Friday, November 11, 2011

Spotlight: Madelyn Corbeau

Talkin' 'bout my girl. Madelyn Corbeau can make me feel that way, so let me introduce you to my favorite chain smoking prostitute. Now she's not much to look at, but she's got moves you wouldn't believe, and she swings both ways to boot.

Madelyn Corbeau is a two point solo we usually associate with Lich Lord Terminus, but this broad has so much to offer, that she deserves her own little spotlight.
Having charmed half the courtiers in western Immoren, it is simple enough for her to gain access to the commanders of armies. She sells her services to any army with coin.
I might have left out a few words in that description, but Madelyn truly is a queen amongst prostitutes, so let's get down to business.
Madelyn Corbeau: Abilities
You know the drill, and Battlecollege will answer your questions, but Madelyn Corbeau lives and dies by her abilities, so it's walk-through time. 
Madelyn Corbeau: Advisor
This nifty little ability will add one to the CMD of a caster/solo in B2B contact, which can be quite useful with several models. I find myself using this when I've screwed up, and rarely do I plan on using it. It's really useful, when combined with her ability to move models before the turn begins, so she can end up in B2B with someone, without spending her activation.
  • Terminus: Shadow of Death.
  • eSkarre: Inspiration.
  • pSkarre: Sacrificial Strike.
  • Deryliss: Arcane Extension.
  • pGoreshade: Tether.
  • Satyxis Raider Captain: Desperate Pace / No sleeping on the Job. 
  • Darragh Wrath: Death Ride / Beyond Death.
  • Gerlack Slaughterborn: Leadership / No sleeping on the Job.
As you can see, it's mostly used when you mess up placement, but occasionally you can plan a round and take someone by surprise. If an opponent planned his round knowing that he could stop just outside Beyond Death, that extra inch can really screw him over. I find myself using this ability maybe once in five games, so it's not my main reason for bringing her.
Madelyn Corbeau: Intrigue
I had used her in quite a few games, before I began considering the full impact of this ability, and I'm still finding new application almost every game. The hardest part is remembering to activate it, since it happens in the maintenance phase, and there are so many other things to consider.

A Warcaster can be moved with this ability in the maintenance phase, allowing them a three inch advance before the round begins. This has a mind-boggling amount of applications, so I'll just mention a few. If you find yourself confused by the sequence of a turn, use this quick reference sheet.
  • Focus allocation: Either you messed up, or someone threw, slammed, or placed your jack outside your control area, but with Madelyn you can move your caster in range, since the move happens before Focus allocation. This can potentially turn a useless knocked-down jack into an assassination threat, or allow a caster to run that Arc Node your opponent disregarded.
  • Additional range: There are more casters than Terminus that can assassinate, and pGaspy, p/eSkarre, and several others can do the deed themselves (with three more inches of threat). I don't often see Madelyn on the table, so it comes as a surprise to most opponents, when she suddenly moves a caster into assassination range.
  • Retreat: The ability to move up three inches before your activation, will allow some casters to get in range with feats or abilities, thus allowing you to retreat during your activation instead. This is very useful, as most casters will have to move up in order to get the most out of a feat, and will then be stuck near the lines, but with Madelyn you can pop and cast, then retreat to safety instead.
  • Feat negation: Thanks to Temujin Khan for pointing out that several feats in the game can be negated by moving out of them in the maintenance phase. The example he uses is pSeverius and his feat that reads "while within", and since the maintenance phase comes before the control phase and focus replenishment, you can simply step out of the effect with intrigue if 3" is enough to do that, which it often is with pSeverius: nice catch Temujin!
Considering the amount of casters we have, it would take forever to list everything you can do with Intrigue, but take a look at your favorite caster, and think about the ability to move three inches before your turn really begins. It does require an enemy model within 9" of Madelyn, and it has limitations, but it's a passive ability on a two point model, with several other useful abilities, and I'm not done with Intrigue:
  • Bile Thralls: Madelyn can move a Bile Thrall, which means a fourteen inch purge. It's considerably less than the Excarnate trick, and it will cost you a Bile Thrall, but it's available to any caster, and requires no dice or Focus to work. I can't tell you how much I enjoy my opponents facial expression, when the Bile Thrall moves into range.
  • Admonia: You thought Unbinding was awesome, but Unbinding with three extra inches of range is bloody amazing. It solves just about every problem she has, and will make your opponent cry the salty tears of defeat.
  • Bane Lord Tartarus: Fourteen inch range you say, and possibly the ability to curse before charging, allowing him to penetrate even deeper into a unit before threshering. It can also allow him to walk into range instead, allowing him the perfect position to reap the infidels.
  • Gerlack Slaughterborn: Another three inches on his charge of doom, allows him to be hidden safely behind the lines until he launches. This will take a lot of people by surprise, and allow him some really effective charges.
  • Gorman: If you bring Dougal MacNaile and Madelyn, he can throw a grenade at someone that began 17" away, with +2 RAT and a re-roll to scatter if you fail. That sounds like fun to me! The Gorman slingshot.
Then we've got every single solo with an interesting ability they rarely use because of range issues (Machine Wraith, Necrotech, Warwitch Siren, etc.) and every single ranged solo in the game. Finally there are unit attachments that like the ability to move into position (Blood Hag comes to mind), or the ability to move a friendly model out of the way, clearing a lane for your Helljack.

