Saturday, March 25, 2017

WotS Batrep 16 - Stryker2 vs. Denny3

A break from con stuff to bring you some hawt Stryker2 action fighting some gross Cryxies!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Tourney Recap - ATC 2017

2017 has ushered in several firsts for the great nation of America; including the first time the Oscar awards have admitted there aren't just white people that act in movies, the first time weird fake hipster money was valued more than actual gold and the first election of a racist pumpkin to public office.  Despite all these important advancements, the obviously most crucial development of the burgeoning new year is the epic conclusion of the first installment of the US' new most important Warmachine team event; the Americas Team Tournament (or ATC for the acronymically inclined).

For those who don't know about this new and exciting mini-convention, the ATC is part of a new initiative to make the US WTC team selection more fun, exciting, transparent and accessible.  It's a WTC-style 5-man team tournament using basically all the WTC rules.  The winning team of the event automatically qualifies as a team (with up to one trade-out) to be one of 3 US WTC teams.  This year, alongside the team event was a depressingly underpopulated solo masters that qualified the single winning player for one of the other WTC teams.  I joined the aptly (if longwinded) named team "Evil Geniuses for a Better Tomorrow" along with fellow evil geniuses Jay "Grumpy Cat" Larsen, Michael "King of Ios" Ireland, Dan "That Dude Who Played Mohsar" Yount and Brian "insert nickname here" Marino to rek some nerdz and herald in a better tomorrow.  I played the following crappy Cygnar stuff:

Major Victoria Haley [+25]
 - Dynamo [18]
 - Stormclad [18]
 - Thorn [13]
 - Squire [5]
Journeyman Warcaster [4]
 - Firefly [8]
Major Katherine Laddermore [8]
Storm Lances (max) [20]
Gobber Tinker [2]
Ragman [4]

Captain Kara Sloan [+28]
 - Stormwall [39]
 - Hunter [11]
 - Hunter [11]
 - Hunter [11]
 - Hunter [11]
Journeyman Warcaster [4]
 - Sentinel [8
 - Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator [4]
Captain Arlan Strangewayes [4]

List Thought Time!
Honestly I kinda hated my lists.  The Haley one is great, but it was designed for a pre-errata, pre-theme force meta.  I submitted it mostly because it's the list that I had the most practice with and didn't want to drop some jank garbage when I would be potentially expected to play into some not-great matchups.  Mostly it's there to vaporize heavy armor bricks like Karchev.  Too bad nobody plays Karchev anymore.

The Kara list is... not good.  Nominally it's there to scare people to get good matchups and play into Thornwall Storm Division, which I think it does fine.  Unfortunately I submitted it without play it first, and had I done that I'd probably drop a Hunter for some solos.  Maybe 2 GMCAs to put lots of assassination pressure on the table or 1 GMCA and some mechanic bros for the Stormwall.  The plan was never to play it and just ride Future Sight Dynamo to victory all day.

Frequently Asked Questions
1. But Trevyyyyy!!!!  Your Haley2 list is almost in Theme!  Why not play it in Storm Division; you could be 9 pts up!?
Because Ragsy+Dynamo is worth 9 extra points.  Also Gobber Tinkers are great.
In reality, Thornwall Storm Division has a wider range of good matchups than this list; but IMO this one houses its good matchups more than Thornwall does, is more fun to play and is probably way better than any non-Thornwall Storm Division Haley2 builds.

2. But TTRRREEEVVVYYY!!!  Your Kara list is basically in theme!  Why not play it in Heavy Metal and play it approximately 500,000 points upppppp!?
Idk, ask Travis Marg.

Game Time!
A bit of an intro; the table setups at this event were really cool and skewed to the point of being probably not ideal for a standard event.  I'm talking buildings covering zones, chains of forests across the table and enormous rubble patches in opportune positions; the kind of shit that ruins tournaments for people.  But fortunately ATC is no normal, boring format!  Having skewy tables makes the roll to take first very important, because the second team choosing the tables matches are played one becomes super important.
I mention this because we lost the roll to take first.  Every.  Single.  Round.

