Warmachine – Thunderstruck #4: Wrath Reaction
We’ve had Wrath for a bit, so I’ve had some time to digest what was in there. Overall, I’m pretty happy with what Cygnar walked away with, and look forward to incorporating new elements into my growing army. Let’s dig in!
Constance Blaize – Cygnar finally has a proper troop-supporting warcaster. While Epic Stryker has been somewhat capable of driving a melee-heavy infantry force, Blaize seems built for it specifically. Her feat alone demands a tide of bodies on the field, making Sword Knights an ever-present part of her wheelhouse.
Her two spells, Crusader’s Call and Transference, are great for every melee infantry model in Cygnar, granting greater threat range (which also effects her warjacks) and increased accuracy and/or damage potential as needed. Precursors will enjoy access to both of these benefits as neither of them targets the unit. Banishing Ward provides protection from spells for a model/unit. If you’re running Precursors with her in addition to other melee infantry types, you can get a pretty large portion of your force to be immune to spells. It can also be used to keep Constance herself safe from spell assassination, making her a brutal counter to warcasters and warlocks like Adeptis Rahn or Bethayne. Sunburst is a nice, little infantry clearer and can also make a handy assassination tool by using the generated souls from her feat turn to spam it on the enemy ‘caster/’lock, making a Lancer an interesting option. In terms of her own martial abilities, she’s far from lacking. While a P+S 13 spear isn’t much to brag about, the combination of Flank [Morrowan], Reach, and Flashing Blade can make her terrifying in the right situation.
She is one of the busiest models I’ve seen from Privateer Press, striking me as being more akin to a Citadel miniature than a Privateer one, but still, she’s a nice figure.
Army of Light – Constance’s theme list is as to be expected. It offers some nice benefits, but the limitations are pretty rough. It’s an army that is really restricted, but will be in your face very quickly thanks to first turn speed buffs for Sword Knights and Precursors in Tier 3 and Advance Move for your heavy warjacks in Tier 4. The requirements all the way up to Tier 4 aren’t particularly hard to meet as long as you have two units of Precursors on hand.
Minuteman – Sporting the same stats as the Grenadier chassis, the new Minuteman light warjack is one hell of a wildcard for Cygnar players. The Minuteman carries a pair of short-ranged but hard-hitting Slug Guns as well as a pair of low P+S Open Fists. While that may not sound particularly exciting, its special abilities are sure to raise eyebrows. The first is Advance Deployment, allowing you to deploy last and 6″ forward with this model. The second ability, Bounding Leap, gives the Minuteman incredible mobility and board access. While its focus requirement might make it difficult to marshal, have Strangeways on-hand can remedy that drawback via Power Booster. Finally, Flak Field gives Cygnar a nice and easy method for wiping out jams of low-ARM infantry with its auto-hitting POW 12/6 blast damage. The combination of Slug Guns and Flak Field make the Minuteman incredibly versatile, allowing it to deliver a pair of boosted POW 14s while also clearing out enemy troopers. Marshaled to the Sword Knight Officer with Strangeways, the Minuteman has unparalleled mobility, able to move 6″ via Pronto, move another 6″ with its normal advance, then leap another 5″ before delivering its attacks. Be warned, however… the Minuteman is not the most durable of warjacks, and is the very definition of “glass cannon.”
Avenger – The new Cygnar heavy warjack comes on the Centurion chassis with a pair of potent weapons. Its Stun Blade is a very respectable P+S 18 with the Stall ability, making it capable of holding down, DEF-debuffing, and/or just plain wrecking an enemy heavy warjack in melee. The Avenger’s low SPD value will keep it from being the first into combat, though, so be mindful that it doesn’t make a fantastic front-line warjack compared to a Centurion or a Stormclad. Its Seismic Cannon is a potent ranged weapon that hits hard at AOE 4. On a direct hit, all models in the AOE are knocked down as well. While that sounds fantastic, there are two important things to remember. The first is its RNG value of 10. That’s not incredible by any means, especially for Cygnar. The second thing is its RAT value of 4, making it fairly inaccurate without boosting or buffs. Fortunately, Cygnar has access to several abilities throughout the faction that help to mitigate these issues, be it Snipe, Fire Group, Temporal Barrier, or Deadeye. While it will compete with the Defender in some lists, it will work well along side it in a particularly ranged-heavy list, especially as it can provide some nice melee backup if the need arises.
