Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Trial by Fire and Making the Cut For GenCon

I'm heading out to GenCon tomorrow, and have been trying to lock in a few caster pairings for it. Right now I'm most comfortable and experienced with pXerxis and Mordikaar, but I wanted more variety in case my pairing flops. I've gotten a few more games in with Mordikaar, and he's definitely going to be my drop into Ret, maybe Cygnar, as very few points worth of his army can wipe out significant chunks of theirs, and my lists with him should be stealth and def 17 on the approach. He might also have to go into Khador if I see Irusk on the other side, but I don't really see him as a Skorne drop, both of my lists should have enough beef that I don't have to be afraid of his infantry. pXerxis seems to be able to handle heavy beast and jack lists, with quite a bit of survivability.

Things I'm worried about:

High value shooting - Beasts and jacks capable of lobbing multiple boosted ranged attacks. Xerxis wants to deliver his Ferox for a crippling alpha, and while my threat ranges are insane I'm worried about dropping into Legion where I might lose 2-3 Ferox on the approach. Really takes the wind out of my alpha strike. Some Cygnar lists can also do this, though they don't scare me quite as much after facing down an eCaine jack heavy list at the WMW qualifier.

Undead Infantry (or Construct infantry) - Really makes Voids and Blood Runners lose a lot of value. Essence blast is still good at clearing them, but I'm not sure I want to drop Mordikaar into Cryx if I see a bunch of banes in one list.

Solutions - Nihilators still hit hard enough and accurate enough to mulch banes. Tibbers can rip through huge swathes of them as well, but my pXerxis list lacks a gladiator. A few cannoneers can shore this up, and still threaten heavies and assassination, making it harder for my opponent to shoot me up. 

I've been toying with eXerxis, as I switched to him for my JML at week 4, and decided to see how much shooting he can handle. So far I've dropped him into Cryx, Trolls (twice), Circle, and last night I asked a friend of mine to drop his best Ossyan list ideas into me. I will say that he is in no way a drop into a shooting army, but for combined arms or melee I think he is ideal. The idea is long threatening reach heavies that, on feat, can either crack arm or take out large swaths of infantry and help me get board control.

Trial By Fire

My list:
Skorne Army - 75 / 75 points


(Xerxis 2) Xerxis, Fury of Halaak [+29]
 - Tiberion [22]
 - Titan Sentry [15]
 - Titan Sentry [15]
 - Agonizer [7]
 - Bronzeback Titan [18]
Tyrant Zaadesh [4]
 - Titan Gladiator [14]
Paingiver Bloodrunner Master Tormentor [4]

Paingiver Beast Handlers (min) [5]

Opponents list:
Retribution Army - 74 / 75 points


(Ossyan 1) Lord Arcanist Ossyan [+28]
 - Hydra [15]
 - Hypnos [18]
 - Sylys Wyshnalyrr, The Seeker [4]
Arcanist Mechanik [2]
Arcanist Mechanik [2]
Arcanist Mechanik [2]
Dawnguard Invictors (max) [16]
 - Dawnguard Invictor Officer & Standard [4]
Stormfall Archers [9]
Stormfall Archers [9]
Heavy Rifle Team [4]
Heavy Rifle Team [4]
Ghost Sniper [3]
Ghost Sniper [3]
Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios [7]

We did a roll off, which I won. To make things a bit harder, though, I ceded the choice to him.

Round 1 & Deployment:

He deploys with his guns threatening the center. Well, pretty much threatening everywhere. Very little of the board is going to be safe. I'm worried about the Stormfalls, so I place my MT across from them.

Stuff runs up, he lights my MT on fire and assaults her to death with Eiryss. He really doesn't want me to keep threatening his Stormfall Archers.

Round 2:

Mobility goes up, Xerxis kills Eiryss with a charge and fades back. Sentry on the right moves in to keep the Invictors back, killing 2 of them. Zaadesh and his Gladiator rush the other Sentry and Tibbers. Runs happen, keeping 2 shield guards on Xerxis.

