The title of this post is probably obvious to most people. I don’t have to go far to find praise for Madrak Ironhide in either incarnation (I prefer primal thus far, but I admit I’ve not looked over epic too closely just yet). He’s badass, and he’s more fun to play than I thought he’d be.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still on team Doomshaper, but what a difference it makes to try a new warcaster/warlock once in a while. Tabletop Nation has been holding a journeyman tournament, or whatever it’s called (I think I may have mentioned this before), and what this means is that you start off your games using only the starter box, increasing only the points you take with them as the weeks go on.
This put me in the unusual position of using a warlock I only ever used in games on maybe two occassions in the distant past and then dismissed as not being my playstyle. Never thought I’d end up having so much fun with the guy.
Today we were using 25-points, and my teams make up was actually pretty weird. I’d chosen to re-use minis I normally use with Doomshaper rather than going to the trouble of buying, gluing and painting new ones… so my team looked something like this:
Okay so, to break this down a bit, the impalers and axer were compulsory as they’re all part of the starter box. They performed actually quite well, and with Madrak’s upkeep spell (Sure Foot) they shrugged off a lot of damage they’d normally be taking.
The Runebearer, to my surprise, helped me out a lot more than I expected. It’s designed to help low fury warlocks like Madrak by reducing the cost of his spells by one, and also giving you the option to cast a spell through the Runebearer, for free, but only once per game. Oddly enough this was the first time I ever used that ability, and it worked to devestating effect. For one turn, the Runebearer saved Madrak a total of three fury by casting Carnage (+2 to melee for my entire warband) through itself. That freed up Madrak to let loose with some serious damage and well… let’s just say it was worth it.
The Bouncer’s animus Bump (successful attackers are pushed back 3 inches) saw a lot of use too, and though admittedly in a few cases it was a bit of a waste, given that my opponent had some serious issues breaching the raised defenses (courtesy of Sure Foot), it did, I think at least, add a level of confusion, and maybe diverted a few attacks from my warlock.
The funniest part was how the whelps came in to play. In the entire game I spawned only three (I think), and those three spent the entire game running around, blocking charge lanes, decreasing enemy damage output with Annoyance (-1 to attack rolls, but doesn’t stack sadly), and basically just getting in the way. None of them were eaten.
Thanks to this I was able to get my Axer, Madrak and the Bouncer up to the warlock, ploughing through the enemy forces like one massive trollblood brick. It was pretty amazing to see, and made me realise how great Madrak can be. Carnage and Sure Foot alone are two awesome spells, and I am sure they will see a lot of use in the future.
Overall it was a very long, but fun game, and as with any game of Hordes/Warmachine, it could so easily have gone the other way had I been really unlucky with my dice rolls.