I understand that there have been a fair few threads about this subject already. But a lot of them have been cluttered with misinformation about the new Stormwall. And it appears that many of the members of this board do not check the rules for their own models as well. And this has given many people a false impression as to how we deal with this. I want to get past all this and come up with practical ideas based on facts and sound opinion rather than speculation and guesswork.
I'll begin by outlining exactly what I mean by a perfect storm. Many of the threads about Stormwall slaying have simply looked at it in isolation. As Lamoron pointed out, The big lad isn't coming without support. And although there has been talk of twin Stormwall builds, I do not think that this is practical in a typical 50 point setting that one sees as the tournament standard these days. This may change in the future.
The perfect storm would look like this: PHaley, Stormwall, Black 13th Aiyanna and Holt Journeyman, squire, a unit of mechanics,epic eiryss, stormcallers/fireflies, assorted ranged infantry/jacks to taste.
A quick rundown of what PHaley does for the big guy:
Arcane vortex: For the cost of 1 focus she can negate any spells targeting her or a model within 3 inches of her. This means that the majority of our debuffs can and will be negated.
The feat: Everybody gets an additional shot. That's more shots going into some poor schuck off the stormwall and the gun mages have a whale of a time taking apart the single wound infantry.
Temporal barrier: While in her control, we are at -2def, and cannot run or charge.
Arcane shield: Okay the journeyman will be casting this. But it means an arm 22 Stormwall.
Stormwall himself brings:
56 damage boxes. Repairable by mechanics. either D6+5 Reliably or 6d6 if he gets lucky.
2 covering fire templates. Pow 12. These will typically be placed so that mellee infantry are going to cop one if they manage to trudge through temporal barrier.
2 big guns that can severely damage our jacks and any unprotected casters.
Lightning pods. These are not a special action. At the end of movement they are simply placed within 10 inches of the Stormwall. Anything on the line between it and the pod take a pow 10 and are disrupted.
Black 13th: All round stealth + incorporeal ignoring *** kickers that shoot twice under the feat.
A+H: Gives a unit magic weapons or +2 damage. So incorporeal models are more vulnerable and those big guns are now at effectivly pow 17.
Epic eiryss: removes any upkeeps that somehow manage to get onto the stormwall and possibly removes buffs from our units.
The general game plan seems to be as follows:
Park the stormwall on the objective, and simply delay and pummel the Cryx army into dust as it trudges forward.
The bad news ?
1. Charging it with single wound melee infantry simply is not viable. All of our infantry, even the speedy raiders are reduced to their basic speed. Typically we can usually only depend on suffering 2 turns of shooting max before we engage on our terms. This is now negated. The covering fire templates will also prevent our more heavy hitting infantry from reaching the Stormwall. Not onlywill they have to endure the stormwalls guns, but the gun mages and all the other firepower as well. It will be like the battle of the Somme. And we are the unfortunate Brits
2. Directly debuffs are negated. Parasite, crippling grasp, feast of worms, curse of shadows etc will be shut down for one focus. Gorman di wulfe will have a bullseye on his forehead. Stealth will not protect him. And the stormwalls own threat range, be it lightning pod or covering fire, will exceed what he can manage with black oil or rust.
3. You have to kill it in one go. The mechanics will patch it up. If by some miracle you get into hand to hand with it, it can either power pimp smack you d6+2 inches away or thresher. This will require multiple heavy hitters to concentrate their efforts on it. Doing that with only melee units under temporal barrier is far from simple. It will require a combined arms approach. Something that a stereotypical cryx army is ill equipped to do.
4. Warjacks with walking threat ranges below 10 inches will not be getting focus without siren help. And remember, no charge bonus while TB is up.
Ok, so how do we take this system apart?
The vulnerabilities/ upsides I see in this system are:
1. With temporal barrier being cast every turn, Haley has but 3 or 4 focus to negate spells or power the battlegroup, or to camp as armour. Anything that can increase that focus expenditure will work to our advantage.
2. "Passive" debuffs and normal buffs still work. Other factions can get by without our debuffs. So can we. Pdenny and the covens feat are not negated. Dark shroud (tartarus, PShade, ragman etc) is not negated. Scything touch and Pskarres feat will still work.
3. Although our faction ranged options are limited, we do have access to decent ranged mercs as well.
I do not know how the leviathans burst fire affects huge bases (please enlighten me). But it can be used to soften up the stormwall. And it need never worry about the shooting into melee penalty.
Pistol wraiths. Remember that death chills do not stack. But it can be used to either stop a stormwall from reaching an objective, or from shooting. Getting it in range may be tricky however. They may however, be better suited to hunting the support solos such as junior or getting the drop on the mechanics.
Nyss hunters: If by some miracle you can get enough debuffs on to it, these can be used to put a serious dent into it. Single shots if fully debuffed. (The "keep dreaming" scenario is arcane shield removed, parasite, feat, dark shroud and rust bomb = armour 10! ) CRA'S if not. And their bows can always be turned on the supporting infantry.
Steelhead riflemen: CRA's
4. We are not without our own colossus. I know that this may sound like a real world arms race. But the kraken has a really good chance of tearing this up. especially with 4 inch reach.
5. The caster is still mortal. instead of throwing time and resources at something we are unlikely to kill. Focus on getting at Haley. She cannot hide forever and as per point one, she will be weakened if she wants to support the army properly.
6. Stormwall has to choose between guns and fists. Chucking medium based models like expendable helldivers and medium based multiwounds like ogrun can prevent it from moving on to objectives.
7. Temporal barrier does not touch place and push effects. Telekenesis, hellmouth, teleport, dark banishment, vengeance, wrathes abilities etc can all be used to get us up the field faster.
8. Our multiwound solos should survive long enough to get swings at it. Tartarus for example should be able to make it through the templates and get that much needed debuff on the big guy.
I have chucked down most of my general thoughts on the situation. I have other things to attend to but if you can figure out any suggestions as to how we can unlock this combo, I would be happy to hear it!