Monday, July 9, 2018

Cygnar List Experiments: Stryker 1 in Storm Division - Part 2

So, I managed to get one game in against Trollbloods  last Saturday. The opponent was using Borka 2 in the theme "Power of Dhunia" using mostly light warbeasts. I lost that game but I did get a feel for the list.

The list actually feels very similar to my "Storm Surge" list. It does the exact same thing more or less, it just moves forward regardless of the opponent. The Sword Knight's speed in the Surge list is replaced by the advanced moving Storm Blades. The blades may not have the high DEF in melee that the Sword Knight do, but the stacking of all the ARM buff they can have in a turn make them just as annoying to deal with.

There are also noticeable differences, this list looses it's fast flanking ranged attacks. Instead the list relies on the electrical bounces to try and take out support solos/units.

I actually failed to test my initial plan with the list of juggling "Snipe" between the Stormwall and the Storm Strider. It was entirely my fault as I moved my lancer too far forward, without it I can't juggle the buff.

That's it, I know this is a very short post and that is expected since I only got one game in and its too early to tell if the list is viable. I'll try to get another game or two in this week to give you more insight into the list.

As usual, if you guys have questions or comments just let me know. Thanks for reading, until next week.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Cygnar List Experiments: Stryker 1 in Storm Division - Part 1

Hi guys, today I want to try something new. You may notice that I only post list breakdowns on lists that I have played enough to be confident in discussing its strengths and weaknesses. The reason for that is that in my experience, what should work in theory does not always translate properly into practice. The game has a lot of variables that are outside of the control of the players. Who your opponent is, the layout of the table, the objectives and mostly the dice rolls. These are all variables that can change how a list performs. These are the reasons I choose to play multiple games with a list in as many of different combinations of these variables as I can before rendering my assessment of a list. That is until today.

Today I will share with you a list that I have not played in a single game. I will share with you my “theories” on what the list is supposed to answer and ask. I will then play the list in as many games in as many combinations of variables as I can, with me writing about each set of games I played. This will continue until I feel that I have a firm grasp of what the list is truly like. I will then write my concluding thoughts on the list. So, let’s dive right in then.

Cygnar Army - 73 / 75 points
[Theme] Storm Division

[Stryker 1] Commander Coleman Stryker [+30]
 - Firefly [8]
 - Lancer [10]
 - Stormwall [39]
 - Squire [0(5)]
Major Katherine Laddermore [8]
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord [4]
Stormblade Infantry [10]
 - Stormblade Infantry Officer & Standard [0(5)]
 - Stormblade Infantry Storm Gunner (3) [6]
Storm Strider [18]

This list was born out of the results of my games using my Maddox in Storm Division list which I have named "Raging Storm". That list gave me a good grasp of the synergy and the offensive capabilities of the Storm Division theme. Mainly the flexibility of being able to attack from range or at melee. I wanted to capture that flexibility but shift the focus of the list from offense to defense. Stryker 1 raises the defensive capabilities of the list by a huge margin. I replaced most of the jacks with Stormwall since in my "Storm Surge" list Stormwall plays a major part in the list's objective game and under the support of Stryker 1 is very difficult to take out. I placed the Lancer instead of a second Firefly because unlike Maddox, Stryker 1 has a spell worth arcing and with 2 very good tragets for "Snipe" I plan on juggling it between the Stormwall and the Storm Strider. The loss of the Swordknights's speed is something I see that can be compensated for by the theme benefit for the Stormblades.  Overall I'm thinking the list will be able to answer most of what the things my previous lists can answer. It will still have a weakness to stealth and incorporeal, it won't have the breaking power of Maddox list. Combined with Stryker 1's deffensive buffs I am hoping that the list will have a good attrition game.

That will be it for this list for now. I will be playing this list when I can, so I hope to update you on the results and my first field impressions of the list when I can. What are your opinions of this untested list? Let me know, I do welcome discussions about Cygnar related stuff.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Cygnar Unit Talk: Stormblades

So, while I'm testing another list that I plan to talk about we'll discuss a specific unit that Cygnar has. We'll talk about the Stormblades today, what role I believe they fill, their shortcomings and some way I've found to overcome them.

Stormblades are what I consider our hardest hitting melee unit, being easily able to reach POW 15 on an above average MAT 7. These lightning infused knights can take down high ARM multi wound infantry on a charge. Light infantry that have less than DEF 15 have a decent chance of getting killed even on a non-charge attack. However, this is just half of the firepower that they can bring. Stormblades have a shot that can reach up to POW 14 without any additional models, they however have a low RAT of 5 and short RNG of 6. This means that you would rather fight in melee rather than at range, unless you have the Command Attachment.

The Command Attachment add two models to the unit, the first is a Standard Bearer who is basically another Stormblade with a flag. Unlike most of the Standard Barer in other unit this one can still fight. The Officer is the second model and adds so much more to the unit. He gives them "Iron Zeal", a once per game ability that grants the whole unit +3 ARM and immunity to knockdown and stationary effects for a turn. He also gives them "Assault", an ability that allows the Stormblades to shoot before they make their melee attack during a charge. "Assault" doubles the damage potential of the unit, dealing an average of 7 damage per model on a DEF 10 ARM 20 target.

The defensive capabilities of the Stormblades however leave much to be desired, they only have a DEF of 12. This ensures that they will get hit by almost anything, their base ARM is just 15 so even POW 10 have a decent chance of killing them. They are also on the slower side of things with a SPD of 5, meaning they will take time to get into melee which is where we want them. There are however ways help if not mitigate these shortcomings.

First is the to use ARM boosting spells, "Arcane Shield" is a Cygnar staple but there are others out there as well. This brings them to a decent ARM rating and combined with a well timed Iron Zeal if you have the Command Attachment bumps them to an insane amount of ARM for one turn. Coupled with "Heroic Call" from Carvolo should ensure that most of them can survive to get their damage in.

There is one way to help them with their low SPD, using the Storm Division theme mean that they get "Advanced Move". After deployment but before the start of the first player's first turn the Stormblade gets to make a full advance, may not seem much but the extra 5" help put them up to par with other faster models and allows them to close the gap faster.

There are a few more synergies that you can take advantage of to really take them to the next level. The Weapon Attachments allows them to have a bit more of a ranged element, since if the Storm Gunner hits the rest of the unit will auto-hit on their ranged attacks on the same target. I find that having the Storm Gunner, who have a longer RNG of 12 can forfeit their moment to help ensure a hit on higher DEF targets. The rest of the unit can then move forward to get in range works wonders.

Laddermore can help them hit even more, giving them +1 to hit provided they are within 9" of her. The last piece that would push their ranged component to the edge would be a Firefly, by having a target within 5" of the Firefly the target will take +2 damage against electrical type attacks. Yes, the Stromblade's ranged attack can hit for POW 16.

Well, that's my take on the Stormblades. Let me know your opinion about them, I don't mind having civil discussions about Warmachine related topics.