Posts Tagged ‘theory’

Inspired by Octavius_Maximus’s thread over on the PP forums about his three lists and why he made those choices I figured I would share mine.

My inner circle of gaming buddies and I have decided to really focus on our competitive play and to place in a con next year. To that end we are honing down to 3 casters to focus predominantly on for a while. Each list must be played as is at least 3 times before “unlocking” the achievement which allows us to change anything. You will notice that some of the solos are shared right now, that is because through play we are working to determine which ones need them the most. We also came up with a quick list of questions which must be answered to some degree in every list: incorporeal, high defense, high armor, rough terrain, ranged attack immunity, melee attack immunity, magic attack immunity, scenario holding.

My first list is:

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Khador – Sorscha2 

56 / 56 (50+6) Warcaster(s) : 1/1 Warjack(s) : 1 Battle Engines : 0 Solos : 5 Units : 5

Forward Kommander Sorscha – WJ: +6
– Sylys Wyshnalyrr, The Seeker
– Beast 09 – PC: 11

Eiryss, Angel of Retribution – PC: 3
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist – PC: 2
Koldun Lord – PC: 2
Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator – PC: 1
Kovnik Jozef Grigorovich – PC: 2

Widowmakers – Leader & 3 Grunts: 4
Winter Guard Infantry – Leader & 9 Grunts: 6
– Winter Guard Officer & Standard – Winter Guard Officer & Standard 2
– 1 1 Rocketeer’s: 1
Greylord Outriders – Leader & 4 Grunts: 9
Great Bears of Gallowswood – Volkov, Kolsk, Yarovich: 5
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt – Lady Aiyanna & Master Holt: 4
– Koldun Kapitan Valachev – Valachev 2

Nothing really ground breaking on this list but it is a real workhorse and one of my favorite “go to” lists. If I were playing a game and my life were on the line it would likely be something like this. There aren’t a lot of tricks to it, as I said it is just a real workhorse. There are a ton of sprays in this list to deal with infantry swarm, and armor spam is also quite easily handled. My current big debate is swapping out Beast09 for a spriggan in order to give me the option of freezing gripping some banes and assisting in sniping out the bane thrall UA to get rid of the Dead Rise ability. If I can keep the feat in her pocket she becomes a very legitimate endgame caster threat on her own – average dice against a 16/19 model on her feat is 16 points – more if get the crit stationary on the initial attack or if you managed to kiss the caster before charging with Ayanna (range with Valachev on her is an impressive 19″). Granted you are all in at that point but it is an option that not a lot of casters have.

My second list is:

Khador – Irusk1

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56 / 56 (50+6) Warcaster(s) : 1/1 Warjack(s) : 1 Battle Engines : 0 Solos : 3 Units : 4

Kommandant Irusk – WJ: +6
– Sylys Wyshnalyrr, The Seeker
– Behemoth – PC: 13

Eiryss, Angel of Retribution – PC: 3
Saxon Orrik – PC: 2
Kell Bailoch – PC: 2

Greylord Outriders – Leader & 4 Grunts: 9
Cylena Raefyll & Nyss Hunters – Cylena & 9 Grunts: 10
– Koldun Kapitan Valachev – Valachev 2
Iron Fang Pikemen – Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
– Black Dragon Officer & Standard – PC: 2
Kayazy Eliminators – Leader & Grunt: 3

Another fairly well-rounded list, though this one does skew a bit toward ranged attacks which I feel is enabled somewhat by inhospitable ground. As I mentioned above, there are some shared character models, but this is just the testing phase. A sweet thing about valachev with the Nyss is that they can have battle lust cast on them and then they can charge in and get 5 dice on the damage roll – and if it is under his feat they are getting +2 to hit so can really wreck many heavies – especially beasts who have a bit higher def but lower armor (typically).

The final list in my first round of list development is:

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Khador – Irusk2 

55 / 55 (50+5) Warcaster(s) : 1/1 Warjack(s) : 1 Battle Engines : 0 Solos : 2 Units : 6

Supreme Kommandant Irusk – WJ: +5
– War Dog
– Demolisher – PC: 9

Widowmaker Marksman – PC: 2
Iron Fang Kovnik – PC: 2

Great Bears of Gallowswood – Volkov, Kolsk, Yarovich: 5
Greylord Outriders – Leader & 2 Grunts: 6
Iron Fang Pikemen – Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
– Black Dragon Officer & Standard – PC: 2
Widowmakers – Leader & 3 Grunts: 4
Kayazy Assassins – Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
– Kayazy Assassin Underboss – Underboss 2
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt – Lady Aiyanna & Master Holt: 4
– Koldun Kapitan Valachev – Valachev 2

I know that there is a discussion on eliminators/assassins going on and the reason I chose the assassins over the eliminators here is because of Irusk2’s great unit spells. Simply put, you get more use out of them. His feat and artifice of deviation (AoD) help overcome their biggest drawback – the lack of pathfinder – extremely well. In fact, AoD effectively gives them a large part of the minifeat (moving through models) whenever they want it. Since they are always immune to freestrikes, I get to use this a LOT more than I thought I would. In order to charge you still need traditional LOS but you can do crazy things like run through a line with Tac Supremacy up and go 15″ deep and turn your facing to give you back charges on their line. They either turn and face you or give up potential back strikes. With the black dragons up front it makes a really effective vice maneuver.

I feel all of the lists are fairly solid on their own, but play will definitely cause me to evolve with them somewhat, or so I expect.

Also, yeah, I am sharing a lot of characters, so in taking these to tourneys I would have to rearrange things, but part of this process is to figure out which lists the characters are redundant in and which ones they are really needed.

Another initial concern is there is some similarity among all three of these lists which makes me think that if there is a bad matchup to one, it might be a bad matchup to all of them, but table time will tell.

