Situations where Exemplar Errants are better than Idrian Skirmishers
by midwestwargaming · Published · Updated
The Case for Errants
Back in MKII, Exemplar Errants were the quintessential unit for the Protectorate of Menoth: they had assault (with Seneschal), they had spellward, they had pathfinder, they had quickwork, they had hunter, they had everything and all of it was for a bargain—they were the Wallmart of units.
Conversely, Idrian Skirmishers were the Trader Joe’s of Menoth units—very awesome, loved by hipsters and significantly more expensive.
These days, perception of the units has flip-flopped because of some big changes. The Errants unit attachment no longer provides quickwork, pathfinder and sacred ward. Instead, he provides assault and a once-per-game minifeat of sacred ward. Also, their complimentary solo, the Exemplar Errant Seneschal, no longer provides hunter but instead grants unyielding. Idrians on the other hand didn’t really change a whole lot. They lost camouflage (woopdi-doo) but they also had their point cost slashed significantly so you now you no longer need to break the bank to field them. Because Errants got worse and Idrians got better the prevailing thought is that Idrians are now a staple unit and in all cases should be taken over Errants. Not only is this false, but it’s the mindset of a bad player. Dismissing models because they got worse from MKII is a self-imposed restriction and it has no place in competitive Warmachine. And unlike some other self-imposed restrictions that are made for fluff reasons, like only playing Searforge because you think dwarfs are cool, there is no aesthetic or thematic value in dismissing Errants because your sad they got nerfed. This isn’t the same meta as Mark II, things are different, try before you cry,
Now just to be clear, I’m not suggesting Errants are just hands down better than Idrians. Idrians are amazing. Unlike Errants they don’t require any planning or synergies to make them work; they simply pick a prey target and get work done. This independence is pretty handy when you need a unit to be able to contest zones and your battlegroup wants to stay back and shoot. They are a super effective fire-and-forget module. I simply want people to acknowledge that Errants and Idrians are two distinct tools in the Menoth toolbox and each has their own advantages and disadvantages. This isn’t just my opinion either, Privateer Press told us their goal was to differentiate units so that every model had a role and they lived up to their word. Here are the situations where Errants are a better tool to bring than Idrians.
- Abby2 and Butcher2.
When facing a warcaster/warlock with Alpha Hunter or Conferred Rage, Self-Sacrifice trumps any benefit the Idrians provide. In fact, a unit with AD like Idrians actually becomes a liability in these matchups because you would typically want to hide your infantry, not present them to your opponent. Errants don’t need to hide. A group of tightly packed Errants maintain their efficacy as a screening unit because they prevent those abilities from triggering with Self-Sacrifice.
- Models with overtake (Angelius, Skaldi, Tiberion, Tharn Ravagers, Troll Champions, etc.)
When facing an enemy without many guns, screening infantry can be worth their weight in gold because without guns to widdle them down, these bodies can buy your battlegroup precious turns to shoot the enemy without fear of being engaged. However, abilities like overtake allow melee models with multiple attacks to counter the screening potential of units because they can chew through bodies like Pacman. Self-Sacrifice stops overtake cold. *Note, models with Grievous Wounds prevent Self-Sacrifice so Madrak2 can still Pacman through the unit*
- Models with berserk (Ravager, Berserker, Drago, Fenris, Maximus, Rok, Warpwolf Stalker, Butcher2, etc.)
Basically the same premise as above. Berserk will not trigger if your Errant uses self-sacrifice. Doom Reavers become pretty pathetic when they can only make one attack.
- Soul stealers (Ruin, Wurmwood, Sacral Vault, Alexia, Denegrah 1,2,3, Asphyxious 1,2, etc.)
One of my greatest satisfactions in a game was watching my brother’s face deflate when I used self-sacrifice to deny Ruin any souls; he had plans to massacre my unit for free next turn but now he had to pay for any future massacres with focus and that price is hard to pay with 6 focus warcasters. In general, soul stealers abuse living models by using their deaths as a resource for more attacks and Errants stop all the recycling.
- Circumventing windwall and lamentation of suffering
Lylyth3, Reznik2, Borka1, Vlad1, Vlad3 and now Una2 are all warnouns that you would rather have Errants on the table than Idrians because the magic crossbows pierce through whereas the non-magic hunting rifles automatically miss. Also all of these are warnouns are relevant in today’s meta so you are likely to see them across the table.
- Spoiling Sorcha1, Barnabas, Kreoss1, and Bart’s fun.
With the help of a nearby Gravus, Errants are immune to knockdown and stationary effects. This makes a big difference in how aggressive Sorcha and Kreoss can be with their feats because they certainly don’t want to expose themselves to charging Errants. And against Bart, Errants just pooh-pooh over his whole game plan. Not only does a well-placed Gravus prevent them from falling down on his feat turn but their blessed weapons also transform Batten Down the Hatches into a negative defense buff.
- Facing off against infantry gunlines and electro-leaps
Idrians are able to dig-in for a turn which will bring their defense up to 17 but relying on defense vs gunlines isn’t super great because they usually have tools to increase accuracy. Khador has Joe to provide boosted attack rolls each turn. Also Sorcha1, Vlad1, Vlad2, Vlad3 and Zerkova2 all have ways to increase their guns RAT or Magic Ability which will negate the defensive capabilities of DEF 17. Cygnar guns are a similar problem for Idrians, especially with Dead Eye casters, but even without Dead Eye casters they have access to lightning leaps which will negate the defense entirely. Exemplar Errants, will never survive by their defense but with the Seneschal and Defenders Ward on them they can reach armor 18/20 (if engaged) which is a more reliable way to survive pow 10s. And once you stack this armor with Tough from Rhupert and a nearby Gravus to prevent knock downs, you’ve got a sturdy block of knights.
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