Monday, November 05, 2012

List Building Advice: Gorten 50 points

Continuing from Friday's post, a fan had messaged me through the Steam-Powered Gamer facebook page asking for some advice with building lists in preparation for Templecon.  My disclaimer is that I admit I'm not some mastermind player but I do enjoy the theory and building lists with particular goals and restrictions in mind.  If anyone wishes for advice on building a list, I'm glad to offer some feedback and I will rarely suggest an alternative warcaster (unless that's a flexible criteria).  I understand that not everyone has lots of money to drop on a brand new list (I'm no exception) and so we enjoy working with the collections we already have.  Fortunately, this particular individual has been investigating lists via Vassal and hasn't purchased anything yet, so there's a lot of flexibility in the list design.  I have to admit, I'm probably the most proud of this particular list, even if he ultimately decided to go the full Khador route (although not with the Harkevich list presented on Friday).

Here's the list that he was looking at for Gorten Grundback:
Searforge Commission, 50 points
Gorten: +7
- Driller: 6
- Rockram: 8
- Rockram: 8
- Avalancher: 9
10 forgeguard: 8
6 forgeguard: 5
10 high shields + UA: 11
Thor: 2
My feedback:
As far as the Gorten list goes, I do have to ask if it has to be Searforge? Unfortunately, Searforge is a very limiting contract and I think I could come up with an interesting list if you took a Highborn Covenant list instead. Mercenaries can have VERY different looking lists and the Rhulic 'casters are no exception. Here's the list I've come up with using the Highborn Covenant:
Gorten (+7)
- Basher (7)
Gun Mages (6)
- Officer (2)
- Mule (8)
Hammerfall High Shields (full, 8)
- Officer and Standard (3)
Master Gunner Dougal Macnaile (2)
Thor (2)
- Rockram (8)
Rhupert (2)
Rorsh and Brine (9)
The problem with Gorten is that he has so little focus so you basically just have to rely on getting him far upfield to make the most of his feat - and that means making sure he camps as much focus as possible so you can keep him alive. Rock Wall and Solid Ground help keep him alive and are really fantastic for units like Gun Mages since they're so vulnerable to blast damage. I like the Highborn list the best because it's such an awesome shooting list (I'm biased about shooting, despite what the meta says).  The High Shields can trod upfield while in shield wall shooting stuff while the gun mages sit behind them taking advantage of Ranked Attacks, safe from reprisal!  The Gun Mages will have a marshalled Mule to stick with the ranged theme without putting more of a focus drain on Gorten. Even if your opponent gets close enough to disrupt your shooting abilities, you pop feat, push everything back and slap them with a DEF penalty so you can shoot them even more reliably and the SPD penalty will prevent them from simply charging at you next turn.  You effectively can have multiple rounds of shooting and mitigate one of the biggest weaknesses to shooting in Warmachine/Hordes. 
The Mule can also push stuff around if it scores a Crit but also sports a wonderful POW 15 and an AOE 4 and the Basher will have fun slamming things around and exploding all over their face while the rest of your troops laugh at blast damage (thanks to Solid Ground). Brine is also around for some heavy hitting without an increased focus load on Gorten and he's a slamming machine. Him and Rorsh offer great support on a flank since they're so fast and Rorsch can feel comfortable chucking dynamite or using diversionary tactics near the rest of your troops since, again, Solid Ground will protect them from blast damage.  In essence, you can take full advantage of fantastic blast weaponry to deal with targets both near and far without fear - and that's huge for a shooting list.

Rhupert is around for giving Tough to the high shields - making them even more annoying to deal with (especially with Solid Ground keeping them standing) and as if you need more shooting support, Dougal can pop his mini feat early to give +2 RNG to all ranged attacks and he will consistently throw Artillerist on the Mule to make it hit even more reliably (at least until he wants to shoot stuff with his quad iron or chuck some grenades).  Lastly, we have to include Thor because he's an awesome 'jack marshall and since he can marshall Rhulic 'jacks, we should give him the Rockram to take the most advantage of his and its capabilities.  The Rockram is solid and will be capable of providing solid shooting support with the rest of the army, but can also hit hard in melee if it needs to - again, without requiring any focus from Gorten.  And even if you're worried about a 'jack marshall dying, the High Shields officer is around to pick up the slack if needed.
What you get is a list that literally pushes around your opponent all across the board and is incredibly resilient. It's a solid tournament list, in my opinion, but it would need some practice.  Fortunately, however, there aren't a lot of complex synergies that require specific activation orders, so that should make using the list fairly straight forward to use.  You just have to make sure to upkeep Solid Ground and maybe throw out Rock Wall where/when you need it, but otherwise you should have a fairly easy time using the list.  Rorsh and Brine take some getting used to, but they provide a fast moving element to the list that can protect a flank from getting overrun and keeping your backfield safe.

In fact, if I didn't have to spend so much money buying so much of the list, I'd probably try playing it myself!  Maybe if they release a plastic Rhulic 'jack kit...
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