So the writers here at the Warmachine and Hordes for Beginners blog have tried to warn you in the past about starting out with Convergence . It’s certainly not a faction for everyone, as the limited release schedule, lack of options, and unique Focus mechanism make for a challenging approach.
That said, you still may be intrigued by this curious faction. And if so, you’ll want to start with Father Lucant. Why Lucant first? Well, simply put he’s the original founder model of the faction in the fluff–and his game rules are probably the best for someone beginning the faction. He has some clearly defined synergies, and benefits from a really easy-to-achieve theme list right now in Destruction Initiative. Oh, and he mercilessly grinds his foes into dust after shrugging off their best attacks. Let’s chat about his abilities, spells, and Feat to see how this clock(work) ticks.
Stats and Abilities
As always with a Convergence Warcaster, the initial two stats to pay attention to are their MAT and their RAT. All of their Warjacks share the stats of their Warcasters, so it’s critical to field the right options with the Warcaster. Lucant has a healthy MAT 6 and a nigh Abysmal RAT 3. That doesn’t mean no shooting, as we’ll see below, but it does mean minimal shooting. Good news is that he himself doesn’t need his RAT, and he has ways to augment his MAT if he’s going to be the one swinging.
His other stats are pretty good. He’s SPD 6 with Pathfinder so he can get wherever he wants. Lucant also has a great STR of 9. With a 2” reach POW 7 weapon, he hits at a fearsome magic P+S 16. That, plus a spell, means that unlike many Warcasters Lucant actually can get some real threat out himself if it’s an emergency. All the more so against Warjacks as it makes them stationary on hit. Defensively he also stacks up well, starting with a base DEF 14 and ARM 17. He’s going to be the “weak point” of your force, but you’ll see that he often can take a lump or two.
Though often, he doesn’t have to. As he’s got a crucial Field Marshal ability: Field Marshal [Shield Guard]. That means that every one of his Warjacks, which you will often take in large numbers, can keep him safe from many ranged threats. Should the hits get through to him, he also has Steady natively, so he’s not going to be knocked down. And if you do take some damage, don’t worry. He’s a Construct, so he can be repaired by the numerous options in the faction that repair damage.
You can already start to see the reason he’s a good first Warcaster for someone considering playing Convergence. When learning to play Warmachine and Hordes, the early first goals should be not losing to assassination. Lucant enables that well enough. With a FOCUS of 7, and a near auto-include model that increases control range further, he can stay in a safe spot. He’s got innate defensively strong stats and abilities, and as you’ll see, he has spells and a Feat that enable it even more so. But what makes him great, as you’ll see, is that with Lucant just because you have a great defense doesn’t mean that you don’t have some nasty offensive power. It means that he, and his force, can weather the storm until they’re close–then just flip into offense mode and crush the foe.
With the way that Focus works differently in Convergence, many times you’ll have nearly your full stack to play with when deciding on spells. I’ll talk thru them in the order that you’re likely to use them.
Watcher: If you’re a kind player, and facing a new opponent, this is the spell you want to suggest they pay attention to. As you’re going to put it on an Inverter, and keep that Inverter near Lucant. That way when your opponent sets up their amazing assassination run, and Watcher triggers–letting the Inverter move up and knock down whatever model is attacking Lucant ending their activation–you can say “yeah, I warned you that Watcher is nasty”. Against many match-ups, upkeeping Watcher is basically a hard assassination counter. Opponents need to do a lot of work to make sure it cannot trigger, and that means taking resources away that could have been used in the assassination attempt. It’s a fantastic defensive spell, and you’ll start your turn one by casting it onto your Inverter (yes, it can go on others–but the Knockdown with a boosted to-hit roll is just too ideal).
Deceleration: Once you’ve cast/upkept Watcher, you’ll usually then cast Deceleration. +2 ARM vs Ranged and Magic damage rolls for all models in his wide control area. This helps Lucant, but even more it helps all those Shield Guarding warjacks. Heavies all end up at ARM 20 to 21 depending on the type. It goes to his whole force though, so even infantry can go from trivial to remove to a boost to reliably remove. This stacks with his Feat, which can be truly ruthless. There comes a point in the game where you’ll stop casting this as the forces get into melee range. Until then, this helps the force reach that point.
Positive Charge:Remember how I described him as swapping from defense to offense? This is the flip spell. Adds +2 MAT and +2 to melee Damage rolls to a Warjack. Which is really good. Well, not only that: any model within 3” of that Warjack also gets +2 MAT and +2 to melee damage rolls. It makes his Warjacks able to take down almost anything if they work in tandem, and it even makes him hit like an absolute truck. Remember you can always move the Corrolary in to the target, then buff it with this spell, then charge Lucant in. It’s not an upkeep, so you can send out a couple of them to strategic spots during the turn in which your Warjacks all rumble in.
Discontinuity: A peculiar spell, this is Lucant’s spell removal option. Unlike some other casters who get to simply remove spells, this one gives his entire battlegroup’s melee weapons the Dispel ability (strips animi and upkeep spells on the target). Good when you need it, but can be limited in application due to it being melee weapons and needing to hit in the first place.
