Monday, April 09, 2012

Mercenary Unit Attachments: The Lists

In the first two parts of my series on Mercenary Unit Attachments we looked at what each unit attachment offered their charges and then we looked at all of the warcasters for each relevant faction and their feats, spells, and abilities which would affect these Mercenary units once they were considered faction models.  For today, I created three lists that feature these mercenary units and their attachments and I will focus on how each mercenary unit and MUA features in each list.  Again, I make no claims on the power of each individual list, but merely am focusing on how a mercenary unit will offer something unique to the particular warcaster that normal faction models might not.  Let's start with Cygnar.

While Constance Blaze would probably be the most powerful and effective use of mercenary units, she can technically be taken as a Highborn Covenant warcaster anyway, so she doesn't even need Murdoch to make mercenary units shine.  No, I wanted to focus on a purely Cygnarian warcaster, and especially one who does not see much love anymore.

Kara Sloan (+6)
- Cyclone (9)
- Defender (9)
- Minuteman (5)
- Sentinel (4)
Ogrun Assault Corps. (full, 9)
- Jonas Murdoch (2)
Trencher Chaingun Crew (2)
Rheinholdt (1)

I love Kara Sloan and wish she saw more play.  She was pretty popular when Cygnar Mk II was released, as she was the shiny new warcaster they received, and is the one of only a few purely ranged warcasters/warlocks.  You'd think that she's pretty straight-forward to play, but she has a severe weakness: melee.  With the current meta heavily favoring melee over ranged armies, Sloan is at a little disadvantage when her spell list and feat feature ranged attacks so heavily.  Fortunately, I feel like the list I created above has some real flexibility for her and will allow her to make the most of the ranged playstyle.

Part of what will make Sloan's list above shine is the Ogrun Assault Corps.  We've already talked about what Sloan and Murdoch offer them, but they offer Sloan a flexible unit that can launch decent POW AOEs or one really powerful one, and fairly accurately if Sloan throws Deadeye on them.  I also want to remind everyone that Combined Ranged Attacks add to the attack and damage rolls, meaning that if all 5 participate in a CRA, the blast damage would be POW 11, not POW 8.  On her feat turn, they'll naturally get boosted ranged attacks, which is pretty solid anyway, but with Murdoch they can also provide a real melee threat (especially with Assault).  Since Sloan worries about getting tied up, these guys can alleviate her anxiety by providing some real melee potential with a lot of damage boxes to tie-up enemey melee units while Sloan & Co. shoot everything apart to get to the squishy warcaster/warlock.  With the rest of the list you have enough covering fire and strafe attacks to keep certain melee threats at bay (Bane Thralls) that you don't want getting to the OAC first.

While undoubtedly the most obvious choice for a mercenary unit making the most impact would be with eIrusk, I decided that I wanted a little more of a challenge or to take a different approach with Khador.  Khador already has solid options for melee or ranged, but they lack a unit that can do both simultaneously well, and that's the advantage that mercenary units can offer the faction.

pButcher (+6)
- Berserker (6)
- Berserker (6)
- Juggernaut (7)
- War Dog (1)
Croe's Cutthroats (full, 10)
- Kapitan Valachev (2)
Man-o-War Demo Corps. (full, 9)

The Butcher always seems to be a popular favorite because he follows one philosophy: AXE TO FACE!  What he lacks, however, is some finesse and flexibility, and I think that Croe's Cutthroats offer him that flexibility while staying capable of keeping up with the damage count.  I already mentioned in the last article that on Butcher's feat turn, Croe's Cutthroats are capable of getting 6 damage dice on their attacks.  Granted, that's due to backstab, but it's still very impressive since they could also get +3 to their damage rolls thanks to Fury!

