Who's Your Favorite Malestrom?
Godtear is such an epic & diverse game it can offer so much from team composition, races, models and mores. Some of us number crunchers will know what champions are strong and weak. But really no matter what you will always have your favorites. In this mini series Sam & Dan team up to discuss what is their favorites in each class. The series will be split across the two blog sites with Slayer & Malestrom on Fishy Wargaming then Shaper & guardian on Objective Hex.
Danny (Fishy Wargaming) - Blackjaw
Welcome to the bad boy zone. Blackjaw is the sort of kid that spent his educational years in the bike sheds skipping school and smoking cigarettes. He was the first one to get to expelled and didn’t care! You see Blackjaw is a bully. There is no way to dress this up. Bringing Blackjaw to a game is a way to say to your opponent the gloves are off and an Orc fist is mighty bigger than your fist! His play style is brutal. Super fast, rushing opponents and dropping followers.
While his own gang take pleasure in grouping up and dragging down enemy champions. Blackjaw has such a strong board control element it’s easy to overlook that when you see his flame axe, kick and all manner of skills. I’m sure if it were possible Blackjaw would have an attack named after his topknot it he could (yes designers a future upgrade card please). His play style is so selfish. It’s all about what Blackjaw and followers can do. Damn the rest of his buddies. They are just there to make up numbers and show off how good he is. Wild battle ladder swings and also a kill or be killed attitude.
His model and that of his followers show off true unfettered rage. An uncontrollable dervish. Etiquette and planning is out the window. Fighting tooth and nail. Each hair raising roll. Blackjaw is not for the fainted hearted to play or be playing against. But that is his utter joy. If Blackjaw isn’t in your collection I urge you to reconsider he adds that danger and spice to every game. The tribal Orc look is a classic, but it goes so well in the setting and theme. Every fantasy game needs an element of wild rage and in this instance the ‘bad guy’. Halftusk takes that mantel well and if you don’t like it... well he just doesn’t care. I fear for the lands of Godtear as Blackjaw is sure to claw his way to dominance over the broken bodies of the other champions, friend or foe!
Sam (Objective Hex) - Luella
On The Table
I’ll be honest with you, Luella often disappoints me on the table. I generally avoid using her in competitive games, but this series is about the champions we enjoy the most rather than the ones we think are most competitive. Luella is certainly fun to play with. She’s a dwarf who is actually fast in the open field. Her Momentum trait allows her to advance one extra hex as long as she moves only in a straight line. This causes all sorts of fun spatial puzzles related to getting her in the right hex row and clearing things out so that she does not have to break stride. It’s pretty satisfying when the stars align and your dwarf flies three hexes across the board to uncork a free action.
Luella is not going to KO huge gobs of followers the way that someone like Titus or Blackjaw will. Her Arc Lightning’s hit effect may fool you into thinking that she can, but those 3 damage dice rolls are… unreliable. Against followers who should be cupcakes, like Bandits or Gearhawks, Arc Lightining's free damage rolls are only going to get the KO 49% of the time. Against Armor 3 followers, like Glory Seekers or Knightshades, the odds plummet to 20% The Arc Lightning hit effect does not need a second hit roll, though, so it can be very effective against Sneaky Stabbers and Mistwood Rangers.
Although Luella doesn’t have the explosive scoring potential of most Maelstroms, she does have two reasonably good attacks and can probably take out one or two followers most turns. As long as she is contributing in other ways (like crushing banners), she can pull her weight. Luella also has a subtle KO denial power. She will often be Armor 4 thanks to the free boon from the Maidens and has 7 health, so she is no pushover. The Shield Maidens are also not easy to KO. So, while Luella may not score as much as other Maelstroms, she also won’t make it easy for opponents to score KOs against her crew. The Shield Maidens are also no joke offensively; with their built-in damage boon, they can swing at 6/6. Not bad!
Still, Luella is somewhat unwieldy because of her need for a lane to charge through. Savvy opponents will be able to block her path. A dedicated slaying operation can, in fact, get her. She’s not bad, but she does not do what some other maelstroms do. Still, she’s fun! Play her for fun!
These models look great. Luella’s spear is wicked looking, and her pose is full of attitude. You can almost feel her confidence as she stares you down. She’s sporting some Night’s Watch style furs and a pair of iconic viking braids. It’s a definite vibe. The Shield Maidens look awesome as well. Their eponymous shields provide nice big painting spaces with a cool wooden texture inlaid with metal designs. My favorite is the Maiden with her sword sheathed who seems to just be peering contemptuously over her shield at the attack you just whiffed. Not for nothing, but it’s very encouraging to see an all female group of fantasy warriors who are appropriately dressed for what they are doing. SFG has always been pretty good about this. I appreciate it.
She’s lightning themed. That’s automatically cool in my book. There does not seem to be much story to Luella, though, unfortunately. Why does she want godlike power? What is her deal? The SFG copy on this is very skimpy. It just kind of says that she charges ahead and stuff. Gotcha. In general, I think we need a bit more Godtear lore, but other champions at least have a story. Halftusk has a protective relationship with the troglodytes and is the last free troll. Titus was disgraced but won glory in the arena. Keera is legally distinct from Daenerys Targaryen. What’s Luella’s deal? Dunno. She has sweet warpaint, though.