Objective Oriented Farstriders
WU:Online - Post-Thorns
In Warhammer Underworlds: Online, I've been running The Farstriders pretty much exclusively since they were released. I got into WU just before the release of Power Unbound, so I'd never really seen Sigmar's Shootiest Bois in action before they strode into the online game but I fell in love with them instantly.
To begin with, I ran a very aggressive strategy, pretty much just running all my sigmarines straight into enemy territory in round 1 and hoping that they all lived long enough to inspire a become a problem. It worked sometimes, but often enough I would find all my shiny-pants-mans had died by the start of round 2. Once Thorns were unleashed upon an unsuspecting digital world, I knew the gig was up - charging straight into the teeth of Magore's Fiends had been dicey enough but the Briar Queen was not going to have any of it.
So, I changed tack. This deck is all about scoring points from objective tokens while making it as difficult as possible for your opponent to achieve anything. Once you've scored a chunk of early-game glory, you can turn on the aggro and hit things, or sit back and score more glory from objective tokens depending on the match-up and board state.
I can't promise you that this deck will win you all of the games - it's tricky to pilot and relies as much on your opponent's confusion as anything else. But it is different, so hopefully some of you will embrace the weird and find some amusement therein.
(you can click the image for a deck builder link)
WUOnline Deck Code (If Applicable):
deck building guide
The deck has gone through a bit of evolution as I've played a wider variety of opponents and warbands. At first, I tried to balance the objective-token scoring with more aggressive objective cards like Precise Use of Force but over time I found that committing fully to sitting on objectives worked out for the best.
The gambits do a lot of the work - I've maximised the amount of cards that help me to get onto objectives, move me out of trouble or mess with my opponent's positioning - with seven cards in all falling into this category. The rest are two cards to help me draw into things I need (Improvisation and Duel of Wits) and Inspiration Strikes.
Inspiration Strikes is useful in a number of contexts - making an exposed strider more survivable if I need him to stay on an objective or more hitty if I want him to thump things.
More than half of the upgrade slots are taken up with keys and A destiny to Meet but Flashing Handaxe, Well-timed Lunge and Great Strength can turn one or more striders into a real threat very fast if I want/need to inject some aggro into a game. They can also help to keep an opponent of the scent early on - convincing them that you're playing a more conventional game.
A recent addition to the deck has been Invisible Walls, which is mainly there to stop the likes of Skritch from yoloing in at the last minute and ruining your cunning plan. It replaced Flickering Step, which I'd included as a sort of extra sidestep to keep me on objectives. I'd thought that rolling one crit from 8 dice would happen more often than not. Friends, I was wrong.
The basic plan with the deck is to sit as far back as you can and score glory from sitting on objective tokens in round 1 while depriving your opponents of any glory, if possible. An ideal opening hand would have Supremacy, Eternal Supremacy and Flawless Strategy in. You can usually afford to burn an early activation to discard and draw a new objective card to maximise the first end phase. Ideally you want a power hand with Sidestep, Shifting Shards, Rangers Advance or (in some situations) Hidden Paths in to stop your opponent from shoving you off objectives. You want as many as possible and if you don't have any of these in the opening hand, throw it away. If all goes according to plan, you could have a 7-0 glory advantage going in to round 2 (you won't but it's nice to dream UPDATE: This has now happened on a couple of occasions although, to be fair, I have played this deck a lot so it was bound to work at some point.).
Subsequent rounds will go differently depending on matchup, the cards you draw and the board state. Let's say you're against Magore's Fiends (since it's WU:O, you probably will be). In round two they'll likely be in a position to charge you a bunch of times and how you react will depend on how well they fare. If they miss all of their attacks and you're still sat on objectives - happy times! Keep sitting there and score more points. If they start to kill off your guys, no problem! Dig for Dauntless and Sigmar's Chosen and let them crack on - if you've enough of a buffer from round 1 the four glory you net from these should keep you ahead of the game. Just make sure to keep Farstrider himself out of harms way with your ploys. You'll need at least one sigmarine alive at the end and you need to prevent your opponent from scoring things like Assassination, Victorious Duel, Annihilation or Denial. At this point you're okay to do some hitting - killing one fiend won't stop you scoring your cards.
Boards are also match-up dependent but in the best-of-one ranked play in WU:O you usually want to lose the roll and pick boards first. It's easier to score your Supremacies if you've got all three objective tokens on your board (especially against hordes) and in many cases opponents with horde warbands like Skaven will max-offset you because they're expecting aggro - bonus! If you choose boards first you almost always want to pick Katophrane's Reliquary. That way you can stick all of you striders at the back however your opponent set up the boards.
If you get boards, you almost always want to long-board your opponent (even against hordes). Again, since it's online you'll probably be playing Magore's and they'll probably concede straight away (I jest, sort of). Against the likes of Skaven you'll want to keep fast-moving enemy fighters from disrupting your plans by knocking you off objectives and you don't want Skritch anywhere near you until later in the game. The majority of the time, your opponent will place their 3rd objective on an edge hex so you'll have a shot at cheating onto an objective with Hidden Paths at the last second. Otherwise, your ploys and smart deployment will mean that at least one objective in enemy territory is in striking distance. The advantage that farstriders have in this situation over other warbands is that they're all shooters. If you deploy one strider up front and time things carefully, you can use your third activation in the first round to shoot an enemy off the third objective and then run onto it with the fourth. Or if the first shot failed, you get another go with a charge in activation 4 followed by a Sidestep or Shifting Shards.
Easily the toughest match-ups for this deck will be Skaven and Thorns but your opponent will generally not be expecting the way you play, which helps. If it all goes horribly wrong, you can always resort to fighting people - even one inspired strider with an appropriate upgrade can cause some serious damage. UPDATE: I'm actually finding thorns are by far the trickiest to beat with this deck - they have so many ways of messing with your game plan that I strongly suspect that the best strategy against them is to charge in round 1 and hope you do some damage and everyone inspires - just like the old days! Going up against the remaining aggro-focused warbands currently in the game is much more straightforward.
It goes without saying that this is a rogue strategy. It's tricky to pilot and you need things to come out in a certain way for it to really work. That said, I've had a lot of fun playing it and if you decide to give it a go I hope you have fun and enjoy the ensuing confusion!
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