Beth’s Mad Wall

Playing what you own means you don’t always have the most popular or theoretically optimized pieces in the game.  I think Warmachine is actually fairly forgiving when dealing with what you own versus what the Internet says you should own.  But I also believe that the winners win because of skill.  They win because they understand how their pieces work, how their opponents pieces work, and they have a clear plan from the beginning on how they intend to win.  I’ve seen supposedly unbeatable lists lose due to gotcha plays, Terrain issues, dice spikes and just plain poor positioning or execution of what should have been a clear strategy.

That being said, I believe list optimization is mostly about building something that works for the player.  I could play the winning list from Jarle Svendsrud over at Courage of Caspia , but never win because although the list plays to Haley’s strengths, it may also highlight one of my own weaknesses.

Fine tuning Beth Maddox and her army has been less of a struggle with Beth, as finding complimentary pieces that work with my own playstyle. I could try to learn to mimic another playstyle, but that isn’t fun for me.

So how do I see myself as a player? First off, I still take too long activating my units. The Trencher Infantry is complicated, with several actions available. They are a large unit, usually, and their smoke can work against me as well as with me. The Storm Knights, Blades and Guard, have specific roles that I haven’t been able to isolate from each other while still have the two units function in a joint attack. The problems these units pose for me increase the amount of planning I take when activating.

Secondly, I have trouble determining if a Jack exchange will go in my favor. Will my jack survive an alpha? Do I have pieces available to retaliate?

Thirdly, I tend to go all in on an assassination only to come up short, with my caster exposed.

All in all, I would say I’m a novice at best. In the article about list building on Courage of Caspia, I’m still at level 1.

Where does this leave me with Beth? She is great! But I need to find a good group for her that will work for me. My original list was built with that purpose in mind.  My First adjustment was due to my issue handling the Sword Knights. My next adjustment will capitalize on what I’ve learned with the Strider and Stormcallers, and how I’ve been using Beth as a caster.

Cygnar – Beth’s Mad Wall

Theme: No Theme Selected
75 / 75 Army

Major Beth Maddox – WJ: +30
– Stormwall – PC: 39 (Battlegroup Points Used: 30)
– Lightning Pod
Storm Strider – PC: 18
Stormsmith Stormcaller – 3 Stormsmiths: 5
Captain Arlan Strangewayes – PC: 4
Journeyman Warcaster – PC: 4
– Firefly – PC: 8
Stormblade Infantry – Leader & 5 Grunts: 10
– Stormblade Infantry Officer & Standard – Officer & Standard: 5
– Firefly – PC: 8
– Stormblade Infantry Storm Gunner – PC: 2
– Stormblade Infantry Storm Gunner – PC: 2

I like the blades with Dauntless. They can really tolerate an alpha, as long as I remember their mini feat, and I correctly predict the timing of my enemy’s onslaught. If the high ARM just delays my foe long enough for me to spring an alpha combined with Beth’s feat, then I’d me super happy.

Running the Firefly inbedded means I don’t have to worry about focus. It activates in front, gets near the bad guys, shoots at close range, and gives the blades a bonus on their assault damage.

Journeyman Warcaster provides ARM bonus to either the Wall or the Strider. Snipe goes on the other, and that is swappable.

The Stormcaller trio can sit further back. They were getting shot up before, but now I have the Stormblade Banner and Lightning Pods to help triangulate.

Arlan Strangewayes is great. Spray, heal, energize. I wish he were a unit.

Finally, I removed Ironclad and Stormclad in favor of Stormwall. I couldn’t really get the Clads into play. I think the Wall solves my deployment issues.

We will find out Sunday.