A quick recap of the scale I’m using for this series:
1 – “You are handicapping yourself by playing this model. It is criminally overpriced and/or underpowered.”
2– 3 – “There are very few situations in which this model is the correct choice. It is substantially outperformed by another piece or does a job that is irrelevant”
4 – 5 – “Potentially valuable in niche situations. The model may not be worth it’s points or worth taking, except when a list does something specific to emphasis its strengths or eliminate its weaknesses”
6 – 7 – “A useful piece that will find play in a variety of places. Probably good value for its points or fills a useful role that some lists will value.”
8 – 9 – “One of the core pieces of the faction. This piece will find a place in many lists and brings something crucial to the faction”
10 – “An auto-include. This piece is at the pinnacle of the faction and requires an extremely good reason to consider not including it”
Let’s get on with having a look at the MK3 units:
Choir of Menoth
The Choir remained identical, with just one key, painful change. Battle no longer grants +2 to hit. And this is very sad, but I understand why it was removed. MAT 8 jacks across the board in MK3, with power up and cheaper jacks, may have been a bit much.
A few got a boost to MAT 7, and MAT 7 character jacks are widely available (and considerably better than before), but this is still a hit.
Does it affect the auto-include status of the choir? No, not in my opinion. Passage, Shielding and the toned down battle are still so good for 4 points that you’re going to want a choir in nearly every list. This is possibly even truer now you can’t run lists like Harbinger and High Reclaimer using nothing but a single light jack.
They might be worse than before, but they are still invaluable to Menoth.
Value Rating: 10
Daughters of the Flame
Daughters changed a bit, but are still recognisable from their MK2 form. They lost a point of DEF, but gained stealth. As an additional boon, Anatomical Precision now overrides tough.
They are still AD (but still lack pathfinder) and remain at the pretty cheap price of 10 points.
The daughters provide something interesting to Menoth, with their raw speed and reasonable DEF, they can be an interesting front line unit. Anatomical precision allows them to kill enemy screens pretty effectively and, with Acrobatics and Parry, they can scalpel some key solos if your opponent makes placement errors.
Their low ARM and POW makes them pretty useless into certain games, so they require some thought about where they fit, but I feel like they’re cheap and flexible enough to find their way into some lists.
Value Rating: 6
There are certain units from MK2 so terrible that it was assumed MK3 could only improve them. Not so for the Deliverers! Let me sum up what they look like in MK3. They are 13 points, 12/11 DEF/ARM with RNG 16 POW 8 RAT 5 inaccurate rockets and CRA.
But hey, you might be saying, they can put out a RNG 16 RAT 11 POW 18 shot. That’s true – 13 points just got you a single non-boostable shot, attached to a unit that dies to a stiff breeze. Lose 5 guys from the units, and they have virtually no value. RAT 6 POW 13 doesn’t sound quite so impressive. In a world where Shield Guard was handed out like candy, the whole idea sounds even worse.
The other options include 10 POW 4 blast AOEs (pretty pointless, at POW 4, for the most part) and various CRA combinations that all leave you wondering why you didn’t just bring a redeemer for 2 less points.
As ever, they may see a little play with Kreoss 1, but going down to POW 8 poops all over their offensive output against knocked down targets. I see no role for these guys and assume they will remain on dusty shelves for another edition. Possibly even more so.
Value Rating: 1
Deliverer Sunburst Crew
This is a substantially improved unit – no question. The ability to move and fire helps (even if it’s a relatively small move) and paying 5 points for a RNG 16, 4 inch pieplate of continuous fire seems acceptable. The ability to aim (which Range 16 helps quite a bit) and get +1 from the new Deliverer solo can take them to RAT 8.
If there’s still a good number of troops on the table once MK3 beds in properly, this could be a cheap, decent, anti-infantry option.
Value Rating: 5
I think this is probably the saddest rating for me. The Deliverers are almost certainly the worst unit in Menoth, being objective, but the Bastions may be the saddest.
Why, you might ask? Well, let’s start with the least important – dropping a POW for no reason, other than making the Cinerators look better. The more important change? Common with other Heavy Infantry, they dropped to 5 boxes. I realise that this is a universal change, but it is crippling to the Bastions. They are so slow, and have terrible defensive stats – Sanguine Bond is what enabled them to cross the table and actually get work done. Now, it still exists, but with a combined total of 25 boxes instead of 40, boosted POW 12s start overkilling your Bastions straight out of the gate and those 25 boxes get swallowed up very quickly.
Set defence is probably one of the most irrelevant abilities you could add to a DEF 11 unit who are going to get shot off the table.
