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Feat of Service: Caster Draft

Feat of Service: Caster Draft

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The Nova NomadsFeat of Service is just a few weeks away, and we held our Spell Draft about two weeks ago.  Why so early?  Well, a fair portion of the event is aimed at building and painting the custom warcaster that you get to create for the event’s play day.  To do that, you need time to order bits, convert, assemble and paint the miniature.

So, two weeks ago, I was fresh off that awesome Hex Hunter caster I had drafted, and while I was tempted to rock the Legion, I knew I wanted to play fully painted for the event.  That meant I had to go with Khador.

This blog post will detail my thoughts through the army construction and Spell Draft, and at the end, I’ll show you the model I just finished converting, and will be painting in the next few weeks.

Picking the Chassis

I immediately thought of doing something on a medium base, probably because that’s what I’m used to, playing Butcher.  When I remembered that I have spare Man-O-War bits at home, the idea was solidified.

But, who to pick for my chassis?  Butcher was old hat, but Thagrosh1 and Gaspy1 looked promising.

For Gaspy1 I imagined a gigantic bull of a man, with a Doom Reaver blade on a polearm, who is just unbridled, barely contained madness.  He collects souls, has a massive weapon with sustained attack, and for his feat, he screams, unleashing a wave of harmful magic, before casting spells wildly at everything in range.

Then I looked at Thagrosh, and realized his feat would bring back a Warjack.  His Attuned Spirit and Athanc abilities would be useless, but bringing back a Khador heavy?  Potentially even Conquest?

Heh.  Heheh.

How to explain it?  Why, the warcaster’s a mechanic of course, and his magic and mechanical knowledge combine to give him unparalleled control over his machines.  He’s the Nemo of Khador.

The Starting Army

Knowing I could Bring back a Heavy, I wanted at least two in my starting army.  Not knowing what spells I;d get, I also knew I wanted a decent split between melee and ranged.  Since there are no Character Warjacks allowed, I went with the pair from the Battlebox, a Juggernaut and a Destroyer.  They’re both cheap, reliable, and most importantly, painted.

Next, I wanted infantry, and what I have painted is the Deathstar.  One day, that will change, but that day is not this day.  So, I threw in the full WGI, knowing that Snipe, Deadeye, Fortune, Deflection, Arcane Shield, Blur  and Carnage were all possibilities to buff them up.  It all depended on the draft.

I then threw in the War Dog, because it’s the War Dog.  C’mon.

Thagrosh1 Chassis Caster (+5)
* War Dog
* Juggernaut
* Destroyer
Winterguard Infantry (Full)
* Officer & Standard
* Rocketeer x3
Kovnik Joe

The Draft

Round 1:

Batten Down the Hatches, Chain Blast, Admonition, Obliteration, Cleansing Fire, Mutagenesis, Scourge, Fortune.

I picked batten Down the Hatches, because I couldn’t pass up an Armor buff in Khador.   What do I care about losing DEF when I’m already as easy to hit as a barn?  Mutagenesis was a close contender, as was Admonition and Scourge, but it’s too early in the draft to pass up buff spells for zots.  Yeah, Fortune’s nice, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

Round 2:

Iron Aggression, Fury, Backlash, Torment, Arcane Reckoning, Leash and Force Field.

This was a tough round.  Fury is amazing on Khador’s already ridiculously powerful ‘jacks, and Backlash + my WGI was pretty tempting.  I was worried about the fact that I’d have to break ARM with POW 12s (sure, I can CRA, but that cuts into the amount of attacks, and thus the amount of damage done to the enemy caster), and I hate spells that rely on my opponent making the wrong choice (ie, ones that only affect Warjacks or Warbeasts).

I picked Iron Aggression, obviously.

Round 3:

Polarity Shield, Wind Rush, Malice, Razor Wind, Breath of Corruption, Force Hammer.

