Thursday, December 18, 2014

Brawltimore 2015: 50 Point List Pair

As mentioned recently, I'm probably going to be playing a lot more competitive Warmachine in 2015. There are a few "x factors" that are going to come up during the year - the inevitable debut of the official Steamroller 2015 rules, the eventual release of new models from Warmachine: Reckoning, and the looming possibility that I may snap at some point and throw myself into Convergence - but for the most part I think I can start to plan out how I'm going to approach the year.

"C'mon over! We've got enough Focus for EVERYONE!"
Join me after the break for another healthy round of list dojo and Steamroller theory.

When preparing for tournament play, it helps to consider the format and your potential field of opposition ("meta").

The format, thankfully, shouldn't be changing a lot going into SR2015. I didn't get a chance to look at the beta - shenanigans with the SR2014 beta caused the beta this year to be super locked down - but I did hear a number of rumors. There are some cool changes incoming (another iteration of Incursion, Balance of Power gets the axe, Objective markers becoming more interesting), but, thankfully, no huge changes that make it necessary to totally overhaul my lists and approach.

As for the meta, I have no damn clue. I'm not really sure what's prevalent or popular in Maryland as a whole, and then there's the complication that each store is probably drawing on it's own pocket meta. Because of that, I'm going to go for a more generalized list approach and try to answer broad meta questions, with the hope that I catch any crazy local zigzags in the crossfire.

There is also a consideration as to what to play at 35 points vs 50 points. I've tried to pick as many 50 point events to attend as possible, but scheduling eventually forced me into a few 35 point events. Normally I don't like 35 points quite as much (they're faster games, but they feel more gimmicky and shenanigan based), but I'm trying to find a silver lining and I may have hit upon it: Vlad2 is pretty good at the 35 point level, and I do enjoy playing him an awful lot.

Which brings me to my lists. As I'm planning on playing more 50 point events (and will probably be able to get more practice at that level), lets start with those lists.

First up, Supreme Kommandant Irusk (Irusk2):

Irusk2 - 50 points:
Supreme Kommandant Irusk (*5pts)
   * Behemoth (13pts)
Iron Fang Pikemen (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
   * Black Dragon Officer & Standard (2pts)
Kayazy Eliminators (Leader and Grunt) (3pts)
Kayazy Eliminators (Leader and Grunt) (3pts)
Man-o-war Shocktroopers (Leader and 4 Grunts) (9pts)
Tactical Arcanist Corps (4pts)
   * Koldun Kapitan Valachev (2pts)
Widowmakers (Leader and 3 Grunts) (4pts)
Winter Guard Mortar Crew (Leader and Grunt) (3pts)
Iron Fang Kovnik (2pts)
Iron Fang Kovnik (2pts)

This is an iteration on the Irusk2 list I've been running recently, with the main change being that this version frees the Great Bears for my other list. I pick up a second unit of Eliminators and Valachev for the Tactical Arcanist Corps (TAC) in the exchange, and I think overall it's a fair trade.

Eliminators are a unit I've really enjoyed using, and I think they're particularly useful with Irusk2. His lists tend to brick up quite a bit (his key abilities heavily encourage and facilitate that style of play) and it's very nice to have self-sufficient, cheap, mobile models that you can run around the brick. Additionally, Martial Discipline gives you added value in having multiple independent sources of attacks. It makes it easier for you to continuously clear off your front lines and keep your infantry block rolling along.

Finally, as what ends up being a bonus, the Eliminators hit remarkably hard for such a cheap unit. Without any help you can get two P+S 15 attacks out of them, and Irusk2 has Battle Lust that he can layer upon that for some serious damage output coming out of a 3 point unit. The Eliminators maintains this list's theme of "hit it really hard until it stops moving" while also bringing some much needed mobility (and a smidge of DEF skew).

Getting Valachev onto the TAC is something I've wanted to do for awhile now. The main thing holding me back was the concern that my second list would make a better case for Valachev. Making the TAC Faction models allows them to benefit from Martial Discipline and Total Obedience, which are both big bonuses, and it allows Irusk to buff them with Battle Lust if need be (P+S 13 Weaponmasters can do some work).

Martial Discipline will be especially useful; I've found myself somewhat tripping over them in my previous Irusk2 games. Valachev also gives me another bit of anti-infantry tech (MA 7 Frostbite) and gives the TAC more flexibility as to how they can move before or after putting down smoke. All of those things should be very handy.

