Chaos Fabled

fabled_tribute_by_shadowman88-d4jfg6p

For at least the past year, I have almost exclusively played one variety of Fabled or another. Whilst there have been tangents where I’ve messed around with other decks, I always come back to my trusty Fabled. There are all sorts of reasons why anyone should get so attached to a deck, from snazzy card art to a consistent win streak, but with me, I love the versatility of the deck. Aside from a few core monsters, and Fabled Quasar notwithstanding, each and every Fabled deck is different and unique.

So, who (or what) are the Fabled? The archetype, much like Dark Worlds, thrives off being discarded to activate their effects, or else, thrives off discarding to activate their effects. However, unlike Dark Worlds, who only get their effects when discarded by an effect, Fabled monsters get theirs’ whenever they’re discarded, be it effect, cost, or just discarding at the end of the turn because you have too many cards in hand (ed: just a quick note: remember that ‘discard’ and ‘send from your hand to the graveyard’ are different things. It seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people assume they are the same). Fabled monsters are all LIGHT attribute monsters, giving access to a number of more specific Synchros (think any LIGHT archetype; you now have their extra deck), and are mostly Fiend type, with a small minority (called ‘The Fabled’ rather than just ‘Fabled’) are Beast type, granting an intrepid duelist even more options as far as support cards are concerned.

Whilst the forbidding of Pot of Avarice and Monster Reborn has hurt the deck, the recent unlimiting of Scapegoat and the new syncho monsters and synchro support in the past few packs has given a fairly old deck a much needed boost. So, with all this in mind, here’s my current deck list, as will be played under the January 2014 ban list:

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Click for a larger image

Deck Core

Okay, so, earlier, I mentioned a deck core, a pattern that almost all Fabled decks follow, and which I too have found hugely effective. The first card in said core is Grimro, who is always ran in a playset, as she is the searcher of the deck. I found that only having three searches in a deck can be a little limiting, but I’ve found that two copies of Monster Reincarnation allows me to both recycle Grimros, and to pitch the card I searched with her, allowing me to use the card as quickly as possible. The only other two monsters ran as threes are Ganashia and Chawa. Ganashia special summons itself when discarded, and Chawa allows for you to discard a card to special summon itself. I’ve lumped these two cards together because I find they play off each other quite beautifully, allowing for rapid synchro summons early in the game.

Krus is almost always run at two, although a few do run a fully playset, and she functions as a Monster Reborn for every level 4 or lower Fabled monster in the graveyard, up to and including the two level 4 synchro monsters. If discarded with Chawa, this card can bring back Grimro for a level 5, Ganashia or a level 4, or Lurrie (if being run) for a level 2 synchro summon. Up until fairly recently, I ran Cerburrel at three, but I’ve dropped one of late, as I find this deck has more than enough tuner monsters to keep going. This card is a simple discard/special play, and has potential in Dark Worlds, or any other deck that wants to discard anything and needs a tuner (perhaps Fabled Dragon Rulers…).

The last card in the core set is Kushano; mainly run these days more because of its consistency with Tour Guide than for its nature as a tuner. When Tour Guide goes back to three in January, it is Kushano that will make a full playset viable in Fabled, as Tour Guide will be able to search out a card valid to and appropriate in the deck. Personally, I’m quite happy with two Tour Guides and one Kushano in my deck, as I focus more on synchos than Xyz monsters, but the option is there.

Teched Fabled

I loved Fabled Raven. I genuinely do; more so now that Brioniac has been forbidden, limiting the availability of mass discards in one turn. In fact, Raven is the card that made me turn away from Dark Worlds towards Fabled in the first place. The ability to discard as many cards as you want makes Raven incredibly good at getting cards on the field. Catsith combos nicely with Raven, as discarding the former with the latter’s effect allows both for a one level boost to Raven, and allowing for a pop of any face up card on the board. In a more competitive deck, I would replace the two Catsith with two Effect Veilers, but in a more casual environment, the kitties function perfectly well.

CHAOS!!!

The release of the baby Chaos Dragons in Shadow Spectres has been a massive boost to this deck. The mass of LIGHT monsters allows for both dragons to be ran in full playsets if you wish (although, a few DARK monsters would have to be teched in). As well as providing easy synchro fodder, whenever one of the dragons is sent to the graveyard, you can add the other to your hand. In addition, as this effect is worded ‘if…you can…’ it never misses timing, allowing you to recover some of the losses made whilst sending monsters off to become synchro fodder.

