Last sunday, our local shop, the Drachental, held another 16 man steamroller event. We tested the SR 2017 again, with the latest update provided by the PP Insider a couple of weeks ago. Which meant the “mercy rule” was changed to 5+ points instead of 6+ and solos didn’t score round zones anymore, but flags.
I planned on bringing my Haley 2 / Caine 1 pairing to the event.
I have been playing Caine extensively since Mark II. All told, I have played Caine 1 and Caine 2 in 157 games over two editions. Most recently, that Caine 1 list helped me to my 4-2 finish at Nordisch Masters. I had lots of memorable games. There was the time I trick-shotted Haley 2. Or Kara Sloan. Or very nearly Amon. There was the greatest game ever played, where I used the opposing Madelyn Corbeau to Sucker Gorten to death with Crit Brutal Shots by Gun Mages. Before I knew MK III would come, I was planning on playing against every caster in the game (I believe about 160 at the time) with the Caine 1 Sons of the Tempest Theme Force.
You could say, its my favorite caster.
The night before the tournament @OrborosRyan posted a Caine 3 list on Twitter. This one:[Theme] Heavy Metal
(Caine 3) Caine’s Hellslingers [+20] – Ace  – Charger  – Charger  – Charger  – Charger  – Charger  – Charger  – Thunderhead  Captain Arlan Strangewayes [0(4)] Journeyman Warcaster [0(4)] – Firefly 
I thought for a moment and then asked around for some Chargers. I only own 2. I was able to secure 2 more Chargers – so I had to tweak the list a little. For the 2 Chargers I put in a Defender and a min unit of Mechanics.
And then I glued my Caine 3 unit together and went to the event the next day, with Caine 3 and the Haley 2 “Heavy Metal” list in my bag.
Round 1 – The “Crap, Caine dies to a stiff breeze” Game
I was paired up against Khador. Falko brought near identical “Jaws of the Wolf” lists – piloted by Irusk 2 and Sorscha 1. He dropped Irusk 2 and since I wanted to test out Caine, I dropped him. He had 2 units of Kayazy Assassins. 2 Forge Seers, one marshalling the Behemoth. Rager and Destroyer was the battle group.
We play Outlast.
Turn 1. I let him go first, as that I have the longer range and want to shoot him some more. He runs everything up. I can’t shoot anything, so I run up as well, especially bring the Thunderhead forward, hoping to use his special action.
Turn 2. He moves forward. Both Kayazy units go into a zone. Behemoth shoots Thunderhead and does some damage (marshalled by the Forge Seer it gets blessed weapons and ignores the Arcane Shield). Irusk moves up into the trench, Rager in front of him. He is a little afraid of Caine’s range, but decides its better to be in the trench.
I plan on killing most of the Kayazy this turn. The Thunderhead can walk up 5″ and do his Energy Pulse – catching 6 out of 10 Kayazy in it. Unfortunately, 2 of them were in range of Irusk and had Tough. The made their checks. One of them was close enough to be engaged – which meant I could only punch that dude, instead of shooting the Destroyer. And now that I read the rule again, I realize I totally played that wrong. I couldn’t have done that Energy Pulse in the first place, since I was engaging the Kayazy.
On the other side, Mage Sight, the Firefly and 2 Chargers took care of most of the other Kayazy unit. Caine had flickered as well, Ace had moved beside him and activated Infiltrate.
Turn 3. Since I left the Kayazy near Thunderhead alive, Irusk put Battle Lust on them and that combined with Behemoth shooting killed the Thunderhead. He didn’t do much else, but shuffle around his forces.
Feat time. I loaded up my jacks and feated. I planned on killing the Destroyer and the Rager – which naturally meant probably neither would die. I did manage to put the Destroyer in the dust, but the Rager lived with everything intact. But that meant, Caine was in the middle of the board, with just 2 Focus on him. Junior had switched Arcane Shield to the unit, after Thunderhead died.
Turn 4. Behemoth was in range of Caine. He needed a 13 to hit. And does so once. Spikes the damage roll and Caine takes 12 damage, after using 1 Focus to reduce. Irusk moves forward and tries to hit Caine, but fails. Airburst doesn’t do any damage. He puts Fire for Effect on 1 Widowmaker. That Widowmaker has to roll a boosted 10 to hit – which he does. And a boosted 14 to kill – POW 10 vs. ARM 16 because of Arcane Shield, 1 Focus to reduce and 3 boxes left.
And he does. Caine dies.
Learnings: Caine dies to a stiff breeze. I should have saved Ace’s Infiltrate for my feat turn. The turn before, at max, 2 or 3 Widowmakers could have gotten shots in – not enough to kill Caine. If Caine has Stealth after my feat turn, nobody could have touched him and I could have mopped up the rest of his forces the following turn. I also really misplayed Thunderhead (apart from the above mentioned misplay). I should have checked his melee range, so that I could have gotten some shots into the Destroyer. Then the Rager might have gone in my feat as well. Overall I was ok with the game though.
Round 2 – The “Wow – scenario is still fast” Game
I get paired up against Pia and her Legion. She only brought one list – Fyanna 2. I drop Caine again.
We play The Pit II and I decide on the Healing objective.
Turn 1. She elects to go first. Both Angels run up as far as they can – behind the obstruction in the zone. The rest comes up as well. The Naga can’t run, because its out of Fyannas CTRL.
I start shooting stuff. I don’t hit enough shots on the Angels, so both take damage, but neither dies. One Raptor dies to a Charger shot.
Turn 2. One Angelius charges and kills a Charger. She forgets to feat and doesn’t bring in the Grotesques.
