I’m a sus (special unique snowflake) for sure BUT I’m a competitive sus, I want to have a good chance of winning and I want to give my opponent a challenging game. What I do like about PP is that their releases and each factions stock of choices are sprinkled with some ‘complex’ and strange selections that don’t necessarily look amazing on paper but which can find a home in a list if the pairing and synergy is right.
HAMMERS and MULTI-TOOLS
I’m not much of a handy man but I know that if I want a serious screw driver to do some serious screwing the last thing I need is a multi tool with a blowdryer, mutli-screwdriver and back massager.
The same goes for warmachine, complex models are tools that do many things but they don’t excel at any of them. If I want a heavy beater I take a heavy beater and mash shit dead. If I want a gun I take something that is a really good gun, not a model with a modest gun and modest melee potential.
As a general rule this philosophy is sound, however warmachine is a very complicated game with an enormous amount of interactions from match ups to list building to what your opponent has on the table.
MALIGNED BUT USEFUL
Last year I played Convergence and I submitted my lists to the Ontario Team Championship months and months in advance. I had Axis tier which I was comfortable with but wanted to pair him with something that could handle cygnar and legion. Lucant is the obvious answer but the list I was using (Watts style) was dysfunctional and wasn’t performing at all vs ehaley and was a coin toss vs legion. I quickly discovered that the Axiom, in fact any vector, was dead weight in the ehaley match and only marginally useful against most legion builds. All in all it was too slow and extremely weak on scenario.
Father Lucant, Divinity Architect - WJ: +5 - Corollary - PC: 3 - Inverter - PC: 8 - Prime Axiom - PC: 19 Algorithmic Dispersion Optifex - PC: 1 Algorithmic Dispersion Optifex - PC: 1 Enigma Foundry - PC: 3 Enigma Foundry - PC: 3 Reciprocators - Leader & 4 Grunts: 9 Obstructors - Leader & 9 Grunts: 6 Optifex Directive - Leader & 2 Grunts: 2
What I needed, especially versus ehaley/stormwall, was a non-vector source of damage that could take down a stormwall and something that could clear high defense jam.
Enter the Perforators,
I hated these guys when I looked at their rules. They literally looked like something that did nothing special and didn’t solve any hard problems for convergence, at least they didn’t kill warders! I had played a few games with them with lucant vs legion and they performed pretty well against anything on the carnivean chassis and could even put down angels with the assistance of flare and mini-feat.
I started doing some math and realized that over 2 turns they could easily take down a stormwall, all I needed was something that could handle jam. Just so happened the TEP was just released and I started play testing it with Iron Mother and it kills high Def jam like its going out of stlye. So I re-drew my list and it looked like this:
Father Lucant, Divinity Architect - WJ: +5 - Corollary - PC: 3 - Diffuser - PC: 3 - Cipher - PC: 9 Transfinite Emergence Projector - PC: 9 Algorithmic Dispersion Optifex - PC: 1 Enigma Foundry - PC: 3 Enigma Foundry - PC: 3 Attunement Servitors - PC: 2 Optifex Directive - Leader & 2 Grunts: 2 Clockwork Angels - Leader & 2 Grunts: 3 Clockwork Angels - Leader & 2 Grunts: 3 Clockwork Angels - Leader & 2 Grunts: 3 Perforators - Leader & 4 Grunts: 9 - Transverse Enumerator - PC: 2
I only got in a few games before I made my transition over to circle but I was very impressed with the perforators performance and they fulfilled the role I needed of them perfectly.
This opened my mind to not necessarily judging a unit based on it’s base abilities but considering it from a stand point of: What solution do I need and does this unit fulfill it?
I’ve only been playing circle for about 5-6 months but I did take them to the Southern Ontario Open Iron Gauntlet Qualifier and went 3-1, placing 6th out of 46. On round 2 I had my butt handed to me hard by a Meat Mountain list piloted by Jean-Nicholas Raymond. I had dropped Ekreuger because I thought Jean would take Elemental Evolution based on the fact I had epic Baulder tier and Bradigus and I had just played kreuger in my previous match.
I had only played against meat mountain once before at Templecon with Axis Tier and was impressed with it’s capacity to not only take damage but drive scenario and put out tremendous and accurate damage. I was pretty sure Bradigus would have been a better drop but I’m not sure he could even chew through all that meat and not get chopped down! I also find Bradigus extremely mechanical and tiresome to play so I want to make something that could deal with armour and control the flow of the battle in way that allowed me to dictate the focus.
