Sunday, 31 January 2016

Unit Review #7 - Therennian Sea Guard

Therennian Sea Guard


By reader request we the Therennian Sea Guard up to be looked at. I have the unfortunate task of fighting these guys very frequently and I definitely have a few recommendations. 




Profile 


Speed 6 is good. I feel I should say more but there isn't much more to say...

Melee 4 is also good and is partly the reason these guys are decent. 

Range 5+ is average and is on par with most units who can do both tasks. 

Attacks are interesting on this, normally a unit with phalanx has 30 attacks for a horde, 15 for a regiment however in this case we have standard combat attacks on this unit. Likely to stop a 30 shot archer horde I assume. 25 attacks importantly puts them above most shooting hordes in attack numbers. 

Nerve is excellent too, putting it's nerve on par with other elite units. 

Now points is pretty expensive but considering what you get I think it is worth it, just don't try make an army out of these.  

Really this ticks all the elf boxes. A mix of average and elite while also being expensive. Sounds like a good base to work on. 


Abilities


Bows aren't normally something worth mentioning since we all know what it means. But since this is a hybrid unit I think it's important to highlight this. Essentially this goes to show we have a spear men unit (with 5 less attacks) and ranged 5 tacked on there. This is good. 

Elite is amazing. When you have elite on both your shooting and combat you have a unit that can really make the best of this rule. Elite gives this unit that extra punch and squeezes a little more from your units. 

Phalanx is handy to have, stripping TC off anything that tries to stop your shooting or attempt to hammer away at your force. 

Not much to talk about here just bog standard elves with some more on top... like many units a combination of Profile and Abilities is what defines a unit and so lets move on to tactics. 


Tactics


You know those games where it turns into a stand off and everyone stays just out of charge range? Usually in this game the person who over takes the other in shooting forces the other player to come rushing in to avoid taking too much prolonged damage. Well an elf player can do a few things here to swing the balance into his favour. 

The most common method is to simply have 1 (or 2) hordes of elf shooters with upgrades sit back and fire away. This has been brutally effective in my experience but it can also be quickly shut down. To avoid this sometimes taking 1 shooting horde of Kindred Archers and one Therennian Sea Guard with Brew of Keen Eyeness in your battle line means that in order to stop the shooting they have to commit something to your main line of soldiers. It also guarantees that at least one group of shooters is always supported as well since they will likely be moving where the battle is. The Keen Eye magic will keep them shooting on 5s on the move and 4s on stationary. Combine this with Silverbreeze archers and any other shooting in the list and you can dominate the shooting phases while not losing out on your combat capability. There is a downside to that and it is expensive. But you often do pay for versatility. A unit with ranged 4, melee 4, defense 4, phalanx and combat unit attack values is not only scary but tough. 

Another way I have seen them done is by using them as standard infantry. This gives you volume of ranged fire while not sacrificing combat abilities. However this is even more expensive and you will find yourself outnumbered. 

As regiments they make good objective campers, being able to shoot and hold their ground against would be attackers. This is also the safe way to go with these as they are considerably cheaper than a magic item horde. 

Another huge benefit to these guys is late game shooting. Say it's invade and the surviving armies have crossed the table halves. Sea guard can simply turn around and start trying to pick off points in their zone. Or if they are camping on a pillage counter they can start trying to shoot off enemy units from their pillage counters. Really it's the ability to put on the pain at both range and combat that means they almost always have something to do even in a stand off between 2 forces. 

That isn't to say this unit has no downsides... it is still expensive. If you get a horde of these build your army around it to make the most of them. They work best in a combined arms list where you can keep the enemy at bay (and in range) forcing them to come close and accept a charge. They need to be placed and moved carefully to make the most of their ranged too otherwise there is the chance they turn into over priced infantry. This is not the kind of unit where you have ranged as a minor bonus, this ranged value is a huge part of how the unit plays. 

Get them to do what they need to do each phase. If they are better off shooting get them to shoot, if they have to charge they can charge. Sounds obvious but I have seen some players treat these as pure archer units and other players forget about their archery for most of the game. You pay lots of points for the ability to shoot so best to make good use of them. 

Lastly and I know this is obvious but when a unit can do both shooting and combat a great way to baby sit them and increase their efficiency is to have an inspiring mage nearby. Elf mage has elite too so bane chanting often goes off. Having piercing attack and crushing strength when it goes off is great as this is one of the few units in the game that can often make constant use of such a rule. 

It's a strong unit with a lot of potential. However it is hard to get the most out of them. 

Verdict


The sea guard are as good at shooting as most factions archers but with more shots and can fight. This is a huge edge but it's also a huge investment. 

I would rate these a strong unit to use. It does 2 jobs well but has to split it's focus between 2 jobs so anybody wishing to use these should carefully consider how they fit into a list. 


It's also worth noting that the idea behind these guys is really cool. The modeling opportunity alone is just awesome here. 




Next up again by reader request:

Morax - Orcs 

On a side note do not hesitate to ask for a unit in particular to be done. With constant requests the list is starting to grow and even at 2 a day it will be days before the unit you request gets done.