Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Spotlight: Rorsh & Brine

A while ago I decided I would stop failing with Wrong Eye. The Lesser Warlock had been a thorn in my side since I bought him, which was about a month after I discovered Warmahordes, and he had been shelved for most of that time. I put him on the table a couple of times and didn't do much better, so I decided to increase my learning curve by adding Rorsh & Brine to the list.

It was love at first sight. It's a swine with guns, dynamite, and brains, dragging around a 2000 lbs bipedal killing-swine, and I even made them custom tokens to represent their different abilities.
Rorsh cares nothing for goals or sides in the battles wracking western Immoren and offers his services for reasonable payment and no questions asked. He carries his lever-action pig iron and a fondness for explosives from one battlefield to the next. His greatest weapon is the gargantuan bipedal fighting boar Brine, whom Rorsh takes particular delight in unleashing to rend enemies limb from limb.
I ran a couple of games with both teams of Lesser Warlocks, and finally I understood what I've been doing wrong. I still lost the game, but the following game I had my solution in place, and while it turns a few heads, and causes a few laugh, the REMEMBER TRANSFERS written in white letters on the back of both bases finally did the trick.
Rorsh & Brine: Transfers
Remembering transfers might not seem like an earth shattering revelation to you, but those simple words made all the difference for me. I don't know if you'll need to go as far as writing on your own models, but if you find yourself failing with a Lesser Warlock: Remember Transfers.
  • Rorsh needs to be within range to force Brine.
  • Rorsh needs to be within range to transfer damage.
  • Rorsh needs to camp Fury in order to transfer damage.
  • Brine cannot be fully loaded on Fury.
This means you need to plan your placement carefully, since many opponents have access to some form of forced movement. A simple slam will move Rorsh out of transfer range, and it could even kill him with some lucky dice, but there are plenty of problems to take into consideration.
  • Thunderbolt.
  • Force Bolt.
  • Devastation.
  • Telekinesis.
  • Beat-back.
  • Slams.
  • Throws.
I'm sure there are more, so be sure to keep them in mind when positioning Rorsh and Brine, and Remember transfers. Remember, that you need to make sure neither of them can be easily moved, since most of those effects work equally well on Brine.
Rorsh & Brine: Abilities
As always the Battlecollege will handle the task of actually explaining their abilities, but the article really lacks a mention of the sheer speed they can achieve. Rorsh has a *Action called Diversionary Tactic, and with this ability you can send Brine a massive thirteen inches forward with a charge. This movement can take you around corners, or allow you to activate Brine outside certain effects (this can really mess up some enemy feats).

Diversionary Tactics also allows you to move up to ten inches before throwing something, which is a massive distance, that will take a lot of people by surprise. It can be used to pull of incredible throws, angle slams perfectly, or simply charge longer than most heavies in the game, while allowing you to position Rorsh nearby. Rorsh can move a grand total of twelve inches with Diversionary Tactic, so keeping Brine in transfer/control range should be easy (surviving it is the hard part, so remember transfers).
Rorsh & Brine: Activation
In the first round Brine slaps himself for a Fury, and then uses another Fury to run up (preferably stopping in cover or concealment). Rorsh advances up behind him, spends two Fury to cast Pig Pen, and uses the Dig In *Action. This means that Rorsh is in cover, immune to blast damage, a couple of inches behind Brine, and with one transfer available.

The second round Rorsh upkeeps Pig Pen, leaving him with two Fury, and the game dictates what they do. I find myself doing one of three things, though more often than not it's the Brine Missile.
  • The Brine Missile: In Cryx we have access to Ghost Walk, which already allows for some unpredictable vectors of attack, but when combined with Diversionary Tactics all hell breaks loose.
The look upon an opponents face, when Brine comes rampaging through buildings and models alike is just priceless. With Pain response he even tramples for free, so don't despair if you can't manage a sliver of sight: Just trample down and gore him.
  • Apocalypse now: Rorsh has up to three ranged attacks, and if there's a bunch of infantry nearby, he can go to town. Begin by throwing the dynamite, then gun down whatever is left standing, while saving the last Fury for a transfer (Remember transfers).
This is quite rare, since Rorsh will usually be busy organizing a Brine Missile, but if he's still alive after Brine goes to pork heaven, he can be quite devastating to bunched up infantry. He has a fairly good RAT, and the ability to boost, so if you see an opportunity to gun down something important then go for it, but remember transfers if Brine is still alive.
  • Consolidate: If there's nothing worth killing, you place yourself in a position where you get as much cover, concealment, and protection as you can. Rorsh might have cover from Pig Pen, but standing behind a linear obstacle can also interfere with melee attacks, or even stop a charge entirely. With the massive range they can achieve, you can find a nice spot to park, and wait for that golden opportunity to arrive.
I must admit that I often commit Brine too early. You want him to take some damage first, since it allows him to abuse Pain Response, but it takes nerves of steel to avoid committing him when a target presents itself. I've been thinking about inflicting the damage myself, but the risk of causing real harm is simply to great.
Rorsh & Brine: Warcasters
We have some excellent casters to choose from, but in order to take enough advantage of R&B to make up for their vulnerabilities, you need a caster that really profits.
  • Warwitch Deneghra: Ghost Walk, Crippling Grasp, The Withering, and Pig Farm. You could even throw Parasite and Dark Shroud into the mix against low defense models, and watch Brine rip apart two Heavy Warbeasts in a single round. Warwitch Deneghra also suffers a severe lack of available Focus, making the Lesser Warlock a great addition.
  • Wraith Witch Deneghra: Though she lacks the raw power of her prime version, she has a feat that will keep both R&B alive, and brings along the needed defense debuffs while doing it. Like her Prime version she benefits a lot from bringing a Lesser Warlock, to alleviate the strain on her Focus.
  • Lord Exhumator Scaverous: Because Telekinesis, Ghost Walk, and Diversionary Tactic allows for some downright silly rounds. Hitting an enemy caster in the back, from seventeen inches away, with a Heavy Warbeast, is just too much fun.
Several other casters can run the team well, and Iron Lich Asphyxious almost made the list above, but with the those three casters the team becomes a true nightmare on the table.
Rorsh & Brine: Summary
Rorsh & Brine bring speed, shenanigans, power, and a complete lack of predictability to the table. They can destroy almost anything with a little help, but keeping them alive after the hit is hard. Remembering transfers is vital to getting your points worth, but the sheer look of terror on your opponents face, when a 2000 lbs bipedal swine appears next to their caster, is totally worth it.


  1. "Rorsh has three ranged attacks"
    No, he does not.

    Also, there is difference between 'to' and 'too' ;)

  2. Hey Rez. Where am I using to/too wrong?

    Rorsh has three ranged attacks, since his Pig Iron is RoF:2, and his dynomite isn't cumbersome.

    I'll add "up to three", if that makes you happy ;)

  3. "I must admit that I often commit Brine to early."

    That "to" should be a "too".

  4. You mean "Too much fun."

    Two: a number (2)
    Too: excessive, as well
    To: [is really hard to define, so if the others don't work, use this one]

  5. Dynomate is cumbersome in field test PDF so I guess some stuff has changed :)

  6. Indeed :) He gets to toss his 4" AoE, and gun down the couple of guys that survive.

  7. I love Rorsh and Brine - a couple of my favorite minis, both in the models and on the table in play. They really can haul it down the table if you do everything correctly, and Brine pummeling on you is nothing to sneeze at. Great post, thanks for the excellent summary!

  8. After reading this article I seriously considered ordering Rorsh and Brine. After reading it a second time - I ordered the duo!

    Thanks for a great article.

    - Steelmaelstorm