What the Cutthroats offer is a relatively high-DEF (well, with Iron Flesh, anyway) finesse unit that is a highly mobile element in a force that will simply hit like a ton of bricks.  Between Valachev giving them Zephyr and their own Bushwhack, the Cutthroats can move around and shoot the puny targets while protecting the Demo Corps. from getting engaged until they're good and ready.  Since Croe's Cutthroats have Zephyr and Poison, they don't really have to worry about the penalty to their SPD from Iron Flesh, and Stealth will protect them from even the most accurate shooting.  They can sit on your front line nice and comfortable without worry about getting killed.  Even if they get engaged, they can just use Zephyr to move out of the way for the Demo Corps. to do their thing and wreck face.  They compliment pButcher quite nicely and offer a great finesse unit that can annoy and worry the opponent without getting in the way of the meat of your army destroying everything in their path!

The Protectorate was admittedly the hardest list to create, since the faction already has so many great options that they rarely want a mercenary unit (solos are another story, however).  It also doesn't help that the Protectorate doesn't have access to some of the better Mercenary units, and most of their in-faction units are as good if not better than any Mercenary unit they might encounter.  So instead, I decided to fill a gap that Menoth has: 'jack marshalls

Thyra (+6)
- Blood of Martyrs (9)
- Heirophant (2)
Sam MacHorne & the Devil Dogs (full, 7)
- Attendant Priest (2)
- Freebooter (6)
Daughters of the Flame (5)
Daughters of the Flame (5)
Rhupert Corvolo (2)
Covenant of Menoth (2)
Wracks (1)

I know what you're thinking: "Devil Dogs?"  Yes.  Devil Dogs.  Thyra makes up for some of their greatest weaknesses between the extra placement granted by her feat and Carnage.  Carnage will help the Devil Dogs become far more threatening to warbeasts and warjacks - which is their intended purpose in this list.  Thyra doesn't have much focus and consequently doesn't run warjacks very well, so it's helpful to have a unit that both offers a second warjack that doesn't require focus, and a unit that is good at taking them down.  Devil Dogs get a lot of hate but they are a great unit considering how cheap they are, and they also have great synergy with my favorite warjack: the Freebooter.  For starters, Sam wants to be in B2B with her marshalled warjack anyway to benefit from +2 ARM, but she'll also get prevention from being knocked down, thanks to Lash (also convenient for Thyra, who will also rely on her high DEF to keep her safe).  Also, with Sam's Drive: Pronto, she can get the Freebooter into a great position to wreck face, and with the rest of the unit capable of knocking down warjacks or warbeasts (especially at MAT 8, thanks to Carnage), they have great synergy with the Freebooter for when it activates.  Sure, the Freebooter won't benefit from the faction benefits, but it doesn't need to since it's target should be knocked down anyway, and it can instead just buy an extra attack to deal maximum damage, or boost to hit with that ever-useful Chain Attack: Smash and Grab.

I've also tossed in Rhupert to make the Devil Dogs Fearless and Tough (since they can get Pathfinder from their priest anyway) and with the Covenant of Menoth around, those Devil Dogs will be a great front-line unit while the Daughters run along the flanks picking off infantry.  It might seem like quite the investment for such a normally mediocre unit as the Devil Dogs, but I think they offer Thyra the flexibility of dealing with warjack/warbeast heavy armies while still being able to apply pressure with the Daughters and saving Thyra's focus for things that really matter.  When you actually think about it, Thyra doesn't need to invest any resources to make the Devil Dogs do well, since she'll want to cast Carnage most turns anyway, and with their DEF 13 ARM 13 they don't seem spectacular, but they will be surprisingly resilient when they are Fearless, Tough, can't be knocked down, and are immune to enemy spells.  Oh and they also have a POW 14 ranged weapon if they need it.  And while it's outside of the context of this particular article, consider throwing them into a pKreoss list for obvious synergy on your feat turn.

So that's my in-depth look at Mercenary Unit Attachments!  While I hardly expect anyone to take any of the lists above and try them out, I do hope that they at least inspired you to take another look at the Mercenary Unit Attachments and see if they could offer you something different to try when making a list for yourself.  We play an awesome game which is full of options available to us and it would be a real shame if we didn't consider every option at some point.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...