Friday, May 16, 2014

Cygnar: A few more lists to try out

A whole new world of hurt.

Here a couple more lists that I've been experimenting with lately.

The first is the eHaley list I plan on running along side my eCaine list for dual-list SR2014.

Points: 50/50
Major Victoria Haley (*5pts)
* Thorn (8pts)
* Stormwall (19pts)
* Squire (2pts)
Arcane Tempest Gun Mages (Leader and 5 Grunts) (6pts)
* Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Officer (2pts)
* * Hunter (6pts)
Tempest Blazers (Leader and 4 Grunts) (10pts)
Captain Arlan Strangewayes (2pts)

The list here is painfully straight forward.  You have the ATGM + UA + Hunter so you can take full advantage of Haley's Deadeye and Temporal Acceleration on the Hunter.  Haley bonds with the Stormwall and the Stormwall pretty much becomes a walking god.  With the ability to threaten infantry with his firing templates, put out two fully boosted Defender shots, or engage a target with 4 Focus and 5 possible attacks, we're looking at one of the most dangerous caster/jack combinations in the game.  If you manage to TK a target with Haley, TA the Stormwall, he can charge back arc and deal damage from 16" away (7" bond, 3" charge, 2" TA, 2" TK, 2" Reach).  That's just an insane amount of reach for something that big and beefy.

Next, you have Siege.

Points: 50/50
Major Markus 'Siege' Brisbane (*5pts)
* Stormwall (19pts)
* Squire (2pts)
Black 13th Gun Mage Strike Team (4pts)
Greygore Boomhowler & Co. (Boomhowler and 9 Grunts) (9pts)
Rangers (5pts)
Tempest Blazers (Leader and 4 Grunts) (10pts)
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution (3pts)
Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator (1pts)
Taryn di la Rovissi (2pts)

Siege is one of those casters I really like because he's all about numbers - big numbers.  The alpha strike that this dude is capable of is something out of a fairy tale.  When he says go, his entire army is capable of putting down so much damage that other sources just seem redundant.  Because of Breach, Tempest Blazers are exceptional in a list with Siege.  Being able to Electo-leap shots on half-armored targets from 19" threat is exactly what a list like this needs.  Boomhowlers will hold the line and Siege's Breach assassination is very possible still with Rangers and Stormwall's big guns.

If I'm not taking eCaine, I'll probably play Siege because of the character restrictions.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

BR: 50pt eCaine vs. Butcher3

Look at this god damn crazy.

I was itching for a game all week but due to work, I wasn't able to get one in until last night.  As usual, I played over Vassal man, was it a lot of fun.  The scenario was Close Quarters.

Here's the list he took.  I'm not sure if it was standard or not, but that's what he brought to the table:

Points: 50/50
Kommander Zoktavir, The Butcher Unleashed (*4pts)
* Beast-09 (11pts)
* War dog (1pts)
Greylord Ternion (Leader and 2 Grunts) (4pts)
Iron Fang Pikemen (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
* Black Dragon Officer & Standard (2pts)
Kayazy Assassins (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
* Kayazy Assassin Underboss (2pts)
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt (4pts)
Widowmakers (Leader and 3 Grunts) (4pts)
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution (3pts)
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist (2pts)
Iron Fang Kovnik (2pts)
Ragman (2pts)
Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator (1pts)

I brought my standard eCaine list and we duked it out on a map with a trench on each side and a long shared forest on the right.  Most of the right side of the map was also a giant hill, so elevation all over the place.  Sorry, no pics, it ran pretty late last night and I just went to sleep right after the game.

