Featured in the last No Quarter was a write up about the 3 main archetypes of list building or play-style: Attrition, Assassination, and everyone’s favorite, Control. After going over the tenants of these types PP asked the reader if they thought there was a fourth type. Well that got me to thinking, is there a fourth way that I’ve seen people approach the game or even how I may have built lists in the past and I think tonight really solidified that the answer is yes. I’ll explain and let you be the judge. Continue reading
I’ve been spending the last couple of weeks delving into Mercenaries in Mark III and one benefit of that is their access to a huge bevy of wonderful solos. With the removal of pacts/contracts it has really opened up the options. Two that have really stood out to me is being able to play Kell Bailoch and Orin Midwinter after mostly sticking to highborn covenant in Mark II. I’ve found list building to be extremely exciting because combinations of solos are so varied and can lead to so many neat synergies.
Mark III has been a whirlwind so far and I don’t know what other player’s experiences have been but I have seen a slew of lists featuring very heavy battle groups. I think everyone expected more jacks with the new power up rule but I’ve also come up against and played quite a few beast heavy lists. I don’t know how much of this is people still holding on to old mentalities, especially with Skorne or Legion, or if the new edition boosts them as well as it does jacks. It seems like Skorne and Legion took a huge hit to their ability to run lots of beasts with the changes to the condition rule and Trolls didn’t really gain anything new to help. There was a decrease in fury and threshold stats almost across the board. I would love to hear player’s theories on this phenomenon or if maybe what I’ve been seeing is an outlier to the true new meta. For now I’m going to focus on some of the jacks/beasts that have stood out to me for better or worse.
So we’re a ways into Mark III and I wanted to jot down some of my thoughts about casters that I’ve played and have played against so far. I feel some of the changes have really shaken up the meta and brought some new casters to the fore while also making some old mainstays very interesting.
I’ll start with Trollbloods as they are my mainstay faction and I’ve played nearly all of them in the new addition. I’m not going to go over them all. Just the ones I’m really excited about or feel have changed the most.
There’s a reason they’re know as “The Nightmare Empire”, they can be an absolute nightmare to face at times. They just do a lot of things well. They can go with the glass cannon approach and hit like a ton of bricks. They can bring masses of infantry that can bolster themselves through respawn mechanics and wear you down through attrition. Several casters can shut down your army through debuff spells and feats. They have some of the most powerful casters in the game with some amazing feats. Their weaknesses would probably be low armor and a less than dominant ranged game. They won’t be going toe to toe with a Khadoran jack and trading blows(unless they are able to stack some of their crazy good debuffs) and they probably won’t beat you with a gun line. This doesn’t mean that they don’t have any good ranged options because they do, just that they probably won’t center an army around that strategy.
Some people feel that Cryx has a few too many abilities and their casters are broken. I agree that they have some very good ones but they are all beatable. They just might give their army a little more room for error than some other factions. I like to call them the “Tryx” faction because outside of Legion, I don’t think any other faction has more ways to ignore game rules.
So with all the new players that we’ve been seeing at the LGS lately, I’ve heard a lot of the old sages being approached for general overviews of the factions. Now I don’t consider myself and expert or anything but I thoroughly enjoy the debate on different factions and units strengths and weaknesses so I thought why not write a blog about it! Starting with …
I have often been amazed at the lack of Skorne players in our local meta. I look at Skorne and I see amazing assassination vehicles(Molik Karn), extremely durable infantry(Cataphract), some of the most widely acclaimed beasts in the game(Bronzeback) and amazing support models. I always wondered why they didn’t seem to catch on, then I went to Lock and Load and discovered this was only a local phenomenon. I think I saw more Skorne armies than the other Hordes factions combined and I can see why.
Battle Report 06/26/13
Siege vs Zaal
Gun Mage Officer
My Opponents List:
Paingivers Beast Handlers
Hakaar the Destroyer
2x Ancestral Guardian
Terrain From my point of view: Forests on the left and right mid table. A forest slightly out of the deployment zone mid in front of me with a wall centered in front of him and one off to my left before the forest.
I deployed first. Gunmages to my far left then journeyman with the destroyer and Strangeways with the charger. Runewood came next with my Boomhowlers and Murdoch manning the center with Siege and the squire behind them. The avenger came next with the black 13th holding the far right flank.
My opponent deployed his mammoth at the center with the nihilators to my right and his swordsmen on my left. His remaining troops filled in behind them.
Lots of running forward. Runewood threw overcome on the Boomhowlers so they cleared the forest and called out 4+ tough. The journeyman put arcane shield on them as well. Everything else ran forward using the trees as cover.
My opponent ran his nihilators forward with Hakaar and one guardian behind them. The mammoth took up residence behind the wall and puts up counter blast. He’s followed by Zaal. He put Inviolable resolve on the swordsmen and they ran forward past the wall with a guardian and the Gladiator following close behind.
