[Confessions of an English Undead Fancier] Let’s Build A List, Part II

Last week, we nailed together a Venethrax list – not 100% optimised, but full of fun stuff and not a total dud – for use against Hordes and other things Venethrax can murder. That left a Warmachine-flavoured hole in my plans, and that in turn led my thoughts toward something I’ve been wanting to do for ages.

I mentioned Goreshade, yes, and how I think he’s sort of the coolest thing ever? Did I mention his Prime iteration’s getting a long-awaited new model, too? Did I mention that it looks like this?
Pretty boss, innit?

Yes, that’s the original Goreshade. I’m aware he has those sexy, newer iterations, but I’ve always had a soft spot for the Bastard, not least because his sneaky journey across Khador with the reluctant guidance of the Nyss Hunters and the first introduction of Lord Tartarus was the bit of the Warmachine background that really hooked me.

Funnily enough, that’s what his Theme Force reflects as well. It’s a very, very limited selection of stuff; non-character Cryx ‘jacks with Stealth (Stalkers, Stalkers, umm… Stalkers, and I hope you like Stalkers), Bane Thralls and the Nyss Hunters, plus Incorporeal solos. That’s basically it.
Fortunately, that gives us a semi-decent list for inflicting on Warmachine players, and it looks like this:

Points: 35/35
Tiers: 4
Goreshade the Bastard (*6pts)
* Stalker (0pts)
* Stalker (4pts)
* Stalker (4pts)
* Stalker (4pts)
Bane Thralls (Leader and 5 Grunts) (5pts)
Bane Thralls (Leader and 5 Grunts) (5pts)
Cylena Raefyll & Nyss Hunters (Cylena and 9 Grunts) (10pts)
Bane Lord Tartarus (4pts)
Machine Wraith (1pts)
Machine Wraith (1pts)
Pistol Wraith (3pts)

Goreshade himself is… well, some people call him boring, but I’m not sure I agree with that. He has an offensive spell that makes enemy buffs go away, a teleport spell that lugs ‘jacks around (and which combines beautifully with the control range extension on the Stalkers), a decent battlegroup buff (which turns him Stealthy and his Stalkers into mincing machines with Dark Shroud), a neat shutdown spell (which is trumped by arc nodes, but still punishes forward-playing casters), and of course a feat which, while it scales terribly, is brutal in smaller games.

With a potential eighteen Bane Thralls on the board, including the free ones from dat feat, it’d be silly not to take Tartarus, and anyway, he’s part of the narrative that inspired this Theme Force. The two units on table at the start are mandatory for Tier Two, and grant themselves and Tartarus an Advance Move, which is nice for such slow melee infantry.

Tier Three is Cylena and her Nyss Hunters. They’re fast, they shoot things, they’re yet more Weapon Masters in a force already full of them, and they’re both some of my most and least favourite models. I like Nyss, I like what they’re about – they’re wintry and embittered and they’ve lost so much that they’re willing, in Cylena’s words, to endure even Goreshade’s loathsome company if it brings them one step closer to Everblight’s destruction. Fielding them in this force grants a +1 on the who-goes-first roll, in other words the who-gets-their-Banes-moving-upfield-fastest roll. Should be useful.

And finally, Tier Four. Take four Stalkers and the fourth is free. Simple enough. That’s a very fragile battlegroup, a handful of scalpels rather than a blunt instrument, but there’s something about it that speaks to me.

The rest of the list is my customary Pistol Wraith (I like guns and don’t like Colossals, OK?) and two Machine Wraiths, largely because I needed something to occupy those last two points and nothing else in the Theme Force could do it. Unfortunately they can’t steal a Colossal, but anything else is fair game, and once again, they’re good for interposing and holding objectives.

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