Again, yesterday I pointed out that it's quite rare in my experience to see more than 2 heavy warjacks on the field and so typically my biggest problem has been dealing with lots of superior infantry which Warmachine factions are known for. Everyone seems to have infantry that are ARM 16+ and so it's been interesting to see them becoming far more popular along with multi-wound models which didn't get much attention even just a year ago. Suddenly, Cryx players are bringing more Bane Knights and Black Ogrun, Cygnar players are bringing Precursor Knights, Khador players are bringing more Iron Fang Pikemen (although that might be due to the Black Dragon UA), Retribution players are fielding more Halberdiers, and Menoth players seem to be bringing lots of Knights Exemplar and Temple Flameguard. What this means is that POW 10s are no longer enough for dealing with infantry. Enter my 2nd option for a new list:
- Stormwall (19)
- Squire (2)
Gun Mages (6)
- UA (2)
What's most interesting about this list, in my mind, is that I could also play this as a tier 2 theme list if I drop the Squire and Eiryss and I can take another unit of Gun Mages + UA instead. I'd be 1 point down without anything to fit in, but it's a difficult decision to make, honestly. The Squire gives me an extra 2" range for Caine's feat (which I'll get to) and Eiryss has so much utility it's hard to argue against her - especially since she can bodyguard the Cyclone without worry about neutering it's effectiveness since it'll be marshalled by the Gun Mages. The biggest challenge to running the theme list for me is that I only own one unit of Gun Mages, whereas I own the rest of the models I'd need for the list. So for now, I'll just look at this list and see how it stacks up.
Like I said, POW 10s are not enough to kill off infantry anymore, but what about POW 12s? Even against Shield Wall infantry I can kill them 50% of the time and those are much better odds than needing 9s on 2d6. Also, being able to have Caine move up and shoot everything within 14" ignoring intervening models is pretty huge! Granted, Stealth will still be a problem for him, but most units with Stealth will die fairly easily to Gun Mages. No, Caine will be useful in clearing out all of those obnoxious higher-ARM models out there. Even if the odds still aren't that great, the sheer volume of attacks he will make will be staggering. Normally, the tradeoff for Caine getting so close to shoot lots of guys means putting him in harms way as well, but with both a Stormwall and a Cyclone on the field, he'll be able to Teleport back to a safe position behind 4 Covering Fire templates and/or the Stormwall's huge base. Since ranged attacks aren't terribly common in the meta these days, Caine will be pretty safe from reprisal unless it's a heavy warjack.
|Yeah, Covering Fire!!!|
Then again, between Eiryss and the Stormwall causing Disruption (hello lightning pods!), most warjacks will be hard-pressed to kill the Stormwall all that easily, and even if I am worried about it, Caine can cast a Thunder Strike from 13" away and the Cyclone could always opt for 2d3 Thunderbolt shots instead of Dual Covering Fire, if I'm really worried about it. In other words, pCaine can handle the infantry while everything else handles the heavies. The Stormwall is also not terribly easy to take down and then can hit hard with little focus input, while softening up targets from afar with Snipe from Caine.
All in all, I think this list will be fun while being much easier to use than the pNemo list. The tradeoff is that this list will not have as much armor-cracking potential all at once, but makes up for it with board control and pCaine's feat for clearing out infantry. Keeping Eiryss in my back pocket could also prove fruitful since many players often just throw her out to her death to keep her away from shutting down your own warjacks. Again, since the Cyclone doesn't get focus anyway, I can keep her pretty close by which could foil some attempts at killing her off early. We'll see how playtesting goes, although admittedly I will not be able to play nearly as often now that school is starting up next week...