Warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in ..../includes/class_bbcode.php on line 2958

Warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in ..../includes/class_bbcode.php on line 2958
MONTHLY MODEL DISCUSSION: [May,'15] THE "BEST" TOP 10 DA MODELS
  1. #1
    Never Knows Best's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Appleton, WI
    Posts
    1,034

    MONTHLY MODEL DISCUSSION: [May,'15] THE "BEST" TOP 10 DA MODELS

    The "Lesser" article worked pretty well so this is a natural sequel. I write this on the eve of what feels like quite a few changes coming down the pipe so a number of these models might change.

    Ever feel like a model is too good to be true? Broken even? Do you have a friend who constantly beats you down with one model? Well, this month's model discussion is a tribute to...

    The "Best" Dark Age Models, a top 10 list

    Note: These are my picks for top 10, if yours differ feel free to post them. Especially since there were a lot... A LOT of models that were close for me but left off for one reason or another.


    My Criteria:
    1. A model with stats that over-perform in relation to its point-cost.

    2. A model that can excel and perform well despite any assistance from combos or other models and/or can excel further when considering additional combos or other models.

    3. A model that highly impacts the fundamental strategy of the game, either by creating options for a player or problems for an opponent... or both.

    4. A model that otherwise does something special or fits well into its faction/subfaction. A model that can make other models better.

    5. A model with an especially attractive sculpts.



    10.
    Worm Shepherd
    Followers of the Heretic faction / Skarrd faction

    The Look:
    I really, really like the look of the Worm Shepherd but let's first comment on the obvious flaw of the sculpt: even though they are baby drillheads, they're just too damn small. The proportion of the twining drillheads seems unrealistic compared to the Drillhead sculpt itself. There is no way they go from Garter to Anaconda. That being said, the mask, the cape, the overall level of detail is very satisfactory.

    Critics Say:
    It's not the most survivable model in the world. It's semi-new and, at least the Skarrd one, belongs to a faction with a lot of flash and so this has a tendency to be a "best kept secret" type model.

    Why it's Awesome:
    This is the only true duel-faction model on my list and the reason is clear; whether with Heretic or Skarrd the Worm Shepherd is one of the best models out there. The Jack-of-all-traits (and even a master of a few) Special-Ability-extravaganza that these models seem to have would be enough on their own: Superior Maintenance, Grafting, Invoker, Bad Mojo, Enhance, Bite Reflex, Latch On, Pierce, ED(2) between the two of them... I'm out of breath.

    But also throw in that there is absolutely no model for 75 points or fewer that can throw out the damage-per-action point (dpa) that Worm Shepherd can. Alone, it can kill just about anything.


    9.
    Bane/Coil
    Forsaken faction

    The Look:
    Starting with the Coils I am actually okay with their look, dated though it might be. I'm a fan of the visor and “disk” tech and, if the Diskmaster is any indication, it will only get better if resculpted. Their poses specifically need work (why are leaders always pointing?)

    For the Bane the main problem is his/her cardboard-tube-like club. That and a redo of their faces (their armor is quite neat looking) and the models stand a chance at being some of the best looking foot soldiers in Dark Age (seriously, the grunts in Dark Age get the short end for sure).

    Critics Say:
    The Forsaken can be a bit vanilla as a faction and Banes/Coils are as vanilla as they get. They do one, specific thing well with no other bells or whistles (they also have the characteristic Forsaken high-armor, high defense).

    If anything, these models have a tendency to get passed over for the more flashy generic models or those specific to the subfactions. They do absolutely nothing other than fill that X point melee/range slot really well.

    Why it's Awesome:
    As a player I do my best to listen to the tips and comments of others. Specifically, I've had a chance to pick the brains of some of the game's best and an interesting thing I caught was how some players had a tendency to compare other models with the stats of the Banes and Coils of the Forsaken. That should tell you something right there.

    For their points the Coil has the best range attack in their category in the game and the Bane would certainly be in the top 5. Not only are these models a staple of their faction but they are also the basis for which other factions can be compared. I'm sure that's exactly what the fictional Forsaken people would want you to think too.


    8.
    Fixer
    Outcast faction

    The Look:
    He looks fine. The helmet, the wrench, a Beastie Boys' music-video outfit... I wish I could find a good junkyard base to go with it all.