Gallant – Constance’s character warjack is an interesting option to Cygnar (and Highborn Covenant) players. Gallant is on the Ironclad chassis with a small bonus to its DEF value, which is actually pretty nice. Most heavies tend to cap out at DEF 12 with lower values being more common. Its Buckler puts it up to ARM 19, making it fairly safe from all but the most concentrated ranged fire, but it won’t stand up to a charging unit of Weapon Master infantry or a fully-loaded warjack without an outside buff like Arcane Shield. Gallant’s sword, Lasting Light, is a bit underwhelming at P+S 17, but it comes with a few very nice bonuses. Magical Weapon gives you a solid option against Incorporeal threats, particularly the new Cryx Wrath Engine, and Reach provides extended threat range. With Crusader’s Call, Gallant can charge and hit something up to 12″ away. His last offensive buff is his affinity with Constance, which grants Gallant Purgation. This makes him a solid choice in any Constance list, as he will be well-equipped to handle any model benefiting from any kind of upkeep, save the most heinous examples like Arcane-Shielded Centurions or Iron-Fleshed Kayazi.
Gallant’s other two abilities are Accumulator [Morrowan] and Shield Guard. Accumulator is yet another great reason to run Gallant with Constance, as it will often have easy access to a free focus point. Shield Guard, particularly on an ARM 19 heavy, makes Gallant a great defense against any type of ranged assassination as well. At PC 9, Gallant is a bit pricey. I don’t know quite what to make of him in general, but I do plan on running him with Constance quite a bit.
Triumph – This model has been out for awhile, but I’ll talk a little on it anyway. Triumph is basically a tune-up Defender for an extra two points, making him one of the most expensive heavy warjacks in Cygnar. He’s fairly reviled by the community at-large, but I feel that he has his place. Arcane Precision on a RNG 16, POW 15 gun is nothing to sneeze at. You won’t need it every game or at all with many warcasters that already have Stealth mitigation (Siege, Kraye), but sometimes, the extra two points over a regular Defender will be worth it. Case and point is if you’re running against Tartarus. He’s one of the most troublesome models in the game and Triumph eats him for breakfast. The other time to run him is if you’re building a list with a Defender in it and don’t already have a means for easily clipping solos like Epic Eiryss. Otherwise, I don’t see myself running him that often. Blogger Endgame has some great write-ups on his success with Triumph over at Hand Cannon if you’re looking for information on getting more out of the warjack.
Captain Jonas Murdoch – As a Mercenaries player that moved in to playing Cygnar, I love Murdoch. Granting things like Nyss Hunters or Boomhowler and Co. access to faction-specific buffs and feats is beautiful, and Go To Ground ain’t nothing to sneer at either. He’s way up there on the list of things I’m meaning to run as soon as I can un-bury myself from my rather extended painting queue.
Archduke Alain Runewood, Lord of Fharin – Runewood is another great addition to Cygnar. He has a host of special rules that I’ll try to cover quickly. He can provide one of three buffs per turn. First is Overcome, which grants Pathfinder to a friendly Faction warrior model/unit. This goes great on any melee unit and can be a life saver if you’re running Epic Stryker, making him an extremely welcome addition to any eStryker list. Path to Victory grants Fearless and Powerful Charge to a friendly Faction warrior model/unit, giving you increased accuracy for any of your infantry. It goes great with pretty much every melee unit Cygnar has available, particularly the MAT 6 Sword Knights. His final buff is Reveille, which stands up all friendly models in his command area. There are two basic general uses for this buff (in addition to a wealth of corner-case uses). The first is for standing up models that passed a Tough check. Since Cygnar doesn’t have many models with Tough, pairing Runewood with Rhupert Carvolo or Boomhowler and Co. with Murdoch seems a good option. The second is for standing up marshaled warjacks. Since marshaled warjacks can’t Shake Effects, they are often easily neutralized by simply throwing or slamming them. Runewood corrects this nicely.
Runewood also has the Elite Cadre [Sword Knights] ability, granting the unit Reform. This is a fantastic buff for the unit, and reason enough to run him wherever Sword Knights are present. Sacrificial Pawn [Faction warjack] makes him a tough cookie to kill with ranged attacks provided you have a big, tough warjack nearby. It’s also worth mentioning that Runewood is the first Weapon Master model in Cygnar, making this a proud moment for… people who really care about that.
Storm Strider – Since I already reviewed this model some weeks ago, I’ll merely link it here.
That’s Cygnar for Wrath. It’s a pretty fantastic book for Cygnar, and pretty much every other faction as well. In my opinion, I think it’s the most balanced book that Privateer Press has released yet. What do you think?