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CardShark Content - Andrew Kocsis (5/7/2002)

OK, the first thing I would like to address is some fan mail. Ever since I started my current e-mail account I have been getting plagued with masses of fan mail. Although I do enjoy it I have gotten to my wits end trying to deal with some of it. So for most of you who read my article and may send me messages this is not directed at you. The person I am talking to knows who he is. k2qvsweetdeal@hotmail.com I am talking about you. I don’t know what about my writing implies that I want lower mortgage, an unsecured credit card, or free porn delivered to my e-mail (I will walk to the store and buy it like everyone else). I just want you to stop making my every waking moment a nightmare of terror. I have tried asking nicely, I have tried threatening you, and heaven help me I even signed up for the free porn. Will you never leave me be?!?

All right, I feel better now that I have that off my chest. This installments spotlight figure is not from one of the new sets. Looking back over my figures from a game that is now collecting dust I found a diamond in the rough. The figure I am inferring to here one of the four minions. At this point most of you probably think I am talking about the Wind Minion. Wrong again suckers! Although the Wind Minion is definitely a sweet model my favorite minion is the Flame Minion. The Flame minion stacks up to be one of the most potentially damaging models out there. He has a complete package right from the start with awesome stats, cheap point cost, and sweet abilities that hang around forever. However this does not mean you should throw him in every army you decide to make, he deserves careful consideration and thought before being added to your forces.

The first thing to note is the Christmas tree of special abilities on the flame minion.
Looking at each of these closely in relation to one another paints a terrifying picture of the possibilities for him. First up is his speed ability: quickness. Although often quickness is wasted on a large point figure (since the army is built around them and not going anywhere without them), in this case it becomes clutch. As Mage Spawn, the Flame Minion cannot form formations with other models (unless a Shyft is there to form up with), but with quickness this drawback is negated. He will supply his own action to get him across the field. This lets him be an army centerpiece without having to worry about meshing with the rest of the army to form formations. Although the speed value of eight is not the fastest, it is not a load of crap either.

The next thing to look at is his attack value of 12 with the special ability of flame/lightning. Flame/Lightning has always been a great ability and here it is no different. His 10-inch range will allow him to trade shots with most other units in the game. Only long-range pieces will be able to outgun him, and he shouldn’t be picking on them without support anyway. The 12-attack value will hit most anything in game reliably, making the shot the Flame Minion less of a gamble. The best part is that his flame/lightning remains for his life. As long as he is around, he is trying to break up formations. Adding to all this is his insanely high damage value for an 85 point figure. He does FIVE clicks of damage. Currently only the Mortis Draconum can make a similar claim on his starting click. Five damage for 85 points is huge. Hit and demoralize a tough Elf-at-Arms that just moved into base-to-base contact with you. The only tough choice is deciding whether to go postal for five clicks on one figure or spread it out with flame/lightning.

All this is good, but the next ability is what I have found to be better then a eight AM beer: Pole Arm. More and more swarming is becoming prevalent in the tournament scene. Pole Arm gives those advancing swarms something to truly worry about. Getting a hit on each of the swarming bastards adds up very quickly. Combine this with a little support and you have a figure that swarms will hate. His 17 defense puts him just over the line where a hit a good bet coming from swarmers. Take careful note however, his defense is not high enough to stack against the bad boys out there like the Solvanti Creator and the Arcane Draconum. These figures will whip the Flame Minion in a fight; so keep him away from the big guns until you are good and ready to close the game. But again here his five damage makes him a good unique killer if you can use his quickness to angle him for a sneak ranged attack.

All this adds up to make a very fast, mobile cannon that has amazing potential to fend for himself. Therein lays the key, he should not be used by himself. At 85 points there is still tons of space left in your army for other figures. An entire major formation can be supporting him or leading off the attack while he sneaks around to JFK people. One of my favorites is to support him with a weak Shade. For 12 points you can throw a Shade into base contact with a big figure and when the big figure kills the Shade, you can open up on it with the Flame Minion. Or travel around with a pack of Utem Guardsman to ensure that any swarm that tries to come after you is going to be in for the fight of its life. The hardest I have found to deal with is a pack of weak Longbow Archers and a pack of Deepwood Sentinels. Trying to cope with the long range of the Archers and the multitude of Pole Arms from the Flame Minion and the Sentinels was too much.

Throw this little firebrand into your army and watch as your opponent’s hopes go down in flames. Once you play with fire like this you will never look at pyromania the same way.

If you liked this article, check out www.yellowimp.com, containing off the wall humor, in-depth discussion, an online campaign, and a disgruntled mascot. Seriously check it out. We guarantee you’ll love it or we will beat yellow imp to a bloody pulp.

Ed.- Anderw’s views on pyromania, drinking in the AM, and Internet porn are defiantly the views of the staff here at www.yellowimp.com. GRIN!

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