When I mentioned that I had finished up Skorne, I had a list of posts I wanted to write up prior to starting publishing Cryx writeups. I am not going to get to all of them. One day I will do a full faction unit by unit breakdown, and one day I will go through every caster that I’ve played and detail why I either did or did not like them and what I used with them and why. Now is not that time. I am, however, going to give a rundown on my basic feelings about the faction, its strengths, weaknesses, and options.
Back when I mentioned my list of posts I wanted to do to wrap up the Skorne Chronicles, I thought that I’d take a look at Zaal 2. However, I think I’ve gone into well enough about him earlier that I can put that off for a little while yet.
Instead, I’ll work through, chronologically, how I felt with each caster, what their high and low points are, and how much I enjoyed the caster from both the fun and competitive angle.
First up are a pair of casters I ended up not using very often at all. and by very often, I mean only this one day. The first casters I reached for when I started my journey were the two newest ones in the ranks, at that time. Xerxis 2 and Makeda 3
I’ve been keeping track of data on my games for about 5 years now. I really enjoy looking back on whom I played, the casters I played against and with, and all sorts of other little demographics. I like to look at my overall percentage and see that its not really changed, as it doesn’t once you get over 300 games or so. I figured it would be a good, absolute way of looking at the year past and analyzing it a bit. Take the journey with me!
There are events and goals that come to pass, sometimes, that feel as if they come to their end swiftly. Looking back, you can remember almost nothing, yet time has inexorably moved forward, and what you had once looked forward to is now something that you can only remember fondly.Sometimes. Other times, They pull themselves forward with only their fingernails, tracing harsh, deep scars in the earth where they begrudgingly gave ground to inevitable. Most often, though, time passes as it should, breaking when and where it is expected, remembered often but not vividly. This, thankfully, is how my year of Skorne has progressed, and it not with begrudgingly or to swiftly that the I change factions. Instead, it is with the appropriateness suggested by the diversion that 12 months have now passed and I once more raise the flag of the Dragonfather and bring Cryx to the tabletop once more. That does not mean, however, that I’m done with Skorne completely.
I knew it was coming. The time when I would return to Lord Toruks wicked embrace and lead his undead hordes and vicious pirates to war once more. It seemed so long ago, yet akin to yesterday. New Casters, models and play styles were all tried and I enjoyed my time with the Skorne, but my true calling has always been Cryx.
When I saw the new warcaster they were getting in Vengeance, I was psyched to jump back to Cryx. It was going to be a chance to use some of the new models that had come out since then, including Denny 3. However, that was not to be. I was unable to really get a move on those models until recently. That lead me to picking up a caster I’d never really given a fair shake, Hexy 2. After getting a few games in with him, I was starting to really enjoy the list, though I made some few tweaks get some use out of models I rarely brought to the table. I was able to go to a tournament this past weekend, as well as getting in a game with a friend on Tuesday, totaling out to 5 games in under a week. Today I’ll grab a 6th. Its more Warmachine that I’ve played in a given stretch since October, and it was very enjoyable.
In just a few days, I’ll be going to only the third tournament I have made it to all year. I had much higher aspirations (6) at the start of the year, but life throws its vagaries at us as it chooses, not as we determine. neither tournament was a rousing success, though I managed to peel away with 2 wins in each outing. This weekend looks to be a big one as well, with 16 players signed up currently. We may once again hit the fabled 5th round! What am I taking this weekend? Well, lets take a look!
Since a friend picked me up Zaal 2 at Gencon, I’ve been playing him exclusively, with strong results. Part of that is the inevitable surprise that new casters bring to the table, but a substantial portion of his success is due to the fact that he’s a solid ‘Caster. I know better than to believe that he will become one of the staple top 3 caster in the faction, but I do think he will get some solid play. His army list is constructed differently enough to engender a different play experience, but it is still the experience that is to be expected from the Skorne Faction. Skorne players have the same issue that Khadoran players have with their Warcasters, and I really don’t think that the issue is ever going to vanish. Both factions, at their core, leverage the melee potential in their army to finish the game. Zaal 2 does this with troopers, using the inevitable losses that an army sustains to guide and enable that which remainse remaining models to be more effective individually. Most Skorne casters rely heavily on their beasts. Zaal, in both incarnations, does not.
Whenever I see a new caster come out for my faction, I start poking and stabbing at them to see what makes them tick. Each new caster brings their own method of playing the game, and though each my not be terribly different from the others, almost every one of them requires you to think differently in order to bring the best models to bear with them. In some factions, like Skorne, there main difference is not what each caster brings, but how you apply what the faction does. Skorne beats face with almost every single caster, and each of them does it a bit differently. Zaal 2 brings a completely different tack than I am used to with Skorne – he feels like he was ripped out of the Cryx section.
I have yet to play enough games to really judge the power of Zaal, Ancestral Advocate, but I think I am starting to unlock him just a little bit. One of the most fun parts of both of Privateer Presses games, at least for me, is acclimating a new Warcaster or Warlock. I like putting each one on the table and seeing how they interact with the game what they do both for me mentally, and what they provide for the models on the board. I also enjoy the pains that they put my opponent through. Watching when and how an opponent reacts to how you’re playing the game and what your abilities are can in a general sense give you insight into how future opponents will react. All of those points, when added together, can give a really solid sense of how a ‘Caster is going to mesh with your style, your faction, and your temperament.
With the Coming of Gencon and the release of new models, there is always the accompanying wailing and gnashing of teeth. Not, I didn’t say some. Entrenched in the very fabric of the Warmachine and Hordes community is the Doom Cycle, and endless repetition of bad feelings, gloom and resigned detachment. However, shortly thereafter, there is nearly always acceptance of the new models amidst the stable of the tried and true. This year’s Great Wail was heard over Zaal, Ancestral Advocate, the new Epic Skorne Warlock.