So, the new tier list for Zerkova from No Quarter #34. It does indeed contain all that was leaked. And the general consensus (on the PP-Forums, that is) is positive. I haven't gotten around to playing a larger game with it (35 points) yet, but there are a number of observations made both from the List and my Zerkova playing experience.
1.) The storyline background is cool. Basically, the tier list represents a special operations force that Zerkova accumulated while ransacking Llael. She and her Greylords did the "Elephant in the porcelain shop" thing and, after a lot of worked, jail-broke Vanguard warjacks. And she has a standing contract with di Wulfe as a result of this operation.
2.) Benefits. At max tier, you get +1 FA on Greylords and Kayazy Units and UA's, the ability to include Vanguards in her battlegroup, a free 1-round cloud effect per Ternion, +2" deployment zone, and a 1 point discount on any warjack. Very sweet, especially the increase of KA Underbosses. Not even Supreme Kommandant Irusk has that! And that wholesale discount just this: Great.
3.) The Army as a whole is balanced. Melee in form of kayazy, shooting in form of widowmakers, all-around usefulness due to ternions and all the respective solos, plus Gorman. That said, the general POW maxes out at 12 (assassin blades w. gang bonus, frostbite, acid bomb, vanar liberator), so the roles are clearly split: infantry takes care of infantry, heavies take care of heavies. This is enforced by the restriction on warjacks, since the list includes only non-character 'jacks with ranged weapons, and marauders (YAY! to that, though).
3a) So one shtick of this list is "direct shooting denial". You can run the "rolling cloud" by putting blizzards on kayazy, you do - between greylords, gorman, and twister - have access to a number of cloud effects, and the vanguards shield guard ability adds to the mix. All in all, it should be capable of keeping Lady Z reliably safe from ranged attacks which used to be an issue before. Also, there is plenty of infantry removal.
3b) The main drawback for me (as for others) is the lack of mechanics. You need the heavies to do the hard work, so when they go down (even if only in performance), the infantry can't compensate (due to the unavailability of hitters like the great bears, the drakhun, or iron fang pikemen. You also don't have a last-ditch ice axe intervention to safe you.
4.) Conclusion: Definitely playable, without any greater remorse, as it is nicely balanced. I'm probably just too much in love with the mechanics, or with kayazy being able to get iron flesh. The old-school assassinations should still work out nicely. And hey, it's Gorman and vanguards in a Khadoran tier!
I'd play it like this (taking into account the models available to me) at tier four:
Lady Z (6 WJP)
+ Spriggan (9) [With Reach, Bulldoze, Arm 21 and P&S 18 the go-to jack in this list]
+ Marauder (6) [I have one and love the P&S 20 combo-smite]
+ Vanguard (4) [I need to get one first, though.]
Kayazy Assassins (min) (5)
+ Underboss (2)
Greylord Ternion (4)
Widowmaker Marksman (2)
Koldun Lord (2)
Gorman di Wulfe (2)
That's 34 points. Going to fifty, I'd roll with another min. Kayazy + Underboss (7), Ternion (4), and Vanguard (4). (Still a point short ;-) )
This tier list will make it's first appearance in M&tM #41! And until then, farewell.