LPG - Model Types

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This article is part of Warmachine University's Learning to Play the Game (LPG) series, which is "Basic Training" aimed at new players who are still learning the core rules.
(You may also be interested in our "Intermediate Training" series, LOTS.)
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As of 2018.10 the LPG articles are still a WIP. If you have a question that isn't answered, or a topic you'd like to see added, we'd like to hear about it. Post your thoughts on the Talk:Learning to Play the Game (LPG) page.


Model types.jpg

Different model types use different core rules. These can be further modified by the model's special abilities, for instance a Cavalry solo vs a Cavalry battle engine. This article gives a brief introduction to the main model types, and links to other more detailed articles.

The main model types are as per the table of contents, below. There are also some minor variations, such as Vectors and Monstrosities, but we won't go over those in detail here.

Warrior models

"Warrior" refers to every model that isn't a warjack, warbeast, battle engine, or structure. Plus a few models have special rules that state they aren't a warrior (such as Karchev's "Man in the Machine" rule or the Spawning Vessel's "Carried" rule).

All solos and units are warriors (except a unit of warbeasts). Most warcasters and warlocks are warriors.

Solos

Sylys Wyshnalyrr is a Support Solo
Strider Deathstalkers are Combat Solos

Solos are the simplest model type, in that they follow all the core rules without making exceptions for themselves. Solos are always a single model, but occassionaly they're added to your list in multiples (for example you can get three Scrap Thralls for two points).

Battlefield role
Most solos are "Support Solos", a few are "Combat Solos", and a few are half-and-half.

  • Support solos provide some sort of tool or buff - depending on the solo, they might give your combat troops extra abilities, or simply increase the combat troops' accuracy, damage, and/or range. The solo might provide arcane support for your warcaster or warlock, or simply act as a bodyguard for them.
  • Combat solos provide high-quality attacks with either greater range, accuracy, and/or power than your standard troops. They can shore up your battleline, hunt enemy support solos, or even try to assassinate your opponent's warcaster/warlock.

Other
In a Steamroller scenario solos can only control flags, but they can contest anything.

You want at least a few solos in your army for both the tools they bring and for the scenario game, but filling up your army with an excessive amounts of solos is not advised and is referred to as "Support bloat". Solos tend to be easily killed and, point-for-point, they are more expensive than unit-based troops. Lastly, solos don't "receive buffs" as well as units, because you're buffing a single model instead of casting the same spell on a large unit and buffing 10 models.

Units

Crucible Guard Storm Troopers are a 5-man heavy infantry Unit
Main training article: LPG - All About Units

Units are Warmahorde's version of squads, and can vary in size from a unit made of only two troopers to one with over twenty - but most units are 10-man units. They modify the core rules in terms of needing to activate and move together, to stay in formation, and needing to issue and receive orders to do anything more advanced than just a walk-and-attack. We go over the unit core rules in detail in the other LPG article.

Battlefield role
Whereas most solos are support-based and few are combat-based, units are the opposite; most units are combat-based and few are support-based. Typically they provide your army with volume of fire and/or serve to screen your more valuable models. On the other hand, some units can be incredibly elite and need screening themselves. Some units perform only a single specific role (such as exceling at damaging enemy warjacks), and others are more versatile and flexible.

Units are great targets for "buff" spells, because a single spell can buff about 10 models at once. Typically units operate independently of the rest of your army, allowing you to spread out for scenarios or to counter enemy movements.

Some units can have up to one command attachment and up to three weapon attachments, which may further specialise (or broaden) their battlefield role.

Unit size
Most units can be added to your army in either a "Minimum size" or a "Maximum size". These sizes are a good guide to the unit's role:

  • 3 min, 5 max - These are elite units, normally heavy infantry or cavalry.
  • 6 min, 10 max - Most units in the game fall in this category. They are the rank-and-file.
  • Only 3 - Small support unit
  • Only 2 - Very small support unit

Other
In a Steamroller scenario units can only control circular zones (and all surviving members of the unit need to be in the same zone), but they can contest anything.

Normally you want one or two combat units in your army, and zero to one (possibly two) support units. However some armies, led by a caster who specialises in controlling large groups of warjacks/warbeasts, will forgo having any units at all.

Battle Engines

The Man-o-War Siege Chariot is a battle engine
Main article: Battle Engine

Battle engines are powerful weapons of war. They are always on a huge base and are a bit like a super-sized solo, with a power level and durability on par with heavy warjacks/warbeasts. The main way they modify the core rules is by having their weapons divided into left and right fields of fire, not being able to benefit from a variety of core rules (for instance they never get the cover bonus), and being immune to many of the 'standard' debuffs (such as stationary).

Battlefield role
It varies widely - some are infantry killers, some are anti-armour, while others operate as a mobile reinforcement point for nearby units. They will always be a focal point of your army, though.

