Kommandant Kratikof, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Assassination Run

I hate assassination runs. It sounds a weird thing to say for someone trying to play competitively, but I have a massive aversion to ever going for one. Warcaster/Warlocks are, by design, some of the most difficult models in the game to put into the dirt. They have great stats, lots of boxes, a damage mitigation mechanic built into them, never-mind that they are also the most well defended piece in any given list. To make matters worse, I am a definite attrition player. I enjoy facing armies off and grinding each other down until one side rolls over another. I hate it when games end top of round 2, feeling like I’ve lost time playing a game I love.

Every single assassination run I’ve embarked on since I first started playing at 50 points in mk 2, has been begrudgingly done, due to either desperation or my opponent making a dumb mistake. As a Khador player, I tend to play for attrition, and end up forcing opponents into last ditch assassinations, which, when they go off, leave me feeling stupid for allowing them in the first place, or robbed when a long shot goes off.

That all being said, since the start of mk 3, I’ve been playing more of the casters and lists in our faction that have the innate capabilities of assassinating. Strakhov 1, Sorscha 1, Butcher 3, etc, all of these have, at their bare minimum, a portion of their kit which is useful for getting to the opposing caster and murdering them to death. And in that time, I’ve noticed something interesting about my play.

The threat of assassination is often as useful as actually pulling it off.

Putting your pieces into a position where they threaten the opposing caster can make them panic. At bare minimum, it often pulls them out of position. Many casters want to have free run of the board, moving back and forth, spending down as far as they dare. If you can pressure them, they start having to make sub optimal moves. A good example of a caster like this is my old Strakhov 1 list, which could fling a jack 19 inchs (not counting weapon range). Just by having that possibility on the board, I found my opponents wouldn’t move far out of their deployment zones without bricking up, generally giving up board space and control of the scenario elements, out of fear of receiving Ruin or Torch to the face. I rarely actually went for these assassinations, but benefited massively just from having the possibility on the table.

The Sorscha 1 list I have been running lately in Wolves of Winter has similar threats in it. Going first, I can have the majority of that list on the 25 inch line, with Sorscha herself at a similar distance whilst camping 4 focus and being def 20 to shooting. With the ridiculous amount of mobility that she has, this has often forced opponents to make very cautious advances into the middle table, usually allowing me to take a couple of pieces, back up, or feat on the bunched up army much more effectively. I had a game recently into a Siege 2 Gravediggers list where I bottom of 2 feated with Sorscha at the 30 inch line, freezing literally the entirety of my opponents army. Other games with the same list have been salvaged by Sorscha miraculously getting to the enemy caster and beating them up with a hammer.

My point, if I actually have one, is that just the mere act of threatening an assassination run can often put you in an advantageous position on the board. Your opponent has to respect it and can’t act as freely. And if you can protect yourself from the same threat from your opponent, then you have an advantage.

Now, Khador is actually a pretty bad faction for assassination runs. We are an attrition faction first and foremost, and a lot of the common assassination elements that other factions have, we just don’t have access to. We don’t have access to arc nodes unlike Cryx or Cygnar, good ways to consistently knockdown or otherwise lower defense unlike ret or many of the Hordes faction (Krea’s, Wild Argus, etc), and our guns, whilst not awful, don’t tend to have the kind of threat you need to threaten casters (i.e. we tend towards the inaccurate, when really for consistent assassination, you need accuracy over power a lot of the time, see Chargers).

That’s not to say that Khador doesn’t have some impressive assassination chops in its roster. We have a number of casters that have some good tricks for dropping enemy casters. It’s more that assassinations for Khador tend to happen after the attrition war has already been won. Obviously, exceptions exist to this rule, with Sorscha 1 being the biggest one to come to mind.

With that in mind, I thought I’d go through a couple of the elements to keep in mind when planning to threaten assassination:

  • Recognise what possibilities you have available. Some of our casters are great at assassinations, others are not. Sorscha 1 can threat 19 inchs and takes the attack roll out of the equation. Irusk 1 threaten 16 inchs (with his sword cannon) and has to roll to hit twice with a rat 6 gun. That doesn’t mean Irusk can’t assassinate, just that he’s much less likely to do it. Equally, know which of your models can assist. Behemoth is a great model to go for an assassination run with, whilst a Juggernaut is likely better off helping you set up other pieces. Outriders are likely to be able to get some attacks off, whilst Shock troopers are unlikely to.
  • Know when it’s a bad game plan: I basically never go for an assassination unless it’s really obviously going to work (i.e. Caine 3 standing within 17 inches of Sorscha is not going to survive no matter what he’s camping) or I can recognise that I’m screwed if I don’t go for it. This can be couple of turns before you’re actually hosed, and is usually better when you have more pieces available.
  • Know your opponents capabilities: some casters are more vulnerable than others, and others can counter assassinate you. It’s all very well to play a caster like Sorscha or Butcher aggressively, but if your opponent is Kaelyssa or Caine, you might be asking to die. Likewise, be aware of what they can bring to bear against you and watch for weak spots. If they’re relying on certain defensive tech, try to counter it. For example, if they have Admonition on their caster, try to get them knocked down.
  • Hit confirm: sometimes assassinations come down to one or 2 things going off. Eyriss 1 hitting and stripping focus, Sorscha landing the Freezing grip, a jack managing to win a strength off and throw something. Where possible, do these things first, and if they don’t work, back off. Look for other opportunities.
  • Area denial: Knowing how an opposing caster wants to play is also key. If they’re wanting to spend down their stack every turn or play forward to apply the game plan they want (cough Denny 1 cough), then threatening the area they want to stand in can make them think twice and force sub optimal plays.
  • Plan and Predict: Feeling the tempo of the game is also important here. The start of any plan you make for a turn should be the question: “am I winning this game?”. Whether that’s attrition or scenario, being able to recognise turning points early is crucial. Assassination runs are better and more reliable when you have more pieces to bring to bear, and recognising that a game is going south early can be the difference between a reasonable assassination run and needing to consistently roll 10s.
  • Use your resources well: If you decide to go for the all or nothing, then make sure you spend your resources properly. If you have a lot of time left on your clock, use it! Make sure your plan isn’t dumb and use the time to execute it properly and in the correct order. Figure out what attacks you can bring to bear on the enemy caster, and what your other models might be able to do to assist. That Juggernaut might not be able to get into melee range, but maybe it can slam something out of the way to prevent a free strike. Decide what the models that can get attacks on are going to be doing. Is that Koldun lord going to spray the enemy caster, or try to get off an Ice Cage? Is the one jack you can get into melee better off taking melee attacks or trying for a headbutt or a throw.
  • Dice Math!: There are going to be times when you have no choice but to roll hard 8s. Or worse! Maybe you don’t have the resources to boost, maybe you just won’t get through the focus/fury/shield guard/etc, if you don’t just buy extra attacks. If you can mitigate it, then do. If you can’t, then you might just have to go for it. Try and figure out when those times are.

Ultimately, assassination is another weapon in your arsenal to help you win games. It’s not going to be useful every game, but thinking about it and planning for it can help turn the tables on your opponents. Whilst I generally gun for attrition advantages first and foremost, with scenario being my usual win condition, knowing my outs for assassination has been crucial to winning some of my toughest games. So when you’re playing out your turn, just stop and ask yourself: “Do I need to assassinate this turn? Am I going to lose the game if I don’t?”. Hopefully, the answer will be no. But if it’s yes, then commit. After all,

Needs must when the Devil vomits in your kettle!

 

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Jack all about Jack

I’ve been running our warjacks in a lot more lists lately, in what can probably be called a spam sort of manner. Much of this is my current infatuation with Old Witch 2, and her ridiculous battle group capabilities, but it has led me to try out some jacks that I hadn’t before. On reflection, I thought it would be valuable to have a look at all of our jacks, and their relative pros and cons. Some of our jacks are always taken, some are never taken, and I thought I’d give my opinion on why that is and how to fix the less taken ones. Because I’m narcissistic like that.

So, in no particular order:

