The Storm Wall

The Storm Wall is up and I think we have a problem. I had a look at it and thought about going up against two of them run by pHaley and I’m honestly not sure what to do about it. pHaley and a Junior Warcaster means tw0 ARM 22 Colossals with 56 boxes that you cannot charge, and if that’s not bad enough her signature spell reduces our defense by two.

When pHaley is hiding behind them they’re basically immune to spells as well, and they can put down covering fire to block our infantry. They still have points left over to add the Squire, Black 13th, a small unit, and a solo of some sorts.

This is something I cooked up, having never played Cygnar, but I have trouble seeing how I’m supposed to get through that.
Captain Victoria Haley
– Storm Wall
– Storm Wall
Black 13th Gun Mage Strike Team
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt
Captain Arlan Strangewayes
Journeyman Warcaster
Stormsmith Stormcaller
Stormsmith Stormcaller
Squire
We have nothing that can shoot an armor 22 Colossal with 56 boxes to death. Assuming we have pDeneghra, Withering, Parasite (unlikely due to Arcane Vortex), Dark Shroud, and Rust bomb we still need him to park the Storm Wall within 5.5″ to bring it down with Bane Thralls, and we need six of them to do it reliably. Bane Knights can reach the Storm Wall from 10″ away with Vengeance but guess how many of them will be alive after a round of shooting from the list above. Even if they somehow don’t evaporate they still have very little chance of reaching the Storm Wall around two covering fire templates and they most certainly aren’t going through it.
I’m not sure they’ll be a huge problem with other casters, but I can’t see any way of reliably handling this unless it’s a list tailored to bringing it down, and even then I’m having a hard time figuring some way of doing it that won’t simply be thwarted by Arcane Vortex.
  • pAsphyxious: no charges, negate spell assassination.
  • eAsphyxious: no charges, doesn’t care about Bile Thralls.
  • pDeneghra: no pop’n’drop, attrition is unlikely without charges and with debuffs being negated by Arcane Vortex.
  • eDeneghra: could win on scenario but Colossals remain effective during feat round with 14″ range, and she can’t win attrition.
  • pGoreshade: The feat might work once against a rookie.
  • eGoreshade: Phantom hunter might work if he’s caught with his pants down, butt that’s it.
  • Mortenebra: no charges, no way of taking down non-living heavy armor.
  • Scaverous: no spell assassinations, not enough debuffs to attrition. Maybe workable on feat round where he can overload Arcane Vortex and get some shooters in.
  • pSkarre: Maybe with 30 Bane Knights but otherwise the “no charge” issue will gimp the otherwise impressive damage.
  • eSkarre: Feedback would be viable except that without charges they’ll fail to break armor on average.
  • Terminus: no charges, no chance at surviving against a Colossal hitting him.
  • Venethrax: no charges, not a lot of souls, no chance at surviving against a Colossal hitting him.
  • The Coven: no spell assassination, and Arcane Vortex will stop CoS shenanigans.

That’s the best I could come up with. You guys have any suggestion on what to do?

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16 Responses »

  1. Honestly, I think we’re going to have to look at colossals differently. This isn’t like a regular warjack where you can just get a unit of banes up to it (no charge necessary) and call it dead. It’s probably going to take more than one turn and some very different tactics to bring ’em down. That’s okay. At 19 points, I believe it should shake things up a bit.

    First off, although we don’t have general colossal rules yet (until the new NQ is out at least), I don’t think they have weapon platform, since it would make the Kraken’s Kill Shot ability rather silly if they did. That being said, tying them up in melee will prevent them from using covering fire. You’d want to use something hard-hitting so the free strike doesn’t just get shrugged off (bane knights or slayer-chassis jacks should work) and get other guys into position for charging. The charging thing is no good against the list you posted, but it’s an example.

    Against something like that, the WSC gets even more ubiquitous. Hitting bane-thrall hard with the ability to add on Dark Shroud is invaluable and the Unbinding doesn’t target, so vortex won’t stop it. You’ve still got to protect them from B13 of course, but that’s always been the case and we have the tools to do it.

    Also, consider that pHaley spamming TB and keeping focus for arcane vortex isn’t going to be giving a lot of focus to the stormwalls. If they try for a covering fire wall, they just have 4 big guns and lightning pods. Not exactly impressive.

    • I don’t see why they need Focus unless it’s melee time, and one of them can probably be run by Junior anyway. There’s still a substantial amount of guns pointing in our direction and no way of getting to them. If you send in a small wave they can probably shoot it to death with the help of the rest of the list, and if you send in a large wave they can probably melee it to death.

  2. Now list-wise (aiming for general-purpose against a Colossal meta), I’d go with something like the following.

    P-Denny +5
    Deathjack 12
    Nightwretch 4
    Nightwretch 4
    Max Banes + UA 11
    Max Blood Witches + UA 8
    Tartarus 4
    Siren 2
    Siren 2
    Skarlock 2
    Pistol Wraith 3
    Pistol Wraith 3

    The above stipulation on the meta is why I didn’t include the WSC. Let’s assume some character restriction and you’re using them with somebody else.

