Podcast 071 – Cygnar (Siege) vs Retribution (Ravyn Tier1): Our Arrows Will Blot Out the Sun

Ah, Ravyn Tier 1. Basically an excuse to run 2 full units of MHSF with their incredible UA. But will it be enough against the 2nd tankiest warcaster in Cygnar?
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I mean, Nick has a chart of how many MHSF are needed to kill warcasters as a function of their DEF/ARM… can Siege stand up to 22 boosted attack roll POW10s? Only one way to find out, folks… listen to the ‘cast!

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As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been getting more practice with Cygnar’s trademark “Big Guns”: eHaley and Siege. While there are other pairings (and many of them are extremely good), in the modern meta of Medium Based High ARM Infantry, it can be argued that none are as good as eHaley-Siege. Assuming you’re a good player with those warcasters… which I am not.


Looking over Nick’s Kaelyssa Forcewall and Ravyn Tier lists, I decided that poor Haley might be able to handle 1 unit of Strike Force (with Feat, not totally unreasonable), but 2 full units? Tricky… extremely tricky… and Siege is a solid drop against either list. So in he went!
I’ve tried out some netdeck Siege lists and none of them have “fit” for me just yet… so I decided to add a few tweaks and make it a bit more my own.

Major Markus “Siege” Brisbane
– Squire
– Stormwall
Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Pistoleers (“ATGM”)
– Officer
– Grenadier
Trencher Cannon Crew
Journeywoman Warcaster
Lady Aiyana and Master Holt
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution (“eEiryss”)
Gorman di Wulfe
Objective: Boosted Damage on Light Artillery (“Ammo Dump”, I think)

This is a neat list… is it *good*? I don’t know. But it is neat… the Trencher Cannon is lobbing a 15″ POW13 downfield (with boosted damage from the Objective) while dug in, its 2 spotters both have respectable POW11 rifles, and the Grenadier can be pumping out 3 14″ POW12s (or, alternatively, 10″ Thunderbolts or Crt Brutals), and all 4 of those are 3″ AoEs. That’s a lot of firepower that’s pretty difficult to remove at range (DEF17 on the Trenchers and DEF18 on the Grenadier, plus immunity to blast damage), and the Stormwall and drop Covering Fires if needed. Trade off is that with Siege’s Feat, blast damage isn’t always a good thing (normally you don’t want to “waste” a Feat damage roll with a POW6 or POW7, especially if you can’t boost!). If I had a spare point, I would swap the Cannon for two Trencher Master Gunners ina  heartbeat (RAT11 aiming Grenadier? Yes please!), but as it is… I dunno. I’ll have to try it out a few more times!

As for Nick, he’s tweaked his Ravyn list somewhat to be a little better late game and hit a bit harder. As a result:

Ravyn, Eternal Light
– Banshee
Mage Hunter Strike Force (“MHSF”, max)
– Officer
MHSF (max)
– Officer
Stormfall Archers
Dawnguard Invictors (max)
– Officer and Standard
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution (“eEiryss”)
Mage Hunter Assassin (MHA)
Mage Hunter Assassin
Fane Knight Skeryth (Dragoon)

The Tier1 benefit allows the second MHSF Officer, obviously. The Invictors are, in my opinion, a good addition (I really like Invictors, which I believe are the best mixed-arms unit in the game), and the flanking threat of the MHAs and Dragoon give a strong incentive to opposing warcasters to stay in the middle of the table where the Strike Force can pick them to pieces.

The scenario we rolled was “Incoming” but we only had one 12×6 zone handy so the objective we played was “Outflank”!
Two 12″ diameter zones on the center line, inset 14″ from each table edge. No killbox, 1CP for controlling either zone and 2CPs for dominating either zone.

We rolled for Initiative 3 times and Nick eventually won and elected to go first. I decided to pick the table side with the hill (since Elevation is the only thing MHSF *don’t* ignore!).


