Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Tournament Prep: Circle or Cygnar? Part 2

The New England Team Tournament approaches!  My teammates and I have been playtesting, sharpening our skills and refining our lists.  We're feeling pretty confident, representing Legion and Menoth, but I'm still unsure of whether or not I want to bring my recently successful Cygnar or my confident Circle.  Yesterday I shared the two lists that I'm considering for my Cygnar and I anticipate that I'll use either list in equal measure, depending on my opponents of course.  So what lists am I considering using with my Circle?  Well I'm once again considering my two old stand-by warlocks: pBaldur and pKrueger.

Since the New England Team Tournament has changed so much from last year, I will actually be more familiar with my Circle lists since I've had lots of tournament experience with them.  Unlike last year, I only need two lists and they only need to be 35 points.  While this does limit my options within Circle a bit, the two warlocks I like the most will be well-suited to the environment.  Where my Cygnar lists will be well-tailored to specific armies, my Circle lists consider another element of the New England Team Tournament: Deathclock.

Since the event relies on Deathclock to keep tie-breaker calculations to a minimum, that means that I need to consider which lists will take me the least amount of time to get my win condition.  Fortunately, I did have some experience with my Sloan list in a 25 point Deathclock, I'm fairly confident that I'll be able to keep under the time limit, but my eNemo list will likely require rolling lots of dice and some fancy maneuvering to be most effective - both of which mean running down the clock.  With my Circle lists, however, my familiarity will undoubtedly lead to significant savings on the clock - especially with pBaldur.

Rock of Orboros, Tier 4
pBaldur (+6)
- Megalith (10*)
- Woldguardian (8*)
- Woldwyrd (5)
Shifting Stones (2)
Shifting Stones (2)
- Stone Keeper (1)
Sentry Stone & Mannikins (3)
Stoneward & Woldstalkers (5)
Stoneward & Woldstalkers (5)
Druids of Orboros (7)
Theme list benefits:

Sentry Stone & Mannikins deploy 20" from board edge
Stoneward & Woldstalkers gain Advance Move
3 Warbeasts Advance Deploy (1 per Shifting Stone/Sentry Stone unit)

"There you are."
This list has led many players to comment on how "broken" it is.  I disagree, but I will agree that it has its strengths (hence why I play it).  This list capitalizes on deployment and by the first turn, the only model that's in the normal deployment zone is Baldur.  Since this placement happens before the first turn even begins, that means that I get to save that much more time on the clock.  Also, getting into such great position so early on means that I'm in great position to threaten the objectives where I might not be able to do so without the theme list benefits.

Consistently my most valuable beast.
Aside from the benefits, I've played this list for years and have lots of experience with it.  I have the threat ranges memorized, know what my list is - and, more importantly, what it is not - capable of achieving.  While I might not be great at taking objectives, I'm good at keeping my enemy at bay until I am able to get myself in a position to remove key threats.  My biggest worry, however, is playing against Legion, which can bring warbeasts with Flight and their feats will typically force me into attrition (which this list is not really good at) unless I can establish an assassination vector.  I basically need to assassinate my opponent or remove all of their warbeasts to win it.  It's not impossible, but it'll be a bit more daunting now that the Stormwall is out.  My hope is that the Woldguardian will be a solid deterrent against the Stormwall thanks to it's amazing animus (which will also be handy for keeping Baldur safe!).  While it's not as clear about which lists I'll bring this one against, if I'm feeling uncomfortable with my other list, this one will be my failsafe.  One of this list's major weaknesses, however, is hordes of high-DEF or Stealth infantry, and that's where my other list will be very useful:

pKrueger (+5)
- Feral Warpwolf (9)
- Woldwarden (9)
- Woldwarden (9)
Druids of Orboros (7)
- Overseer (2)
Shifting Stones (2)
Shifting Stones (2)
Shadowhorn Satyr (7)

I've received lots of criticism for this list.  At my recent tournament in Stratford, CT, I modified this list to try something different.  I swapped one of the Woldwardens for a Gnarlhorn and a Gallows Grove, and I have to tell you,  I really missed having two models with Geomancy.  Yes, I know that this list "lacks heavy hitting" but I think that the Feral Warpwolf is vastly underrated.  Lightning Tendrils is a great threat range boost for the Feral and he usually just sits next to Krueger while the Woldwardens clear the field of infantry, throwing out two Chain Lightning spells per turn.  That means that I can spend Krueger's fury instead on Skyborne, Deflection, and/or shooting models, while keeping a healthy load of fury on him for transfers, just in case.

Again, this list looks like it lacks heavy-hitting but this list isn't about hitting hard - it's about clearing the field of infantry so that I can score a precision strike with either the Feral or Krueger himself.  If I come across a significant heavy-threat, the Druids do a great job of tying a target down by simply advancing and throwing up their Vortex clouds - making them effectively DEF 16 in melee.  With the Overseer they will also be immune to elemental attacks meaning that they can weather (heh) such models as a Retribution Phoenix, Castigator, Thunderhead, or even the Sorscha feats.  Elemental Immunity is a great spell that people often overlook but it's key to keeping the Druids alive and obnoxious.  While I don't yet own a Shadowhorn Satyr, I plan on picking one up this week (finally) because he will be invaluable in reinforcement scenarios to give myself a solid 16" threat range from the board edge.  While he might not hit very hard, if I can simply get a two-handed throw on a key model (like a warcaster/warlock), he could very well mean victory for me.  Even if I can't get exactly to the warcaster/warlock, if they're low enough ARM and near a juicy target, Lightning Tendrils could prove to be quite the hilarious death-by-electro-leap.

Ultimately, I'm still not sure which I will bring.  I guess you'll have to wait until the New England Team Tournament to find out!
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