Channelling

While channelling constitutes only a minor rule mechanic in Godslayer, it is however a commonly available effect – one which is often overlooked. An experienced general knows how to make us of channelling to bring him closer to victory.

Types of Channelling

In brief, channelling is transferring an effect to a different location on the board. The most common type is the channelling of ordered tactics, from warlords and characters to other models in the warband to buff them. Such channelling of tactics relies on the presence of musicians.

Spells can also be channelled when one has the right model to do that. In the future we may include ways to channel special talents, action tokens or perhaps even auras and other effects.

Basics of Channelling

Page 96 of the Godslayer rulebook summarized says the following:

  • If a model can channel, it will be mentioned on its card and it will state what can be channelled
  • The model that is the source of the effect is called the initiator
  • To channel, the Channeller must be within the LEAD range and LOS of the Initiator
  • The channelled effect is then applied as if had been performed by the Channeller.
  • The range of the effect is then measured from the Channeller.
  • Knocked-down and stationary models may not channel.

Simple. Not even any rolls required. So why does it not get used more?

Probably because there’s a lot going on in the game and it’s an easy rule to overlook.

Or because they didn’t buy a rulebook yet 

There really is no excuse for not using it because it can be VERY beneficial. Here are some classic examples

Multi-Channelling

The rules on channelling also allow any channelled effect to be passed through multiple Channellers, so a tactic could be passed from the initiating Warsmith through the Fjell Warriors Musician to the Einherjer’s Musician and then to the Kinswords on the other side of the table.

Similarly a spell could be channelled through 2 Megaliths and then cast at the enemy. This allows even more strategic options for buffing and protecting your spell-casters.

Channelling Orders

Channelling an ordered tactic is useful in several cases:

  • Firstly if the unit you want to channel to is out of range
  • It can also be useful if the warlord/character has no line of sight to the intended target
  • Thirdly, it saves your warlord/characters from running around the table wasting their action tokens on movement.

Who can Channel

Let’s have a look who can channel orders:

Hoplites

Amazon Hunters

Fjell Warriors

Einherjer

Bard

So clearly the Banebrood cannot currently channel tactics (although, there is a musician character planned for Wave-2). The Troglodytes also cannot currently channel tactics, and neither can the Mortans, but future models or units will add this effect to those factions too).

The Halodynes and Nordgaard have a great option in their cheap units of Hoplites and Fjell Warriors, so it’s easy to get plenty of channelling going with these factions without making any special effort.

The Einherjer and Amazons are more specialized units, but it is worth considering when you build your warband list the added benefit these units have! Remember the Musician in these units can channel orders and so it makes good sense to deploy them so that they can capitalize on this benefit.

The Wyldfolk have no unit musicians, but they have the Bard who is a handy fellow to have around if only for his Songs special talent which can buff units, allow them to make long charges or rally fleeing models. His ability to channel tactics is a benefit often overlooked!

Practical Examples

Example One

Your Demarchon is engaged by several minis on one side of the battlefield but your unit of Hill Ogres on the other side of the battlefield could desperately use the benefit of Grace of Achallon.

This unit has already lost its leader and one trooper and the remaining 3 troopers have all suffered damage. They are surrounded by a unit of Guthackers who will surely wipe them out next turn, but if the Hill Ogres could be buffed, they might kill enough Guthackers in their turn to swing the odds of the game. If they don’t, then your right flank will collapse and the Guthackers will be butchering your priestess next round. Your warlord cannot give them any action tokens because they are too far away, and he dare not disengage from 3 enemy minis because of the free-strikes he would suffer.

But luckily there is a unit of Hoplites in the middle of the table and they have a MUSICIAN!

So with your Demarchon you declare you are channelling the Grace of Achallon tactic through the Hoplite Musician and check if he is within your 10 inch LEAD range. Fortunately he is only 8.5 inches away.

You then declare the musician is channelling the tactic to the Hoplites unit on the right flank. You measure and find the closest Hill Ogre is 9 inches away from the Musician of the Hoplites. The Ogre unit has no musician and leader so they suffer -1 LEAD and they appear to be just out of range.

The range of the channelled order is the LEAD of the Channeller because there is no other range specified. So it depends on the Hoplite Musician’s LEAD. He has a basic LEAD of 8 so he can channel 8 inches. Fortunately the central Hoplite unit has not lost its Leader, so is not suffering -1 LEAD. AND because the Demarchon has the Ability Reverence, all non-warlord models in his LEAD range gain +1 LEAD!

The Musician is 8.5 inches from the Demarchon so he benefits from the +1 LEAD, giving him a LEAD of 9 and therefore a Channeling range of 9 inches. The nearest flanking Hill Ogre is within range!

The Flanking Ogres must take a LEAD test to receive the ordered tactic because they have no musician. And they have a -1 penalty because they have no leader any more. You need to roll a 7 or less. You roll and it’s an 8! Damn. But you remember your sub-faction ability of the Ogres is Strong-Willed which allows you to re-roll any LEAD based test once. You roll again and it’s a 4.

