Friday, 14 November 2014

Kara "my gun is bigger than yours" Sloan - Conversion and Tactica

Kara Sloan Conversion

First off, let me say that the original pose this model has is terrible. A sniper holding her gun to the sky for no particular reason. 

I much preferred the art in the Forces of Cygnar book, so decided to repose her that way. 

Sadly, my sculpting skills are relatively substandard so it ended up not going as well as I had hoped.

The core of the re-sculpt is actually a space marine arm from a plastic sprue that i cut the hand off 

I then molded green stuff over the hinge to add strength to the model and to detract from the fact its a space marine arm. 

Unfortunately, it's just a little too blocky. It's passable on first glance, but when you look at the rear image you can see she has a bicep like Hulk Hogan. 

The base was done with all of the modelling clay I had left over. I think Warcasters should stand out on the battlefield where practicable, and mounting Sloan on a giant Boulder seemed natural to give her some elevation and presence. 
Kara Sloan Tactics

"General wisdom"

When I first said I was going to play Kara Sloan at events it was met with a pretty lukewarm response from the people I game with.

The consensus was that she is a boring caster that lends herself to boring play.

Being a bit confused about this I looked up the "general wisdom" around Kara sloan on the internet and was a little dumbfounded at the lists people put forward for Sloan. I found them quite dull and frankly, not very good. The "general wisdom" seemed to be that you run Sloan with a tarpit unit + loads of ranged troops. It was also advised to take a reasonable number of warjacks to take advantage of her feat.

Sometimes, I'm glad I don't spend too much time looking at other peoples lists and guides for armies.

My take on Kara- Take with a grain of salt

Kara Sloan, much like Caine2, is a bit of a glorfied solo caster. She has some army buffs and a feat that can buff a lot of shooting, but her real strength, the bread and butter or the character is her rifle.

Spitfire is a rate of fire 1, long range, moderate power WEAPON MASTER magical weapon. 

The weapon master bit is the real emphasis here. Boosting, it allows her to roll 4 damage dice from miles away and damage spikes from the gun can be devastating. Reinholdt is virtually mandatory with her as it allows her to shoot twice. 

Now that’s two shots a turn with potential damage rolls in the mid 30's.  A few lucky shots can take down most warcasters, even when camping, and even warlocks will not be wanting to transfer double digit damage frequently. In short, if you can get LOS, and your opponent is within 22" (16" if they have stealth) you have a good shot at an assassination. My normal target priority is casters I think I can kill/wound badly, stealth solos, solos, UA's, Cavalry, Heavy beast/jacks, Light beast/jacks, units.

I tend to boost to hit with spitfire 99% of the time, even if it is a 4 or 5 to hit. With that in mind, you will be spending 4 focus per turn making shots with spitfire.

Add in another point of focus per turn to upkeep refuge. Refuge is what allows Kara to hit and run. If she hits with a ranged attack (and with 2, she probably will) you can move her at the end of her activation. This effectively lets her move 12" in her turn and dramatically increases her surivability.

That leaves 2 focus a turn to buff units, use warjacks, camp, or cast spells. (if running squire)

Most of the time that's one "Dead eye" , or one double boosted jack cannon shot, or 2 camping.

The feat is a trap

This takes me to her feat, which as far as I am concerned reads as "faction models get boosted shots, oh, and Kara and a jack get an additional unboosted shot, but its not a big deal". 

The 1st part of the feat is very good, and the focus of my list building with her.

The 2nd part of the feat is a trap. Building a list around a couple of unboosted shots from warjacks you can't properly support is a terrible idea in my book.

Running 2,3 or more warjacks with guns to gain the benefit of her feat means that in most turns they will be under resourced with focus, or Kara won't be making enough awesome weapon master shots.

My advice, focus on the 1st part of the feat and treat the 2nd part as a nice little bonus, nothing more.

Cast a spell?

I cast very few spells with Kara Sloan. "Refuge" is used a lot to keep her mobile. I can see "return fire" having a use, but I've not really had a good situation to use it.

Deadeye is solid, and with your 2 remaining focus after upkeeping refuge and blazing out with spitfire would be well spent on it. That said, except in unusual circumstances, it's overkill to cast during a feat turn. Although Cygnar Rat + 4 dice should hit anything, even high def infantry under Ashylnns feat wouldn't be safe.

The two attacks spells are filler and won't be used very often. Arcane blast can kill a model engaging you in melee to free up a shot, and dust to dust can remove models from play, which is extremely rarely a very good thing to have (imagine an archangel with Thagrosh1 on 1 box remaining).

Fire group however, is another trap. It encourages you to take more jacks than you need and it makes you lazy when measuring ranges. The only time I use it is when I've measured my control range and spitfire is just short.

My Kara Sloan armies

I field Kara Sloan as a gun support solo for an assault army.

Reinholdt is always there to carry her ammo bag, and squire is a frequent inclusion. The models I favour are those Cygnar troops who can make assault shots when they charge. Storm Knights & Storm Lances are my current favourite core units. I support them with either gun mages or tempest blazers, models with good engagement ranges who can benefit from deadeye. Murdoch and mercs are another option.

The idea is not to play Kara's army as "sit back and shoot" but one that takes advantage of devastating charges in her feat round.

In a perfect world, it goes a little something like this.

Blazers go up one flank and harass the enemy with light cavalry moves and electro leaps. Full unit of Stormblades, supported by piper, captain and arcane shield run the center while the storm lances trot along side and behind.  The stormblades with gunners upfront "assault charge" under dead eye throwing a pile of Rat 5+3d6 threat range 14"-20" aoe 3 blasts into the enemy infantry.  the turn after receiving the counter charge you feat, have blazers do more house cleaning and have the Lances drive over the Storm knights using the capatains tactician and pathfinder, to deliver Rat 5 +3d6 shots with electro leap, mount attacks and Mat 9 charge attacks. 

The other option is to bait your opponent into closing the gap while forcing them into a kill zone. 

The image above is from a game where this plan worked perfectly(note, the blazers and Kara have moved, the storms have not). I ceded control of the objective while keeping the cavalry units on the flanks ready for the counter charge. The front line of Storm Knights fired off their boosted lighting shots and then took the brunt of the counter charge.

This counter attack would have been very good..... if Borka had any transfers. As it was, i just shot him dead. (Elevation + Kara = Dead casters)


Sure you can build Kara to be a boring gun line caster, but why not try assault armies with her. Run her jack light, don't build around the unboosted free shots under the feat, and keep her firing constantly. 


  1. Finally reposed my Kara! Thanks for the inspiration

    1. Excellent! Take some snaps and put them up when you're done

    2. Here she is


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