A lot of our previously poor choices have received some interesting buffs, including some of the choices from the NQ Spoilers. Let's take a look, shall we?
|Mk. 3 Cygnar Battlebox: Firefly, Lancer, Beth Maddox, Ironclad|
First of all: Elizabeth Maddox. I'm so sad to see such a potentially cool caster end up so lacklustre. She has worse DEFensive stats than Mk. 2 Stryker2, mediocre damage output for a frontline caster, FOC6, a feat which provides +3POW to Friendly Faction + Beatback and a spell list with 4 (!) upkeeps and a nuke. Her upkeeps are: Assail (see: Thyron), Dauntless Resolve (+3 ARM and Tough, but only castable on friendly Faction warrior model/unit), Onslaught (again, see: Thyron), and Snipe. In and of itself decent spells, but overall I can't help but feel that this is not what we need. By and large she is similar to Stryker1 but I'd much rather take him with Arcane Shield over Dauntless Resolve and a defensive feat instead of an offensive one (without speed buffs I don't see how she'll manage to deliver the alpha, something Stryker1 gets around by shoving +5 ARM jacks down the table) and not to mention Earthquake is a fantastic spell. I doubt I'll field her but I would, as always, love to be proved wrong.
Moving on to more exciting changes! Let's start with the Lancer. He lost 2 boxes, PC went to 10, his shield went up to PS11 and his spear to PS13. Apart from that he is identical as his Mk. 2 variant. Overall I view these changes as a slight buff to him. Making him cheaper is more important than the 2 extra boxes I believe as he's fairly tanky for an arc node to begin with at 13/18. Furthermore the increase in POW on both the shield and spear means you can actually get some work out of him when you don't need him to arc, doubly useful with Power Up. Having used Thorn extensively in Mk. 2 as a melee piece I am positive that this subtle change will be useful for our dear Lancer. It's not huge, but it's a set of tiny changes that overall constitute a small buff.
Next up: Ironclad! This guy was pretty much spoiled from before but to recap he's now PC12, same stats and Tremor is now a special attack which causes damage as per usual, and on a direct hit you center a 4" AoE on the model you hit and everything within said AoE apart from the Ironclad himself is knocked down. As with all other heavies he gained a 1" range on both of his weapons. In total these changes constitute a significant buff for the Ironclad: Cheaper, better special attack, better range. While he's not as strong as the Juggernaut in a vacuum, I believe this dirt cheap beatstick coupled with Power Up enable casters that previously struggled to create meaningful battlegroups. Stryker2 is a perfect example. In his Mk. 2 shape he would absolutely love this jack with Power Up. I'm also excited to see what these changes mean for our Stormclad as the general idea seems to be that basic beatsticks decrease in cost.
The real winner for me though is the Firefly. A lot of subtle changes here that combine to make him miles better than he is in Mk. 2. Let's break it down: PC 8, identical stats, swapped out "counts as friendly stormcaller" rule for one that provides +2 on electrical damage rolls on models within 5" of him. Lastly his Storm Blaster now generates D3 "eleaps" that bounce like Chain Lightning, the only downside is that they can no longer be boosted. Why I am so excited about him? Well, the recent Jack & Junior Insider spoiled that our Junior now comes with a jack tax. The Sentinel is a strong candidate but the Firefly provides an offensive option as well, always good (assuming we want him at all, of course). However more importantly, let's do the math: The Firefly is all about grilling infantry, right? I mean it delivers POW10 damage, anything else is a bonus (we'll get back to that). In Mk. 2 we pay 5 points for a RAT6 shot with an eleap. In Mk. 3 we pay 8 points for a boosted RAT6 shot with D3 eleaps. Let's say that the conversion rate is 2:1 in terms of points. This means that we used to pay 10 points for 2x POW10 based on a RAT6. Ignoring the RAT, the pow10:point ratio is 0.4 Now, we pay 8 points for 3x POW10 based on a boosted RAT6. Ignoring the RAT, the pow10:point ratio is 0.75. That in and of itself nearly doubles its effectiveness, without even considering the Power Up (which is huge as RAT6 and boosted RAT6 are two different worlds) -or- his +2 to electrical damage rolls special rule.
Let's consider a few things for the Firefly. Synergy with Dynamo/Thunderhead? It takes their damage output to potentially insane levels. Also consider the fact that Sloan has been spoiled to receive Field Marshall: True Sight. What do you think a bunch of these will do, assuming she keeps her feat and/or fire group? We also have a lot of lightning immune models from which we can bounce off its eleaps from, in which case the effectiveness is even better as it now averages twice as many hits as its Mk. 2 variant for less points.
Overall I am very excited to see these changes and can't wait to see the full faction and new rules. From all I've seen PP have nailed Cygnar down to at least what I consider to be our core faction traits (see this link for details on my thoughts on the matter).
No official word on our beloved Haleys just yet, but I can't wait for her various incarnations' rules to be revealed. The changes we've seen so far make a lot of sense for Cygnar. If they reign in some of our over the top stuff I think we'll find a perfect balance!