Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Harkevich vs Feora2 - Pyroclasm

With all the shiny new Warmachine: Reckoning spoilers in hand, my friends and I have been excited to proxy some of those new things on the table and see how they work out. Two of us got a chance to do just that this past week, and the resulting game was a helluva spectacle.

Join me after the break for lists, the battle report proper, and thoughts about all the new models used.

My List:
Harkevich - Wolf Pack T4:
Kommander Harkevich, the Iron Wolf (*5pts)
   * Black Ivan (9pts)
   * Victor (17pts)
   * Victor (17pts)
Battle Mechaniks (Leader and 3 Grunts) (2pts)
Battle Mechaniks (Leader and 3 Grunts) (2pts)
Winter Guard Field Gun Crew (Leader and 2 Grunts) (2pts)
Winter Guard Field Gun Crew (Leader and 2 Grunts) (2pts)
Man-o-war Drakhun (without dismount) (4pts)
Objective: Fuel Cache

This is the list I came up with as part of my initial musings on lists that can make use of Khador's new warjacks from Reckoning. It is my first shot at a Harkevich theme list with double Victors, and although I'm sure there's room for refinement, there also isn't a lot of wiggle room if you want to do it in theme - its going to cost you 46 points to get to the most interesting theme bonus (start with upkeeps in play). At that point you're just tweaking what secondary things you want to bring, and if you want to go up to T4, how you're going to go about that. 

This list is also amusingly very close to what I templated out back when we got the first spoilers on the new colossals. The only notable difference is that I had Victor pegged at 19 points (and was hoping it wouldn't be 20). Ha.

My Friend's List:
Feora, Protector of the Flame (*6pts)
* Revelator (19pts) [Bonded]
* Reckoner (8pts)
* Hand of Judgment (10pts)
Choir of Menoth (Leader and 5 Grunts) (3pts)
Holy Zealots (Leader and 9 Grunts) (6pts)
* Holy Zealot Monolith Bearer (2pts)
Reclaimer (2pts)
The Wrack (3 wracks) (1pts)
Vassal Mechanik (1pts)
Vassal of Menoth (2pts)
Vassal of Menoth (2pts)
Objective: Fuel Cache

This list is an attempt to shake up Feora2 by introducing the Revelator, which allows her to return to the glory days of a really scary Protectorate gunline. The Revelator brings four potent guns to the table that can be used against infantry or heavy targets alike, brings its own outs for Stealth/Concealment on enemy models, offers some infantry control with 4" fiery death zones, and can fully boost it's initial set of shots with Feora2's bond.

Hand of Judgment supplents that shooting by boosting damage output with its passive aura and bringing a very potent spray to the mix, while the Reckoner is there to reckon. As is it's way. Its a very scary, potent shooting battlegroup that can effortlessly transition to big melee damage thanks to Choir and Ignite. While the Judicator build is probably better at dealing with massed infantry, I think this build still has plenty of anti-infantry capabilities, but also brings very strong tools to deal with heavier targets.

Scenario: SR2015 Recon

Proxy notes, as there are a couple on both sides:
  - For Khador: Conquest is a Victor (hereafter "Victor-C") and the Gun Carriage is the second Victor (hereafter "Victor-G").
  - For Protectorate: Judicator is a Revelator and the Scourge of Heresy (*sigh*) is Hand of Judgment.

Feora wins the roll off and opts to choose table side. Harkevich declares upkeeps: Fortune on Victor-C, Escort on himself.

Round 1:
Harkevich Turn 1:
Harkevich allocates 1 focus to each warjack. Everything runs forward. Harkevich casts Broadsides, then charges the Revelator.

The two Broadsides shots from the Victors drift into the enemy lines, killing 5 of the Zealots and setting one of the Vassals on fire.

Feora Turn 1:
During Maintenance, the Vassal suffering Continuous Fire fails to remove it and dies from the damage.

