Decision: Should you play the New Board "The Lachrymose Tetrahedron"?
TL;DR:Sigmarite warbands and Zarbag's Gitz may have something to gain from using this board. Most other warbands already have an option that works better for them.
PreludeToday, we'll be taking a look at one of the two new boards being released for Shadespire - The Lachrymose Tetrahedron (the other board - the one with the orange tint - is called the Herbaceous Checkerboard). For the purposes of referring to the board, we'll be using the above orientation as the default, and referring to specific edges and directions using a NESW system based on this orientation.
Factor: Edge Hexes
While having starting hexes that are also edge hexes has lost some value due to Extreme Flank being placed on the SBAR list, we should likely still consider the number of starting-edge hexes when determining which board to play. In the long-board/hallway setup, The Lachrymose Tetrahedron will reward you with 3 starting-edges. You can also achieve 3 starting-edge hexes with an offset/diagonal setup. In certain offset/diagonal setups, you'll only have 2 starting-edge hexes, and in a horizontal/rectangular short-board setup where your opponent is trying to deny you starting access to edge hexes, you'll probably only end up with 1 (if your opponent lines up his board flush with your Southern edge).
If your strategy is heavily dependent on getting on edge hexes early, this board isn't ideal, but it is workable if you get to decide the board layout (ie. you win the placement roll).
Factor: Blocked Hexes
Having two blocked hexes puts The Tetrahedron solidly in the middle of the pack for covering terrain. Soul Refractor, Shyishian Stardial, and The Shattered Tower all have 3 blocked hexes, making them better if you are seeking to block line of sight. The Animus Forge and Penitent Throne each have 2 blocked hexes, though perhaps not set up as defensively as the ones on The Lachrymose Tetrahedron.
The two blocked hexes on the Tetrahedron are set up well; they are one hex apart (which grants a lot of disruption for line of sight) and adjacent to a number of starting hexes without pushing you into a potential pinning situation like the Stardial and Tower. However, the Refractor still provides far more line of sight cover if that's what you're looking for. If, on the other hand, you're currently playing a 0- or 2-blocked hexes board, and are looking for a more defensive setup, this board might suffice.
Factor: Lethal Hexes
Having a single lethal hex seems like an odd choice to us, but who are we to judge the design gods who gave us Mollog the Mighty? Currently unrevealed marvelous secrets aside, there's nothing really to recommend this board based on its lethal hex. You can get far more, in far better places, with the Ruptured Seal or Penitent's Throne. You can also get more with The Animus Forge or Arcane Nexes, but we consider the placement of those hexes suspect as well.
As far as the lethal hex on The Lachrymose Tetrahedron goes - it's unlikely to affect your game in a positive manner. However, as the lethal hex is adjacent to three of your starting hexes, it's quite likely to impede your own movement. At best it's a non-issue; at worst it hurts your own dudes.
One area in which this board truly does shine is it's ability to enable a few objectives with very little effort. For the 3-model Sigmarite warbands, Unbroken Wall can be scored without moving any of your models. Similarly, almost any warband can score Well Guarded without moving at all. Either of these strategies could easily be combo-ed with Perfect Planning for 2 easy glory.
One particular Warband - Zarbag's Gitz - may gain additional benefit from this board, thanks to their Scurry ability. No other board places 3 models adjacent to each other to start, so Gitz may choose it for that alone. However, if you place your models correctly (ie. Drizgit on the end of the 3-starting-hex chain), you can activate Drizgit's action to move himself as well as Squish and Squash, then Scurry the two adjacent gerblins to meet the requirements of Mad Scurry with a single activation. Similarly, if you Charge (perhaps with an archer for increased range), you can immediately Scurry two other gerblins and put yourself 3/4 of the way to Keep Them Guessing and 3/5 of the way to Mad Scurry in the same single activation. Of course, Mad Scurry does require your moved gerblins to live through the round, in which case those blocked hexes mentioned earlier may prove even more valuable.
The Lachrymose Tetrahedron probably isn't going to revolutionize the game in any significant way. It's not particularly Lethal, and it's Blocked Hexes aren't as disruptive as those on other boards. With the disappearance of Extreme Flank, access to 3 edge hexes won't shake the world either (and other boards have more, anyway). However, Zarbag's Gitz may consider starting with this board in order to abuse Scurry. The Sigmarite armies might also want to try this one out, to see if starting all three of your guys next to each other is worth doing.
Also: no, it isn't really called The Lachrymose Tetrahedron. We don't know what GW really calls it, and I tried to follow their Adjective-Noun naming scheme as ridiculously as possible.