Archidons rule the skies over the Stormlands of the Bloodstone Desert with preternatural viciousness. Hunters possessed of keen eyesight and tremendous speed, the enormous winged reptiles are known to trail small groups of nomads traveling across the wastes. Once an archidon has its quarry, it soars upward to drop its hapless victim upon the jagged stones far below before descending to feast upon the broken body. Skorne tyrants and beast handlers appreciate the survival instincts and fighting prowess of these savage beasts.
Weapons & Equipment
Bite - RNG 1 P+S 15 - As a primary weapon on a melee heavy this barely qualifies. Fortunately the Archidon is a light on steroids.
- Critical Pitch - Equal and smaller-based models critically hit by this weapon can be thrown d6" directly away from this model. The model thrown does not deviate. Collateral damage POW is equal to the STR of this model.
- Flight - This model ignores (almost) all terrain when moving. This model can move over other models, and ignores intervening models when declaring charges.
- Serpentine - This model can't slam, can't trample, and can't be knocked down.
- Immunity: Electricity - This model is not damaged by electric weapons, and is ignored when determining lightning arcs.
- Long Leash - The model counts as in its controller's control range for double the normal distance.
Lightning Strike - Cost 1, Self ranged animus that gives the caster Sprint. (Sprint - If this model destroys or RFPs an enemy in melee during its activation, at the end of its activation it can make a full advance, then its activation ends.)
Analysis of the Archidon
Archidon in a nutshell
The Archidon, post errata, is best described as a light on steroids. It might be on a heavy base, but it has the damage boxes of a light and hitting power little higher than a melee light. Fortunately it, after the errata, now has the cost of a light. It wouldn't work in any faction other than Skorne with the ubiquitous Paingiver Beast Handlers but they provide enough hitting power for it to be able to do work as more than a simple light warbeast.
Combos & Synergies
Paingiver Beast Handlers are an absolute essential for it as it is very pillow fisted. But it's also cheap (I think the cheapest heavy warbeast in the game). After that it's a question of what to take him with and there are three key reasons to pick the Archidon - with Sprint as a very nice bonus.
- As a very cheap heavy warbeast, the Archidon (and our other cheap heavy the Rhinodon) makes exceptionally good use of damage buffs
- The Archidon has Long Leash - which means that despite being a fast warbeast you don't have to worry much about warlocks with a small control area - and if you can channel through a warbeast (probably because your name is Hexeris) you make good use of this mobility.
- The Archidon has Flight. If through some means you can make the Archidon immune to free strikes, then you can fly straight over the heads of enemy models to at least threaten to assassinate their caster.
This means that there are several casters that favor the Archidon.
- Master Tormentor Morghoul has a serious problem with his 10" control area combined with his main spell buffing the speed of warbeasts as well as their hitting power. He turns Archidons into credible wrecking balls - and they let him play further back. Also if your opening barrage is a pair of archidons (at P+S 19 and four attacks you can one round many heavies with one) the first one gets Admonition and the second sprints, making both hard to kill.
- Xerxis, Fury of Halaak has the same puny control radius issue Morghoul 1 does and also makes his beasts faster (both issues being partially mitigated by his feat).
- Lord Tyrant Hexeris finds the Archidon a superb arc node - and the Archidon loves eating troops that have been Parasited.
- Lord Arbiter Hexeris doesn't have quite as much synergy with the Archidon as the Tyrant. But close.
- Void Seer Mordikaar can make Archidons immune to free strikes, which is huge. It can also be an excellent choice for an Essence Blast if it will win you the game (although this has a high enough cost it's for assassinations only).
- Master Aescetic Naaresh turns it into a real heavy on feat turn. Naaresh also loves having an animus that lets him Sprint so he can use Cyclone effectively other than as an assassination tool.
- Lord Assassin Morghoul can make it incorporeal for an assassination finisher - and it loves Mortality and Blind.
- Dominar Rasheth has a useful set of debuffs to help the Archidon.
- Beast Master Xekaar should only ever use his Witch Marks if he can somehow then put more distance between him and the enemy - and Sprint is a great way of doing this. (Of course it's still very risky to be that close to the enemy).
There are also two other models that support the Archidon
- Tyrant Zaadesh - They can be up to 16" from him and gain the benefit of Tag Team all the way out there. Mat 8 Pow 19 (with Enrage and Tag Team) is no joke!
- Titan Gladiator - if you are planning an assassination, an extra 2" of movement is incredibly useful.
- Extoller Soulward - Eyeless Sight is really useful both to dive through cloud walls and to make sure you can see certain targets when arc noding.
Drawbacks and downsides
- It has the same threat range, MAT, ARM, and Fury as a Cyclops Savage while costing 25% more. It does however have a few tricks up its sleeve.
- As heavies go, it dies to a stiff breeze.
- It is very easy for an Archidon to get out of the range where Paingiver Beast Handlers can support them. And without Enrage, the Archidon is effectively a hard hitting light warbeast rather than a heavy.
Tricks and Tactics
- Any time it can ignore free strikes, it can ignore intervening models to go where it pleases.
- Critical Pitch is excellent - but it can only ever get two attack roll boosts in a turn.
- Use it to hunt solos and lights - or even to assassinate.
- If it sprints forward it might well get out of the front arc of infantry so they can't retaliate - or even out of walking range and out of charge arcs of enemy heavies.
- Against Cygnar, he can be incredibly brutal. He is immune to electrical guns (fireflies, dynamo, and storm lances for starters), and out threats their heavies. This means he can sit just outside of their charge range and be safe from a lot of shooting, while still threatening the assassination.
Changes from Mk2 and Errata
It lost badly despite being a marginal warbeast in MK2. Admittedly it got slightly cheaper and an extra 1/2" of threat range. But it lost both a point of FURY and the free charges from Paingiver Beast Handlers effectively costing it two points of FURY. It now struggles both to get critical pitches to work (it rarely gets more than one boosted try) and to land assassinations. And it doesn't help that Supreme Archdomina Makeda lost the ability to make it ignore free strikes on her feat turn.
With the Great Skorne Errata it gained back its strength, gained back its free charges, and got its cost lowered into the territory of an expensive light warbeast. It also gained electricity immunity, maybe it has developed some protection from the lightnings while "ruling the skies over the Stormlands".
Theme Forces this is a member of
Themes for generic warbeasts (Edit)
- Disciples of Agony - (Article) (Category)
- Imperial Warhost - (Article) (Category)
- The Exalted - (Article) (Category)
- Winds of Death - (Article) (Category)