Nick deployed his Banshee near the house on the right, his Stormfalls and Ravyn near the rows of walls/gravestones on the left, and the Fane Knight flanking hard right. The Invictors went between the Bansee and Ravyn.
He Advanced Deployed both units of MHSF to either side of the middle, with one MHA going on each side, and Eiryss on the right.

I deployed my Stormwall in the middle, with Siege and the Mercenaries with him on the right. The ATGM went to the left near the forest.
The Rangers, Trenchers, and Grenadier were Advanced Deployed on the left side (with the Cannon and Grenadier FAR left to avoid them dying Top of Turn 1), and my Eiryss went on the far right near a building.
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With that, we are ready to rock-and-or-roll!

Retribution, Turn 1

– Allocate 1 Focus to the Banshee
– Both units of MHSF run forward and spread out.
– Both Assassins run far flanking maneuvers.
– Fane Knight runs up behind MHSF on right
– Eiryss walks forward near a building
– Ravyn walks forward and puts “Snipe” on the left unit of MHSF (the brown ones in the pictures)
– Invictors run forward in 2-man pods
– Stormfall Archers run forward and spread out.
– Banshee runs forward

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Cygnar, Turn 1

– No Focus, Siege camps 6.
– Journeywoman Warcaster puts “Arcane Shield” on Stormwall.
– Reinholdt Reloads Siege.
– Rangers activate and run. 3 run forward towards Nick’s lines and out of formation; 3 are held back in the forest (giving them Stealth). The three that run forward all fail their CMD checks and Flee.
– The ATGM move up and clump a little. They shoot 6 MHSF very dead.
– The Trencher Cannon shoots at a Stormfall, but it scatters away harmlessly.
– Grenadier fires 3 shots, killing an Assassin with a boosted Blast Damage and 1 more MHSF with scatters.
– Stormwall activates and takes Big Gun shots, but everything is out of range. Drops Covering Fire, tries to drop a Pod behind a MHSF but is out of range.
– Aiyana and Holt move forward and give themselves Stealth
– Siege moves forward. 1 MHSF is in range: boosts to hit with his first shot, hits and kills. Casts “Explosivo” on himself, takes another shot at a MHSF which scatters onto 1 which it fails to kill (Boo).
– Gorman walks up and pops a cloud on himself and Siege
– Squire runs up behind Siege.
– Eiryss shuffles over a little but does nothing else.

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Retribution, Turn 2

Nick hums and haws about Feating this turn… and then about going for the assassination or not.
– Camps full stack, upkeeps “Snipe”
– Stormfalls go first. They move up and take Snipe shots at my ATGM, managing to kill 6 Gun Mages, inflict 4 damage on the Officer, and kill a Ranger. (Read: Don’t clump your troops, folks!)
– Nick decides to go for the Assassination. Ravyn moves up, pops Feat. Shoots a Ranger, needing a 5: elects to Boost, hits, kills. She then “Swift Hunters” back two inches to be behind the wall and as far right as possible.
– Banshee aims and destroys my Stormpod.
– Left unit of MHSF (with Snipe) activate and walk forward. All of them get within range of Siege. Needing 10s to hit… all 6 hit, but only 1 wounds for 1 damage.
– Right unit of MHSF activate and walk forward. 8 in this unit get within range of Siege… and 6 of them hit (needing 10s!), including 2 that were outside of Ravyn’s Feat (!!). They inflict a total of 3 more points of damage.
– Invictors activate and move up. 5 get within range: Nick does a 2-man CRA that hits and does no damage, and a 3-man CRA that hits and does no damage. The others kill a Ranger.
– Assassin still on the table charges Eiryss, but is out of Range.
– Fane Knight runs up to the right side of the zone.

