The Road to WTC (Part 3…sort of) : Salty

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That’s right folks, it’s fundraising time!4
There’s some sweet painted models coming, for you to throw your hard-earned cash at and thereby help us represent you3 in Poland!

Alrighty, I’ve been continuing to work my way down my list of possible warlocks to pair with eMorvhana7 and Mohsar was on my list a little while ago.8

He's Aight

He’s Aight

So what’s the results of weeks of patient testing I hear you ask?
Maybe.
That’s the result. Worth it.

Mohsar is still hovering on the edge of my list of possible warlocks.
I’ve previously tested him fairly extensively (before this particular cycle) and found that in general he’s an “ok” warlock….you’re probably going to get that vibe a lot.

His spell list is very good. Crevasse is a great spell to assist with infantry removal, adds a bit of welcome RFP and is exceptionally good at removing solos that you care about.
His high fury stat and eyeless sight (wearing a blindfold obviously) makes him surprisingly good at spot removal. He can take out Tartarus reasonably reliably, in fact he’s one of the better circle casters at threatening support pieces in general, which is something that circle can struggle with.19

It was nice to play someone with an answer to this guy.

It was nice to play someone with an answer to this guy.

Pillars of salt are obviously a great asset and in some matches can be game-breaking for the opponent. They are quite expensive since you generally need to get at least three out onto the field in order to get their effect (most opponents can deal with one very easily, two is doable…three means some serious issues) which means you arent casting much of anything else.
Mirage is a great spell as a simple threat extender. It’s also great on several units:
-The bloodpack (which I tested with him – not as good as I hoped) allowing them to mirage back and then assault and battery if something is trying to jam them21
-shifting stone shenanigans (It lets you either extend the threat, or sit them slightly further back which keeps them alive)
-Ghetorix (or any beast really) behind a pillar. The pillar gives cover during the opponents turn and keeps the area in front of him clear, meaning he has somewhere to mirage into at the start of the following turn.

Sands of Fate and Sunhammer are both occasionally handy, sands of fate can facilitate the desperation assassination, as long as you keep a handful of living infantry around for it’s use. Sunhammer is useless in a lot of matchups, but particularly handy in one specific matchup

Someone had already made this. I just googled "Vyros2 all the griffons" sooooo many hits.

Someone had already made this. I just googled “Vyros2 all the griffons” sooooo many hits.

…which is actually relevant since that’s a pretty unpleasant match for circle.

His feat would be an issue, if he had one.13

In general I find/found that Mohsar is solid in most matchups. Just not “good”. I rarely went into a match feeling actively advantaged, though I also rarely entered a match feeling actively disadvantaged.

Unfortunately when I’m building for specific matchups and I’ve limited the number of things I expect that list to be dropped against, I really want to feel advantaged in those matchups.

So I did my best to work out a way to really advantage him in some of the matchups and see whether I could do so without making him too weak in the others I needed him for.

I ended up focussing on making sure his Cryx matchup was solid. For that matchup he has Crevasse which is a solid anti-infantry spell so I figured if I backed it up with even more solid infantry removal I might be able to get his list to a point where it removes infantry as trivially as pKrueger. At which point it should still have better anti-ARM options (hopefully) since curse of shadows helps a lot there. It would also still hopefully have longer threat and better mobility than my pKrueger list due to Mirage and the presence of double stones, which I dont typically use in pKrueger.

So I wanted to buff up the anti-infantry and I’d been playing with a package in a variety of lists that delivered well in that regard. The addition of Una the Falconer and the rotterhorn griffon has opened a new area of infantry clearance for circle that really fits with their general playstyle.
The ten point package of Una, rotterhorn and two blackclad wayfarers gives you two good quality sprays on solos that can yo-yo out fairly safely and continue to contribute later in the game (which has always been my problem with the blackclad wayfarer…he’s a one-shot weapon)

This is super-epic art

This is super-epic art22

Una herself is a great little solo who is one of my favourite additions to Circle in a while, she personally contributes to infantry clearing as well as being able to accelerate a blackclad. The Rotterhorn is obviously there for the accelerate, but later in the game it also clears infantry fairly effectively.

Another unit that can use accelerate (since I’ve added it to the list) is the sentry stone!

Oh my god, we're back again!

Oh my god, we’re back again!14

Sentry stones give me another 6 sprays a turn if I want it, with the option for forests to block LOS to the shifting stones or the beasts.

