Brineblood Marauders Tactica

Brineblood Marauders tactica and model guide

General Playstyle

Brineblood Marauders are a flexible Army that relies on a core of versatile infantry backed by a selection of stacking buffs to achieve more than their on-paper stats might first suggest. Backing up their somewhat fragile infantry is a stable of tanky warbeasts that excel in melee combat. Brinebloods lists tend to bring a mix of ranged and melee attacks, with their main infantry unit able to do both quite well depending on what buffs you choose to take.

Models

Warlocks

Captain Firequill

Firequill 1 is the Brineblood’s only Scout Leader (at time of writing) and as with many Scout Leaders his strength lies primarily in personal damage output and battlegroup support. He packs 3 ranged weapons, one of which has Reload 1 giving him up to 4 boostable ranged attacks per turn.

Stats

Firequill’s stats are fairly average for a ranged-focused Scout warlock. RAT 7 is a baseline for this type of warlock (though Brinebloods has ways around that, see the Solos and Spell Rack sections) and the rest of his statline is about as average as you can get with no real surprises.

Abilities

Firequill comes with just two abilities and one unique advantage on his model: Field Marshall [Black Penny], Reciprocate, and Gunfighter. Black Penny can be extremely useful in the mid- to late-game as his infantry screen starts engaging enemy models you might otherwise want to shoot. Reciprocate will catch the occasional unaware opponent but it’s main job is making them think twice about taking random potshots at him at the risk of losing the attacker. Gunfighter is good when you need it, but if Firequill is charging into melee things have gone very wrong.

Weapons

Firequill comes packing the most ranged weapons you’ll find this side of an extra-large base. All of them have the Pistol advantage so he can make attacks in melee with no penalty.

  • The Magelock Scattergun is a magical spray attack with two Attack Types. Flare is great for setting up future attacks from the rest of your Army and is probably the one you’ll want to use the most, but Incendiary can be good for putting more damage on tougher infantry.
  • The Magelock Pistol is the workhorse of his arsenal, packing the Magical advantage, Blood Boon, Brutal Damage, and Momentum shots plus Reload[1]. It is lower POW than the Scattergun at just 10, but good target selection can still make use of Blood Boon for extra Fury efficiency or Momentum as a disruption tool and to set up even more targets for future attacks by knocking them down.
  • The Holdout Pistol wielded by his pet starfish is nice for getting a bit of extra damage out but with no special rules or abilities besides Pistol is lives up to it’s name as a holdout weapon rather than a primary.
Spells

Firequill has two native spells and two Rack slots.

  • Bullet Dodger is good on him or on a key solo like Stormjaw. It’s a nice defensive tool against other shooting lists.
  • Energizer is great for repositioning your battlegroup to set up attacks from unexpected angles or for pulling back after shooting. Order of operations is key to using it effectively as any beasts that want to move away will need to activate before Firequill and thus not benefit from anything else he does such as feat or set up targets with his own attacks. A great choice for Blood Boon as it can allow you to reposition him back after shooting or into a new position for further attacks, just remember you can only cast it once per activation so if you use it for Blood Boon he cannot cast it manually again.

Rack Spells

  • Open Fire is great for Firequill as he is going to be bringing beasts with guns and on feat turn especially you can use it after feating to get buffed attacks out before the model even activates.
  • Black Spot is very strong if you can land it, but you need to be careful with it’s short RNG and Firequill’s low AAT. Using Flare to set up your target first and/or using Blood Boon to cast for free can help but if you’re taking this spell for him you probably want to spend the point on the Arcane Forces Command Card.
  • Tides of War initially seems like it would combo well with Energizer and it can if you can get enough Fury or Blood Boon triggers to make them both work. Trying to do both consistently is tricky with ARC 6 though.
Feat

Firequill’s feat gives his battlegroup (including himself) +2 to ranged attack and ranged attack damage rolls and his warbeasts can choose from the same Attack Types as his Scattergun for any ranged attacks they make.