I’m running a single Birdman because it is a DARK monster than can special summon itself. That’s really the only reason. Moving swiftly onwards…

Whilst I was playtesting this deck, I noticed that a lot of monsters ended up being banished, either by the effects of the Chaos monsters, or by their own effects (Ganashia and Birdman, to be specific), so I’m running two copies of Different Dimension Reincarnation, which works both as a discard outlet, and as a way of returning banished monsters to the graveyard where they can be reused by either the Chaos monsters, Krus, or Monster Reincarnation. 

A swarm of white…

Although some versions of the deck run a fair few Xyz monsters, the Fabled are built to synchro summon quickly, and then to synchro summon a lot, hence all the special summons you’ll soon get accustomed to should you pick this deck up (and, considering you’re reading this article, you may well have already picked it up).

The only catch with this design is that you’ll find that the deck runs an awful lot of tuners, and an awful lot of monsters in general. Moving Scapegoat from one to three gives you access to even more non-tuner monsters, as well as a nice little bit of protection for your life points should the going get tough. The only catch with Scapegoat is that the tokens can clog up the board, so I sometimes chuck in a couple of Enemy Controllers to get rid of tokens and to mess with your opponent.

This mass of monsters leaves very little room for trap cards, so I find that a trio of Trap Stuns removes the risk of running into your opponents traps and coming off badly. I prefer this to Royal Decree as Decree is a little more MST susceptible, and because I sometimes swap out one of my MSTs for a Gorz, because everyone hates being OTKed.

Extra Deck

It’s possible to play pretty much anything you please in the Fabled extra deck, but there are a few running themes. All ‘staple’ synchros are must haves (Stardust, Crimson Blader, Hyper Librarian etc), but there are a few on-theme cards that a really worth running.

Firstly, Fabled Ragin is a key card, allowing you to draw till you have two cards in your hand if you have fewer. With the addition of the baby dragon search, this move can lead to a nice little +3, growing to a +4 if Hyper Librarian is on the board. The other major on-theme synchro is Unicore, which is incredibly easy to summon in this deck, and which can mess with your opponent’s moves for a few turns.

I’ve chosen not to run Black Rose because I just never summon the thing. I find I prefer Ancient Sacred Wyvern, or Mitchell, Lightsworn Ark, which should be out in a pack soon, but in theory, almost any level 7 synchro monster is open to an intrepid player.

Well, this is my deck. You’re welcome try it out, and if you do, please leave your thoughts in the comments.

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Kuriboh Deck Building pt 2

See, I told you they were everywhere!

Right, let’s get straight into it.

Multiply and Detonate

Multiply simply allows you to swarm the field with as many Kuriboh tokens as you possibly can. These tokens are pretty sucky, but they can be used for a synchro summon (although, I have never managed to use them as such) or in combination with Detonate to clear your opponent’s field for a nice direct attack, with something like Athena or Darklord Desire, which you should have set up earlier.

Darklord Desire

Along with Athena, Darklord Desire forms the straight up beatstick part of the deck. Desire can easily go head-to-head with the ever annoying Blue-Eyes White Dragon, so you are pretty safe from most monsters your opponent will try to throw at you. Additionally, if you tribute simon him with a fairy type monster, you only need to provide one tribute. I find that I often use Marshmallon  after my opponent has attacked it, as then you can have them lose an additional 1000 life points into the bargain.

Athena

In my experience, Athena is pretty much a staple in every fairy deck. Whilst there are always some fiends within a Kuriboh deck, the vast majority of the cards are fairies, and so benefit from the effects of Athena; the most useful of these being her ability to inflict 600 direct damage to your opponent for every fairy summoned, even if they play it. This little trick has proven to be very nasty against Agent decks.

Her second effect is that you can tribute a fairy to special summon one from your grave. If you do a little Marshmallon switch with two of them, you can do 600 damage every turn without even attacking.

Marshmallon

I originally wasn’t going to write about Marshmallon, but I have brought him up so many times, it seems like the right thing to do.

