Podcast 093 – Cygnar (Kraye) vs Skorne (pXerxis) – Those Really Bug Me…

With the recent change to Haley2, it’s become more critical than ever to consider Cygnar’s list pairing options… which is wonderful, because it opens up a lot of space for warcasters like Kraye!

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Of course, just because you have opened new space, doesn’t automatically mean you will design anything *good*… let’s see what happens when my ARM-cracking Kraye list runs into Kassem fielding his new Bugs of Terror!

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Marc’s List:

Theme List Tier 4
Captain Jeremiah Kraye
– Hunter x2
– Cyclone
– Centurion
– Stormclad
Rangers x2
Black 13th
Gun Mage Captain Adept (“GMCA”)
Objective: Fuel Cache
Tier Benefits: +1 starting roll, 2 four inch forests OR wall templates, Advanced Deployment for all Heavy Warjacks, FA:U Rangers

Kassem’s List:
Tyrant Xerxis (“pXerxis, Xerxis1”)
– Sentinel x2
– Titan Cannoneer
– Cyclops Raider
– Aptimus Marketh
Extoller Soulward x2
Willbreaker x2
Nihilators (max)
Void Spirit x2
Paingiver Beasthandlers
Objective: Arcane Wonder


Scenario: Fire Support (Objective and flag 16″ in from edge, 18″ up for the Objective and 23″ up for the flag. Killbox is yes).

Marc deployed…

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Kassem deployed…

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Time to get this started!
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Cygnar, Turn 1

– One focus to each Heavy
– Hunter on left walks forward and takes a shot at closest Sentinel: hits, and does a single damage. Light Cav move back behind Marc’s friendly flag.
– Hunter on right walks forward, light Cav move up further
– Rangers run up both flanks and spread out
– Black 13th run forward
– Kraye puts “Full Tilt” on the Centurion and walks to be close to the wall Marc placed.
– Stormclad and Cyclone run forward
– Centurion runs forward 16″, next to Kassem’s Flag

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Skorne, Turn 1

– Kassem runs Nihilators forward, spreading out.
– Both Void Spirits run forward to force CMD checks on a unit of Rangers: left unit breaks, right unit is fine.
– Raider moves up and puts “Farstrike” on the left Sentinel. Shoots the Centurion for a point of damage.
– Left Sentinel moves up and shoots the Centurion for a couple more points of damage.
– Cannoneer moves up and does a successful “Push” on the right Sentinel.
– Xerxis moves up behind a wall and puts “Fury” on the right Sentinel.
– Aptimus Marketh puts “Defender’s Ward” on the Nihilators.
– Beasthandlers Enrage the Sentinel and whip fury of the other warbeasts.
– Sentinel charges the Centurion, getting in range by about 0.5″. Burns through all its Fury doing piddly  squat, and leaves the Centurion on 8 boxes (but fully functional).
– Extollers and Willbreakers move up.

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Cygnar, Turn 2

– 3 Focus to the Centurion, drop “Full Tilt”
– Centurion lays into Sentinel: misses 2 attacks and leaves the bug on 4 boxes.
– Rangers on right activate. The one engaged by the Void Spirit walks away (Kassem elects not to Free Strike to maintain Incorporeal). They open fire and kill several Nihilators, giving many souls to the nearby Soulward.
– Kraye casts “Guided Fire” and declares a Ride-By-Attack. Moves forward 4″, shoots a Nihilator, moves back.
– Left unit of Rangers activates: the Ranger engaged by the Void Spirit walks away (again, no Free Strike to maintain Incorporeal). They rally.
– GMCA moves up and shoots the right Void Spirit with a Brutal Shot: hits and does 4 boxes (damnit!)
– Black 13th activate and move forward. Lynch shoots the Void Spirit and kills it. Watts takes a Snipe shot on the left Void Spirit and kills it. Ryan pumps 2 Brutal Shots into the Sentinel and inflicts a total of 1 point of damage (crippling Mind, but leaving it alive).
– Both Hunters aim and shoot at the Sentinel: both hit, neither wound.
– Cyclone walks forward and spins up its Metal Storm shots: gets a total of 3 attacks. Uses those shots to kill 2 Nihilators.
– Lastly, Stormclad moves next to the Cyclone. Tries to shoot the Sentinel, but is out of range.

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Skorne, Turn 2

– Xerxis pulls in Fury, upkeeps Fury , Frenzy Check on the Sentinel engaged by my Cyclone passes, leaving it on full Fury.
– Beasthandlers go. They Enrage the damaged Sentinel and Medicates the other.
– Xerxis pops Feat and heals the Sentinel back to full Function. Charges the Centurion and casually scraps it. He then casts “Inhospitable Ground”.
– Almost-Dead Sentinel charges my Cyclone successfully: hits only 1 time and scraps its left arm.
– Full health Sentinel moves up B2B with Xerxis.
– Cannoneer moves forward B2B with a Sentinel and shoots at Kraye: misses and scatters wide. It uses its Animus.
– Raider moves up and puts Farstrike on itself. Shoots Kraye and misses.
– Nihilators charge in, kill a few Rangers but miss any useful targets.
– Soulward shoots Lynch very dead.
– Marketh puts defenders ward on Xerxis.