Synergies

Firequill has obvious synergies with his battlegroup and his kit mainly focuses on them. That said, his choice of Rack spells can change that slightly and his ability to put out Flare and Knockdown effects can be used to set up attacks from non-battlegroup models.

  • Reef Trolls with the Ships Cannon and Far Strike animus are almost a must. Firequill gets so much work out of casting Far Strike on himself thanks to his 4 ranged attacks that it’s hard to think of a reason not to take one of these. Personally I like taking the Matey Head and Ships Wheel to also act as a bodyguard for Firequill but one or more Reef Trolls with the Gunner head can get a lot of work out of his feat turn.
  • He has less obvious synergies with the Deepborn given how expensive it can be to build a ranged-focused Deepborn, but even one with a Squid Blaster or Crab Net on an otherwise melee-focused loadout can be useful for setting things up early and acting as an anchor later on. Taking the Rage animus also gives Firequill access to a very flexible damage buff that he can use on himself, Reef Trolls, or even Battle Barges for really great effects
  • Pyg Dirges are cheap and fast and can use Mark Target to set up accurate shooting opportunities for the rest of his list. Thanks to his Field Marshal you don’t even have to worry about getting them stuck in melee to set up Mark Target deeper into enemy lines as his warbeasts will be able to pick off anyone engaging them.
  • Madam Moriarty can save him some Focus on upkeeping Bullet Dodger but she can’t cast either of his built-in spells with Spell Slave so her usefulness will depend on your Rack choices. Puppet Master is always useful of course.
List Construction

Firequill’s most obvious synergies are with ranged warbeasts and it’s very easy to start every list with 2+ Reef Trolls with Ships Cannons. Ranged Deepborn Dire Trolls are a little trickier because of the cost and their ranged weapon options being not much better than the Ships Cannon for more points but I still like to include some heavy just as a late-game beater. Even skipping the ranged weapons on a Deepborn and going for a cheap beater configuration with the Rage animus (which you can use to buff the Reef Troll’s shooting) is a decent choice. As for infantry you’ll likely want to take at least one or two units of Marauder Crew depending on the point level as they are the backbone of the Army, but since Firequill doesn’t do much for them directly you’ll need to decide what their role will be and take the appropriate supporting models.

Admiral Boomhowler

The Admiral is Brineblood’s premiere infantry support generalist. Between her Battle Plans, feat, and 3 Rack Spells at ARC 7 she is able to bring a lot of buffs to the Army’s infantry and really make them shine.

Stats

Boomhowler is the Army’s second-highest ARC caster at time of writing with an ARC of 7. Her defensive stats are slightly above average and she does have the option to put Storm Rager on herself to boost them even higher if necessary.

Abilities

Annoyance is a fun rule that pushes her DEF against living models within 1" up to a very respectable 16, giving her just a bit more survivability against some assassination runs. Spyglass is situationally very useful, but as you give up your attacks for it is only going to come up in special circumstances.

Her most powerful Abilities are her Battle Plans and all three are very useful in the right situations. Given the sheer amount of infantry she is likely to be running Precision Strike can make the job of maneuvering them much easier and open up sight lines for guns that might otherwise be jammed up with friendly models. Reposition 3 on a ranged unit such as Marauder Crew with a Quartermaster allows you a lot of flexibility in positioning (remember, unit Grunts don’t need to be placed within 2" of each other during a Reposition movement so they can spread waaaay out). Set Defense is great in combination with her feat to really push her infantry’s DEF to absurd numbers. Both Reposition and Set Defense can also be quite useful to put on herself if she needs a little extra movement or protection.

Weapons

Boomhowler has two weapons: a basic Hand Cannon with Pistol and her sword Black Heart. She’ll often went to be in the center-back of your infantry block taking pot shots with the Hand Cannon while she hands out buffs, though if it comes down to it she can put Storm Rager on herself to have a MAT 9 POW 16 Grevious Wounds melee weapon which is pretty respectable.