Round 1 vs. Fort from 2na and Spam

Our first round opponents were the stalwart travelers from the lost kingdom of Virginia ready to wreak some terrible vengeance on the two NOVA winners on our team.  I got the pleasure of playing vs. Mr. Fort, who's rapscallious exploits can be found consistently on the Advanced Maneuvers YouTube channel.  Fort and I have only shared one game from the Redcap WMWI Qualifier... where he soundly stomped me.  Unfortunately I got this matchup because my teammates shared precisely the same thoughts on the matchup that I did (which is to say; "please god no") and my hopes for a sweet comeback were far fetched.  With those happy thoughts in mind, we sat down for a nice game of Haley2 vs. Makeda2 on Outflank.

I won the roll to go first, which was pretty clutch.  Fort deployed heavily favoring the left zone so I figured I'd push for the right and try to squeeze out a scenario win before all my shit was dead, because I figured my chances of actually killing anything were precisely 0%.  Also there was a forest between the zones that made things more interesting.  Fort put lots of shit in the left zone, Makeda running and camping everything to hide in a rubble pile and keep all the kitties next to her.

Illustrated by this godawful picture!  Who let me have a camera?
I decided to go in with my battlegroup and try to clear as many Ferox as possible.  Since the Skorne army had set up so heavily on the left side I swung right with the Lances and kept them back to survive as long as possible and kill anything that contested the right zone.  Haley Shifts and the heavies pumped lots of hot lightning and stabby swording into the Ferox.  Dynamo rolled pretty well, but some sadtimes misses with the Stormclad leaves one Ferox dead when the dust clears.  The Firefly does roll a super clutch hit through like 3 Intuition re-rolls from Karn and double Lightning Generator to kill Orin, so that was sweet.

Stuff durdles under Haley's feat and a Ferox makes it into the right zone to contest but Fort can't quite clear the left with Shift effing everything up.  The subsequent turn I'm able to TK the Ferox on the left out of range for Stay Death and murder it with a Storm Lance and Dominate for 2 CPs.  On the other side the Firefly and Thorn jammed into the zone to stop contesting.

Unfortunately, with how scary the Ferox are for unshielded Lances I had Arc Shield on them, which meant the stuff contesting wasn't protected.  With that in mind, Makeda feated and the Legends kicked the crap out of Thorn and killed the Firefly so she could Dominate as well.  Zaadesh's Gladiator buddy rips the Stormclad in half and Radheim and 2 Ferox jump into my zone and poke some Lances to death.

So I'm quickly running out of models, but can clear my zone and set up 2 more contests on the left one and hope I don't get murdered/jammed out next turn.  Unfortunately I have to TK one Storm Lance into position to contest (I had Jr waiting in the wings on the way far left to contest the next turn) and TK Radheim and 2 other Ferox to clear the zone.  To make matters worse, I miss one of the TKs and have to boost it to clear the zone, which leaves me on 0 camp.  I kill the two Ferox but can't get Radheim out of Stay Death range so he gets Storm Ragered, jumps in and stabs Haley to death with his giant pokey stick, sending her would-be scenario push to the grave. :(

A great game with Mr. Fort, who is always a pleasure to play against!  Fortunately my team doesn't squander my noble sacrifice and we win 3-2, advancing on to the next round very happy to have snuck out a win vs a very strong team.

Round 2 vs. Daniel Munsen from Cobra Kai

Game 2 was against the indomitable Trollbloods under the command of team captain Dan Munsen on the Pit!  Daniel was bringing two very heavy armor bricks with Borka1 and Borka2.  We lost the matchup roll and got to pick tables again, so I picked one with a huge building covering the entrance to the zone on one side, mostly to dissuade Dan from dropping his Borka1 list, which featured a Mountain King that ran the risk of getting stuck behind it.  Dan drops his Borka2 Rage of Dhunia list:

Borka, Vengeance of the Rimeshaws [+29]
 - Dire Troll Mauler [15]
 - Dire Troll Mauler [15]
 - Earthborn Dire Troll [15]
 - Earthborn Dire Troll [15]
 - Rok [21]
 - Troll Axer [10]
Northkin Shaman [4]
Northkin Shaman [4]
Troll Whelps [4]
Troll Whelps [4]
Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes (max) [9]
 - Stone Scribe Elder [3]

I lose the roll to go first and choose the side with the giant building.  Both sides have amazing terrain for EBDTs; either the building for +2 ARM or some rubble patches for +2 SPD.  I decide to take the building to give me the opportunity to wall off my flag and stop the trolls from anchoring off it and just bricking up on the other side of the zone.

