By: Nick ‘Nork’ (TrickyNixon)
So Journeyman leagues are a great way to get into the game, or to get into a new faction. More often than not, you’ll be trying out a variety of models, casters, and playing against a
huge variety of enemy players. Great! The only problem comes when jumping point levels can be a somewhat daunting prospect for newer players, and it can be overwhelming with the sheer number of choices, especially in Mercenaries, to pick out a healthy amount of stuff to play with. I’m going to help guide you through the various weeks of a Journeyman league, and come up with a few choices for you that will help you pick out not just good stuff, but fun stuff, too.
Mercenary Battle Box 1:
Magnus the Traitor (Magnus1)
First thing you’ll notice is that there isn’t a Box for the mercenary battle box, there’s just options for what you can play. That’s fine, it actually saves you a little time, but you may want to share tokens, dice, or a rulebook with a friend, if they’re purchasing one of the In Box battle boxes.
You’ll notice that there are two Battle Boxes available for Mercenaries, One led by Magnus the Traitor, and one led by General Ossrum. Both are fine boxes, but for general mercenary development and growth, the Magnus box offers you more that you’ll want later in the game, so we’re going to start with that. Let’s run through the models you’ll get with that.
Magnus the Traitor:
Former favored son of Cygnar, now a traitor merc on the run. Great guy, you can tell from the title. Magnus is a very support oriented Warcaster, and the centerpiece of your army. He’s going to be doing a lot of buffing, and a lot of support, but he’s not personally a very threatening guy. Though he’s got more going on than a lot of other support casters. Magnus sports a decent statline, at mat 7, rat 6, good armor, at 17, and a handful of useful abilities. Backstab gives Magnus a bonus to Attack and Damage rolls when he attacks from behind, though note, that you can get that bonus with spells, guns, or melee, anything that originates behind the enemy model. Feign Death makes Magnus un-targetable by ranged and magic attacks when he’s knocked down, which is a nice bit of defensive tech for him. Repair lets him take some damage off his warjacks, at the cost of making attacks that turn. Useful to repair damaged arms or movement systems, especially in battle box games. And finally Resourceful lets Magnus upkeep spells on models in his battle group for free. Let’s look through his spell list, and feat too, while we’re here.
Magnus1’s spell list is full of warjack support, designed to get his jacks there, and make them more accurate.
Arcantrik Bolt: A low cost spell that just throws a bolt at a target, if it damages a warjack, that warjack becomes stationary. It’s not a bad spell, but probably not one you’ll use often.
Blur: Target friendly model/unit gains a healthy Defense boost against ranged and magic. Upkeep Spell.
Death Ward: Target friendly Model/unit gains a decent arm buff, and, on a warjack, you can pick where the damage is placed on its grid. Upkeep Spell.
Iron Aggression: Target friendly warjack gains boosted attack rolls and can make charge, slam, or trample power attacks for free. Upkeep Spell.
Scourge: Big cost, Big power, deals decent AoE damage, and any model hit by it is knocked down.
Snipe: Target friendly model/unit gains a significant boost to range on its ranged weapons. Upkeep spell.
Notice the theme there? Four out of six spells are upkeep spells, and the other two are attacking spells. Iron Aggression and Death Ward are some standouts at this point level, as they do consistently great work at buffing your forces up. Unfortunately, at the core battle box, Snipe is a mostly dead spell, doing almost nothing for you. I guess you could cast it on your Rover, but he really wants to get scrappy in melee.
Magnus’ Feat is very simple, and sometimes deceptively powerful. Hit & Run lets every model in Magnus’ battlegroup make a full advance or run after all models complete their activations, and everything gets parry for the turn. So basically, after you’ve taken your whole turn, everything gets to run away, or run towards the enemy, and you can’t be targeted by free strikes for the whole turn.
Let’s also talk about the pair of heavy warjacks you’re bringing with you. the Rover, and the Mangler. They’re similar heavies, both at 15 point cost, with somewhat similar capabilities. The Rover is a little more armored, by itself, at arm 18 base with a +2 shield, and sports a decently powerful gun, with the Point Blank rule, meaning that it is allowed to make an attack with the gun in melee as though it were a melee weapon. On the downside, it’s only reach 1, and its axe is only pow 17 as compared to the Mangler. The Mangler sports a base 19 armor, but a whopping pow 18 Chain Weapon wrecker, meaning it doesn’t let people get the armor bonus from shields. Even its open fist is pow 16, meaning the mangler does just that. It’s also naturally Aggressive which allows it to run or charge for free, and has Thresher, which allows it to make a wrecker attack against everything in its melee range.
