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KoW Komodon Rethink

Discussion in 'Salamanders Discussion' started by BAE, Apr 25, 2017.

  1. BAE
    Razordon

    BAE Well-Known Member

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    Ever since I first looked at the Salamander list I have never been able to understand why anyone would take a Komodon. When compared to war machines it fares extremely poorly, and is also really rather expensive. Seeing it as a war machine in the wrong category, this has been my settled opinion for so long that when I'm thinking about how to tweak my list, the thought of a Komodon doesn't even occur. But then I read this review with the following comments:

    These two facts had completely passed me by, and were a bit of an eye opener to read! I had not at all thought about the benefits of being it classified as a Monster, and it has made me start looking at the Komodon again. With these points in mind, does anyone see the Komodon as worth the cost? Or is it still overcosted?
     
  2. Tecuani
    Saurus

    Tecuani Member

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    I've had some experience with using a pair of Komodons recently, and based on that I'd say that they are, at most, only slightly overcosted, and certainly a useful unit to have.

    I'd agree very much with the first statement-in any variant of the pillage scenario, there's likely to be objectives in or near your deployment zone, and control awards points for all corners of the battlefield. In any of these scenarios, a unit that can hold these objectives and still participate in the battle is useful to have, freeing the rest of my army to advance without leaving those objectives abandoned. They can even shoot over my infantry line, so I don't have to worry much about keeping lanes of fire open.

    Their shooting isn't great in itself, rarely doing the big hits of some artillery but still sometimes missing entirely, but it's enough to be useful support. 1-2 wounds a turn on the right target can threaten soft targets, or add up over a few turns to weaken a large one ready for the rest of your army, and you will occasionally do more. Height 4 helps them pick good targets, and it's worth remembering that while you can't rely on them to do more than one or two wounds, your opponent can't quite rely on them not doing a big hit.

    Their melee capabilities are similar-it's not a big threat, but a unit with poor nerve or one already damaged can still be threatened, and it's a threat that can be used in combination with other units. A few times where a stationary war machine would have been stuck as an idle spectator to a melee, my Komodons were instead able to combo-charge and make their small contribution. I also found that simply by losing the 'everybody get's triple attacks' rule, they were lacking a big vulnerability of war machines. True, they aren't amazingly resilient, but neither are they easy prey even to small melee heroes or troops of light cavalry. It helps to have two of them, one of which is potentially threatening a counter-charge in the flank.
    Being a M5 monster also means they're quite mobile, meaning they can reposition well to better use their threats or hold the objectives you need, and I even found myself making use of their Height 4 in one game to block the LOS of a KoM General on Winged beast, thus keeping it's threat contained a bit longer-yes, this was a sacrifice play, but it was one that helped me win the game.

    Overall, if not a top tier unit, I'd say they are definitely a good one, and I've found there's a significant gap between having one or two long range threats and having none at all. At the very least, they're worth giving a chance to see if you can get them to work for you.
     
    Crowsfoot and Bowser like this.
  3. Negator
    Saurus

    Negator Member

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    You know my thoughts from the mantic forums (the komodon should be compared to things like ogre shooters, archers, and the like which are also multi role). I could accept the ridiculously poor shooting if its "multi role" nature meant something. If you have to commit 125 points to get an extra wound out of a melee, you are losing. Consider that when a komodon gets charge by gargoyles, it doesn't die in one turn, it dies in two turns and only inflicts 1 wound in return. "staying alive an extra turn while doing nothing in return" just doesn't scream 'character' or 'multi role' to me.

    Id like to see the Komodon get +1 attack or +1 blast, but upping it's CS to 3 would also be flavorful as it is supposed to be a giant dinosaur. That would also make knights pause before giving it a flank and reinforce the notion that it is artillery that can fight back (where currently it can only *actually sorta* fight back against the weakest of chaff).
     
  4. BAE
    Razordon

    BAE Well-Known Member

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    The main draw for me would be to have a unit that can sit on an objective while still being at least somewhat useful in a game. An issue I have found is that every one of my units has to go forwards to be able to effectively deal with the enemy - if any get left behind to camp on objectives I find the main force gets overwhelmed. This has meant that too many times I have had to leave an objective behind, or at a push leave my weakest unit back (Ghekkotah warriors or the like), making them unable to cause any damage to the enemy at all. I know that the Komodon's damage output might not be great (1.5-2 wounds per turn) but I can see this being useful when used in conjunction with my two Lekelidons as chaff clearance, which is another issue I face due to lack of shooting.

    My main concern is that if he's sitting back he might be constantly having to shoot over the top of other units, thereby reducing him to Ra6+ and a pitifully pointless damage output as a result. I may include one in my next list just to see how it goes...
     
