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 
- Dynamo 
- Sylys Wyshnalyrr, The Seeker 
Journeyman Warcaster 
- Firefly 
Major Katherine Laddermore 
Storm Lances (max) 
Captain Arlan Strangewayes 
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.