Vanguard Tale of Four Gamers: Spire Milestone 3
A new month arrives! Congratulations, we’ve now cleared the halfway point for this Tale of Four Gamers. In the last month, I’ve played tons of games and painted my models, so I’m excited to jump into Milestone three, as it includes my favorite unit within the Spire army: The Avatara. In this article, I’d like to talk about the Avatara and how to use the many good units that Milestone two brought us. The more time I have put into the Spire the more mileage I am getting out of these basic units. While I look forward to the variety, it is impossible to overstate how incredibly solid the unit selection for Spires is.
First up, the Pheromancer. I admit came into the Tale of Four Gamers with some hard preconceptions about him. My attitude was something like: The Pheromancer is the weaker and less useful brother to the Biomancer. But as I discovered and intend to show here, this is not the case at all. First, the Pheromancer has several tools that make him durable. One of those is a basic Evasion-2, also shared by the Biomancer. If you do have to duel an enemy, the Pheromancer will be surprisingly durable. His Pheromancies are effective at keeping your troops locked in combat where they want to be. For example, Accelerated Hibernation is one of the best straight-up healing abilities in the game.
Second, the Abomination has proved to be an absolute all-star of Milestone two. That the Abomination comes in late is an absolute blessing, as by turns four and five, your regiments are stuck in combat. Thus, your Abomination can suddenly come out of nowhere to reinforce them with a brutal flanking attack. I have won several games off the back of a late Abomination swinging a stalemated combat to its side.
Third, Force Grown Drones add a valuable speedbump, usually in front of some troublesome enemy regiment, forcing them to waste time on it. Overall Milestone two has provided much needed bulk, speed, and technical options to the list; Milestone three will prove to be an equally powerful addition to this army.
Milestone three gives our Spire army an outstanding unit in the Avatara. Basically, the milestone adds the Linneage Highborne and Avatara and condenses them into a single operational unit on the field. The Avatara are brilliant models and personally one of my favorites the faction has to offer, and along with their leader the Lineage Highborne, they will make for an incredibly solid core to our army. Avatara are a wonderful toolbox unit that has an answer for most situations. As a speed 7 medium, they can influence the field early. Both cleave and support make them formidable in protracted close combat. Avatara also have access to banners, which are always a plus for brute units, giving them extra range on their marches and the ability to re-roll their charge rolls, further increasing their chances to make it into combat early.
A Linneage Highborne boosts their already high resolve to five, and adds his extra offensive power to the regiment. Furthermore, the Highborne herself can be augmented through the ability to take multiple mutations, whether as the warlord herself, or by taking the Elder mastery. The Highborne has a truly outstanding number of build paths, from focusing on decay, to being a powerhouse in duels, to even allowing her regiment to act out of action, your options are immense. While we are only adding a few units into the army this month I cannot stress how impactful these Avatara are, they can hold their own in combat and have the ability to move up the field early on meaning they will be a threat for the majority of the game.
As we progress through these Milestones our army is slowly becoming more coherent and our game plan is becoming more and more important, so what are we trying to do with this list? Right now a list built from Milestone 3 units has a lot of early power in its medium units, each one is a formidable force on the tabletop especially when facing other early units from other factions. The Vanguard Clones and Avatara both have the speed and staying power to push objectives early and can force your opponent to make some less than ideal plays. Our High Clone Executor is our ideal warlord still, and when paired with the Vanguard Clones he will bring a bit of cleave to the unit which it benefits from greatly. Our Pheromancer, with its large unit of Force Grown Drones, is an excellent support piece to our army bringing Accelerated Hibernation to keep your regiments healthy. Finally the powerhouses of the list, our Brute Drones and Abominations, are great to get into flanks where they don’t have to worry about pesky shields and will turn the tide of many engagements. Putting this all together, we want to use the early pressure we get from our quick mediums to threaten as many objectives as possible. Try to get the lead early and make your opponent play defensively, a huge boon to the Spire army is their speed so use it to your advantage. Lastly if an engagement is inevitable try to get the charge even if it’s a long shot, it’s always beneficial to deny a charge to your opponent.
With that, Milestone two comes to an end and Milestone three, while shorter than normal, aims to add a few crucial units to our list. I hope everyone can take advantage of a slower month to get caught up if they fell behind because I know I did. As always I am on the official discord pretty much all the time so feel free to reach out with comments and suggestions. Finally, as of the beginning of November, the Underspire is beginning to accept entries into a world-wide tabletop simulator tournament. I encourage anyone and everyone who is interested to participate regardless of skill level, let’s send 2020 off with a bang!