How to Make Wracks and Influence People (Protectorate Vengeance Review)

Here it is folks! What you’ve all been waiting for! Yet another well poorly thought-out spewed review of Vengeance! This time we’re visiting the Protectorate to see how they made out with their new swag!

Let’s Take a Deep Breath

This was not a book of obvious, game-changing models for Menites fair and foul. I’ll compare it to early Mk 2 Cryx releases, where honestly none of this book will ever be on a list of auto-includes for competitive play (with maybe one kickstarter exception). However, it’s not that these releases are bad, just a tad boring. Of course Menoth releases often are, before you consider what you can add to models. This is a alternatives book, PoM players aren’t getting totally new playstyles, or tricks, they are getting different options to approach the same problems. Now this is not a disaster as PoM is a very well-rounded Faction with few enormous insurmountable issues or matchups. So let’s keep this in mind as we go forward, in fact I will be comparing the new models to appropriate in Faction models and options, in order to find a place for them.

‘Dem Chariots!

As far as my rankings go:
An A grade is something that is truly excellent, in almost every list. This model or unit will probably appear in most list pairings, or be a notable exception if it doesn’t, think Reckoner’s or Zealots.

A B grade is something that is good, but requires you to work, or have a very specific problem before you reach for it. It’s not for every list, and won’t be surprising or expected in any list pairing, think Templars or Bastions.

A C grade is something that probably won’t see table time unless someone loves the model. It doesn’t do a job you want, or does the job less well than something else in almost all situations. Think cinerators.

An F grade is something that is just actively bad. There are almost no models like this, that will never achieve anything and may actually cause you to lose a game.

The Big Kahuna – Reznik2, The Wrath of Ages
This guy is on a huge base. He is as fast as his focus, which is a bump up from his original version and a bit slow for a cavalry model. He must have gotten into the cookie jar, and those horses can’t drag his fat ass with ease. A focus bump is nice. Really great in fact, but it comes with a drop in Defence to extremely low for a warcaster at the unlucky number. His P+S also drops to the same value, but he still has a spell which improves his output in melee combat (though I’m not sure that’s a good plan exactly). His Arm, importantly doesn’t improve making him probably the squishiest of the huge based casters (there are 2 so far >_>). Now this isn’t shocking for a PoM caster, but it is a bit alarmingly poor for a huge base.

Is it a bird, is it a chariot of flaming explosion death for my village!?

His abilities are ‘being a battle engine’, so he can indeed be repaired, but can’t exactly hide or help out his poor Defence against ranged attacks. He also has flame burst to explode guys in a teeny tiny radius around killed guys, and interestingly take down. So all oh is attacks, including impact attacks ignore tough and remove play. He has terror and reach, and all of the rules that come with being a cavalry model. His biggest ability is Lamentations of Suffering, if he is camping a focus, he cannot be targeted by non-magical shooting. That non-magical caveat is important. In some matchups he can camp one and be unshootable but in others he’ll have to camp it all for the Arm, not the Lamentations.

His feat is arguably one of the strongest in the faction. Enemy models in the feat have -2 Def, and if boxed by an attack from a friendly model is removed from play. When this happens, a 4” AoE is placed over the model and deals pow 12 fire damage to every enemy model within the AoE. Note that that these explosions are not attacks, and don’t chain. However regular AoE’s do cause more explosions, and this is exciting to people who like fun! (I’m not sure I’m included!)

Finally his spell list is Iron Aggression for boosted attack rolls and free charges/tramples, Death March which gives a target unit Vengeance and + 2 Mat, the situationally powerful Lamentation spell, doubling upkeep and spell costs in his control area, Creator’s Wrath giving him an additional die on melee attacks and damage (including impacts) and effectively blessed. Finally he has an attack spell which is new called The Flesh Is Weak, a cost 3, AoE 4 spell which stops living and undead models (just models not units) from charging for a turn.

