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Cauldron of Blood: BSB Builds 
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Beastmaster
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*NOTE: This is edited based on comments from the community, including Ebonyphoenix, Red..., and Calisson

I am looking at the Cauldron of Blood and am convinced I will try this as the Battle Standard Bearer in my next 3000 point game. This has a couple of advantages:
1) The Cauldron is already going to be surrounded by troops so it can be effective with its own powers.
2) To put the banner on a separate hero means spending extra points on the hero in question... points that can be used to "kit out" the Cauldron.
3) The disadvantage of being an uber target must be minimized.

So, here are my thoughts:
I. Gifts of Khaine. The Hag gets gifts as long as they are not magic items.
A. Dance of Doom - Silly as the ward save is currently 4+
B. Touch of Death - Killing Blow can be interesting, but you are only getting 7 attacks meaning not a lot of bang for your buck.
C. Witchbrew. - This seems interesting, but is it a good use? You are already Stubborn and Frenzied. This means you get Steadfast, which means you will be making LD on your base. Also, with the new WM combat rules, you will at most face 6 enemies. Your poison attacks, ward save, and great initiative should help you out quite a bit with this.
D. Hand of Khaine - I like this in 8th because you get rid of an attack. This is 1 attack out of a 6 figure attack maximum. This could be a pretty decent advantage for the Cauldron as you now face even less attacks. It has a weakness in that if you are only attacked by critters with 1 attack to begin with, it won't reduce the attack score to 0. So you need to be hit by multi-attack opponents.
E. Cry of War - this is the same as a very weak version of "fear".
F. Rune of Khaine - An excellent choice for extra attacks. It can combine with something else, like Manbane, for a killer combo
G. Toxins. Oh, no... that would just be sad. You only get 7 base attacks with rerolls for hate on turn 1. Converting 6s to auto wounds is just too critical of an advantage to pass up. However, it has been pointed out that Manbane can be excellent, especially against armored or high toughness foes.


So my winner is Hand of Khaine: 15 points.

II. Banner
This is tricky as there are so many to choose from.
A. Naggarythe - This is clearly the most tempting as it sits on a big unit booster already. However, the 125 point cost is really high. That's a decent unit of Witch Elves you could permanently assign as a scary guard to the Cauldron.
B. Hydra - This is VERY limited in 8th edition as the warmachine is only 1 model. You would get a single extra attack by my limited reading of the rules. Even under 7th you'd get 3 extra attacks which is more interesting given the limited number of combatants, but for 75 points?
C. Dread - You cause fear for 40 points. This is a great effect for the Cauldron as it means your cauldron is a lot more choppy. This should be considered. Oh, wait. we already cause terror.
D. Slaughter - You won't be charging, so...
E. Hag Grief - Well, it has "Hag" in its name so that's interesting. The Always strikes First rule is also interesting. However, with initiative 6 it seems like you are paying for something you already basically have.
F. Murder - Armor Piercing. This could be interesting for only 25 points. However, there are other units that could probably make better use of it.
G. Cold Blood - You are already stubborn, so this could be a key "ace in the hole" for that critical roll.
But wait, there's more...
H. Rampager - again, you don't charge with a War Machine.
I. Wailing - we already cause Terror.
J. Ranger - this is for units that are moving. Its been pointed out that it has a definate advantage in allowing the machine to cross terrain that would otherwise be uncrossable. Its worth a look-see!
K. Razor - We already get this for less points with the Murder banner.
L. Swiftness - I actually think this is somewhat amusing. For 15 points you get to increase your movement by 1 inch which could be critical for getting into better position to support your troops.
M. Lichebone - Somewhat of a snore - you already get a 4+ Ward Save.
N. Discipline - I like the idea behind it. You are already stubborn so why not be ridiculous about it? It has been pointed out that it does not help cover any inherent weaknesses.
0. Eternal Flame - Nifty idea, after all the cauldron's supposedly boiling already, but it we cause terror and chances are not high the cauldron will be fighting a building.
P. Gleaming - Worthless as we already get a reroll for being a BSB
Q. Scarecrow - not so useful as we cause terror.

So, there you go. What are YOUR thoughts? For me, I'm leaning towards Swiftness or Lichbone. Am I missing something here? Well, Good Luck!
~B~


Last edited by Blaznak on Thu Aug 19, 2010 9:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:34 pm
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Not bad, you may want to change the format for ease of reading, but a nice concise description. I have a few comments to add, so without further ado.

