By: Jeremy H.
Both the Karax and Keltarii easily fit in the category of tarpit. They just do it slightly differently.
Starting at 12/15, the Karax are already on the slightly annoying side of things with a medium amount of ARM. Fire and auto-plinking abilities are enough to remove them in droves. However, with Shield Wall and Girded, they jump to 12/19 and are immune to blast damage. Once per game they can add +3 ARM with Iron Zeal. With Set Defense, they have an effective DEF of 14. With that ability, the opponent has a difficult time sending anything but elite troops to engage them. The beauty of this unit is that the opponent has to commit something slightly expensive to remove your very cheap unit or weather their spear tickles for a turn or two.
The Keltarii have the same stats as the Swordsmen (13/14) but with the added benefit of Blade Shield (+2 DEF vs Ranged). It’s clear, between Blade Shield, Reposition and a base SPD of 7, their purpose is to dart up the field avoiding gun fire, engage the enemy, briefly, then continue to the back line utilizing Parry.
What’s not clear, is how you’re supposed to protect them against blast damage.
Skorne lacks defensive buffs, especially in the area of gun prevention. If you want to be wacky, you could throw Push the Limit on a unit of Karax and march them up the field, hand-in-hand, with the Keltarii. That would save them from errant AOEs, but by the time you can get them anywhere useful, it’s already time for melee as the enemy would now be on your side of the board.
Keltarii are a bit of a harassment force. On their own, the best they can muster is a single POW 20 against a large or huge base. Don’t go sending them off with the intent of assassination. With their defensive abilities, they can spread out over a zone, pick off high value targets or dance through the enemy lines to create threat vectors.
On the flip-side, the Karax are intended to be a wall for the enemy to bash head against, deny control points and look sweet on the table.
The options I mentioned for the Swordsmen basically apply to these units as well. Your best bets are Xerxis1 and Makeda 1/2. If you want to use them as sacrifical pawns grab Mordikaar, Xaal 1/2, Ancestrals or even the Despoiler.
Don’t think too hard about buffing their damage output. Stay focused. Give your enemy an aneurysm.