Kara Sloan Vs. Asphyxious3

Work has been insane, so the report had to wait a couple of days. Wednesday I drove out to do battle against Jan, my former rival for the title of best Cryx player in Denmark (a title he claimed), three time WTC player, and generally accepted as being the second best player in Denmark. He’s won the Iron Moot, wiped out some of the big names in Warmachine, and he’s the only person to ever table me in Warmachine/Hordes.

Raluk = Gobber Tinker,  Stormcaller = Reinholdt,  Bartolo = Arlan,  Armless jacks = Cyclones,  Gun jacks = Defenders,  All Cryx heavies = Leviathans,  Slaughterborn = Necrotech

I tell you this to make sure you understand the implications of me utterly annihilating him. I have to go back years to remember the last time I felt like I had a real list advantage in WMH, but when we lined up I felt like this game was more or less mine from the beginning. This was against a list specifically designed to take on Cygnar shooting lists, while my Kara Sloan list was somewhat janky because I wanted to see if I could make three Cyclones work.

Asphyxious the Hellbringer
– Cankerworm
– Deathripper
– Leviathan
– Leviathan
– Leviathan
Satyxis Raiders (Leader and 9 Grunts)
– Satyxis Raider Sea Witch
Machine Wraith
Necrotech
Necrotech
Necrotech
Soul Trapper
Warwitch Siren
Warwitch Siren

vs.

Captain Kara Sloan
– Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator
– Defender
– Defender
– Defender
– Cyclone
– Cyclone
– Cyclone
Captain Arlan Strangewayes
Gobber Tinker
Gobber Tinker
Ragman

I gave him the first turn to avoid Force barrier Raiders camping the hills, but in retrospect that was a mistake. I should have gotten the first turn of shooting in on his Leviathans instead, and just blocked the Raiders with Cyclones. Instead he moved up cautiously and used the woods to shield his Leviathans. I moved up and took the hills, with Kara in the middle. I expected to lose a Defender to Calamity + three Leviathans, but Calamity missed and then all three Leviathans needed 9+ to hit.

Cryx moving up cautiously

At that point I felt like his game had gone from hard to unwinnable. He had toed the zones with two Leviathans in one, and Cankerworm + four Raiders in the other. Kara aimed, popped her feat, popped Guided Fire (free, play testing with the rumored feat change), and shot the Cankerworm to shit despite cover (well she rolled poorly and left it barely alive, but a Cyclone finished it off easily). The other Cyclone had a toe in the zone so he could aim and with Guided Fire he wiped out the contesting Raiders.

I then made another mistake, as I thought I needed to contest the right zone with my Defenders, when I should have just put a single Gobber Tinker in there. My three Defenders deleted one of his Leviathans and crippled the other, but left it a box in Cortex and he had a Necrotech in range. My right Cyclone deleted the Arc Node and was helping out on the Leviathans, but again I rolled poorly on damage.

Cryx moved up to shoot, and Cygnar fired back from their defensive positions,

Having two Leviathans now in charge range he popped feat and charged, filling up both Leviathans and charging my Defenders with them. One Defender croaked, and the other lost Cortex, leaving me a little exposed in that zone. The zone also filled up with Scrap Thralls as ALL Necrotechs in range now get a token when a jack dies. I repaired the Defender with a Tinker and Empowered it with Arlan, moved up Ragman, and loaded the Cyclone to full. Together my jacks took down one Leviathan, and Sloan with aiming bonus killed the other despite it being engaged (sooo accurate).

In the left zone my Defender beat up some jamming Raiders so the Cyclone could aim, and even without Guided Fire it managed to wipe out almost everything in that zone. I couldn’t avoid taking a Machine Wraith to my Defender on the following turn, since both my magic weapons were otherwise engaged on the right flank. The central Cyclone then cleared up almost the entire right zone of infantry, leaving my opponent with one Satyxis Raider, one caster with a LOT of focus (after his feat turn), and a bunch of support models.

Not much left now

We talked a little about it. I was ahead on control points, out of charge range of his caster with my jacks, and I still had all my mechanics alive. He could use the Machine Wraith to move my left Defender into charge range of Asphyxious and kill it, but he would still lose on attrition and points since I would just delete his remaining army and score my way to victory. He instead grabbed his cohones and went for the spell assassination on Sloan – who was camping 0 but in cover.

Hail Mary, full of grace!

13+ to hit with two attempts (had to pop Mobility to get in range) wasn’t enough, and the two long shots (Vociferon and my own Defender, both needing boxcars to hit) also failed, leaving him naked in front of my gun line with aim. At that point we shook on it, as I had lost one model – and only because of a poor decision that could have been avoided. It’s frankly ridiculous how much I beat him, and the only reason he wasn’t tabled was because he suicided on a long shot assassination.

Victory to the dandies!

After the game we talked a bit about Cryx in MK3. I’ve asked him to take notes so I can do a little interview when he feels like has the faction figured out, but he was quite disheartened by Cryx so far. I was quite pleased with my lists, but I did feel like something was missing. I need a way to clear out jammers, and I need a way to handle models in cover hogging important locations.

