Statistically, such an event as lightning striking the same place twice isn’t that unusal… the CN Tower in Toronto is struck an average of 75 times per year. But all the same, getting in about 50 Stormcalls in one game… I think this is a first for me.
Hopefully not the last…
Having recently returned to my beloved Cygnar from my Menoth days, I’ve been trying to step up my tournament play, and that means getting better with Haley… in my case, I’m starting with pHaley because I find her “easier” to play, and I think she’s a stronger Cryx drop without requiring you to have your entire opponent army memorized. Eventually I’ll step up to playing eHaley, but for now, pHaley suits me just fine.
But, in order to play pHaley, you need to have a strong complimentary list… somebody who patches up her shortcomings and, ideally, is extremely strong against the sort of list people play AGAINST Haley (gunlines, movement-shenanigan-heavy… basically anything besides infantry-spam). The traditional partner is Siege… he does a great job, but I’m still pretty weak with him, and I was thinking about trying out one of my favourite (and personal strongest) Cygnar warcasters: Nemo.
Now, all three Nemos are incredible. Nemo1 runs 1 warjack better than any warcaster in the game (5 Focus? Yeah, you can get a lot of crap done with Thunderhead and 5 Focus…), Nemo3 is one of my favourite assassination-casters in the game (how many other warcasters can have a viable, heavy hitting 26″ assassination run? And only gets stronger if your opponent obligingly puts low-DEF models anywhere near their warcaster/warlock?), but Nemo2… oh, Nemo2. Swarms of Chargers? Yeah, he can do that. A couple heavies that can move up the field really freakin’ fast and be unchargable all game? Sure, he can do that. Making Stormcallers hit on the equivalent of 5+ against ANYTHING, and at POW12 (or POW14 with Silverline)?
I love my Nemo2. He’s wonderful… a solid A-list warcaster in the right hands (which I admit mine are not… yet…).
Now, does he compensate for Haley’s shortcomings…? No. Not really. But I was hoping that I could compensate for raw ARM-cracking with volume of moderate-damage attacks… and my Nemo2 Tier list can run 5 Stormcallers. That’s up to 5 POW14 hits on a target per turn, ignoring Stealth, firing-into-melee, Cover, Concealment… everything besides Line of Sight. I figured I could make it work.
So! With that in mind, here is my Haley-complimenting Nemo2 “The Weathermen” Tier 4 list:
General Adept Sebastian Nemo (“Nemo2, eNemo”)
– Firefly (proxied by a Charger)
Silverline Stormguard (max)
Stormcaller Storm Tower (free from Tier)
Stormsmith Stormcallers x5
Is this list perfect? No. But it is fantastic… the Centurions can move with “Energizer” to get 7″ up the table each turn and still use “Polarity Shield” to be unchargeable, or they can charge a solid 12″! The Fireflies run up the flanks to hopefully catch everything in between while the Stormcallers pound everything to dust (with a little help from the Silverline if needed).
I’ve run a variation of this list using a Stormwall instead of the two Centurions… it worked pretty well.
As for Nick’s list… Nick has recently switched back to playing Legion (from over 2 years ago!). As a result, he’s had a goal of learning the Legion warlocks, and has been taking a new pair every week. This week was pThags and eThags, and he ended up settling on the following pThags list:
Thagrosh, the Prophet of Everblight (“pThags, Thags1″)
Ogrun Warspears (max)
Nick didn’t design this list to be particularly fantastic… he designed it to be an introduction (or reintroduction) to Legion’s warbeasts… hence why he basically has 1 of everything. Would it have been better to take double Ravagores, double Angelius? Yes. Yes it would.
Also, I’ve tried recreating his list, and he seems to be way over points for what he fielded… but I’ve probably missed something or called something the wrong thing (edit; Turns out I was using the wrong Thags originally! This has now been corrected!)
We rolled up Destruction for the scenario: a 12×6″ zone on the mid-line with 2 objectives, one friendly and one enemy. The objectives have a modified self-sac which means that if it is destroyed you may choose a friendly model within 4” to be destroyed instead… a better scenario for me (with my 20-odd infantry) than for Nick (with his five multiwound infantry and expensive solos!). I suppose in a pinch he could sacrifice a warbeast…
We rolled for initiative, which Nick won and elected to go first. I picked the side of the table that was more open (since his stuff ignored all the terrain-DEF bonuses, and I needed space to move up my troops!).
My units went out in an extended line: the Fireflies went to the far left and right, followed by the Centurions. My Silverline went to the left, my Stormguard to the right, and Nemo, his Squire, and the Journeywoman went in the middle with the Lightning Tower.