Firstly, run two if you can. These guys are really, really annoying and provide a valuable stall whilst your opponent builds up their attacking power, and you (hopefully) draw the cards needed to summon Winged Kuriboh Lv. 10. Along with the tricks listed above, Marshmallon can become a truly invaluable member of your deck.

Against most monsters he will do fine, sitting there, wobbling around as their attacks bounce off him, but occasionally he will be hit by the rare monster that can do piercing damage. This is a problem, but can be rectified through the use of the Sanctuary in the Sky field card, which also helps protect you from damage with your other fairy monsters.

Chaos Sorcerer

Chaos Sorcerer is a very annoying card for your opponent. If played correctly, he can really ruin your opponent’s plan, and is at no risk of being hit by Mirror Force. As with all Chaos monsters, you can special summon him by banishing one DARK and one LIGHT monster in your grave. I almost always put him in defence position, as you’re rarely summoning him to battle.

So, why summon him? Simple. Once per turn, he can pick a face up monster on your opponent’s side of the field and banish it. Even if you only get to do this once, it is a hugely useful thing to be able to do.

Once he’s banished your opponent’s trump card, feel free to tribute him to summon a more fighty monster, and punch something up, or, if you’ve also played the ol’ Multiply/Detonate trick, hit their life points directly.

I’m going to leave it there for today, because I just can’t be bothered to write anymore. Lazy, maybe, but who’s to stop me?

The Kuriboh Deck-OTK Style

I may have a slight obsession with this card...

I have been slaving away over a phone based deck builder for literally months trying to get this to work, and I think I’ve cracked it:

Monsters-16

1x Chaos Sorcerer
1x Darkness Neosphere
1x Honest
3x Kuriboh
1x Marshmallon
2x Mystic Tomato
2x Shining Angel
3x Winged Kuriboh

Spells-17

1x Court of Justice
1x Dark Eruption
1x Detonate
1x Heavy Storm
2x Monster Reincarnation
1x Multiply
1x Mystical Space Typhoon
1x Pot of Avarice
1x Reload
1x Swords of Revealing Light
3x The Flute of Summoning Kuriboh
2x Transcendent Wings

Traps-9

1x Dust Tornado
1x Limit Reverse
1x Magic Cylinder
1x Mirror Force
2x Nightmare Archfiends
1x Skill Drain
2x Trap Hole

And it works something like this:

Combinations-

Winged Kuriboh Lv.10 and Nightmare Archfiends for a powerful OTK.

Any Fairy type monster with Honest, to destroy an attacking enemy monster.

United We Stand, any monster and Multiply, giving a Kuriboh a maximum of 3500ATK.

Other Handy Tricks-

Pot of Avarice, Dark Eruption and Monster Reincarnation will help bring Kuriboh back into the hand so they can be used over and over.

Darkness Neosphere can be summoned by sacrificing two Kuriboh, and then can be buffed (HUGELY) by use of United We Stand.

Mystic Tomato and Shining Angel can be used to search for Kuriboh and Winged Kuriboh respectively.

Overall Thoughts:

I have no idea as to whether or not this will be a tournament wining deck. Heck, I’m only barely sure it will even function at all, but it looks like a fun idea and  really interesting deck to play, with lots of sneaky tricks and counters to keep my opponent thinking.

It is possible that cards like Astral Barrier could be added, because when combined with the effect of Kuriboh, I can make a card completely useless for a turn (even nastier if I’ve also got Skill Drain out, then you ain’t doing nothing with that card). I’ve also pondered the use of Magical Thorn, but that is more owing to our local metagame (grrr…) than anything else. Or, I could add Token Stampede to make the OTK really, REALLY nasty.

Either way, I’m really looking forwards to playing this deck!

Chaos Space Marines-Fast Attack

This is the shortest section in the book, with but three unit choices. Which is why I decided to write this post late on a Tuesday.

Lets crack on.

Raptors

Ignore the Finecast logo Haters

Just as the Chaos Marine is an evil Tactical Marine, so is the Raptor an evil Assault Marine. They have the same stats as an Assault Marine, but like the Chaos Marine, sacrifice And They Shall Know No Fear for an extra point of leadership. Like Assault Marines, they are more than slightly lacklustre in assault. So, where do they fit in.