Spells

Her two built-in spells are Avenging Force and Storm Rager.

  • Avenging Force is an excellent upkeep that should be on her for most of the game. She’s going to have a ton of infantry on the board and you can be almost guaranteed a free 3" movement and attack out of this spell every turn after 1.
  • Storm Rager is a great buff for a model headed into melee, but she has the classic problem of many a Storm Rager leader in that it can make her a very solid melee combatant but it prevents her from having other upkeeps on herself that are probably more useful for more of the game. Given the sheer utility of Avenging Force this spell will often be on another model such as First Mate Stormjaw.

Rack Spells
It’s really hard to go wrong with her rack depending on the matchup and your list. 3 slots at ARC 7 makes her very flexible so you can really tailor this to your game.

  • Fury’s Strength is great in combination with other buffs to really beef up a Marauder unit’s melee damage
  • Perdition gets you more cohort movement outside of activation.
  • Black Spot can be a great help to a shooting-heavy list but as with Firequill getting in range to cast it can be dangerous.
Feat

Rough House is a feat that can be incredibly frustrating for your opponent or feel a little on the weaker side depending on what Army you are fighting. +2 DEF gets everything in the Army up to at least DEF 14 which can be very frustrating for a lot of Armies that lack attack roll buffs, but several will have little problem with masses of DEF 14 and there isn’t a ton of stuff in Brinebloods that will go higher than that (though shoutout to the Pyg Boarding Party which gets up to a 16 before Annoyance.

Likewise the healing effect can be very good on your warbeasts and multiwound infantry or useless depending on your opponent’s access to Grevious Wounds or other anti-healing effects.

Synergies
  • Infantry. Really, she just makes any of the infantry units shine.
  • First Mate Hargor Stormjaw is an excellent target for Storm Rager
  • Her brother Greygore Boomhowler is also an interesting choice. She can’t do much to directly buff him since he is not a Faction model (those sibling rivalries, am I right?) but she does like taking lots of infantry that he can hang out with to trigger Inhuman Resolve healing
  • Booty Boss hands out even more buffs to her infantry. You can have multiple units with Set Defense or stack Stir the Blood and Fury’s Strength for a +4 melee damage swing.
  • Pyg Battle Brig loves having her around. It can speed up an infantry unit or her Storm Rager target, benefit hugely from her Battle Plans and Feat, and if you do choose to take Black Spot it can get a ton of work out of that spell
  • Honestly she’s such a good generalist that it’s hard to make bad choices with her list, she really is capable of buffing pretty much anything
List Construction

Generally she probably wants to take 3-4 units of Marauder Crew in almost every list. She and the unit are both very flexible and she can provide useful buffs to any configuration of the unit. Pyg Boarding Party also can get a lot out of her kit. A powerful solo for Storm Rager isn’t a must if you have another plan in mind but it is a very strong choice in my opinion; Stormjaw is the standout here thanks to his high base stats and multiple attacks.

More to come!

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Braghan Ragemonger
Raghan 1 is our Large-Based Warlock. As his model Suggests, he is fairly mobile and agile, while also having respectable arm and hp. He may be our best beast caster, his battlegroup buff gives Unyielding, which is +2 arm in melee. Unstoppable and amphibious, plus his shark leap let him get essentially anywhere he wants in some situations.

Stats and Abilities
His melee ability is actually sort of poor (his shark is only Pow 12, and his spear is Pow 14, so if you’re going in it better be his feat turn.) He does have the ability to drag large based models with his Harpoon, so you can drag in heavies if you want, though you have to damage still. With boostable rat 7 he does pretty well at hitting smaller things too . His Control Area of 12 is slightly larger than it suggests, because of his large base. In melee he is arm 19, and decent def so he can survive counter attacks particularly if he gets off critical weaken. His Aat is so low that most offensive spells should not be racked. He is our most fury-starved of casters, even Firequill can cast ok with blood boon.

