Again, I bring to you an article written by Mutton from the Cygnar Faction Community on the Privateer Press Forums. He’s helping to rewrite and redesign Boot Camp MKII. I asked him which write up to include next, and he suggested this one about Nemo.
Disclaimer: I don’t call Nemo by the term pNemo. In my thoughts, the term “p” refers to Prime. Nemo was not a warcaster introduced in the Prime book. So I usually refer to the Nemo models as Nemo and eNemo. But Mutton refers to the Nemo models as pNemo and eNemo. Just needed to mention that before we go any further. Just a pet peeve on my part.
Why Play pNemo?
A lot of people got into this game for the warjacks. Those towering, shining pieces of metal that are lovingly loaded up with focus and buffs much like a kid on the beach carefully builds his sandcastle. That is of course, only until a bully comes along and kicks it down. pNemo lets YOU be that bully for once, messing with enemy warjacks and shutting them down. If you want to take vengeance on your opponent’s metal monstrosities, pNemo is your man.
pNemo is the arguably the squishiest ‘caster in the game, at 14/14/14, so he’s not a front line ‘caster. In fact, the best place for pNemo to hang out is behind a forest, way behind your lines. Thankfully he can work well from behind your lines, arcing his spells and allocating his focus. If he’s shooting his gun or smacking with his staff, something either went very, very wrong for you or very, very right. Let’s do a quick rundown of his statistics and then move into list building
The only statistic you have to care about in a positive fashion is pNemo’s FOC7; it’s great for a Cygnaran warcaster and lets him split his attention a bit between warjacks and spells. On the bad side however, his def/arm/health are some of the poorest in the game, so you have to keep him far, far away from the enemy, as even blast damage hurts. You can safely ignore his MAT and RAT, as you should never be using them if you can help it.
Weapons, Abilities, and Feat
We can skip by his staff, but his gun is nice if for some reason you get outflanked and have to pop some shots off. POW14 with a blast is nice at clearing light flankers, while disruption will stop light warjacks such as Stalkers from getting him.
The meat of his playstyle comes from his abilities. The first is the Arcane Accumulator, which basically means you are bringing at least two spell casters in a 35pt battle, generally Arlan/Lanyssa Ryssyll/Aiyanna & Holt and Jr, so you can run at 9 focus a turn. In a larger game, you can bring any combination of those 3 or even Alexia to give him 10 focus a turn, with the ability to eat from a squire to turn it up to 11. His ability to then Supercharge a warjack to 5 focus means that if you hit their lines with your heavy, stuff dies. The general use of it is either with a beatstick such as the Stormclad that you use Locomotion to get into position then eat a warjack or two, or with the Thunderhead to get 3 fully boosted autohitting attacks out. Overpower means that you will be able to make sure that your warjacks are always in your ctrl when it matters and lets you extend his feat out nicely.
His feat isn’t very strong, and you can win games without using it even once if you’re able to keep your opponent’s snared. Just remember that if you decide to pop it, you have to damage to disrupt. That means that it’s often worth it to boost against a Khadoran heavy you need disrupted. Also, Power Boosted removes disruption, so watch out for Koldun Lords, Arcanists, and enemy Arlans. Generally, pop the feat if you need the last few boxes on a warjack or need to keep them off your back for a round and can’t snare them.
Chain Lightning: An extremely useful spell that will destroy any infantry that isn’t in a defensive line or shieldwalled. You can bounce it off anything into spellwarded troops or those hiding out of range or LOS. It’s amazing for killing support such as mechanics or choir by bouncing it off their warjack or your own troops. It’s lightning damage, so you can use Stormnouns or Stormsmiths to start the chain without fear to your own troops.
Deflection: Another great spell you should be casting most turns against ranged or magic heavy armies. Finally, you get to be the guy that laughs are POW10s! Makes most troops pretty much immune to blast damage, and when combined with Arcane Shield turns our Stormnouns into ARM20 monsters against ranged attacks and magic. Great for stopping blasts or your troops from being nickel and dimed to death. Just remember that when it comes down to casting deflection or chain lightning again, you have to weigh your options quite well; if you have Arcane Shield on your troops to ARM18 and are facing POW10s, Chain Lightning away. POW12s? Deflection.
Disruption Field: +2 STR and Disruption on your melee weapons lets your warjacks engage multiple enemy warjacks with ease. A loaded up Stormclad with this on it will wreck any enemy warjack there is on average rolls, or you can engage two warjacks at once, hit them each once to disrupt and simply play the attrition game while you beat them both down. Often enough you’ll want to spam Chain Lightning early game, so you won’t have the focus to upkeep it, but that’s generally fine; on his 11 focus turns you can simply recast it if needed as long as you aren’t running extremely warjack heavy.
