Tournament 015 – Store Wars 5 – Cygnar Versus Everybody Else!

One last tournament battle report from Store Wars… and I’ve finally pulled out Cygnar’s Finest for this one… of course, I didn’t actually *practice* these lists beforehand… but what could possibly go wrong?

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This tournament was held at Dragon Games in Guelph, and had a butt-tonne of heavy hitters… the gentleman front-and-center of the header picture is none other than the brilliant and deadly Marc-Andre LeBlanc, and across from him the equally awesome Chris Orr (who’s name I always want to write “Chriss Or”… I have no idea why) and talking to the deadly and stealthy David Beauchamp. That makes more than a full half of Team Canada Goose… Even big Bubba Dalton is at this one (although he hadn’t shown up when this picture was taken).

For this tournament I decided to have a bit of fun… test out a theoretical Haley2 list that I was kinda excited to put on the table, and a new Stryker2 list that I was hoping would be equipped to handle the Miserable Meat Mountain and comparable lists with charging Storm-nouns.

Major Victoria Haley
– Squire
– Stormwall (Bonded)
Gaston Crosse
– GalleonJourneywoman Warcaster
Stormsmith Stormcaller x2
Black 13th Gun Mages
Lady Aiyana and Master Holt

Basically, I really wanted to run a double-Stormwall list, but don’t yet have 2 Stormwalls assembled… but I *do* have an assembled Galleon. And I figured that Haley2 was uniquely equipped to keep Gaston alive… at least, in theory! Aiyana and Holt to give out Magic Weapons as needed, and the B13th because it is hard to find a better use for 4 points.

Lord Commander Coleman Stryker (“eStryker, Stryker2, Darth Stryker”)
– Squire
– Stormclad
– Lancer
Stormblade Infantry
– Officer and Standard
– Stormgunner WA x2
Gorman di Wulfe
Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire (“eAlexia, Alexia2”)
Stormlances (max)
Major Katherine Laddermore
Stormblade Captain
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord
Viktor Pendrake

Gorman for a bit of board control, Alexia for magic denial and Thrall-crafting, and then POW15s on the Stormlances and Stormblades that creeps up to a POW17 with Positive Charge… surely that will be enough to deal with Cetrati and/or Warders, right?

Right?

Round 1: Versus Circle

My first opponent was a gentleman named Sean. I’ve played him a few times, and he’s a super nice guy that, unfortunately for him, doesn’t have much experience playing against Cygnar. I previously introduced him to the “joys” of playing against Haley1… and at this tournament, was about to do the same for playing against Haley2. Poor bastard.

His pairing was eBaldur and eKrueger… eKrueger has a pretty solid game against eStryker, and so I reached for Haley.

Sean’s list was:

Baldur the Stonesoul
– Megalith
– Wold Guardian
– Wold Watcher x3
Lord of the Feast (NOOOOOOoooooo……)
Blackclad Wayfarer x2
Gallows Grove
Druids of Oroboros
– Druid Overseer
Shifting Stones
– Stone Keeper
Shifting Stones

A solid list… lots of beef, lots of ways to shift it around the table, and some magic-hate in the form of the Druids. Of course, against my Haley list… well…

I win the roll to go first. I drop my 2 huge bases, with Aiyana and Holt near the right flank with the Galleon and the Stormcaller and B13th on the left with the Stormwall.

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Sean deploys his stones WAY up (Tier benefit, I believe), putting his Druids front and center and all his warstones waiting at the back to crush stuff.
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The fray, predictably, starts with me rushing all my models forward, putting Holt and the B13 in harm’s way but keeping Gaston and Aiyana back.
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Sean responds by moving up his warstones aggressively and popping smoke and anti-magic with his Druids.
My next turn I’m able to shoot a bunch of druids dead with scatters from the Galleon, kill the Gallows Grove, and get both huge bases in the zone. Haley moves up and Feats.
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And then it happens… as a warning to all Circle players out there, something to keep in mind: Haley’s Feat requires you to forfeit either Movement or Action. Using the Shifting Stones to teleport a model requires you to forfeit Movement. Therefore, if a Haley player allows you to shift your model, that model must forfeit both Movement and Action on its turn.

