Spires Army build for Conquer the North, 1200

=== The Last Argument of Kings ===

Conquer the North 1200 [1200/1200]

The Spires

The Under Spire

== Biomancer [165]: Cascading Degeneration, Plaguelord, Mastery of Flesh 1

 * Bound Clones (5) [235]: Standard Bearer, Ward Preceptor

 * Incarnate Sentinels (3) [190]: 

== (Warlord) Pheromancer [110]: Adrenal Surge, Flesh 1

 * Stryx (3) [120]: 

 * Force-Grown Drones (3) [110]: Catabolic Node

 * Onslaught Drones (3) [120]: 

 * Brute Drones (3) [150]: 

Reasons for choices

Firstly I always build my armies around the rule of cool but also try to consider how I’d like to play the game! Spires excel at healing and having large blocks of expendable troops that can be difficult to shift. They also have some really cool looking brutes that I really wanted to try out. I know that shooting has received a buff in 2.0 but I really wanted to try and take an expendable horde backed up by powerful brutes so I left out the Executor in favour of a Biomancer,

I chose a Pheromancer as warlord so I could use the “Under Spire” army rule to grant regen 4 to all force grown drones (FGD), stryx and onslaught drones all of which I was taking.

I LOVE catabolic nodes, yes they are unpredictable but I have also seen them decimate units of heavily armoured knights for very little cost so a single FGD unit with one costs 110 points that is very risky to ignore. Stryx are now terrifying for lightly armoured enemy missile troops and can dominate the battlefield with their mobility and lethal demise. Onslaught drones look cool and also have a lot of attacks which ignore shield and bastion so are great for dealing with light and medium infantry. Finally brute drones have impact attacks and flurry so are great counter-charging unit once your screen has served its purpose!

Biomancer allows me to take both an anvil of bound clones (whose job it was to draw missile fire, hold objectives and grind against opponents) and Incarnate Sentinels which are the hammer with their high cleave and impact attacks. I upgraded the Biomancer with Cascading degeneration and Plaguelord to give his unit Aura of death for those protracted fights. For the bound clones I added a ward preceptor to make them more survivable vs missile and also because I just love the model! The Biomancer is also great for buffing the bound clones defence which combined with ward preceptor can get them to defence 5. Once they engage his healing keeps them in the fight and the ability to grant them deadly blades can really chew up enemy units. 

Performance in games

Game 1. Vs Spires

My small unit of FGD killed an opposing unit twice its size with the aid of a max impact catabolic! This blew my opponents centre away and ment I could threaten with flank with reinforcements moving through the centre

Bound clones got onto an objective and got involved in an endless grind with an enormous block of FGD led by my opponent’s Phermoancer. But I was constantly scoring and my opponent couldn’t shift me.

Stryx caused chaos by manoeuvring behind enemy lines and forcing a block of his brute drones to chase and engage away from the objectives

My brutes and sentinels held the other objectives and my opponent was unable to get to them in time to prevent me maxing out on VPs before the final turn.

Game 2 Vs Old Dominion

Stryx engaged Kheres early and prevented them shooting while my fgd suicide squad ran headlong toward the opponents Karyatids then it all went wrong…

My positioning was poor which lead to me feeding my units into his army one at a time where they were blasted with magic and missile fire before being finished in melee. My dice were poor but positioning was my downfall as the opponents gun line remained intact and unengaged throughout the battle. He played his list very well and I only managed to kill a single unit before conceding. 

Game 3 Vs Nords

Stryx traded with stalkers, fgd max impact removed a unit of raiders. Pushed onslaughts too far forward in center and were charged by blooded in unit of trolls. Lost vital initiative which meant they wiped my general. Incarnates charged and after two rounds of combat only managed to kill a single raider!!! Brute drones counter charge on trolls did very little damage and they simply regenerated. Only unit that performed well was the bound clones which killed a unit of valkyries, ugr, the trolls with blooded but were finally finished by my opponents last unit of raiders. Combination of lucky dice rolls to win initiative, biotic renewal and mastery of flesh healing this unit plus Aura of death damaging my opponents units before they attacked worked very well when they engaged only one unit at a time.Game swung heavily to my opponent due to very bad dice early on and then back to me for same reason. Very even game that was won on the last initiative roll.   

Lessons learned

  • While very effective at attacking and trading vs lightly armoured missile units I think Stryx might be better if held back a little and then supporting charges or by positioning them to threaten flanks or rear charges. Several games I’ve seen how their movement can pull apart an enemy line.
  • FGD + catabolics are awesome fun and cannot be ignored – for their points you can’t complain although minimum size units can suffer from being broken so handy to keep your Pheromancer close by to unbreak them with his Pheromantic compulsion
  • Bound clones with ward preceptor, Biomancer (with cascading degeneration and plaguelord) was awesome combo, They make a great anvil or objective cap but try to make sure they always charge their opponent to get maximum benefit
  • Incarnate Sentinels and Brute drones largely failed due to my poor positioning and dice but I think sentinels are a must have for Spires who generally lack any kind of cleave 
  • Overall I think the list I had required a less aggressive approach than I ultimately took as each unit has to be closely supported, march across the board almost in a line rather than rushing forward on one flank. I really struggled not having any missile units as it made me feel I couldn’t sit back at any point

The tournament was really enjoyable and the games were played in a relaxed and fun spirit which I greatly appreciated. 1200 points seems a really good total for beginners allowing for enough strategy with relatively quick play time.

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