    Critics Say:
    Nothing? Seriously, what more do you want in a model? Sure, the points went up by 5, from 75 to 80... but it has jury rig now. Sure, at AS: 6, PW: 4 it's not the hardest hitting model in the world... but it has scavenge as well as the new Generic faction ability to gain a Scavenge every round.

    Why it's Awesome:
    Dark Age doesn't like auto-include models. That being said, the Fixer is as close to an auto-include model there is. It is (almost) the Outcast's sole source of BOTH a medic AND Superior Maintenance (yeah, Bonner has it too). IF it was just for those I would include him in most my lists.

    As is, he has all that AND a decent range attack and a few other abilities. There's only ever been a few lists I've even considered leaving him out of; at the very least, for me, he's to be included 99% of the time.


    7.
    Spirit Lord (Fire Caste)
    Dragyri faction, Fire Caste subfaction

    The Look:
    The Dragyri are some of the best sculpts, old or new, of any in all of Dark Age and, if you're inclined towards the particular theme and aesthetic, the Fire Caste are even a step higher. The dynamic poses, the flesh/metal contrast, the ability to play off the flame and volcanic light and color... these models are amazing and the Spirit Lord is no different.

    IF you were going to critique it, however, you'd definitely go after the fragility/bendiness of the polearm, the difficult-to-assemble "cape" bits, and the resin that sometimes exacerbates all these factors.

    Critics Say:
    Not really a criticism per se but many of the Fire Caste's other models pull the attention away from the Spirit Lord. Rath'zi, Fire Elemental and the Enforcer are all arguably competing for that high point slot that the Lord also fits into and so often he becomes overlooked.

    Why it's Awesome:
    And I'll just say quick that for any of the Dragyri Castes, the Spirit Lord is the quintessential model that could be considered first before just about anything else. Any of them -Ice, Air- could be on this list.

    For the Fire Caste however, I feel the Spirit Lord fits into and fills needed roles even better in its subfaction than any of the other ones. The ST fire is indispensable, SL is a much needed invoker, it has a decent attack, defense and squadlink capabilities. The start of all my Fire Caste lists currently have been, “can I fit a Spirit Lord?”


    6.
    War Priest
    Kukukani faction

    The Look:
    This model is the winner of the “worst sculpt among my top 10” award. It's not that it's bad... okay, strike that as the lines of detail just don't work quite right between the body and the cape. And the face/face mask thing? Ug.

    But also, it's very underwhelming. I mean this is THE priest but only seems – in relation to the Devoted Priests -to have gotten the attention a Firestorm Leader might have over a regular Firestorm... that is to say, not much.

    Critics Say:
    KILL IT! Seriously, from when K3 was first released up until the current rules, this is the number 1 target all players seek to kill in a Kukulkani list... and he's not terribly hard to kill. The fact that this model is so essential to K3 strategy IS legitimately a criticism in that respect.

    Why it's Awesome:
    It is more possible now to make the argument that you could, theoretically, have a K3 list without a War Priest – before the current changes he was ABSOLUTELY essential and now he is just moderately-critical.

    Still, he is the single greatest source of Bio Energy for a faction that NEEDS Bio Energy. What's more is that, with the Bio Enhancement upgrade to Technomancy, he can become an absolute beast when, in the first round, he gains +1 HP, +2 AR. He's also their best caster, enough said? Seriously, it's only 65 points, he's at least worth 2 Devoted Priests that would ring in together at 70.

  2. #2
    Never Knows Best's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Appleton, WI
    Posts
    1,034
    5.
    Harpy (Harborya)
    Skarrd faction (or Followers of the Heretic Faction)

    The Look:
    Harborya is fine but man do people hate on the Harpy. I think the overall look is okay theme-wise (women Wolverine with wings). The resculpts so far have specifically chipped away at the old model's out-of-proportion body parts and I think once this gets tweaked a bit they will get more love.

    Critics Say:
    They have a very “if you lose initiative, they all die” vibe to them; the epitome of risk-reward.