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Cygnar, Turn 3

– 3 Focus on the Stormclad, 1 to each Hunter.
– Kraye pops his Feat and aims a shot into the Sentinel engaging my Cyclone: hits, boosts damage, inflicts nothing.
– Cyclone activates and punches the Sentinel twice: inflicts 1 damage.
– Left unit of Rangers moves up and clears out most of the Beasthandlers and a Soulward
– Right unit of Rangers moves deep into Kassem’s lines: they kill Marketh and a few Nihilators.
– Hunters both aim and pump shots into the almost-dead Sentinel: neither wounds.
– Ryan aims and pumps 2 Brutal Damage shots into the Sentinel: inflicts 2 damage (leaving it on 1).
– Stormclad activates and charges the Cannoneer (Marc forgets about Inhospitable Ground, but it’s fast enough from Kraye’s Feat to make the distance anyway). Burns through full stack of Focus: misses 3 times, inflicts a total of 4 points of damage.
– GMCA shoots a Beasthandler and misses (snake-eyes).

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Skorne, Turn 3

– Cannoneer gets “Enraged” by last Beasthandler
– It charges the Stormclad and scraps it.
– Raider puts “Farstrike” on the full-health Sentinel. Raider then moves up and shoots Kraye, boosting to hit, hitting, and inflicting 7 damage.
– Soulward moves up and shoots Kraye: boosts to hit, hits, and boosts damage, for another 6 points.
– Sentinel aims and shoots Kraye: needs a 13 to hit, nails it, and puts Kraye in the dirt.

Victory to Skorne!

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Post Game Analysis

A hard fought game, no question, and I obviously made a few blunders (mostly positioning errors). It’s hard to remember how long Kraye makes the threat-range of his army… especially with that extra 6″ from the Advanced Deployment on the heavies.

As mentioned on the ‘cast, I would change a fair bit about this list, although just in the warjack loudout… I think a couple Reliants might be a good fit, although their POW17 hammers are more utility than actually face-smashing. Maybe a couple of them and a Centurion to anchor it? Although a POW18 isn’t much better… I don’t know! Have to reconsider it either way!

Anyway, thanks for reading and listening, and we always welcome feedback!

0 thoughts on “Podcast 093 – Cygnar (Kraye) vs Skorne (pXerxis) – Those Really Bug Me…

  1. Some thoughts about Kraye:
    (1) I think you have to decide a focus with him – are you going to max out Guided Fire or the potential for fast combat heavies? He doesn’t have the Focus for both, although Rangers can help by reducing the need for Guided Fire.

    (2) He’s really low on Focus to get jacks to run at peak efficiency. He’s most efficient with light jacks (free runs/charges and light cav move). Sentinels in particular are probably at their best with him – no focus tough shield-guard for your large based caster, and if you’re already casting Guided Fire, they get D6 Pow10s, boosted to hit. They end up as decent light infantry shredders and it is worth thinking about replacing a Cyclone with two of them.

    (3) Tier pushes you towards focusing on shooting (Rangers + Hunters) and does nothing for low Focus other than saving some in turn 1 as your heavies are already up the board. But Kraye’s Focus problem is really when the fighting starts, and the tier doesn’t help with Focus then. The tier’s focus on shooting is fine if you want to go that way, but if you’re more interested in heavies, then tier may not be the way to go. Out of tier you can add Squire, Arlan and one or more Accumulators, all to help with Focus issues. I think some or all of those really help Kraye’s game.

    (4) Would Blazers be better (or more useful in character restrictions) than B13 + GMCA? On top of their shooting, they’re also more large bases which can in a pinch hide Kraye.

    If you haven’t seen them, there’s lots of very interesting Kraye discussion in these threads, for lists which focus on light ‘jack spam (out of tier):

    I like the list there, although I’ve tried it subbing out Dynamo + Charger for 2 Ironclads. I think that’s a personal taste change more than anything else. But I still haven’t figured out to use it well – need more practice I think. It feels really different to anything else you’ll play in Cygnar.

    • Thanks for the comments, feedback, and links!

      I have some experience with Kraye… back in the dark days of early 2015 (pre-Stone-nerf), Kraye was my answer for the insane assassination threat of Wold War. The basic plan was to send a Minuteman bounding into a shifting stone (or two!) and flak field + punch them to death… ideally killing 2, allowing a game to be played. It worked about 50/50 (which was better than anything *else* I could come up with at the time!). I love him to death… he’s a great, thoroughly underappreciated warcaster, with a fantastic toolbox at his disposal and, in my humble opinion, the single best anti-Legion warcaster in the game.

      Want to watch a Vayl2 player openly weep? Load up a Stormclad with Full Tilt and 3 Focus, and then declare a “Ride by Attack” against their Admonition’d Angelius. Never gets old…

      Kraye’s Tier is fascinating. It’s good… you get to put your heavies/units directly across the table from whatever you want due to everything being AD. And against lists without a very powerful range-denial component, it can be back-breakingly good… many people underestimate the power of POW11 rifles that can weasel up to RAT10 very trivially.

      All that stated, Kraye *does* suffer from Focus-problems… and without a Squire, those problems aren’t insignificant. You can basically load up 1 Heavy a turn and send it off into melee, which isn’t *bad*, but it means you spend a lot of the game with pretty sub-optimal activations for much of your army. And you have to be really aggressive and smart with your piece-trades. Being able to load up 2 Heavies and upkeep Full Tilt is a massive thing, and you can only do that with a Squire.

      So here’s my issue. Kraye is fantastic. pHaley is fantastic. Both play *very* different games, and both compliment Haley3 extremely well without many problems of character limitations (the B13th, of course, but they’re money in ANY Cygnar list). Do I work on getting better with Kraye in tier? Do I abandon his tier in order to take delicious, delicious Dynamo and a couple Reliants? Or do I switch gears entirely and move over the pHaley with unlimited POW10s, most of which don’t even require hitting?

      Ah, it is a good time to be a Cygnar player… although that’s been true as long as I’ve played WarMachine!

      Anyway, thanks for the comment!

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