Electrify: Think of it as Cygnar’s version of Enliven; if you are charged by a warjack without reach, they will only get a single shot in before being moved out of melee range. If they have reach and aren’t able to make it to base to base contact, 2/3rds of the time they will be pushed out of melee range. I prefer to keep it on my arc node if I believe that it’s in danger.
Locomotion: The redheaded stepchild of Energizer, but it’s still useful. Think of it as an extra 3” of range to your loaded up warjack; just keep your arc node close on hand to channel it, as it’s only rng6. You can use it to hit and run or to increase your threat, and using it on Thorn after running 12” and using Thorn’s move for 3” lets you arc Chain Lightning into their deployment zone. You can also use it to hit and run with a ranged warjack such as the Thunderhead. Not many warjacks have a 13” threat, so you can kite them around.
Voltaic Snare: pNemo’s signature spell, it will be the main reason that your opponent will be forced to spread out their warjacks. This lets you divide and conquer with your own, but should they not be wary and leave two warjacks within 3” of each other, you can keep them shut down all game if you can disrupt as to prevent throws. It also lowers defense by 4, so snaring a helljack will let you pound on it as if it was a Rhulic warjack with less armor. The threat of this spell is great enough that you’ll often find yourself going an entire game without casting it due to your opponent bending over backwards to avoid it. A win-win scenario in Nemo’s book.
Okay, before I go into individual models and units, let’s just set down the three models that every pNemo list will have: The Squire, Journeyman, and Arlan. The first expands your ctrl area even further while granting you focus, and the other two are both useful and cast spells for your arcane accumulator. They are all great, cheap models that you should not be without. With that said, we need to also go into the way you build an army with pNemo; the Sliding Scale of Spells versus Focus.
What do I Mean by this Sliding Scale?
pNemo is a FOC7 warcaster, so he can naturally toss out focus to his warjacks or cast a few of his awesome spells. In general though, you have to make a choice when building your force about which you want to do; run a single amazing warjack with an arc node buddy or a bunch of loaded up warjacks. This is a sliding scale for a reason of course in that you can still have a powerful army by going between these two options, but lists will generally focus on one or the other. A single warjack such as a Stormclad along with Thorn works well for the spell slinging, while a few heavies such as Rowdy, a Stormclad and a Centurion or Hammersmith is also quite effective, as you can have all three loaded up every turn. The most effective mixed list I’ve found is to run a single beatstick (I prefer a Stormclad as I’m sure you’ve noticed), an arc node (Thorn is almost always worth it), and the Thunderhead. The Thunderhead loves pNemo for Locomotion while Supercharge lets him get off 3 autohitting boosted damage attacks, and you can load up the Stormclad on turns where you don’t need to pulse.
In general though, eNemo runs multiple warjacks better, but his only turn of true focus efficiency is his feat turn, so if you want to run them at a more constant output pNemo is there for you.
I’m only going to refer to those that get a real benefit from pNemo; The Sentinel, Hunter, and Grenadier have no real synergies outside of him being able to load them up with focus that is better spent elsewhere.
Charger: A good choice with pNemo, as you can keep it loaded up every turn, while giving it a single focus on spell casting turns. Generally best with a mixed list, but a fine warjack in any army.
Lancer: An arc node should be in every pNemo army, and the Lancer is excellent due to being able to both act as bait and the ability to bounce Chain Lightning off your own models so you don’t even need Thorn’s reaction drive.
Thorn: Arguably the best arc node in the game, it’s reaction drive lets you hit and run with his two attack spells while being able to shoot into the deployment zone on turn one. It’s comes down to preference here; Chain Lightning’s bounciness makes Reaction Drive not as necessary, but it is still nice to have when arcing both Chain Lightning and Voltaic Snare.
Ironclad: A good, cheap warjack, which is excellent if you want a decent beatstick. Nothing special really, just a good pick. You can Tremor a group of units, pound on them a bit, then Locomotion out, which is a nice tactic against infantry.
Hammersmith: Great with pNemo, as the combination of Locomotion, Disruption Field, and Beat Back lets it be extremely mobile, while 5 focus means you can slam a warjack over the enemy warcaster with boosted attack rolls and still have focus left to destroy the warcaster with pow19s. It’s low threat naturally means that if you only want a single heavy it’s not the best choice, but it’s solid all around.
