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Made in lt
Regular Dakkanaut





Hello,

So I started playing Warmachine. I have 5 games total under my belt. Retribution and Menoth starter editions, more solos are underway (currently heavy rifle team + soulless, thinking about mage hunter). So, I would prefer that people would recommend me from those two factions, but I like game to be buying into whatever faction as I love buying those starter packs for great value. Especially as our club has 30%, starter pack is like 28 euros at the moment!


I had noticed that people in my club are either very scared to use their warcaster aggressively or/and very prone to attacking my warcaster. I think that they overvalue how important is to attack him and they often make sub-optimal plays. Firing to forest, trying to charge with their warcaster into my own. This is how I won my first game in tournament. He moved around my wall of units with warlock which have feet which freezes my units after single melee hit. That dude is on a bear. He moved around my wall of units. Killed my mechanic which I was using as a shield. Punched through my focus and then spent all his focus in trying to kill him and of course failing. His other units couldn't reach my warcaster due to his flanks being protected. In the end, because he had sent his already damaged warcaster to attack me, he got his key piece in a middle of my army from which point outcome was obvious. Another three opponents also used their warcasters in such defensive fashion that they were losing all its offensive capabilities. Only when I kill their army or they start losing due to me having more concentrated firepower, they ever try to bring it out to my attack range. I do not know why they are playing so defensively with them. In my head they are playing too passively, splitting their forces and making them ineffective. I love to use my pieces aggressively, together and to focus fire whenever possible. I often bring out my warcaster in position where it can be attacked and I love baiting the enemy with it.


So, I would like to know which warcaster and faction would fit me the best? I want warcaster with which I could bait my opponent into attacking it. Maybe some defensive buffs, feats or just plain out good defensive stats? Or otherwise, which warcaster benefits the most from being used aggressively as much as they can be used like that. I'm thinking of Garyth 2 as he can remain a real threat with his sniping. Also, 14 range and clear line of sight puts me into position where I will be generally safe from charges and enemy will be hard pressed to threaten me even if I leave my warcaster open. So, what you think? Can you recommend me anything with which I could gamble with my warcaster. Provoking enemy to overreach themselves by trying to kill deceptifully hard to kill warcaster. Or maybe like with Garyth 2, having some viable battlefield unit which could fight while being generally safe from most assassination attempts.

This message was edited 4 times. Last update was at 2020/01/05 15:41:36


"If the path to salvation leads through the halls of purgatory, then so be it."

Death Guard = 728 (PL 41) and Space Marines = 831 (PL 50)
Slaanesh demons = 460
Khorne demons = 420
Nighthaunts = 840 points Stormcast Eternals = 880 points. 
   
Made in us
Dakka Veteran





washington state USA

They go after your war caster because it is the most direct win condition-checkmate the king.

the example you cite in the tourney would have gone his way had he rolled better.

scenario/objective games are the best way to remove target focus off your caster.


As for warcasters, can't really help you there since I only play khador.


 
   
Made in lt
Regular Dakkanaut





I know, but they take such sub-optimal plays which gives me decisive advantage in a match. I definitely incurred some risks, but I think it is a reasonable bet to put your warcaster where the only way for enemy to reach you is by sending its warlock into your army and then it has to kill a blocker to even to get at you. Warcasters generally has high defense stats and so, killing it are unlikely. Yet, if you do roll well, you are basically exposed your expensive pieces. In chess, it is called ,,attraction". You lure an enemy piece where it becomes vulnerable.

Or they surprise me by moving their warjack sideways and taking long range shot into the forest. My defense at that point is 17. I have focus. It spends whole warjack turn and its boosts to brute force a ranged hit on my warcaster and I lose grand total of 1 hp! The cost of this move? His warjack went away from his army, was located at extreme edge of a battlefield and couldn't even charge me, at most shoot at heavy, healthy mechs. I on the other hand responded by moving my two pieces away from this front, because he wasn't a threat. I charged one to an overextended model and another I moved sideways to the center. This had allowed me to burst down his biggest (they all were quite small) warjack. I was like o_O when he was making such move against my warcaster.


