Sunday, April 11, 2010

Doing it my way

Yeah.. that's not actually Caine.. that's Noel Vermillion from BlazBlue.  They both fight with the same Gun Kata awesomeness except Noel's a hell of a lot better looking.  The below video will demonstrate the kind of pain Caine will inflict on an enemy warcaster once he draws LoS.  Noel, an example please.

Enough of the idle chatter!  Let's talk about some serious wargaming.  The reason for this post is because I've been doing a lot of research into Warmachine and Cygnar lately.  As most of you know from my last blog entry, I've decided to go with eCaine as my first warcaster.  His playstyle is very like my ideal playstyle in a game on the scale of warmachine.  With ROF infinity, a killer feat and the potential to kill anything in 1 volley or die trying, he's a real glass cannon.

The reason why I decided to call this entry "doing it my way" is because I'm not doing your typical assassination-style eCaine list.  I decided to go with a more balanced approach because I think it offers more exposure to different rules, playstyles and list diversity.  It also adds a lot more strategy and tactics because you're not limited to one specific goal.  In short, the game becomes more dynamic with balanced lists.  After doing some research online, the ideal way to play eCaine (and this is advertised everywhere) is to take units in your army whose sole purpose is to deliver him in a clear path to the enemy warcaster.  If you didn't know already, Caine is exceptionally good at single target burst.. and it just happens to be that killing the enemy warcaster means you win the game.  When you combine these two elements together, you get a list that's centered around just doing that.  I disagree with this style of approach.  Warmachine is small enough that you should be maximizing the amount of crazy things you have going on the field.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it doesn't take skill in playing an all-out assassination list, I'm just saying it would be more fun to go with something more diverse.  Caine is already an glass cannon and I think a list built in a manner that compliments this (not feed) would be most fun.

With that being said, I've decided to go with no Rangers in my list.  Even though they give eCaine a +2 to RAT vs. any enemy unit within 5" of them, I just don't see the point of sacrificing my units.  Everyone knows I'm a min-maxing SoB, but that doesn't mean I should take units just to fuel one man's ambition for glory.  Whether or not this will prove to be my downfall will happen in time.

The other staples in army featuring eCaine is the Squire, Reinholdt and eEiryss.  I have them in my lists but I find myself adding more 'jacks in my list instead of the classic thunderbolting Arcane Tempest Gun Mages.  I'd rather not netdeck and keep my list as original as possible (at WM point scale, this is quite difficult).  At 35 points, I will be adding the ATGMs but for now, I'd rather have a Defender and a Ironclad.  I think the 'jacks are more important in my current metagame because I expect people will be more 'jack heavy.  I managed to convince my roomate to start the game with me and he's going Khador.  With all those 20 ARM mechs on the board, I can definitely see the use of a Defender in there.

Here is what my current 25pt list looks like.  I used Force Kommander to design it:

Skirmish (1 caster, 25pts)
Captain Allister Caine
* Defender
* Ironclad
* Squire
Black 13th Gun Mage Strike Team
Captain Arlan Strangewayes
Gun Mage Captain Adept
Journeyman Warcaster
Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator

It was a really tough call to cut Eiryss from my list because she offers a lot of flexibility.  Even though she offers amazing disruption and countermeasures in an eCaine assassinatioon list, I think the GM Captain Adept will do just fine.  The idea is to get the Defender and the JWC together so they can benefit from eachother: Upkeeping Arcane Shield for a lovely 21 ARM, as well as providing 2 focus a turn for that extra RAT and damage rolls.  Strangewayes will JM the 'jacks and offer them repair and another focus.  The B13s are self-explanatory and so is the Squire and Reinholdt.

Overall, the major difference in my list and others is that I don't have solidified focus in mine.  I want to be able to take advantage of my Magic Bullet on the Defender and be able to shoot through LoS with my GMCA.  I want to be able to get into close combat with my Ironclad and see how his 'jack marshaled repair buddy holds up in the long fight.  Of course, if I get a clear shot to my opponent's warcaster, I'm going to make sure to take advantage of it, but that shouldn't be my sole objective.  With this list, I'm going to have my options in front of me and I think it'll make for a better game for both me and my opponent.

Agree or disagree, let me know!


Unknown said...

Balance? In Warmachine? This is madness!


In all seriousness, though, most games of Warmachine that I've played have been won by getting off dumbass combo X before the other guy gets off dumbass combo Y. Maybe I just haven't played enough Mk2. *shrugs*

Don't have much advice on the list besides that, but good luck. I'm definitely interested to know how the list works out for you.

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't you actually play a match before actually posting a strategy?

HERO said...

Normally, I'd like to know my own strategy before I play the game. But that's just me :D Once I get a chance, I'll play a game and let you guys know how it goes. It's been pretty hectic at work lately.

Unknown said...

You always want a plan before going into battle.

Or, rather, you want a billion little plans that you can access at will depending on the current situation. Hooray for mental compartmentalization!

Dan said...

A couple of thoughts:

According to the rules, Caine's warjack points must be spent, and the only way they can be spent is on jacks in his battlegroup. The only way Jr can assign focus to a jack is if it's in HIS battlegroup. Since you only have two jacks, and you want the Defender on Jr, as per your strategy, the IC has to be on Caine. That means Arlan won't be jackmarshalling anything. That isn't a problem per se ... he doesn't need to jackmarshal to give a jack one focus or evasive, or repair it. That said, I don't think you're going to get alot out of Arlan in his list. As always, YMMV

Second thought, Rangers are a great unit on their own. The 5" range buff works for other members of the unit, meaning they're RAT 8 against close targets. Their speedy, hard to hit, and accurate. I use them in my Kraye tier list all the time, and they've suprised a lot of people in how hard they are to kill, and the amount of stuff they've been able to clear out. I'm pointing that out because dropping Arlan, GMCA, and Reinholt gives you 5 points for the unit. Since they're relatively high def, they also make for a decent tarpit. A MAT 6 is going to hit them less than 50% of the time. Not that many units are over MAT 6. You don't need to take them just for the buff to Caine.

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