Mittwoch, 6. Mai 2015

Khador 2015, Part 06 - Steam & Steel

Subtitle: Charge of the Lulzlords.

So, digital subscribers to NQ got to spoil a new theme force for Vladimir, the Dark Champion. It's called Steam & Steel, and it's about Man-o-War. If that means you can't hold your excitement any longer, follow me beyond the break. I'll go into the meat of the theme force, it's benefits, general list ideas, and it's problems.
Let's start off with the basics - the requirements and tiers.

Warjacks: Non-character, Drago
Units: Battle Mechaniks, MoW units
Solos: MoW Solos
Tier 1: Only include the models listed.
Bonus: Reduce points of MoW Kovniks and MoW units by 1
Tier 2: Includes 1+ MoW Kovniks
Bonus: For each MoW Kovnik, redeply one model/unit
Tier 3: Includes 2+ Units
Bonus: One MoW Kovnik and one unit gain Advance Deploy

Tier4: Include 2+ Warjacks
Bonus: Warjacks gain +2 SPD first turn

Pardon me, but oh my benign god. There is excitement, but let me be honest: It's not coming from me. Not now, at least. And that pretty much echoes the knee-jerk reactions. But let's start with the basics, the things we can run. The list is very short:

• Battle Mechaniks & Officer
• MoW Shocktroopers
• MoW Demolition Corps
• MoW Bombardiers
• MoW Kovnik
• MoW Drakhun
• Drago & N/C Warjacks

Besides the BMs, Drago, and the Drakhun, that's all the shit models Khador has (barring special situations - Irusk2). Which benefits do we get in return?
• Point reduction - Kovniks for 2 are very sensible. Units at 5/8 feel a lot better (Shocktroopers especially), Bombardiers at 6/10 are at least stomachable.
• Redeployment for probably two units - this is so very, very good. Go first, still counter deploy (kind of). Picking the right matchups is valuable for such slow models.
• Advance deployment - that's also very good, even if it's just for one unit. Suitable candidates are Shocktroopers or the Bombardiers... now that the Kovnik just had a reason to be up there.
• Warjack SPD bonus - pffff... not sold. It's not bad, but you won't have the points to capitalise on it, should you want to vanguard with the 'Jacks, and Vlad2 isn't particularly reknown for being a 'Jack 'Caster.

So, what do we make of this? We should remember that Kovniks increase the FA of Shocktroopers and DemoCorps, which generally is crap. But in this case... let's revisit it. With two Kovniks, you can have five units of Shocktroopers, and five units of DemoCorps. That's, maxed out, 54 points straight with min units, so it won't work. Five min units of Shocktroopers, though, are only 25 points for 15 models, so 1.666 point each. At max, it's 40 for 25, being 1.6 (flat) each.

The sensible result is this: If you go five max units of Shocktroopers and/or DemoCorps, you get more models than with min units. You also have 10 points left. One Kovnik is 2, Drago is another 3 (with WJP), and a Drakhun with dismount is five points. Which leaves us with this theoretical list:

Vladimir 2        -5
Drago              8
MoW Shocktroopers  8
MoW Shocktroopers  8
MoW Shocktroopers  8
MoW DemoCorps      8
MoW DemoCorps      8
MoW Kovnik         8
MoW Drakhun (w/)   5

This is certainly not doable for most of us - if it is for you, then go ahead, take a picture of the army assembled, post it in the comments! - it certainly isn't for me. I'd also like more variety (and guns) in my list. So here goes:

Vladimir 2        -5
Drago              8
Battle Mechaniks   2
w/ Officer         2
MoW Shocktroopers  8
MoW Shocktroopers  8
MoW DemoCorps      8
MoW Bombardiers   10
MoW Kovnik         2
MoW Kovnik         2
MoW Drakhun (w/)   5

This list, technically, plays six points up, which is a min unit of MoW. I also like it a lot better than the pure melee approach. I'd actually love to have even more points so I could marshal some 'Jacks with the Kovniks... they don't have to be in the battlegroup for the Tier 4 benefit, I was told. What to do with the AD benefit? I'd actually give that to the Bombardiers. See, people have been talking about them shooting 'Casters up with Bombardiers under Hand of Fate, and they have short range anyway, so them being up farther seems really sensible. They also make for nice distractions... *cough*

So, this theme forces problems. Oh, where to start. Let's see.
• Very low SPD - Vlad only has his feat to speed them up, and that's only d3+3 models. Which is exacerbated by the following problem:
• No terrain mitigation - no way to give pathfinder. So your opponent can predicably say where you are going to show up. And you're not going to cross that wall.
• No defensive tech against range - Aside from walking them behind Shieldwalling Shocktroopers, those DemoCorps are endangered as ever.
• No magic weapons, no anti-magic - there are some lists that could basically win with ease against this. Yes, most of them are Cryx. ;)
• Reliance on Armour - we know how far that really takes us these days, when the original MMM skews the Meta against it. This list will be caught in the crossfire.
• Low number of Attacks - it's only 30 models, 25 of those being actual combat models, and they won't get to fight all at once...

That seem to be the most egregious ones. And those stated, they are obviously all considerations from a competitive PoV. Cryx and Circle will have their way with it. It could actually stand up decently against any kind of shooting heavy list, I would even consider it for Legion.
IMO, it's biggest weaknesses are low SPD, no terrain mitigation, and small attack volume. Beyond that, things actually don't look so bleak. The overall MAT of the combat models is really high, around 7, and the average hitting power of them is at P&S 14 - both with access to transference. It could potentially outpunch other MMMs and low model count armies.

If there ever comes a way to generally mitigate the SPD/Terrain issues (MoW TyCom, please? Pretty please?), it might actually become a more legitimate consideration outside of casual environments.

As a closing word, it does have a decent ranged assassination threat, though it's not very far-reaching. Never forget that MoW Kovniks are RAT-fucking-6. 6!

Until next time,