow and likely to be within 12" or our casters, but I've had it be useful in the late game where I had my caster on one side of the board and a frenzying Snapper had run off to the opposite side. Having a Croctor allowed me to use the Snapper to full capacity before getting him back in my caster's control area.
Dominate Undead and Sacrificial Strike are both useful scalpel abilities. Dominate can be used to move an undead model away, either to clear space for your own guys, get a sweet backstrike or to screw your opponent by messing up their lines and running their support away. Sacrificial Strike can deliver a reliable high POW damage roll exactly where you need it, and is great for dealing with tricky or high def models like Kayazy Underbosses, Gorman or Eyriss. It is also a magical damage roll, so is useful for taking out incorporeal models, Vilmon, or Dahlia and Skarryth.
TacticaFor the early game, you deploy him behind a Posse unit and he casts Zombify for a turn or four. Pretty simple.
If you get the opportunity to Dominate a valuable undead target like Tartarus, do it and mess with your opponent's plans. If you get the opportunity to sacrifice a Gator or Bog Trog in order to get a POW 14/16 on a key model like Gorman, Joe, or any annoying wiener blocking a valuable charge lane, do it. Otherwise, just keep casting Zombify every turn, and look out for ways in which Zombify or his magic powers can help you deal with problems.
If you're using a full Bog Trog Ambusher unit AND they ambush close him, I would definitely make the two best buddies. Trogs are good Sacrificial Strike targets as POW 14 is usually high enough to kill your target, and Zombify gives you an effective tough tarpit and makes up for one of their greatest weaknesses (low CMD). Being on a flank like that might even make Beast Master useful!
He works well with every Gator warlock since he offers a nice toolkit alongside a sweet troop buff, but he synergizes especially well with Maelok, because he allows a full unit to benefit from Maelok's feat, and Tough helps you grind out even more. He also provides Maelok a mid-range single target magic nuke, which he otherwise lacks.
ConclusionThe Croctor is a great support/utility piece and brings some magic damage to the faction! He is a bit on the expensive side of things at 3pts for Gators and is surely a victim of the MkII points system (1), but I would nevertheless consider him Blindwater's number one all-around solo choice beside the Totem Hunter.
(1) Although I prefer the MkII "decimal" points system to the MkI "percentile" system, I think plenty of arguments have been made that the system loses a lot of granulary at the lower points level, specifically the 1-4pts bracket, which affects solos heavily. The vast majority of solos in the game sit at 2pts, and within that bracket there is a HUGE variation in power and utility, with models like Gorman and Joe at one end and guys like Rutger Shaw and Troll Skinner at the other. I think the system would benefit from just doubling all the points to allow a little bit more of a fine tuning edge to points values - the Croctor in my opinion is at the lower end of the 3pts scale, which can be evidenced by his cost of 2pts in a Maelok list where he is no less useful than he is in any other Blindwater list, but far less useful than he is in certain Troll lists.