Force Hammer was incredibly tempting, as was Wind Rush and BoC.  However, I again went defensive (as I do) and took Polarity Shield.  It protects my WGI on the advance, protects my ‘caster late game, etc.  Also, the guy drafting next to me had an Earthbreaker in his list, and I didn’t want him to have it.

Round 4:

Jackhammer, Arcane Shield, Stranglehold, Influence, Death March.

AS was a waste, since I can’t have it and Polarity Shield on the same thing (WGI), and my ‘jacks would be protected already by batten Down the Hatches.  Influence makes no sense with my theme, and Death March is kind of wasted on WGI.  On IFP or Kayazay, it’d be fantastic, but it’s not very useful for me.

I pick Jackhammer.

Round 5:

This is everything people didn’t pick from my original list: Fortune, Obliteration, Cleaning Fire and Chain Blast.

I don’t know how on Earth Fortune lasted that long, but it’s now mine.  Fortune + Tough on my WGI, or better yet, Fortune + Boosted rolls?  Bogus.  This is an easy decision.

Round 6:

Backlash, Force Field, Arcane Reckoning

I’m feeling like I’m covered defensively, and want to get a solid zot for my 7 Foc.  That all said, I take a second look at Backlash and figured it might be worth a shot.  Also, a guy who knows how to harness the Warjack connection to inflict pain on the controller is fairly well in the scope of my caster’s character.  I take it.

Round 7:

See Also

Razor Wind and Malice.  Again, I hate things that rely on my opponent, and Razor Wind is so in-faction, it hurts.  I pick Razor Wind.

Round 8:

Influence.  Oh, yippee.

Post-Draft

I’m left with:  Batten Down the Hatches, Iron Agression, Polarity Shield, Jackhammer, Fortune, Backlash, razor Wind and Influence.

I have a 7-FOC caster, so I have to ditch 2, so I get to 6 (FOC-1).

Influence is out, it doesn’t make sense, and I don’t have Arc Nodes.

I have a clear use for Fortune, Batten Down the Hatches and Iron Aggression.  Jackhammer is a great spell for just 1 FOC, and very much in-theme.

So, I’m left picking between Polarity Shield and Backlash.  Polarity Shield protects the WGI or the Destroyer or my Caster, and Backlash is useless against half my opponents and I don’t have a high quantity of high ARM attacks.  I could add in Widowmakers, but that’s only a few damage each turn, and again, useless against Hordes players.  I pick Polarity Shield.

Final List

Because it’s painted, costs 10 points, and is a ‘jack, I add in my Spriggan.

Thagrosh1 Chassis Caster (+5)
* War Dog
* Spriggan
* Juggernaut
* Destroyer
Winterguard Infantry (Full)
* Officer & Standard
* Rocketeer x3
Kovnik Joe

Turn 1, Iron Aggression goes up on the Juggernaut or the Spriggan and Polarity Shield + Tough goes onto the WGI, leaving three focus to run the ‘jacks.  Next turn, IA is upkept,  FOC is dumped onto the Destroyer for a boosted shot, and Either PS stays on the WGI, or Fortune goes on them for some shootin’.  Jackhammer kills whatever the Iron Aggressioned ‘jack couldn’t on it’s own, and PS goes up on the other ‘jack or the caster.

This is going to be a Tough nut to crack…

The Model

Ok, here it is.  I based it on the Bombardier Bombshell mini, with the arms from the the Khador Man-O-War Mechanic UA Officer.  The Wrench bits are from the same Officer model, and the flamethrower slung under the wrench is from the Assault Kommando model, as is the Fuel Tank on the back.  The flag is from the Man-O-War Kovnik.  This model is 100% Khadoran.

I used 3/64″ and 3/32″ brass tube to elongate the wrench & flamethrower, since I had to represent the main weapon having Reach.  I then used Snake Chain from GF9 to tie the back end of the Flamethrower to the fuel tank on the back.

FoS_Mini1

FoS_Mini3

FoS_Mini4

FoS_Mini5

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