Thursday, July 14, 2016

WMW Qualifier Decompression

I'd like to start with a shout out for those who are keeping things positive in the Skorne boards and forums, and elsewhere. There is a lot of doom and gloom, but several people are doing well with the faction (e.g. Paul Leatherby looks like he's going places with Skorne in MK3, and is shaping how I think about my anti-ranged game). There are also the big names in Skorne (Trevor, Watt, and Hornacek) who seem to be finding plenty of positives in the faction.

Now onto the actual post:

Last weekend I went to a WMW qualifier in Rochester, NY, and have been going over it in my head ever since. I wanted to do a post on it, but have been up in the air with my thoughts since then on list tweaking and am finally starting to settle down on my second list. I'll be doing a quick overview of my games, and then discussing my list pairing process afterwards.

The lists I brought:

Skorne - CatManDo

Theme: No Theme Selected
75 / 75 Army

Tyrant Xerxis - WB: +28
- Basilisk Krea - PC: 7 (Battlegroup Points Used: 7)
- Titan Sentry - PC: 15 (Battlegroup Points Used: 15)
- Agonizer - PC: 7 (Battlegroup Points Used: 6)
- Tiberion - PC: 22

Tyrant Rhadeim - PC: 9

Praetorian Ferox - Leader & 4 Grunts: 21
Paingiver Beast Handlers - Leader & 3 Grunts: 5
Praetorian Karax - Leader & 9 Grunts: 11
Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer - Tyrant & Bearer: 6

This list showed up in my first post, and my basic thoughts on it are in there. I also brought it to a Full Steam release as my single list, which I'm planning on a writeup for later.

Skorne Army - 74 / 75 points

Dominar Rasheth [+28]

 - Agonizer [7]
 - Mammoth [38]
 - Cyclops Brute [8]
 - Cyclops Brute [8]
Venator Slingers (max) [13]
Venator Catapult Crew [5]
Venator Catapult Crew [5]
Praetorian Karax (max) [11]
Paingiver Beast Handlers (max) [7]

This was... a bad list and I should feel bad for playing it. I had planned to run Xekaar with light spam but chickened out last minute.

Round 1 I was paired up against Mercs, both lists had multiple gunbunnies. I wound up dropping Rasheth into Durgen, playing Take and Hold.

My Rasheth list was too slow to contest his flag, or get the fat man on to mine in time to win on Scenario. I did get some work done on feat turn, taking out a few of his jacks, but he had plenty more. Wound up losing 5-0, and giving up almost the entirety of my army in the process. Catapults got some lucky work in, but I don't think I'll be using them in the future until the Dakar drops. The rest of the tournament I dropped pXerxis, feeling pretty down on this list.

It didn't help that I recognized my opponents name and was wearing a team jersey, which immediately put me off balance. He was incredibly helpful, though... and I'm pretty sure he knows Skorne way better than I do.

Round 2: I played against eKromac with a pile of heavies and two units of sentry stones. Playing Incursion, my opponent opted to pick sides to take advantage of a forest.

I ran up round 1, he failed to shoot my cats, round 2 they were stirred and leapt into a stalker, fucking it up. Rhadeim also nearly killed a judo goat in 1 shot, then repositioned away. To counter he popped carnage, healed the stalker, primaled it, and killed 2 or 3 of the Ferox. The goat charged rhadeim, and after a dodge left him on 3 boxes. I've entirely failed to mention it, but at this point my Karax were sitting in shield wall in a series of weird tentacles sticking out of one of the flags, while my heavies sat on a 3rd (this one was contested by a stone). This didn't change for most of the game, and is how I won, but it was easy to overlook, also at this point I scored 1 from the Karax.

Rhadeim leapt over to the 3rd flag, popped a contesting model and repositioned onto the flag. Ghettorix came in and failed to kill Tibbers with an agonizer and my feat up, judo goat dismounts Rhadeim, and a feral ran over to the Karax flag. Tibbers kills Gheto, sentry kills the feral. I win on scenario, 5-0.

Round 3: Butcher 3 running Conquest, Ruin, Clamjack, and some other jack that didn't do anything except die to Tibbers. Playing in The Pit.

I get handed first again. I run up in the Ferox wall backed by the krea and two shield guards. Conquest spikes and kills a Ferox. Rest of his stuff runs up to toe the zone. Ferox get stirred, not shaken, and pounce onto Ruin, leaving him on 2 boxes. Rhadeim finishes him off with 1 hit. Karax swarm around the center of the pit.