My Stormcallers have Advanced Deploy, but putting them closer to Nick’s Ravagores than absolutely necessary seemed pretty suicidal, so I Advanced Deployed them behind my lines.
Also, due to Tier benefits, I get to put out my upkeeps: the Stormguard get “Polarity Field”, the left Centurion gets “Lightning Field” (+2STR and electroleap), the right Centurion gets “Failsafe”, and Nemo gets “Forcefield”.
As for Nick’s deployment, he placed the Ravagore and a Shepherd across from my Stormguard, the Angelius and Carnivean across from the Silverline, the Scythean and Thagrosh himself in the middle, and the Warspears to the left of Thagrosh between him and the Ravagore. The Deathstalker eventually deployed in front of Thagrosh.
The Warspears declare my Stormguard to be their Prey.
Nick starts by running everything forward and spreading out a bit.
– The Angelius goes to the far left with a Shepherd.
– The Scythean and Carnivean head up the middle, followed by the Warspears.
– The Ravagore peels to the right, also with a Shepherd.
– Thagrosh moves up and casts “Fog of War” to give his army Concealment. He puts Tenacity on the Scythean.
– The Shredder runs forward.
Cygnar, Turn 1
I do some quick measurements and I think that the Angel is actually within Energizer-Walk-Shoot range of a Firefly… and the Ravagore *may* be. With this in mind (and not having to spend any Focus to upkeep my awesome spells), I allocate 2 to each Firefly, and camp the rest.
– Nemo goes first. He Energizers for 3, moving my Fireflies and Centurions straight forward. The far right Firefly has to curl around the big honkin’ tower a bit. He then walks forward a bit, cursing the whole time (“Do I want to move closer to the Ravagore and certain death, or towards the Angel and ALMOST certain death?”)
– The left Firefly goes next. He walks forward onto the altar (that we agreed would be played as elevation) and shoots the Angel… he’s in range! I boost to hit, and hit! I boost damage, and inflict a few points on it… the electroleap hits the Carnivean and is unable to penetrate its thick hide.
– Well, it worked for one… the other Firefly walks towards the Ravagore and takes a shot, but it’s out of range by at least 2″. Oh well…
– Both Centurions walk forward and use “Polarity Field”.
– The Journeywoman Warcaster puts “Arcane Shield” on the Silverline.
– The Stormguard run forward and spread out, while the Silver Line run forward in clumps of 3 and 4 (no reason to make Nick’s job of charging me any easier!).
– The Stormcallers run forward, spreading out.
– The Lightning Tower runs forward behind the Silverline.
Legion, Turn 2
So Nick has plenty of options, but few charge targets… still, I’ve made a few mistake (I always do!) and as a solid player, Nick is going to capitalize on them.
First, Nick tries to figure out if he has a solid assassination on Nemo already. The Ravagore is *possibly* in range… but it’ll be close, and if he’s a little bit out, then that’s a dead Ravagore. The Angel almost certainly can get LoS to Nemo (after clearing some chaff), but without that Ravagore shot (and Nemo at ARM17 from his 1 Focus)… in the end, Nick decides that it’s not worth the risk.
Thagrosh pulls in his Fury, drops “Fog of War”, and we’re off.
– The Angelius on the left goes first. It declares a charge against my Firefly on that side of the table, easily getting the distance to engage both it any my Centurion (remember what I said about “Mistakes”? Yeah). The initial Armour Piercing Attack hits and inflicts heavy damage on the light warjack (wrecking his spear!), and Nick spends the rest of the Angel’s stack scratching the Centurion.
– Nick’s Ravagore moves up and takes a shot at my other Centurion, boosting to hit and damage but again, barely scratching the paint. After calling over a judge we determine that 1 of the Stormguard are within the AoE and is instantly vapourized. The Shepherd moves up and takes away the Fury.
– The Carnivean moves up and Sprays, catching 3 Silverline. They all are reduced to ozone-ladden dust. The Shepherd moves up and takes off its Fury.
– The Scythean moves forward, with Thagrosh moving up behind it protectively. Nick spams out a bunch of Tenacity on his Warspears.
– His Warspears move up and throw pointy sticks, killing a few Stormguard. One of them pointedly stands between my Centurion and his Ravagore.
– The Death Stalker shoots 2 Silverline to death (stupid Sniper ignoring my Arcane Shield!). It moves slightly closer to the Objective. More importantly, he has now killed half the unit of Silverline… and they break! NO!!!… noooo… ooo…
Cygnar, Turn 2
Okay, that could’ve gone better, but it could also be much worse. I’m going to kill that Angel this turn, but Nick is just going to bring it back… maybe I can get that Ravagore too? That would be nice… but the loss of my Silverline for this turn is unpleasant and problematic. But oh well… what can ya do?
