Friday, July 13, 2012

NETT: Cygnar Debriefing

So this week has been chock-full of playtesting for me with my Cygnar in preparation for the New England Team Tournament.  I posted on Tuesday the lists that I was considering bringing for my Cygnar and I've been practicing games with both lists to see how comfortable I'd feel with either of them.  I haven't played at all with my Circle, and while that might seem like a bad idea in case I take them to the tournament, I actually have a lot of tournament experience with them already and since the lists will be exactly the same, I'm very confident with my performance with them.  No, this week has been about playing with Cygnar to see what kind of damage I can do with them.  Well, today I can share with you my conclusions about my Cygnar.

I've been tweaking my Sloan list quite a bit from the 25 point Ambush tournament at the Battle Standard and I was highly impressed with its performance there.  After learning some valuable lessons about activation order, I've tweaked the list and added various elements and tried different combinations to make the most of it.  This is the most recent incarnation I really like:

Click click, BOOM!
Sloan (+6)
- Stormwall (19)
- Minuteman (5)
Reinholdt (1)
Gun Mages (6)
- Officer (2)
Black 13th (4)
Victor Pendrake (2)
Harlan Versh (2)

There have been some changes and I played this list last night but since the store didn't have Victor Pendrake in stock, I had to replace him with 2 Stormsmiths - a change which I didn't particularly care for.  Why Pendrake?  Well since I've already decided that this would be an anti-hordes list and good at blowing apart beasts, Beast Lore will be helpful in getting critical effects like knock-down (Thunderbolt) or Brutal Damage for the Gun Mages.  If I'm able to get LOS and range on a super high DEF target like a Stalker with Forced Evolution behind a linear obstacle (DEF 20), Beast Lore, my Feat, and possibly Deadeye can combine for 5 attack dice for the gun mages, meaning they can hit DEF 24 on average and the chance for rolling a critical on 5 dice is hilariously high.  Even 4 dice will be enough (DEF 21 on average) and that only requires Beast Lore and my Feat.  On top of that, since Pendrake is a Cygnar Ally, he can benefit from my feat too to use his bow to plink some damage, but I'll probably use him more for the boosted attack die using his Bola to knock a target down, which can be potentially huge.

Sorry, buddy :-(
So I'm pretty comfortable with the Sloan list, but after a few games with eNemo, I'm afraid I don't feel great about it.  The list looks great on paper but in practice it has a serious weakness against ranged and magic threats.  Also considering how much Incorporeal features in the game now and all kinds of other effects, I'm afraid that eNemo won't cut it against a wide range of opponents.  Electricity is great and all, but Stormguard die way too easily for their own good and the list clogs itself up really quickly.  Ideally you want those Stormguard at the front of your lines, but with the theme list giving Advance Move and Advance Deploy to the Fireflies and Stormsmiths, respectively, you find yourself putting your most fragile models closer to the enemy to kill.  It just doesn't have the raw hitting power that I'd like.

So here are my options: I can continue practicing with Cygnar with a list modified from the one I took at the Ambush tournament with pStryker, or I can bring my Circle to the tournament, instead.  Here's what I'd bring for my pStryker list to compliment Sloan:

I just love an excuse to field this guy!
pStryker (+6)
- Stormwall (19)
- Ol' Rowdy (9)
- Squire (2)
Sword Knights (full, 6)
- Officer & Standard (2)
Journeyman Warcaster (3)
Minuteman (5)
Stormsmith (1)
Stormsmith (1)

This list would cover a few more of the weaknesses that Sloan faces - most notably, however, is claiming scenario victories.  Sloan wants to stay back as long as she can and scenarios which force me in the middle are not good for her as I have to basically rely on the Stormwall surviving - and that's not really guaranteed.  With pStryker, however, I can have Ol' Rowdy and the Stormwall at ARM 28 and 27, respectively, with the combination of Arcane Shield and Stryker's feat - and that's not easy to deal with!  The Sword Knights will also be perfect for clearing models off of control zones and helping to free up the Stormwall if it's in trouble, thanks to their Flank [Faction Warjack] and the Colossal's Reach.  Ol' Rowdy is a jerk at the best of times but he'll keep pStryker totally safe from assassination attempts as well as being capable of wrecking heavies fairly reliably.

My hope is that this list will have a little more success than my previous one against Warmachine lists that Sloan couldn't deal with.  The Stormwall will still be able to Disrupt warjacks with it's lightning pods but I have much better hitting power here combined with increased longevity.  I also have great options for assassination, should the opportunity arise.  The Stormwall and Ol'Rowdy will allow Stryker to move upfield fairly confidently and that means that I could get off a casting of Earthquake and as long as I can tag the opposing warcaster/warlock, suddenly those two POW 15 big guns look a little scarier.

I'll see if I can get a game or two in today at my LGS with this list, but if not, I might just end up bringing Circle.  It's not the end of the world, but I would like to give my Cygnar a chance to shine.
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