Theme - The Thornfall Alliance
| Theme - The Thornfall Alliance |
Where Lord Carver travels, lesser farrow chieftains are intimidated into obedience, and other great farrow warlords have taken up his banner.
- 1 Theme Rules
- 2 Thoughts on The Thornfall Alliance
- 3 Other
- For the core rules on how Theme Forces work, see this article.
An army made using the The Thornfall Alliance theme force can include only the following Minion models:
- Minion warlocks with the Farrow Warlock special rule
- Dr. Arkadius
- Non-character Farrow warbeasts
- Efaarit models/units
- Farrow units/solos
- Lynus Wesselbaum & Edrea Lloryrr
- Alten Ashley
- Brun Cragback & Lug
- Dhunian Archon solos
- Gudrun the Wanderer
- Hutchuk, Ogrun Bounty Hunter
- Lanyssa Ryssyl, Nyss Sorceress
- Raluk Moorclaw, the Ironmonger
- Saxon Orrik
- Swamp Gobber Chef solos
- Viktor Pendrake
- Wolf with No Name
- Meat Thresher battle engines
Full Model List
This list was last updated: 2021.10 (Edit)
- Dr. Arkadius
- Lord Azazello, The Castellan
- Lord Carver, BMMD, Esq. III
- Sturm & Drang
- Farrow Bone Grinders
- Farrow Brigands
- Farrow Commandos
- Farrow Razorback Crew
- Farrow Slaughterhousers
- Farrow Valkyries
- Lynus Wesselbaum & Edrea Lloryrr
- Agata, Queen of Carnage
- Alten Ashley
- Brun Cragback & Lug - (Lesser Warlock)
- Dhunian Archon
- Efaarit Scout
- Farrow Sapper
- Hutchuk, Ogrun Bounty Hunter
- Lanyssa Ryssyl
- Raluk Moorclaw, the Ironmonger - ('Jack Marshal)
- Rorsh & Brine - (Lesser Warlock)
- Saxon Orrik
- Swamp Gobber Chef
- Targ - (Warlock Attachment)
- The Wastelander
- Viktor Pendrake
- Wolf with No Name
You can spend each Requisition Point on either:
- One Farrow weapon crew unit
- One Minion CA
- One Efaarit Scout solo
- One Battle Boar warbeast
- One other small- or medium-based Minion solo costing 5 points or less
- Farrow warbeast models gain Salvage
- Farrow warrior models in this army gain Rise.
- Rise - If a model with Rise is knocked down at the beginning of your Maintenance Phase, it stands up.
- Before models are deployed at the start of the game, you can place two trench terrain features anywhere completely within 20" of the rear table edge of your deployment zone.
2021.10 Mega Update
- Battle Boar became a requisition option
- The solo requisition option changed from "non-Lesser Warlock solo" to "solo costing 5 points or less"
Thoughts on The Thornfall Alliance
Thornfall in a Nutshell
This theme force is the Farrow army led by Lord Carver (the other warlocks serve as his generals). If you want a piggies themed army, this is the way to do it, with all of the wacky feats and effective spell lists that Farrow warlocks bring to the table.
The Sounder (Core infantry)
Farrow are typically combined-arms, and a force made using this theme force is too. You have a number of infantry options, many of them with Pathfinder, and several with highly specialized roles. Farrow Brigands are the core of many lists, marrying effective ranged weapons with the ability to assume defensive positions anywhere they go on the battlefield with Dig-In. Farrow Commandos are a deceptively effective skirmishing unit (in larger games), just as at home at the head of an advancing Farrow force as when they're ambushing for scenario advantage. Aggressively priced specialty units round out the Farrow infantry line; Farrow Bone Grinders provide good warlock support and late-game aggression, Farrow Valkyries make excellent defensive elite troops (and Shield Guards) with desirable attack volume for their price, and Farrow Slaughterhousers boast high damage potential as well as Take Down to deny Tough and recursion effects.
The Big Pigs (Warbeasts)
The Farrow warbeast stable is a limited and intriguing lot, continuing the theme of combined-arms with slight ranged superiority or focused specialization.
- Farrow light warbeasts all have two open fists for effective power attacks. The (Battle Boar) is an essential support model for Farrow heavies thanks to its animus (Primal), while the Gun Boar and Splatter Boar bring effective ranged options that remain relevant throughout most games.
- For heavies you have two options: the War Hogs are the melee heavy of the stable, with high attack volume and damage potential, while the Road Hog is a speedy all-rounder with a devastating flamethrower for solving infantry problems.
The Promise of Power (Support models)
Beyond these core models, The Thornfall Alliance brings a hodgepodge of support solos. Almost anything that can't be found in The Blindwater Congregation's solo range can be found in this theme force. The Dhunian Archon, Targ, and Lanyssa Ryssyl are staple support models for running a Farrow battlegroup hot, Rorsh & Brine is admired by many Farrow players for their flexibility and attack volume, and the Meat Thresher finds many of its most favorable synergies lurking within the Alliance's ranks. Lastly there are a variety of ranged support options from light, precise cavalry fire from the Efaarit Scout, to ambushing utility grenades on Hutchuck, Ogrun Bounty Hunter, to the consistent damage potential of the Farrow Razorback Crew.
