Havoc in the Thornwood: Deployment Phase

Thornwood

autojack80Now that my opponent and I are agreed, we have a great deal of work to do. In fact, he exclaims to me as we speak about how much he has to do, but like I said to him, while it may get a little confusing near the end, we gain a lot of benefit by *not* having a great deal painted in the beginning. It means we get the most flexibility out of our list building. He has decidedly less done for his army than I do for mine, but the flip side for me is that I have less work I have to do, even though I don’t have the same flexibility. There’s actually some elegance to this approach it seems to me. There are also limited ways to manipulate the amount of work we do because it is half of our models, not half of our army points. We can’t cut down the work by taking unpainted heavies and painted infantry, for example, as we might if we were to base the distinction on points. The part that gets a little weird is that as we go on, we’ll have lots of new things done (ideally) and will then have to revisit what we did and did not have painted as of yesterday (and seeing as I didn’t paint anything last night, as of today as well). But that’s one reason why I felt an initial thoughts article might be useful for both of us, so we could list and perhaps show off a few of the things we already have painted, and also muse about what we might like for our warm-up matches.

Army2

So with that in mind, here’s what I have painted so far… (Note: I’m leaving out casters I have painted that *aren’t* Haley2, seeing as they are irrelevant.)

Haley and Squire-Major Victoria Haley
-Stormwall and Storm Pods
-Avenger
-Centurion
-Charger
-Cyclone
-2x Defender
-Dynamo
-2x Hunter
-Ironclad
-Lancer
-Ol’ Rowdy
-Stormclad
-Thunderhead
-Storm Strider
-Journeyman Warcaster
-3x Stormsmith Stormcallers
-Squire
-Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Pistoleers
-Gun Mage Officer
-10x Long Gunners
-10x Precursor Knights
-Precursor Officer and Standard
-Stormblade Infantry
-Stormblade Officer and Standard
-2x Storm Gunner
-3x Storm Lances
-Oddly enough, a single Trencher Infantryman, and a single Trencher Rifle Grenadier.

Army1

For the record, it is distinctly satisfying to list my painted Cygnar. Nothing like having a painted army. What I will need to do, though, is write a list that contains only half of the models listed here. Now, that may also include Mercenary models. I realize I didn’t touch on that directly in the first Havoc article, but I want to be clear: Mercenaries are perfectly acceptable inclusions in the lists, and are therefore subject to all the rules of our little showdown. I don’t have very many Mercenary models painted at the moment, and I have historically tried to avoid the tendency to have Merc models outnumbering the Cygnar models in many Cygnar lists. (I make an exception for Caine–I think it’s really thematic when he does it, because he’s CRS and fights proxy wars like the CIA.) I don’t want to be foolish though–I’m looking at a very hard fight, and if there is a better option in Mercenaries or something I feel I should have access to, I don’t want to be afraid to use it. With that in mind, these are the few Mercenaries I have painted:

Gorman-2x Buccaneer
-Freebooter
-Mariner
-Mule
-Eiryss, Angel of Retribution
-Gorman di Wulfe
-Ragman
-Reinholdt
-Rhupert Carvolo

Ugh. I despise the rush job on my pirate warjacks. I really do want to repaint them.. The Mule I like though. Either way, I included the warjacks because it’s certainly not uncommon to field marshaled warjacks with some mercenaries, and I have a soft spot for Sam McHorne and the Devil Dogs.. Particularly when they can be affected by Deceleration, which I did not realize affected friendly models rather than friendly Faction models. Of course it makes sense, as she’s magicking up the enemy projectiles rather than her troops’ armour, but it goes a long way to explaining why *Haley* likes Mercenaries. In any event, I have lots of Merc options if I want to go that route too, and I am certain Privateer Press takes the widespread availability of Mercenaries in Cygnar into account when they cost and design models for Cygnar’s new releases. Even if justified, I try to take no more than one mercenary unit and/or a solo or two. Usually I get what I need out of the occasional solo. Rhupert goes a long bloody way, handing out pathfinder and tough.

I must make no mistake–this is probably one of the hardest fights I’ve found myself up against. TheGreatGaspy is the best Warmachine player I think I’ve seen. There are a few online that come close, certainly, but he really is very good. And he’s coming equipped with one of the best casters in the game. While I find myself intimidated, like the good Doctor says, “courage is not about being unafraid–it’s about being afraid and acting anyway”. I will fight and fight hard. I am also coming equipped with a great set of tools! Cygnar brings a lot of game to match-ups against Cryx, and I have the benefit of the best caster in their stable in Haley2. Plus, as I know from experience, Denny2 has a tendency to make herself vulnerable for at least one turn of the game, and if Gaspy isn’t careful, I will put one in her brain pan and put her down for good. I am certain, however, that we will both be planning for the other, and this will affect things. So what should I be working on..? Good question.