Spells

Ragemonger has two native spells and three Rack slots.

  • Tantrum is an ok upkeep. It lets your battlegroup fight a little harder, or move a little faster if a warbeast near Raghan was damaged within 5" of him. The best use is to take a reef troll with Matey head for Shield Guard and let one of your dires move up and attack (they don’t have to be within 5" to make this attack). Melee attacks only.

  • Water Grave is a low Pow, low cost, low range spell that creates a shallow water template. If you boost to hit, you use half your fury. Probably not worth it in most situations.

Rack Spells

  • Fortify is probably the only must take spell. It combos so well with unyielding that you are missing half the point of Ragemonger if you don’t take this . It’s essentially +4 arm in melee, plus no KD or slams. Put this on your arm 20 or 21 base dire and suddenly it’s invulnerable, in melee at least.
    *Tides of War lets your beasts Repo 3" with him and you’re taking a battlegroup centric list anyway, so why not.
  • Since you’re so fury starved, a 1 cost spell like open fire starts seeming really good. Also, another shot on your feat turn is always good.

Feat

Let’s just talk for a minute about how good this feat is. It boosts EVERYTHING. Your melee, your range, your magic, your slams and blast damage. EVERYTHING. Within 12". So it’s probably one of the bests and easiest to use feats in the game. It’s such good protection against bad rolls that it turns that 1, 2 you just rolled into an 8. or that average 1, 3, 5 charge into a 14. Now do note that this doesn’t increase the maximum damage an attack can do, just the chance it will do high damage. In other words, high average damage/more hits/more crits.

Syngeries and List Construction

  • Perhaps our best beast caster, especially for dires, bringing their arm sky high. So plan on taking 2. but probably not any more, because he can only take 6 fury a turn from them.
    *In that vein, taking The Great Old One instead of a regular heavy is also a very good choice.
  • Pyg Galley Crew are a very good choice if you are running beast heavy
  • The Rest of the list is really up to you. His feat benefits shooting and melee equally, so take what feel like playing.
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Captain Shadowtongue

A natural spellcaster, Shadowtongue offers a chance for Brineblood players to play their entire army in a different way- as arc nodes. This magic-heavy warlock uses both offensive and friendly spells well thanks to this.

Stats
High High Fury and AAT allow and require a large battlegroup, and he has a large control areas for them, so they can act as decent arc nodes. The rest of his defense and offense stats aren’t worth mentioning. He doesn’t even have any ranged or melee weapons, at all.

Abilities

  • Most of Shadowtongue’s power is tied up in Dark Rituals. It lets you cast from any model in your control area. The only catch is, the model takes d3 damage afterwards. The damage from being an arc node can be regenerated if forced on a beast, making it a fairly safe option. Single would infantry are less useful for this. Mobile, fast units like blimps can be very good at this, especially for assassination attempts, but are sort of fragile, too.

  • Birds Eye Lets your Battlegroup ignore clouds and forests, as well as units, for LOS, which combos well with ghostly.

Spells

Shadowtonuge has 4 native spells and 2 spell rack slots.

*Gallows is very good as it only needs to hit off of AAT 8. The distance is random but figure 3". You can also Gallows repeatedly on feat turn to push a model a huge distance, up to 24". But average is 14".

*Revive works well on his feat turn if you have a lot of missing models. Up to 8 troopers back is pretty solid in some situations.

  • Ghost Walk is basically pathfinder for a unit, solo, or beast, plus movement through solid things like units and obstructions. Very good for getting an arc node in to place.

*Hex Blast only needs to hit in order to remove pesky upkeeps

Spell Rack

  • Black spot is pretty good as AAT 8 makes it likely this can hit even high DEF units often enough to prove useful. Mostly you can cast this as an arc node with it’s low range negated somewhat by that.

  • Fury’s Strength is another low range spell, again made much easier to cast by arc nodes.