Feora allocates 1 focus to each warjack. She advances and casts Escort. The Reclaimer advances and puts a second focus onto the Revelator. The Choir advance and put Battle on all the warjacks.

The Revelator advances and puts two Light Bringer shots into Victor-C, doing 12 or so damage with boosts.

Everything else runs. Zealots use Greater Destiny this turn.

Round 2:
Start of Round 2
Harkevich Turn 2:
Harkevich upkeeps Fortune and Escort, and keeps the rest of his focus.

The left unit of Mechaniks repair 8 damage on Victor-C. Victor-C advances slightly into the zone and shoots an Incindiary Siege Mortar shot at the Revelator and hits, catching the Vassal behind it and setting it on fire.

Victor-G advances into the zone, shoots a Crater Siege Mortar shot at Hand of Judgment, missing but catching it in the template. Victor-G throws Autocannon shots into Hand of Judgment (5 total) doing around 5 damage.

Black Ivan advances and shoots at the Reckoner, hitting and doing a few points of damage.

Harkevich moves back slightly and casts Broadsides. Victor-C launches a Crater Siege Mortar shot at the Reckoner, which scatters behind it (still catching it partially in the template) and onto several Choir and the Reclaimer (killing 2 Choir and doing damage to the Reclaimer). Victor-G attempts the same shot, with the same result: template scatters back, catches 1 Choir (killed) and the Reclaimer (damaged again, but not killed).

Everything else runs/advances into general position, with the Drakun running into the forest to threaten counter charges on anything coming into Victor-C.

Feora Turn 2:
During the maintenance phase, fire goes out on the Vassal.

Feora upkeeps Escort, allocates one focus to each warjack, and keeps the rest. The Reclaimer activates and allocates three more focus to the Revelator. The Choir advance and put Battle on the Revelator and the Reckoner.

Hand of Judgment activates and runs to get Victor-G within range for Fuel for the Flames. The Reckoner advances and shoots Victor-G, hitting and doing solid damage with a boosted damage roll. The Zealots advance and throw bombs at Victor-G, but only one is in range; that bomb connects and does a column or so worth of damage.

The Revelator advances, triggering counter charge on the Drakun (impact and charge attack both connect for some damage). The Revelator then it fires all four of its guns at Victor-G, boosting all the damage rolls. The Vassal adds another Conflagrator shot using Ancillary attack. After all the attacks, Victor-G has 10 or so damage boxes remaining.

The Mechanik runs into position to fix Revelator next turn.

Round 3:
Start of Round 3
Harkevich Turn 3:
Harkevich lets Fortune drop, upkeeps Escort, allocates 3 focus to Victor-C and 2 focus to Victor-G. Harkevich starts off the turn by advancing forward to get out of the way of Mechaniks, and pops his feat.

The Mechaniks advance and repair: 18 damage off of Victor-G, and the remaining 4 damage off of Victor-C. The Field Guns each shoot at a different warjack - one at the Reckoner, the other at Hand of Judgment - connecting and doing slight damage, but no criticals. The "bonus" crewman in both units shoot at Zealots, killing one.

Victor-C charges the Revelator. Due to Harkevich's feat, it shoots an Incindiary Siege Mortar shot at the Reclaimer before charging; the shot misses the Reclaimer but kills a nearby Choir. Victor-C's charge and resulting attacks do 40ish damage. The Drakun continues to attack the Revelator, adding some more damage. The Revelator ends the turn with one arm broken.

Victor-G charges the Hand of Judgment. It's pre-charge shot is an Incindiary Siege Mortar shot aimed at the Vassal; the scatter clips the Vassal, doing damage and setting it on fire. Victor-G destroys the Hand of Judgement with its initial attacks.

Black Ivan advances and shoots the Vassal, connecting and killing it.

Feora Turn 3:
Feora upkeeps Escort, allocates 1 focus to the Reckoner, 1 to the Revelator, and keeps the rest. Feora starts off her turn by advancing, casting Ignite on the Revelator, and shooting the Drakun with her Heavy Flame Thrower. Her shot hits and does 5 damage.