And Ossyan feats, hanging back a bit and only catching... all of my heavies (okay, not the Gladiator on Zaadesh). He pops a shot at the bronzeback, which I shield guard (I'm feeling safe with Xerxis outside of his feat, and I'm hoping I can save the bronzeback...). Tibbers and the Bronzeback go down to shooting, Sentry on the right gets knocked down to about 4 health, the Sentry that shield guarded gets knocked to 20 health left.

Round 3, Fin:

 I feat and cast mobility. Checking lanes with a proxy base, I see I can get to 3 of the Stormfalls with Xerxis, and I charge. 2 die to the impact attacks, a 3rd gets crushed by his flail. I sprint over to engage 2 more and dominate the left flag. Paingivers walk up to the sentries, healing the badly hurt one and enraging them both. Both get Rush on them, and Zaadesh's gladiator moves up to control the right flag. Cue my opponent pointing out one of the sentries is -2 SPD (probably wouldn't have done that shield guard if I had known this... won't forget it again, though). Measuring with proxy bases I see he can't get onto Hypnos, so he charges out and kills some invictors. I eye the assassination run on Ossyan, who's camping 3. I need 9's to hit, hitting at dice +3... I can only make 1 fully boosted attack, and decide to just beat on his jacks. Hypnos loses everything but his movement, the Hydra takes a hit from the shield and tusks. Agonizer runs up to the center flag to control, crying -2 str and protecting my sentries. I go up to three points.

Arcanists heal and hand out some focus. Hydra beats the gimpy sentry to death. My opponent shoots with his artillery and ghost snipers into the gladiator, leaving it on 11 boxes (ouch). The 2 engaged stormfalls walk out of melee and die to free strikes. He tries to bait me into transfering by popping eXerxis with some brutal shots, instead I eat the damage. Had I transferred to the Sentry, I might have opened a lane for Hypnos onto Xerxis, and transferring to the agonizer would have made it easier for him to clear all the flags off. After much checking, he realizes he can't get it done. Hypnos would get 2 attacks into Xerxis, and I have 2 transfers and 12 boxes left. Assuming he survives the free strike from the Sentry, he can't get the assassination or contest heavily enough to keep me from winning the next turn. He concedes.

 Packing up:

eXerxis seems like a viable alternative to my pXerxis list. He's made the cut. pMorghoul is also vying for that spot, running multiple soldiers for heavy board presence that can't be too hampered by shooting. Makeda1 and pMorghoul will probably be my Champions pairing, though I'm not sure on my Makeda1 list. Scarabs are definitely in it, additionally I'm looking at a Krea with Nihilators or Ferox/TyComm for my front wave. Right now I view her as the best alternative I have to Mordikaar, though she'll need far more in the way of infantry to be worthwhile, making her a hard sell into a jack-heavy meta.

The question I have right now is, can I outshoot Ret and Cygnar? I borrowed a 3rd cannoneer, with the plans to run her with eXerxis or pMorghoul. Both can get them to 24" threat ranges with Rush, both support them differently. eXerxis is far more prone to dying from shooting, but boosts their output with his feat. Going second they threaten the 34" line, or just outside of your opponents advanced deploy (in both cases). A caster that charges 9" forward from the front of their deployment is at the 32" line, meaning the assassination threat is on from bottom of 1 (especially with eXerxis feat).  I don't think many armies can shoot three cannoneers to death after an opening salvo from 16" away.

Packing List:

Xerxis 1 & 2

Reivers + UA (a friend named one of my lists "Cat Scratch Reivers", and I can't not bring that list)
2x units of Paingivers
Swamp Gobbers

3x Titan Multi Kits
Titan Gladiator
Titan Sentry
3x Aradus Multi Kits
Scarab Pack

2x MT's
2x Willbreakers
2x Void Spirits
2x Soulwards
Aptimus Marketh

These are what I'm considering "Must Haves" for GenCon. I'm sure I'll talk myself into bringing a few more things, but right now all of the above are in lists I'm hoping to try or will be playing. Any must haves I'm missing? Let me know in the comments! Hope to see some of you there, and I hope to be updating with my progress on the Skorne Facebook page once tournaments start.


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  2. Just wanted to say I really appreciate this blog existing. Keep the content coming!

  3. Just wanted to say I really appreciate this blog existing. Keep the content coming!