Friday, November 02, 2012

List Building Advice: Harkevich 50 points

I understand that I'm not the best player out there for Warmachine/Hordes but I do love building lists and working on theory.  Recently a follower of the blog asked me for some feedback on a couple of lists and I was more than happy to oblige!  Today I'll look at the first of the lists presented and give some feedback.  I'll share the other list next week.

If anyone wants some feedback on lists just feel free to head over to the Steam-Powered Gamer facebook page and send me a message and I'll be glad to take a look at it.  Since most of us have our own limitations on building lists, I do take into consideration issues like the size of a collection or the amount of money you can spend on tweaking a list, so don't be afraid to ask for advice.  Also, I have one hard and fast rule and that is that I will not tell you which warcaster/warlock to play (unless that's the feedback you want).  I think it's rude when someone says "well your first mistake is that you're not playing X warcaster/warlock."  We all have our reasons for choosing particular models to play and I like giving feedback that meets your own criteria.  If you want to make a particular model work, I'm glad to toss around ideas with you to see what we can do!

Without further ado, I'll share the original list that requested feedback and then I'll share my feedback for Harkevich.

Original list:
- Black Ivan: 10
- Demolisher: 9
- Behemoth: 13
6 Battle Mechanics+Officer: 5
3 MoW Shocktroopers: 6
5 MoW Shocktroopers: 9
Sylys Wyshnalyrr: 2
Reinholdt: 1

Here's my feedback:
First, I'm going to assume that access to all of the models available since it wasn't mentioned as being an issue.  I'm also going to assume that you're including the shocktroopers because they are cheap to come by with the 2 player battle box.

I really don't think that Behemoth is worth it in this list. Granted, he hits very hard and is very powerful, but I feel like he's irrelevant in a list that will already take so many warjacks. Behemoth is great if you're only bringing him and/or one other heavy, but he requires a lot of focus to do what he does for such a focus-starved warcaster like Harkevich. Sure, between Broadside and his feat Behemoth can fire 4 bombards, but they're going to be extremely inaccurate and probably won't do as much damage as one would like.

Secondly, I feel like the Demolisher isn't all that great with Harkevich because of some badly timed synergy. Sure, you can get the extra shot with Broadside, but you have to use it first or else he'll be at low ARM and his range is terrible. Secondly, your feat turn will be spent basically keeping him at ARM 20 since he'll have to open his shell to shoot first and then charge. Again, he'll require lots of focus because his melee attacks really aren't all that impressive.

Broadside can be a trap because it's 3 focus and you really don't get all that much effectiveness out of it with Khador because most of your warjacks are only RAT 4. You'd much rather have that 3 focus to fuel melee attacks or camp.  Also, I think that a War Dog is a better investment than Sylys. Sure, Sylys gives you a free upkeep, but his other abilities are mostly wasted on Harkevich who's not much of a spellslinger and with more efficient warjacks, he doesn't need that free upkeep as badly.

My first recommendation is that you drop Behemoth and the Demolisher and instead take two Spriggans. With Escort and Field Marshal these warjacks suddenly become very quick and dangerous for any opponent. More importantly, they are very efficient warjacks that will become a major headache for your opponent when you use your feat since they'll sit at ARM 24 and with Reach they will be able to engage important targets or potentially charging valuable ones. Their grenades might seem wasted with Broadside, but again it's an expensive spell as it is and their grenades will kill infantry only marginally worse than bombards anyway, with the added utility of removing Stealth (useful for the rest of the list) should you need it. Two of these guys instead of Behemoth and the Demolisher will also give you 2 extra points to spend elsewhere.

I also recommend looking at Assault Kommandos with Harkevich. I know that might sound surprising but having a line of shield walled models front of your warjacks can be quite advantageous. They don't hit very hard (you don't need them to) but their Assault and Battery order effectively mimics Harkevich's feat and they also have the option of shooting gas grenades to make the rest of your ranged attacks hit more easily (since it doesn't create a cloud). They also bring a volume of attacks to clear out infantry while your heavies deal with anything else that comes along - ESPECIALLY since Harkevich can throw Fortune on them! Not only does that improve their melee capabilities but also their ranged attacks so those grenades will actually hit! Additionally, being immune to fire AND corrosion AND the fact that they ignore gas and clouds gives these guys serious advantages since they become effectively immune to a lot of Cryx, Menoth, and Legion attacks. You can even feel free to get some of their flame throwers and shoot your own guys in the back since the Kommandos are immune to fire!

So here's what I propose:
Harkevich (+5)
- Black Ivan (10)
- Spriggan (10)
- Spriggan (10)
- War Dog (1)
MOW Shocktroopers (full, 9)
Battle Mechanics (full, 3)
- Officer (2)
Assault Kommandos (full, 8)8)
- Flame Throwers (2)

I think this gives plenty of hard-hitting dudes (MOW), infantry clearing power (Fortuned Kommandos, flame throwers), as well as hard hitting warjacks and a warcaster who will be tough to take down. You also have the advantage of running with either your Kommandos or MOW out in front (depending on which you'd rather protect) with the Spriggans slightly on the flanks and Black Ivan and War Dog babysitting Harkevich so he'll be difficult to take down even IF your opponent can get through the double-shield wall of infantry. If the opportunity presents itself you can assault and battery with the kommandos in a split formation to follow up with Shocktroopers and/or warjacks. The list packs lots of high ARM (even on troops) with the ability to repair any damage you suffer and some solid ranged support with the Spriggans and Kommandos able to remove stealth and lower DEF (respectively) so that you can take down whatever ails you.
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