Like with many units in this Codex, they can take more than one special weapon in a five man squad. And, like with Assault Marines, they have Jump Packs, and so can Deep Strike. Put these two glorious facts together, and you’ve got yourself a cheap, dangerous Deep Striking anti-tank (meltaguns)/anti-MEQ (plasma guns)/anti-GEQ (Guardsman Equivalent, and Flamers) unit. As I have said before, remember to double up all the special weapons you take, just to make sure, as these guys will probably not last long, and you want to make sure they do their job.

I am also familiar with the idea of a unit (probably 10) of these guys bounding up the field with a Lord to provide a scary assault unit. As a Space Wolf player, I’m afraid I just don’t find it that scary, but anyone playing Guard, Tau or Eldar may very well have a problem with it.

Bike Squads

I like the purple. I like it a lot.

Ah. This might be a bit less positive. Bike squad can work very well, don’t get me wrong, it’s just quite expensive to get them to work. For a start, you might as well give them the Mark of Nurgle so they get T6. I don’t think these guys are going anywhere anymore. Secondly, you’ll want to pick something you need these guys to kill, give them doubles of the appropriate weapon (meltagun/plasmagun/flamer), and send them out there. Then you’ll need enough ablative wounds to keep them going (a 5-6 man squad should do the trick). And finally, you’ll need to try to keep the thought that a couple of Land Speeders with Multi-meltas can do it for a lot cheeper (I’ve always wondered why Chaos never got the Land Speeder. It’s not as if the technology wasn’t around during the Heresy, they had jetbikes, or that Chaos never steals anything).

I can see them as being a distraction. A smaller squad with the Mark of Nurgle and a single special weapon could panic/distract/annoy the enemy whilst your precious Cult Troops advance up the field, but again, still a bit to expensive for my tastes.

Spawn

Gribbly-gribbly-gribble!

This is a bit of an oddball, in that it has Slow and Purposeful, which kinda’ contradicts it place in the Fast Attack section. As a Fast Attack choice he’s not worth the points you’re paying. He’s way overcosted for a slow unit, with a mediocre strength and D6 attacks. It’s just not worth it.

However, you can get them for free (or your opponent has to pay for them, it’s really a matter of opinion) by using the Gift of Chaos power (which will be covered in more detail when we get to Sorcerers). Think of this, every 1/2 times you try, a Spawn pops up in the middle of an unsuspecting Guard squad. He give up gut 40 VP when killed, and can shut down a units shooting for a good while (he is T5 and W3). In that respect, I like the gribbly old beast (and it is a Beast).

Chaos Marines-Heavy Support

Carrying on (unwittingly) the series that I started with Chaos Marines-Troops, today I’m going to be looking at Chaos Space Marine Heavy Support choices. CSM have a lot of unique choices in their Heavy sold which can make for a very powerful army, but they are all overlooked in exchange for Obliterators (which are good, to be honest). Right, let’s crack on with this then.

The Defiler

Scary, huh?

This crabby robot is probably my favourite of the Heavy choices. Weighing in at only 150pts base, it’s a good deal for what you get. 4 strength 10 power weapon attacks, Fleet, a Battle Cannon and Daemonic Possession come as standard, with options to upgrade the arms to various other heavy weapons.

Being a walker, it can move up to 6″ and still fire it’s Battle Cannon, and Daemonic Possession is going to prevent your opponent from locking it down. So, it can walk toward whatever it wants to assault popping off Battle Cannon shells, and with a 72″ range, he’s hitting anything on the table. I wouldn’t bother replacing his two Dreadnought combat weapons with guns, because then he can only fire his cannon OR the other gun, and he loses an attack in combat.

This is a money choice.

Chaos Space Marine Land Raider

It's almost sad, isn't it?

Whilst I’ve been mainly positive up until now (I’m counting my last Chaos Marine article in this), this is the big let down of the Heavy Support options. Whilst it is 30pts cheeper than the Imperial version, it lacks Power of the Machine Spirit (which is what makes Land Raiders viable in my opinion) and can only carry 10 guys (5 in Terminator Armour).

What makes it viable(ish) is that it can be taken as a Dedicated Transport for a Terminator squad. How is this good? Well it means you can take four. And fill all of them with Bezerkers whilst the Terminators Deep Strike in. 40 ‘zerkers in AV14 Tanks with the Assault Vehicle rule? I wouldn’t want to fight it.