Dan starts by running up pretty conservatively, mostly hiding in the rubble piles.  I stay out of the EBDT's honestly ludicrous threat range and toe into the zone so I don't get jammed out.  Arc Shield goes onto the Stormclad.  The EBDTs respond jamming in SUPER far, one engaging Dynamo and the other on the Stormclad, both next to the building for that sweet +2 ARM.  Borka feats and hides behind the Shaman cloudwall and the rest of the beasts fall in behind the EBDTs.

There's a lot of Dire Troll meat in my face (delicious), but fortunately Haley loves having lots of meat in her face.  Delicious.  TKs move a Mauler into position for Dynamo to light him up with Acceleration and although he doesn't roll very well a couple Storm Lance shots help out finishing it off.  Haley Shifts and dominates her flag to start scoring.

Stuff durdles under Shift.  Borka goes to his flag and scores 1 CP.  One of the Earthborns squeaks by Dynamo to contest my flag.  Time for stabbing!  Haley allocates a bunch of FOC, TKs the EBDT away and Borka off his flag to stop him scoring.  Ragman turns on his patented "aura of kill all the things" and the stabbening begins.  The EBDT by my flag goes down and the other is crippled by repeated stabs from the Stormclad.  Stuff jams the rest of the heavies.

I lose some stuff to Warbeasts banging on it.  The Stormclad tanks like a bauss but gets a little mangled and the Firefly and some Lances go down.  A couple missed attacks let Thorn scoot out of danger and he lives to fight another day.  Unfortunately the jam is real and my opponent can't get anything around to contest, so Borka goes back to Dominating his flag and we go to 3-2.

The stabbening continues with some more stuff getting stabbed.  I contest Borka's flag and jam some more, going to 4 CPs.  A thin blue line of Storm Lances stops the Trolls from getting to my flag and I dominate for my 5th point!

A good game, but unfortunately the combination of the matchup (Haley is pretty good into armor bricks, as it turns out) and terrain gave me a big leg up.  My team has similar success and we advance 4-1!

Round 3 vs. Tom Guan from Team Friendship!

I love all the folks on Team Friendship... but I don't lie when I say that we weren't super happy to get paired with them in the final round of day 1.  During our prep we were well aware that they were one of (if not the single) strongest teams in contention for the tournament, boasting a great lineup of powerful lists and all-star players.  Matchups go down and I get paired against the infamous world traveler Tom Guan!  The matchup ended up as Haley vs. Tree on Recon.

Wurmwood, Tree of Fate [+27]
 - Cassius the Oathkeeper
 - Loki [19]
 - Ghetorix [21]
 - Pureblood Warpwolf [17]
 - Gorax Rager [7]
Shifting Stones [3]
Shifting Stones [3]
Sentry Stone & Mannikins [5]
Sentry Stone & Mannikins [5]
Wolves of Orboros (min) [7]
Gatorman Bokor & Bog Trog Swamp Shamblers [11]
Lanyssa Ryssyl, Nyss Sorceress [4]

This is an interesting matchup because Tom isn't bringing a more "modern" Circle list with lots of guns.  Like me, the one and only TomGuanimo is a creature of habit and our matchup almost looked like something from the 2016 WTC.  I won the roll to go first, which was legit.

First off, Thorn got Arc Shield and blitzed up the table to behind a sweet wall in the middle.  I tried to Arc Bolt a Shifting Stone to death but came up short. :(  The rest of my army moved up pretty conservatively, sticking to a hill to make Strangleholds a little tougher.

I realized after I passed clock that I put my Storm Lances in the perfect formation to eat a ton of free damage from a nice Hellmouth, but since it was the first turn and Tree had no extra Fury from souls. Tom settled for just Cursing them after porting the Tree up and feating.  Cassius got ported back and Thorn ate a couple points of damage from sprays for his insolence.

If I'm being honest... I definitely wasn't expecting a bottom of 1 feat, but I wasn't about to look a gift forest in the hellmouth.  Fortunately, Cassius ported to a pretty aggressive location in front of the tree to keep on spellslinging under the inevitable counter-feat.  Unfortunately, that position was close enough for Thorn to run in and get LoS to him.  So, that happened and 2 Arc Bolts later Tree had lost his sock puppet.  Shift went down and Thorn was barely able to TK+Reaction Drive back to his hidey hole behind the wall.