He also hided his warcaster behind his lines and behind a house. This resulted that in two out of three turns his warcaster did absolutely nothing outside of some meh buffs. In the last turn when our timer was running out he ran out, but he was too far away to reach melee. The end result was 2 warjacks to 1 and his pieces being disorganized and spread out. On the other hand, I was combining Chimera and node warjack and casting 23 range Obliteration every turn on his clumps of infantry. I had annihilated his infantry in a middle next to his warjacks and when his left flank advanced to throw grenades ineffectually at my warjack, I sent another such bolt to take out third of his squad and stunned almost another third. Combine this with Hand of Destruction debuff which allows me to focus out of position units and you can imagine how this game turned out.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2020/01/05 18:36:36


"If the path to salvation leads through the halls of purgatory, then so be it."

Death Guard = 728 (PL 41) and Space Marines = 831 (PL 50)
Slaanesh demons = 460
Khorne demons = 420
Nighthaunts = 840 points Stormcast Eternals = 880 points. 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





I think some of that likely comes from playing Ret. They inherently put a LOT of pressure on opposing casters.

I am a little surprised a Ret caster survived Borka2 getting to them. Even with a focus camp, that bear auto hitting for... likely 3d6-6 damage should still rip through a caster in 4 attacks or so.

Garrath2 definitely sounds like your style though. Vyros2 can also do a lot of work. Menoth casters definitely don't do a great job surviving assassination runs in general, though Reznik2 can be really hard to kill with Madelynn backing him up.
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut





Thank you. I'm a newbie, so I do not know what each unit still does. It was first time I saw that hero and I was surprised at how much damage it does. Though, I think you had missed one thing. I had purposefully moved my Engineer on my warcaster's right. This was essential meat shield which allowed for him to survive as bear had to eat my engineer and then warlock started beating my hero. Bear only has 0.5 range and after he was forced to attack my cannon fodder, he couldn't move again and had to use 2 inch reach attacks. He lacked range to get where he wanted and I knew that he couldn't just come to me due to wall of warjacks at the front and both of my flanks having engineers aggressively placed in order to delay those trolls from attacking my warcaster. In this tournament I was afraid of his army as it was first time me fighting them. All I see was a wall of huge beasts with insane armour and damage. Also he moved his warlock very aggressively himself and then used his feat. I attacked him with most of my units which could do damage and another troll to which he siphoned my another attack. I wanted match to end quickly, so after his aggressive move, I had moved my engineers to my flanks and placed my warcaster where his warlock could reach me. He took the bait. I used hand of destruction, took free strikes on my mechs, apparition just teleported out, brought those mechs to his warlock and managed to easily kill it.


Thank you for recommendation. I think, I will stick with Garrath2 and his bonded mech. They both look promising and damn cool. Though, I'm open to any other Warmachine or Horde faction. My club has huge sale on warmachine starter kits and I'm eager to get any excuse to buy more of those!

This message was edited 8 times. Last update was at 2020/01/07 10:49:46


"If the path to salvation leads through the halls of purgatory, then so be it."

Death Guard = 728 (PL 41) and Space Marines = 831 (PL 50)
Slaanesh demons = 460
Khorne demons = 420
Nighthaunts = 840 points Stormcast Eternals = 880 points. 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





Borka's mallet is definitely not the caster killer. Not worth it to go in without the bear. Sounds like someone that just needs more practice with what he can do. The bear should have killed the engineer with an impact attack on the way in, and you can also buy more attacks with mounts in MK3. Still, sometimes going after the caster is a trap and its all or nothing nature can mean even a 60% chance to kill is a 40% chance to lose the game. By the same token, its why people are very cautious with their caster. When you're winning, giving your opponent a 10% shot on your caster might be the best shot they have.
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut





Yes, but Borka had to walk around my units, he couldn't charge and benefit from a lot of his traits. When he killed an engineer, he was too far away from my caster as bear is only 0.5 inch range. He was very aggressive with his warlock for some reason. He chose to have an initiative by charging on his first turn alone and activating his feat to prevent counter damage. This something what had surprised me and I decided to be even more aggressive myself. Especially, because I did not felt confident fighting his army.