The Will Work for Food theme offers warbeasts Overtake and has more support options. So when a Farrow warlock tries to decide which theme they prefer, the answer often boils down to "how big a battlegroup do I want to have?" The bigger it is, the more attractive WWFF is. As a result, the battlegroup-centric Farrow warlocks almost never use the Farrow theme (a list that definitely includes Dr. Arkadius. Carver1, Sturm & Drang, and Helga2).
The Vengeance of Dhunia theme force also grants the trench templates seen in Thornfall alliance; this on its own wouldn’t be a dealbreaker but the anti knockdown and defensive tech that trollbloods have is often much better than Rise. Again as with Will Work for Food - Salvage isn’t as good as Attuned Spirit, because it won’t be invalidated by 50% of matches.
Highly Effective is still often Highly Average
While Farrow Infantry respond very well to buffs given their average stats and pricing, this also leaves them vulnerable to debuffs. With no exceptional stats or ranges so remarkable that they stand alone, lists that push too heavily into any one of the theme force's strengths are doomed to fold when an opponent can dismiss that emphasis out of hand. The RNG of our ranged attacks are particularly susceptible to this weakness, and The Thornfall Alliance's choice of warlocks is often dependent on offensive spellcasting to achieve the attack/damage numbers we want as well.
Threat Ranges Are A Struggle
While certain warlocks can solve this problem out of hand (Lord Carver and Dr. Arkadius in particular), Farrow players looking for good alpha strikes will struggle to achieve them against all but the slowest of opponents. This means that many of the hurdles in playing this theme force effectively will involve making the most of tactical situations where there are no advantageous positions to assume. Alphas that emphasize ranged/magic attack volume often aren't as punishing (Brigands exemplifying that strength), but melee alphas are often difficult to overcome without planning for that challenge at list-build.
The Thornfall Alliance's Highly Average disclaimer includes having what is objectively the least robust list of support options when compared to Will Work For Food or The Blindwater Congregation. They bring comparatively few magic weapons to the table, possess vastly inferior spell support (neither the Bone Shrine or the Gatorman Soul Slave), and have a generally less flexible warbeast stable to work with when compared to Gatorman warbeasts. Oh, and they are distinctly lacking in Archons.
Like Sows to The Slaughter
While the theme force benefits of free Trench templates and Rise are good ways to round out our infantry's resilience to harassment, their DEF/ARM values are largely victim stats, even where buffs (like Defender's Ward or Deflection) are concerned.
Their Leadership picks Favourites
The Farrow Warlocks are simply not infantry casters, or rather they are often split between infantry and beast support, with a tendency to the latter. Arcadius and Sturm & Drang especially basically do nothing for infantry that beasts can't capitalise on better. The infantry support the warlocks do have is also not really what pig troops need; mostly being offensive buffs, but pigs don't really struggle with damage, they struggle with speed and durability, something their 'lock simply don't provide on a meaningful level.
They'd all rather be somewhere else
Seriously, all the Farrow warlocks would rather be in some other theme.
- Dr. Arkadius is a battlegroup warlock who isn't allowed in Vengeance. Will Work for Food is an obvious choice for him; free Overtake would be enough on its own.
- Lord Azazello, The Castellan is an infantry caster, but Trollkin Champions under his feat are horrifying while only Valkyries are tough enough to really benefit from the ARM. Vengeance of Dhunia and trolls is his obvious choice.
- Midas loves free corpses from the Cauldron and free spells from the Soul Slave. He may be an infantry caster but he's only seen in Will Work for Food.
- Helga the Conquerer can get her beloved Farrow Valkyries in any of the three lists and is a combined arms warlock. For a fun game her feat and Farrow Slaughterhousers are great, but Overtake is more powerful, while both reach weapons on beasts and Defender's Ward plus a krielstone on Champions make Vengeance of Dhunia her first choice.
- Helga on Wheels is a battlegroup warlock who gives her battlegroup both +2 movement and Reposition 3. Will Work for Food with free Overtake for the battlegroup is obvious with troll beasts as her second choice (she outruns the Krielstone).
- Lord Carver, BMMD, Esq. III is a battlegroup warlock with Batten Down the Hatches for +3 ARM, which stacks with the Krielstone. Vengeance of Dhunia is his first choice and free snacking his second.
- Sturm & Drang is the best case for the Thornfall Alliance. He's a battlegroup caster and Drang hands out Overtake while he isn't allowed with the Dhunians. But he gets little out of infantry, and simply has better support available in Will Work for Food.
List Building Tips
Herd of Pigs
Yes I have; have you heard of chickens? Farrow battlegroups are as variable as you like, but there are two prevailing schools of thought that individual players choose to branch out from.
