Right, the new runic system. The combo system actually works to restrict options significantly now with the stacking effect modifiers. While understanding the reason (to prevent things like multiple spellbreakers on one guy for example) it works to make things way harder for customization. Additionally, the schizophrenic points scheme (some things costing more than BRB items, others cheaper, others the same) does not help.
I think Killy Characters may be back. The survivability of a Shieldbearer Lord is actually pretty good now as he'll get to attack back against most enemies in CC due to a ton of wounds. If you are trying to play a more aggressive list, tooling up a thane to handle things cannon would normally go after is an option.
Weapon runes got a straight-up nerf with the new book. The problems with the rune of cleaving and fury are the main ones. It's impossible to get extra strength without committing nearly 40 points, two of three slots, and ending up with one of the benefits (AP) being a bit redundant with Runesmiths.
We're pretty much restricted to two things, GW or Rune of Might, if we want extra strength. This is actually pretty ugly as we have a significant power gap for T3 and T4 well armored enemies.
Rune of fury is incredible cost ineffective at level 2 and 3. I simple am not going to use it when 2x Striking or just Snorri is probably a better value.
So, mostly ignoring Great Weapons for this discussion (obviously), here's what I am coming up:
Requirements: High Strength, Multiple Wounds.
Good to Have: Good armor pen.
1) Might x2. This is the obvious mainstay. This is the only good way to get strength up on a magic weapon and do multiple wounds. In fact, other than Smiting (which is going to be limited to Lords only) and 3xRune of Fire (which is so idiotically expensive except for maybe when fighting Throgg lists or Ogres we'll ignore it).
Pairs best with:
- Snorri for hitting on a 2+.
- Swiftness for ASF
- Burning for Flaming Attacks
- Only the 3rd can be fit on a Hero. Leaves 55 for Lords which is nice.
- The first two limit a Lord to only 40 points of defenses, prohibiting a 4+ Ward or the 'Tasty' 2 x Iron, which is bad. What protection do you give a Thane or Lord with one of these weapons?
2) Smiting Builds. This is really only going to be viable on a Lord. D6 wounds is powerful, but if you can't reliably hit and wound at least 1-2 times, it's not going to be worth it. Also a Master rune, preventing Swiftness and Snorri combos which is a big drawback. I don't believe this rune is very feasible without Might as while you can chop up T3 and T4 characters you'll be at a big disadvantage against T5 and T6 things, which is the point of this type of build. If you can't kill an Orc Warboss, what good a combat character are you?
Pairs best with:
- Might+Fire. Leaves 30 for defenses.
- Might+Striking: Leaves 30 for defenses.
- Might+Fury: Leaves 15 for defenses
- Cleaving x2: Leaves 30 for defenses. S5 D6 wounds, -3 AS isn't terrible I think.
Requirements: Keep to under 75 points so Thanes can use it and Lords get plenty of points for Defense. Must provide tangible benefits over 'just take a GW'.
Good to have: Killing power vs troops.
1) MR Snorri. Only gonna get one weapon for this. The lack of easy +1 Strength really hurt all these combos. Better off with a real weapon above.
Pairs best with:
- Might+Fire. 60 points, cheap monster and T5 character killing. At least your hitting everything else on a 2+, if at only S4.
- Fury+Cleaving: 60 points. You'll get 4-5 hits at S4 every turn at least. Is it worth the premium over a GW?
- Cleaving x2: 60 points. S5, -3 AS that hits on a 2+. Again need to compare to a GW here.
2) MR Swiftness. We'd be looking at something probably for a Dragon Slayer here or an Elf killer.
- Might+Fire: 60 points. Hit hard and early. Works well with Dragon Slayer skill. Maybe swap fire for Speed.
- Striking x2: 60 points. All your attacks should hit first. At S4. Might be good for killing elf infantry with a runesmith?
To be blunt, I'm not liking either of these choices at all. I'm left with the fact that a non-Might weapon is pretty much going to be useless outside of Slayer characters and specific builds.
Requirements: Wide range of builds to fit various point levels. Rune of Preservation makes me want to cut myself..
Let's work up from the cheapest solutions to the best. I'm ignoring the simple "Rune of Stone and a Shield, and call it a day" defensive builds. Also going to assume any Lord is already on Shieldbearers. Really, there is no reason not to. Don't care if you don't like the model, it's that awesome an item and you're gonna need it in these days of "No Rune of Resistance."
Seriously. Couldn't they have made it a master Rune? Really? REALLY?
The less I say about Impact the better. Go ahead and toss one on if you got 10 points to play with and have a head injury.
1) 30 Points or Less
- MR Gromril. 5 points more expensive these days. Still a good standby. Slap a GW on it.
- Iron+Stone. Costs a rune of spellbreaking, adds +1 Wound and +1 AS. Good deal.
2) 40 Points or Less
- Fortitude+Stone. I have trouble with this one as the 2xRune of Iron is more cost effective, but if you only have 40 points left...
3) 50 Points or Less
- Iron x2+Stone. Now we're talking. +1 Wound, +1 T and +1 AS. Excellent value.
- MR Gromril+Iron. +1 AS and +1 wound. The new MR Gromril+Resistance?
- Fortitude x2. Get a ward save with that +1 T. Not an awful value. No room for stone however.
4) 60 Points or Less
- Same as above except add Stone to Fortitude x2.
5) 75 Points or More
- Gromril+Iron x2. Powerful for a thane.
- Gromril+Warding x3. 1+/4++
- Fortitude x2+Iron. Better than Iron x3. Both add +1W and +1T, but the 5++ is a ward, not a Regen save and is 5 points cheaper!
- Fortitude+Iron x2. 80 points. Add Warding x3 for the full points allotment on your lord. The Kingmaker. 6 wounds, T7, possible 4++.
- Iron 2x+Stone+Warding x3. Almost 100 points so a bit cheaper than the full version above. Trade +1T for the final +1 AS on a Lord.
- So I'm stumped on weapon runes. For the most part if you want any combat runes it's better to take a GW or take a Lord.
- A Lord can be tooled up to be a solid combat character with one of the Might builds.
- Dragon slayers can have good offensive builds.
- Thanes are hurt by the changes to Rune of Cleaving to the point I don't think it's worth tooling them up. Take the Ring of Thori instead.
- The 50 point armor builds are a great value for a thane.
Edited by Stymie Jackson, 21 February 2014 - 08:07 PM.