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Grand Exemplar Kreoss - Epic Warcaster
The Grand Exemplar is the epic version of
High Exemplar Kreoss
. He can only be used in games of 750 points or more, and he has a much stronger emphasis on working with units of
and mixing it up in close combat with the enemy.
Kreoss' abilities are mostly unchanged from his previous incarnation. He's got an extra point of command, and an extra point of armor. Both boosts will add up to more than you'd expect. Kreoss is still somewhat fragile; at least by the standards of warcasters. He can absorb more damage points than many casters, this doesn't amount to much when he's tagged by several attacks that get a few points of damage past his armor at a time. Like all Menites he's also a touch slower than most warcasters at a SPD of five. He doesn't have a ranged weapon, but is good in melee.
Feat - Strength of Arms
Strength of Arms will travel in a bubble with Kreoss, so you can trigger it before he charges and it will move with him. Naturally you'll activate Kreoss early in any turn that you intend to use this feat, and it's emphasis on melee boosts means taking melee heavy warriors and warjacks. Kreoss should have few to no Zealots or Cleansers in his arm when Elite Cadres of
can cut an enemy warcaster apart while this feat is running with their automatic hits and extra attacks. This feat also forces you to get Kreoss up where the action is, but play cautiously. Warcasters that bravely lead from the front frequently end up dead. The only noticable weakness of this feat is that Seneschals can't get an extra attack against a slammed model if you choose to use their Chain Attack-Slam. The way this feat is worded the effect will not benefit a Devout's Defensive Strike, but gives the Dervish an extra lunge forward before the additional attack with its chain attack.
Weapon - Justifier
Justifier has the same hitting power as Kreoss' old weapon Spell Breaker, and I miss Spell Breaker because it could shut down so many enemy tricks like the Butcher of Khardov's Retaliation. Still, Justifier makes up for this lack with both reach and pure hitting power. On the Charge Kreoss can use his spell Hallowed Vengance with the Thrust Special attack and get a bonus to hit with an armor piercing slam attack. There is no reason I can think of not to use the Thrust as the first attack every turn.
Aegis of Faith:
Yay! He's immune to fire! Feel free to cast that Cleansing Fire into melee if you have to wipe out a large mass of enemy warriors and damn the consequences. He might take a few points of damage from the blast, but he won't burn himself to death.
Take as many Seneschals and
as you can. Playing an epic warcaster without its elite cadre should not be done. Elite
are immune to Corrosion, which has always been the preferred way of taking them down when only a few are left, they can advance on and attack incorporeal models but not charge them, and moving from a MAT of seven to eight for the warriors is a substantial bonus.
You just need to use the Grand Exemplar in an army of at least 750 points, and cannot use him with his non-Epic version.
Unlike a Seneschal's recovery powers this will probably come up a lot more often. If an opponent makes a direct assassination attempt against Kreoss it won't do much. If Kreoss takes only a few points of damage here and there, and you've chosen your forces correctly, opponents will be hard pressed to keep the damage on him. In two warcaster games you'd do worse than to have a horde army of warriors built around the Grand Exemplar and the Harbinger. Though Imperishable Conviction is also triggered by the destruction of your warjacks it doesn't mean that an all warjack force will be nearly as useful as a force with a number of warriors in it.
This allows you to be very aggressive with Kreoss when playing against just about all of the Cryx warcasters, and several other warcasters like Commander Adept Nemo and Magnus the Traitor. If you're playing against Cryx and your opponent has a few or more bonejacks cast this spell every turn you can. It makes Kreoss immune to several assassination tactics; all of which rely on channeling spells through bonejacks.
What I consider most entertaining about Chasten is that you can cast it on your own units to get rid of detrimental enemy upkeeps like Crippling Grasp. The spell demands that you
the unit, so many spells that are triggered by being
will still go off. If you attack one of your own heavy warjacks with this one to get rid of a spell you could end up wasting the focus if you don't damage it, or even worse providing a cure worse than the disease by boosting the damage and mangling it.
