Its been a while since I first used Markus ‘Siege’ Bisbane and although I probably have not got a perfect army for him, he does solve a problem which is why I am back to him after a three year break.
First thing to know about our man Siege is that the huge hammer the model carries is completely irrelevant. Although it looks big and impressive, and has Critical Smite, he very rarely, if ever uses it. Surprising as it is a very respectable P+S 14 Magical weapon.
On the other hand, the inconspicuous Rocket Cannon strapped to his back is a big deal. This isn’t a magical weapon (although there’s a spell to solve that), but it is range and power 14. And if that wasn’t good enough, the cannon also has a Ground Pounder special attack, so instead of a single power 14 you can saturate a 4″ AOE with power 12 shots that ignore a lot of attack modifiers. Nice.
Having a high value gun, Siege wants Reinholdt for his Reload ability because getting to shot this gun twice is super sweet.
For a Cygnarn warcaster Siege is also surprisingly survivable with a base armour of 17 (20 with the compulsory Arcane Shield); although his MAT, RAT and Focus stats are distinctly on the average side. Focus in particular is a bit of an issue because the big guy has a interesting spell list. Although Siege is missing some of the great buff spells which are common among his colleagues, his this list is a little more offensive in nature.
First up, Explosivo provides any model with magical weapons upon demand, occasionally handy, especially against Menoth. Then we have Foxhole (yes, I missed Force Hammer, we’ll come back to that). This is often where Siege makes his money. On the approach, Foxhole can protect valuable low armour models from blast damage, and when Siege is in position, the spell can setup assassinations by dropping something large into a hole so it does not block LOS. Together with Mage Sight, these two spells often mean it is extremely different to hide from an assassination attempt.
Siege’s final two spells are Force Hammer and Rift. These need a lot of focus, so he can only really cast one per turn, but they are very solid offensive spells and the reason why I have started to use Siege with an arc node recently.
Of course, the reason for using Siege in Cygnar is his feat, and because it gets around some of the faction’s problems with hitting hard. When popped, the first damage roll any enemy model suffers in Siege’s control area is resolved against half base armour. Suddenly Gun Mages can be rolling straight dice against Khador Heavies!
In particular this is a great feat for handling heavy infantry, something Cygnar really struggles against, and it can often setup an assassination run with that lovely rocket cannon.
The list I’m using with Mr Brisbane at the moment is designed to focus on one of the key problems for my other Cygnar lists, ie killing armoured stuff at range. It is pretty compact although it lacks melee punch. This said it has performed ok so far.
The Squire and Reinholdt are pretty much required to enable Siege’s own threat potential. Likewise, he wants a jack with a gun in his battlegroup to get the most use out of Mage Sight if an opportunity comes up. So far the Defender has closed every game by putting a kill shot on my opponent’s caster which is fairly impressive.
Major Markus “Siege” Brisbane
Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist
Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Pistoleers
Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Officer
The obvious change in the future will be to replace the Defender (and some other stuff) with a Stormwall. What is better than a Defender cannon? Two Defender Cannons! However until the colossal is built that will have to wait.
The second potential change will be to swap out the Lancer for a unit of Rangers. This removes some of Siege’s spell slinging opportunities but gives the list a tool for increasing accuracy, not to mention adding six more guns.
While I am sure I am not using the perfect list, Siege is still a lot of fun to play. Who knew it? Rocket Cannons are a thing!