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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Slayer

On a whim (while attempting to clean the mess that is my hobby room) I decided to paint one of my few Cryx models I bought from a friend of mine.







He had bought the battle box for Cryx as well as a few other models for a Journeyman league a few months back. He didn't like them at first (he comes from Khador after all, so smashy smash is all he knows) due to low armors and a requirement of synergy and order activation that doesn't exactly leap off the page to all players. I gave him a few pointers on the box's combos and he started winning almost every game in the league. However toward the end he wasn't able to keep up with the league and it slowly fell to the wayside.

He didn't like his paint job either, since he says he rushed it for the points in the league. So when he offered them to me at less than half the retail price I couldn't refuse. I putting models together is my least favorite part of the hobby. This doesn't mean I'm not skilled at it, it's just the most frustrating in my opinion. I tend to shy away from conversions since it seems more of a hassle to me for little gain, as opposed to a great paintjob which stands out even on a standard model. I mean, think about it - imagine the multitude of gamers who painstakingly convert their minis with creative and awesome conversions, and it's either unpainted or not painted well. I've got some outstanding models that are great conversions, inculding my Eiryss, and no one really goes "Wow!!!"

Now imagine a standard, run of the mill, average model with an amazing paintjob. Those are what get the compliments.

Now being the vain little person that I am I'm all about the compliments :) . But seriously though, I find it more satisfying to put my efforts into painting rather than modeling. And who hasn't been left wanting to throw little metal men against the wall when the glue just won't act the way you want it, or YOU BREAK A DRILL BIT DEEP IN A FREEBOOTER'S FOOT.

I put more emotion into that because it's my latest frustration regarding models. I had the perfect drill hole (phrasing!) in that freebooter, and decided to just go a little more and BAM. Broken drill bit, stuck in the model.

It was pretty much the only place I could pin him to the base, too, leaving me forever scared of the model breaking from the base. It frustrated me so dearly that I didn't glue models together for nearly a month.

Anyway, off topic.

So a few months back I bought the Cryx stuff. I hadn't done anything with them, other than move them from one side of my table to another. I almost sold them off and would have if I hadn't forgotten them at home when I went to a Bits Bazaar at Fat Ogre.

Recently his friend Jeff has moved in with him and we've found more time to game together. However with 3 players it tends to be odd for Warmachine. So we've played 2 games of 2 v 1, where I played two separate armies against their two armies. We've played at 35 points so far, where I activate one of my armies first, then one of theirs activates, my second activates, and lastly the last of theirs activates. It seems to work, although feats that last a round like Ashlynn's and Gorten's seem to be much more devastating since they last essentially 4 turns rather than 2.

He texted me last week asking about the idea of doing multiplayer in that format but strictly battle boxes. I thought it was a great idea and told him that they'd be at an advantage considering that my boxes aren't great. Gorten is only at 8 points, Madrak has no heavies and his feat is useless in BB, and Kaelyssa doesn't have much in the way of damage. Then it struck me that I have the Cryx BB now, and then I was in business!

Denny's box is so fantastic. It's 14 points, has great synergies, and is able to deal with a multitude of army types. Her debuffs are universal, able to hit high def or high arm simultaneously. Speed debuffs are the best in the game in my opinion and greatly hinder your ability to function. The only weak spot is that there is only one damage dealer in the Slayer, but a P+S 22 strike against a debuffed model spells doom for most, and cripple at the least.

Deneghra herself is prone to assasination, since she isn't very durable and doesn't like to be on the front lines. Due to BB format she'd be more prone to assassination, since there isn't much screening her and the jacks in her box prefer to strike ahead of her.

However her spells greatly mitigate this. One tactic I have is if they get first turn and run toward the center (lets say average speeds of 5 they'd be 20" up considering deployment, 28" away from my table edge and 18" away from my deployment). I then run an arc node jack 14" up, making him 4" away from the enemy - and hopefully in LOS of the caster. Deneghra then casts Crippling Grasp on the caster. With FOC 7 and a boost she has good odds of hitting most caster defenses. If she misses then they will need to deal with the arc node jack, diverting precious resources to dispatch it and most likely in an uneven fashion (a 7 point jack dealing with a 4 point jack is a win in my opinion). That jack or caster sent to deal with it is one less model that the rest of my army needs to mess with, keeping the odds lopsided in my favor (with 14 points to start off with as well, I may still have an even number of points thereafter). If they ignore it that's a jack in key position for arcing next turn, or even charging the caster (with a debuff on it it's definitely got a chance of hurting). Worst case scenario I try with my remaining two arc nodes to do it again.

If the debuff succeeds then the caster is at -2 SPD STR & DEF, and without something like Banishing Ward it's on them for essentially the remainder of the game, which is why I only need to succeed once. With the speed debuff he can't charge or run, with an average speed of 5 he can only move 3" at a time, also slowing down jacks since they'll need to be within control range. If the jacks manage to charge out of it then the turn after they aren't allocated anything and are easy prey (however if they manage to knock out my slayer it may still be an uphill battle).

Once debuffed it's a matter of picking and choosing when to strike. It will be easier to find an assassination vector, and if they turtle up then remove one model at a time with the slayer. Couple this with Denny's feat and retaliation is almost impossible short of ranged attacks and Denny has stealth.

It's a solid strategy and I'm eager to test it out on the table top.