Thursday, August 29, 2013

My Ludus Magnus 5v5 Cohort in Arena Rex...

In Arena Rex, teams of gladiators (cohorts) take to the sands to spill blood for the cheers of the crowd.  The typical game is either a 3v3, 5v5, or 8v8 battle.  There are currently 4 factions to choose from, with several unaligned (faction-less) models as well.  That said, from the very start Ludus Magnus, with their more traditional gladiator aesthetic, has been my personal favorite.  I've played all the factions thus far for testing purposes, but I keep coming back to Ludus Magnus.  I believe 5v5 will be the "base level" for the game, so I'm focusing on that, and will add gladiators to my 5v5 list below to hit 8v8 or take some away to hit the lower 3v3 level.  Below is my favorite Ludus Magnus 5v5 list thus far.  I may tweak it in the future after further testing, also bear in mind these are the playtest rules/stats, future rules changes could also affect my gladiator choices as well...

Ludus Magnus 5v5
- Hermes
- Otho
- Marcus Furius
- Infelix
- Viatrix

My initial idea for the cohort is control.  Controlling who my opponent can attack, along with when and how he can spend his favor dice.  In general, I'd say I've got both dedicated damage dealers, as well as dedicated utility pieces.  Here's my views on each gladiator, and why I chose him/her...

Hermes was an initial favorite of mine, but I think he's starting to get overshadowed by Otho.  Good movement, good attack, average defense, average armor, and his damage tree is versatile, but his overall damage output may be average to low given the lack of 3's.  4-6 damage (before enemy armor) seems to be his average damage output with his base attack 6 rolls.  Aegis of Fame is the real kicker here.  He works to drain the enemies favor pool if they want to attack him, and he pairs up really well with Otho...

Initially, I referred to Hermes as the "Champion of my House" but I honestly think Otho may be stealing that title from him.  A larger base size, slightly lower movement, with average attack, defense, and armor.  His damage tree looks shallow, but it does contain several pushes, along with a fairly high damage output.  I've found having 4 damage as a first box is pretty good for when I don't roll very well, but he can practically one-shot someone should I get a good roll off.  His abilities are interesting.  He doesn't really generate any favor through out the game (aside from his death) and he can't spend favor dice either, but neither can an enemy in his engagement range.  It stacks nicely with Hermes, while an enemy is in Otho's melee range, they are unable to spend the favor dice necessary to target Hermes with an attack.  Sure, you can simply move out of Otho's range, but I tend to try and stack guys in combat so moving within Otho's range will almost always cause an "opportunity attack" if they do so.

Marcus is a utility piece.  He's got good movement, slightly lower attack, high defense, and slightly lower armor.  His damage tree can do a surprising amount of damage, but as he only rolls 4 base attack dice, he'll need help to get all the way to the bottom, either by spending favor, or targeting exhausted models.  I'm bringing him for his abilities.  Gaining a favor every time an enemy removes a fatigue (basically at the start6 of each turn) is huge, as well as forcing a fatigue onto an enemy that wishes to leave his melee range also helps to ground enemies.  Stacking him, along with either Viatrix, and/or Otho will help keep the enemy rooted in one spot. (or suffer consequences for moving)

Infelix is the epitome of a glass-cannon.  Maybe a little too much glass!  He's got a high movement stat, average attack, below average defense, and no armor.  His damage tree is almost all about damage.  Swift helps him out immensely on the attack.  Keeping him alive is the key, Otho and Viatrix help a lot with this, as well as proper use of reactions and tactic abilities.  That said, given the fact that he has no armor, I wouldn't mind seeing him get either a defense 2 or even 3 in the future.

Another pure utility piece.  She's brought strictly for her taunt ability.  I tend to hold her back until I need her to rush in as to protect someone, or in general just draw some fire.  Mostly, I look to see who is the enemy's "main target" and she helps that guy out. Most of the time, that is either Otho, or often times can be Infelix as well, and she helps a ton with keeping Infelix alive.  She has good movement, average attack, good defense, and average armor.  Her damage tree is pretty versitile, able to do both pushes, damage, and generate favor.

So, there you have it.  This has been my favorite 5v5 cohort I have come across thus far.  Sure things may change in the coming months, but if Arena Rex were dropped today, this is what I would play!  If you haven't checked this game out, you can download the current playtest rules via the RRG forums.  If you have been playing, what has been your favorite faction and/or 5v5 cohort thus far?

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