Kill dragons. That’s what you can do.
Nemo upkeeps everything, pulling a Focus from the Squire but allocating nothing. Not on Feat Turn, my friends.
– Nemo goes first. He pops his Feat, casts Energizer for 3, and then pulls 2 Focus from the left Firefly. All my warjacks move forward/around a bit, and Nemo shuffles away from the Ravagore. He camps everything he has left.
– The Centurion activates and lays into the Angel. It still has “Lightning Field” for the +2POW… I boost to hit the first roll (needing an 8), getting it but not Critical (curses!) and inflict moderate damage. I bash with the shield, hitting again, but only scratching the warbeast. I buy an attack and debate about whether to boost or not… I elect not to and try to get the hard-8. I miss. I buy another, and miss that attack too (damnit!).
– Now the Angel is still engaging my Firefly (which I would really like to move forward!), my Silverline are fleeing (they would be pretty good against the Angel too, with Crit: Knockdown!)… if only I had some way to ignore the “Firing into Melee” penalty! With, say, a bunch of POW12s!
– My Stormcallers activate, one at a time, moving forward to get LoS to the Angel. 5 Stormcalls onto it later, and the Angel is a charred husk in the dirt.
– Thus freed, the Firefly aims and shoots the Carnivean. The electroleap goes into a Warspear instead of the Shepherd, but you can’t get everything… I do light damage to both the warbeast and Warspear.
– The other Firefly moves forward and boosts to hit the Ravagore. I do, and THAT leap goes into the Shepherd, frying her. Success! I also inflict a few points of damage on the Ravagore itselt.
– The other Centurion (on the right) activates and charges the Objective, getting both a Warspear and Deathstalker within his melee reach. Its second attack kills the Objective… Nick debates for a few moments, and then kills his Death Stalker instead. I buy an attack on the Objective, destroying it again… Nick lets it die this time. I use my last Focus on the Warspear, hitting him hard enough that his ancestors felt it.
– My Stormguard get charge orders. 2 succeed in charging Warspears, while 1 runs towards the Ravagore but sadly can’t quite get close enough to engage (close, though!). The rest run up and spread out a little. I miss 1 Charge attack, and the other flubs his damage roll for both the hit and electroleap. Curses!
– My Silverline pull back and manage to Rally. Phew! Losing them for 1 turn was bad enough!
– Lastly, my Stormtower shoots the Carnivean: it hits and does a few points of damage, but the 1 leap does nothing. Oh well. I still love my artillery!
– With that, and Nemo *mostly* safe, I end my turn.
The score is now 1-0 for the good guys!
Legion, Turn 3
Nick has lost his Angel, but everything else is pretty much intact… and, on top of everything else, he’s going to just Feat the Angel back into existance! Curses!
On top of that, it was a mistake to pull my Silverline back… I should’ve kept at least a few of them within 4″ of my objective just to make sure Nick would be unable to clear the zone, destroy the objective, and dominate. Silly of me… hopefully he doesn’t notice!
Nothing to upkeep, so Thags pulls in all his Fury and we’re off.
– Nick activates his Warspears first. “They’re going to Run/Charge…”
“Are you sure?”
“Wha… oh! Oh. Yeah, no. They’ll just walk…”
(See, that was me being a gentleman and kindly reminding Nick that my Stormguard still have Polarity Field, meaning that they *can’t* be Charge targets… and that he would’ve basically wasted the entire unit’s activation!). When the dust clears, he’s killed 3 or 4 more and forced a CMD check… which they pass with flying colours.
– The Shredder goes Rabid and charges my Centurion. It hits and inflicts a few points of damage. It then buys an attack on the nearby Stormguard, killing it.
– The Ravagore walks behind my Centurion in order to deny him his shield’s ARM bonus, just being able to sneak past the reach of the Piston Spear. Then his first attack hits so hard that his Shield is crippled anyway! Of course, I forget that Fail Safe means that nothing is crippled on the warjack until its destroyed… oooooops… but whatever. The Ravagore hits a few more times for a few more damage.
– The Scythean charges my Centurion on the right and finishes the job (although now that I remember it still had a shield… I *may* have survived it… but it looks like the Scythean only used its 2 initials and a 1 bought attack, so probably not!).
– Thagrosh activates, pops his Feat (placing the Angel in the middle of the zone), and toes into the zone. Spiny Growth and Tenacity go onto the table in various places.
