With Lock & Load 2016 behind us and the official release of the new editions just scant days away, it’s my immense pleasure to kick off a new series of Insiders that cover list building in the new editions. Throughout the next few weeks I and several other staff members will be walking you through some of the lists we’ve been fine-tuning for the new editions.
The goal of this series isn’t necessarily to showcase the “definitive” way to play a faction in the new editions. Each featured list will be as unique in its approach and design as the person who created it. While your mileage may vary when it comes to each specific list, we hope this series inspires you with new ideas when building your own lists in the brave new era of WARMACHINE and HORDES.
Like many folks out there, I’ve always had a soft spot for the most murdery of murderous elves: Garryth, the Blade of Retribution. Toward the end of our playtesting cycle, I enjoyed playing the following 75-point list, which I’ve dubbed “Garryth’s Band of Mischievous Murderers.”
Garryth, the Blade of Retribution +29 WJ
– Moros 11 pts
– Chimera 8 pts
– Manticore 14 pts
Total 33 pts
Arcanist Mechanik 2 pts
Arcanist Mechanik 2 pts
Ghost Sniper 3 pts
Ghost Sniper 3 pts
Houseguard Thane 4 pts
Mage Hunter Assassin 4 pts
Narn, Mage Hunter of Ios 6 pts
Heavy Rifle Team (2) 4 pts
Heavy Rifle Team (2) 4 pts
Mage Hunter Infiltrators (10) 13 pts
– Eiryss, Mage Hunter Commander 6 pts
– Soulless Escort 1 pt
Houseguard Riflemen (10) 15 pts
– Houseguard Rifleman Officer & Standard 4 pts
Total 71 pts
This list is nearly all killer, no filler outside of the two Arcanist Mechaniks, who I think are likely the most unhinged and bloodthirsty of the Arcanist bunch (I may even convert mine to have murder wrenches so they don’t feel left out). The Ghost Snipers, Heavy Rifle Teams, and Houseguard Riflemen can scalpel out key pieces from the opposing list at range while Garryth, Moros, Narn, and the Mage Hunter Assassin move in to murder things with knives. The Mage Hunter Infiltrators act as fast jamming units that are still capable of making clutch plays thanks to the inclusion of Eiryss 3. This fast, hard-hitting army is perfectly suited to a warcaster like Garryth.
The changes to the Heavy Rifle Team as well as the Armor-Piercing ability have really made me fall in love with this light artillery unit. Toss in Garryth’s Sentry spell so that one of them can take an extra shot during the Maintenance Phase and damn, it feels good to be an Iosan!
Adding to the hail of accurate sniper fire in this list, the Ghost Snipers have really become another favorite of mine in the new edition. While it may not jump off the page, the Ghost Sniper’s Marksman ability, which allows it to choose the column or branch of a warjack or warbeast it hits, pairs incredibly well with Deadly Shot. I can’t count how many times I’ve barely missed crippling an enemy warjack’s cortex or movement during an important turn due to a bad location roll. Well, no more! In this list the Ghost Snipers act as the cleanup crew for the Heavy Rifle Teams. If there’s nothing to clear, then the Snipers take out key solos or support units. The general rule of thumb, however, is to always save their activations until near the end of your turn. That’s when their abilities really shine best.
The Houseguard Riflemen may seem like an odd inclusion, but they serve a couple of different purposes in the list. First and foremost, the Officer’s Granted: War-Tempered ability allows them to make CRAs into melee, which is fantastic at helping to keep this army from being jammed by similar fast-moving lists. Toss in the Whites of Their Eyes ability, which grants the Riflemen an additional die on attack rolls against enemy models within 8˝ of them once per game, and there are few jamming units they can’t reliably clear off their buddies. Outside of sweeping away jamming units, the Houseguard Thane’s Firing Solution ability ensures the Riflemen never have to worry about Stealth shutting them down.
The Riflemen support allows the Mage Hunter Infiltrators to do their job, which is to move forward and jam the enemy. With their low cost, SPD 7, and DEF 14, the Infiltrators are perfect for this role. Eiryss 3 increases their threat due to her Advanced Deployment ability, which is crucial to making sure they can be in the enemy’s face on Round 1. Add in Mirage from Garryth for the 2˝ Apparition placement and this unit can really be one hell of a thorn in your opponent’s side.
While the Infiltrators buy time and gunfire picks apart the enemy, Narn and the Mage Hunter Assassin can position themselves accordingly to take care of whatever needs murdering. Watch out for armies with a lot of AOE attacks since both Narn and the Mage Hunter Assassin can’t stand up to boosted blast damage.
Garryth and the models in his battlegroup each fulfill a particular role. Garryth and Moros are there to murder the enemy warcaster. Moros is a blast to play due to having Acrobatics thanks to its bond with Garryth. While I doubt the six-ton jack is doing ninja flips over the heads of stunned humans, I’ve also seen a lot of Michael Bay movies about giant robots doing ninja flips over the heads of stunned humans. So yeah, that’s probably exactly what’s happening and that image alone makes this army full of win. #TrueScienceFact
The Chimera is there primarily for its Arc Node, letting Garryth get maximum use out of his various support spells as needed. And don’t overlook the devastating potential of a channeled Gallows spell. With the new Power Up rule and the change to the Empower ability allowing a warjack to be affected by it multiple times per turn, Garryth can spend 4 or 5 focus points on Gallows to pull an enemy warcaster or heavy into murdering range of one of his other warjacks and still be confident that the ’jack will have the resources to get the job done.
The Manticore is a great dual-use warjack since it’s effective at both ranged and melee combat. It also represents the list’s obvious heavy hitter. So a lot of times it’s most useful as a distraction for your opponent, providing a nice, big target to focus on while the rest of your less-conspicuous troops get into position.
Last but certainly not least, the Arcanist Mechaniks serve the dual purpose of helping Garryth’s focus allocation as well as providing more punch to the warjacks when the time is right. The boost to the Repair ability in the new edition simply puts these two members of the team over the top in terms of Support Solos of the Year.
So there you have it. While it requires a certain amount of practice to wield it to best effect, this list is a fun and very new-edition twist on creating a fast, surgical strike force that hamstrings the enemy before going straight for the throat in a blur of giant-robot and old-man acrobatics.