One of many high focus cost ranged attack spells; the Menites get more mileage out of these than Cygnar or Khador because they have no guns. It's both powerful, causes
, and has an area of effect. If your opponent has troops in tight formation in front of Kreoss or one of his arc node bearing jacks this spell can be worth it. It costs a lot of focus, and should only be used if you're certain of nailing home a victory with it.
combine the effects of this spell and Kreoss' Thrust Special attack. If you upkept Hallowed Vengeance from a previous turn and hit will all your attacks you can slam up to three enemy models with this spell. Because the focus cost of casting Hallowed Vengeance is so low you shouldn't need to worry about casting it as an upkeep if you're not sure about how to line up charges or spend focus for your next turn.
You can also use Hallowed Vengeance to get Kreoss out of a combat that he somehow fails to finish. If Kreoss charges a Khadoran Devastator and you fail to take it out with Thrust you can cast Hallowed Vengeance and make an additional attack to extricate Kreoss from the combat so he doesn't get hit by a Rain of Death.
are probably the best subject for this spell. They need the morale boost of fearless, and while using Shield Wall their armor jumps up to twenty. Holy Zealots can have a Monolith Bearer and a War Priest that can give them extra armor, but there's small reason not to compound the effect. So many of Menoth's warrior units and solos are fearless it's almost worth ignoring that effect of the spell and adding the two points of armor to whatever model you feel needs it. It will work on warjacks, so can give a Devout or Revenger a nice boost to armor.
Retribution is not triggered by incidental damage like collisions, or continuous effects like fire or corrosion. Cast this spell on the warjack in your force you know your opponent most hates. Players are not going to specifically target the Repenter, but the Devout is an ideal subject for this spell. If it uses Shield Guard for Kreoss the enemy model will trigger Retribution. Note that the enemy model will take an identical damage
, and not the same damage.
You should just cast this on one of your units of
and upkeep it for all the game. This'll compound their power nicely. Either that, or you can cast it on a unit of
that you intend to use as a bullet shield for your other units anyway. If you are fond of using your Idrian Skirmishers Interception ability to distrupt an advancing enemy army, Sacrosanct should be on them from the first turn and then be shifted to its late game beneficiary unit later - not only will there be a lot of DEF14 troopers in combat with several enemy models, but anyone who kills one of them will lose his action in a turn when he really needs it. You could cast Sacrosanct on a warjack, but I don't think it'll slow up as many enemy units as a large unit of warriors will.
Thoughts on Grand Exemplar Kreoss
In a 750 point force Kreoss, two
, two units of
and two full units of
are a bit under 550 points. Which leaves you 200 points for a
and one or two other warjacks (especially the
Fire of Salvation
) or units of warriors like a nice big block of
to run at the enemy under the effects of Sacrosanct, or a unit of
to be fearless and Shield Wall at ARM:20 under Inviolable Resolve. Or your Melee units and warjacks like the
will be the ones to go for. The important thing is to have a mass of warriors in Kreoss' Control area to help him regenerate with Imperishable Conviction and boost up from his feat at the critical juncture in the game. As always the ever handy
Choirs of Menoth
will pay for themselves in just about every game you use them, and Choirs provide a cheap source of regeneration for Imperishable Conviction, because few opponents can resist taking potshots at them if you expose them to enemy attacks.
Kreoss has three very handy upkeeps, and if you're keeping Inviolable Resolve, Retribution, and Sacrosanct going he'll have four or five focus left over. If you're also playing against an obvious Cryx assassin force you'll also be sinking three focus into Castigate every turn. This means that Kreoss needs to have as much or more of his force in warriors because he'll only have a few points of focus left over for warjacks. Wracks are cheap, and Kreoss is always going to be tight for spare focus points.
Of the mercs the utility solos like
will do the most good. Taking large melee units like
is just silly, because they won't benefit from Kreoss' feat or spells.
is especially handy, because on the turn Kreoss uses his feat
can give a Protectorate warrior unit three autohits with his March song.
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