Kommander Andrei Malakov
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| Kommander Andrei Malakov |
Kommander Andrei Malakov has developed into a ruthless but eminently capable Khadoran officer. Driven by bold self-confidence and implementing unconventional tactics, he has no qualms about ordering artillery strikes close to his own lines or pushing feints to their limits despite casualties. As a protégé of Supreme Kommandant Irusk, the young warcaster strives not only to emulate his mentor but also to surpass him, developing his own more aggressive doctrine.
- 1 Basic Info
- 2 Thoughts on Malakov2
- 3 List Building Advice
- 4 Other
- Warcaster - All warcasters come with a stack of standard special rules - most notably being awesome. (Click the link for a full rundown.)
Feat: Poison Pill
- When a friendly, non-battle engine Faction model suffers damage from an enemy attack while in Malakov’s control range at any time except while it is advancing, after the attack is resolved the damaged model can immediately make a full advance.
- Additionally, while in Malakov’s control range, friendly Faction models gain Parry and cannot become knocked down.
- Poison Pill lasts for one round.
- Battle Plan - This model can use one of the following plans at any time during its activation. A friendly Faction model/unit can be affected by only one plan each turn.
- Fighting Dirty - RNG 5". Target friendly Faction warrior model. If the model is in range, a model hit by its next basic melee attack this turn becomes knocked down.
- Sneak - RNG 5". Target friendly Faction warrior model/unit. If the model/unit is in range, it gains Prowl. Models are not affected while out of formation. (Prowl - While this model has concealment, it gains stealth.)
- Throat Cutter - RNG 5". Target friendly Faction warrior model/unit. If the model/unit is in range, it gains Backstab. Throat Cutter lasts for one turn. (Backstab - While completely within the back arc of an enemy model, this model gains an additional die on its attack and damage rolls against that model.)
- Sucker! - If this model is directly hit by an enemy ranged attack, choose a friendly non-incorporeal warrior model within 3" of it to be directly hit instead. That model is automatically hit and suffers all damage and effects.
- Hand Cannon - 12" range, POW 12 ranged attack
- Evangeline - 0.5" reach, P+S 12 melee attack
|Warjacks in the spellcaster's battlegroup beginning their activations in its control range gain +2" movement when advancing as part of their Normal Movement. The spellcaster gains +2 ARM while one or more warjacks in its battlegroup are within 3" of it.|
| Open Fire
|Target warjack in this model's battlegroup that is in its control range can immediately make one basic melee or ranged attack. A model can be targeted by Open Fire only once per turn.|
| Razor Wind
|This spell has zero special effects.|
| Tactical Supremacy
|Target friendly Faction model/unit gains Reposition [3"].
| Veil of Mists
|Place a 4" AOE cloud effect anywhere completely within the spellcaster's control range. This AOE does not block friendly Faction models' LOS. While in the AOE, friendly Faction models gain Pathfinder and can move through obstructions and other models if they have enough movement to move completely past them.|
2019.06 Infernal Release
- He is part of the new Hearts of Darkness theme.
Thoughts on Malakov2
Malakov2 in a Nutshell
Do you remember that scene from Enemy at the Gates where Soviet soldiers are forced to run at the enemy without weapons? Yeah, Andrei Malakov is exactly the kind of kommander to order such a maneuver. Embodying a callous philosophy of victory at all costs, Malakov deems even his own troops utterly expendable as means to his ends. Malakov's second incarnation has turned him into an unorthodox combined arms midfield support warcaster with a whole host of devious and cruel tricks. He defies every Khadoran stereotype as he attempts to live up to the legacy of his mentor Gurvaldt Irusk, but in his entirely unique way.
His toolkit reads like a mixture of several other Khador 'casters:
- You can find traces of battlegroup mobility spells like those of Harkevich, Supreme Kommandant Irusk or Orsus & his Argi.
- Special orders that buff infantry like with Assault Kommander Strakhov or Kommandant Irusk.
- Out-of-activation tricks like those of Harkevich or Kommander Strakhov.
- Movement shenanigans akin to Koldun Kommander Zerkova or The Old Witch and Fate Keeper.
