When I originally stole the list from Midnight Carnival, I made a slight change to add in the Soulhunters, Darragh Wrathe and Soultrappers while dropping the Satyxis Raiders, the Raider Captain, and a Warwitch Siren. This list, below, was an awesome list that I really enjoyed.
Bane Riders (max)
There were some concerns with an army that was unable to adjust the to-hit score in most scenarios taking down vast waves of troops. To that end, I started first thinking about bile thralls, and once Mobius was spoiled I started to contemplate how to fit one or the other into the list as a firing solution. Frozen models are extremely easy to spray, and easy to hit with 5″ templates, and i thought that they would be able to turn the tide of the game enough to make them worth experimenting with.
My first attempt had me remove Aiakos’ Helldiver, push the Defiler down to a Nightwretch and pulled the soul trappers, freeing up the 5 points I needed for a min bile thrall unit. Using the Blackbanes as feat targets, I would freeze the front lines, if necessary, and then spray everything down with a million thrall sprays. Of course, this was the game that my opponent whips out two max units of Croak Raiders and a Gargantuan. unable to effectively use bile thralls, as well as knowing that this will be a fairly strong trend in the near future, I abandon the bile thralls after a single game. It may not have been the best decision, but I justified it to myself thinking of the raiders time and again.
The second manipulation took out Aiakos, his Helldiver, and dropped the Defiler to a Nightwretch, again. This time I shoved in a Bloat Thrall, Mobius, and a Warwitch Siren. The game wen’t well enough, but I was disappointed in both the accuracy and the damage that was done with both Bloats. I was unable to really make use of their AOE’s or corrosion as the opponent jammed hard and I was constantly shooting into combat, at targets with amazingly high defense, or other such poor targets for the relatively low, but vastly improved, RAT. While I won’t go so far as to say that I lost the game because those two waddling bastards were in the list, I will go and say that they really didn’t assist in me winning the game in any meaningful manner.
Biles and Bloats are good in a lot of lists, but I feel that the strength of Goreshade is speed and power. Bringing either of those load-outs removes both speed and power, replacing it with slow ranged weapons. Having played it twice, I’m not a fan of either cut.
To cut or not
Aiakos feels so good. This list gives him a solid assassination vector and with third Helldiver (or stalker, honestly), he can really give opponents headaches. He makes his points back simply sitting until late game, tossing the Stalker/Helldiver into the fray when he gets a solid chance and then backing it up with personal Threat.
The Helldiver that is attached to Aiakos seems to have a ton of weight on his shoulders, and he carries it well. Invincible, speed 7 MAT 6 Bonejacks are very good, giving great angles for surprise attacks into the rear of valuable solos or even simply bullying his way into a pair of valuable targets and taking them down.
Soul Trappers. What can I say! These guys have been amazing in every game but one, where they were the opponent saw them as an enormous priority. I only have a few models that can use the souls, but man do they get good when they have them. I normally don’t see the Scarlock Thrall as being able to contribute on an assassination run, but with two souls from the trapper, boosting to hit and damage means I can take out solos or damage Warcasters even when its not feat turn. Furthermore, the ability to toss the souls on a Soulhunters and know that I’l have a greater than even chance of taking out 3 targets with a single model is extremely effective. Sitting here now, I think I may just drop the Defiler to a Nightwretch and put another pair of the little buggers in. Even beyond their ability to load up a whole unit of Soulhunters or even the Scarlock, they are solos that are capable of contesting, controlling and, for 1pt even have a melee weapon that can, in the most dire of circumstances, be boosted.
The Nightwretch almost always wins the direct comparison against the defiler. Goreshades list is no different, and with that 1 point, I can get a few options into the works. I can add a pair of soul Trappers, a Necrotech, A Machine Wraith, or Scrap Thralls. I can remove the Soultrappers that are in the list and add a powerful character or solo to the army, as well, boosting its ability to stay around or hit back. Honestly, the benefits of not taking a Defiler almost always outweigh its ability to potentially shoot unboosted RAT 5’s
The Choice is now how to spend 2 points, and whether or not I want to try and do something clever with them. A quad of Soultrappers seems like a solid Idea, but it also feels like I’ll have very little to make it work with, outside of 3 souls on leading Soulhunters the turn they need them. I will have to try this out.
I really felt the loss of the models I pulled both games, and didn’t really feel a tangible benefit of taking the model they were replaced with. As a general statement, I am going to say that this list is pretty solid. If something completely new and of a different vector comes out, I may give the list a shakeup, but Midnight carnival hit it on the head. This list is diverse enough to handle many match ups, but also focused enough that, given the right strategy going in, you can easily give your opponents aenuerysm