So your flanking Ogres get sudden Feat! They now benefit from the ordered tactic Grace of Achallon, giving them better chances to hit. Your Priestess is not far from the flanking Hoplites and casts Warcry on them, increasing their damage.

The Ogres activate then use the Offensive fighting style. And activate their tactic Circular Slash, allowing them attack additional models in MEL range if they hit the previous attacked model. And they roll 3D6 to hit removing the lowest die because of Grace of Achallon, as well as +1 to hit from the fighting style. They also have +1 POW from the Warcry spell.

Suddenly, this almost-destroyed unit of Hill Ogres has become a lawn-mower, and their attacks all but wipe out the Guthackers.

With one clever move, you changed the entire balance of the game.

Example Two

It’s the Beginning of Round 3 in a game between Wyldfolk and Mortans. There are lots of the charges available for the Wyldfolk player.

The Mortans have closed the gap across the table and your shooting has been unlucky so far. However, you have a unit of 8 Bladeslingers and a unit of Cromlech Guard which could charge the Mortans. It is a critical moment in the game.

Being the middle of round 3, you can only activate one unit and one individual model. You know that whichever unit you commit will do some damage to the Mortans but will then be charged in your opponent’s turn, gaining you little advantage. Your warlord, the Fiannor Farfarer, has the tactic Ambush, but he is at the back of the table (where he should be so he can shoot without getting engaged!)

Your Bard has the rule that he counts as a MUSICIAN, so he can channel tactics. You activate your Farfarer and drain your Megalith of 2 ACT, then channel the tactic Ambush to the Bard who is 8 inches away – just barely within your Farfarer’s LEAD-range. The Bard has a LEAD of 8, and the Cromlech Guard are 7 inches away although the Bladeslingers are 9 inches away, so the bard channels the tactic to the Cromlech Guard. Your Cromlech Guard roll to receive the tactic, and you get a 6, so it passes due to their LEAD of 8.

Now you finish your Farfarers activation, shooting a buch of arrows into the Mortans and softening them up. The you activate your Bladeslingers and charge the Mortans. They don’t do a lot of damage, but they are able to engage one unit and kill 2 models with no damage in return (because of their longer weapon range), which is a lot better than if they would get charged instead. They also use their tactic Hail of Hornets, robbing the attacked unit of 1 ACT. That unit of Mortan Legionnaires now has only 3 ACT and must spend 1-ACT to move to engage the Bladeslingers (due to the longer weapons). That means the Legionnaires will only be able to make one attack in their activation, and the Bladeslingers will live to fight in the next ropund.

However, there is a unit of Praetorian Carnifexors nearby which can also charge the Bladeslingers, and you have already activated an individual model and a unit this round so your turn is basically over

However, because the Cromlech Guard received the tactic Ambush, they are also allowed to activate now in this turn, so you charge activate their Cleave tactic and charge them into the Carnifexors, doing lots of damage.

Channelling allowed you to gain the strategic advantage at a key moment in the game. You effectively neautralized the Carnifaxors, and although the Bladeslingers will suffer in the next round, the strategic balance of the game is now slightly in your favour.

That’s just two examples. I could sit here and make dozens of examples where channelling is not only beneficial but game-changing!

Channelling Spells

Channelling can also be used in magic, most often for the purpose of increase range. This enables the spell casters to hit the enemy earlier in the game before the warbands have closed. Perhaps more importantly, it enables the spell-casters to remain further back where they are less likely to be harmed.

Remember that the models can be used both for channelling Incantation spells to buff your own forces which are across the battlefield or for Thaumaturgy spells for harming the enemy at greater distance.

So who can channel spells?

Animated Statue – This guy is great because he is literally rock hard  You can walk the statue right into the enemy ranks, casting spells through him then use his Shock Wave for a powerful AOE attack. When channelling through the statue, the spellcaster suffers a -1 to their spellcaster rolls but that should not be a big issue for Halodynes who have very good MAG scores, and you can always take the sanctified dagger if you really want.

Another great thing about the animated Statue is that he has a sight-Value of 3, so he can see over model with SV2 or SV1. This means he can target enemy models that might ordinarily be out of LOS!

Sacred Familiar – A second option for the Halodynes. Much cheaper than the statue , but faster and squishier. If you can afford both, keep the Sacred Familiar near the spell-casters to benefit from the +1 MAG of its Hallowed Aura.

Legio Mortum – the Unholy Bonding ability of these guys allows Mortan spellcasters to channel spells through them. The model suffers D3 direct damage, but then if he is not destroyed by the end of the turn, all that damage will be healed through its Invulnerable ability. The cool thing about the Legio Mortum is that every model in the unit is a potential Channeller!

