Saturday, August 25, 2012

Stryker's Replacement

I've been working on assembling the Woldwrath and I plan on painting it within the next week.  For now, I'm focusing on Cygnar again in preparation for this upcoming tournament.  I managed to play a game with pStryker on Thursday and my woes with the warcaster continued.  He's great and all, but I'm not sure I'm playing him as aggressively as I should.  I normally don't do this, but I think I'm going to change up my decision to play with pStryker in the tournament on Sunday.  Like I said, I normally would strongly discourage this, but since I can't seem to align myself with Stryker's playstyle, I instead think that I will replace him with a warcaster that will probably better fit my style naturally.  It might totally backfire on me since I've never played with his replacement before, but I think her playstyle will better match my own and require less of a learning curve than if I continued to play with pStryker.  It's with a heavy heart that I must admit, I'll be playing with pHaley.  I know.  I'm the guy who keeps saying I think she's overrated, but I think in this case, she'll be a good alternative.  Let me explain.

Since I already love and feel comfortable with my Sloan list against Hordes opponents, I need a generalized list that can deal with Warmachine to make my decision process a bit easier.  While it's fine to have an "anti-infantry" list, it's difficult to know if my opponent will bring lots of infantry or not, depending on their lists.  Instead, it's safer to choose a list based upon certain effects/rules that are more effective against Warmachine factions specifically.  Enter: pHaley.

Captain Haley will continue to be a great asset against most Warmachine opponents and will be useful against most Cryx players (especially since I don't see Goreshade often in my meta).  Since it's a Summer Rampage tournament, I'm also expecting to see a slightly higher number of warjacks on the table, and Haley will be able to handle them quite well, methinks.  Temporal Barrier will be useful in keeping my models outside of my opponent's threat ranges and Scramble will be great against annoying character warjacks like Beast 09, Deathjack, or the Avatar.  Both are expensive spells, however, and so I'll need to be careful which spells I choose to cast on a particular turn, as well as timing my feat correctly.  The feat is much better with ranged elements than melee ones and while I initially thought that taking a melee unit might be a good idea, I've since changed my mind.  Here's what I'm thinking:

pHaley (+5)
- Stormwall (19)
- Lancer (6)
- Squire (2)
Storm Strider (9)
Storm Tower (2)
Stormsmith (1)
Stormsmith (1)
Minuteman (5)
Arlan Strangeways (2)

I know what you're thinking: "No Thorn!?"  I feel like it's a pretty unconventional list but I'm really excited about it.  I look at Thorn as being useful but I'm not sure I'll need him as much as those 2 extra points, to be honest.  He's a great model with fantastic rules, but I don't think I'll need to worry about my opponent engaging him with two huge bases on the field.  I really only need an arc node for spell-slinging and the lancer does that cheaply enough that I can add a Storm Tower for some added damage.  The list has many opportunities to Disrupt warjacks and Thorn is hardly scary in melee and pHaley doesn't have the need to get super close with her arc node that the 3" move is all that necessary.  I'd much rather have the 2 points for the Storm Tower since it'll be awesome on Haley's feat turn and synergizes really well with the Storm Strider (becoming RAT 9 against targets within 5" of it!).
These were the models that convinced me to play Mk II

While I don't have any infantry presence, I think the Stormwall and Storm Strider will be difficult enough for my opponent to manage in most cases.  Like I said, I have tons of opportunities for Disruption so I can keep Warjacks from dealing heavy damage to either huge target and the Storm Strider is amazing at avoiding damage because it can both push melee units away when they hit it, and it can gain power tokens from melee or ranged attacks.  If I keep Haley close by, I can also keep it safe from magic attacks, making Cryx players a little sad.  Having two huge targets like these can give me what I need to hold onto objectives while I needed to get a little too close with Stryker.

On top of all of that, the feat turn will churn out an incredible amount of firepower: 6 POW 15 ranged attacks and 2 POW 14s (5 if the Minuteman is on the table!).  That's just as frightening as my Sloan list, and I can tell you that list decimates heavies.  Granted, Warjacks typically have more boxes and more ARM than warbeasts, but there are fewer of them and I'm likely going to Disrupt them so they're limited in retaliation.  Also, while it might look at first like I'm lacking significant anti-infantry, you are sorely mistaken.  When I have nothing else to do, pHaley has Chain Lightning which can always arc off of a Storm Pod (in the case of high-DEF models or Spell/Sacred Ward), the both shots from the Storm Strider are Lightning Generators so that's 2D3 arcs, and the Storm Tower also has a D3 arc - and that's not considering Triangulation opportunities from the Stormsmiths!  From playing with pKrueger I can tell you that all of that lightning does a great job at clearing out infantry, and even if I come across multi-wound or high-ARM infantry, the Stormwall's Covering Fire does a pretty good job too.

I also really dig my reinforcements as they are simple but will be quite effective, methinks.  Strangeways could surprise my opponent if he sprays targets within 5" of the Storm Strider and having him come in to repair a Stormwall or the Storm Strider can be useful, but even if he's not in range of either option, he can throw Evasion onto the Minuteman so that it can get into even better position to unload.  The Minuteman is a great warjack to come in as a reinforcement since it will love having that 3 focus around for jumping and boosting and it will also serve as great anti-infantry (again) while posing a threat to my opponent's warcaster or support solos (like Kovnik Joe).

Indeed, I really like this list and I think it will be more familiar for my playstyle and will not be as big of an adjustment as would be required for me to make the pStryker list work.  Don't get me wrong!  I love the pStryker list and I am determined to optimize it, but it needs more work and at the very least, I think this list will be quite fun!
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