Post by PG_AcidOverride on Mar 12, 2017 14:09:44 GMT
THEME FORCE TACTICA
Currently the Convergence has a single Theme Force: Destruction Initiative. Before we get too far into the murky details let us look at what the theme force actually allows. This Tactica will be expanded as additional Theme Forces are released.
May only include these Convergence Models:
• Convergence Warcasters
• Non-Character Warjacks
• Priest models/units
• Servitor solos
• Convergence battle engines
So in order to take this theme force here is an exhaustive list of what we give up:
• Enigma Foundry (recursion)
• Steelsoul Protector (moderately hardy Shield Guard)
• All units with the exception of the Optifex Directive
Honestly…we are not giving up much, though the exclusion of ALL our units means this is the epitome of Jack Spam. I’m going to look at the theme under each caster and tell you why you would be silly to NOT use it.
One thing to note specifically is the Transfinite Emergence Projector. This beast comes with three renewable servitors every turn. Since they are listed as solos, they ALSO gain shield guard thanks to the wording on the theme force.
This Tactica is NOT going to give specific lists, I will leave that for the individual Caster Tacticas.
Iron Mother Directrix
Let us talk first about mother, a perennial rock for the Convergence. There are two basic ways to play her: With or without Prime Axiom. Effectively she gives all ranged ‘jacks an extra 2 inches of threat on their guns, and a possible +2 POW with Imperil. There are two ‘Jacks that really appreciate this: the Prime Axiom and the Assimilator. It is important to note that
With Prime Axiom
With Mother’s 27 Warjack points and the fact that basically any mother list is going to want the Optifex Directive (magic guns and repairs fix a lot), you will usually find yourself with 12 free servitors. Prime Axiom increases that number by one every turn it lives. With Mother’s feat giving you a turn of Axiom hitting DEF 15 on average rolls (with sustained attack) and pulling in two possible targets for your other threats to smack on, it is hard for me personally to leave home without the big guy…and I have been known to leave home with two.
Without Prime Axiom
If your list does not include the Axiom it is most likely all about one thing: The Assimilator. Lists with anywhere from 3 to 5 are considered perfectly viable, and since Ground Pounder does not target, you can get by without the Optifex if you want for the Menoth matchup (magic weapon really only helps to clear incorporeal infantry when it comes to Assimilators, and a few other edge cases). This means that you can actually get an extra set of servitors if you make that choice. Since your Assimilators all already have Pathfinder, it is a viable choice to skip the Optifex.
Transfinite Emergence Projector
While not as obviously powerful with Mother as the Axiom is due to it not getting the range increase, she does offer the TEP one thing it cannot get elsewhere: Reposition [3”]. Tactical Supremacy is fantastic on the TEP, especially in the Khador matchup where you will want all three servitors in the left field for damage. Even under Boundless Charge a Speed 5 model with reach only threatens 12 inches, and the TEP can end at 13 after pumping two sprays into that model. The power of two TEPs under mother with cycling of Tactical Supremacy is something I am playing with, but have not thoroughly tested yet.
In the current meta there is absolutely no reason to take Mother without playing in theme. She does nothing for our infantry (Tactical Supremacy not included) that she doesn’t do better for our Jacks, and her feat loves dual threats (melee and ranged) in her ‘jacks.
What you gain: Shield Guards, Extra Deployment, 12-15 free servitors.
What you lose: Basically nothing. She cannot be played as the backlash auto-killer that she was in MkII under her personal theme, but she still has significant game under this new theme, as giving free points to a caster that can extend some threats can frequently be scary.
Father Lucant, The Divinity Architect
The next most obvious contender for the throne is Lucant. With his 28 Warjack points you are still looking at either 12 or 15 free servitors with the same choice as before: Optifex Directive costs you the fifth free group. Lucant is significantly different than mother though in that he much prefers a melee focused army with Positive Charge and his Armor Buffing Feat. Add that to Watcher and you can have a very tough nut to crack. If all this was not enough, now even your Warjacks have Shield Guard, meaning you can very easily make a list with literally every model having Shield Guard. Once again you find yourself in a no-lose situation. You get free stuff for no real cost. While Lucant would certainly LIKE a unit of Reciprocators for 5 models with 8 ARM 24 boxes under feat, he doesn’t NEED them. There two models to mention with Lucant that have gone previously unmentioned
While it is true that the native shield guard is unneeded, the Conservator brings a ton to this list. Base ARM 20 (with both arms) and two MAT 10 POW 19 (Positive Charge + Hand of Vengeance) initial attacks with Pathfinder. The only thing missing is reach. Keep in mind that you are getting 15 free single wound shield guards…they are REALLY good at procing Hand of Vengeance for you with proper placement.
