During the Opening Salvo I rambled for a bit regarding why I’m planning on tackling Zevanna Agha’s theme force after Templecon. For the second article in the series we’re taking a look at the what. We’ll follow up with the proposed how next time. This is less me trying to tell you what’s going to work – I have a total of zero table time with Khador at this point – but more a stream of consciousness thing to help me try to figure it all out. I find it so much easier to theorymachine on the fly as I’m typing…
When it comes to warjacks, we’re allowed to play with:
Anything except the character warjacks.
No Behemoth, Beast-09, Torch, Black Ivan. That means we DO get to play with all of the Khador Type I chassis jacks (Juggernaut, Destroyer, Marauder, Decimator), the Type II chassis jacks (Spriggan, Demolisher, Devastator), and the Type I variant (Kodiak), which will have some new friends sharing the frame if rumormill is correct and we’re getting additional warjacks on the Warjacks Of Renown chassis.
Eight options out of the gate isn’t anything to sneeze at, though I think this’ll be the part of the theme that needs the most testing and fine tuning. I strongly suspect that identifying the correct jack loadout will make or break the theme force. All I know for sure is that the clamjacks will be getting another look from me after the recent ruling on their being able to slam and trample without giving up the armour benefit of being fully closed in.
It should also be noted, while we’re talking about Zevanna’s battlegroup, that she always brings Scrapjack with her as well.
When it comes to units, we’re allowed to play with:
Battle Mechaniks, Greylord Ternions, Kossite Woodsmen, Widowmakers
What’s immediately evident is that there’s nothing there that can really take a punch. No Iron Fangs in shieldwall, no Man-O-War resplendent in their multi-woundedness, not even any Kayazy with stupid-high DEF’s to play the tarpit roll in a punch. Instead we get a unit of models that are, pretty much uniformly, squishy as heck and lacking the ability to wreak huge amounts of carnage.
Battle Mechaniks serve the very simple purpose of keeping the warjacks running. With MAT5 and P+S8 there’s really not a lot more that we can expect from them, but that’s okay. They’re cheap as dirt, after all. I’m thinking they’re likely going to end up more as a filler unit than anything else, with one or two matchup exceptions. That said, filler units like these guys can play the role, to use the term as coined by Captain Spud, gobbers. This isn’t to say that they’re short and green, but rather to say that they’re cheap and can run around standing in charge lanes, blocking LOS, etc, as a cheap one-turn meatshield.
Greylord Ternions… Oh, how I with the theme allowed for Greylord Outriders… ahem… Ternions are more expensive than the Mechaniks, have less members, and only have 1 more ARM… but their offensive options are why you bring them. With Blizzard they can put out a 3” AoE cloud effect to hide behind (or in), giving you a way to help hide precious squishy models or fudge a DEF buff. With Frostbite, well, three 8” magical sprays from the unit doing POW12 and hitting DEF14 on an average roll is okay with me. Finally, Ice Cage debuffs the DEF of whatever it hits, and if all three successfully hit a target it’s Stationary. There’s potential there for this little 4pt squad to take an opposing model out of the game turn after turn.
Kossite Woodsman are the primary reason people snub this theme force. I’ve found so few people who’ll even give them the time of day, and honestly, at first blush I can see why. MAT and RAT are low. DEF and ARM are low. Their damage output is low. Abilities? Camouflage is dependent on having something to hide behind and only makes their DEF average. Reform gives them a little shenanigans, but pretty much the only rule on their card that seems to suggest there may be some malarkey you can get up to, is Ambush, enabling you to (theoretically) deploy in an opponent’s back arc, getting +2 to hit so making them (effective) RAT6 with their POW10 ranged weapons. Again, not much to write home about, so the question arises… what is it about these guys, what synergy is there, that’ll help them earn their points?
Widowmakers are a renowned sniper unit in the fluff, and with RNG14 and RAT7 it’s not too huge a leap to see why. These guys are there to pop single wound models to break up shield walls, etc, though it should also be noted that their natural DEF14 goes to 18 with in a Greylord snowstorm thanks to Camouflage. Even single points of damage can make a difference if it means taking out a specific system or branch on an opposing warjack or warbeast.
When it comes to solos, we’re allowed to play with:
Manhunters, Widowmaker Marksmen, Yuri the Axe
The reverse of the Widowmakers, the Manhunters are fearless, merciless, and wear fuzzy hats. Two P+S 11 Weapon Master attacks at MAT8 can ruin almost anyone’s day. The fact that they advance deploy, are fearless, ignore rough terrain and naturally have stealth? Well, that’s all a bonus. I strongly suspect these guys will be doing a lot of the heavy lifting against armor; it’s only a shame the theme doesn’t increase the FA.
Widowmaker Marksmen are like the crazy uncle of the Widowmakers, the one who shows up at parties with a lampshade on his head, and then the moment the neighbours come over to complain about the ruckus he instantly becomes the most dangerous thing in the room. He packs a bigger rifle than the Widowmakers – same range but does more damage – and gets to RAT10 when aiming… but also brings Swift Hunter and grants it to the Widowmakers. Hrm… I’m seeing a potential trick in the theme that I hadn’t spotted already… If Greylord Ternion snowclouds are on models with Swift Hunter, they become a little more mobile…
And finally, there’s the man of many pelts, Yuri the Axe. His P+S13 Weapon Master Threshers mark him as a solo that, like his Manhunter brethren, will need to do some heavy lifting against armour. The thing that’s percolating in my head right now is Treewalker, which he has and grants to the unit. +2 DEF against melee while in a forest is handy, but the ability to advance through other models and obstructions is what has me pondering, especially since I’ll be placing bonus 4” forests on the table as well if I hit the tier 4 benefit.
NEXT: Trying to piece it all together…