Monday, January 13, 2014

Owen and The Alternative Strathclyde Faction....

After purchasing plastic cavalry last year to make a mounted Strathclyde faction I took another look over the rules for this faction in "The Raven's Shadow". If you take a look at the 'Hero of the Viking Age' "Owen I, King of Strathclyde..." on page 20 you see that he can lead an all infantry based version of the Strathclyde.

Reading on, the rules allow you to use all the abilities on the battleboard AND also get to use off-table support. This really made me sit up and think about using this "alternative Strathclyde" faction...

Gripping Beast Strathclyde Warriors (Copyright GB)

One of the problems with a cavalry faction is the increased cost over infantry, especially plastic infantry. One option for a six point Strathclyde would be to purchase a suitable infantry model to represent Owen, then buy a box of 40 plastic Dark Age Warriors from Gripping Beast. Owen costs you one point but gives a number of other bonuses. The 40 plastic troops give you five units of eight warriors. From here you can make a number of combinations on the field of battle.

The flexibility of the Dark Age Warrior model.... javelin, spear.....

Hero of the Viking Age...
The rules for Owen, apart from getting three Saga dice; allow you to take ALL the abilities on the battleboard with no restriction. They also give you off-table support by putting dice onto the Combat Pool. As infantry, you also get the bonus of not losing a point of armour versus missile fire during enemy Shooting!

Abilities that still work!
"The Doomriders" melee ability still gives you a bonus for being close to the edge of the board if you have that off-table support (dice in the Combat Pool). A similar thing happens with the "Harassment" activation ability where an enemy unit is within L of the table edge. You get a shooting attack based on the off-table support level.
Conversely, the "Cornered" activation ability gives a number of fatigues to enemy units based on off-table support levels where that enemy unit is more than L from the edge of the board.
The "Flanking Manoeuvre" ability is no longer needed, so saves on the need to put a Saga dice on it.

At the end of the game, there are no off-table models to count as Victory points against you.

Taking Owen and an infantry force makes the Strathclyde financially viable. Adding the abilities of the Strathclyde and off-table support really makes this a "should try" force in my opinion.

Gripping Beast Welsh Warlord (Copyright GB)

You can find Mike's own blog at www.not2oldtowargame.wordpress.com

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