Spotlight: Soul Trappers

Soul Trappers are some of the most interesting models I’ve seen released in all my years of serving the Dragon Father… or well the rules are interesting, the model itself could use some variety, considering you might be including up to six of these in a list.

Only one sculpt…

I grabbed the full field allowance of these guys the second they hit the stores, and I’ve used all of them in several lists, though I’ve more or less decided that having four (two blisters) would have been enough. I know a lot of lists might use them as a one point filler, but I’m here to tell you why they sometimes deserve a real spot.

Soul Trappers

The Soul Trappers are based on the Scrap Thrall chassis, which means that they have low to abysmal stats across the line, while being dirt cheap and bringing some incredible special abilities to the table, so much like Scrap Thralls you’ll need to see beyond the stats and focus on the potential instead.

With defense and armor ratings at ‘automatic kill’ levels the first thing we’ll discuss is keeping them safe. The Soul Trappers have the luxury of being able to do their job from ten inches away, which means they can hog prime terrain, hide inside forests, or toe in clouds if you have them.

Pinpoint accuracy: The real problem here is remembering that opponents can – and will – use your incredibly low defense to laser target spells or AoE attacks, so keeping them safe might not always be in your best interest, because honestly they’re only worth half a point each.

Incidentally I’ve found that not caring about them makes your opponent care less as well, which quite often allows them to go about their business because they only die if the opponent has nothing better to shoot at (mileage may vary depending on opponents).

Soul Collector

Soul Trappers can pick up enemy souls within ten inches, and may store a maximum of three souls. This is huge because quite often they pick up souls from behind the main lines, or from advanced units or skirmishers your opponent employs.

During their activation  the Soul trapper can spend souls to boost attack and damage rolls, or even buy additional attacks. This is also quite spectacular on a cheap model as this, which can pseudo Thresher with several of our casters, and destroy medium infantry despite the very low power on it’s attacks. These are just two of the most memorable models I’ve finished off with them.

  • Hand of Judgement (Menoth Heavy Warjack)
  • Cyclops Brute (Skorne Light Warbeast)

Being able to buy and boost turns them into fearsome little critters killing solo characters, Nyss Hunters, or even lightly armored cavalry if you roll well enough, which has come as a complete surprise to most opponents so far. It also allows them multiple attacks against tough models, which is always handy.

This requires them to have souls and nothing better to do with them, which is actually more common than I thought it would be, but still not something you should plan on when purchasing the little guys. The real reason you bring them is…

Soul Transfer: Models

This special action allows them to transfer any souls they’ve collected to a model with Body Count, Cull Soul, Soul Collector, or Soul Taker. It has a range of five inches and combined with the Trappers speed it has a ten inch range of operation.

Now before we talk about which casters would absolutely LOVE a pile of souls, here’s a list of models that – independently of casters – would like nothing more than a bunch of souls they didn’t have to work for.

  • Deathjack, Helljack
  • Harrower, Helljack
  • Malice, Helljack
  • Wraith Engine, Battle Engine
  • Iron Lich Overseer, Solo Character
  • Pistol Wraith, Solo Character
  • Skarlock, Solo Character
  • Soul Trappers, Solo Character
  • Soulhunters, Unit
  • Withershadow Combine, Unit
  • Skarlock Commander, Unit Attachment

The Deathjack can’t use the souls to heal when he receives them (ruling here) but they do turn into focus the following turn. Do note that because of timing the souls will turn into focus before allocation, limiting Deathjack to his usual five focus unless you’ve managed to put 4+ souls on him (explanation here). This is still free focus, that you can get on the Deathjack directly if your Warcaster doesn’t have Cull Soul.

The Harrower loves itself some souls as it can use them buy and boost attacks, allowing it to dish out a truly amazing number of attacks in a turn if a Trapper hands it three souls to begin with. The Harrower has a three soul maximum as well, so there’s an interesting little interaction where the Soul Trapper fills up the Harrower, and when the Harrower uses Thresher within 10″ fills the Soul Trapper right back up.

Malice has a Ghost Shield which it almost never gets to use because grabbing souls is so hard for it, but with Trappers involved it’s quite easy to get Malice a full belly – which also turns it up to ARM 20. Malice can also buy/boost with souls, and spend souls to possess enemy warjacks, making it quite deadly.

The Wraith Engine still isn’t a good choice,

Iron Lich Overseer could actually be quite good with souls, but I’d still rather bring Aiakos.

Pistol Wraith suffered badly from the latest nerf, and now needs to land three shots on high defense models in order to matter at all. With three souls from a Trapper it might actually happen, so while I still wouldn’t recommend Pistol Wraiths after the nerf they might not be terrible if you have Trappers as well.

Skarlocks really don’t like landing offensive spells since they’re using the unboosted FOCUS stat of their Warcaster, but with a soul they can fairly reliably land them and that’s huge.

Soul Trappers themselves can receive souls from another trapper, allowing them make surprise charges with boosted damage or accuracy.

Daisy chaining: If you have several Soul Trappers you can daisy chain the soul tokens, with one Trapper handing them of to another, which can then move and hand them on to the target – or a third Trapper – thus increasing the range at which you can move tokens to a target.

Soulhunters go crazy blender-mode if they start the turn with souls. With a debuff or two one Soulhunter with three souls can wipe out half a unit on its own, or with just one soul deal significant damage to a heavy target by boosting damage on it’s second attack as well. Do note that the mount attack cannot be boosted in any way.

The Withershadow Combine charging an enemy warjack is scary since they’re weapon masters against jacks, but with up to nine souls combined they can decimate even colossals. The WSC can also buy additional attacks, turning them into non-reach blenders with a couple of souls already on them, or allow them to use Dark Fire to reliably scalpel out annoying models.

