So my opening trilogy comes to an end! This week I’ll be sharing my thoughts and considerations after the games at the last tournament I went to before examining the potential future for my beginning Circle forces. The first two articles are linked below so you actually know what I’m talking about:
So, at the tournament I played 1 game where I think my plan actually worked and two others where it definitely did not. The fact that one of those 2 games was a win is not an indication of my ability with Circle so for the purposes of trying to improve my game I’m going to consider it an effective loss. I’m now going to try and dissect where I went wrong, what I think I should try and do differently and what changes will be made to my lists as a result of these changes.
In the game against pSkarre I simply struggled with the amount of reasonably high armored infantry (post-feat) and allowed him to chew through my significant number of heavies without much repercussion. Her ability to give boosts to hit through Dark Guidance rather hurts the only appreciable defense of Warpwolves and her feat allows her to annihilate, well, anything. I felt that Kruegers templates of doom from his feat could be completely ignored by her counter-feating and just waltzing through them. Fun times. I also hate Tough on the Bloodgorgers, just sayin’. I think I would need to cut through most of his forces in short order before he feated to get an appreciable amount of damage through, take the Kraken out before he feats or try to win the scenario if I were to take it on again.
Against pDoomshaper the issue was one of matchup first and silly mistakes second. His feat feels like it becomes similar to eHaley’s or eDenny’s in its ability to shut down Circle and I frankly failed to take that into full account. Without any ability of my own to control where he was going or what he was going to do I just got eaten (literally in some cases) by big trolls who are stronger, tougher and better buffed than my own Warpwolves. Again, I hate Tough. I miss the Scytheans of Legion or the Blood Hag in Cryx at times like these… As a solution I think I should start including my own forms of denial that Circle is so famous for so that I can dictate the game and play on my own terms. After a fair bit of analysis I have come to the realization that when I play against Circle I am generally worried about their denial abilities more than anything else they do and this is something I should try to capitalize on within my own play.
The astute of you may have noticed that eKaya never saw play throughout the tournament and may be wondering why after I extolled her virtues all the way back in Chewin’ The Fat 1. Her list had less heavies than pKrueger so less outright hitting power, she has limited scenario power because she bleeds Control Points (although I do believe this is mitigated somewhat by Deathclock) and she can’t deal with much infantry at all, much unlike pKrueger. Every round of the tournament I felt more comfortable with the Krueger matchup and don’t think much would change that outside of a Retribution opponent. This is not a good sign in a double list format. I tend to like her because she tilts some matchups (especially those with heavy shooting that never actually came up) but I’m starting to think she may be a bit of a silver bullet and certain other casters could cover matchups much better. All of this preamble brings me to the caster that I have now decided will be my salvation with enough practice:
– Ghetorix 11
– Megalith 11
– Warpwolf Stalker 10
– Gorax 4
– Druid Wilder 2
Shifting Stones 2
– Stone Keeper 1
Shifting Stones 2
Druids of Orboros 7
– Druid Overseer 2
Blackclad Wayfarer 2
Gallows Grove 1
I should preface this by saying that my eKrueger game is largely untested so there are a lot of presumptions here but I am very excited about him! First note that his feat could have saved me from both pSkarre (I feat first and push him back, hopefully scoring, and he doesn’t feat the next turn unless he wants it to be purely defensive allowing for several turns of beatdown) and pDoomshaper (simple counter-feat scenario). On top of this it allows for much greater flexibility in scenario play than either eKaya or pKrueger, especially when considered along with Gallows, Telekinesis AND a full unit of Druids. The list lacks a bit of the hitting power of the previous 2 with only 3 heavies but if anyone can pick and choose his matchups it is eKrueger. The defining part of this list though is the combination of both Counter-Magic from the Druids and Storm Wall from Krueger himself. Now the enemy cannot cast magic at me, his shooting is heavily mitigated against me and he has to get through both the feat debuff and all sorts of push, pull and place shenanigans to melee me. I’m hoping that his controlling style will feel more natural for me after the previous factions I’ve played!
