I usually prefer Rask with 2 Posse and the other casters with 3 Posse. I recommend bringing two to three units of Posse in every list at 50pts, and most lists at 35pts. Gatorman Posse are without a doubt the best bang for your buck in Blindwater.
KhadorBest casters - Rask (anti-ARM), Jaga-Jaga (anti-buffs)
Other picks: Wrastler, Totem Hunter
Khador has two strengths: high armor with their jacks and heavy infantry, and high defense with Iron Flesh. Therefore you're always playing a game of list-chicken if your opponent has two lists that each fit a separate box.
Rask is great against high armor because of Fury and the ability to almost always get the charge. Inhospitable Ground is also usually quite good against Khador armor since it is so slow. On the other hand, Rask has no real way to deal with Iron Flesh infantry spam. This is where Jaga-Jaga comes in, since she effectively makes such buffs null.
The Wrastler is a good beast with either caster because he brings a POW 17 and is excellent at throwing jacks into pits or out of commission. Totem Hunter is great at hunting out Khador's many crutch solos, and the stealth + high speed combo is really strong against Khador.
CygnarBest casters - Rask (2nd: Barnabas)
Other picks: Swamp Horror, WE + Snapjaw
Prior to the advent of the Stormwall (which you now see in 99% of Cygnar lists), Barnabas was a solid matchup against Cygnar - hard to assassinate, great situational shooting protection and Swamp Pits to throw heavies into. However, now that the Stormwall is everywhere, you need to kill it if only to win on scenario. And to do that, you need to charge it with Fury and a way to remove Arcane Shield. As well as a way to deliver your entire army to it in one piece. Rask can do all of this for you.
The Swamp Horror is a winner due to natural shooting protection and being a great multiplier for Fury. He can do a good deal of damage to that Stormwall. Same deal with Snapjaw.
CryxBest casters - Maelok, Jaga-Jaga
Other picks - Croctor, Thrullg, Sacral Vault
My thoughts on Cryx are well documented, and things haven't changed all that much. The one thing in the Cryx matchup that shouldn't bother you is ARM, so Fury is not a must. Shooting is also not really an issue. You will also have a lot of trouble at attritioning them in the melee game, since they hit insanely hard, often have tough, tend to recycle themselves.
Maelok with 2 Witch Doctors keeps most of your stuff undead so you can deny them Tartarus Death Knells and such. Tough can also help out a bit to get 2-3 Gators on the enemy caster under the feat, preferably while affected by Malediction (all in!). Maelok's feat also allows you to 'cheat' the melee staggering trade of Warmachine by charging their backline at the same time as their front line.
Jaga-Jaga is also really good because of her ability to deny buffs, deny incorporeal, has a lot of answers, and her feat is really strong against infantry swarms.
A Thrullg is also especially helpful in this matchup to deal with Crippling Grasp-like FU upkeeps - shame it can't be taken in tier.
Finally, the Sacral Vault is a custom designed middle finger to Cryx, with its anti-Stealth, anti-Incorporeal boostable gun and its almost total immunity to single wound melee infantry. Also it steals souls and RFPs.
Protectorate of MenothBest caster - Rask
Other picks - Ironback Spitter, Bog Trog Ambushers, Croctor
Easy choice - Rask shoots off upkeeps, disrupts jacks, has Inhospitable Ground to slow jacks that can't get pathfinder, has Fury to crack armor and gives you the charge without getting shot up. No really high DEF to worry about, no anti-living, only weapon masters which are a problem for all Gator lists.
Barnabas is a bad choice as he brings no damage buff, dispels (outside Thrullgs) and the Broken Book of Menoth is ever present, thereby negating Barnabas' feat and his most effective tool against warjacks. Maelok also has a bad time due to the prevalence of magic weapons and lack of hitting power.
The Ironback Spitter can do a decent amount of damage with Fury against DEF 10 warjacks if needed, and brings that almighty gun that you can use to take out a few support models. Bog Trog Ambushers are excellent at putting pressure on a flank or to their caster, as their backline is usually squishy. The Croctor is mostly there because of Awe on the Harbinger and the inbuild Ashen Veil on the Reckoner.
Retribution of ScyrahBest caster - Rask,
There are a few things that make Gators very strong against Ret: anti-shooting, hard to assassinate casters, Gatorman Posse. Both Barnabas and Rask are excellent in this department. The one issue with Barnabas is that he can have a lot of trouble displacing a Hyperion or Griffon swarms, whereas Rask can kill them quite efficiently. Furthermore, Rask's feat is a lot more efficient as a delivery mechanism than Swamp Pits because it also shuts down magic attacks - and really, against an all living army, you only need one turn of protection because your Posse starting ripping elves apart with ease.
Rask can also shoot off pesky upkeeps like Polarity Shield or Inviolable Resolve - winner.
Mercs of MoneyBest caster - Rask
Surprise! Rask can kill the Galleon, the others can't, and therefore he is the best. I guess you could take Calaban. Theoretically - his feat might be decent vs the usual high model count Mercs, and Parasite + Occultation can sort of keep you safe from Galleon at ARM 17, especially if you can someone get the damn arc node to work. But really, don't take Calaban.