Cool model as well.

Chaos Space Marine Predator

From a distance, the searchlight looks like a brain...

An interesting one this. It isn’t much more expensive than Imperial Predators and comes with all the same basic weapons. Being Chaos though, it can be upgraded with Combi-weapons (for drive by shooting) and Daemonic Possession. Give it a trio of Lascannons and go nuts. Your opponent can’t shut it down and so will have to go out of his way to destroy it. Which means that something a bit stealthyer can sneak about to wherever you need it.

However, it does suffer from the same disadvantages as Imperial Predators. It can’t split fire (the Black Templars can give their Predators Power of the Machine Spirit. Lucky sods) and must remain stationary to fire all of it’s weapons. It’s also a lot more expensive than Long Fangs (in almost any combination) and a lucky meltagun could kill it in one.

Chaos Space Marine Vindicator

Another truly cracking model

This is another win. It is just a normal Vindicator, just like the CSM Predator, but like the Predator, it can be ungraded with Combi-weapons and Daemonic Possession. Give it the latter and your awesome tank just became stun lock proof. If I’m honest, there is nothing else I need to say about this. It sort of talks for itself.

The only problem is (so you are about to see) it competes with the Obliterators for Force Org slots. But I advise taking at least one of these bad-boys every day of the week.

Obliterators

Braiiiiiiins!

You are probably aquatinted with the phrase ‘so fail it’s win’. Well the Obliterator is ‘so win it’s fail’. Why? Because everyone just default takes these guys. I can see why. They’re not too expensive, and and basically Terminators with W2 and every special weapon. And I mean every. Multi-meltas, Plasma Cannons, Power Fists, Lascannons, the works. And they can Deep Strike. These guys are the best suicide unit in the game. Drop ’em in backfield and let them go nuts.

Drawbacks? They are kind of expensive, but for what they provide for the army it’s totally worth it. Also, no-one is unaware of how dangerous these guys are, and so will become the number one bullet magnet. Which could make life a lot easier for your Cult Troops. And if they deal with the Cult Troops, there’s a load of angry Obliterators behind them. It’s a lose-lose situation for your opponent.

Havocs

OK, this one is a bit badass

Sadly, also a bit of a fail. These guys are just expensive, metal (yep, they be old) Devastators. However, on the plus side, they can take Flamers, Plasma Guns and Meltaguns as well. We’re talking drive-by Rhino goodness here. This is the one place it may be worthwhile to put Possession on your Rhino, where you can just drive about double meltaing (new word) anything that needs a good meltagun to the face.

These guys aren’t a favourite of mine though, the way I figure it, there are some much better choices elsewhere in the Codex that can do their job (infiltrating Chosen with any damn special weapon you please), or other things contending for their Heavy Support slot (Defilers, Vindicators, Obliterators). If you do want to take them, double up every special weapon you give them, just to be sure.

Chaos Marines-Troops

I refuse to believe that any Codex is useless. If it was useless, no-one would buy it, and so GW wouldn’t produce it, even their business acumen is enough to tell them that. But people do seem to think otherwise. I’ve heard bad things about Chaos Marines, and , yes, in some cases I can understand it, Chaos Dreadnoughts do suck, but in some ways Chaos Marines rock. For example, the power of the Codex is try much in the Troops choices. Other armies have to look to elites (Eldar) or HQs/Special Characters (Draigowing/Loganwing/Deathwing) for their power. But CSM get troops.

Chaos Space Marines

Ahh, the much ignored Chaos Marine. Why is he much ignored? Because he is a Tactical Marine, and people aren’t too fond of Tac Squads. Well, he’s not quite a Tac Marine. For a start, he is one point cheeper, and gets and extra point of leadership and a chainsword. However, on the other hand, he loses And They Shall Know No Fear. Conveniently, Aspiring Champions give the unit Ld.10, and the Icon of Chaos Glory should make them stay where you need them.

But why should I take one over a Cult Troop? Well, they are Tac Marine equivalents (TEQs. Yes, I think I’ll start using that), and so are therefore as flexible as their loyalist brethren, but they also get an extra attack. If you want a fighty squad, you can give them the Mark of Khorne or Slannesh, for a more resilient squad, the Mark of Tzeentch (which is better on Terminators) or Nurgle (which is better on bikes). When you combine this with the diversity of their weapon upgrades, you’ve got yourself a squad that can do whatever you need it to.