The Reckoner charges Victor-G, connecting with both it's Assault shot and it's charge attack, doing 5ish damage total due to Harkevich's feat.

The Reclaimer advances and allocates 3 focus to the Revelator. The Mechanik attempts to repair the Revelator, but fails. The remaining Choir puts Battle on the Revelator.

The Revelator charges Victor-G, taking a free-strike from the Drakun, and unfortunately ending its charge movement in counter charge range. The resulting attacks from the Drakun leave the Revelator with 2 damage boxes remaining, both in Movement. Despite having two broken arms, the Revelator still does 10 or so damage to Victor-G with its initial attacks.

The Zealots advance and throw bombs at Victor-G, but fail to crack ARM with any of the shots.

Round 4:
Start of Round 4
Harkevich Turn 4:
Harkevich upkeeps Escort, allocates 3 focus to Victor-C, then keeps the rest. Black Ivan shoots the Revelator and does the 2 points of damage needed to finish it off. Harkevich advances and casts Fortune on Victor-C.

The Drakun advances and attacks Feora twice, missing both times.

Victor-C charges Feora, hitting her with the boosted to-hit charge attack and killing her.

Result: Harkevich wins via 'caster kill!
Final Game State
Post-Game Thoughts:
One of the more entertaining things you notice when writing up games after the fact is all the things you missed. Normally, it's just one or two little things (if anything) but this time I ended up with a whole list we straight up forgot:

 - Fire rolls on either Victor-C or Victor-G from Revelator's shots (due to Feora's bond).
 - Damage rolls from the Burning Earth templates from Revelator (though it's hard to say if Victor-G would have made it out of the templates when it charged up).
 - The direct damage hit from Victor-C shooting Revelator on turn 2.
 - Completely forgot about the benefits of the Fuel Cache objective until turn 4.
 - Continuous Fire on the Drakun from Feora2's Heavy Flame Thrower shot.
 - All Incinidiary damage shots at models within 5" of Hand of Judgment should have been resolved at +2 damage (this is the most understandable, as the model is brand new and it is easy to forget that ability isn't "enemy" only).
 - We played the POW of the Conflagrator as 14; it is in fact 15 (I think we swapped the Hurricane's AOE gun POW in there, for whatever reason).

That is...quite a list. Most of it can be chalked up to using completely new models while playing at a decent pace (we were using Deathclock game timing, and trying to make sure we'd be finished before the store closed). On top of that, it has been awhile since I've played Warmachine (maybe a month?) and its been forever since my friend put Feora2 on the table.

Still, let this be a reminder: check yo self! It can be worth the couple of seconds it takes to stop, take a moment, and make sure that you aren't forgetting a key rule, step, interaction, etc.

I think it is doubly funny because we ended the game with a combined total of probably 40 minutes of time on our clocks. So we damn sure had the time to slow down and double check ourselves periodically.

That aside, this was a very fun game. Each person has their own set of things that just click with them, and one of those things for me are: relatively dense, effective lists. I get sort of mentally frazzled when I have to manage a sizable number of different components, so I really enjoy it when a list can be boiled down to a few, discrete elements (either individual models like warjacks, or beefy units).

With both of us running armies set up that way, it felt like a clash of super-powers, with colossals and warjacks just thrashing it out across the middle of the table. Good times.

Things That Went Well:
The "running turn 1 Broadsides" worked out about as well as it could have, all things considered. Killing 5 Zealots and a Vassal of Menoth before anything in the opposing army gets to activate seems pretty good to me.

I gambled on turn 2 by holding Harkevich's feat for another round. Part of that was forgetting the damn Fuel Cache giving out free charges, so I wanted to hold the feat for the turn I went on the offensive in order to have some focus efficiency. The other part was the hope that holding onto the feat for another turn might give me the durability boost on the turn I needed it (when everything gets into melee), rather than trying to use it to mitigate damage on the way in.