  • Berserker Chassis: A brief point about all the jacks in this Chassis, as well as Drago, is that I really think they should re-think how unstable works. I have a couple of ideas for what to change, such as making them Frenzy like beasts if the roll fails, or make them all aggressive again and limit them to 1 focus point ever. Hell, make them all speed 5, I don’t know. They need something though.
    • Berserker: At 9 points, this is the cheapest heavy in the game, and it shows. Crap stat line, poor pow, poor survivability and blows up if you use too much focus. Berserk is kinda pointless on a Mat 5 chassis, and isn’t worth taking with the handful of casters that can buff it’s Mat. Worth taking on a Jack marshal sometimes, but generally a point more for a Marauder is generally the right choice, as while Berserk is interesting, rng 1 on it’s weapons means it’s not super likely to kill more than 3-4 models even if it can hit them. Really needs to be MAT 6, or not randomly blow up when it spends focus.
    • Mad-Dog: Also 9 points, the mad dog has some interesting options compared to the berserker. They were nerfed into the ground due to Karchev, but remain somewhat viable if only for the trample niche. Again, they make a decent Marshall target, and again in most situations, a Marauder is going to be preferable, especially as Mad-Dogs pay for their niche with the lowest POW melee weapons on a Khador heavy (pow 14 is not ok in this faction as a main weapon)
    • Rager: 11 points gets you a durable shield guard. Which is actually something we kind of want in Khador, as it swings dice math on assassinations. In addition, this guy also randomly has 3 initial melee attacks, the only Jack in the list to be able to claim that. Actually a better target for Marshalling than the others, as it gets more mileage out of the orders than most (3 pow 17s and a 15 is nothing to sniff at, especially when blessed and magical). Expensive for what it is, especially with Marauders being cheaper, but fits a particular niche in the jack roster, and does so better than the other 2 variants.
  • Juggernaut Chassis:
    • Juggernaut: At 12 points, this is probably the gold standard for any bog standard beater in the whole game, let alone Khador. That 12 points gets you POW 19, mat 7, arm 20, 34 boxes, with it’s only real weakness being it’s speed, something almost every caster in our faction has a fix for. Compares favourably to the Ironclad, Crusader, Slayer and other basic beaters of other factions. Will usually one round another heavy if given a free charge, great for spamming. main problem with it is it’s hunger for focus, wanting 3 on the turns it goes in. The quintessential Khadoran Jack.
    • Marauder: Marauders should probably cost 12 points (I said it!). They compare reasonably with Juggernauts, with 3 less pow, but the option for a directional slam, at pow 20 with pow 12 collateral, and weapon master vs huge bases (lul whut?). And really, the Khador jack stat line for 10 points is pretty bonkers. The slam and lower native POW of the marauder makes it better as an escort jack for the Juggernaut or other higher pow jack and is great for dealing with infantry and setting up heavies for the kill. More efficient focus wise than the Juggernaut due to it’s role (usually the Power Up is enough as you boost either damage or attack on the slam). Great little jack.
    • Destroyers: 14 points for an alright boostable gun. Rat 4 really lets these guys down, but it’s mitigated by being relatively cheap and the gun being an AOE. Usually I’ll run these guys when the rest of the list is melee centric, and I don’t want a colossal. Nothing majorly wrong here, but 1 melee attack is a bit sad. If you’re running Jaws of the Wolf, Behemoth is straight up better than 2 of these in every way except number of boxes, otherwise, perfectly acceptable.
    • Decimator: Straight shot guns on a Khador jack (i.e. a gun without an AOE) are a bit shit, and at 16 points the Decimator just falls somewhat short in a number of ways. If the gun was 2 inches longer range or it had rat 5, or it was 14 points like the destroyer, you might see these guys. The gun is a good example of a gun that would be great in another faction, but is really let down by speed 4 and rat 4, giving it a crap threat range and requiring boosting to actually hit anything. Make one of the changes above or change the beatback to ram and we’re getting somewhere, otherwise just take a Destroyer. On a side note, the melee weapon is fine. Sustained attack is a great rule, and if you want a more powerful melee weapon take a damn Juggernaut. The gun is what’s interesting here.
  • Kodiak Chassis
    • Kodiak: I love Kodiaks! 13 points for a great independent package. Pow on the melee weapons is a little low, but everything else is great. Pathfinder is important for scenario play these days, as well as running further. Vent Steam is a bonkers ability and can really help our Jack heavy lists to clean up infantry. The combination of Grab and smash and 2 open fists as well as vent steam, means that this is a jack that can still contribute as it starts losing systems. The steam cloud being cloud effect as well as an anytime ability means that 2 of these bad boys can give your caster the ability to make a cloud bunker, and a few of our casters can even use them to play cloud wall (Malakov and Harkevich to name a couple). An all round great jack
    • Grolar: One of the problems with our more expensive jacks is that we run into comparison problems with our cheaper jacks. The comparison always seems to be “is this worth x points more than a Marauder”. The Grolar runs afoul of this problem. It’s 18 points, and is probably worth that. 2 melee intials, coupled with an okayish gun, Dual Attack, Pathfinder and a Heavy Boiler, not to mention Ram on the stronger melee weapon make a very flexible jack that can function well in a bunch of different situations. And that’s kind of the problem. Our jacks are cheap now, and we can actually run them due to Power Up, so 18 points for a beater is not acceptable, and the gun isn’t enough to make up the difference. Take it down to 16 points and I’d consider taking it, otherwise skip it and go for a Kodiak if you need the Pathfinder, or a Juggernaut if you just want to apply axe to face.
  • Devastator Chassis
    • Devastator: The Devastator has one job, be a massive pain in the ass to kill. Steady and Sturdy at arm 23, it does that job pretty well. Rain of Death is pretty bonkers, as an auto hitting pow 18 and pow 9 in a 3 inch bubble will murder infantry. Running Devastators you should always be second guessing whether you should actually be making attacks that aren’t slams or headbutts, and it’s statline supports this. Mat 6, Pow 16 for a Khador jack is sad, and usually underperforms, as you’re often better off boosting a rain of death on 2 targets. Fantastic little jack and a great scenario piece or piece to start a trade with, as a lot of heavies come up short on this guy.
    • Demolisher: This is a Devastator that traded the Rain of Death for shoulder cannons. And it’s a terrible trade, as once again we pay the Khador gun tax and get a jack that can’t hit anything with it’s terrible RAT 4 and probably shouldn’t be trying to anyway, as it drops to arm 19 as soon as it does. And you pay 16 points for the pleasure of this confused pile of Jack parts. To be worth taking, this thing really needs to have Dual Attack, or be able to shoot without opening. If you really want some AOEs take a Destroyer or Behemoth damn it! The girded can be cute in some lists, but is kinda pointless in a faction where Irusk 2 or Iron Flesh exists as a spell.
    • Spriggan: The Spriggan is another red headed step child of a jack, that is taken in some lists because it has an important ability. On first look at the jack, you’d assume this ability is in some way melee related, but no, it’s a ranged flare that strips stealth. Unfortunately, it has terrible range for doing this (14 inchs without help) as it has no assault or dual attack. It’s regular gun shots are awful (rat 4, pow 10 does not a good gun make), and again it pays the gun tax, clocking in at 19 points. It’s melee capabilities are fine (though not great), and reach on a Khador jack is great. Arm 21 is fine, but is tied to a weapon system and bypassed by some rules, coming out about the same as arm 20 in the wash. Again, like the Grolar, the Spriggan just needs a point reduction to be usable, as 19 points for this jack is just a bit too much to ask. It’s flexible, but compares terribly with our other options (it’s straight up worse than Ruin and costs 2 points more for some reason).
  • Characters: Character jacks are odd beasts (as well as being Jacks, not Beasts). In this world of themes, they really only get taken if they’re named in a Theme or are bonded to a caster. As such, I’ll be looking at them in terms of the casters/themes they’ll be taken in, rather than strictly on their own terms.
    • Beast 09: Sorscha’s Super Angry Juggernaut clocks in at a hefty 21 points, which is pretty ridiculous for a Juggernaut with RNG 2 on it’s main weapon. It makes up for this somewhat with a suite of abilities, such as Murderous, Thresher, Heavy Boiler and Hyper Aggressive. The bond being Shield guard is kind of interesting for it’s interaction with Hyper Aggressive, and MAT 8 with Murderous is death to any caster it gets near. But it’s still 9 god damn points more expensive than a Juggernaut and is no more survivable than one. On top of this, it commits the cardinal sin of crap character jacks and doesn’t really do anything for either Sorschas play style, being not particularly mobile or focus efficient. Jesus, just drop the points down to 18 and it’ll get taken, if only for the reach. Otherwise, just take 2 Juggernauts for 3 points more.
    • Torch: Torch is an odd duck (apart from actually being a steampunk robot, and not a water fowl). He has an odd seeming set of abilities, as well as 3 ranged intials, because… I don’t know, maybe Strakhov looted a Spriggan for it’s shitty guns. For some reason, it randomly has assault and RAT 5 though, and so can actually apply those targeting flares somewhere useful on the board. On top of this, the immunities are interesting (as some factions will struggle to gun Torch down), as well as having innate Relentless Charge and a bond that provides Sprint. Unlike the Beast above, Torch actually brings some interesting tools to either Strakhovs game book. Relentless Charge is great with Strakhov 2, as he is greedy and hordes his pathfinder to himself, whilst the combination of a lot of initials (2 + an assault), Sprint, Superiority and Overrun with Strakhov 1 is a massive arse ache for your opponent. Charging something and then ending further back than you started is funny. Overall, a great tool box of a jack, that is unfortunately a bit pillow fisted and expensive, but nevertheless works great as an anchor piece and as a support piece for the army.
    • Black Ivan: Black Ivan looks at Torch’s odd, cohesive set of abilities and wonders if one day he’ll be that good. Evasive is odd on a Khador jack, as is Point Blank on the Bombard (putting fury on Black Ivan is lulzy, Pow 10 melee blast damage anyone?). Bulldoze is welcome, but available elsewhere. The bond with Harkevich is amusing (he’s still strictly worse than Behemoth), but is massively let down by his melee weapon. POW 16? on a 19 Point Jack? Nope and Nope. If it had straight up Brutal on the claw rather than Crit Brutal, or the Bond was all boosted attack rolls, rather than just ranged, he might be interesting. As it is he’s very expensive and mostly worse than just taking a destroyer.
    • Drago: Drago is a fukken weird jack. he’s a Berserker, so he blows up if he spends focus, and is the only Khador jack with an Imprint? He’s got berserk now which is good, as well as pow 17, but lost Aggressive (if any jack in the fluff should have aggressive, it’s probably Drago) and his Chain Attack, which was useful as an effective third initial. He doesn’t do anything super interesting with Vlad 1 or 2 (apart from not blowing up), and is marginally interesting with Vlad 3 under feat. He’s also cheap enough at 14 points. Give him a different imprint (Something like Overtake or Sidestep would be cool) and give him back his old bond with Vlad, and he’ll get taken. As it is, he’s just worse than a marauder in most situations. And at least the marauder won’t explode.
    • Ruin: Undercosted, thy name is Ruin. Probably one of the best Character Jacks in the game. Ruin is 2 points cheaper than a Spriggan, clocking in at 17 points, and is better in almost everyway. Mat 8, dispel on the mace (which against a lot of factions is functionally a +2 or +3 damage buff), arcane vortex for some reason, and has a soul mechanic that means into Infantry spams, he becomes self fuelling after the first clash. On top of all this he works amazingly well with any incarnation of the Butcher. He brings a decent threat range to Butcher 1 (who also buffs his damage output to stupid levels, POW 19 weaponmaster on fully boosted attack rolls anyone?), self sufficiency to Butcher 2, and a ridiculous threat range combined with late game spell protection to Butcher 3. I have literally had this jack charge out of control turn 2, and be out of control killing infantry and heavies for the rest of the game, just riding that soul train. An auto take in any Butcher list.
    • Behemoth: The gold standard for horribly murdering stuff, Behemoth is probably the most deadly model in the game, based solely on unmodified damage output. Giving him buffs turns him into a blender. Ever wanted to one round an Arcane shielded Stormwall? Stick a damage buff on him. Ever wanted to kill that same Stormwall under Stryker 1’s feat? Play Behemoth with Butcher 1 (POW 15, AP, Weaponmaster attacks that are fully boosted are hilarious overkill). I’m not kidding when I say that under Sorscha 2’s feat, I sent a Marshalled Behemoth into said AS Stormwall and killed it in 2 hits (triple 6s does 44 damage to a stormwall under crush and feat). On top of this, Behemoth has some incredibly reliable shooting, especially whilst marshalled. POW 16, blessed and magical, fully boosted is the kind of gun that kills heavies. This all comes for a cost though. 25 points is more than 2 Juggernaut! However, especially whilst marshalled, Behemoth brings 2 things to a Khador list that are both excellent. High quality shooting, and focus efficiency. In most lists where he’ll be taken, Behemoth takes up no caster resources to do the things that he does. Overall, a brutally destructive Jack that will do work every game and is always worth his points.
  • Colossals: Colossals generally fall into 1 of 2 categories. They are either Gunboats with fists bolted on(see the Colossals of Cygnar, Mercs, Protecterate, etc) or Fistboats with guns bolted on (see the Colossals of Ret, Cryx, etc). The Khadoran colossals are definitely the latter. Also, generally, Colossals are going to want to play the same game regardless of faction: Kill everything that can threaten the colossal, then bully the board with the big stompy robot!
    • Conquest: A pretty solid piece for when you don’t want a big battle group. Conquest is a weirdly efficient gun platform. Give him a focus to double boost the big gun, and then shoot wildly at the ground with the secondary guns, it’s the same damage either way! (I confused a Grymkin player that had 2 low arm, high def beasts in B2B with a Conquest by shooting at them rather than punching them, because I couldn’t miss.) On top of this, the creeping barrages are fantastic control elements, being hard barriers against most infantry. Crit Devastation on the gun is hilarious when it goes off (not many things are immune to throws and 4 dice on a pow 15 is like… Cygnar shooting or some shit), but is not reliable enough to rely on. Melee output wise (and this part applies to Victor too), the Conquest is the Colossal made for murdering other Colossals. Pow 23 is pretty ridiculous, and having a large number of boxes and base arm 20, means that often a single heavy will struggle to one round the big bastard. It’s not out of the norm to kill 2 heavies in one activation with this thing, which is the level of work you want out of a colossal if you’re committing it to melee. For added hilarity, Power Attacks are funny, as it will hit its target at POW 19, proving the adage that the best gun a Khadoran Colossal has is the dude it throws at you. Conquest seems to be coming back into vogue, after a somewhat lengthy absence, finding a place in lists that want to be taking just 1 jack and need something hefty to anchor a softer infantry list. It’s very hard to make it’s points back, but this thing will just win you games sometimes.
    • Victor: Exemplifying the Khadoran ideal of accuracy (as in “who need accuracy, lets just carpet bomb the whole area”), the Victor looks like it has better guns than Conquest at first glance. Then you realise that the poor bastard can’t hit the broadside of a barn (it needs a 10 to hit a Khador jack…. that’s just sad), and that the Siege Mortar doesn’t have High Explosive, unlike the, you know, man portable version. Flare is randomly interesting some times, but if you really need to strip stealth or lower defense, there are more reliable ways than drifting an AOE. Incediary is hilarious in some situations and is the one time I might consider casting Broadsides on Harkevich (before deciding that I’d be better off doing literally anything else) and Crater can randomly screw over some lists. It’s lack of reliably hitting things means that the shot types on the Siege mortar are less interesting (though range 20 is funny) as it means you can’t reliably predict where the AOE is going to land. The secondary guns are hampered by inaccuracy as well, as at rat 4, even aiming you likely need to boost, meaning it can’t hit what it can hurt, and vice versa. And for some reason it’s a point more expensive than the Conquest. Drop it to the same level, and give it High Explosive, and we’ll talk. Otherwise, I’d take a Conquest every time.

Blood and Oil Tournament Report

Weekend before last, the last big event of the Warmachine year took place, Blood and Oil. It was, curiously, barely attended by Power Fist, but me,, Christopher Clare and Dan Price were there flying the colours. I’ve been practicing my current list trio a lot in preparation for this event, and was looking forward to seeing how Witch 2, Sorscha and Strak 2 did in a full on 6 round event.

Me and Chris drove down on the Friday night, stopping in Walsall to get one last practice game in with the Warlords. Saturday morning, we turned up at the venue ready for games. Once again it was very well attended (around 90 people attended) and the tables and terrain were already set up when we got there.

My three lists below:

Khador Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Legion of Steel

(Strakhov 2) Assault Kommander Strakhov [+22]
– Devastator [14]
– Torch [18]
Iron Fang Kovnik [0(4)]
Uhlan Kovnik Markov [7]
Great Bears of the Gallowswood [9]
Iron Fang Pikemen (max) [15]
– Iron Fang Pikemen Officer & Standard [0(4)]
Iron Fang Pikemen (max) [15]
– Iron Fang Pikemen Officer & Standard [0(4)]
Iron Fang Pikemen (max) [15]
– Iron Fang Pikemen Officer & Standard [4]

Khador Army – 74 / 75 points
[Theme] Wolves of Winter

(Sorscha 1) Kommander Sorscha [+29]
– Conquest [37]
Greylord Forge Seer [0(4)]
Koldun Lord [0(4)]
Koldun Lord [0(4)]
Doom Reaver Swordsmen [13]
Doom Reaver Swordsmen [13]
Greylord Outriders (max) [20]
Greylord Outriders (max) [20]

Khador Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Jaws of the Wolf

(Old Witch 2) Zevanna Agha, The Fate Keeper [+27]
– Juggernaut [12]
– Juggernaut [12]
– Kodiak [13]
– Marauder [10]
– Marauder [10]
– Sylys Wyshnalyrr, The Seeker [4]
Greylord Forge Seer [0(4)]
– Behemoth [25]
Greylord Forge Seer [0(4)]
– Rager [11]
Widowmaker Marksman [0(4)]
Battle Mechaniks (max) [5]

First Round:

I’m paired against Stuart Groves, a Cygnar player, who’s running Kraye, Sloan and Nemo 3. Nemo and Sloan are gun lines, and Kraye has no help for damage output so Witch 2 goes down because Windstorm is a big middle finger to gun lines. He drops Kraye and off we go. His list below:

Cygnar Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Heavy Metal

(Kraye 1) Captain Jeremiah Kraye [+28]
– Centurion [17]
– Centurion [17]
– Cyclone [13]
– Hammersmith [12]
– Hammersmith [12]
– Minuteman [9]
– Minuteman [9]
– Sentinel [8]
– Squire [0(5)]
Captain Arlan Strangewayes [0(4)]
Viktor Pendrake [0(4)]
Field Mechaniks (min) [3]
Field Mechaniks (min) [3]

Scenario is Recon 2. He wins the roll and goes first. I choose a side with more terrain to give him less to use with Repo 5. Important terrain is a rubble patch around my objective, a cloud on the right hand zone and a big forest on my side of the left hand zone. He deploys symmetrically, with a centurion and a Hammer smith on each zone and the rest in between. I deploy with Witch centre right, the Kodiak, a marauder and behemoth to her left and everything else to her right.

