Saturday, July 31, 2010

Thoughts on epic Skarre Army Lists at 33

Now, when it comes to the epic version of Skarre, I'm a believer that she favors a balanced force, but several of her spells and her Feat can be serious benefts for jacks.

Why the angry horned pirate lady likes Jacks
1) Admonition
AKA 'Get outta the way, little arc node!' Admonition is a battlegroup-only spell for 2 that means whenever an enemy ends their movement within 6", Admonition's target can immediately move 3" and is immune to free strikes.

Now, I've used it on lower point levels for my Arc Node, but you can of course use it to keep heavy hitters or even Skarre herself safe from charges. You can get extra movement out of it, and it's not something the enemy can FORCE you to use, either. Basically, I figure you can either keep yourself out of assault, or get yourself closer. Note that it IS up to the enemy to trigger it, though.

2) Perdition
2 focus for a 10" POW 10 shot that allows one warjack in the battlegroup in this model's command range to make a full advance towards the nearest enemy unit. Now, the last part makes it a little tricky to use (since the nearest enemy unit can dictate your movement a bit) but note that 'Towards' =/= 'Directly Towards'; you just have to keep getting closer to the other guy.

I can think of two main uses for this: get a ranged jack closer to the target you want to shoot while you can still get the 'aim' bonus (since you can still forfeit your movement when you activate), OR move a melee hitter closer to their target. Hey, that Deathjack missile just got a free advance...

The nice part? Since you're Epic Skarre and can wait to boost AFTER you see the dice roll, you can minimize the Focus needed for this spell, and given FOCUS 7? You should be good.

3) Feat: Fate Weaver
Take a point of damage to render friendly units immune to being charged/targeted by attacks for a round, or enemy units unable to attack, period. Obviously, you should spend a point on making SURE Skarre is protected by this, so you've got four targets to render immune. If you've got a few jacks on a flank, they can move up with impunity for a turn and gain field position, or do crazy stuff. I'm sure we can all think of some ways to annoy the enemy by making sure they can't target jacks, or watching some of their guys be utterly unable to DO anything cool for a turn.

4) Death Ward
This is number four for a reason; while +2 ARM is nice for heftier infantry (Hey, who loves ARM 18 bane knights? Any takers? No? Oh well...) but on a 'jack, this lets you pick the column you take the damage in. It lets you keep criticle systems alive that much longer.

Raptor, why's there a picture of a Phalanx in this post?
Glad you asked. It's a simple math problem: Black Spot + Leviathan + Focus + Infantry = Infantry-flavored Hash Browns.

It's a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine, but it goes like this: Arc Node runs up. Skarre arcs Black Spot onto an enemy infantry unit. Black Spot gives the enemy warrior/model -2 DEF, and if you kill one you immediately get another attack of the same type, independent of ROF and the like for free.

The -2 DEF is huge for Cryx at range, since most of our guns have a mighty, mighty RAT 5 base. I favor the Leviathan for this approach because the Spiker has ROF 3. I'll throw the Leviathan 2-3 focus if I can get a shot at a Black Spotted unit. Heavy-armor infantry go down to DEF 10-11, and POW 13 can usually get the job done against single-wound infantry. With good rolling (and the ability to boost the initial ROF shots AFTER the dice go down) you can KO 4-6 infantry a turn with this.

Besides, there's nothing like the expression on the other guy's face when he watches this hulking spider-like monstrosity mulch an infantry unit in 1-2 turns.

The Cons
Well, first off, you have to field a Leviathan and an Arc Node to make this work. You'd probably be fielding the Arc Node anyway. The Leviathan IS a bit focus-hungry to get results; either 1 to run or 2-3 for a good round of shooting. That's about the worst I can say, though, since the Leviathan IS a fairly decent platform. Black Spot just makes its ROF 3 go further than normal.

It does mean that any of the other jacks you bring should probably be reasonably self-sufficient in terms of Focus, though. Then again, something like a Seether or Deatjack will go nicely with Perdition.

The List
Admittedly, the escalation league has run at some wonky points levels. At 33, I ran:

10 Satyxis Raiders
-Sea Witch UA

Warwith Siren
Satyxis Captain

First turn is something like 'slap admonition onto DJ or the Night Wretch, hand out focus, run up'. Then, it's address the enemies. I can try to put damage on the caster with Backlash + Raiders, or ram the Raiders down the other guy's throat with a freaking 12" move on the charge if I take the Desparate Pace from the Captain into account.

DJ fits the criteria of being self-sufficient with the focus-hungry Leviathan in tow. The other goal (that I'm admittedly working on) is Perditioning a DJ-missile into range of the enemy caster, though the two times I've used this list it went like this:

1) I goof up, DJ dies to POW 10 weaponmaster-esque ranged attacks from Retribution Mage Hunters. He goofs up, forgets he can't block Ravyn with a fleeing unit, and the Leviathan makes hash out of her in melee. (Guess losing 8 health from Backlash and getting punched by a boosted P+S 17 crab-jack isn't that healthy...)

2) I goof up, overextend myself and fail to get DJ into Perdition range of eAsphyxious. He fires off 10 Bane Thralls at eSkarre; it takes him until number six (when he could fit in maybe one more, given space requirements) to get the 8 he needs with MAT 6 + Bane Curse to make it happen, and promptly wipes her out with one weaponmaster-charge hit. Ouch. Then again, he does Attrition better than I do, so yeah.

I've still got plenty to learn, but I like eSkarre as a caster and find the whole 'can boost after you throw the dice' thing to be a major benefit.

Obligatory Introductory Post

As I've recently become enamored with Warmachine and Hordes, I've decided to start up a Warmachine/Hordes blog instead of turning Spite for the Dice Gods into a confused morass of wargaming posts. Besides, it already has a heap of followers for 40k.

I'd rather save readers (ha! Right now there ARE no followers for this blog! Of course, I haven't really posted CONTENT, either, so yeah...) the trouble of picking through the articles on either system, so in my infinite generosity I've decided to start up a second blog.
So, What Factions?
Right now, I'm rounding out a collection of Cryx for Warmachine, and I've started picking up components for an Everblight army. I intend to pick up enough for a small Retribution force, just because A) the models are freakin' sweet, and B) it's not like I'll need that many of the Friggin' Sweet models to actually run a force. (Oh, Phoenix of Fiery Infantry-Clearing Flatulence...)

Current Cryx casters I'm using/working at:
epic Skarre

Planned Everblight Casters:
Eventually either Thagrosh
Perhaps Saeryn

And with that, I'm going to start generating content.