Solomachine: Steadfast Siege Striking Sneaky Skarre: Siege 2 vs Skarre 2 (King of the Hill)

Hello and welcome to another episode of ´How to do unto yourself what others cannot do to you due to the pandemic´ or Solomachine. This week I was in a real mood to play some lists I have been theorycrafting for ages, but never got round playing so far.

In the blue corner, we have a caster I have had since he got released way back in 2017, but never got round to, the Assault Marine Sergeant with Thunderhammer, erm…. Colonel Markus ´Siege´Brisbane! He is usually run in Gravediggers, but I always had this idea of running him with a metric fuckton of small-based Storm Knights, use the feat either defensively to dig in and stay safe from guns for an important turn or offensively to add another 3 inches to their melee threat.

So my list is: Siege2 with Squire, Triumph, Hammersmith, 2 full units of Stormblades with all the accoutrements, a full and a min unit of Stormguard, Savio, a Stormblade Captain, Ser Dreyfus and Rhupert, of course in the Storm Division theme.

As I said, the idea is to run at the enemy, stay reasonably safe with Dig In if necessary, then use Fury on a model with an actual weapon and not a Trencher with a bayonnet and see what survives. Siege can do work, then retreat or just be a buff bot that camps on a hill. This would also be a good idea to run Storm Division before the promised update to see how bad infantry Storm Knights actually are.

In the green corner, we have another perennial ´maybe I should give her a go´caster, Skarre2, the bane of my MkII tournament career and the tricksiest caster in Cryx.

Her list is: Skarre2 with Dr Stygius, Kharybis, Robert Barathrum, a Deathripper and a Slayer, Asphyxious4 with an Inflictor, a Void Archon, Axiara Wraithblade, a full unit of Satyxis Raiders with a Sea Witch and a Misery Cage.

A very compact list that has Admonition, the feat and Gaspy´s clouds to stay alive on the way in, then leverages Black Spot to clear chaff and the multiple instances of Dark Shroud plus Gang Fighter to kill harder targets.

DEPLOYMENT

Cygnar won the roll-off to go first and decided to go first because if you have a caster with 4 upkeeps playing another caster with 4 upkeeps, going first is good. Both sides chose the Treasure Chest objective as the objectives are a bit out of the way to give multiple rounds of repairing or Pathfinder.

Cygnar goes wide, but a bit less on the side with the building.

Cryx went more centrally, refusing the flank with Triumph and trying to use Asphyxious and his battlegroup to eliminate the weaker Cygnaran flank. Gaspy could also use clouds to screen that side of the central circle.

View from the top. I have finally realised that using two sets of dice and tape measures makes it easier to play when playing both sides.

ROUND 1

Siege put Hallowed Avenger on the Hammersmith and built a hill, then jumped on top of that hill and dropped a Rocket Pod. The rest of the Cygnaran forces runs closer, staying out of range of channeled Blood Rains (photo missing)

Skarre put Admonition on Kharybdis and Death Ward on Barathrum, which also was the first model on a table full of Cygnar models to dig in. I guess the lack of Trenchers made the Cygnarans less happy to shovel.

The Cryxian forces ran up, but trying to stay safe. Gaspy dropped two clouds, though that made him slower as he couldn´t run that way. Another reason why Cygnar went first.

ROUND 2

Triumph shot at a Satyxis, but missed.

I could get a few Stormguards into the Slayer and Savio plus more Stormguards into the Inflictor if I feated now, so that is what happened. Siege upkept Hallowed Avenger, dropped the hill and took back the Rocket Pod, then cast Fury on the left Stormguards, put up a new hill and stepped on it, dropped a new pod and feated. This is the army´s position after the feat moves.

The Stormguard went in, easily felling the Slayer and killing two Satyxises, but only giving one soul to the Void Archon as Electro Leaps don´t give souls. Triumph moved up and shot Kharybdis, doing 8 damage.

In the centre, the Stormblades killed two Satyxises and moved up to block. On the right, Savio whiffed his charge attack, rolling a 6 on 4d6 for 0 damage, but he and two Stormguards still took out the Stinger arm on the Inflictor.

The blue wave crashing into the dark green Cryxian lines.

