Monday, June 29, 2009

List of the month for June 2009: Helljacks in the Mist

I have a tendency to make a list and then play the hell out of it for a month or so and then move on once I've figured out the tricks to make it run. In general when building my lists I don't really have any theme other than 'something that I haven't done in a while', if that counts. This month's list is a 35pt MKII Iron Lich Asphyxious list, and it's a little bit different in that I actually had an army strategy in mind before I designed it.

My plan for this army was to throw out as many LOS (line of sight) blocking AOEs (Area of Effect) as I could and then advance behind the screen with my Helljacks to smash the enemy, kind of a rolling smoke barrage a la WWI. Gaspy (Asphyxious) is an excellent choice for a list of this type since he has Breath of Corruption, an AOE 3" spell that places not only a cloud but a cloud that causes damage. As K would say 'Very nice... Very tight...' Since this is not an upkeep, as I believe it was in MKI, you can cast as many of this spell as you like as long as you can figure out how to get the focus.

This strategy has a few really great effects:
  1. if they can't see you they can't shoot you (screw you Cygnar!)
  2. if they can't see you they can't charge you (screw you ummm... everybody but Legion!)
  3. the fact that you are putting out your own cover allows you to advance regardless of whether or not there is any terrain on the table
  4. by timing your activation properly you can shoot with your stuff and then deny the enemy the same
  5. because Breath of Corruption causes an automatic point of damage it means that single wound infantry are VERY vulnerable, particularly those that rely on Shield Wall or similar effects.
So the question becomes what do I need in my list to effectively execute this dastardly plan? Some Bonejacks to act as 'Slam-turkeys' and arcnodes for placing the Breath of Corruption spell. I will also need something to advance behind the smoke to actually do some killin' so I decided on Deathjack and a Harrower. Deathjack also has the added benefit of being able to cast spells like a caster so he can help with the smokescreen during the advance. Also in the vein of placing more smoke I took a Skarlock to cast yet another Breath of Corruption and Gormon De Wulfe with his smoke grenades. Rounding out the cut for this list are, a Bloat Thrall (since he's newly painted), a Necrotech w/ accompanying Scrapthrall, and a Pistol Wraith. Those last three don't do anything directly to aid the plan but they can all be useful in their own ways, though I still feel that the Pistol Wraith is overcosted in MKII, but that's not the point.

So is this list a success or a failure? Let me see, I played three games with it (it's been a slow month), a victory against Khador and two loses against Menoth. So I guess this would appear to be a failure, at least on the surface, but I think that by the end I was figuring out how to make it work.

Here's what I learned...

Breath of Corruption is awesome but it needs a target. When fighting against Menoth it is very likely that you literally won't have any models to target, particularly for the last few shots. So be aware of this and you may want to throw a Boneturkey out and make sure it is further that 8" ahead of the model doing the casting. The problem here is that you might end up hitting the turkey, and with armour 14 that can be bad. Furthermore, because you don't place the templates there are often holes in the smokescreen for the enemy to take advantage of. I found that I could mitigate this by activating Gaspy first (assuming an arcnode is in position) and getting a good start on the smoke, then Deathjack, and the Skarlock. The remainder of the army can then move during it's activation to take maximum benefit from the smoke. Gorman should activate last since he can be used to plug any LOS holes that remain.

When fighting against Scrutator Severius, you really have to watch out for the enemy arc nodes and his feat, which can totally neuter the strategy. I haven't quite figured out how to solve this problem, but knowing that it is an issue is at least half the battle. :)

Don't be overly cautious with Gaspy, you can charge the front line, hopefully pick up some soul tokens and then teleport to the rear of the enemy where he can't see you to charge you. Take note that this is a very high risk manoeuvre, if you can't get far enough back you will end up as lunch meat.

When fighting against Khador the biggest problem is getting the heavy jacks. I'm lucky because my oponent never tried to simply run his three heavy jacks through my smokescreen to engage me. I would have been put on my back foot had he tried this I think. In order to prevent this you need to keep the smoke as far ahead of your line as you can. If needs be, block with a Boneturky so you can countercharge with your heavies on the following turn.

I will continue to experiment with this list and I'll get back to you with further results. If anyone has any suggestions on what I could be doing better or tactics that I should try with this list let me know.

Until next time I remain,

Yours in Service,

The General.

1 comment:

Iron Twitch said...

That sounds a lot like the role of my Mk2 eGaspy army. I use eGaspy to make an advancing cloud to hide behind. It's a little more effective since you can keep holes plugged easier, but it also can let you determine the timing of engagement. I used this to good effect vs. my buddy's Menoth army. It worked well vs Reznik, but not so well vs. Kreoss' upkeep hate. That's definitely something to watch out for.