Turn 1:

Stuart runs everything forward, and gets a minute man b2b with my objective (lul wut?). Admonition goes out on Kraye, and Counter measures on Speedy the minuteman.

My turn and the plan is pretty clear. Horribly murder the minute man. Witch gets arcane secrets and walks forward, doing cheaper spells. She misses the Scourge, but it drifts onto him anyway and he’s still knocked down. The Kodiak gets boundless and the left hand marauder gets Re-Construct. Behemoth shoots the downed minute man and the Kodiak finishes it off (turn 1 charges with a jack list, sure why not?). Everything else runs forward.

Turn 2:

Stuart considers an assassination run, but the other minuteman is the only thing in range, and I have a shield guard. He then manoeuvres up the board, leaving a centurion on the left within 6 inch’s of my re-constructing marauder, everything else moves up and stays out of threat. The Minuteman does take a shot at witch, but rolls poorly on the damage and does nothing.

My turn, and I think, between Curse, Behemoth and a trampling Marauder I can down the Centurion. Marauder gets 2, Witch gets Arcane Secrets (Sylas walks onto my flag at the same time), and range amplifies a curse of shadows onto said jack. Behemoth shoots it at dice off 3 (arm 21, -2 from curse, +2 damage  from take aim) and spikes, doing about 19 boxes. The Marksman shoots and takes out the shield, and the Marauder tramples up and leaves it on 4 boxes. Not bad for a jack I can’t charge. The Kodiak re-deploys to the other side of the board, and the 4 jacks there move up aggressively into the zone, staying out of easy charge range (I want him to feat to get in). I go to 1.

Turn 3:

My opponent spends the turn getting the Marauder out of the zone (Hammer smith beats back and then slams it out 4 inches, then repos 5 back). He runs Pendrake in to contest and destroys my objective between Kraye, the sentinel and the cyclone. He remains cagey elsewhere, repairing the Centurion somewhat.

My turn and I know that the slammed marauder (who still has all systems), is within 10 inches of the Hammer smith (it slammed me 4 and then repo’d 5 back). If I play my cards right, and get a bit lucky, I can score Stuarts zone, contest his flag and destroy his objective. I murder pendrake with a marauder. Witch Feats and gives out a bunch of focus, fully fuelling and boundless charging 3 jacks. Behemoth, the shiny golden god, manages to finish the Centurion in 1 shot, and uses the other to shoot the 3 mechanics in the zone (in a conveniently shaped blast formation). The marauder charges and slams the Hammer smith out of the zone, and the sniper runs to contest. On the other side, I’m just in range to get a juggernaut onto both his objective and the cyclone, and the Kodiak onto both of his other heavies. I cripple both the hammer smith and the Cyclone and kill his objective, ending the turn by scoring 3 to put me 1 up.

Turn 4:

Stuart fails to destroy the marauder with the hammer smith in the left zone due to re-construct, having Kraye charge in to finish it. He runs the Sentinel up to block a charge onto Kraye. On the right hand side, the hammer smith manages to beat up a juggernaut after the cyclone throws it into the Kodiak (mecs fixed up both jacks). The Centurion charges at one of the jacks further back to get in contesting range. He scores 2 and goes 1 up.

My turn and between Behemoth charging the Hammersmith, and all the jacks on the other side, I clear out the rest of his jacks (apart from the sentinel and the last centurion, who is frozen and knocked down outside of control). I score 2 and go 1 up.

Turn 5:

The next few turns are just clean up with Kraye running around and killing my support staff. Stuart clocks on turn 7, leaving me up by 4 and leaving only the squire standing.

Victory for the Motherland

Afterthoughts:

Stuart made a couple of mistakes, the minute man was a gutsy move, but made the mistake of moving into threat range of the Kodiak. Apart from that, it was a great game, really showcasing how ridiculous an armour de-buff is in Khador (especially when you can actually apply it). Nearly killing a centurion with 5 pow 16 attacks is pretty bonkers. Stuart never feated all game and never cast full tilt, as I never really gave him a good opportunity to do so, using terrain to stay out of line of sight.

 

Round 2:

The next round starts and I’m paired up with Ryan Longthorne, one of the Merseyside Mammoths that I played at the Triples tourney. He’s running Rasheth, Makeda 2 and Xerxis. We played witch into Rasheth at the triples (which was not good for him), so I’m fairly certain he’s going to drop Xerxis as I think the cats don’t deal well with all the jacks, and it’s bad into pikes. I drop Witch and he drops Xerxis. List below:

Skorne Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Imperial War host

(Xerxis 2) Xerxis, Fury of Halaak [+28]
– Agonizer [0(6)]
– Archidon [10]
– Archidon [10]
– Archidon [10]
– Archidon [10]
– Archidon [10]
– Archidon [10]
– Archidon [10]
– Basilisk Krea [0(7)]
– Basilisk Krea [0(7)]
– Tiberion [22]
Swamp Gobber Chef [1]
Paingiver Beast Handlers (min) [5]
Paingiver Beast Handlers (min) [5]

Scenario is the Pit 2, I win the roll and go first. Terrain has a bunch of forests in the zones  (central and left hand zone) with nothing else of major interest. I deploy centrally with jacks either side. Ryan deploys Xerxis towards the left flank, with beasts on either side.

Turn 1:

I get as far forward as possible, re-construct on the Kodiak and 5 boundless charges out.  Everything moves up.

Ryan puts out ignite on an Archidon, Rapport on Tiberion, and whips a bunch of fury off of beasts. He gets up the krea’s animus on the central group.

Turn 2:

I get Curse of Shadows onto an Archidon, which Behemoth then shoots, missing the first shot (and randomly drifting onto the Krea, rolling trip 6s on the blast damage for a mighty 11 damage). The Kodiak runs into the forest, positioning so that it can see out of the forest towards the objective but no way else. Everything else positions to threat the back of the right hand zone, and stay out of threat range.

Ryans turn and he messes up his order of activation a bit, trying to get enrage, free charges and healing on a couple of different archidons. He charges and kills the objective, sprinting back behind a patch of rubble. Another Archidon attacks the contesting Juggernaut, trying for a crit pitch, which doesn’t go off. Everything else shuffles about. He scores 1 in the left zone.

Turn 3:

I have an opportunity to clear the right zone and kill 2 Archidons without losing anything in return. I start by allocating 2 out to the Juggernaut in the zone and 2 to the nearby Marauder. Witch activates and moves over to get a boundless charge onto both jacks and I boost a Blind shot into the blocking Archidon. The marauder manages to kill the blocking archidon, with Behemoth moving over, gunning down a 4 Beast handlers and a contesting Gobber Chef. Following this, the Juggernaut goes in and finishes the other Archidon. The rest of the list durdles around, staying out of threat. The Marksman runs in to contest the left hand zone. I score 1, with the score being 2-1 to Ryan

Ryan spends his turn shuffling his stuff round, killing the Marksman and putting an Archidon into my zone, after it manages a Crit Pitch on a nearby Marauder. He contests with a couple of Archidons. He scores his zone and goes 2 points up.

Turn 4:

Ryan didn’t manage to pitch the Marauder very far, and so I can get it onto the Archidon that threw it this turn. He also put an Archidon in front of his objective to protect it from my Kodiak (I figure at this point he’s playing for turn 7). I get boundless charge out onto the Juggernaut (the one stuck in the rubble) and the Kodiak in the forest, allocate 2 to the knocked down marauder and the Kodiak, and move witch over towards the centre. The Marauder manages to kill the Archidon and I start bringing the majority of my jacks towards the centre. The Kodiak gets allocated 2 as well and charges the Archidon in front of it. Between some bad attack rolls and Agonizer influence I fail to kill it, but it is at least contesting. Behemoth shoots at the Krea on this side, killing it, and at an Archidon, triggering Hyper Aggressive, which puts it within charge range of Witch (oops). I panic run the Rager and the Mechanics in to try and deny a landing spot.

Ryan looks at assassination for a while, put ultimately decides against it. Using feat, he kills the Kodiak in his zone (though it takes 3 Archidons and Tibbers) as well as doing some damage to my other jacks. He forgets to contest this zone. This turn he puts the other Krea and agonizer into the central zone as well as the rest of the beast handlers. He stays at 1 point up.

Turn 5:

I’m starting to be in trouble, but thankfully I’m in a much better position to do stuff this turn. I kill 2 Archidons in the central zone, as well as managing to kill both the Agonizer and the beast handlers (between a scourge from Witch, shots from Behemoth and a slam from a the left most marauder). This leaves a marauder in the his zone, which currently has re-construct on. I equalise this turn.

On Ryans turn, all 3 of his remaining Archidons frenzy, managing to hurt each other somewhat. He manages to run the last Krea round my jack wall and into my zone (speed 8 kreas!). He puts Tibbers into the re-constructing marauder, leaving it knocked down after triggering the re-construct. Xerxis shuffles round a bit. He goes 1 up.

Turn 6:

Tibbers has to die this turn or I’m gonna lose the scenario race, so I feat. The Rager gets boundless charge, Tibbers gets Curse of Shadows, the Marauder gets full focus. I run my jacks over, to threaten all corners of the centre zone, as well as killing the contesting Krea with Behemoth shots. Between the charging Rager and the Marauder, they just about manage to murder Tiberion, and the Rager contesting the left hand zone and puts me at parity.

Ryan is a man with a plan this turn. If he can contest my zones, score his, and hopefully have his Archidons live, he can possibly win this. He runs an Archidon 18 inchs, weaving in and out of my jacks to land contesting both zones. Another 1 pitches the rager out of the zone and into the Marauder, knocking them down and the 3rd archidon does the same to my jacks at the top of the zone. he scores 1, and goes up by 1.

Turn 7:

This turn, I have to kill all 3 Archidons to win. Thankfully, I have 6 jacks to do it with. Witch spends her stack allocating out to 3 of my jacks, and boosting a blind into an Archidon, which lands. Behemoth continues to be a boss and manages to kill an Archidon by casually rolling 16s on three dice for damage (from full to nothing baby). The jacks at the top try to scare me by missing a bunch of attacks but get the job done, and the juggernaut on the right trivially murders the Archidon there. I score 2 and go up by 1 after contesting with the Rager.

Ryan shakes my hand here, as he can’t contest anything and can score at most 1.

Afterthoughts:

Archidons are fast, speed 9 Archidons are faster. It was a hard match up, and I was lucky that this scenario wasn’t as live as some of the others. Still, a good lesson on why Khador jacks are awesome. It took 3 Archidons and Tiberion to kill a Kodiak with Re-construct on it (granted he had no access to enrage at this point, but he did feat).

Round 3:

I get paired against Micheal Dick this round, whos running Minions. Last year he beat me, so I’m wary of the game against him. He has Rask, Calaban and Barnabas, so I’m at odds with myself. I really don’t want to drop Witch into Rask, or Strakhov into Calaban, whereas I feel like he could make a game out of either into either. I drop witch in the end, and he drops Rask, which is really bad. List below:

Minion Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Will Work for Food

(Rask 1) Rask [+27]
– Blackhide Wrastler [16]
– Bull Snapper [5]
– Ironback Spitter [15]
– Ironback Spitter [15]
Alten Ashley [0(6)]
Bog Trog Mist Speaker [0(4)]
Dahlia Hallyr [17]
Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor [0(5)]
Rorsh [15]
Wrong Eye [17]
Swamp Gobbers Bellows Crew [2]

Scenario is Spread the Net, and he wins the roll and goes first. There is a big forest in the centre of the table, a pond on the right flank and a big patch of rubble in the centre of my deployment zone. I deploy to try and get some scenario presence quickly and swing a flank after he puts Brine on the left flank.

I won’t go over the whole game, as he pretty much won from the dice roll to go first. Suffice to say that he out threats me, can trivially kill my jacks, and this is a really bad scenario for witch. I pretty much regretted dropping witch as soon as I saw the match up. The game was pretty brutal, Brine killed behemoth and hurt a Kodiak, he gunned down my solos using Spitters, feated on the top of 3, and just got up on scenario very quickly. A bad drop into a bad scenario for the list. Frankly I should have dropped Strakhov regardless of list, simply due to the scenario. Ugh, bad decisions.

