Fantasy Fisticuffs #29: Over and Under (Fyreslayers)

The Flamin’ Hot flavored Dwarves continue to do well competitively, but lets see if any surprises remain to be had in the Fyreslayer Battletome.

After a good few weeks of trying to get blood from a stone, testing and running games with competitively challenged armies, I will admit that I needed some cheering up. Having not used Fyreslayers since my wider, and more general army review, this seemed like a perfect chance to do one more deep dive with an army that frequently does well.

Over-Performer: No, Not Hearthguard Berserkers

Remember how last week I mentioned that “best” and “most efficient” are actually slightly different animals? This is one of those quirky cases.

Let me get this out of the way… of COURSE Hearthguard Berserkers are the best unit in the current Fyreslayer tome. Their legendary durability, and fearsome Hermdar offense are legit, and no competitive list is to be had without some, or many, of these Duardin.

That said, it is the humble Grimwrath Berserker that punches most above his weight-class, for his points. At a modest 100pts, this hero is functionally a mini-Hearthguard unit unto himself. Easily hidden in cover or out of LoS completely, when the punching begins, this model will more often than not, attack twice, even if ultimately killed.

What pushes him further into high-tier status is also the fact that more than nearly any army, Fyreslayers are ultra-reliant on their heroes proximity to their best units. Hearthguard are only their iconic selves with heroes around, and as such Fyreslayer armies tend to become murder-balls. A Grimwrath is a point efficient unit which can contribute some offense, while turning a small secondary unit of Hearthguard into a significant flanking force, without compromising the death-ball doing the lion’s share of your work.

He isn’t best… but he tactically makes your best unit off on a fringe better, and is worth consideration. I know this is a cheeky choice, but go on and give him a try.

Under-Performer: Auric Runeson on Magmadroth

While the Chosen Axes don’t fair much better (generally the Shadespire carryovers are a novelty unit), the Auric Runeson on Magmadroth is the weakest link of a largely excellent book. While not horrible by any stretch of the imagination, this unit is simply too costly for what he offers.

As mentioned before, Fyreslayer heroes all have an important role to play. Their mere presence buffs their best tool, and only then do they further add value to the table. Whether in the form of valuable prayers, mobility tricks, etc… each brings something of note, and often you will want all of them for stacking effect. This means to succeed a Fyreslayer hero wants to be cheap, simply allowing one to take a bunch of different ones. The mounted Runeson provides negative value in this regard, and also comes with no particularly useful/unique ability to offset his costing twice that of a hero on foot.

Losing the ability to hide, “Look Out Sir” and so forth, compounds vulnerability with a model who is natively too fragile to reach its own offensive potential for long.

Too frail to be a self sufficient threat, and too light on force multiplication, this unit just can’t make a cut for serious, competitive lists.

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!

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About Mark Gottlieb

Writer, Game Designer, and owner of Fortunate Sun Studios, I have always tried to lead a life in some way built around paying back to gaming, and the gaming community. This hobby, and everyone in it, saved my life on more than a few occasions, and now I get to put my heart into helping it thrive for everyone!

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