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High Command: Colossal Warfare – Cygnar and Protectorate of Menoth Review

6 Minute Read
Aug 11 2014
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Courtesy of Privateer Press Digital. Used with Permission.

Colossal Warfare, the fifth expansion for Warmachine: High Command has released, bringing the crashing might of Colossals, Battle Engines, and Cavalry pounding into the fray. How will its impact be felt by High Command’s burgeoning metagame?

Like the Gargantuan Might expansion for Hordes: High Command, Colossal Warfare brings several new things to the table. As already mentioned, the high-cost, high-impact Colossals and battle engines are now represented in card form. Cavalry, which was previously unseen in Warmachine: High Command is also present, introducing cards with solid rush margins and typically high-impact.

Last, Colossal Warfare also brings new Resources to the Warmachine set, specifically VP-less, 3 CMD/3 WAR cards that effectively become 5 CMD/5 WAR when used for purchasing, deploying, or rushing Colossals or Battle Engines. The only thing that separates them across factions, aside from card title and art, is that they have different detachment distribution.

If you are planning on running Colossals or Battle Engines in your deck, these cards are really solid investments. While their lack of VP is potentially troubling where balanced or purchase-heavy builds are concerned, it is worth noting that every Colossal and Battle Engine is worth at least 1 VP and often as many as 3, which will nicely cover the VP lost for taking these new Resource cards.

Every faction receives these cards, with the Cygnar one labeled “Storm Chamber Research” and the Protectorate one called “Whispers of Menoth”. 
Cygnar – 
Cygnar’s new warcaster this go-around is Captain E Dominic Darius. He rushes for 2 WAR and brings a modest 3 Power to his location. His special ability, Pit Stop stops friendly warjacks at his location from being destroyed. This is fantastic for denying capture attempts or holding a location to help enable a capture attempt of your own. Look to pair Darius with warjack cards with high damage output, like Avengers or Hunters. 
Courtesy of Privateer Press Digital. Used with Permission.
The Stormwall is a really strong addition to yellow, blue, and red detachments. First, its 3 VP is excellent, making it much easier for Cygnar players to manage their VP curve while incorporating some of those cards that would be seen more often had it not been for their lack of scoring such as Sword Knights or Gun Mages.  While its purchase and rush costs may be prohibitive, purchasing and using Storm Chamber research should make the prospect of taking a Stormwall easier to swallow. Even if you do not have the resources to deploy it during a given turn, its respectable resource value of 2 CMD/2 WAR will allow you to get a fair amount of use out of it.
The Stormwall’s table presence is also quite significant. 4 Power and 8 Health are incredible stats and Launch Lightning Pod brings utility to the table under a number of circumstances. I expect to see this card creep into my Cygnar decks with regularity.

Storm Lances are another great addition to green, blue, and red detachments. The first thing I immediately notice is that it is a scoring card at 1 VP, which is often a premium for cards that are purchased and deployed using CMD, already making Storm Lances an attractive option. The fact that we get one in the red detachment makes things much just a little easier for balancing out an otherwise warjack-heavy detachment. Offensively, it is a beautiful card to have available. 3 Power and 6 Health is nothing to cough at, but the Assault rule, which grants it +2 Power the turn you deploy it, turns into a real crusher, capable of single-handedly dispatching warjacks or warbeasts. At 5 CMD to-purchase and 8 to-rush, it is a very affordable card to purchase and has a fair rush margin that might require an early purchase of Caspian Orders in order to pull off. Its resource value of 2 CMD is also a welcome sight. Look to bounce Storm Lances back into your hand using the Tactical Retreat card in the Invasion of Sul Winds of War deck for extra card draw and the ability to take advantage of Assault a second time.
The Storm Strider is the final card for Cygnar in Colossal Warfare. As with the Storm Lances, it is a CMD-purchased card with a VP value, this time an impressive 2, making the Storm Strider a great in the orange, yellow, and purple detachments that tend to hurt for CMD-based Victory Points. Like the Stormwall, its purchase and rush costs are quite high at 7 and 11 CMD respectively, making the presence of Storm Chamber Research all but a necessity in your detachment builds. I like its stat line of 3 Power and 7 Health, and Repulsor Field makes it a great defending piece since it will apply from everything from Feral Warping to Battlegroup Commander. I actually like the fact that its a CMD-purchase piece with 2 WAR in resource since it allows you to more-easily maintain proper deck balance between warjacks and warriors. 
Protectorate of Menoth – 

The Harbinger of Menoth is a warcaster card mostly-geared to thresh out a crop of cheap infantry with her ability Godhead, which destroys all enemy cards at her location with 2 Health or less. This ability feels somewhat weak in the current meta state, which tends to favor cards that have VP values, which in turn also have Health value in excess of the threshold of Godhead. Keep in mind that Godhead triggers when she is rushed, so you will not be able to benefit from Health-reducing debuffs that trigger during the battle step.
Courtesy of Privateer Press Digital. Used with Permission.
The Protectorate’s Colossal entry in this expansion is naturally the Judicator. I am a bit disappointed in its VP value of 1, making it the lowest scoring Colossal or Gargantuan in the game, and its rush margin is significant at the twice the cost of its normal 7 WAR to-purchase. Even with Whispers of Menoth, it will be difficult to find the resources to easily rush the Judicator out of Reserves. That said, if you don’t have the resources to deploy it out of your hand, its 2 CMD/2 WAR is purchase power will always come in handy.
That said, I think it does a fine job of reinforcing the Protectorate’s tactical doctine, which is increased card draw. In the case of the Judicator, this is brought on by its special ability, Reliquary, which allows you to draw an additional card at the end of your orders step if the Judicator is occupying a location. Combine this with a Wrack or two, and you can generate a pretty strong card advantage. Offensively, the Judicator is nothing to cough at. 4 Power and 8 Health make it a strong combat piece capable of taking it on the chin quite well.
Courtesy of Privateer Press Digital. Used with Permission.
The Exemplar Vengers Phalanx is yet another VP-less card for the Protectorate of Menoth, but it certainly is not without its advantages. At 4 CMD to-purchase and a fantastic 6 to-rush, it is built to capture locations, an argument that I think is further reinforced by its paltry 1 CMD/1 WAR in resource value. 3 Power and 5 Health give it respectable combat stats, and Righteous Vengeance give it some mobility on the field and is particularly helpful when dealing with cards that deny rushing to specific locations, like Narrow Streets or Elementalist Sorcerers. 

The last entry for the Protectorate is the Vessel of Judgment. This is a great card for orange, green, and purple detachments as it is a CMD-based card worth 2 VP. Its purchase cost of 6 CMD is also quite reasonable, particularly at 2 CMD/2 WAR is resource value, but its rush cost of 12 CMD will make playing it directly from reserves difficult. Its special ability Eruption of Faith is yet another ability that punishes low-Health cards. It bounces enemy cards with 2 Health or less to the opposing player’s hand. Like with the Harbinger, try to pair the Vessel with cards that reduce Health like the aforementioned Vanquisher or Flameguard Cleansers. Its 3 Power and 6 Health is actually not too bad either, giving it a stat profile not unlike a Juggernaut.  
This wraps up the first half of the last Warmachine: High Command expansion we will see for the four core factions for at least three or four months now that Faith and Fortune will be releasing soon with its core set and first initial expansions. While I would certainly love to see more for the core factions, I believe that Colossal Warfare leaves the game in a strong state overall. Watch for part-two of our review of Colossal Warfare soon and for the review of Faith and Fortune in the coming weeks.

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