Round 4:

After the massacre in round 3, I get paired against Luke Tanner, a Cryx player. He has Coven, Skarre 1 and a someone I can’t remember. It doesn’t really matter to me, as I’m dropping Sorscha regardless. he drops Coven and off we go. List Below:

Cryx Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Dark Host

(Coven 1) The Witch Coven of Garlghast [+26]
– Deathripper [6]
– Deathripper [6]
– Seether [13]
Bane Lord Tartarus [0(6)]
Bane Riders (max) [20]
Bane Riders (max) [20]
Bane Warriors (min) [10]
– Bane Warrior Officer & Standard [0(5)]
Bane Warriors (min) [10]
– Bane Warrior Officer & Standard [0(5)]
Wraith Engine [15]

Scenario is Standoff, I win the roll and go first. Terrain has a forest in the left zone, a cloud on the right side of his zone, a forest on the other side of his zone, and rubble around my objective. I deploy with the conquest centre right, sorscha centre left, solos in the centre and Outriders on either flank. He pretty much mirrors me, and puts his clouds between his forest and cloud terrain, creating a pretty big cloud wall.

Turn 1:

Everything runs forward really far, with doom reavers threatening charges about an inch in front of his deployment zone. Sorscha gets up aggressively as well.

Luke moves up cautiously, leaving most of his banes behind the cloud and the WE on the right flank. He runs his bane cav on that side in, leaving 2 engaging some outriders and doom reavers. His other unit run around to behind the forest on that side.

Turn 2:

I apparate the doom reavers, and between charges from them and the outriders, manage to kill 2 bane cav and hurt another 1 (a doom reaver fluffed his charge). On the other side, I hang back, staying out of threat range and don’t trigger vengeance. Sorscha is just slightly out of position to freeze a unit, and so just camps a bunch of focus and repositions to the right. Conquest puts down some covering fire in front of her to protect from Bane charges.

Coven feat this turn, and some work is done against doom reavers and Outriders, killing about 3 of each. He moves the Bane cav up a bit more aggressively on the left flank this turn. as well as running Bane warriors forward. The Seether moves up to threaten the conquest and the WE re-deploys to the centre back field. We both score.

Turn 3:

This turn I murder some banes with sprays, keeping out of threat ranges. I manage to kill another 2 Bane cav members on the right side (such vengeance) with a charge from the conquest and more sprays.

His turn, he puts the Seether into the conquest with Curse, doing about half of it. He runs the Bane cav in this turn, as well as the Warriors, contesting my zone. he kills another few doom reavers and outriders in the right zone as well. He goes 1 up.

Turn 4:

It feat time baby. I spray down a random bane in Sorschas way using a Koldun Lord, and Sorscha walks over to within 8 of a Bane cav member on the left. She feats, re freezes the bane cav unit and Wind rushes behind my objective. The doomies and the Outriders manage to horribly murder most of the Bane Warriors, leaving a few frozen, but leaving the Riders un touched. At the same time on the other side, the conquest manages to murder Tartarus and the Seether (gimpy arm for the win!) and the Outriders and remaining doomies manage to kill the Death ripper sent in, as well as the last Bane rider. I score 2 and am 1 up.

Luke spends the turn trying to clear the doomies in his zone, and succeeds for the most part, he moves the Wraith engine to the left flank, and contests the right zone with a random Bane. I score 1 in his turn, going 2 up.

Turn 5:

I left the nearest Bane rider to sorscha unengaged, and would really like to hit it with a freezing grip unboosted, so the Koldun lords hit it with an ice cage twice, before Sorscha re-freezes the whol unit, camping 3 (I think his only way out at this point is assassination). I manage to kill his other arc node, and spray down most of the rest of the Bane Riders. I end turn at 4 up.

Luke goes for a last ditch assassination, running the Egregore up as well as a Witch for Perfect Conjunction. He hits the first stygian, needing an 11, but fails to get the crit. He misses the second and concedes, as I will win at the end of the turn regardless and the Egregore is sat in front of the conquest camping nothing.

Victory for the Motherland!

Afterthoughts:

I knew I had an advantaged match up going in, as I’m faster than even his cav. No darragh Wraithe means that the doom reavers threat further than the riders, and then it was just a matter of applying freezing grip to tie up a flank. Such a great spell.

Round 5:

The next day starts with a bang, as I get paired against my club mate Christopher Clare. The round was posted the night before, leading to many jokes about locking me in the hotel room, or in the car. Good times! He’s running filthy elves (Retribution), and has Issyria, Thyron and Vyros 2. I’m probably going to get Vyros, (which means I should drop Strakhov), but am afraid he might zag when I zig and drop Thyron (which would be bad), and I’m pretty happy about Witch into Vyros. So down Witch goes, and I do indeed get Vyros. List below:

Retribution Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Forges of War

(Vyros 2) Vyros, Incissar of the Dawnguard [+27]
– Griffon [8]
– Griffon [8]
– Griffon [8]
– Griffon [8]
– Griffon [8]
– Griffon [8]
– Griffon [8]
– Griffon [8]
– Imperatus [22]
– Sylys Wyshnalyrr, The Seeker [0(4)]
Arcanist Mechanik [2]
Arcanist Mechanik [2]
Arcanist Mechanik [2]
House Shyeel Artificer [0(5)]
Lanyssa Ryssyl, Nyss Sorceress [0(4)]
House Shyeel Arcanists [7]
– Soulless Escort (3) [3]

Scenario is Breakdown, I win the roll and go first. Terrain has a big forest just out of the central zone, one on my side of the left zone, and a patch of rubble on my side of the centre zone. I deploy fairly symmetrically, with witch off centre to the right, and the Kodiak off to the left (I decide at deployment that I am commiting to the right hand side, but don’t want to tip my hand this early. Chris deploys fairly centrally as well.

Turn 1:

With no guns to worry about, witch puts out re-construct and boundless charges a bunch of stuff, getting as far up the board as possible.

Chris spends quite a lot of time making sure his support staff is safe, and moves all the griffons up as a block, threatening my jacks with a couple of griffons.

Turn 2:

I do some measurements and decide that while he has a bunch of charges currently, it’s all gonna require fleet, and he hasn’t moved lanyssa up very aggressively, so she isn’t gonna come into play next turn. I move up my jacks a bit to threaten the edge of the central zone and start shifting my line to the right. Behemoth is within fleet charge range of 2 griffons, which I decide is fine with some… adjustments. Witch activates, after getting arcane secrets and scourges down the front 3 griffons, doing 6 damage. She then puts up curse of shadows on 1 of them. Behemoth gets 2 focus and aims, firing at one of the knocked down Griffons, both of which get shield guarded. This spreads a bunch of damage around (pow 9 blast damage into the back arcs, fully boosted). The kodiak runs into the forest, contesting the circular zone, and staying in charge range of only a single griffon. The marksman manages to kill an arcanist that was out of 3 inches of a jack, moving on swift hunter to contest the zone.

Chris spends time on his turn re deploying his griffons, staying out of 3 inch blast radius this time. He moves forward slightly, trying to get Imperatus to threaten my side of the zone. The support staff huddle round the Artificer. Lanyssa moves forward, whilst still staying in the no blast damage bubble, and the most damaged Griffon moves back to be repaired. No score.

Turn 3:

Since Chris hasn’t threatened my lines much more than he already was, and isn’t contesting the centre zone, my turn is pretty set. I drop re-construct and upkeep Curse. Witch scourges down a Griffon, catching Lanyssa in the AOE. It can’t hurt her, but does knock her down (no hunters mark next turn!). Behemoth continues shooting Griffons, spreading more damage. I continue shuffling my line around, staying outside of simple charge range (I want him to use fleet to get in), and cycle re-construct onto the marauder I put into the central zone to score. The Kodiak moves to the opposite side of the zone to the enemy forces (it’s now way out of my control). I score a point.

Chris decides to make a move, slamming both of my jacks out of the zones. He runs a Griffon to the other side of my zone, outside of threat range. He puts Imperatus in the central zone, with a couple of Griffons moving to threaten the right zone. Chris scores 2, going 1 up.

Turn 4:

My turn is fairly simple. I put 2 behemoth shots into the only Griffon threatening him, crippling Movement and shield. The Kodiak stands up and walks back into the zone. It’s still unhurt, and will likely survive the 2 Griffons that can get to it. The Re-constructing Marauder stands up and murders the Griffon that slammed it, and the rest of my jacks position aggressively. Witch scourges down some more Griffons, and moves into the right zone, with a Juggernaut ready to murder the Griffon there (it’s out of Vyros’ control). I also make a mistake, and leave a mechanic in charge range of Imperatus, which will allow him to side step to behemoth.

Chris spends a lot of time on this turn, as it’s the turn he manages to get good attacks onto my force. I have managed to limit his resources, as he has to cast easy rider, to get pathfinder for Imperatus, and knock down some griffons, which is a couple fewer attacks. He still manages to trigger re-construct on the marauder, and kills a Juggernaut, crippling the others arms. He drops feat. He still doesn’t score anything.

Turn 5:

Check the clock, because I do believe it’s go time! Witch feats and charges a griffon, getting Curse onto Imperatus and fully fuelling the 2 marauders, as well as getting boundless charge onto Behemoth. At the end of the Carnage, Witch is camping 2, and I have killed 2 griffons and triggered Phoenix Protocol. She is somewhat vulnerable, but I have managed to score the central zone, and Chris is very low on time.

Chris spends the turn trying to unjam his forces. If he can get Imperatus free, witch dies (she probably can face tank a single Griffon with a 2 camp). He can probably manage it, but panics a bit due to clock and passes turn with 15 seconds left, having brutally murdered Behemoth instead.

Turn 6:

I spend the turn cleaning up. I finish Imperatus, and the Rager manages to kill both of the remaining Griffons in the right zone after Witch scourges them down (Crush is pretty bonkers). The marksman manages to gun down Lanyssa. I score 1

Chris spends a little bit of time assessing the board before clocking.

Victory for the Motherland!

Afterthoughts:

On paper, this match up looks terrible for Witch. My jacks were out threatened and Chris can probably trade up using them, as well as Imperatus probably taking 2 on his own. What changes the match up is a couple of factors, mainly that I actually have better shooting, and that a lot of his threat range comes from spending resources. A fleet griffon gets a charge attack plus 2 more, and even at the top of the synergy chain they won’t one round a Khador jack. The usual problem would be simply overwhelming my ability to counter attack, but Witch can provide enough fuel for the counter attack to be devastating. Overall an interesting match up and a great game.

Round 6:

My last round is against Chris Wills, a Circle player. He’s running Kromac 1, Baldur 2 and Baldur 1. I’m fairly certain I’m getting Baldur 2 (a Bones list with 2 watchers, Megalith and a Wrath), so Witch is going in. Because all I’ve done this tournament is play Witch apparently. He does drop Baldur, and off we go. List below:

 

Circle Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] The Bones of Orboros

(Baldur 2) Baldur the Stonesoul [+30]
– Megalith [20]
– Woldwarden [14]
– Woldwarden [14]
– Woldwrath [37]
Blackclad Stoneshaper [0(3)]
Blackclad Stoneshaper [3]
Blackclad Wayfarer [0(4)]
Blackclad Wayfarer [0(4)]
Swamp Gobber Chef [1]
Sentry Stone & Mannikins [5]
Sentry Stone & Mannikins [5]
Shifting Stones [3]
Shifting Stones [3]

Scenario is Outflank, I lose the roll and go second. I choose the side with less terrain, giving him a side with 2 huge forests, taking the side with a big forest in the right hand zone.  He deploys symmetrically, with Megalith on the right flank. I deploy centrally, with the Kodiak on the right hand side, and marauders fairly centrally.

Turn 1:

Everything runs forward. The Chef runs along the left hand flank.

My turn and the marksman fails to hit the 6 needed to murder the chef. Everything moves forward, with witch putting up Windstorm and re-construct on the Kodiak. Behemoth drifts some shots, hitting good directions and putting 3 damage each on Megalith, 2 stones and the Wold Wrath (I rolled ridiculously on the blast damage). Everything stays out of threat range of his beasts.

Turn 2:

He moves up cautiously, taking a shot with the Wrath and drifting onto a juggernaut. His Mannikins on the right flank spray at the Kodiak, doing a surprising amount of damage (like 8 boxes I think). The left side repeats this with a Juggernaut, but do no damage. Megalith and a Warden hide behind the forest in the right zone and everything else shuffles. The Chef continues his head long sprint at my sniper.

My turn and the Sniper continues to be crap, missing 4 this time (due to aiming). I survey the rest of the board and decide that I can probably get the Kodiak onto the right Sentry Stone if I can clear a Mannikin. I screw up my positioning though, and Behemoth fails to get line of sight. The Witch gets Curse onto Meglaith, and re-casts re-construct onto a Juggernaut on my right flank, before shooting a Shifting stone with the gun to make LOS more difficult. I move up my jacks, with a Juggernaut going B2b with the Kodiak in the right zone (a mistake, as I’ll find later).

