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Monthly Discussion [Jan. '16]: Model Spotlight: Broodling
  1. #1
    Never Knows Best's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Appleton, WI

    Monthly Discussion [Jan. '16]: Model Spotlight: Broodling

    3... 2... 1... Happy New Year!

    To start 2016, what do you think the best model to focus on would be? Something flashy like Father Johann? Something new like the Centepede? Or one of the revised models that's sure to shake up the meta; Firestorm?

    Nope. Broodling!

    I am a minimalist at heart and I can think of no better way to start the year off than to talk about the underwhelming, tiny, but overall cutest model in Dark Age. It's honestly a perfect tribute to Dark Age, a miniature game where you can build off of almost any model and find success.

    So why does the Broodling deserve its very own article?

    By the Numbers
    "From the very beginning Brood War Hosts suffered from a lack of disposable troops and were prey to swarm armies." -DA Forum's Osiris, 2007

    -Overcoming Brood's Low Model Count Weakness
    On average the Brood cost more points per model than just about any other faction, making high-count, low cost models like Puds and Broodlings very important for covering this weakness.

    -One of the Least Expensive Models in the Game
    If the current Dragyri playtest changes go through, Scut and Broodling will remain as the only 20 point Dark Age models. Scuts have range, weapon abilities and 3 AP but with Broodlings having regenerate this makes them a very effective, cheap meat-shield.

    -Always Room For a Few
    The Brood are also one of the remaining factions that does not yet have publicly available revisions. Their point values do not yet conform to the new base-25 model and therefore a Brood player's list is almost always likely to have a gap of 20-40 points. The Broodling is the only way to fill a gap like this and it's not a bad way to spend points.

    Puds vs. Broodling

    “8x broodlings... I used the hounds and broodlings to take objectives while my other unit covered them. The broodling squad took out a fresh Greater air elemental actually, which was crazy!” Owen Rehrauer, 2012

    -Cheap Models = AP Denial
    Being a Core player, I know that one of the best way to waste an opponent's AP is to tie up their models with cheap guys like Menial Bots and Combat Drones. This way they either need to spend AP breaking free or swinging away at the model. Now, personally I've had success putting Puds out there and having opponents waste AP on them - don't do that! You can skip the pud. [Point: Broodling]

    -Subject to Change
    There has been much talk and speculation surrounding the recent Dark Age updates to both Outcast and Forsaken and the playtest releases for Dragyri and Kukulkani. This leaves players of other factions wondering what new changes might be in store from them. While not a lot is known, one of the things most talked about is regarding the Pud. At the very least, Prep phase activation seems to be going away and the "3 for free" aspect of puds, combined with all of them having regeneration seems too good a deal for the Brood to keep. At the same time, Broodlings seem to be at a sort of sweet spot and if they retain "Mindless Creation" I have a feeling they will remain under-radar and will likely be unchanged. [Point: Broodling]

    Okay, one way to look at it is that Puds are free – included as part of the cost of whatever model they come with. Another way to look at it is that there is a cost – what we players call a “tax” - to field these numerous puds. Looking at it this way, you are spending anything from 25 to ~38 points per pud AND you get the corresponding model - Pud Thrower, POD, etc. - "for free." Still, Puds are currently the better deal in terms of getting the most bodies into the field (realistically you are spending between 3-8 points per pud, when factoring the corresponding model - which is a pretty damn good deal). [Point:Pud]

    -Stats and Synergy
    “Slave” (Pud Powers) is the best thing a Pud has going for it. One of the reasons Puds are a good deal is that Slave was initially considered a disadvantage. Ironically however, players currently utilize this ability to claim objectives or get extra attacks in early. Serpentine Body also allows them to ignore annoying things like Entangle and Pud Control can be used to give them a second activation. Other than that it's all Broodling. They have an extra AP and are double effective in both causing the opponent to spend AP to break away as well as granting Gang Up bonuses (especially if Alpha Broodlings grant them “Distraction”), neither of which Puds have. [Point: Broodling, barely]

    How Best to Utilize

    “Murtos, Howler, Alpha broodling, Plight, Grist, Brood hound, Pud thrower, 6x Broodling” -Jessie Thomas, Immortal Quarterfinalist list, 2014

    Alpha Broodling/Distraction seems a very tempting way to go. At 8” total movement, Broodlings are not a good option at either closing the gap or being a front line of fodder. Players also seem to vary a lot on whether to use them in smaller numbers to fill in gaps in list or whether to go max allotment, effectively building a list around them.

    Either way, it's hard to emphasize just how effective they can be in their subtlety. If an opponent doesn't focus them they creep up with the rest of their force and pounce in opportunistically, if they are focused an opponent can waste a lot of AP on them, and they will straight-out win in battles against other factions' “squishies.”

    Corresponding Facebook Post:

    -Edited for perfectionists
    Last edited by Never Knows Best; 01-03-2016 at 04:33 AM.

  2. #2
    McNs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Lafayette, IN
    Minor typo: Scuts have 3 "AP", not "HP". I spent a long time figuring out how Scuts have functional "3 HP" (which they do - Medic/Restortation is fun), though I'd rate Regen higher than that particularly combination.

    I agree with your overall costs/benefits of Broodlings. In the 2013 ruleset/2015 update, they're filler (though, with Puds, Brood often doesn't have a hard time getting a high model counts). What's notable to me is the 2x2 PW of their attack (which will probably be dropped in the new addition), Regen/Cauerize-Immunity on a low-cost, 1 HP model, and a natively high Squadlink value (6). Sure, 2 AP/ 4 MV hurts, but they're chaff that's surprisingly hard to hit (DF 4 in tandem with an army with several AS debuffs) and can either buff each other or the remainder of your army.

    I like your comparison to Puds, but since Puds frequently "come along for the ride" with another model, I tend to think about the cost/benefit of adding either 2 Broodlings to a list or a Ratchet/Hound/Grist. Usually, Broodlings win that contest, particularly since they clock in at 40 points rather than 50. I usually either splash them into a list or invest in an Alpha Broodling and take 3-4 (for objectives/buffing other melee pieces).

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