So it’s been a while since we last blogged and a lot has happened between then and now with the whole team being super busy. We are back on it now though; tournaments coming up, WTC on September, Iron Moot in August and a local SR in June. I’m also travelling more for SR’s and trying to get down to powerfist every couple of weeks (great club if you are in the area) in addition to old faithful Wargame store on the wirral.
So before jumping into some battle reports, I’m doing an update on the state of the meta and also looking at some of the new builds we are seeing. There are a couple of archetypes knocking about in different flavours and some special snowflakes with their own taste of horrible (looking at you ghost fleet….)
The Heavy Brick
Warjacks and beasts got a buff in Mk3 and a year into the game we are still seeing jack/beast heavy armies. SR2017 was supposed to move everyone back to a more general combined arms list, however, it looks like the attrition play style has won over so far and this type of build is here to stay. So what is it? You are looking at a lot of boxes in high armour units coming at you; 5/6+ heavy jack builds, colossal/garg and multiple heavies or 10/12 lights. All of these types of lists ask a core question (can you deal with a lot of boxes), will get stuck into you with some shooting support on the way in, have in some respects similar weaknesses (focus/fury issues, lower volume of attacks, smaller footprint, need to stay in control etc), and then have their own questions that you’ll need to deal with:
– Cygnar: Heavy Metal means there are some mean heavy jack builds. I’m seeing a lot of hurricane/heavy builds and with the juniors in the theme, a side kicked Stormclad on Jakes is popular (16” threat for a fully loaded storm clad). The most common casters I have seen are Haley2 and Robits, Darius with Colossal/jacks, Stryker1 with Colossal, jacks and storm lances.
– Khador: Harkevich still runs 10 heavies like a boss and now with the themes, Vlad can bring a lot of jacks, Karchev still loves 10 marauders and Butcher3 can bring a lot of jacks backed up by… well Butcher. Khador plays a bit more honestly, they are slower than most but have more hitting power and more boxes.
– Ret: Vyros2 is seeing a resurgence and is seen as a potential Cygnar drop (Helios, Imp and griffons). Helynna can bring a very good anti gunline army that is really difficult to remove under feat and her spells – one of our local plays a 3 colossal version as well that is really tough to deal with.
– Menoth – Amon is the staple here with his tried and tested synergy build. Special shout outs to Durst, Tristan and some Sev2 builds that can also cause a headache.
– Cryx – Not a huge amount in this archetype but there are a few mortenbra builds and Infernal Machine builds knocking about.
– CoC – Lucant with all the shield guards, high armour and repair can be very difficult to deal with. A lot of boxes, defensive tech to stop you coming in and a way to deliver the brick – tough to deal with.
– Mercs – Ossrum is more in the gun platform section, however, there may be some other builds knocking about.
– Trolls – Doomy3 and the mountain king is a staple troll build at the minute and very hard to deal with as it’s nearly invincible for a turn.
– Circle – Baldur2 double woldwrath/ woldwrath heavies. It is a tough nut to crack.. Una2 can still bring a lot of beasts as well and I expect to see her make a comeback at some point.
– Legion – Oracles is all over the place at the minute, usually piloted by either Fyana 2 with more neraphs, or Lylth3 with more Angels, either way it is a lot of legion beasts coming at you very quickly
– Skorne – I haven’t seen a consistent skorne heavy build coming out but they are definitely possible – from Xerxis 2 shaman spam through to the lots of archedons build.
– Minions – Again nothing really common but definitely possible with Carver/Rask and Arkadus
The Infantry Swarm
Infantry has seen a resurgence and most factions now have at least one build that is infantry heavy. These swarms ask a different question, usually, can you deal with 40/50 dudes coming at you. They don’t hit as hard on their own, but with buffs/de-buffs they usually have a way of dealing with armour. Different casters have a different delivery mechanism
– Cygnar – I haven’t seen any swarms yet that are dethroning the mighty H2/H3/N3/S1. watch this space
– Khador – Strak2 and all the pikes is a great build (arm 23 tough no kd pow 13 weapon masters that can also be on the half way line top of 1). There is alos the Irusk2 winterguard builds that look good on paper (50+ infantry that can all be mat7/pow 12 weapon masters with tough no kd every round and a decent amount of shooting as well). Both of the khador themes give great options for lots of infantry.
– Menoth – No common build yet but vindictus, HR and the new theme all bring infantry for days in different flavours.
– Ret – Issyria can rock the sentinel spam and the latest themes will also see the 40 halbs build coming at you
– Cryx – The Ghost Fleet brings a lot of infantry and if you are not careful they will end up with more infantry than they started with! The other cryx themes include the resurgence of mechanithralls (I’ve seen some with 70) with recursion for days and some ambushing brute thralls. Joy
– Mercs – Damiano halbs just came second at the SOO and I’m sure we will see some this side of the pond (double max trenchers, double max halbs, jacks and support to boot in kingmaker). Thexus and all the dudes is also a thing.
