• Category Archives High Command
  • High Command: Heroes & Legends

    I’ve recently written on the changing nature of High Command, how it’s less a box game and more an LCG now that we have multiple expansions out for both Hordes and Warmachine lines of the game, so it’s a natural curiosity to ponder how the game will continue to evolve. We have the campaign sets on the horizon (Hello, Lock & Load!), but right here, right now, this month we get Warmachine’s Heroes & Legends. Epic warcasters? Character warjacks, units and solos? Tastes like new shenanigans. You can wrap your mitts around No Quarter 53 if you’re so inclined, but for those without an issue of that fine periodical, let’s take a quick peek at what’s coming for your preferred Warmachine cardfloppery.


    Lord Commander Coleman Stryker hits like a freaking freight train with a natural 5 Power, rocking with green and blue divisions, but as with any warcaster one has to check out the feat. Rolling Thunder means you can send in Stryker to nuke some of those nasty Khadorans and, just to add insult to injury, once the fight’s over you get to play a warjack – *any warjack* – from your hand to that location for free. Failed to kill the defenders? Leave a Centurion behind to thwart their capturing the location. Nuked the defenders and only have one card left on the location? Toss on, oh, say, Gallant so you have two cards there to capture the location yourself unless those aforementioned Khadorans can beat their way through a Shield Guard jack with 6 Health. Lord Commander Stryker is a thing, but it should be noted that he comes with a price. We’re used to paying 2 CMD or 2 WAR for our Warcasters… these Epics, however, cost 5 resources.

    He’s not alone, of course. Maxwell Finn charges in, slugger spitting hot lead, and making every other Trencher there stronger and tougher. The Black 13th bring the option to either ramp up their own Power, or to reduce the combined Power of all opposing cards at a location. Gallant, as mentioned, is 6 Health with Shield Guard, and then there’s Thunderhead… 2/6, okay, but +1 Power for each enemy card at a location. Bam.


    Now we’re cooking with gas… I’m not afraid to admit my biases! Heirarch Severius may look mild and unassuming when compared to the monster that is Stryker, but if your opponent’s relying on Warrior cards, Severius will rewrite the rules for that one glorious turn he comes out to play. Every single enemy warrior card resets their base Power to 0, and Severius himself gains that much Power, as those heathens recognize the Heirarch as the voice of Menoth and give him their Power, and  no doubt their Location too. I think that’s worth 5 CMD…

    What sort of Heirarch would Severius be if he wasn’t attended by the Covenant of Menoth? This card makes me very, very happy… as hard to get rid of as a heavy warjack? Well, sure, if you’re just looking at its Health… consider also that it strips all opposing cards of their abilities. No Shield Guard, no Backswing, no Electro-Leap, no nothing. The Book Says No. Oh, and let’s stack it with the Avatar of Menoth as well, who demands that opponents deal with its 6 Health before they can even *think* about taking a poke at the Covenant. Fire of Salvation? If an opponent destroys your two defenders at Fort Falk and look to capture the location, kick in a little Righteous Vengeance and move Fire of Salvation to any location where one of your cards was destroyed. Aw yeah, denial. Finally, Nicia joins the fray with 3 Power and 4 Health to match her costs of 3 to purchase or 4 to rush. A hard hitting, inexpensive solo balanced out by her ducking back into the shadows after taking down an enemy card.


    If Stryker brings warjacks, what does his Khadoran counterpart do? For 5 CMD, it better be something special… and it is. While Stryker brings in a warjack after the fight to shore up defense or aid in a capture, Supreme Kommandant Irusk rushes a Warrior card from your reserves for free. Any warrior card, regardless of cost, added to the fight. Irusk brings 3 Power himself, but with a free warrior you’re looking to ramp that up to at LEAST 5, and likely a bunch more, and that’s not even considering whatever extra abilities you’re bringing, or even the simple fact that it’s potentially adding free VP’s to your deck.

    Irusk is backed up by the Behemoth, suitably wrapped in thick Khadoran armour and swinging Armor Piercing fists, the Great Bears of Gallowswood who just *love* it when there’s multiple enemy cards at a location (4/5? Why not!), the notorious Kovnik Joe, buffing Winter Guard cards, and the sweet, sweet sound of Drago rushing onto the field, destroying all before him and, just to be cheeky, drawing you an extra card once he’s done his job.


    Possibly the nastiest of the warcasters in the expansion in terms of swing-turn potential, Lich Lord Asphyxious brings a solid 4 Power to the fight, but then goes through your entire discard pile and brings *every undead card* to the location with him for the fight, after which they vanish to Urcaen where they belong. This last warcaster particularly highlights the conditional nature of these four warcasters for me. Stryker needs you to have bought a decent warjack and have it in your hand. Severius needs your opponent to have a handful of warrior cards on the board. Irusk needs to have a decent warrior card worth rushing in the row.  Asphyxious needs you to have a loaded discard pile. None of these are particularly hard to pull off (except perhaps Severius’, being opponent-dependent) but the sheer amount of swing behind these golfers makes a sense given their situational nature.

    Don’t you think it’s about time Cryxian players got to use Deathjack? No, I don’t think so either… but nonetheless, Deathjack is here, employing the Skulls of Hate to enact a little Necromancy and bringing turning destroyed enemy warrior cards into undead fodder for your hand. With him is Malice, who may be one of the most annoying cards to get rid of for warrior-centric armies, since its Health increases for every warrior opposing it. Captain Rengrave brings with him free Revenants, and the Withershadow Combine rounds it out by turning destroyed opposing warjacks into new helljacks for your Necrotechs to have fun with.