Yeah, it’s mean. And yes, I did it to Sean… lucky for him it was “just” 2 Wold Watchers. He pops his Feat to try and mitigate my damage output.

Regardless, on my Feat turn he manages to get a few models into the zone to contest. My next turn I start pumping firepower into Baldur, inflicting some pretty serious damage.
IMG_20150314_123000 copy  On Sean’s turn he manages to get some respectable damage on my Stormwall with Megalith and the Guardian, but not enough to cripple it: correspondingly the Stormwall and Galleon gleefully rip Sean’s remaining warstones limb from limb. I scrap his Objective and start dominating the zone.

On his last turn, Sean has accumulated enough Wyrm tokens that if he doesn’t purify them, Baldur will die… and he elects to charge into my Stormwall and scrap it with his warlock instead. He succeeds… and then keels over, giving Haley the win!

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A fun game, and hopefully not too impolite to Sean… and putting two colossals on the table is a huge amount of fun.

Round 2: Versus Trolls

Ah, the pairing I’ve been dreading… and, to top it all off, against Bubba Dalton, one of Southern Ontario (if not Canada’s) fastest rising WarMachine stars. Bubba has recently switched from his beloved Khador to Trolls, and was playing eGrissel and Grim2 as his pairings. For me this was a no-brainer… eStryker is in my pairing specifically to deal with Skorne and Trolls. Let’s see how he does!

Bubba fielded the following eGrissel list against me:

Grissel2
– Mulg
– Axer
Warders x2
Campions
Krielstone (max)
– Stonescribe Elder
Fell Caller
Janissa Stonetide
Swamp Gobbers

Is this a traditional Grissel list? I don’t know… I do know that it would be my first time playing against her, and considering how popular she is, that would probably translate into a loss… but be damned if I wasn’t going down swinging!

Bubba goes first and rushes up the board. I respond by cautiously moving my troops forward. Bubba’s next turn, he pushes forward again and pops Feat.

Stryker responds by Feating and running a Lancer into optimal Positive Charge position, and I get all 5 Stormlances, Katherine, and about 5 Stormblades to charge his front line and then follow-up Feat attack again with both full units..

I kill ONE Warder.
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The following turn many things die on my side of the table, although my Stormblades hit their Tough rolls (from Rhupert) like champs.

IMG_20150314_145300 copy It’s taking Bubba time to chew through my army, though… and he’s left Grissel into a position that I can Velocity Stryker onto her with 3 focus and risk the Overpower roll… but I elect to play for the long game. I use Stryker to clear out a few Warders and dominate the flag, and then just jam forward with Stormblades and my last Stormlance. Critically, Gorman can’t get a Black Oil on Mulg, and is forced to blind a bunch of Warders instead.

It takes a little doing, but Bubba is able to clear a path for Mulg who gets on Stryker and, with his last blow, is able to kill my mighty warcaster.

Victory for Trolls!

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Afterwards we quickly rabbit chased if I had gone after the assassination: it was probably a 20% success run, and so I *probably* did the right thing. Still, the lesson was learned: POW15 and POW17 charges are just not enough against multiwound ARM23 Trolls. It would take an average of 2-3 models to kill 1 Troll (and that’s difficult to get the spacing for), and the follow up Feat attacks are statistically unlikely to hurt anything.

I hate to admit it… but I can see why people are only taking Siege as their Haley pairing these days.

Round 3: Versus Retribution

Sadly, I forgot to take a picture of my opponent’s list, so I forget his name, but he was dropping Kaelyssa against me. Freshly burned by Stryker, I decided to drop Haley… which was a mistake for multiple reasons… I think I was assuming that against Forcewall she could get up the board faster? Or some such nonsense? Anyway, it was a mistake, don’t do it folks. eStryker was unquestionably the correct answer here.

