Akara and Akara Mounted: Tactical Deep Dive
By guest author Bettina, with an Intro by Bryce, here's the Akara and Akara mounted tactical deep dive, continuing our series on what the new leaders bring to the tactical table!
At first glance Akara feels weaker than limossk due to lack of a ranged attack but she makes up for this by being cheaper and having one extra armour. She forgoes the fire status effect in favour of setting up much easier armour piercing with her sunder ability and knockdown plus her staffs range increases just how much of a threat she really is Her lower point cost allows a bondsmen player a degree of wiggle room to bring additional dinos or room to add more crew members her ability to add knockdown to any bondsmen within 10” sets up some very nasty close combat turns that will revolve around precise teamwork turns to tear holes in the opponents plans she hunts as a pack with her crew as opposed to limossk who acts more as a crew of singular members without much synergy.
Inclusive with the addition of increasing her threat range with ability to dismount from the trike which can cause some crazy convo hits.
I would add that using the trample tactics switching from the usual dilos to domeheads setting up a few knock downs with domes to then add trample tactics with bondsmen would be good for a few extra points of damage.
While still keeping your activation count fairly high.
When we look at her card, the first thing which comes into our mind is her lack of a ranged attack. She only has a melee attack with inbuild Knockdown, Reach (1) (so she can keep her distance while smashing foes) and Sunder (2) (to deal also with heavy armoured targets). A damage output of 2/4 with a CC stat of 7 makes her a beast in melee. Also, with a move stat of 4/6 she fits into the other Bondsmen which are overall not extraordinary fast.
She not only hit’s hard, but she is also smart, with Intelligence 7 she makes sure everyone gets her orders right and Agility 6 gives her a decent chance to pass her dynamic movement tests.
Toughness (2) makes her a bit squishier than her comrades who have an average of Toughness (3), but if you checked out her miniature (for sure you did!) you might have realised she got herself a nice and shiny armour which gives her Armour (3).
Let’s check out her abilities. First, we have “Float like a Butterfly”. This ability we know already from Shanatt. With Reach (1) on her Quake Pike you will be able to keep her on distance, so she gets probably less hit by opponents but also makes her vulnerable to shoot attacks. You want to make sure to keep her in cover whenever you trigger this ability.
Undaunted increases not only her charge distance (incredible 5/8!), but also her chance to make sure she hits in combat because of the reroll of the attribute die.
Did I already mention that she is a beast in close combat? With Reflexes (1) she can also stay there for a while but keep in mind with Float like a Butterfly and Reach (1) you will be able to pick your fights.
Last, but not least, “Battle Cry” gives all friendly Bondsmen (sorry no dinos/Wayfarer can benefit from this ability) models within 10” of Akara Knockdown during charge actions. Knockdown sends your opponents directly to the ground whenever you land a successful hit. This makes them prone and they suffer -1CC, -1 Agility. It’s a nice bonus but some scenarios force you to spread out more than 10” but the good thing is it does not need LoS!
Akara vs. Limossk and synergy with others
Let’s have a closer look at the 2 leaders, they don’t differ that much when it comes to raw stats. As I already mentioned Akara seems squishy with Toughness 2 compared to Limossk’ Toughness 4, she adds a bit more Armour which brings her to an Armour stat of 5+ when it comes to armour rolls. Limossk’s armour roll of 6+ is slightly better. He also has a ranged attack which makes him more versatile. Although Akara puts all her faith into her melee weapon and has more specials there were Limossk only has Fire (1) which lets his opponents slowly suffer from burning.
The big difference comes from their special abilities and their point costs. With 20 points Akara is very cheap for a leader and also offers the player a new way to build up their warband (the 5 points you safe could be spend for a half Shanatt or maybe a cheaper dinosaur).
While Akara loves to synergise with her comrades (we will focus on this later) handing out the Knockdown ability and is also able to stay longer in CC Limossk is more of a loner. With Sting like a Bee, he boosts himself with an extra +1 DMG to his charge action and Undaunted (which he shares with Akara) he can hand out a decent amount of damage (from the increased chance of rolling a nailed it result).
The rolls of both leaders become clearer when we look at their Leader ability cards.
Tactical Advance is the one we know so far it gives our models Reflexes (1) against shoot attack actions.
Akara brings us now Trample Tactics, which allows Bondsmen models to inflict 1 wound on a prone model that is targeted with an attack that applies Knockdown. And here comes her “Battle Cry” ability into play (remember?) it hands out the Knockdown ability to all Bondsmen models in 10” of Akara. Now things get nasty!
The other leader ability we could get now is “Frenzied Command” which targets all friendly models with the Savage ability and replaces it with Undaunted (after making a CC test you may reroll the attribute die. In addition, this model gets +1/+2 speed when declaring a charge).
This affects especially Alaya and Fancagne. Yes, this crazy ape can get now 7”/10” speed during a charge (when also Berserk is triggered). A 10” charge - Madness!
Remember you don’t need LoS for a charge action! With this ability you can now reach nearly everyone who threatens you, also these nasty shooters in the bushes! Compared with Akaras “Battle Cry”, Fancagne turns into an unstoppable killing machine.
Also, you want to switch in some Domeheads for some Knockdown extra fun due to their build in Knockdown ability. They will not benefit from Trample Tactics but could “prepare” some targets for your Beatsticks. Imagine a team up with Fancagne!
Conclusion: For sure Akara is not as versatile as Limossk and a little bit more fragile, but she still adds a different and exciting playstyle to your warband. She is melee oriented and likes to keep her warband together to act as a pack. Make sure you keep her away from shooters and pick your fights. You will be able to deal a lot (and i mean A LOT) of CC damage, if you keep them together and support her with other models. And keep in mind: only a prone enemy is a good enemy!
I know a lot of people were expecting a mounted Limossk but we got Akara instead. And to be honest, riding a Ceratops is badass. The 38-point worth beast comes with Armour 3 and Toughness 4 which makes it a resilient target. Also mounted Akara benefits from a slight Toughness 3 boost.
The Head-tusks have a huge damage output of 3/5 with Sunder (1) and Knockdown. With this combo and a bit of luck the Ceratops can take out also the big guys with one attack action.
If we look at the abilities, we have “Momentum” which gives our charge action the possibility to hand out prone to the targeted enemy at the start of the combat phase. Of course, if it loses the CC the target can stand up but with a CC stat of 7 and the -1 CC modifier to the enemy, chances are low.
Anyway, the real fun starts with “Mighty Charge”, it allows Akara to charge through models. Every enemy model she moves through get immediately shove aside or dragged 2” with her (depending on their position) and go prone. Every model she moved through get half CC pass damage (rounded down) which is in her case 1 Damage. (armor saves are still allowed)
Remember it does not affect the model that is the target of the charge or any other model that is still in base contact at the end of the move.
Also, she cannot be ambushed by models with silhouette A and C. (this excludes Tough and Yuttas)
This will soften up your targets and you can finish them off with your other models. (Remember Trample Tactics).
At least in theory. Practically you will most probably end up hitting 2 models at best (your opponent will try, not sticking together and rather spread out).
Still, the Ceratops is a huge threat which can be hardly ignored. It will draw a lot of aggression which could be used as distraction or maybe you want your opponent to spread out to pick them out one by one?
Also keep in mind if you play against Militia lead by Mara, her Crew can not be knocked down but still get prone.
Higher point games could benefit from this model. It seems also a lot of fun to just trample over everyone that crosses your way. Just go for it and release the Krak....erm the Ceratops!