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Khyodee

Schemes & Stones Ironsides Challenge

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So each month I'm encouraging people to play a few different masters (Ironsides, Misaki, and Zipp this month) and post their feedback on them. This can be anything from general musing, to battle reports, to good models that synergize with the master. I'll also be posting different questions for people to answer to start the conversation.

Week 1 Question:

So you a prepping for a tournament and have limited pool of models that you can bring with you. You first decide that your only going to bring one master which is Ironsides. What is you plan to play for the following round? What factors may change your list and how?

Standard Deployment
Turf War
Claim Jump, Dig Their Graves, Accusation, Recover Evidence, Tail 'Em


Week 2 Question:

What the filthiest model/ability combinations you have found playing Ironsides?

 

Week 3 Question:
What strategies do you love doing with Ironsides? What schemes? Which ones do you hate doing with her? Why?

 

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Right off the  bat I wanna take Amina, then looking into it I think Union Miners are a thing to do Dig Graves, Claim Jump or tail 'em. Performers for seduciing out of the middle and away from Recover Evidence. Probably at least one big hitter to clear out the chaff. Captain comes to mind as he can also airburst things away and benefits from HPM. 

Mostly what would change my mind is the board. If there's lots of wide open I might go for Gunsmiths and mages to shoot stuff before I engage with it, but most of the pool requires a good bit of mobility and mages just aren't that quick. In that case, I'd possibly consider Firestarter! 

 

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What? We're talking my darling Ironsides? Okay, I'll bite.

Ironsides (obviously) - 7ss
    Warding Runes
    Iron Determination
    Seize the Day
Joss
 Warding Runes
 Imbued Energies
2x Union Miners
3x Mages
Angelica
 Imbued Energies

We probably take Dig Their Graves and Recover Evidence, but may take Accusation. I may swap Angelica out for Johanna.

The basic shape is that mages windblast each other into position, Ironsides and Angelica get Joss and the Miners moving. The miners spit Claim markers for fun. Ironsides and Joss provide an annoyingly difficult to shift frontline that's immune to Accusation and Tail 'em untill something takes out the Blood mage. The Union Miners get schemes where I need them, Ironsides pulls people into the kill zone, Joss takes them out. The Mages and Angelica pick off flanking/skirmishing elements or reorganize my frontline.

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I think Practiced Production on Angelica here is probably better than IE. Pretty sure you can combine it with the Miner's False Claim, remove one of those two for PP at the end of the turn, then you can still keep the other one, since you can control the order of things that happen at the same time. Much more useful than a one time extra AP on a 6SS support model. Would probably make Claim Jump a breeze to get.

Not sure 2 Union Miners are needed, but idk how much better they got, so I might be wrong. Could swap one for like a Willie for activating HPM, Silent one for heals, Rail worker for tankiness.

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I think I'd take something like:

Ironsides (Arcane Reservoir, Iron Determination, Warding Runes), 7ss

Cassandra (Practiced Production, Warding Runes)

3x Oxfordians (all the Wards, all Temporary Shielding)

Shastar Vidiya Guard (Well Rehearsed)

Performer

Union Miner

The Guard could easily be swapped out for Johan and a 4ss model, probably Arcane Effigy, or Lust (Well Rehearsed) if you feel like you need more healing or enemy positioning control.  The Performer can Recover Evidence easily enough with Don't Mind Me and pull people away from the Turf Marker, the Union Miner can Dig Their Graves, the Blood Mage gives Ironsides and Cassandra immunity to Tail 'Em and Accusation (with the Guard ready to block the Blood Mage from dying with Well Rehearsed).  Practiced Production and the Union Miner can make Claim Jump effortless, and Ironsides can Accuse models and refuse to let them leave with her Ml 7:+fate against Disengaging Strikes.

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1 hour ago, BFOmega said:

I think Practiced Production on Angelica here is probably better than IE. Pretty sure you can combine it with the Miner's False Claim, remove one of those two for PP at the end of the turn, then you can still keep the other one, since you can control the order of things that happen at the same time. Much more useful than a one time extra AP on a 6SS support model. Would probably make Claim Jump a breeze to get.