I just like to put my warcasters to work. I dislike when they are passive buffers behind enemy lines, because they feel as dead weight. I enjoy my Helynna's strengths. Her debuff, her AoE attack to clear infantry and soften up enemies. It just feels great to do those 23 inch AoE blasts (with some range extension combos) and destroy whole incoming squad of infantry. Yet, outside of her few more points of free stuff, I feel that she is weak in combat. I do not care much for rest of her kit besides those two abilities to be honest. I do enjoy her 7 focus and I might attach to her that unit which makes her spells be better in a games where is a lot of enemy infantry.

I enjoy making powerful alpha strikes. I enjoy taking out big piece before enemy can respond and then taking a hit back. Helynna for me is just little too passive on her own. I end up using her focus, doing little bit of support and then that is it. I think that Garryth's higher movement speed, defense and vastly superior firing is something which I would like more. I think, I will order it on its own to try it out.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/01/08 06:52:38


"If the path to salvation leads through the halls of purgatory, then so be it."

Death Guard = 728 (PL 41) and Space Marines = 831 (PL 50)
Slaanesh demons = 460
Khorne demons = 420
Nighthaunts = 840 points Stormcast Eternals = 880 points. 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





Well then, it was just a bad plan.
   
Made in lt
Regular Dakkanaut





Yup, this is what I was trying to tell everyone. People seem to be willing to make bad plans in order to kill my warcaster. Also, if it is even battle or I do not feel well about my chances of winning, I'm more than happy to roll a favorable dice to lose or to gain massive advantage in a match.

Well, I had ordered Garyth 2. Can't wait until it arrives, have so much stuff coming to my hobby stuff for ages now.

"If the path to salvation leads through the halls of purgatory, then so be it."

Death Guard = 728 (PL 41) and Space Marines = 831 (PL 50)
Slaanesh demons = 460
Khorne demons = 420
Nighthaunts = 840 points Stormcast Eternals = 880 points. 
   
Made in gb
Highlord of Terra






Adrift within the vortex of my imagination.

I know very little about Retribution, but like Menoth a lot.

My recommendation is to first get a Choir, it makes a lot of difference especially if you are playing starter based warbands, which are IIRC jack heavy.

As a general rule but one of everything you like and as many warcasters as you can. Swap out a unit and you make some difference, swap out the warcaster and you make a whole lot of difference at the expense of only one extra model. Its the best way in. I cannot tell you which warcasrter is best as your playstyle is what matters but Kreoss1 is a good all rounder, Amon Ad-Raza is another good starter as he is a jack warcaster and thus has better synergy with jack heavy forces. When it is time to get infantry don't try to be clever and get anything weird and go straight for Temple Flameguard and/or Zealots, those two are your vanilla melee infantry, others are better but these are your core troop choices and fit without any fuss. After buying a Choir though.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/01/11 22:58:28


n'oublie jamais

It is by tea alone I set my mind in motion. By the juice of the brew my thoughts aquire speed, my mind becomes strained, the strain becomes a warning. It is by tea alone I set my mind in motion. 
   
Made in us
Da Head Honcho Boss Grot




New Jersey, State of Perfection

Butcher 3 for Khador is very aggressive, in his case its better to think of *him* as your army and the rest of your list is the delivery system (i.e. opening up charge lanes, jamming enemy units, etc.). Not sure anything else in the faction can be thought of along those lines.

This ain't no pansy GW Armor, son - Digital Sculpting Plog, Now with Heavy Weapon Platforms!
Sympathy for the Devil, or: The Project Log from Hell

Ma55ter_fett wrote:It reads like the ramblings of a Nigerian lobotomized Shakespeare typed into a cellphone with a very aggressive autocomplete function.
 