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Cygnar, Turn 2

I consider for awhile counter-Feating, but decide against it.
– 3 Focus to the Stormwall, pull from the Squire, upkeep Arcane Shield.
– Reinholdt reloads Siege.
– Eiryss aims at Assassin: Just out of range! Curses!
– Holt Charges Assassin. Misses both Melee attacks, but first Ranged attack hits and kills. Second shot goes into Fane Knight, doing 2 points of damage.
– Siege activates and walks forward. Ground Pounders 2 MHSF and 4 Invictors: kills 2 Invictors and both MHSF (boosting to hit). Sends his second shot into another Invictor, killing him. Casts “Foxhole” on himself and Aiyana.
– Squire runs into Foxhole.
– Rangers walk forward and shoot, missing their targets. 1 of the 2 Fleeing Rangers rallies.
– ATGM Officer walks forward and kills a MHSF Officer
– Grenadier belches out 3 shots, killing a few MHSF with scatters and a Stormfall Archer
– Trencher Cannon kills another Stormfall Archer: they pass CMD
– Gorman moves up and pops Smoke inside the Foxhole (blocking LoS from Invictors)
– Stormwall walks up and touches Gorman’s Smoke to avoid any LoS to Siege. Pumps a Big Gun shot into the Fane Knight and dismounts him (boosting to hit and damage). Second shot kills the Invictor Officer. Drops Covering Fire, and throws a pod in the left zone, killing a MHSF.

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Retribution, Turn 3

– Ravyn drops Snipe and camps everything.
– Banshee aims and kills my Stormpod.
– Ravyn shoots and kills my broken Ranger. She Swift Hunters closer to the left.
– Stormfalls move into the zone and take shots at Rangers, killing 2 (leaving me with 1, who passes CMD check)
– Left MHSF move up with 1 aiming: aiming one hits and kills ATGM Officer. The rest ping arrows off the Stormwall futily.
– Fane Knight charges and splatters Holt. Aiyana shrugs non-chalantly.
– Eiryss moves up and shoots off Arcane Shield from Stormwall, but can’t get within 5″ to “Disrupt” it.
– Right MHSF shuffle around. 1 Takes a swing on Stormwall, but does no damage. 2 that moved to back edge of zone are out of Formation and both Flee.
– Invictors move up and pop a big CRA into Stormwall, inflicting 7 points. 2 take a shot at a Ranger in the zone… and miss.

Nick scores 1CP for Controlling the right zone!

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Cygnar, Turn 3

Not a fan of Nick starting to score before me… but I still have a Stormwall, so I’ll probably be okay…
– 3 Focus to the Stormwall, drop Foxhole, pull from the Squire.
– Gorman goes first. Walks over to Fane Knight and toss a Blind Grenade: misses, but can’t scatter off him and so hits.
– Aiyana activates, moves up, and Kisses the Invictors. Hits!
– Journeywoman Warcaster walks up and puts Arcane Shield back on Stormwall.
– Stormwall activates and walks around engaging MHSF. Drops a pod behind Eiryss and boosts damage, killing her. Fires Big Guns at Banshee: first shot misses, second shot boosts to hit and damage and inflicts 9 points. Little guns get 3 shots on the right: kills Fane Knight and 1 MHSF, left side gets 2 shots that both miss Invictors.
– Reinholdt reloads Siege.
– Rangers walks towards a big clump of Invictors. Shoots a Stormfall to death: the last Stormfall passes CMD.
– Siege activates and drops a Ground Pounder on 4 Invictors and 2 Mage Hunters. Kills them all. Sends a rocket at another Invictor, which misses.
– Trencher Cannon activates. Both “spotters” move up into zone and shoot Invictors who are out of range. I forget to activate the Cannon (boo!).
– Grenadier activates and moves B2B with “spotters”. Spits out 3 shots, killing more MHSF and a couple Invictors with good Scatters.
– Eiryss moves up and shoots a MHSF to death.

Score stays 1-0 for Nick.