Centurion: Locomotion + Polarity Field = 7” advance up the field. Disruption Field + Locomotion = 12” threat on pow20s. 5 Focus = Dead anything. Centurions are a fine warjack with pNemo, and combo well with Sword Knights under Deflection or Arcane Shield. If you only get a single heavy warjack and don’t want a Stormclad, it’s a good pick.
Defender: pNemo doesn’t do much to support it outside of Locomotion, so take one if you like it. Nothing more to say here
Ol’ Rowdy: Focus Efficient, high MAT and POW, ARM20 makes for a great warjack. You can cast your spells on him to make him rock harder, but he’s just solid all around. A good choice for your first heavy.
Stormclad: Probably the best heavy warjack we have, with a 13” threat range under a full locomotion. It kills anything when loaded up with Disruption Field, even a Behemoth! On spell casting turns you can just use the Stormblade focus for it to run; take one and never look back.
Thunderhead: He loves pNemo, he really does. If you don’t want to run warjack heavy, but want at least two heavies, this is your warjack. He can run without focus and just pulse to kill infantry. You can give him focus and get (as I am found of saying) 3 boosted damage shots that autohit. He’s just wow good with pNemo. Expensive, but worth it. Remember that he’s got a range 10 gun in addition to his ability to pulse; don’t be afraid to walk up, shoot with it, then Locomotion back.
Jr and the Squire are autoincludes. Arlan is quite fine even if he lacks in true offensive qualities; if you don’t take the Black 13th for their blackpenny rounds to free up the Thunderhead (assuming you take it), then you’ll probably want him. Everything else is purely on your likes or dislikes; Stormsmiths are great as always and help you keep warjacks completely shut down, but can feel a bit redundant. They can serve as models to bounce Chain Lightning off of though, which makes them quite useful. Just take who you like after the first three spellcasters (including Mercenaries to be discussed below).
Stormnouns work well with pNemo, as you can bounce lightning off them and not worry. In general, pNemo likes all infantry equally well though, as Deflection is a straight ARM bonus that makes most models immune to blast damage. Stormblades are arguably better if you’re taking Ryssyll due to getting a decent threat combined with PS15, but Stormguard work quite well. Precursors are nice if you aren’t running the Thunderhead. Just be sure to cast Arcane Shield on your Gun Mages if you think AOEs are coming their way as well. The general rule of thumb is that the more warjack focused pNemo becomes in terms of melee warjacks, the stronger your ranged firebase has to be in order to support them. This means ATGM and Longguners along with the Black 13th will be staples of a warjack heavy force. If you are running the Thunderhead, you can skimp on your firebase a bit though, using the Black 13th as pretty much the whole gunline.
In a larger (50pt and up) games, you’ll want a third spell casting model for Arcane Accumulator. This comes down to Lanyssa Ryssyll, Alexia, or Aiyana & Holt. If you plan on relying on e-leaps from Chain Lightning or Stormguard then A&H are great as Kiss of Lyliss affects an entire unit now, for pow12 e-leaps. Lanyssa Ryssyll allows for greater threat ranges while powering you up, and Alexia is decent if you decided to run troop heavy. No other mercenaries really synergize with pNemo, and Deflection doesn’t help them, so try and stick with Cygnaran units outside of the bonus spellcasters
You’ll often end up playing pNemo in an attrition game, which works for him. Being able to throw out a lot of focus worth of attacks and spells is great at whittling down your opponent’s forces, while his ability to disrupt and snare warjacks means you can divide and conquer. Chain Lightning and eliminate support easily or can be used to kill front line troops with impunity. Deflection should be up if you think you’ll face any shooting, and Locomotion is used to make sure you can get your warjacks where you need them. Your main combo is generally going to be a 5 focus warjack + 3 focus spent on Locomotion; put Disruption Field on if you’re using it for melee instead of Thunderhead shooting. In general you should be hanging pNemo way back behind your lines. He dies easily, so you need to protect him. Your entire army should be dead before he starts getting hit, and the safest place for him is generally a forest right in front of your deployment zone.
You can play pNemo as a spell caster or warjack lover, the choice is you. He may not be one of our top tier warcasters, but he’s a lot of fun to play and has an interesting tool box of abilities. Be careful when using him and wary that even with 11 focus you can run out. Best of luck, and Ride the Lightning!
Also, credit to Whats82 for taking Grandpa so far at Templecon and contributing to this tactica update!