Turn 3:

Chris decides it’s go time, and puts up the enrage equivalent on to both Wardens. The one on the left charges my Juggernaut, and manages to roll high enough to slam it into a marauder (still in the zone thankfully) and on 1 box. He decides not to finish it and trigger Re-construct, and jams with the mannikins on that side as well as putting a rock wall down in front of it. The Chef murders the Sniper, using Backstab to hit accurately.   The Watcher on the right gets teleported (knew I forgot something) into melee range of the Juggy on the right and does a bunch of damage (though he fails to kill either jack), slamming the Juggernaut into the Kodiak. The Wrath elects to shoot Behemoth, which gets shield guarded to the Rager, doing some damage.

My turn and things aren’t great. Roots is out on the 2 Wardens, and I have to clear them this turn. Witch goes first and feats, getting out full focus on both marauders and the Juggernaut on the right side. Boundless charge goes up on both marauders and Witch manages to hit the mannikins with a Curse so a Marauder can go through them. She also blinds the damn chef, and Sylas charges and kills it. Behemoth manages to put some damage on the left Warden (dice of 4 because he had to move), and the Juggernaut gets repaired. Between the Juggernaut, Kodiak and a charging Rager, they manage to put down the right Warden. The left Warden is trickier, as I have to use the Marauders and dice of 5 is a bad luck. I forget about the no moving part of roots (was planning on having the second marauder slam the warden into the other marauder for additional damage), but with a bit of luck the Warden goes down as well. Still no score.

Turn 5:

This is feat turn for Baldur, who has Megalith kill a marauder, fences in the other marauder with Shifting Stones, and has the Wrath kill the Rager and Juggernaut in the right zone. He also manages to cripple the Kodiak and fences it in with stones and mannikins to prevent repairs. He plops Baldur on his flag and feats. Putting down a Rock wall to protect him. He scores 1.

My turn and I contemplate going for assassination. I can’t knock Baldur down, but he’s taken some damage from Wurm tokens, I can blind him, and behemoth ignores roots and can aim. He also can’t transfer as both beasts are full. I decide not to ultimately, as Witch immediately dies if I fail. I am then left with a question. Can Behemoth 1 round a Wold Wrath on his own (with a free charge, Crush and 2 focus). After some tense dice rolls (he fluffs his charge attack damage, but makes up for it), the answer is thankfully yes. Behemoth is fukken ridiculous kiddies. The crippled Juggernaut (he has 1 box in cortex), wanders up and manages to kill a sentry stone and a shifting stone, leaving the Marauder free to put some damage on Megalith and kill another stone. The Kodiak vents steam, killing a Black clad and punching some mannikins. I fail to contest though, and Chris goes to 2.

Turn 6:

Chris manages to kill the remaining Marauder with Megalith, but leaves the Juggernaut alone. He tries to put some damage onto the Kodiak with Mannikins. He moves some shifting stones and the sentry stones behind a forest, to contest both the zone, and block charges to baldur. He scores again, going to 3.

I’m in a bit of a position now. As I have 2 turns to get to at least parity with Chris and he still has a bunch of stuff in either zone. I need to contest this turn, and preferably score the right zone. The Kodiak turns out to be within walking distance of the Sentry stone and a shifting stone, and walks through the forest, killing both. Behemoth shoots and kills 2 shifting stones and I run a Forge Seer onto my flag. I go to 2, and Chris doesn’t score.

Turn 7:

Chris commits Baldur to murdering the Kodiak, which he does pretty easily (he’s on like 4-5 Wurm tokens at this point). A stone shaper moves onto the flag, with the other running to contest the right hand zone. Megalith goes in and murders the Forge seer on the flag, before using Geomancy to get the other one as well. This leaves Behemoth autonomous and he goes to 3, whilst I don’t score.

I spend some time trying to decide the best thing to do this turn. I might be able to kill baldur, but he has transfers and I’m not super happy with that plan. After some consulting with the judges on tiebreaks. I decide that if I can get to 4 points and stop Chris from scoring, I will win on army points destroyed. Witch charges Megalith, just to get into the zone, and scourges down one of the Stone shapers. She then blinds the other. Behemoth then shoots that stone shaper down. Leaving me scoring 2 points and winning the game by about 40 army points.

Victory for the Motherland

Afterthoughts:

A rough game, made rougher by some swingy dice and poor positioning. Wolds hit hard now, especially with the chain attack smite on the Wardens. Yeesh. Still think this was the correct drop though, as I think the Strakhov 2 match up is slightly worse. A great game overall.

After this round, the tournament was over. Final standings placed me at 6th, going 5-1 and losing out on best in Khador to Jim Gradwell. A great tournament and a great weekend.

 

Trading Effectively

As I play more and more Old Witch 2, I’m learning more and more about how to trade effectively with our jacks. The only other Jack spam (as in 5-8 cheap jacks) I’ve really played in mk 3, was a Butcher 3 list where the whole point of the list was to deliver Butcher, and therefore didn’t really need to trade properly, the jacks were there as play makers for Butcher. Whereas the Witch list I’ve been playing is the opposite, Witch is play making for the jacks. This has led me to notice that I can’t simply throw my jacks up the field, and I have to play around their 8-10 inch threat range constantly.

Most of the true Jack spam lists in our faction have this threat range. Witch 2, Harkevich, Karchev, etc, are all threating this same 8-10 inch range (11 for Karchev with more conditions on it) and are relying on their jacks doing work. This means that often, the matches played with these lists revolve around the piece trade, as opposed to lists like Strakhov 2 Pikes being about threatening key areas of the board, or Sorscha 1 being about control, or even the likes of an Irusk 2 infantry spam being about hardcore attrition. So I thought I’d discuss using our jacks effectively under those conditions. A few baselines to start with:

  • Our jacks are all speed 4, every damn one of them
  • Most of the jacks taken in a jack spam are going to have 1 inch range. The Spriggan is a useful piece in some lists, but not in a true jack spam (too expensive), and all our other reach 2 jacks are characters
  • Our jacks are cheap as chips, with most of the jacks in this kind of list being under 15 points.
  • All our jacks require effort to remove. Armour 20, 34 boxes means that a heavy has to be pretty killy to actually kill one of our jacks. That means either buffs, expensive pieces, or multiple activations spent on one rounding a Khador jack

This all means that our threat ranges are predictable, but that we can mitigate that by trading effectively.

What do I mean by trading effectively? Well, with the low threat ranges our jacks have, we are usually going to be hit first in any game. Take the alpha strike. So to play our jack spams effectively, we have to have tactics in place to allow us to lose pieces on the alpha, and then retaliate to make those losses meaningful. This can mean having guns that allow us to take pieces from beyond our melee range (Behemoth is great at this), having defensive tech that helps our jacks survive or even something as basic as positioning.

Positioning:

Make no mistake, positioning is key here, especially with out of or end of activation movement being more common. It’s been said at Power Fist (my local club) that a bad player flings their stuff across the board and loses on attrition, a good player keeps out of threat ranges and loses on scenario, and a great player gives away just enough to bait the opponent in. This is a generalisation, but is a good example of what we’re aiming for in positioning our jacks.  A lot of this is knowledge of what your opponents list does:

  • Are they relying on a control area wide whammy turn (usually from a feat) like Butcher 1, Xerxis 1, Maddox, etc? Then your positioning should be about giving them as little as possible in one go.
  • Does their list rely on single target upkeeps like Fury or ignite? Then positioning away from the model who currently has it on them is generally a good idea, forcing them to get less than optimum work out of their spell.
  • Are they relying on a unit of weapon masters, or multiple models with rules like flank or gang, to kill your jacks? Then leaving a jack in range of a model or 2 is likely not going to hurt too much.
  • Are they planning on taking stuff for free, using abilities like Sprint or Reposition? Then bunching up your jacks can be a good plan. If your opponent has a model with 2 inch reach and repo 3, they can be 5 inchs away from the front of the Jack they just killed. That means that your second jack can be no more than an inch behind your other jack if it wants to be able to charge the attacking model next turn, even closer for the more extreme abilities like sprint or Repo 5!

You’ll probably have noticed a theme in the examples I’ve listed above. They all are aiming to tempt your opponent to commit resources in a sub standard manner. This is absolutely key to trading well. If your opponent is trading their 19 point stalker for your 10 point jack, that’s a good trade for you. If they are killing your jack and then sprinting out of threat range that is a bad trade for you. Recognising these possibilities and positioning accordingly is absolutely vital in running a low model count list like a jack spam.

Scenario:

Using scenario to your advantage is another key to trading well with a jack list. By threatening the scenario, either by physically threatening it (with charges and guns and stuff) or by tactically threatening it (how are they going to remove that devastator from contesting that zone), it becomes possible to force your opponent into bad trades. This is one of the reasons we even play scenarios, as they give us areas of the board that we must commit to or risk losing the game.

An area a Khador jack spam can struggle with here, is that our jacks are slow, often forcing us into a bad situation, like having to run our jacks into enemy zones to keep up a scenario tempo. There are ways to mitigate this, starting at list design  (including units like eliminators, or solos like the marksman are never bad choices for this), and ending with tactical decisions. Sometimes it is the right choice to throw away a jack, especially if you can threaten the same area with a second model, sometimes feeding models into a zone one at a time is the right answer (mechanics are good for this). Again, recognising the situation and choosing accordingly is key.

Target Prioritisation:

A very valuable skill to learn, is being able to figure out what the valuable models in a match up are going to be. Take, for example, my standard jack load out with OW2. I take double Juggernaut, double Marauder, a Kodiak and a marshalled Behemoth and Rager. This provides me with flexibility as to what I can sacrifice and what I need to keep alive. If my opponent is of the harder variety, such as Skorne or Khador, then the Juggernauts are going to be more valuable than the other Jacks, due to having a higher P&S. If I’m facing down huge bases, then the Marauders are going to have a higher value. Into infantry, the Kodiak will be more valuable due to his cloud, etc.

The second part of this is recognising which of your opponents pieces threaten yours. If your opponent is using a specific animus to out threat or out damage you (rush or rage for example), removing that beast helps swing the game in your favour. Guns are useful here, especially when dealing with solos or lights. Behemoth, for example, is quite good at removing key solos, even when they have stealth (AOEs are your friends).

Using Your Resources Properly:

Jacks are versatile pieces. They have dice mitigation inherently built into their mechanics, as well as methods of crowd control, and can use this to their advantage. Using the right kinds of attacks for a situation is key to getting value out of your jacks. Proper utilisation of power attacks, knowing when to fire a ranged weapon on a jack vs melee, knowing when to boost, all of these come into it.

Power attacks are especially useful, as most of our basic jacks have ways of using them. The humble juggernaut has an open fist, which while not as useful against another heavy (the opposed strength check is often not reliable enough with just 1d6), it can be very useful against infantry. Walk into 2-3 infantry, throw the first into another group and then buy attacks into the others, or use a slam for a similar effect. Tramples can be used to get into zones where needed, or simply to hit more models (Kodiaks are good at this, trampling into a pod of infantry and then venting can often get 4+ models for 1 focus).

Focus allocation also comes into this, as knowing where and when to allocate can be key. Traditionally, Khador casters have been somewhat focus strapped (though the inclusion of Forge Seers has helped mitigate this), so noting the areas that you need to allocate is key. This is another reason to vary up your jack selections, as jacks like the Kodiak or the Marauder are very focus efficient when they need to be.

Finally, this is also an area where ranged attacks come in handy, especially the Khadoran variety of mass AOEs. The usual answer to a jack spam is hard hitting cheap models (weapon masters and the like), and into a lot of these lists, the likes of Behemoth or a conquest can be very valuable. Again, target prioritisation is key here. Don’t simply shoot whatever is closest, figure out what is most threatening to your lines, and what can be hurt by your shooting.

Calculated Risks

Inevitably in this game, you’re going to lose stuff. It’s just the way the game works. That being said, knowing what your pieces can withstand without actually losing one is something that every Khador player should know. You shouldn’t be afraid of leaving a jack in threat range of something that might kill it on a dice spike.

Equally, knowing what can and can’t threaten your models and taking calculated risks can be useful. Playing OW2, for example, has my caster at def 12, arm 19, 20 boxes. That’s a pretty hard stat-line, and means that, especially whilst camping some focus, she can probably survive being charged by an un buffed heavy (camping 3 focus, she has roughly a 1 in 10 chance of dying to an un buffed charging Juggernaut).

From the attacking side, knowing how much damage your jacks can inflict with varying amount of focus is vital to planning out a turn. Anything you can do to swing the dice math becomes a component in your planning. Even something as simple as a free charge can be the difference between 1 rounding an enemy heavy or not, and adding on buffs (or debuffs) can drastically swing how much damage you can inflict, or how little focus you can get away with giving out.

 

At the end of that ramble, we end where we began. Piece trading is a vital skill to learn in Warmachine, most obviously in the Battle-Group on Battle-Group match up, but also useful in match-ups against combined arms and infantry spam lists. Learning to recognise which of your pieces you can throw away, which you can’t and how to avoid your opponent dictating this to you can really help to improve your game.