Clamjack moves behind the Ferox, and sits. Conquest does some shooting, the unknown jack runs up towards my caster and heavies. Butcher dirtnaps a Ferox, but misses from his dogs leave the other potential target safe thanks to a dodge. At this point, only B3 was on his flag to dominate it, and Rhadeim had a charge lane on him and the flag. So Rhadeim charged, and rolled a 14 for damage (reduced to 9), (and later scored me a point on Butcher's flag). The surviving Ferox leapt onto B3 and did some more damage with pounces, leaving him on 2 boxes. Tibbers and the sentry killed the other jack (I feated here, but couldn't catch the Ferox and keep up on Scenario). Karax swarm the clamjack, do a 10 man CMA to save time, and miss with double 1s. Agonizer gets B3 in the no spells bubble.

Last bit went fast, as butcher killed everything contesting his flag including the agonizer, risking free strikes to do so, then scored a point on it. 1 ferox was left alive, and the Krea was near butcher. Krea advanced, boosted to hit, boosted damage, and Butcher reduced it and survived. Ferox leapt into action and put the last 2 into him.

A lot of this game, the TyComm kept using press forward or pathfinder on Xerxis, so Xerxis could use them on someone else later on. It was a bit weird, but will be shaping how I position the two of them in the future.

Round 4: Outflank, with me playing into eCaine, those guys with mark target, both journeymen, a stormwall, and some jacks that didn't come into play.

Opponent gives me first again (I didn't win a die roll all day). I ran up in the usual fashion with the krea and shield guards on my Ferox. Opponent realizes he can go for a kill on the lead Ferox, so he advances with his scout guys, Caine walks up and pops some shots into him, then camps 2. Stormwall dropped some templates in front of them. Other stuff moved around and the Stormwall got Arcane shield.

I'm tired, have a bit of a migraine, and figure that with his jacks spread out and very few threats near Caine that if I can't kill him, I can at least leave him fairly screwed positioning wise if I send in all of my cavalry and feat (15/21 Ferox aren't exactly great targets for Cygnar shooting). So I feat, press forward the Ferox, and charge Xerxis forward. Tibbers and the sentry run in front of him. Ferox advance through the templates (1 takes 1 damage), and leap getting 2 within .5" of caine, and 1 in Spear range. CMA's happen, Caine is almost dead and out of focus, and they reposition away (1 dies to a free strike). TyComm uses press forward on Rhadeim, who walks up and leaps to Caine, stabs him with his spear, and I win with a top of 2 assassination. We ran the odds afterwards, and overall I had about a 44% chance to kill him, and I'm pretty confident that I'd be fine afterwards as well (Camping 3 with armor 20 thanks to hugs from Tibbers and the Sentry, Caine so pinned down he couldn't possibly shoot me, and a wall of Karax moving in front).

Final Thoughts:

Rasheth seems great, and really helps our ranged game, but I didn't bring enough "In Your Face" to keep from being pressed back and losing on scenario. Blood Runners and MT's would've been fantastic here, or Reivers to whittle down his infantry starting at the bottom of 1. Cannoneers would've also worked better for the ranged attrition game, thanks to their insane threat ranges. I think I'm going to shelf the fat man until the Dakar comes out to play, which makes me a little sad.  I want to try Rasheth with Reivers, in the hopes I can pick a Dakar up at GenCon, but am not banking on it. Dropping the slingers and catapults opens enough points for max reivers + UA and the Dakar, I think the Mammoth might become two cannoneers, swapping the Karax for Blood Runners and an MT for scenario play and native anti-shooting tech.

I love this pXerxis list, though. It's surprisingly fast and when it needs to hit hard, hits like a half ton sack full of cats (Ruin was pretty badly hurt, and I've had them take an Arcane Shielded Ironclad out of a game top of 2, along with a Stormclad). If I'd run into more infantry I don't think it would have done as well, and I think I need something to pair with it that can handle that. The Conquest and Stormwall both seemed scary, but were too slow and big to have been major factors for the Ferox to care about. In future matches, I definitely need to think of having a list that can crack them if necessary, though Tibbers + feat might come into play if it really has to.

I think I'll be trying out a pMakeda list in the future leveraging Nihlators for hitting power and speed/defense, followed by a few gladiators or gladiator + bronzeback and a scarab pack to keep them and the Krea safe.

Mordikaar is also interesting me more and more. We can trade our beasts pretty easily, and his feat + synergies with our fast high defense infantry means he can play heavy for scenario or clock. I've run him a few times, and every time felt good. I even pulled 3 points from scenario in Line Breaker with him, which is absurd. He also brings such great infantry clearing via void spirits that he could easily be run with a titan brick for handling jacks (just make sure you bring Despoiler).

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