It's been a long month. If you'd had any ear to the news, you'll know that the midwest has had the crap kicked out of it with storms in the last three weeks. The first one totalled my Mustang with softball size hail, and set my town up as a temporary heaven for roofing companies everywhere. I missed out on a tournament in the search for a new vehicle, and finally got some games in again day before yesterday finally. On the plus side, the new Jeep can carry my gaming table much better than the Stang ever could...
Three weeks isn't a long time to be out of the game, so that's cool, but it's been busy. I'm coming off the tail end of getting my butt handed to me consistently by a local Cryx player. There's been a bunch of good learning games in there, so that's good as well, but yeah. So, three quick topics I'm brainstorming through.
I. The 2 list matchup, with Cryx as a priority.
II. Vengeance/Exigence Casters and handling them.
III. Bearka and Dozer.
I. The 2 list matchup, with Cryx as a priority.
Goreshade2 and Denny1 have been handling me pretty easy lately. The 2 list I have currently is Madrak2 and whoever I feel like. I've been through Grim1, Jarl, and have started vassaling Calandra, Grim2 and played my first game with Grissel1.
Grim1's not my playstyle. I can't explain it. He doesn't click. He's cool, but I simply can't make him work for how I want to play.
Jarl plays much more to my playstyle. Less straightforward, more tricks and angles. Still doesn't haven anything to scale up against Cryx though. He's not bad for some matchups, but with 2 lists, I can't find a place for him.
Calandra's a blast, but I'm only vassaling the Elemental Lights NQ tier, I haven't bought it yet. I hate to spend that much money on that many lights that I will Never use outside of her tier. It's a good tier though, and it's been working for me. It's not my cryx matchup though. So that's out. Calandra herself is good though, and I could see building an anti-cryx list with her specifically, tarpitting with star-crossed Nyss under a Witch Doctor (Nyss are not fearless. In fact, they are pansies), with max unit of Scattergunners behind them to wipe out Cryx hordes. Maybe a Thrullg in the back, and a heavy of choice for the armor cracking. Haven't decided.
Grissel1 is cool. I feel ashamed that I've had trolls for four, five months now and only just now played her. That model is so ugly though. But awesome caster. My strategy for list building her army was simple. All of the troll infantry I own... And Longriders. I have yet to make the Longriders work for me, and she seems to have everything they want. I will be playing her more just to give me a good reason to field Longriders more often. Otherwise, she seems like a decent counter for Cryx. Not because she can stop any of their shenanigans (Except charges and spells, which is nice), but she just brings that much infantry, her feat is appalling and giving everything two attacks is pretty baller good for scaling up in the attrition war.
Grim2, however, is my primary focus at the moment. I love his playstyle. I also like his feat. The snipe is cute, and helps him out a bit, but +2 to hit for Scattergunners is fantastic. I also like his toolbox. Oddly enough, I prefer Magesight to True sight. Being able to land a shot from Grim, and then also the Bomber, Impaler, or Dozer is fantastic. Can't beat that. I love Mortality more too. Can cast it twice, and it drops ARM and DEF both. He's got a lot of tricks. He likes to be up front, but between reform and the trap, is generally fairly safe. If you're super worried, bring Mulg. I'm really liking Grim2, and am going to try to push him hard for my Cryx matchup. I also like him against anything with lots of infantry. Cephalyx, Khador, some Menoth lists, some Circle. Really, anything Madrak2 doesn't want to deal with. Debuffs and DEF skews, mainly. Madrak2 really chews through most of everything else.
II. Vengeance/Exigence Casters
I didn't see any of them, and them all of the sudden, I fought 3, including the Cephalyx caster, Exulon Thexis. The other 2 were Issyria and Butcher3. Issyria, I should have handled just fine, but I brought Jarl and got shot to pieces and didn't have anything to shut down a Hyperion. Madrak2 would have eaten everything alive.
Butcher3 was interesting. I mainly got lucky there with Madrak2. The map had lots of rough terrain, and so the IFP were well behind Butcher most of the game, and his other main infantry unit, the Boomhowlers, failed CMD to the Fenns on turn 2. Butcher was an inexorable force though, and at one point, he killed 2 Warders, a Bomber, a Kithkar and something else in once turn, by himself. The IFP nearly caught up at that point, but the Burrowers stepped in, and even though they really failed to kill anything, they tarpitted so well that the IFP never were in the game really. Overall, I tarpitted his forces, and fed enough high-value targets to Butcher to keep him feeling like he was doing something until he got close enough for my last 3 Warders and Madrak2 to end him. Looking back, I'd rather have anyone with Mulg, or Grissel1. Either one would be super hard on Butcher3, since he needs orders. The new Dozer dire can put the hurt on his support too, like Maddie or Orin. Butcher can be a super problem for stuff like Cygnar, but against Trolls, for the most part, they can handle the stack of ARM that Butcher3 is. I packed Fennblades around him for the most part until I wanted him to come out.
Cephalyx was neat. Grissel1 was the girl for that game, and it was the first time I'd played her. Cephalyx bring a Lot of infantry.... Jarl would like to fight them too. Grissel did ok though. I had enough models to really tank what he was bringing, and got lucky with a few deviations from the Bomber and was killing support, and really, Cephalyx is incredibly support dependent. Any unit they bring relies on their UA and Agitators a lot. Jarl with Magic Bullet, Dozer, or the Impaler/Bomber combo killing those guys really cuts down on what they can do. They still have lots of models, and they don't die easily to blast damage, but they still are pretty weak offensively without their UAs. Exulon Thexus himself is a controlling nightmare. Telekinesis everywhere, lots of controlling your own dudes, things like that. The monstrosities are pretty cool too, but they die fairly quickly between taking D3 from Thexus for being arced through, and your models attacking them, it doesn't take much. They're awesome for 7pts, but a Bomber alone can put some serious hurt on them. A Jarl list with Dozer, Bomber, Boomies and whatever else would handle Cephalyx pretty well I think. Pair of Warders maybe.
III. Bearka and Dozer.
I like Dozer. He fits into a few lists without needing the Impaler. I swapped him out with the Bomber/Impaler combo in my Madrak2 list for solo removing support, and put the remaining 6pts to a Slag or a Pyre and put the other pt wherever I wanted. Dozer doesn't mind Snipe, but he doesn't really need it, and is plenty happy without it. A Slag or a Pyre can get him up to PS17, PS18 (W/ stone).The only thing I really miss from the list is the Girded animus, which is incredibly good for keeping Grim Salvation from triggering on lots of low-damage blasts. Also protects the KSB like a boss. But Dozer does have some cool things.
Bearka... is ok. Looks like fun, but without playing a 3 list format, I can't find a place for him. The forums don't seem to think he answers any questions, but I disagree. He definitely throws any shooting for a loop with Stealth on the feat, and he really makes you question charging him at any time between his feat and counter charge on everything. I particularly like the stealth though, and MHSF can suck it. But otherwise, he doesn't do much, and certainly doesn't replace anything I have already. Time will tell.
That's all I've got for now. Scattergunners and Grim2 have done well enough for me in proxy and Vassal that they're being assembled today, I'm headed back to that, and the Steam Sale...