Next up, Forward Kommander Sorscha (Sorscha2):

Sorscha2 - 50 points:
Forward Kommander Sorscha (*6pts)
   * Conquest (19pts)
   * Sylys Wyshnalyrr, the Seeker (2pts)
Battle Mechaniks (Leader and 3 Grunts) (2pts)
Great Bears of Gallowswood (5pts)
Kayazy Eliminators (Leader and Grunt) (3pts)
Kayazy Eliminators (Leader and Grunt) (3pts)
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt (4pts)
Widowmakers (Leader and 3 Grunts) (4pts)
Winter Guard Infantry (Leader and 9 Grunts) (6pts)
   * Winter Guard Infantry Officer & Standard (2pts)
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution (3pts)
Kovnik Jozef Grigorovich (2pts)
Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator (1pts)

Similar to the Irusk2 list, this is an iteration on a list I've played recently, and the changes I made to the Irusk2 list were to help bolster this one up a bit.

The previous version of this list had a minimum unit of Uhlans in it to act as a cruise missile on feat turn. They did alright in the game I used them, but after that game I understood why most people use the Great Bears for a similar job: they're very self sufficient, have equal-or-better hitting power, and they're easier to protect than three large bases.

Playing around with the points and various models led to swapping out the Uhlans and Gorman for Great Bears, Eliminators, and Reinholdt. The Great Bears' purpose is obvious, and a second unit of Eliminators is just doubling up on what I already had, with the benefits I mentioned when discussing them with Irusk2 (just replace "Battle Lust" with "feat turn"). Reinholdt is one of the two compelling 1 point options I can include at that point (the other being a Winter Guard Rocketeer) and while I don't think he's crucial he will probably be nice to have around for Lucky Charm'd, Arcane Secrets buffed Freezing Grips.

Thinking about it now, I could swap out the second unit of Eliminators and Reinholdt for a Drakun (w/o Dismount). That would bring back some of that cavalry melee threat (12" is not too shabby) along with his Counter Charge shenanigans and a beefy charge attack for the feat turn. A Drakun can also be a really nice way to neutralize some enemy shooting units (just run him on in there). Eliminators can do something similar, but I find they're overall easier to remove with their ARM 11 and reliance on not being hit.

I'm going to play some games with the double Eliminators loadout before making any changes. Those combined with Reinholdt give me 7 points or so of wiggle room, which could be a lot of different things/combinations. I am going to miss Gorman, but I don't feel he's especially crucial to this list; just a very, very powerful solo that's always nice to have around.

This list also drops the TAC I had in previously. I was being a bit paranoid when I included them before, and I want to try running without them to see if my concerns over Sorscha getting gibbed are legitimate. Conquest gives her a very large, sturdy target to hide behind, and failing that she can play a pretty solid game of stick-and-move in order to stay far away from enemy models. If I find I'm losing her often to things I wouldn't be able to prevent otherwise (or are particularly difficult to defend against with what I have in the list), then I'll look at rotating the TAC back in somehow. In the interim, I'm going to enjoy having those 4 points being used more aggressively.


So that's where I'm at with my SR lists right now. Looking at them side by side, I'm pretty pleased with how they cover each other, while still being relatively flexible and capable.

The Irusk2 list should be able to handle ARM pretty well, it has a few tools available for infantry clearing (though I wouldn't want to take it against a horde army), and it's pretty resilient (good ARM on the infantry, Tough). Irusk himself has a versatile spell list and a solid control/enabling feat, so I think he can handle a decent cross section of lists.

The Sorscha2 list leans more the other way - more anti-infantry, higher DEF - but still has some solid hitting power and some durability with Conquest. I feel pretty confident that she can cover the match ups I'm most leery of dropping Irusk2 into (standard Cryx is a big concern for him) without skewing too hard that I wouldn't drop her list against a variety of opponents.

My biggest concern right now is that both lists are pretty infantry heavy, which makes me nervous as the anti-infantry tools have gotten more numerous and effective over the years. However, I'm also playing Khador, so barring some jank tank stuff from me (and don't worry - we will be going to the jank tank) infantry heavy is just the way it's going to be. 

Oh Harkevich, why couldn't you have been more effective?

Barring anything crazy happening, I'll probably be bringing those lists to the first few 50 point tournaments and put them to the test. I'm also going to try and get some practice in with both lists before then, but that may be tricky with the holidays coming up.

As always, thanks very much for reading, and any comments or suggestions are very much appreciated! Join me next time for a review of what I'm considering for 35 point lists.

No comments:

Post a Comment