As the title suggests I am going to be focusing on a Reznik list that I have had success with. It uses a couple models normally not seen, as well as is a theme force setting, which people usually dislike. I do agree that some theme forces are not good or even contradictory to what the caster/lock was all about, but some can be very effective.
So without further ado I present my 50pt Reznik list using the Knocking on Heaven’s Door theme out of a No Quarter article. I have even beaten the great Legion of Jake with it. I will not be going into what you can take within the list, only what I use, though I will let you know what is required for each Tier and its benefits:
Tier 1- Sunburst Delivers gain Advance Deployment
Tier 2- (requirement) 1 small-based Steelhead unit, (benefit) add an Attendant Priest to each small-based Steelhead unit for free and regardless of field allowance
Tier 3- (requirement) 2 solos of any combination of either Vassals of Menoth or Vassal Mechaniks, (benefit) models in your army can begin the game with upkeeps on them and not pay for the upkeeps turn 1
Tier 4- (requirement) 3 heavy warjacks in Reznik’s battlegroup, (benefit) 2 extra inches on your deployment zone
Guardian (6) 3
Scourge of Heresy 9
4 Choir 2
Deliver Sunburst 3
Kell Bailoch 2
Stannis Brocker 4
10 Steelhead Halbiders with Attendant Priest (2) 6
5 Steelhead Calvary 10
Vassal of Menoth 2
Vassal Mechanik 1
Reznik sits at an above average MAT with a hard hitting melee weapon that has reach as well as an additional die to attack and damage rolls when your enemy has an upkeep on. Combine this with Engine of Destruction (bonus to SPD/STR/MAT), and he has a deceptively long threat range for a warcaster with troll-like SPD.
He has below average DEF but above average ARM and average life.
He has an ability that whenever a model in his battlegroup and his control area is hit by an enemy spell, a model in his battlegroup gets to advance and make an attack, ranged or melee.
He has Hex Blast, where if you hit a enemy model/unit it gets rid of upkeeps on it, with nice range, decent POW, and a 3-inch AOE to boot.
Ignite gives critical fire to model/unit and a bonus to damage.
Iron Aggression is where the warjack in his battlegroup gets to charge/run/slam for free and gets to boost its attack rolls for free.
Lastly he has Perdition. Decent RNG and low POW, but if you damage an enemy model, one model in Reznik’s battlegroup gets to move towards the nearest enemy model.
His feat is enemy models currently in his control area lose all focus and fury and cannot upkeep spells. Enemy models casting spells in his control area suffer the fire effect. Lastly, and probably most forgotten, models cannot be allocated focus. I say this last part is most forgotten because I hear most people say his feat isn’t that great against Warmachine. To me, anything that prevents your enemy from allocating means your models are a little safer from their warjacks.
Now getting into tactics.
I like Ignite upon a unit that can already hit hard. I throw Ignite upon the Steelhead Cav and when they charge (they get a bonus to charge damage) they are now hitting at a POW 15. If you can get a Steelhead Halberdier to engage the model the Cav model is attacking, then you get to make his attack a flank attack (a bonus to hit and additional die to damage). Combine this with the Cav model’s Backswing, and you have a lot of damage output potential.
The Steelhead Halberdiers with the Priest are able to tie up units. They can also be Ignited, since they have Combined Melee Attack (a 2 man CMA with ignite leads to a POW 15 attack). Since they have Powerful Charge, they will be hitting at a total MAT of 9 on a 2 man CMA charge attack. Granted, Ignite can go on anything and even be cycled (upkeep it on a model/unit then cast it on another later that turn).
Whenever I include the above mentioned Steelhead units together, I then take Stannis to allow them to move through each other. Also, the higher CMD from Commander keeps them fighting longer and keeps them from pooping their pants (failing a CMD check).
Kell is there as he can take down single wound models even in Shield Wall, due to Sniper. (Hey, if a theme list is letting me take a merc model, I have to out of principle.)
The Deliver Sunburst crew getting AD is great since the weakness of artillery, in my opinion, is their usually slow SPD. This means the Sunburst can get into position turn 1, and if the enemy goes first, possibly the crew doesn’t need to move as they might be in range (with RNG of a sniped Long Gunner, the POW above the Defender, and a 4″ AOE).
If I am playing against a heavy magic list, I actually like to run my jacks next to each other to allow for Scourge’s ability to take affect (where he can spend a focus to negate a spell targeting him or a model within 3″), though if I think I will get more benefit out of Witch Hound, then I let it hit the warjacks, and thus enters the Reckoner.
I love this model as it has a great range, decent POW on the weapon, and if it hits, the model’s DEF is lowered. Both the Guardian and the Reckoner have reach, which is always great for slow jacks, and the Guardian gives me an arc node for Perdition. I also love Scourge, and though he is only SPD 4 with no reach, with Perdition he is able to handle troops and sports the same ability on one of his weapons as Reznik. In my opinion all 3 jacks are able to handle heavies from other armies.