   
Made in om
Longtime Dakkanaut





Muscat, Oman

Maybe Karchev with a Wardog? He might look like a Khador warjack, but he's functionally ARM 21 against melee, with focus to absorb damage, and can be DEF 14 to melee with the dog. Also you can have your jacks counter-charge to further interfere with assassination attempts. Bring a shieldguard or two and maybe a cloud to protect from excessive ranged damage, and some repair models to keep him from being chipped down.

He's certainly not as big a beatstick as Butcher3, but he's no slouch either.

--Lord of the Sentinels Eternal-- 
   
Made in us
Da Head Honcho Boss Grot




New Jersey, State of Perfection

My experience with Karchev has generally been that he is easier to kill than most people realize (being a large base is a big downside, makes it much harder to hide him). While Butcher 3s base stats are softer, he has a significantly greater offensive capability that allows him to actually fight his own way through a tarpit, whereas Karchev can easily be pinned in place and dragged down with weight of numbers which he will struggle to counter.

This ain't no pansy GW Armor, son - Digital Sculpting Plog, Now with Heavy Weapon Platforms!
Sympathy for the Devil, or: The Project Log from Hell

Ma55ter_fett wrote:It reads like the ramblings of a Nigerian lobotomized Shakespeare typed into a cellphone with a very aggressive autocomplete function.
 
   
Made in ro
Regular Dakkanaut





Hmm, but at least for my faction there are warcaster attachments who serve as bodyguards. Maybe it is even possible to screen your warcaster with cheap, expendable ranged/melee units? You know, if you have 4 infantry men surrounding him, usually you can relocate two at the back to the front and then it is really difficult to reach him first without removing dudes from the front via ranged fire.

I will consider those guys when I will order my Khador faction. Now I had ordered Garryth 2 and I consider that he is quite self sustainable. He has stealth if he needs more protection. He has 14 range which is difficult to close in a single turn. He can play as a solo on his own without caring too much about his protection.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/01/22 06:18:51


"If the path to salvation leads through the halls of purgatory, then so be it."

Death Guard = 728 (PL 41) and Space Marines = 831 (PL 50)
Slaanesh demons = 460
Khorne demons = 420
Nighthaunts = 840 points Stormcast Eternals = 880 points. 
   
Made in si
Longtime Dakkanaut





Muscat, Oman

chaos0xomega wrote:
My experience with Karchev has generally been that he is easier to kill than most people realize (being a large base is a big downside, makes it much harder to hide him). While Butcher 3s base stats are softer, he has a significantly greater offensive capability that allows him to actually fight his own way through a tarpit, whereas Karchev can easily be pinned in place and dragged down with weight of numbers which he will struggle to counter.
Hmm, that's unfortunate. I want to like Karchev, I love the idea and fluff after all, but whenever I look at his Mk3 rules I just don't feel the urge to play him; especially when I remember his Mk2 rules (he may have been weaker but I think I at least would have found him more fun back then). I want to give him a try eventually, I just don't get many games in these days.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Ernestas wrote:
Hmm, but at least for my faction there are warcaster attachments who serve as bodyguards. Maybe it is even possible to screen your warcaster with cheap, expendable ranged/melee units? You know, if you have 4 infantry men surrounding him, usually you can relocate two at the back to the front and then it is really difficult to reach him first without removing dudes from the front via ranged fire.
I'm sure it's possible to protect Karchev from most lists the same as you would any warcaster, but there may not be very much point in taking him then; melee beatstick casters need to be doing work to be getting enough value to justify bringing them over a different caster who better enables the rest of your army. Well, I've always heard the trick is to hold them back until late game when there isn't as much left to threaten them, at which point they can start throwing their weight around a lot more.

But I'm getting a little off topic as the original discussion was about being hard to kill. Karchev and Sorscha3 can give their jacks Counter-Charge, which could play into the whole "bait your opponent into a failed assassination attempt" thing you mentioned (also Sorscha can be DEF 14 ARM 20, or even DEF 16 with the wardog). Zerkova also has the similar ability Watcher, but is of course much more squishy. Malavov2 has Sucker and can have Stealth to protect from shooting, and his feat makes him hard to kill in melee as it lets him walk away when damaged (though his base defensive stats are mediocre).