Anyways, here are some highlights from the game:
  • The game started out with him playing very aggressive and running or advancing everything up.  I did the same with all my guys but I couldn't really shoot at anything so I camped all my focus.
  • Next turn, he manages to kill some of my Boomhowlers and strip them of their Arcane Shield thanks to Eiryss.  No further damage is dealt to the rest of my army while all of his marched up fearlessly down the middle.
  • On this turn, I was able to run a few Rangers up and go hard on his army with my shooting.  My B13th killed some of his Pikeman with Ryan doing most of the work as usual, killing 4 by herself thanks to Mage Storm.  The Tempest Blazers advanced 9 and used Elecro-leap to drop a ton of Kayazy from the field despite them having Stealth.  Man, I absolutely love their ability to move 9.  Caine himself did some serious work as he was able to pick off a few Pikeman, Magic Bullet the nearby Eiryss to death and ping another Magic Bullet into Beast '09, but failed to kill Aiyana despite the +1.  A few more shots here and there from some of my other units at Ragman and he sac pawns to one of Butcher's dogs.
  • The next turn was something pretty hilarious.  While I think I had a pretty good turn and I was pretty far ahead, I was definitely not expecting this.  Butcher immediately moves up thanks to Vengeance and drops one of my Boomhowlers stone cold.  He adds 2 focus to Beast '09 and then casts Impending Doom, Silence of Death and Flashing Blade, followed by Feat.  Needless to say, most of the Boomhowlers are dead in one foul swoop with no chance of Tough rolls.  He then advances, into some more Booms including Greygore, and Flashing Blades again to kill every single Cygnar-sympathizing troll on the board while camping 5 Focus.  Damn, that did not go the way I wanted to, especially when I was relying on them to block Beast so I can get another round of shooting.
  • Some of the remaining Kayazy including the Mob Boss charges Ol'Rowdy and actually do something like 8 points of damage to him due to hot rolls.  Not just that, but he activates incorrectly and the 1-HP Aiyana trolls boxcars to Kiss Ol'Rowdy while he was already engaged!  Now, I watch grimly as his Beast '09 barrels down the field and straight into Ol'Rowdy's face, beating his ass into the ground and leaving him with 5 boxes left.  Looks like things really changed in a span of a few activations.
  • With Ol'Rowdy near death, my primary jack was out of commission and the battlefield situation looks pretty damn even.  I choose not to allocate any Focus to Ol'Rowdy because both of his arms were out.  Instead, I move up my Gorman really close to Beast, toss Black Oil, it can only scatter 1" and it hits '09 in the face, sharply dropping his defense.  I then land a Kiss from my own Aiyana, shoot him for some damage with Holt, and put him at roughly half-health after Rowdy activates and hits him with straight dice.  Not the best outcome, but better than nothing.
  • Now, my Rangers run ahead to mark the rest of his army while my Tempest Blazers advance into range of his A&H.  A few Electro-leaps after and both are dead, including his Gorman who's unfortunate enough to be within 5" of one of the Blazers after checking range.  With no more real targets, I'm left with a really tough decision.  I have Beast with Kiss and Butcher in range with Ranger's Mark Target.
  • I know for a fact that with effectively POW14 guns, I can drop Beast in one go with Feat thanks to Black Oil, or I can go for Butcher.  My Eiryss was out of range to threaten Buthcer unfortunately, so I'm going to have to rely on Caine to do all the work.  Well, what the hell, why not go big or go home?  My B13th with Brutal Damage and Taryn try to do some damage to Butcher, but it was just not happening with his camped Focus.  Caine then activates and moves in range of Butcher with +2 RAT.  He throws down 10 shots, misses with the last shot and then proceeds to roll damage.  After the dust settles, Butcher is left with 1 HP and everyone in the room is sitting there in shock.
  • Needless to say, I think that's going to be game.  Next turn, he charges one of his own Kayazy to get within Impending Death range of Caine, and smacks him in the face with Lola.  It actually took him two swings and that was the only thing he could muster, but he rolled what he needed to hit Caine for a second time and that was it.  If he missed, I would have shot him to death next turn.

The winning scenario for me would be to kill Beast with Feat, reallocate Eiryss to the other side of the board to threaten Focus-camping, and to shoot everything else dead in Butcher's army leaving him with no support.  Unfortunately, that might have taken too long to play and I was in a very YOLO mode because this is just a casual game and I've been working too damn much.  You gotta learn to relax and have fun a bit, especially when you're not playing in a tournament and its all fun and games.

I talked with my opponent for a little bit and he said I could have been a bit more aggressive with Rowdy and Eiryss.  I definitely agreed with the Eiryss part, as I think her ability to drop Focus off of Butcher might have been exactly what I needed on Feat turn.  A very fun and close game, I enjoyed it very much.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Cygnar: 50pt eCaine

Look at this sexy man-beast.

Alright, so what does my eCaine list look like at 50 points?  Well, the answer is pretty simple.  You take my 35 point list and you add Boomhowlers.  It's not my fault that Cygnar typically has suck ass infantry except for ATGM + UA, but hey, what can you do.  After some deliberation, I've decided to give my Tempest Blazers a try with Boomhowler and Co. in the same list for 50 points.