– The Carnivean moves up and sprays my Firefly… but misses! Phew!
– Shepherd moves up and cleans off a few Fury.
With that, Nick ends his turn… score is still 1-0 for Cygnar.
Cygnar, Turn 3
Well, there go my hopes for a Scenario victory… have to do this the old fashioned way: Grind! This will be assisted in no small way by having my Silverline back (that +2POW buff on Electrical Damage rolls? Yeah, it’s fantastic!), and having 2 flanking Fireflies that can both still move. Let’s wreck some of Nick’s toys…
Nemo upkeeps everything, takes a Focus from the Squire (see, I can relearn how to play Cygnar! Eventually!), allocates 3 to the Centurion, and we’re off.
– Nemo goes first and spends his entire stack on Energizer. This moves my Fireflies further behind Nick’s lines, and the Centurion straight towards the Carnivean.
– Lightning Tower hits the Carnivean, but the damage roll is awful. Boo! Electroleaps to Thagrosh and inflicts a few points.
– My left Firefly moves forward (behind all Nick’s models) and shoots the Shepherd. He misses. Boo!
– My right Firefly moves up to the Shredder and whacks him with his Spear. Hits! Inflicts pretty heavy damage (for a Shredder). Electroleaps to the Scythean, does nothing.
– Silverline charge the Angel… I get all 4 on it (and B2B). 2 of the 4 hit their attacks (stupid Tenacity), neither of them Critical (boo!), but they do inflict moderate damage. The Officer fires the 5″ POW-buff bubble at the Angel, which auto-hits since it can’t possibly scatter anywhere.
– Centurion charges the Carnivean! Charge attack hits and inflicts heavy damage… and Nick’s Spiny Growth does 3 points back. I smack him with the Shield, doing no damage… and take another 3 points in return. Buy a Spear attack, hit, and inflict light damage (crappy roll), and take 2 in return. Buy 1 more attack, hit, inflict light damage again, and take 2 more in return. To recap: I charged HIM, inflicted about 20 damage… and he inflicted 10 points back. Jerk!
– Stormcallers activate. They go, 1 by 1, Triangulating with both Fireflies and hitting the Angel, Warspears, Thagrosh himself, and the Shredder… I end up killing 3 of the Warspears, the Shredder, inflict light damage on Thagrosh (about 8 boxes total), and light damage on the Angel (crippling his Mind… at least temporarily).
– Realizing that Arcane Shield won’t save my Silverline from a heavy warbeast, my Journeywoman cycles it onto Nemo. Forcefield wasn’t helping anyway…
– Stormguard go last. The remaining 3 charge the Scythean, a Warspear, and Ravagore. The one on the Warspear misses, but those on the warbeasts hit both and inflicting a handful of damage. The electroleaps fail to get much traction.
Legion, Turn 4
Nick is slowly grinding me down… and with my only other Heavy now engaged with his Carnivean… well… things aren’t looking good. Still, if the Centurion has even 1 box left on it, in THEORY I can get Nemo close enough to cast “Fail Safe” on it, and bam, fully operational again (what a fantastic spell…). And with his Scythean on the other side of the table… maybe?
– Nick pulls back Fury, but has overallocated! The Shredder and Ravagore are both left with Fury… and the Shredder Frenzies! It bites the Scythean for a few points. Still, nice.
Time to get medieval on my Centurion.
– Thagrosh casts “Draconic Blessing” on the Carnivean (probably not a good sign?). He moves to the middle of the zone and sprays over all 4 of my Silverline, killing 3! Curses!
– The Carnivean activates… it takes his full stack, but with the Centurion already damaged from Spiny Growth, he is able to successfully destroy it. The Shepherd removes the Fury.
– The Scythean, still laden with a few Fury from last turn, moves over and splatters a Stormguard.
– The Ravagore does likewise.
– The Warspears activate, killing the last Stormguard and putting the Prey token on Nemo.
– The Angel activates, trying to take a shot at Nemo, but is still engaged by the last Silverline. So instead he kills the Silverline rather leisurely.
Score still 1-0 for Cygnar… but I’m now out of heavies, have a crippled Firefly and 5 Stormcallers, a Lightning Tower… and Nemo.
Cygnar, Turn 4
Well, so much for my fully-operational Centurion… a feeling of despair settles on me.
“Well, I could always charge Thagrosh with Nemo!” I joke.
We both get very quiet and look at the table.
In a panic, I quickly check Nemo’s card in War Room… and there, on the back, it says what I was hoping it would say: “Powerful Attack”.
Oh yeah. This is happening.
