-By: Ryan Chiriboga
So, you are playing against Cygnar… Well, find some cover or a good forest to hide behind and let’s get started! Cygnar is the premiere ranged faction in Warmachine and Hordes with some melee potency and strong control elements.
The ranged game is largely supported by some big guns on ‘jacks and then dialed up to eleven with warcaster support. The primary three warjack guns to look out for are from the Defender (rng 16, pow 15), Hunter (rng 14, pow 6 armor pierce) and Stormwall (2x rng 14, pow 15). With range and pow like those, it only takes a few hits to lay your caster low. There are plenty of other guns to fear in the faction on ‘jacks and units alike, but none of them will scare your ‘caster off quite like the above.
Regarding melee, the unit you will see the most in mk3 are storm lances. Storm lances are cavalry models with a base 13’ melee threat (speed 8 with reach) and pow 15 (13+2) weapons on the charge. Remember that cavalry get boosted attack rolls on the change and at mat 7, these pow 15s are likely to hit home. In addition to melee, storm lances also have range 8 pow 12 guns, which they can assault with. Finally, both melee and range attacks have electro leap, so hide your low armor infantry when these guys are around. Cygnar has other melee elements in units, but they are easily silenced with some low pow shooting or other anti-infantry means. As with any faction, Cygnar has melee warjacks that will do work, but nothing out of the ordinary. If it’s a heavy, it will probably hurt if it hits you.
Control in Cygnar is largely supported by their ‘casters, but you should also be specifically aware of one unit: gun mages. In mk3, there are more ‘jacks and ‘beasts than ever and thunderbolt shots from gun mages can really change a game in a way that you need to recognize in advance. A solo that you need to keep an eye out for is the gun mage captain adept, which can augment his shots like the gun mages, but he can pick two types at once. His ammunition is also different from theirs and includes two that are of major importance: flare and shadow fire. In my opinion, the GMCA has changed the way Cygnar functions as a faction with these shots. It’s not changed in a way that’s all that different, but just better, more accurate and scarier. Flare gives a model hit -2 defense, which is hugely important for both shooting and melee. A stormwall at effective mat 8 is a game changer. The shadow fire shot allows the Cygnar play to ignore that model for line of sight purposes. So, if you are hiding behind your colossal, you are still going to get shot in the face. Never forget if one of these guys is on the table.
Haley2 was arguably the greatest ‘caster of mk2 and I think the same argument can still be made for mk3. She has what we call a “time walk” feat, which allows for very strong attrition and scenario play (it’s the ultimate control feat). On her spell list, she has telekinesis, so it’s difficult to hide important heavies or your ‘caster and she can TK her own stuff forward. She has dominate and can take control of one of your warjacks for a turn and then she has temporal acceleration, allowing a model to move an additional 2” and take an additional attack (range or melee). The sum of the parts means that I can take my speed 5, reach heavy (10” charge threat) and TK and temporal accelerate him plus a TK to your ‘jack or ‘caster to produce a total threat of 16”. If you are hiding behind a heavy, I can TK him too. Additional threat considerations would be from Lanyssa Ryssyl with hunters mark.
Kara Sloan is one of the greatest ranged and ranged support ‘casters in the game and when combined with Cygnar, produces the ultimate gun line. Alone, she has a rng 14, pow 12 (weapon master) gun which basically puts her on par with the big guns that the ‘jacks have. Her spells list provides all guns in her battlegroup with +2” range and boosted attack rolls. Her feat allows models in her battlegroup to take an additional shot. Put that all together with the ‘jacks in Cygnar and your ‘caster needs to very carefully consider where they stand.
Caine2 is the gun mage warcaster of Cygnar and he too has shot types. His most commonly used and scary to your ‘caster shot is called trick shot, where he gets to pick a model within 4” of the model he shot and that model take a pow 10. Caine2 can also shoot nine times in a turn. So, if you have a low armor ‘caster and you stand within 4” if something low def and durable (‘jack/’beast) then Caine2 can shoot that target and put 9 pow 10s into you. If you are armor 14, that’s an average of 27 damage. If you are on a two camp, that’s still 21 damage and dead. Similar to this from Cygnar in general, keep an eye out for electro leaps on your warcaster, they are auto hitting pow 10s also and they add up.
I think those are the scariest elements to worry about and the rest can be more easily digested. Snipe is a thing, so be careful of ‘casters that have snipe. Oh, and Stryker2 threats 17” and will chop your head off if he catches you. Cheers!