I’ve been dojoing a lot of Old Witch 2 lately. She’s a fantastic caster for Khador, bringing some interesting abilities and capabilities to our faction. I wanted to spend today going over why I think she could end up being the best Warjack caster in faction. To do that though, I’m first going to have to go over some of my perceptions of Khador jacks, and where some of their weaknesses and strengths lie. Sounds like a long rambling talk about nothing, which is luckily my specialty! Forwards for the Motherland!
So the humble Khador jack. We’ll be talking about the standard juggernaut chassis for now, as it is the most common and represents the faction best. Here is my take on the Pros and Cons of Khador Jacks.
- High native armour: 20 Arm basic is great, as it means that, paired with the number of boxes that we have, a lot of other factions struggle to straight up trade heavy for heavy in a fair fight with us. It also makes our jacks difficult to shoot of the table without commiting high quality guns.
- High Mat: This is important as it means that even against high def infantry, we’re usually looking at no more than 8s to hit. This becomes even more important in heavy trades as the, against the standard 12 def, 18 arm chassis, we need 5s rather than 6s to hit, which is an important part of the dice curve.
- High basic Melee Power: Our jacks generally have a good baseline power for their weapons. Looking at the Juggernaut, our basic heavy, which is POW 19. Most of the other factions have to pay a premium to get that high. Even on our other jacks, we see some high basic POW with nothing lower than 16 on the main chassis. This, paired with the wide variety of melee damage buffs in faction means that usually we can get our jacks to 1 round enemy heavies, especially with a free charge, which most of our casters can gives
- Cheap: Some of our best heavies, the Kodiak, juggernaut, marauder, etc, are incredibly cheap. 12 points for a Pow 19 mat 7 heavy is very cheap by the standards of the rest of the game. For comparison, Cygnar pays 7 points more for their Pow 19 mat 7 heavy (though the stormclad has other benefits). This low price point means we can either fit these jacks into lists that are other wise not jack focused, or that we can bring more heavies than most other factions. Cygnar is certainly not running lists with 9+ heavy warjacks.
- Speed: Our jacks are slow as balls! Speed 4 is sad, and doesn’t get our jacks anywhere fast. This is mitigated by almost all of our casters having access to some kind of speed buff (Strakhov 1, the speedy Gonzales of Khador, has 3 different speed buff), but still carries it’s own issues, such as it being more difficult to become relevant in early turns (8 inch runs are sad) and requiring us to spend resources we may not have to get our jacks into combat
- No shooting mitigation: Beyond armour, our jacks are super easy to shoot guns at. Even standing behind cover only makes our jacks def 14, which is laughed at by the serious gunline lists of the game. This means that in most games, our jack spam lists are going to take damage on the approach. This has a knock on effect, where because they’ve taken chip damage, they are more easily 1 rounded by other heavies, etc. Combined with our own shooting being somewhat lack lustre (the price you pay for great melee capability), it becomes difficult for a battle-group to get up the table un molested.
- Focus Hunger: Pretty much all of our Jacks are hungry for focus. Our jacks can get some serious work done, and are pretty much all beat sticks. However, pretty much all of our casters don’t have the focus to actually fuel more than 1 jack. If you look at our Jack casters, namely the likes of Harkevich, Karchev, Butcher 3, etc, they usually have a spell they want to cast every turn (Energiser, mobility, etc) and want to camp a few focus. This combined with the general need for our jacks to receive a speed buff to get into combat means that pretty much all our casters at the moment can only fuel 1 or 2 jacks a turn.
And this is where the Witch fits in.
Old Witch 2 both leverages all of the strengths of Khador jacks and covers their weaknesses quite well. She makes them hit better and harder, between scourge, the blind gun, Divinator and Curse of Shadows. She can protect them on the approach with Windstorm (this in particular is very important, as the normal way that factions like Cygnar deal with our armour is to soften up our jacks through shooting) and can leverage Re-construct to turn heavy trades to her advantage. She has tech to get around things like disruption and effects that disallow allocation. And most importantly, she can fuel an unprecedented number of Jacks, whilst also speeding them up (on feat turn it is perfectly possible to fuel and boundless charge 4-5 jacks).
These advantages combined with Witches inherent survivability and the range she can contribute from make her an incredible Jack caster. Played in a suitably Jack heavy list, Old Witch 2 feels like a game changer for Khador, allowing us to run a full 100 point Jack list at full potential. For example:
Khador Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Jaws of the Wolf
(Old Witch 2) Zevanna Agha, The Fate Keeper [+27]
– Berserker 
– Juggernaut 
– Juggernaut 
– Kodiak 
– Marauder 
– Marauder 
Greylord Forge Seer [0(4)]
– Behemoth 
Greylord Forge Seer [0(4)]
– Rager 
Widowmaker Marksman [0(4)]
A list like this, i.e. nothing but beef, with a few free solos for contesting and holding flags, looks incredibly strong at the moment. Most of the Khador jack skews that are working at the moment are taking 5-6 jacks. This has 8, with a caster that can fuel and deliver them. It can also skew harder, ending up with 9 Marauders and a Juggernaut. 10 jacks!
Lists like these look strong into Cygnar (all of Cygnar, including Haley 2), and into most other factions outside of Cryx. She straight up shuts down gunlines for a turn or 2, is great into any other Battle group heavy list due to the presence of her many debuffs and Reconstruct coupled with the inherent durability of Khador Jacks, and has the tools available to take her Jacks into an infantry skew, even a weapon master skew.
In short, I am currently of the opinion that Zevanna Agha, The Fate Keeper, is the best Warjack caster in Khador. She might be the best in Warmachine as a whole.