Monday, October 10, 2011

Scyrah's Vengence

Santa Barbara wargaming has a hardcore tournament coming up, and I wanted to walk you through my thought process of choosing a caster and then building a list around him for a hardcore tournament.

For those who do not know, hardcore is a variant on Steamroller rules with the following adaptations:

-Fully painted
-50 points
-7 minute turns and 4 minute extension
-Killbox scenario every round
-1 list

The last one is one of the most difficult things to take into account, as you need to build a list that has as few bad matchups as possible, while being able to overcome any poor matchups you come across.

So, the first place to start in any list building is to pick a caster. As Ret only has 6, it made it fairly easy.

I immediately discarded Kaelyssa, as I never have really enjoyed her. She has a fun little fury siphoning mechanic, but is extremely squishy and lacks support spells (though I love backlash).

I considered Rayvn, one of Ret's more popular and powerful, if straightforward casters. However, I decided not to go with her either. Snipe-feat-go is one of the best assassinations in the game if your opponent is unprepared, but I never liked winning that way. It felt cheap, and it relies on your opponent's ignorance. Rayvn is often a one trick pony, having snipe and her feat but not much else. Some players will talk about Veil of Mists or Vortex Destruction, but I find a single cloud to be underwhelming with her 12" control area, and if she is up close with VoD you are about to lose or are winning so badly that she won't get pulverized the next turn.


Rahn is our other go to caster, and really fun to play. He just won hardcore at lock and load, so his power is undeniable. However, that is the main reason I will not bring him. Call me a hipster, but he is too mainstream.

Vyros is my favorite caster fluff-wise, and I think he has gotten much more powerful with the release of Wishnailer and the Vyre jacks. He is definitely a possibility. He has a great statline, can make jacks get the alpha strike, has a decent arm boosting spell and a great late game spell with stranglehold. He also has a convincing endgame with flank.

Garryth is a fun caster, and more competitive than a lot of people give him credit for. If you try and force the assassination he cannot compete with the other assassins out there. However, using his AA pistols and spamming death sentence and gallows as you move up the field can work well. Miraged sentinels are just plain fun. However, his feat does very little against Hordes, so he is a liability in a 1 list setting.

Ossyan is the new kid on the block and man do I love him. His fluff is fantastic, cool model and a challenging ruleset. He has the same problem Vyros in that he needs a Vyre jack to shine (Banshee for Vy, Hypnos for Ossyan) but the gaming group have been discussing allowing a limited number of proxies.

So, I basically have it down to Ossy and Vy. Quick breakdown of their strengths;

Vyros: Mobility, Birds eye, 15/17(25 fully camped w/WN), Pow 14 w/flank, Stranglehold.
Ossyan: Quicken, Admonition, Chronophage cannon, good damage feat

Weaknesses:

Vyros: Terrible feat
Ossyan: Squishy

This is a difficult decision, so I think I will build two lists (with Vyre jacks) and see how I like them in the context of their army.

Vyros needs a few jacks to work, and I am going to give him 3. I chose Aspis to give Vy some added survivability, the Phoenix because it is an awesome jack and will let me arc strangleholds and the Banshee to give him birds eye knockdown.

To fill out the list I added a MHSF+UA to give me a ranged threat and it synergizes well with the banshee (who knocks them down, allowing the weak Rat 6 to work on high def models). Sentinels +UA give me a ranged threat.

I then rounded it out with Wishnailer, who is awesome, a pair of assassins to give me a early game threat, the artificer who will add to the survivability of anything around him and double arcanists.

Dawnlord Vyros-6
Aspis 4
Banshee 10
Phoenix 10
Dawnguard Sentinels (Leader and 9 Grunts) 9
Dawnguard Sentinel Officer & Standard 2
Mage Hunter Strikeforce (Leader and 9 Grunts) 8
Mage Hunter Commander 2
Arcanist 1
Arcanist 1
Wishnailer 2
Artificer 3
Mage Hunter Assassin 2
Mage Hunter Assassin 2

Now my pal Ossyan. Ossyan has a ranged centric feat, which I wanted to take advantage of, but not over rely on, as the 1 list format could force some bad matchups (eKaya, eLylyth, Covenant, Goreshade, Banespam)

For his jacks, I am giving him Hypnos and Discordia. Both do great with Ossyan and are very useful. The MHSF and Sentinels will be there as great Shatterstorm or Quicken targets. Aspis, again, will help against ranged threats. A pair of Thanes will benefit from the feat, and just be very fast and survivable threats on a flank while a pair of arcanists round out the list.

Lord Arcanist Ossyan-6
Aspis 4
Discordia 10
Hypnos 9
Sylys Wyshnalyrr, the Seeker 2
Dawnguard Sentinels (Leader and 9 Grunts) 9
Dawnguard Sentinel Officer & Standard 2
Mage Hunter Strikeforce (Leader and 9 Grunts) 8
Mage Hunter Commander 2
Dawnguard Destor Thane 4
Dawnguard Destor Thane 4
Arcanist 1
Arcanist 1

Finally, if I do overcome my more foolish tendancies, here is the Rahn list I would bring:

Adeptis Rahn Shyeel-6
Phoenix 10
Phoenix 10
Sylys Wyshnalyrr, the Seeker 2
Dawnguard Sentinels (Leader and 9 Grunts) 9
Dawnguard Sentinel Officer & Standard 2
House Shyeel Battle Mages (Leader and 5 Grunts) 5
Soulless Escort 1
Arcanist 1
Fane Knight Skeryth Issyen 5
House Shyeel Artificer 3
House Shyeel Magister 2
House Shyeel Magister 2
Mage Hunter Assassin 2
Mage Hunter Assassin 2

So what are your thoughts on these lists?

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