This is a list I’ve knocked together largely out of models I already owned but the intent was to have to opportunity to do a bit of everything in the form a of ‘balanced list’.
It’s still quite shooting heavy as most CoS armies will tend to be but at least it has some bodies and some combat punch too.
Tempest Eye gives +1 save and +3 Move in T1.
This feeds into the overall army design, i can comfortably bubble wrap the important parts of my army with the freeguild guards who’re on a 3+ save in combat T1 and if my opponent chooses to give me T1 they can still run an average of 13″.
This means there is little danger of restricting my board presence through a conservative deployment.
Artefacts, Command Traits & Abilities
Command trait +1 to wound for shooting within bubble of the general. I have a lot of shooting and this makes it better plus it’s a bubble that is always up.
This is important as i’m an infrequent player, so less i have to remember to do the better, it’s just a permanent buff that is on, so as long as i move sensibly i’ll be ok!
Tempest Eye also means i can make a unit run and shoot, so increases my threat range of my shooters in a flexible manner.
Artefact – similar to the trait a bubble that is always on. As this army wants to castle up and then unpack the immunity to battleshock is just another layer of protection for any T1 alpha strike and also protects my key shooters which aren’t great bravery.
Aether-Khemist General – stand in the middle of my army and provide radial buffs from trait & artefact, double the shots of my skyhooks. Also has a little bit of pew pew himself.
Hurricanum – radial hit buff, MW output, damage spell or if no targets fish for a CP.
Battlemage – debuff spell to protect any threatened unit in the army, or 30″ range MW spell utility piece, can use balewind to extend threat range.
Freeguild Guard – bubblewrapping tarpit for the army 40 wounds 3+ save T1, access to -1 to hit debuff. With Tempest eye buffs easily able to unpack the unit from defensive position if the enemy doesn’t engage or hands me T1.
2×10 Handgunners – Battleline units with some chip damage for targetting characters from the longrifles.
30 Arkanauts – 9 skyhooks = significant and reliable damage output for the army once the buffs are in play.
6 demigryphs – counterpunch/ combat tarpit unit. Lots of wounds with a good change to pin and grind anything which comes into the army. High movement to be reactive to threats
3 gyrocopters – horde clearance & ability to bomb a character off. High speed unit to jump on objectives late game if needed.
Magic, Endless & Realm Spells
Balewind – lets me extend the range of the battlemage if someone is looking to sit way back outside the range of the guns. probably the least convincing part of the army, could easily drop for lifeswarm to give the heroes and demis some added survivability.
Geminids – still the most effective endless spell in the game and it’s the buffed version because CoS!
Deployment – Castle it all mid table, screen with the freeguild guard, everything else huddling round the general & hurricanum for the buffs & battleshock protection. Demi’s and Gyros are most flexible drops as high movement, multi wounds means they’re less dependent on the battleshock protection.
Opponent Alpha – Screen should protect the army damage output, so unleash into what’s come into the army and unpack onto objectives.
Opponent hangs back & wastes the turn – Harvest CPs, if have 2-3 then remember can run arkanauts 6″ (7″ because Tempest Eye) and still shoot them with a CP and the Command Ability from T.E., so threat range on the Skyhooks is 35″ or if still nothing in range then just unpack for objective control but still bubble protect key shooters.
Opponent gives you T1 with stuff in range- PEW PEW Mutha flubba. Basically show them the error of their ways.
The majority of the list wants to stay castled up round the buffs and doesn’t move very fast after T1. Can struggle where there are a lot of objectives on the board particularly if the opponent can score high early.
Double Pile in & attack – There is still a risk that your screens get destroyed and people can get into the damage output centre of the army. Consider double screening by sacrificing the handgunners to keep the arkanauts shooting what you want.
Not much Magic output or defence – risk of getting dominated by some armies that can pound you with MW against which you have no defence.
The endless spells could be dropped for a unit of shadow warriors. with only 2 casters and the default spells for tempest eye making the casters able to just focus on buffs/debuffs that target your own units if nothing is in range they aren’t hugely required/valued in the list. Having a tablewide deployment threat may be more beneficial.
The character loadout isn’t very flexible but the choice of general can be pretty much any of the 3 if felt that a different unit would be a better choice.