Thoughts & Opinions

He is… not obvious. I’m certainly not immediately excited like I am for Butcher3, Issyria and Stryker3. Nor can I identify and obvious strategy like Goreshade3. Because of this I’m not sure what I think about him, or what I’d run him with. He seems like he has several large (or rather Huge!?) issues to overcome to leverage him, which is common of what are considered weaker casters. They both derive from his base size.

The first is his personal defences. He basically needs to camp. His Def is Low, and his Arm isn’t very high. He wants to camp at least one to have Lamentations, but in many many matchups he’ll want to be camping full. He also demands a Devout, and prefers to only have maybe 2 of his upkeeps up, and not allocating much. These are all issues that can be addressed, and he’s mostly actually happy enough to hang at the back of your army. The bigger problem is…

Positioning him. Reznik2 offers the only RFP game in the faction, which is a big deal in the recursion heavy world of Morv2, Cryx and Enigma foundry. However this is mostly with his feat, and he needs to activate first, or early in his turn to use his feat. In order for Reznik to activate, move up and feat before his army moves you need to leave an enormous runway for his fat ass which telegraphs you’re large not particularly resilient casters location next turn. If you try to leave 2 runways, you’re army is going to be in a really weird position. Now the intention is probably that you kill you’re control area worth of models, but it seems like your opponent is going to run their heavies to a position opposite the end of the runway, forcing you to back off on the feat, or you know… die?

The jury is still out on Reznik2, I think the model will be beautiful and people have a lot of exploring to do with him, and he certainly doesn’t do anything that other casters in the Faction do, but I’m not sure he’s going to be tearing it up nor changing the line-up of common/powerful Menoth casters.

Rating: B-
Comparable to: He has a pKreoss like feat, but with a win more factor against infantry, and less assassination potential, but a much more Reznik1/Feora1 tactic of hopefully killing the last opposing models that can kill him. However, I’m not sure he achieves the latter, and he offers matchup specific options that are unlike anyone else.

A big problem comes with him wanting the rfp matchup and being a liability against Lich2 with his huge base and low defense.

In a World of Smashy Robots – Indictor

This guy is a speed 4, no reach heavy, with the guardian stat line and a shield. He has spell ward and blessed which are excellent, and a situational rule which stops channelling and spellcasting within 5” of him. He has the same cost as a Reckoner/Vanquisher/Templar.

Prepare for beauty, unsupported by awesomeness. The mountain king syndrome!

Thoughts & Opinions

Step one! Do not compare this guy to a Reckoner, just because he costs the same he does not do the same job. Mistake me not, I’m not defending this guy, but that’s not where his problems lie. His problems lie in being a cinerator. Spell ward and blessed are amazing abilities on a resilient melee heavy, but he is very comparable to the Templar and loses chain weapon, beat back and reach.

As much as I adore built in spell ward, and think blessed is better than chain weapon and reach combined, not having the most powerful basic ability in the game is huge for two models with much the same stat line and the same cost and role. Just as the Bastions do almost the same job, but better because reach, the Templar seems like he outshines this guy in most games (because reach), and they are so totally interchangeable in most games that it’s really not a favourable comparison.

Ranking: C (But he’ll still almost never get taken)
Comparable to: A Templar. Same cost, better written abilities, but no reach and the same purpose. He’s going to lose this fight for a place in most lists.

See a Daughter about a Horse – Flamebringers

These girls are light cav, with no ranged attacks. They have a very solid defensive line, with a defence one less than Def of Daughters of the Flame, and an Arm the same as the Def of Daughters of the Flame. They have mat 6 (though mat on the charge attack), and two normal attacks and a mount attack. The knives are low pow weapon masters, and all of the Flamebringers attacks have side step letting them bounce around and maybe disengage and back up before using the light cav move. Finally they have crit Grievous wounds, which can be great.