Apart from that, if the Galleon/Earthbreaker isn't present or unkillable (ie. Bart + Spiny), then Barnabas can pretty much handle everything mercs can throw at you while also hiding in a Swamp Pit to make sure he doesn't die.
Writing this has made me realize that nobody plays non-Circle Hordes around here.
TrollsBest caster - Rask
Other pics - Sacral Vault, Shamblers
Inhospitable Ground, Paralysis Bolt, Disruptor Bolt + Fury beats tanky trolls and big charging beasts. Unfortunately there is no anti-tough tech anywhere in Gators. A fully juiced up, well supported Wrastler is also one of the few things in the game that can take out Mulg on a favourable trade balance.Not much else to say - Trolls are full of medium-based tanky troops that aren't as good as Gatorman Posse with Fury. I'm not sure if ambushing Bog Trogs to kill the Krielstone would be a good investment, since those blue baboons will probably just tough everything and you will cry.
The Vault and Shamblers will usually be pretty decent as you can get a lot of work out of the souls/corpses over the course of your 2+ hour grindfest. Enjoy!
SkorneBest caster - Rask
Other picks - Bog Trog Ambushers
While Inhospitable Ground is not as good in this matchup, Paralysis Bolt is a winner, along with Admonition and Fury. Skorne are a melee-heavy army they relies on their beasts - either shut them down or blow them up. If the Skorne list is especially beast heavy, you can slow them down drastically by killing the support pieces. This might be one situation (along with Protectorate) where ambushing with Rask' sacrificial Trogs is a good tactic.
I once played against an eMorg list with Ferox, Archidons, Savages and a whole manner of squishy things and incorrectly chose Barnabas since I thought armor wouldn't be a problem. Of course, none of that crap can be knocked down, so I cried some crocodile tears and tried to tank eMorg for glory and got diced to death.
The main thing you should be worrying about is that their Gatormans are straight-up better than your Gatormans. Just because, you know. Skorne. The main difference is your casters are awesome and deliver Gators, theirs not so much.
CircleBest caster - Barnabas, Maelok
Other picks - Totem Hunter, Bog Trog Ambushers,
While armor will be a problem in a minority of Circle lists, most times with Circle you should be worried about high DEF warbeasts and getting assassinated. I've had Barnabas tank primal + STR warp Stalkers without too much trouble thanks to Spiny Growth and Unyielding plus a transfer or two. Throw Iron Flesh on top of that and you're basically invulnerable as long as you stay on your feet. If you can attrition them out, you will usually end up in a good place.
The Totem Hunter is a must to kill those one of those annoying Sentry Stones early - just prey and walk away. Bog Trogs are great for killing almost anything in Circle due to pathfinder, CMA and MAT 8 on the charge.
Rask will probably make a resurgence against Circle with Bradigus/Baldur2 theme lists, but he suffers greatly against anti-magic effects (Druids/Kromac) and getting picked apart.
Maelok can also be really good against Circle as Revive missiles also him to reach out and touch Circle in unwanted places while also fielding a lot of tanky undead models.
LegionBest caster - Barnabas, Rask
The name of the game is terrain creation to screw infantry, and shooting-denial to screw the beasts. Rask can still give a good game, but I believe Barnabas is the slightly better matchup due to Legion's generally lower ARM, and their squishier high DEF casters/troops. Barnabas' style of shooting denial via Swamp Pits is also more effective than Rask's one big turn of denial since Legion beasts will often engage in hit and run tactics with their shooting. Certain casters like Saeryn and Vayl will give you serious headaches if played well, but that is more a limitation of Blindwater than anything else.
PigsBest caster - Rask, Jaga-Jaga
The only real bad matchup for any caster is Carver due to Batten Down the Hatches, given the Blindwater problem with ARM - which means Rask is the best matchup overall (although Spellpiercer ignores it too!). Maelok would suffer a bit due to prevalent Slaughterhouser RFP, and Midas can probably outtank him given his huge potential damage output and the aforementioned RFP effects. My only other bit of advice is to control Slaughterhousers with rough terrain if they don't have Saxon Orrik, because tough is annoying and they will blow your Gators up pretty easily if they get to charge.
|RASK IS A MIGHTY WIZARD|
Basically, my advice in a multi-list format would be to take Rask and Barnabas/Maelok/Jaga-Jaga (season to taste), with Rask tailored slightly more for heavy armour, and your second list tailored more for infantry-heavy / ARM-light lists and general tankability.
Looking at the whole "Minions" picture, I don't think the inclusion of Pigs as one of the lists would really shake things up since a meaty Rask list should be able to handle most heavy armor in the game. The only place where Pigs would do much better is situations where RFP is very much sought after (eLich, eMorvahna) or you face insane amounts of ARM. Otherwise I think Gators are just better off 95% of the time. Currently Pigs only have 2 good lists - Lord Carver and friends, and Arkadius tier.
If it is a three-list format, you might consider taking one of the two Pig lists. If you want to stick to all Gators (preferable), then you will likely want to tailor your Jaga/Maelok list slightly more towards Cryx and leave your third list to deal with everything else Rask has issues with (depending on your meta).
Updated - November 2014 (post Exigence)