Anyway, at the very least my testing found me a list that I settled around:

Mohsar1 -5
Ghetorix 11
Warpwolf Stalker 10
Gorax 4
Tharn Bloodweavers 5
Shifting Stones + UA 3
Shifting Stones 2
Gallows Grove x 2 2
Una the falconer 3
Rotterhorn Griffon 3
Blackclad Wayfarer 2
Blackclad Wayfarer 2
Sentry Stone + Mannikins 3
Sentry Stone + Mannikins 3

With two points of drift. Generally those two points can be made of any combination of:
Swamp gobbers
Feralgheist
Druid Wilder
Second griffon for Una (if you jiggle a point elsewhere)
third Gallows Grove

The other option is to change the battlegroup to triple Riphorn Satyr (or Feral if you prefer) by dropping the bloodweavers.

Whichever way you do it, as long as you keep the sentry stones, the blackclads and una/rotterhorn then you’ve got 8 sprays a turn without mohsar contributing. Meaning you can put out 10 in a turn if you really wish to.

At the same time you have a bunch of magic weapons, dispel available, the ability to deal with ARM-warjacks reasonably well (curse of shadows plus primal), the ability to deal with ARM-beasts better (between fury manipulation, primal+CoS, bloodweavers) and then you’ve got pillars for the matchups where they are very good.

So this list sits well against Cryx, which ticks the primary box. How did it suit up against the rest of the criteria?

Biggest issues:
1. No feat against half the game (more than half once you factor in the popularity of WM)
2. Mohsar dies occasionally, three beasts may not be enough transfer targets once you commit one to start the trades (generally around turn 2)
3. Not enough heavies against serious ARM spam. If they have 3+ heavies, you cant afford to trade…and it’s really hard not to.
4. It uses a LOT of 3″ rings. It’s hard to distinguish which are pillars and which are forests

Biggest boons:
1. It clears infantry remarkably well. A lot is dependant on how good you are with sentry stones15
2. It sets up a great turn 2 trap, similar to that available with Krueger2 and Kromac using sentry stones and shifting stones. In this case the threat is 16″ from the front stealth shifting stone, but it’s a slightly harder one to see thanks to mirage.
3. As long as you can deliver a bloodweaver and things dont go horribly wrong, Ghettorix can put 63 damage on an arcane shielded stormwall in a single turn.
4. Fury fork options are pretty cool. You can certainly mess with opposing hordes players with the twin threats of sentry stones and Mohsars feat.
5. Bloodweavers really like mirage, so does Gheto, so do the shifting stones.
6. Pillars. Some matchups they are fantastic, even in their “bad” matchups they are generally still pretty handy….just not game winning.

The point of number 3 is not so much that you actually want to put 63 damage on a stormwall9, it’s that the list can be VERY sure of killing what it commits to killing. Which is good.

So summarizing against my original criteria:

It plays very well against “standard” Cryx. It’s not a massive fan of Mortenebra. 18
It plays very well against infantry swarms in general.
It plays quite well against heavy armour up to three heavies, particularly if they are Hordes.
It plays quite well against trollbloods and skorne.
It struggles against well balanced lists with any anti-stealth capability.

The problems I have:
1. It still doesnt answer true heavy armour, though it has a pretty reasonable shot at it. I’d like three heavies for that matchup if possible
2. Mohsar has no feat against more than half of the game (I run into a lot more warmachine in tournaments than hordes). The half he DOES have a feat against is mostly Legion who I want to drop eMorvhana on.20
3. Pillars are really good in specific matchups, but not particularly useful in quite a lot of matchups. They are also a lot more effective against weaker players than stronger players.2
4. It doesnt seem to work particularly well against Convergence, despite that seeming, on-paper- to be one of it’s better matchups.

Which means….maybe. I think he’s a viable option, but I wasn’t, overall, super-enthused about locking him in. I feel like the list gives me a strong advantage in some matchups….but at a cost of not being quite strong enough to feel good about the heavy armour matchups, which is one area I’d really like to feel confident about.

So for the moment he’s out of the rotation and sitting on the bench. Not off the team, just not in the starting lineup yet.
I’m on to testing Kromac at the moment since my games at Texas Wargames Con were enjoyable and my primary problem with him was always lack of enjoyment and inability to execute the way I wanted to.

I also really enjoyed playing my pKaya at Texas Wargames Con, but I can’t see any way to get it into a solid pairing with eMorvhana (current build). I think I may play it as my third list at Clash for a Cure though. It’s a very solid third list.