    The Deathjack can deal plenty of damage to the Stormwall, no charge necessary. Consider that said Stormwall will only be able to retaliate with one fist unless it turns to face, which can de-emphasize the big gun. Get a death chill off and killing the jack actually becomes an issue without surplus focus. Banes might be slow without the charge, but they’re still super amazing once you get there.

    Unless you think you can overload Haley’s vortex bubble with spells, the nodes will probably be regulated to stupid venom tricks in order to assassinate Jr./Strangewayes/Aiyana. Blood witches are cheap targets for that, fast enough to get where they are, and the UA can knock off a shield on a hitty turn. If the going gets tough, you can also make a cloud shield for Denny on the feat turn. Also, don’t underestimate boosted POW 14’s with Dark Shroud (maybe feat) support. I assume that Colossals will have a similar “can be shot freely while engaged” rule to battle engines due to their size.

    Sirens do what they do, boosting guys and clearing disruption. Shadow binding a colossal could also be huge, since you can park the BT’s 6″ away and being engaged with no walking away means no cover fire (though lightning pods could still be an issue). Also, the continuance of stupid venom tricks. The Skarlock is mostly for Ghost Walk stuff, but the capacity to toss out 4 parasites in 1 turn might be enough for a Haley player to horde focus and keep the stormwalls on empty. And if they don’t, it only take 1 to stick…

    Finally, it completely depends where Haley is positioned in this little fortress. If she’s the max distance (3″ from both stormwalls), then her temporal barrier range only extends about 6″ from the opposite side of a Colossal 120mm base. That’s plenty of room for a 10.5″ bane charge! If she’s right up there, on the other hand, then pop your feat, burn a few focus off her with some “fake” debuff attempts and then kill her with Venom! (see also: stupid venom tricks). Speaking of feat turns, dropping it will drop the TB range to 10″, meaning you can charge the Stormwalls with impunity if she’s hanging back. A fully-loaded DJ can hit at straight damage with dark shroud support (assuming you never knocked off AS somehow) that turn. Average dice (10+7+4+7+7+7+7) is 49 to wreck the thing. Then you just have to poke it a little.

    So, yeah. Solutions. Not denying it’s silly tough, but I’d be rather disappointed if pairing one of the most annoying units in Cygnar (Haley, B13) with 38 points of metal would be an easy kill.

  3. The NQ is out. They do have what is essentially weapons platform, so they keep shooting. They also have to be in the warcasters battlegroup, not sure that JR counts, but it doesn’t much matter.

    The Withershadow doesn’t target for their upkeep removal, neither does the Hag really. Get a Bane Thrall into base with it, get in there with Nightmare or Deathjack and you should be able to put a hurt on it. Pistol Wraiths seem especially good. Also, I’ve seen no rule that negates Gorman either.

    • The problem is getting a heavy hitter in there. Whatever you use needs to have 12″ charge range to start outside Temporal Barrier. If I were the pHaley player and Deathjack was parked 13″ away from her I would simply move up a bit and lock him down.

  4. It does seem to be set up that you would need a Colossal to beat a Colossal which is disappointing, but I agree with Pryokon that the mindset should be to control them rather than kill them which would tie up 38 points and give the rest of your army a chance to walk into place.

    While the pHaley list posted does seem cheap and mean, I am always leery to spend a ton of points on a few models. Since the Stormwall can be proxied now, I am curious to see how it unfolds on the table with scenarios in play.

    • I just don’t see controlling them as being a viable tactic for us, since our control pieces fall apart when B13, Stormsmiths, or Gun Mages even looks at them (average dice kills most of them). In my last game against pHaley both Sirens and both Pistol Wraiths died before getting to do anything.

  5. Bah! Accursed squire! Ah well. If Haley’s got the 11.3″ TB beyond the Stormwall it means she’s right in B2B with it, meaning you can still go off with plan “draw focus off her and then venom her to death” while dropping that radius down to 7.3″. At least you don’t have to expose Denny as much that way, though depending where the B13 are, I’d still put up a blood witch cloud shield.

    Of course no plan survives contact with the enemy, but it’s important to keep thinking. Otherwise it’s just pointless woes and convincing yourself that Scaverous double-krakens is your only option. (It could work! Death Ward on a Colossal is beefy and Feast of Worms is another debuff that can circumvent Arcane Vortex, albiet not cheaply.)

    • The reduced TB area might actually work, but Venoming her to death seems unlikely as you still have to actually hit her, and that’s 7+ even with feat up…

  6. That thing is the devil.

  7. Oh wait, I like the devil xD But it’s still bad from a Cryxian point of view /:

  8. “The NQ is out. They do have what is essentially weapons platform, so they keep shooting. They also have to be in the warcasters battlegroup, not sure that JR counts, but it doesn’t much matter.”

