Mercenaries

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Merc art1.jpg

Mercenaries are soldiers for hire that can be fielded in a variety of Faction armies. Alternatively, you can field an army made up solely of Mercenary models. In the latter case, all Mercenaries can work alongside each other, regardless of what factions they normally prefer to hire themselves to. Mercenaries are the only factions that can run Warjacks and Warbeasts as faction models.


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Tip !
New players often misunderstand how they can include Mercenary models in their army, especially warjacks & warcasters.

  • Mercenary units, solos, and battle engines can be included in any Faction listed on their card.
  • Mercenary warjacks can only be controlled by a Mercenary model.
    In a normal game, this means other Factions need to hire a 'Jack Marshal or Junior Warcaster.
  • A Mercenary warcaster can only be put in a non-Mercenary army if you're playing a 2+ caster game.
    If you're only playing with 1 caster, and that caster is a Mercenary warcaster, then by definition you're playing a Mercenary force.
  • There are many exceptions to the rules, such as Partisan, Limited Employment, and Maker's Mark.

Alternatively you should simply become a Mercenary player, in which case your entire army must be Mercenary models (warcaster, warjacks, units, etc).

Starting your own Mercenary force[edit]

Mercenaries are not a faction in the strictest sense of the word. A Warmachine faction represents a group owing allegiance to a particular land, organization or ruler, and often of a particular race. Whereas mercenaries represent individuals loyal to no land in particular, often in pursuit of their own agendas which vary widely.

If there is one overarching "feel" to Mercenaries, it is that most of it is second-rate and cobbled together. The warjacks are mostly decommissioned military warjacks or repurposed laborjacks. Mercenaries boast no warjacks that shoot like Cygnaran Defenders or hit like Khadoran Juggernauts. Instead, they rely on cheap mainstays like the Mariner and the Nomad to get the job done on a budget.

That said, well-constructed Mercenary armies are easily able to go toe-to-toe with the best the other factions can muster provided the player takes advantage of the faction's strengths - especially so with The Irregulars theme force becoming the default mercenary army.

Mercenaries have two great strengths compared to the other factions. They have the best selection of solos in the game and a bevy of cheap but effective warjack and unit options. Many Mercenary solos and units hand out abilities that can solve problems that the mercenary casters cannot, such as stealth removal, magic weapon or pathfinder.

Mercenary warcasters tend to be low focus (usually 6), support-heavy and most have unusual and very powerful feats.

In general, cheaper is better with Mercenaries. 3 Nomads is better than 2 Manglers for only 3 more points. 2 units of Steelhead Halberdiers is better than a unit of Precursors with a Command Attachment. 6 point Grundback Gunners are the pinnacle of focus-efficiency. Mariners are a poor man's Defender. Buccaneers are a 17" knockdown on a stick. Talons are 7 point nuisances with good staying power. You can't compete with Cygnar by spending tons of points on expensive stuff like Nyss Hunters or Rocinante. Their stuff is better for the points, but your cheap stuff costs less, so take advantage of the strength of the faction. More is more, as they say.

New Mercenary players will want to pick one or two of the five subsets (below) and build from there.

Broadly speaking, Mercenaries fall into five categories. These are Cephalyx, Rhulic, Privateers, Llaelese Resistance, and sellswords that don't fit into any of the other four.

Cephalyx[edit]

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Cephalyx are an reclusive and pitiless race of pyschicaly powerful creatures that live underground. They are arguably the worst of the worst as being caught by the Cephalyx is a far worse fate than anything Cryx or Skorne might do to you. They capture and experiment upon live creatures, turning them into unthinking brutes to wage their wars for them. On the tabletop, they play as a swarm of expendable infantry interspersed with hulking Monstrosities and backed by powerful psychic overlords.

Cephalyx fall under the Mercenary umbrella for the purposes of tournament pairings, but are a sub-faction unto themselves for all intents and purposes (although they can include some regular Mercenary units within their armies by using the Cephalyx Dominator). From a fluff perspective, they have no interest in coin or the wars of the world above beyond replenishing their supply of drudges to further their own inscrutable ends. Some Cephalyx models can be used in Cryx armies, notably the Cephalyx Overlords.

Rhul[edit]

The Rhul is a nation of Dwarves and Ogrun, located in an impregnable mountainous region between Khador and Ios. Rhul has a military on par with any of the Iron Kingdoms described as being powerful enough to squash the entire Legion of Everblight trivially, and they defend their own borders meticulously, but only involve themselves in the conflicts of the Iron Kingdoms to keep the trade lanes open and provide training and combat experience to its troops. On the tabletop, Rhul play to all the standard tropes of dwarves: slow, sturdy, well-trained, and well-equipped.

Rhulic models are less restricted than Cephalyx, however they have more restrictions than human mercenaries. Unlike the other Mercenary warjacks, the Rhulic warjacks can only be taken by Rhulic warcasters and Rhulic jack marshals.

Privateers[edit]

Privateers are a group of pirates who also happen to sell their services as armies for hire. Outside of the Talion Charter theme force, they are essentially no different than other human mercenaries. On the tabletop they tend to be flimsy, fast and have trouble with high ARM. The core units gain bonuses from a multitude of solos and command attachments geared specifically toward privateer models, though with theme forces and all the associated bonuses becoming the norm, this is no longer a unique feature, but they were the first.

