Lock & Load took place last weekend as I’m sure many of you are aware and we had some very tasty spoilers and pics come out of it so I thought I’d have a quick look at what we know so far about the Khador side: lVlad and the Coquest!
Looking at his stat line lVlad has not strayed far from the the proverbial tree boasting a very similar statline but with 1 extra armor and the movement increase form being mounted. He remains a strong all round statline with 7 focus and good offensive and defensive stats.
His special abilities include being cavalry based and all the perks that come with it as well as relentless charge. Interestingly he has blood quenched giving him +1 STR/ARM whenever he kills a model. We can only assume is the third incarnation of his Blood of kings legacy however he is not the first caster to have this ability with others like Makeda and Broadside Bart have been seen sporting it for a while now. I believe however that where as it was more or less a nifty little side ability for them, Vlad will be able to bring out the best in it using his other skills.
Vlad has two solid weapons to choose from. The first is his mace Huntsman which is P+S13 with chain weapon and the second is his lance, P+S 12 with reach (no charge restrictions like other uhlans). Both of these weapons are magical and have brutal charge. This gives Vlad two solid basic attacks and a mixture of abilities depending on what he needs at the time. He also has combat rider so can attack with his mount which has knockdown, this attack can’t be boosted or bought but is still a great bonus if you get that crit.
Spell wise we have:
Flashing Blade: 1 Focus for an attack on all models in combat with him. This is a steal and with reach its even more effective at getting your BQ bonus up. Also of note is that this ability ignores friendly models.
Hand of Fate: eVlads signature spell returns in this new incarnation to bring an additional dice on hit and damage rolls (remove the lowest one) to the unit it’s cast on. A great spell which works well on whatever needs is most at the time. It’s also 2 focus to cast and upkeepable so very easy to shift it around.
Infernal Machine: I believe this is the first time this skill has been seen outside the cryxosphere and it’s a great bonus to any jack in Vlads batlegroup giving them +2 SPD/MAT.
Wind Wall: One of pVlad’s abilities. Very situational but being able to ignore all non magical shooting can really counter some armies.
Dash: a Great bonus for Khador, any unit can benefit form +1 SPD and parry. A lot of people are excited about this for MoW but personally I love the idea of speed 8 Nyss hunters with Valachev zephyr…
Razorwind: Run of the mill magic missile. I can’t see it being used much especially without Blood Boon on his weapon anymore but it is his only ranged option so may occasionally see some use.
His feat is a bit of a double whammy; for one turn it gives all cavalry and warjacks sprint and sidestep. Once again two new that bring a lot of new cards to the table for Khador.
So lets look at him as a whole. We have here a caster with a solid statline and some great offensive abilities. He has the ability to mow through infantry, not to say a lot of casters cant but this would either be a last effort late game or it would leave them over exposed. Blood quenched allows him to build up to a Terminus like level of resistance if he can kill enough models, which is easy with abilities like cavalry charge and flashing blade. The strength bonus allows him to hit his intended target very hard if he can set up his run properly. His feat will help him a lot with this, either by getting him in and out without repercussions or getting him into position so he can hit his real target the turn after.
This does make him a very effective assassin but he also has a good supporting spell list. It aids his jacks and other warrior models with speed (dash and infernal machine) as well as with their attack/damage rolls (hand of fate). Model wise Uhlans are a no brainer even though we are missing the elite cadre a lot of us were expecting, cavalry will be able to make the most of his abilities and chaperone him around the battlefield as he hunts the big game. Greylord light cavalry has been announced so battle wizards with sidestep, magical shotgun spray and sprint will be very interesting to see! Jacks are welcome in his list and where his prime incarnation allowed for multiple jacks and his epic form generally ran with one this new list strikes a comfortable middle. Infernal machine keeps one of his jacks fast and hard hitting but his feat can benefit multiple and without any big focus spells like S&P or Transference he can run two or three jacks in theory.
On paper he retains a lot of what makes vlad…vlad for lack of a better word. Hes tough, can pull his weight in a fight and helps his army pull of some sneaky tricks. All in all he looks like a great successor to the Vlad title and I look forward to getting him on the board.
Some would say that there has been very little to change the game up since the arrival of MKII, that the game has been stagnating even. Now I’m not one of them, one because I haven’t been round that long and two as I like to think I’m a bit more cheery and less cynical. So I may not be as much a veteran as some of you out there but I know a game changer when I see one and the colossals are it. What PP, dare I say, failed to do with the battle engines the colossals will achieve. It is very hard to critic something like this that you’ve never had on the table before, let alone something using mechanics in a way you have yet to see.
You can’t look at these models as just giant warjacks or even multiple warjacks taped together they’re something the likes of which warmachine has never seen.
But lets have a look at what we do know. He’s classic khador, slow and heavily armored with normal MAT and less then average RAT. He does have even less DEF then a normal jack but that makes practically no difference. Even though they are “only” armor 20 the massive amount of hit boxes they have means that they will take a serious battering to go down. We are talking 2/3 fully buffed and loaded beasts/jacks to take this out in one turn. I’m going to assume that if you’re reading this then you are fairly internet savvy and you’ve already seen the general rules for colossus (or read the latest NQ) so I wont recap on those here.
Gun wise he has the main battery; RNG 15 POW 15 AOE 5 a very nice weapon with the critical devastation ability. He also then has 2 cannons which are essentially hand cannons with AOE 3 and the ability to shoot twice each, they can also lay these templates down as covering fire. We have one big gun that can put a serious dent in armor as well as taking out mass infantry. The crit slam can also provide some interesting opportunities if you can get it off. I think Harkevitch is going to see some more table time with this kind of beastie on the table as two shots form that cannon is going to cause some serious hurt even on a scatter. The smaller guns still have their usage. The double shot is nice but with the low RAT these guns will very rarely be hitting the kind of enemy they are meant for. The covering fire however is excellent, and will stop a lot of the light infantry you see in the current meta from reaching you. Heavy armor will be less phased but up to ARM 13/14 you stand a good chance of killing anything that steps up.
His two open fists are P+S 22 which means even against khador jacks he’s hitting at dice+2 which makes him just as effective as Behemoth at killing heavies so 3/4 hits from these bad boys will take down most things. The open fists give him the full range of power attacks as well as the two colossus specific ones. Needless to say with reach, bases that size and a huge STR there are definitely a lot of shenanigans to be had!
Now this may sound like a bit of a cop out but at this moment in time I’m unsure as to exactly how this will work. Like I said earlier the first reaction is to treat it like a Jack on a larger base but I have feeling it won’t be that simple and nobody can know until they’ve actually played it a few times so ignore all these nay sayers on the internet for now. Time will prove them wrong or not. Either way look forward to a big mix up in the world of warmachine!