For some reason Strakhov is the caster I just keep thinking has phenomenal potential. Here is what I have been thinking and is somewhat of a brain dump so please forgive the (likely) fractured and rambling nature of this post.
 
Once more I have to thank OrsusSmash on the Muse forums for getting me to think a bit deeper about our casters.
 
 
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And yeah, he looks pretty bad ass which is reason enough to want to use him. 
 
Strakhov has great movement options both personally and for his force, both through feat as well as overrun and superiority and, in a somewhat limited fashion, battering ram (you could charge or overrun at an angle and push something into a better charge lane or something for instance). This is a game where speed really matters, and he brings it to khador.
 
Another recent epiphany to me and my group is that PP does a pretty fantastic job of using the background to inform their rules design. Lately I have been just kind of “going with it” and looking at the fluff of a model and seeing how that informs their play on the battlefield. Strakhov’s background is all hit and fade and deception, from a faction that doesn’t really do that. At first glance it would seem that he doesn’t have the pieces to support this style, but he kind of does – especially if you look at the other aspect of him – he is an elite special forces kind of guy. For that sort of thing, you should bring the A-Team, we all know their names, they are definitely the special characters.
 
 
What this means for practical tourney play is that your off list should definitely be one that either doesn’t need many characters at all, like Irusk1 or one with a definite skew for something that Strakhov would struggle even more with like maybe Vlad3 or Butcher1.
 
If we embrace this philosophy and just open up all kinds of shenanigans we can look at the choices available and what would get the most benefit. First there is the obvious “Strakhov Flow Chart” that is both beloved and hated, accurate and inaccurate, that ensures short games one way or another.
 
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Now beyond that silliness this background,for ‘jacks, means things like Beast09 with hyperaggressive and reach as well as a fantastic imprint which makes him a bit more focus efficient than otherwise he might be. Torch also looks pretty good behind able to overrun and set a caster on fire is a legit threat or just charge and yoyo back also works well. Sustained attack at PS18 also gives him a bit more focus efficiency in that you don’t have to worry about hitting after the first. As an aside, I am going to have to try Torch with vlad3 – 9 inch charge, 2 side steps and then auto fire 6″ spray seems pretty brutal. The fact that he has both an extra mat and rat  helps a tiny bit (though in all honesty you will likely still boost to hit when it matters). Even Black Ivan is interesting – def14 and Dodge (possibly def 16 to range with a ternion cloud) mean that hitting him is far from certain and you can dodge to some interesting angles for the following turn – though at this point I am going to not include him,  I am going to consider him further.
 
He doesn’t really have the focus to run two jacks, but both of the jacks don’t need to be running at full efficiency all the time. A couple of ways to improve on this is to include Sylys and the Koldun lord. This means dropping the war dog, but it seems that if you put Strakhov way up the field the dog just gets killed fast anyway, and the signs and portents is nice for both battering ram and the rift that you will only ever cast in the direst of straits. You will likely leave sylys behind but the fact that he only needs to be within 9″ for the upkeep and range booster ability make him workable. Beast’s imprint mean that even with a single focus, combined with reach means he can do a number on most living warrior models regardless of their defense (superiority puts him at mat9). Also, he can run for free during the early game making it easier to cast the upkeeps.
 
The Koldun lord will likely just power boost, but he might try and pull off battle wizard on occasion – also, ice cage can help your other models hit – particularly when looking at a higher def beast or caster. While the obvious default for battle wizard is the spray, throwing an ice cage further up the field can be good. Also if something is disrupted or has overrun out of Strakhov’s control area, you can use the battle wizard action to give it a focus point. Situational, but sometimes that is exactly what you need.
 
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This makes me look at the Greylord ternion. They get the same battle wizard as the koldun lord, with mostly the same spells, though throwing a cloud further up field could be pretty sweet, especially to possibly block a charge lane – a solo or other single model could be in position ahead of time to receive that cloud. Obviously it could be dangerous to depend on it, but it is still an option work considering. It is seeming like that is Strakhov’s niche – having lots of options and potential.
 
The majority of our units are fairly self sufficient – at least enough so to all be considered viable with strakhov. Great Bears with occultation and threat of feat could make my opponent think twice about their positioning, Ayanna and Holt bring the ever popular Kiss of Lyliss to increase damage even further, and since I am looking at playing a distance game, the inclusion of Valachev is intriguing for that extra 3″ range of harm (though admittedly he would likely be the first to go when it came to cutting points). It is also another magical spray to help against jammers.
 
Now it is time to look at the “mainstay” unit. As I said above, many of our choices are fairly self sufficient. Keeping in mind the idea of an elite unit, I am going to choose the Iron Fang pikemen with the Black Dragon UA. My reasoning for this is that they are another good target for stealth, they are fearless which is always a plus and the thing that really did it for me, was their precision ability. This lets them not necessarily need to kill a jack in order to minimize it’s effectiveness. Popping out the cortex really hurts jacks. You can take the spirit out on a beast, but the healing mechanic means that it isn’t as big of a deal, though it does force a potential order of activation issue as well as taking fury from the caster.
 
This leaves 8 more points for a standard 50 point list and I am not sure where to go with this. The iron fang kovnik lets me get up the field quicker in shield wall which is nice, plus is an extra weapon master attack. I could do him and 2 eliminators, or him and a unit of doom reavers, or a unit of doom reavers with UA. Or Gorman and a couple of something else’s, etc. I am really open on that and will likely just pick something randomly and see how it goes and then make adjustments from there. I think the first round will be Eyriss2, Gorman, and a unit of eliminators just to really do the A-Team thing.
 
Please feel free to point out any flaws to my thinking.
 
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Oh yeah, he is probably gonna lose this fight, but it is a cool picture.