Hello again, Brushheads! As any of you who are longtime listeners know, I like caster challenges. It’s a fun way to learn a new caster and how they operate. Also, if I were to write about it more consistently, it’s a good way to vocalize what you are learning from each game.
As patrons know, I was challenged to play Ashlynn by a loyal Brushhead, Benj Hanson. Normally, i’d like to write an update after every game or two…but i’m already half way done (5 games). Instead I will post my list, for those of you who aren’t patrons, and give a few quick thoughts on each model/unit.
Ashlynn D’Elyse (29)
>Sylys Wyshnalyrr 4
Captain Sam MacHorne & the Devil Dogs 18
Idrian Skirmishers (10) 15
>Cheiftain and Guide 5
Thorn Gun Mages 9
Lady Aiyanna and Master Holt 8
Ogrun Bokor 5
Harlan Versh 4
Rhupert Carvolo 4
That’s 75 points on the nose. As I said, I’m 5 games in (and 5-0) and have a solid amount of experience playing the list. I’ve assassinated Thyra and Reznik2; while I defeated Haley3, Sevy1, and Baldur1 on scenario. I think the list is fairly balanced overall, and I’ve enjoyed the heck out of it. I’ve still got 5 games to go, and I don’t plan on changing the list at all, even though I have some ideas…i’ll save those for later.
On to my specific thoughts (in reverse order to heighten the suspense)
Rhupert Carvolo: He’s not the auto-include he used to be, but he’s still useful. Between tough (overrated now), concealment (quite decent during feat turn) and pathfinder (always useful for the Devil Dogs or Thorn Gun Mages) he still proves his worth every game. The reduction in range makes him a little harder to use, but it just requires you to pay attention and plan.
Harlan Versh: I made a conscious decision to punish upkeeps rather than strip them with Eiryss2. He’s worked pretty well. d3+1 ROF is a blessing and curse over Multifire. It does mean I will take those tough shots early, rather than later. He’s been solid.
Ogrun Bokur: I felt I needed a shield guard and the others are a bit too pricey for me. He’s been ok, but damn if he doesn’t get killed in one shot a lot. That being said, he still kills stuff like a boss if he’s hanging out near Ashlynn.
Lady Aiyanna and Master Holt: They’re still amazing in mercs.
Thorn Gun Mages: No ability to marshal a Mule and get rune shots saddens me deeply, but these guys are a nice consolation prize. Two guns, for lots of Thunderbolt or a Both Barrels is really good for their price. Gunfighter means they don’t just die if you engage them either. They’ve been solid in almost all my games.
Idirian Skirmishers: Possibly (probably?) they best unit in Mercs. They are so versatile, especially if you prey the correct things, they can melee and shoot. Their defensive tech is solid, too. They’ve dealt with pretty much all comers. Quicken makes them so darn threatening, with a 18″ gun threat and a 11.5″ melee threat. It may be hard for me to make an army without them in it.
Captain Sam and the Devil Dogs: The unit I was most uncertain about. The first couple games they didn’t do too much, but lately they’ve been really good. Automatic knockdown with their nets is really good. Dismantle makes them a terror for any constructs, as it applies to all their attacks. Boosted POW14 makes jacks a bit scared. If I were to change the list, they would probably go, but I’d have to put in something that hits to make up for them.
Sylys: Still good, still needed for Ashlynn if she ever wants to cast distraction. I would consider one of the other attachments, but I feel it limits your spell use too much.
Mule: A Mule…under Ashlynn!? What new tech is this. Ok, so this is old news, but I still love me some Mules. It actually hasn’t been amazing (since the Idrians are usually mulching infantry), but it has been solid. I would consider swapping for a Rover or Mangler…but I won’t.
Gallant: Gallant’s defensive stats are just obnoxious enough to keep him in this list. Purgation without blessed is strange, but not unwelcome. Under feat he is really hard to remove, and admonition is good at keeping him out of trouble. I would consider swapping him, but none of the other jacks have his solid stat line. DEF 10 is just not good enough under feat.
Ashlynn: The part you’ve been waiting for. She’s been good. She’s still just squishy enough that you want to spend a bunch of points on protection (I could see a shield guard and Orin), but super solo-y enough that you want her up front. Distraction is so good, I wish I could get an Arc node. It is just such a great unit-neutralizer and game changer. The “power up” rule has been so good for Mercs in general. It puts all our spells back on the table. Heaven forbid we actually get a model with Empower, like every other faction, that’d be great. The gun is key, too, letting her do something even while a bit away from the front lines. I will , of course, withhold final judgement until after game 10 but I do liker her so far.
There you go! Let me know if you have any questions or comments. Also, start thinking about my next challenge (preferably a Merc caster).