Hi there guys & girls
As promised here is the first in, hopefully, a long line of article by a close friend of mine.
Please find the ramblings of a certain Mr Steven Knowles…
Well to start off, its important to note that, based on observations of my past games, I tend to be rather mindlessly aggressive sometimes, which violates the fact that the game itself is not just aggressive, but shrewd in tactical and strategic judgement. Not to mention a list of other reasons that I won’t go into because I’m not here to make excuses on why I tried to tough it out with the wrong army for 8 months and sold the solution that was the 2nd one.
Going from nimble Cryx helljacks and soft infantry to the slow, hard hitting Skorne warbeasts was a lovely change of pace that I immediately fell in love with: preferring to hit and be able to take a few hits in return rather than launching something from the other table on the other side of the room at the enemy line (all the speed in the world won’t help you hit harder, or avoid an impromptu lucky hit trashing your weapon/s before they have time to connect with something). When it came to choosing a new faction these factors affected my choice in a big way.
After an extended theory-affair with Legion of Everblight it took some help to clear my mind in order for me to see clearly, but I eventually landed on Khador. The main reasons for this decision are as follows.
- The blatant Soviet Russia theme (my desire for this being exacerbated by playing C&C Red Alert 3: Uprising)
- The strength of its infantry
- Warjacks with excessive ARM and a high damage box count
- Uncomplicated approach
Protectorate put up fierce competition, but I struggled with how critical the likes of the choir were to making the Protectorate warjack catalog not-so-pillow-fisted. Additionally only a couple warcasters appealed to me, despite how much I freaking love the Judicator model.
Now as I said before, my playstyle is rather aggressive, without the subtle nuancies of planning 4 turns ahead, so I may choke a little on old witch or zerkova, but Karchev and both Butchers are straight-forward enough, and respond well to an aggressive approach. Further more Karchev brings so many damage boxes that the enemy is often drawn into attrition. An approach that is much more tolerant of errors and is satisfying to sit there and take the best punches without dropping.
Certain warcasters adhere to certain playstles. We’ve all got a favourite that we’ll run for the heck of it (hit & run, attrition, assassination, board control, etc), I don’t know what style I like, but the best results are likely found in combining 2-3 different elements into one (have some board control & attrition, or hit n’ run & steamrolling). A wise sage (Neal barton) once told me that ‘movement shenanigans are king’. When you think about it, this rings very true: feats and spells that grant extra movement are often ones that can throw the enemy plan into disarray as the unit they were about to charge dances away or worse charges the intended response unit!
What to buy first?
Keeping all the above in mind and after much chewing, I’ve concluded my approach (after the obligatory tokens, new dice, templates, primer) will involve everybodies’ favourite murderous tramp: Kommander Orsus Zoktavir (lovingly known a eButcher). eButcher himself is such an aggressive warcaster that when paired with Doomreavers might make it look like I’m actually playing properly rather than barreling into the enemy line at break neck speeds or fannying about waiting for the enemy to walk into my charge range.
Any well balanced list starts with at least one warjack (Ed – what’s the point in wasting those free points?) afterwards solos and unit’s can be added to taste. It will also do one well to buy with other warcasters in mind when purchasing your first half-dozen models. In other words, can you see yourself using the Behemoth with just Karchev or Butcher? In short no, you will get use of the Behemoth with most ‘casters, Harkevich the Old Witch and eSorscha being prime examples.
The same question must be asked about infantry. How many warcasters like a fat unit of Winterguard? The answer is probably ‘most’, making Winterguard a very good option when starting out. Ironfang Pikemen are less popular, and don’t work with some warcasters as well as Winterguard do, so it also does one good to pay attention to what you want the unit to do and whether they can do it or not an army. Karchev may want a Demolisher but would be unlikely to want a max unit of Winterguard or Kayzay Assassins. pIrusk on the other hand will love that full unit of Winterguard, will get some use out of that Demolisher too. Of course eSorcha may well not want a Demolisher, she’d probably rather use a Devastator and again will love the full unit of Winterguard. You could go on forever!
Looking at theme forces, eButcher’s for example, monetarily speaking, is not very cost effective. I’m of the opinion that any theme force that requires you take more than the normal FA of something is not cost effective (unless you play that list a metric ton load). As a minimum of 3 units of Doomreavers is generally a given in an eButcher theme force, when they’re FA 2 normally, each extra unit will only ever come out to play when that tier list is played. Only 1 warcaster will have those specific tier requirement/bonuses, so its money spent on a single list with no room for cross-warcaster use.
Therefore it would be more logical for me personally, to go something like this:
Kommander Orsus Zoktavir +6
Doom Reavers (Leader and 5 Grunts)
Winter Guard Infantry (Leader and 5 Grunts)
Winter Guard Infantry Officer & Standard
Alternatively I’d swap the Winterguard and War Dog for min Ironfang Pikemen with the Black Dragon unit attachment for security from my own fear.
I like the Kodiak, so can expect a lot of use out of it, the Spriggan is very popular for good reason, I like doom reavers and thus can be expected to field them semi-often as my army composition allows. Winterguard are at home in most lists and the War Dog is an auto-include for most of the Khador ‘casters. What is important is that this sort of set-up doesn’t limit me to one ‘caster. After all I can always pick up the more specialized options for an eButcher theme force at a later date when I have an established army.
Hold on, Isn’t the battlebox the best place to start?
You’re right, it is. Sometimes. You have to consider if you will actually use the battlebox to start and going forwards if you expect to get use out of what the battlebox gives. Whether you’ll use it or not is very subjective, and thats alright, because I may still get it as an excuse to say I have pSorcha, and the juggernaut is always there for when I need a cheap heavy. The destroyer strangely enough doesn’t grab me like the decimator though, smart players spread out to mitigate AoE shots. Stealth would not like the doomreaver train crashing into them.
Thats all for now…