Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Terminus Challenge: eThagrosh

I've been challenged, by something I expect to steamroll completely: eThagrosh. I could use some more games against Legion, as I have precious little experience fighting the tricky bastards, so I accepted anyway. I find my battles against Legion to be fast paced, ugly, and too close for comfort, so expecting to steamroll someone who knows what's coming might be a little presumptuous.

I did some reading back when I considered taking up Legion, and eThagrosh was at the top of my list. His preferred plan of attack seems to be ramming as many beasts into the opponents army as he can, tearing it apart with Manifest Destiny and Dragon Storm, which is exactly what my list is designed to resist. I'll need to spread out, take care of The Forsaken, and make sure the Messiah isn't allowed to hit Terminus without Beyond Death being up, but from there it will be a grind I'm pretty sure I'll win (famous last words).

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I love mercenaries!

It should come as no surprise that I have an unhealthy love for the money-grubbing sellswords we call mercenaries. I'm not the only one though, and if you can stomach the questionable choice of colors on the site, the Spite for the Unblighted blog has some interesting articles.
The reason I'm writing this is quite simply, that mercenaries not only cover a lot of problematic areas of an army (if you know how to abuse them), but also allows you to build new armies without investing hundreds of dollars to do it.

There you go, that's what I needed for a 50 point Khador list. That's pIrusk, Beast-09, Aiyana & Holt, and eEiryss. Actually I had already ordered both eEiryss and A&H to use in another list, but since I planned my Khador list while they were in transit I included them here anyway. That's about 80 dollars including transport from Maelstrom Games, and I could have done it a lot cheaper if I had gone with the Kodiak I've bought from a friend instead of Beast-09 (sadly I had already ordered when his second hand sale thread came up). This is the list of mercenaries I own that will currently work for Khador.
  • Mangler
  • Talon
  • Alexia Ciannor & the Risen
  • Croe's Cutthroats
  • Cylena Raefyll & Nyss Hunters
  • Dannon Blythe & Bull
  • Greygore Boomhowler & Co.
  • Lady Aiyana & Master Holt
  • Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire
  • Bosun Grogspar
  • eEiryss
  • Gorman di Wulfe
  • Gudrun the Wanderer
  • Harlan Versh
  • Lord Rockbottom
  • Madelyn Corbeau
  • Dougal MacNaile
  • Ogrun Bokur
  • Orin Midwinter
  • Ragman
  • Reinholdt
  • Rorsh & Brine
  • Saxon Orrik
  • Sylys Wyshnalyrr 
  • Thor Steinhammer
That's a lot of options, and it's all collected with other lists and projects in mind. It's 89 points, and missing just a caster and a Warjack or two. I bought pButcher and a Kodiak from a friend, and it cost me 20 dollars since it was surplus models. 

Funny pictures aside, that principle can be applied to almost any Warmachine faction, if your selection of mercenaries is large enough, so how do you go about starting a new faction then?
  • Warcaster
  • Warjack
That's all you really need if you have a sufficient collection of mercenaries. It probably won't be a sleek and deadly tournament list, but then we simply add a few additional models, and it can be.
  • Ranking Officer
  • Support model(s) for the chosen caster.
In my case I've chosen pIrusk and pButcher, but pButcher is the obvious choice when you consider his spell list because most of his spells are not limited to faction models. I already have a pile of models I consider useful with him, so I hereby present my 30 dollar pButcher list. 
The Butcher of Khardov
- Kodiak
- Sylys Wyshnalyrr, the Seeker
Alexia Ciannor & the Risen (Alexia and 9 Risen Grunts)
Cylena Raefyll & Nyss Hunters (Cylena and 9 Grunts)
- Koldun Kapitan Valachev
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution
Gorman di Wulfe
Madelyn Corbeau
Master Gunner Dougal MacNaile
Ogrun Bokur
Rorsh & Brine
Saxon Orrik
There are heavy hitters, ranged threats, available debuffs, plenty of Pathfinder and magical weapons to go around, and a multitude of shenanigans to mess up an opponent. If I want a Menoth army instead, then I could have one with pSeverius, Blessing of Vengeance and two attendant priests, and the list goes on.

The thing is, that we all love variation, and with a solid collection of mercenaries you can have something really rare: Faction and Caster variation. If you don't already have a pile of mercenaries it's just as expensive as getting a new faction, but since most armies already use a solid core of mercenaries, I'd expect most people to have quite a few options laying around.


The Terminus Challenge: Rorsh & Brine

Inspired by the article I linked before Christmas, about the problems of running Warjacks against the increasing amount of beast heavy horde opponents, I thought of something this morning: Bacon. I wrote a spotlight about Rorsh & Brine a while back, but I've never considered including them in my Terminus list before.

The first two games proved that the dual Reaper setup wasn't as perfect as I had hoped. It
wasn't that it failed, but in hard match-ups against players with the skill and tools to take me on, I didn't have the available Focus I usually have, and running two Helljacks became a liability. Removing the Warwitch Siren and a Reaper allows me to include them, and I'm not sure it's such a bad idea.
Brine Vs. Reaper
They've got similar defensive capabilities, with Brine having just one defense and two boxes less than the Reaper. Brine has a lot more punch, a lot more threat range, and a lot more tricks up it's sleeve. The Reaper is more accurate, but without the Focus to use that potential it's worthless.
Rorsh Vs. Siren
Rorsh has a lot less utility, but a lot more punch. Instead of a single spray, he has dynomite and guns, or four attacks in melee. He also has Pigpen, which could theoretically prevent a charge from a non-pathfinder model here and there, and he performs the same function as my Siren does: launching a heavy.

I'm a bit worried about losing all the models I usually sacrifice to lock down models/units though, so there's more work to be done on the list. I could move some Machine Wraiths out, but I've been having so much fun (not to mention success) with them in the last two games that I'd really like to keep them.


Iron Lich Overseer

I had hoped the model would give me some incentive to buy the damn thing, but it looks like half a Helljack shell stapled to a metal spine, with some added doodads and a stick.

Just look at that ungainly piece of junk! I remember seeing a three-headed Necromancer undead thingy back in my Dungeons & Dragons days, and I dug it up. This is what an Iron Lich Overseer should look like, with some doodads and soul cages to Cryx it up a bit.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

That's not cool, Jesus

I've had an interesting couple of days. My grandmother had a stroke a few days before Christmas, and is currently hospitalized in Switzerland. She seems to be recovering well, and I called her up on Christmas eve and had a long talk, but I was still a bit unnerved.