This toolbox approach makes Malakov an extremely flexible and unpredictable warcaster which he emphasizes at the cost of traditional Khadoran speed, power and armor buffs, making him more difficult to get comfortable with and demanding you build lists tailored for him.
Malakov is a reckless warcaster whose tactics require he stay up close to the action so he can issue his wholly unique set of Battle Plans. He's ridiculously vulnerable for a Khadoran warcaster and needs to rely on good positioning and his Sucker! ability to stay alive. He's a very poor combatant (although you should never forget to fire that Hand Cannon) and instead relies on his warjacks and warriors to do all the heavy lifting. Instead of buffing his army directly though, Malakov manipulates the battlefield to set up indirect advantages for him and his troops. His Fighting Dirty Battle Plan sets a key model up for assassination, Sneak is designed to deliver vulnerable units up the field safely and Throat Cutter is his signature tool for destroying key targets. Using his Poison Pill feat it becomes possible to run models damaged by an attack safely into the back arcs of their attackers, setting up devastating Backstab retaliation attacks on the following turn. It's this maneuver that can break the enemy in one turn, provided you can pull it off. Escort and Tactical Supremacy set your models up in ideal positions for your tricks, Open Fire and Razor Wind are weapons of opportunity for the right situation and the amazing Veil of Mists helps you protect and maneuver your models in a myriad of ways.
Poison Pill applies to all non-Battle Engine Faction models in his control range, which includes his battlegroup. You may feel tempted to run more than two warjacks with Malakov to exploit that fact but he just doesn't have the focus available to actually run them. Instead, fill out his WJP and focus the feat on your warriors.
The trouble with warriors is, of course, that most of them only have 1 hitbox and don't survive long enough to actually benefit from Poison Pill's effects. Man-o-War and Faction models with multiple points of Health in general make for natural fits with the feat, and should be among your first considerations for a Malakov force. That being said, Faction models that pass their Tough roll also benefit from the feat (the wording for Tough makes clear that the model is disabled first, and then recovers its Health, meaning it was still damaged initially), don't become knocked down and can perform their movement tricks as usual.
There are basically three major approaches to Malakov's feat with warriors: preemptive, proactive and reactive. Its preemptive use has you close the distance to the enemy by exploiting the movement portion of the feat. If they shoot, you engage. If they charge, you disengage or circle behind them. If they leave you be, you charge and shoot and control the battlefield, holding or at least strongly contesting objectives along the way. The proactive approach cuts out all the waiting and just has you move your warriors into enemy back arcs for Backstabs, using the movement portion of the feat to circle around or disengage on the enemy turn. The reactive approach has your engaged units move deep into enemy lines to tangle up activations and set up Backstab attacks. If the opponent decides to wait out your feat their models have just become useless for an entire round and your models can simply go on the offensive anyway, benefiting from Veil of Mists if they need to go anywhere specifically.
While warriors should be the main focus for Poison Pill, that doesn't mean it's not an amazing feat for your warjacks (and those controlled by Battlegroup Controllers or 'Jack Marshals), because it is. Unless you really mess up placement, it allows your 'jacks to survive all but the heaviest punishment the enemy might throw at them. You can walk out of the melee range of a brawler beast, or run behind its back without a free strike. It is extremely useful against jacks and beasts that have Knockdown on their attacks, such as the Inverter. Since the advance can be triggered every time an enemy damages you, enemy gunlines will also face a tough choice - can they bring down a jack, before it reaches its lines for a proper next turn brawl? The feat can also be used for pure offense and disrupting enemy infantry formations, for example by trampling into the thick of them without fearing free strikes.
The feat includes Malakov himself as well, so "pop & drop" tricks (save for the ones which cause stationary) won't work on him - provided he survived the initial hit from an unlikely assassination run.
- Escort: The ARM boost can be nice but its main utility is in the movement bonus. Khador heavies with their notoriously low DEF can invite all kind of nasty surprises within 3-4" of their actual target, like Electro Leaps, Spine Bursts, Ashes to Ashes etc. It is often better to evade it completely with ARM 14 rather facing a possible dice spike with ARM 16.