– Trolls – Madrak3 is seeing play, especially as it is one of the best answers in the game to ghost fleet with take down as a theme benefit. 30/40 dudes (Fenns, champs, longriders, warders) that are tough to kill, really hard to shoot and have a 4+ tough no KD for a turn to deliver.
– Legion – I’ve heard mutterings of a kallus2 grotesque swarm but haven’t seen it while oracles is all the rage. Another watch this space
– Skorne – Xerxis1 fist mk2 is seeing some play (more meat mountain than infantry swarm), Morg3 could bring a lot of infantry. Skorne have a few different builds with infantry at the minute that we will cover below (Kitkats, Tubby Gunline etc)
– Circle – The Tharn theme is becoming a popular pairing option, especially with casters that can make it easier to deliver into gunlines (K1) or leverage numbers (Morv2). The list will eventually hit your lines and when it does it can be really bad times for lots of infantry. Not so good into undead (cryx still op) but into a lot of other builds this thing is a beast.
The Infantry Gunline
The infantry gunline is lots of dudes shooting at you. Most factions have a way to make infantry shooting really powerful and crack a lot of armour at range. There are also builds that just flat out assassinate you and it’s really difficult to deal with:
– Khador – Rockets. Job Done. Vlad in this list is a beast – 9/12 rockets under S&P can crack a lot of armour at range, and the WGRC/WGI can clear infantry or CRA to put chip damage into beasts from a long way away. When you get there you are usually looking at 5 heavies, if they haven’t been thrown at you from 14” away first. Joy
– Cygnar – Tend to focus on jacks so haven’t seen any outside of some janky suns of the tempest builds.
– Ret – Kae, Ossyan, Issyria can all bring some really good gunlines made up of MHSF, Nyss, Storm Fall Archers, Snipers etc. Not sure a “standard” build has emerged but they can put a lot of shots down field regardless.
– Menoth – Outside of some errant/idrian builds Menoth seem to be sticking more to the holy mace to face routine.
– Mercs – hmmm
– Circle – Tanith Reeves + affliction is still a thing, grayle and reeves have also been seen lurking. I think these builds have a way to go before they knock the Tharns, Baldurs and WW out of the top spots.
– Trolls – Trolls can cobble together a gunline with Grim2/Gunny leading the charge, however, I’m not sure it’s going to be prevalent, especially with the themes pushing more melee/beast forces.
– Skorne – The Reiver gunline with dakars under Rasheth is a thing. It can debuff from miles away, gun heavies off the board then retreat out of threat pretty safely. One to watch.
– Legion – Again oracles is dominating and their infantry shooting builds are being overcast (with good reason!)
– Minions – not a huge amount here
The Gun platforms
This is mostly a Cygnar thing but other factions have similar builds. Its a gunline combined with a heavy brick. It shoots you to death, then hits you in the face with lots of jacks/beasts. Not one for every faction but you will see it:
– Cygnar – With themes in play Cygnar can play a ranged jack army that is a nightmare to deal with. The builds vary from the Hurricane focused H2 builds to the 10 charger H3 builds and more recently Caine3 with all the chargers. The list is mobile, with quality boostable shots coming from models that can hold down areas of the board on their own pretty reliably. Nemo3 in storm division can still bring 4/5 jacks that all go nuts on feat turn. I’ve seen it clear 30 infantry a turn or destroy a number of heavies.
– Convergence – The Lucant gunline, Mother/Axiom or multiple TEP builds can again put a huge amount of quality shots down the field. With the addition of the themes, you now have a lot of single point harm bots that can clear infantry and contribute to some very effective and hard to avoid backlash assassinations.
– Mercs – Ossrum bunnies is one of the toughest lists in the game and the bunny ranch can clear models for days. Between harm, bulldoze, feat, energizer and powerful attack you have a high volume of quality shots from mobile hard to remove lights backed up by hard hitting heavies and dwarves. Yummy.
– Ret – With Helios, Hyperion and quality heavy jacks you can expect to see some Ret gun platform builds that are tough to deal with. Kae has a nasty triple Hydra build that can put out some nasty pow 15 ignoring line of sight boostable shots that can kill casters reliably if you have not camped anything.
Spooky Pirates – The Ghost Fleet is it’s own special breed of horrible. There is a great podcast from the Moosemachine guys that covers it in depth. Worth a listen.
Wizards – Rahn, Zerk, Vayl, Gaspy, Coven etc there are still some awesome spell slingers about that on their own or with magic ability in their army can do a number on a lot of builds, especially as some factions have limited anti-magic options in their themes.
KitKats – Not sure where to put this but Mak2 double Ferox is another really good list. Lower volume of models but hard to deal with and can assassinate from a long way away!
Building for this
We’ll do a follow-up on builds – as a start point, I’m building with more overlap between lists so that list chicken isn’t as damaging (an anti-infantry list that can’t crack armour will have a massive issue with an infantry/jack heavy pair). Comment on what you guys think!
What are you guys seeing!?