I choose the High Reclaimer over Amon Ad-Raza simply because I have more models that play better with the High Reclaimer. With Amon, I usually run a Revenger, Devout, and possibly Castigator or Guardian. I'm not saying these are bad options but I only own one Devout and not multiples that people usually run him with. With Bastions on the way, I can focus on a troop heavy build with the HR but I'm definitely going to put some jacks in list.
With that said, here's our first game under the current rules.
High Reclaimer 347/350 VPs: 15
Cleansers x 6
Temple Flameguard x8 with UA
Visgoth Rhoven and his Bodyguard
Gorman di Wulfe
Ruphert, Piper of Menoth
CptCalvinus here. My list was very basic since this is an escalation campaign and I don't own many models. At 500, I'll begin to proxy. I chose Stryker for the campaign because I have had zero success with him. He's got one win on his record, but that was only because I was playing someone who was inexperienced. I've never beaten Phill's Menoth with Stryker, which is odd, since he typically has a good reputation among Cygnar. So I figure the problem is in my tactics. That, and the fact that I like Stryker's Epic form, made me choose to run a Stryker force opposed to the other three casters I run.
Commander Coleman Stryker 349/350 VPs: 13
Gun Mage Captain Adept
Long Gunners x 6
CptCalvinus wins the opening roll and decides to go first. Instead of typing out where we put our units, here is a nice picture to show you. Terrain setup is a shallow pond, two walls in the middle, a house on Cygnar's side and a barn on Menoth's side. There's a funky looking orange plant in the middle as well. The GMCA is on the other side of the house.
He goes first and puts 6" snipe on the Long Gunners, moves up both jacks and runs the GMCA. My turn, TFG move up and goes into shield wall, Cleansers move up, Rhoven & Bodyguard run to keep up with the TFG. Gorman advances and pops a smoke and HR moves up and puts down some smoke as well, pretty much covering my whole front line except for some guys on my right.
He decides not to upkeep snipe on the Long Gunners, gives one focus to the Lancer, GMCA picks off a TFG, Lancer runs towards the GMCA, and Stryker gives him 5" snipe. My turn, everyone advances, Gorman throws smoke, Ruphert sings Dirge of Mists for the Cleansers. HR drops smoke in front of the TFG but not the Cleansers.
The GMCA moves back some and tries to pick off the Hierophant with flash fire, hits him but fails to do any damage thanks to the extra focus the HR has on him. The Lancer moves back towards the middle and Stryker casts earthquake on the Cleansers, knocking them all down along with Gorman. Long Gunners move up and take out all of the Cleansers.
HR gains six soul tokens, Ruphert sings March on the TFG giving them an extra attack, the TFG charge the Lancer and do considerable damage on him, taking out his spear and arcnode. The standard bearer uses his minifeat. Rhoven and company run up to within a couple of inches of the GMCA and the HR casts Ashes to Ashes on Guiss or Cassian with help from the Hierophant, I rolled 2 for the extra models and boosted the damage on the GMCA to take him out. HR throws smoke on his left side to protect him from the Long Gunners.
He gives three focus to the Centurion, Centurion decides to trample through the TFG to get within melee distance of the HR. Centurion takes out 1 TFG and barely takes any damage from the free strikes. He buys another attack and boosts the attack roll, the HR is sitting on three focus and its dice +1 on damage. Odd enoughly, he rolls 3-threes on his attack roll and if he only had used Nemo, the HR would've been dust. He rolls a nine on damage and the HR takes ten damage. Stryker moves toward his Long Gunners and casts arcane shield on himself and pops his feat.
Gorman, who just avoided getting trampled, throws some black oil on the Centurion. I now decide its time to use the HR feat but before that, the HR puts a smoke cloud on the Centurion, dropping his mat to -1. I roll a 6 for bringing back troops and put 4 Cleansers in front of his Long Gunners and Stryker. HR moves out of melee with the Centurion and he rolls for his free strike, needing a twelve to hit. The first dice rolled is a 6 and I almost lost it, thankfully the second one was a 3. HR casts immolation into the back arc of one of the Cleanser and kills all but 2 Long Gunners with the explosion. They fail their command check and turn to head for the hills. At least they're not on fire. :) Stryker is set on fire and the TFG move up and hit him with a CMA, no damage but setting him on fire, again.
At this point, I almost thought CptCalvinus would concede the match but low and behold, he almost pulled it off. Fire ends up staying on Stryker but doesn't do any damage thanks to Arcane Shield. He moves Stryker out of melee with the TFG and with all 6 focus, the TFG fail to hurt him with their free strikes. I'm not sure if I'm able to CMA with free strikes so I'll have to look that up.
With Stryker free from the TFG, he casted arcane blast on the HR and successfully hit him without boosting. At this point, I don't think the HR was camping that much focus, maybe 2 or 3 at the most. He opted not to boost damage and did about 5 damage to the HR. He then casted arcane blast again and ended up missing. In looking back, I think if he would've boosted damage on the first try, he would've won. This left Stryker without any focus and out in the middle, ready to be charged by the TFG.
My turn, the TFG get march again from Ruphert and charge Stryker with two CMAs to dish out. He ends up biting the bullet to the TFG and all around it was a good game.
I really like my list and if I'm not facing a lot of high armor, I think I can do ok. My models out numbered him by 2-1 and with the HR 's burning ash spell, my army was rather unscathed in the end. I'm going to be adding a favorite jack of mine to my 500 list and possibly another support solo. Rhoven and company did very little in the game besides being a deterrent. Gorman was pretty much a life saver in the end, and I can't underestimate black oil. The Hierophant goes very well with the HR and can keep up with him just fine. It's also nice that he can benefit from the extra focus the HR can get during a round.
I had the advantage of knowing Phill was bringing a infantry force before I made my list, but I still brought the Centurion. If I were to proxy, I probably would have swapped in a THead or Ol' Rowdy, or perhaps a plain Ironclad. But the Centurion came in handy on the second to last turn when he trampled through the squad of TFG for a shot at the High Reclaimer. Trample is a tactic neither of us have used before, but it was pretty handy, especially since it was Stryker's Feat turn and its armor was 26. The LGs were largely ineffective due to the HRs clouds. I can see why playing against a Trencher is so frustrating. The GMCA was great, and it was the first time I've really made use of his Flash Fire tactic. I threw five inches of Snipe on him. He is typically my Warpriest killer, but since Phill didn't have a choir, I had so many targets to choose from! I should have focused on taking out Phill's solos with him instead of trying to shoot the HR. Next time, Gorman, the Piper, and the Heirophant are primary targets.
For my next build, I'm going to see about filling in my anti-infantry support. As bluecardinal said, he outnumbered me 2-1 and it showed in how mobile his army was compared to mine. I'll likely be adding a unit of melee troops and consider maxing out the LGs. Between the Lancer and Centurion, I should be able to handle any jacks Menoth might throw at me.
Overall, it was a good game. It got very intricate towards the end, requiring some tough decisions, which is always enjoyable. These kinds of games are why I enjoy this hobby.