 

 

Who Runs It Best?

Themes have been out for a while now, and I’ve actually had some table time with both the new ones (Wolves and Armoured Korps) and the older ones with new changes  (Legion of Steel, Winter Guard Kommand and Jaws of The Wolf). As you might imagine, some of the casters I’ve tried fit into certain themes better than others. I’ll go through, on this post, and talk about each theme in it’s archetypes and who I think runs that archetype best.

Winter Guard Kommand:

  • Archetypes:
    • Rocket Spam
    • Caster Bodyguard
    • Dude Spam

Winter Guard Kommand has a couple of things going for it. The first is just that the Winter Guard sub genre of Khador is very well fleshed out and includes some very strong options (the 2 units are good, the weapon crews are great when free and the BE is great now). The second is that the benefits it provides are great, with Sac Pawn being  very powerful assassination deterrent and advance move helping to get our slow jacks into position faster.

The first archetype is simply about maximising the power of the Winter Guard Rocketteer. usually, this Archetype will run a bunch of min units to maz out on rockets (usually 9-12) and then take a bunch of heavy jacks to benefit from the advance move and to form a front line for the Rockets to shoot from. It is a great generalist list that can skew in 2 directions at once if desired and has a lot of shooting output. Vlad 1 runs this best at the moment, with the combination of Signs and Portents and Sac pawn mean that Vlads traditional problem of being vulnerable is mitigated by a wall of winterguard bodies.

The second archetype is about leveraging Sac Pawn in a jack spam to keep your Warcaster safe. This archetype will typically run a minimum amount of actual Winter Guard, usually 20-40 points and will generally bring a bunch of min units and weapon crews to take advantage of the Advance Move. It’s one of 2 ways currently to really go for a jack spam at the moment (the other being Jaws), and it says a lot for how powerful the advantages provided are that we are willing to forgo free points or access to solos like the Forge Seer to get them. It also helps our jack spams as it can allow a couple of infantry clearing options (mortars, rifle corp) or some infantry capable of screening and dealing with lighter targets. Big winner for this list is Butcher 3. Whereas other casters like Harkevich will run this theme purely for the defensive nature of the Sac pawn, Butcher takes that defense and makes it another layer of his question (that being “can you kill me before I kill everythin you hold dear).

The third archetype is one I haven’t seen very much. I have been exploring it somewhat and think it has potential. The theory behind it is simple: take a caster that buffs cheap infantry, cram as many bodies into the list as possible, ??????, profit! This differs to the rocket spam lists in intent more than anything. Where most of the Rocket Spam lists are going to fill out 60 points of winter guard and then take 4-5 heavies, this list is looking to just drown the opponent in cheap bodies. Irusk 2 is my favourite caster so far with this, especially accompanied by Alexia and the Risen, due to the combination of the tough bubble, Joe and the recursion making it annoying to kill the Winterguard, and when they do die, the list getting benefits for it. He also brings Battle Lust, which, combined with joe, makes pow 12 weapon masters out of winter guard infantry.

 

Jaws of The Wolf

  • Archetypes
    • Combined Arms
    • Jack Spam

Jaws is our Jack theme, with free points for jacks and some other cursory benefits. Amusingly, compared to a lot of other beast/jack themes, ours gives us access to some solid offensive infantry that compliments our jacks well. Widowmakers, Eliminators, Assassins and Kossites are all at their best when trying to murder infantry, and Eliminators and Widowmakers are adept at clearing lanes for our jacks. On the jack side of it, mechanics getting repo 3 is an okay benefit, allowing them to not just all die to an AOE the next turn, and the Forge Seer makes a great jack marshall if your caster supports such things.

The first archetype is exactly what it sounds like, running a bunch of Kayazy and Widowmakers in addition to your jacks, usually heading for 50 points of jacks for free stuff, and then piling in the murderous Mafia wannabes, usually 1 or 2 units of assassins, some eliminators and a sniper boat, backed up by a bunch of heavies. This is usually a tech list, hoping to take advantage of Stealth, high defence and auto point abilities, making it a good anti infantry swarm drop as well as being good into some of the squishier factions like Cryx or Legion, especially with the option for jack marshalling a ranged jack to get some magical attacks without dipping into mercenaries. I’m not sure if she’s strictly the best for this list, but I’ve had a lot of success with Sorscha 2 running this style of list, as she adds a few more tech options, such as blast immunity, RFP (Shatter storm is great on widowmakers) and boundless charge for pathfinder in a pinch. Feat also makes Kayazy hit ridiculously hard. Strakhov 1 is also good here, with support for his battlegroup, stealth for himself, feat for everything, and the Marksman being a good target for Sentry.

The second archetype is the standard jack spam. Usually heading for 75 – 100 points of jacks, with a bunch of free solos and maybe some mechaniks, this list will just be taking a bunch of steel and jamming it down your opponents throat. Usually this will include Behemoth, to provide some quality shooting to a list full of melee jacks. It makes a great primary list to build a pair off of and is a good simple fall back if you’re not sure about a match up. My current favourite here is Old Witch 2, due to her running jacks extremely well (I wrote a whole article on this, check it out), with a shout out to Karchev, who also runs a bunch of Jacks well.

 

Legion Of Steel

  • Archetypes
    • Aggressive
    • Defensive

The actual list between these 2 archetypes is actually pretty similar, with what particular caster running the list and taste coming into it. The difference comes mostly from the Caster in play. The lists themselves tend to be similar, with a minimum jack package being taken, 3 units of Iron-fang model (Pikemen or Uhlans) and a bunch of support models. The Great Bears and Ironfang solos tend to be taken to threaten counter charges, and the 2 solos currently available (Markov and the Kovnik), synergise well with this, allowing counter-charges through friendly models, no knockdown and precision strikes on attacks. This allows the list, with no intervention from the warcaster, to threaten any melee attacker who comes in to attack the front lines (especially Beasts and Jacks, which will often have their Cortex/Spirit cut off). In addition, the list is natively high armour, has a lot of pathfinder options (Black Dragons being the only Iron Fangs that don’t have relentless charge) and hitting like a ton of bricks.

The first archetype then is run by casters like Strakhov 1, 2 and the Butchers, relying less on defensive tech as they do on simply getting an alpha hard enough to stop retaliation. Usually, this style will be running pikemen rather than Uhlans, as it will be attempting to leverage a damage buff or feat which works better with more models. This style wants to be as far across the board as quickly as possible, and will often win on scenario. It’s main weakness comes from the mad dash, often leaving the pikemen vulnerable to counter attack. Once attrition sets in, the list can lose a a lot of steam, and an aggressive player must be careful to not give away too many models in 1 go. Strakhov 2 is the best here, as he brings a good combination of spells (quicken for speed, last stand to hit hard targets and Inviolable and feat to help with the attrition problem) whilst also being more survivable than the average infantry caster.

The second archetype is run by casters of a more defensive or tech bent, such as Zerkova 1 or Irusk 2, relying on a slow and hard attrition game garnered from defensive tech that they bring to the lists. This style will be more likely to include Black Dragons or Uhlans than the previous style, due to having solutions to their problems (pathfinder for black dragons, good defensive tech ala cloud wall or Artifice for the Uhlans). This style will make more use of counter charge, using a combination of that and other defensive tech to make engaging the front lines risky, whilst also making it difficult to shoot down Iron fangs from range. It will go on to slowly roll over the enemy and win through attrition. Zerkova 1 probably runs the best version of this list, with the cloud wall, feat, and her spells making her suited to spot removal augmenting the list in ways that many opposing lists can find difficult to counter.

 

Wolves of Winter

  • Archetypes
    • Doomreaver Spam
    • Greylord Spam
    • Combined

Wolves of Winter is kind of an odd theme in Khador. Traditionally, our lists have struggled with access to magical weapons, whereas this theme list has them in bucket loads. The trade off is that most of the options to be found here are very expensive for the abilities they bring. Greylord Outriders are fantastic infantry removal and are very fast, but are kind of squishy. Doom Reavers horribly murder anything they get near, but can’t be buffed and are kind of squishy. This leaves the role of front line to either said squishy doom reavers, or any jacks you may have brought. Despite these flaws, however, this theme list has a definite place, especially with the theme benefit of 1 unit a turn apparating, allowing basically any version of this list to be very fast and adding a way to disengage from melee if necessary. On a side note, mercenaries are un restricted here, unlike WGK or Legion of Steel, and in addition, Valachev may be taken as a free attachment, making Merc units a bit more appealing here than the other themes.

The first archetype is a version of the old mad dogs of war list from mk 2. Simply take a bunch of mad men with possessed swords and fling them at your enemy. This list will usually be 5 units of Doom Reavers and Fenris, with whatever jacks you want to back them up. The advantage here is immediate and painful board presence. Advance deploy plus a 12 inch run puts most of the doomies on the centre line turn 1, with 1 unit getting a bit further. Combined with a 13 inch threat, this can be more than some armies can handle. Any caster that can protect them on the approach (OW2, Sorscha 1, etc) or can dial them up to 11 (Vlad 2, Butcher 2) is welcome here. The major disadvantage is a relatively low model count, lack of guns and a decent statline on doom reavers, that doesn’t save them from shooting (a trencher needs a 7 to hit and kills on a 4 when shooting), meaning that this list is not a great generalist list. Probably best run by Vlad 2, as feat, Arcane might and well placed wind blasts can really dial Doom Reavers up to 11.

The second archetype goes in completely the other direction, taking as many Ice Wizards as possible. Usually it will take double outriders and double koldun lord as a starting point, add a unit of doomies for armour cracking and a couple of ternions. Throw in Aiyana and Holt with Valachev to help kill stuff and that’s the list mostly done. The obvious disadvantage is that it will struggle to kill heavies and will be somewhat hosed in to any kind of serious magic denial (damn Covenant!), as well as the pieces being kind of squishy. The advantage though is a pretty serious assassination potential with the right casters, as well as magic sprays bypassing a lot of traditional shooting defense. This list probably only really works well with Zerkova 2, who turns the sprays up to 11 and gets major benefits from starting with her up keeps out (Telgesh Mark on a pony, it apparates and runs turn 1 up to the 27 inch mark, with Zerk arcing through it to 37 inchs, and shes got nothing better to do with her 7 focus that turn)

The third archetype is the one I’ve been testing lately, and the one that I think will see the most play. It consists of a roughly even balance of Doomies and Greylords, using the Outriders to harry the flanks and funnel the opponent into the centre for the Doomies and battlegroup to finish off. It’s main advantages are speed and infantry clearing, with the outriders threatening 19 inchs with their sprays, and hitting most infantry on an 8 at worst. It is a great list into current cryx, as the sprays ignore a lot of their usual defence tech (stealth, force barrier, carapace, etc) whilst also threatening their casters and having enough armour cracking to get through Cryx jacks. It’s main weakness are it’s lack of game into battlegroup lists from the heavier factions, due to a lack of concentrated armour cracking. It can muddle through combined arms lists, but balks at 5+ arm 19+ models. I have been playing a lot of Sorscha 1 in this style lately, with the hard control from stationary, her mobility and the assassination her feat can set up being strong into the evolving infantry meta. It is also one of the few lists in Khador at the moment that I feel has game into most Cryx lists.

 

Armoured Korp

  • Archetypes
    • Wall of Steel
    • TBA

Armoured Korp is in an odd position right now, in that half the models in it are not released yet. That being said, I’ve included a second archetype as a guess at what a list including those models will look like. Overall this theme is exactly what it sounds like. A bunch of beef with decent melee weapons and guns. It doesn’t have the ranged firepower of WGK or the melee output and speed of the Legion of Steel, but makes up for that with some versatility and sheer Aberdeen Angus Beef! This theme has the makings of a great question list that hits hard and is hard to shift.

The first archetype is the most obvious one, take 3 units of Man o war, get free kovniks, walk forward. The Man O-War Shocktrooper makes up the core unit of this style, and they have been long over due for a comeback. Hard to shift and hard hitting, the main disadvantage these guys have is speed. The Bombadiers may find a place here as well, especially if they get a range boost to 12 inchs as announced, allowing them to walk behind the shield wall and blow up enemies. The main strength here is in being hard to shift, armour 21, 8 boxes is not trivial to remove, and any kind of armour buff takes that up to 11, leading to heavies struggling to kill them sometimes. This strength is also a weakness however, as if the question it poses can be answered or circumvented, it can sometimes be game over. Whilst the Shock-troopers are hard to kill, and present a box and armour spam typical of Khador, they lack the options that jacks do, in that they only have 1 attack each and cannot exploit power attacks to allay some of the issues they might face. My favourite for this kind of list right now is Irusk 1, as Iron Flesh, his orders, battle lust and a superiority conquest can fix a lot of the issues faced by Shock-troopers, whilst the feat gives them a very good shot at surviving after charging. Special mention to Vlad 2, who runs this kind of list very well with a few tweaks (namely adding Drakhuns and some Kayazy from the merc slot)

The second archetype is somewhat speculative, as I think, based on what has been revealed, that it will be a somewhat fast, heavily armoured and hard hitting list with a very small model count. The Chariot looks like it has a decent gun, and we know it is speed 7. Combined with advance move, it could be threatening opponents top of 2, whilst the Tanker solos seem like gun platforms more than anything. Combine this with a brick I he centre of Shocktroopers and Jacks, and this could potentially be a potent arrow in the Khadoran Quiver, with opponents being harried from the sides by speed 7 Chariots and Drakhuns. Without seeing the actual model stats or some test lists, I can’t say for definite which caster would be best, but would imagine that any of our tankier infantry casters would do well here, inc Butcher 1 or Vlad 3.

