Bane Chant, a crutch?

If the Defence 6 units are mostly tanky but do not pose a huge offensive threat themselves, I think they SHOULD be hard to damage. I also find it ridiculous that you can pump a lot of units up to damage such units on two’s and three’s.
Do units like Ogre Siege Breakers ruin this, since they have too many attacks at the same time as De6+? Because Earth Elementals are not that formidable that I find them a problem.

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Do we need to start with De7+ units to create something really tanky? It’s like the D6 doesnt offer enough of a scale that a stacking of bane chant doesnt circumvent.

DE7+ units? That reminds me of old long ago Warhammer and not really in a good way … i.e. where the big stuff with enough toughness was not just “pretty much” but completely invulnerable to normal or even heavy infantry.

Lots of “fun” of 3 Treemen holding up innummerable hordes of Goblins and Skaven … not so much fun for the Goblins and Skaven I guess, but that’s how it was.

One thing that is missing in the discussion I find that bane chant needs not just to be bought, it also needs to be moved into position and cast, it’s also on a mobile character that can be targeted and therefore countered.

That is imho a huge difference to innate crushing strenght that has none of the drawbacks and cannot be countered except by killing the unit. Bane chant on the other hand can be easily countered by a lowly hero on a horse disordering the mage, correct?

Furthermore there’s opportunity cost: Mages are a limited resource and a mage casting Bane chant does not cast Heal or LB or whatever else may be useful. There may be a case for the army standard with the BC item … but if you use just that, then you can only have BC on a single unit … so what if there’s more than one unit in combat?

Just saying … it’s not nearly as clear cut that straight up comparing BC with CS would make any sense in my opinion.

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This thread seems to pre-suppose that Bane Chant is too powerful, so I decided to take a look: of the 64 lists for this year’s Masters tournament, 31 include the spell. Of those, 9 are what I’d call “special cases” - 4 Nomagaroks, 3 Ulpgars, a Tollivar, and a Jarvis. These [1] characters have Bane Chant, but it’s probably not why you’re bringing them. Tollivar probably doesn’t belong on this list, but he has a special rule that makes Bane Chant more powerful, so I thought I’d separate him.

I count 5 Lutes of Insatiable Darkness, and fascinatingly, each of those lists has another source of Bane Chant! These players pretty clearly agree that more crushing = more winning.

All in, as far as I can tell, these are the spellcasters that have chosen to take Bane Chant across all armies:

  • Abyssal Warlock (3): Warlocks are extremely good pieces which inspire, shoot, and score for 90 points. Taking Bane Chant is a small additional cost, so this makes sense to me.
  • Goblin Wiz (2): Cheap casters and plentiful unlocks are core to Goblin identity, as is using tricks to buff their weak units. No surprise here.
  • Rhordian Wizard (3): I don’t know Rhordia very well, but I do see a couple pike blocks, so it looks like Doug Blake of the Northeast wants to get stuck in and grind.
  • Basilean War-Wizard: Similar to Rhordia, I don’t have much to say here.
  • Kingdoms of Men Wizard: Ok I guess it’s a human thing.
  • Dwarf Flame Priest (3): 8 regiments of Ironguard across two lists, holy moley! Definitely grindy lists.
  • Elven Archmage: The list has 3 Archmages, one of them has Bane Chant. Sensible support.
  • Undead Necromancer (3): A bit like Abyssal Warlocks, Necromancers are an absolute steal, so a good opportunity to bring other spells. I’m surprised to see no Weakness, but maybe that’s in other lists.
  • Nightstalker Horror (3): Two of the three have the Vicious aura, so these are specifically force multipliers, over and above Bane Chant on its own.
  • Abyssal Dwarf Iron-Caster: Seems expensive, but with three hordes of Golems you’d definitely want Surge.
  • Order of the Green Lady Druid (2): Druids seem like a contender for best BSB in the game, a nice cheap body with a useful spell list to choose from. Another case of Bane Chant being a low marginal cost.
  • Herd Druid (2): I truly don’t know Herd well, but I assume it’s the same story.

So, the story that I’m telling myself after looking at these lists is that Bane Chant is pretty good when 1) it comes with something that’s already good 2) it suits your specific army build or 3) you are a human army. That seems very healthy!

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I would argue that KoW doesn’t scale down very well - 1500 is probably the point where it starts playing more or less as it should, and below that level should have some polite agreements on army building to keep the game engaging. It’s fundamentally a game of positioning and piece trading, so below a certain number of moving parts it’s not very interesting.

I also disagree with Bard’s premise - small lists are always easier to skew, and larger games let you bring a deeper toolbox (which isn’t to say they’re better, but they should generally be more balanced)

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I think bane chant giving you a max of CS2 should be sufficient. I feel bane chant 2 is okay but conjurer’s staff is taken too often.

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I’m surprised to see no Weakness, but maybe that’s in other lists.

Weakness is nice to have, but then you run into Basileans… easier to simply bring Bane Chant.

I think 2000 is good except allowing 3x the specials.

1995+5 (ie 2000 pts but only allowing 2x specials) would be my ideal points value.

However I understand some people do like playing games of skew - because it really is fun to work out skew filth.

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A lot of our local events, run by one of the RC, were usually 1995 specifically because of the max 2 restrictions.

Yes, BC is caster dependent - and does obviously come with the additional cost of the caster/bsb. As @Luke points out though, a lot of armies are taking the casters anyway, so sticking BC on them is really a no brainer.

I take Def 6 units, because I want them to stand a chance. They’ll be saving on 4s or 3s.
Def 4 is “a waste”, I’d rather take Def 2 units. They’re cheaper, and they’ll both have a horrible save anyway.

Maybe it’s my meta, but I see a lot of CS + Bane Chant combos

I’d say that banechant actually allows more units to see play time. Without bane chant, Def 6 would dominate, and CS0 units would be practically useless. I like that all armies have some access to bane chant.

Bane chant also has opportunity cost. It costs a character slot, it cost the shooting action, and often the positioning of the character.

And I certainly fail my fair share of bane chant attempts,. 75% is no sure thing.

Nerfing bane chant is extremely low on the list of things that would make KOW better.

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What about Basileans? Weakness and Bane Chant fill totally different roles, and Undead especially have some insanely good hammers.

@Luke yes my Herd Druids love a bit of Bane Chant, as like the Goblins/Undead, the core units tend to lack umphh!

Personally, i’d be far more concerned with the Shroud of the Saint +3 heal boost, giving the likes of a Gladewalker Druid 7 dice to heal wounds. If i stick one behind my Greater Earth Elemental or a horde of Spirit Walkers for example. (with the horde toting item too , it’ll be hard to put down

exactly my own thoughts @Mikes, lets not see that sort of mouldy chamembert cheesiness slipping into KOW

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@Luke undead have an army list the RC have been trying to do something about for a while! :wink:

In both cases (BC & Heal) kill the caster!

An elemental wall with druids/stone priests is nothing once they are dead :wink:

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Basileans get Cleanse on their Priests, so they can often negate your Weakness for free by doing what they’d already be doing. They fill different roles, but Bane Chant can’t be negated.

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Oh, I’d totally forgotten about that. I would not rate it as very relevant, but no one local plays Basilea so…

A minor point regarding the need for a caster: it’s not just a problem, but also an advantage. Because you cast BC every turn, you get to decide which unit has it on any given turn, depending on the conditions at that moment. In short, it’s more flexible than innate CS. Whether that’s worth more than the disadvantages is situational and dependent on your personal preferences, I suppose.

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