Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Circle Tactica: Druids of Orboros (and a shout-out to my red headed step child, shifting stones)

Hello my friends, time once again for me to rant and rave about something in my list that is amazing and fun to play.

"Wait a minute!" You chirp. "Why, your last post about Circle was a harrowing tale of lies and deceit. You ripped apart the Shifting Stones and ate their remains for breakfast!"

Quite right! THAT was long before I realized how utterly retarded I was, and how little I actually knew of the game.

The edge of the rabbit hole is a dangerous place to be. You may criticize your decision to stand so close, you may even call the hole itself unrealistic, flawed and full of surprises that you don't really like. Then, right when you decide to step away from the gaping maw of adventure, a great big rabbit called Curiosity bumbles into your arse and you tumble right down the hole.

You may grasp at the sides of the hole as you slip into oblivion, you may even deny that any of this is happening and that you will wake up with plastic glue in your hand and drool on your arm, but there is nothing to decrease your downward dive into the depths of possibilities in this new-found dream world.

I am speaking, of course, from personal experience. I was disheartened by the idea of a game that, after 3 long years, I had yet to fully master, much less fully understand. When it came time for me to step up my game, I instead threw a tantrum, punched a puppy and declared the game "stupid and dumb."


I may say I dislike the game, and I may get easily confused by numbers or shout about how your unit is horribly broken, but at the end of the day I am learning from my mistakes and improving my game, one step at a time.

SO, on to the meat of this delicious irony and humility sandwich: Druids of Orboros.

As you may, or may not know, the Druids of Orboros are a wonderful utility unit that, although may appear expensive at slightly over 1 point per model, really are an auto-include in any list I write above 25 points.

But, they are 1 wounders, they have average def and low arm, and they are only P+S 10 with mat 5. How can these saps be any good?

Well, you naive kitten, the Druids of Orboros are good NOT because they are melee beat sticks, but because they are a unit of Jedi Consulars ready to force push/pull your enemy closer to your beat sticks, prevent your enemy from casting and create defensive shit storms that reduce your opponents attack rolls by 2.

So, lets look at the unit's unique powers and let me esplain to you just how cool they really are:

Firstly, the unit is Magic Ability [7]. That means when they attempt to force push a heavy/light they will easily surpass the defense of their target and push/pull them where needed. You also have 6 of the buggers, so, unless you have stupendously bad luck, you might even have a chance of force pulling a high def warlock/warcaster or solo.

Secondly, each model in the unit may cast spells on their own, meaning 3 could force push, 2 could summon up a small storm, and 1 could prevent enemies from casting spells both from and at models within 3"+ the number of druids in the unit (so 9" with all of the blokes still alive).

Now for their actual abilities:

Force Bolt: Range 10", POW 10, any model hit is moved d3" in any one direction, on a critical, models are knocked down.

This. Right here. Amazing utility. Oh, your heavy is blocking my charge at your warcaster? Here, let me move him for you. Oh, your lightjack is in arc range of my warlock? Let me fix that for you. Hell, you might even do one or two damage. I had my druids one shot a Magister, so that POW 10 ain't bad. You could even get extra lucky and knock down your target with a well rolled critical.

Counter Magic: Pretty straight forward. Great at shutting down magic heavy casters and allows you to force your enemy to engage you at close range, hopefully allowing your beasts to run in an do what they are best at: KILLING THINGS.

Summon Vortex: Arguably the most difficult to use ability. Blocks LOS to models behind it, reduces opponents MAT rolls by 2 and provides the model inside with concealment.

How good are these guys with my main man Baldur? Well, Baldur's feat is great in conjunction with Druids. Druids have camouflage, and, while this is useful in it's own right, REALLY comes into play well when these druids have def 20 against ranged/magic. Need to strategically replace your army? Pop Baldur's feat, sprint your mans to a forest some where, teleport a heavy over there, and boom, your enemy now has to rethink their whole strategy and assault vectors.

Really, this unit highlights what Circle of Orboros is good at: synergy. Each and EVERY unit in a Circle army works well with each other and really depends on each unit in the list to help make them better. I love this about the army and it really tailors to my usual play style for most other games. Hopefully my abilities will increase as I get more practice under my belt.

Now, I must address a certain unit and my new feelings about it. After lashing with both tongue and whip, my Shifting Stones came crawling back to me begging that I let them try and prove themselves one last time before they are used as paper weights. I begrudgingly agreed to one last "Hurrah" and set about using them. I was amazed at how useful they actually are. Sure, they weren't banana-porting my army all over the map, but boy were they useful! They helped block charges, healed my beasts (Megalith + Baldur + Shifting Stones = 2d3+1 hit points restored each turn) and proved a nuisance to my enemy. They are cheap, easy to use and really lend themselves to the army in ways even my opponents were shocked to discover.

I take back everything bad I ever said about them, and I welcome them back into my army. In fact, I may go buy another pack!

That's it for now, my Circle buddies. Hopefully next time we have a little chat I will be able to report on some other awesome unit, such as maybe the Wold Guardian?

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