Gorshade's First Ride

I managed to take out the Goreshade list I’d been considering and get a game in on Sunday. Its been over a month since I last played, so I was a little rusty.

I could go into a battle report, but that’ll not be too exciting. It was a fairly strong game of positioning, and it taught me a lot about the Bastard that makes me want to keep trying him out. This is completely contradictory to the feelings I’ve had with him prior to this outing, where I stumbled to find his place and tried hard to make the best use out of him and his spells.

I can tell you, that is a waste of time. I played him after the field test and prior to the MK II Cryx book coming out, and he’s been a long time developing. I think that there is a very high chance that I use him as my Hordes drop in a ton of matchups, which is where I wanted to go with this list decision.

This whole concept is something I am not going to take credit for. Will Pagani, a long time Warmachine player, started using a list with the same intent a while back. I only remember the core, however, being Warjacks, Darragh Wrathe and the Deathwalker. I added the rest because I can’t find his original list to parrot, and made it my own.

Goreshades Upsides
I have complained for a very long time about how pillow lightly my warjacks tickle. Yes, Cryx is the faction of debuffs, but those debuffs require attack rolls and focus, which takes away from my precious ‘Jacks doing what they need to do. It also necessitates the expenditure of points and very likely focus on an arc node to get the spell to the target. That, my friends, is some steps I would like to eliminate. Cycling Scything Touch comes close, but that is still expenditure of focus, models, and positioning. Getting that damage increase is many times, for the targets that jacks are going to go against, just much harder than I’d like it to be.

Goreshade can solve that. When a critical mass of Warjacks is reached (3+) he can turn the three focus he spends on Shadowmancer, a spell granting Dark Shroud and Stealth, into at least 6 (three castings of scything touch, two castings of Crippling Grasp, ect). Add two Warwitch Sirens into the mix and you’ve got yourself a extremely decent slew of attacks to toss at the enemy. Additionally, even though its a buff to the battlegroup, the ability to put Dark Shroud on targets for others to take advantage of is extremely welcome.

Goreshade also comes with a second spell, Mage Blight, which stops spells and feats within 14″ of him. This is a great out when your not getting shot or taking down hard targets, and can really save you from some of the more ball busting short range feats in the game. Things like Butcher 3, Gorten, Sorcha 1/2, Seige, Kreoss 1 and others effected from the start of the game onward. He also removes the threat of some of the more funky magic ability shenanigans that the game has as well, making sure that Druids, Runeshapers and Battlemages are shut down.

The Darragh Effect
Who boy, this wasn’t something I was expecting. I had almost exclusively used Darragh Wrathe for Death Ride prior to this game, getting my models across the board faster seemed to be the way to go. However, after this most recent game, I can really see the potential of his Beyond Death ability. Giving Bane Riders ARM 20 and the Helljacks a 13/19 defensive profile was extremely good, even though I was running against Warmachine. I’ve fought against the ARM 21 Stormlances enough to know how bothersome they can be, so having my own ARM 20 Bane Riders was a real treat. It even makes me consider running them and Wrathe with Skarre II and Scaverous in order to really push that armor over the top.

Revelations of the Bane Kind
Bane Riders are super-sweet, and they have so many different applications that I can’t even begin to describe how happy I am with them. Ride by Attack combined with immunity to free strikes is just excellent at protecting them as they move up the board. It also allows you an amazing range of movement, enabling you to dig extremely deep into the enemy army without really having to commit to any serious engagements.. Twice I used it to kill models and them move forward, either tying up new models with reach and preventing charges, or getting to a better position for the next turns attack. Preventing charges is on of the better ways to keep the banes alive, and stacking that with the Darragh effect above kept all 5 bane riders alive until the end of the game, even though they had to contend with KE and Daughters.

Tartarus and Bane Knights are extremely effective, everyone knows that. Combined with Bane Riders, however, it becomes an army of super-pathfinder, Immune to free strikes hard hitting models that are paving the way for the Warjacks that Goreshade has in tow. The fact that Goreshade popping his feat followed by Tartarus killing a few models can net you an almost free unit of banes is one of the best icings on a cake I can find.

Overall Impressions
The list needs some tweaking, but overall I am very, very pleased. I’m not sure that the Bane Riders wouldn’t be severed better as Satyxis Raiders, but I am taking a chance to get to know my new riders. The Bane Knights, too, could easily be turned into Raiders. However, with the ‘Jacks Spearheading the army, aided in armor by both the Deathwalker and Darrah Wrathe, the slower, harder hitting Banes come into a very useful place. as either a second wave, or as models to free up the Jacks to get to more juicy targets.

The game was a loss, because I got to agressive on my first game out with Goreshade, popping his feat in the wrong spot and dropping Banes off Just to get killed, only to be Force Hammer/Vanquisher assassinated the following turn. Overall, it was a good game that was won by the player who knew more, better, but I look forward to digging deeper into the Goreshade pool and pulling out some really good games. I really am considering how to fit Nyss into this list…

Comments and suggestions on my lists are welcome!