Battle 043 – Cygnar vs Skorne, Kraye vs pMakeda: Proper Application of Force

Newton once said “Give me but a firm place to stand and a lever long enough, and I will move the Earth”. Not a bad sentiment, and rooted in solid physics.
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Kraye would counter with this: “Give me but a warjack fast enough and a clear Charge lane, and I will move empires.”

This is a (short) battle report of how he did just that…

Kevin and I faced off across the squared field last Wednesday… I was hoping to test out my new Kraye build against a Skorne brick, and Kevin was only too happy to put his prized Mammoth on the table to try and stomp his way to victory.

My Kraye list, in its current incarnation, is as follows:

Captain Jeremiah Kraye
– Squire
– Reliant (proxied by a Crusader)
– Stormclad
– Minuteman
– Minuteman
Stormblade Infantry
– Officer and Standard
Cylena and the Nyss Hunters (max)
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution (“eEiryss”)
Journeywoman Warcaster
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord

This list is being designed as my primary “Anti-Bradigus” list. Anyone who thinks that you don’t need a list specifically for a single warcaster obviously has not played against medium-to-high level Bradigus players yet (or, alternatively, are MUCH better than I am! Both are acceptable answers!).

Thus, towards that end: Cylena and her Nyss all have “Hunter”, which allows them to ignore the forests popping up on Bradigus’ side of the table. This can be useful either for pumping big-honkin’ CRAs into Wolds (because trying to do so on the Shifting Stones will require a very sloppy player), or charging in with their happy Weapon Master attacks. The Stormblades make great ARM-crackers and a solid second line attack force, while the Reliant and Stormclad are there for heavy piece trades. The Minutemen are around to leap into the back lines and punch Shifting Stones to death, and as a in-the-pocket assassination tool.

Now, all this anti-Bradigus tech is theoretically solid, but there are 2 downsides:
1. What if I never face a Bradigus player in the first 2-3 rounds of the tournament? I’m going to be locked into Kraye, and so I need to be able to use him against at least a fair chunk of the field *just in case*.
2. Theorymachine is all well and good, but nothing is better than actual practice! So I need to get Kraye on the table, multiple times, against matchups I feel confident he would do well against.

Correspondingly, I decided that pHaley is also weak against the standard Skorne Brick drops, and therefore, here we are!

Kevin decided he wanted to play around with pMakeda (which works fine by me: just because my Skorne opponents have Brick lists doesn’t mean they’re going to drop them against me, and I needed to be confident that Kraye was a good Skorne drop, more than just a good anti-ARM drop!).

Kevin’s list was as follows:

Archdomina Makeda (“pMakeda”)
– Mammoth
– Archidon
– Aptimus Marketh
Extoller Soulward
Nihilators (max)
Praetorian Karax (max)
Praetorian Keltarii (max)
Paingiver Beast Handlers

There are obviously a few points missing in this list, but these are the basics. Maybe I’ll figure it out as I write the report and come back and correct this as I go… or maybe not. Anyway! The list was like this… basically a Mammoth with “Eyeless Sight” screened by three full units of Praetorian infantry (immune to blast damage!). Not exactly what Kraye wants to see across the table… but a loaded up Stormclad will at least be able to put the hurt on a Mammoth (and it’s better than going up against, say, 3-5 Heavies, which is not an atypical Skorne list!).

The scenario was “Fire Support” (two 12×6″ zones with a Friendly objective on the midway line that gives boosted damage to friendly light artillery… 1CP for destroying the enemy objective, dominating the friendly zone, or controlling the enemy zone, and 2CP for dominating the enemy zone).

Deployment

We rolled for initiative, which I won and elected to go first. Kevin selected his side of the table based on the forest (hoping to keep LoS blocked to important pieces) and the wide open opposite side of the table for his infantry to swarm forward.

