Greetings fellow blighted brothers,
Jake here, aka Satch, this weeks article is about one of my favorite lists of all time, Kallus and the Miserable Ginger Mountain! This unorthodox list is chock full of heavy infantry and is a huge pain for most armies to deal with. A long time ago I was a guest on Removed From Play when Omnus somewhat flippantly suggested running two units of Gatorman Posse with Kallus. Thus the seeds of this list were sown.
The original concept was centered around running 2 units of Gatorman Posse backed up by two units of Warspears+UA, a Spawning Vessel, and some support. The list hooked me, but I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to fill the last 5 or so points. All the tech models that I added, didn’t actually do as much for me as I theory-machined they would, I tried the Gatorman Witch Doctor for tough, the Thrullg for upkeep hate, the Totem Hunter for leaping over things and later Fyanna to fill a similar role. Everything I tried was okay but I wasn’t satisfied with any one direction. One day I saw the still unopened box of Warmongers that I had bought at Lock and Load in 2013, I decided to finally build them and try them out with this list and I found that they worked really well with this particular strategy on charging headlong into the enemies face. I didn’t care if they died under feat because I would get a Incubi anyway. After much more list tweaking I ultimately ended up with this build. Which is by far my favourite iteration of the list was dubbed the Miserable Ginger Mountain by fellow legionnaire, Aquaka. The name has stuck and it’s utterance is feared at my FLGS.
First let’s talk about the king of Legion jam, endurance, and attrition: Kallus, Wrath of Everblight.
Statline and Abilities
Hellbrand: P+S 14 Reach, Magic Weapon, Flame Burst
Kallus’ has a number of key abilities that are important to understand before we talk about my list design, first and foremost is his feat, Host of Angels.
Host of Angels
When a friendly living non-Incubus warrior model in Kallus’ control area is disabled by an enemy attack, you can replace it with an Incubus model. The replaced model is removed from play. While in Kallus’ control area friendly soulless warrior models gain +2 DEF. Host of Angels lasts for one round.
This is a simply fantastic attrition feat, it’s one of the few feats that works on minion models, it triggers off disabled, so no ability in the game can counter it, on top of that since I place the Incubus immediately I can still roadblock with my models. The feat also gives Souless warrior models a +2 DEF buff which can bring Kallus up to nearly unkillable levels of defensive tech (currently only Kallus, Incubi, and Spell Martyrs get the buff. Hopefully we will get a soulless unit someday).
Another great defensive ability that Kallus has is Unconquerable. While in this model’s command range, friendly Faction warrior models gain Unyielding. (While engaging an enemy model, a model with Unyielding gains +2 ARM.) This really rewards my army for getting stuck deep in combat, which in combination with the feat renders the enemy alpha strike largely ineffective in the most delightfully frustrating way.
Since Kallus Has Hyper Regeneration, I really don’t have to worry about having to cut for fury, since odds are, I will just regenerate the damage back anyway, also not having to worry about random pot shots plinking away Kallus’ health over the game is nice.
Kallus has a short but really nice spell list.
First up is Dark Guidance, while in this model’s control area, friendly Faction models gain an additional die on their melee attack rolls this turn. While a pricy spell at 4 fury, it is amazing for turning the tides of battle by making the typically low mat legion models hit with their melee much more reliably. However, if cast at the wrong time, I am leaving Kallus dangerously low on fury.
Next is the 3 cost nuke, Eruption. Models hit suffer a POW 14 fire damage roll. The AOE is a cloud effect that remains in play for one round. Models entering or ending their activation in the AOE suffer an unboostable POW 14 fire damage roll. This is probably one of the best AOE spells in the game. For one thing instead of blast damage all models hit take the full POW 14, and in addition, the AOE sticks around as a super scather cloud! It’s range of 8” is pretty short, but if I decide to fit spell martyrs into the list, his crowd control ability is very strong.
His third spell is flashing blade, useful for if I absolutely have to get Kallus into combat himself.
Lastly, we have the 2 cost upkeep Ignite. Target friendly model/unit gains +2 to melee attack damage rolls. Affected models gain Critical Fire on their normal melee attacks. Kallus will often be cycling this spell around his units, including any minion units that have been brought. One important thing to not to forget is that the odds of triggering the crit fire goes up considerably.
Pro-tip: Don’t be a scrub like me and forget to check all your ignite rolls to see if they crit… -_________-
- Succubus -2
- Nephilim Soldier -5
Warspears (M) -8
- Chieftan -2
Warspears (M) -8
- Chieftan -2
Warmongers (m) -5
Warmongers (m) -5
Warmongers (m) -5
Gatorman Posse (M) -9
Spawning Vessel (M) -3
Swamp Gobbers -1
26 medium bases infantry model with 8 boxes a piece makes a grand total of 208 wounds that the enemy has to chew through, On top of that the 12 of them have set defense, and the GMP and whoever is with in 8” of Kallus has +2 ARM in melee. If the feat is timed just right, all the work they do to power through this is negated by the creation of Incubi. This all creates an attrition slugfest that is very difficult for my opponent to overcome. Since nearly all of my models either have terror or can gain it, certain builds can crumble to multiple command checks in one turn, while not applicable in every game, I always look for an opportunity to exploit this!
