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Warmachine Blog: Mile High Delusions

A blog about Warmachine and Hordes, from the Mile High Meta

Warmachine Cryx List Building 101

One of the most common issues with new players is list creation. It can be a daunting task, each faction is inundated with options. I'm going to outline some principals I've learned for not only Cryx, but Warmahordes in general. Things I think every list creation should keep in mind are:
Concept, Execution, Synergies, Meta, Weaknesses, and Playability.

Concept
Lets start with a concept. I want to pressure hard for assassination. I want to win on scenario. I want to be able to drop into gun lines. I want to smash people in the face with banes. While these aren't all "great" concepts they are concepts. Ensuring you have a concept in mind helps keep the list good at what it's supposed to be good at. For the purpose of this blog lets try to make a list for, "I want to be able to drop into gun lines." Okay we have out concept. Time to figure out how we execute this concept on the tabletop.

Execution
Lets start really basic and throw a few ideas on the wall with how we're going to accomplish this. What bothers gun lines?

Speed: Melee pressure to deny/limit the number of rounds of shooting they'll get into us.

Shield Guards: Some lists run light on guns, but the guns they do have are hard hitting. Can we redirect that fire in a way we control to deliver the pieces we want?

incorporeal: Can the gun lines deal with incorporeal models? Can we use this to apply the melee pressure/deny the multiple rounds of shooting?

Since this is a blog about Toruk lets focus on using incorporeal to make a list that drops into shooting lists. 

So we only have one unit of incorporeal models, Blackbane's Ghost Raiders. So lets start there. They are speed 6 with apparition so they get around the table really quickly. With Incorporeal we don't have to worry about terrain, and they have the ability to grow their own unit. Their offensive and defensive stats aren't great, but we'll get to that later. In addition to Blackbanes we have Pistol Wraiths, Machine Wraiths and the Wraith Engine all as options with incorporeal as well. Do any of them get alone with the Blackbanes?

Synergies
This is the part where the magic player makes the combo deck. We're looking for pieces that support the main concept/execution of the list. Blackbanes are great at moving across the table, and dealing with medium armor medium def infantry. So what can help them get there? A Wraith Engine grants incorporeal models +2 arm and immunity to blast DMG. It also is incorporeal and speed 7, so it fits our theme. The engine also has Dark shroud, and the ability to make machine wraiths. It also helps us maintain Cryx Commandment #1, Always bring two sources of armor debuffing. So we have Blackbanes and we have a Wraith Engine. So far we're not granting our opponent anything to do with their non magical guns. Lets see if we can keep that up and finish the list. We're 32 points in. 

Meta
Even with Dark Shroud we're at PS10 and PS15 for our models currently. I know the Meta right now is armor and box heavy and I dont think I'll be able to succeed even if my models make it across the table.  Is there a way I can boost the damage output of the models i've chosen. We have a few, but Pskarre immediately comes to mind. She buffs the ARM and STR of faction models with her feat by 5! We'll count the STR buff as our second armor debuff for the Cryx Commandment. In addition dark guidance provides us with a fix to the other issue of blackbanes their meh mat. She seems like she has good Synergy with the list thus far, so we'll keep building.

Weaknesses
Okay we have Pskarre, Blackbane Ghost Raiders and a Wraith Engine. What's the weakness of our list. Well for starters Pskarre, a lot of Cryx games are lost due to our casters falling over. In addition she takes dmg when she feats, so stray blasts etc all really hurt. The last thing I'll say is right now we're presenting nothing but her for the enemies non magical guns to shoot. Skarre isn't a front line caster any more so how can we protect her from ranged? Shield Guards, Cloud Creation are a few that come to mind. Lets cycle back through the process we already started for this list:

Synergies

The Mc'thrall boat has 9 models and 3 shield guards. This will go a long way to keeping skarre alive, and they can shield guard shots off the wraith engine to keep him pumping for longer. In addition Skarre really wants models she can "eat" for extra focus using, Ritual Sacrifice. She'd rather have her undead spell slave cast this too. So lets add a Skarlock Thrall. This seems good lets take a look at the list so far:
48 / 75 Army
Pirate Queen Skarre - WJ: +28
Skarlock Thrall-PC4
Wraith Engine - PC: 15
Blackbane's Ghost Raiders - Blackbane & 9 Grunts: 17
Mechanithralls - Leader & 5 Grunts: 6
-    Brute Thrall - PC: 2
-    Brute Thrall - PC: 2
-    Brute Thrall - PC: 2

So we have a Concept. "I want to leverage incorporeal to get across the table vs gun lines"
We have Synergy with The Wraith Engine and Blackbanes. Skarre buffs the incorporeal model's dmg output and the Mc'thralls are food and help keep our valuable models alive. We've thought about the Meta and identified a few Weaknesses, so whats next? I feel like a few solos would help the list a lot with scenario. Right now we only have units or a battle engine to control or contest. Lets add 3 machine wraiths, they fit our concept and has synergies with the Wraith Engine. I can't help buy thinking if one Wraith Engine is good then two must be better! So we'll add another. We still need to finish our Skarre's battle group. I went with two inflictors to grant us 5 shield guards total. To round it out I added a Ripjaw (synergizes with her feat and dark guidance to crit hunt for Armor Piecing 15 madness) and that gets us to 74 points. It also reminds us about Cryx Commandment #2 Our last arcnode is worth more than just his points. With Pskarre the threat of backlash is something we'd like to make sure our opponents have to consider!

74 / 75 Army
Pirate Queen Skarre - WJ: +28
-    Skarlock Thrall - PC: 4
-    Inflictor - PC: 13 (Battlegroup Points Used: 13)
-    Inflictor - PC: 13 (Battlegroup Points Used: 13)
-    Ripjaw - PC: 7 (Battlegroup Points Used: 2)
Wraith Engine - PC: 15
Wraith Engine - PC: 15
Machine Wraith - PC: 2
Machine Wraith - PC: 2
Machine Wraith - PC: 2
Blackbane's Ghost Raiders - Blackbane & 9 Grunts: 17
Mechanithralls - Leader & 5 Grunts: 6
-    Brute Thrall - PC: 2
-    Brute Thrall - PC: 2
-    Brute Thrall - PC: 2

So this post is getting long I'm going to wrap it up. Now that we have a finished list lets run it through the top META lists and see what it's weaknesses are. Can we fix them? Can we fix them with another list as our pairing? Lastly we want to think about;

Playability
Can we play this on a clock? Will we enjoy playing it? Does it actually work? The only way to know this is to get out there and play the game! So let me know if this helped with your list creation. Feel free to take the Pskarre list for a ride and let me know how it treats you!

TT