Well, back on the Magnus the Warlord kick, thanks to the NQ posting an alternative theme list for eMagnus, called Bad Seeds. Since I'm running a slow grow leage (June - 15 pts, July - 25 pts, August 35 pts), I am taking advantage of the league and playing another new challenging list. Due unfortunate luck and the duties of being a pressganger and honoring demos when needed, today happened to be the very first day I was able to play my 15 pt list this month. (I know, right? But that's what happens when your community balloons from 10 regulars to 24 regulars in a span of 3 weeks.)
So my 15 pt list:
Max Sword Knights + UA
I'm actually off by a point (playing at 14) and this was done on purpose. First and foremost, given the Warlord's spell list, I never take eMagnus without a Renegade. These arc nodes are really good. The one shot rocket is amazing range and POW and it's a fun warjack to bond with for the sustain attack. I then had to make a decision to fill in the rest of the list. Do I a) take a Defender and focus on it or b) take more melee centric lists?
Option a) would pretty much dictate what else was in the list. I could take a Defender, min Knights + UA and call it a day, but then I'm lacking a nice warjack to flank with. I could alternatively take a Defender and focus on the range aspect of the list - Rangers and the T2 benefit of Kell. However, Stealth armies or armies that deal nicely against ranged would be an issue.
So I opted for b) and decided upon a more melee centric build, focusing on Sword Knights. Having played with Trencher Infantry before, I'm avoiding them this time. Instead, the focus is making the best out of them. Since I'm taking the Sword Knights, I decided to have as many bodies on the table. At half my army, my core max squad plus UA filled in nicely. Next, I wanted a nice warjack to flank with. At 4 points, the Talon is a solid little warjack that can take quite the beating. Reach is extremely helpful and Stall is a nice benefit (in fact, I have discovered it is amazing!).
Finally, I decided I wanted a solid ranged option as well as a magical attack. Orin or Kell filled that choice, but Orin Midwinter at 15 pts seemed to be too light to consider. Not enough bodies on the table to take him. Therefore, Kell Bailoch was the choice. Eventually I'll get him for free, but for now he's worth the cost.
My first game I ran into Harkovich. As a PG with a new community and new crowd, for the first month only I allowed everyone to switch casters to the new ones if they deigned to. So I faced Harkovich, a Decimator, a Destroyer, and the War Dog. I threw the Talon up there, engaging both warjacks at the same time (deceptively fast little warjack with Mobility). It ended up stalling both warjacks and took three rounds of beatings from them and Harkovich. At the same time, the subsequent turn I threw the Sword Knights up against the warjacks and started denting Harkovich. I finally got eMagnus up there and failed my first run, but survived Harkovich's run to end it completely.
Second game, Scavereous list with Mechanithtralls, Necrosurgeon, Gorman, 2x Deathrippers, and Gerlak. He got first turn, ran everything. Suddenly, Gerlak and the Necrosurgeon were in range of an Obliterator rocket. The rocket took out 7 pts on Gerlak, killed two Mechanithralls, one Stitch and the Necrosurgeon. Kell followed up with a sniper shot from Silence, ending Gerlak. I popped early game feat, delaying him. I survived Scavy's assassination run and feat (poor dice rolling) and after dealing 6 pts of damage earlier, I charged Scavy with one Sword Knight. The Talon was flanking, so the Sword Knight roared in, hit and on 4d6 rolled....6, 6, 6, & 6, ending Scavy's life.
I have never felt as terrific in this game than that shining moment. It's a simple dice roll, not strategy and not anything else, but both of us stared for a moment, a few spectators were open jawed and then a loud "Yessssss" from both of us disrupted the entire store. Completely off topic, but it's moments like this when an opponent can celebrate with you for your win given the circumstance makes me appreciate my volunteer work as a PG.
So what to build onto 25 pts? I have not decided yet, but I think a Defender for more ranged and Saxon are necessary. Pathfinder would have solved some problems (linear obstacles mainly) and an additional ranged option to hit hard is a good solution to the slower Sword Knights. Plus I'm not afraid to throw the Defender into combat either.