Anyway! His list was as follows:

Kaelyssa, Night’s Whisper(er?)
– Hyperion
– Manticore x3
– Chimera
Battle Mages
House Shyeel Artificer
Arcanists x7

We deployed pretty symetrically…
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On my turn my army WALKS forward (gods, I hate that Tier benefit) while the elves run up the board.
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On my next turn I’m not able to get anything close enough to contest the flags aside from a Stormpod (gah!), but I manage to get some damage on his warjacks. On his following turn he effortlessly clears all three flags and controls them, gaining 3CPs.
My turn I move my Galleon up to contest the far left flag and run the Stormwall up to contest the other 2.

Kaelyssa moves up and puts “Phantom Hunter” on a Manticore, which moves up and blasts Gaston into dust. He then runs some Manticores in to tie up my Stormwall. He scores 1CP for controlling the flag the Galleon was contesting.

On my turn I can’t get anything close enough to the flag to contest, and he takes the game, 5CPs to 0.

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Stupid of me to drop a Journeyman Warcaster running a Galleon against Kaelyssa… she could’ve probably done the same job with Backlash on the Galleon, honestly. Stupid, stupid… oh well. 1-2 at this point, and I’ve learned some very valuable lessons about sharing, so on to the final round!

Round 4: Versus Cygnar

Oooh, Mirror Match! And I have the sublime pleasure of playing against Chriss Or with his Cygnar! A great guy and a brilliant player, I always enjoy playing against him because I can learn so much!

Both of us were 1-2 at this point, and so we jokingly agreed, just for giggles, to play a Haley2 mirror match (which we both also agreed was a ridiculous pairing).

Why did we agree to this? Let me show you his Haley2 list:

Major Victoria Haley
– Squire
– Stormwall (Bonded)
– Stormwall
Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Pistoleers (“ATGM”)
– Officer (“The Dude”)
Black 13th
Journeyman Warcaster

That’s right, folks… 4 colossals on the same tournament table. And Chris is running almost exactly the Haley2 list I wished I could run…

After 4 or 5 attempts, Chris finally won initiative. We placed our huge bases on the table and got ready for some ridiculous rock-’em-sock’em-robots gameplay…

IMG_20150314_184554 copy  His army moves up. I move up and get some long range shots into his bonded Stormwall, inflicting light damage.
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Chris thinks for a moment and comes to the same conclusion I did mere moments after my turn ended: the 14″ guns on the Stormwall are exactly the Charge range on a bonded, Temporally Accelerated Stormwall. Sure enough, 4 Focus, a Temporal Acceleration, and a charge later, and my Stormwall is in a bad way.
My crippled Stormwall and the Galleon put a bunch of damage on Chris’s forward Stormwall, but not enough to kill it. The next turn he manages to scrap my Stormwall and put pretty hefty damage on the Galleon.
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At this point the smart play would’ve been to try and get the Galleon into position to get some shots onto Chris’s Haley… but where’s the fun in that? Instead, it continues to beat on his damaged Stormwall, but my dice decide they’ve had enough of this tournament and I miss 4 of its 6 attacks.
The following turn Chris kills my Galleon and accidentally kills Haley with a bought attack.

Victory to (Chris’s) Cygnar!

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Was it a good game? Well, it was fun! Silly, but fun. And if my dice hadn’t decided they’d had enough of me, maybe I could’ve at least scrap ONE of his Stormwalls… but t’was not to be.

Post Tournament Analysis

Okay, so Stryker2 is out and Siege is in, at least until this recent meta-shift towards Trolls and Skorne is over. Which hopefully won’t be much longer, because it really limits my tactical options pretty heavily (Nemo3, my other favourite ARM-cracker, suffers from the same problem that Stryker2 has: inflicting 1 or 2 points of damage per attack just isn’t enough. You have to hit hard enough to kill your targets with no more than an attack OR TWO at most). Darius with 2 Stormwall MIGHT have game, but then I’d have to run a very different Haley2 list, or I’d really just be playing the same list twice with different warcasters.