I deployed with the Reliant (remember, proxied by a Menite Crusader) near the middle-left, with Kraye (and his Squire) next to it directly in the middle of the table. The Stormclad went slightly to the right near all the Nyss, with the Stormblades spread out behind them. Rhupert went near the Nyss, as did the Journeywoman, and then I Advanced Deployed the Minutemen (one center, one left) and Eiryss (on the tower to the far right).
IMG_20141210_191135As for Kevin, he deployed his Mammoth in the middle of the table, with all three units of infantry to my left flank in long lines. The Cyclops went slightly to the right in the forest, with Makeda and her entourage near/behind the Mammoth.

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With all the formalities out of the way, we were ready to let slip the dogs (and titans) of war!

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Cygnar, Turn 1

Not a lot to say about this turn. I knew I had to get the Mammoth dead before it killed all my Nyss (they aren’t super-happy about high-POW AoEs, I tell you what!), but I had the tools available to do just that… both my Heavies were speedy little bastards with Kraye, and I knew I could use my Minutemen to disrupt his plans.
– 1 Focus to the Reliant, and we’re off!
– Kraye goes first, casting “Full Tilt” on the central Minuteman and then Charging the Mammoth (ended up slightly behind my Objective).
– The Full Tilt Minuteman heads further left, staying *just* within CTRL range of Kraye.
– The Nyss activate and run, spreading out as much as I can while keeping Cylena at the back.
– Rhupert gives them “Tough”
– The Stormclad get its free Focus from the Stormblades and runs forward.
– The Stormblades get “Arcane Shield” from the Journeywoman Warcaster (who moves towards Kraye for whenever I inevitably have to swap it over to Kraye), and then run forward behind and among the Nyss.
– Eiryss elects to run forward (I actually remembered while I was taking the pictures, so you’ll see her “magically” appear in front of the Deathclock next turn).
– The Minuteman on the left runs forward (for free, thank you Kraye) and ends up toes-on a hill/altar to the far left, still *just* inside CTRL range.
– The Reliant runs forward, and we’re done!

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Skorne, Turn 1

Kevin decided that this would be a turn to blunt the spear tip of my assault a little
– His infantry (Karax, Nihilators, and Keltarii) all run forward, with the front unit (the Keltarii, I believe?) getting “Defender’s Ward” from Marketh and the Nihilators sitting B2B with the Karax (for immunity to Blast Damage from my Minuteman’s Flak Field).
– The Mammoth runs forward and then gets an Ancillary Attack at the Nyss which scatters short.
– The Archidon gets Riled a little and then runs up the board, just shy of engaging my Minuteman.
– Makeda moves forward into the forest, toeing into it for safety, and spends most of her stack (leaving her camping 2).
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Cygnar, Turn 2

See, this is why we do this podcast, folks… so that people can learn to avoid things like what is about to happen to poor Kevin…
– Kraye pulls from the Squire and gives 2 Focus to the Stormclad, 2 to the Minuteman (which, for the record, was a mistake… but we’ll get to that), upkeeps Full Tilt, and we’re off.
– The Minuteman goes first. It walks its “humble” 12 inches around the Archidon and directly towards Makeda. It Leaps (for 1 Focus), landing B2B with the Archdomina. I think “Flak Field” her for a few points of damage. It then spends the 2nd Focus to 2-hand-throw her… and I realize that without a 3rd Focus, and I can’t boost to hit! Damnation! I need a hard 9…
And I get it! Nice. The Minuteman overpowers Makeda and lobs her back towards my lines… she scatters even further towards my side of the table and knocking her down.
– Kraye activates and pops his Feat. He swaps “Full Tilt” over to the Stormclad.
– The Nyss go next, moving up with 1 moving to engage the Archidon. The rest of the Nyss pump 2 CRAs into Makeda, hitting and inflicting moderate damage (which Kevin elects not to transfer, leaving her on 4 boxes).
– The Stormclad activates, gaining a 3rd Focus from the Stormblades, and charges Makeda. It has a 17″ charge under Kraye’s Feat (SPD10 from Full Tilt, +2 from Reach, +3 from Charging, 2+ from Feat), and Makeda is “only” 14″ away. It easily makes distance, and hits with both initials (forcing 2 Transfers). It buys 1 Attack, cranks it, and drops Makeda to the ground.