I think that ended up being the right call. Victor-G took a ton of damage on turn 2 - the Revelator with Hand of Judgment near the target is horrifying in it's output - but I think Nigel hit the nail on the head during his recent talk about playing double Conquests with Harkevich: you need to save the feat for the turn where they absolutely have to commit to your colossals. Popping it early lets your opponent ease off the throttle as needed (especially in this scenario, where he was going second and could therefore score first), and then go in hard on a following turn when the +3 ARM isn't there to save you.

To put it another way: one Victor can survive a turn of shooting (though it's dicey, and it didn't survive by much) but the only way I'm going to have a prayer of not losing one or both Victors to a souped up, charging Protectorate colossal is with Harkevich's feat in play. P+S 24 is absolutely silly.

In general, I felt that having two colossals was very potent in a centralized scenario (this is probably news to no one). I can totally see this being the opposite case in a more spread out scenario, though more thoughts on that later.

The Drakun was a champ. It was a useful source of additional damage into the Revelator, and it totally clutched out the end of the game with the combo of free strike + counter charge.

Key Mistakes/Things To Do Differently:
Blindly allocating as much focus as I did to Victor-G on the turn it charged in was a mistake. I should have double checked how much damage was on Hand of Judgment at that point (I'd pinged it for 1-2 damage a few times by that point, likely putting it 4-8 points down already), and used that to inform how much focus to allocate.

This is sort of a chain gaffe, because I only allocated as much as I did to Victor-G because I thought it might be able to get into melee range of both Hand of Judgment and the Reckoner. That ended up being totally impossible due to how charges resolve, and thus Victor-G got to Hand of Judgment with more than enough focus available (with the free charge from the feat) to scrap it, rebuild it, then probably scrap it again.

There are two thoughts I have about that gaffe: 1) I should have only given Victor-G, say, one focus. That would have allowed me to upkeep Fortune on Victor-C, which actually ended up mattering because it whiffed one of its attacks on double 1's (and it would have saved me from having to re-cast it later). Or, 2) I should have tried to walk Victor-G into melee with the Reckoner and Hand of Judgment. I didn't need the movement from the charge to make it to Hand of Judgment, and not having to move in a straight line or be forced to turn to face may have allowed Victor-G to engage both models (and probably get one attack on the Reckoner after all was said and done). However, I'm not sure if Victor-G would have been in walk distance, though it wouldn't have mattered if I chose that plan; you can't "fail" a walk like you can a mis-planned charge.

On Harkevich's feat turn, I wasted whichever Victor's shot I threw at the Vassal. I really should have tried to have Black Ivan shoot it first; its been so long since I've played Black Ivan or Behemoth that I've forgotten how easy those shots can be to line up, and how effective they are at picking off solos like that. Killing the second Vassal with Black Ivan then frees up a Victor feat shot to go at that damned Reclaimer that I couldn't finish off (it ended the game at one damage box remaining). Having another POW 8 damage roll and/or fire roll on it could have put a stop to its focus doling shenanigans.

I think I moved Victor-G up too far on turn 2. I wanted to project melee threat across the scenario zone, but I don't think that was worth it. I could have probably managed the other warjacks with Craters until I could sort out the Revelator, and with Hand of Judgment partially in a Crater it would have been harder to get its fire damage boosting aura to either or both Victors.

What probably would have happened instead is that Revelator lays into Victor-C, but I think that works out better in the long run: Victor-C was easily in range of more Mechaniks, and I'm not sure that Hand of Judgement would have been able to run far enough to get its aura onto Victor-C. Even if it could have, that puts the Revelator and Hand of Judgment even deeper in front of my army, which means I don't even have to leave my Mechaniks bunker in order to go on the offensive against them.