You can probably tell by now that I'm a Khador player...

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/01/22 07:10:44


--Lord of the Sentinels Eternal-- 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





Karchev is super dynamic and interesting. I was initially disappointed in his MK3 changes as they felt less dynamic than when he was towing around jacks in MK2, but he is really fun and makes excellent use of Khador's jack stable. Definitely a caster that's way more fun in practice than he looks on paper.

The obvious change is just that Power Up lets him run the full jack herd we've always wanted; obviously anyone can do this now, including Butcher3 and Vlad1 as other options, but Karchev's new kit really shines with a variety of jacks. His feat turns a lot of those P&S 16ish jacks into legitimate threats for one and counter charge "my whole army" is a much stronger ability than counter charge itself.

It's really Road to War that gives you the interesting plays though. It's generally used as a threat extender, but you can do things like charge in with a Kodiak, kill something, advance into a group of enemies and drop the cloud to kill a bunch of infantry or have a Devstator slam something out of contesting range of a zone then walk back in. Now that the theme gives out pathfinder, you can do things like hide your army behind a forest, and proc Road to War to step them in and get line of sight to charge through to enemies on the other side.

Karchev himself is kind of the epitome of a caster that's not THAT hard to kill, but when he's all that's left after you've fought your way through a half dozen Khador jacks.... good luck.
   
Made in us
The Conquerer






Waiting for my shill money from Spiral Arm Studios

If you give the enemy the opportunity for assassination, they will usually try to do it. Its natural for the game to focus on people playing defensively with their warcaster and trying to attack yours. Its the default win condition.

Thats why the most basic strategy for Warmachine is to make assassinating your caster as difficult as possible. Note that the specific strategy will differ from list to list and faction to faction. Retribution for example as a faction trends towards trying for assassination. While Protectorate trends towards an attrition/scenario win.

As a general rule, warcasters do NOT play offensively themselves. Even the warcasters like Butcher or Karchev. Yes, warcasters generally have good stats. but having good stats doesn't mean its impossible to kill them. Butcher at full camp is sturdy, but a couple heavy jacks or beasts under some buffs will kill him dead. A good frontline warcaster doesn't sit directly on the front line. He maybe sits just behind it. Close enough to tempt the enemy into attempting a half-baked assassination attempt(that will probably fail), but not close enough for the enemy to have a confidant assassination run. Don't sit butcher in the potential charge range of a colossal! He will die.

On the flipside, there are a lot of warcasters who are purely support casters. They don't want to be fighting at all themselves until the late game. I play Protectorate, and 90% of Protectorate casters are like this. Manly because our warcasters have "Old man" stats(14-15 for defense and armor is not good). Even our "frontline" casters aren't really bruisers like the Butcher. Its more delicate game. But we're not losing out on the offensive capabilites. All these warcasters have support spells and abilities to keep the army functioning smoothly.

Take Vindictus. He's very squishy. But his spells and feat are extremely powerful. He gives all the infantry +2 spd and pathfinder. He's got defenders ward. And his feat prevents the enemy from charging, casting spells at, or shooting non-magical guns at all non-warjacks in his control area. This is an extremely aggressive feat when combined with a swarm of weapon masters. He's a warcaster who hangs back, supports his army, and lets them do the offense.

Self-proclaimed evil Cat-person. Dues Ex Felines

Cato Sicarius, after force feeding Captain Ventris a copy of the Codex Astartes for having the audacity to play Deathwatch, chokes to death on his own D-baggery after finding Calgar assembling his new Eldar army.

MURICA!!! IN SPESS!!! 
   