Dissolution Bolt: His nuke spell. Unless a foe gets really careless you’re unlikely to use it for its added power of shutting down targets’ ability to channel spells. Usually best to let his force do the work, and use your Focus to keep them armored or damaging the foe.
I’ll just say, that I love Feat turn with Lucant. Whether you use it the turn before you engage against a gunline, or the turn you reach combat (or your opponent reaches you) with a melee force, it is just priceless to watch the opponent deal with it. +4 ARM to all friendly Faction models in his control range. With already high ARM values, and ways to buff those higher, this is the quintessential “crash against the rocks” Feat. It also boosts repair rolls, so if you took a bit of damage coming in, that’s likely gone as well.
Now don’t get too overconfident. The real wreckers will still manage to wreck a Warjack under this Feat. Instead, leverage it to bleed away all the lesser attacks. Feed any real melee threat a cheap Warjack (Galvanizers are great for this), and get your heavies into the face of stuff that simply cannot hurt ARM 23-24. Against a ranged list it’s especially miserable–a Shield Guarding ARM 26 Conservator is just rude.
The Feat takes practice to leverage well, and some measure of knowing your opponent’s list. You need to have it up on the turn that they’re likely to need to commit. If they do, then great–hopefully it helps your stuff survive for the counter-punch. If they hold back for a turn, be sure you have a plan to exploit it. Box them out of scenario zones or get your Warjacks into melee.
It’s a great Feat for a beginning player, as it can keep you in games even while you’re developing. And for the more experienced player? Well, all the more powerful as it can really take the wind out of armies that try to get a quick attrition lead or alpha strike. And ranged assassination casters get simply shut down by Lucant–between all the shield guards and the Feat turn, you’re likely to get your stuff right up into their battle line with far less damage than they hoped to inflict.
At the risk of a blanket statement: army building with Lucant means throw in a bunch of melee Warjacks and then take free Servitors thanks to theme. There are tons of variations on how to build lists for him, but right now the Destruction Initiative theme really plays to his strengths. He wants to leverage a wall of Warjacks, so why not get free servitor solos for doing so?
Two are pretty mandatory: the Corollary and an Inverter. The first for Focus efficiency, the second as his Watcher target. After that, take Warjacks as you like them. He can run the Prime Axiom (the colossal) well enough despite the low RAT, but some of the other ranged-focus Warjacks would be ones to leave out. I almost always take a Diffuser though, as a boosted RAT 3 can still usually get a Warjack/Warbeast and enable increased charge distance. But really, any Warjack combos can work with him. Make sure to take at least one Optifex Directive for repairs and putting Pathfinder or Magic Weapon onto the Jacks.
My list looks like this:
Theme: Destruction Initiative
- Father Lucant -28
- Corollary 6
- Conservator 12
- Cipher 16
- Cipher 16
- Inverter 15
- Diffuser 6
- Galvanizer 5
- Transfinite Emergence Protector 19
- Optifex Directive 4
- Optifex Directive 4
- Reflex Servitors 0 (with theme)
- Reflex Servitors 0 (with theme)
- Attunement Servitors 0 (with theme)
- Attunement Servitors 0 (with theme)
I chose to go with a pair of Ciphers because they can limit opponent movement by creating rough terrain, and they still hit extremely hard. If you can limit opponents’ ability to reach you in force, it’s all the easier to push the Feat turn to victory. I also included the Battle Engine as it can really help against infantry lists, which is the one spot where the rest of this list struggles a bit.
Destruction Initiative is what really makes the multiple-heavies approach work. The Servitors can shield guard as well as the Warjacks, so you’re looking at a total of 29 shield guards in the list. Weak hits can be passed to Warjacks, really powerful hits to the Servitors. With Feat and Deceleration, blast damage gets almost negated. Just watch out for sprays. The list can take lumps and then punch back extremely well.
That said, the nice thing is that Lucant can run almost anything and keep it alive. Skip the Monitors and Modulators, but otherwise pretty much any choice is going to be able to get some work done. It’s great for a new player as you’re still building your collection of Warjacks. Knowing that almost no choice is going to be a poor one helps a great deal. Just be sure to add that Inverter and Corollary first. They’re what make Lucant into a well-oiled machine.
New Player Suitability
I’ll start with his drawback for a new player: assembly. His model is a bit fiddly, with many of the parts metal but too small to pin. If you’re going for Lucant, be sure to use some Bob Smith Industries Cyanoacrylate glue, rather than just a craft store super glue.
But once he’s assembled and painted, Lucant is the absolute perfect new player entry point for Convergence. He has all the tools to be successful, you can take almost anything and make it work, and he’s extremely survivable–both himself and his list.
What’s best for a new player is that Lucant does a great job at being a primary list. You can drop him into most any match and feel confident. Getting how to play him down means that you can bring him into most match ups. Then you can build a second list for tournament play that exploits the kind of stuff that people drop in response to Lucant. As you’re learning him, you’re learning a model and army that really go into any foe, and that’s really important for early reps as a developing player. Start with the one who can face almost anything, and be sure you can run them well. Lucant enables that, just as he enables newer Convergence players toward success.
Anyhow, if you’re deciding on Convergence then I’m certain that you’ll join me in fielding Father Lucant frequently. For more Lucant action, you can check out my blog at www.chalkboardwar.com.