Then a few hours later my wife's medication reacted poorly with alcohol, and I thought I had lost her a couple of times before the Paramedics arrived. I'll spare you the details, but it was the worst thing I've ever been through, and I'm not easily unsettled. Fortunately she's had a complete recovery, though she can't remember much about it. I, on the other hand, remember it quite vividly.

These last few days I've felt like someone switched of my brain, so I'll stick to working on the archives for the time being, and when everything has settled I'll return to doing some actual updates. I love writing and I love running The Overseer, but some things in life are more important than miniature wargames :)


Friday, December 23, 2011

Quite Interesting: A return to infantry machine

I stumbled upon this article, and I consider it mandatory reading, although it's about Khador (also, he keeps saying things like "The Cryx players have it right", which warms my blackened little heart). The first half of the article is where all the really good stuff is located, so feel free to quit it when he goes on to the more specific Khador things.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Reinforcements: A call to arms

I really hate reinforcements, but I need to buckle up and deal with it. The first thing I need to do is read the rules, because the first two things I decided to field were illegal: Warcasters, Warlocks, models/units with the Pre-Deployment, Attached, Companion rule or models/unit that cannot begin the game in play cannot be Reinforcements.

It's a Bromance, so we can't go around.
I decided to honor the intentions of The Overseer, and came up with a team to get the ball rolling, but sadly it was another dud. I don't know what it is about this complication, but it's causing a disturbance in the force, and every idea I come up with is flawed in some way.
The proposition
I'd like you all to suggest viable models/units/teams of reinforcements for a caster of your choice, and explain why you think that particular model/unit/team would do well as reinforcements. I'm looking for suggestions covering both seven and ten point reinforcements, and I will compile the best suggestions for each caster. I would prefer the suggestions be posted as comments, but if all else fails an email to Lamoron.Overseer ( will do (ask for anonymity if needed).
This will be the compilation, with the suggestions and explanations. I hope you'll all consider posting your experiences with specific combinations and Warcasters, so we can all make the best of this silly complication, and use it to pancake unsuspecting opponents instead!
  • pAsphyxious
  • eAsphyxious
  • pDeneghra 
  • eDeneghra
  • pGoreshade
  • eGoreshade
  • Mortenebra
  • Scaverous
  • pSkarre
  • eSkarre
  • Terminus
  • Venethrax 
  • Witch Coven
Thanks to everyone for participating!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Terminus Vs. Durgen Madhammer

I had my game against Durgen Madhammer, and it was bad. It was a Radial scenario (Diversion), and he chose to go first. I knew he had to, but with the SR 2012 rules it allowed me to pick the sides, which gave me an edge with the terrain.

Get in the pile, NOW!
He split his forces around the tower, with the Nyss Hunters on the left (my left), and the Gun Mages on the right. Behind the tower his main force was setting up camp, ready to engage at whichever flank I moved towards.

Move up the pile!
With no better idea presenting itself, I ran up everything, making sure that he would have to split his fire, and cowar... I mean brilliantly, ran the Bane Thralls away from the Gun Mages and towards the Nyss Hunters. I bunched up behind the linear obstacle, to prevent the Nyss Hunters from charging, since they can't swing across it without reach.

You there, on the horse, go get shot!
As you can see, I moved up Darragh Wrathe, and popped Beyond Death, hoping to lessen the impact of his turn by making him use his single target firepower on taking down Darragh, since even boosted blast damage suffers from -2 to their damage rolls. I used the Machine Wraith to block charges from the Nyss Hunters, and the Stalker hiding in the woods on the right is a proxy Machine Wraith, since my third one hasn't shown up yet.

I moved up Madelyn as well, hoping I could drain some more shots, and maybe even survive. The Gun Mages are limited to 10" range if they need critical brutal shot, which they do to harm Darragh, so I thought she might even survive, since the Gun Mages couldn't shoot her without getting in Beyond Death range: bad idea.
Durgen Madhammer: King of rolling just a little low
Madelyn was directly below Darragh, but The Ragman strolled around the tower, and shook her bones around a bit. The dancing undead hooker caused a few laughs, and then Darragh was gunned down with extreme prejudice. I mean everything shot him, and with Kiss from A&H he succumbed to the hail of bullets.

My plan did work though, and even with Durgens feat up my casualties were extremely limited. I had some really close calls, when blasts scattered on top of important models, but they often survived with a box left, or managed their Tough checks (at one point I was making more than half my Tough checks). It was really impressive to see my opponent consistently rolling one less than needed, and it pretty much cost him the game.

Admonia was close to dying, and that would have spelled disaster, but she survived with one box left. If I hadn't forced him to spend his single target shooting on Darragh, he would have finished of my wounded models with the Gun Mages and Snipe, so that turned out to be a valid tactic. Madelyn should never have been up there with him, but I'll know that next time.

Now I've written about the Gorman di Wulfe slingshot before, but that didn't mean I saw it coming. I had built my Terminus castle, when Gorman came at me from 14" away with boosted attack rolls from Durgens feat, which meant that my entire castle ground to a halt, when both Reapers and Terminus got themselves oiled (BUM JOCKEY!)
Time to fight back!
I remembered something I wrote a while back, and decided to use Terminus to debuff the Nyss that had come forward to nuke my Bile Thralls, when he locked down my army with Gorman. They were defense 16 with Rhupert, and I would be swinging with MAT 6 Bane Thralls (not to mention that they would explode upon death), which would never work. I would have loved to get Terminus and the Berserk Reapers in there, but Black Oil = no fun.

I'll hold them, now hit the bastards!
You see that line between the armies? That's what happens when Admonia removes their Primed upkeep (allowing Terminus to suck their souls when they go), Tartarus charges and kills The Ragman but curses the Nyss when he arrives, and Terminus plants his Malediction aura smack in the middle of them. Suddenly the Bane Thralls were rolling 6+ to hit instead of 10+, and while I only managed four souls it would have to do (especially since one soul was Gorman).

I ran every available model I had in, to lock down his ranged units, and at that point my camera ran out of juice, since someone had forgotten the charger at work. Machine Wraiths engaged the Nyss Hunters and Gun Mages, the Warwitch Siren engaged the Gun Mages, the Reapers relocated with their base move to block him from circling around the tower, and it was time to hunker down and endure...
Another round of shelling!
The short version is, that he shot me up some more, but since I had engaged his Nyss and Gun Mages with Machine Wraiths and the Warwitch Siren, he had to jump through a lot of hoops to do it, and the trend of rolling just a little to low kept holding him back. He had several times where he could have turned the game around with just an eight or more, but rolled seven a handful of times instead.

