One of the reasons why I keep posting tons of stuff about Warmachine is because I want to keep learning. I also want the people around me to learn, both because it motivates me and because I think that they in turn can help me improve. I've already gotten a ton of good discussions, valuable feedback and ideas from this blog so I most definitely intend to keep doing it.
Obviously, with this being my blog the content here is polarized. Lately I've had several people comment on my lack of diversity in terms of what casters and lists I play for example. In order to broaden my perspective and provide you with something that isn't purely my ideas and thoughts, I've been lucky enough to have two of the very best Cygnar players on the planet sit down with me for an interview. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Patrick Dunford, who recently won the UK Masters, and Olov Winroth, who recently won the Iron Moot Invitationals. Let's take a look at some of their thoughts on Cygnar and recent experiences!
"I had 2 really hard games. My first game vs. Tom Guans Wurmwood, because of unfamiliarity with the matchup and obviously facing a very skilled player. Also the final game vs. Johan Dyrlinds Vlad1, but mostly because I misplayed the final game horribly. Not to take anything away from Johan, he went for the right plays and is a skilled player but I had such a good matchup and almost screwed it up royaly."
"There were two games that really stand out. Both were against members of WTC team Scotland. Not a coincidence. The first was against Frazer McFetridge playing Rask. I’d heard a lot about Rask and his tricks but had never played that matchup. I chose to drop Haley3 because her list had no hard targets where Rask could get value from the +6 damage buff on his beasts. The cloud wall and Temporal Distortion were also both really helpful. In the end the game played more or less as I suspected so I was pleased with my decision to pick Haley3 as it definitely gave me an edge in the matchup. The second was the finals against Alasdair Johnstone. We played the Haley2 mirror. The matchup is really weird but also very interesting. It plays out like a big puzzle in which both players have a ton of great options every turn but also have to think about a lot of threats. Dominate is especially scary and lets each Haley pick and kill an opposing warjack each turn basically for free. I got lucky and had an Arcane Shielded Stormclad survive being dominated into an opposing heavy. This swung the game in my favor and allowed me to Snowball from there."
.::. Going into the tournament, what matchups did you fear the most?
"Wurmwood and Ossyan, the rest I thought I could handle somewhat reliably. As it turns out Haley3 is an ok drop into wurmwood though."
"Early in the edition it’s impossible to play against everything. I’ve found a lot of old casters have a new lease of life and many have a bunch of tricks that can catch you out if you’re not aware. I wasn’t worried about any caster in particular, but rather an opponent who was well practiced with a dark horse caster that I knew nothing about."
.::. Olov, you did not take Haley2 for any of the 2-list events at Iron Moot and the list you took to the IGQ was never played. Did you miss her? Do you consider a pairing without Haley2
to be our best one, potentially?
"I missed her ability to control games at times. Caine2 games tend to be quite volatile."
.::. Patrick, you have pioneered a rather unique approach for Haley2 for quite a while. Can you describe how you went about transforming your Mk. 2 variant of her to Mk. 3?
"I like to play hyper aggressive builds for Haley2 that maximize threat range and armor cracking. The idea is to deliver the army first and hard, feat to minimize retaliation and then hit again. Usually after that there’s not enough left of opposing forces to fight back. To achieve this I was running Stormclads and Lances in Mk2 so it was easy to transition to Mk3! One thing that made my lists unconventional was that I didn’t run Thorn in Mk2. There simply wasn’t enough Focus to fuel a hard hitting Stormclad and arc effectively. Of course Haley2 changed more than most casters between editions. Although she received numerous nerfs, Future Sight was a massive buff. With this ability she is the premier spell slinger in the game. For this reason I now always play her with an Arcnode. Powerup allows Haley2 to run a bunch of heavies and still arc all the spells she needs every turn. It’s the best of both worlds!"
.::. There has been a lot of talk about Cygnar's success recently, especially in Europe. Do you believe we are top dog now? If yes, why? If no, then who are?