Stuff durdled under Shift.  It was great.  Loki hid in some rubble on the far left, Tree teleported away and Thorn ate a couple more sprays from stuff, losing his arms.  To punish the silly furries, Thorn threw some TKs out to set up Loki getting dragged into aiming range of Dynamo and vaporized while the Firefly broke the set of stones Tree was in by finishing off the one I'd damaged on the first turn.

Tom came back with some #pureaggro.  Lanyssa Marked my objective, which let a Primaled Ghetorix charge into it and total both Thorn and Dynamo who were chilling nearby.  The Bokor stabbed to death the Firefly and the Pureblood Assaulted forward to spray a pair of Storm Lances but rolled sort of bad and only killed one.

With all the wolfies committed I was feeling pretty good.  I'd kept my Stormclad and Lances pretty far back to make any random damage or cheeky Strangleholds hard, but it was time for them to come in and get work done.  Ragman did his thing, the Stormclad got filled up and rolled like a got made flesh, killing the Pureblood behind the wall without needing any help from his buddies.  That let the Lances do stuff all by themselves and when the dust cleared the Bokor, a Sentry and Ghetorix were also dead.

At that point I started angling for some sweet scenario points, but Tom and I talked over the matchup a bit.  With a stranded Tree and just a Gorax and a single Sentry facing down an unmolested Stormclad, Laddermore, most of a Lance unit and Haley herself we decided to call it.

In a SUPER close match, my team was able to pull out a 3-2 victory and advance on to day 2!  That let us breath a bit of a sight of relief since one of our toughest opponents was behind us... but there were still tough times to come!

Round 4 vs. Josh Maxson from Muse on Minis

Going into the second day there were 3 undefeated teams; ourselves, Florida Meta and Lone Star.  We got the pair down and had the opportunity to play against one of the scariest X-1 teams so far; Muse on Minis, whose only loss had been a close game to Team Friendship on the first day.  Still a very tough game!

I was paired against Josh and his Mercenaries and dropped Haley2 into his Shae.

Captain Phinneus Shae [+28]
 - Buccaneer [6]
 - Freebooter [9]
 - Freebooter [9]
 - Freebooter [9]
Anastasia di Bray [3]
Bloody Bradigan [3]
Bosun Grogspar [4]
Doc Killingsworth [4]
First Mate Hawk [4]
Lord Rockbottom [4]
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt [8]
Press Gangers (max) [12]
Press Gangers (max) [12]
The Commodore Cannon & Crew [7]
The Devil's Shadow Mutineers [8]

I wasn't super happy about the matchup; Doc's ministrations made most of the infantry pretty resilient to lightning and with their long threat ranges/movement shenanigans they could bag my Lances pretty easily.  Freebooter's aren't the most amazing 'jacks in the world but if they can get my stuff knocked down (which is pretty easy with the Commodore on the table) they can mince crappy Cygnar heavies no problem.  Womp womp.

Fortunately, Anastasia was no help for Josh and I won the initiative roll and took the first turn.  I Arc Bolted a couple PGs away and pushed my battlegroup as far up as could.  Josh had a pretty conservative turn; PGs got Phantasm and danced around the Lances threat range.  Some guns took a couple shots at Thorn behind a wall and missed.  Good stuff.  Fortunately for me, Shae Storm Rager'd Bradigan and walked a couple inches forward...

...into Dynamo's threat range. :(  There was an assassination there that wasn't super great, but feeling as bad about the matchup as I did I decided to go for it anyway.  Shae decided it was a good time to take a 2" stroll forward and turn around, Dynamo got Accelerated and blasted away with laz0r bEemz.  By the end of the Multi Fire Shae looked like Pirate Booty.

Not sure how the game would've played out in the long run; Josh had positioned well to deny me an alpha strike and force me to either eat a charge that'd kill all my pretty ponies or cede scenario.  It wasn't great, but Haley being Haley maybe she could've pulled some jank out.  In any case; our team had another very close round and squeaked it out 3-2!

Finals vs. Brandon Andrews from Florida Meta

On to the final tournament of the day!  I got paired up vs. Brandon and his trixy Cryxies.  Brandon's lists were great for the team format because they were so weird and skewey we didn't have a great answer for them.  The big question mark was Skarre1 with Wraith Engines and a bunch of Incorporeal duders 👻 ; I though Kara maybe had a game into it but wasn't super confident; still, I got dropped in.

