With the release of the warband boxes today we can see all the cards available to us. Mike is covering the neutral cards from both boxes, Tom is giving his updated impression on the Darkoath Barbarians and allegedly I am the best fit for Mollog because “You are the most trollish”. Humph, thanks semi-anonymous co-author.
My first impressions of the warband can be found here, this article will be building on those impressions, now we have seen the full 29 cards that comprise the warband specific options.
Mollog’s Mob is another nail in the coffin of Ironskull’s Boyz. Where Magore’s Fiends did aggression with 4 models with 4 wounds and Block defences better than the Boyz, Mollog takes Gurzag’s remaining selling point of being the biggest and baddest fighter in the Mirrored City . I still think that Mollog has too few wounds to reliably carry his pack of angry mushroom beasts to victory. Seven wounds leaves him open to being killed in a single activation by a charge followed by an upgrade and Ready for Action.
I think that Mollog will impact the meta game in other ways too, his high wound count will force players to plan ways to kill or neutralise him. Frozen in Time may become popular, as a way of locking down a single major threat. Invisible Walls might return as a defensive card of the top tier, the troggoth cannot eat that which he cannot reach. Ready for Action and other ways of generating out of sequence attacks will continue to be popular.
In a reversal of the usual format of these reviews I am going to examine the power cards first then assess how they assist you to score the objectives. Then I’ll set out the deck list I’ll be running for my first few games with Mollog.
As ever I will be using the Steel City card scoring system.
- 5 – Best in class effects that should go in basically every deck that can take them (Ready for Action, Hidden Paths, Faneway Crystal)
- 4 – Powerful or versatile effects that are extremely strong in a particular archetype or pretty good in any deck (Abasoth’s Withering, Deathly Fortitude, Extreme Flank)
- 3 – Solid effects that will find a place in many decks (Haymaker, Sidestep, Strong Start)
- 2 – Limited effects that might be useful in some specialised decks (Earthquake, No Time, Grand Melee)
- 1 – Just plain bad cards (Brute Force, Interdiction)
Brutal Savagery: “The first Attack action made by a friendly fighter in the next activation has +1 Dice.” In the post BAR world of restricted accuracy boosts this is a welcome boost to Mollog’s damage output. This is particularly pertinent for this warband as it is so heavily reliant on its sole big hitter.
Feast: “Reaction: Play this after a friendly fighter’s attack activation that takes an adjacent enemy fighter out of action. Remove up to one wound token from the friendly fighter’s fighter card.” This isn’t a bad card, it’s most useful when applied to Mollog, indeed I can’t imagine many situations a squig would be the recipient. However, if you have access to the Shadespire core set, Healing Potion is a better card. If you want to load up on healing effects take this card, otherwise, I suspect there are better choices.
Flit: “Push a friendly Bat Squig up to three hexes. This push can take them through occupied hexes but must end in an empty hex.” Push three is good. Limiting the target to Bat Squig is less than ideal, especially as holding objectives is not a viable strategy for this warband. This could help score positional objectives, Extreme Flank, Skirting Danger etc. or could provide support for Mollog. My inclination is that this is not a great card, but I would not be surprised if some table time causes a shift in opinion.
Follow Your Instincts: “Discard an objective card then draw a new one.” This card is an extra action for a ploy card, which is always nice. My only concern is that with a small warband, it is very likely that you may have spare activations with which to cycle objectives – there are other warbands that would benefit more from this card.
Hobble: “Choose an enemy fighter adjacent to a friendly Stalagsquig and roll an attack dice. On a roll of Smash or Critical place a Move token next to that enemy fighter.” This ploy requires Stalagsquig to survive until it is played, and be adjacent to a fighter worth affecting, and there is only a 50% chance of the effect going off. If the effect was guaranteed this card would be merely bad. As it is it is awful.
Predatory Growls: “Choose an enemy fighter and push them one hex.” This is an additional copy of Distraction, doubling up on a utility card like this is fantastic.
Shrouded in Gloom: “Attack actions with a Range of 3 or more in the next activation have a Dice characteristic (before other modifiers) of Fury 1.” If ranged attacks were ubiquitous this might be a passable card, this might discourage a single range 3 attack, but nothing forces your opponent to make that attack, they could move or go on guard or draw a card. However, most warbands do not have innate range 3 attacks, so against them this card does precisely nothing, other than contribute towards Ploymaster.
Sporeburst: “Choose an enemy fighter adjacent to a friendly Spiteshroom and roll an attack dice on a Smash or a Critical the enemy fighter suffers one damage”. This ploy requires Spiteshroom to survive until it is played, and be adjacent to a fighter worth harming, and there is only a 50% chance of the effect going off. If the effect was guaranteed this card would be merely bad. As it is it is awful.
There the Whole Time: “Roll an Attack Dice on a roll of Smash or Critical return a friendly Stalagsquig that has been taken out of action to any empty hex on the battlefield.” I don’t like that this is another effect reliant on RNG. I like the idea of being able to return an Out of Action fighter to play. I wouldn’t mind paying a ploy slot to do so, being able to drop in a supporting fighter before a key attack from Mollog would be great and definitely plays to the apparent theme of the warband. However, I don’t think the effect is so powerful it’s worth risking the 50% chance of abject failure for. Helpful Whispers (though restricted) achieves 80% of the effectiveness of this ploy on an ongoing basis.
Wind Up: “+1 Damage to the first Attack action with a Range of 1 or 2 made by a friendly fighter in the next activation.” The BAR list has made post attack damage buffs a rare sight. This is not as useful as an after the attack buff, but it is not restricted and brings most fighters within one shot range of Mollog, even before he is inspired.