    I got the new NQ as well. They have something LIKE weapon platform, but not quite. Yes, keeping them in melee doesn’t prevent them from shooting and they can fire into the stuff they’re engaged with at no penalty. However, lacking a specific rule like Weapon Platform or Virtuoso, they still suffer the general restriction that you can’t use melee and ranged attacks in the same turn. If it’s just engaged with light targets, it can use the big guns to clear the way, but if you put something there that necesitates the fists in any way, no cover fire. Again, this context means the Kraken’s Kill Shot is actually useful.

    Venoming Haley to death would require all the venoms you have available (Denny, DJ, Skarlock, Sirens, add ghost shots and overlords to taste if you’re desparate) and would depend on how much focus she’s holding/spent on vortex that turn, but it’s much much easier to pull off on Jr. Linking a 19 point model to a 3 point controller doesn’t strike me as the wisest course of action.

    Getting away from Denny for a sec (and this is absolutely hilarious), using P-Skarre with the full Satyxis raider package seems awesome. They have an 11″ walking threat range under Desparate Pace and hit at POW 14+3d6 on the feat turn (avg 2-3 damage each on a shields-up ‘jack) Enough to kill a Stormwall? No. But dealing around 8 points of feedback damage is certainly enough to give here some pause. You can sac. strike her to death if she pokes her head out at that point. Also, if she kept less than 4 focus on her last turn (and assuming a reasonable sac. lamb roll), you can unload 4 backlashes including the skarlock onto the stormwall. Then you kill Haley entirely through feedback damage.

    • But those Satyxis Raiders will most likely be severely diminished due to Temporal Barrier and high Cygnar RAT in general. I know I would nuke them first and rest easily knowing not much else could hurt me if I were the Cygnar player, and Cygnar has the tools to wipe them (Gun Mages, B13, A&H, Stormsmiths etc. etc. etc.)

      So far pDenny & pSkarre does seem to be the only casters with actual answers to the thing, but in this case answers means “might work occasionally”.

  9. I could go on, I suppose.

    Witch Coven: Drop the feat on the Stormwalls, making them unable to shoot or cover fire beyond 5″. Prevents gun mage shenanigans as well. Use Veil of Mists to walk a fast target right up to Haley. An Infernal-Machined Nightmare starting within 10″ of a preyed Stormwall has a walking threat range of 12″ and hitting at MAT 10.

    Venethrax: Upkeep Lamentation and camp. Walk right up there. Use feat clouds, Gormun, and Pistol Wraiths to prevent an effective counterattack on his person. Haley and jr. pay 2 focus each for AS and can’t protect the Stormwalls with TB without doing a full-tilt army reverse, not typically viable in a scenario context.

    P-Gaspy: Knock down AS on one or get a dark shroud up there and a scythed up Gaspy is hitting for about 5 points a strike. On the average feat turn, 11 attacks turns into 55 points of damage with enough left to teleport back and camp a point or two. That’s 1 model, with perhaps the WSC or blood witches to knock out AS (or some assassin-type to shoot down jr.). You can do as you like with the other 50 points you brought with you.

    Honestly, with Haley spamming TB, upkeeping shield, and holding the other 3 focus for fear of her life (and spells), the Stormwalls just aren’t putting out 38 points worth of firepower, especially if they’re keeping covering fire up. RAT 6 is nowhere near a sure-thing hit even with TB and you can take advantage of their limited fields of fire to ensure they can’t focus fire on one target of they stop to aim. Never mind that you probably won’t see this force in a big event because it’s a bowser vs. beast-heavy forces.

    Honestly, I’m more frightened of Darius in this configuration. The feat is just dumb, covering fire + mines means that only heavies really have a chance of getting through anyway (and they have to 1-hit), a full-throttled Sweep attack makes me wince and Jack Hammer on these nasties means they can kill whatever’s engaged with them outside of activation so they can turn on the guns. That and big ‘ol Darius has the perfect screen. Bring E-Eyriss to remove debuffs since she doesn’t even risk disrupting them and add support models to taste. THAT frightens me. Haley? Annoys.

    • Kraye with Guided fire and Mage Sight is pretty bad as well, but then you discover that the Storm Wall can charge 15″ and has reach. Stryker can push the Storm Wall(s) to ARM 27 making it as invincible as the feat name suggest. p/eNemo can do some interesting stunts but pHaley still scares me the most.

      The Coven suggestion has some real merit and is worth considering but pGaspy won’t be able to get in there to do his massive damage because of TB so he’s out.

      The Venethrax suggestion also has some merit but she can always just back out of the effect before casting (depending on the scenario)… Venethrax doesn’t survive melee with a colossal and if they’re standing in front of her he’ll have to come within charge range to affect her at all.

      I honestly don’t think the Storm Wall will need even a single Focus to perform while TB is up (it usually doesn’t need covering fire).

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