Some inconsequential things died, my Reapers were banged up a bit, Tartarus was left with one box, the Machine Wraiths died (except the one that had taken up residence in a gun bunny) after killing a model each on the free strikes (The Nyss Hunter even gave Terminus another soul), but he was in bad shape.
The grand finale!
The game had gone for a while, and I had to get home, so I probably wouldn't have done this in a tournament game, but I thought a finish would be more fun. My last remaining Bile Thrall blows up half my remaining army to clear out Eyriss (no Focus draining free strikes please), and Terminus flies in for a ranged kill.

Durgen had placed himself out of charge range, but Terminus has ranged options that reach a bit farther. Terminus touches down behind his lines, after ignoring the free strikes with his armor 29, and since Durgen ran himself dry on Focus he goes down to a boosted breath and a couple of fully boosted Hellfires (the three damage from Admonias Unbinding really helped).
A matter of dice!
Though I'm please I pulled it off, I know it could have gone the other way several times during the game. The game was basically decided by one roll, when a blast drifted on top of Admonia. If he had rolled one more on his damage roll, I would have been unable to remove the Primed buff from the Nyss Hunters, which would mean no souls, and losing a significant part of my list trying to kill a couple of Nyss Hunters before they took down Terminus the following round.

It was an interesting game, and the list is a horrible match-up for me, but luckily I don't think I'll be seeing something like it at a timed tournament, because it takes forever to resolve those blasts. I learned a few things, and I really enjoyed my Machine Wraiths, so it was an evening well spent.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Walter Langendorf on Camping

I just stumbled upon this article, and it's a good read: The Focus Camper's Bible. The article talks about misconceptions relating to Focus camping, and is supposed to be the first in a series.
  • Camping keeps a caster safe.
  • The most important thing in a camping caster is how well they camp.
  • If you survive their assassination attempt you get to assassinate them.
  • Eiryss is the bane of campers.
  • The opponent’s decision about whether or not to assassinate will be based on odds.
I especially like the thoughts he has about odds and assassinations, since that's something I've been noticing and playing on as well. If I'm behind in a game, I sometimes open myself up to an assassination attempt with a poor chance of success, but more often than not my opponents take the bait and the game is back on.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Terminus Challenge: Durgen Madhammer

Tomorrow I'll be hit by Durgen Madhammer, which should prove very interesting, as the sheer volume of boosted blast damage will destroy a significant percentage of my list.

Just about ready Mr. Madhammer!
Then his single target firepower will clean up whatever is left standing, and Terminus will be coughing undead dust, ready to be dropped by Eiryss and destroyed.

Durgen Madhammer
- Ghordson Driller
- Grundback Blaster
- Grundback Gunner
- Sylys Wyshnalyrr
Arcane Tempest Gun Mages
- Gun Mage Officer
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution
Gorman Di Wulfe
Herne & Jonne
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt
Dougal MacNaile
10 Nyss Hunters
Ogrun Bokur
Rhupert Carvolo
Thor Steinhammer

I'm a bit surprised actually, because I've had a lot of people suggest lists that would take me down, but this one I'll have real trouble beating, and it's a mercenary list.

The real kicker is, that "Primed" will keep the Nyss Hunters from providing souls, if he can take down Admonia before they engage, and with the amount of boosted blast damage he can throw at me I think he might.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A look at Tiny Timmy Terminus

It's been a while since I've worked on him, but Terminus is still lurking on my worktable. I bought the model to build a Terminus that would inspire fear on the battlefield, but I made him a tad large.

I still intend to finish him, but it might take a while since he's neither tournament legal or something I'm looking forward to painting. I'm considering if I can actually make him tournament legal, since the conversion rules are possible to circumvent, but it's a long term project.

Abomination check please!
The model I made for Lord Exhumator Scaverous is coming along nicely, but I got stuck in the painting process because I suck at doing rust. He's undercoated black, so there's no way I can take an image where you can actually see anything, so that will have to wait.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Serving the Dragonfather: The Beginning

I've been asked several times to write a guide about starting out with Cryx, so: welcome to the Nightmare Empire. This guide will assume that you have a rough understanding of the game, so you know what a Warjack is, and that your Warcaster is important, but you don't need to know more than that to begin. This is part one of three, and will feature links to the remaining articles when they're done.
  • Serving the Dragonfather: Playing the game (WIP)
  • Serving the Dragonfather: Expanding your collection (WIP)
The first rule we need to establish is, that The Battlecollege is often wrong. I'm maintaining an archive of useful articles on the Privateer Press forum, which can be found here, and if you need to read up on a model/unit you should really go see if the archive has an article on it first. With that out of the way, I'll tell you how I think you should join the Dragonfather.

I'll begin with the Battlegroup Box, as you've probably considered it already and we might as well get it out of the way. You'll have noticed the big red cross by now, making it obvious what I think of it, but since I'm more or less alone with that opinion I should probably explain why I dislike it.
  • Warcaster: Warwitch Deneghra
The person who designed the box should receive a solid smack on the head, because Warwitch Deneghra is a horrible choice for the Battlegroup Box. Not only is she a very powerful caster, but unless your opponent is a world class chess player, he'll stop enjoying the game shortly after Warwitch Deneghra hits the table.

Warwitch Deneghra will not teach you how to keep your caster safe, she will not teach you how to block tramples, she will not teach you to consider terrain, and the list continues ad infinitum. There's no doubting you can win with her, but the second you switch to another caster you're in trouble. I'll get back to suggesting alternatives later, but for now I'll just rip the Battlegroup Box apart.
  • Helljack: Slayer
Another smack for the designer, since this Helljack is shelved the second your collection expands. It's not a bad Helljack, and it does see play in certain theme lists, but in general play the Slayer is a poor choice with most of our casters. I see a lot of players swooning over the Slayer, but these are rarely experienced Cryx players.

The thing is, that the Slayer would be downright broken in a lot of other factions, and many players have a hard time understanding that it just isn't very good in ours. There are a few actual Cryx players that swear by it, and some even do well with it, but it's an inferior choice in most lists, and unless you have the skills to convert it into something else, it will gather a lot of dust (a more detailed answer can be found in the comments if needed).
  • Bonejack: Defiler
It's a piece of junk, and without a doubt our worst available Arc Node. There are a few lists that will be able to take advantage of it, but it's another model you'll most likely leave on the shelf after the first month or so. I don't mind people using the Defiler, and I've even seen some funny things being done with it, but I've seen more stunts performed with Deathrippers & Nightwretches, and they're a point cheaper to boot (a more detailed answer can be found in the comments if needed).
  • Bonejack: Deathrippers
The Deathrippers are great, and they're a solid choice in about eighty percent of the lists you'll ever make. I'll explain more about it later, but for now you'll notice something obvious: The Battlegroup Box is quite expensive if you end up using nothing but the two Deathrippers.