    The introduction of Character cards (other than Scrapjack) to High Command opens to the door to higher power smashfests and synergies that can dramatically change the course of the game. I look forward kicking tires and seeing just how annoying the Convenant can be for my opponents 😉

    Heroes & Legends is the third expansion for the Warmachine branch of High Command, and releases this month, for the enjoyment of all lovers of steam-powered card flopping. Your FLGS should be able to hook you up.

  • The evolving nature of High Command

    Just a quick ponderance today. No pretty pics, just some mental meanderings based on a brief Twitter interaction this morning.

    When High Command came out – either the Hordes or Warmachine version, whichever tickles your fancy – it was essentially a boxed board game. You’d pull it out when you had some pals around, spend 30 seconds choosing your warnouns and their divisions and bam! It’s time to get yer High Command on! If you played a fair bit, you had an idea what was in your opponent’s decks – much like my opponents know that somewhere in my Protectorate decks there’s always going to be an Allegiant of the Order of the Fist – and fun was had by all. Oh, sure, there were rules about customizing your divisions, but we had no additional cards to customize with, so they were largely glossed over.

    High Command was essentially Dominion, or Smash Up, or any other number of similar card-centric box games.

    Then came Big Guns and Savage Guardians.

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  • High Command: Elemental Rage

    When High Command was first released playing it felt much like Dominion, Smash Up, or any number of boxed card games where you just whipped out the big box, set it down, and just started playing. There were rules for customizing divisions, but they didn’t mean much when there was nothing to really customize *with*. Savage Guardians was the first taste Hordes players were given of expansion cards, with new warlocks and four new cards to sift throughout their divisions. Huh, thought many, that’s interesting…

    … but with the release of a second expansion – Elemental Rage – the nature of the game itself changes. This is something I experienced with the Warmachine side of things after the release of Into The Breach, its second expansion. Suddenly High Command feels less like game where you can just lug the box around, and more like a Living Card Game. Suddenly there are enough options for you to tear apart and reconstruct divisions and we go from what’s essentially a board game to a card game where you want to have your deck constructed in advance, and you may well want to keep it sleeved and separate from the rest of the cards. 

    With the release of Elemental Rage, Hordes High Command has grown out of its shell and evolved from a board game into an LCG.

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  • High Command: Into The Breach

    IKRPGGday80February’s addition to the your ever-expanding box of Warmachine High Command brings with it some front-line engines of destruction. While the last Warmachine expansion, Big Guns, was chock full of artillery, this time we’ve made contact with the enemy and it’s time to mix it up. We had a full card spoiler in No Quarter 52, but we’ll take a moment to look at what’s lurking within.

    hcitbCygnar steps up with Constance Blaize, carrying purple and red divisions. While her Power stat may be a pretty average 3, her feat – Divine Intervention – strongly encourages flooding locations with infantry, since when she shows up, any friendly warrior cards at her location cannot be destroyed.

    Adding to the strength of Cygnar’s troops from this set we have both the Trencher Commandos and a Trencher Scattergunner team. The Commandos work best alone, assassinating low-medium health enemy cards if they’re the only cards at a location, while the Scattergunners mow down low healthy solos with abandon. Filthy Cygnarans… what? No, I’m not biased…

    In terms of heavy metal, the Centurion tromps forth with – and I say this through gritted teeth – 7 health. Buh. Sure, it also has sustained attack, but the idea of having to beat through that much armour is just… buh. Oh, and it’s backed up by a light warjack with 5 health in the Sentinel, who can put down a covering fire effect to hamper opposing offense. Oh Cygnar, I shake my fist at thee…

    Stepping off his chariot for the nonce, the Public Relations officer of the Protectorate of Menoth takes the field… High Executioner Servath Reznik. A warcaster with 4 Power is always a welcome; his bringing with him either elite infantry with the blue division, or heavy armour with the reds, doesn’t hurt all. His feat is quite spiteful, messing with your opponent’s reserves to deny them that key card they were hoping to buy next turn by forcing it to the bottom of the deck.

    The Dervish is a squishy little light warjack, a mere 2/3, but his two weapon combat means he’s a 3/3 if your opponent has more than one card on the location, so he has utility… but if you have dreams of making an Amon Ad Raza swarm deck, I’ll just point out that its Rush cost is only 4. Hot. Damn. Speaking of hot damns, the Castigator wades in as the heavy for the Protectorate. Pillowfisted at only 1 Attack, but with the ability to automatically destroy a warrior card with 2 health or less, he’ll be burning solos out of the way with ease.

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  • High Command: Savage Guardians

    IKRPGGday80Not gonna lie, the release of Big Guns for the Warmachine side of High Command had me giggling like the proverbial guy who giggles at High Command expansions. Menoth is my homeboy, so adding more toys to the Menite arsenal appealed on so many levels. Accordingly, I can understand exactly where the Hordes High Command fans are coming from when we’re talking about this month’s release of the first Hordes expansion, Savage Guardians.  You can find the card list here, if you’re so inclined, but for those of you allergic to downloads, I’ll provide a little rundown.

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