Made in ru
Regular Dakkanaut





That might be different on 75 point games, but at 25 point games you certainly can't allow your warcaster just to sit behind a house and cast minor buffs on your units. Nor you can afford skipping turns on your units to take difficult attack attempts on your warcaster. I'm only talking about such games for now, because this is what I can play for now. I must tell you that if I would had Garryth 2 in last tournament against opponents who did not put their warcasters to good use, balance of force would had been even more in my favor. The most difficult opponents for me are ones who use their heroes offensively, for example that warlock dude on a bear was damn scary.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/01/25 18:41:19


"If the path to salvation leads through the halls of purgatory, then so be it."

Death Guard = 728 (PL 41) and Space Marines = 831 (PL 50)
Slaanesh demons = 460
Khorne demons = 420
Nighthaunts = 840 points Stormcast Eternals = 880 points. 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut







It's just like what would happen if the rules for the king in chess were applied to the queen instead (combine the two pieces, so that you've got a piece that moves like the queen, but you lose if it's captured). Yeah, you can do a lot with the warcaster offensively. You'll also lose really quickly if you leave it unprotected.

That's part of causes those "If this succeeds I win, if it fails I lose" assassination runs, and then resulting stigma against assassination-based war casters.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/01/25 19:47:29


 
   
Made in om
Longtime Dakkanaut





Muscat, Oman

 Ernestas wrote:
That might be different on 75 point games, but at 25 point games you certainly can't allow your warcaster just to sit behind a house and cast minor buffs on your units. Nor you can afford skipping turns on your units to take difficult attack attempts on your warcaster. I'm only talking about such games for now, because this is what I can play for now. I must tell you that if I would had Garryth 2 in last tournament against opponents who did not put their warcasters to good use, balance of force would had been even more in my favor. The most difficult opponents for me are ones who use their heroes offensively, for example that warlock dude on a bear was damn scary.
The game is a little less balanced at 25 points. Casters like Stryker 2 or Butcher 3 are extremely powerful at low points levels. I guess that's true for lots of casters though. Still, I wouldn't recommend building a broken list around a caster who's OP at low points levels, not if you want to foster a good Warmachine community that plays the game for a long time to come.

--Lord of the Sentinels Eternal-- 
   
Made in us
Second Story Man




Astonished of Heck

 Soul Samurai wrote:
 Ernestas wrote:
That might be different on 75 point games, but at 25 point games you certainly can't allow your warcaster just to sit behind a house and cast minor buffs on your units. Nor you can afford skipping turns on your units to take difficult attack attempts on your warcaster. I'm only talking about such games for now, because this is what I can play for now. I must tell you that if I would had Garryth 2 in last tournament against opponents who did not put their warcasters to good use, balance of force would had been even more in my favor. The most difficult opponents for me are ones who use their heroes offensively, for example that warlock dude on a bear was damn scary.
The game is a little less balanced at 25 points. Casters like Stryker 2 or Butcher 3 are extremely powerful at low points levels. I guess that's true for lots of casters though. Still, I wouldn't recommend building a broken list around a caster who's OP at low points levels, not if you want to foster a good Warmachine community that plays the game for a long time to come.

But one reason the JML allows you to change out your Warcaster/Warlock around that point. Some work better on their own, while some work better with a horde. So, "less balanced" is more a matter of expectation than anything else.

Are you a Wolf, a Sheep, or a Hound?
Megavolt wrote:They called me crazy…they called me insane…THEY CALLED ME LOONEY!! and boy, were they right.
 
   
Made in lt
Regular Dakkanaut





I don't have a choice since my army is as big as it can be with a budget I had allocated it. Though, during weekend I had won some fantastic auctions on ebay, I'm getting myself new Helios kit and some more options on top of what I had ordered from my hobby shop. Now I have stuff for 50 points games. Though, during last tournament I had to fight Transfinite Emergence Projector & Permutation Servitors on 20 points and it felt really unfair.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/01/27 07:37:42


"If the path to salvation leads through the halls of purgatory, then so be it."

Death Guard = 728 (PL 41) and Space Marines = 831 (PL 50)
Slaanesh demons = 460
Khorne demons = 420
Nighthaunts = 840 points Stormcast Eternals = 880 points. 
   
 
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