We have on Fight Night two of the more formidable opponents for this series – the Phoenix Lords of the Eldar – Jain Zar vs Karandras.
This will be a great fight, and could really go either way.
Jain Zar review – lords2001
The first warrior chosen to serve at the side of the First Phoenix Lord (Asurmen) and the first Exarch, Jain Zar became the leader of the Howling Banshee sect, and her howl can not only deafen but kill a foe. Constantly fighting the Great Enemy, she dies only to return as another Exarch takes up her mantle, becoming the Phoenix Lord in both mind and body. She has been the end of many champions of Chaos, and heroes of the Imperium across the ages. She even has her own novel.
The Phoenix Lords have a lot of rules, making a fight between them a roll off to see whose super abilities work the best. Not only do they hit on 2’s, have 4 attacks and 6 wounds each, Jain Zar has a 2+ save as well. Being able to advance and charge, adding 3” to your charge in the turn if you did advance this turn. She also fights first in the assault phase, which can matter post charge. But the best parts for Fight Night is the -1 to hit in close combat, and the ability on a 3+ to disarm an opponent. This can be very strong – how many characters carry two major melee weapons? Lysander is much less scary with a storm shield and a hand slap to fight with.
Downsides? No invulnerable save, no easy way of transportation, and her ability to let Howling Banshees fight first is nice but it isn’t game breaking. But she is designed for this sort of cage match, and can really put a hurt on a wide range of characters (especially ones with two handed weapons!)
I’d rate my chances, but Karandras is pretty nasty himself – he can end combat in 2 turns without having to swing at all. Lets hope RedLetterDay rolls less well than he did to begin the series. I give myself a 50% chance.
Karandras Overview – RedLetterDay
Karandras is the Phoenix Lord of the Striking Scorpions. When it comes to the Phoenix Lords, there isn’t really a lot to say, primarily because the former identity of the Phoenix Lord is wiped away upon assuming the mantle, and even then Karandras is considered to the most mysterious of all the Phoenix Lords as to his origin.
Even with a generic Phoenix Lord statline, life is easy for Karandras in combat. 2+ saves, 6 wounds, hitting on 2+ at range and in melee accompanied by a host of awesome weapons and skills. A handy powerfist striking without penalty means his output is insane versus even high toughness target, coupled with the ability to generate additional attacks and an aura where I can only assume the enemy is attacked by airborne micro-Karandras’.
The primary issue here is that Karandras is fighting another Phoenix Lord here, and Jain Zar’s disarm ability is likely to be the biggest problem. However a single failed disarm should be enough for Karandras to overwhelm her with sheer volume of attacks (especially on 2+ to wounds with the scorpion’s claw in melee). If it were any other Phoenix lord he was up against (other than Asurmen of course) I would give the clear advantage to Karandras.
Jain Zar gets the +1 to go first, being cheaper than Karandras due to not just causing mortal wounds to things nearby.
She shoots her weapon, causing a wound, and then charges into combat. She disarms Karandras, but takes 2 mortal wounds from the … air? Swinging she does 2 wounds from 2 wounding hits (poor wound rolling would mark this battle).
Karandras has his inbuilt Scorpion’s Claw disarmed, so he attacks with a chainsword and does no wounds.
The following phase of combat, another 2 mortal wounds are dealt out to Jain Zar, who in return again disarms the Scorpion’s Claw. Jain Zar causes 3 wounds, taking Karandras down to a single wound. Karandras swings back, needing 2 wounds to win, but his graceful sword attacks are blunted by Jain Zar’s Phoenix armour.
Phase 3 – only one mortal wound from standing near Karandras means Jain Zar wins the round with a final flurry, 3 wounding hits registering twice past Karandras’s armour for a close victory.
Jain Zar 1 – Karandras 0
Karandras shoots to no effect, then joins combat after avoiding the ineffective overwatch attacks, doing his by now traditional 2 mortal wounds to Jain Zar.
He is promptly disarmed again. However one wound sneaks past Jain Zar’s guard and armour, causing a single wound.
Jain Zar returns the favour, doing 3 wounds from a single successful hit.
Seing the success of her previous attack, Jain Zar decides to take another 2 mortal wounds from Karandras, and disarm him again.
However, so confident of victory, she fails to see combat through, only doing a solitary wound to Karandras.
Karandras is close to victory, only requiring a single wound, but fails to land with 2 hits and no wounds.
Phase 3 sees Karandras needing a 5+ roll with 4 dice. We wait with baited breath…. but no wounds are caused.
Worse, Karandras is disarmed. For the 6th phase running.
He promptly dies as Jain Zar remembers she is a Phoenix lords and does 6 wounds from 4 wounding hits to the face.
Jain Zar 2 – Karandras 0
Well, that took a few rounds more than we both thought. It seems weight of attacks matters even more than we thought for Fight Night (and we rate attacks highly) -, especially when you aren’t wounding on 2+ or completely disallowing saves. Jain Zar did very well on her disarm saves, but was lucky to just survive – one good round of rolls in either game by Karandras could have seen Jain Zar dead,
The Phoenix Lords feel like they should – tough, skillful, and it feels like cheating to use one and to face against one. They are just a 4++ or so away from being really awesome (if you are listening GW). And some new plastic awesome models for them too.
Next week –
Next week we have two of the most well known and well liked special characters of the Blood Angels – Astorath the Grim vs Mephiston, Lord of Death. Even the title sounds epic. See you then!