- Open Fire: Open Fire isn't one of those spells you build an army around, as it is a trap, because the RAT of Khadoran jacks is so low that they have to rely on boosts to attack rolls to hit anything. Out of activation shots can't be boosted, so unless you are shooting something knocked down or stationary, use your focus for something else.
- Razor Wind: More of an emergency tool than anything else, you can use it as an Incorporeal hunting spell.
- Tactical Supremacy: Typically best used on ranged units or slow models like Man-o-War it's an excellent mobility booster.
- Veil of Mists: A godsend spell in Steamroller scenarios where LOS-blocking terrain pieces dominate the centre of the board. It enables Prowl, lets your models move to inopportune spots and helps traverse terrain. It's excellent. Disclaimer: Check the diagrams in the spell description to see its limitations.
Drawbacks & Downsides
- Unusual for a Khador warcaster, Malakov has relatively low DEF and ARM, and no defensive abilities in melee.
- With Battle Plans he must play closer to the front lines than with upkeep spells, and without Sucker! targets, he's vulnerable to assassinations.
- Not much personal combat output to talk about.
- He is typically strapped for focus and vulnerable to upkeep hate.
Tricks & Tips
- Being knocked down causes models to lose Tough so feel free to have your troops Fight Dirty against them.
- While Sucker! guards against ranged attacks, it doesn't protect against melee. Having your War Dog or another model with Countercharge like a Man-o-War Drakhun nearby can be an ideal deterrent.
- Sucker is not optional.
List Building Advice
Malakov's abilities, feat and spells are best applied to a somewhat esoteric combined arms force and a warjack with a strong ranged attack in his battlegroup. Ironically, given his Sucker! ability, he works best with models that don't need a lot of help hitting and hurting their targets, which in Khador's case means more elite combatants like Doom Reavers and Man-o-War so he can focus his attention on his asymmetrical warfare strategies. The timing of his activations can be tricky to get your head around because he typically wants to issue Battle Plans or Open Fire commands early enough to use them, but not so soon that he jams himself up with your own models. His three upkeep spells--of which one you'll be recasting multiple times--tend to keep him strapped for focus every turn and unable to significantly allocate focus to his 'jacks. This is why he prefers a small amount of 'jacks with powerful attacks that can reliably benefit from Escort, Open Fire and his feat.
While Malakov can do a bunch of different things to achieve victory, his main win condition is his Throat Cutter Battle Plan applied to a Faction warrior unit. He needs to get himself and his army up close and personal to exploit Poison Pill and Veil of Mists to engage the enemy and beat them down with powerful melee combatants. His suite of board control tools let him control the board and punish the opponent for attacking so your goal should be to push the aggression and dare the opponent into coming close enough where you can spring your trap and pounce with a Battle Plan. Failing this, Malakov will struggle to beat your opponent unless you can regain the attrition edge and win by goading them into making mistakes. And mistakes are easy to make against Malakov. His worst match-up is probably against hyper-mobile forces that can dart in and out of range so they can wear his forces down, initially ceding the scenario edge for a late game victory.
Malakov prefers a capable combined arms force that can do a bit of everything but contains at least one unit that can mix it up in melee, perhaps additional warjacks controlled by others than himself and probably no Battle Engines because he has literally nothing to support them with.
Malakov is perfectly placed in the Armored Corps. All his tools work great with Man-o-War and he's one of the few warcasters that can push Demolition Corps over the moon by abusing their CA's Bond of Brotherhood Minifeat.
- Man-o-War Shocktroopers: The Perfect target for Tactical Supremacy, as it lets them order Shield Wall, make a full advance, then repo 3" into B2B contact
- Man-o-War Kovnik: He usheres Desperate Pace to your MoW units, giving them a much needed thread extention.
- Man-o-War Demolition Corps - Under Dragos's mini feat (Bond of Brotherhood) they can spread around damage to ensure a model survives to trigger Poison Pill. Note that when you spread damage, Poison Pill only triggers on the original target. The other models have been damaged by the Bond, not by an enemy attack. On your following turn they get to make Vengeance moves and attacks and should be positioned for some throat cutting.