Not sure 2 Union Miners are needed, but idk how much better they got, so I might be wrong. Could swap one for like a Willie for activating HPM, Silent one for heals, Rail worker for tankiness.

I'm pretty sure I was the first person on the forums to bring up the interaction between PP and False Claim, but I could be wrong about that.

The idea is I'm discarding markers during the turn for Graves. Two miners gives me two vectors for spitting markers and lets me bluff Claim Jump really easily. They also do very respectable damage in an M&SU crew especially now that they're at 2" range on their Ml attack that ignores triggers. Sure it's only a 1/3/5 spread, but they build in a positive twist thanks to Solidarity and maybe positives from Hand Picked Men and suddenly that's looking really juicy.

The extra AP on Angelica probably goes to help me pick Recover Evidence in one turn. Three 5" pushes can transform the board state in a big way. YMMV.

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1 hour ago, admiralvorkraft said:

I'm pretty sure I was the first person on the forums to bring up the interaction between PP and False Claim, but I could be wrong about that.

You might be. I haven't been reading everything on the forums. Just seemed like that would be a lot more worth than IE. Actually, what about the new Well Rehearsed upgrade? With the amount of Scheme markers being placed, that would help her move around while still doing all her pushes

I'll take your word on second Miner, haven't played with them.

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Well Rehearsed is really good on the Guards, actually. they already have H2K so its a second level of F- you to your opponent or they can be tossed to something else like mages or Toni herself in a pinch

 

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My 2 scrip on some of the list suggestions:

Tail 'Em can be a strong play for Ironsides if she has enough minions to hand out the condition. Things that help: her ability to (0) into base contact with a model and keep them engaged, her ability to draw someone into the open, Amina Naidu can also pull people out into the open to allow a nearby minion to hand out the condition. But you need the minion support because this is incremental.

Dig Their Graves will need some Scheme Marker sources (one per turn), so a backfield Showgirl with Practiced Production would be incredibly valuable against a target that's already activated. Cassandra using PP on the front lines and nimble-walking in to try and nuke someone that would end up within 4" of her free marker could work if your opponent has stuff that she can go into easily. With Ironsides, however, you get more opportunity to cheat damage or spike damage if you're using M&SU to do your beating, so I would lean towards a backfield supporter like Angelica (who can also push models into position for doing their work) if going the PP route. I'm a fan of making some use of Union Miners because they synergize with M&SU and can be used for both Tail 'Em and Claim Jump as well.

Claim Jump is hard to pull off, and it should be. With aforementioned Union Miner, Angelica, and maybe a Performer, you could potentially fall back on this one. Full disclosure: I've already been toying with Performers in Ironsides' crew for the Seduction ability and all of the Willpower stuff I can bring to bear between Amina and Toni.

Accusation! is harder to pull off than its predecessor Exhaust, but it's still workable if you can keep people engaged with Ironsides. I learned the hard way that masters like Parker Barrows have enough control stuff where he can push his crew away and force them to interact, ditching the condition. So it's situational. If you're playing into a control crew, you might not go this route.

Recover Evidence can be a really interesting play for Ironsides. If you can get the bulk of your opponent's crew tied into Ironsides, you can get Evidence Markers dropped in an area that you dominate. Supported with a Performer's Don't Mind Me, you can pick up two of them without issue. Otherwise, use Ironsides&co control games to shove enemies away from the markers (or kill them), then pick them up with whomever is available. This is a scheme you can score in one lump, so I'd lean towards it as one of my primary choices.

 

This leads me towards:

Toni Ironsides
Amina Naidu
Angelica (Practiced Production)
Performer
Union Miner

This lets me have tools that will work into 3 or 4 of the 5 schemes, leaving me maximum flexibility for when my opponent reveals their crew. For the rest of the crew, it depends on on how I plan on addressing the problem(s) of table (terrain) and opponent (faction): do I plan on controlling the table, or inflicting damage?