I ended up camping 1 focus on turn 2, and I think that may have been better served by giving it to one of the warjacks for a boost, somewhere. The best bet probably would have been to give it to Victor-C: it still had Fortune on it at that point, which would have allowed me to shoot Hand of Judgment directly with a boosted attack roll needing a 10, with a re-roll. Sticking a Crater directly on top of Hand of Judgement negates its melee threat completely, and I think makes it even harder for it to run into place to buff shooting damage. I can still use Victor-C's Broadsides shot with Fortune to try to set the Vassal on fire (needing an 8 with a re-roll to hit the Revelator), plus getting a POW 15 on the big guy (assuming I remembered!)

Alternatively, I could have just given that focus to Black Ivan to put a boosted POW 14 into one of the warjacks. Whatever works.

I was pretty concerned with making a bunker for Harkevich - though I may not have needed to be so worried, as he was pretty far back, and in Cover - so I ended up wedging my colossals up against the objective. This ended up being a pretty bad move, because having to move around that thing really put a damper on where I could charge. I don't think it actually would have mattered this game, but maybe leaving Victor-G a little further out on the side would have allowed me to get a line that gets attacks on the Reckoner and Hand of Judgment. More importantly, its something to keep in mind for future games.

Noteworthy Model Thoughts:
I'm going to do something a little different from normal, and talk about all the Reckoning models on the table. Starting first with what I think of the Protectorate models, with my sagely one game of experience against them.

The Hand of Judgment is pretty damn fantastic. One of the podcasts reviewing the book (maybe Combo Smite?) said that it was at least tied with Ruin in terms of power, and I'm inclined to agree. It didn't do a whole lot this game personally, but that was because I didn't want to let it! Even with just running into position, it added another 12 or more damage to what Victor-G took the turn everything laid into it. Turns out a +2 damage buff to fire damage rolls is pretty great in a faction that has lots of those.

Hand of Judgment is also similar to Ruin in that it is a character warjack you can easily see taking in other lists. Its Affinity with Feora is great, but not so defining that it doesn't work as well with other 'casters. It's base suite of abilities are fantastic: damage buff, powerful gun (that it self buffs partway through), and melee output second only to the Avatar (and not by much either). I can definitely see it showing up in a lot of lists.

One last thing I really like about the Hand of Judgment: the way it is put together, it doesn't really do much with Feora2's bond. It certainly helps - being able to allocate 4 focus to a warjack is never a bad option - but Hand of Judgment brings a lot of focus efficiency to the table (between its ability to conditionally charge for free and its Affinity with Feora) and it doesn't need help setting things on fire with its gun. That gives you a warjack that has strong synergy with Feora2 right out of the gate, while still leaving your bond "slot" open for something like a Judicator, Revelator, Redeemer, etc. Which is very interesting from a list building perspective.

Speaking of the Revelator, I think its a pretty excellent colossal. Especially in the context of Protectorate. The Judicator has issues similar to Conquest: it works well sometimes, but it often feels like your fighting against its rules, rather than using them to your advantage. While the Judicator will still almost certainly have a place with Feora2 (making its inaccurate as hell rockets cause fire on hit goes a long way to making it scarier), I can see the Revelator being the actual gun platform colossal that Protectorate was hoping for all along.

Boasting four initial shots (in a faction that does a lot to buff shooting), ignoring Stealth (critical in certain otherwise ugly match ups for Protectorate battlegroup guns), and bringing some measure of control (Burning Earth templates are no good for infantry, yo), the Revelator seems much better equipped to be the core of a Protectorate battlegroup. Time will tell how well it will work out - Protectorate is similar to many Hordes armies in that they don't necessarily want to take one big battlegroup model, unlike many other Warmachine factions - but I feel like the Revelator has a much better general application in the faction, and it will be more useful with more 'casters (I can totally see it elevating Severius2 in a way similar to the way Victor elevated Harkevich).

Speaking of Victor: Victor is absolutely fantastic, tremendous fun, and everything that Conquest should have been. I am a pretty happy owner of a Conquest that I painted myself, but if I was required to, as a condition of purchasing Victor (whenever it comes out), smash Conquest into pieces with a hammer, then burn the remains, I would do so without a moments hesitation.