Skarlock Commanders not only have pseudo Thresher, they also have a MA6 Dark Fire attack they really love landing. The Skarlock Commander can do so much with souls.

Soul Transfer: Warcasters

Models with tokens are fun, but some of our casters go absolutely mental with a few extra souls on them. Quite a few of our casters have a Cull Soul rule they almost never use, and which can turn them up to bat shit crazy if a Trapper manages to put souls on them.

  • Asphyxious1: More spells, more camp, more action before teleporting away, and usually doesn’t get many souls.
  • Asphyxious2: Has his own way of collecting souls and no room in his lists.
  • Asphyxious3: Takes one look at Vociferon and face-palms. This is one caster I might run the full six Trappers with.
  • Deneghra1: Even a single soul allows her a better assassination run, while multiple souls let her devastate armies with her spells list.
  • Deneghra2: Every single soul is a step closer to another use of her insane spell list.
  • Deneghra3: Special category here, as every soul D3 gets is another spell or three full focus on a warjack. MUST HAVES.
  • Mortenebra: Not able to join her theme force, but in non-theme I would consider them essential since she’s so focused starved.
  • Scaverous: Scaverous on his feat turn with a few extra focus is a sight to behold.
  • Terminus: Not a bad choice as it makes it a bit easier getting those crazy feat turns, but not essential.
  • Venethrax: No need, with Soul Harvester in his spell list.

The personal favorite is of course Deneghra3 who should never leave home without four Trappers, but as you can see about a third of our casters have the potential to abuse the extra souls they can gain through the Trappers.

Deneghra1 and Deneghra2 often run ranged elements, making soul collection that much easier with Trappers, and they quite often get to hand over souls that become focus in turn three or four, which is where they really matter.

Soul Transfer: Combined

If you take a look at the combined models/warcasters that can benefit from Soul Trappers you’ll realize that one or more of these elements are present in a huge number of lists. I can almost guarantee that at least one element will be present in any Cryx tournament setup, and most likely were talking 3-5 elements instead.

This makes Soul Trappers an amazing inclusions for that one random point, but also makes them worth considering as an actual choice instead of just fillers. Cryx is now spoiled for choice with one point options, but I urge you to seriously consider the Soul Trappers as more than just fillers.

Soul Trappers: Tactics & Trickery

The Soul Trappers are – much like their cousins the Scrap Thralls – amazing little pieces because they’re dirt cheap solo characters, so there’s plenty of little tricks you can spend your Trappers on if there are no available souls.

  • Guided missiles

This is where you double-handed throw a Trapper directly at an annoying model, with even odds of killing an average solo. You can boost to hit the Trapper, to hit the model you target, and theoretically the damage on the Trapper, but not the damage on the target of your throw.

I usually assign two focus when going for the guided missile, as we need one to perform the power attack and one to land the Trapper on our target. Throws are actually considered melee attacks, so no amount of cover, concealment, or elevation will add to the models defense unless it would also apply to a melee attack. I will refer you to Arlahans throwing articles (Part1 & Part2) for a more specific guide on making it happen.

  • Grabbing that zone / flag / objective

Despite being some of the most vulnerable models in the game I find them very useful for grabbing points, since they’re worth 1/2 of a point so you’re not dedicating a ten point heavy to standing around just playing with his junk.

Don’t ever expect them to survive the opponents turn, so if you’re counting on scoring during his turn then use something else, but if you’re unlikely to do that anyway just let him kill the scoring Trapper and run in a new one the following turn.

  • Want me to hold that for you?

If your caster has Parasite and either a Skarlock with nothing better to do, or a free upkeep you don’t need for anything else, then having a Parasited Trapper running around down behind the lines is a free point of armor for your warcaster. It’s not like -3 armor is going to matter if someone shoots the Trapper anyway…

  • I volunteer!

We also have a bunch of really inaccurate blasts that love themselves some fire beacons. Run that Trapper into the middle of an enemy formation and plant some blasts on his head, or use one to aim a venom at spell warded models (his models are more expensive than yours, I guarantee it).

The Sepulcher will also love the ability to land a Critical Paralysis on a Trapper even when rolling low on his main gun because he happened to be aiming at a Trapper with it’s back turned, not to mention how much fun it’ll be to guide in the five inch corrosion templates we’ll have when Mobius arrives with his Bloat Thrall posse. The volunteer aspect of Trappers should never be underestimated.

My experience

Soul Trappers have been amazing for me since I bought them, and I’ve had them in so many lists where they strictly speaking didn’t make much sense, but they’ve never let me down. Either they do their job and deliver important souls, or they randomly charge in and kill something way beyond their price range.

I’ve slammed them into things, used them as charge targets for my own models, landed AoE attacks on them, or even used them to draw out important attacks from my opponent by playing up their importance indirectly – like hiding them or having Gorman cloud them up – because most opponents will react to what you do with them.

 

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4 Responses »

  1. Glad you wrote this, I’ve been loving these guys too!

    I think I might give the pistol wraith a green rating (even though the pistol wraith itself is not that special). The free souls really upturn the old conundrum where they never get to boost because they always die after attacking once.

    Death Chill is still pretty worthless, but an incorporeal pistol wraith with 2-3 souls on it exerts potentially significant board pressure.

    • Agreed, but at 3.5 points (combined) and the trouble of getting souls on them I still don’t think they’re worth a green rating except maybe with Skarre2.

      • Yeah, Skarre2 is one… but it also makes me consider bringing the pistol wraith back into my Denny1 list. A little retro, I know, but she’s probably bringing the trappers anyway, and a PW is still a legitimate assassination vector with her.

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