My usual list for Haley2 looks something like this:

Hunter and JuniorHaley2 – (+5)
Squire – 2
Thorn – 8
Centurion – 9 (Bonded)
10x Horgenhold Forge Guard – 8
5x Tempest Blazers – 10
The Black 13th Gun Mage Strike Team – 4
Journeyman Warcaster – 3
Defender – 9
Ragman – 2

This list has 25 models, with only 6 of them painted. I can have no more than 12 of them painted (as we round in favour of unpainted models to painted models). I would likely only count 5 of them as painted, however, as I would very much like to paint my new plastic Cent. It’s really a much more impressive model. The list includes my favourite ranged package, the Blazers and the B13s, who all have great RAT and access to Deadeye if they need it, though usually they don’t. They all have brutal damage without the necessity of crits, so they tend to do well both against light infantry and heavy infantry. Not to mention, they really do need a good paint job. I love the models, even if the B13s do look a little on the shrimpy side. The list also has several rather savage assassination vectors, including two double boosted shots from the Defender (Temporal acceleration, Deadeye, full allocation from the Journeyman), and the long-bomb Centurion/Ragman combo. Many a game I have enjoyed has ended on the tip of his spear. It is also very powerful in terms of the control game, as Thorn really helps me land offensive Telekinesis, Time Bomb, and Domination. Against Cryx, I might like to beef up my anti-infantry ability, but there really is a lot I can do with Blazers and the B13s.

The Forge Guard I have found can usually make up for being as slow as they are through Haley’s feat turn, and they pack a mean punch without suffering much in the way of counterattack. I have to be careful of Denny’s fixer spells, however. Between magic attacks and Spell Ward, it may be worth considering my Precursor Knights, though that would throw off my balance of painted to unpainted models. Between how much experience I have with this particular list (many games at this point), its fortuitous ratio of painted to unpainted models, and the gravitas of the battles yet to come, I think it might be worth bringing this list and arranging a sideboard of various Cryx-killing specialists rather than try to reinvent the wheel..

Arcane Tempest

So with that in mind, one of the specialist options I’m considering is Lady Aiyanna and Master Holdt. Perhaps unsurprisingly, as they bring magic attacks to the table against a caster that is incorporeal every other turn, and brings a damage buff. While it may seem counterintuitive that I bring a damage buff against what is usually a swarm of infantry that doesn’t break arm 16 much, I happen to know that TheGreatGaspy prefers to have a heavy in his lists, to be sure, and the other reason is bane armour and electro-leaps. Against Cryx, one prefers to have a little more anti-infantry than they might bring against any other list, but electro-leap from the Blazers makes these gunners swing way above their weight class. The trouble is, against Bane Knights and Bane Thralls, it makes the damage roll from POW 10s just south of reliable. With Kiss of Lyliss, it becomes much more reasonable to expect two downed Thralls and Knights. This is a big deal in particular, seeing as my Blazers have only a tiny window to work with against Thralls who tough out and use Dead Rise to get up and kill them. I have to be within 5″ to land shots, and can retreat 5″, giving me only 1 1/2″ wiggle room to be out of natural threat range. Fortunately they’d have a hard time hitting me, if not for Marked for Death and Bane Lord Tartarus.

Both of these things can be remedied by Alexia Ciannor, Mistress of the Witchfire. She is a model I’ve wanted to dabble in for some time, and it seems she has a great deal to contribute against Cryx. For one, she has Arcane Vortex, which is a very powerful ability, negating spells targeting models within 3″ of her large base. On top of that, she is an *excellent* solo hunter between Hellfire and Magic Ability 8, high speed and cavalry charge with a magic sword. I would *happily* double boost a Hellfire against Tartarus. In a pinch, she can do her really big trick as well, summoning three weapon masters to immediately lay waste to a heavy target. That, I suspect, will happen less often, however, as I’d prefer to save those souls for negating spells instead. I think for her to be effective, though, I’d like a ready source of souls that didn’t involve my really slow and heavily armoured infantry unit, or my precious tri-corner hats. I think it’s worth considering adding a screening unit I could reasonably expect to die and provide her with souls, while being dangerous at the same time.. Speaking of Sam McHorne and the Devil Dogs.. And Jonas Murdoch, if I felt so inclined.. That part I’ll have to think about! I don’t want more than one Merc unit, after all.. But I love Murdoch and want to paint him.

Perhaps with some red shades..

Until next time!