Regarding the Gifts of Khaine:
A. Agreed, it is redundant.
B. Agreed, it is not very useful. However you only get 5 attacks with KB since the crew don't get the Gift.
C. Agreed, you're better off saving your points.
D. Disagree. The Hand specifies that the model can only have their attacks reduced to 1, not 0. As such, you'll keep getting thumped with no appreciable reduction to attacks from most Fast Cav, Flyers, and zombies for that matter.
E. Agreed, it is useless since the Cauldron can never charge.
F. Disagree strenuously. Taking Manbane is perfect for dealing with any characters or creatures with Toughness higher than 3 that reach you. Since it adjusts you strength, you increase the armour save modifier too. So your -1 just became up to a -3. Add this to the Gift you forgot and your Hag just became scary. This leads me to...

G. Rune of Khaine. This gift is the best item to give you Death Hag as it ups her attacks by D3. Getting the tremendous number of attacks works wonders when combined with Manbane or the KB blessing if you are getting harrassed by a character or heavy armoured unit. My Cauldron frequently ate Generals of Brittonia due to this combo during 7th, and she did it again 2 weeks ago so the combo is still perfectly valid. Plus the extra attacks have a tendency to just make light harrassment units like harpies and machine-hunting Fast Cav go elsewhere on pain of death.

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Wed Aug 18, 2010 1:02 pm
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Is the Scarecrow Banner still valid? If I remember correctly Terror was removed from the CoB in the FAQ

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Wed Aug 18, 2010 1:22 pm
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Useful post.

Quote:
D. Hand of Khaine - I like this in 8th because you get rid of an attack. This is 1 attack out of a 6 figure attack maximum. This could be a pretty decent advantage for the Cauldron as you now face even less attacks.


Only if the models attacking have more than 1 attack each AND are not immune to psychology. It's pretty weak still, sadly.

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Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:27 pm
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darigaaz wrote:
Is the Scarecrow Banner still valid? If I remember correctly Terror was removed from the CoB in the FAQ

The Cauldron still has Magic Resistance and Terror, because they updated the FAQ. Anyways, nice catch on the movement banner. That will be the most effective use of a CoB battle-standard if I use one.

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Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:55 pm
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Masked Jackal wrote:
darigaaz wrote:
Is the Scarecrow Banner still valid? If I remember correctly Terror was removed from the CoB in the FAQ

The Cauldron still has Magic Resistance and Terror, because they updated the FAQ. Anyways, nice catch on the movement banner. That will be the most effective use of a CoB battle-standard if I use one.


I didn't know that, thanks :P
Well one apprehension I've always had with taking a CoB BSB is the 12" range, and I'm a player that likes to seize a lot of the board, so keeping everything in range is always my biggest challenge. But personally, I like to run a mundane BS.

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Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:13 pm
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Red... wrote:
Useful post.

Quote:
D. Hand of Khaine - I like this in 8th because you get rid of an attack. This is 1 attack out of a 6 figure attack maximum. This could be a pretty decent advantage for the Cauldron as you now face even less attacks.


Only if the models attacking have more than 1 attack each AND are not immune to psychology. It's pretty weak still, sadly.


Thanks for the comment. I guess I was envisioning a unit coming in with a champion, etc. So you could have 5 trooper attacks and 2 champion attacks max. This would drop it by 1 to 6 total attacks. If bigger and scarier comes along, it gets better. But please don't over read - it still is not awesome, just worth considering.


Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:49 pm
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Great post, Blaznak!


My short list:
Add:
III: Nothing: the model is well defended, not that likely to see any combat, and vulnerable to instant-kill-I-test spells. Let's keep it 225pts and not distract more from the real fighters.


Comments on I:
D. Hand of Khaine - you get rid of an attack. This is 1 attack out of a 6 figure attack maximum. This could be a pretty decent advantage for the Cauldron as you now face even less attacks.
However, the model can only have their attacks reduced to 1, not 0. As such, you'll keep getting thumped with no appreciable reduction to attacks from most Flyers, and zombies for that matter.

Overall, Fast cav models have attacks per model (only 2 models in contact max), so HoK would be useful.
6 infantry attacking with 1 attack each seems negligible enough to keep the usefulness of HoK.