Because of the massive wall of bodies in front of Kallus, he can feel safe much farther forward than would normally be a good idea for a caster. Kallus himself can be a hard nut to crack, his native statline of 14/16 goes up to 19/17 with Tenacity, Feat, and Concealment or to 17/19 in melee with Tenacity, Feat, and Unyielding on top of that he typically has 4 transfers on most turns. Granted, he isn’t this unkillable every turn, but the fact that at least once per game he will be nigh unkillable is an important thing to take advantage of.
I spend my first two turns running (sometimes, I might charge the second turn, depending on the situation.) I run because I would rather run to engage than get alpha stuck. Being as far up the board as possible is important, because wherever engagement begins, it frequently where my army stays until part of the opponents line breaks and I can flank. Kallus spends most of the game cycling Ignite between whoever needs it most, and at clutch times casting Dark Guidance. I take great care to block all line of sight to Kallus, via terrain, bodies, camping fury and a cloud.
I have tried a lot of out lights in the list, and many can be a good choice. The Naga is great for sniping out troublesome solos, the Protector great for defensive tech, but ultimately I have settled on running a Nephilim Soldier. Partially because flying over the mountain to slam something is amazing, but mostly because spamming Massacre is very efficient in killing enemy models and pushing my lines forward.
Target friendly model can charge without being forced . When the affected model destroys an enemy model with a charge attack, after the attack is resolved it can advance up to 1″ and make an additional melee attack. Massacre lasts for one turn.
One thing that is very important to remember, is hold the Soldier back until the late game. It is the only beast that starts on the board and thus the only transfer target available to Kallus, on top of that, his value as a list element increases as the game progresses. A Soldier alive on turn 5 can do far more to win the game then it can if sent off into combat on turn 3.
Having the spawning vessel safely behind your lines ensures many turns of popping out lesser warbeasts to terrorize the opposing army.
It takes a lot of practice to play this list without burning up your clock, I am so comfortable with this list that I like to play it in Hardcore events. Let me tell you, playing this list well practically breaks that particular format.
One of the great things about taking this list to a tournament is that it plays nothing like the typical legion lists that people build against. This list is clearly a skew, but it’s a skew that comfortably handle a huge arrow of match ups and requires a very specific skew to overcome. I find that in poor match-ups my odds only ever drop to 50-50. This is a huge advantage in list chicken. Say I show up to a tournament with a standard Vayl2 T4, Lylyth2 gunline, and Kallus MGM. My three lists are so varied in their construction and strengths that he can easily play it safe with an all comers list or, better yet, drop the wrong list. Whereas, I can really play what I feel most comfortable with. The list does have its counters, I have found that hardest one is extreme armor skew, When PS17 Warspears just don’t hit hard enough, you are in trouble. Darius is a great example, at IMC5 Jay Larsen absolutely tabled me with Darius.
Deployment, Unpacking, and Host of Angels
So, I like going first with this list because it’s kinda on the slow side, but unlike some lists, it’s not the end of the world if you go second, and although it has decent terrain mitigation, via the Gatorman Posses prayer and the Warspears Relentless Charge, in some instances (such as denying the enemy terrain, or dodging awful stuff) it’s smarter to choose the table edge rather than to go first. There are so many medium bases and Kallus’ command and control areas are only medium sized, it is vital to deploy and unpack the army efficiently.
Rather than try to explain this, here is a really nice example I made in Vassal.
I like to do two lines of infantry for several reasons:
- My deployment is nice and compact and it helps insure that the majority of my models will be in Kallus’ command and control ranges.
- This provides a really nice wall to block line of sight from most shooting and magic attacks and a physical barrier to screen against charges.
- This sets me up for a perfect counter attack
One of the many advantages of bringing Gatorman Posse is that you can deploy them opposite troublesome terrain.
This next image is right after the second turn, the smaller circle represents Kallus’ command range, the larger circle represents Kallus’ control area, and the orange circle represents the Swamp Gobber’s cloud.
It is vitally important to catch as many models as you can in Kallus’ command area, especially since I aim to feat turn 3. One of the most challenging subtleties of the list is judging when to feat. It’s never a bad idea to feat turn two, because quite often that’s when models start dying. However, quite often I find that most of my models are just softened up enemy attacks and I don’t end up with lots of incubi. Holding off until turn 3 is often more effective but much riskier. It took a while for me to become comfortable enough with the list to accurately judge if my army can tank until turn 3 or not. All my properly timed turn 3 feats have been especially brutal and demoralizing to my opponent.
This list slogs it out and plays the long game of attrition, tabling your opponent and allowing you to win via assassination or scenario. It is paramount however that Kallus is kept very safe. Hide him behind the Swamp Gobber’s cloud, hide him behind your meat mountain. Your opponent will be forced into making a last ditch assassination attempt, and he will attempt it. Be ready for this and take advantage of it, this is what this list is designed for. Kallus can and should play forward to dominate scenario elements. This however makes it easy to be put into range of a Hail Mary assassination. When I lose games via assassination, it always comes down to me being about an inch too far forward.
Also, make the list your own. I like this particular build, because I really like how it skews. That certainly doesn’t mean that this list is the be all and end all of Legion’s meat mountain game or Kallus’ attrition game. If you want to change up your Legion game, try this style out. It lots of fun and doesn’t play like anything else in Legion. Remember, if anyone complains after wasting all their attacks on Kallus’ feat turn, or they say that the Miserable Ginger Mountain is… well… miserable. Look them square in the eye, smile wryly, and declare that blight makes right!
Thank you for reading, please comment below and share your favorite Kallus MGM lists with me.