- Antanas & Standard - Tactician lets you spare focus on Veil of Mist and his battle plans can enhance th Demo Corps combo with either Retaliatory Strike or Tough.
Battle Plans are non-spell buffs, which is perfect for Doom Reaver Swordsmen in the list. A knockdown is nice enough but Sneak with Veil of Mists can be downright scary on a unit of sword-wielding maniacs. They even have Tough to work with his feat! Beyond Veil of Mists several Greylords can make any of your infantry Stealthy with some Blizzards.
- Doom Reaver Swordsmen Doom Reavers have native Tough, so the feat works well on them, and love Prowling on the advance. Veil of Mists lets them get into uncomfortable places for the enemy.
- Butcher4 - With Tough and Bloodbath he is the single best target for Malakov's feat.
- Fenris - Another good feat target. He also buffs other doom reavers.
Not really the sort of combined arms force that Malakov prefers, but at smaller encounters the infantry available are perhaps the only ones you'll need. Kayazy are frightening with Battle Plans, Battle Mechaniks can occasionally provide you with Sucker! targets and Greylord Forge Seers hand out focus to your 'jacks.
- Behemoth: While Malakov isn't a great Jaws of the Wolf warcaster, the impressively efficient Behemoth is a wonderful match for his tool kit.
- Sorscha0: Sorscha's Fog of War enables Prowl and her warjack(s) benefit from his feat.
Perhaps the most obvious Sucker! targets, plus the infantry can become real beasts with the Battle Plans of his and Kovnik Joe's (although a unit can only be affected by one plan at a time).
- Sorscha0, mentioned above, can also be taken in this theme.
Refer to Theme - Hearts of Darkness#Malakov2.
- Greylord Adjunct: A free Escort makes Malakov more focus effiecient. Extra control area is always nice. Guidance is a very valuable spell for ranged models especially.
- Battle Mechaniks: Probably the cheapest Suckers around, Mechaniks are nice and expendable.
- Madelyn Corbeau: She and Malakov make quite the pair. Intrigue provides some Stealth hate, Parlay protects herself and Malakov against warriors and once in a blue moon Seduction turns them against their owner. She even has Sucker! like Andrei. The War Dog is great, but Madelyn might be even better with him.
- Kayazy Warriors: Kayazy become Khador models when in a Khador army, and while they don't benefit from his feat, they work very well with his Fighting Dirty and Throat Cutter Battle Plans thanks to their inherent Parry, native Stealth, Acrobatics and Gang abilities.
- Note that Kayazy can be taken in Jaws of the Wolf without using up your Mercenary slot.
- Ogrun Bokur: The Bokur likes Clients that stay close to the action and having a Shield Guard nearby is great insurance against shooty armies.
- Orin Midwinter: Ideal to clear jamming, light models, as well as providing protection from spells.
- Saxon Orrik: Can give his army crucial Pathfinder when Veil of Mists isn't enough.
- Alexia & The Risen with Valachev count as khador models and are as such eligible targets for his battleplans. Alexia can spawn Risen in the backarc of things, which can then Cut Throats so they might actually deal some damage for once.
- Conquest/Victor: Malakov adores having a Colossal as his battlegroup, presenting perfect feat, Escort and Open Fire targets on a Huge screening base with native Pathfinder.
- Released 2016.10 ... ish.
- Andrei's last name might be a reference to the "Battle of Malakoff", fought during the Crimean war between French-British and Russian (under Tsar Nicholas I) forces, which the Russians ended up losing.
- There is also a famous Russian TV personality named "Andrey Malakhov."
Video Battle Reports
- See also Category: Video Battle Reports for more casters with videos.
Other Khador Models
Rules Clarification : Feat: Poison Pill
|* The "Damage Type: Magical" is not inherited by "secondary" damage from a weapon. That is, stuff like arcs (Electro Leap) or hazards (Scather). (Infernal Ruling)
From here down, the terms Sacrificial Pawn, Grim Salvation, and Sucker! are interchangeable