Blooming Spores: “+1 damage to this fighter’s attack actions with Range 1 or 2.”Restricted to Mollog, this is nice if you are already running Great Strength and Incredible Strength (or can’t fit Incredible Strength into your 5 restricted slots), otherwise the slight flexibility of being able to give this to Bat Squig make the other two more appealing.
Foul Temper: “You can reroll one dice in each attack roll for this fighter’s attack actions.” Awakened Weapon is on the restricted list for a reason, being able to run two copies is great. Mollog is the obvious candidate, but this can be used on another fighter if the big guy is out of action.
Horrific Stench: “Enemy fighters adjacent to this fighter are considered to have one fewer supporting fighter (to a minimum of zero).” This is a boon for Mollog, it boosts the accuracy of his whirling club whilst also assisting his defence once he is in the thick of the fighting.
Inescapable Jaws: “Both Fury and Smashes are successes in the attack roll when this fighter makes a Charge action.” This is a good accuracy boost for Bat Squig and might turn it into a viable second fighter for the warband in the event that Mollog dies early.
Jabbertoad: A 3 hex attack rolling 3 dice looking for Fury, dealing 1 damage with Knockback 1 (2 on a Critical), discard after use. Knockback at range is useful for manipulating positioning. This is particularly useful for scoring Get Thee Hence, but otherwise Shadeglass Darts or Dark Darts are a better pick.
Regenerate: “At the beginning of each round, remove up to 1 wound token from this fighter’s fighter card.” This is restricted to Mollog, but your other fighters are unlikely to be able to survive a hit to make use of it. This is a faction specific version of Regeneration and Regenerative Charm. If you are worried about Mollog’s survival Great Fortitude, Sudden Growth, Deathly Fortitude, Tome of Vitality et al are better picks.
Rooted to the Spot: “This fighter can hold objectives, even though its fighter card says it cannot.” Combine with Determined Defender, Tome of Glories, Extreme Flank and an objective token on an edge hex for best use. Or decide that this is a complicated and, relatively, low reward combination.
Spore Cloud: “Action: Scatter from this fighter’s hex. Any enemy fighters in any hex in the chain suffer 1 damage.” A reasonable chance of doing damage to an adjacent enemy fighter that ignores that fighters defence characteristic. However, this is another fighter specific upgrade for a disposable fighter.
Unswattable: “Reaction: After an attack action that targets this fighter and fails, push this fighter up to one hex.” This is a Faction specific version of Opportunist restricted to Bat Squig. In the unlikely event you wish to increase your chances of drawing this card then run both, otherwise skip this card.
Wrath of Living Rock: “This fighter’s Attack actions with a Range of 1 have Cleave” Stalagsquig is either close to the enemy and a prime target for turn one attacks, or it is out of range and not able to use this upgrade. I don’t like restricted upgrades for fragile fighters for the same reason I don’t like restricted ploys, if the fighter they can be applied to is dead then they just clog your hand.
Carnage: “Score this in an end phase if your warband took three or more fighters out of action in the preceeding action phase.” This is a bad objective. The reward is low and it is extremely difficult to score reliably.
Demolished: “Score this immediately if a friendly fighter takes an enemy fighter out of action with an Attack action with a damage characteristic of 5 or more.” Mollog needs to be inspired with a damage upgrade or uninspired with two, but this should be easy to score in turns two and three.
Earn Your Keep: “Score this immediately if an enemy fighter is taken out of action by an Attack action made by a friendly fighter other than Mollog.” Not bad, but not brilliant either. If Bat Squig has been upgraded with Inescapable Jaws and Mollog has already attacked the target this is achievable.
Easy Pickings: “Score this immediately if two or more fighters are taken out of action by a single attack action made by a friendly fighter.” Much like Demolished this is a good objective for turns two and three. This has synergies with Demolished and Got Them. Worth noting this is a faction specific reprint of Reaper, for less glory. [Edited after an astute reader pointed out the glory difference, score reduced accordingly]
Feeding Frenzy: “Score this immediately if each surviving friendly fighter (at least three) is adjacent to any enemy fighters.” Another bad objective. That it scores immediately is its only benefit. All your fighters need to be adjacent to an enemy, with an aggressive first round this may be achieved, but your squigs are likely to be squished by the enemy fighters they are next to.
Got Them: “Score this immediately at the beginning of your activation if there are three or more fighters adjacent to a friendly Mollog.” Not necessarily easy, as they need to be there before Mollog moves, but with a deck full of push ploys and Centre of Attention it’s doable. This has synergies with Easy Pickings.
Is it Asleep?: “Score this in an end phase if a friendly Mollog took no actions in the preceeding action phase.” Inverse Tireless Commander. Score in the first turn whilst you draw four power cards, or if Mollog is dead in a later turn. This is a nice objective for defensive or reactionary play. Certain sections of the internet will hate it.
Protect the Lair: “Score this in the third end phase if there are no enemy fighters in your territory.” This is a second version of Denial that only gets you 2 glory. Run if you want to double up on the objective. Otherwise I’d pass.
Rampage: “Score this in an end phase if your warband took four or more fighters out of action in the preceeding action phase.” This is a terrible objective. There are currently three warbands against whom this is cannot be scored.
- Easy Pickings
- No Remorse
- Crushing Force
- Victorious Duel
- Massive Overkill
- Superior Tactician
- Is it Asleep?
- Great Strength
- Incredible Strength
- Blooming Spores
- Awakened Weapon
- Foul Temper
- Helpful Whispers
- Horrific Stench
- Tome of Vitality
- Great Fortitude
- Faneway Crystal
- Bag of Tricks
- My Turn
- Ready for Action
- Aggressive Defence
- Wind Up
- Brutal Savagery
- Hidden Paths
- Commanding Stride
- Predatory Growls
- Centre of Attention
- Regal Vision
- Inspiration Strikes
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