Happy New Year!
The Inferno book is in my hands right now and it is glorious! So we’re going to kick off the year with some more Hell Dorado goodness in today’s deCiphered.
We’ve known what these guys were going to look like for a while now, but with the delivery of the Hell Dorado Kickstarter rewards, we’ll actually be seeing these guys hit the table quite a bit in the coming days. So what do these little 15 point flame dancers do for your company? Turns out, quite a bit.
Efrit warriors aren’t the most durable or hardest hitting trooper you’ll see out there, but they combine above average defense and movement with a suite of utility abilities that makes them well worth their meager 15 point price tag.
First thing you’ll see on the Efrit Warrior’s card is their speed stat. At 5, they can certainly keep up with the rest of the Saracen’s speedy army choices. And with big brother Chams around, they can pretty much get to any place you need them to be.
Combat 3 isn’t particularly good, but for a trooper it isn’t bad either. They also have no wounded state, being that they are Djinns, so you can count on keeping that level of combat throughout the game.
Defense 5 is their strongest asset. It’s a level of defense that is rare even on powerful independents, wand it can make them much more difficult to kill than their 6 life points and 0 PR would suggest.
Their damage table is exactly the same as a standard sword, save for one major difference. All of their attacks do spiritual damage. Making them effective against enemy lost and westerners who often have higher PR than faith.
Now that all the boring stuff is out of the way, lets dive into their excellent suite of special abilities.
Entangle tops the list and is probably their best ability. With a defense of 5 and entangle, the Ifrit Warriors can easily gum up a much more expensive unit for quite a while. If you can wait until your opponent has spent a few permanent command points, you can really give him a hard decision about whether to throw his remaining points into vae victus so he can actually kill an Efrit, or save it for more important combat sequences. This is also a highly valuable way to keep enemy lemures locked into place, preventing them from unleashing havoc on your more costly units.
The new Fickle ability provides a bit more subtle utility. Because the Efrit Warriors don’t count when determining how many units you have waiting, you can potentially pass your turn even if you have as many or more units in your company as your opponent. This can leave your opponent in the awkward position of having a unit that can’t move forward without receiving a charge and no way to delay. Having multiple Efrit activate in succession at the end of a round can be downright dangerous as well.
Levitate is always an excellent thing to have on a trooper. It allows the Efrit to maneuver through the battlefield to entangle the most opportune targets, as well as allowing them to move over terrain obstacles, giving them greater access to unexpected threat angles. Like the Corvus Harriers, you can use this ability to help them run away with a scenario object, but unlike the Corvus they do not also possess the strider ability, meaning they can’t end their activations in difficult terrain.
Regeneration is an ability that might only come up once every few games, as with a LP total of only 6, regaining one hit point isn’t often going to save you, but thanks to that defense of 5 and lack of a wounded state, there are times when you might end up surviving with a single LP thanks to it.
Finally, there’s ricochet. I love ricochet because you can always be sure that even if the opponent has extremely high faith (Such as a swashbuckler or succubus) you can still put one damage point on it. It makes the Ifrit even more annoying for your opponent to leave standing and may force them to overextend just to get rid of it.
Overall I find the Efrit Warriors to be disposable harassment units. At only 15 points, I’m not going to lose much sleep over getting one killed, so the goal is to make them as annoying as possible to my opponent in order to bait them into overspending resources to get rid of them. Locking up lemures and other units that really need to be somewhere else with entangle, picking off weakened enemies with ricochet and spiritual damage, or just letting me pass my turn to ensure that I always get the last activation of the round are all perfectly frustrating for an opponent, enough so that a canny player can use them to force enemy units out of position to set them up for the kill.
I’d also like to mention that the addition of the Djinn troopers and two more Djinn independents in Inferno opens the Saracen faction up to running a very Djinn themed company. I’d love to see pics of painted screaming ghost armies in the near future!
As a side note. I’d just like to say that the new hard cover rulebooks look absolutely fantastic, and I can’t wait until the rest of you have them in your hands too!