The Necrotechs Workshop – The Sturgis Disaster

The Sturgis Disaster

Thanks, guys. I appreciate this.

I decided that I would let the community interact with my list building, and this is what I’ve gotten. After the Poll that ran for a week, The Largest percentage of the populous picked, surprising no one familiar with the internet, Sturgis 2.

Sturgis, guys.

Anyway! Onto list building.

 

First, though, the Results. You know I hate all of you, right? With the most love possible. 

 

Ok, with that out of the way. 

Sturgis

From the start, he has two spells that you want to consider when selecting models: Occultation, and Parasite. His other spells – Teleport, Convection, and Blood Rain, are much more game play based than List building based. We also need to consider his feat – Dead on Arrival – for the threat extension. It’s a powerful feat that, once combined with proper application of speed and force can turn, theoretically turn the tide of the game. Unfortunately, it does require him to be extremely close to the front line, and that’s where he gets crushed and loses the game. Keeping him safe while getting good use out of the feat seems specifically key.

So, we ask ourselves: What likes threat extension, ARM fixers and massed gun solutions? Well. Pretty much everything. So let us start taking breaking down what he doesn’t do.

1 – MAT fixing. Like about half the casters in the faction, hitting is going to be a problem. Skarre 1 and 2, Asphyxious 3, Denny 1/2/3, Venethrax, Scaverous, Aiakos, and if we are stretching Goreshade 1/3 and Terminus all give some ability to buff to hit. Sadly, Sturgis just isn’t on that list. In the past, I would have tried shoving in either Bane Riders or Tartarus, but neither of those is really going to be worth it in this case, eating up huge chunks of your army simply to get a hit buff with a mediocre unit and/or solo. I find it much better to simply take accurate units. I’m pleased that these same units are much more tenable these days, due to the general lowering of defenses during the edition change. I love the Blood Witches and Blood Hag for the added bonus of removing any spell effect granting direct bonuses via blessed, and I love Satyxis Raiders because of their reach and feedback. both of these seem like solid choices, so I’ll keep them in mind. 

2 -Jack Support. Like most of our casters, Sturgis is going to be strapped to run more than a few jacks. He is focused on getting his offensive spells out there, his upkeeps, and keeping himself from being paste to quickly. This leads to him wanting a few support or utility jacks, maybe one offensive jack, and then putting the onus of the game plan on his troops. He clearly does nothing to support colossals, so leaves them behind as well. 

3- Defensive Measures. When it comes to increasing ARM or DEF, slowing down enemies or doing anything beyond killing them before they get to you, Sturgis really has nothing going for him. That means that your going to want to bring models that either are self sufficient when it comes to defense, or in such voluminous numbers to not matter one lick. 

That is pretty much where I see him sitting, honestly. Parasite, Occultation, and needing troops and jacks that deliver themselves. 

His abilities

Himself, he brings a ton of different abilities to the table. He has some self-preservation tech in Reversal and Parasite, some troop clearing with Death Strike, and a plethora of attacks with Snap Strike. He also has Relentless Charge, allowing him to get charges off from either behind or within defensive terrain, which can often allow a better feat than would be expected. 

His chain attack is interesting, and works counter to the rest of the abilities on his card, honestly. I think this is a good measure of choices vs. what others once called skornergy. If you need to drop a hard target, he is going to be pretty solid in doing it, even if he has to cast Parasite that round. 3 for parasite, upkeep occultation with the Withershadow leaves him with three. He charges the heavy target with MAT 7, hits it twice with PO 16’s, essentially, and then after triggering Dark Shroud, he can make 6 more P+S 18’s. Its not optimal, but he can get a significant set of work done if he needs to, and can easily finish off a wounded heavy. Two 16’s and, at the worst, two 18’s before teleporting is no joke, doing an average of 16 damage to an arm 20 before getting out of dodge. 

If, however, he wants to attack into clumped infantry, often because he lost his jack, he can do that with both weapons. Soul Thief allows him to steal living models souls for focus next turn, and Death Strike allows him to kill enemies as far as 4″ away. Getting two attacks for each focus really pays off here, allowing him the ability to clear a decent amount of troops before teleporting away. Under the perfectly optimal circumstances, he is able to capture 5 souls, and kill something like 15 troopers. is it likely? No. Could it be glorious? Yes! all he really needs is the ability to attack into his back arc. 

Blueprints

Between what he brings to the army and what he brings himself, we have a pretty basic blueprint of what we want for our list. I think, honestly, were looking for a fairly balanced force, with Sturgis himself tipping the scales in terms of what the list needs to do. Make sure, against gun lists, to both occultate him and hide him behind terrain when necessary. 15/17 isn’t going to last long to concentrated fire, even if you decide to bring three brutes. 

So, I think this is going to be my first go at a list. Its not perfect, but it does what I think needs to be done. 

Sturgis, the Corrupted
-Deathripper x2
-Desecrator
-Cankerworm
-Withershadow Combine
Soul Trapper
Soul Trapper
Bane Warriors x10
Croe’s Cutthroats x10
Carrion Thralls x10
Satyxis Blood Witches x10
-Blood Hag 

I think I like this, but there are things I might want to do with it. I can also wiggle a bit of room for the below two lists. It has a ton of chaff, and a surprising amount of stealth. In this list, Bane Thralls are the ones who get stealth, as they are the only real target. Desecrator is there for feat shenanigans, and the Cankerworm is there for attacking like a heavy. Croes has a strong potential to cause a significant problem, as with reposition 5 and the feat, he can easily end up behind your lines much quicker than you’d like. With parasite, those hits become scary. With Parasite and Dark shroud, back strikes will become lethal quickly. 