Are they unplayable? No. But I can’t imagine many situations in which you want to take them over Cinerators.
Value Rating: 2
The Bastions going down several notches sent the Cinerators stock up quite a bit. So, they’re a little bit hardier than Bastions at ARM 17. They also picked up the new, improved Vengeance and 2 inch reach.
They pretty clearly outclass the Bastions now, but I’m still really unsure about how many lists I might want them in. They fall into an okay price point and, against the right lists, I can imagine them getting some value for points – they hit hard and, with Vengeance and Reach, they get to a pretty reasonable threat level (assuming Vengeance gets procced). To be fair, they’re only slightly more resistant to shooting than Bastions, but bumping them to 19 with Decel or somesuch, with Vengeance, feels a lot better than getting Bastions to 18.
Value Rating: 4
Oh Errants. Plus points – they cost the same and largely remained the same. There’s also a pretty compelling reason to take them without the UA now (because it’s a bit dubious), so you can get the unit in on the cheap.
Negatives? They lost Pathfinder, which felt like a defining feature of the unit, and was pretty uncommon in Menoth. They were an early engagement, skirmishing unit for the early game who could survive relatively well with the correct support. I think the loss of Pathfinder really hinders their ability to perform this job, especially if we actually end up seeing more terrain on the table.
The proliferation of Grievous Wounds doesn’t do anything to help their Self-Sacrifice, either.
My current position is that, depending on what you want from your unit, you should take either Temple Flame Guard or Idrians. I don’t see a place for Errants anymore.
Value Rating: 3
With the various nerfs to medium infantry, I feel pretty certain that the stock of Cavalry has gone up. Going to FA2, getting a 3 inch reposition, getting universally cheaper and getting boosted attacks on the charge only reinforces this.
Compare Vengers to Cinerators. The ARM values starts the same (with 1 higher DEF on the horsies). Battle Driven takes the Vengers to 19 – the value that I said above made Cinerators start to become interesting. It also puts them to P+S 16 with their lances – which is straight up superior to a P+S 12 weapon master attack, especially with the situational Blessed ability on the lances.
Let’s talk about threat ranges. Vengers always threat 13 – base, nothing added or required. They have impacts to help them get there or do additional damage once they arrive. Cinerators top out at 12 if Vengeance happens.
In summary, Vengers now threat further, hit harder, are harder to kill and have much more mobility than their Medium based counterparts. They are an excellent unit and will compete for a place in a lot of lists.
Value Rating: 8
A lot of the things I just said about cavalry also apply here. These girls got cheaper and better – but, let’s be honest, they needed it.
Their 17 point price point makes them pretty interesting. At speed 9, MAT 7 weapon masters with sidestep, 2 attacks and sidestep, they can get really deep into enemy lines. Crit Grievous is also much more interesting with boosted charge attacks. Picking up impact attacks didn’t hurt, either, although it’s a bit situational if you need sidestep targets.
Their defensive stats are respectable, particularly if there aren’t many boostable guns on the table. Add Arcane Ward in there, and they become difficult to deal with.
I don’t think they’ll be everywhere, but I think there will be a number of list that will want these girls. Which might be a novel experience for them.
Value Rating: 6
I’m not quite sure what I think of this unit. On one hand, there’s the spray 10 mini-feat from the UA, as well as tactics: Assault, which turns their threat range up pretty high. Also, a range 8 spray at POW 12 continuous fire is nothing to sneeze at.
A few things concern me, though. At 9/15 (+4 for the near-mandatory UA), it’s a pretty pricey package. I can see a 13 point investment in a min unit with UA, but that’s the same price point at 2 Sunbursts with Arms Master, and I don’t know if it even competes in terms of troop killing potency.
The second thing that concerns me is RAT 5. There aren’t going to be 2 many situations where they can aim, unless you’re playing them back and clearing off a jam. But they’re pretty bad at that, really, considering they don’t have ‘Clear!’. So, the only things they’ll reliably hit are DEF 12, unless they’re with a caster with a good hit booster. Reznik2’s feat, Sevvy1 in general, Kreoss1 all seem like good candidates.
Oh, and 11/14 stats are not great, even with Ashen Veil.
I feel like these guys are quite a bit better, but I’m not sure how relevant they are.
Value Rating: 4
The downfall of the Holy Zealots is a little bit tragic. The irritating potency of Greater Destiny was, arguably, a bit too strong, I admit. But, on a unit that dies in droves outside of that mini-feat, they never felt unmanageable.
