Welcome back, Longshanks readers! Last week, you got to read a quick overview of the Alchemists Guild in our Guild Spotlight. This week, we'll look at the guild in depth, taking a glance at each player in turn and going over their general capabilities and their position in the guild as a whole. Before we begin, however, I'd like to remind our reader that these are my own opinions – I'm sure that some people will disagree, and that's alright! This is more of a starting point if you are new to the Alchemists Guild.
We won't be going over the Captains in this article, since we touched on them during the Guild Spotlight. Our squaddies and mascots, in addition to a small article detailing their use, will be given a rating out of 4.
A 4 means that the model is one of the best models available in your guild – this model will almost always make a place in your team of 6, and therefore your roster of 12.
A 3 signifies a model that will be seen almost always with one of the captains, but might not be as necessary for the others – A model that will be in your 12, but not always your 6.
A model that receives a 2 is a model that has powerful situational use, but will really only see play when you expect those situations to come up.
Finally, a 1 is a model that I think will rarely see play. These are the models that you'll want to consider removing from your 12-player roster first.
Without further ado, let's get a look at the Alchemist models!
Flask, like most mascots, has a single thing that he does very strongly, but doesn't add too much to the team beyond that. Beaker Keeper is a very powerful ability – anything that can give you free things is good, and Alchemists can benefit strongly from the free character play. Even when he cannot hand Beaker Keeper to someone else, he can always use it on himself to hand out cover to friendly models with Smoke Cloud. Flask could very well be a 4 if not for the power of Naja, the other Alchemists mascot.
Naja trades the straight power of Flask's free character play for more versatility. A 2" Melee Zone and Unpredictable Movement make Naja great for killing the ball when necessary, and Test Subject provides condition removal for friendly models as well as a way to generate momentum without influence. Naja is an all-star of a mascot!
Calculus is a very flexible model that is a central piece of Smoke lineups thanks to Noxious Blast, but Blind and Reactive Solution make her an efficient addition to almost any Alchemists lineup. She'll rarely have an explosive turn, but she is an excellent model to get 1-2 influence every turn.
Veteran Calculus trades the efficiency and range of her original version for a powerful scoring threat. 2 Influence gives her a powerful 20" threat, but her tackle needing 2 hits is a big knock against her as a striker. The low range of Sticky Bomb means that it won't often be able to stop engagement as well. She might make it into some Midas lists, but not my first choice.
Compound fills a few important roles in Smoke teams – He slows the tempo of the opposing team by making their goal runs less efficient, keeps the ball under your control until you want to take the goal with Smoke, and makes it difficult for your opponent to engage your gunline favorably. I personally think Midas probably wants more mobile pieces for his scoring game.
Crucible provides a powerful scoring threat in Midas lists. Being able to grab the ball without worrying about a counterattack, doing so from range, and doing so potentially for free makes her a very efficient goal piece. Covalence generally won't be great thanks to her fragility, but it can make some low-damage teams very sad, which is where Smoke might take her.
Katalyst provides many things the Alchemists otherwise lack: survivable models, Knockdowns, and high TAC. He'll find himself in a shocking amount of lists thanks to this. Starting with Burning is fantastic for models that pull conditions off – he frees up your activation order significantly, especially on the turn one goal threat.
Veteran Katalyst, unfortunately, leaves a lot to be desired. Even at TAC 8, his playbook does not do nearly enough to balance out how vulnerable he is at 2+/1 defenses. By taking him, you're also giving up access to one of the best squaddies in Alchemists: his younger self. These liabilities combined make him a common drop from the 12.
Mercury fulfills a similar role as Crucible in Smoke lists: his ranged AoE character play supports her ranged condition play, so he is indispensable. Fire Ball also effectively means he has a better momentous 2 on his second column, so he can flex to damage reasonably well. Burning Spirit also makes it difficult to engage at range for 1" Melee Zone models.
Venin has a number of strengths, but many of those are balanced by strong weaknesses as well. Secretion gives friendly models that pull conditions fuel for their abilities, and Coagulation is a powerful way to deal damage to enemies without much investment. However, he is very vulnerable to counterattacks and is not incredibly durable. He's worth taking, but often in the flex slot and not as a core piece.
Vitriol's ludicrous range and the ability to take a free sprint or charge make her a powerful scoring threat in Midas lists. She can also do so quite safely, thanks to her Clone character play and her decent counterattacks.
I hope that you've found this overview helpful. See you next time!
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