Edit: 02.09.2013

In SR 2013 there are several objectives that are classified as "Enemy models". This will activate intrigue, which is a damn sight more reliable than hoping for actual enemy models to help you out.
Madelyn Corbeau: Seduction
The ability to make Dartan Vilmon behead the Harbinger is hilarious, and if you're running a caster with access to Influence, this combination can be utterly devastating. Unfortunately the ability requires B2B contact, limiting it's use, but there are still a few things you can do with it.
  • Free strikes: A common tactic to lock down units, is to run in a couple of models to engage them in melee. With this ability you can have one of those enemy models kill the other, while turning around so the previously engaged unit can simply walk away.
  • Raw damage: There are plenty of hardcore weapon master models out there, so if you've got nothing better to do, go borrow one and smack something.
  • Kaboom: A few models produce really unpleasant effects when they die, and these models are often doing their very best to be in the middle of your army when it happens. I cheerfully suggest, you put them in the middle of his instead.
There are many more applications of Seduction, so keep your eyes open and it will come in handy. Remember that Cavalry are also Warrior models, so Seduction works on them as well (I like Fenris the most, though the bastard missed last time I got to play with him).
Madelyn Corbeau: Sucker
Everybody loves this hooker, well as long as their alive. As long as she's directly hit, a nearby man/woman/child/dog/horse will take the hit. This means that Madelyn will rarely die, except when accidentally hit by stray AoE attacks.

She's rarely ever deemed worthy of your opponents attention either, since she has no attacks at all, and can pawn away shots to nearby models, so it's a rare thing when she dies to anything other than drifting AoE attacks, or an enemy model with nothing else to do. This does change very quickly in a local meta, but she's still just a two point solo, so no harm done if she croaks (bring a Necrosurgeon, and you've got yourself a zombie stripper)
Madelyn Corbeau: How to make it work
Madelyn likes being just behind the first line, preferably in cover, and should a living model or two hang out nearby, it wouldn't hurt. I don't usually dedicate resources to her survival, since nobody takes her seriously until after she makes her move, and I often end up with something in range to activate Intrigue anyway.

I usually place her with some less threatening models, so the enemy won't need to stay away. They won't come within nine inches of a unit of Bane Knights, but they'll certainly rush some Blood Witches with a heavy, and then you get your movement.
Madelyn Corbeau: Summary
One of the most powerful two point solo characters in the game, and in the excellent position of being considered no threat at all. Madelyn is hard to fit in lists, but she has so much to offer, and she's almost never a waste of points. Take her out for a spin, and remember to use her Intrigue ability in the maintenance phase.

      1 comment:

      1. Never considerd her before. I will try her out in my next game with eSkarre should be fun