Option 2

Sturgis, the Corrupted
-Deathripper x2
-Desecrator
-Cankerworm
-Withershadow Combine
Soul Trapper
Orin Midwinter (Ma Man!) 
Bane Warriors x10
-Bane Thrall UA and Standard
Croe’s Cutthroats x10
Satyxis Blood Witches x10
-Blood Hag 

This list simply removes the Carrion thralls for more support. Getting the UA on the thralls will bring them back to MKII levels, Orin Midwinter is my favorite model right now, and its hard to build a list without him. It would be nice to prevent those pesky knockdown spells. 

Option 3

Sturgis, the Corrupted
-Deathripper x2
-Desecrator
-Cankerworm
-Withershadow Combine
Satyxis Captain
Bane Warriors x10
-Bane Thrall UA and Standard
Croe’s Cutthroats x10
Satyxis Raiders x10
-Sea Witch

This one makes me choose Occultation targets, but it does cause a huge problem for the opponent. Stealthed weaponmasters and high-defense Satyxis can cause mighty headaches, and the Satyxis captain can simply knock down whatever she encounters in her daily rounds as needed. Knocked down, Dark Shroud, Parasite Backstrikes from Croe sound awesome. Will have to try it out!  

And finally, I can swap the Raiders, if I have them, for Soulhunters.

Broken Dreams 

So! how bad are these lists? Do you have better ones you think I should run? Let me know! I can’t go anywhere but up!

  • Chris Fowler

    So what are you using the soul trappers for? The only models in the list that can use the souls that they gather are the Wither Shadow Combine and other Soul Trappers since Sturgis doesn’t in fact have “Soul Taker” as an ability. With the slower crab Jack who depends on stay flexible, with both shooty and melee options, would it not be better to replace the trappers with a necrotech?

    • Tionas

      Actually, he does! They changed the rule between editions to grant him the Soul Taker : Soul Thief ability, so I plan on using the soul trappers to try and fuel him for maybe one good turn. If I shoot the moon, Sturgis with 14 focus could be a lot of fun. It is, though, something I am watching. I’ve sidelined the S. Trappers for most of MK 3, and am trying them out to try and extend the casters soul collection range fairly passivly, keeping them within 5″ of him at all times, making his soul collection range 10″ instead of 2″

  • micho

    I’ve been running Sturgis2 recently. He’s a limited and difficult caster. Getting the soul train running will help a lot. I like WE&S with him. Starcrossed + reversal is sweet and Snapjaw is a heavy that doesn’t burden Sturgis and can hit a parasited target at P+S 21. I also thought about the WSC with him but in the end I found them too expensive for not so much benefit, so I dropped them. The only attachment I’ve considered is Madelyn, specially since now she suckers! to any warrior model nearby (living or undead!).

    • Tionas

      He does seem extremely limited. I don’t know what he’s really got going on, but people want to see me play it, so here it is!
      The Withershadow is pretty practical, actually. Upkeeping occultation for free, ranged attacks, and rerolling the to-hit roll when needed seems extremely useful. I think, if I pull out Cankerworm, Orin, and a Soul trapper, I only have to find two more points, which might not be to rough. I’m not completely sold on Croe’s, but want to give them a try.

      • Noah Evans

        He gives you a couple of neat tricks. One is that stealth is normally out-threat by shooting (11″ to 9″/9.5″ for Warriors/Witches respectively). His feat lets you bridge that distance (you now threat 12″/12.5″).

        If you’re going with the WSC you might want to try a more melee jack oriented build (eg. malice and a seether/inflictor). The reroll means you’ll make the drag more reliably and the beatstick will help with whatever you catch.

        What sort of lists will you be facing?

        • Tionas

          I tend to use the reroll on the caster. they have more options over more rolls to need that critical reroll.

          I do like the comment on the “Stealth Gap.” Its the same problem I encountered with the Coven. Often, it wasn’t enough to have a simple 9.5″ threat, and I needed something that had 12+ to take the most advantage of the feat. However, with sturgis its not a linear threat extension, which is strange (at least for me) to try and work out. Because everyone is pulled directly towards Sturgis, its unlikely that he extends the threat the full 3″ for most models. More often than not, its going to be closer to 2″, I’d expect. Except, I’m not an expert in Geometry, so I could be super wrong.

          • Noah Evans

            If you pull from a 45 degree angle you’ll get about 1.7″ (sqrt 3) extension. That said you get to choose where you pull from so your opponent has to take that into account.

            Good point on putting the reroll on Sturgis since he’s FOC 6.

            Going to back to Stealth for a second, the 9.5″ threat/11″ counter disparity is one reason why clouds > stealth. Placing a cloud directly in front of your models puts the disparity in your favor 9.5″/6″ provided a. none of your stuff is in the cloud and b. opposing models can’t reach it.

            One cute thing that you can do with Sturgis (and Agathia) is go for stealth *and* cloud skew. Opponents usually have answers for one, but not the other (eg. Irusk2’s feat sees through clouds but not stealth).