|Brilliant, just brilliant.|
In this segment, we'll explore the Lords and Heroes, followed by Core choices in the next installment (tonight). Please refer to my earlier post on what we know so far as a reference. At this point, I'm 95% sure of those rumors as being in the book since they've been confirmed by several sources.
Onto the Lords and Heroes! SCs will come later.
Prince - 3.5/5
The first thing I have to say about the Prince is that I'm a little disappointed. While he got a slight points decrease, the 390 point Star Dragon is what's really off-putting. For 90 points less, we have access to the Moon Dragon which has a 6s statline. The big thing here is the points. When taking a Dragon Lord, you have to squeeze every little bit out of this guy and with the Star Dragon being so expensive, I'm not sure how I feel about having him in the list anymore. We'll talk about sample builds as we go along the week, but for now I'm looking at the Moon Dragon as a more cost-effective option. The main threat of cannons being able to bring down dragons also has me a bit worried. If dragons are not going to be effective, I'll sure as hell look into Cavalry Princes being the dominant option.
Anointed of Asuryan - 4/5
This guy is the guy to go to when fielding foot lists I'd say. He comes with 4+ Ward, MR2, ItP, gives his unit 6+ ward, and comes stock with Fear. His price is pretty good too, although he has worse leadership than a Prince and less attacks. The ability to mount a Phoenix is also pretty good, especially when you factor the built-in Ward save. MR2 gives him a 2++ vs. MM and the Phoenix gets a 3++. He's a definite contender for having 3x Ice Phoenixes in a list, or even competing with the Prince on Moon Dragon.
Loremaster - 5/5
Very solid, I really like him. His main function is to be a fighting Noble, being able to take a 2+ armor save while still retaining his ability to cast cheap signature spells. He's going to be a staple in every list that wants to mix the stats of a Noble with a strong, versatile casting mage. He puts supporting mages to shame because of his ability to mount armor, put out decent damage and spellsling at the same time. The price tag is a little high, but I think he's worth it every game when combined with an Archmage.
Archmage - 5/5
Lv.4 every time. Especially with the new point cost, I see him with Book of Hoeth plus either 4+ Ward or Crown every single game. The same spell versatility makes him very appealing in magic-heavy lists, and with Book of Hoeth he can push out spells and dispels a lot easier. Personally, I'll be fielding him relatively cheap with Book, Crown and that's it. Push him back in the back row with a few characters and he'll be quite safe; especially if your unit will be fielding the Banner of the World Dragon. I plan on taking him with High Magic so I can utilize Blessing of Lileath as much as possible in combination with a unit of Phoenix Guard.
Noble - 4.5/5
Looking pretty fine here. Nothing has changed for him except the fact he lost a little bit of protection. BSBs will be mandatory in every army, so he goes perfectly with a Cavalry Prince when mounted, or traveling in an infantry army with 2+ AS. Having the opportunity to mount a Griffon is also pretty significant here. I'm not entirely convinced on the beast though mainly due to cannons, no save and a potential to be expensive depending on upgrades.
Sea Helm - 2/5
Not bad, a pretty decent option when in a unit of Sea Guard. Nice, fluffy, and offers Naval Discipline. He's a bit more expensive than a Noble, so that alone puts him in on the bottom of my unit bucket. The only real reason you'll use him vs. a cheaper Noble as a BSB is for Naval Discipline.. which is only really useful in a unit of Sea Guard. However, I guess you can take him on a Sky Cutter as well for that free 4+ Ward. Not sure how much benefit that'll give you though, but you will have a flying BSB.
Handmaiden of the Everqueen - 2/5
Used with the Everqueen, can be given Everqueen specific items that'll make Sisters of Averlorn more appealing. Not my cup of tea, but with the Bow of the Seafearer and Quick to Fire that she confers onto the unit, she can find some use in those kind of lists.
Mage - 4/5
Small, diverse, cheaper, and can take a scroll. Acts best as a scroll caddy and supporting caster. Also good in a Coven of Light because of the price.
Dragon Mage - 1/5
Even with Dragon Armor and the ability to take magical armors, I'm not sure how much I'll be looking into this guy. He lacks the flexibility of the other lores, fights to compete in points for the AM/Loremaster combo, and suffers the same problem as other Large Targets that could attract enemy fire. Overall, I'm not feeling this guy at all.