F. Toxins. You only get 7 base attacks with rerolls for hate on turn 1. Converting 6s to auto wounds is just too critical of an advantage to pass up.
However, taking Manbane is perfect for dealing with any characters or creatures with Toughness higher than 3 that reach you. Since it adjusts you strength, you increase the armour save modifier too. So your -1 just became up to a -3. Add this to Rune of Khaine and your Hag just became scary.

Alone, Manbane is not worth indeed. If you decided to spend already some pts on RoK, then Manbane could be considered indeed.


G. Rune of Khaine. This gift is the best item to give you Death Hag as it ups her attacks by D3. Getting the tremendous number of attacks works wonders when combined with Manbane or the KB blessing if you are getting harrassed by a character or heavy armoured unit. Plus the extra attacks have a tendency to just make light harrassment units like harpies and machine-hunting Fast Cav go elsewhere on pain of death.
Definitively one addition to consider if you don't desperately need the pts elsewhere.


Comments on II:
A. Naggarythe. This is clearly the most tempting as it sits on a big unit booster already. However, the 125 point cost is really high. That's a decent unit of Witch Elves you could permanently assign as a scary guard to the Cauldron.
This could a very interesting combo to consider: the range of the BSB combined to the range of +1CR per unit engaged: the BSB is fulfilling its role of +1CR!
Besides, the unit is now unbreakable, i.e. slightly more durable.
But this is very expensive. It would be efficient if you need +1CR indeed. For example, if you run MSU, this is one thing to consider (despite the fact that THIS unit is not small...).


F. Murder - Armor Piercing. This could be interesting for only 25 points.
However, this banner is much better used anywhere else.


J. Ranger - this is for units that are moving.
For the COB, it is useful as well, because it is a warmachine, so ANY terrain except hills is IMPASSABLE. as terrain setting is very unpredictable, taking this banner guarantees that no stupid river or fence will block your BSB while the rest of the army crosses it.
EDIT: I was wrong on that one, see below.
Malus99 wrote:
Strider prevents a unit from having to take dangerous terrain tests, but warmachines treat all terrain other than open and hills as impassable, which means they cannot voluntarily move through it, strider would only help if the unit flees through impassable terrain which is possible, and the unit takes a dangerous terrain test, but since the CoB is a warmachine, and when a warmachine flees it is automatically destroyed, this will not be much help to the CoB.



M. Lichebone - Not interesting to get Magic Resistance of 1. COB has naturally a MR and it does not stack.


N. Discipline. You are already stubborn so why not be ridiculous about it?
However, this would just add to one strength while not solving any weakness.


P. Gleaming
absolutely useless: the BSB is ALWAYS within BSB's range, therefore he can reroll ANY Ld test already... Useless.


Overall, for banners, I'd consider the following order:
J. Ranger
A. Naggarythe
Nothing at all.

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Last edited by Calisson on Tue Dec 14, 2010 6:57 pm, edited 3 times in total.



Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:54 pm
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EbonyPhoenix wrote:
D. Disagree. The Hand specifies that the model can only have their attacks reduced to 1, not 0. As such, you'll keep getting thumped with no appreciable reduction to attacks from most Fast Cav, Flyers, and zombies for that matter.

F. Disagree strenuously. Taking Manbane is perfect for dealing with any characters or creatures with Toughness higher than 3 that reach you. Since it adjusts you strength, you increase the armour save modifier too. So your -1 just became up to a -3. Add this to the Gift you forgot and your Hag just became scary. This leads me to...

G. Rune of Khaine. This gift is the best item to give you Death Hag as it ups her attacks by D3. Getting the tremendous number of attacks works wonders when combined with Manbane or the KB blessing if you are getting harrassed by a character or heavy armoured unit. My Cauldron frequently ate Generals of Brittonia due to this combo during 7th, and she did it again 2 weeks ago so the combo is still perfectly valid. Plus the extra attacks have a tendency to just make light harrassment units like harpies and machine-hunting Fast Cav go elsewhere on pain of death.


Thanks for the great comments -
As to Hand, I clarified this in response to Red's post, but I was envisioning at least one slightly bigger character coming in with rank and file so there would be 1 attack to reduce. But you are right - it is limited by those circumstances.

As to Manbane - Excellent Commnt. I have no argument with your analysis. Theoretically in an army, I envision using Manbane for monster hunting instead of Cauldron Defense but your comments make me rethink my thinking, I think. If the enemy is using monsters for Cauldron Hunting, then your comment is 100% on target. I guess the question is "what armies will you face, and if in a tourney, what environment do you contemplate"?