That is hyperbole, but not too much. Though in fairness, this list isn't a very good comparison point.

Victor under Harkevich is probably the best that it is going to be: +2 MOV lets them get set up and shooting very quickly, being able to run and shoot turn 1 keeps their output high, and kicking out two shots (each, if you double down) really hammers home how great the Siege Mortar can be (plus the redundancy reduces the odds of the Siege Mortar totally flubbing the turn). I don't think anyone can run a Victor or two better than Harkevich. Which, to my poor, broken spirit, is a beautiful thing.

I am very interested in playing Victor in something like my Sorscha2 list, which should give me a better sense of how the two directly compare. My feeling after thinking about it is that Victor is probably the "better" general purpose colossal than Conquest - the versatility and ease of use of the Siege Mortar, combined with Victor's lower desire for focus for boosting - but Conquest still has some 'casters that it works best with (Vlad1 jumps out almost immediately). I'm very interested in exploring this further.

List Changes/Tweaks:
This is kind of a broad topic of discussion, because the core of this list is really: Harkevich, Victor, Victor. Everything else after that is flavor, and what type of list you're trying to build.

Within Harkevich's theme list, there aren't a ton of options available, chiefly due to the fact that the battlegroup ends up costing you 46 points right off the top. The most compelling reason to run double Victor in theme with Harkevich is the combination of the first two tiers of bonuses: +1 to your starting roll and start with upkeeps in play (enabling the first turn running Broadsides).

Going past T2 isn't strictly necessary, but you get some very nice bonuses out of it: by adding two Field Guns, you essentially net two throwaway units (with random critical KD shots, which is neat) and three wreck markers for 1 point. The bodies are nice; the wreck markers are crucial.

One of the things I felt immediately with this list is that the weak link is extremely obvious, and unfortunately not that hard to pick off: Harkevich himself. On turns 1-3, you're likely to be spending most or all of your focus. Escort helps, as does his feat, but it is very easy to end turns at 15/18 or 15/19. That isn't the worst defensive stat line, but when your opponent is faced with doing 18 damage to that or chew through 124 boxes of colossal, they're probably going to try to opt for the former.

Positioning of the warjacks you have in the list can help a lot, as can terrain. But what is more helpful than anything is being able to place down wreck markers around where you think Harkevich is going to want to stand early/mid game. 19/18 is a much harder nut to crack, and a very respectable stat line to have at zero focus camp.

As an example: during this game, Feora2 could have easily gotten some shots to Harkevich. Her Heavy Flame Thrower was always a threat, and the Revelator has enough firepower to clear out the objective by itself, then put remaining shots in to Harkevich. I was definitely nervous about being that far up, but I felt much better being at DEF 19 against everything but Feora2's gun. It didn't technically matter in this game - no killbox, so I could have played as far back as I wanted to - but in a killbox or more aggressive scenario, being able to play up the field more safely is a big deal.

All that is a big justification as to why I think its worth going all the way up to T4 if you're going to go with Harkevich's theme list. You get some very, very good benefits out of it, and it doesn't cost you much to bump up from T2 (the minimum worth playing it at, at least for me) to T4.

The biggest downside to this list is, shock of shockers: it is incredibly dense. You have, practically, four models that are going to be pulling all the weight in the list, and/or pushing for scenario. That is going to make this list really hard to run in spread out scenarios (though Ivan and wreck markers should help anchor Harkevich in a good central spot), and it is of course vulnerable to getting jammed up (doubly so due to the Minimum Range rule on the Siege Mortar).

Unfortunately, there isn't much to change at T4. The best I could do is drop one unit of Mechaniks for a Widowmaker Marksman; gives the list another solo to run around, plus a high RAT, long RNG POW 12 for more active removal of problem solos. That may be something I try out in the future, but I did like having the two units of Mechaniks for crazy Repairs and redundancy.

