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Kommander Sorscha Kratikoff - Khador warcaster
Of all the warcasters the cries of "Broken!" most afflict Sorscha. She's the warcaster included in the Khador Battle Box. She's dominated the national completions at GenCon. Of eight finalists in 2005 and 2006 five were playing Sorscha, and in 2006 only Cryx was able to displace her because they have a warcaster (Goreshade the Bastard) that specifically shuts down her feat. The ammendment of her feat in Prime: Remix has taken her off the pedestal of godhood and relegated her to simpy excellent warcaster status.
Sorscha seems to define the "average" warcaster. Most of her statistics are in the middle range, with the exception being her command stat, which is on the high end at CMD:9. Her defense score is on the high end, but goes as high as DEF:20 and even DEF:24+ against spells and ranged attacks. Her armor is a touch lower than most warcaster's, but she has a lot of damage boxes. If you're willing to play with only three points of her six available focus you can make Sorscha nearly untouchable.
The appearance of being average is a lie. Sorscha's spell Wind Rush allows her to move an extra six inches a turn, and increases her to DEF:20, and her spell Fog of War elevates her to DEF:22 against ranged attacks and spells. Her other spells (Freezing Grip and Tempest) and feat make her and the other models in your force able to auto-hit models for a turn or more.
Feat - Icy Gaze
Kommander Sorscha has one of the most powerful feats in the game, but it's been amended in Prime Remix. Once per game you can make every enemy model within 12" of her AND in her LOS a stationary target. There is a sneaky tactic built around this feat that involves rushing Sorscha forwards, using her feat to freeze an enemy warcaster and then dropping ranged attacks on the stationary warcaster from
and arc fire weapons like
Winterguard Mortar Crews
. This isn't as effective as it used to be, but you can still use Tempest to get intervening models out of the way if the enemy warcaster is hiding behind other models.
The worst aspect of this feat used to be that your opponents couldn't do anything for their next turn, since it was accursedly difficult to go for the objectives of a Steamroller scenario and not have all of your models within Sorscha's control area. Now stuff like cloud effects, intervening models, terrain, and just being spread out enough so that Sorscha can't get everything in her front arc limit her feat's effects.
The models that are affected are stationary for a whole round, so you effectively get two turns in a row against those models, and only in rare cases will models not frozen be able to charge her, since there will be a bunch of stationary models in the way. Now instead of giving Sorscha an extra turn for winning timed scenarios, you have a feat that's best used offensively; freezing enemy models for autohits in melee or against DEF:5 at range so you can have your other models cut down the numbers.
In addition to her feat, Sorscha's weapon Frostfang will make enemy models stationary on a critical hit. It's handy against unusually difficult to hit or tough targets. You can send Sorscha into a melee with four focus points to spend on attacks from seventeen inches away, and either the Critical or her feat will ensure that she needn't worry about retaliation. She has this kind of reach because she can cast Wind Rush to move six inches, use her feat, and then charge nine inches plus the two inch reach of her weapon.
Sorscha's Hand Cannon is the standard version of the type. It's a powerful ranged weapon that is usually used to plant a 3d6+12 damage shot on stationary warcasters after she uses her feat. It gives her even more reach than Frostfang with the "Whoosh", because Wind Rush lets her move twelve inches if she advances, and the gun has a twelve inch range. Her feat also has a twelve inch range and after using the feat you'll have LOS against whatever you froze won't you?
This is a more fearsome spell than it appears. Most of the Khadoran warjacks have a hard time getting at enemy in rough terrain. This spell also makes your warjacks even faster than when they are running, so you can cast this spell on your warjack to send it directly at an enemy unit or model even if you know they are far out of charge range. The warjack gets an extra inch of movement and the ability to cross terrain without penalty.
There's a nice benefit using this spell with Marshalled warjacks. This spell allows the Marshalled warjack to charge without an order to do so from its Jack Marshall. It's Jack Marshall is then able to use its marshaling ability to order the warjack to boost an attack or damage roll.
It's hard to take advantage of having Sorscha cast this spell on herself, since she's obliged to charge next turn, and your opponent will know it. You can cast this spell as an offensive spell against enemy models, but it won't often work to your advantage as much as casting it on your own.