The one game I have played so far with eKrueger was against eVayl (generally a difficult matchup for Circle I feel) and it became a game of top trumps as he was trying to Obliterate (but couldn’t), trying to Ravagore me (but couldn’t) and trying to out-scenario me (but couldn’t) all whilst not having anything to Purify. Very impressed so far and I’m starting to think that he doesn’t have many bad matchups, especially with Purification being a non-issue. I am, however, still a massive noob when it comes to placing Druids and Stones properly so I got in my own way a few times. This will hopefully come with practice. On top of all of these awesome reasons to use him he also screws over Retribution massively as they don’t have the range to really ignore Storm Wall and won’t even be the subject of as much complaining as eKaya…
The current argument is that eKrueger has lost a lot of game with the coming of even bigger stompy robots and the like. As a result I have not seen many people big him up recently. I am of the opinion that this is not actually true. Before you call me an idiot and tune out forever let me explain why!
Nobody can deny the fact that Krueger has lost some power with the introduction of immoveable objects like Colossals as he doesn’t push them, he can’t place them with Telekinesis and he doesn’t just win scenarios while they are on the table. Deal with it. His feat is still useful against the Colossals, devastating against everything else in the army and all of his other abilities are incredible against them! The most important thing to note here is Storm Wall. It is randomly excellent against its namesake, Stormwall and, for that matter, all of the Colossals. The giant metal variety of 120mm bases are almost exclusively designed to be gun platforms first and melee powerhouses second. The best Colossals are Stormwall and Galleon (I will not accept any different opinions there…) and Krueger just hoses both. Rng 9 guns just aren’t as good as Rng14 and to get in that range they will be allowing me to charge their colossal with Warpwolves almost guaranteed. Their secondary ability to fight in melee is trumped by Krueger’s feat as the Spd debuff is still applicable to them, again allowing me to alpha strike. This will definitely need more playtesting but I reckon a very slow Colossal can be killed by Warpwolves fairly easily. I also feel that most Colossal lists are quite focused around the Colossal allowing you to set up your plan of attack fairly easily. On a final note here I think its important to consider the matchups that Krueger will be primarily facing. Legion, Menoth, Trolls and maybe Cygnar and Cryx will all be standard matchups for him and I’m confident that in this regard he covers factions that other Circle casters can’t necessarily deal with. I am much more comfortable playing against Menoth if I can deny them some of their shenanigans too and I am much happier playing against Legion when you can mitigate their alpha strike potential. When this is considered I think it’s important to consider how many of the huge based models will be in the regular tournament lists of these factions, especially those lists that will see regular play against Circle. I don’t feel that Legions huge based models are much of an issue for Circle (admittedly this is based on presumption with regards to the Archangel). Trolls have the Mountain King… Menoth might be an issue but I feel that all of their huge bases rely almost exclusively on being gun batteries and will still hate playing against eKrueger. After all this is said and done I don’t worry about any Colossal/Gargantuan matchups and actively seek out some of them with him so how bad can he be!
After deciding eKrueger will be one of my 2 casters in a Steamroller event I need to think of a good pairing with him. The list I tried does have both Megalith and Ghetorix in it so I want to find a caster who requires neither. I don’t think he necessarily NEEDS both but I want to try him with both for now. This restriction pretty much rejects a lot of casters immediately in my eyes. Both Baldurs are out, Mohsar is out and pKrueger is out. I don’t like Grayle, don’t own Cassius and don’t want eKaya if eKrueger is already good for the Retribution matchup. This leaves a select few possibilities, pKaya, Kromac and Morvahna.
