Thursday, January 19, 2012

List Building: pNemo - 35 points

I recently wrote an article for 3++ is the new black (part 1 and part 2) about how awesome eNemo is and how much he loves warjacks.  Well I also promised that I would write an article about making pNemo work, but I decided to preview that article here with more details on choices and alternatives.  I'm certainly in the camp that believes that pNemo is one of the worst warcasters that Cygnar has, but I believe that like with any warcaster, once you figure out how to maximize on the strengths and minimize the weaknesses, any warcaster can be good, and at the very least, fun!  I came up with some thoughts on pNemo a few months ago and so I reflected back on those ideas and tweaked them a bit to come up with a new list for pNemo.  Part of the trouble with this guy is that there are so many routes to go, but I figured that here I would provide a starting point for those who might be thinking of playing him, and you can go from there.  Where do we start?  Yep, let's look at what he has.

First thing I look at with pNemo is his feat.  Pretty straight-forward: POW 14 electrical roll to each enemy warjack/warbeast in his control area (boostable) and warjacks suffer disruption.  Whoa!  Right away we see a clear preference for dealing with Warmachine factions (and rather well, mind you) by being able to hand out disruption en-masse.  Pretty legit, although the POW 14 is a bit lackluster.  What's interesting about his feat is that he can benefit from his special rule Overpower where he can spend one focus in his Control Phase to extend his control area 1" (per focus spent), meaning he can potentially cast a wider net with his feat.  Interesting, but in order to make the most of it, he will need focus to boost those damage rolls, otherwise a lot of targets will shrug off most of the damage.  Fortunately, pNemo has a rule for that!

It's very technical...
pNemo's Reserve Accumulator is very interesting and really got me thinking about pNemo: every time another model casts a spell in his control area, he gains a power token (up to 3).  For each power token, he gets a focus during his Control Phase (like souls).  This can be pretty huge because it means that Nemo can effectively get 10 focus points per turn - much like the Harbinger of Menoth.  However, the trick is that he normally has a 14" control area, so he's not snagging a lot of enemy models in there most of the time, and he'll want to stay pretty far backfield because he's really squishy.  This got me thinking: why not have friendly models cast spells?  Unfortunately, there are only two Cygnar models with magic abilities, so we'll definitely want to include them, but what about others?  Why not consider Mercs?  I think that the addition of Aiyana and Holt will be great as Kiss of Lyliss adds a brutal damage buff for all of your models damaging a model/unit, and Ragman will also be a great addition with his Death Shroud which drops the ARM of models engaged by models near Ragman.  The threat range with Ragman's Death Shroud is weird, but we essentially want him near your own models and you can cast a wide net.  Both of these spells will add a power token to Nemo too, meaning that you'll keep him fed in case your opponent doesn't have any spell casters or their warcaster/warlock is outside of your control.

Oh that's a locomotive.  My bad.
Okay so now what?  Usually I look at spells next and pNemo has lots to look at, for sure.  Locomotion is a bit scary when combined with the fact that he can dole out up to 5 focus on one warjack (instead of 3), meaning you can turn one warjack into a total missile.  Electrify is an interesting buff that pushes an attacker away after they attack - pretty handy to deny lots of damage to a warjack.  Disruption Field is another anti-Warmachine spell that gives a friendly warjack +2 STR (note: useful for throws!) and lets it disrupt models it hits.  Voltaic Snare is a brutal DEF debuff against enemy warjacks (again, anti-Warmachine) that can shut-down a brick of 'jacks.  Lastly, we have my favorite spell: Chain Lightning.  Needless to say, this spell is great for pNemo to deal with enemy infantry as long as they aren't immune to lightning.  In fact, since Cygnar has a good selection of infantry that are immune, it's probably worth considering taking one of those units because you can always hit them in the back and hope that the lightning chains onto nearby infantry!  Okay so what kind of warjacks can we take? 
Spoiler: this guy.
By the way, the concept art is soooo... metal, don't you think?

This is where it gets really difficult to choose.  First, I want to take a Lancer to take advantage of that sexy arc node.  With Electrify on the Lancer, combined with his shock shield, no one will want to bother engaging him, meaning I can sling out some Chain Lightning from my 10 focus per turn.  Next, I want a heavy hitter that can take advantage of 5 focus (if I want) and/or Locomotion.  Since I'll also want some infantry that's immune to electricity, I think the Stormclad combos very well with pNemo, Stormblades, and Strangeways.  Here's how:
- Nemo allocates 0 focus to Stormclad
- Strangeways uses power booster to give Stormclad 1 focus and Nemo 1 power token
- Stormclad activates near Stormblades to get an additional focus
- This means that the Stormclad has 2 free focus and Nemo will get 1 free focus next turn

So here's what my list looks like (and again, you might decide to do things differently):
Commander Adept Nemo (+6)
- Lancer (6)
- Stormclad (10)
- Ironclad (7)
- Squire (2)
Arlan Strangeways (2)
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt (4)
Ragman (2)
Stormblades (5)
- Stormblade Officer & Standard (3)

Aiyana: "Every since I was born I've been poppin' my collar"
Unfortunately, I'm running very light on infantry, but with the Lancer up front arcing some Chain Lightning, I should be able to thin out the enemy infantry before they're a problem.  In this game, I want my infantry to be my second line, and I can launch a Stormclad or Ironclad missile to cause some serious damage.  It's worth noting that between Disruption Field, Kiss of Lyliss from Aiyanna, and a nearby Death Shroud from Ragman, you can have a Stormclad hitting at P+S 25 and causing disruption.  Why yes, I would love to straight damage to an un-opened Khador Devastator.  Hell, that will one-shot most warcasters when the damage roll is boosted.  Even if the Stormclad dies early, you can try it again with your Ironclad at P+S 24.  Yikes.  Let's not forget that those Stormblades can now hit with a P+S 17 on their blades between Death Shroud and Kiss of Lyliss.  So what this force lacks in models, it makes up for by hitting like a steam locomotive!
Oh and I almost forgot!  If you throw up Death Shroud and Kiss of Lyliss, those also affect your feat.  Enjoy your P+S 18 lightning!  Granted, it's only on one target, but Death Shroud can potentially snag several, meaning you can hit a couple with an effective P+S 16 and disruption.

Clearly pNemo is not going to be a good choice for a one-list tournament, but if that second list is optional, I recommend you take him just to mess around with those warjack-heavy armies - especially Cryx, who will not appreciate your lightning against their low ARM warjacks.  Deathjack doesn't look so scary when you're hitting him with a Stormclad at an effective P+S 25.
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