Insider 8/02/2010

Hi, all. The last time I was here, I bade farewell to all the factions from my past and declared myself a Merc player.

The next step is army building, which for many is fun, but for me, it is a painful and nail-biting experience. I’m completely serious. To me, it almost feels as if every choice I make will be written in stone, and if I change my mind, some cosmic force will descend to earth to slap me around for my foolish thinking.

For my first choice, I decided to focus on the Highborn Covenant contract. After spending three years playing Skorne, I wanted a change of pace and to use a group of people who didn't have a pragmatic disregard for pain and death. To start making my core 35-point list, I chose Drake McBain as my warcaster. McBain’s impressive selection of tools and resilient feat set the tone for my army: a force that can take a beating only to stand up and dish it out.

For my warjack picks, I decided to bring a Mangler and a Nomad. Two heavy ’jacks can be tough to run with McBain’s 6 FOCUS, but I would feel naked with only one ’jack. With Failsafe in effect, the Mangler is a blast until it is boxed out, and the Nomad is my favorite-looking jack, so its place in my force was never in question.

My troop selection was much easier to figure out. I decided to take Steelhead Halberdiers, Boomhowler & Co, and a unit of Gun Mages with their UA Officer. The Arcane Tempest is half the reason I went Highborn; while spendy in points, their bag of tricks, magic guns, and the ability to ignore Stealth patches some big weaknesses in my list. Boomhowler is my road bump, and I hope a minimum-sized unit will hold the front line. Finally, my only regret with taking Steelheads is that I don’t have room for two units!

Lastly, we have solos. After a good day of comparisons, coin flipping, and a lengthy email discussion with a certain fiendish cephalopod, I decided to include the Piper, Epic Eiryss, and Lanyssa Ryssyl. The Piper was the easiest choice, but I had to be convinced to try out Eiryss. So far, I am greatly enjoying the combo of McBain’s feat turn with Technological Interference. My last 2 points went to Lanyssa, whose Hunter’s Mark adds additional damage and movement to charging models, which greatly helps my list.

So there it is! Please feel free to post or email me how horribly my list will perform; I promise not to slam attack you. Right now, I need to finish assembling and painting the army to face Jen’s new faction. Not that Cryx force she keeps blogging about, but her secret actual army she has planned that is filled with just pigs. You saw it here first, folks: Mercs vs. Minions will be the showdown this summer.