Then there is the whole wide crazy world of playing Harkevich with double Victors outside of the theme. That opens up all kinds of wonderful Merc solos (chiefly the mighty colossal melee buffer, Ragman) and frees you up from taking 10-13 points of theme required models.

I am not sure if losing out on the theme bonuses is really worth it though. The first turn running Broadsides is a big deal, but not for the reasons you may think. While you may get lucky and kill some models at the top of turn 1 (as I did this game) its just as possible to scatter into nothing. Where I think that ability really helps is if you end up going second - either by opting to, or if you lose the roll off - as it allows you to still hoof the Victors up the table full speed, while dropping big 'ol flaming templates into the enemy army (that are probably all now well within range).

I also don't love the idea of losing out on those wreck markers. In theory, I'd want to drop this list into lists like Cygnar, Legion, and Protectorate; all lists where you may be able to bully them around with the two colossals, but also armies that excel at picking off inadequately protected warcasters. Place-able cover does a lot to mitigate that threat.

That's a lot to think about. I'm sure others will probably test out non-theme builds with Harkevich + double Victor, so I'll probably be sticking with the theme until I have a change of heart. I may also try that WMM swap, though I want to stick with double Mechaniks for a few more games and see if the second unit really is useful, or just redundant.

Closing Thoughts:
I really don't want to buy two Victors whenever it gets released, but this list just might push me over the edge. Its the most effective I've ever felt Harkevich be on the table - any version of my old lists with him would have melted in front of this Feora2 list - and it was a lot of fun, besides. So I may end up biting the bullet after all.

I do plan to get more proxy games in between now and whenever Victor releases (I figure I have at least 6 months, if not more) to see how effective this kind of list really is. I don't imagine it being an absolute world beater - Wold War, this ain't - but I do see a spark of real potential in it. This could become a new archetype of list that people have to start planning for, and worrying about. Not just double colossal, but the specifics of what Harkevich brings to the table: faster, carpet bombing colossals with a turn of +3 ARM that can't be ignored, with the potential to be dropping those shells on your army turn 1.

Its a very exciting time to be a fan of playing Harkevich, and of always wanting to be able to field a formidable list of Khadoran armor. Between this and some of the Butcher3/Vlad1/Karchev builds I've read about, Reckoning may be an unexpected corner turn for the faction.

We'll see how that pans out in the long term. As always, thanks very much for reading!


  1. *sigh* I own a Conquest, unassembled in box. It was birthday present from my awesome community. I want to assemble and play it, but Victor is making me regret wishing for it in the first place...

    1. In all fairness, I do think Conquest has a few spots left for it in Khador. I don't think anything will usurp its effectiveness with Vlad1, and I'm very interested in trying it out with Zerkova2 as an assassination assist/heavy anchor.

      That, uh, isn't much of a list so far, but its better than nothing?

    2. Yeah, I guess. I'm just not that big of a Vlad1 fan...

      ...guess I'll do a blog post doing a face-off between Conquest and Victor. Right after I finish the one about Rager vs Vanguard.

    3. I look forward to reading those. :)

      I was talking with a friend about it the other day, and I realized that for as much as I've tried to get use out of Conquest in the past, I've actually only run it with Vlad1 maybe once. Vlad1 has the curse of being really effective, but boring, so I never end up actually getting him to the table. I've run Conquest with Vlad3 more times than Vlad1 (3 or 4 times with Vlad3's theme force)!

    4. One is up: http://calamityresearchlabs.blogspot.de/2015/06/khador-2015-part-11-shieldguard-showdown.html

  2. Great write up! I'm interested in trying the pair out of tier myself.

    1. Thanks!

      Hark + Victor x2 should be very interesting out of theme. Probably more potent than in theme, in all honesty; freeing up the points tied up by the theme opens up a lot of options. Most important is that it gives you points enough to give you models to help spread out and cover scenario a bit more effectively, which is probably going to be a big problem with this style of list in the long run.

      I just can't give up my safety blanket of wreck markers. ;)