They see me rollin’, with improbable horseback weapons, they hatin’…

Thoughts & Opinions

These guys take a bit to warm to, they provide much the same job as errants in terms of position, getting in zones early, and type of infantry clearing. They can have some problems with hitting, and their defences aren’t immediately awesome. However, I think that they are much more survivable without support than errants, and especially resilient to the kind of shooting that usually kills the crap out of errants. And with Defenders Ward and Rhupert’s +1 Def these guys can be nightmarishly tough. This makes Sev1 an awesome option, what with having an accuracy buff as well as Defenders Ward. I think they have potentially serious jam power with Vindictus at super survivable, super fast with a 20” run and killing infantry that damage them while surviving the attacks. Finally the backup is great with stuff like Harby and Kreoss’s feat largely stalling enemy troops to make light cav worthwhile, and they both have accuracy and defensive buffs for the ladies. Guided Hand can make that crit much more likely too! Thyra is probably very good with them, in an obvious way, but there may be upkeep swapping and caster exposing issues.

Ranking: B+
Comparable to: In terms of cost and role, they compare to errants in many lists. They actually can pip them out in some matchups, it really depends on what the list wants and needs, but they will rarely be an embarrassing alternative.

Leading from the Front – The Bastion Seneschal

This guy has been out forever, so I won’t go into too much detail. He’s a jack marshall in Menoth which is interesting with choir, sanctifier, and reclaimers, but still niche, he also heals Bastions activating in his command, which is usually what get’s him included.

And then they released a Kreoss2 proxy model that would look as hilarious on a small base as he should, and there was much rejoicing!

Thoughts & Opinions

He’s a good option. If you have one unit of Bastions, you should seriously consider him. If you have two units, he’s excellent in the long term, especially when your caster also defends them. As a jack marshall, he has been eclipsed by the last release in Vengeance, but it’s still an option to be explored.

Ranking: B-
Comparable to: Everything worth 2-3 points. 3 points is the hardest point cost to be in the game, and it’s not easy to fit in among other Menoth support, even when you’re a boss weapon master. He doesn’t compete with role for anything, but for cost and support value he can struggle, especially when his jack marshall tries to fulfil the same role as…

Holy Four extra focus Batman! – Initiate Tristan Durant

Tristan will run a redeemer at full power every turn regardless of what you’re caster is doing. This alone is awesome! Tristan is a focus 4 journeyman warcaster, with little else going one apart from a battlegroup +2 Arm spell and four caster independent focus.

Dem’ Focus

Thoughts & Opinions

That latter is F***ing amazing though. Espeically with choir and vassals. Now, like all juniors, getting too close to the front makes him a liability, so melee jacks are probably not the right call, and they wanted +2 Arm the most. However, Menoth has some of the best shooting jacks in the game, especially the redeemer who is focus hungry, and doesn’t need too much from battlegroup bonuses. Also interesting, are Arm 21 reckoners, which make them much tougher, and with some builds and casters he can even run and Arm 21 judicator. Which I think has potential with Harbinger. Regardless, he’s awesome for adding redeemers to low focus casters, and just running them in general.

Ranking: A-
Comparable to: The seneschal, and maybe wracks and hierophant for focus terms, but really Tristan stands alone for the option to run a jack at full power no matter what your caster is doing as long as it’s not dying!

Thanks for Reading!
-Eoin/VagrantPoet

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4 thoughts on “How to Make Wracks and Influence People (Protectorate Vengeance Review)

    • That’s fair. Especially in the case of Reznik. I’ve been playing Durant, and he’s great. I’ve played the seneschal plenty sans jack marshal. The indictor is a lost cause, but I’m definitely going to do a bit of testing with flamebringers, I think they are a solid alternative to errants in some lists. I’m betting I’m on the money though, excepting Rez2 because… Buh?

  1. Seems like a well-reasoned review, but just once, I’d like to see someone reviewing new releases exclusively with the idea of positive ways to use them to change up the game, instead of the constant desire to grade them. The relative competitiveness of models has never been determined by theory and will only work itself out in use. Why indulge in it? Throw some positivity into the meta, can’t possibly hurt. Certainly enough “this is meh, will never get used” out there already.

    • My sentiments exactly Josh! I for one expect to play every one of these releases a bunch, there’s a mad Amon Ad-Raza list floating about with two Indictors that I’m itching to try.

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