Friday, June 15, 2012

Steamroller Prep: 25 points - Mercs

Today is the third and final part of my Steamroller Prep articles for the 25 point "Ambush" Steamroller event at The Battle Standard in Manchester, CT.  I currently own 3 main factions right now: Cygnar, Circle, and Mercs and in the first two articles I discussed some lists worth considering for Cygnar and Circle.  Today I wish to present the lists for my final faction: Mercenaries.  Unfortunately, I only own a select few Mercenary models, and only 2 of them are warcasters, so my options are somewhat limited.  The fortunate thing about owning Mercenary models, however, is the utility of using them in other factions as well, so it's a bit easier to build up a Mercenary collection on the side!  In fact, many of the models that I'll be using in today's lists I picked up for their utility in other lists - notably for Cygnar.  So what warcasters am I bringing?  First is my favorite underdog: Fiona the Black.

Highborn Covenant - 25 points:
Fiona the Black (+6)
- Freebooter (6)
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt (4)
Long Gunners (min, 6)
Press Gangers (full, 6)
Ragman (2)
Reinholdt (1)
Bosun Grogspar (2)
First Mate Hawk (2)
Taryn di la Rovissi (2)
Rutger Shaw (2)
- Buccaneer (3)

I feel pretty good about this list, actually.  Once again, it looks similar to my 35 point list that I've been playing around with but with some interesting changes.  First, you'll notice that I'm taking Long Gunners instead of Gun Mages.  I think that Long Gunners will work better with Fiona and will make the most advantage of Nonokrion Brand since I'm not bringing a Mariner in this list.  Also, this list lacks a bit in heavy hitting and I need some way to bring down targets with high ARM and/or lots of damage boxes, and I think Long Gunners with their CRA's will be able to punch armor where I need them to.  With both Ragman and Aiyana and Holt around, I can potentially drop the ARM of a model by 4(!) which means that even with Arcane Shield, that Colossal is only ARM 18.  Two CRAs later and I've done 10 points of damage to something which was previously ARM 22.  Then if I follow-up with a charge with Press Gangers, each guy can deal an average of 5 points to the giant.  While that might not seem terribly impressive, it's not bad considering we're talking about a Colossal here.  Taryn can also pitch in with her Iron Rot shots to knock an additional 2d3 points of hull damage and you can see how I do have ways of dealing with a Colossal.

Aside from that, I also bring to the table a surprising balance of both firepower and melee abilities.  I already mentioned how Ragman and Lady Aiyana can combine their powers to neutralize high armor but I'm also packing some solid firepower with Holt, Taryn, and Grogspar.  For melee prowess Grogspar can also prove himself to be quite capable as well as Hawk and Shaw when he's flanking with his Buccaneer - which will be easy to do when they're both entering from the flank.  While Colossals can't be knocked down, the Buccaneer will still be handy for shutting down other heavies I might see or setting them up for being wrecked by the Freebooter (which will be scary with the -4 ARM debuff I can throw out there!).

Rough Seas Tier 1 - 25 points:
Broadsides Bart (+5)
- Mariner (7*)
- Mariner (7*)
- Mule (8)
Press Gangers (full, 6)
Master Gunner Dougal MacNaile (2)
Vanguard (5)

Admittedly, this list feels less comfortable for me than my other list.  Unfortunately, I only own two Mercenary warcasters and while Shae has a fleeting interest for me, many of the models he would want are already tied-up in my Fiona list.  Consequently, I'm left with Broadsides Bart with a ranged-heavy force.  Admittedly, the Press Gangers will mostly be around to soak up some damage and the rest of this list is designed to deal with a warjack/warbeast heavy force.  With Broadside I'm able to shoot 6 AOEs a turn: 4 at POW 14 and 2 at POW 15.  I can use my feat to give me that ever-important extra round of shooting and when the enemy does come to engage me I can simply use Batten Down the Hatches to suddenly make my warjacks much more resilient to damage until I bash the crap out of whatever comes close.
I should probably pick up one of these
Whatever infantry I do end up facing will likely not concern me too much.  Don't underestimate the effectiveness of Thresher, even at a low-ish MAT and without Reach, and I'll throw out so many AOEs per turn that I'm likely to clip some infantry if I need to.  As the battle lines get drawn, I can even use Dougal to clear away infantry with his Multi-Fire Quad-Iron and Bart is great at clearing out infantry with his spray cannon or even just getting stuck-in himself and racking up some Blood Tokens.  Having the Vanguard on the flank will be useful as it enters with 3 focus for charging a target then using it's Assault shot to deal some extra damage on the turn I need it to.  If I position it correctly, I can use it to protect Bart or Dougal too, and DEF 13 (15 vs. charges) and ARM 19 is not to be underestimated.  Hell, if I cast Batten Down the Hatches the Vanguard suddenly becomes ARM 22!  While I might not feel completely comfortable with this list, I think it'll be pretty solid at laying down a hail of firepower.

The problem with these lists is that the only models I have painted are Fiona and Taryn.  For having pirates for so long you'd figure I'd have more painted by now, right?  Even worse is that I'd need to buy a Mule (which I should probably get anyway) and a Vanguard.  I thought about switching the Vanguard for Dirty Meg and the Buccaneer, but I don't own Meg either, so I'd have more or less the same problem.

So, ultimately, which faction will I end up using?  Will I rock the Cygnar and power through painting a bunch of models?  Will I bring my Circle even though I feel less confident with them than usual?  Or will I bite the bullet and buy what I need to represent the Mercs?  I guess you'll have to wait to find out!
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