With the SR2011 rules and scenarios out, one steamroller event next week, and the clash for Colorado next month I figured now would be a good time to explain how I am going about making my lists for Steamroller events. For those that don't know, steamroller events require you to bring two lists with two different warcasters- everything else can be identical except the casters, you must use each list at least once. The Clash is using a modified format where you must bring 4 lists, but I will cover more on that when it gets closer.
In my mind there are three modes of thought when making your Steamroller lists, Best Available, Complementing, and Dummy lists. Now warmachine has very few units that are completely terribad never take them, you usually know what units synergize well with your casters, So the most important part is picking your caster.
Before I get into the different modes of thought the most important thing to do is make your best list with your best caster. For me this is eCaine.
Caine is my effing dog, he is flipping batman, all he needs is whats around his belt to rape tournament play. There is literally only one caster in the game at this point (barnabas) that Cain has trouble with, any other situation or caster Caine can win without very much trouble. This is my current 35 point list.
Black 13th -4
this leaves me two points that I've been playing with using Strangeways, Gorman, and Versh and I like all 3, will probably just be a tossup come tournament day.
This list has a lot of redundancy and no serious melee threat but it does its job, which is to create an opening for Caine to win me the game .
Now onto the different modes of thought for List creation.
1. Best Available
This is the method I recommend, simply take your best two lists, whatever two you have played the most and won the most with and you should be golden. For me the list I feel the next most comfortable uses Immorens token black caster Seige.
My Seige list looks something like this
Black 14th -4
Look Familiar? this is essentially my Caine list tooled for Seige, both are ranged assassination caster so both like the same things, a lot of people like to get a melee unit, which I wouldn't mind but everything that is in there I see as a must have.
Here is the one issue with best available, both my list have the same win conditions and generally the same style of play, so if I draw a Barnabas player I know that I literally cannot win since his swamp pits makes it so they can't be targeted by ranged attacks. So that Brings us to # 2.
This is fairly simple as well, take a list that complements the weakness' of your main list, my eCaine list is shooting and Infantry and heavy so I want a melee beatstick with some jacks to complement it, no one better for that than Lightning Infused Badass eStryker.
Journeyman Warcaster -3
Black 13th -4
Harlan Versh -2
This list is designed to beat the faces in of those that I don't think I can shoot to death with Caine. This is most likely the 2nd list I will be using for the steamroller next week.
The Final mode of thought is a gimmick that I don't recommend as something you try for but can be an interesting nook to add to your repertoire.
3. The Dummy List
The Concept behind this is that you want one of your lists to be so insanely unbalanced and lopsided that your opponent changes his list selection in hopes that you pick that list. Not a great hope but if you have a list that your a competent with that fits this description then go for it. So for a crazy list who better than the mad scientist eNemo.
5x charger -20
So if your opponent has a list that's good against jacks he might pick it hoping you'll use this list, the one issue with the dummy list is that you eventually have to play with it, I don't think this list is terrible, it has ways to deal with infantry and opposing heavies and Nemo's feat turn creates one hell of an alpha strike with 10 fully boosted pow 12s and two character Jacks full on focus.
These aren't mutually exclusive, if you have your two lists and they fit all 3 of these than awesome you have achieved list building excellence and there is a spot open for you on mount Olympus between the Fonz and Sephiroth.
I know this was kinda long but thanks to everyone for reading and let me know what you think about Steamroller, and as another reward for reading a Beast A la Mode post here is a favorite of mine, Olivia Munn eating a hot dog off a string.