That's why I don't like the Battlegroup Box, because most of the models end up spending a lot of time being shelved, and you end up playing the game with a lot of models that won't teach you the things your really need to know. With that in mind, I've designed a Battlegroup Box I feel will deliver the lessons a new player needs, and do it with models you'll be using a lot later.

Lamorons Battlegroup Box

There's no doubt that my setup is a more expensive, so if you're not sure you actually want to play the game, you should find the Handcannon Online beginners guide to the Battlegroup Box here. If you're either sure you'll stick with the game, or an experienced player looking into a second faction, then I heartily recommend these purchases instead.
  • Iron Lich Asphyxious: $10
  • Deathripper Plastic Warjack Kit: $20
  • Plastic Helljack Kit: $35 
As you can see the price is more than the actual Battlegroup Box, but I think it's worth it. This assumes that you know your way around magnets, because fully magnetizing the kit is vital to your wallet (I can't really stress that enough). This box should be cleared with you're group before you buy anything, but since it's theoretically a weaker list it shouldn't be much of a problem.
I want it cheaper!
There are plenty of web stores, local shops with discounts, or even used armies out there just waiting for you to throw gold at them, so don't rush into things. If you're joining an established group of players, they might have surplus models they no longer need, or know players that have quit the hobby when the edition changed to MK2.

I currently own around 300 points of Cryx, and I've sold around 150 points more to new players at joke prices because I bought three complete second hand armies, and I was swimming in surplus models. It never hurts to ask, and you might even find some people that are willing to lend you the models you need, so you can try a couple of games before you decide what you like.

Assuming you're new, and have no easy access to other sources of models, you should know that the prices vary wildly online, and with a bit of effort you can often get the models you need quite cheaply. It all depends on your location of course, but it never hurts to look around, and you might get lucky.
Putting it all together
If you're joining an established group you should have no problem getting someone to introduce the concept of magnetizing your models, and the Helljack Kit should be magnetized, as it will save you a lot of headaches and money later.

If you're on your own, there are guides on the web, and you can go here to see what I'm talking about if you're completely new to wargaming in general. In case you're buying used models and need specific models, I recommend a Reaper, since it will see play with many casters and fit in a 15 point list with one of your Arc Nodes..
Next time!
Next time we'll talk about playing the game, and why I've chosen the models in the group as good models to learn with. I'll introduce the other factions and talk a little about their Battlegroup Boxes, but I'll end this article with one final piece of advice: There's more than one way of doing it.

It's a fact of life, that almost anything can be done in several different ways, and finding your own way through the game is the most important thing you can do. That means reading my guide, and other guides, but drawing your own conclusion about the game when you're actually at the table. It's harder than you would think, since we're often intimidated by veteran gamers and forced into a specific way of thinking, but we're all just people with opinions.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Talking about Reinforcements

I decided to take a closer look at our available reinforcements, using the criteria I set up after my game this Monday. It turns out that making a set of criteria and applying them without thought, will produce some really poor choices, while removing some very good ones.

Instead I've been through every choice we've got, and found a couple I'll be looking into. There are plenty of other models that might do well, or even a team of five solos might be fun (it could be fun to model a commando team), but these are the ones I'll be looking into first.
  • Cankerworm
Pathfinder, Immunity to Free Strikes, Stealth, and the ability to adapt to many situations. It has trouble dealing with massed infantry, but since it's only five points, I could bring something else to handle that. Adding a Warwitch Siren would allow it to function outside my control range, and there would still be three points left over for a Pistol Wraith or General Slaughterborn.
  • Satyxis Raiders
Incredibly fast, Pathfinders, able to deal with anything except high defense infantry. The only annoying thing about them is, that they're a bit to expensive to allow a full unit with UA & Captain. Either the Captain is missing, or the unit is at minimum size. I still think this might be our best option, but that's almost completely theory machine.
  • Cylena Raefyll & Nyss Hunters
Another really good looking option. Ranged attacks, weapon masters, ignores quite a bit of terrain, but also hard pressed to handle heavy armor without help. They're almost as fast as the Satyxis Raiders, but they're toast if they get involved in close quarter slug-fests.
  • Rorsh & Brine 
While they don't have any way of navigating terrain, they're fast enough to go around most of it, and they're quite self sufficient to boot. Initially I disregarded them, but if you need to score a point, and there's a heavy Warjack in the way, you might just be able to throw it out of the zone with Brine.
  • Honorable mention: Wraith Engine
I honestly think the Wraith Engine might be on to something here. It has Pathfinder, can turn Incorporeal, and can clean out infantry if they're alive. It has a massive threat range upon arrival (a little above twenty inches actually), meaning it can go Incorporeal when it arrives and cause havoc on the flanks.

I still think a team of solos could be interesting, but we don't have a lot of armor cracking solo characters to choose from, and with the whole character restriction stupidity I wouldn't have access to them anyway. I think Gorman + Ragman + 2x Ogrun Bokur could be a funny team, but that's just silly talk.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Christmas Engine

Duskern sent me a couple of pictures of his Christmas present arriving, in case I wanted to post them. That's some speedy delivery right there, and I don't think I've ever received an order from Asgaard Games that fast.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Terminus Challenge: pSeverius

So I faced pSeverius tonight, with my revised Terminus list. The scenario was a flank scenario called "bunkers", that totally messed up my deployment (thats something I need to look into) and the reinforcements complication was in play.

Menoth, Round 2
It was a serious cluster**** up the middle, and when my reinforcements arrived I knew I'd made the wrong choice there. As you can see on the picture, the entire twenty strong mob is stuck behind a forest and an obstruction (the wall just above the right zone), and they never did much except die horribly. The first round was running, and nothing interesting happened.
Round 2
The Errants gave me some headaches in the middle, since my Ravager doesn't work when they sacrifice themselves, but I decided that complete chaos was probably to my advantage, and jammed everything up in front, and then I forgot that he had reinforcements as well, and he scored a point in his second turn with the invulnerable Zealots of doom (killing a Machine Wraith and a WSC member in the process). He also popped his feat, so I wouldn't get to play with Focus in my second round, but I had a plan (a devious plan!).
Round 3
He didn't do much damage to me, so my two surviving Machine Wraiths grabbed a Redeemer/Reckoner, and then I unleashed the Apocalypse Purge Plan (should have done that in reverse, but it didn't matter). Four Purges later the middle was a sizzling pool of melted goo, with several Bane Thralls missing in action, Darragh Wrathes horse dead, the Reaper without his Harpoon, but most of the Errants were gone as well, and quite a lot of his invulnerable Zealots were marked with corrosion. I got Eiryss out of the way, and when his army was done melting I had Terminus on twelve souls, which meant invulnerability.

