So for my first jump into the wide world of the blogosphere I thought I would talk about a warcaster that is not seen all that often. Gorton Grundback, one of the three Rhulic Mercenary Casters. The Rhulics do not tend to be seen often as warcasters due to there restrictive nature in what warjacks they can field. I am here to tell you today that their ‘jack restrictions should not stop you from considering these awesome stunty fellows. I have been playing the Rhulic Mercenary starter box for the last few weeks now in our local journeyman league and have been having a blast with him, so i thought i would expound on a few things that make Gorton so great.
- Huge Armor; Gorton has an armor value equal to most heavy jacks making him one of the hardest assassinations in the game.
- Dual Hand Cannon; His ranged weapon can fire both barrels or 2 shots of your standard hand cannon, dealing a lot of damage that most people won’t expect.
- Solid Melee Skillz; His hammer does respectable damage and has a great critical effect: smite. If Gorton buff’s himself he can easily be hitting as hard as most heavy jacks.
- High Jack Points; Gorton makes up for his low focus by bring a higher than average amount of ‘jack points to the table. For this reason you can get several of the cheap yet awesome Rhulic jacks onto the table and still field a good amount of infantry to support them.
Feat — Landslide:
This is one of the main things that makes Gorton such a horror on the table. He can push enemy models in his control range towards a table edge of your choice, and on top of that the effected models also take large hits to their DEF, SPD, and RAT. This feat is definitely the first thing that makes Gorton out to be the denial caster that he is. It can be used for many purposes, like pulling a weary warcaster in close so that they can get charged by your buffed up Basher, Driller or even Gorton himself. On most occasions if you pull this off, you’ve just won the game. But because Gorton clocks in as one of the slower SPD casters, and his control range is not huge, a smart opponent will avoid this when they can.
Assassination is not Landslides only strength, you can empty entire control zones of enemy models with it, and leave them stuck outside the control zone the following turn. In some scenarios this may just mean the win. If you use his spell Rockwall in conjunction with the feat you can control how your foe moves even more. The wall can stop landslide movement because it is a push, allowing you to cherry pick targets or separate units from their commanders.
While Gorton does not have a impressive amount of focus he does still have 5 really good spells.
- Strength of Granite: This spell boosts a model in his battle group’s STR by a whooping 4! This spell will be up for most of your game, either on a melee ‘jack like the Driller or on Gorton himself, making them all hit like a truck.
- Rockwall: This upkeepable spell allows Gorton to make his own wall template in his control area giving him or his units some well needed cover. As mentioned earlier you can also use it to help with manipulating how you push your enemies models with landslide. It also has a great use to help much up charges for larger models because they can not end their movement on top of the wall. To do this you place the wall about a half to a full inch from the target you don’t want to get charged, this way they have to stop up against the wall because their base wont fit onto the other side of it. This is another way that Gorton shows his nature as a denial caster.
- Solid Ground: The last of the things that makes a Gorton a good denial caster, this spell makes all friendly models in his control range immune to knock down and blast damage. Both of these things can be huge given the abilities of your opponent.
- Molten Metal: A solid and cheap offensive spell for Gorton that only works on ‘jacks. This spell does 6 guaranteed damage to an enemy warjack as long as it is not immune to fire.
- Eruption: While this a good AOE cloud spell, it costs more than half of Gorton’s focus and thus won’t get cast much. It is good for causing modest AOE damage and leaving a cloud around for mucking up LOS.
I have found now after playing him a lot that Gorton definitely doesn’t need a huge amount of ‘jacks with him since he has little focus to dole out. Usually i find one or two heavies is all he needs, add in a few of the Rhulic light ‘jacks for fire support and you’ve got a solid battle group. For heavies i prefer a Driller or a Basher. The Driller with his sustained attack drill can really tear down any target it gets a hold of if it has Strength of Granite on it. The Basher is great because it can always make slams for free which helps out a lot with Gorton’s focus issues. Because both of the light ‘jacks never need more than one focus on them to be effective, Gorton can definitely handle running 3-4 of them.
When playing any Mercenary caster you have to choose which contract or tier list you want to run them in. I have found that Gorton does the best in either Four Star Syndicate or Highborn Covenant (I prefer Highborn). This gives him a much larger access to the other support solos that the Mercenary faction has to offer. The one that stands out the most is Sylys Wyshnalyrr for his ability to upkeep a spell for free. Given that you will most likely have at least two of your upkeeps going at once, this gives you such great flexibility with your focus. Sadly if you play his tier or run Gorton in Searforge you wont be able to take Sylys. Another great combo to bring with Gorton is having Thor Stienhammer marshaling some ‘jacks for you, ideally an Avalancher. Because Thor can run jacks as effectively if not better than the Rhulic casters he is a great way to get some more ‘jack power onto the table without hindering your focus flexibility.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at one of my new favorite casters, and don’t underestimate this pint sized brick shithouse when you see him across the table from you!