40K: The Balance of Forgebane Forces
At first glance, Forgebane looks like it might be a tad out of balance – but is it really?
When I first saw the contents of Forgebane I was first excited at the prospect of Ad Mech vs Necrons in a boxed set – it’s about time! But the second thought in my head was “are those Knights? Well Ad Mech is going to crush the Necrons. No contest.” However, the more I thought about it, the less sure I was. And then we got a look at the Armiger’s rules and the Necron tidal wave of leaks happened. Now, I think it’s a lot closer than I initially thought.
Let’s start with the underdogs. Well, underdogs in my mind at least.
HQ – Cryptek with Canoptek Cloak
We got a look at his rules and honestly, it’s a mean little package. A Flying HQ with a bonus to Reanimation Protocols and he can regain D3 lost wounds a turn? edit: OR he grants Infantry models within 3″ a 5+ invulnerable. (edit: its Cloak OR Chronometron – I’d go with the cloak in most cases). And he’s still an Infantry model himself. And a Character. So it’s not like those Armigers are going to be able to drop him turn one…unless you position him poorly.
Troop – Immortals
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These guys aren’t too shabby either. With Strength 5 weapons they can pump out the wounds. The Skitarii infantry should be wary of these guys for sure. The can even threaten the Armiger – it’s S5 vs T7, but that’s still a 5+ to wound. And if you give them Tesla, they can generate a ton of extra hits. It’s a suprising amount of firepower. And don’t forget the benefits of the Cryptek nearby.
Elite – Lychguard
These guys are packing 2 Wounds each and have some pretty dangerous weapons in Close-Combat. If they get their Warscythes out, they are wounding the Armigers on a 4+ and they take away their saves (unless their Ion shields work in CC). Or you can go with how they are loaded out in the picture and they are wounding them on a 5+ but have a 4++ invulnerable save. They might not last long vs the big guys, but with some luck, they might just get back up and cause some issues!
Fast Attack – Canoptek Wraiths
Here’s the secret weapon. The Wraiths are going to cause LOTS of problems. They are multi-wound models that move 12″ and have a 3++ invulnerable save. They can hit pretty hard to boot. They will eat those Skitarii Rangers for breakfast in close combat. Plus, they can Fall Back and Shoot/Charge in the same turn!
Now, vs the Armigers, in Close Combat each failed invulnerable save is a dead Wraith. And with 4 swings with that Reaper Chain-Cleaver, it’s going to sting. But if you really need to tie-one up for a few rounds they make an excellent speed bump.
The Ad Mech
Now let’s take a quick look at the Ad Mech.
HQ – Tech Priest Dominus
The Tech-priest Dominus is one of those units that has answers for everything. You could give him an Eradication Ray for the heavy firepower. You could go for the massed damage of a Volkite blaster. And don’t discount the Macrostubber either. On top of that the Refractor Field is getting him an Invulnerable save and he’s got ways to help your unit perform better and stay alive longer, too. Really, his biggest disadvantage compared to the Cryptek is that he’s relatively slow with a move of 6″ – but he might be better overall.
Troops – Skitarii Rangers
I know the picture above has them equipped a certain way – but bring the Plasma. Their Galvanic rifles do have a 30″ range so you’ll out shoot the Necrons at extreme distances. But if you can get in there with Plasma…well that’s a lot of dead bots. So you can play this unit as a long range firebase – which is fine until they move up – or you can rush in there with your big guys and hope you can pump out the damage to wipe a unit at a time with that deadly plasma. Your call…
Lord of War – Armiger Warglaive (x2)
The real heavy-lifers of this list, they are going to be a problem. As discussed above, the Necrons DO have a way around some of their firepower – but all it’s going to take is one bad round and the Necron’s armor will fail.
We know they are going to be T7 with 12 Wounds and a 14″ move. That’s going to keep them mobile and in the fight. We don’t know if they degrade as they take damage yet. And we can assume the ion shield is going to at least help against shooting. I don’t think that a lone Armiger is going to be able to wipe a unit by themselves. However, if the Ad Mech player keeps them together as a pair…well that’s going to be dangerous. I’d use them to target the Wraiths at range, hoping for a failed invulnerable save or 3. And then mop-up in CC.
We haven’t discussed Canticles, stratagems, relics, dynasties, or any number of other factors that go into an army. Plus there is the board and terrain to think about as well as scenarios – but we’re not going to get into all those factors.
While those will all have an impact on the game, those are variables that we can’t really control – but you should keep all those things in mind before you jump to a conclusion on which side would win on paper.
So Who’s Better?
From the initial reaction I had, to the deeper analysis, I still think the Ad Mech have an advantage – but it’s a lot slimmer than I first gave it. I think the units in the box have a much closer parity and counter each other better than I originally assessed – which is a good thing. If you’re a new player and were looking at this box as a gateway into 40k, the good news is that both sides are good options. If you’re splitting this box with a buddy, I think both are good deals monetarily as neither side has any “junk” units.
But if I had to pick, from a purely competative standpoint, I’d probably say the Ad Mech are better – but we’re talking a 60/40 split here. Maybe even 55/45. All it takes is a bad turn, some hot dice, or a poor play and the game could swing from one side to the other. And that’s why I like this boxed set!
What do you think? Which side is better and why? Let us know what you think of Forgebane in the comments below!