Warlord: Savage North Army Analysis - Icingstead
September-22-2010 - An in-depth review of Icingstead by Wedge Smith
This week we're going to take a closer look at the Icingstead army. Icingstead features frost giants as their primary attraction. These are backed up by other large snow creatures such as ice trolls and a variety of yetis. Icingstead also features human barbarians. Typical Icingstead players will choose one or the other and build their army around either all large creatures or all human barbarians. However, as you will learn with this week’s suggested army list, advanced players will mix-and-match to maximize the power of their army.

Pros

Very high powered models, good options for both high and low model count armies, ice giants, yetis, wyrms, barbarians.... What more could you want?

Cons

Barbarians and giants work best separately, rather than together. There are limited options for ranged attacks.

Overview

Icingstead is a faction where only the strongest survive; there is no space beside the fire for second best. Unparalleled survival skills allow them to create armies with troop compositions that are different from other factions.

If you choose to follow the path of the Barbarians Faction Doctrine, you may create an entire army with no leader of higher rank than Sergeant and gain potent boosts to your barbarian's Tough value, Charge range, and Rage attacks. While your barbarian Spearthrowers have a relatively short-distance ranged attack, their Pierce allows for high damage potential, and they specialize in destroying mounted soldiers in melee combat, where they can charge and attack with a MAV of 7! The axeman can close distance fast to the enemy and deliver a high-damage strike, while your berserkers can follow up with their three attacks, mopping up anything left standing. Each of the barbarian leaders and elites are more powerful versions of these soldiers, and the elite Nadezhda the White, Ice Witch is a formidable level 7 caster with access to one of Icingstead's exclusive spells, Frost Bite. It can both deal a point of damage and Disable models in a 3'' AoE.

If you choose to follow the path of the Monsters Faction Doctrine, your non-human models (such a frost giants, yetis, wyrms, dragons, and so on) who are normally Captains or Elites may be fielded as Solos. In addition, enemies who are in base-to-base contact with your large and giant models are prevented from disengaging, and you gain powerful resistances to Poison and Bloodlust. All of your non-human leaders are veritable juggernauts with low troop counts to allow you to field several of them at once, despite their hefty price tag. Of course, every point is precious as you have access to the two most expensive and deadly soldiers in the game: The 101 point Frost Giant Warrior and the 85 point Frost Giant Spearman. If that's not enough to get you excited, check out the Icingstead's only solitary monster... the devastating Frost Wyrm. With Burrow, it can move around the board with freedom, and when it comes time to strike, it can Frenzy up to 8 total melee attacks. When combined with Savage, this gives it the potential to deal 9 points of damage in a single activation!

Suggested Army List

Icingstead – 1000 points

Troop 1
Boerogg Blackrime, Frostreaver + Armor of Courage
Oga Snowpelt, Yeti Shaman
Yeti Warrior x 2
Barbarian Berserker x 3
Ice Toad x 4


Troop 2
Svetlana, Frost Giant Princess
Armor of Courage
Nanoc, Spearmaster
Barbarian Spearthrower x 4


Troop 3
Frost Wyrm


This army list uses the Monsters Doctrine and is a balanced approach to the Icingstead who have a lot of models on both the high price and low price extremes.

Tactics



The majority of the points in this army are tied up in its three heaviest hitters: Boerogg Blackrime, Svetlana, and the Frost Wyrm. You will be able to use them to come into base contact with several enemy models and prevent them from running away, thanks to the Monsters doctrine. Then you can give a model in Boerogg's troop Provoke, so defensive swings are not taken against any of your valuable models. (I would suggest using one of the Ice Toads for this, due to their cheap cost and DR/1.)

This army advances across the field led by Boerogg's troop holding the middle, with the Ice Toads running out in front to absorb any early damage, and followed closely by your heavy melee damage dealers. Never leave Boerogg out there alone without his yeti/barbarian escort, as he will likely be surrounded and mobbed down. The Princess’s troop should be your support troop, adding spell casting and ranged damage wherever it’s needed most. The Frost Wyrm is the wild card, able to move about the board with impunity thanks to its Burrow. It has the ability to go behind enemy lines and gobble up entire troops of archers or spell casters with ease!



Check out the previous strategy articles in this series:


Week 1 - Sisters of the Blade
Week 2 - Icingstead
Week 3 - Darkreach
Week 4 - Bloodstone Gnomes