Necrotechs Workshop XXXI -Year in Review

What a year! 

My return to the Dragonfathers ranks and the ride that I’ve had with Cryx has been pretty awesome. I’m not going to say I enjoyed every minute of it, but it was definitely a journey. Come, look with me at the year past!

Prior to the start of 2016, I stated that I was going to play 18 months with Cryx to better align myself with the Privateer Press Tournament cycle. The release of Steamroller documents and the Iron Gauntlet points resetting post Lock and Load made that seem like the perfect time to change factions and set my personal Warmachine year on. Unfortunately, that meant Third Edition was announced a mere three months into my tenure with Cryx. I took it in stride. Now that we are in full swing of this new edition, I’ve made the decision to give the faction an extra year. I want to play every caster at least five time, and hopefully more than that with a few, so I’ll be staying with Cryx longer time than I had initially planed. Stick with me for another 18 months of Cryxian madness and see where we are next year!

Speaking of playing all the casters in the coming year, here is what I’ve accomplished during calendar year 2016

MK 2 games

Denny 3 – 17
Goreshade 3 – 14
Sturgis 1 – 1
Mortenebra – 1 
Deneghra 2 – 2 
Skarre – 2

They don’t count for the 5 games per caster, but getting 37 games in 6 months wasn’t bad. It was a really nice end to MKII, with a really fun last ride through a number of casters that I never really go to play. I really liked giving Goreshade and Denny their tournament time, too, playing them against some of the best competition that we have at both the state level and at Lock and Load. I am also pleased that I was able to play them both before they were taken down a peg in the transition of edition. 

MK 3 games

Coven -21
Terminus -6
Skarre 2 – 2
Goreshade 2 – 5
Goreshade 1 -2 

36 games to round out the year lets me know that I’ve been on a steady pace and haven’t really suffered for games. 73 games in a single year isn’t a massive amount, but it is quite a few for a causal player, especially one with a 3 year old, and matches fairly near to my rate of 76 last year. 

I did pretty good over the year long stretch, averaging a little better than 2/3s win rate, likely on the back of fairly powerful casters like Denny 3 and Goresahde 3 in MKII and an dipping with the enormous failure at the launch of 3rd for me to get anything off the ground. All said, I’m happy. Using 5 different casters since the start of the new edition, when only getting to play 1 or 2 games a week at best, is a pretty solid feat for me, and has gotten me a jump start on my ever caster in cryx plan. 

Store Wars

For the first time this year, a local PG ran an 8 month Store Wars tournament series. Each of 8 stores provided a team and hosted a single tournament, gaining points based on theirfinal standings.  I was on the team for our local store, Titan games and hobbies, the Titanic Bastards, placing in  every event. There were five people on each team, but only three participated in each event. We played hard and the series came down to the last games of the last tournament. We didn’t cut it, but having the MK3 shift half way through really put a kink in a lot of plans – Three of us played cryx, one played legion, one played skorne. I’m really proud to have been part of that, and I will likely participate again next year. 

Most of the games I played during the series were Denny 3 and Goreshade 3. I really, really enjoyed both of their playstyles and actually think they both came through the game pretty solidly, though injured by the meta and a few nerfs. 

Brawltimore

This was my second year running the Brawltimore tournament series, and if I am completely honest, I’m not thrilled of what happened. Tournament attendance dropped off dramatically, participation across the board was hurt, and I feel the overall representation of the game dropped. there are many, many things that could have caused this. 3rd edition surely didn’t help from March – June. Store wars likely grabbed a bunch of people from April – October. My own disappointment likely became a factor as well, further depleting the vigor that was showed at the start of the last season. 

I also think that the quantity of the competitive events, both Store Wars and the other steamrollers around the state, having skyrocketed in the last three years, has created a bit of competitive burnout with the 3rd edition creating a very convenient excuse for people to simply stop playing the game overall, reduce their commitment while the game shakes out, or simply take a break. This should hopefully end when the Skorne errata comes down and cements where the game is. 

3rd edition games

Now, I want to take a few minutes and talk a bit about what I liked, and disliked about the casters I played over the months since 3rd was released. 

Coven

The Coven has been one of my favorite casters for a very long time, and I was bitter for most of MKII that I was unable to field them. Thankfully, almost all of the reasons I couldn’t field them have either changed, vanished, or become worth the risk. The Coven was, and is, very fragile. Def 16 arm 13 isn’t going to shrug off a lot of shots, and even with the Focus damage transfer a boosted pow 15 pulls one off the board more often than not. You know who has a bunch of boosted 15s they can toss out? Certainly not the caster who could also turn 1 assassinate at the start of the edition. Stealth isn’t both stronger and weaker than it once was. Stronger in the sense that more line troopers cannot ignore it and don’t make it a trivial defense. Weaker because many extremely potent and deadly weapons can ignore stealth, or can allow others to ignore it. This would leave you to believe that the ability is a wash, but I feel, having played with it more than a few times in 3rd, that it is overall stronger. It feels very much like any other skew – very vulnerable when it is, and strong when it comes against the right lists. 