One of the biggest issues I have with Tempest Blazers is that while they're incredibly good, they're also very generic in terms of what they provide.  The first thing that you'll notice is that they fit the same role of ranged combat.  They're essentially faster, more durable versions of ATGM, but they lack the True Sight but can extend their firepower more because of their speed.  At the end of the day, they hit harder than ATGM but they lack the shenanigans that Thunderbolt can sometimes net you, especially in a Caine2 list where you can move things out of firing lanes.  The True Sight is also huge, making them less useful vs. Stealth and doesn't give you the same amount of degree of protection vs. say, Mage Hunters or Bane Thralls.  Fortunately for the Tempest Blazer, you can always race out there and put some Electro-leap shots in their face.  Last, but certainly not least, is the UA ability to put Rune Shots onto a Hunter.  That's probably the biggest reason to take ATGM over the Blazers.  I guess the fact that they require Crits to get inflated results also wants them in a list with Deadeye (cough Haley cough).  Overall, I can see both working out just fine in an eCaine list, but for now I think I'll go with the Blazers.

To me, it's pretty set in stone what you want in a 50 point eCaine list.  You really need some meat in there no matter what so Boomhowler is an auto-include.  Cygnar infantry typically have zero sustain and you want a unit that can tarpit, take positions and play objectives.  There is simply no substitute in the entire Cygnar game in that respect.  The rest is simply mandatory items for Caine which is: Taryn, Reindholt, Squire, Rangers, eEiryss, A&H, and Ol'Rowdy.  Essentially, the first 30 or so points that you have is pretty mandatory, from my experience anyway.  Anything else for me is just sub-optimal and there's not much list variation for the casters that I plan on playing with Cygnar (eCaine and eHaley).  Guess I did it to myself huh?

Anyways, here's the list:

Points: 50/50
Captain Allister Caine (*5pts)
* Ol' Rowdy (9pts)
* Squire (2pts)
Black 13th Gun Mage Strike Team (4pts)
Greygore Boomhowler & Co. (Boomhowler and 9 Grunts) (9pts)
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt (4pts)
Rangers (5pts)
Tempest Blazers (Leader and 4 Grunts) (10pts)
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution (3pts)
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist (2pts)
Journeyman Warcaster (3pts)
Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator (1pts)
Stormsmith Stormcaller (1pts)
Taryn di la Rovissi (2pts)

This is the list that I'm building towards and the first list I'll put on the table for my glorious return to competitive Warmachine.  Good timing too, since it looks like 40K is going down the shitter real fast.

Monday, May 5, 2014


Because 40K was already doing well..

For those of you who haven't heard..

The FoC chart is still in the new 40k edition and if you follow it you have what is known as a "Battle Forged" army. It awards (unlisted) bonuses for using the FoC.You can also take a unbound army, these allow you to take whatever you want from your collection and toss out the FoC (while still adhering to unit size and heeding the relationships described in the new Allies Matrix. 

I can confirm this as I've seen the WD article with it in it.

You want a list where you take nothing but Wraithknights?  Sure, go ahead.  Want to take 8x Ravagers and call it a list?  OK.  You can do whatever you want!

Umm... no thanks.  This is one clusterfuck I don't want to get involved with.  Looks like I got back into Warmachine just in the nick of time.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

BR: 35pts eCaine vs. eIrusk

Not bad for a first game.

I managed to play my first game of Warmachine in two years today on Vassal.  It was a smaller game than most SR lists and we only played caster kill.  We could have played a scenario game, but my opponent actually suggested caster kill after finding out that it was my first game in a long time.

Alright, so we're off and away.  I used my eCaine list with Tempest Blazers vs. eIrusk.

Points: 35/35
Supreme Kommandant Irusk (*5pts)
* Destroyer (9pts)
* War dog (1pts)
Man-o-war Demolition Corps (Leader and 4 Grunts) (9pts)
Man-o-war Shocktroopers (Leader and 4 Grunts) (9pts)
Widowmakers (Leader and 3 Grunts) (4pts)
Winter Guard Mortar Crew (Leader and Grunt) (3pts)
Winter Guard Mortar Crew (Leader and Grunt) (3pts)
Harlan Versh (2pts)

When I looked across the table, I saw lot of multi-wound models in front of me.  The problem with my list is that while I have a good amount of firepower, it struggles against high armor.  I guess I was lucky he wasn't running heavy jacks/beasts with another caster.