While the Macropummeler can only be used once per round, Watcher makes it a huge threat with good placement as a MAT 6 POW 20 that is fully boosted and knocks down on hit will end many threats before they even get an attack off. He is also highly capable of initiating assassination runs with his auto knockdown.
Under feat, Deceleration, and an entire army of shield guards, pretty much any ranged heavy army has to fear Lucant (stupid Ossyan doesn't seem to care regardless...cheating elves). Add that to auto-knockdown Macropummelers under Watcher, and many melee threats have to be cautious of positioning as well. Lucant makes for a well-rounded threat that is impossible to ignore.
Axis, The Harmonic Enforcer
I will not go to deep into discussion on Axis as most of what I said about Lucant is true for Axis as well. He prefers all or mostly melee ‘Jacks. That said: thanks to his amazing 30 Warjack points Axis can have his cake and eat it too: He can take the Optifex Directive AND get the full complement of 15 free servitors. Though with Relentless Charge and Rat 2 he is the caster that needs them the least…what can you do?
The major differences between Axis and Lucant are basically how they screw the opponent. Lucant makes a strong brick that is hard to break from range, while Axis’s countercharging ‘Jacks with a 4 point SPD/STR swing on his feat make for an army that is very difficult to approach. Access to Bulldoze can also open up many assassination vectors that didn’t exist before.
One thing that is purely my opinion: Axis basically requires a minimum of one TEP in order to have any ranged threat at all. Luckily, everyone likes a TEP, so you were probably going to bring it anyways.
Forge Master Syntherion
Of all our casters Syntherion is the largest enigma. While Mother enjoys the Prime Axiom and turns Assimilators up to 11, Syntherion practically demands dual-threat Warjacks. Syntherion can very easily run two Prime Axioms with a Cipher and call it a day. Under feat and Hot Shot each Axiom gets 5 Rat 5 POW 11 (boosted) Spikes, two tow cables, a free punch for each cable that hits, two initial punches, and 3 more for focus (and all the punches come complete with Sustained attack). That is up to 7 POW 21 fists, 5 of which hit automatically if the first two do…what lives through that (for reference, the hardest to one round model that I can think of is the ARM 20 model with 62 boxes: Conquest, which crumbles to the 58 average damage (tow cables and punches only), add in the free charge from feat or even a single point of Synergy and you have a dead Conquest). Now that Colossals are immune to Grievous Wounds, Field Marshall [Auto-Repairs] guarantees that you will have at least two systems running on your turn if the Axiom lived. Basically there are three models you really want to be looking at for Syntherion, the Prime Axiom as well as two new ones:
The Cipher makes great use of Syntherion’s feat (all three attack types have their place, especially when Hot Shot is in play for Bombardment), is a strong Reconstruct target, and really likes being able to fire the Servipod after a charge (frequently I will shoot a Flare at the target I just charged to start up a Synergy chain). His dual-threat is exactly what Syntherion wants out of a heavy.
I have seen this guy used to great effect under Syntherion largely due to his four initial attacks, but in my meta I rarely see anything that the Modulator is good against, so I never run him. If you have experience with the Modulator under Syntherion Theme, please let me know so I can add your comments.
Aurora, The Numen of Aerogenesis
If Syntherion is the faction Enigma, then Aurora is the caster that doesn’t even belong. The problem with Aurora is that even with as good as the theme is, she really needs a minimum of one unit of Angels to do her thing properly, and theme says no. Aurora is the caster that wants to personally assassinate, but has the EXACT stat line required to fail, her MAT is just slightly too low for consistency, and her POW is just small enough to lack the desired threat. That said, her Flank [Clockwork Angels] makes you want to try if you can get just ONE in there. I have lost more games because Aurora could not quite get the job done than I can count (and playing against her I have won plenty for the same reason). Aurora feels like a late game assassination caster (stat line good enough to kill if the opposing caster has a few boxes down), but doesn’t bring anything to help keep her army alive long enough to get those needed points out there. Add that to her spell list favoring warrior models and units in a faction that really wants ‘jacks and has an arguably overpowered theme (from the stand point that there is no effective reason to play outside of it) for said ‘jacks…and you have the only caster in the faction that does not want to play in this theme…which currently means she is practically unplayable competitively in my personal opinion (though I am freely willing to admit that she does not fit my style well and others probably have much more experience than I do).
The Final Word
With the exception of Aurora, all our casters really benefit from playing in Destruction Initiative as they lose very little they wanted and gain so much. That said, CoC is still in a tough spot competitively which just goes to show that even 20 free points don’t mean much when the models you are getting for free probably are not worth the number of points you are getting. Bottom line: In current competative play, if you are not using the Destruction Initiative, you are probably playing it wrong