Monday, October 22, 2012

Road to Templecon 2013: List Building

 So we have confirmation that the Team Tournament at Templecon will be 2 lists, 50 points, and Divide and Conquer.  Damn.  This is also a bit strange to have such a decision already made without the SR 2013 document available yet, at least as far as I know...  Either way, this is a little disappointing for me because it severely limits my options.  One of the reasons why I was hoping for a 3 list format is it means that you'd be less likely to see the same tournament lists over and over again because players could experiment a bit more and worry less about bad match-ups.  Indeed, I can almost guarantee that every Cryx player will bring Terminus, Cygnar players will bring eHaley, etc.  *Sigh*  Well, let's consider what I'll be bringing.  At least the field will still look a bit different with the addition of colossals/gargantuans and there are a few new warcasters on the field these days, so maybe there will be some variety.

Like I said, with a 2 list format my options are really limited with Circle, and Divide and Conquer makes it even worse for me.  I'm basically stuck using one of the Baldurs and then another warlock that I could use for a wide variety of opponents.  First I need to decide which of the Baldurs I'd like to bring.  Both have their advantages and I know I want to bring one of them, but I cannot bring both if I want to make the most out of them.

pBaldur - Tier 4 theme force
Baldur the Stonecleaver (+6)
- Megalith (10*)
- Woldguardian (8*)
- Woldwarden (8*)
- Woldwyrd (5)
Druids of Orboros (7)
Stoneward and Woldstalkers (5)
Stoneward and Woldstalkers (5)
Shifting Stones (2)
Shifting Stones (2)
- Stone Keeper (1)
Sentry Stone and Mannikins (3)

I do love this list and have seen lots of success with it.  The biggest difference between this list and the one I regularly play at 35 points is the addition of the Woldwarden and the Druids - both quite solid additions to the list.  The pBaldur theme force is just so amazing that people that I've played against with it continue to claim that it's broken.  While I don't think it's "broken" by any means, it's a solid counter to many lists out there.  There are a total of 10 living models including Baldur so many Cryx players will not be terribly happy and the Druids will prevent a lot of their spell-slinging shenanigans on my own models while I catapult the Woldwyrd forward to punish them for even casting buff spells.  If I can get first turn with this list I can play very aggressively and in the current tournament scenarios, this list will be solid in almost any list.

While it first might appear that this list will have a problem against infantry hordes, keep in mind that the Woldstalkers can throw out a surprising amount of firepower and are fairly accurate.  Considering that they can Zephyr to get into range, they can aim for an effective RAT 8 most of the time and are sporting POW 12 magical ranged attacks.  They surprise many opponents with their potency - especially since Zephyr will guarantee that they won't ever just be engaged to prevent their shooting.  The Woldwyrd is also really effective when my opponent decides to throw a buff on a unit, thanks to Purgation and that makes a lot of enemy units less frightening.  Lastly, for only 3 points the Sentry Stone and Mannikins can simply throw a wrench in the plans for any unit and I throw them out there to tie stuff up and they do a pretty awesome job at it.  If my opponent ignores them then I can throw out a couple of sprays that might not hit accurately, but it doesn't matter so much when I'm just rolling lots of dice.

I love this list and I'm really good with it, but I'm tempted to take this other list with the change in the meta:
eBaldur - Tier 4 Theme Force
Baldur the Stonesoul (+5)
- Megalith (11)
- Woldwatcher (4*)
- Woldwyrd (4*)
- Woldwrath (20)
Druids of Orboros (7)
Shifting Stones (2)
Shifting Stones (2)
- Stone Keeper (1)
Lord of the Feast (4)

This list plays quite differently from the pBaldur list but might handle the current meta a bit better.  With the inevitable appearances of the Stormwall, this list provides a solid brick of high-ARM models that Cygnar will have a hard time cracking.  While the Woldwatcher is typically ignored, in this list he's absolutely wonderful not only for his reduced cost but for protecting the Woldwrath from the shenanigans of Gorman di Wulfe.  While the rest of the list doesn't really take as much advantage of the theme force benefits as the pBaldur list (no Fulcrum), the spells and abilities that are brought to the table will frighten most opponents.

The Woldwrath is probably considered the most frightening of the Gargantuans and while he might not frighten Cygnar as much with his ranged attack, the faction will have a tough time cracking ARM 23 on feat turn - let alone getting across that Stone Wall with their infantry which notoriously lacks Reach (except Stormguard but no one really takes them).  Indeed, this list will prevent many armies from engaging with their full force and the Woldwrath will undoubtedly survive any assault they bring to bear and then hit back with incredibly power considering he can charge for free and Baldur can heal him thanks to Elemental Communion.  While an eBaldur force typically lacks solid hitting power, the Woldwrath more than compensates for that.  Even Spell Ward on the Woldwrath doesn't mean much since you can still give him Roots of the Earth on your feat turn and the other spells don't really matter to him.  However, the Woldwrath's animus will be quite welcome for eBaldur with both him and Megalith able to throw out Crevasse to clear out infantry, let alone the Druids' Force Bolts or even the Stone Keeper's Rock Hammer.

Woldwrath wants to come out and play!
To top it all off, the reason why I really love this list is the Lord of the Feast.  With the theme force benefits you can slingshot him with Shifting Stones clear across the table on turn one!  How?  Advance Deploy on the Shifting Stones means they can be placed up to 20" from your table edge with the theme force.  While the Lord of the Feast still ADs normally, you can teleport him so he's within the range of the other set of stones which are 20" up from your table edge.  That effectively puts him at 21" from your table edge (just within the triangle).  Then, you can teleport him within 8" of his last location.  That puts him at 30" from your table edge, or 18" from your opponent's table edge.  With his 10" range raven, he can now shoot a target 40" from your table edge, or, if your opponent deploys second, 2" into their deployment zone.  As long as they have at least one model within that range, you can fairly reliably hit that model and teleport within B2B.  This means you have a solid chance at killing off some key models, at best, or at worst, you are slowing down your opponent for their first turn. 

One game I even managed to deal some damage to eHexeris and get him to spend fury for a transfer and then slowed one of his models down for a turn while he dealt with the Lord of the Feast.  Last year at the team tournament I almost managed to kill Corbeau in a Terminus list, but some bad dice rolls left her alive.  Even still, throwing a model - even one as expensive as the Lord of the Feast - that far forward that early can really throw off an opponent even if you don't kill anything.  If you're able to kill off a valuable solo like Kovnik Joe or a Skarlock, it's totally worth it.

The biggest problem I'll have deciding between these two lists is due to the fact that I hardly get games in as it is, let alone 50 point games for practice.  Hopefully, Thankgiving and Winter vacations will give me more opportunities to playtest these lists, let alone the other two I need to decide on.  I'll share those tomorrow.
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