Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Am I Crazy? A Different Look at pKreoss' Feat

Alright.  I'm going to start this out and admit that I am not anywhere close to a knowledgeable Warmahordes player.  In fact, I am relatively new and still learning quite a few basic dynamics to the game.  That said, I may be seeing things differently (and perhaps incorrectly), but I wanted to throw out an idea that I encountered a game or two ago when I played a pKreoss list.

Everyone knows pKreoss' feat.  His feat gave rise to the term "pop and drop". Thus, it is widely accepted that pKreoss' feat is an assassination feat, a game-ender.  I want to suggest something else in this post.  I believe that pKreoss' feat can also be an insurance policy.  It allows you to play your army aggressively and then retract before a decisive counterattack can occur.

Let me explain by telling you what happened in my last pKreoss game.  I was playing a Circle player who was running pKrueger.  He had several feral warpwolves, shifting stones, gallows grove, and wolf riders.  After only a turn or two, we had begun to engage with me really making the first concerted effort towards hurting his army.  It was at this point that I realized that I was a bit overextended.  I did this because I felt that he would be on me the next turn if I didn't try to bloody his nose and blunt his assault quickly.  Thus, I moved pKreoss up and popped my feat. In doing so, I knocked down the vast majority of his army.  This immobilized the wolf riders and knocked down two warpwolves among other things.  In his turn he had to expend quite a bit of fury to get his warbeasts up and then to get their animi cast and them attacking.  This in turn meant that while they did some damage, it wasn't nearly as bad as what they could have done had they not been hindered by the knockdown effect that I threw out.

So, my question here is, can Kreoss' feat be used defensively?  Is it possible to use it to invalidate the efforts of your opponent in one turn and then use that chance to continue to build momentum and bull doze his army?

I agree that the straightforward nature of Kreoss' feat lends itself, without any imagination, to getting that caster kill, but I think it can also be used defensively should you find yourself overextended and needing some way to soften the impending blow of your opponent.

I would love to hear some people's thoughts on this subject.  Maybe I'm just a noob and completely inexperienced, but this seems like a valid, though less optimal, tactic to be used.

Here are some other Warmachine articles:
Warmachine the Way I See It: Warcaster Study, pKreoss
The Harbinger of Menoth: Model Review
How Important is the Front Arc, Really?
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Mike Howell said...

It certainly had more defensive potential in mk I before "shake effect" was around. I used it repeatedly to drop the advancing line and run my jacks into attack position (just out of melee.) Even a full retreat the "stand up" turn wouldn't escape my charge range most of the time.

I've still used it in mk II like that, but more against units or solos. In a larger game with lots of jacks/beasts to need to shake I can see it having a lot more effect. In the small games I play, not quite as crippling to knock down jacks when you only have two of them on the board.

Von said...

It has a deal of use in scenario play too, if you can knock units down before they contest an area - they'll be walking into the area but they won't be doing much else, which tends to leave you with more resources to eradicate them.

AoM said...

I have definitely used his feat this way before. I never liked Deliverers, and I only picked up Redeemer arm bits at the end of Mk.I because I had gotten a bunch of the Revenger and Repenter chassis from a friend. "Drop and Pop" for me was always more of "Drop and Pound." You can use the feat the way you did, or you can go for all out defense with a "get out of jail free" card in the form of a tactical withdrawal.

If you just want to slow your opponent down by forcing them to sacrifice movement/action or spending resources to shake and get things working at 100% again, try to make sure you activate Kreoss early in your turn (if not first) so you can get the stalling/resource effect AND get to make attacks that auto-hit (or have severely reduced DF) because the models are knocked down.

If you want/need to go fully defensive, get Kreoss into a position where he can knockdown enemy models engaging your models without putting himself at risk for a charge or other damage. (His 14" control range should make this easy enough.) Pop his feat and whatever else he needs to do, then start moving models out of danger. Knocked down models don't make free strikes, so you can just run backwards however far you need to go to get out of threat range or just far enough to force your opponent to spend Fury/Focus to get off the charge. You choose your facing after you move, so you don't even have to worry about attacks coming from your back arc. This is really useful if you ended up getting charged by something you thought was out of range, got a ranged unit engaged in melee or were simply in a bad match up (e.g. a Seneschal vs. Mulg).

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