Other than that, a huge amount of fun and some very educational games! My thanks again to everyone, and to you for reading!

Comments, questions, and feedback is always welcome!

0 thoughts on “Tournament 015 – Store Wars 5 – Cygnar Versus Everybody Else!

  1. So what you’re saying is you need to run stryker 2 with two stormclads? With pos charge and some help from ayanna or ragman they’re at dice damage against those hilariously armored trolls. Might work badly though.
    Rebuke does slow them down though, so he has some nice tools, but arm 23 and 8 boxes, aaand tough, pretty silly.

    Nice reps!

    • The problems with Stormclads to take out Warders/Champs are thus:
      1. They’re only going to get 2-4 within Reach range unless you are VERY lucky, and
      2. Right after they kill 2-4, all the remaining ones effortlessly scrap your warjacks (or their warbeasts do so) and you’re left with nothing else to take ’em out.

      Look, I’m not saying it’s impossible. Obviously. But it is an uphill battle without some pretty decent melee buffs (which Cygnar doesn’t really have) or a few great ranged buffs (which Siege DOES have in his Feat).

      Rebuke is great if you can pull it off (ie: not using your Lancer for Positive Charge), and again, I’m sure a better player than I could make a solid game out of an eStryker list… but I’m not that good yet! Hopefully one day!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

      • I’m starting to think that the difficulty Cygnar seems to have with MMM lists is that of playing to the strengths of the enemy, rather than to Cygnar. Stryker2 and Siege are about pumping up damage, but they probably can’t do enough alone to get through the ARM + boxes. Rather than thinking about how to up the damage output more, maybe think about how to win in other ways?

        MMM are usually strongest at attrition, with scenario strength based around that. They’re usually weaker at assassination (due to lowish threat ranges) and tend to have a relatively small number of activations and attacks (although those attacks are of high quality). Their lists also tend to be fairly beast light in Hordes.

        So might the route to go in beating MMM be to focus on:
        (1) Assassination;
        (2) Denying them the scenario win?

        Assassination is something Cygnar is good at. Siege and Stryker2 are both good at it. So are Caine2 and Kara Sloan (3 boostable POW12 WM shots from her alone on feat turn) (and arguably Nemo3 if built right). So you could run Siege/Stryker2, but use their feats not for the attrition advantage, but to enable the assassination, removing the key obstacles to get to the warlock. Being fairly beast-light helps here, as MMM warlocks have fewer available transfers.

        But to do that, when building the lists, you need to think about how to enable the caster kill. Stryker2 needs Madelyn and Runewood for extra movement and pathfinder. Siege, Caine2 and Kara really want Taryn in the list to remove 2 LoS blockers. ATGM to move pieces around will probably help.

        Something I’ve tried with mercs is Kayazy jumping around behind the MMM lines. It really puts pressure on the caster, redirecting resources (and against Trolls, taking out the Krielstone). Obviously Cygnar can’t do that, but Blazers and Minutemen can all get into really awkward places really quickly.

        Of course the assassination won’t always be possible, but if there is a constant threat of it, it should force the MMM to be more reactive, and less focused on doing what they want. The other plus of this is that the assassination against a MMM list is probably also possible against a non-MMM list, giving your list more flexibility.

        For scenario, maybe exploit the lowish number of attacks MMM have. Make it hard for MMM lists to clear the zones. Lots of bodies would help. Pressgangers are probably the best choice – 6 points for 10 bodies, with tough. If you have points, add Hawk, but she’s not required, as the Pressgangers are for jam, not fighting. Boomhowlers are solid, but you’re paying a premium, and what’s really special about them is the medium bases to stop tramples.

        As an example:
        Kara Sloan
        -Stormwall (2 big guns for assassination, good for scenario, melee presence as required)
        -Avenger (Knockdown as a LoS enabler, nice gun with Kara enhancing the range a little, melee presence if necessary)
        Squire
        Reinholdt
        That’s a battlegroup (+ Reinholdt) that on feat turn is potentially putting out 3 POW 12 WM shots (two boosted damage), 3 big gun shots (two boosted damage) and 2 Seismic Cannon shots (1 boosted damage). All with boosted attack rolls. That is a good assassination threat, even with some transfers, and all from outside the threat range of most MMM lists. The knockdown + Taryn in the list should ensure LoS to the caster.