Pirate Queen Skarre [+28]
 - Inflictor [13]
 - Inflictor [13]
 - Scavenger [7]
 - Skarlock Thrall [4]
Darragh Wrathe [9]
Machine Wraith [2]
Machine Wraith [2]
Machine Wraith [2]
Necrotech [2]
Scrap Thrall [2]
Blackbane's Ghost Raiders (max) [17]
Wraith Engine [15]
Wraith Engine [15]

There were other versions of this list running around with a Kraken, but this one felt scarier to me; the double Shield Guards really fouled up killing the Wraith Engines and all the little solos running around were problematic.  I won the initiative roll and took the first turn; Brandon chose a site with a sweet forest to hide Skarre behind.  Scenario was Take and Hold.
Fortunately this game was basically pretty quick.

Stuff ran up, the Engines pushing really far forward.  I stuck Arc Shield on the Sentinel and ran it up to my flag; Brandon had deployed very heavily across from it so I was expecting significant scenario pressure, and I figured that if he committed to the Stormwall I'd just fix it and probably kill all the stuff that punched it.  Top of 2 I feated and started laying into one of the Engines with Kara and the Stormwall.  It had only been left in Shield Guard range of one Inflictor so it got sniped.

Skarre came back and feated the other Engine, a Machine Wraith and a couple Ghost Raiders.  The Engine was able to get in on the Stormwall so that's where it went...

...and did 33 damage.  Hrrk! 😱

Then 3 Ghost Raiders (2 w/ the feat) killed it.  3.51% chance to do it, according to Oddsmachine.  There were lots of 6s involved.

So that was basically that.  We played the game out for giggles; Kara eventually killed the other Engine with a sweet Dust to Dust and the Scavenger in melee, but paid for her arrogance by being impaled by an Inflictor.  Sad times. #whywedontplayKara

Not sure how the game would've gone had the Stormwall not died like a little whiny bitch.  If it had been able to kill the second Engine in retaliation it still had 2 Inflictors to deal with, but with constant repairs and Arc Shield that's probably playable, especially since it could then put its e-leaps and pods to use freeing up Hunters to shoot those guys as well.  Not saying I would've won outright, but it's still a very playable game.

Fortunately, my team had my back.  Jay missed a crucial roll that would've put him in a dominating position in his game and ended up losing, but Brian, Dan and Mike all pulled out EXTREMELY close games against their opponents, putting us up 3-2 and winning us the event!  Yay!

Quick shoutout to the ATC crew; the event was freaking awesome.  The terrain and tables were great and super well set up, it was run smoothly and everything went without a hitch!  Highly recommended for next year; even if you don't have a team there was still a solo event and I'm sure other events would be considered if the size of the tournament grows.  Also quick shoutout to teams Muse, Florida and Lone Star, since they agreed to get up early on Sunday morning to help us get our games done faster since the time of Jay's departing flight had been pushed up and he was in danger of missing the finals.

So all in all, a great weekend and some very tough games.  I was super proud of my team for running through what might've been the toughest gauntlet of opponents at the event and still coming out on top.  Now on to Belgium! :D

Friday, February 10, 2017

WotS Batrep 12 - CaptainCon Masters R1: Damiano vs. Issyria

Commentated game of the first exciting round of CaptainCon Masters featuring Charles Soong's Kingmakers under Damiano vs. Michael Ireland's Ret under Issyria.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

WotS Batrep 11 - Blaize vs. Talons

Some sweet theme force action with Blaize vs. Talons!  It's a classic knights dragons fight!  Have at thee, villains!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

WM Tactics Let's Play Part 4

In this exciting installment of the Adventures of Bandit the Charger, Bandit is painfully overshadowed by Larry the Lancer!  Will this slight stand!?  Tune in next time to find out!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

WotS Batrep 10 - Nemo3 vs Vayl2

Nemo3 takes the stage in an electrifying performance, bug zapping the weird dragon beasties of the Legion of Everblight with lightning speed!  I'm positive joule be amped for this one; I was certainly galvanized to make it!  Electricity pun or something.