Cassius saw a few games play and continues to trouble me. I think there’ll be an article coming for him sometime in the not-too-distant-future as well.

As per usual, please direct comments/criticism to the forum thread and any suggestions for further content as well.

I’m going to make a special effort to get some more technical articles up concerning team stuff and list building/selection rather than specific circle casters….but it’s easier to write the caster and game articles.

This one became a bit of a wall of text at the end here, but I decided to go ahead and publish rather than come back another day to add a few more pictures….deal with it.


1 Surprise! I suspect this is the first weakness of the list.
2 I also need some sort of snappy name/word for the fact that some abilities/effects/gimmicks in the game are REALLY good at lower skill/practice levels…and fall off quite heavily as you have more experienced players. Pillars of salt are a good example, so are things like berserk and even simple AoEs. There’s the opposite effect with some models/abilities. Gorman in the hands of a great player is substantially more dangerous than Gorman in the hands of a bad player5
3 Or at least the small part of you that wants to be part of the best country in the world at a miniature wargame. Specifically this one, since we’re not playing any of the other ones. Or at least I’m not. You never know with Will, that guys probably playing everything.
4 At least…I think it is. I’m pretty sure there’s stuff happening and you’re going to be hearing all about it.
5 Gorman in the hands of a bad player is probably only worth the 4 points he costs…wait.
6 I was going to find something to link to here….but in the end that didnt happen. Congratulations you’ve found an easter egg! Turns out wolverine dies and iron man is now dating Jean. In a pub in York.
7 Unless I’m NOT playing eMorvhana! Wouldn’t that be a twist!10
8 Yes, I’m behind. I’m not even able to keep up with my own development cycle and that cycle is slow.16
9 Though I do. It’s just that good players dont typically let you live dreams. Nowadays I also find that when I DO get to live the dream….it’s really not any fun since it’s inevitably against someone that doesnt realize how much of a dream they let you live.
10 Spoiler Alert: I’m playing eMorvhana. 17
11 Yes. Yes I am. And you should be too. If you’re not, you should feel bad.
12 If you are anything like me you just tried it. I’m pretty good at it. In retrospect I’m not sure how we judge who’s better, but if it’s based on how funky your rear left molar feels and tastes afterwards, I’m probably winning. Goddammit.
13 yes yes, I know, “his feat is great against hordes!!”. Which would be really handy if I ever damn well ran into any hordes other than Legion when I had him as a list.
14 Because you probably havent heard it in a while and well….because. Backstreet
15 I’m going to go ahead and claim to be “Best in the world” at using sentry stones.
No, I cant back it up….but I’m reasonably confident that no-ones going to bother challenging it. It’s kind of like claiming to be best in the world at touching your pinky finger to your rear left molar while rubbing your other hand on the inside of your right kneee. Sure, you’re probably not the best…..but honestly who’s going to bother challenging it?12
16 It would admittedly be quite a lot faster and more effective if I could actually make myself play the same caster for more than a couple of games in a row. “Testing Mohsar” degenerates into “I feel like playing pKaya” surprisingly rapidly. Generally about midway through game one.
17 OR AM I??11
18 I’m going to have to write some sort of article on the peculiarities of trying to design lists for national tournaments within a specific meta. It’s a very tricky subject.
19 Krueger1 is an example of a circle caster that does NOT struggle with killing support pieces. Almost everyone else is an example of someone that does.
20 Not that I’m playing her.
21 It turns out that if your statline is 13/14 then people dont generally jam you much…having already killed you.
22 I had no idea where to go with a caption on this picture. I mean not only is he carrying a stone axe of crazy proportions (I mean how would you swing that mofo?) he’s also wearing armour on only his left leg. Why? I mean does he plant one foot and kick with the other? Does he need a leg wreathed in metal to conduct the electricity down (making him immune?) Does he just always fight left leg forward so he just doubled-down on armour there and saved weight on the rest? If so, my question then would be why is he wearing about a hundred pounds of cloak? Also: New Kids on the Block – Hangin’ tough is nowhere near as cool as I remember it being.

Author: bobliness

I'm an Australian living in Houston, Texas, I started playing Warmachine/Hordes in March 2012 and I consider myself to be on a continuous learning curve that I'm not sure will ever end. I play for strategy and combinations, I am in no way a qualified hobbyist or painter though I admire those that are. No, I dont know Chunky, but the other five people that live in Australia tell me he's really swell.

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