Ranking the top three Offensive Feats in Warmachine and Hordes.
Chalkboard here from Chalkboard War, continuing my series of articles on Warmachine and Hordes that examines the “Best of the Best” attributes across all models and factions. We’ll examine the top Feats, Spells, Abilities, Weapons, Stat Lines, Damage Grids, and anything else that appears on model entries in the game. All to give you a sense for which models are among the best on those categories.
This Week, Offensive Feats. After a lot of these “Best of the Best” articles we’re finally getting into the big stuff! Now, it might seem like a cop out, splitting Feats into categories (Defensive and Utility Feats will be covered in subsequent weeks). But the more I thought about them, it was apples and oranges comparisons at times. Better to think about each as their own category. For Offensive Feats, I’m focusing on Feats that lead directly to the destruction of your opponents’ force and/or caster. These are the feats that leave your opponent with decimated forces, that open angles of attack, and that simply stomp your foes down.
So let’s get right to it! The following are my list of the top three Feats in Warmachine and Hordes. At the end is a bonus “Dishonorable Mention” for the worst nominally Offensive Feat out there.
Number Three: Artificer General Nemo
It’s the hallmark phrase of those playing against Cygnar’s Storm Division theme list: “At least it’s all POW 10”. With Nemo3, that all changes. His Feat is simple: models in his control range get an additional dice on electrical damage rolls. And it applies to electro-leaps caused by the models in his range. That means he’s a nightmare for infantry to face. Relatively armored infantry could sort of “tank” electrical damage and hope for average rolls to keep them alive. Not so with Nemo3 on Feat turn. Support models and squishy casters need to truly beware of the damage he can deal out. And for harder targets, Nemo3 has his electricity-damage Warjacks. They can boost beyond the extra dice, for a back-breaking 4d6 of electrical damage on attacks that are sometimes above the starting POW 10 to begin with.
Taking a nasty ability and turning it up to board-clearing if played properly? That’s Nemo3’s specialty, and that’s why his Feat is one heck of an Offensive powerhouse.
Number Two: High Exemplar Kreoss
An oldie but a goodie. It’s one of the most simple Feats in the game: enemy models in his control range are knocked down. While it gives some defensive boost vs infantry (as they need to stand up), on the whole it’s often used as an offense-enabler. It’s the baseline that I use for judging good offensive Feats: does it do more for me than Kreoss1’s knockdowns would?
The strategy: pop-and-drop. Move up with Kreoss, maybe Purification off enemy spells, then pop your Feat. Knocked down models are absolutely simple to hit, so suddenly all those Redeemers that have an effective RAT 1 start licking their lips. Add in additional tech to support ranged assassination (Eyriss1, other shooting Warjacks, etc.) and many times you can simply scalpel out an enemy Warcaster or Warlock and kill them outright on Feat turn. Remember the key part: knocked down models don’t block line of sight. And it’s not just about assassination only. It’s also a punishing way to mash infantry: Flameguard Cleansers get really nasty when their sprays don’t miss. All in all, this Feat spells doom and destruction for many lists.
And note that Bloody Barnabas in Minions has virtually the same Feat, but with a bit less control area and not quite the same host of shooting, Kreoss1 wins out.
Number One: Adeptis Rahn
Rahn is an absurdly dangerous Warcaster when it’s not his Feat turn. On Feat turn, he and his army can perform miracles. The Feat is layered. First off, it adds +2 RNG to non-channeled spells. So all those dragging Battlemage spells, and Rahn’s own spells, are getting deeper to foes. Second, and critically, attack and damage rolls for spells are boosted. With knockdowns on critical hits with the Battlemages, and Rahn being a bit tight on Focus if he wants to pull off multipe tricks, this Feat is something that most every opponent needs to fear. He can part the foe’s lines, scoop out their caster, and move them up into range for Warjacks or Sentinels to simply charge and beat into the ground. Feat turn makes that often a breeze if the Rahn player is cagey.
Honestly, if I expect Rahn to be present at a local tourney, I purposefully tech against him in my list. At the very least, I’m certain to have some method for coping with him in one of my lists. The Feat is that powerful. If you don’t believe me, get some reps against Rahn and then return. The Feat is one of the most spectacular offense enablers in Warmachine and Hordes.
Dishonorable Mention: Jaga-Jaga, the Death Charmer
Do you want a feat that is dependent upon what your opponent fields? How about one that burns time off your clock thanks to many fiddly moving parts? And how about a feat that gives a situational ARM debuff that can help against melee but actually increases DEF of target models vs Ranged and Magic? No? Well, then it’s clear that you’re not playing Jaga-Jaga. I want to love her feat, mainly because I love Hexeris1’s feat. But instead of getting attacks like him, it just takes enemy models that are killed and makes them temporary -2 ARM applications to enemy models that end up in the slain models’ melee range. It’s clunky, slow, and trades off types of results. It’s entirely an Offensive Feat, but a feeble and limited one compared to many other Feats.
~ Does this ranking fit your thoughts? Did we miss a critical attribute? Was a great model overlooked, or a powerful interaction missed? Is Number One really that good? Do you think the “Dishonorable Mention” is not so dishonorable after all? Let us know in the comments below!
To watch the worst of the worst hit the tabletop, check out Chalkboard’s Warmachine and Hordes blog at: