HOMICIDAL MANIAC

In the aftermath of the Steamroller event, the Battleground crew has been branching out to some new warcasters/warlocks and army builds. After testing Strakhov and eSorcha about a billion god damn times, I was ready for some new lists to toss around.

eSorcha was the list I played the most, for sure. With how unbelievably consistent that list is, I wanted to bring mayhem to the table. I wanted my opponent to wonder what the hell was going to happen. I wanted ME to wonder that the hell was going to happen. Enter… eButcher!

This guy is a god damn maniac. Dudes, he even has a rules regarding his mental health: Homicidal Maniac and Arcane Dementia! Kill Again seems appropriate, here.

You really can’t find a more different warcaster. eButcher’s focus is randomly determined from turn to turn, forcing you to have multiple game plans in mind depending on how the dice roll. He really pushes for an intensely aggressive game plan since a lot of his ‘jack enhancement is based on whacking enemies with his axe and that his feat makes you whack people with axes even more.

One of the really cool aspects of his feat is how versatile it is. You can use it to threaten huge assassination potential or to gain some momentum by pressing an assault. Using this feat properly seems to be the hardest part for me. While on the outside, it seems fairly straightforward, there’s a lot of depth and many important factors to consider when blowing it. Is there a lot of tough on the table? Will the damage be severe enough that having eButcher up front will be safe? How many models have the potential to get in for the assassination attempt and how many tokens are needed at minimum?

I tried to make a list that had a lot of reach for assassination, but also the ability to gain a lot of momentum through feat use. A lot of weapon masters really maximizes the effectiveness of the free attacks. Cavalry solos really shine, since their reach is VERY good on the feat turn. Since Khador always gives me teh goodz, both of our cavalry solos are weapon masters! HAR HAR HAR. Here’s what I’ve been running the last few games. I’ve had some amazing successes and epic defeats. There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground.

LOL AXES TO FACES – 35 points

eButcher +6

*Beast 09 – 11

* Juggernaut – 7

* War Dog – 1

Doomreavers – 6

Fenris – 5

Man O’ War Drakhun – 4

Yuri the Axe – 3

Widowmakers – 4

A unit by unit assessment? I THOUGHT YOU’D NEVER ASK.

eButcher – Even more deadly than his Prime incarnation. Eschewing all defensive… uh… anything, his combat potential skyrocketed. The combination of Circular Vision and Homicidal Maniac allow him to Thresher 360 degrees EVERY. SINGLE. MELEE. ATTACK. Then, if there are no more people to cut in half, he moves an inch. If he casts Ravager on himself, he can keep making free threshers as long as there are bodies in the way. All of this pales in comparison to his feat. Essentially, every model killed in his control area give him a token. At the end of your turn, you hand them out to models in your army and they can spend one to move and make an attack. Others can be used to boost attack and damage rolls or make additional attacks.

Beast 09 – Like always, any time you want a solid beat stick, Beast 09 outclasses all the competition. Under eButcher, he makes power attacks for free and has the potential to shoot up to MAT 9 and SPD 6. On feat turn, if you manage to trigger the stat increases, Beast can run 12 inches for free and be given rage tokens to move an additional 6 and make attacks. This is a larger threat range than he has with Strakhov, though its a little less consistent.

Juggernaut – Pretty much a baby Beast. He’s cheap, durable, and hits hard. He’s a lot better with free charging and power attacks. Having two ‘jacks allows for some more favorable trades with other heavies.

War Dog – With all of eButcher’s abilities working off of AXE 2 FACE, the war dog helps with his survivability.

Doomreavers – Thematically, they are a perfect fit. What compliments a psychopath wielding a giant axe more than 6 psychopaths wielding giant demon swords? Luckily, they are also really great for the list. With eButcher’s minimal support of troops, each unit I use needs to work well on their own. Doomreavers fit that bill perfectly. On top of that, Reach and Berserk help generate quite a few Rage tokens on feat turn. They are also use those tokens well when you need to blow eButcher’s feat to finish off a beast or beat back some heavy infantry.

Fenris – SO GOOD. Not only does he fit themactically AND make the Doomreavers better, he’s PERFECT for eButchers feat. Weapon Master? Check. SPD 8? Check. Immunity to spells? Check. With two berserk attacks and the ability to make a few impact hits, he really racks up rage tokens. Additionally, he boasts an incredible 26 inch threat range with rage tokens if he runs during his activation.  He’s one of the lists premiere assassins.

Man O War Drakhun – Well, I can’t field 2 of Fenris, so this cavalry solo is as close as I can get. He’s a little slower and only has one attack, but he makes up for it in durability. Higher ARM and ignoring knockdown are very valuable. However, he does have a point higher POW on his weapon, making him hit a little harder than Fenris under eButcher’s feat.

Yuri the Axe – Yet another model that fits in amazingly thematically yet brings something to the list. He’s another speedy weapon master that can generate a fair number of rage tokens on his own. Stealth and Treewalker help him move down an opponent’s flank easily.

Widowmakers – So far, everyone else in this list is a facesmasher. However, it is way easier to grab some rage tokens and range. Also, charge lanes need to be cleared frequently. Point for point, you can’t beat widowmakers. Ignoring ARM values and having a naturally high RAT while being difficult to remove from terrain make them a no brainer for the points.

So what’s the plan? Well, right now I pretty much push for an early assassination run. When it works, its amazing. When it doesn’t, well… things are bad. Believe it or not, eButcher is not as straightforward as you’d expect from a homicidal maniac. There’s a lot of balancing involved in playing the list successfully. If you go early, you won’t have the number of rage tokens neccessary to guarantee a kill. If you wait to long, you may be low on heavy hitters to get the job done. On top of this, there are some lists that are giving me nightmares right now. I played a Skorne army with 3 heavy beasts and a unit of Nihilators. It was rough. The tough rolls made it hard to guarantee rage tokens and the beasts were to hard to kill with the meager amount I was able to generate. It made me worry that the list would struggle against beast heavy hordes lists, but I’m not sure of it now. With this lists speed and number of heavy hitters, I think it has a natural strength versus those kind of armies. Playing a few more games should give me a better idea of what I should be doing under those circumstances.

Despite the troubles the list has given me, its been a lot of fun. The decisions are hard, but the rewards are great. The random factors involved make the mayhem even more enjoyable. I look forward to seeing how far I can push this list and think it will really help me develop some new skills on the tabletop. I’ve been looking for another caster to try out as well, and its looking like either eIrusk or Kharchev. I’ll post when I get something going with either of them.

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