Blood, Eye, Fire, Hand, Scourge

I’m pondering centrepiece models. Yes, as usual, I’m thinking about Protectorate models, but the same thought processes could be applied to any faction. Sure, we’ve got our Colossals and our Battle Engines, but there’s a sort of synchronistic magic about a character warjack stomping around with its bonded warcaster. Blood of Martyrs with Thyra. Eye of Truth with Malekus. Fire of Salvation with Kreoss. Hand of Judgment with Feora. Scourge of Heresy with Reznik. Each brings a certain je ne sais quoi to a Protectorate list. Yes, yes, Blessing of Vengeance is out there too, but unless Privateer gives Amon Ad Raza a character light warjack, my focus will remain on the heavies.

Each of the character warjacks not only has their own schtick, but also brings a bit of their thematically linked warcaster with them. This is, if you’ll excuse the sidebar, why I never understood the hate for Triumph, who did diddly squat in a Siege list back in the day, butbrought some Siege flavour to lists with other warcasters. Scourge of Heresy was a prime example of this for me, since he basically felt like Reznik would be, if Reznik was a heavy warjack.

Now I find myself sitting here staring at the Protectorate of Menoth Command Book and wondering which would be the cooler model to build a list around.

Image result for blood of martyrsBlood of Martyrs is surprisingly mobile for a Crusader-chassis warjack, thanks to Apparition giving it an extra 2″ of movement every turn. This can move it into or out of combat, around cover, into a charge lane. Hand of Vengeance can translate to MAT 9 P+S 18 attacks, potentially with an extra 4″ of movement from two sidesteps, and Greivous Wounds means somewhere behind that grill there’s a cortex grinning wickedly at Trollkin. Also, with the two blades, Blood of Martyrs fits beautifully visually with Thyra, the Daughters Of The Flame and the Flamebringers.

Eye of Truth is a beautifully ornate model. Immunity to Fire is a fun trick, and while the concealment granted by Ashen Veil won’t to a lot, the attack debuff against living enemy models may occasionally prove useful. Bonded to Malekus he becomes an arc node. A P+S 18 sword with Flame Burst is nice, but can I just say how nice it is to have a boostable POW18 ranged attack? Sure, it’s not a huge range, but damn… He’s also resilient as heck with a shield pushing him to ARM21 and the ability to ignore a damage roll once per turn.

Fire of Salvation will no doubt see some more love in the immediate future with the Exemplar CID dropping. There’ll be new Knight Exemplar models to play with, which means we’ll probably see one of the three Kreoss variants, which in turn means Fire of Salvation has an opportunity to shine. Righteous Vengeance adds some mobility, Holy Fervor grants boosted melee attacks and the potential for freebies, and bonded to Kreoss all of his attacks gain Dispel… and of course, his mace sets things on fire. On the downside, despite the beautiful scrollwork on the model, he hasn’t aged well. Fire of Salvation is the smallest Crusader chassis ever, making him much less impressive as a centrepiece of an army.

Image result for scourge of heresyHand of Judgment, however, is on the new plastic Guardian/Indictor chassis, and has towering banners to make for a more imposing figure. Bonded to Feora, all of the attack rolls from its immolator cannon are boosted. That’s a 10″ spray of boosted attack rolls at POW13 that set everything on fire. Oh, and Fire damage rolls are POW14 if you’re too close to the Hand. Add in that, like Fire of Salvation, Hand of Judgment has three different iterations of its bonded warcaster to choose from, and there’s some significant play options…

Finally, Scourge of Heresy. I’ve long been a fan of Scourge’s ability to pop Arcane Vortex and mess with incoming spells, and Purgation on his sword  – which, is yet another weapon on a Protectorate character warjack that sets things on fire – is golden. Additional dice on attack and damage rolls on models that have an upkeep or animus active? Why yes, thank you. That’ll help me save my Focus for other things… Scourge may be the least ornate of the character warjacks, but there’s beauty in the simplicity of his design, with the classic Crusader chassis accented by two extra smokestacks and a nice, pointy sword in a faction that generally prefers maces.  There are also two versions of Reznik to consider with Scourge, but Reznik2 is likely to steal the limelight as a centerpiece model, what with his being a chariot and all that.

There’s clearly more pondering to be done, but there’s some fine contenders in the stable. Have you made a character warjack or warbeast your centrepiece? Who’s stealing the limelight in your lists?