I had jammed things up quite well, and he couldn't assign Focus to his main beatstick (due to the Machine Wraith), so his round was spent trying to clear up my middle, with pillows tied to his fists. Sure I lost a lot of models, but nothing important, and when my turn came up I had 18 Focus.
Round 4
Severius had fled, so I decided to spend my Focus on his army instead. Terminus pulped both his Redeemers and a couple of random infantry, while the Reapers (both of them were very banged up, but operational) failed miserably (due to being ½ an inch out of range with both of them), but my remaining army took down the Reckoner, and left my opponent with almost nothing to work with.

My surviving Machine Wraith ran to engage Severius, which was bloody stupid and almost cost me the game: There you go Lamoron, bring models to make sure you don't lose on scenario, and then run them away from the zone. Severius had to dare a free strike from a Reaper to clear out the zone, and was left with a single box, but he made it down there, and everything he had left tried for the Reaper I parked there: they failed.

My opponent conceded at that point, since Severius was standing next to an eight Focus Terminus with a grudge, and it was getting late anyway. I did learn a lot of things from my game, and I'm really pleased with how the list runs.
What did I learn?
The Reapers did exactly what I wanted them to, though to be fair they could probably have done more if I had been on the spot with the distances. The eleven inch threat allows them to engage on my terms, and on a good feat turn I can easily load them both with full Focus, while still taking names with Terminus.

The Machine Wraiths were fantastic, and I'm definitively keeping them in for now. I really need to remember that not all linear obstacles are cover, because I lost one to stupidity, when an Errant shot him with a good aim, and I had put him behind concealment instead of cover. They did exactly what I hoped they would, and got in the way, disrupted his Focus allocation, and one even killed an Errant in melee.

The Mechanithralls as reinforcements were horrible, and I'll need something entirely different next time. I'm thinking Satyxis Raiders, but there has to be other great choices. I also learned that Saxon Orrik is to be protected at all costs, since the Bane Thralls just won't work without him if even one piece of terrain is placed where it inconveniences me. I also learned that putting the Withershadow Combine on offense works well, against everyone but Menoth, and that Rhoven is a bastard (R.I.P Tartarus).

Monday, December 12, 2011

Game Theory: Threat and Risk Assessment

Most people who know me would wager their lives on me forgetting my own birthday, so I've had to design a system that allows me to identify and track my opponents most dangerous abilities. It had to be very simple, while being flexible enough to cover every possible opponent, and so I decided on the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

The Feat, Spell, and Model system is really simple, and it involves picking up your opponents cards, with the intent of remembering just three things about his list. 
  • Feat
Feats have a tendency to derail your plans if you don't anticipate them. Everything is going well, you line up to crush the puny Legion skank, and suddenly her entire battlegroup becomes immune to melee attacks. I've seen plenty of games lost because someone forgot his opponents feat, so don't.
  • Spell
The second place I look is the spell list, because nasty tricks tend to hide there. These are never as obvious as the feat threats, but occasionally it saves your bacon. I choose a single spell to remember, and this is usually something like Purification on the Harbinger, or Warpath on Kromac. It's great if you can remember all the different tricks a caster can pull, but you rarely need to remember more than one to stand a chance.
  • Model
The third thing I memorize is my opponents main threat. I usually decide on the most obvious ones at first (if Molik Karn is on the table, then Molik Karn is on the list), but occasionally an opponent will reveal his hand/spell/ability, causing a new evaluation to occur.

This does not mean you actually need to Focus on the model/unit, nor even kill it, but it means you need to keep it in mind. You know that Molik Karn can come at you from 20+ inches away, but only if you leave models he can use to sidestep, so remembering to keep models away from that zone is the key.
  • Summary
There are more than a hundred different casters in the game, and I've given up on getting to know them all. The Flying Spaghetti Monster is not the solution to every problem in the game, but it does allow you to dodge the most obvious deaths, and diminish the impact of many feats in the game. You still need to think, you still need to ask questions, and you still need to know as much about his list as you possibly can, but the Flying Spaghetti Monster will allow you to dodge the worst of it.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Twas the night before Christmas

I just ordered the gift for Duskern, so let's see if you can guess what it is. It's not really that hard, but I had fun butchering Moore's classical poem anyway!
Twas a few weeks before Cryxmas, when all through the house
Not a model/unit was stirring, not even a mouse.
The mutilated corpses were strung up with care,
In hopes that the necromechanikal specter soon would be there.

When around the 4x4 table there arose such a chatter,
I sprang from the couch to see what was the matter.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a huge base in a box, making everything clear.
Even though I've only met duskern once, I know he'll appreciate the model, and maybe I'll even buy myself an easy match-up to the Masters next year, since he's pretty much forced to bring it now! I'm so devious, I know! 

Merry Christmas: 100.000 Page Views

Figures I'd be locked in bed with a fever (and several other unpleasant symptoms) when The Overseer hits 100.000 page views, but at least it gave me time to think about what I could do to celebrate.

I've decided I want to reward the people that motivate me to write, so I've gone over the comments I've received, to see who's been the most activate poster, and I've decided that the person with the most comments is to receive a little Christmas Gift.

That turned out to be "duskern" by a large margin, and so he'll be receiving a Gift this Christmas, and in the true spirit of The Overseer, it will be a model/unit considered all but useless in general opinion. Thank you for making it a joy to write, and a merry Christmas to you all!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Terminus Challenge: Menoth

I'm having my first Terminus challenge game this Monday, and it will be against Menoth with pSeverius at the helm. It seems it will be a flank scenario with the reinforcements complication, and he'll be fielding this:

Grand Scrutator Severius
- Blessing of Vengeance
- Redeemer
- Redeemer
- Reckoner
Choir of Menoth (Leader and 5 Grunts)
Deliverer Sunburst Crew (Leader and 2 Grunts)
Exemplar Errants (Leader and 9 Grunts)
- Exemplar Errant Officer & Standard Bearer
Visgoth Juviah Rhoven & 2 Honor Guard
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord
The Wrack (3 wracks)
Vassal of Menoth
Vassal of Menoth

+ Reinforcements

Holy Zealots (Leader and 9 Grunts)
- Holy Zealot Monolith Bearer

My reinforcements will be 10 Nyss Hunters, because I can't find anything I'd rather have, and I need something that's fast enough to join in the fight from half way across the table. 

