Montag, 5. August 2013

Khador 2013, Part 15 - Mangled Metal

Good Morning, Folks, and welcome back for another issue of "Khador 2013". This time, we're talking in depth about Mangled Metal - metaphorical depth, to be precise, because metal is too hard to get into. ;-)

The results speak for themselves.
This is because I went to attend the Convergence of Cyriss Release Event that took place at my FLGS last Saturday, which just so happens to be a Mangled Metal/Tooth and Claw event. We all know, like, and yet dread this scenario, which both one of the rulebook scenarios and the way the game is introduced to us via the battlebox.

At first, you'll likely be thinking: "Well yeah, it's simple." But I think there is actually a LOT to be said about it - not so much about the scenario, maybe, but about the things surrounding it. Thusly, we'll be talking about Khadorans list building considerations, favourable Khadoran Warcasters, some CoC release event details and considerations, and we're going to attempt an unbiased answer of whether Hordes or Warmachine is better off in this scenario - and by how much.

Enjoy!

For the record, I'll assume 25 points.

So, Khadoran list building selections. They are, put bluntly, highly restricted. We lack all of our highly valued Jack support (okay, that one was tongue-in-cheek), we have no access to Infantry or Solos - which IS bad for Khador, especially in a match-up against Hordes, where you need some kind of chaff. The good thing is that Hordes also has no Fury management available, but we'll deal with that later.
Honestly, I do miss not having a Koldun Lord and Mechanics. And the MoW Kovnik would be highly sensible in some builds, too. But alas.

So we're down to our Jacks. The ones that make the most sense from our Line-up are:
Characters:
• Behemoth. Really, that needs no explanation, does it? Armor Piercing, being ARM 21, two bombards... yes! Everybody loves this 'Jack.
• Beast 09, because of Reach P&S 19. In the CoC event, also because of Hyper aggressive, because there's no way he'll be out of your CTRL this way.
• Torch, because of Pathfinder charges. You don't think this is good? Face Xerxis, a Cipher, or something like that, and try saying that again with a straight face. Ciphers are especially nasty with their multiple templates.
• Drago, mainly because he is both cheap, accurate (stupidly so under Vlad), and focus efficient.
- Black Ivan, I think, is only a plausible Choice in two cases: a) against a Faction with MAT 6 and no buffs, b) in the CoC event, because he can get the Superiority sticker.

Regulars:
• Marauder. Cheap, and Combo-smiting slam/knockdown tech. Very good choice.
• Kodiak. In-built Pathfinder, and cheap.
• Spriggan. Anti-stealth Flare and Reach are his main selling point here.
- Destroyer is a toss-up in my opinion, it depends on your 'Caster - and probably whether you already took the Behemoth.
- Demolisher, Devastator aren't that great IMHO, because in MM, you'll find enough things that punch through ARM 25 really quickly, and that's their main shtick.
- Decimator... meh... Torch has Relentless charge, but the gun has a good power... No, I think there are better alternatives.
- Berserker. Vlad "War Host" Berserker Spam only.
Special mention: Zerkova's Hunting Wolves can field a Vanguard, and he is bonkers good in keeping her safe in this environment.


Having said that, which Warcasters roll well with the format?
There are some obvious Champions:
• Sorscha Xp - her feat is nothing but brutal destruction, something very valuable in the piece trade. Also, she's got boundless charge, which gets a little extra something in the CoC event (Superiority sticker nonsense).
• Butcher - he's got Full throttle for accuracy, a destructive feat (which almost calls for the Behemoth), and himself. If the piece trade goes south, the Butcher can still go in an turn it on it's head. He'll prefer Jack's with inherent Pathfinder options.
• Karchev - I don't own him, but with no Infantry, it's obvious that the Tow Slingshot helps to set-up a very favourable piece-trade. Also, Unearthly Rage. If only I'd like the model...
• Harkevich - Field marshal Pathfinder & Escort-MOV+ & ARM+ feat make him an actual contender in this scenario.
• Vladimir. For all the nonsense S&P, Boundless Charge, Superiority Sticker and Forced March can cause. ;)

Some are surprisingly well performing, too:
• Sorscha - because if everything goes wrong, she can still swoosh your face off. The power node highly affects her game, and the game against her.
• Zerkova - she's got a lot of Focus to play around with, a denial feat, and the option for Vanguards when going with the "Hunting Wolves" theme force.
• Irusk. I've been giving him some serious shit in MM, saying he's no good. Actually, that isn't as true. In the CoC event, you get two jacks with Superiority. "Grind" could actually be cast. Iron Flesh keeps him quite safe. And last but not least, "Inhospitable Ground" can really screw the other player's game over if they don't have "Easy rider" or a Colossal. I learned that the hard way against Xerxis...

I wanted to make a list of very good MM/TC 'Casters, but seriously, you'll likely know these from your respective factions. But this here is so stupid I'll just have to share...
...Goreshade the Bastard. Bane thralls, an anti-jack infantry, in a non-infantry meta? Sick. Wrong. That feat needs to be changed. ;-) It's especially stupid when combined with the Cryxian "Curse of Shadows" sticker. And stuffed into a list with Deathjack, Nightmare, Leviathan. No fun in the least. Let's move on.


Details and thoughts on the CoC Release Event:
• The scenario really could use either an alternate win condition (for example "all 'Jacks/Beasts destroyed), or Killbox so you can't just hide your spell slinger Warcaster in the back behind a wall, and brutalize the field slinging spells through the centre arc node.
• When the power node is NOT in the centre, it tends to have no effect whatsoever on the game. When it is central, it's also central to the game.
• Speaking about the Node... Khador getting access to an arcnode which starts right up the field, and is pretty durable (though not really much) - it's a stupid as it sounds. If this wasn't mangled metal, certain 'Casters would be ridiculous - I'm looking at Sorscha here.
• Most of the achievements are really easy (if you fulfill the basic requirements), except for a few: The terrain creation ones are medium difficulty, but very decisive when it comes to Cipher Points. Destroying three or more heavies generally is a very hard thing, but for Khador it's probably just hard. But the collateral damage one is ultra hard, because it can be so easily dealt with in List building. I mean, noone could do that against Khador, or anything with only large bases...
• For anyone wanting to take a serious shot at such an event: build the terrain, it's next to impossible to do if you don't, and somebody else does. Also, more terrain is good for everybody, especially if you put some love and dedication into building it.


As for the unbiased answer regarding Warmachine v. Hordes:
In Mangled Metal/Tooth and Claw (not in general, as pointed out), I'm saying: Hordes.
I'm saying so after giving this a lot of objective thought. Warmachine loses stalling infantry more than direct 'Jack support (unless you're playing Protectorate), the worst thing that Hordes loses is their Beast support and Fury management (and that can be dealt with. Skorne's got the Bronzeback, for example, so Fury problems? Whazzat?). What makes and breaks the difference is the fact that his Beasts are more integral to the Hordes player, so he is losing less when not given access to infantry whatsoever. On a scale on say, 0-9, the Hordes player probably is ahead by 1 point, so not that much, but enough that it could matter.
And I'm saying that without taking particular 'Casters into consideration, because some of them are way more stupid or hampered in this scenario than elsewhere (consider Asphyxious Xp2, for example), and some can tank and turn the tide themselves while others cannot. So in order to give an unbiased answer,  'Casters need to be taken out of the equation.

And that's it for this issue! If you have participated and think I missed out on something, just post it. 

Until next time, farewell!