Friday, April 13, 2012

Adepticon Masters - eMakeda

Adepticon is in less than a week! this time next week I will be half way through the Hardcore event at Adepticon. And as a welcome change from last year, I'm actually ready a week before the event! No staying up late painting one last squad this year (I was painting wyches the night before we left last year). I put the final touches on the very last model on Tuesday. I even had enough extra time to go ahead and base all of my models, not just Morghoul's hardcore list. sweet!

Continuing with my set of articles leading up to the big event, I am going to discuss my second list for the Open Masters event at Adepticon. My first list can be found here. My second caster is eMakeda. I have found her to be a good counterpart to pMorghoul, offering a strong infantry element and a fast army as opposed to Morghouls slower and more beast-focused list. Read on for the list and a brief discussion of the caster and her support

If you ask any Skorne player who the best caster is in the faction, the answer will almost always be eMakeda. second place tends to be very contested based on player preference, but most players agree that eMakeda is on the top of the power curve. Some players have started putting eHexeris up there with her, but before Domination you would often see rankings that looked like: 1-eMakeda 2-everyone else 3-eMorghoul.

It actually took me a while to see what the big deal was. pMakeda was my second caster right after learning the battlebox, and I thought she was pretty good. Her feat wasn't amazing, but the spells were awesome. moving spd + 7 for any beast (Savagery and Rush) was amazing. cycling it around was even more fun. I had looked at eMakeda's card but didn't really see her power on the first look or two.

I finally proxied her in a few games, and quickly saw that abilities that I thought were so-so were actually fantastic.

Makeda and her "bullets"

First up is her feat. every faction model in her control range ignores free strikes, can't be knocked down, and gets boosted attack rolls. ignoring free strikes is nice, ignoring knock down doesn't usually come up, but boosted melee attacks are amazing! This gives the Skorne player a turn of absolute beatdown against most enemies. Suddenly you can hit everything short of iron fleshed kayazy without worrying about it! this feat is a huge force multiplier for your army.

she also has a pretty decent spell list for the rest of the turns. Leash gives a warbeast an extra 3" of movement outside of their activation, opening up new lanes or dragging a beast into a surprising charge range.

Stranglehold is good but situational. a damaged model has to forfeit either movement or action. I've only used it a few times, but locking down a model that you can't otherwise deal with for a turn is very nice.

Engine of Destruction is a brutal Self spell. it gives +2 spd, +4 Str and +4 MAT. it quickly turns Makeda's "meh" melee stats into something amazing. suddenly she can charges 11" and has two MAT 11 P+s 16 attacks. and can still have up to 4 fury left for more attacks. this will kill most things in the game, but can leave her very open. I only use it if the enemy happens to get a caster too close.

Her main spell, and the one that gets cast every turn is Road to War. +2 speed to every faction model other than Makeda herself. this makes our heavies actually move like other factions! our infantry goes up to spd 8, giving them huge jamming or charging ranges. 2" in this game is huge. Added to Rush it gives our beasts a huge threat range. you can do the same with Morghoul's Abuse, but that hurts your beasts and only hits one beast at a time. And Makeda doesn't have a miniature 10" control range, letting her actually control her beasts when they move that fast.

She also has some nice special rules that help her army a little more. she has elite cadre for swordsmen (which I love already) giving them vengeance. 3" vengeance moves added to spd 8 with Road to War gives them a silly threat range.

Makeda also has stay death. she can pay a Fury to keep a warrior model in 10" from dying. this ability gets some flak online for its high cost, but I have used it almost every game. if you plan on using it, it can be a real boost. I often use it to save a solo like a soulward. the amount of damage that little guy can put out is worth that one fury. she can also save a model to keep a charge lane blocked, or stop a cavalry model after it makes an impact attack. I also use it a lot of times to stop special abilities. your opponent will be so used to using special rules like Sprint, Snap Fire, and Berserk or spells like Refuge that it will really mess with their plans if you prevent their target from being killed.

Finally, she has inspiration for all skorne models. Anyone in her amazing cmd range of 10" passes all of their cmd checks. It's a simple ability that doesn't need much discussion, but can be a huge life-saver.

So let's look at the list I am running with her:

 * Cyclops Shaman
 * Bronzeback Titan
 * Titan Gladiator
 * Molik Karn
 * Archidon
Bloodrunner Master tormentor
Extoller Soulward
min Paingivers
max Swordsmen + UA

Reinforcements - Rhinodon, max paingivers

Group Photo

This is a pretty standard eMakeda list. She's bringing her three big beasts (Some Skorne players like to call it the unholy trinity - Gladiator, Bronzeback and MK) along with an Archidon (her new best friend) and a Shaman to hand out an extra rush or Sprint.

the infantry support is much smaller than in Morghoul's list. a soulward to pick up after the swordsmen (or to give Molik eyeless sight for those sneaky casters who want to hide in a forest), master tormentor, paingivers, and a big unit of swords to benefit from vengeance.

I've started calling this list the "Double Barrel" list. Players know all about the Molik bullet, but adding in an Archidon is adding a second bullet for that caster kill. the threat ranges are almost the same (archidon = 14.5", Karn = 15", either can have leash for 3" more), letting them both threaten the caster at the same time.

The beautiful thing about this is that it is incredibly difficult to defend against both of them. because flight ignores LOS past intervening models and can fly right over enemy models (without free strikes on one turn!), the only way to defend against the Archidon is to make sure it has no landing zone by bunching up infantry around your caster. There is little in life that Molik Karn likes better than a bunch of infantry bunched up around an enemy caster. To block Molik, you generally want to block LOS with something.

Even with all of that in mind, I actually end up using the feat turn to kill everything BUT the caster. people are usually afraid enough of Molik that they don't get close enough until later in the game. Turns out the feat turn is pretty swell for killing the other stuff in an army too! swordsmen under Makeda's feat plus their own mini-feat will kill a ton of infantry. the master tormentor with almost never miss under the feat turn, and can sprint away even if something is left standing. Titans charging 11" with boosted attacks will kill most heavies in the game. Either way, feat turn is going to be brutal for the enemy.

the biggest thing Makeda has to watch out for is stalling feats like eDenny or eHaley. getting everything stuck in place is really rough on a melee army that wants to go fast. any army where the caster can sit way in the backfield is also rough on an army that is always looking for an assassination run. but I feel like Makeda fills out my lists well, offering the infantry clearing and long assassinations that Morghoul lacks.

Next up I'll be talking about my third list, eHexeris. as always comments are welcome!

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