Edit: After looking at the actual flank scenarios, I think I'll be bringing Mechanithralls instead, and lot's of them. Necrosurgeons probably wont have time to do their job, but twenty Mechanithralls might prove hard to dislodge from his objective. 

Edit2: Blood Witches might also be fun, allowing them to run in and contest while Incorporeal, without stealing souls from Terminus like Blackbane's Ghost Raiders.

The Gorman slingshot

Answering another comment it occurs to me that I've never mentioned the Gorman slingshot. I've told you before that Gorman and I aren't exactly friends, but that's not entirely true, because Cryx has access to the tools we need for a slingshot (actually I think every Warmachine faction except Retribution has access to these models).
  • Gorman di Wulfe
  • Madelyn Corbeau
  • Dougal MacNaile
The main problem with Gorman is the short range of his grenade attacks, and his poor RAT, making the game-changing Black Oil unreliable at best. I don't much like unreliable, and that's why I don't like Gorman, but sometimes his team mates are already in a list, and then I bring him.

Madelyn can move Gorman three inches with Intrigue. Dougal MacNaile can give him +2 RNG with his mini-feat, and +2 RAT with his Artillerist *Action (and the ability to re-roll the scatter). Instead of 12" threat and RAT 5, he has 17" threat and RAT 7, with the option to re-roll scatter if he fails.

While nothing is ever certain, it makes for a nasty surprise on casters that thought they were safe behind the lines. It does cost you actions worth 5-6 points, but blinding the right model at the right time has won a lot of games, and with the Gorman slingshot you can actually plan around it.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Scaverous: Fever brain warning

I'm not sure I'll ever actually play this, but I thought it might be fun, and I've been looking for a way to use those Wraith Engines. The fever brain thought up this list, using the Bile Thralls and Bane Knights to fill up the Wraith Engines, so it's probably a bad idea :D

Lord Exhumator Scaverous
- Ripjaw
Skarlock Thrall
Bane Knights (Leader and 9 Grunts)
Bile Thralls (Leader and 5 Grunts)
The Withershadow Combine
Wraith Engine
Wraith Engine
Bane Lord Tartarus
Darragh Wrathe
Madelyn Corbeau

Completely dependent on souls, but sending in a fully loaded incorporeal Wraith Engine (or two) with 16" range (not including a TK on the target) might be fun. Apparition (2), Telekinesis (2), and Death Ride (1), means it should easily be in range to collect some souls from the Bile Purges in turn two. If only the Wraith Engine wasn't so huge, I could see it working well with Scaverous.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Influenza: not so funny akshually!

There are two ways of being ill in the world. The first is the type where you can stay home and enjoy the time you suddenly have available, and the second one is what I have.

I did get notice that my Khador purchases have been shipped, so I'm now the owner of a mighty Khador collection!
  • pIrusk
  • pVlad
  • pButcher
  • Beast-09
  • Kodiak
  • Valachev

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Interesting question time: Terminus

I received this question today, and since it's concerning something I'm already working on, I'll be happy to answer it.
Just read you're Blogpost and I'm very interested in why you have dropped Malice and Erebus in your Terminus list and what you have put in the list for those points?
First of all it's just a trial run, and I still find Malice and Erebus to be excellent additions to a Terminus list, but if you've been following the Blog for a while, you'll know about my aversion to expensive models, and my burning desire to squeeze every last drop of potential into a list.

I had a game last week with pGoreshade, and it made me realize that my choice of Warjacks with Terminus is slightly flawed. It's not that what I've said about them is wrong, but I've been ignoring something quite important in my list: Threat range.

I've never needed threat range with Terminus before (except on the man himself), but I realized that my list is designed to absorb a major assault, and then annihilate my opponent in return, but what if my opponent can lock me down or retreat, allowing him to impact me twice before I can retaliate?
Thus, what is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy's strategy
I need the ability to force his hand, because otherwise I risk him forcing mine. The problem is, that both Erebus and Malice are slow, and though Malice has his Harpoon there are plenty of casters out there with stealth battlegroups. I need the ability to reach out as far as I can with melee, and the Reapers fit that need (in theory anyway), and dual Harpoons is a nice bonus.

The three points that become available with the change from Erebus/Malice to Reaper/Reaper, is currently assigned to three Machine Wraiths. This seems like overkill, but I think it might work out. I've only ever lost twice with Terminus, but both times were in tournaments, and both times were on scenario.

The Machine Wraiths can take objectives, and they're really good at it, but they can also hold objectives, and their low cost will allow me to simply place one outside LoS or behind cover, to make sure I don't lose on scenario. The secondary reason I'm going to try them out...

Terminus cannot kill Karchev, because Karchev won't deliver the souls he needs to do it. Karchev can throw his wall of armor at me, and assuming he's a good player I won't have the power to take it all down, but with three Machine Wraiths I can turn the tables on him. He has CMD 8, and potentially six attempts at booting them, which means that if I grab three of his Warjacks, he'll be stuck trying to get them back, and with little chance of killing them.

The Machine Wraiths can also block charges to Terminus, because while they're Incorporeal and can be advanced through, you still can't end up occupying the same space as another model, so they can add another layer of protection to Terminus. I don't know if it will work, but I'm looking forward to finding out.

Lich Lord Terminus
- Reaper
- Reaper
Skarlock Thrall
Bane Thralls (Leader and 9 Grunts)
- Bane Thrall Officer & Standard
Bile Thralls (Leader and 5 Grunts)
The Withershadow Combine
Bane Lord Tartarus
Darragh Wrathe
Machine Wraith
Machine Wraith
Machine Wraith
Madelyn Corbeau
Saxon Orrik
Warwitch Siren

The Terminus challenge

I didn't get in a game last night. I forgot they had a SR 2012 trial tournament on Saturday (which means a slow Monday night), turned up late, and there were no available opponents. I did get to spectate a game, and talk a bit about the triple Machine Wraith idea, so it wasn't a complete loss.

