With time being crunched even more in 2012 and with the destructible interactive objectives, I predict that we will see fewer infantry and more warjacks/warbeasts on the table. While Mk II has really encouraged people to take more Warjacks/Warbeasts anyway, what we have seen a lot of on the tables are infantry spammy lists, like the Goreshade v. Butcher showdown with Bane Thrall and Doom Reaver spam, respectively. Since character restriction won't prevent lists like this from happening, perhaps the shortened turns shall. With only 37 minutes on a 35 point deathclock, that means that having so many infantry models on the table becomes a liability. You had better hope that you can move all of those bodies quickly or win the game quickly or else you'll be running out of time. Consequently, I think that we will be seeing many more warjack/warbeast heavy forces on the table with less infantry spam. I would expect to see lots of Legion, Cryx (Mortenebra), and probably Cygnar on the tables. Cygnar typically takes lots of infantry, but ranged armies like Cygnar will have more of an advantage then usual because they can aim and spend less time moving models. Expect to see others, too, but I think those three will see lots of play.
2) Battle Engines Similar to the reason above and because they will soon all see release, I think that Battle Engines will start to see some play in SR 2012. The various Battle Engines have trickled onto the tables in the past few months since the first ones were released this last spring/summer. Since then, we have not seen them much on the tournament tables for various reasons, but I think we will start seeing them on the tournament tables in 2012. Again, since time will become more important, these pieces provide a large footprint like a full infantry unit, but can't be trampled and are often quite efficient at what they do. Consequently, I think that we will be seeing them more and more on the tables. In particular, I think that the Cygnar and Khador battle engines will see a lot of play for their efficiency and simplicity, and the Retribution battle engine will likely see some play because of it's awesome fire support. For Hordes, we likely won't see any of the battle engines in top tournaments for some time, as they are slowly being released and need some more practice. Additionally, it's a tough call for Hordes because warlocks need beasts to fuel their magic, and battle engines are lots of points that are not being spent on warbeasts. I would expect to see the Legion battle engine see some play since it's just that good, but I still think that it's a tough call for them. You can be guaranteed to see some Trollkin battle engines on the table, as they are a faction with typically low-fury warlocks with high-fury warbeasts, so they don't have to worry so much about fury generation from their
3) Warcaster/Warlock Variety
|Maybe we'll see Rhyas more on the table?|
Granted, these are just my personal predictions, so don't read them as gospel. They are based on what limited experience I have had with SR2012 and there's still a full year of new releases to consider into the equation as well. I am probably also overstating the time issue and I think that shortly after Templecon, everyone will have adjusted to the new limits in time for 2013 to shorten it even more. I guess that's what is so exciting about the Steamroller format, though, and we'll see how the meta develops!
Also, I will have some exciting news to share in the next couple of days, so be sure to stay tuned!