by Chuck Elswick
Fulfilling another request for one of those zany models, I now turn my attention to Kara Sloan. I played this caster against a good buddy of mine in the 3rd round of the Warmachine Weekend Invitational and got the win against strong odds. (The odds being that he is a good player, and the situation was not favorable to me.)
The first part of the list will be what I would run at 35 points and the last part is what I ran at the Invitational.
Defender (6) 3
Gun Mage Unit with Officer 8
Cyclone (Jack Marshaled by Gun Mage Officer) 9
Black 13th 4
Gun Mage Adept 2
Gun Mage Adept 2
Epic Eiryss 3
3 Stormsmiths (1) 3
“Why did you run Sloan at the Invitational?”
Because I am crazy, thats why. A couple of my friends, Josh Russell and Matt “Daredevil” O’ Reily, were even betting on the fact that I would run her as most people don’t like her.
Kara Sloan’s life expectancy isn’t great with below average life and below average ARM. Thankfully she has above average DEF. She has average FOC, though once you take a look at her spells and abilities you usually will not have that much focus left on her.
She has the ability to ignore stealth if she gets the aiming bonus, but as many people forget, this ability does transfer over to spells (thanks tactical tips).
She has way above average RAT as she is able to keep up with Caine on the ability to hit something with a range attack. The gun itself, Spitfire, has the range of a long gunner’s rifle and the POW of a hand cannon. But that’s not all; she also has weapon master on her rifle.
She has Arcane Blast (decent range and POW with a 3′ AOE, though costs a lot to cast), Deadeye (basic Cygnar spell that boosts the accuracy of a model/unit’s 1st ranged attack), Dust to Dust (decent range and POW that turns the boxed living or undead model into a cloud and removes it from play, great for dealing with those models that like to come back), Return Fire (for the cost of one of her focus when the model is shot at, after resolving the attack, it gets to make one ranged or melee attack), Refuge (great hit and run spell as after you hit something with your combat action you get to move your SPD ignoring free strikes, a great upkeep spell), and lastly her signature Fire Group spell (while her battlegroup is in her control area they get a bonus to their RNG).
Her feat boosts all of the range attacks of friendly faction models while in her control area. The next part of her feat is a little weird but here is the break down. Whenever a model in her battlegroup hits an enemy model with a ranged attack, another model in her battlegroup can immediately make a ranged attack, though a model can not make more than one attack due to this feat. Keep in mind, this is an out of activation attack, meaning models can’t boost attack or damage rolls.
An example of how the feat works with the army above is: Sloan pops her feat, hits something with a ranged attack. Then the Defender shoots, and if it hits, then the Hunter can shoot. Say the Hunter hits, (whether on the feat attack or during the activation) then Sloan can attack, as the Defender has already made an extra attack due to the feat.
Basically the models in her battlegroup get their normal activation range attacks and can make only 1 extra ranged attack due to the feat. But what I usually I get out of the feat is 3 shots with Sloan (2 if not a feat turn). As I have Reinholdt reload Sloan, she has her initial shot (which I usually boost damage), then her Reload shot (which I boost the damage again), and then the shot she gets from one of the models in her battlegroup hitting something on the feat turn. As for the Squire, it allows for me to have a bigger control area for the feat and extra focus during 3 turns of the game.
I usually like to upkeep Refuge upon the Hunter as it is the one usually hanging out there and is the model my opponent will try to get to first. I’m also almost always casting Fire Group as you never know when you might need the range to get to the pesky support models in the back. But here is an example of how Sloan can go empty on focus real quick:
You upkeep Refuge, cast Deadeye on the Gun Mage unit, and save 2 focus for her or one of her jacks to boost damage (she only has ROF 1 but why else is Reinholdt there). It usually comes down to if I need Fire Group or not. If I do, then I am not casting Deadeye.
I have hardly used the other spells, though one of them did allow me to pull out a win in a game at the Invitational. I used Arcane Blast to clear out some models that were blocking LOS to Epic Denny, which then allowed my army to have LOS to gun her down.
I like the Cyclone with the Gun Mages, as it gets to use their rune shots with its ranged attacks (either increase range to 14″ with snipe, gain an extra damage die on a critical hit, or push an enemy model D3″ back and on a critical hit knock the model down). Though it normally only gets one boost during the turn, due to Jack Marshal, I normally have Strangeways give it a focus due to power booster (and since he has a spray attack, he is even good under the feat turn).
This means on a feat turn for Sloan, the Cyclone gets 2D3 initial shots, all boosted attack rolls, then it has the focus from Strangeways and the Jack Marshal to boost a damage roll, and none of the abilities are coming from focus given to it from Sloan.
The Rangers allow for the majority of the army to get a bonus to ranged attack rolls against enemy models near them. Eiryss does her normal job of stripping focus and upkeeps from enemy models. The Adepts and Black 13th are effective at pushing a decent amount of damage through with Brutal attacks (extra damage die on range damage rolls). The Adepts have the ability to increase their RNG or ignore LOS, cover, concealment. The Black 13th can ignore the firing into melee penalty and increase their RNG also.
Lynch has a 5″ AOE attack that causes no damage and allows for other models in the army to ignore stealth to models in the AOE and cover and concealment. Rynn has a special 4″ AOE that does a decent POW damage roll (magical too) to all models in the AOE.
But why the Stormsmiths? I always enjoy models that are able to get around normal attack rules, though they still need LOS to the models. They also are able to get to those stealth models and disrupt warjacks, but what I use them for is to get rid of support models. My Stormsmith costs 1 point and their support models usually cost 2 points. A fair trade if you ask me.