-By: Josh P.
Khador is a faction that is filled to the brim with casters who can jump into combat and do some heavy lifting of their own, we have the Butchers and the Vlads, Karchev, Sorscha as well likes to mix it up though hers is mostly for assassination. Lord Rickard Kozlov, Viscount of Scarsgrad, is not quite the powerhouse that the butcher is, but he has some very nice tricks of his own. He doesn’t amplify the output of his entire army to the extent that Vlad does, but the things he brings to the table take several key things in Khador and cranks them up!
Stats and abilities:
His speed stat in an average 6, we will come back to that later though when we talk about his feat. Other notable stats are his MAT of 7 which is good, it is not the highest in Khador but it means he should hit Def 13 reliably, higher than that you will probably still want to boost unless you’re feeling lucky, his RAT is irrelevant as he does not have a gun. His defensive stats are a definite selling point for him though, DEF 15 and ARM 17 these are both very solid values, but his ARM can also be brought up again later by his feat. His command doesn’t really do anything important right now, but hey it is a nice high 9. He also has tough, so he has a chance to roll a 5 or 6 when something would otherwise have killed him and heal 1 damage point then become knocked down, which we will talk about again when we get to his spells. By itself tough is a helpful ability that while not exactly reliable can be a game changer when it actually works so it is a nice little bonus to have.
His great axe has a name in the little fluff story that comes with the battlebox but I am afraid the card just skipped the name, but hey it is a great weapon, with a somewhat average P+S of 12, 2 inch melee range, and the magical and weaponmaster properties, giving him the ability to hit incorporeal models and weaponmaster gives him an extra damage die to roll any time he hits with his axe. Which is why it is a great weapon! He can increase hitting power on a model with one of his spells as well. Kozlov’s last 2 abilities before I move on to spells and his feat are Precision Strike, which lets him choose the column or branch on a warjack or warbeast that his damage goes into, this is a big deal for disabling weapons or systems. The final ability is sidestep, this allows a model that hits with an initial melee attack to make a 2 inch advance after the attack is resolved, now since Kozlov only has one initial melee attack he will only get to move once, but it can make a big difference in the right situation, either getting you out of danger or into range of your next target. Kozlov has several movement enhancing tricks to use which make him scarier than some might first believe, so sidestep can be the last little bit to get you right where you want to be.
Avalanche is a strong nuke spell that costs half of his focus with the added benefit of critical knockdown and a 4 inch AOE. It is range 8, so Kozlov is going to be close to the action to use it, it is his highest damage output ability before he can get to melee.
Chosen ground is unique to Kozlov as far as I know and it is a doosie, the first of his upkeep buff spells, gives him and all his warjacks pathfinder and immunity to knockdown. This means rough terrain, walls, and such do not stop you from charging which is a very big deal. Immunity to knock down means not paying to stand up, it also means as long as Kozlov upkeeps the spell and enemies don’t remove he will keep getting tough rolls, so for people who get those streaks of lucky 5s and 6s… you can live through a lot.
Fury is not unique to Kozlov by any means, we also have this spell on Butcher 1! But what a spell it is, +3 melee damage but -1 DEF is a big deal for warjacks like the juggernaught that have a paltry 10 DEF base, oh no now it’s only DEF 9… but it has a P+S 22 ice axe and P+S 18 open fist…. Fury is also pretty great to have for those times when Kozlov has to do some work himself, he goes up to a P+S 15 weapon master who can choose where his damage goes on a beast or jack! This is the spell that can make enemies very afraid of your models.
Razor wind is a cheaper and longer range nuke spell than avalanche, but has no AOE or critical effect. It is mostly used as a way to kill those pesky incorporeal solos like pistol or machine wraiths. Otherwise you probably won’t cast this a whole lot.
Tactical Supremacy is his final upkeep spell and grants a model or unit reposition 3, or the ability to make a 3 inch advance once it has finished doing everything else on its activation. This is also a big deal for khador as it further enhances our mobility with either a whole host of slow things… or makes the fast things even faster. This spell is great on any shield wall unit to help make up for the lack of running, great on warjacks with guns that want to aim and still get some movement, it has plenty of uses in Khador!
So in review here, Kozlov has 3 great buff upkeep spells that each help his army do even more than they can normally, he can enhance his battlegroup so they never get knocked down, never get slowed by rough terrain or walls, he can enhance any model or unit’s damage output in melee, and he can give a model or unit extra mobility. In khador these all help you deliver more axes to more faces in need. He also has ranged damage spells, avalanche having a chance to knockdown everything in its 4 inch AOE, pretty cool!
