Thursday, March 15, 2012

Fiona the Black - 35 points

I've been on a pirate kick lately.  This always seems to happen when I play my Circle too much.  Don't get me wrong, I love my Circle army and I love the way they play!  I just feel the itch to play my pirates because they bring back something... a childlike nostalgia.  I loved pirates when I was younger and loved drawing pictures of pirate ships and the like.  One of my favorite computer games growing up was Pirates Gold!, a game for Windows 3.1 where you would assemble a crew, hunt for treasure, capture other ships, and it was a blast to play, but I digress.  I'm feeling the pirate twitch once more as while my usual standby was Broadsides Bart, I never seemed terribly satisfied with him and always seemed to have a more difficult time than I should.  I wanted a shooty pirate list and you'd think that Bart would be good at it, but 6 POW 14 AOEs can only take you so far when most of the lists you face are warjack or warbeast heavy.  Naturally, I've gravitated towards Fiona the Black.

I must admit: I have never put her on the table.  I've owned the model for over a year now and I still haven't played a game with her.  Why not?  Every time I've tried to make a list I haven't felt comfortable with her, how to win with her, or what to even take.  Usually I take the tier list and be done with it, but her theme list is generally pretty bad, and while Croe's Cutthroats seem pretty good, I would never use them in any other list and so I didn't want to shell out the money for them.  Aside from that, I felt like her theme didn't have many benefits besides "save some focus turn one" and so I never felt compelled to play it.

Consequently, as a Mercenary who fits in multiple contracts, there were just too many options and too many solos to really "see" what to take and I think that she's a great toolbox with lots of options at her disposal.  While there are many things you can do with her, I feel like you have to just sort of pick something and run with it.  One approach is spell-slinging and with Sylys Wyshnalyrr and Rheinholdt she can have some awesome accuracy and damage with her spells, but when her only offensive spell is POW 12, I don't see it as being a great use of points.  I actually see her being more effective at pinging her opponent to death and surviving and denying her opponent long enough to get the win, instead of going for one epic assassination.  The other challenge that I suggested earlier is that I also want to use models that could be useful in the future.  I'm not made of money and I can't justify picking up Kayazy assassins when this list will mostly just be for fun and I will not own Khador in the future.  I do play Cygnar, however, and so I figured that playing a Highborn Covenant contract would be much more economical since I could use Long Gunners or Gun Mages in another Cygnar list.

So here's what I want to try, given what I have:
Highborn Covenant - 35 points
Fiona the Black (+6)
- Freebooter (6)
Press Gangers (full, 6)
Doc Killingsworth (2)
Gun Mages (6)
- Officer (2)
  - Mariner (8)
Dougal MacNaile (2)
Ragman (2)
Rutger Shaw (2)
 - Buccaneer (3)
Taryn di la Rovissi (2)

I'm actually pretty excited about this list as it will satisfy my desire to play something ranged-heavy, with pirates and cygnarian models.  Plus this gave me an excuse to pick up the resculpt of the gun mages!  While Nyss hunters might be a "better choice", I think the gun mages offer more flexibility since their officer can offer some great marshalling benefits to the Mariner.  Plus, at 35 points, I think that Nyss Hunters are a bit expensive and not really necessary.  I made a 50 point list earlier which used them, but since I don't use them in many lists anyway, I couldn't justify purchasing the unit (plus I don't like the models).  No, I like the ranged synergy in this list and it's actually pretty protective of the ranged elements between Fiona's feat, Roth's Mercy on the Press Gangers (who will also get 4+ tough) and Taryn who can Black Penny any models that are stuck engaging me that I don't want.  Throw in an Influence or two from Fiona, and I have some solid board control against enemy infantry.  Rutger Shaw is an often overlooked model but I think that he synergizes very will with the Buccaneer (Drive: Reroll will be very helpful with the net) and the rest of the force in general.
There's a lot of people who think the Nomad is
better, but I love this model and think that it's a
solid choice anyway.

I plan on heading out to a game store this afternoon with the sole goal of playing with this once or twice and I will report back on how it goes.  There will be a lot to remember but I think that this whole force synergizes quite well and exemplifies the philosophy of "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts".
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