I had always been interested in Cassius and I looked to him as a possible solution, in particularly a solution to skorne and trolls (which are very popular around here). I devised this list and play tested it a bit and was very happy with its potential, it could at very least go toe to toe with meat mountain and grind out the warders and/or champs, and played well into RoW:
Cassius the Oathkeeper - WB: +6 - Wurmwood, Tree of Fate - Druid Wilder - Ghetorix - PC: 11 - Warpwolf Stalker - PC: 10 - Gorax - PC: 4 Gallows Grove - PC: 1 Gallows Grove - PC: 1 Farrow Bone Grinders - Leader & 5 Grunts: 3 Shifting Stones - Leader & 2 Grunts: 2 - Stone Keeper - Keeper 1 Swamp Gobbers Bellows Crew - Leader & 1 Grunt: 1 Tharn Ravagers - Leader & 5 Grunts: 9 - Tharn Ravager Chieftain - Chieftain 2 Druids of Orboros - Leader & 5 Grunts: 7 - Druid of Orboros Overseer - Overseer 2
Now I needed something to pair it with to cover cassius’ obvious bad matches: Legion and some Cygnar. Ekreuger seemed the obvious answer but there were a number of issues:
1. Epic llyth is a rather tough match for traditional Kreuger lists as are extreme range cygnar lists, ones with snipe or martialled hunters that can stand outside stormwall and explode his battle group. Even against cygnar, the capacity of Ehaley’s stormwall to step into kreugers control (or skirt the edge of it) and layout ranged damage without retaliation before storming in to punch you could be crippling. All in all you may think that Ekrueger is impervious to shooting thanks to his spell Storm Wall but that’s simply not the case.
2. Druids are good against most Legion (not if they have striders or epic llyth) but are dead weight against cygnar, gunmages murder them. Druids do offer the best anti-magic defence, the other option being the Sacral Vault.
3. The list needs to be capable of killing an arcane shielded storm wall if push comes to shove.
I built many lists and when I play tested a few they either were murdered by ellyth or so skewed to play against her that they were hyper dysfunctional against anything else.
ENTER THE GOAT
Then Brennos came out. Circles new goat character; Brennos the Elderhorn. He’s nothing to look at on the surface. He has a lot of situational rules that are tricky to monopolize on and a stat line more at home on a light chasis.
I did some math and realized that if I had a guardian in the list I could make my battle group very resilient vs extreme range shooting. It actually takes more ravagore shots to kill Brennos with impervious flesh than it does to put down a stalker or Ghettorix. Brennos offered his animus to make impervious flesh more economic, a boostable gun that can push models out of zones and a reach warbeast that wasn’t ghetorix (he’s in cassius’ list).
With my cryx experience I felt Kreuger played very similarly to Epic Denny; steal scenario early or assassinate. I didn’t feel he attritioned terribly well, at least the way I’d been playing him.
To further push the scenario element I thought of the riphorns animus in conjunction with brennos, giving me 3 models that could bulldoze models if need be.
Bad news is that’s 3 heavies and I’d have to rely on the riphorn to be my beater, that and no lightning strike… it would play very differently than a standard kreuger list.
Krueger the Stormlord - WB: +5 - Brennos the Elderhorn - PC: 9 - Wold Guardian - PC: 9 - Gorax - PC: 4 - Riphorn Satyr - PC: 9 Una the Falconer - PC: 3 - Rotterhorn Griffon - PC: 3 - Scarsfeld Griffon - PC: 4 Blackclad Wayfarer - PC: 2 Gallows Grove - PC: 1 Shifting Stones - Leader & 2 Grunts: 2 - Stone Keeper - Keeper 1 Druids of Orboros - Leader & 5 Grunts: 7 - Druid of Orboros Overseer - Overseer 2
I opted for the druids over the vault for 2 reasons; first force bolt gives even more board control and against traditional legion matches druids can be extremely annoying with elemental immunity. That said I would have to play them behind the army in most cygnar matches or against striders/llyth.
I included the scarfeld to include yet another animus for Brennos to use and for the opportunity for him to animus, two handed throw a model into the enemy caster and boost to hit, if rites of dawn were up. That and long leash free’s Una’s positioning up more.
I’ve only just started play testing this lists, I plan on playing cassius in our FLGS domination league to get a real sense of him.
In terms of the Kreueger list I’ve play a hand full of games and I’ve learned a few things:
1. The scarsfeld is extremely situational, in the 4 games I’ve played a rotterhorn would have been better but I’m going to give him a fair shake before pitching him.
2. Against ranged heavy lists Kreueger casts Storm Wall and Impervious Flesh on himself and camps 2. Spending one fury on Rites of Dawn is risky and I don’t know if that part of the tech will functional all that well.
3. Brennos can assassinate decently but it’s best if I can knock the caster down with a throw or the guardian first. I also need to know when to bulldoze with him and when to shoot and when to punch, it’s so much easier when a model just does one thing.
4. The Riphorn is a tank. I really haven’t played him much outside ekaya but man he puts the beats down. That and his chain attack gives great assassination opportunities and board control.
5. I wanted to use krueger without a gallows grove and I’m thinking its not such a good idea. At the very least it gives me more freedom to position him within the army as opposed to using it offensively. If I drop the scarsfeld down to a rotter I’m putting one in for sure.
Obviously this is very early and I’m by no means even a top player in my meta but I’m finding opportunity in Brennos based on the problems that I am facing.
Brennos may not be the next big thing but he does offer me potential solutions to my pairing problems as well as giving me a model on the table my opponent may underestimate and I think that gives him potential.