Monday, January 16, 2017

List Dojo - Squall Detachment

"In lightning clad... bitch."
In an event that seems commonplace and dreadfully banal in the game at the moment, another very exciting thing has happened!!!!  Everywhere fluffy bunny players like me are jumping for joy that we can finally play lists designed entirely for their thematic element and definitely not engineered to get the most benefit from poorly tested force construction bonuses!  Real talk tho; I don't think that Cygnar's new theme force; Storm Division, is particularly poorly constructed... in fact, I think it's great!  Strong enough that it'll definitely see play competitively but so much that it invalidates lots of other play styles or is an auto-include.  The biggest criticism I can level is that it places slightly too much emphasis on models that were already seeing table time (i.e. Storm Lances) while not including enough benefits for lesser-played Stormduders (looking at you, Stormguard), but it still makes units like Stormblade Infantry that have been near-extinct way more exciting to play.  Playing in or out of theme is going to be a tough choice, but for some 'casters the additional points allowed it going to help a ton.  Today I'm going to be going over my favorite winners for swans with these new benefits.

#1 - Born Again Morrowan

15 free points might be what it takes to pull one of the worst designed Warcasters in the game off the heap.  In my opinion, Constance Blaize makes the biggest comeback with the new theme force.  She already brought strong synergies with Storm infantry; namely in Crusader's Call to help their abysmal threat ranges and while she might not be particularly top tier, the benefits from Storm Division at least make her palatable.  Here's my list:

Constance Blaize, Knight of the Prophet [+30]
 - Gallant [17]
 - Lancer [10]
 - Squire [0]
Stormblade Infantry [10]
 - Stormblade Infantry Officer & Standard [0]
Stormblade Infantry [10]
 - Stormblade Infantry Officer & Standard [0]
Storm Lances (max) [20]
Storm Lances (max) [20]
Field Mechaniks (min) [3]
Journeyman Warcaster [4]
 - Firefly [8]

Things I like: Tons of dudes!
This list has phenomenal table presence; Advanced Move from the SBI lets them keep up with the Lances, and +2" threat on everything from Crusader's Call gives it tons of scenario pressure.  The feat is generally strong too; with lots of high-ARM infantry models to take advantage of it.  Combined with Arc Shield/Iron Zeal, Storm duders get to super armored levels very quickly.

Things I don't like: The Battlegroup
Like Connie herself, the list needs a little work.  There's a Thorn-sized hole in the battlegroup that'd make me love it more, but since he's not allowed out w/o Haley he gets to stay home.  I'd put a second heavy in there but I like the flexibility of being able to get Repudiate out where I need it.

Needs a Stormblade Captain for sure; with so many duders on the table makes things difficult to move around w/o Tactician.  I'm sure future iterations will drop an SBI CA for one.  Laddermore is also looking at this list longingly and the Lightning Generator (combined with army-wide E: immunity) as well as the buffed shooting on the Lances might be worth it.  A unit of Lances might drop down to min size to fit her.

Caveat; ^^ is the only of these lists I've played so far.

#2 - Commander Lightning Stryke

"Y'all remember when people thought I was bad!?"
Not particularly surprising, but Stryker1's regular list can transform into a very interesting dudeguy-spammy sort of deal with a generous application of free points:

Commander Coleman Stryker [+30]
 - Stormwall [39]
Storm Lances (max) [20]
Storm Lances (max) [20]
Stormblade Infantry [10]
 - Stormblade Infantry Officer & Standard [0]
Major Katherine Laddermore [8]
Journeyman Warcaster [0]
 - Firefly [8]

Things I like: Something something water on rocks
This list presents the problem of suffering through multiple waves of charging Storm Knights, especially if you can't deal with Stryker's feat.  Long threat ranges from Storm Lances can set up for an SBI attack at the creamy nougat center of an opposing force, with the Colossal acting as an anchor piece.  With Laddermore and Snipe on the table, this list can attrition excellently at range, as well; able to force engagement by virtue of many lightning guns.  Mostly it's a normal Stryker1 list but with an additional anchor piece in the SBI.

Things I don't like: Solos again
This list is hurting for some support; Arlan at the very least, but probably a Squire as well to extend the range of Invincibility.  It might be in for another case of dropping 2 Storm Lances for the necessary support. :(

It's not April yet
After some thought I'm fairly sure this list goes absolute bonkers once the Hurricane is released.  Sniped Storm Emitters knocking down enemy heavies to set up the Storm Knight Assaults could let this list deal crippling damage before melee is even reached, at the cost of a little anti-infantry presence.