Captain Kara Sloan
– Reinholdt
– Firefly
– Cyclone
– Defender
– Defender
– Defender
Thunderhead
Arlan Strangeways
Goblin Tinker
Ragman

The idea here is to keep Refuge on the Thunderhead, and assign him full focus each turn instead of shooting things herself. In my first game Kara often kept two focus and simply shot twice with Reinholdt, which was amazingly effective, but with this build she’ll be more passive and stick to popping the odd models venturing into range of whatever hidey hole she’s found. Thunderhead with full focus can advance, and put two shots with boosted damage into something, and then Refuge away which gives him almost the same effective range as the Defenders.

Thunderhead by Luke Mancini, http://mr–jack.deviantart.com/

This should give me even more long range presence, while keeping much of my anti-infantry capabilities intact. The Thunderhead is amazing at clearing jamming infantry, and the Firefly can nuke quite a bit as well. On feat turn I can advance the Firefly and put out two fully boosted POW 16 shots from Thunderhead, as well as six boosted POW 15 shots, and still have a bit of focus left.

Defender by Luke Mancini, http://mr–jack.deviantart.com/

The loss of one repair option should be negated by the quicker take down of the enemy guns, and the additional beat stick (Thunderhead) should make it even harder to rush my lines with armor (two PS 17 fists) and Infantry (Pulse). The addition of a light jack should also allow me to more easily contest the other zone in a dual zone scenario, without sacrificing an expensive piece to the grinder.

Firefly by Luke Mancini, http://mr–jack.deviantart.com/

I feel like Reinholdt might actually be superfluous in this list, and if I had another point I would probably change him to a Squire (Heresy I know), but Kara could really use another point of focus to power her many many jacks, or in order to camp a single point while doing upkeep + Fire Group + Guided Fire.

Not having that free point makes me look at Sylys instead, as a free upkeep of Refuge handily solves the issue as well. A Free upkeep isn’t exactly the same as another focus, as I can’t choose to drop Refuge and go all in with my extra focus, but it does allow Kara a bit more survivability.

  • Non-Feat turn (1 focus left)
    – Guided Fire (3)
    – Thunderhead (2)
    – Upkeep Refuge (Free)
  • Rumored Feat turn (2 focus left)
    – Thunderhead (1, or maybe 2 if I can use another non-boosted shot)
    – Defender (1)
    – Defender (1)
    – Defender (1)
    – Guided Fire (Free)
    – Upkeep Refuge (Free)

In the non feat turns she has just that one focus to camp or boost the damage on her single shot, and on feat turn she has two focus to camp or boost damage on her two shots. It’s all very neat but I don’t know is simply having another shot with Kara each turn isn’t worth more than everything fitting neatly together. The next game I’ll be trying it out with Sylys though.

Captain Kara Sloan
– Sylys
– Firefly
– Cyclone
– Defender
– Defender
– Defender
Thunderhead
Arlan Strangeways
Goblin Tinker
Ragman

The final piece of the puzzle is of course Arlan. I really wish Cygnar had more Empower models, but I understand how broken that would likely be. If Strangeways is fixing up jacks he obviously can’t empower, but with a free upkeep and Empower from Strangeways I can actually afford to throw out a Fire Group or some Return Fire, which would make the turns a bit more interesting as well.

The main issues I see this list having is Menoth (Choir still blocks her, and Severius2 can even shoot me with Battle while his jacks ignore much of my return fire), and super heavy ARM. Stryker3 into Menoth seems doable but not amazing, while super heavy ARM is just candy for him in most setups. I’ll have to see if I can tweak my Stryker3 list to deal with Menoth somehow, as I’m scheduled to play Simon (also one of the Danish heavy hitters) next week.

Until then… GO DANDIES!

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6 Responses »

  1. So pretty much the end of Cryx then. I’m kind of disheartened that you went over to Cygnar.

    Guess i won’t be buying anything more from PP. I’m really disappointed in them.

    • Well, the meta might change, PP could open their eyes, and rules obviously change on a daily basis, so things could happen. It seems like Cryx is in a really bad place though, but I know Jan had two more games today, and won them both, so 2-5 now :)

  2. I think you probably shouldn’t play with a version of the feat based on a rumor that they’ve explicitly stated isn’t a thing yet (and may not ever ve). Especially when it’s stronger than her current feat (but without the stupid top of 1 option).

    • The way they ‘denied’ it confirms it for me, and this edition is so full of silly rules mistakes that no games ‘count’ for anything yet anyway.

      Today I shot Lylyth3 without even using the feat, and I actually watched a guy praying not to Crit with his Satyxis Raiders.

      I also ask my opponents first.

  3. I’m not convinced it’s the end of Cryx yet. But I do think that Cryx has probably got to make the most changes in playstyle when adjusting to the new rules. Things like maybe not using Satyxis as the best possible jammers. They were once, and are still, good. But they might not always be the best choice anymore.

    Cryx has got very cheap jacks now, and spending the same points on some bonejacks to jam opposing jacks might be better in some cases. Bonejacks are fragile, but can take covering fire or defender shots better than Satyxis and there isn’t a focus cost in just running them forwards.

    I’m not sure, but I think PP intends for many of Cryx’s jacks to be disposable little missiles (some of which happen to have arc nodes as a bonus, rather than sole reason for use), with the Slayer also falling into that category. It’s a bit like the Buccaneer and Talon in Mercenaries, or lesser warbeasts.

    • The attempts I’ve seen at jack spamming have ended poorly so far. Slayers are still 10 points which is not nothing, and more often than not you’ll need two lights to jam a heavy, and that’s fairly expensive as well. In time we’ll see, but I’m not holding my breath.

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