onsdag 22. mars 2017

Tactica: Major Beth Maddox

Welcome to my second tactica! This time it's Major Beth Maddox. I have been playing her for a couple of months now, and have been enjoying it immensely.




Overview


Maddox is the Cygnar Mk3 battle box caster. She is a mostly melee oriented, and cracks armor really well, which is fairly rare in Cygnar. She has little personal presence herself, so she will probably be fighting from the backline, capping points and buffing her army. Her main strength is a great collection of upkeep spells that buff both jacks and units, as well as a strong melee damage feat. She had no control abilities and little assassination potential, so she is likely at her best played for attrition and grinding the enemy down. Her high Warjack points and good synergy with Storm Division have put her into the top rank of Cygnar warcasters.

Abilities


The most useful ability on Maddox is that she has Crit Disruption on her Storm Strike. Note that the chance of landing this is lower than you might think. The chance to Crit a DEF 12 jack is not 44% (the chance of rolling doubles on 3D6), but 18% (since quite a lot of those doubles, like all double 1's and double 2's, are misses). You should probably not expose Maddox to land this, but if you can keep her safe then by all means go for it.

Maddox does not want to be in the front lines, which makes Quick Work and Critical Cortex Damage pretty much useless. These abilities can be very occasionally useful in the late game, if there are but a few models left.




Spells


Maddox' spell list is pretty much all upkeeps.

Assail gives +2" movement, which is vital to deliver Cygnar melee jacks. If you have multiple melee jacks then it might be a good idea to put one Assail on one of them. Then you can hot swap during the turn to give +2" charge to two jacks. If you run only one melee jacks then you can possibly wait and see if it becomes necessary.

Dauntless Resolve is a fantastic unit buff. You want to cast this on turn one and have it on something pretty much all the game. +3 ARM and Tough is even better than Arcane Shield, the only downside is that you cannot buff a warjack with it. If the game goes long then Maddox herself becomes a good target for this spell, 15/19 gets hard to deal with when there are only a few models left. The spell has great synergy with Storm Blades + Officer, since the unit will become ARM 21, Tough, and immune to Knockdown for one turn.

If you feel your Storm Lances are more important to deliver, and the enemy has shooting that threatens them, then having all ARM 20 Storm Lances might be better.

Electrical Blast is almost useless. Maddox is never going to sport a Lancer, and you have to be dangerously close to the enemy to land this RNG 8 spell. POW 13 AOE 3 with a chance to disrupt is not much for 3 Focus, and if you want to be sure to hit and damage that means spending almost the entire stack. If for some reason you are that close to the enemy, you probably want to camp those 3 Focus instead.

Onslaught is very good. Global Pathfinder on the charge is great, and Maddox is the only one who can do this in a theme force. One big weakness to Cygnar theme forces is having almost no pathfinder, and Maddox fixes this.

Snipe is a good spell. Maddox is not a strong gunline caster, so it's probably not a good idea to base your list on it. It can be cycled on a pair of Chargers or Defenders, or give a unit of Storm Blades or Storm Lances extended threat range.



Feat


Maddox' feat is a simple damage boost that gives +3 POW and Beat Back to all melee attacks to models in her Control.

This type of feat gets better the more attacks you can affect with it. This means that armies with a high volume of attacks and higher melee threat ranges will get more mileage out of the feat.

Lists that can remove Maddox' units at range, or that can control the game and delay engagement until she has lost a lot of models, make the feat significantly worse. Try to avoid playing in such a way that only a few units are affected.

Note that the feat affects Mount Attacks, so if you can impact a few models with a charging Storm Lance, then you get more benefit. POW 15 impacts do damage to almost everything. This makes Storm Lances a strong unit to run with Maddox.

Tactics


Maddox has a good statline, but no defensive tricks at all. Do not play her further up the table than you must. Use cover, and hide behind obstructions. If she gets knocked down she dies fairly quickly. It's usually better to just pretend the abilities on her card do not exist, than to try to get something out of them and die.

Maddox is pretty straight forward and predictable, so the amount of crazy plays you can do are probably fairly limited. The most interesting options are with Stormblade Captain, which can allow you army to do otherwise impossible things. Tactician not only allows you to escape positioning mistakes - it allows you to play your entire army as one huge Storm Knight brick, with ranks upon ranks charging through each other. This completely negates the common play of leaving a few front line melee models while the rest of the army is ready to charge next turn. Laddermore is often the best model to charge with first - she will then be in a good position to buff all the other Storm Lances, and hidden behind a sea of dudes at the end of the turn.

Storm Knights ready to charge through each other

The result of the charge


While Maddox is best in melee, if you out threat your melee army opponent and have stronger shooting, there is nothing wrong with switching gears and playing a gunline for a round or two instead. If you can force your enemy to run in to engage, you are probably having a great time! I have shot heavies right off the table with a barrage of POW16 shots.


Maddox playing gunline and shooting heavies at range

Theme Lists


Storm Division is the obvious choice with her. It allows her to take the best melee units for free points. She can easily take 60 points of Storm Knights for the max bonus, or 40 points with a heavier battlegroup.

