The Active Duty Roster

The last couple of years have featured me hating on every new set of Steamroller rules, but this year I’m spectacularly optimistic about the whole Active Duty Roster idea. I love fiddling with lists, I love more options, and I love that they’re doing something that might actually work to increase diversity in tournament lists.

  • Scaverous
  • Goreshade1
  • Asphyxious3
  • The Witch Coven

These are our current options for Active Duty Roster, and I’m going with an Asphyxious3/WCoG setup. This setup (initially at least) seems to be very easy to manage on the character restriction issues, and the WCoG feels like a caster that can really play around with the Vanguard benefit.

Players with the Vanguard benefit can add a supplementary list of models/units (specialists) to each of their army lists. Specialist lists are completely optional but cannot exceed 20 points per list. These models are not used unless a player decides to substitute them for models/units in the corresponding base army list in accordance with the specialist rules.

I’m thinking that some casters like Asphyxious3 can use this to tweak their lists, while other casters like the WCoG can completely change their game with it. I dug up my old WCoG list, which I think worked well enough, though I only had a handful of games with it, and then…

The Witch Coven of Garlghast
– Deathripper
– Deathripper
– Kraken
Bane Riders (Leader and 4 Grunts)
Bile Thralls (Leader and 5 Grunts)
Satyxis Blood Witches (Leader and 9 Grunts)
– Satyxis Blood Hag
Skarlock Thrall
Warwitch Siren

– Fuel Cache

– Kraken

The list itself is a fairly balanced approach to the WCoG, but due to Vanguard it can turn into a double Kraken nightmare featuring almost no infantry. The Blood Witches and Bane Riders vanish, which leaves an opponent facing two Colossals and a set of stealth Bile Thralls.

I don’t think having a double Kraken WCoG list in a normal tournament setup is a good idea, but having the option seems like a brilliant idea. I don’t have to use it if I don’t want to, but if I suddenly end up in a game with excessive infantry hate on the other side, I can completely switch gears.

I’m still working on my Asphyxious3 list, which worked well enough but felt a little heavy on support pieces during this weekends tournament. One thing I did learn was, that I actually had trouble putting all the Focus to good use when I got it after the feat turn, so I’ve been considering a couple of Helldivers.

Asphyxious the Hellbringer
– Helldiver
– Helldiver
– Deathjack
Bane Thralls (Leader and 9 Grunts)
– Bane Thrall Officer & Standard
Satyxis Raiders (Leader and 9 Grunts)
– Satyxis Raider Sea Witch
The Withershadow Combine
Darragh Wrathe
Gorman di Wulfe
Satyxis Raider Captain
Saxon Orrik

– Arcane Wonder

– Tartarus
– Bile Thralls (Leader & 5 Grunts)
– Ogrun Bokur
– Blood Witches (Leader & 9 Grunts)
– Blood Hag

This list is very much WIP. I haven’t really felt the need for Tartarus in the games I’ve had with Asphyxious3 so far, but having him available for matches against very high defense opponents seems prudent. The list can also turn into crazy dude-spam if needed, by changing the Helldivers and Gorman into Blood Witches + Hag.

I’ll keep working on this, but any input, theory, or experience with Vanguard setups will be appreciated! :)


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23 Responses »

  1. Its time to run Scavernous seriously.
    For your off list id revist terminus.

    Scavernous depends on how much you feel you can handle moving parts

    Id never field him with less than 3 arc nodes now.

  2. I can offer no advice, but I do like the lists. What are your thoughts for the choice of objectives? I don’t know if it’s a mistake, but aren’t you missing a point in the Vanguard for the coven list?

    • 1 point missing yes, which should probably be a Necrotech. Objectives… Arcane Wonder affects both Asphyxious and Deathjack, so that’s impressive for focus efficiency in the list.

      Fuel cache allows the Kraken (s) another attack on the charge, or lets the arc nodes run without Siren help, but I’m not totally sure on that one yet.

      • Good idea with the Necrotech. Your objectives makes sense. I have only used the Bunker objective so far. I have been thinking about using the Arcane Wonder objective in the eDenny list which also contain DJ, but I’m just not sure I would want my caster so close to the objective. I don’t often cast any upkeep spells, as they are already out there with the body and soul tier 4 benefit. I just don’t know what would be the most bang for the buck.

  3. If scav fries your brain you need practice using high challenge models then.

    I’ve found my scav games are faster than edenny by half

    • The sheer number of available actions simply makes picking the right one impossible for me on a 1 hour Deathclock.

      Practice won’t help, as even after 30 games with Scaverous I still lost every game on the clock, and won every game without one.

  4. Is eskarre on adl? Ive been having good luck there
    Feat turn counters stupid brad

  5. I’ve had excellent results with knights instead of thralls. They save you a point and Vengeance helps them keep up with the raider a little bit. They also don’t need Saxon to fix their pathfinder problems. So three points.

