Monday, January 31, 2011

New Zerkova Theme List

I don't have much experience (read: 1 game) with Zerkova but she is one of my favorite characters in the Warmachine world and I've always wanted to play her. The internet doesn't much like her and my own musings on her sort of agree. She wants to be up close to use her spells (because there are no arc nodes in Khador) but has terrible defensive stats. She needs several babysitting models to keep her safe which limits what she can take in her army, and she offers zero buffs to help out that limited army.

The newest NQ has a brand new theme force for her and I thought this would be an excellent time to give her a whirl.


Death by ice cream cone! - image from Privateer Press

Restrictions
The theme list limits Zerkova to 'jacks with ranged weapons and Marauders; Widowmaker, Kayazy, and Greylord units; and Gorman, Widowmaker, Kayazy, and Greylord solos.

Benefits
The two best benefits are at tier 1 - can take Vanguard lights as friendly Khador models in her battlegroup - and tier 4 - point costs of 'jacks are reduced by 1. The tier 4 benefit is absolutely worth going all the way for. On the way to tier 4 you also get 2 extra inches on your deployment zone and a 3" cloud AOE for each Greylord unit you bring. Pretty cool stuff.

Thoughts
  • Any list here is going to struggle to crack high armour. Kayazy bring POW 13's with Gang and that's about as high as it goes outside of the 'jacks. Widowmakers could help against high ARM single wound infantry and on a charge the Kayazy can throw out POW 23's on average rolls, but against a whole army of beefy stuff there could be problems.
  • My experience with Zerkova is limited, but I feel like there could be some focus issues in this list. Getting to tier 4 requires 3 'jacks in her battlegroup and that gets expensive. A Koldun Lord can help but he's only one man (and one focus).
  • Vanguards really help out in the babysitting department.
  • The infantry and solos are all pretty quick for Khador and the army contains a lot of denial and spot removal. I think the army will run more as a precision instrument than a brutal in your face killing machine, looking to deny enemy opportunities while it focuses efforts on select areas.
Some Lists
This first list was made with the idea of getting two heavies in to help with high armour and to give a lot of good targets for Watcher. There wasn't space for a Koldun Lord so I'm concerned about Focus.

Zerkova
+Spriggan
+Decimator
+Vanguard
10 Kayazy + UA
Greylords
Widowmakers
Gorman

The second list swaps a heavy for a second Vanguard, allowing me to sneak in a Koldun Lord. It suffers from only one heavy and is going to be weaker against high ARM.

Zerkova
+Spriggan
+Vanguard
+Vanguard
10 Kayazy + UA
Greylords
Widowmakers
Gorman
Koldun Lord
Widowmaker Marksman

Of the two, I think I prefer the second list. I'm a little nervous about running just one heavy 'jack and not having Iron Flesh for the Kayazy, but I think charging Kayazy will be OK for most situations. I also like the Koldun Lord for extra Focus and the double Vanguards to protect Zerkova.
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