Even their abilities didn’t really change all to much. Spells are, for the most part, the same, with a few buffs, but the meta has changed around them an while before the risks were too low – you were bringing an anti-shooting feat to a melee heavy game, the world has changed, and that anti-gun feat is quite the thing.

It is an enjoyable time to be a Coven player. They have strong match ups and fun games against a lot of lists, with a very diverse list set up, for now, that allows them to be played in different styles to suit the player. My style is a very fast, very nimble list that, though it doesn’t have a ton of models, allows for a strong board presence. I fiddled around a lot with my load out, but it always contained a Kraken and two or more bonejacks. While I played around with Ghost Raiders, Blood Witches, and Bane Thralls, I ended up with the list that I talked endlessly when I ran it, the Raiders and Soulhunters list. The infantry in that list were expensive, but well worth it. being able to safely strike from my side of the feat was advantageous in almost every game, and created strong plays that would often force my opponent into fruitlessly attacking when they didn’t want to be. 

Additionally, the list has so many good match ups, that I think its going to be a staple of my tournament pairs for a long time. I am just going to keep playing them, maybe modifying the list, for a long, long time. At least I hope so! the Coven being my favorite caster, as I said above, might contaminate that thought a little bit, but I stand buy it. Any meta in which the Coven is good is a meta I’ll enjoy, even if I hate getting shot in the face forever! Their fast, relentless game utilizing all of the parts of the army but themselves to finish off the opponent is a really pleasant play style that I can just get behind. 

Terminus

This list. Guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this stupid list in all its iterations. 50+ infantry troopers, not a single one of which is important. Double Inflictors making it even more unlikely that big T gets shot off the board, and a bubble of the now underwhelming tough really forms a list that gives the gun lines problems. Given the addition of AD to the Mechanithrall options, I hope to one day see Terminus lists flooding the local shops and tournament scenes. He likely won’t, but in a world where one unit of infantry is often the rule, running 5 or more is simply awesome. 

The changes around him, and to some of his match ups he liked, especially wormwood, will probably take him down a peg, but that doesn’t mean that he is one of those casters that should be put away. I really think that this list runs under the current meta, where so few lists are taking massed infantry answers because they don’t need to because no one plays infantry. 60 infantry models, two arm 19 jacks, and Terminus pose Interesting questions. Along with Coven, I think these two are my Tournament pair, adopted for whatever I see fit, for a time to come. I really feel the list is as competitive as they come into many gun lines. 
Skarre 2 

This was a list I just loved in theory, and haven’t been able to really execute. With her ability to feedback the world, and the quantity of jacks on the board these days, it seems like she should be the natural predator of the meta. She is a boogeyman of sorts, but not the same as I would have liked. in both games I played her I got wrecked trying to set up for the assassination when I likely didn’t need to and should have gone all in. Now that I have both units of gunslingers, I’m eager to try her out again, this time with all the armor debuffs I can stack in a list. 

She’s good, but not that good, and she really is a counter meta piece. Will this list work forever? Likely no, but it is worth taking out for a spin from time to time. 
Goreshade 2

I just want to say that I think this list is amazing. I don’t know that I’m confident enough to take this to a tournament, but man does it do some very cool things.  Two units with Stealth, who can be incorporeal and under apparition are extremely good. A unit of vengeance models to back it up is extremely strong. The Mechthrall factory creating bodies to feat back for some massive benefit? Yes, Please! Finally, the return of Abyssal Gate to his spell list is very, very strong, creating up to 3″ of extra threat and +2 to hit. If only he could bring back friendly models, I’d be covering the list with Croe. Deathjack pulls his weight in this list, and I feel is worth the extra pile of points I don’t generally. If you have an interest in fun, complicated and interesting casters, Try the list, it is a ton of fun. 
Goreshade 1

This is a list that is based off a MKII concept that good ol’ Will Pagani, but I took out the slayers and replaced them with Inflictors. Wrong Eye and Snap Jaw compliment the list with star crossed, and if you can keep all of the pieces alive, the list is a nightmarish brick. I don’t like that its not a particularly mobile brick that simply clumps up somewhere and denies the opponent a portion of the board. It might be worth it to drop a jack for more board presence, but I don’t know that that really contributes to the overall design of the list. 

This is the list I am least confident in right now, but I think the concept is fine, possibly even paired with terminus to provide a really hard pairing solution. 

Forward to ’17

Overall, the year was a great success for the Necrotechs Workshop and I look forward to ~75 games again next year! I’ve got a ton of casters to get through yet, and only 5 (ish) games of wiggle room! I look forward to participating in Store Wars, running a revamped and reimagined Brawltimore, attending Lock and Load and NOVA again, and playing scores of games against awesome folk. 

Here is to a great Warmachine 2017, for the Dragonfather and Cryx!