Fog of War:
There is no sane reason not to cast this spell and maintain it for the early turns of the game, if not for all of the game. It will benefit your opponent's models as well as your own, so sometimes you'll want to drop the spell when Sorscha comes in close to the enemy. It is also of no benefit against melee attacks, so if your foe has most of your army engaged in melee you'll want to drop the spell and use the focus for other things.
Concealment from Fog of War and Clouds from
Gorman Di Wulfe's
smoke bombs or the
Blizzards each give a +2 DEF bonus. You can set a line of
Iron Fang Pikemen
at the fore of your army, and after they move have your
put Blizzards on them. Then you have a "smokewall" that can't be shot through, and the models themselves are +4 DEF against ranged attacks and magic attacks.
Sorscha's focus stat is only six, so unless you boost the attack roll you'll only be able to reliably freeze models with a DEF of 12 or less. With a boost you'll reliably freeze models with a DEF of 16, but you'll only have one point of focus left over. The spell costs so much focus you'll want to boost the attack roll against any model with a DEF over 12. Still, the ability to take an entire unit of warriors out of the game for a round is almost as powerful as her feat.
can be used to make this spell much more efficient. You can have them use Ice Cage on one member of a unit, and then Sorscha can cast this spell on that one model that has a penalty to it's DEF. This is the best way to use this spell.
Like a lot of the ranged attack spells, this spell has a new lease on life. It used to be secondary to all the other spells, but Cryx has incorporeal creatures that can only be hit by spells. With Wind Rush Sorscha can hunt down and kill these creatures with ease.
The ability to knock down models is more important than the attack itself or the damage. Knocked down models are stationary targets, and easy for Khadoran warjacks to hit. Most of all they don't block LOS, so Tempest can get models out of the way before Sorscha uses her feat. This spell costs as much focus as Freezing Grip, and if you want to take out a spread out warrior unit Freezing Grip is the better choice.
It also makes the
an almost "must have" model for Sorscha, since it gets additional damage dice against knocked down models. Run a
next to an enemy warcaster, shoot it in the back with Tempest on a 4+ to hit and the
will be destroyed and the warcaster knocked down . Have a
charge the knocked down model with an additional damage die on each automatic hit.
This spell is a central part of an unbeatable army list that existed in early versions of the game called 3D (It consisted of Sorscha, three
). With the release of
this spell has been pared back, and can't be used to have her wing eighteen inches across the board before popping her feat and firing her Hand Cannon.
Wind Rush can only be used
once per activation
. Unlike all the other spells of it's type Wind Rush does not end Sorscha's activation. You'd be crazy, or very certain she couldn't be hit, not to use the spell every turn and have her be DEF 20 for the whole game.
Thoughts on Kommander Sorscha
Sorscha has one of the best spells lists of Khador warcasters. With her mediocre focus stat of six and two key spells costing four focus, deciding how to use her focus each turn makes her a tricky 'caster to get the hang of. In an ideal scenario, she has no warjacks in her battlegroup and is casting Wind Rush every round. If you're also upkeeping Fog of War, this leaves her with three remaining focus: not enough to cast Tempest or Freezing Grip. Tempest and Freezing Grip cost so much that you'll need to sacrifice the casting of Wind Rush on that turn to guarantee success, and, as such, Tempest is usually cast on her feat turn. Freezing Grip is the riskiest spell she casts because it leaves her vulnerable to normal attack stats and if she fails the attack roll it could mean the game for you if she's out in the open.
Use Wind Rush and Fog of War to keep Sorscha alive, and make the rest of your army difficult or impossible to hit by compounding it with clouds created by
. If you use
with Sorscha you can have a unit run at the front of your army, pursue them with
and have them cast Blizzard on that unit. Sorscha follows with Wind Rush and Fog of War. Then you have a solid wall of +4 DEF vs. ranged and magical attack models that block LOS to the rest of your army.
With the change to Sorscha's feat the challenge will be lining up line of sight correctly. Try not to dither on about it, since it's frustrating to watch someone move, remove, rethink, and ponder for fifteen minutes on a single model. The more games you play the better you'll get with it. Get through the game and get on to the next one. Each game makes you a better player, not that one game where you got everything angled just right.
Even more now than before using a
to marshall your warjacks and leaving Sorscha to all her focus for herself will be key to winning. Sorscha will need all of her focus to herself to cast Tempest before using her feat. Though it might be a good idea for her to have at least one warjack under her control so she can get it to Slam models through each other and knock them all down.
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