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Retribution, Turn 4

– 3 Focus to the Banshee.
– Ravyn goes first, casting “Locomotion” for 3. She then aims and takes a shot at my Ranger: needs a 5, and misses.
– Banshee charges Stormwall, getting him within Reach but not closer. Inflicts a total of 10 points of damage between its Charge and 2 bought attacks.
– Right unit of MHSF shuffle around. The two models that were Fleeing attempt to Rally: one does so.
– Invictors move into zone and kill one of the Trenchers.
– Left MHSF runs to engage Grenadier and other Trencher.
– Stormfall Archer shoots Ranger: misses, but can’t scatter off her and manages to kill.

Score is still 1-0 for Nick

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Cygnar, Turn 4

– 3 Focus to Stormwall, pull from Squire, upkeep Arcane Shield.
– Stormwall goes first, pounding the Banshee into scrap (5 total attacks: missed 2, other 3 did enough damage). Electroleap kills the nearby MHSF. Drops a pod in the left zone.
– Trencher Cannon Crew activates. The Spotter knifes the MHSF to death: cannon fires on the Stormfall Archer and misses him.
– Grenadier fires 2 shots, killing 2 Invictors.
– Aiyana runs to be next to the last Invictor (the Standard, of course)
– Eiryss shoots another MHSF to death.
– Reinholdt reloads Siege.
– Siege moves up and Ground Pounders the last MHSF in the zone to paste.

I score 2CPs for dominating my zone. The score is now 2-1 for Cygnar.

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Retribution, Turn 5

– Ravyn camps everything
– Invictor Standard Bearer runs to right zone to contest.
– Stormfall shoots Cannon: misses and scatters away harmlessly.
– Last MHSF on the left runs to engage Grenadier and Trencher

Score is still 2-1 for Cygnar

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Cygnar, Turn 5

I have about 2 minutes on my clock at this point… no worries!
– Siege camps everything.
– Reinholdt reloads Siege.
– Siege aims and shoots Standard, boosting hit: hits and vapourizes him.
– Trencher activates and knifes the last MHSF
– Grenadier activates and spits out shots at the Stormfall: hits and kills him, clearing the zone.

I end my turn with 0:03 on my clock… and score 3 more CPs, getting me the win!

Victory to Cygnar!

Post Game Analysis

A little too close on the clock… if Nick had more bodies, I would’ve been in a world of trouble, no question. I made some pretty silly mistakes (not using Siege’s Feat on the turn the Stormwall attacked the Banshee was just silly… Dice +10 damage? Yeah, that’s pretty okay…), including neither “Rust” bombing the Banshee nor using Aiyana’s “Kiss”. Neither critical, but I shouldn’t have risked it.

Also miss used the ATGM in that I clumped them WAY too much. 1 shot from Nick’s Stormfalls killed 4 and almost killed The Dude… unacceptable. Turns out I’m really a bad judge of 14″… I had plenty of targets, could’ve definitely spread out more. Correspondingly, Nick clumped up way too many times (my Ground Pounders should be hitting 2-4 guys a shot, not 4-6!).

Thanks for listening, and feedback is always welcome!

0 thoughts on “Podcast 071 – Cygnar (Siege) vs Retribution (Ravyn Tier1): Our Arrows Will Blot Out the Sun

  1. I’m not quite sure what you’re trying to do with the Siege list. I get the general idea of ‘lots of AOEs + other anti-infantry’ idea, with Stormwall for anti-armor back up. But then I wonder, why Siege? Usually, Siege is in a list combo for anti-armor duty. But that isn’t what you’re doing – one Stormwall is not anti-armor against a MMM or multi-beast list. Siege’s feat can be used for anti-infantry (it does make blast damage potentially much more dangerous), so is that what you’re aiming for?

    • A fair question. The concept is really to put out volume of attacks. The Trencher Cannon + Grenadier puts out 4 POW12s (well, 3POW12s and 1POW13) in a turn. Under Siege’s Feat, those are hitting at the same power as if they were POW24, meaning they’re doing dice-damage (or dice+1) against most MMM lists. Siege’s Groundpounder does the same (boostable, though), and then the two POW15s from Stormwall.

