Sunday, November 11, 2012

The White Council: Wizard Highlight

So those who follow this blog know that I recently (read: a few months ago) went through five scenarios with the Fellowship and they finished with a 3-2 record - not bad, all told. Since that time, I've decided to create another all-hero army because 1) I only needed to get one of the models, 2) Zorro had one of the models to sell, 3) I have the army list in my Free Peoples sourcebook, 4) the four units I use have amazing rules, and 5) it's really fun and challenging to use an all-hero list. Without further ado, allow me to introduce this White Council list:
The Council of the Wise: 600 points

Glorfindel, Lord of the West with Armor of Gondolin - 140 points

Celeborn with Elven blade and shield - 140 points
Radagast the Brown - 150 points
Gandalf the Grey - 170 points
(alternate units: Legolas and Thranduil)

4 units, no bows (but plenty of magic), 4 heroes

We will still be working on Goblin town, but right now, we're going to get side-tracked and follow the new White Council list, since I'm bursting at the seams to talk about them! Glenstorm is currently in Grey Company month, so this is the first time that we're doing two month-focuses at the same time. In this post though, we're going to focus on the wizards in the list, while the next post will be on the Elven players.

1) Radagast the Brown
I've already posted on the use of Radagast the Brown when he's assisting a conventional army, but when you're running an all-hero force, Radagast's purpose changes. We'll look at what his choice spells are in this army and how to best utilize his strengths. The fact that Radagast casts Panic Steed on a 2+ should discourage your opponents from taking cavalry to fight your army, which is a great boon since your army is all-infantry. For the large, non-steed foes you need to fight, Radagast's Immobilize spell on a 3+ is also very useful. Taking down trolls, enemy captains, or even a solitary warrior who is about to be crushed in a heroic combat by Celeborn or Glorfindel are prime targets for an immobilize spell. Keep in mind, also, that for either of these spells, line of sight is not necessary because of Radagast's Master of Birds special rule.
Radagast's first spell should be to cast Terrifying Aura on himself. This not only makes it harder to charge the wizard, but also will last as long as you have 1 Will remaining. In this army, only Glorfindel cannot cause terror, so on the whole, I recommend that you avoid having Radagast cast Aura of Dismay not only because it's hard to cast, but also because you should be focusing on neutralizing enemy advantages or bolstering your buddies. This can be done by casting Renew on a 3+ on a hero who received the raw-end of a combat (or a barrage of arrows). Keeping your army healthy will be an important part of keeping the army going (and this spell also does not require line of sight to cast!).
Protecting Radagast will be key. Archery shouldn't be a problem so long as Radagast is obscured from view, thanks to his One with Nature special rule. This not only allows him to run to the refuge of any difficult terrain, but also gives him the Elven cloak special rule, which protects him from cavalry charges, magic attacks, and shooting attacks so long as the aggressor is more than 6" away from Radagast at the start of his move phase and Radagast is obscured by something or someone. Your other heroes should focus on keeping a strong screen for Radagast.
2) Gandalf the Grey
Gandalf the Grey provides many benefits to the army with his spell list. I've talked about him before in the context of the Fellowship and his strategy in this army is similar. The first two turns should be spent casting Blinding Light and Terrifying Aura to protect the team from archery and ensuring that charging Gandalf is harder. So long as Gandalf's Will store is not depleted, both of these spells will remain and shield the force from an additional means of attack. If your army is harassed by enemy spell-casters, Gandalf can cast Strengthen Will on his friends. This has particular value for Celeborn, as you will see in the next post. Radagast and Glorfindel shouldn't need it as much, as the four spells he will be casting are cast easily and Glorfindel always rolls at least 1 dice to resist spells (issuing him free ones if he uses all of his Will points).
Gandalf's spell-casting should be unleashing Sorcerous Blast each turn if he can. Though Glorfindel and Celeborn can deal sizeable damage in close combat, Gandalf will need to contribute to the kill-count to end the game quickly. Knocking the targets who do not die to the ground will also make heroic combats more effective if you can win with your heroes, but making this work properly will take patience.
Because two of the other three heroes in this army can immobilize your key enemy targets, Gandalf shouldn't be wasting his time casting this spell. The only exception I would make would be to cast Command on a hero who you can draw out of a formation to be quickly defeated by Glorfindel and/or Celeborn. Making sure that monsters, heroes, or a pitiful warrior are drawn out of the battle line and killed before the traditional battle is engaged can really help you (especially since this list doesn't have archery).
3) Making it Work
Gandalf and Radagast are the tactical heroes in the army: both enrich offensive and defensive capabilities of the Elven heroes, but each uses a different strategy. Gandalf should be near but behind Glorfindel and Celeborn, while Radagast should be still further back (and clearly blocked by one of his comrades). I'm hoping to get a game in with this list soon, but we'll see what happens. If you use these heroes frequently, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

1 comment:

  1. Sweet list - we should seriously test out your White Council against my Grey Company this month, JUST because we're both theming November, ;)