Today's roll: 3+, If your a space marine your going to love and hate this roll. You love it because its one of the best basic armour save rolls in the game. You hate it because you will fail it at the worst times, resulting in a unit's death. 3+, a love/ha8 relationship.
The Testament of Menoth
(Picture Taken from the http://battlecollege.wikispaces.com/mkiiTestament+of+Menoth)
After playing the Protectorate for a while now, I've jumped between 3 different casters: Vindictious, EpicKreoss, and the Testament of Menoth. Each one plays very different compared to one another, and even using the same models in each army they play completely different. At the moment the ToM is my favorite to use, because he can be challenging and difficult to use effectively. Heres my thoughts on him.... At first glance the ToM isn't that great on paper for 3 reasons. 1) He has a focus of 5, which causes a difficult balancing act between using his focus for his spells, warjacks, and Overboosting. 2) He is unable to lend his CMD value to any models in his army. 3) His Cntl Area is only 10inch, meaning your army is very compact and very limited if you want to use his abilities to the maximum potential.
Now these 3 factors limit the ToM, but luckly there are many ways to confront these issues. Whenever a friendly Menite dies within his Cntl the ToM gains a soul token which then is converted into a free focus. A focus that can't be stolen, thanks to the Omegus.
Not being able to lead his CMD value is problematic, but due to my army selection, most of my troops are fearless(Exemplars :) ) so it really doesn't matter about his CMD value. Next his low Cntl area is a problem only if your army is very large, which it very well might be since you will want alot of cheap "souls" to power the testaments spells. Now thats the most obvious way to look at it, but if you think about it, a smaller army of tougher models is actually much better for the ToM. If you look at his spell deck, you'll notice that the only spells that really matter are revive(Bring back dead guys!) at 3 focus and Ashen Veil which makes a friendly unit have concealment and -2 to hit within 2 inchs at 2 focus and 1 to upkeep. Sure Hallowed Avenger(at 2 Focus, upkeep) can cause your warjack to countercharge if a friendly model dies within 5inchs. Which is always nice, but depending on your tactics you may want that spell on at a critical turn, otherwise you don't need to have it on all the time. Again the last spell dust to dust is pretty situational and useful if you want to cast it.
Basically you will cast revive a couple times and upkeep ashen veil, use your extra focus on focus efficient warjacks like the vanquisher and avatar of menoth which don't need much focus to be effective and leave the rest on him to overboost. Since the exemplars have high armour they will survive longer and since your army is small, but compact you can keep it within his Cntl and use his feat to charge through other models for the win!
My first choices for the army was to include the vanquisher, a vassal and choir of menoth. Basically if you play against menoth you will see this combination alot, because the choir can buff the vanquisher and the vassal can allow the vanquisher to shoot twice in a turn. The vassal can also allow the warjack to enliven which allows the warjack to move on that turn if its damaged, combined with Hallowed avenger can be pretty nice to use. Next I chose a unit of Exemplar knights because once they begin to lose members of their unit they get an increase in Str and Arm, allowing you to have a super solo if 5 exemplars die. What makes this unit really nice with the ToM is that I can manage the unit's size and augement the combat potential of the unit, by reviving dead exemplars.
Next I picked Exemplar Errants which have alot of neat abilities and a magical range attack. They can advance deploy and are weapon masters at Arm 16, Mat 7, Str 9. Basically I can use them to support my lines and add soul tokens if I don't use their self-sac ability(Only enemy attacks create souls). Finally I decided on a full unit of Exemplar bastions....now they do have 8 wounds a piece and with the ability to spread out the damage they won't be dying fast. What they do is provide a nice wall for the ToM so he isn't killed since his Cntl is so small, requiring him to be on the front lines. Also a neat trick is to take all the damage from a cannon on one bastion and then just revive him next turn, allowing me to tank alot of damage against defenders and other beefy shooting jacks.
The army is very unique and fun to try out, while he may not be as varied as other casters he is very diverse on the table top and can be hard to deal with.
Testament of Menoth- 6+
Exemplar Knights- 5pts
Exemplar Errants- 5pts
Full unit of Exemplar Bastions- 8pts