I upkeep Arcane Shield from the Journeywoman, and drop everything else. I pull the last Focus from the Squire.
– The Firefly goes first, walking towards Thagrosh (behind Nick’s lines). He swings his spear at the Shepherd and kills it (the electroleap, unsurprisingly, does nothing).
– I move a Stormcaller into position so that that rest can Triangulate from him and the Firefly… he and the other 4 all call down the thunder, striking Thagrosh and the last 2 Warspears repeatedly until the Warspears are both expanding clouds of vapour… at which point I ping the Angel and Carnivean a few times as well for a couple damage. Additionally, I move 2 of the Stormcallers to block LoS to the left side of the Angel so that Nemo has a safe charge lane. Coincidentally, I leave Thagrosh on 2 boxes and 1 Fury… sure, a POW12 isn’t doing much to Thags, but each did 2 or 3 points of damage, and that adds up over 5 attacks!
– This is it… Nemo casts Energizer for 3″, moving towards Thagrosh and past the fence. He then charges Thags (8″) and with Reach, makes it with plenty of room!
“Wait up. Free strike from my Angel.”
“Dude, I blocked LoS with my Stormcallers. His front arc is completely blocked!”
“Yeah. But I can draw LoS from my back half of the Angel to Nemo that ENDS in my front arc.”
This is a jenky rules interaction, but Nick is absolutely correct. Here’s a helpful diagram:
You will note in the bottom case, the line (starting from *any point* of your model, in this case the one with the arrow on it) must END in its front arc in order to have Line of Sight. (Please note that in the first case, the intervening model in the middle really needs to be a little lower to block Line of Sight… but that’s because a model doesn’t block any point of its own volume… that is the red line, once it touches the model it is trying to see on the right, continues THROUGH the model to the far side of its base, which is in the front arc… but now we’re talking REALLY hyper-specific!).
In my case, I had placed my models to block the front arc, but Nick could, indeed, draw a line from the back of his Angel, past my Stormcaller, to Nemo. I even knew this rule… I just completely forgot about it! It’s so corner case! We now return to our game, already in progress…
– The Angel takes its Free Strike, hitting Nemo. Now, our friend Nemo is camping 5 Focus at this point, and has Arcane Shield, and so is a hefty ARM24. And the Angel doesn’t get Armour Piercing on Free Strikes… but he hits. At POW14, he inflicts 3 points of damage… and Nemo continues on his merry way, easily getting range on Thagrosh.
– Nemo’s spends a Focus to boost his hit roll… and hits! The damage (already boosted from the Charge) amounts in 10 points, which Thagrosh uses his last Fury to Transfer to the Carnivean. Nemo buys and boosts… hits! And cranks the damage, dropping Thagrosh to the dirt with 2 Focus to spare!
Victory to Cygnar!
Post Game Analysis
Phew! Who would’ve guessed that Old Man Nemo could take down the Prophet of Everblight mano-a-mano! Certainly not me, and I actually did it! And it’s not often that a man of Nemo’s “Considerable Experience” gets to add “dragonslayer” to his resume!
Seriously, though, I only won because Nick got a little greedy, and a little careless. A bit too far forward with Thagrosh, and for no real reason… he could’ve cleared the zone, but he didn’t, and it was pretty obvious he wasn’t focusing on it (rather killing my stuff, which is a good call!). If the game had gone for one more turn (if I had played conservatively with Nemo, for example), he had me dead-to-rights… only 5 Stormcallers left, and even at POW12 Surges, they aren’t going to take out 4 still functional heavies!
As for the plan… well, losing a Centurion to destroy the objective wasn’t wise, but I didn’t want to wait for his Ravagore to whittle it down while his Scythean prepared to charge it. But I still should’ve held back, moving forward and Polarity Fielding for 1 more turn… even if it Trampled up to me, that’s 3 initials it sacrifices, and at that point the Centurion is still ARM23… it’s going to survive and then inflict some heavy damage on its turn. On that note, probably would’ve been wiser to hold off on my Feat for a turn… but oh well. All is well that ends well!
Also, I mentioned it in the opening, but it bears repeating: 5 Stormcallers, each making 3 Stormcalls per turn (for a total of 15 per turn!), over 3 turns. 45 Stormcalls in 3 turns… all POW12s, except for a few POW14s on the Angel the one turn I Silverline’d it. Sure, I missed a bunch (say… 6? 7?), but hitting on 9 or less is the same as hitting on 5+, ignoring everything that buffs DEF. It’s BONKERS. And it was really, really fun!
Thanks for reading, and comments, suggestions, mockery, and questions are always welcome!