"Cygnar are great right now, but so are a lot of other factions! It’s early days and I think people are often too quick to jump to conclusions about what is strong without getting enough games in. Most factions have powerful options and can hold their own. Standouts that have impressed me the most include Ret, Circle, Menoth and Mercs."
"I do believe Cygnar is in the very top, together with Ret and Khador."
.::. A lot of Cygnets out there struggle to grasp Cygnar's ability to deal with other competitive powerhouses. Do you have any tips for them?
"Cygnar is a faction that has a lot of powerful options to answer opposing threats. It can be tough to identify which of those options are necessary and figure out the best way to play them in specific matchups. The solution to this is practice! The more you practice the better you will be able figure out how powerful opposing options work and how to use our own forces to beat them. My second piece of advice is to not rely too much on standard Cygnar gun lines. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good gun line as much as the next guy, but your opponents will see them coming a mile away. Guns are what our opponents expect to see from Cygnar and know how to beat. If I take a gun line to a tournament I always make sure to pair it with a melee focused list that plays very differently. This gives a lot more flexibility in choosing your lists and helps you avoid bad matchups."Olov:
"1. Play Haley3
2. Summon Echoes
.::. Patrick, I know you have a lot of love for Maxwell Finn. Can you explain what makes him so great?
"Have you read his card? He’s insane! Seriously, Maxwell is a powerhouse. He’s an excellent piece that can be used in a variety of ways. His defensive stats are high enough that he can play out on a flank and beat most things or contest a scenario indefinitely. However, it’s his melee abilities that make him really shine. Killing spree and grievous wounds combine to punish tightly packed infantry. Most of the commonly used infantry in the meta right now fall into this category. Sentinels, Trenchers, Ironfangs and Reeves all tend to have to clump up to benefit from defensive abilities or to make CRAs. Finn also makes great use of a lot of faction buffs. He’s a lot of fun with TK and Temporal Acceleration from Haley2, is a nightmare to deal with when he has Bullet Dodger and works miracles with feats such as Siege’s Breach and Jake2’s Powerhouse."
.::. Olov, your Haley3 build has become pretty popular with Grenadiers being picked up left, right and center. I've heard multiple players wonder if they can deal with multiple heavies with this setup. Is this a problem you've experienced in your games?
"My Haley3 list has 0 issues with multiple heavies, thanks in large to the Grenadiers. They are amazingly good at putting the hurt on heavies from range. Basically everything in the list kills heavies and you even have some control tools in Domination, Force Hammer and Disruption from Thorn."
.::. What is your favourite caster to play?
"I like to play a lot of different casters and enjoy the variety. Haley2 is certainly the caster who I have played the most though and that’s because she’s the most fun. Every game with her is a puzzle to be solved and even after 4+ years of playing her in tournaments I still find that executing effective turns can be really satisfying."Olov:
"Haley3, hands down, with Caine2 as a close second."
.::. Following your experiences thus far in Mk. 3 and your tournament wins, what is your current 2-list even pair? How did you end up there?
"I chose Haley2 plus Caine2 for WTC this year. Between the two I was able to cover a lot of bases. Haley2 did armor cracking and strong scenario play. Caine2 was more of a gun line, though not a totally dedicated one. I also ran a Stormwall in my Caine list. Stormwall has been given a lot of flak in Mk3 for being a less efficient choice, but it presents a big problem for opponents to deal with and its presence in a pair can be a help in list selection. Colossals are also not vulnerable to a lot of the anti-heavy control options that are becoming increasingly popular in the meta. I expect that they will continue to play an important role in Cygnar lists going forward."Olov:
"My current pair is Haley3 and Haley2. Caine2 is good, but Haley2 added some much needed stability to the pair and more matchups where I could drop both lists potentially which put me ahead in list-selection."
.::. Thanks a lot for taking the time to reply! Any closing words or shoutouts?
"You’re welcome! Thank you for tirelessly creating content that’s interesting and helpful to the community. The volume and quality of writing on your blog is second to none. Keep up the amazing work!"Olov:
"Thanks for having me!"
Thanks a lot for your time guys and the kind words, Patrick! I'll try my best to keep posting quality content.