After messing up quite a few attack rolls already with Stalkers and their paltry MAT 6 I am growing more and more fond of the idea of pKaya and her native +2 MAT buff. Combined with a cheeky Wraithbane from the Pureblood she can make a Stalker cut through Iron Flesh with no effort. Her feat actually works the same as eKaya’s if you only take 3 heavies and it provides a side of FURY mitigation on top of that, especially when combined with Soothing Song. The lack of Shadow Pack isn’t much of a big deal if eKrueger is there as my other list and she still has Occultation for anything that you particularly want safe (i.e. her) and Prowl on the Stalkers that she will have. I don’t feel she needs any characters, she seems quite happy with a Pureblood and 2 Stalkers as her main heavies. The most important point is that after we get over the feat working very similarly to her epic form without the ability to force outside control, we can concentrate on the fact that she can do a smaller version every turn with Stalkers that she makes more efficient than any other caster. She will be getting extra attention from me over the coming weeks. The only mitigating issue with pKaya in my opinion is order of activations. After a bit of thought over her list design and such it becomes immediately apparent that she has to activate last most turns or, at the very least, after a hard-hitting heavy to enable teleportation shenanigans. This creates a lot of issues if a beast needs to be healed or if she isn’t positioned well in the previous turn for forcing range so she will definitely be coming with Druids and the Wilder! I think this is a fairly big drawback but could be mitigated with enough practice.
Kromac is awesome. Warpath is crazy good, Wild Aggression provides another effective MAT boost and Bestial tilts matchups in a different way from eKrueger. Inviolable Resolve is really nice (especially on Ghetorix) and he even has an assassination run (although don’t rely on that). I feel like Kromac has outs for pretty much everything. He is a serious consideration as a second caster although I don’t think I could avoid the appeal of Ghetorix with him. If I took Ghetorix with Kromac then I would probably replace him with a Stalker and a Gallows Grove in the Krueger list. I’m not sure how I feel about losing that extra punch with Krueger… Despite this, Kromac’s power can’t be denied. Bestial allows me to avoid Druids in this list and take more things to trigger Warpath like Wold Stalkers or Bloodtrackers. His list would be very maneuverable, have quite a lot of tricks and have the ability to deal with most opponents. His model(s) are also ridiculously awesome…
Finally we have Morvahna,whom I previously decided wasn’t worth taking to tournaments because of her ridiculously skewed matchup against Purification. Now that I feel I have an ideal Purification matchup (as previously mentioned, I like eKrueger against Menoth, Trolls and Legion which is a trinity of opponents I generally moan about) she becomes a much more feasible option and, perhaps most importantly, she is really fun to play. Stealth on Bloodtrackers massively mitigates successive turns of upkeep removal from eEiryss lovers allowing for Regrowth shenanigans. She can play a very different game from Krueger by using lots of infantry and playing a more defensive, attrition oriented game.
I need to think hard about the matchups I don’t like with eKrueger and see which one of these shortlisted 3 will make the cut for my next tournament with Circle! The only matchups I’m not entirely happy with for eKrueger so far are some Cryx swarms, some Khador builds and potentially Skorne all just because he lacks enough hitting power sometimes to get the job done. I do think that he still has decent abilities against all 3 of these and they would all be good games if played well. For those more experienced with eKrueger, what do you think his weaknesses are faction-wise? I think I’m going to test out Kromac first and see where that leads me for now but I am open to suggestions!
On that note, my next couple of articles at least will not be concerning Circle. The next tournament I will be attending will be a 35pts event up in Dundee. This event will have faction coins for WarMachine but not Hordes so I’ll be taking up one of those factions instead for the possibility of getting a coin! The factions I have available for WarMachine are Cygnar, Menoth and Mercs but I’ll leave you in suspense as to who I’m taking for now! Next week I’ll be going over some list designs for this mysterious faction and hopefully putting forward some different ideas!
I hope you enjoyed all of the theory and the extreme dojo-ing in this article, feel free to leave comments and such below, as always I appreciate feedback.
See you next time,
P.S. there will eventually be some of my own painted models and pictures of actual battles on these articles but I have to wait until I have access to a camera so it may be a few weeks at this rate.