Sons of the Tempest has no synergy and is a trash theme anyway. Heavy Metal gives benefits for having a large battlegroup, which she does not support well. Running outside theme seems weak when she can take some of her best options in Storm Division and get another 16 free points to boot.

Army Choices


Maddox is an all round caster and can probably work reasonably well with most models. Her limited Focus pool indicates that she should run a small and efficient battlegroup. She has more and stronger unit buffs than Warjack buffs, and wants a large volume of attacks for her feat. She should therefore run a lot of units.

Army Choices: Essential


Journeyman Warcaster is great for protecting one of Maddox' units, and she allows you to take another of Cygnar's great light ranged warjacks

Squire is important too. Maddox is focus strapped, and having 14" control helps a lot to keep your entire army in the feat.

Major Katherine Laddermore and Storm Lances are not only great models in themselves, but they synergize well with her feat and can be taken in Storm Division.

Stormblade Captain is fantastic when you can get him for free.


Army Choices: Strong


Brickhouse is interesting. The bond can win you games outright if you are lucky enough to crit slam, and Magno Lock can be a terror against Khador and Protectorate 1" melee range heavies. With so many other things to shoot at against Maddox I doubt the Carapace will do much. Brickhouse has less focus efficiency, power and threat than Stormclad, though. If you are playing ADR then he should be a great option.

Ironclad is a good cheap beatstick which is much easier to apply with Assail. Hammersmith has lower threat, but more options for shenanigans.

Stormclad has great focus efficiency since you are probably using a lot of Storm Knights. 12" threat with Assail starts to get into the range where you really start getting the drop on other heavies, and POW 22 under feat with a free charge is enough to kill almost anything smaller than a colossal.

Charger is a good ranged jack that also helps with the Cygnar matchup. A pair are good for Snipe cycling.

Firefly is great with all the assaulting Lightning shots your list is likely to include. He is good on Journeyman Warcaster since he is almost as efficient outside control as within.

Storm Blades are usually not all that great, but Maddox and Storm Division gives them the tools to get up the board, live, and hit like a truck. POW 16 assault shot with Firefly + POW 18 charge is pretty bonkers.

Arlan Strangewayes helps out with Maddox' low Focus, as well as clutch repairs.

Finally, the Stormblades have a home

Army Choices: Optional


These are choices which are more debatable, but can be fun and/or useful.

Centurion and Defender are better jacks when they get more melee threat.

If you are playing out of theme, Trencher Infantry can allow Maddox to play further forward and POW 14 charges are pretty decent under feat. Ragman is great for melee armies.

Acosta is great fun in Storm Division - but he does not benefit from the feat and upkeeps, and since you cannot increase his defense in this list he will probably just charge something and die.

Army Lists


I am pretty sure the Storm Division builds are the strongest now, but I have added some vanilla builds as well.

Major Beth Maddox - Storm Division (75 points)


There are multiple variants here by swapping around jacks in the battlegroup to make it more or less melee focused, swapping Arlan for Acosta, and/or taking some Storm Gunners.


Major Beth Maddox (Maddox1)
* Squire
* 2x Charger
* Ironclad
Journeyman Warcaster
* Firefly
Captain Arlan Strangewayes
Major Katherine Laddermore
Stormblade Captain
2x5 Storm Lances
6 Stormblades
* Stormblade Infantry Officer & Standard

Classic Beth Maddox (75 points)


Use Sniped Trenchers to hide your army while you get it up the table, then use Ragman + the feat to murder stuff.


Major Beth Maddox (Maddox1)
* Squire
* Stormclad
* Stormclad
Journeyman Warcaster
* Firefly
Captain Arlan Strangewayes
Major Katherine Laddermore
Ragman
5 Storm Lances
10 Trenchers

Maddox & The Devil Dogs (75 points)


Thanks to Timothy Fletcher Baer for this one.


Major Beth Maddox
* Stormclad
* Hammersmith

Major Katherine Laddermore
Lanyssa Ryssyl, Nyss Sorceress
Ragman
Archduke Alain Runewood, Lord of Fharin
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord

5 Storm Lances
10 Captain Sam MacHorne & the Devil Dogs
* Captain Jonas Murdoch
* Freebooter

Pairings


Since Maddox is mainly a melee army it's a good idea to pair her with a control caster or a ranged army. I pair her with Nemo3, but Kara Sloan and Haley 2 might be just as good.


3 kommentarer:

  1. Great write up Christian! I have been playing her a lot recently too and have done really well. Storm Division really is her jam. SBI really do work under her with CA. I have had many a game where a toughed Stormblade has ruined my opponents plans and then ruined their heavy. :-D

    SvarSlett
    Svar
    1. Thanks! Yes, the Stormblades are quite dangerous and hard to remove with Maddox, and if they are shooting Stormblades, then they are not shooting Storm Lances. The low melee threat range on the charge is still an issue, so I think pushing aggressively and jamming is usually the best way to play them. Keeping the Officer 8" - 10" behind them is usually a good idea, they lose a lot of damage without Assault.

      Slett
  2. You don't like a Stormwall with her? She has Assail and Snipe making him a melee and a potente ranged threat. If you take Júnior you also get AS.

    I know it messes up the 60pt plan with Storm Division but it's a very versatile SW.

    SvarSlett