        Max Pressgangers
        Max Pressgangers
        All jam, but with credible melee with gang (and Hawk)

        Journeyman (ARM for Kara or Stormwall as required)
        Strangeways (powerbooster to give the Avenger its focus until feat turn)
        Trencher Master Gunner (I wanted Rangers, but couldn’t fit them in – buffs the Avenger’s RAT. Spray is really nice against low ARM troops on Kara’s feat too)
        Reinholdt (+1 shot)
        Taryn (remove LoS blockers)

        4 points spare – I’d probably choose Pendrake (boosted knockdown shot on feat turn) and Hawk (additional damage dice for the Pressgangers against warriors).

        It won’t tear through the MMM units, but it should be able to get the assassination for the win, and hold the MMM list off from winning by scenario in many cases.

      • Hey Border Prince… that’s some mighty in-depth analysis! Love it!

        To start with, I honestly think that Siege *does not* struggle against MMM lists. His Feat turn allows a relatively effortless removal of 5-15 multiwound ARM23 models (or, at BARE minimum, a lot of Tough checks). And once those models are down to 1 wound, they’re FAR less problematic to deal with (especially if they’re knocked down and you can shoot at them for another turn before having to actually deal with them!). But that’s an aside.

        The MMM lists I’m familiar with tend to have 1-2 heavy warbeasts as a kicker to their infantry. The warbeasts are usually saved for late game, once everything that can possibly kill them is taken off the table.

        I like your double-PG list for Sloan! That’s a neat one… however, avoiding the assassination is actually pretty trivial on most Troll warlocks. If they’re camping 3, you need to “kill” them a minimum of 5 times, which means hitting them and burning through all their boxes and hope for only 1 Tough. Now, it’s not impossible, but generally, you want to take the warbeasts out FIRST (or at least hurt them a lot), and then switch to assassination. The only time you’re really pushing a viable assassination is if the warcaster is camping 1 (or zero)… THEN you can push. But that won’t happen often (unless they’re running eMadrak… then maybe, but then they’re safe against assassination again).

        To put it another way, to reliably kill a 16 hitbox ARM18, 3 Fury camping Troll, you need to hit them with 8 POW15s. Not “shoot them with”, HIT them with. Or 7 boosted damage POW15s. And even with that, if they Tough twice…

        Now, correspondingly, those same 6-8 POW15s on Siege’s Feat Turn, are hitting Warders at Dice+2. It is (generally) a far better use of his Feat to attrition away all the enemy’s weaponmasters/Front line, and put on as much scenario pressure as possible. You really want to start scoring first, and force your opponent to run warbeasts into your waiting Stormwall’s arms, ideally. At that point you can either try to kill them or just Forcehammer them out of the zone, as needed.

        Now, back to Sloan… if you get to go first (which means probably putting Anastasia in your list), you can *probably* do something similar with the Press Gangers keeping your opponent away from a few flags our out of a zone… but if they trample over that front line, you’re suddenly in a bad way. Avenger and Stormwall will certainly HELP, but it suddenly depends on how lucky you are with your Tough checks.

        That stated… I *really* like the idea of it, and I like the 2-prong approach it brings. It’d be better in Menoth, though (No Knockdown and Attendant Priests)… but still, a fascinating concept. I may have to revisit it once I own PGs!

        Thanks for the feedback and great analysis!

  2. Great analysis, border prince, and building on that maybe do a bit like eDenny? Jam with press gangers and pop eHaleys feat to lock them in and go for scenario?
    Combined with the usual bastards (gun mages for pushes, anastasia and gorman, etc)that might have some play

    Still Siege seems to have this pretty well in hand as long as you don’t derp yourself to death 😉

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