Other
In a Steamroller scenario battle engines can only control rectangular zones, but they can contest anything.

You do not need to include a battle engine in your army to be competitive.

Structures

The Shrine of the Lawgiver is a structure
Main article: Structure

Structures are just like battle engines, except they can't move and they can't get the aiming bonus. They cost less points than a battle engine.

Other
In a Steamroller scenario structures can't control any elements, they cannot contest zones (because they can't deploy within a zone), but they can contest flags.

You do not need to include a structure in your army to be competitive.

Warcasters & Warlocks

Vyros1 is a warcaster
Rask is a warlock
Main training article: LPG - Warcasters & Warlocks

Warcasters and Warlocks are the generals of your army. They have a swathe of extra rules that let them control warjacks or warbeasts, cast spells, shrug off damage, and use powerful feats. On top of all that they have better stats, equipment, and special abilities than regular troops so they're excellent combatants and/or support staff in and of themselves, too.

We will go into more detail about the difference between Warcasters and Warlocks in the linked training article.

Battlefield role
Warcasters & Warlocks (for short we'll refer to them as "casters") lead your army, and are the focal point of any army in any game. They are the most powerful piece, as mentioned above, but also the weakest link - if your caster dies, you lose the game. Thankfully they're resilient with good DEF/ARM stats, high hitpoints, and the ability to spend their focus/fury points to shrug off enemy damage. But they aren't invincible, and a lot of game strategies revolve around assassinating the enemy caster.

Each caster has different spells and abilities to make them unique: some are powerful combatants, some powerful spellcasters, some debilitate the enemy army and some support the friendly army. Most importantly though, each caster has a unique once-per-game ability called their Feat which, if used at the right time, can completely swing the game in your favour.

Other
In a Steamroller scenario casters can control anything but they can contest nothing.

Some casters are also one of the Model Types described above, that is to say, you can have a battle engine warcaster or a warlock unit.

You must have at least one warcaster (or warlock) in your army. Most games are played with only one.

Warjacks & Warbeasts

Deathjack is a warjack
Seraph is a warbeast
Main training article: LPG - Your Battlegroup

Warjacks and Warbeasts are powerful weapons of war, similar to battle engines in that respect I suppose. Unlike battle engines, though, these brutes can be turned up to eleven when properly controlled by their caster. They have a swathe of special rules, mostly to do with how they interact with their warcaster/warlock, receive & spend focus or fury points, and making Power Attacks.

Battlefield role
Mostly they are the big, hulking brawlers of the battlefield (although smaller, support-style ones do exist). They are immensely strong, crush bones and grind enemies to dust. If equipped with ranged attacks, they are the most powerful guns that can be mounted.

Other
In a Steamroller scenario warjacks & warbeasts can only control rectangular zones, but they can contest anything.

You must include a minimum number of warjacks/warbeasts in your army. Some army builds are competitive with only these few warjacks/warbeasts with the remainder as troops, other armies are chocka full of these guys and have zero troops. It really depends on the caster's abilities and your own playstyle preference.

Difference between Warmachine & Hordes battlegroups

Just so you get the gist of it, how they work is basically

  Warmachine Hordes
Turn Start Focus points expire Fury points don't expire
Control Phase start Warcasters regenerate focus Warlocks don't regenerate fury.
Instead a Warlock must take fury points that are left on his warbeasts from last turn
Control Phase middle Warjacks gain a free focus, if they are near their warcaster Warbeasts might Frenzy, if their warlock didn't take all their fury points
Control Phase end The warcaster can give focus to warjacks from his own stack Warbeasts are not given fury
Casters activation The focus that a warcaster keeps he can use to either cast spells, make extra basic attacks, make his attacks more accurate/powerful, or use to reduce enemy damage. The fury that a warlock keeps he can use to either cast spells, make extra basic attacks, make his attacks more accurate/powerful, or use to reduce enemy damage.
Warjack/Warbeast activation When they activate, warjacks can spend focus points to either make extra basic attacks, make a single power attack, or make their attacks more accurate/powerful. When they activate, warbeasts can generate fury to either make extra basic attacks, make a single power attack, or make their attacks more accurate/powerful.
Also warbeasts can cast their personal spell (called an animus) or be riled to generate fury (just so your warlock has enough to harvest next turn).
Other Warjacks can spend focus whether they're in control range or not Warbeasts can only be forced to generate fury while they're in control range.

Since focus is a limited resource that you have to assign at the start of the turn, a lot of strategy revolves around how much focus to put where and spend on what.

Whereas fury is almost unlimited but the more you use it the more likely the warbeasts will frenzy next turn. They are also more limited than warjacks, in that they need to stay nearer the warlock to be forced.