My early forays into Hundred Kingdoms went about how you would expect: how many Household Knights can I put in a list, please? This meant a lot of use of the Noble Lord, but typically his mounted variant, who can hop into a regiment with his beloved Knights, has an amazing Supremacy for them that feels basically necessary to make them the terror they are, and is just all around a solid piece.
This meant, though, that it took me a while to move on to trying out a bit more on-foot troops… and I had to learn to love the Noble Lord on foot.
Let’s take a look at the main features of a Noble Lord (Infantry), who will just be referred to as a Noble Lord going forward.
Firstly, the Supremacy Ability: Best of Men.
“While this Character Stand is on the Battlefield, all Infantry Regiments belonging to this Character Stand’s Warband within 6” of the Noble Lord may re-roll unmodified rolls of 6 when making Defense Rolls. In addition, they may also re-roll unmodified to Hit rolls of 6 during Clash Actions. This Supremacy Ability is always considered to be active.”
Personally, while I do believe this is quite a strong ability, I’m not the biggest fan of this Supremacy. Given no other great options in your list design, it’s perfectly serviceable, but I do tend to like Supremacies that effect a bit more of my army at once. That said, it does make Infantry in his warband extremely formidable, especially if you’re willing to put the effort into positioning to give this to more than one regiment at a time. Can be very strong if you have screening units in front of the Noble Lord’s own regiment, potentially greatly increasing their survivability and output potential. I know there are some people in the community that do value this supremacy ability quite a bit, it’s just not as much my style.
The Noble Lord has access to up to Tier 2 Tactical, which is not typically a route I go for him but it does give you access to the Imperial Officer’s draw event table which can give you some good abilities, and has access to the full Tier 3 Combat retinue, which is much more often the direction I take him. Turning a Noble Lord into an absolute shredder, be it in Clash, Duels, or a combination, is a blast and I think one of his biggest strengths.
The Noble Lord has a solid Mainstay list, with access to the full core of cheaper ‘chaff’ Hundred Kingdoms units like militia, militia bowmen, mercenary crossbowmen, and men at arms. For stronger options, he has Court Squires and Household Guard.
Court Squires are ridiculously tough for their cost, and that’s… basically it, but I think if you want to take a Noble Lord on a regiment of them, this is probably when you may choose to go with a Tactical retinue to gain access to draw events like Double Time to get a very tanky unit into position much more quickly, or you can keep the Lord as a high-damage Clash character, using the Squire unit as very tough wounds for him to stay in the fight and do as much damage as possible. I recently started proxying Court Squires, as they aren’t out yet, and I absolutely adore this unit and I love that they’re mainstay for him.
Household Guard are the more aggressive unit; I’ve tried them usually in large blocks with the Noble Lord in there with artifacts like the Flesh Cleaver for more offensive output, using things like Veterans and/or the Armsmaster to really crank up their efficiency. Shout out to Caledburn as well, if you’re going more for duel-sniping characters. Big fan of this unit, they became core to my Hundred Kingdoms infantry play very quickly, and yet again I love them as a mainstay option.
Restricted options include Mounted Squires, who are useful if you don’t have too many other Lights already, Longbowmen, and Household Knights. This is the only character able to take Longbowmen, and while they did receive a nerf recently, they’re an absolutely fantastic support choice still to pepper an opponent with arrows at extreme range, or shotgun much closer, and I really like them in the Noble Lord’s roster because they support his other existing units extremely well. I’ve found Household Knights to be a really nice restricted option for him specifically when I’m also running a mounted Noble Lord as Warlord, where I want to have lots of Household Knights to benefit from Speed of Horse but don’t necessarily want a second mounted lord on the table. Often my “third” unit of Household Knights are in an on-foot Lord’s warband.
Noble Lords get access to a Weapon Art from a list. Options include Arms Master for Cleave 2, Relentless to gain Flurry, Duelist to gain Parry, or Powerful Physique for cheaper Cleave 1. I have almost always run with Arms Master, as while it is the most expensive of the Weapon Arts, it is huge for the Noble Lords potential output. If you don’t have Clash stat stacking effects on the Noble Lords regiment, Relentless is likely fine as a consistency increase, and Parry is obviously quite good if you’re building more around being a duelist.
Typically in Masteries, if he’s going more for pure combat I won’t take any, outside maybe Knightly Entourage if I’m wanting some Mounted Squires as a mainstay option. For someone wanting to duel, though, this tree has many invaluable abilities like Expose Weakness to remove a rule from a dueling opponent, Overkill to increase the efficacy of your duels against the enemy regiment as a whole, or Disorienting Strikes to try and increase the Lord’s odds of surviving a duel. Some of the Tactical masteries are useful but usually for more specific aspects of list building (Knowledged, Eccentric, etc) and aren’t really specific to the Noble Lord as far as how they might be useful.
Overall I fell in love with the Noble Lord as an option when I started building him out as an extremely killy character with a large regiment as his entourage. The Flesh Cleaver giving him Deadly Blades, while cranking his Clash stat extremely high and throwing Cleave 2 on for good measure, makes him output just absurd amounts of damage even into fairly high defense enemies, and he’s a very powerful and consistent duelist if you kit him out for it correctly. He’s become one of my favorite characters in the faction, and definitely worthy of the title of Noble Lord.
If you want to pick up one of the new Noble Lord sculpts that are currently on pre-order, or pick up any other Conquest goodies, make sure to hit up their webstore using the linked image below and use the code LOS10 at checkout to get 10% off your order! Thanks for reading, see you next time!