Your plan for these games should be pretty simple. On your first turn, your warjacks run up, and Magnus casts Iron Aggression on the Rover, Death Ward on the Mangler, and Blur on himself, draining his entire focus stack. However, thanks to the Resourceful rule, you won’t ever be paying for these upkeeps for the rest of the game. Now, with those upkeep spells in play, you’ve got one heavy at armor 20, another at armor 21, both of them charge for free, and Magnus himself is pretty hard to hit with guns. This should secure your way up the battlefield a bit, and let you make it to melee. Once you’re there, Clash! Try to pop your feat such that you can take one of your opponents heavies, and then retreat too far for them to retaliate. Try to leverage both of your heavies at once, making one big charge, and retreating back. Most importantly, have fun, get as many games in as you can, and see if you can make some great new friends.
Magnus the Traitor (Magnus1)
- Renegade (NEW)
In Week 2, we add 10 points to Magnus’ battlegroup, and i’m recommending a Renegade, who is exactly 10 points himself. Renegades are Custom Warjacks that belong to Magnus. That means that out of all the casters in the Mercenary Faction, he’s the only one allowed to run them. That may feel limiting, but they’re great models, and both Magnus 1 and 2 are such great casters that it’s well worth owning one. The Renegade sports fantastic abilities and rules, as well. By default, he’s Mat 6 and Rat 6, giving him great accuracy, and he’s armor 17 with a +1 Buckler, giving him great survivability on a light jack. Furthermore, he’s an Arc Node, which lets Magnus channel his spells through the Renegade to increase his threats. What’s more, he brings a massive range 14, AoE 4, Pow 16 rocket, with Arcing Fire to ignore many screening techniques, and Knockdown to automatically put anything the rocket touches on the ground, it’s an incredible gun. The only downside is that it’s only has One Shot. The Renegade’s melee attacks are solid as well, at pow 13, with Critical Shred and Sustained Attack. In the right situations, you can make quite a few extra attacks to help this little jack punch well above its weight class.
Your battle plan is more or less unchanged, except this time, you might want to see if you can put Snipe onto the Renegade on turn 1 to see if you can land some of those devastating rockets early. While your general plan of deliver your heavy warjacks and then retreat to safety isn’t much changed, you’ve now got some interesting later game options. The Renegade is an Arc Node, and, as such, you can arc spells through it to hit distant targets. With Magnus’ Backstab rule, you can gain those bonuses to attack and damage with spells arced through the Renegade, as long as the renegade is behind the model you’re targeting when you cast the spell. Arcantrik Bolt and Scourge get a whole lot deadlier when they deal four dice of damage. It’s also worth pointing out, when you make melee attacks with the Renegade, it has two rules, Critical Shred and Sustained Attack, the first means that any time you critically hit with an attack, you get to make an additional attack. The second means that if you’ve hit once, you can automatically hit with all future attacks. You don’t have to take the auto hit, and sometimes it’s better not to. In the late game, if you’ve lost your heavies, and everything looks bad, I like to load up my Renegade, cast Iron Aggression on it, and charge into a heavy, rolling every attack, rather than taking the auto hits from Sustained Attack. With 3 dice to hit from Iron Aggression, you’ve got something like a 40% chance to critically hit, and Critical Shred attacks can generate more Critical Shred attacks. If you’re lucky, you might chainsaw through something much bigger than yourself. So that’s my lesson for this week; no matter how dire things look, never give up, charge your caster in there, throw spells at it, find the weak spot. It’s almost always possible to pull out a win, even if it seems like all hope is lost.