#3 - To Nobody's Surprise...

This list has been making the rounds lately so I'm fairly sure most Cygnar players have seen it, but it bears repeating.

Major Victoria Haley [+25]
 - Thorn [13]
 - Stormwall [39]
 - Squire [0]
Journeyman Warcaster [0]
 - Firefly [8]
Major Katherine Laddermore [8]
Storm Lances (max) [20]
Storm Lances (min) [12]

Oh boy; Haley2 makes good things better, do tell me more.  Can you tell how exciting and novel this is from my passionate writing tone?

In reality, this list looks incredible.  There's a noticeable lack of a trading heavy but free solos let you take enough Storm Lances to do that job just fine.  This may be another case of "IIAY Syndrom"  (Is It April Yet?); the massive damage output from all the lightning guns lets it stand off and erase heavies with shooting from long range... not something you really ever want Haley2 to be able to do consistently.

Things I like: All those things I just said

Things I don't like: No mercs
Haley might be our most reliant 'caster on non-Faction support (except Stryker2 maybe?), but none of those unsavory characters are allowed in the elitist environment of the Storm Brigade!  Haley can deliver solos like Ragman or Gorman with ease at let them do their thing over multiple turns, so losing access to them is a big hit.  Whether it's big enough to forgo 9 free points in a usually-points-strapped Thornwall build is the big question.

I'm sure more cool Storm Division builds will come along in the near future, but those are the stand outs that are immediately obvious.  I am excited about the new playstyles this list makes available for existing 'casters, and while the immediate strength of builds with already powerful Warcasters is a little disappointing I'm excited for more themes to be released and offer even more varied ways to play!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Stormsmiths Killed the Time Wizard

Who knew these little cuties could be so devious!?

Like most Cygnar players, the recent errata left me baffled at the repeated bashes to Haley1's soft, unprotected head.  Fortunately after much theory, very scientific experiementation and peer-reviewed articles I think I've uncovered the cause.  I've touched on this a bit on the social medias and stuff after I published my errata post but I'd also like to go over it in a littlemore depth here.

Immediately after the errata dropped I set to work contemplating the mystifying foam-rubberification of our favorite bullet magnet.  Like most people I came up empty trying to figure out what PP thought made her too powerful, but rephrasing the query to; "what changed between her release and now" prompted a head-slapping 'you dummy' response.

"Stormsmith Grenadiers, idiot." -my brain, c. Dec. 2017

Yes, those diminutive nerds pretending to play real sports by dressing in gridiron football pads and throwing vaguely ball-shaped electronics at people in the facepalmy attempt to get popular girls to like them.  Only, they caught the eye of one popular girl and like an insecure high school jock rising in defense of his territory, PP swiftly punted that girl back into her place.

"Only popular models with good prospects for you, young lady," scolded Privateer Press; "stick to Hunters and those dashing Gun Mage Captains."
"But moooom, Derek and his friends are really smart and could introduce new and interesting mechanics to the faction!" Haley whined.
"No!  They'll never get into a good school on an Arcane Savant scholarship and will end up spending the rest of their lives buried in debt and saddled with a laundry list of mediocre rules many players will bash their heads against a wall to use effectively.  If you ever see Derek or his friends again I'll revoke your SPD debuff privileges."

Haley1 was basically the only place I was excited to play Stormsmith Grenadiers; and I was very excited to play them there.  It's a good day any time you can stack multiple debuffs, and SPD is one of the most powerful stat to play with.  Between Barrier and Kinetic Grip you could drop the speed on specific models by 4.  Khador 'jacks become SPD 0, most other heavies SPD ~1 and even SPD 6 heavies drop their charging threat to 6-7".  On top of that with Blitz these little guys could spread the love around and chuck 6-12 SPD debuff AoEs or combo Voltaic Vortex to catch huge swaths of the table.  Seems pretty sweet, right?