  5. Tecuani
    Saurus

    Tecuani Member

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    There's an important section regarding their ability to shoot over units in the FAQ-http://www.manticgames.com/SiteData/Root/File/FREE RULES/Kings-of-War-Version-1.4-Errata-and-FAQ.pdf.
    Due to the revision to the big target rules, they can shoot over Height 1 infantry, including your own, without penalty. I didn't have much of a problem maintaining clear lines of fire, although cover can be a bit of an issue.
    Also, with three shots, they have a decent chance of hitting even at -1, so it's worth remembering that they lack the Relaod! special rule, allowing them to move and shoot.
     
  6. Jack Trowell
    Cold One

    Jack Trowell Active Member

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    As Tecuani already wrote, height 4 means no cover from height 1, that's one big advantage as you can fire above the head of your own infantry, as well as your opponent's.

    I would have slightly prefered for the komodon to be height (2) with indirect, as the combat profile still feels weak for something height(4) and more in like with the lekedelion, but height 4 shooting is very useful.

    @Negator : remember than the blast value also apply in melee for the komodon, so even one hit as a decent chance of routing gargoyles.

    On the whole, I will agree that it would have been nice to have a little something more for this cost (indirect or me4+ or nimble maybe ? Certainly no more than one), but I still find the komodon as something that I would like to have in an army.
     
  7. Negator
    Saurus

    Negator Member

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    Im glad we agree that he needs "something". Of course I know that blast applies to melee, but im not sure I would characterize what he does as a "decent chance". The averages say he lands 2 hits and nearly 2 wounds and needs a 9 to route. A 9-12 on two dice is 27%; far from decent. Considering that the gargoyles will get the charge first, landing 2.33 wounds (with a 27% change to waiver), and another 2.33 on their next combat youre looking at a disordered, then waivered (72%), then dead (72%) komodon. Best case scenario is that the komodon counter charges and waiver locks the gargoyles but cant actually kill them because they regenerate more wounds per turn than the komodon can put out. The math gets even worse when you start to look at all the more dangerous cavalry chaff out there (hellhounds, arctic wolves, mounted sergeants, goblin fleabags, etc).
     
  8. Rapax
    Skink

    Rapax Member

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    Since allying some Ogre Shooters is always an option, I can't see why anyone would ever consider the Komodon. Shooters do the exact same thing, only better. And they don't take up a monster slot.
     
  9. Tecuani
    Saurus

    Tecuani Member

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    Well, I would continue to take Komodons over Ogre Shooters because Ogre Shooters are would *not* be doing the same thing they were doing, and the only thing they do significantly better is melee damage. Komodons with their Ht4 are doing shooting and melee damage in support of my infantry, being both able to shoot over them without penalty and easily fit into a melee in support of another unit. This lets my other units maintain a good formation. Ogre Shooters, by contrast, are pretty much operating independantly if not outright getting in the way of the rest of my army.

    They may do slightly more damage if they get to shoot an opponent on open ground, but I know from experience with dwarf Ironwatch that for a unit with range 5+, Reload! is a very big handicap. They basically have to deploy facing open ground, in front of or to the side of any other units, and even then they're shooting what your opponent is generous enough to put in front of them. Ht2 and a 36" range would reduce the difficulties slightly, but the -1 to hit for shooting over intervening infantry still pretty much shuts them down. By needing a direct line of sight, they'd be displacing fighting units from my formation, and placing big limits on where they could move without obstructing my shooting.
    Even if I make the sacrifices necessary to give them a clear field of fire, and my opponent is nice enough to supply a good target, a troop only does three hits-slightly more than the Komodon's two hits plus vicious, but not enough to suddenly be a serious threat in their own right. They're still only killing weak or softened units, so it actually feels like a similar role but worse.
    In terms of resilience, they pay 25 points for one extra nerve, making them similarly fragile, but with the additional handicap of not getting any inspiring from my characters.
    In melee, they do significantly extra damage, but like with their shooting, their much larger frontage means they aren't supporting other units, but having to be a threat in their own right-a 120mm troop is a lot harder to fit in without pushing other units out of the melee. Again, the essential support element of a Komodon's role is lost.

    A horde is a lot more expensive, and therefore isn't a comparable unit at all, and their reputation is mostly founded on having +1 to hit from a magical artefact. To me, that suggests they depend on the additional bonus to reduce their weaknesses. I haven't used them, but I do have experience playing against them, and I didn't find them a particularly hard unit to deal with.
     
  10. Rapax
    Skink

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    A horde of Shooters is comparable to 2 Komodons. But it is 20 points cheaper and puts out 50% more damage.
     
  11. Negator
    Saurus

    Negator Member

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    And 125% more melee damage.
     

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