Feat

This is sort of the Asphyxious type feat, making all your spells cost less. Everything costing 1 less has a ton of uses than can be thought of for each induvial spell combo, but on average you’re getting 3 more casts out of this, maybe 4. You can revive 8 times, though, too. So from gallows assasinations to giving ghostly to your whole army, this is a really scary feat that will keep your opponent on their toes.

Syngeries and List Contstruction

Shadowtongue wants 1 main thing- arc nodes. with this in mind, here are a few of the best-

  • Pyg Dirges are cheap, fast, and don’t need ghostly to go anywhere, so you probably want 2-3, maybe 4 of them. Don’t be afraid to lose them if a good target is nearby.

  • Pyg Boarding Parties can ambush and get you an unexpected arc node angle. But they’ll die once you use them.

  • You can have a unit of Marauders cast Fury’s strength on themselves, anywhere within his 16" control area.

  • His battlegroup definitely should include 3+ beasts to support his fury needs. Your Dires can Rage for free on the feat turn, giving them pretty high output. So Maybe 2 Dires and a light.

  • Madame Moriarty has a decent chance of hitting with any of her offensive spells, the range on hex blast, and gallows is pretty good, she can also revive troops for you, and getting the extra fury from her upkeep is nice. Since you’re all in on spellcasting at this point anyway, why not.

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Warbeasts

Reef Trolls are the Brineblood base light. Having an array of options to customize, each troll can be different, from melee to range, to armor, or any mix thereof. Average Def and Arm, and the same for MAT and RAT (though these can be improved.)

  • Taking the cannon is a common mainstay. Excellent range with the Snipe animus, plus an optional upgrade to rat make this guy a real sniper.

  • The shield plus unyielding makes you almost as durable as a dire…though not hitting as hard.

  • Plus a million other combinations.

Pros- Cheap and versatile, good ranged options
Cons- Not very great at melee, sort of poor initial DEF and ARM.

Reefborn Dire Trolls are the Brineblood base heavy. Excellent melee potential, High Fury but low threshhold makes this a beast to never keep fury on. Very durable, and has a range of melee and ranged weapons. Much has already been said about the original Dire Trolls, and this all pretty much applies here.

  • Right arm options are all melee-based, including a shield.

  • Left arm options are ranged, or shield.

Pros-Excellent armor and melee. Also can take a decent ranged attack with the squid, though it does bring the points up.
Cons-Expensive and not that fast. Though almost every Warlock can deal with this.

Units Overview
Brinebloods have a fairly limited pool of units, the main being Marauder Crews. Pyg Units like Shockers, Boarding Parties, and Galley Crews all serve secondary roles.

  • Marauder Crews have 3 UA’s to choose from-
  1. The Bosun gives the unit Vengeance and a minifeat for+2 SPD on a charge and Pathfinder. She herself is also ok at melee, with Crit Knockdown on the anchor, and Cleave. She has better MAT and POW than the crew, too.

  2. The Quartermaster gives the unit two minifeats- one for +3 range, one for +2 to hit and damage rolls for ranged attacks. His shotgun makes him into a WA, with the option to fire Both Barrels at base POW 16.

  3. The Pyg Tapper gives the unit Stumbling Drunk, and Inspiration, for 1 point. He doesn’t have the stats or attacks of the other two, though.

Pros- Mostly a melee unit that can fire its Pistols in melee with Dual Attack. How you do it is up to you.

Cons- Sort of low armor keeps the 5 hp to mattering most about things like blast damage only. Though Tough can keep them in the game.

Pyg Boarding Parties
The boarding party is more of an annoyance unit than a real threat. Run them in to charge lanes and force your opponent to spend a turn dealing with them.

Pyg Shockers
Shockers are probably the closest thing brinebloods have to a dedicated ranged unit. They specialize in hunting lightly armored tagets, and have electro leap.

Pyg Galley Crew
Galley crews are mostly for managing fury on beasts. They can throw their nets for knockdown and drag, but the range is low.

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