Allocate 2 to the Avenger and 2 to the Charger. Defender gets the two off of the journeyman who upkeeps AS. Black 13th moves up, Lynch and Watts each pick off a nihilator with 1 rolling tough. Ryan moves forward and drops mage storm in the middle of them killing two and two rolling tough. Hakaar and the other guardian load up on souls. The avenger moves forward and boosts to kill another 3 nihilators and knocks one down. The charger moves forward and picks off a couple of swordsmen. The defender drops a shot into the gladiator doing a small amount of damage. The gun mages move forward into the trees on my left and with 3 getting shots at swordsmen and killing 2. Then the boomhowlers assault forward, leaving one nihilator that’s knocked down and failing to kill any swordsmen due to failed assaults and being short on the charges. Interestingly the mammoth chooses not to counterblast worrying that it will deviate into it’s own soldiers. Strangeways runs up behind my charger and defender and Siege, the squire and the journeyman take up residence at the front of the trees.
My opponent starts his turn by Righteous Vengeanceing Hakaar up and killing a boomhowler. Between the mammoth cannons, Hakaar, and the swordsmen(with last stand on them), I’m left with only Boomhowler on 2 for 12 rolling(even Murdoch failed…). The mammoth also killed off Lynch with blast damage. The gladiator moves forward to the edge of the trees and gets most of its damage healed off by a beast handler. His last nihilator stands up and moves forward.
Allocated 2 to the Avenger and 3 to the charger. The defender gets 2 again. The remaining Black 13th and the Avenger kill off Hakaar and the last nihilator. Siege puts 4 damage on Kovaas(out of Hakaar) with explosivo. The gun mages move forward and in an awesome display of gun play miss 4 times on the remaining swordsmen and a beast handler but at least manage to finish of the Kovaas. I guess all things balance out though because between the 3 shots from my other two jacks, I leave the Gladiator with about 4 damage in his spirit.
The last couple of swordsmen suicide charge with last stand and kill 3 gun mages, clearing the way for Zaal to send a partially healed, last standed, rushed gladiator in to two shot my charger. The mammoth moves forward to the right of the wall and puts some damage on the Avenger at range not quite taking out any systems.
I put two focus on the defender and leave the Avenger with none because I’m mistakenly thought the mammoth had a 11 inch charge threat and didn’t want to move close enough for a shot. I’m trying to decide if I want to shoot Zaal behind the wall or the last guardian with the defender and choose the former because I also mistakenly thought that he didn’t have any fury but forgot about the dead titan. I do a bit of damage that goes straight to the mammoth. Strangeways heals the Avenger for 5, who had moved over to the center to hopefully lure out the mammoth. The black 13th takes shots at the guardian but don’t finish him off because I forget to declare my brutal shots. Siege takes a shot at the mammoth for something to do and does a couple damage. My last gunmages move to start flanking on his right and kill off another beast handler.
In a huge surprise, the last guardian gets last stand and Zaal feats. Meaning I have one dead defender. Zaal moves across the wall to avoid the gunmages and Boomhowler and the mammoth moves forward to cover him. He puts more damage on the Avenger but leaves him with his right arm(sword) and his cortex.
With my Avenger finally in charge range of the mammoth I go for the win. He gets 3 focus and strangeways moves over to fix his movement. Siege moves out of the trees into the cover templates left by my dead jacks, feats and puts a hurting on Zaal with boosted damage. Somewhere around 18 damage at dice plus 7. Now an interesting questing comes up. Since the Siege’s feat specifies “the first time an enemy model takes damage this turn” does transferred damage count?! After some debate we determine that since it is transferred that Zaal is the one that actually suffered the damage so I’m safe to charge the mammoth. Or so I thought, I was unaware that counter blast also allowed a melee attack. Thankfully he actually missed but sadly the avenger is also not up to the task and leaves the mammoth standing. Then I make a big mistake and charge Zaal with Runewood. He does more damage but still the mammoth lives. Now Zaal is engaged and the Black 13th, the journeyman and Boomhowler are forced to target the mammoth leaving him with 2 hit boxes left. Instead of wasting the other gun mages I have them pick off the other two beast handlers.
With few options left, Zaal lasts stands himself! I’m guessing because he was hoping to kill off anyone who charged him and he kills Runewood and heals the mammoth. The mammoth finishes off the Avenger. But it was too little too late.
Out of hubris I try to kill Zaal with the journeyman but leave him with 5 health so I take a boosted shot with Siege and finish him off.
1. Last stand is amazing.
2. Zaal’s feat is amazing.
3. Killing the Kovaas is a huge priority. This army gave my ways to kill it in spades which kept it from really affecting the game as you can tell how much it was mentioned in my report
4. Make sure you are announcing what you are doing in a clear voice. I kept questioning what my opponent was doing, especially if I thought beasts were damaged and missing aspects, and I didn’t want to give the impression I thought he was cheating but I’ve been bitten by that before and just wanted to make sure.
5. I just don’t know how I feel about Siege. He has an amazing feat but the only spell I cast all game was explosivo and the only time I used ground pound was turn two and he failed to kill any of the swordsmen he shot at. I used his regular gun the rest of the game because I only needed to kill 1 thing with higher pow. Maybe against more of an infantry swarm list…
6. Boomhowlers are just too damn expensive when you don’t get any tough rolls. Murdoch is great with them for assault though… If you can hit anything lol.
7. I don’t care what anyone says, the charger is great at 4 points. He might be focus hungry but on those turns when you need a couple boosted pow 12s he is amazing. And sometimes you just need a couple boosted pow 12s!