Thursday, June 07, 2012

List Building: Sloan and the Stormwall

I'm pretty excited about the Stormwall.  I won't go as far as saying that it's the best Colossal, but I think it really has everything that Cygnar players have really needed and been waiting for.  Ranged firepower?  Check.  P+S 20 on melee attacks?  Check.  Able to disrupt enemy warjacks?  Check.  There has been a lot of discussion in the community since the release of the Stormwall about which warcaster would benefit the most from it.  Everyone seems to love pHaley with the Stormwall but on my own list I really tried to advocate for Kara Sloan.  Perhaps my desire to make her my next Cygnar warcaster has led me to be over biased, but I really believe that she will benefit from the Stormwall more than most.  Today, I want to look at Sloan in the context of the Stormwall and share a list that I think will probably have you intrigued.

Sloan is a very straight-forward warcaster.  What does she do?  Shoot stuff.  What kinds of models does she like in her force?  More shooty stuff.  What does her feat do?  Let her guys shoot more stuff!  But surely all of this ranged firepower must come at a price, have some weakness?  I have discussed in the past that the current meta unfortunately is heavily melee focused.  There is a lot of protection out there against shooting and since Legion largely ignores most of them, that is partly why they are such a popular faction.  Cygnar, however, has a more difficult time bringing their shooting prowess to bear against most armies.  That means that one of the biggest challenges facing a shooty Cygnar force is killing off melee threats before they get close enough to engage and ultimately destroy your superior shooting.

Normally, this is where a Cyclone would be quite handy.  With its Covering Fire templates, the Cyclone can essentially block off about 7" of the battlefield from your opponent's infantry.  Sure, POW 12 won't scare a warjack or warbeast, but it will definitely prevent models like Bane Thralls from getting into your face and that's huge!  That means that your opponent will have to find other ways of getting to you and that extra time those templates buy you is precious.  Unfortunately, a Cyclone is 9 points and Sloan still wants to be able to take some Defenders with high-powered shots to make the most of her feat.  This is where the Stormwall comes in!

For 19 points the Stormwall not only brings the same Covering Fire abilities of the Cyclone but it also packs two big guns at the same POW as the Defender's heavy barrel.  In other words, the Stormwall has the firepower of two Defenders and a Cyclone, and while you'll miss out on an extra POW 15 shot from her feat, the fact that you can still pack a lot of firepower and put down Covering Fire templates to keep your infantry from getting engaged for 8 points cheaper!  That's quite significant!  This means that Sloan can bring along other really helpful models to pack in some extra damage or deal with Stealth.

Here's the list I've come up with:
Sloan (+6)
- Stormwall (19)
- Minuteman (5)
Reinholdt (1)
Long Gunners (full, 10)
Black 13th (4)
Stormsmith Stormcaller (1)
Stormsmith Stormcaller (1)

You'll notice that I've also added a Minuteman to the list and I've discussed before how I think that the Minuteman will be very useful with Sloan, but even just a cheap source of POW 14 shots will be quite helpful for Sloan.  On her feat turn, her battlegroup can potentially throw out 3 shots at POW 15, 3 at POW 14, and 3 POW 12 shots from Sloan's Weapon Master rifle!  That's a lot of firepower!  On top of that, she still is packing a full unit of Long Gunners which will be solid at long range for being able to throw out high-POW CRAs if they need to. 

One of the worst match-ups for Sloan, however, is a list that has lots of Stealth models, but there are several features of this list that deal with those models without a problem.  The rules for the Stormwall's Lightning Pods lets them act as triangulation points for Stormcallers, and since Storm Call is not a ranged attack but merely requires a skill check, you can fairly reliably deal with Stealth or high-DEF models by zapping them with some Storm Calls - as well as Disrupting warjacks!  Having played with eNemo's theme list for some time, I can't underestimate how great that is, even if the Stormsmiths will be less accurate than I'm used to.  Additionally, the Black 13th can deal with a variety of Stealth targets as well by placing their template so that the rest of your army can shoot away at models within, as well as packing some solid firepower.  The Black 13th are practically an auto-include for Sloan and they'll fit quite comfortably in this list too.
These guys are perfect for Sloan!

In the end what we have with the list is a lot of high-powered ranged attacks to deal with heavy targets, ways of protecting your ranged models from getting engaged, and the tools needed to deal with models which have Stealth.  Hopefully now you can see why I believe that the Stormwall will be quite effective with Sloan and why I'm excited to get my hands on the model!
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