On first look of the Mountain King. Many of us feel like we have been let down by its stats. The comparabily worse statistics and increased points cost weigh against the inherient advantages of the Fury system. With both Collosals and this latest Gargantuan being so new, we need to get some games in to gauge how they perform.
So far I have played two games against opponents who have known I was going to be testing the Mountain King.
Both games I had the unfortunate experience of them playing Cryx.
The first game was a 50pt game using:
KW (MAX) + UA + WA
KSB (MAX) + UA
I played against an infantry heavy Terminus army. For the parts that are relavent to the Mountain King the enemies list had:
Banethralls (max) + UA
War Witch Siren
In the first game, I deployed the Mountain King with an eye to bust through the enemy front and get to Terminus. He got Rushed and charged the front line with pMadraks feat and caught 4 Bane Thralls and the Ripsaw in melee range. He wiped out all of the Thralls and crippled the Ripsaw ending his turn on 4 fury. I had a few whelps out to protect him from charges from bane thralls so only a few got in along with a War Witch Siren who locked him down. He got shot at by a Levithan either but thanks to the whelps I didnt get surrounded by 5 thralls which could have been enough to kill me. He spawned around 7 whelps through the warwitch, bane and mechani thralls and the 3 focus levithian who left me on just 12hp at the end of the turn.
I healed back 12hp from my whelps bringing me up to 24hp. I had Carnage cast from Madrak and did a sweep on the Siren, Ripsaw and a Bane Thrall killing all three but he toughed. I triggered Kill shot and made a 10" spray to another part of the field killing the KD bane thrall who toughed again. I boosted attack and damage on Tartarus but was rewarded with a 4 for my damage roll. A result of 9, would have Killed Tartarus which would have been a huge boon. I bought another attack and killed a bane knight.
Despite my Hero and KWarriors killing most of the thralls, Terminus flies in with Maledicition and the last thrall puts -4 ARM on my Mountain King and he gets wiped out by the second wave of Mechani-thralls.
Ripsaw (75 percent of damage)
5 Bane Thralls
The Whelps and Snacking healed about 15 damage that when combined with the 48 hit boxes on the Mountain King gave it more toughness than its health suggests. The KSB was intergral to this models survival, the advantage is that it doesnt just provide support for only the Mountain King, the downside to this is that I find that the KSB might be an auto include for him. He was never going to shake the Bane Thralls and they make a pretty painful counter to him.
What also came up was that Kill Shot would have been very handy in the first charge as I was eyeing opportunities to use it and it would have given me a chance at killing an extra 3 or so Bane or Mechani-Thralls by blasting into their back ranks. RAT 5 isnt amazing but if you catch enough targets in the SP10 then you are bound to hit a few and POW 16 can kill even shield wall infantry with ease. If the enemy was living also, the Snacking would have boosted my healing further.
The Whelp spawning also ment that my opponent used his Levithian against the DEF 14 ARM 20 Axer instead of the Mountain King in the early stages of the game. Sadly my opponent had a good toolbox for dealing with it.
The second game I played was 35pts. I used a different list keeping the Axer and the Mauler:
KSB (min) + UA
I unfortunately ended up fighting Cryx again. His list was as follows:
Bile Thralls (min)
Using my list I wanted to make an immediate and powerful impact on the the enemy with my feat turn and hopeful drive through for an assasination. Parasite is in gaspy's spell list so I knew I would be playing with an ARM 18 Mountain King. Thru to form I got hit by the spell top of turn 2 along with a charge from a single bane knight. I popped my feat and counter attacked the Cryx army with all my beasts either charging or trampling into the line. By the end of my turn I had killed Tartarus, a arc node and all but two Baneknights with virtually no damage on the Mountain King on this point.
The Bane Knights counter charged, eGaspy unloaded 6 fury worth of attacks into him and he spawned around 8 whelps before he popped his feat and the eDoomy had to spend his fury to transfer which eventually killed the Mountain King and then Doomy.
This game the Mountain King accounted for the following:
3 Bane Knights (+2 Assists from Primal Shocks at POW 15 for added closure to instant kill)
From this game I learned/confirmed a few more things about the Mountain King.
1) It is a whole lot better when it is dealing with Living Infantry. With only a single turn to be offensive, he found himself in the heart of the enemy army with the Withershadow/Gaspy/Tartarus all within reach. His 10" spray could have found himself doing some good damage.
2) Axer rush is important, KSB is nessasary. The Axer is a decent stand alone beast and there is cross synergy with the Amuck animus to the Rush animus. The Mountain King has a good 10" threat range that becomes a incredible 12 with Rush. The KSB magnifies the value of whelp shedding by giving me more opportunities to survive.
3) Extra whelps are overkill or really useful. Spawning 2 whelps after I was charged by that single bane thrall in the second game on turn 2 gave me the chance to
4) Chip at a flank before going for the heart. The Mountain King draws alot of flak and the first game saw me take advantage of the Whelp Shedding ability to give me a very strong health regain buffer. If I had this same outcome on a flank where the enemy could counter attack with less I could follow up in subsequent turns
5) The spray attack is really good. See point 1 where I wish that my games were against more living enemies thus giving me the chance to use kill shot more.