Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Tourney Prep - Warmachine Weekend Invitational


A while ago I talked about my lists for Boost for a Cure, which I also used later in the Dark Omen Invitational. For those events I brought my favorite pair, Major Victoria Haley and Lord Commander Stryker. Fortunately, those lists were pretty solid and ended up winning me the Invitational, which qualified me for Warmachine Weekend!


Given how super sweet the pairing was, I decided not to tech too hard for the ridiculously large number of Cryx players who also qualified for the event and stuck with the same dynamic duo. Fortunately, both Haley and Stryker have solid games against the gribbly nightmares of the Scharde Isles; Stryker because of Rebuke and the immense number of POW 10 guns I stuck in his list and Haley because of Deadeye and her ridiculous board control.

My Stryker list is unchanged from Boost for a Cure, but I love shooting my mouth off about how dreamy he is so I’ll get into it again! Here’s the list:


Lord Commander Stryker (*6pts)
* Lancer (6pts)
* Squire (2pts)
Arcane Tempest Gun Mages (Leader and 5 Grunts) (6pts)
* Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Officer (2pts)
Black 13th Gun Mage Strike Team (4pts)
Horgenhold Forge Guard (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
* Captain Jonas Murdoch (2pts)
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt (4pts)
Storm Lances (Leader and 4 Grunts) (11pts)
Archduke Alain Runewood (3pts)
Captain Maxwell Finn (3pts)
Journeyman Warcaster (3pts)
Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator (1pts)
Stormsmith Stormcaller (1pts)


The basic idea was to create a pair of lists that could deal with a variety of situations but that dealt with specific situations in order to help make list selection less stressful. Stryker tends to run out of steam vs. a lot of heavies very quickly unless he can close the game out himself, but lots of small arms fire can be crippling when combined with Rebuke. This list is built to deal with lots of infantry, especially slower troops that rely on orders to get up the field; i.e. Khador, Cryx, Convergence and Trollboods. Fortunately, with Rolling Thunder just about everything in the army can fill multiple roles, gaining additional attacks to clear infantry or crack armor, or simple move out of threat range to keep shooting next turn.

The way this list wants to run is to go first and rocket up the table, putting scenario pressure on its opponent with a bunch of fast, ARM 20+ troopers. If the enemy moves forward to be relevant in scenario, Rebukes go down and I begin shooting. Against infantry, Rebuke and Pistoleer shots is usually enough to remove the majority of my opponent’s force. Against heavier armor, simply controlling their position with Pistoleers and staying back, waiting for a solid alpha is usually enough. Lighter armor can be crushed with a fast run+Rolling Thunder move (the Forge Guard threat 15”!), and I often use this to get them into combat against troops designed to remove them. The Forge Guard are usually sacrificial and get wiped out after the Feat, unless they can deal crippling damage to my opponent, but get me high enough on attrition that Stryker can close the game out without their help.

The Storm Lances, Aiyana and Black 13th fill a multipurpose role. While the Forge Guard can be used to smack infantry, they’re really in there for the Weapon Master attacks on high ARM. The Storm Lances can be incredibly hard to kill, hit very accurately and can clear lots of infantry, either with shooting or on a charge. After the Forge Guard go down, Aiyana helps out the army take out armor by applying Kiss to any remaining high value pieces, letting the list shoot them down with multiple boosted POW 12-14s from the various solos in the back line. ARM 17-19 heavies tend to go down to concentrated fire from the “hand cannon brigade” when Aiyana shows them her love. Also they’re good at shooting tons of dudes.


Major Victoria Haley (*5pts)
* Thorn (8pts)
* Stormwall (Bonded) (19pts)
* Squire (2pts)
Arcane Tempest Gun Mages (Leader and 5 Grunts) (6pts)
* Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Officer (2pts)
Storm Lances (Leader and 4 Grunts) (11pts)
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution (3pts)
Journeyman Warcaster (3pts)
Stormsmith Stormcaller (1pts)


That brings me to the Haley2 list, which has changed pretty significantly from its incarnation at Boost and DOI. The Stormblade Infantry and Rhupert have been removed for Storm Lances and a ‘Caller; this is my one concession to the massive number of Cryx players in the Invitational. While Stormblade Infantry can kill some infantry with Assaults shots and their cute little AoEs, Storm Lances are waaaaayyyy better at it, especially with Deadeye and Ride Bye Attacks to shoot them for a couple turns before they need to charge in. They’re also not worried about a lot of area denial such as Covering Fire or Scather templates that shut down Stormblades, and still hit almost as hard when they get there.

The rest of the list is pretty cookie-cutter. Thorn runs around TK’ing and Time Bombing stuff so that the Stormwall can shoot and/or punch a bunch of stuff to death before it dies. This list is stronger than Stryker2 vs. lots of heavies, but falls down a little to swarms of high-ARM or mulitwound troops without the weight of fire or damage output that Stryker brings. I do feel relatively comfortable against the dreaded “Meat Mountain” with Haley if she brings both the Stormwall and Stormblade Infantry, which can function as both a jam and deal significant damage to Warders or Champions that make it past the Stormwall’s shooting and the list’s board control. While Stryker can play pretty well into that and similar matchups, the inclusion of Storm Lances hurts the list significantly vs. high ARM while making it stronger against light infantry.

Those are the tools I’m bringing with me to play in the Invitational, but I’m not under any allusions that I’m going to do significantly well; the Invitational is made up, arguably, of the top 32 players in the world and while I’d like to do well, I’ll consider it a significant personal achievement if I make it past even round 1! I do expect to have a great time doing it, however!

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