    Why it's Awesome:
    There is nothing, NOTHING in Dark Age that has influenced the strategy of the game more than alternate-deployment models and the Harpy is, at 30 points, one of the most deadly one of these point-for-point. Duel attacks, 12” movement, Vault... those that master the sometimes-unreliably-inaccurate Gliding Deployment will create all kinds of issues for their opponents in every game.

    The “Harpy Bomb,” it even has an infamous name. Feared by all, taken lightly by none, and a very tempting way to spend 60 to 120 points in any Skarrd list. It's one of the main reasons I don't consider War Priest reliant K3 lists or Alpha reliant Core lists for any serious competitions.


    4.
    Howler/Numbskull
    Brood faction, Eradicate/Terrorize subfaction

    The Look:
    Along with Mongo, the Howler is probably one of the most recognizable and flashy models of Dark Age, often drawing a crowd to the table he's on. The Numbskull get's less love, many of his details hidden by the fact that his sculpt bends him over, but I still like it nonetheless. SMASH!

    Critics Say:
    Again, here Numbskull doesn't get as much love. Both are very easy to hit and are stupid so the counter-strategy is always to either tie them up with movement-impairing abilities or simply take control of their minds.

    Why it's Awesome:
    Howler/Numbskull, 185 points/160 points, 6 HP each and regeneration that's immune to cauterize. If it were just for these numbers alone I'd consider them.

    But the former is absolutely flush with different types of devastating attacks/effects and the latter is leaner on attacks sure, but is point-cheaper and still has duel attacks and some nifty Special Abilities including Tremor. Why wouldn't you field these models?


    3.
    Archangel Raphael
    Forsaken faction, Prevailer subfaction

    The Look:
    Amazing! I love all the archangels with only one, simple suggestion – they definitely look too much alike and it would be nice if they had more personality of differences shown in the sculpt. Otherwise, if I were a sculpt, this is what I would be.

    Critics Say:
    This was actually an initial criticism of mine: 3 HP for 150 points? Indeed, especially for Michael, with their non-Living status keeping them from “Hanging in There,” rushing these models forward usually results in their prompt demise, with or without the crazy-high armor.

    Why it's Awesome:
    For Raphael? Very simply it's that no other model makes their faction/subfaction “work” quite like this model does. The way the Prevailers are built they 1. need a consistent source of damage, especially against hard-to-kill targets, 2. Need range, badly and 3. need to be able to keep their guys up. Check, check, check.

    Specifically, the 2 RF Restoration AND 2 RF ST “weapon of death” makes this one of my favorite models of all time and makes me want to play Prevailers, if only to play Raphael.


    2.
    Lynette
    Outcast faction, Salt Nomad subfaction

    The Look:
    I have no idea, she's not sculpted yet. I have a feeling that she's going to be somewhat bland – another Aja perhaps- and I'm not looking forward to another whip carrier either. The cats' card art looks promising however.

    Critics Say:
    The head-honcho of Dark Age himself told me Lynette herself isn't that powerful. I'm not really one to disagree...(but I will)

    Why it's Awesome:
    Let's just say, for argument's sake, that she only had 1 HP. [2]AS 6, PW 4 with a weapon ability and, compared to a Bane she'd be worth 40 points... 4 less armor sure but also 2 less Defense. Give her 1 more HP and that's worth what, 60 points? Conservatively?

    That would mean her two, duel attacking, 12” movement, mobile, 2 HP cats would, hypothetically, be 30ish points each. An absolute steal. Add that to the fact that they keep her alive, and she has a few other quintessential abilities for her subfaction (suppression and master herder) and it's definitely enough to merit her #2 spot on the list. I dare you to say otherwise!


    Honorable Mention
    Mongo, Outcast Faction: This is my ultimate answer to X. Can't kill Johann? Mongo. Can't kill Howler? Mongo. Want to single-handedly table Forsaken, Dragyri, Core? Something is to be said about how this model has had its points increased two times in as many years and he STILL feels like a bargain.

    Thumper, CORE faction: I had to include a Core model, right? Churgeon was temping but then I realized, one of the reasons I used him was to prevent malfunctions with one of my all-time favorites: Thumper. Luke is a pain because the Arsenals, at range 16, are kind of annoying. Thumper takes that and turns it to 11 and is not only my answer to lot of problems that other factions throw at me but also a problem a lot of other factions have to deal with when facing me.

