Friday, November 04, 2011

List Building: The Journeyman League!

While there was no power in Connecticut, I decided that I would trek up to Boston to spend time with my girlfriend.  I had a mini-vacation, sure, but she still had to work, go to class, and write papers and such.  What was a guy to do?  You guessed right: GAME ON!

I spent 3 of my 4 days off hanging out at The Whiz, my "L"GS (I say "L" because it's only local when I'm in the Boston area).  I had some fun crafting and playing a new style of Magic: The Gathering deck I like to call the "Mad Scientist" deck, but I wanted to take advantage of the time to play some Warmachine/Hordes.  That was when I heard from one of the Press Gangers that the store was starting a Journeyman League.  If you click that link you'll find out what the Journeyman League is, but I will summarize it by saying that it's a 6 week event that is designed to encourage new players to get into the game by starting small with the standard faction battle box of models.  The League tallies points for games played and the number and type of models you paint and you can earn prizes (and neat patches!) depending on how many points you earn.  Even though I'm not a new player, I decided that I would join up so that I could motivate myself to get some of my Circle painted in time for Templecon in February.

The normal circle battlebox, a.k.a. "Warpack"
The Whiz Journeyman League has a slight alteration to the format: you can play with any battlegroup as long as it's 10-12 points worth of warjacks/warbeasts, with no character 'jacks/'beasts allowed, and no duplication of the same 'jack/'beast.  This might seem overly complicated, but given the size of the games, it would be hard to include a character 'jack/'beast anyway.  I had originally tossed out a couple ideas of my battlegroup for this challenge, as it didn't matter what I played because I can paint any model in the faction to count (we'll get to that list later!).  I was considering the following casters: both Kayas, pKrueger, Baldur, Mohsar.

Kaya is pretty awesome, though
All were options as I'm trying to get more experience with them in preparation for Templecon.  I decided against pKaya, as she already has her own battlebox, and I'm not likely to use her in the tournament.  Her epic form lost out for me because she has only a few beast points, meaning she would difficult to make a list for.  Plus I think she's a bit of an "easy button."  In the end I had to kick out Mohsar because an 8 fury caster is difficult to keep fed when you only have 10-12 points of beasts on the table.  Losing one beast would really hurt and only half of his spells were all that useful without any infantry on the table.  So I'm left with pKrueger and Baldur.  Tough choices!  He's the lists I had for both:

I love this guy!
pKrueger (+5)
-Feral Warpwolf (9)
-Gnarlhorn Satyr (8)
(total: 12)

pBaldur (+6)
-Woldwarden (9)
-Woldguardian (9)
(total: 12)

Krueger ended up kicking the can because I felt as if his spells lacked significant support to a format with so many beasts.  While pKrueger would be difficult to assassinate with Skyborne and he does bring a POW 13 ranged weapon, he would not really be able to make much use of his feat nor Chain Lightning, which are both great for killing infantry, but terrible against anything ARM 17+.  That said, however, I thought that a Feral with Lightning Tendrils with a Gnarlhorn's Bounding animus would be pretty funny, giving the Feral a threat range of 13" with electro-leap!  Oh well, Baldur it is (again)!

Baldur's upcoming epic form!
Baldur's list might seem uninspiring at first, and might actually resemble the Khador battlebox at first with two heavily armored targets and a fairly squishy caster.  However, that is where the similarities end.  Everyone gives the Woldwarden crap because he seems to have a crappy statline, but with Baldur's Stone Skin and the Woldwarden's ability to geomancy the spell onto himself, you can have two heavies sitting at ARM 20 with 30+ damage boxes.  Not too shabby!  The Woldguardian is great too because he's naturally ARM 20, but he also has this wonderful animus called Flesh of Clay which means that he's taking one less damage die against ranged attacks.  This is disgusting when combined with Stone Skin, and even better once you remember the little rule that says that warlocks can cast the animi of any warbeast in their battlegroup as if it were a spell.  This means that Baldur can be practically immune to ranged attacks, especially when stacked with Stone Skin and/or his feat!  That's pretty great at the battlebox level as ranged attacks can usually see your caster much better than they would at even 25 points.

Well, I could gush about how much I love Baldur, but I do want to let you know that I actually played a game with him!  This is what my opponent brought:

I have to admit, this chick is creepy-cool
Mortenebra + Derlyss (+4)
-Reaper (7)
-Defiler (5)
-Stalker (4)

Yikes!  This list genuinely worried me - especially that Reaper.  The Reaper can drag models into range and then beat on them... gulp!  The Defiler is just your standard bonejack arc-node and that Stalker has greivous wounds - the bane of all Hordes players!  On top of that, Mortenebra has the spell Spectral Steel which adds ARM to a warjack as well as making it ghostly.  This might not seem like a big deal, but Baldur's feat is what allows my beasts to put on the hurt without dying first.  Baldur's feat makes open ground count as rough terrain, and enemy models never count as having pathfinder, as well as giving friendly models cover.  Too bad ghostly isn't pathfinder, meaning that a ghostly model is unaffected by my feat!  Fortunately, my opponent didn't remember this fine shade of difference, but I honestly don't think it would have made a difference.  While he was able to drag forward my Woldguardian and beat on him with most of his stuff, Mortenebra got too close to a Baldur who was camping in the woods.  I cast Rapid Growth to put a forest right near her, and while Derlyss tried to get in the way, it was no use: Baldur teleported to within reach and beat on her thrice with Tritus, killing her soundly.  I wanted to beat up his jacks more with my constructs, but it's always satisfying to see the Baldur assassination run and remind my opponents not to get too close ;-)
Baldur is watching, waiting...

Next time I will post my list of models that I will [attempt to] paint for the Journeyman League and I will be posting updates on how I'm doing, although I will not be able to play another game again until week 3, when everyone is up to 25 points.
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