    I have also found the Combine to be unnecessary in my non-specialist list. Vociferon is usually able to get a couple souls each turn to help with that and the feat turn is something amazing when you get to add his souls to you and pull off bone shaker assassinations.

    Another thing to consider is the effigy objective. Asphyxious’s armor is high enough that he won’t worry about the objective AOE magnet. It does grant cover which can definitely be helpful.

    The 8 point hole can be filled by pretty much anything, however, I would recommend worker models like blood witches or a Mechanithrall boat.

    I have never been disappointed by cankerworm in any game with him–even those games where he is hoplessly trying to kill Eiryss for nearly all of the game.

    • Hmm, it seems to me that Knights would simply be the only thing an enemy could reliably target in the list, and thus get wiped out quickly? I also feel like maybe I’d be missing Dark Shroud a lot :/

      • With raiders being so fast and present I’ve never lost more than one or two knights at a time.

        I don’t have much experience versus colossals but I do feel that’s the type of thing the specialists can help with.

  6. Just a thought about ADR in general…

    I think we’re going to see the real power of the Active Duty Roster is going to be the ability to switch from one type of skew list to another, as you’re doing with Witch Coven here.

    Showing up to a tourney with two skew lists exposes potential weaknesses and (maybe worse) often forces you into playing an unfavorable list-chicken.

    Showing up with FOUR skew lists feels a bit more like playing, “here’s the list I tailored specifically to destroy your faction”.

  7. Go scavernous. Even if you play slow he has far less chance at random death then the girls

  8. I think I’m with Lamoron on the subject of Scavvy. Playing scaverous on the clock is like playing Blitz Go.

    Yes, you theoretically have the tools to beat any player and any list… but it’s just too easy to make a mistake under time pressure with a caster that requires that much analysis.

  9. Since you are already taking Darragh why not the Soulhunters?

    They are usually an average unit stat wise (average Mat, average Pow, average def) but Gaspy 3 can fix all those problems problems (2 at a time even) so with 3 attacks they can be decent infantry-mincers.

    • I skipped DJ to include soulhunters in my gaspy3 list and I’m happy with the swap. Double cav works well fir him and his spell list conpliments them nicely. Also I find DJ has more utility in my second list, which started off as the coven who died too easily so I changed to edenny. I’ve played around with scavvy but I feel I’m not a strong enough player to field scavvy or the coven.

      Gaspy3 feels very under utilized to me, he can do sone amazing things with a light jack, canker scavenger or a diver, I was really hoping to see Lamoron experiment a little as he gets more games with the hellbringer.

      • I had a game today which ended when my opponent messed up, but until then we had a really brutal grindfest. I swapped in an Ogrun Bokur and Bile Thralls with Asphyxious3, against Kaelyssa with both strike force and infiltrators.

        I really like him, but I still have trouble applying all his feat focus constructively.

        • Definitely agree on that, even with carefull planning I quite often find I don’t have much to do with the focus apart from camp and get super aggressive with positioning.

          One thing I didn’t expect to be a success was orin. He does all the usual things orin does, especially zapping things to get vociferon souls but if you feat and your opponent does all they can not to give you extra focus using orin next turn to shut down their spellcasting usually seals the game. I’ve had a little bit of success doing it the other way around to encourage spellcasting after orin has done his thing if I plan on feating.

          Are you planning on experimenting with any lights? I did become a follower back when this was a scavenger sanctuary.

          • I’ve been looking at Stalkers but first I’ll test the Helldiver setup (thinking they’ll have an easier time getting to targets with a non Ghost Walk caster).

    • +1 internet for suggesting Soulhunters. They mostly got gunned down, but with Ashen Veil the combined number of super high defence models overwhelmed several lists, allowing the Bane Thralls to get in there intact and end it.

      • Hooray glad it’s working for someone else. It’s always been win win for me, either your opponent uses an awful lot of resources killing ashen veil soul hunters or their troops get decimated by soul hunters with carnage when they arrive. Then you have soulhunters with souls which is a great position to be in.

        Combination of soulhunters and bane riders really does give the thralls and easy path into the fight.

        I noticed you used helldivers in the chat feed, was that with 3gaspy. Interested to know how you made room for them.

        • Asphyxious3 with two Helldivers was really good.

          The basic game plan was to keep my opponent busy with Soulhunters and Satyxis Raiders, while the Bane Thralls moved up, but the Helldivers arrived at the same time forcing my opponent to play really carefully with his caster, giving the Bane Thralls even more opportunities to chop chop in peace.

          In the one game where the enemy caster did come out to play the Helldivers ate him, so I’m very impressed with them in his list. I’ll be posting the list and my thought on it later today.

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