Posted By possiblyarobot on November 12, 2012
Hidy Ho neighbors, PG Possiblyarobot here. Some of you have seen me around, some of you have soundly trounced me game after game, and some of you have even asked rules questions from me.
I started a bit over 3 years ago playing Cygnar, then moved to Menoth, Menoth/Skorne, Menoth/Legion, Ret/Legion, Ret/Skorne, Ret/Skorne/Mercs/Khador, and now I’m sitting comfortably with Skorne/Mercs/Khador. Who knows what my Warmachine lineup will look like two years from now.
I’ve played broken lists, instant win lists, not so broken lists, who-the-heck-would-play-that lists and lost soundly with all of them, even managed to win a few. One would think being a living index of game rules would make one a master player. Sadly, knowing the rules inside and out and applying them to effect do not go hand in hand.
I cannot tell you how to win, outside of “kill the other person’s Warnoun”.
I can, however, tell you some of the quirkier rule interactions to help you along the way. All that being said, Strange Synergies is my attempt to analyze alternative strategies through rule interactions people may or may not have considered.
With the addition of Ranking Officers players gain new options for Mercs/Minions allowing those models access to in-faction buffs,spells and feats. But for now, let’s look at an interaction that has existed since Mark I with the Highborn Covenant.
Of all the bizarre combinations you can form, none come whackier (outside of league models) than Highborn lists. With Highborn, I can take 1 non-character unit of each of the following: Longgunners, Arcane Gun Mages, and Precursor Knights.
With the addition of General Ossrum, Highborn has access to Snipe, but also a Khadoran spell called Fire for Effect. This means, I get boosted attack and damage for my first RNG 14, POW 20 Longgunner shot, every turn. Suck it Cygnar.
More interestingly, I can put it on my Gun Mages. Boosted attack and damage for crit brutal? Sure. I could also throw snipe on them and they can always make a Thunder or Brutal shot. Gun Mages have access to Jack Marshal through their UA. Normally, they would take Cygnar jacks (being Cygnar models and all) but when in a Merc list, they get to take the Mule.
Most new players have not faced a Mule so let me break down the particulars: he’s range 8/12 depending on if he sacs his movement for an aiming bonus, AOE 4, POW 15 with Arcing Fire and Crit Devastation.
These 3 model combinations provide a ridiculous amount of possibilities:
Mule with Fire for Effect + Snipe Shot = Max RNG 16 3d6 to hit + Max 4d6 Damage rolls
Mule with Snipe + Crit Brutal = Max RNG 16, 3d6 to hit + Max 4d6 Damage rolls
While the best outcome is the same on the initial target, the difference is in what happens to those in the AOE if one misses, or fails to gain a critical: boosted blast damage with FFE vs a lousy POW 8 + 2d6 with snipe with possible Thunder movement. It also allows me to throw snipe on the unit in the first example, or FFE in the second.
Cygnar can get similarly ridiculous results with Gun Mages jack marshalling a Grenadier in base-to-base contact with any model with the word Trencher in its title. For the record, that’s a max of 3 RNG 10/14 POW 12 + 2/3/4d6 AOE 3″ shots with a RAT 8 + 2/3d6 to hit standing still. And you can jack marshal two of those!
Will 6 boosted pow 12 AOEs win you a game? I have no idea. But it sure would be fun to rain down arcane death from a comfy Dug In position.
In the next issue, we’ll cover… something else. Remember kiddies, think outside the bun and feel free to debate my observations in the forums.