Protectorate of Menoth is my newest faction, and it is currently my third (I have owned and sold off both Circle & Legion). In my limited time in service to the God of Man, I have grown intensely fond of the Temple Flameguard. They were one of the first units I wanted to pick up, having seen them used to great effect against me in previous games. And already, it is hard for me not to include them in every list I make. They have earned their keep in every game I have run them, and I wanted to share what I think makes them such a great option.
Let’s start by taking a look at the raw stats: TFG have a good SPD which, along with their reach weapons, gives them a great threat range of 11 inches. They have average MAT (offset by their Combined Melee Attack), pointless RAT, and slightly lackluster STR. Their CMD is decent, but nothing to write home about. Overall POW on their melee weapons barely breaks double digits, although it too is somewhat offset by CMA. From a stats perspective, what I really appreciate the most about TFG is their DEF (one higher than that of Protectorate light jacks). Along with many of their abilities and combos (more on that later), these guys can be extremely difficult to hit. Their ARM equals their DEF, and can reach insane levels with still more tricks.
As far as abilities go, there is the aforementioned Combined Melee Attack, which can help them produce a decent damage output when necessary. Flameguard also pack two very good defensive abilities: Set Defense and Shield Wall. Both of these defensive buffing abilities really make them survive. When in Shield wall, enemies will want to be charging them to get enough damage to take them out, but thanks to Set Defense that gets much harder. And while 1 pt of DEF may not seem like much, DEF 15 against the charge really shines.
It is worth noting now that I never field Temple Flameguard without their Unit Attachment. For 2 extra points, you really make out in my opinion. the UA brings yet another reach model with a higher MAT to bring to those CMA attacks, along with three extra strong abilities. Ranked Attacks makes the unit a superb front line, escorting Daughters of the Flame, Deliverers, or any other offensive weapon down field. Iron Zeal acts as another layer of shield wall. The synergy between it, Set Defense, and Shield Wall give you a turn where it attempting to kill a Flameguard model seems like a suicide run. And to add insult to injury, Menoth’s Howl means that whatever the unit doesn’t kill will be left aflame. That is more value than most UAs bring; all for 2 additional points. A full-on 12 man unit brings quite a toolbox for an 8 point investment.
In a faction of synergies, the Temple Flameguard are right at home. For my money, it doesn’t get better than hooking them up with a Warcaster with Defender’s Ward; those being pSeverius, pKreoss, and Vindictus. The defensive number stacking gets pretty ridiculous, but in the best case, TFG can reach 17/23 with this spell (against the charge, in Shield Wall, with Defender’s Ward and Iron Zeal). That is a turn of defensive godliness. But even if they ran, the base DEF that Defender’s Ward (or Holy Ward) give them can be pretty hard to hit. Backed by a Reclaimer, TFG are the gift that keep on giving for the savvy Menite.
In addition to what they can borrow from their peers, I value these guys for what they contribute. For me, that primarily comes in two forms: as one of the game’s best tarpit units, and as an escort for a more fragile and valuable offensive payload.
I alluded to their tarpitting abilities above, but Temple Flameguard have everything an elite tarpit needs:
- a decent command range to spread out
- reach to be more threatening with free strikes and engaging
- suitable speed to keep up with their army
- excellent defensive abilities/survivability
I know Manatee has plans to go into tarpitting as a strategy in its own post, but suffice to say that TFG are a pain for an opponent to eat through. Between all of the above, I have seen many an opponent pour resources into trying to get them off the board. Again, all from a very affordable unit.
And finally, this unit excels are delivering a potent offensive payload. Between their great survivability and Ranked attacks, there are many options here, but I would like to list my favorites:
- Screening a full units of Deliverers with pKreoss; waiting for that critical feat turn
- Escorting either Daughters of the Flame or Knights Exemplar towards their respective favorite victims; single wound infantry and heavy warnouns
- Keeping Holy Zealots alive long enough to save their own mini-feat for late game (when a well timed Greater Destiny can be crippling)
- Blocking access to Protectorate’s wide array of dangerous warjacks until said ‘jacks can get the alpha strike
The list goes on, but you can see just how versatile this unit is.
While there are certainly some things TFG should watch out for (ongoing effects are particularly nasty; avoiding both their respectable DEF and their Shield Wall order), their price, versatility, and defensive staying power are something no Protectorate player should overlook. If you have passed on TFG before for their lack of offensive output, I suggest you leave that role to the experts (Knights Exemplar, any Protectorate Jack) and deliver that payload with the always-effective Temple Flameguard!
As always, thanks for reading!