Victory for Cygnar!

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Post Game Analysis

A lesson learned by all involved. Consider this a Public Service Announcement for those going up against Kraye… his warjacks have some pretty insulting threat ranges with “Full Tilt” (the Minutemen can walk 12″, leap 5″ more, punch things, and then get a Light Cav move 5″ further!). Plus the 2-Hand-Throw-Your-Warnoun-At-My-Army thing is a classic… it was time for Kevin to be introduced to it.

Because the game was over so quickly (a total of 10 minutes from Kevin’s clock, and 11 from mine), we decided to rack up the armies again and give it another whirl… that battle report is coming out later this week, hopefully, and Kevin played far more cautiously! But hopefully everyone learned something from this game, and it was nice to see that Kraye can handle some Skorne at least!

Thanks for reading!

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6 thoughts on “Battle 043 – Cygnar vs Skorne, Kraye vs pMakeda: Proper Application of Force

  1. Classic Kraye assassination, well done.

    A couple of questions about the list:

    (1) What’s the Reliant for? You only mention heavy piece trades, so are you not planning to get work done with the gun?

    (2) What’s the Stormblade UA for? Most people seem to take them for Assault, but Kraye doesn’t help with the accuracy of the assault shots, so it’s not very likely they’ll hit.

    I’d be really tempted to consider dropping the UA and upgrading the Reliant (Ol’Rowdy or another Stormclad would be my favourite choices). The usual nice to have points fillers can then take up the slack.

    • Thanks for the comments, Border Prince! To answer your questions:
      1. The Reliant is there to help with the Skorne/Fist of Halaak matchup. Being able to hit a model and make everything within 4″ (AoE) of it Stationary? Extremely useful against Weaponmaster Infantry. The gun is nice, but it’s just gravy. Locking Cetrati in place is why he was in the list.

      I say “was”, because for the upcoming Team Tournament, the Reliant may not be available yet, and so I had to swap in a 2nd Stormclad.

      2. The Stormblade UA is for the Threat Range Extender, and for Heavy Removal. Stormblades on the Charge are pretty good, but half a unit with Assault can almost take out a Mammoth on their own… as long as they get that POW14 shot first. Normally you’d be right about the accuracy, but this is my Bradigus drop, so they’re going to be shoot DEF5 things all day.

      As it is, I brought in a 2nd Stormclad, dropped the Reliant and 2 Stormgunners (with tears in my eyes). A less versatile list, but still a good one… and Kraye can have some insane threat range on his Stormclads (as long as I can get LoS to a charge target!), with Pathfinder on a Stick (a Focus-expensive stick, but a stick!).

  2. Yikes. Full Tilt is a heck of a spell.

    Makeda 1 needs to be behind infantry (or the Mammoth). She’s very fragile. That said, it seems like Kevin didn’t really appreciate how far Minutemen can get (all of the inches).

    • It’s a fantastic spell! And pretty balanced, overall… and makes a large battlegroup pretty viable. All of which I approve of!

      Kevin had to learn sooner or later. More tomorrow to see how much he learned!

      • I look forward to it!

        I like Kraye a lot, as a Warcaster. I think he’s very well designed, with a great spell list, and a decent Feat. It’s great that he wants to play with a mixture of combat heavies and combat lights, and that he doesn’t always want a Stormwall like most Cygnar ‘casters.

        This list is looking like a good Brad drop. The Nyss and Minutemen should be great at clearing out the Mannikins, and the Minutemen can definitely mess with the Shifting Stones as well. After that, you’ve still got to play attrition, but taking out stones really messes with Brad’s Fury management.

      • Battle is up now! Check it out when you have a moment.

        I also really like Kraye. I would say he’s one of my favourite warcasters, but really, ALL Cygnar warcasters are among my favourites… I can’t think of one off-hand that I don’t like!

        I hope it’s a good Bradigus drop… in theory, it should be, but it really needs to be tested!

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