Skarre took two damage to upkeep both spells. She allocated two to each heavy and activated first, feating on herself, Asphyxious, Barathrum, Kharybdis and the Void Archon (gotta love ´friendly model´feats).

She then took a corpse token from the Misery Cage, turning it into a focus token and cast Black Spot on the Furied Stormguard. To finish her activation, she shot two of them due to Black Spot. This also put a corpse back onto the Misery Cage.

The good Dr Stygius healed the five damage from the feat.

The Void Archon played its deadly game of rope-a-dope, jumping out to kill four Stormblades between its sprays and melee attacks, then jumped back behind the forest, full on souls again.

After a lot of tentacles flailing around, Kharybdis had killed six Stormguard without even using the allocated focus. I guess I need to work on efficient allocation.

The Inflictor, having received two focus from Asphyxious, killed Savio with a boosted shield attack, then killed the two Stormguard in melee. Asphyxious and his murder bots Flickered, then charged in to kill another three Stormguard, leaving only one alive in the zone.

The Raiders charged in and killed a few Stormblades. The Sea Witch put up Force Barrier and Axiara gave the unit Dodge before running behind the wall. One of the Raiders ran a long way through the forest to get within two inches of the Hammersmith. Then Barathrum walked to the Hammersmith and spiked its rolls to lay waste to the Cygnaran heavy. Unfortunately, it could not use Drag Below as it needed all its attacks to kill the construct.

No points were scored but both sides were now fully engaged.

Cygnar 0 – Cryx 0

ROUND 3

Triumph missed Kharybdis (which was also in its own cloud, but I am still missing my other set of AoEs, so with Siege on a hill, there was no 4″ cloud marker left) with its Rapid Fire shot. The last two Stormguard charge Kharybdis, but it used Admonition to move away, so they redirected their attacks onto the objective and dealt 10 damage to it.

The left Stormblades killed the objective and a Satyxis, but the other one dodged away. With the zone now clear, Triumph moved in and shot at Kharybdis, doing another decent chunk of damage.

The Captain finished her off, but missed the Quick Work shot. That guys needs a rework.

Siege leapt into action, hitting and knocking down Barathrum, then putting Fury on the right Stormblades. Due to the feat, he couldn´t charge Barathrum and had to jump over his own Stormblades. On the other hand, the Stormblades would have struggled to hit a DEF 17 Barathrum without Siege knocking it down first. With it being knocked down, it died fairly quickly. Ser Dreyfus jumped into combat with the Deathripper and disrupted it.

Holding their left zone and destroying the objective scored two for Cygnar to nil for Cryx.

Cygnar 2 – Cryx 0

Skarre upkept Black Spot for a wound, then allocated two to Kharybdis. The Void Archon advanced, used its spray to kill the last two Stormguards, then teleported into the middle of the Stormblades, used its free spray from Black Spot (both the teleport and free attack trigger immediately after resolving an attack, so the non-attack trigger resolves first) to kill two Stormblades, then killed the Captain. The amount of souls it generated here was spectacular and really highlights the efficiency of a Void Archon that is not held in check. I decided not to teleport it back as there weren´t too many models that could reliably hit it left on that flank and it could threaten Siege or force him to commit to killing it, which would leave more freedom to the models on the left then.

The Inflictor charged and killed the last Stormguard on the Cryxian left.

Asphyxious and the gang Flicker, then get into the back of the Stormblades, killing all but one of them as well as the objective. This was to a large extent due to the souls they had collected last round. Siege would probably be able to kill Asphyxious, but then the Void Archon would most likely go free.

Axiara put Dodge on the Raiders, then ran to engage Triumph. Skarre put Admonition on herself, advanced behind the wall and shot the Stormblade unit leader.

Having lost one arm, Kharybdis wasn´t at full strength, but still dealt a fair chunk of damage to Triumph, without however taking out any systems. The Deathripper surprisingly dealt six damage to Ser Dreyfus, alas Dr Stygius could not finish him off.

Cryx scored their left zone and the objective.

Cygnar 2 – Cryx 2

ROUND 4

Having missed Axiara with the Rapid Fire shot and Shield attack (and her dodging into its rear arc), Triumph came to the conclusion that killing a Cryx heavy was easier than killing a Cryx solo and blew another gapping hole into Kharybdis, leaving only the Cortex intact.