Kozlov’s Feat is called “Onrush” and gives friendly faction models in his control range +2 SPD and Unyielding ( which gives you +2 ARM whenever you are engaging an enemy model). Again Kozlov delivers just what you needed. Along with his spells, this feat in Khador is great. Now your warjacks are SPD 6 with pathfinder, immunity to knockdown, unyielding… and if you put fury on anything well… it will wreck something.
What does all this mean though? I think it rewards an aggressive play style, with combined arms approach. By that I mean if you have shooty things that want to stay out of combat, Kozlov can help, he can give that thing reposition 3 to let it back away or possibly aim then still move in. Your opponent has an armor buffed model that seems pretty scary and it’s parked behind cover, Kozlov can help, Khador jacks with pathfinder and fury can dismantle a lot of opposition.
His feat can be used to really hammer home an alpha strike by extending the threat ranges on all your models in his control, but you can also use it to run and get 4 more inches of movement from those warjacks with pathfinder, and if they get into melee range they are even harder to dislodge because of unyielding. In short Kozlov takes some of the best stuff in our faction and makes it better. Which is exactly what you want as a good starting point.
Since Kozlov does some things to alleviate our weakness of low speed but can also turn our already high potential melee damage output up even further, you will most likely want to have a more melee oriented force with some guns to cover your advance. Khador embraces combined arms wholeheartedly, and has good options to use for these.
This list leverages Kozlov’s feat and spells to close quickly with melee elements while laying down covering mortar fire. I included tougher units like Manowar Shocktroopers and Iron Fang Uhlans because they are both very threatening and not very threatened by my blast damage. Blast damage will be coming from either of my Destroyers or my mortar crews, fury can go on the manowar, the uhlans, or the juggernaught quite nicely. The wardog is not necessary but he is always great to have around, since I have a point left he could be swapped for any of the mercenary attachments if desired. Tactical supremacy is amazing on manowar shocktroopers. It is also useful for allowing our ranged jacks to aim and still move forward. I added the manowar officer and kovnik to really try and push the manowars as the big threat, with tactical supremacy and desperate pace, they can shield wall forward 9 inches a turn. They are also quite capable of damaging most targets with assault from their officer and all their weapons being P+S 14 base, and you can always add in Fury to amp up their melee damage even more.
The widowmaker marksman is a problem solver, he is there to kill the solos and support pieces and to be a thorn in the side of your opponent. He can also put his damage where he wants it, in tandem with deadly shot he can finish off systems or aspects on enemy beasts or jacks that you have damaged already but not finished off.
The manowar kovnik is really only there to speed up your shocktroopers but he can be a great combat solo by himself, especially since he can use the slam power attack. He lost weaponmaster in the change to mk3 but he gained a second melee attack with his shield and, the shield advantage for more armor. He has assault as well so he potentially gets 3 attacks or a slam once he is in range.
- Kozlov1 (Lord Kozlov Viscount of Scarsgrad) -28
- Destroyer 14
- Destroyer 14
- Juggernaut 12
- War Dog 3
- Man-O-War Shocktroopers (Leader and 4) 16
- Man-O-War Shocktrooper Officer 4
- Iron Fang Uhlans (Leader and 4) 20
- Man-O-War Kovnik 5
- Winter Guard Mortar Crew 5
- Winter Guard Mortar Crew 5
- Widowmaker Marksman 4
Khador also has access to some potent theme lists, Kozlov matches the aesthetic of irongfangs pretty well, with his great axe looking very similar to the axes used by the great bears of gallowswood. I am a big fan of Iron fangs and I am going to try this list out as soon as I get the chance, it is really just all my iron fang models but their inherent synergy will mesh well with Kozlov and his abilities.
Theme: Legion Of Steel
- Lord Kozlov (+28)
- Juggernaught (12) -16
- Juggernaught (12) -4
- Decimator (16) 12
- War Dog (3) 15
- Iron Fang Pikemen Max Unit (15) 30
- Officer and standard (4) 34
- Iron Fand Uhlans Max Unit (20) 54
- Battle Mechaniks Max Unit (5) 59
- Great Bears of Gallowswood (9) 68
- Uhlan Kovnik Markov (7) 75
- Iron Fang Kovnik (0) 75
- Iron Fang Kovnik (0) 75
With this theme list you gain some sweet benefits like advance move for either the pikemen or the great bears. Probably best for the pikemen to be up front but your situation may dictate otherwise. You also get both Iron Fang Kovniks for free. The real kicker though is that those same kovniks and the great bears and markov all gain countercharge. This can be very painful to deal with if you position correctly. I am excited to try it out, I hope you are inspired to give Kozlov a try.