Fisrtly I'd like to mention I had a test-run of my 2.5k army yesterday. We had a bit of time issues, so I hadn't the time to take some pictures. I went up against a O&G army with a wyvern, arachnarok and a horde of big'uns as some notable features. Well, some further thoughts may come up here later, though I won a comfortable 16-4. It would have been 18-2, if only I had better knowledge of the scenario as my opponent got the objective once. Overall it was a good performance by my army and many elements performed well, including my globadiers who killed a goblin hero and took 2 wounds of the arachnarok. See my earlier post for a review of them.
Todays post will regard the wonderful characters known as the Warlock Engineers. Most notably the use of the naked ones, the 15 points guys with a limited life-span.
I currently field 2 naked warlocks in my list and find that its about what you need. Many more will not really increase your army's efectiveness. Their basic use is to hide in units and either move out to delay or divert enemy units. This is further enhanced by the use of skitterleap, being able to teleport a diverter anywhere on the tabletop, being able to be in the most critical situations on the battlefield. The beauty is that the enemy really don't know what your plan is when you throw your spell and often letting it go in favour of dispelling plague/wither etc. This is highly effective and can buy important units some time, most notably random movement units ending up to short, like the doomwheel rolling low and your engineer saving it from a counter-charge.
If you really want to draw out dispel dice with the skitterleap you may actually tell your opponent about your plan with the skitterleap, maybe delaying his favourite unit. This is of course done in a non-taunting way, I'm not promoting bad sportsmanship! Maybe just suggest you might use the engineer for delaing a unit, and often there is a good spot for him, so it's no empty threat, just playing the mind-game that is the magic phase.
This utility of the engineer has made them real favourites of mine. However, I've started to wonder of expanding their use to get more out of the spell that is skitterleap. Mainly, my army lacks gutter runners for the moment - on a pure model-based reason ( OK, they're a lot of points too ). So I'm a bit lacking in the warmachine-hunting business, only having my cannons and my bells deafening peals to counter them. Of course, storm-banner mitigates the enemys artillery's use early on, though it wont kill them.
So what I'm thinking is giving my engineers some cheap items, enabling them to be skitterleapt beside the artillery-piece and later charging it. This of course makes the engineers more expensive, as such the item-kit must be cheap!
What I'm thinking of is maybe giving one of my engineers one or more of the following - charmed shield (5p), rat-hound bodyguard (5p), tail weapon (8). Maybe charmed shield and rat hound bodyguard for a guy with 2 attacks and 6+/6+ save, ignoring one hit. He will then cost a grand 25p, so if he actually don't kill the artillery he might stall them. As he gets +1CR for charging he needs to be killed in order to lose the first round of combat, which may happen, though not so likely. Of course he can't effectively battle the dwarfs, though he may survive a round.
If one of my "naked" engineers gets this kit, the other one remaining totally naked, I still have a first priority throw-away guy untooled for being cheap, whilst giving me another option dealing with warmachines. Even if I'm ending up just sacrificing him too, its only 25p, come on.
Maybe I'll try him out. There's really no end to the uses you can have for a character whose base cost is 15p.
Over and out - squeek!