Ok – so I can feat now, huh? I do. The Feat kills both Angels, the Raek, 2 Raptors and her objective. So I am up 3:0 now and way up on attrition.
Turn 3. Her only option is an assassination attempt with the Seraph. He gets 3 shots, but doesn’t hit even one of them. The Grotesques come in and charge the Thunderhead, but don’t do much damage.
I mop up. Thunderhead Energy Pulses the Grotesques (again, possibly illegal because of being engaged), I clear the round zone and go to 5:0 and win on scenario.
Learnings: Not much. Again, I gave the opponent an assassination attempt, which she thankfully didn’t convert. I need to keep him safer, but that ain’t easy.
Round 3 – The “Oh, Legion again” Game
Yes, I got Legion again. This time it was Nathalie, who brought Absylonia 2 and the Twins. I drop Caine again, naturally. She drops the Twins.
We play Spread the Net.
Turn 1. I win the roll, but elect to go second. She doesn’t run full out, as she is very wary of my threat ranges. The Twins get Occultation and advance towards the trench. The Hex Hunters run, half the unit behind the obstruction straddling the center and right zone, the other half into the trench.
Neither obstruction, nor trench can save the Hex Hunters. Boosted shots and the Firefly’s Lightning Generator kill both groups, leaving the leader and 1 grunt up on the hill in the back. Other than that, I can’t shoot at anything and just advance.
Turn 2. Nathalie decides to run the Angels in my face, hoping it would tie me up enough. The rest gets into position for next turn. The Twins go into the trench.
I doesn’t tie me up. Caine flickers out of range of the Angel engaging him, shoots it. The Charger on the right and the Defender in melee put it down. Thunderhead punches the other Angel to death.
We both score in our zones, so its 1:1.
Turn 3. Zuriel and Rhyas go in and kill Thunderhead and 1 Charger. The Protector runs within 3″ of Rhyas. Caine is safe for now, but not for long. We both score again.
I feat, naturally. Kill Zuriel, the Protector and Rhyas. I can’t contest her zone, so we score again for 3:3. The Firefly moves beyond my zone, and Junior follows – I plan on running her to the opposing flag next turn, as that area of the board is empty.
But I don’t get that far.
Turn 4. Saeryn activates, charges my Mechaniks (which I didn’t activate the turn before, let alone move away). Kills one, feats, puts Rhyas into Caine’s face. Rhyas then beats the shit out of Caine and I loose.
Learnings: Crap. Caine is really, really easy to kill, once you get to him. Even DEF 17 doesn’t help. I was way up on attrition. If Caine doesn’t die, the rest of her army will die and I will win this on scenario. I had a vague recollection of that feat move of hers, but didn’t inquire further or tried to protect myself. If I know about it – the Mechaniks move half an inch back – it would have saved me, as Saeryn wouldn’t have the charge range on them.
Round 4 – The “dreaded mirror” Game
I get paired up against Kai in round 4. He brings Cygnar. I hate mirror games. He has Stryker 1 with double Stormwall (which is basically CourageofCaspias “Jaeger Team”), 3 Chargers, Junior, Arlan, Jakes, Squire. His other list is Darius with double Colossal. He drops Stryker 1. I drop Caine of course.
We play Standoff and again, I decide on the Healing objective.
Turn 1. I let him go first. He advances cautiously. Too cautiosly. Even the colossals don’t run, but just advance 5″. Both have Arcane Shield on them.
I know what he is gonna do next turn. Go up with the Stormwall’s, feat and wait for me to do something. So I plan on going up aggressively. I know the Thunderhead is near useless in this matchup, since both colossals are electro-immun and his shot is electrical damage. And trying to do damage to Arcane Shielded Stormwalls with his P+S 17 is not ideal either. So he runs his full 10″ forward, beyond the trench one of the Chargers ran into. Ace is turning on Infiltrate and runs up to the edge of my zone. Caine goes 7″, flickers 2″ more into base-to-base with Ace. I carefully stay far enough away, so that he can’t put a pod behind me. Junior puts Arcane Shield on the unit.
This is what the board looks like after I have finished turn 1.
Turn 2. He does the expected. Both ‘walls move up an start shooting. But he spreads out his shooting too much. Instead of focusing on the Chargers and making sure 1 or 2 of them die, he shoots Thunderhead and the Defender, damaging both, but neither crippling nor killing them. The Chargers eat a couple of shots as well, but not crippling ones.
Stryker feats, moves behind one of the colossals and has 2 focus on him.
That was the reason, I moved up so far earlier. Ace walks around the obstruction and Shadow Fire’s the ‘wall Stryker is hiding behind. Caine walks up and is in range of Stryker. He feats and Ryan and Lynch shoot the colossals. Then Caine puts 2 shots into Stryker.
All of my battle group is in range of Stryker. 2 Chargers are enough to kill him though.
Learnings: This was actually insanely easy. He could have made it way harder for me if he focused on the Chargers and killed 1 or 2. And if he stayed back more. But this was shooting fish in a barrel.
Final thoughts: Caine 3 is fun. Lots and lots of fun. But he dies waay to easily. Positioning is key here. I had a shot at winning all 4 games, only because I was too exposed in 2 of them after feating, Caine died. If I play them a little more conservatively, I win those 2 as well.
Also, I really felt not having 6 Chargers, but only 4. Yeah, the Defender has the longer range and the higher power – but I am missing 3 more POW 15 shots on feat turn. So now I have to think about if I want to play this list long term – then I need 4 more chargers.
Right now, I will test that Stryker 1 list – the Jaeger team. Stryker, Stormwall, Hurricane, 3 Chargers, Junior, Jakes, Strangeways, Squire – in Heavy Metal. Lets see how that goes.