On the other hand, their new mini-feat allows you to bring back models destroyed in the previous turn. Sounds okay on paper, but it also means their ability to jam and take up space is now non-existent. It is also wholly tied to the monolith bearer – kill him, and nothing comes back.
Their other main issue is the nerf to Fervor, which no longer grants +2 to hit. At RAT 4, they are now pretty unlikely to hit anything. They have also been superseded in reliable infantry killing power by the super-efficient Redeemer.
I don’t really feel that Zealots have a role any more. They are pitiful as a jamming/screening unit compared to TFG, they kill infantry less well than a number of other options (in an edition where infantry will be somewhat less common) and their new recursion mechanic is tied to a pretty squishy UA.
I see almost no role for the poor Zealots any more.
Value Rating: 2
Probably the good news story of the faction, Idrians are pretty impressive for their points. They swapped a few abilities from MK2 – Assault and battery, which was excellent, got traded out for Brutal Charge and Reposition (3). Losing A&B hurts a little, but Reposition in particular is an excellent ability on a potent CRA unit.
They have impressive damage output, particularly against their prey, where 2 man CRAs go in at RAT 9 P+S 15, with reposition allowing them to peel a layer away and get back to relevant safety. They are accurate enough to be good vs Infantry and combine in 2 man CRAs high enough to threaten lights and casters where prey is active. They also do fine in melee, when the time comes. Their Go To Ground mini-feat assists with their survivability quite a bit.
The biggest boon to the Idrians, however, is that they dropped from 13 MK2 points for the full unit to just 20 MK3 point. Still a sizable investment, but one that feels worth it in quite a few situations.
Value Rating: 8
These guys got a little cheaper and had their melee range extended to 1 inch, which is pretty handy for them, considering their primary issue is not making it into the fight. They lost their defining ability, Bond of Brotherhood, so there’s no more 1 man super soldier when the rest of the unit goes down. They traded this for battle driven, which is obviously a little more vanilla and of limited value on a 6 man, low threat range unit with mediocre starting ARM.
That said, they still hit really hard, especially under battle driven. I can see matchups, against limited shooting, where they will get to do their jobs and will be impressive for their points. The new UA is also pretty interesting, but only emphasises their strengths, rather than eliminating their weaknesses, so likely doesn’t make them any less situation – just more potent in the right situation.
Value Rating: 4
In a world where Protectorate’s premier tarpit units took big hits, the Temple Flameguard emerged totally unscathed. In fact, they actually dropped in points a bit.
For 11 points, you get a unit that can occupy a ton of real estate with 2 inch reach, are pretty fast and have set defence. This becomes particularly relevant when you’re playing a caster with Arcane Ward or Defender’s ward. Becoming DEF 17 to charges is really quite obnoxious consider how cheap the unit is. They are susceptible to being shot, naturally, but DEF 13-15 isn’t entirely trivial and their cheapness makes this an acceptable exchange.
I think, in the modern Protectorate, if you want a front line screen, you’ll struggle to find a better choice than the TFG. And, for that reason, I think they’ll get taken a lot.
Value Rating: 9
Visgoth Juviah Rhoven and Honour Guard
Rhoven and hit boys underwent some changes, and some of them are good. The bad first, though. He went up in points, to 9, which can be a little hard to swallow for a 3 man unit. His command also got reduced to 6, which makes it occasionally difficult to keep the unit in formation, and impacts the range of Menoth’s Sight and Purifying Prayer. The unit also lost Battle Driven, which is a little sad, but understandable when other changes are taken into account.
Despite all this, he got some other things that help make the unit feel both more thematic and more synergistic.
Obviously, Menoth’s sight is still a great tool to have in the box, and often he’ll still be taken simple for that ability. Rhoven also gained Battlewizard, which reduces the Skornergy of wanting to cast with Rhoven and charge with the body guards a bit. He also gained a pretty powerful attack spell, Cleansing Fire, at AOE 3 POW 14 RNG 8 – he’s magic ability 8 for when it matters, which is pretty elite in a world where Lady Aiyanna dropped to 7.
Some of the bigger changes are to Gius and Cassian, though. Both went up to 8 boxes and gained shield guard. Getting 2 8 box shield guards in addition to their tool box unit leader feels like a much better deal than in the previous edition, where the Honour Guard often felt a bit superfluous, particularly if Rhoven was using spells and they weren’t charging. They still hit pretty hard, although losing battle driven is a slight knock to this. They’re a little less likely to be one-shot by boostable guns now, though, so may make it to the fight more often, or do key work taking shots.
Value Rating: 8