Monday, 13 April 2015

Stickier fruit

Following up from my last post, I realised that while I was waxing lyrical about the things I refused to take, I maybe neglected to discuss the things that I enjoy bringing, and find are performing in ways that surprised me. Also, I was trying way too hard to make a bad fruit story analogy stick. But that just allows me to write another post, so wahey win-win.

I'll just collect a broad bunch of thoughts that encompass both individual units, as well as lists. I'm wary to just talk about units alone, as the lack of context means I'll be telling people absolutely nothing about how they perform - but I'll try to elaborate as much as possible.

First to the block, from my most recent games with Skorne, is the humble Cyclops Brute. I used to hate this guy, a situational 5pt sink that did a terrible job at protecting anyone, and would otherwise flail wildly in the wind whenever I needed it to do anything. Then I brought THREE of the bozos to the table, and boyoboyoboy do they do work. I really feel they are a sum greater than the individual parts, surviving for far longer than they have any right doing, tying up units, and smacking over things they shouldn't be hitting either. Largely, this is due to the maneuverability eXerxis gives them, as well as the hit/damage fixing they get from his feat. But beyond that I see potential running the Brute Gang with Naaresh, Mordikaar, pXerxis, eMorghul, eMakeda, Rasheth, ahhhh just anyone who either tips their defensive schtick over into the obscene, or bumps their hitting power up just a tad.
<3 nice one Florian

Credit to David Potts from the Wargamerau forums for suggesting this - he was using the Brutes with Zaal, theoretically as a Legion drop to trade 5pt beasts for 9+ pt heavies by putting Last Stand on them. Its an idea I like, but have yet to try.

Further for Skorne was my developing love for the Drake - this is something that is still being fostered, as I have yet to assemble my third Drake, and have only run a single one in a couple of lists, but that spray is pretty obscene. I can only dream of what it would be like when it's spammed.
I'm beginning to appreciate ranged games more and more, having only played Skorne and Cryx, and therefore been limited to what I can bring that is ranged. Obvious place to put him would be with eHexeris, trying to trigger off 6 sprays with Black Spot sounds like a hoot. The other place is with eXerxis, where there's been talk of putting out 10, and still having room for Molik Karn, Beast Handlers and maybe even Willbreakers. Graus. I feel  have mentioned this list several times, but just to make sure, full credit of it goes to Nikola and Chas.

Its interesting seeing that people overseas have also made similar conclusions where there's a list doing the rounds with 7 drakes and 3 Kreas I believe. Its far more tool-boxy, and isn't as stylish as 10 Drakes, but I'd be damned interested to see it played. Here's hoping someone's filmed it in action.

Another consideration I want to explore further is Rasheth out of tier. Ol' tubs is seen as best being run with Chain Gang, and its a list that just doesn't work for me - the beef is actually countered fairly trivially, and all your threat ranges are pretty well projected with Rush as your only speed buff. Conversely, I get far more excited at the idea of running him in a gun line. His feat, coupled with Blood Mark allows for a decent ARM swing on living models, and even blast damage will sting a fair bit more. Admittedly, this is a match-up dependent scenario, where it works best against a lot of single-wound infantry with mid-strength armour. But I still think pushing Rasheth out there with the full Mammoth package (mammoth with Raider, Krea, Extoller and Willbreaker in tow) is worth exploring. I began to, but got caught up trying to learn Mordikaar and the Xerxis'ss's. Additionally, I feel Incindiarii would be marvelous with ol' tubs behind the wheel; effectively POW14 (or even 16 on that one target with Blood Mark) fire damage on your feat turn? Sure, why not? Then there's the Aradus Sentinels coming along to spit AOEs all over the show too, so conceivably there can be a gunline Rasheth list that has a core of 2 full units of Incindiarii, plus two Sentinels and a Raider, with the rest to shore up the gaps. Just need to get those damned bugs, which don't look to be dropping till at LEAST August #@$!@#$%.

Skorne stuff aside, looking back I tried to apply some sort of hipster logic to my playing of Cryx too; my first warcaster was Scaverous, and holy shit that was a tough learning curve. But I keep going back to that guy, and love using him in so many different match ups where his toolbox just provides me so many options turn-to-turn. Even going back to play him from time to time has been a rewarding experience and he in no way feels lacking. One would expect the opposite according to the odd post on the PP forums, and I can understand how developing play experiences with eGaspy or other Cryx casters could lead people to consider Scaverous as being meh. My experience just happened to occur from the opposite end.

Of course, its rather self-focused and myopic to think that I'm the only person that has come to these conclusions. And I hope it doesn't come across that way, these are things/units/lists/casters that I've discussed with friends at length, and have also read about on occasion on blogs and forums. I'd just like to think that these summations I've made have taken on board others suggestions, as well as my own hunches, to then go on to try things on the table top. My thoughts are strictly anecdotal and circumstantial, but I don't think this discounts them as being credible and viable sources of information to take to the tabletop.

All else aside, its the Auckland Open this weekend, with a core group of 20 players coming to play 7 rounds of 3-list, D'n'C(1). I've been reluctant to write anything on the process of choosing the three lists, as I find that I can work myself into a frustrating circle of thought, both in list-formation as well as trying to write about it. I'm keen to just chuck some lists down, make amendments should I feel like it, but not wrack torture myself about it too much.

I'll leave that to David Stent to do, here and here ;)

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