Alright, now to the game:

  • My opponent went first and ran most of his stuff into better positions.  I did the same, put my Tempest Blazers and Rangers on high elevation and threw my B13 into the woods.  My A&H slowly moved up and Caine lurched forward and threw Blur on the Tempest Blazers.
  • The second turn saw a bunch of shots explode from the Khador side and most of it missing.  Nothing hit their targets dead on but one of the mortar blasts found Eiryss and Taryn under the scatter.  Thankfully, my opponent rolled low for damage and Eiryss survived with 1 health (this was huge) while Taryn didn't take any damage.  His Widowmakers ran far up my left flank.
  • On my turn, I dropped Blur on my Tempest Blazers and ran one of my brave little Rangers up to paint the backside of his Demos, Shocks and Destroyer who was behind an obstacle.  The Tempest Blazers moved up on the far right, shot at the Destroyer and with the help of Mark Target, managed to do 9 points of total damage using Brutal Shot.  They then used their Light Cav movement to get out of the LoS of the Destroyer.  I charged Ol'Rowdy up but I was just short of Tremoring the first batch of Shocktroopers.  It's OK, I can still do some damage:  Ryan opens up on the first batch of Shocktroopers and puts her Mage Storm on top of 6 dudes.  After damage rolls, I was only able to damage two of them because of Shield Wall.  Next came Lynch and Watts who opened up and shot down one of the Widowmakers on the far left.
  • Caine himself moved up 7 and opened fire with Feat and 10 shots.  I only missed one shot and focused everything I had at the Shocktroopers and Demo Corp.  After the smoke cleared, I killed 2 Shocktroopers and 2 Demos.  Not the best results, but what upset me the most was that I shot a Shocktrooper with a POW19 shot and left him with 1 HP.  That's one more ST that's going to swing at Rowdy next turn.  I finished off the turn by running my 1 HP Eiryss up and put her within Arcane Interference range of his Destroyer.
  • On his next turn, he retaliates by trying to shoot Caine with the mortars but missed with everything.  His Destroyer aims and takes a shot at Caine as well, but it scatters and hits Ryan in the face.  Since Eiryss was next to his Destroyer, he was unable to allocate any focus to it, so he wasn't able to capitalize on the revenge shot.  He retaliates with his Shocktroopers and a single Demo Corps on Ol'Rowdy and did some serious damage.  Fortunately for me, Rowdy's hammer was still functional.  Two of his Demo Corps break off and charge my Tempest Blazers.  Three of them go down to Backsswings but that's to be expected because he was rolling really hot to hit.  One of the mistakes that my opponent makes this round was moving his warcaster slightly behind his medium based units engaged with Ol'Rowdy thinking he would be safe.
  • Next round, I analyzed the situation and activated my units:
    • Caine takes a bite from the Squire.
    • Reinholdt moves up and reloads Caine.
    • The remaining Tempest Blazers move up and Brutal Shot the Demo Corps (killing 1 and leaving the other with 1 HP, tying up Eiryss still). 
    • Taryn doesn't move, aims and Black Pennies the remaining Demo Corps to death.
    • This frees up Eiryss to take aim and shoot his warcaster, stripping his focus.
    • Next is Ol'Rowdy who Tremors all of the Shocktroopers and remaining Demo Corps to the ground.
    • I thread the needle with one of my Rangers and paint his Warcaster.
    • Caine checks his control range, sees Irusk past the knockdown Shocktroopers, aims with Mark Target and shoots with RAT13 vs. DEF15 with a -3 damage modifier.  It takes 5 shots to put Irusk in the ground.

Overall, I think this game went pretty well for me.  I was able to utilize most of my units and use them to full effect, although the Tempest Blazers were not ideal vs. such heavy armor.  The only unit that didn't see much use was A&H, and I think I played them too defensively because I was afraid of Aiyana dying to random blasts.  Against a list like this, I really need her Kiss to allow me to punch through heavier armor.

The only thing I was really afraid of was messing up my activations.  I played this game pretty religiously back when I was invested and I think that helped a lot.  During this game, a lot of things were coming back to me and I was able to capitalize on mistakes and activate my units in the correct order.  A good first game.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Return to Cygnar

Light them up.

I didn't think this would ever happen, but it did.  It must be all the OT I've been doing for Reaper of Souls on console, but I've finally decided to get back into Warmachine.  Warmahordes has been the biggest thing in my area for the longest time and it's about time I get back into it.  I'm tired of seeing so many players show up and get games left and right, and I do miss the competitive aspect of the game in some regards.  Hell, if I want to play a competitive game, it  better be popular and well-supported.

Just like last time, I'm getting back into it because a friend's taking a stab at it.  I left the game as a pretty advanced player and I only really lost a handful of times the 2 years I played the game.  Guess what?  I'm going to do it all over again with Cygnar.  I promised myself I'll start small because I don't feel like blowing too much cash early, so 35 points is where I'm going to start.

