I'm liking these models, and the last two games I've played with them have convinced me to endeavor in purchasing the other two I need for a Max unit, and Laddermore as well. pCaine runs these guys like champs. They played very well last night in Vassal against a Mortenbra list, pulling off deadeyed Ride-Bys accurately and without punishment until a 4pt Scavenger flew 19'' and killed Caine. Learn something every day. I can count on one hand the games I've played against Cryx, so I reckon I had it coming. I was ready for the other three jacks in the list, but had yet to have ever seen the shenanigans a Spectral Steeled Scavenger can do with Overrun and Mortenbra's feat. It's not bad.
Anyways, I'm liking my lances, and pCaine's making them work. The WTC has done a lot to bring them back into the scene. It's not that they really ever left, but players in the states really don't use them that often. I think a lot of that has to do with the price. Buying Lances is just almost like buying a theme force. It takes commitment. Buying two units of Stormblades for a tier force, or ATGM or whatever is tough because know you'll never use that unit except with that caster, for that exact list. I bought an extra unit of Rangers, and a spare Hunter for my Tier IV Kraye list, and that's the last time I'll probably do that. Puts me in a bad spot for Tier tournaments, but the other 99% of the games this year, I don't care.
The Lances are like that. 45-50$ for a 3 man unit hurts. Laddermore's another 20$, and the blisters for another horse are 15$ added on. You're looking at well nigh 100$ for a six-man (woman) unit that may or may not work for you. That's probably why you don't see that as much in America. We're too cheap. Make them plastic and we'll buy them up, but otherwise, meh.
I vassalled mine for awhile before I bought them, and found a used unit for a decent price, unpainted. With a quick primer, I set them up and was off to the races with them. You'll see they got used in my last post, pCaine vs. High Reclaimer, and they pretty nearly handled a unit of Bastions on their own, even with me forgetting the Brutal Charge.
Let's consider that. Without Laddermore, we have 5 attacks on the assault. Count 'em, 5. Ah, Ah, Ah.
1. Ranged shot. Rat 5, POW12. Probably won't hit a decent DEF model, but you have a shot at frying, or putting the hurt to a medium based model, or taking a box or two off of a Jack.
2. Electro leap. Won't hurt anything but light infantry, but it is there. More than anything, it'll fry Warbeast support (Looking at you Legion)
3. Impact attack. Horses hurt when they run you over. At MAT7, it probably won't miss, but it's only a POW10. More for kicks and giggles against anything bigger than small base.
4. Lance attack. The real attack. PS13 base, PS15 with the Charge. On a MAT9 (also with charge), this is probably going to hit, and it's going to hurt.
5. Electro leap. Again, won't hurt anything but light infantry, and maaaaaybe take a block off of a medium based guy, but electro leaps are awesome for killing off not only support, but casters that like hiding behind big things.
That's a pretty healthy amount of attacks for one guy. 15 attacks with a 3 man unit is nothing to sneeze at. That's a third again as much as what the Blazers can put down with electro leaps. The downside is that the Blazers have a better chance of hitting what they're shooting at, and they'll also light cav away to survive another turn. Unless you can make the Ride-bys work with the Lances, you're going to have to commit to putting them in the battle, and unless you can drop some Arcane Shield on them, they may not make it, even at ARM17.
I don't know which unit is better either. Blazers, or Lances. It's a tough question. I think the Blazers are better for casters with no support. Kraye loves Blazers. They can do their own thing and he doesn't have to worry about them at all. Lances, if left to their own devices, are probably going to miss the first shot at RAT5 if they're going after infantry. That knocks them down to 3 attacks per man, and now we're sitting at 9 attacks, with the chance at 6 more. That's not bad, at all, but the Blazers are a bit more reliable.
Unless you have Deadeye. pHaley or pCaine, or Kara, with Lances? Or if you can run Rangers with them? Kraye might could take them, but they'd need Rangers. But still, with Deadeye, these guys are probably going to get all 5 of their attacks each, and that's nuts. That's going to put the serious hurt on a jack, wipe out an infantry unit, threaten anything on the board (18'' Assault range for just ranged attacks), and overall, be a serious harassment unit.
They're the closest thing Cygnar has to multi-box medium based infantry, but you're using them wrong if you ever build a front line with them.
All that being said, the hobby side of things is fun too. Since getting married, my painting has gone from "I'm going to do a 10 man unit EVERY NIGHT." to "It's October now. I bet I can get the tartans on the Boomhowlers painted by Christmas." However, I figure if it's going that slow, I might as well focus on it. My pCaine job reflects this. I built the custom base, dabbled in new painting techniques and all sorts of stuff, and I really like the turnout. So I'll do the same with the Lances. They're on my hobby desk now, basecoated, but little else.
I picked a pretty high bar though. I spent a bit last night in Milliput molding putty, breaking sticks from the backyard, and stacking bark from the same location. I've found that painted bark resembles sandstone when painted right, and did that for a lot of my early basing. I've gotten better with it since then, and my goal with the Lances is to give them very embattled bases, with them charging uphill through a slurry of barricades. This requires some fancy basing, weird angles, and custom cut foam to store these guys in later.
I really liked my Desert theme when I started, and I still love the tans, but it's becoming increasingly difficult to find interesting basing ideas while staying within a sandy setting, without just pouring sand all over the base and calling it good. I did that for a lot of my infantry units, but for my Lances, I want it to be better. So as you can see:
That's where the bases are at. They dried all today, and I'll be getting some basecoats down on them, and they're getting used coffee grounds (fantastic dirt) and dried tea grounds (varies it very well) to build up the muddy dirt, and then I'll paint and drybrush the bark into rocks. I will probably leave the stakes as they are, maybe wash them a bit, drybrush and add some mud, but no real painting or anything. The first two, I'm happy with so far, but the third one... I'm not sure about. It'll probably stay, but meh. I have 2 more lances to buy and build bases for as well, and I really don't know how viable this much work is for a unit I'll be playing on the tabletop. Hopefully, they'll look cool. I worry it might be too much presentation though.