They’ve finally hit the ‘spoil’ button on Bane Riders, and some people were disappointed. I for one am not amongst them, and I’m very happy with what we got, to the point of me thinking Privateer Press might have overdone it slightly.
The models are ugly, but having tried to convert my own, using Bane Thralls, I can tell you that making Bane Thralls on horses look good is pretty darn hard. Personally I would have gone with a more Bane Knight(ish) look, but this is what we got. The stats however, armor in particular, left me blown away.
Stats: SPD 7, STR 7, MAT 6, RAT 4, DEF 12, ARM 18, CMD 8
Point Cost: 7/11
Damage: 5 each
Curse [Bane Riders] – RNG CMD. Target enemy model/unit. If the model/unit is in range, it is cursed. A friendly Bane Riders model charging a cursed model gains +2” movement. Friendly Bane Riders models gain +2 to attack rolls against cursed models. Curse can be used once per activation. And lasts one turn.
Ghostly – This model can advance through terrain and obstacles without penalty and can advance through obstructions if it has enough movement to move completely past them. This model cannot be targeted by free strikes.
Weapon: Bane Blade, P+S: 13, Reach, Brutal Charge
Mount: [1x] (None) POW: 12
Well the first thing everyone noticed was, that they’re not weapon masters, and from there on some people were genuinely disappointed… well shame on them, calling Privateer Press names when they gave us EXACTLY what I’ve been asking for, and exactly what I think we need.
Armor 18, are you kidding me, I assumed we would be very fortunate if they had 17, and I thought Armor 16 was a given (considering that they’re Bane Thralls on horses without shields). Armor 18 opens up so many possibilities, that I can’t even begin to understand why someone would call this an underwhelming release.
- Chain Lightning / Ashes to Ashes can go suck it.
- Gun Mages and every other POW 10 attack goes on the ignore list.
- Covering Fire needs 11+ to kill them.
Cygnar, it’s motherfucking payback time bitches! These guys can take a PS 12 charge to the face and survive, and when you begin stacking buffs on them, it really looks like something from a gun lines worst nightmare. I’m so happy I’ve taken up pSkarre, and she’s now going to be a regular in my tournament setup. I asked for Armor 17 and Unyielding, but Armor 18 is so much better.
If you’re not used to facing/using Cavalry then you probably don’t understand the many abilities they have. This I think, is another reason why some people find them underwhelming, because they don’t see the implications of Cavalry combined with Cryx and Ghostly.
- Tall in the saddle: Ignore small or medium bases when making melee attacks.
- Ride-by attack: Very useful on a cavalry unit with Ghost Walk, though mostly when bogged down.
- Cavalry charge: Ignore medium and small bases for LoS purposes when declaring charges.
- Impact Attacks: Pseudo-Thresher with 0.5″ range and allows you to get past a screen unit while killing them.
- Charge bonus: +2 to attack rolls on the charge attack.
Let’s say that you have a heavy target, and a screen in front of it. a model from the screen is within Curse range, or Tartarus is present to help out. First you charge through the screen, Impact Attacking with MAT 8 due to Curse, and then you hit the main target with MAT 8 due to the charge bonus. If Tartarus has cursed the screen unit, the Bane Rider leader can now Curse the main target, giving them MAT 10 on their PS 15 charge attacks. Curse of Shadows allows the Bane Riders to continue through the models even if they fail to kill them, which is pretty god damn awesome.
These guys can kill entire units with a combination of Impact Attacks and swords, though there are some wonky interactions between Impact Attacks and charges to look out for. Again I’ll giggle and point to Dark Guidance, which boosts melee attack rolls which Impact Attacks happen to be, making them ride down Nyss Hunters without breaking a sweat. eSkarre also bears a mention here, as Black Spot combined with Curse allows for some seriously destructive turns with a very high precision (sadly you cannot gain Black Spot attacks from Impact Attacks since they’re not in your combat action).
Finally once the lines have clashed, the Ride-by attacks combine well with Ghostly, allowing you to hit and walk, making more room for other models, and to have a better ‘flow’ with your models as you can finish attacking with one model before you actually have to move the others (meaning that you can ‘check’ if you kill a model before deciding if you send in more Bane Riders). This is done while ignoring terrain and free strikes.
Speed 7, with Reach means 12″ threat completely unassisted. If there’s a member of the target unit within Curse range of the leader either before, or after (UNCONFIRMED, CHECKING), a successful charge then the others increase threat ranges to match Satyxis Raiders. Finally we have Darragh Wrathe who can move them an inch, making them out-threat Satyxis Raiders which we all know is silly. Speed 7 also means that they can relocate quickly, and put pressure on the opponent from very early on.
Being Undead and Ghostly also means, that they can use the hilarious forest trick. Since it was ruled that you can always check LoS to other models during a models activation, you can get the Bane Riders into a forest and make sure that they’re not in LoS (by being 3.1″ within the forest). The following round you Death Ride them an inch forward, and now they can see, allowing them to charge.
This trick can also be used with Marked for Death, allowing them to charge through buildings, forests, and other annoying stuff as long as it isn’t a model. Ride-by attack also means that should anyone run near their nest, they can poke their heads out to kill them, and walk back to safety in the forest or behind some cover.
Having been away all day there are probably things I’ve missed, tricks that will reveal themselves with testing and so forth, but I really think this release is rock solid. They can hit hard enough that our buffs/debuffs take them into the realm of Colossal killing, while surviving the massed low powered hits and spells that have traditionally been Cryx Kryptonite. I’ll return and comment if I dig/think up more tricks with the Bane Riders, but for now I can just say: FUCK YEAH!