Welcome Trophy Hunters! As part of my Faction spotlight series I’ll be looking at Eyes of the Nine today. All factions can win an Event and we’re in a good place for Game Balance.
The warbands in the Bottom-most-Tier are warbands that I see as having a weakness so bad that they will need a lot of good fortune to win an event.
Eyes of the Nine Weaknesses
They have low health pools. Do not hit particularly hard. Are not survivable. Have a single, average, caster. Their Inspire conditions are janky. Whilst sold as ‘the magic warband’ they fall far short of the mark, currently.
“I watch you. I see the hatred in your eyes, well hidden behind courtly graces. I listen. I know the terrible darkness that hides behind your well-rehearsed lies. I wait for you at the edge of sanity. I taste the pain in your mind, the yearning to end this charade. I make my home in the darkest pits of your soul. In the shadows, I bide my time. I patiently wait for you to open your eyes and realize that it is by my will alone that you draw breath. For I am Tzeentch and you are my puppet who dances to my tune.“
Tzeentch, the Changer of Ways
Their playstyle is rather unique in that it has to be hybrid by nature, they cannot play the pure objective hex game well despite having five fighters, nor can they go toe-to-toe in a fight. As for their defensive playstyle it’s okay but nothing to write home about, and with the amount of teleportation in the game currently defensive builds are hardly rocking the world. Ultimately, the Eyes of the Nine have to play as a hybrid, which is actually rather thematic for the Lord of Change.
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Eyes of the Nine & the BAR List
Whilst Eyes of the Nine never really got going with the BAR List they definitely miss Great Concussion & Quick Thinker to ensure their fighters are safe. I mean really 2 health & 1 dodge/block on the Flank bros* is just laughable. Whilst from the restricted list it is the Shadeglass Weapons that are missing from their arsenal to turn the dangle bros into threats.
*Flank bros is the new term that Steel City Underworlds and I coined at our most recent event. Basically, Flank bros are the Dangle bros who score you Extreme Flank.
Restricted Objectives They Love
- Change of Tactics
- Defensive Strike
- Extreme Flank
Restricted Gambits They Love
- Illusory Fighter
- Ready for Action
Restricted Upgrades They Love
- A Destiny to Meet
- Slumbering Key
- Shadeglass Hammer
- Shadeglass Dagger
Which Five Cards Would I Choose?
Ready for Action. Obviously. Extreme Flank is pretty important as this warband need to try and get as much glory as possible as quickly as possible. On that note, Escalation would also be top pick for me. For the final two I’d likely be intrigued to take A Destiny to Meet & Slumbering Key to turn the Blue Horror into a real Turn 3 loot Goblin.
Eyes of the Nine: Faction Cards
The Objective & Power cards contained in the Eye of the Nine Expansion excite me greatly, as they are so fantastically unique and really push the mechanics in the game. If only their fighter cards excited me.
Faction Objectives: A nice mix that make their scoring game a little easier.
- Chosen by Destiny: Score for having one of the apostles dead, whilst the other is alive. Combo with Martyred for maximum value.
- Master of Magic: Score Immediately if you cast two or more spells this phase. This can be acomplished by casting Vortemis’ spell attack action and/or Gambit Spells. It’s a strictly worse version of Harness the Storm in a warband with two less wizards and no printed spell action.
- Summoner: Bring back the Blue Horror a second or further time and score this immediately. If you play the ‘loot goblin’ build then this is a nice way to score an extra glory.
Faction Gambits: Some of the most interesting gambits in the game.
- Bound By Fate: Choose two friendly fighters that are within three hexes of each other. Switch their positions. Teleportation is strong! And this is nice for bouncing a ‘charged’ model back into safety whilst extending the threat of another model.
- Deceitful Step: Teleport to a starting hex or objective hex depending on the whim of the magic dice. I love it. More teleportation!
- Shield of Fate: This is a relatively easy to cast spell that increases Vortemis’ defence by 1 for the remainder of the round. Good to help score Master of Magic, and keep the wizard alive.
Faction Upgrades: Nothing overly special here. Pretty bread & butter stuff.
- Empowered Sorcery: +1 Spell Attack Damage from Vortemis. Nice to get 3DMG on the spell attack, with Gloryseeker for 4DMG.
- Piercing Bolt: Cleave & hitting on Channel – sure it’s only 1DMG but cleave is good, and being Channel it is open to auto hitting with Innates…
- Sorcerous Adept: …an upgrade giving Vortemis’ and innate channel. A cute combo with the upgrade above and a guaranteed way of spaffing out easy to cast gambits if you’re committed and want to try and score Agents of Change.
- Silver Tether: Faction locked Formless Key. Nice to have. Give it to the loot goblin and enjoy the fun.
Eyes of the Nine: Board Choices
When you Win the Roll (2 objectives)
This board prevents most turn one charges against your fighters and allows you the time to score some passive glory. It also provides lethal hexes which your opponent has to navigate and you can cast Ravenous Flame at them on the way! With your in-faction teleportation tricks you should be able to still cover plenty of the board. Be wary of Encroaching Shadow, though it isn’t overly popular…yet. Turosh & Narvia start in Extreme Flank scoring mode, and K’charik is adjacent to Vortemis to allow a good chance of inspiration.
When you Lose the Roll (3 objectives)
Board choices don’t become great when you lose the roll off with Eyes of the Nine. However, this classic defensive board gives you a trifecta of blocked hexes to hide behind and maximum distance away from your opponent on either the wide side with K’charik and Vortemis. You can assume that Turosh will die almost immediately, but such is life under the servitude of Tzeentch.
The warband is interesting. The skill floor to use them well seems very high and the ceiling…quite low, so they don’t offer the competitive player very much in terms of winning events. But the do offer a challenge. I’d like to get them on the table again, and give it a go but first I’d like to win with Sepulchral Guard!
I do not think they are a powerful or strong warband as the Cursebreakers are and I don’t think they have the flexibility of Chosen Axes or Zarbag’s Gitz. I’ll be keeping a close eye on this warband as we get more spell cards, and ploys that interact with spells. One for the future I reckon. Before I leave you this is my favourite bit of artwork about Tzeentch – the image literally changes and comes to life before you. IT’S SO DAMN GOOD!!