Tuesday, February 11, 2014

TempleCon Warjack Rumors - Khador and Cygnar

The slow trickle of rumors continues. In the last day or so, someone started this thread on the PP main boards:

Some Templecon Rumors (Cygnar, Legion, Khador)

In it, they mention three rumors they overheard at TempleCon:

  1. Absylonia2 has Conferred Rage (ability currently on Butcher2)
  2. The new Cygnar warjack "shoots AOE lightning clouds"
  3. The new Khador warjack has Double Strike on it's gun, and ROF 5
Of those three rumors, I've read #1 in other places; supposedly it came out of the post-presentation Q&A session. It's also the one I'm most inclined to believe. Conferred Rage is a fantastic battlegroup support ability, and the only reason you don't hear more about it is because everyone just plays Butcher2 in his theme list with Doom Reaver spam (offset his random Focus mechanic with a sea of Berserk Weaponmasters.) I can totally see it being the next evolution of Absylonia - her current form is already kind of aggressive (insomuch as she has abilities that encourage you to get her personally involved,) so stepping her up to really get into the thick of things (by having it also benefit her battlegroup) would make sense.

Rumor #2 is one that I haven't heard before that thread, but it also seems plausible. Cygnar loves the lightning, and frankly I've been a little surprised that they don't have more of the "lightning clouds" that are in Circle. The Stormclad has kind of an idiosyncratic gun, so I could see a variant of it having a similarly oddball gun. I'm not sure if its going to be useful enough to break through the "Stormwall" barrier, but it's an interesting idea at least. 

Rumor #3 is a completely new take on the Kodiak variant from what I've heard before, but it makes enough sense that I could see it happening. The earliest rumors I'd read about the new warjack said that it had a machine gun and Double Strike; I think from there it evolved into the melee weapon having Double Strike and the gun having some Rapid Fire-like mechanic. However, if it's true that the gun is a machine-gun type weapon, and executes that by having ROF 5 and Double Strike (letting each focus buy 2 additional attacks,) that matches up with the earliest rumors, and gives us an interesting new take on a "volume of fire" type gun.

As with any rumors, it's really hard to get a sense of how good or bad any of this could be, because there are a lot of pieces still up in the air that can effect the final model's usability. One thing that is almost certain: we're going to be dealing with RAT 4 (yay Khador!), so this gun will run into the same accuracy issues that most Khador guns have. What is interesting is that anything that adds accuracy becomes more worthwhile with this model, because it can generate enough attacks to make it worthwhile. 

When you have a spell like Fortune, Signs and Portents, or Hand of Fate affecting a model, the more attacks you can get out of it, the more worthwhile your investment becomes. S&P and HoF also benefit you more if you can generate lots of damage rolls, so templates can be helpful as well. Conquest has been the "best" model for getting a lot of mileage out of those spells, since it can generate a fair number of ranged attacks (3-5 depending on how the Secondary Batterys work out,) and each of those have an AOE component.

With a gun that has a high ROF and the ability to reliably get the maximum number of shots out of it (i.e. you don't need to rely on rolling high on a Rapid Fire/Strafe/Auto Fire roll,) you can potentially get a lot of output out of a single model for a relatively low focus allotment (at this point say 2 for buying extra shots and 1 for upkeeping the spell.) That's still confounded by RAT 4 (yay Khador?) but I can see it being potentially interesting/fun/useful.

As with rumor #2 above, it all comes down to the other stats. If the gun is RNG 10, POW 12, this warjack is DOA unless it's costed extremely aggressively. Assuming this is a direct fire gun (which I think is a fairly safe assumption,) RAT 4 is already a big hurdle to overcome so if the gun isn't long enough range to be able to aim consistently (RNG 12-14) the scenarios where this gun will come in handy diminish pretty quickly. 

I can see this working out to be an interesting model, even with RAT 4. If the gun has a good range (I'd love RNG 14, but 12 or 13 would also be workable,) you could aim consistently enough to be able to get in decent rounds of shooting, and if the POW is decent you'll be able to pretty reliably mow down enemy infantry. And that's to say nothing of any oddball extra rules the gun may have (though if it's ROF 5 and has Double Strike, I'd wager that's as fancy as the gun is going to get,) or whatever else may be on the model. 

Maybe this warjack has some goofy rule that will make it semi-viable as a ranged option? How good is it's melee weapon? What's the total cost of this sucker? All of those things factor together into making the total package good or bad, so right now it's all conjecture based on a really thin slice of information. But at least it's interesting conjecture, and we'll know the full deal in another month or so. I'm very excited to see what all of these new warjacks bring to their respective factions, and I'm very interested in seeing if there are any surprises remaining for us in Vengeance.

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