So I put Goreshade3 on the board today. Not enough to be sure of anything, but enough to get a bit of a vague sense about him beyond my initial “meh” reaction to seeing the spoilers on paper.
So let’s start with the list, and I’ll spin out from that point:
Goreshade, Lord of Ruin (-5)
– Deathjack (12)
Bane Knights (10)
Bane Knights (10)
Bane Knights (10)
Blackbane’s Ghost Raiders (9)
Bane Lord Tartarus (4)
Super creative, right?
The reason the list looks this way is simple – my first glance at Goreshade3 left me thinking “His best game plan is probably casting Mockery 2-4 times a turn, and that’s about it.” Following from that, I started thinking about the best targets for it. Rather than look for high value models, I looked instead for units that benefit from being at mid-full strength throughout the game that were unlikely to be easily wiped from the table.
Vengeance models are exactly that. And 30 of them intermixed on the table are even more that. 30 Bane Knight lists can eventually lose momentum as it becomes easier to wipe them out and avoid vengeance being a huge problem. But if you add the factor of 2-3 extra guys being returned each turn, it creates a big problem – most people will focus on one unit, and remove about half of them, maybe a few more. You get the unit back up to mid strength and it can become hard to remove the whole thing next turn, and vengeance generates extra attacks throughout the game. Add in Bane Lord Tartarus, who creates new models (which can then be returned via Mockery) and keeps the Bane Knights dangerous, and you might have a stew going.
Blackbanes have the ability to deliver the feat, but they also have the ability to make more of themselves. If you charge in, kill some guys, and mockery in a few new incorp bodies, then you’re keeping the unit close to full strength for much of the game.
It’s not a super interesting gameplan, but it did seem to be one with potential. (My biggest beef with Goreshade3 isn’t that he isn’t powerful, but that he doesn’t offer an interesting, novel playstyle. I really wanted him to be a jack caster with Shadowpack and weird spells.)
I played one game vs. Nemo3, and one vs. Butcher3. In the game against Nemo3, I managed to get a Ghost Raider into Nemo and set him on fire, which resulted in me winning the game after a charge from Blackbane himself knocking him into the danger zone. I also suffered really bad dice on a Deathjack charge against a Stormwall, and then a Bane Knight charge against what was left the next turn. Similarly, a bunch of Bane Knights failed to take out the T-Head that turn too. Lots of things were left on 1 after misses and low damage, so that sorta skewed the result. I won the game, despite being tabled down to just Goreshade.
However, it did mostly demonstrate that the core gameplan is pretty good. I generated ~10 extra banes and ~6 extra Ghost raiders, and given slightly less good than average dice I should really have had two dead enemy heavies and ~12 (and thus Mockery up to 15 or so) Bane knights running around pretty much unopposed.
In the second game, I played kinda badly, left Goreshade a bit too far forward, and Butch came screaming across the table… and was 1/4″ short. Lucky, but it cut the game shorter than it should have been. But again, my generation of extra models and general momentum seemed to be good. Enough that I’m okay with the idea of this list as a basic template to build on.
Next, a few words about the feat – In both cases, I used the feat to generate tempo and scenario pressure by freezing up front lines, allowing near full strength
units of Bane Knights to get the alpha while Blackbanes went deep. This board pressure helped a lot in keeping Shade safe throughout, as the line of engagement was well back. (Also, Ride by Feating is awesome). I’m not sure it’s the best use of the feat, but there are a few ways you can use it in any given game. Tempo alone is strong for Cryx, but if you’re not also getting work out of it can feel weak. I’d like to experiment with holding onto it for assassination threat or for midgame freezing up of high def models to lash the damage on.
I’ll mention at this point that I think the feat is possibly quite a powerful tool in conjunction with Bane Riders. Feating to make the frontline stationary could well set up devastating risk free impact attacks allowing the Riders to crash through to a hard target and wreck it, while gumming up a counterstrike. It’s still no eDenny Feat/Curse of Shadows, but I’m being positive here.
Some other observations:
– I tried without a Skarlock, but quickly realised in play that you really, really want one in the list. It was pretty obvious, really, but I wanted to see if he could do without. I think Shade3 needs a lot of work in his list.
– I like Deathjack a lot, but you need to downgrade if you want to try out Bane Riders and fit in a Skarlock. An arc node wouldn’t suck either, because you tend to be lurking back to stay safe, which can take the Siphon Bolt assassination off the table.
– Ghostly and Ride by Attack is an awesome combo. I really enjoyed having a caster that was this mobile. Shame he can’t do too much without dying.
– He’s personally dangerous enough that you could in theory make threats to pretty tough enemy casters. Bully potential is a thing I like in a caster, even if it isn’t his gameplan.
I’ll probably give him a couple more run outs over the next week before I decide, but sadly I’ve got to say he doesn’t excite me. That said, he’s not a bad caster. He’s a bit dull, but he feels like he makes an impact on the table. If you’re in love with his model, or really want to run double riders in his theme force, I don’t think you’ll be hobbling yourself too badly. He’s nowhere near our podium, but I think he has the potential to be brought to tournaments and not embarrass himself.
Know Yourself, and Go In Swinging,