It also occurred to me, that I need to know the exact limits of my Terminus list for ETC, and there's only one real way to do that. The next couple of weeks/months/however long it takes, I'll be challenging opponents with Terminus, and asking them to tailor a list from their faction to wipe me of the table.
Challenge accepted!
They're will be allowed to proxy as many models as they desire, will know my exact list in advance, will be allowed to choose the scenario, and will decide who goes first without rolling for it. Losing games against the worst possible match-ups from every faction, should make it quite easy to spot the weak spots in my list.

Monday, December 5, 2011

ETC 2012: Terminus trial

Removing both Erebus and Malice from my Terminus build, gave me three points to play around with, and I can't figure out what to do with them. I could include Gorman and call it a day, but since we seem to be leaning towards four Warmachine lists, I should probably avoid mercenaries that everyone else would like as well.

Another Warwitch Siren could be nice, but I thought a bit about the two games I've lost with Terminus, and they've both been on scenario. I've got the whole "not dying" part covered, and the "killing his caster" is well in hand, but scenarios isn't, so what could I include for three points that would help with scenarios: Machine Wraiths.

I've been looking for an excuse to use them, the list already has both Darragh Wrathe and Madelyn to assist with threat range, and they're great at contesting objectives while the remaining army goes on offense. They're fast enough to grab isolated points, and they can pass straight through defending units. With both Intrigue and Death Ride, they can... erhm... Jackjack... from twelve inches away. Three Machine Wraiths coming up.

Spotlight: Satyxis Raiders

It took me a while to warm up to these girls, but when I did I found something truly unique. The Satyxis Raiders offer a nearly limitless supply of tools, while being cheap(ish) and incredibly powerful when used right.

I'll begin by extending a couple of warnings, because this unit requires a lot of finesse, so don't worry if they underperform for a while. In addition the Battlecollege articles are severely lacking (as of December, 2011), and features information that is either useless, outdated, or simply wrong. I'll try and suggest some changes to the author when I get the time, but for now you should simply pretend it doesn't exist.

Satyxis Raiders, Sea Witch, and Captain

The Satyxis Raiders have plethora of abilities, and remembering them all can be a challenge. Actually writing about them is a challenge as well, because every ability hinges on another ability, making it very hard to pick a place to begin.

The Sea Witch (SW) is a part of the unit, since you should never field them without her, and I'd very strongly recommend including a Satyxis Raider Captain (SRC) as well, so I've decided to handle them all in a single Spotlight, and hope I can manage to cover everything at once.
Satyxis Raiders: Sea Witch
The Sea Witch defines a lot of what the Satyxis Raiders do, so let's take a look at the core abilities she brings to the unit, and talk a bit about keeping her safe.
  • Granted: Force Barrier
This is a disgusting ability, that makes the Satyxis Raiders defense sixteen against shooting, and grants them immunity to blast damage. The Satyxis are faster than almost everyone else, so making them ridiculously hard to hit, and immune to blast damage seems a bit over the top, but I'll take it. The ability is granted, so don't let her die.
  • Mini-Feat: Power Swell
It's a round of weapon master, on all their attacks. That means they suddenly threaten everything but the Devastator type models, and we're a faction with easy access to debuffs to boot. With the optimal setup and full available debuffs, you can have two Satyxis Raiders kill a mint condition Khador heavy on a single charge, and just to add a bit of insult, inflict two damage on their controller with Feedback (this will be explained later).
  • Tactics: Pathfinder
Sure they can charge fourteen inches, and now they can do it while ignoring terrain. The Sea Witch takes every single problem the Satyxis Raiders have, and nullifies it. Vulnerability to shooting (gone), vulnerability to blast damage (gone), low damage output (gone), and problems with terrain (gone).
  • Summary
There's no reason to leave the Sea Witch at home, and keeping her safe is a priority. The obvious thing to do is to keep her back, and if you have access to any sort of cover or concealment you should use it. Since the Satyxis Raiders are immune to blast damage, you can cover LoS to her with a few Raiders without getting yourself blown to pieces, but be careful if your opponent has access to AoE spells that aren't blast damage (pAsphyxious with Breath of Corruption is a good example).
Satyxis Raiders: Satyxis Raider Captain
I did warn you that the unit was complicated, and the Captain brings another set of core abilities to the table. She's a lot harder to keep safe than the Sea Witch, and her abilities are not as vital, but she's an incredible solo for two points, that I consider an auto-include for several reasons.
  • Commander
Satyxis Raiders are often taking two or three morale test per round, when they impact terror causing units, get torn apart in melee, or hit by spells, so the added command is more valuable than you might think.
  • No Sleeping on the Job (Satyxis)
I rarely ever use this ability, since anything that knocks down Satyxis usually kills them as well, but remembering it exists can really mess up an opponent who forgets it. There are several knockdown feats in the game, and an opponent usually plans around your screen being down, so remember to point and laugh.
  • Desperate Pace (*Action)
This is the real power behind the SRC, because +2 movement on a speed seven unit with reach is just crazy. This means fourteen inch charges, or engaging from eighteen inches away. This speed increase allows for some really crazy moves, but I'll get back to that later.
  • Summary
The Satyxis Raider Captain supports the main unit, but she also performs well as a backup sweeper. She has better MAT than almost anything else in our faction, and her sprint ability allows her to charge and kill a model twelve inches away, and then move an addition seven inches, allowing her to engage and lock models from more than twenty inches away.

Keeping her alive can be difficult though, since she has no access to Force Barrier, so keeping her in terrain can be useful. She comes with nearly all the abilities of the main unit, which means she can Advance Deploy, has Pathfinder, and she's even a Weapon Master to make up for the lack of Power Swell.

The mistake I see most people make with her, is to apply Desperate Pace in the first round, when it's not actually needed. Most games she would be better of moving to a safe position, so she's available when you really need those extra inches. 
Satyxis Raiders: Abilities
The Satyxis Raiders need bodies on the ground, so I recommend a full unit. The more stiletto heels you have on the ground, the more powerful power swell becomes, and the less morale checks they'll need to make.
  • Advanced Deployment
This getting downright stupid, but continuing the speed theme, the Satyxis Raiders have Advanced Deployment. I'll get back to that later, when I get around to talking about tactics, but to the best of my knowledge this makes the Satyxis Raiders the fastest infantry unit in the game.
  • Combined Melee Attack
If you charge, you can combine the Lacerator from one Satyxis with the Horns from another, and while that means losing a lot of attacks and the charge bonus on every other Raider, it can be worth it. The ruling is here, and the discussion is here.