Magnus the Traitor (Magnus1)
- Vanguard (NEW)
Week 3 sees us adding another jack where most people are adding a unit, or a batch of solos. That’s okay, we’re building something much weirder than they are. Let’s talk about the two models we’re slotting in here. The Vanguard is a second light warjack that excels at almost every battlefield role. It adds a second Shield Guard to your list, giving you a little more defense against guns, and boasts one of the best statlines in the game for a warjack or warbeast. At Defense 13, Armor 17 base, with a +2 Shield and Set Defense, This model is extremely hard to remove with infantry, giving him a total of 15/19 against charging models. In addition to that, he boasts two solid melee attacks, a pow 14 reach spear, and a pow 11 shield, as well as a pow 12 gun and Assault letting it make that gunshot as part of a charge. Don’t be afraid, however, to just aim, throw that pow 12 shot at a heavy, and boost damage. It can do some real hurting, and he can be very tricky to retaliate against. It’s also a great Death Ward target, a great second wave, and a solid hitter in general, as well as providing some much needed cover and support for Magnus himself.
We’ve also added the Ragman a Character Llaelese support/combat solo. The Ragman provides some spell based backup for your army, bringing with him Bone Shaker, a slightly low ranged magic attack that lets you take control of models you kill with it, and Death Field, a wonderful spell that creates an aura of armor debuffing around him. Any model within 3” of the ragman gains Dark Shroud, which lowers the armor of any model they’re engaging by 2. This may not seem like much, but it turns all of the hitters we have into powerhouses. Combined with the two Shield Guards we have, the ragman has a great chance to make it into melee, and turn our pow 18s into pow 20s, and our pow 14s into 16s. With Death Field active, our light jacks are suddenly very real threats to heavies, and our heavies are threats to everything. Even Magnus himself appreciates this, as it makes his personal melee damage great, and they should generally be running close together anyway.
The objective for this week is to start setting up traps and using every aspect of the models you’ve brought. Look for ways to offer your opponent a bad situation on offense that you can capitalize and take away from them. We also start playing on scenario here, so it’s a great chance to look at power attacks. It’s not always the best idea to just charge and hope things go well, sometimes, a good power attack can totally change how a turn goes. Try making a throw with the Mangler, and a slam with the Vanguard, the ability to move enemy models, the knock down, and the ability to follow up with even more powerful abilities like Arcantrik Bolt, or a charge from another model, can make your lighter powered units much stronger. Next week is where things start getting really exciting, so practice with these models all you can.
Magnus the Warlord (Magnus2) (NEW)
- Sylys Wyshnallyr (NEW)
Dahlia Hallyr (NEW)
- Skarath (NEW)
Good Lord! Week 4 has seen a huge shakeup in our list. We’ve traded out our caster, Magnus the Traitor for his later variation Magnus the Warlord for reasons we’ll get into in just a moment. We’ve also added two new solos and a Warbeast! One of the really wonderful things about mercenaries is the massive, sometimes overwhelming variety of models we can take. Dahlia Hallyr & Skarath are Minion models that will work for Mercenaries, and as such, they count as mercenary models. There are many other minion warlocks, and minion models that are well worth looking into, and as long as they work for a warmachine faction, they count as mercenaries, too.
Now then, Let’s talk about the big change we made here, our Warcaster. Magnus the Warlord is the second incarnation of Magnus that’s playable in Warmachine. That’s not really to say that he’s better, just that he’s different. He adds an entirely different flavor to what we play, and, while the theme of how he might play is similar, the way he does it is very different. Where Magnus1 is a very jack support oriented caster, with a feat that gave him some disengagement options, Magnus2 is much more focused along destruction and control. He’s personally much more threatening, and his spell list favors crippling the enemy over bolstering his own forces. Let’s dig through Magnus2 and see what we think.