As to Khaine - Another good point. I'll look at doing a re-edit when I get home and have my book in front of me. But this is exactly the sort of comments I was looking for, so thank you again.


Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:59 pm
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Calisson wrote:
Great post, Blaznak!


Thanks! - I live to serve... (Grin)

I agree with your points but wanted to highlight a couple:
Leave it as is: I'm kicking myself for NOT mentioning that. Yes, for the low cost, its an amazing addition, as is.
Ranger - I will have to reconsider this. You raise an excellent point.
Great catch on Gleaming. I'll do an edit on that tonight.

I appreciate the comments!
~B~


Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:11 pm
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Some really interesting analysis, but for me, 225 points is already a lot to pay for something that, if it ever does get in combat, will be on the enemy's terms - you will never (minus some tolerable margin of error) get to choose the combat it is involved in, so why waste any points on making it better in a combat it might never see?

I think there's some great discussion of what upgrades might be worth taking if you do decide to upgrade at all, but it seems the height of foolishness to do so, to me.


Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:27 pm
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My cauldron seldenly sees combat, and therefore I would never consider combat enhancing banners of temple upgrades. It is points wasted!

In addition there seems to be a much clearer distinguishment between "light" and "heavy" units in 8th, which means that the cauldron, upgrades or not, would usually pretty easily deal with light units and get completely torn apart by heavy units. Again - no real point in combat upgrades.

The only ability or banner I would consider is the "Banner of Swiftness". It is cheap, and my cauldron seems to fall behind alot with many units often straying out of the important 12' zone. An extra inch movement here and there could make all the difference!


Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:52 pm
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Would lichbone's MR stack with the CoB's natural MR? If not then you'd receive no benefit.

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Wed Aug 18, 2010 11:11 pm
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MR doesn't stack, you use the highest value avaliable.

The only exception is Null Talismans that stack as long as they're worn by the same character.

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Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:15 am
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Maldor wrote:
Would lichbone's MR stack with the CoB's natural MR? If not then you'd receive no benefit.
:oops: Forgot that COB had a natural MR.
My post above is edited, thanks.

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Thu Aug 19, 2010 6:18 am
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nice post indeed, though id clearly prefer my cauldron bsb (if i use one at all) vanilla flavoured (no extra equipment). possibly the +1 movement banner is cheap enough and could help keep it out of trouble. possibly.

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Thu Aug 19, 2010 7:09 am
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Calisson wrote:
My short list:
Add:
III: Nothing: the model is well defended, not that likely to see any combat, and vulnerable to instant-kill-I-test spells. Let's keep it 225pts and not distract more from the real fighters.


Yep, this.

Any fast, maneuverable units that reach the CoB are already in trouble against high I, pretty high A (for a WM), and the 4+ Ward.

Your typical WM hunters won't touch this. For more serious units, the upgrades don't really help and you are better off intercepting them with some serious units of your own.

Bye
Thanee


Thu Aug 19, 2010 9:24 am
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Excactly. As I said it is pretty much either-or! If it is light units the cauldron beats them no problem, but if charged by heavy units, I am afraid it is more or less game over for the cauldron. No amount of upgrades can change this, so the points are better spent elsewhere. Only Banner of Swiftness looks interesting...


Thu Aug 19, 2010 9:48 am
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I never consider anything beyond the +1 movement. The purpose of the cauldron is to provide stubborn re-Rolls and the combat boosts. Its not a combat unit in itself.


Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:18 pm
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I only use the +1M banner as the only upgrade.

I haven't had my cauldron in a fight yet, but that extra inch can be quite useful.


Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:52 am
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The Virgin Forest wrote:
I only use the +1M banner as the only upgrade.

I haven't had my cauldron in a fight yet, but that extra inch can be quite useful.


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Sat Sep 04, 2010 8:49 pm
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How would you go about handling some thing like dwelllers or purple sun when the cauldron does not have those values?


Sun Sep 05, 2010 4:15 am
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you reserve your dispel dice to ensure you dispel those instant death spells on your CoB >.>

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for Dwellers Below you use Hag's Strength.

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Dalamar wrote:
for Dwellers Below you use Hag's Strength.
True.
Alas!
warmachines autofail any test save toughness and Ld (p.108). :cry:

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Sun Sep 05, 2010 7:03 pm
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