      The problem Cygnar has most often is that we have LOADS of POW10s… and there is a *huge* difference between a POW10 and a POW12 or 13.

      Now, is it worth 8 points? I don’t know. Stormblades hit harder, but are a lot easier to take off the table (remember, the Grenadier and Cannon can be Dug In from Turn 1, and if I’m going 2nd can contribute to the fight from the Bottom of 1 onwards without ever having to move). Plus, it needs no support from Siege… it’s a perfectly contained little package of death.

      As for “Why Siege”, it’s his Feat. That one turn of being able to paste a full unit of Warders and/or Champions (or two, if the dice are friendly) is *huge*. Nobody else in Cygnar (that I can think of) can manage that. The closest is probably Darius+2 Stormwalls+Support? Maybe? But that’s a risky proposition… and I haven’t tried it yet! I am painting my 2nd Stormwall, though, so maybe soon!

      • I can’t believe I’m about to suggest this, but if that’s what you’re looking for, what about Trencher Infantry? You lose some range (which might be the clincher for you), but can use CRAs to get hitting power at varying scales. Cautious Advance gives them Dig In and shoot too. I think you’d need to ditch the ATGM to do it, but could bring in the Black 13th (I don’t think they’re in your Haley2 list) for some magic and anti-stealth, and have more points free.

        As for other possible casters to take out MMM units, ignoring the standard Merc damage buffers:
        Nemo3 can do it on feat turn if you build right – additional die + Silverline makes even electro-leaps good for chipping down the health of MMM units, and a good Nemo3 list has lots of e-leaps;
        Stryker2 – with careful of Positive Charge, flanking Sword Knights are P+S12 Weapon masters, Stormblades or Murdoch + Forgeguard chew through anything;
        Stryker3 on feat turn and Fury all the time.
        Those last two are melee though, and it looks like you want shooting. One plus is that none of these only work for the first hit, which is a major limitation on Siege if you roll badly, or inflict blast damage.

        • Ha! I love the fact that I managed to get somebody to recommend Trenchers… ^_^

          Nah, as much as I love my Trenchers (and I do) a solid Trencher-package (Full Unit + UA + Finn) is way too many points to be viable. For the same points you can get the full Stormblade package (Stormblades + UA + 3 Stormgunners) AND Ragman AND Reinholdt/Stormcaller.

          I’ve tried all three of your alternatives: Nemo3 and Stryker2 both have the same problem: low-POW Weapon Master attacks don’t work against High-ARM Multiwound infantry. Single wound? No problem… dice-13 or dice-14 means that occasionally you’ll get that spike and kill. But if you’re rolling that and only doing 1 or 2 points of damage, then you need 3-4 models to kill 1 multiwound infantry model, and on the following turn you lose half (or more!) of your unit to the retalliation. POW15 charges (from Stormlances and Stormblades) isn’t enough either.

          Stryker3 is viable… except that he is super-hosed by many of the matchups I specifically need this for (things that deny charges, either with SPD-debuffs or LoS: Krueger, Bradigus, and so on). Additionally, he’s extremely fragile… his defensive stats are worse than Stryker2 AND he’s on a huge base. “Escort” doesn’t count for much, I assure you.

          Now, that’s not to say that there aren’t ways to make it work (Stryker2 in particular seems viable). You have to get stacked debuffs (Ragman + Positive Charge + Aiyana would *probably* be enough to allow you to wipe out a unit of Warders or Champs), but comparing that to “Move up, Pop Feat, apply Ground Pounder to one unit to take it off the table, and then shoot the other off the table with everything else” is an unfair comparison.

          Stryker2 and Nemo3 in particular are great warcasters that I love… but they’re not good at handling the new-era of MMM lists. And if you’re using eHaley, you need somebody who can… and hence Siege.

          Are there other ways? Yes. But most of them require being a way better player than I currently am! ^_^

          Thanks for the feedback, though!

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