Magnus2 sports the same statline that we’ve been playing with on Magnus1, so there won’t be a significant change there. He has the same spray, and the same combination of melee attacks. What those attacks do, however, is very different. Magnus2 still has Backstab, so he still has the same level of power if he can control the terms of engagement there, but he picked up two new rules, Unyielding and Field Marshal (Unyielding) while he lost Feign Death and Repair Unyielding gives a model +2 armor while it’s engaging an enemy, and the Field Marshal rule means that all warjacks in Magnus’ battlegroup get that as well. The short of that is, while they aren’t knocked down or otherwise incapacitated, Magnus and his battlegroup gain +2 armor in melee. That’s incredible! Suddenly the melee benefits of Death Ward apply to everybody! That can push your Rover to arm 22, your Mangler to 21, your Renegade to 20, and your Vanguard to 21, for a battlegroup that’s Khador thick, but Cygnar fast. While we didn’t talk about it before, Both Magnus1 and Magnus2 have Knockdown on their Mechanical Fist attack, giving them a nice little toolbox of melee abilities. However, Magnus2 picked up the *Attack (Armor Piercing) which, in exchange for your other initial attacks, lets him cut the enemy’s armor in half for one attack. That can be huge. For reference, Let’s say you charge an armor 20 heavy with the Armor Piercing attack. Assume the Ragman is debuffing the armor of that heavy, so you’re pow 13 with the Foecleaver X. halving the enemies armor puts it down to 10, then lowered by 2 from Dark Shroud. You can expect to deal something like 15 damage with that one hit. 15 damage! On an armor 20 heavy! That’s not even the most you can stack that up! With Magnus’ Calamity spell, and Backstab in effect, you can expect to deal 21 damage to that armor 20 heavy, with one attack, from your Warcaster. Bear in mind that even the thickest Khador heavy only has 34 to 36 boxes, and 21 damage cuts its life by two thirds, easily crippling two arms, movement, cortex, and more. Also remember that this works on warcasters and warlocks, too. Against an arm 15 warcaster, Magnus can hit for something like 15 damage without any buffs at all, and with just a few small buffs, he might be able to kill a Warcaster even if they have focus to reduce the damage.
Let’s talk about Magnus2’s spell list, now. You’ve traded out a lot of the spells you’re comfortable with from Magnus1 for a much different suite of buffs and debuffs.
Bullet Dodger: This is a cheap upkeep spell that gives a model +2 defense and Dodge. A strong replacement for Blur.
Calamity: a somewhat expensive, but powerful offensive upkeep spell that lowers defense and armor on an enemy model/unit by 2. This spell turns everything in your list up to eleven.
Convection: a cheap offensive spell that, if it kills a living model, allocates a focus to a warjack in Magnus’ battlegroup.
Escort: This is a wonderful upkeep spell that has two functions, first, it gives all warjacks in Magnus’ battlegroup +2 movement, and second, if any warjack in his battlegroup is within 3” of him, he gains +2 armor.
Obliteration: A powerhouse destructive spell, for cost 4, it hits AoE5 with a pow 15, not to be underestimated, but also not a spell for every situation.
So we traded out a variety of jack support for a lot of self sufficiency and power. Calamity should be your go to spell for most situations, landing that on a model you intend to destroy, then destroying it with your guns and melee is a very strong option. Bullet Dodger and Escort should go up turn 1, and likely not shift until whatever has bullet dodger expires.
Let’s also talk about Magnus’ feat. Kill Box is an incredibly powerful control feat. Where Magnus1 gave you options to hit and run, Magnus2 Springs a trap and sets up for a devastating strike. Kill Box instructs you to pick two out of the four table edges. Any enemy model beginning an advance in Magnus’ Control Range can’t advance toward either one. That’s very important wording there, as in, they can’t, at any time during the model’s activation, move closer to either table edge you select. This effect powerfully locks enemy models in place, with only the ability to move in the direction you want them to, forcing them out of scenario zones, or to sit idly in the threat of your various destructive jacks. It takes a lot of practice to use Kill Box completely perfectly. When you’re just starting out, try to stop enemy heavies from being able to charge you, force your opponent to be where you want them to be to charge them.
