Calaban the Gravewalker – Minion Gatorman Warlock

CalabanTheGraveWalker.png
The monstrous gatorman warlock called Calaban the Grave Walker commands fearsome powers over life and death. With his bone staff in one hand and skull talisman in the other, Calaban can drain the life force from an enemy and then use the withered shell left behind as a conduit for his dark magic.

Statistics

Average warlock stats for the most part. MAT is sub-par, but FURY and ARM are on the higher end. (ARM is a little low for Gators though.) He is primarily a spell-casting warlock, so his melee and ranged stats don't matter as much.

Feat – Death Harvest

Calaban gains Fury for enemies killed in his control area, and he can cast a spell immediately afterward. Essentially, for every few models killed, he can cast an offensive spell or cycle Parasite to a new target, making them easier to kill.

Weapons and Attacks

  • Heart Stopper – Medium RNG with slightly below average POW. On the plus side, it has a ROF 2 and an ability.
    • Magical Weapon
    • Grave Door – This is cool. If Calaban boxes a living enemy model with this weapon, that model heals 1 damage and becomes an Arc Node for Calaban for the rest of the turn. It's destroyed at the end of the turn, but that's plenty of time to make more trouble.
  • Bite – Below average P+S.
  • Carcass – Same P+S as the Bite and has Life Trader for added damage.
    • Magical Weapon
    • Reach
    • Life Trader - After hitting a target, a model with this weapon ability can take one damage to gain an additional die on the weapon's damage roll. Can only be used once per attack, but with no limit within an activation.

Special Abilities

  • Amphibious - Well, he is a 'gator...
  • Gatorman Warlock - This model can only have Minion Gatorman warbeasts in his battlegroup.

Spells

  • Bone Shaker - A low cost, ranged offensive spell. When the spell boxes a living/undead enemy warrior model, you can make a full advance with the enemy model (ignoring free strikes) and a normal melee attack. After the attack is resolved, the model is removed from play.
  • Carnivore – An upkeep spell that grants target model/unit +2 to melee attack rolls against living models. When the target boxes a living model, the caster can heal d3 damage. The destroyed model is removed from play, which has many other side effects.
  • Hex Blast - An average cost, small AOE offensive spell that causes enemy upkeep spells/animi on the model/unit directly hit to immediately expire. A great spell for clearing out annoying buffs like Arcane Shield or Spiny Growth.
  • Occultation - An upkeep spell that grants target model/unit Stealth.
  • Parasite - An upkeep spell that inflicts a large ARM debuff on target model/unit and a slight ARM buff on the caster. Gators have a problem with high ARM, and this solves that to some degree.

Thoughts on Calaban the Grave Walker

Think Cryx only scaly, toothy, and green. (To be fair, Cryx has dental issues too.) He's dressed like a voodoo shaman for a reason, people.

While Heart Stopper can't give him the long arm of Cryx's arc nodes, it does grant him a good 20"-21" threat range with Hex Blast. It's not optional, however, so it can be more of a hindrance than a help. Take care not to clog up charge lanes with undead arc nodes. Also, the target keeps its facing, meaning that, unless your opponent gives you a side-on or backward-facing model, you won't be able to channel spells at models behind the target.

His Carnivore spell does nasty things to the Gatorman Posse; suddenly any non-undead warcaster/warlock is eatable. Even [insert your most hated DEF 16-17 'caster here] won't evade five MAT 9 charges with re-rolls. Carnivore can also help Calaban recover after using Life Trader on Carcass to take out a beast or 'jack. Parasite also seems to mesh well with Bone Shaker. Both are RNG 8, and with Bone Shaker only being POW 12, it'll need the other to turn a Shield Wall unit into a pile of body parts—which it could very well do on Cabalan's feat turn all with just spells.

Be aware of the interaction of removed from play and Calaban's feat. Using Carnivore or Bone Shaker a lot can cost you a lot of fury. Your go-to feat turn spells should be Hex Blast and Parasite. Calaban needs his army to do the killing, even on his feat turn.

Theme Force – Bad Religion

A Calaban force can be chosen from any of the options available to the Blindwater Congregation but a themed or Tier list can only be built from a select number of units, warbeasts and solos. The units required to unlock the special list abilities for Calaban are as follows:

Requirement
Benefit
Tier
-1
Gatorman non-character Warbeasts
Gatorman units and solos
Bog Trog Ambushers
Farrow Bonegrinders
Croak Hunters
Feralgeists
Wrongeye and Snapjaw
Models in the army gain Stealth for the first round.
Tier 2
One or more: Farrow Bonegrinders
Before game bonus move to Feralgeist solos
Tier 3
Wrongeye and Snapjaw
Deployment bonus for Wrongeye and his battlegroup.
Cost reduction to Wrongeye's battlegroup, but not himself.
Tier 4
4 or more Warbeasts in Calaban's battlegroup
Deployment Zone extension.

Thoughts on Bad Religion:

Caliban's spell list makes the loss of Thrullgs, and to a lesser extent Swamp Gobbers and Pendrake, an acceptable trade. Gaining access to Bonegrinders greatly benefits a spellslinger like Caliban by extending his spell range, making this theme force worth considering even at lower point levels. The need for that many beasts and Wrongeye and Snapjaw makes the higher Tiers hard to reach in small games. Stealth, deployment zone extension, and the Feralgiest movement bonus, combined with the reduced point cost for Wrongeye's battlegroup, make this list viable for larger games.

The cost reduction to Wrong Eye's battlegroup allows for some interesting options that you will rarely see otherwise. A Bull Snapper is always a welcome addition, though the Ironback Spitter makes an excellent, cheap second-line heavy. With Snapjaw running hot on the front line, the Spitter can sit back and shoot without boosting at all. Should you lose Snapjaw, the Spitter can keep Wrong Eye topped up on fury. Between Submerge and Occultation, plus Stealth on turn one, you'll have a lot of protection from enemy fire.