Lesson 5: Factions
Elaborate on a lesson per faction.
Electricity, and its related effects, is one of the unique advantages that Cygnar armies enjoy. Other factions can use it sparingly, but no one else can concentrate their effects like a Cygnar player. When it comes to electricity, there are three general fields of concern: Electricity typed attacks, Disruption and Electro Leaps.
Electricity typed attacks
This is probably the most straight forward thing to understand. Basically, if it has an electricity typed attack, bring things to buff it. There are a ton of electric typed attacks in Cygnar, so you can refer to Category:Electricity Damage to see those models. When it comes to electricity buffs, there are fewer of those:
- The Firefly is the premier damage buff for lightning. Giving +2 in a 5" bubble is huge. This also brings up the damage of the electro leaps, and the difference between POW 10 and POW 12 is significant when it comes to killing solos with boxes. Fireflies are even able to self buff, if they can get close enough to a model to shoot it without being in melee. Some top ranked players have brought veritable swarms (4+ fireflies) to buff each other. It also helps that the firefly is our joint cheapest jack, so he is a good one to bring with a Journeyman Warcaster, since he can buff so many different things.
- The Storm Strider buffs the accuracy of electrical guns. Although not as ubiquitous as the firefly, this can be huge. For things like Dynamo, Thunderhead or a Stormclad, bringing them from RAT 6 to 8 means that they can often save their focus for boosting damage instead of attack. The Strider also has a phenomenal range, thanks to its huge base, and having command 10.
- Silver Line Stormguard and Major Katherine Laddermore are more focused in their buffs, both being short ranged, and Laddermore only buffing stormlances. They certainly aren't as plug and play as the firefly or storm strider, but in the right list, their buffs can be well placed.
- Nemo 3 is the undisputed king of lightning. His feat turn has the ability to do shocking (pun intended) amounts of damage. This obviously dictates that he bring a significant amount of lightning damage, but combining buffs like those from the firefly, storm strider and Laddermore, can make it that much more potent. He should fear any opposing lists that bring lightning immune models. Skorne Archidons can sit outside of your charge range, and be completely invincible to all of your ranged attacks. Facing either of the Kruegers in Circle can be nightmare, since one makes everyone close to him lightning immune and the other can hand it out to a unit. Earthborn Dire Trolls are also to be feared, since they can't be damaged on the way in, and have the power to utterly smash Nemo's models. Mitigating these models and lists can be a challenge for Nemo.
While not exclusive to electrical damage, disruption often comes on them. I will again refer you to Category:Disruption for those models with it. The amount of models with Disruption has been significantly reduced from Mark 2, with most being switched to critical disruption. Straight disruption in Cygnar is now solely found on Thorn and some Warcasters or their aides. Make sure you know which models have disruption in your army, since landing a key disruption can mean the difference between a dead heavy, and just a slap on the wrist. Disruption is absolutely crippling for warjacks, since most are designed with the ability to have and use focus to make up for their short comings. If you disrupt a jack, look for opportunities to capitalize on that, by knocking it down or taking out it's cortex. Doing so will mean the warjack will be completely out of the fight next turn, or will never be able to gain focus, spelling it's doom.
Refer to Category:Electro Leap for a brief of what they can or can't do. Understanding where and how to place electro leaps can mean the difference between success and defeat in a largely lightning army. A huge part of understanding them is knowing where your leaps will travel to. If you shoot a squishy, high DEF infantry model with the main attack, and it is standing next to a warbeast, that leap is just going to jump to the beast and (probably) do nothing. You are better off shooting the (most likely) low DEF warbeast with the main attack, and auto-hitting the high DEF infantry with the POW 10. Another thing to look out for is flags and objectives. Lightning will jump to flags (Infernal Ruling), and objectives will generally soak up a POW 10 easily. Shooting different models in order to avoid the lightning being wasted on a flag or an objective is something you should always be looking for.
Electro leaps are also a great way to get around normal defensive tech such as stealth, high def, or models that can't be targetted. Your first step is to look for another enemy model that you can shoot that it will leap off of. These obviously need to be within 4" of the target. Objectives are a great target, since their ultra low DEF makes the hit nearly guaranteed, and support models tend to be hanging out near them anyway. But let's assume our target is in the middle of no where, with nothing within 4" to jump from. Now we turn to our Spark Node. This involves moving a friendly, lightning immune model within 4" of the target, shooting the friendly model, and leaping onto the target. This often means that the spark node will die next turn, so make sure your target is important enough. Some of the best spark nodes include Stormsmith Stormcallers (especially if they are free under the Storm Division theme), Fireflies and Storm Lances. All are fast, and usually expendable, though be careful about doing this too often with lances. Fireflies have the added bonus of increasing the power of the electro leap. Make sure that the spark node doesn't engage your target, since it will be harder to hit them, so ensure you premeasure carefully, so you are just at 4" away. Also note that immunity: electricity does NOT make warjacks immune to disruption. Keep this in mind when using a model with a critical disruption gun to shoot on a spark node. Additionally, most lightning guns are relatively low power, so if a non-immune heavy warjack is stuck in with some infantry, you can usually safely shoot him in the back to clear the infantry. He may take a box or two of damage, but it will be worth it to unjam him.
Leaps come from either the Electro Leap rule or from the Lightning Generator rule. A key difference between these two is that Electro Leap says "can" and Lightning Generator says "must". For instance, if a storm lance (with the electro leap rule) shoots a firefly, and his junior is within 4", you can forgo the electro leap to not fry the journeyman warcaster. However, if Major Laddermore does the same thing (with her lightning generator), she cannot choose to not have the electro leaps, and will electrocute the junior. Pay careful attention to where the lightning immune models are in relation to the non-immune.
Mastering Electro-leaps and lightning damage can be the mark a Cygnar veteran, and "seeing the angles" can be decisive in many games.