Khorne Bezerkers

He looks like an Angry Bunny...

These are probably my favourite. Weapon Skill 5, Furious Charge and 4 attacks on the Charge, these guys are going to hurt something. A popular set up is to take 8 guys, one of which is a Skull Champion with either a Power weapon or Power Fist in a Rhino. The advantage with a Rhino is that you can put a Combi-melta on top, so they can bag a tank before they get to work on the squishes inside. I have also seen a list where four Land Raiders full of ‘zerkers were taken, which is hugely pointy, but I can’t see any chance of their mobility being removed before you are too close for your own safety.

The drawbacks are, however, that you can’t assault out of a Rhino that has moved that turn. So, either you drive up,  get out and stand there for a turn asking for Plasma Guns to shoot you, or you drive up, stop (and probably pop smoke) and pray no-one destroys your Rhino. Also, these guys are 6 points more expensive than a standard Chaos Marine, so expect to invest a lot on these guys.

Plague Marines

I will never understand why their armour got fat as well...

These are every competitive players favourite. Toughness 4(5), Feel No Pain, Blight Grenades (count as defensive. No, I don’t know either), and the ability to take two special weapons in a five man squad is just too go an offer to pass over, despite the terrible models (they look like someone accidentally melted them with a blow torch). Like all Cult Troops they are also Fearless, so a 7+ squad is going in to be difficult to shift off an objective, especially if they are in a Rhino/Land Raider.

There really are no major downsides to these guys, other than an Initiative of 3, which isn’t a big deal, as the enemy isn’t really going to hurt them, unless he’s brought a unit of Howling Banshees (in which case you’re doomed, in more ways than one) or Plasmavets. They are a lot more expensive than your standard CSM, but you really only have to take five, so the point become moot.

Thousand Sons/Rubic Marines

One possessed suit of armour for you SirI think that these guys are really under-rated for what they can do for your army. Above a normal marine all they get is a 4+ Invulnerable save and AP3 on their boltguns. But that AP3 is money. A TEQs chance of killing any form of TEQ is 1/18, where as a Thousand Son has a 1/6 chance. It gets better though. Each squad also come with an Aspiring Sorcerer, who must be equipped with one psychic power. So, you can have Wind of Chaos everywhere, Gift of Chaos everywhere (this is my favourite, as you can have free Spawn popping up everywhere to cause chaos or lock shooty units up in assault), or Bolt of Change everywhere (this is a favourite of many, as it is a close to a meltagun as the Thousand Sons can get. Still can hurt a Land Raider though).

Although awesome, these guys are horrendously expensive. The sorcerer is going to be a minimum of 70pts on his own, before you start adding all the guys and a transport. So, although fantastic, these might not end up as the core you build your army upon.

Emperor’s Children/Noise Marines

How badass is pink!

Up to this point, every Cult Troop has had a very clear cut purpose. Be it the violent assault of the Bezerkers, the resilient shooting of the Plague Marines, or the MEQ killing awesome sauce (available at all good Woolworths) of the Thousand Sons. But the Noise Marines are without this. So, let’s see what we get for our 20pts: a Fearless, I5 Chaos Marine. Great… However, their are advantages in the form of their upgrades.

The Champion (who gains an extra attack) can buy a power Weapon, allowing for 4, I5 attacks that ignore armour on the charge. He can also take some brilliant ranged options. The Blastmaster can be fired as an Assault 2, Pinning Heavy Bolter with 12″ less range (fail) or a pinning, small blast krak missile (now we’re talking). At S8, AP3, it will instant kill most MEQs on contact, and will then force them to take a pinning test. Or, he can take a Doom Siren, which is an AP3 Heavy Flamer.

The standard Noise Marines can also se upgraded with Sonic Blasters, which are Assault 2/Heavy 3 Storm Bolters for 5 points. I reckon a small squad, in a Rhino, with a Champion with a Blastmaster, and a couple of guys with Sonic Blaster could work well. In fact, I might have to build that army…

In Conculsion

the Chaos Marine book is diverse and full of viable options that need a little work to get them to operate to their full potential. Using only Plague Marines is lazy, and I hope I have shown how other troops options work just as well.