A ranged ‘jack allows Malakov to stay alive much longer as the ‘jack can walk out of his control area and still use the focus that it was allocated to it.
|No longer a shelf sitter under Malakov|
A Destroyer is a nice candidate for Malakov, as being able to fire a fully boosted POW 14 shot with Arcing Fire from 14” away, and then he can be standing 8” away allows a fairly large amount of distance to be away from the main fight; the best determination of where he should be depends on the table situation, as with everything in Warmachine. When the smoke clears, with Redline, the Destroyer is no longer a slouch in melee combat, being P+S 19 and having a free charge.
|Once considered Khador’s worst ‘jack, not anymore with Malakov|
The other ranged ‘jack that comes to mind is a Decimator. The Decimator and the Destroyer cost the same amount of points; however the Decimator trades the 4” range and AOE 3 for +1 POW, Beat Back, and ROF 2. Beat Back allows the ‘jack to have some scenario play by being able to push heavies out of zones or away from flags and move itself up. Its melee weapon is far better than the Destroyer’s axe as it has Sustained Attack and is P+S 20 thanks to Redline. Ideally, I would take a ranged ‘jack on Malakov if the warcaster provides a method to allow the ‘jack to hit at range easier thanks to the mediocre RAT 4, such as Sorscha1 or Vlad1. Using the ‘jacks mentioned, this package will cost 12 points, so it’s not exactly cheap, and is very caster reliant.
A melee ‘jack allows the Malakov package to be caster independent. This will most likely be the most common way for Malakov to be used, as Redline benefits melee far more than range, with the SPD increase, STR increase, and free charge. There are four ‘jacks that come to mind with Malakov: The simple and humble Juggernaut, the Kodiak, the Spriggan, and the new Grolar. Melee ‘jacks are Khador’s forte with a simple point and click and go.
|P+S 21 and 7 points, very Khadoran|
The simple Juggernaut is the cheapest of these 4, and allows the package to be an easy drop into any list clocking in at 10 points. Redline fixes nearly all of the problems with the Juggernaut and then makes it more deadly at the same time, allowing it to threaten 9.5” with a P+S 21 Axe and P+S 17 Fist.
|Who doesn’t like 7″ two handed throws?|
The Kodiak is in the same boat as the Juggernaut, although its fists are now at a respectable P+S 18, and with its Chain Attack: Grab and Smash, can two handed throw its target 7”, while costing just one more point.
|This ball of steel charges 9″, MAT 8 on the charge and P+S 20 at ARM 21|
The Spriggan threatens 11” with Redline, and its War Lance is a healthy P+S 20, and the shield is now P+S 16, however bringing him along makes the package even more expensive than the ranged package by 1 more point, clocking in at 13 points. Also consider that the ‘jack can now clear a longer lane with Bulldoze thanks to the SPD increase of Redline.
|Khador’s new shiny, Grolar|
The new (and unreleased) Grolar becomes a monstrosity under Redline, allowing it to threaten 11.5” while using Fleet, its hammer becomes P+S 20 with it’s oh so nice Ram ability, and it’s fist is now P+S 17 like the Juggernaut. The Autocannon on the Grolar should be considered a bonus in this role, as it suffers the same problems that the ranged ‘jacks do.
|Axe to face in true Khadoran form|
Beast is a scarier version of a Juggernaut, so of course, Redline makes Beast a steam powered axe wielding nightmare, having the same P+S as a Juggernaut, but having Thresher, +1 Juggernaut MAT, Hyper Aggressive, and Imprint: Murderous. A charging Thresher attack threatens 11″, Hyper Aggressive moves makes Beast walk as fast as a standard infantry model, and Beast is able to walk and run as fast as an infantry model as well. Beast has extra focus left to buy extra Ice Breaker attacks as well after a Thresher, further increasing his killing power. Beast having the Kodiak’s Heavy Boiler allows Malakov to perform the same strategy as the Kodiak, staying alive much easier.
|The original Colossal|
Also known as Big B, the Behemoth loves focus, he can take up to 6 (3 in his main cortex, 3 in his subcortex)!. With Redline, this extra focus gives an extra 2″ of threat on his Bombards as well as giving him the focus to boost his shots while on the way to melee combat. Behemoth’s full out damage grid and ARM allow him to stick around the longest of all the ‘jacks that he can take, barring Conquest. Once Behemoth does get into melee though, his Armor Piercing Fists will do the same amount of damage as Legion’s Angelius, however this will be on all attacks, not just the single special attack that the warbeast can perform. This strength increase also allows Behemoth to be somewhat decent against small based models, having an effective P+S equal to Vlad1’s base ARM value.
|Bigger really is better in Khador|
Because bigger is always better in Khador. Redline gives all of the same speed benefits as mentioned earlier, while making his STR equal to his own ARM value, which is just plain silly. His massive grid makes Redline’s d3 damage almost an after thought, and the spare focus lets Conquest fish for crits by boosting to hit on the Main Gun as well as the Secondary Batteries, which allows the colossal to be just as much as a threat as Behemoth with the ranged game, but provide a far bigger melee punch, bringing a P+S equal to a fully camping Butcher’s ARM value. It would not surprise me to see a heavy being squished after 3 attacks, one of them being a charge.
I can foresee the Juggernaut package being the most common; as 10 points is an easy enough drop into any list. The melee jack package can really be turned up to 11 with casters that provide damage buffs outside of the battlegroup, such as Butcher1 or Sorscha2. Vlad3 can provide an unpredictable jack on his feat turn by giving it Side Step and Sprint. Even the clamjacks can be a force to be reckoned with under Malakov. It really is up to you to decide what you want Malakov to do, as the options are there.