    Yovanka, Dragyri Faction, Air Caste Subfaction: For her points, she's probably the best model of all the Dragyri. Only the fact that the Spirit Lord (Fire) helps his subfaction more bumped her out of a main slot but she's still worthy of mention. Very deadly at range; very, very deadly close up, with Parry and capable of casting absolutely the most annoying psychogenics in the game.

    1.
    Father Johann
    Skarrd faction, Metamorphosis subfaction

    The Look:
    Father Johann IS NOT Saint Johann. The Saint Johann sculpt, especially the LE, is AMAZING! Father Johann is showing (the character, not the sculpt) his age and is, appropriately, the shriveled, rusting prune of what the Saint used to be.

    He's still cool conceptually, the arms+blades are unique and fun. And even though the Father doesn't quite have the same table presence as his “predecessor” sculpt, its a model you'll be proud to own, but definitely no more than above-average.

    Critics Say:
    Please, don't use Father Johann! (In theory, he's susceptible to Brutal-heavy lists).

    Why it's Awesome:
    You might not ever catch me cuss but that being said no model has made me cuss under my breath more than this stupid piece of pewter. I can't tell you how many times I've had an opponent almost tabled, nearly my entire army at my disposal only to lose without scratching him. I can't tell you how many times an opponent threw him recklessly into the middle of all my forces, only for him to remain round after round of getting pounded on but culling away near-double his weight in points.

    #*@%^&!

    Wall of blades is awesome and even without the Backblade attacks, those duel-crush assaults are nasty. With Backblades he becomes the single best assassinating model there is and even with just these features and 200 points he's ridiculous; one of the only 200 point models I consider at the 500 level.

    He also gives essential components his faction needs: Psychogenic master, Ghost in the Machine, Command... seriously he needed a separate card to fit it all. If there was a “Special Ability:Kitchen Sink,” I'm sure he'd have it. One of the most frustrating, one-man-army models ever and the definitive winner of my top 10. If you can't beat him, buy him and I have.

  3. #3
    McNs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Lafayette, IN
    Posts
    626
    So, I'd argue any models that are faction-defining, "you will absolutely see this in a competitive event if you run into X faction" models should be on here. With that in mind, let me suggest two more entries:

    1) Bolas

    Entangle is all sorts of bananas on a 35 point, Infiltrating model with AS 6 and RF 2. The amount of early game sniping, AP denial, and as a result, positional dominance this model can bring to the table is staggering. I can think of very few Skarrd lists, of any cult and at any point level, that don't want Bolas.

    2.) Puds

    I'll grant you can't take these buggers solo, but man - a "free" model with Regeneration is nothing trivial in this game. Yes, you need to keep them in range of other models to "control" them, no they can't provide gang-up, but having a power-multiplier on their bite and the ability to both activate during another model's activation and activate in the Prep phase is hilariously powerful. Combine that with the ability to throw them, either as a pseudo-ranged attack or to reposition to score a secondary objective is huge. This is the model that first comes to mind when I think "Brood" and for good reason.

  4. #4
    Never Knows Best's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Appleton, WI
    Posts
    1,034
    The Skarrd have a lot of very powerful models and combinations, if I wanted to I could almost rationalize half of this list with Skarrd-only entries and the Bola is no exception. If anything though, there were a few things that kept it from being my pick, the biggest that it's a one trick pony. Also, even though its the best AP denial in the game for its points, it really won't cause an opponent to change their strategy a ton, because there really isn't much they can do. That's not a bad thing, but compare that to the Harpy where half of the Harpy's effectiveness is in how an opponent might change their list or the way they play because they might face a Harpy list.

    As for Puds I kept them off for exactly the reason you stated, as I did any model that requires another model to be fielded. Elementals, for example, I feel like you'd be comparing them as a combo with Soul Warden. Puds even moreso I looked at, not as the Puds themselves, but as the model that fields them. Pud Thrower, Alpha Pud and Mandible all made my short list (some people really like the ugly POD though); in all honesty Alpha Pud probably should have made it on the list or Honorable Mention since it is an awesome model for 100 points. In the end, I tried to spread the love with the factions a bit and Howler/Numbskull are clearly the winners for the Brood.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Log in

Log in