Whew, So we’ve gone through Magnus himself, let’s talk about the other three models we added to the list. Firstly, Dahlia Hallyr & Skarath. Dahlia is a Lesser Warlock, and we’re adding her here partly to get a handle on the fury mechanics, as understanding that will do you a really great turn in the long run. That’s not to say she, and the giant snake she brings to the party, aren’t incredible, it’s just a nice bonus. Dahlia functions like a warlock, except she has a few other specific rules, the most important of which is that she can’t control any warbeast other than Skarath. She has two spells and they’re both great. First is Haunting Melody, an upkeep spell on Dahlia herself that does a few things: First, living enemy models in her control range cannot give or receive orders at all, and second, living enemy models cannot make melee or ranged attacks targeting Dahlia. This may sound strange, but this effect is incredibly powerful. A unit of powerhouse melee troops can’t actually harm dahlia with this spell up, and as long as they’re close enough to her, they can’t charge anybody else, either. Her second spell is Mist Walker, a 2 cost buff for her or skarath that grants Pathfinder and Prowl, allowing them to traverse any terrain, and stay safe while doing so. Just as wonderful as Dahlia is Skarath. Skarath is a Tatzylwurm Heavy Warbeast, which means he’s a giant snake. He’s fast, at speed 6, Accurate, at mat 6, and rat 6, and hard to kill at def 14, arm 17. He’s got Gunfighter, and an absolutely amazing Spray 10, pow 12 Corrosion gun, and a pow 16 Rng2 Bite. Skarath’s Spray causes models hit by it to suffer Continuous Corrosion, and his bite hits with Critical Consume, and Paralysis. The first of those automatically removes non-warcaster/warlock small based warriors from play without a damage roll on a critical hit, and the second reduces any model hit by the bite’s defense to 5, and they cannot run or charge. Wonderful! Skarath has two other special things, first is his animus, Counterblast, which allows him to make one melee or ranged attack against any model that ends its movement within 6” of him. The second is his Bond with Dahlia. The Bond gives Skarath an additional die on all attack rolls made against models in Dahlia’s Control Range. Taken all together, you get a snake with a suite of interesting abilities that can hit very hard, a great anti infantry weapon, some great control, and a really good hitter.
Our last addition to the list this week is Sylys Wyshnallyr, which is a weird name for a really useful dude. Sylys is a Warcaster Attachment, and support solo, he doesn’t really kill anything on his own, but he does support your warcaster’s spells with some great abilities. Arcane Assist is a quick and obvious ability, Sylys upkeeps one of your spells for you, so you don’t have to pay for it. This is crucial for Magnus2, who lost Resourceful, so he’s got to pay to make everything work in this incarnation. Sylys helps him stay efficient with his focus. The second is Arcane Secrets, which he uses on your Warcaster. It gives the first spell you cast an additional dice on attack and damage rolls, but you drop the lowest one. This adds up to some great effects, and it’s easy to think about it as a +2 to attack and damage rolls (though the math on that isn’t completely accurate) His last ability is Spiritual Conduit, which increases the range of all non-channeled spells by 2” as long as he’s close to your Warcaster. This is great if your arc node fails, or is otherwise incapacitated.
Okay, descriptions over and done with, Let’s talk about the plan for this week. Your list is now very fast, and very deadly. You want to get Magnus up and in the mix, consider charging with him on your first turn, to get him as close to your enemy as possible. He’ll also want to cast Escort on himself, and Bullet Dodger on Skarath. With Bullet Dodger, the snake’s defense jumps to 16, with Serpentine, it can’t be knocked down, and if it’s ever missed by an attack, it can advance 2” in any direction. All these things together make him a big problem for a lot of lists. Your Mangler and your Rover should still be plowing ahead, this time they’re much faster, however, getting into the thick of things very quickly. When they charge, they charge fast, with the Mangler threatening 12” on his charge. Ideally, you want to try to use your Renegade’s Obliterator Rocket to knock down something important, let Magnus cast calamity on it, and then have your list kill it, after that, try to tag things with Calamity the turn before you’ll need it and repeat. Your Vanguard keeps Magnus safe, Ragman continues to debuff models. Of interesting note here is that Ragman’s Sacrificial Pawn ability comes more into play, as it allows him to hand ranged attacks he doesn’t want to suffer to a living model, one such as Skarath, who has a few boxes to spare sometimes. If you find yourself running into a lot of infantry, don’t be afraid to use Sylys’ Arcane Secrets ability to empower an Obliteration at them. It’ll do a great job of clearing out pockets of infantry, and coupled with judicious use of Skarath’s Spray, you probably won’t find yourself troubled for too long. Do your best this week to use Magnus’ feat effectively, try it out in a variety of situations, and again, don’t be afraid to use power attacks. This time around, be as aggressive as you can with Magnus, If he can stay standing, and benefit from escort, he’s armor 21 to melee, which makes him very, very hard to kill.
Magnus the Warlord (Magnus2)
- Sylys Wyshnallyr
Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire (Alexia2) (NEW)
Horgenhold Artillery Corps (NEW)
Gorman Di Wulfe (NEW)
Okay, Coming in on the home stretch, and our list is really starting to come together. We’ve added two more solos, and this time a unit. We’ll walk through those real quick, and then get to what they can do for our plans.