So there you have it! A more in depth look at our themes, and who I feel runs them best. Next time we’ll do a deep dive on another caster!

 

 

UK Triples Tournament Report

I went up to Stockport with some club mates this last weekend to participate in the triples tournament being put on by Jason Enos and Element Games. Due to not enough take up, only 7 teams ended up attending, so the event was scheduled entirely for the Saturday, with a singles event the next day. My team was made up of me, playing Khador, and my clubmates Johnathon Clarke and Jonathon ‘Barry’ Williams, playing Khador and Cygnar respectively. Also attending from Powerfist was our second team, consisting of Dan Price (Menoth), Jonathon Pickles (COC), and Christopher Clare (Circle) My lists below:

Khador Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Jaws of the Wolf

(Old Witch 2) Zevanna Agha, The Fate Keeper [+27]
– Juggernaut [12]
– Juggernaut [12]
– Kodiak [13]
– Marauder [10]
– Marauder [10]
– Sylys Wyshnalyrr, The Seeker [4]
Greylord Forge Seer [0(4)]
– Rager [11]
Greylord Forge Seer [0(4)]
– Behemoth [25]
Widowmaker Marksman [0(4)]
Battle Mechaniks (max) [5]

Khador Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Legion of Steel

(Strakhov 2) Assault Kommander Strakhov [+22]
– Devastator [14]
– Torch [18]
Iron Fang Kovnik [0(4)]
Uhlan Kovnik Markov [7]
Great Bears of the Gallowswood [9]
Iron Fang Pikemen (max) [15]
– Iron Fang Pikemen Officer & Standard [0(4)]
Iron Fang Pikemen (max) [15]
– Iron Fang Pikemen Officer & Standard [0(4)]
Iron Fang Pikemen (max) [15]
– Iron Fang Pikemen Officer & Standard [4]

Normally I would have had my Sorscha 1 Wolves of Winter list paired with one of these, but due to the nature of team tournaments, I felt that these 2 lists presented questions that other teams would struggle to answer.

Round 1:

Round 1 sees us draw the other Power Fist team, because of course we did. Looking at their lists, we decide that me and Clarke fit into any of them, and we would like to get Barry into Menoth or circle. The pairing starts, and we win the dice roll, dropping Clarke down first as they drop Dan. This works for us and I put Barry into Menoth as Clarke gets COC, leaving me with the Circle match up and Christopher Clare.

Chris is running a Kaya 3 Scarsfell spam and a Baldur 2 Woldwrath build. I like either of my lists into either of his, but reason that OW2 and her jacks laugh their way to the bank against either. He drops Kaya and off we go. List below:

Circle Army – 74 / 75 points
[Theme] Call of the Wild

(Kaya 3) Kaya the Wildheart [+27]
– Gorax Rager [7]
– Scarsfell Griffon [8]
– Scarsfell Griffon [8]
– Scarsfell Griffon [8]
– Scarsfell Griffon [8]
– Scarsfell Griffon [8]
– Scarsfell Griffon [8]
– Scarsfell Griffon [8]
– Warpwolf Stalker [19]
– Warpwolf Stalker [19]
– Druid Wilder [0(4)]
Blackclad Wayfarer [0(4)]
Blackclad Wayfarer [0(4)]
Shifting Stones [0(3)]

Scenario was The Pit 2, and I win the roll and decide to go first. Terrain wise, there is a big forest just outside the central zone on his side, a pond just in front of the zone on my right and a big house in the central zone towards my side. I deploy with a marauder, the Kodiak and Behemoth on witchs left, Witch centrally and the rest of my jacks to the right. He deploys his battlegroup centrally and Kaya off centre to the right. I AD the Marksman centrally to the left of the building, he deploys the stones dead centre of the AD zone.

Turn 1:

I run everything forward, getting out reconstruct on the Kodiak, and using the remaining focus to put out 5 boundless charges to get the 5 non-kodaik, non-rager jacks up the extra inch. The Marksman takes a shot at a shifting stone, doing 3 damage.

Chris runs everything forward as well, postioning to threaten the back of each of the rectangles and putting roughly the same amount on either flank, with a bird stood right behind the building in the centre. Fog of War goes up, and the Wilder flanks hard to maintain control of the beasts.

Turn 2:

I upkeep for free and continue positioning, putting the Kodiak and a marauder in the left zone, with a Juggernaut managing to run into the right zone. Witch stays the hell away from being charged and camps most of her focus, leaving her in threat range of a single Griffon who is not likely to kill her. The Rager moves up into the central zone. The Marksman manages to kill the stone he shot last turn, denying chris a teleport.

Chris spends some time this turn deciding what to do. He decides to go for a scenario play and has his Griffons slam my jacks out of the zones. This works for the most part, but can’t engineer a way to get the Rager out. He feats, but it’s only covering his beasts on the right flank. The Wilder moves up to behind his objective to force the beasts, and the slams manage to knock down the 3 jacks as well as Behemoth. The Stalkers position in the zones out side of threat range, with the left hand Stalker moving over to the right to deal with the higher concentration of jacks and the right hand stalker killing the objective and sprinting back.

Turn 3:

Whelp time to go Griffon hunting. I activate Witch first and feats, loading up the far Juggernaut as well as the Kodiak and the Marauder on the left, casting a boundless charge on the right flank and camping a few. She then shifts left to get out of the danger zone. The Marauder on the left slams a griffon into another griffon, boosting hit and damage, with the Kodiak finishing them both off. Behemoth sacs movement to stand up and shoots Chris’s objective twice, killing the Wilder and the Objective. The Juggernauts on the right go in, as well as the Marauder, and despite Kayas feat, manage to roll the boosted 10s they need (courtesy of re-roll), killing another 2 griffons. I pass turn having scored 2 to even things up abit.

Chris spends most of this turn trying to kill my jacks, with 3 griffons going in on a Marauder and just failing, a Stalker finishing it off, and the other Stalker killing a Juggernaut. He fails to clear his zone, and leaves the Gorax somewhat exposed, though the stalkers are fairly safe. I score again in my zone, leaving me on a level peg.

Turn 4:

I spend the turn cleaning things up a bit, cycling Re-construct onto the remaining Juggernaut in the zone, Behemoth killing the Gorax at range. Witch, for lack of anything better to do with her focus, blinds a stalker and scatters a scourge off the Griffons, missing them completely, but hitting Kaya, knocking her down. I leave the Griffons alone apart from that as they have a lot of fury out and 1 is primaled. I score again, going up by 1.

Chris has the Griffons frenzy, killing one of them. He kills the Juggernaut with a stalker and with Kaya, leaving a stalker stood in the centre zone (it having murdered the Marksman), and 1 a bit further down. He finishes clearing out the zone and scores 1, failing to contest my side, leaving me still up by 1.

Turn 5:

Witch gets arcane secrets, before Scourging one of the Stalkers, missing but deviating such that it actually catches both. A curse of Shadows follows on one and she backs up a bit to outside threat range, shooting one of the wolves to inflict blind as well. Behemoth gets to aim, and between a +4 damage swing and powerful attack, kills one of the stalkers and damages the other. The rest of my jacks (I have behemoth, a Kodiak, a rager and a marauder left at this point, to his 2 griffons and remaining stalker) start moving over to contest his zone, with me running the Kodiak in to contest. I go up another 1, leaving me 2 up.

Chris shakes on the warpwolf, and over the course of the turn, manages to kill the contesting Kodiak and the Rager. He also sprays down a couple of mecanics with his wayfarer. He clears his zone, preserving my 2 point lead.

Turn 6:

At this point, the attrition has very clearly gone my way, and this turn ends with me having slammed the 2 griffons into each other, dropped some shots into Kaya herself with Behemoth and clearing the central zone (finally), leaving me up by 4.

Chris manages to clear his zone one last time, but can’t get anything in to my zone to contest, leaving my 5 points clear and a victory for the Motherland.

Afterthoughts:

We discussed the game quite a bit after it was all over. I am of the opinion that he should have just killed the jacks that were contesting, as the points he scored gave me a chance to alpha strike. This was certainly the right list to drop.

 

Round 2:

We draw team Epic Fail this round, composed of Brett Wilkie, Jake Wilstrop and Marc Williams. Ugh, hard round. They’re playing Legion, Cygnar and Khador respectively. We win the roll off and decide to put down barry first, wanting him into anything but Khador. They put down Brett first, and after the pairings are done, it’s me versus Brett, Clarke vs Marc and Barry vs Jake (poor Barry in the mirror). Brett is running 2 lists in Oracles that are somewhat similar, a Twins list and a Vayl list. I decide that I both don’t want to be list locked and that Strakhov is the better drop here anyway, whilst he puts down the twins. List below:

Legion Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Oracles of Annihilation

(Twins 2) Saeryn & Rhyas, Talons of Everblight [+24]
– Angelius [17]
– Naga Nightlurker [8]
– Raek [8]
– Raek [8]
– Seraph [14]
– Zuriel [18]
Blighted Nyss Shepherd [1]
Blighted Nyss Sorceress & Hellion [0(6)]
Blighted Nyss Sorceress & Hellion [0(6)]
Blackfrost Shard [9]
Throne of Everblight [16]

Scenario was Standoff. I won the roll off and went first. Scenario had a big forest on his side of the left zone, a pond on the centre right side of the same zone and a big house touching his rectangular zone and the right circle zone. I deployed in standard Strakhov fashion (unit on each flank and 1 in the centre, Jacks between the units). He put his Throne behind the forest on the left side, with his battlegroup deployed centrally.

Turn 1:

Everything runs forward, threatening the back of the zone. Centre unit gets Inviolable and the left side gets quicken.

Brett stays cagey, giving me about 5 charges on the Throne, if I keep quicken up. Everything else stays fairly back field, with Rhyas stood behind the objective, with countercharge up. His angelius goes and stands behind the house on the right.

Turn 2:

I give in to temptation and put about 4 pikemen into the throne, reasoning that I can put some damage on it early (forgetting the damn thing has snacking). They roll abysmally and put about 5 points on it. Everything else continues being cagey, with me giving Brett a few more targets this turn.

Brett also continues being cagey. Having kept everything so far back, he can’t really get anything into my zone with out just throwing it away. He kills the four pikemen I gave him (though some terrible dice means he ends up having to use far more than he would have liked to do so), leaving nothing in range. The Throne positions itself in the zone, whilst the beasts shuffle a bit. The angelius and the seraph pop a couple of pikemen, and Ryhas resumes her countercharge duties.

Turn 3:

Check the clock, because I do believe it’s go time! Quicken gets cycled to the right hand unit, who get a charge order, with me getting about 6 onto the angelius. They have some swingy dice, with a 2 man CMA missing, and a single dude hitting and doing just over half its boxes (wut?), but I end up failing to kill it. Strakhov feats as he moves, leaving himself on 1 camp. The centre pikemen move forward to threaten the back of bretts zone, with a second rank behind and the Counter Charging models position behind the centre line. The left hand unit (all 6 that are left), shift over to the opposite side of the zone from the Throne. The last move of the turn is to run the Devastator into the opposite rectangle zone to contest (plan going in was to go up by 2, hopefully)… which triggers a counter charge from Rhyas…. who is now in charge range of Strak with a slipstream. Whoops. Thankfully I have some layered defence which makes it a bit more difficult. I score 1 and brett does not.

Brett spends most of this turn trying to get Ryhas into Strakhov. To do so though, he has to kill the Devastator before Rhyas activates, as he has to slip stream her to where the Devastator is standing. He starts off by shooting it with an aiming seraph, doing a couple of boxes (rhyas did 5 on her counter charge). He then ice cages it twice and hits it with harm. Zuriel goes in and leaves it on 13 boxes. The Angelius gets healed and repulses the offending pikemen away, landing next to the Devastator. This triggers 2 counter charges, which both miss (seriously, the dice in this game), before thrusting on the Devastator, needing a 7 to kill on 3 dice, before rolling a 6. A raek has a go, failing to do the last point. Finally, Rhyas activates, and it takes 2 flashing blades to finish off that last box (go Devvy Go!). Having abandoned his assassination plan, he charges Rhyas in to my lines, killing the great bears and about 4 pikemen, but coming up short on Markhov. He positions his hellions into my lines as well as the last raek, and passes turn, forgetting that Rhyas doesn’t contest as she is a Warlock model. He scores, and so do I, leaving me still one point up

Turn 4:

This turn ends up being about mop up for me. I kill both hellions, both Raeks, Rhyas and the wounded Angelius. Torch ends up finishing Rhyas, with last Standed Pikemen killing 1 raek and wounding another. The right hand Pikemen end up charging and finishing off the wounded Raek and Angelius, with Strakhov moving into the right hand zone. I score 2 and end up 3 points up.