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Week two is a hard one to pin to just Ironsides.

She's got some interactions that are very interesting that can extend the threat range of other models, like using You Lookin' at Me? on the Arcane Emissary for the risk-free 10" push that can line it up for charging into something on its activation.

So far the "dirtiest" combination I've used involves Amina Naidu putting non-master beaters under Liable and Ichoate Rage while being wounded (for Hand Picked Men buffs on her actions), while they're engaged with Ironsides. That effectively removes that model from the action (can only target Amina with attack actions, cannot target Amina because she's wounded), while still leaving it on the table for conditions for Tail 'Em and Accusation as well as giving Ironsides more adrenaline to work with.

Those are the only two things I've done so far with Ironsides that have ever made me feel like I just pulled a fast one on my opponent--but my meta has 3-4 Ironsides players which skews perspective. So far none of us have pulled anything as dirty as Marcus' Alpha on the opposing cornerstone beater or master.

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Question 1 

For the record I think that this is more of a Colette pool than an Ironsides one. But hey. I'd use something like;

Ironsides (Frontline Leadership, Iron Determination, Seize the Day)

Arcane Emissary (Ironclad Conflux)

Angelica (Practised Production)

Shasta Vidiya Guard (Imbued Energies)

Johan (Imbued Energies)

Wind Gamin

Wind Gamin

Wind Gamin

Personally I find Arcane Emissary an auto take with Ironsides. He gives her Adrenaline, she gives him risk free 10" pulls across the table. That and the fact that the Emissary is an incredibly versatile model. Love me some Bullocks. Especially when he charges in and clears away the enemy Claim Jump / Dig Their Graves markers.  

Angelica is there for extra pushes early doors and potential Claim Jump or Dig Their Graves markers later on. 

Shasta Vidiya Guards and Johan with Hand Picked Men is a brutal combination. Johan is normally double positive to attack, single positive to damage, with a 3/4/6 spread. Putting the Guard and their huge array of triggers on positive flips is amazing, and a 2/4/6 spread on positives to damage is a beautiful thing. 

Wind Gamin are probably in the crosshairs for a summer cuddle and rightly so, but in the meantime enjoy them while you can. Extra attacks even if you miss, they don't die so don't count for Dig Their Graves, and they can Leap, not to mention that huge push when they die. They do so enjoy Tail 'Em too.

Not sure the opposing faction would give me pause for thought. I'd be pretty confident that crew could deal with all comers by offering enough variation and hitting power. 

Terrain could change things. If it's a 'Guild friendly' table then the Oxfordian Mages may well get the nod as they won't have to move much exposed to the enemy crew. What they would replace would depend on enemy faction choice.

Question 2

I've not actually seen anything from Ironsides that makes me scream 'that's broken filth!!!'. What makes her strong (and I've thought that even before the errata) is all the various ways she makes her crew better. 

*Deep breath*

A Ca7 Lure to bring models into range for your crew. Positive flips for the Oxfordian Mages Wp who can buff the bejeezus out of her. Hand Picked Men. A tank to grind out the models you don't want to risk the rest of your crew on (I'm sure you've all seen the maths on Langston attacking her and dying first thanks to Nice Shot My Turn).

Then there's the AP efficiency. Starting with one or two Adrenaline you can easily chain 2AP into 3 attacks, at least one of which will be at a 4/5/7 track. Yes, she can break face when she needs to, and for some reason there is a lot of sulking when models get killed by her.

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Ironsides is fun for interference, guard, squatters. Any one that you want to pull people away from a spot and hold them there. She isn't too comfortable in Killy strats though she certainly can do them, and often the master isn't the deciding factor in Stake a Claim but minions do tend to be, so I suppose in a pinch she can do those but  I"d defer that position over to Sandeep or Marcus. 

As far as schemes, she's great for Mark For Death, a fantastic Frame target. She's really good for Set Up as well if you can hold someone in her melee range and drop scheme markers around htem. If Eliminate is in the pool she's probably going to get your opponent 3 points. Same for Tail 'Em. 

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