After taking a second focus off the Squire, Siege charged Asphyxious and knocked him down, but still needing six attacks to get through his armour and two focus points, demonstrating the insane toughness of the construct lich. He then jumped back into the zone. Rhupert and the last Stormblade killed a Satyxis and a Murder Monkey.

The Stormblade Officer tried to lead by example and dealt 9 damage to the Void Archon, which must have utterly amazed his Standard Bearer as he missed the Archon with snake eyes. Dreyfus missed both of his swings at the Deathripper too.

With the Inflictor now inert, neither side scored any points.

Cygnar 2 – Cryx 2

The Void Archon killed the Stormblade Officer and Standard Bearer, then teleported into combat with Triumph and sprayed it down.

Now hitting at MAT 9 and dice+2 damage, Kharybdis didn´t let its two crippled arms get into the way and finished off Triumph.

With the Gang Fighter bonus from Dr. Stygius, the Deathripper ripped Ser Dreyfus to death.

The good doctor and the Murder Bots fail to kill the last Stormblade and Rhupert.

Frustrated, Skarre2 cast a Blood Rain into the melee, killing Rhupert and the Stormblade. In a move that should not be done in a competitive game, she then advanced forward and for the first time in the game, the Rocket Pod actually hit with its Sentry Shot, forcing her to spend her last focus to negate the damage. She then shot the Rocket Pod, damaging it.

The Satyxis ran or charged to engage the Rocket Pod and Siege. The Pod went to two boxes left. Axiara ran into the rear lines of the Cygnaran army to charge any of the three remaining Cygnar models next turn.

Cryx scored their right zone with Kharybdis.

Cygnar 2 – Cryx 3

ROUND 5

In an attempt to clear a charge lane for Siege, the Rocket Pod shot the Satyxis Leader, but missed and scattered onto itself, predictably rolling a 10 to blow up.

Taking the last cookie from the Squire, which also ran closer to provide rerolls, Siege advanced, then jumped to get Line of Sight and range to Skarre, who couldn´t use Admonition as a jump is not an advance. He then cast two Battering Rams at her, needing to boost as he needed 10s to hit. Both hit, but as he cannot boost, Skarre survives on 3 boxes. The odds of the assassination working were about 13%. Siege flattened the Sea Witch out of spite (as it gave a soul token to the Void Archon.

Kharybdis scored the zone again.

Cygnar 2 – Cryx 4

Dr Stygius ran to the central flag, the last Satyxis and Axiara killed the Squire, the Deathripper ran to the left square and Kharybdis stayed in his square. The Void Archon then engaged Siege and beat him up severely, then Skarre finished him off without even needing to use a focus point.

Cygnar 2 – Cryx 8

ASSASSINATION AND SCENARIO WIN FOR CRYX!

AFTERTHOUGHTS

Going into the game, I had a few things I wanted to check:

  • Is a mass single wound infantry list with moderate defensive tech still viable? The answer is probably no unless you can negate soul collection as Void Archons are a very present model in the current meta and can easily run rampant if you let them.
  • What about small-based Storm Knights in particular? I think we need to cross fingers that the announced Dynamic Update will do something for them. Unyielding is great on the cavalry, but the infantry models are not tough enough for it to matter, even in turn 2 when both Stormblade units had their mini-feats up for another +3 ARM.
  • Is Siege2 viable outside of Gravediggers? This is relevant to me as I feel (and others agree with me, such as Daniel Bergström on last week´s The Meta podcast) that Gravediggers is not really competitive at the moment and there is no other real home for Siege2. Again, the answer seems to be no. Again, this is a shame as he looks like a fun caster with a dynamic playstyle.
  • What about Skarre2? I once again have to thank Tim Bossuyt for his feedback on my list. She looks very fun and can keep a Void Archon, the very good Cryx character heavies and Asphyxious alive for a key turn, whilst also being able to fuel the warjacks. That focus efficiency, access to Admonition and an armour buff make her really fun to play, as she can do things every round, fuel her battlegroup and still be safe. In fact, in a ´serious´ competitive game where I would not have committed her for fun turn 4, she would have not been hit be a single attack all game long.
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