- The first doctrine places great emphasis on War Hogs and Road Hogs run in tandem, with Battle Boars giving them superior MAT/DMG values when they make their first strike into an enemy line. Arkadius is the core of this philosophy, and his feat turns are the stuff of legend for their exceptional range, but every Farrow warlock save Midas plays well into this strategy.
- The other doctrine places special emphasis on a battlegroup of five or so Splatter Boars and Gun Boars (mixed and matched to taste), with the majority of heavy melee hits being supplemented by Farrow Slaughterhousers or other means. This latter school is available to most Farrow warlocks, but is particularly favored by Midas, whose infantry support spells number some of the best in the entire game (Battle Lust first among them).
Managing The Grind
When approaching larger point-value games, it is almost guaranteed that a developing Thornfall player will wind up reaching for a Meat Thresher to supplement the otherwise average SPD values of the theme at large. Their combined durability and potential for destabilizing an enemy front-line makes them invaluable center-pieces in a Farrow alpha, or more often just an effective speed bump that will engineer favorable piece-trades within a given round. Exhaust Fumes is often very helpful on the approach as well, particularly where an advance force of Farrow Commandos are concerned.
While building lists in The Thornfall Alliance is particularly responsive to a player's choice of warlock, this is a small list of consistent, effective choices that serve almost all warlocks in the theme from game to game:
- The Meat Thresher and Farrow Commandos - As already mentioned, make excellent music together. The Meat Thresher can provide Farrow Commandos with Prowl, and the Commandos make a particularly irritating screening force for The Meat Thresher in turn. Caster synergies with this abound, but for the most obnoxious choice, Sturm'n Drang make for a miserable combination here. Best of all, if the synergies between Commandos and The Thresher seem ineffectual in a particular match-up, the Meat Thresher can still serve its default function for most players while the Commandos wait for a good ambush turn. (author's note: While I myself adore Commandos, they're one of the last important pieces to buy, not one of the first. Buy smart, play smart)
- Maximum Valkyries Go In Every List! - ...no, really. Their value as Shield Guards and all-rounder elite troops is obvious on its own, but almost every farrow warlock plays well into their strengths. Carver and Helga both enhance their to-hit stats, and they are all-stars in Midas lists, where Battle Lust meets their exquisite melee attack volume. Arkadius may be the sole exception to this.
- Brigands & Slaughterhousers, Better Together - A full unit of Farrow Brigands + Farrow Brigand Warlord in tandem with two units of Farrow Slaughterhousers is the classic infantry compliment to many a Thornfall list. Slaughterhousers are the apex counter-punching unit that wait in the rear-line, and opponents that over-extend to handle them are likely to expose themselves to the full brunt of a Farrow Brigand unit acting under Hog Wild. This module is one of the oldest in the Farrow playbook, and serves as an effective snapshot of the Thornfall strategy across all of its most effective lists over the years.
Starting a 25 point Brawl list
Total RRP: USD $233 (based on PP's online store prices 2021.06)
For more Brawlmachine list ideas, see Category: Brawl List
- Dr. Arkadius has one of the most battlegroup-intensive toolboxes in the entire game, with dramatically high threat ranges and near peerless buff/debuff potential. While his greatest strengths are given umpteenth compliment in Will Work For Food, he is still a highly effective choice here in spite of his disinterest in Farrow infantry.
- Helga the Conqueror performs admirably in this theme, particularly with Farrow Brigands, but spanning the entire range of Thornfall options. Dash is a good step in solving their average SPD values and, in tandem with Efaarit Scouts, her feat turn can be highly dismaying for enemy small and medium-based warcasters/warlocks.
- Midas is all about offense, buffing hitting and damage alike with Battle Lust, Calamity and Death March. Commandos, Slaughterhousers, Valkyries--all of Midas' best troop choices are found in Thornfall Alliance.
- Lord Carver's widest range of choices to benefit from his feat turn can be found in this theme. In spite of this advantage, he is still a highly viable warlock in Will Work For Food and the theme a player chooses to run him in will much more readily come down to personal preference than with other warlocks.
- Sturm & Drang can find many of their most consistent defensive modules in The Thornfall Alliance, and Farrow Slaughterhousers is the best supplement to their somewhat unremarkable damage output (even where War Hogs are concerned).
Released in the theme-opacalypse (2017)
Other Minion models
Rules Clarification: Theme Forces (Edit)
Themes that change a model's Faction [Show/Hide]
Rerolling the starting roll [Show/Hide]
Warjacks/Warbeasts with bonds [Show/Hide]
Including Mercenaries [Show/Hide]
Number of Mercenaries
Mercenaries and Ranking Officers
Including Partisan Mercenaries [Show/Hide]
Partisans & Theme Forces (Edit)
Requisition Points [Show/Hide]
Free models and Specialists (ADR) [Show/Hide]
Unit Attachments [Show/Hide]
When to apply theme benefits [Show/Hide]
See also these Theme-Specific Rulings [Show/Hide]