Alexia2 is a combat solo that does a variety of interesting magical things. She boasts a downright decent statline, as a fast cavalry model with defense 15 and armor 16, she also has the Witchfire Sword, which hits at pow 12 with 1” rng. She starts to get fancy when you incorporate other rules on her card, She has two spells, Grave Summons and Hellfire. The first lets you spend soul tokens on this model to place Thrall Warriors into play within 3” of Alexia, the Thralls are pretty basic, Mat 6, pow 10 weapon master, but they hit pretty hard, and are great for putting an extra hurt on a model, especially when backed with Calamity. Hellfire is just a range 10 pow 14 spell that prohibits Tough rolls and removes models from play. It hits pretty hard, and can come from far away, so if somebody isn’t expecting it, it’s great. Both of these spells rely on Soul Taker, which allows Alexia to collect souls from any living enemy model that is destroyed in her command range. She can spend those souls on Arcane Vortex, to negate spells targeting models within 3” of her, or to Boost attack or damage rolls with her melee or spells, or to buy additional melee attacks with them. She also has Reposition (5”), so she’s very easy to maneuver around the battlefield, collecting souls, protecting things from nasty spells, and creating weapon masters. Alexia serves as a utility infielder, of sorts. She can go off and kill some models, threaten heavier things with her weapon masters, defend your caster from spell based assassinations, but all of that requires her getting a few souls. Spend some time in early turns gathering her some souls, and protecting her, and she’ll return them tenfold.
The second Solo we added is Gorman Di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist. Gorman is a strong support/combat solo who builds a lot of great synergy in your list. Primarily, his job is throwing grenades filled with horrible things at your opponent. He’s got Stealth to help him get there, and Immunity to both fire and Corrosion to help him out. He’s only Rat 5, but you should really be hitting close with these grenades. He’s got Smoke Bombs, a simple action that creates a cloud effect centered on him, enabling others to hide behind that cloud. He’s also got his Grenades, which do one of three things every time you use them. The first is Acid Bomb, which hits all models within AoE3 with a pow 12 Corrosive damage roll, and gives them Continuous Corrosion. You’ve also got Black Oil, which causes all models under the AoE to suffer Blind, giving them a host of stat penalties, be aware that an enemy can spend a focus to shake the blind status. And finally, you’ve got Rust, which lowers the armor of all Warjacks in the AoE by 2. All together, Gorman forces people to take into account that they could have their stats drastically altered by the time they get into melee, or they could be destroyed all together. He takes a little practice to use, and you definitely don’t want to throw him away early, but Gorman can still dole out punishment and control the battlefield, just be wary about letting your opponent kill him, do your best to throw your Black Oil bombs on your feat turn, so that you get a chance to throw another bomb the turn after that.
The last thing we added to the list this time around is the Horgenhold Artillery Corps. This piece is pretty obvious, it’s a huge cannon manned by Dwarves. This artillery piece does a few fancy things, First, it’s range 16, AoE4, pow 14, it hits roughly like the Obliterator Rockets on the Renegade do, but as a special bonus, it’s got Brutal Damage, which gives it an extra dice against the model you directly hit. Combined with the variety of debuffs you have, this can quickly translate into a very high power shot from a very long way away. It also has Arcing Fire, Which makes it much harder to hide from this cannon. Only important thing to do is make sure that the cannon is well protected from enemy attacks. You want it front and center in the battlefield, but if you let your opponent engage, or destroy it, it’s doing you no good at all.
So with those three additions, we’ve built our list into something that has a little bit of an answer for everything, and asks a few difficult questions itself. The battle plan continues to evolve, but we’re adding more and more to the middle and late game, so that once the feats have been popped, and the game is grinding down to who can outlast, we’ve got definitive answers to that question. Some important things to shoot for this week: Try to start seeing the difference between asking a question with your list, or reacting to what your opponent’s list does. If your list asks a challenging enough question, it doesn’t matter what your opponent does, but if your opponent can answer that question, you damn sure better have a backup plan.