Check it out, deja'vu much?

Points: 35/35
Captain Allister Caine (*5pts)
* Ol' Rowdy (9pts)
* Squire (2pts)
Black 13th Gun Mage Strike Team (4pts)
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt (4pts)
Rangers (5pts)
Tempest Blazers (Leader and 4 Grunts) (10pts)
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution (3pts)
Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator (1pts)
Taryn di la Rovissi (2pts)

The biggest thing that changed when I left the game is that I left shortly after Colossals got released.  When you think about it, that's not a very long time ago.  I wasn't really excited about the oversized jacks in terms of aesthetics, but I found that their introduction into the game was well-executed.  The main reason why I left the game was that I found certain lists to be very cookie-cutter (as you'll see below) and that I was seeing mostly the same things ever game.

No matter.  Now that I'm back and playing the boys in blue, I think I'm going to make smarter purchase decisions.  When I left the game, I practically had every single Cygnar unit in the game.  God knows that most of that shit blows and there's only a few things in Warmachine infantryhammer that's worth taking when you're playing Cygnar.  In terms of raw competitiveness, I would say there's a handful of models I plan on purchasing in the near future.  I will eventually build into a dual list SR2014 type of play, but for now I think I'll stick with this.  I've also decided to just focus on eCaine and eHaley as my primary casters:  Not only do I have the most experience with these  two, but most of the units are interchangeable with the exception of the Stormwall.  That's another story for another time though.

OK, so what do we have here?  Well, there's not much to say:  It's your standard Caine2 list with a few personal preferences.  One of the things I hated about Warmachine is how similar some lists look because the options are really that braindead.  For me, if I'm going to be playing with Caine2, I'm always going to have Rowdy, Squire, B13, Rangers, eEiryss, and Reindholt.  Oh, and I should probably include Taryn now because of her ridiculous 2013 FAQ changing how her Shadowfire works.  That's pretty much 21 points of auto-include for my list before I add anything else.  So what am I going to do for the next few points?  Add Tempest Blazers because they're god damn amazing and A&H because POW14 Spellstorms are godlike.  At 50 points, you're just adding Boomhowler + Co and 4 points of whatever the hell you want.

For those of you that might not be familiar with how this list works, I'll try to keep things brief.  I've literally ran this list a hundred times on the table and on Vassal, so this should be like riding a bike.

  • Ol'Rowdy - One of the best jacks that Cygnar has.  MAT8, great Focus efficiency, above average armor and solid pricing.  The biggest boon that he offers Caine2 is that he doesn't need much focus to get the job done, and MAT8 AoE Knockdowns makes everything cry.
  • Squire - Caine takes a bite and he's up one shot.  Also allows Caine2 to occasionally Arcane Bolt the pesky Eiyriss with the help of Squire re-roll.
  • Black 13th - Utility and damage all over the place.  Ryan is the best with her POW12 cloud, but everyone else has their place due to their damage output.
  • Aiyana and Holt - Extra 2x RAT8 Handcannon shots are nice, but the big one here is what Aiyana offers to the table.  Kiss allows you to do +2 damage to something, and for a faction like Cygnar which has piss-poor overall damage, this is absolutely huge.  All of a sudden POW10 guns start to matter and POW12 from Caine kicks like a horse hoof to the face.
  • Rangers - The bravest of all Cygnar units.  Does nothing all game but run up one at a time like suicidal retards to give your shooty units +2 RAT.  Mark Target makes Caine one of the most accurate things in existence; allowing you to hit DEF16 all day on 5s.
  • Tempest Blazers - I had to read these guys a couple of times when I first saw them.  They have amazing stats, prime Blur targets and fantastic mobility.  Add on the amazing runeshots and light cav movement and you've got yourself the best light cav in the game IMO.
  • eEiryss - You need a way to be able to peel off buffs so you can further shoot things in the face the way you want to.  Stuff like Defender's Ward or whatever just negates Caine's killing potential and that's just no good.
  • Reinholdt - His sole purpose in life is to give Caine an extra shot.
  • Taryn di la Rovissi - In short, she's Caine's life partner from now until FAQ'd again.  The fact that her Shadowfire can figuratively remove a model from Caine's LoS is flat out godlike.  This means that no matter what, no one can hide behind another model while within 19" of Caine and feel good about their chances.

Like I said gents.. like riding a bike.  Now for the painful process of putting everything together again.