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What is a Toolkit Army?

A Toolkit Army is one that contains many different capabilities that you use to win missions. They require a greater level of skill as they are not overwhelmingly powerful in any area. They provide a challenge for the player to master and greater longevity of gameplay.

Toolkit armies are also ‘meta proof’ in that you are not playing the skew game – so better for players on a more limited budget or those who want to put a lot of effort into the hobby side of their army.

A toolkit army plays best at 2000pts and below because as points increase so do the points to skew with. At 2000pts a player can skew, but at a cost to the rest of the capabilities of their army so skewing comes with a risk that is not present at higher points values – and a toolkit army is not overwhelmed by the skew that is possible.

Components of a toolkit army
You’ll want as many different tools in the toolkit as you can get, but you need to keep the game missions in mind.

Some units can have multiple roles - for example Ogre Palace Guard are both hammers and anvils. A general on Winged beast is both a Leader and Potentially a diver if given Maccwar's potion of the Caterpillar - but could also fulfill other roles such as Grounder and Flanker. Units that can fulfill multiple roles are better than units that can just fulfill one.

The following are some of the roles.

Deck Chair – these are cheap units that you can use to sit on backfield objectives. They need at least unit strength (US) of 1, but are better if they can be US2 so they can retain hold of an objective if an enemy US1 diver comes to contest. It is helpful if they have a higher Defense or Nerve but cost is a consideration. If they can throw out some ranged damage they can still contribute to the battle.
Magic items: Dragonshard Shield, Staying Stone. Crystal Pendant of Retribution.

Diver – these are very fast flying units with a US of 1 or greater and ideally have Nimble. They are positioned to threaten multiple objectives late in the game, especially ones weakly held by enemy Deck Chairs. Divers need not be Melee capable but if the enemy unit holding an objective has higher US you may need to route them to be able to claim the objective. Pathfinder on such a unit will allow you to move at the double to objectives that are in difficult terrain.
Magic items: Maccwar’s potion of the Caterpillar

Missile – these are fast, expendable melee characters that you use to get into enemy war machines and shooting units. A cheap combat character with Wings of Honeymaze will do the job. Whilst the purpose of the unit is to disrupt and destroy you need to work your way into the enemy back line and use the maneuver abilities of the Individual special rule to avoid enemy counter units. Secondary purposes can be to assassinate spellcasters or ground enemy flyers.
Magic items: Wings of Honeymaze

Grounder – these are fast characters you use to ground enemy flyers and allow your main units to engage. A mounted character does well as it still has the individual rule for mobility and a long charge range, but also has height 3 so can see over friendly infantry that they are guarding. Blade of the Beast Slayer is a great item to increase the chances of successfully grounding flying monsters. If the character has inspiring they can also bolster your battle line
Magic items: Blade of the Beast Slayer,

Plinker – these are ranged units you can use to chip away wounds or cause nerve checks on heavily damaged units. Usually this role is fulfilled with war machines but ranged infantry or spellcasters will do the job. It helps if you can use attacks that ignore cover or the individual penalty.
Magic Items: The Boomstick

Chaff -  this is the classic throwaway unit. You can use it to provide a speedbump to slow down enemy progress, absorb an enemy charge to allow you to counterattack with another unit, bait a charge, provide cover to another unit. Consider the Defense and Nerve value of the chaff unit you are using and if it is suited for the purpose you want (High Defense/Nerve for Speedbump, Low Defense/Nerve for a crumbling charge baiter.)
Magic items: Crystal Pendant of Retribution

Flanker – these are fast units that you use to maneuver into the flanks of the enemy army. Nimble is very useful for this role.
Magic Items: Wine of Elvenkind, Brew of Haste, Boots of Striding, Maccwar’s Potion of the Caterpillar.

Shock – there are straight forward smashing units that you use to engage enemy units in melee. Often called “Hammers”. They have good Melee values and Crushing Strength or Thunderous Charge. Crushing Strength is preferable over Thunderous Charge as it applies to subsequent rounds of combat and is not affected by terrain or being disordered.
Magic items: Brew of Sharpness, Brew of Strength, Chant of Hate, Blessing of the Gods, Boots of Striding, Maccwar’s Potion of the Caterpillar

Anvil – these are tough, high US units that can take a pounding without breaking. They have high Defense and Nerve values. They make good Loot holders and objective takers.
Magic items: Staying Stone, Dragonshard Shield.

Anchors – these are units you place on the flanks of your battle line that are capable of withstanding or otherwise engaging enemy Flankers. At a minimum they should have Phalanx. Even better if you can include Ensnare.
Magic items: Staying Stone, Dragonshard Shield.

Leaders – these are units that have the Inspiring rule.  You’ll want at least 3 of these in your army. An option for this is to use a cheap hero with Inspiring Talisman.  If you are running fast battle groups in your army you will want an Inspiring source that can keep up with them. You can often combine this with Buffers.
Magic items: Mournful Blade, Inspiring Talisman.

Buffers – these are units that provide enhancements to the capabilities of your units. Common ones are those that convey Elite, Vicious, Bane Chant, Brutal, Heal and Rally. Often you can combine this with Leaders. Some armies also have the ability to indirectly buff your units via casting offensive debuffs (such as Weakness) on enemy units.
Magic Items: Conjurer’s Staff, Trickster’s Wand, Lute of Insatiable Darkness, Shroud of the Saint, Tome of Darkness.

Pests – these are units that are unaffected by difficult terrain that you try to get into nuisance positions and force the enemy to react to. They don’t necessarily need to engage in Melee at every opportunity but when they do so they seek out flanks or rears.
Magic items:  Diadem of Dragon Kind, Crystal Pendant of Retribution.

Battleline – these are your generic melee units that you use to engage enemy units with and take Objectives/Loot counters.

Example Toolkit list