Magnus the Warlord (Magnus2)
- Sylys Wyshnallyr
Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire (Alexia2)
Horgenhold Artillery Corps
Gorman Di Wulfe
Kell Bailoch (NEW)
Alten Ashley (NEW)
I bet you’re surprised, we’re adding more solos. This time only two, and they’re two of the most elite snipers in the game. Kell Bailoch and Alten Ashley work together to form a magnificent bastard plan, giving you strong plays into Warmachine, Hordes, and everything in between. Let’s take a look at these final two solos, and then at the list as a whole.
Kell Bailoch is one of the premier snipers in the setting, and one of the hardest working models we’ve got. Kell boasts Advance Deploy, speed 6, and a range 14 pow 10 rifle. With all that together, if you go second, he can shoot to your opponent’s 14” line. He goes the distance. That said, what you’ll almost always want to be doing with him is aiming. Kell comes with the Dual Shot rule, and combined with his rat of 8, aiming to make 2 rat 10 shots sounds pretty amazing. He’s also blessed with Marksman, Prowl, and Deadly Shot. Marksman is a simple rule that says when Kell Damages a warjack or warbeast with his gun, he gets to choose the branch that suffers damage. Deadly Shot says that instead of rolling damage, Kell can choose to deal 3 points instead. Take those two together, along with Dual Shot, and kell can place 6 points of damage exactly where he means to on any warjack or warbeast, which is just magically great. He can also pick off two infantry without trouble, snipe out troubling solos, and peel off officers before they get to use their abilities. He’s also a delightful threat to enemy casters, since his damage is very consistent, you know exactly how much he can contribute, and nobody wants to spend a focus or fury to negate three damage, even if they absolutely have to.
Alten Ashley functions in a similar space, but a little more targeted towards Hordes. Just Like Kell, He’s Advance Deploy, Prowl, Speed 6, and Rat 8, with a range 14 gun. However, Alten’s gun is pow 12, and does some nasty things to people. His Monster Hunter rule says that when he hits a warbeast, in addition to the normal damage he deals, he also deals d3+3 damage to the branch of your choice. He’s also has Grievous Wounds on his rifle, so models cannot have damage removed from them when damaged by it. Combined with Kell, you can very easily deal d3+9 damage to a warbeasts spirit, and prevent it from being healed, completely protecting yourself from its onslaught. To protect himself, Alten comes with Reposition (3”) so he can easily retreat into terrain to stay safe. That’s not to say he’s limited to warbeasts, however. Preventing a Warjack from being repaired can sometimes mean the difference between winning and losing, and several warjacks have methods of repairing themselves before or during their activations. Shutting down that healing goes a long way, to say nothing of just placing a pinpoint accurate pow 12 wherever you like it.
So that’s what our list looks like, you’ll notice that we ended up with a pretty solo heavy list, but we’ve also got a good chunk of beef in there. 3 heavies, two lights, 6 solos, and an artillery piece all serve to keep our enemies guessing. In playing this list, I’d highly recommend experimenting with your deployment in as many ways as you can, try different things centered, send different models up the flanks, try certain models in pairs, or groups to create little synergies between them. All of the models presented here can work amazingly together, but to a certain extent, you’ve got to find the combinations that work well for you. At every step, we’ve tried to build this list to cover things we can’t do, and expand the things we can, definitely keep looking into ideas like that.
Mercenaries can play a dozen different types of game, this one is very heavy, very fast, but gives you tons of outs and ways to use your opponent’s models against them. Prevent their movement, stop them in their tracks, punish them for attacking you, or make their overconfidence destroy them. You can be overwhelmed, but you’re never out of options. Always be looking for the sneaky way to take out your opponent’s key pieces, and if you don’t know which ones they are, ask. Most players, apart from those that are really dicks, will tell you what they want their list to do, try to throw bullets into those gear works, and see if you can stop them from executing these well laid plans. You’ve got all the tools, you’ve just got to leverage them in sometimes interesting ways.
Well, that’s my 0-75 journeyman league plan. Feel free to diverge off of it, or to try it in different combinations. The models you pick up here should serve you well in a wide variety of mercenary lists, and if you feel like you want places to go from here, the world is wide open. For my money, i’d say pick up Durgen Madhammer, and a few dwarven jacks, and see how they feel in a similar situation. Hopefully this has been helpful, if it hasn’t, let me know, and we’ll see if we can’t figure out how to make the magnificent Mercenary army work for you.