Ogham Megalith – Wyldfolk have one option for channelling with the Ogham Megalith. Most people take the Monolith for the Time Vault tactic of storing ACT or its Ogham Aura protection role. So this model’s ability for channelling should not be overlooked. If you take a Megalith for the above reasons, consider including a Druid in your warband to benefit from the channelling. Like the Animated Statue, the Megalith has SV3 so has a great vantage point for seeing over the ranks of models to the target. It also interesting adds +2 inches to the usual range of the spell cast through it. It’s one disadvantage is that it is not very mobile (can only be moved through use of a spell), so I recommend to place it near the centre of the battlefield. If you will placing a defensive-shooty strategy then place is around 8-10 inches back from the centre so you have it nearby when you finally get cornered.

Halodyne Mirror Shield – can channel spells cast on a unit model within bearer’s LEAD range. This is a nice anti-magic item to cast offensive spells back at the enemy or can be a cheeky way to channel incantation spells on your own warband. It’s cheaper than buying a Sacred Familiar.

Practical Examples

Example One

Your Mortifex is shielded by two units of Legio Mortum and you have two Molochs on the flanks for your hammer-and-anvil strategy. One of your Molochs is about to be charged by a unit of Wycca Warriors and for sure they will hack your pet monster apart.

The Moloch is 19 inches away, so you select a Legio Mortum trooper within your LEAD range of 9 inches. The Channeling trooper takes D3 direct damage and passes the spell 4 inches to another Legio Mortum trooper who also suffers D3 damage. It has now travelled around 17 inches. This trooper then channels the spell to the Moloch which is a few inches away. The spell Transmortis cast by the Mortifex enables the Moloch to transfer damage it suffers to a nearby model. The Moloch gets charged, and you transfer all damage from attacks that cause 3 or less points damage to the nearby Legio Mortum. This saves the moloch from destruction.

But what about all the Legio Mortum who suffered the damage from this and from the channelling – well at the end of the round, all of their damage is automatically healed due to their Invulnerable ability. So a lot of the damage suffered by the Moloch has been completely negated. With the Moloch still alive on your right flank, you are still free to horrify and crush the opposing warband.

Example Two

In a Temple-heavy Halodyne warband you have an Oracle and a priestess, two familiars, and a statue as your magical complement. A large unit of Hoplites and 3 sons of War are along to do the dirty work.

You want to keep your squishy spell-casters out of harm’s way so you keep them near your deployment zone.

Then you position a Familiar 7 inches forward and another familiar 6 inches ahead of that. The statue you have moved ponderously at 8 inches per turn to the centre of the table. Your Hoplites create a decent defensive line and Your Sons of War act as a decent deterrent. Your spell-casters can theoretically remain 19 inches behind the battle line and still cast their killer spells through along this chain-link channel.

The Oracle can unleash serious damage spells like Holy Fire and Chain Lightning that can kill most of a weaker unit in a single attack. The Priestess is softens the enemy up by casting Crumble Rust on the unit causing them to suffer -2 ARM. Your Oracle (who is equipped with the Position of Argathon and the Aural Collar) is hitting all models in an enemy unit on a 5+ with Wrath of the gods, with a reroll of any 1 you roll). Then she is making damage rolls with a POW of 3, against models already suffering -2 ARM, so an effective POW of 5 on almost every model in the unit. She can potentially do this 3 times in the same turn, which will wipe out any unit, even a full-size unit of Einherjer or Carnifexors.

Because you are casting from the Animated Statue, he can be kept behind the line of Hoplites and still target models in front of them due to his height (sight Value 3).

Similar Ways of Extending Effects

Although not channelling, the following rules allow either a similar rule effect to channelling or simply add range, which can be just as useful.

Mortan Centurion – Centuria Commander – doubles the LEAD range for ordering tactics to friendly models.

Banebrood Tyrant – Battlehorn – Battle Horn – gives +4 inches range for ordering tactics to friendly models (and allows a reroll).

Banebrood Bisotaur Shaman – Trail of Malice – adds +6 inches to spell casting ranges.

Mortan Libarum Technocrat – Technical advisor – allows war-machines to use his line of sight for shooting.

Final Notes on Channelling:

  • The Halodyne Oracle is not able to channel spells if she is using her Trance tactic.
  • If you have a Musician in your unit, try to keep him out of harm’s way, for example by putting him behind the regular troopers.
  • If you are facing an enemy with Channellers, take them out! It usually means you need to do an extra 2 points damage (compared to killing a trooper of the same unit), but the effect is worth it.
  • Beware the Banebrood Bloodgut Ravager, he loves to kill Musicians and even gains cool benefits for doing so.
  • Try to keep your Musicians within the lead range of your warlord. It might be helpful to keep the Musicians at the extreme end of a unit, nearest to the warlord.
  • Channelling orders is especially useful for Dwarves because they have less movement, so be sure to take at least one unit with a Musician in your Dwarf-heavy Nordgaard warbands.
  • To temporarily eliminate models which can channel, knock them down or make them stationary. Troglodytes are especially good at knock-downs.

Summary

So there you have it – a small seemingly insignificant rule that can have a huge impact on the game. Future waves of Godslayer are planned to include more channellers in them, so it will be even more applicable in the future.