I rarely find myself doing this, because it requires a lot of setup and it takes forever to explain to an opponent (they never believe it's allowed), so I just take my chances with two attacks instead, and it usually works out alright in the end.
  • Lacerator: Reach, Critical Knockdown, Feedback, and Chain Weapon
Internet lingo defines most peoples reaction to the Lacerator as: LOLWHUT. Their main weapon has three active abilities you need to remember, but when you do it's an incredible weapon (the Sea Witch has a non-chain version though). Reach allows them a twelve inch charge range, and the SRC increases this to an incredible fourteen inches, making them one of the fastest units in the game.

Chain Weapons allow them to dismantle shield walls with ease, and it reduces the armor of a few heavies as well, making it easier to abuse Feedback. Critical Knockdown rarely comes into play, but when it does happen it's a nice little bonus, and it makes them deadly screens (this will also be explained later).

Feedback allows the Raiders to damage a caster by hitting his jacks, and while you rarely get a kill with Feedback damage (I've never managed one), it can put your opponent in a really poor position. A worn down caster won't be taking chances, won't be able to risk free strikes, and if he's low enough he will have to pull his jacks out of the fight to avoid dying to Feedback damage, meaning you've got a lot less of his army to worry about.

The Feedback ability also has great synergy with unbinding from the Withershadow Combine, since unbinding also inflicts damage that circumvents a casters defense and armor, while inflicting low enough damage to make transferring a useless defense. Assuming you can unbind two upkeep spells, and get seven Raiders swinging, you've got 2d3+7 damage going straight to a caster, and that's going to hurt.
  • Horns
A non reach melee attack, with low PS and no special abilities might not seem like much, but it's a huge advantage when combined with their other abilities. With Desperate Pace from the SRC the Raiders can charge 12.5" with their horns, and with Power Swell from the SW they can kill a model with their horns, and swing at the second line with their Lacerators, allowing the unit a stupid amount of kills if your opponent allows it.
Satyxis Raiders: Tactics
The Raiders have so many applications in a game, that explaining them all in detail is nigh impossible, but I'll do my best. I'm going to cut some corners here, but I'll try and flesh out the most relevant tactics.
  • Pushers
A pusher is a model/unit, that forces an opponent to advance less than he would like to. This gives you a major boost in board control, and allows you to seize the initiative. I used the Satyxis Raiders as an example in my Pusher article, so instead of repeating everything I said, I'll make you go read it: Pushers
  • Screens
Satyxis Raiders are excellent screens, even if they're a bit expensive. I've talked about this before, so I'll make you go read that as well: Screens
  • Locks
A lock is something you put on a model/unit to prevent it from performing it's main function. Satyxis Raiders can run, and with Desperate Pace they can engage a unit from eighteen inches away. They have reach, and high defense, so putting a couple of Raiders in melee with a ranged unit can mess it up.
Even with aim bonus, another unit will be unable to clear out the Raiders with ranged attacks (defense twenty, due to Force Barrier and being engaged), which means that he needs melee sweepers to free them, and I see a lot of tournament armies without viable melee sweepers these days.
  • Flankers
Flanking in Warmachine/Hordes is a bit of a joke, but these girls can actually do it. If you run at full speed with Desperate Pace up, you'll be eight inches from his deployment zone in the first round, which takes everyone by surprise. 
In ninety percent of your games that will be a really efficient way to lose a lot of points, but occasionally your opponent forgets to take the sheer speed and Advanced Deployment into consideration, and opportunity arises. This move is often combined with "Locking", when a ranged unit is left to fend for itself on a flank.
  • Magnets
There's something very unsettling about seeing your own objective, and an enemy unit in front of it, before you've had your first turn. It's a sure way of losing your own Satyxis Raiders, unless he really failed deployment, but it's also one of the best magnets in the game.

Magnets are models/units that draw your opponent into position, and I guarantee you one thing: If you take his objective before he's had a chance to move, he'll come for it. You need a plan that involves more than just trying to hold it, because Satyxis Raiders don't hold objectives well, and their deaths will mean nothing unless you have a plan.

Magnets work best if layered, so resist the urge to put twelve models between him and the objective, because anything you place there will die. Satyxis Raiders are very hard to remove with shooting, so three or four models will do the job, and force him to take you out with melee models, and clogging up his own lanes badly. This also gives you a perfect second round, with power swell and 7-8 dual attack weapon masters charging in.
Satyxis Raiders: Warcaster
There are a lot of casters that will enjoy the Satyxis Raiders, but a few of them stand out and deserve special attention.
  • pDeneghra: I shudder at the sheer destructive potential.
Ghost Walk takes care of the free strikes and allows the raiders to exploit every bit of speed they can manage. Parasite and The Withering means three Satyxis Raiders taking down a Khador heavy, and if anything actually survives it's hard to take on defense 14/16 models when you have -2 or -4 to hit.
  • eDeneghra: Can't touch this!
Web of Shadows, then charge the raiders in and slaughter everything. The following round, cast Curse of Shadows or Ghost Walk, and destroy whatever is left without caring what's parked between them.
  • Mortenebra: Recalibration, I love you.
I love being able to activate Finisher on my Scavengers, and Feedback allows me to do that. With Recalibration up, and a warjack within reach, the Scavenger assassination run becomes even deadlier. Not only does the Scavenger have Finisher up for it's first attack, but the target is down a couple of boxes already, and that equals a horribly beaky death.
  • pSkarre: Dark Guidance and Blood Magic.
PS fourteen/thirteen Satyxis Raiders, with increased accuracy, is simply not fair (not to mention that the chance of a critical knockdown skyrockets). The Satyxis Raider Captain also makes Skarre immune to knockdown, which is nothing short of awesome. Then we have the infamous Feeback/Backlash combination, that allows you to kill a caster without ever touching him, and the package is just about perfect.
  • eSkarre: Black Spot and Backlash.
Immunity to knockdown on eSkarre, immunity to leadership issues on the Satyxis Raiders, the same Feedback/Backlash ability as her prime version, and Black Spot. They won't hurt heavies much, but point them at an infantry unit, and watch it vanish in a red mist of barbed-whip-killer-bikini-babes.
Satyxis Raiders: Summary
The Satyxis Raiders are faster than the speed of light, able to adapt to just about anything, and able to surgically remove just about anything in the game. They're dead if they're caught in melee with anything that knows how to fight, but will always hold the initiative, unless you as a player fail them. It's a unit that every caster can appreciate, and with the coming character restrictions I expect to see a lot of them on the tournament tables, so getting to know them can't be a bad idea.