Was it going to break the meta wide open though?  Probably not, honestly.  I'm fairly certain the combo, while strong, would've entered the "win more" category pretty quickly.  With a very low threat range (12" on the grenades) and susceptibility to stuff Haley already doesn't want to see; i.e. high accuracy shooting, these guys just end up screwing over matchups Haley probably already had in hand.  That said, I imagine that the NPE is real; whether a newer player or just somebody who didn't bring the right list that day, getting stuck into Haley1 already probably sucks; not being able to move your Juggernauts more than 3" at a time definitely sucks even more.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

List Dojo - Belligerent Cattle

With the errata drama (dramerrata?) quickly fading into the rearview mirror and the melodious tones of the Privateer Press Forum's collective wailing unfortunately being drown out by the dejected grumbles of players continually bad touched by subterranean hentai monsters... it's time for something completely different!  Con season is coming down the pipe like a train in a long dark tunnel and with it I'm sure I'll be talking far too much of the short collection of Cygnar models I've professed my eternal love for, so let's cover someone I rate on the opposite end of the emotional spectrum... our resident battlebox 'caster Major Beth Maddox!

"I'll take 'stuff that never gets old' for 500, Alex."

Major Angrycow was a bit of an enigma to me when she was released.  It can't be said that she isn't a great Battlebox 'caster as she brings a wide toolbox of different stuff to do.  Snipe for gun stuff, Onslaught and Assail for movin' stuff, Thunderous Rage for punchin' stuff and Dauntless Resolve for not gettin' punched stuff.  All great stuff, but I didn't think they really built up to anything exciting.  She clearly wants to be melee-focused with a decent damage buff in the feat and a couple mechanisms to try halfheartedly at delivering her models.  But then there's Snipe, the red-headed stepchild in the all-blue family of punchy punchy melee stuff.

Unfortunately, none of Major Iratebovine's great tools are actually very great.  Damage buffs are great but being generated by a feat means they're pretty limited in scope... and to be honest it's pretty depressing to have your defining feature be upkept for 1 Focus by another Warcaster.  Assail is an okay spell but an 11-12" threat off a single 'jack gets laughed out by the cool kids of the Warmachine lunchroom.  The real winner here is Snipe for sure.

So here's the deal; Maddox doesn't bring a particularly impressive threat range to the table, which she'd like to have to leverage her feat to punch all the things... or does she?  As it turns out, it's pretty easy to charge anything in the game if you annoy it enough to walk into your charge range!  Snipe makes that pretty easy and if she's willing to spend the Focus for it she can swap it around the place and shoot the crap out of all the bad guys.  In a surprise twist, bad guys don't like being shot, and a plethora of long range shooting can make them come forward to get charged at +3 POW or die in a hail of bullets and lightning!

So with that that battle plan in mind, this is where I went with a list for Major Sullenbullock:

Major Beth Maddox [+30]
 - Stormwall [39]
 - Dynamo [18]
 - Sylys Wyshnalyrr, The Seeker [4]
Journeyman Warcaster [4]
 - Firefly [8]
Major Katherine Laddermore [8]
Storm Lances (max) [20]
Captain Arlan Strangewayes [4]

So here's the theory; in most matchups (where guns can go pew and kill the bad guys), Snipe starts on the Storm Lances until they get the opportunity to leverage their 20" threat range with RAT 7, POW 14/16 guns (w/ Laddermore & the Firefly in play).  Then Maddox goes and swaps Snipe to Dynamo and puts Dauntless on the Storm Lances so they don't get killed, so Dynamo can finish off whatever the Storm Lances started doing.  With RNG 14, the Stormwall doesn't need Snipe most of the time, so he'll contribute shots wherever they're needed to finish heavies or important solos, drop pods to bounce lightning off and kill duders or just put Covering Fire in front of baddies.  Unfortunately it leaves Maddox pretty FOC strapped, so Arlan and Sylly Wylly are in there to give her a helping hand.

Mistress Maddox; making you cum into her "threat range"

With that mildly blistering amount of magical lightning bullets flying downrange, the list kills a heavy most turns, or just vaporizes a bunch of infantry with sweet Storm Lances pokey-guns.  That's a lot of hurt at a very long range, putting pressure on the other player to advance forward so Maddox can have a strong feat and try to mop up the game around turn 3-4.  It's around that time that poor Major Crosscattle gets super bored with no Snipe to toggle around and spends the rest of the game twiddling her thumbs in the back corner and weeping silently about lack of any actual personal agency.  Sometimes she'll get to dominate a zone.

While I'm not sure I'm going to get the chance to play this list too many times in the immediate future, I still look forward to this whole article being totally invalidated when Maddox' brick shithouse of a character 'jack gets released in a couple months.  Oh well.