Brett swings attrition back, killing Markov and the remainder of the pikemen not in the right zone. Rhyas gets feated back and manages to kill a few pikes herself. Zuriel goes in on Torch, cutting out his cortex and right arm. The Throne charges the pikes on the left side and kills them all as well as Markov.

Turn 5:

I have accidently left Torch within 10 inchs of his objective and within 4 of mine, so he gets repaired for 2, bringing him back online, gets allocated 1. I can win this turn if I can kill his objective, as he did not bother to score the left side zone (due to needing to kill pikes with ice bolts). I have Torch, Strakhov and 5 Pikemen left to kill Zuriel, and horribly murder his objective. Strakhov goes first, putting up last stand on the pikes and quicken on Torch. He then repositions into my rectangular zone. The pikes charge, managing to pretty trivially kill Zuriel. Torch charges and finishes the objective off with his last attack, leaving me 5 points up and the victor.

Victory for the Motherland. Clarke managed to win his game as well (Vlad 1 mirror, ugh) so the round went to us.

Afterthoughts:

I got hilariously lucky throughout that game. If Bretts dice hadn’t betrayed him then Strakhov was probably dead. Lot of mistakes on my part, including the greed play turn 2. C’est la vie.

 

Round 3

So the finals roll around and we’re facing the Merseyside Mammoths. They’re running Khador, Cygnar and Skorne. We win the dice roll to choose, and we decide to drop Barry first. He’s not super happy into any of their lists other than Cygnar, so we decide to fling him under the bus. They put down their Cygnar player on the other side (sucks for Barry) and we end up with Cygnar vs Khador at either end of the table (Barry is locked into Caine 3 vs a Karchev brick), whilst I get Skorne in the centre. He has Makeda cats and Rasheth winds of death, so I choose Witch, for shits and giggles more than anything else, as I like both lists here (Blind cats are funny, as is wind storm into a gun line). He drops Rasheth to my surprise and off we go. Lists below:

Skorne Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Winds of Death

(Rasheth 1) Dominar Rasheth [+28]
– Basilisk Krea [7]
– Cyclops Raider [9]
– Cyclops Shaman [8]
– Cyclops Shaman [8]
Extoller Soulward [0(3)]
Extoller Soulward [3]
Feralgeist [2]
Mortitheurge Willbreaker [0(4)]
Venator Dakar [0(4)]
Paingiver Beast Handlers (min) [5]
Venator Reivers (max) [15]
– Venator Reiver Officer & Standard [4]
Venator Slingers (min) [8]
Siege Animantarax [17]
Siege Animantarax [17]

Scenario is Spread the Net. I win the roll and go 2nd. Terrain was exactly the same as round 1 as I ended up on the same table. I deploy witch slightly off centre, with Behemoth to her right and jacks weighted evenly. Kodiak on the left. He deploys a derp turtle dead centre, Reivers to the left, and the other derp turtle on the right flank, with beasts and Rasheth in the centre.

Turn 1:

He runs everything forward, with the slingers hiding behind the building. He moves the Reivers up cautiously, leaving them well out of Behemoth shot range. He puts 3 rage tokens on each derp turtle and tough on the Reivers.

My turn 1 sees me casting Windstorm with an 18 inch control area (so good). The marksman pops a slinger, and Witch blinds a group of 3 of them, inc the derp turtle. This leaves the slingers without a way around the left hand side of the building. Behemoth then shoots and kills 4 slingers, as well as putting a couple of points on that derp turtle. The rest of my jacks move up, keeping out of charge range of the Turtles.

Turn 2:

My opponent realises now how ball busting Wind Storm is for him, when he tries to move up the Reivers to shoot at my jacks. He is out of range unfortunately. He moves the rest of his force back and preps for next turn. He puts a Extoller on to his flag.

I start the turn by getting witch to put up the Wind Storm again, allocating very little. She also moves up and blinds some Reivers and the Turtle again. The Kodiak gets re-construct and runs for the enemy zone, not quite getting there. Behemoth puts some damage on the central Derp turtle, leaving it on 15 boxes, despite krea animus (Blessed is really good you guys). I put a jack between Witch and the Derp Turtle and contest both zones, as well as putting witch on my flag. I score 2.

Turn 3:

My opponent spots an opportunity to score 4 points, and immediately sets out for that goal. He feats, and arcs blood mark onto a juggernaut in the right hand zone. Between the 2 derp turtles he is able to clear the rectangular zones (the right hand one manages to repo out of threat range), and contest my flag with some reives, putting a few boxes onto Witch with combined shots.

My turn, and Witch feats. She allocates a bunch of focus out, curses the centre derp turtle and puts reconstruct on a jack on the other flank. She also blinds some more reives. Between re-rolls and Behemoth, I manage to thoroughly contest both rectangle zones (leaving 2 jacks close to each other so he can’t repo away again. I clear up most of the Reivers with a trampling and venting Kodiak, managing to clear my flag. We end the turn with him up by 3.

Turn 4:

My opponent can pretty trivially go up by 4 this next turn, but will struggle to clear any of the things he needs to score the last point. He spends some time trying, triggering re-construct on the Juggernaut, and managing to kill all but Sylas and 2 mecanicks in the central zone. He also spends Rasheths stack boosting spells into witch, trying to do some damage (he does about 5 boxes). He clocks over to me scoring 1 and contesting my flag.

I spend the turn clearing up. The Marauder and the Juggernaut kill the Derp Turtle and cripple a Reiver. behemoth shoots down the Kreia, Witch herself charges and kicks the Shaman in the left zone to death, after blinding it. At the end of the turn, I have scored 3 points, bringing us close to level again.

Turn 5:

My opponent doesn’t have much left at this point, and spends the turn doing what he can to score another point, emptying his Fury stack into Witch, doing not very much.

My turn has me contest his flag, finish off his last few beasts, and then win on Scenario.

Victory for the Motherland

Afterthoughts:

A good match up for me, and a mistaken drop on my opponents part, that he managed to almost make a scenario victory.

Unfortunately I was the only one of my team to win that round, and so victory went to the Mammoths. After all was said and done, we ended up 4th on the rankings. It was interesting from my point of view, that a high proportion of the teams had at least 1 Khador player on the team. Certainly my team felt the presence of a Witch Jackspam, Butcher 3, Vlad rockets and Strakhov Pikes gave us certain options in the pairing process. Also interesting was an almost complete lack of Cryx, which we had knid of expected to make more of a showing.

This was also the first tournament I have taken Witch 2 to, and have found to be an incredible choice in list pairing. She presents a terrible problem for gunlines, as with that many jacks, most gunlines are looking to take 2-3 jacks off the table before they ever get to make attacks. Between Windstorm and the counter shooting I have in Behemoth and the Marksman, I’m finding I’m forcing other gunlines to come into me, mitigating my low threat ranges. The main weakness I’ve found so far though is scenario. The list as it stands struggles to contest far flung flags and objectives, requiring some real fore thought and planning. Maybe I’ll change the Mechanics to Eliminators.

A good tournament and a good day.

 

 

You Don’t Know Jack, Marshal!

With my current list trio containing Old Witch 2 (currently being painted), I’ve been running marshalled jacks quite a lot lately. It’s been an interesting experience, as I’ve derived quite a lot of value from them. The theme drop has also given a bunch of factions access to jack marshalled related bonuses (usually flank (warrior model) for marshalled jacks) and so I thought I’d devote a post to the use of marshalled jacks in Khador. One of the reasons for that, is that I think Khador may run the best marshalled jacks in the game.

To start with, lets talk about how Jack Marshalling works. A marshalled jack (which can be a character jack, but not a colossal) is, fluff wise, being driven by spoken commands rather than by a trained warcaster, and this is represented in a list of orders that every jack marshall can give their controlled jack. To issue these orders, the jack must begin it’s activation (note, it’s activation, not the start of it’s turn) in the command range of it’s marshall. It can then receive one order as follows:

  • Crush: +2 to melee damage rolls and an extra attack
  • Strike True: +2 to attack rolls
  • Take Aim: Must use movement to aim, +2 to ranged damage rolls
  • Hurry Up: Can make a charge or power attack without focus, +2 to charge attack rolls

So far, so shouting at big stompy robots. In addition to this, however, are drives. Some jack marshalls (most of ours in khador) have a drive that effects the jacks they control in much the same way a field marshall does on warcasters. For example, the Man-O-War kovnik confers Assault on a jack he controls. This drive usually only works whilst the warjack is in the Marshalls command range.

That’s about it, as far as how Jack marshalling functions rule wise, and the downsides to Marshalling should be fairly obvious. No focus from the Warcaster, no power up, no battlegroup buffs, no shaking effetc. Until fairly recently, there was no real competitive way to marshall jacks. And then the Forge Seer was released.

To understand why this was such a coup for marshalled Khadoran jacks, is to look at what Marshalled jacks need to function well. It comes down to 2 things really. They need either a way to charge for free, or a way to boost or buy attacks (whether that is focus or a spell like Fire for Effect). The former is actually pretty common in Khador, with 6 of our casters having Boundless Charge (a great spell for marshalled jacks). The latter comes from Forge Seers having Empower, which allows, between the Crush order and 2 empowers, output that is actually better than a warcaster led Jack without any other buffs. On top of this, the Forge Seers have a drive which is, frankly, ridiculously strong in Khador. Dark Runes, which confers the Magical Weapon and Blessed advantage on a warjacks weapons. Ever wanted to see a Behemoth kill an arcane shielded Stormwall on his own? Well this is the jack marshall for you.

Several of our jacks function well under the yoke of a Marshall:

  • Behemoth is a great marshalling target, being able to take advantage of every order, and (when marshalled by a Forge Seer), benefitting a lot from blessed and magical. POW 16 bombards with POW 9 blast damage, when blessed, magical and fully boosted, is impressive, whilst Crush combined with a couple of focus and blessed means that there are not many things in the game that won’t be 1 rounded by this beast
  • Destroyers are also good targets for marshalling, if Behemoth is a little too pricy. The Take Aim and Strike True orders help to push the gun over the top in terms of usefulness and  Crush can help with melee damage output when the lines close.
  • Ragers make surprisingly good marshall targets as they have a lot of initials and didn’t really want any focus anyway. 3 initials in melee mean that, with Crush, these jacks are putting out 4 attacks, 3 at pow 17, which is respectable for a Berserker Chassis jack
  • The basic melee jacks are also fine as marshalled jacks, providing you are running a boundless charge caster (Sorscha 2, Witch 2, Vlad 1, etc). With 2 focus from Forge Seers and a free charge, these jacks have a higher damage output than a regularly run jack, being at +2 damage with the same number of attacks.

It should now be fairly clear why I’m excited about jack marshalling going forward. It offers an amount of flexibility that some of our lists sorely need. Our jacks tend to have great melee stats innately, whilst our ranged jacks are only a small nudge away from being useful. Combined with support spells such as Boundless Charge, and focus from Empower, it allows us to field jacks that can adapt to situations without having to brute force our way through with focus. Being able to, with Behemoth or one of our ranged jacks, decide one turn that extra ranged fire power is needed (pow 16 fully boosted magical blessed bombards are a thing boys and girls), the next deciding that being rat 8 is needed (strike true + aiming) and the next charging in with +2 damage is a very versatile set of abilities to have. Even on our less taken jacks like the Decimator or the Destroyer, being able to adjust melee and ranged power or accuracy is hugely effective.

Several of our casters run Marshalled jacks well, and a couple others don’t but like them for the options they bring.

  • Either Sorscha runs a marshalled jack well, of any kind. Neither of them have any buffs that require battlegroup, both have boundless charge, and both can de buff the enemy in some way (sending in a fully loaded marshalled behemoth under crush and Sorscha 2’s feat on an arcane shielded stormwall was a sight to behold). It  has the additional benefit for Sorscha 1 of bringing a damage buff.
  • Butcher 3, whilst doing very little for a marshalled jack, does very little for his army in any case, and extra magical weapons, especially ranged ones that cost him nothing personally are useful in his lists
  • Old Witch 2 probably runs Marshalled jacks better than anyone else in faction. Her combination of de-buffs, desire to run multiple jacks whilst simultaneously spending no resources on them, and ability to hand out boundless charge like free candy means that she can do dumb things with marshalled jacks (ever wanted to see a Rager 1 round an arcane shielded Stormclad?)

The reason, then, that I think that Jack Marshalling is most powerful in Khador, is that it brings tools that we don’t normally have in faction. Magical shooting for one example, blessed for another. The limitations imposed by Marshalling are real, of course, and relegate the marshalled jack to being an anchor piece rather than a front line piece. Nevertheless, a Forge seer with a marshalled destroyer, or Behemoth, or other jack, can be a powerful tool to be placed in an army that can support it properly.