Llaelese Resistance[edit]

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The Llaelese Resistance fights against the Khadoran occupation of their homeland. At the beginning of the occupation they sold their services to Cygnar and the Protectorate to fund their war against Khador. They have since morphed into a cloak and dagger organization engaged in a guerilla war. The Resistance is more a ruthless terrorist organization than a group noble freedom fighters, depicted in the fluff using chemical weapons and torture to achieve their goals.

Sellswords[edit]

There are many mercenaries that don't fit neatly into any category. From the in-it-for-the-money Steelhead licensed companies, to the trying-to-survive-their-people's-genocide Nyss Hunters. These colorful characters include murderers for hire, shambling undead, as well as snake charming elves.

Conclusion[edit]

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Naturally given the sprawl, there is quite a bloat of models to collect in the Mercenary "faction" if you want to 'catch them all'. Also you can mix-and-match so many different permutations of models/units and it is perfectly fine to field an army with Humans, Trollbloods, Dwarves, Undead, Gatormen, Ogrun, Farrow, Iosans and Nyss. You can do almost anything ... with some exceptions (such as Cephalyx, Rhulic's monopoly on their warjacks, and various Animosities). On top of all these options, a mercenary player has access to every unit from three different factions in the Llaelese Resistance theme force, making the options nearly endless.

However, the theme forces within the faction provide incentive to play groupings of models that make more sense (fluffwise, at least), and are a good point to start your purchasing choice from.


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Line of Sight article : Mercenary List Pairings Part 1 and Part 2
Authored by Charles Soong, one of the best Mercenary players out there, these articles go over how to choose which two Merc lists to take to a tournament. Writen in 2018.07.

Theme Forces[edit]

Hammer Strike[edit]

Rhulic (Dwarf & Ogrun) mercenaries.

The Irregulars[edit]

The "default" Mercenary theme force, this theme allows (almost) any Mercenary model, and gives bonuses to jack marshals.

This theme allows so many Mercenary models that it easier to tell you which models aren't allowed in Irregulars:   [Show/Hide]

This list was last updated: 2018.12   (Edit)

Models with Selective or Limited Employment restrictions

Non-character solos

Character warjacks
Actually character warjacks can be taken, but only if in their bonded model's battlegroup.

The Kingmaker's Army[edit]

Cygnaran rebels and hired sellswords led by Magnus in his ultimately successful effort to install a new king of Cygnar.

The models allowed in The Kingmaker's Army are:   [Show/Hide]

This list was last updated: 2018.12   (Edit)

Warcasters

Warjacks

  • Non-character Mercenary warjacks (only the "Human" ones)
  • Character warjacks can be taken, but only if they're in their bonded model's battlegroup.

Units

Solos


(★) These models are normally Cygnar models, but become Mercenary models when taken in this theme.

Llaelese Resistance[edit]

A guerilla force made up of Llaelese patriots engaged in a desperate struggle to restore Llael as a free and independent nation.

The models allowed in Llaelese Resistance are:   [Show/Hide]

This list was last updated: 2018.12   (Edit)

Warcasters

Warjacks

Solos

Mercenary Units

Non-Mercenary Units
You can also include up to two non-character units from one of Cygnar, the Protectorate, or the Crucible Guard. (Note: The two units have to be from the same Faction.)

Operating Theater[edit]

Cephalyx are an inscrutable and merciless race of psychically powerful creatures that live underground. They may only be played in this theme force.

The models allowed in Operating Theater are:   [Show/Hide]

This list was last updated: 2018.12   (Edit)

Warcasters

Monstrosities

Solos

Units

Non-Cephalyx Units

You can also include other Mercenary units, as long as they are led by a Cephalyx Dominator

Steelhead[edit]

The Steelhead theme reflects the fighting tactics of the mercenary company, rows of artillery supporting waves of infantry. Cavalry models in particular will be useful in both scenario play, and to "bounce" away key enemy models that deserve to be lit up by cannon fire.

The Talion Charter[edit]

Pirates of the Broken Coast. Privateers only.

Mercenary Models[edit]

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Unreleased Models[edit]

Last Updated: 2018.12

Warcasters[edit]

Human
Ashlynn1 Ashlynn D'Elyse
Blaize1 Constance Blaize, Knight of the Prophet (Cygnar Partisan)
Caine1 & 2 Refer to Cygnar warcasters
Caine3 Caine's Hellslingers (Cygnar Partisan)
Crosse1 Refer to solos, below
Crosse2 Lieutenant Gastone Crosse
Damiano1 Captain Damiano
Fiona1 Fiona the Black
Macbain1 Drake MacBain
Magnus1 Magnus the Traitor
Magnus2 Magnus the Warlord
Montador1 Captain Bartolo Montador
Shae1 Captain Phinneus Shae
Stryker -1 Steelhead Captain Stryker (Not tournament legal)
     
Cephalyx
Cyphon1 Cognifex Cyphon
Thexus1 Exulon Thexus

 

Rhulic
Durgen1 Durgen Madhammer
Gorten1 Gorten Grundback
Ossrum1 General Ossrum

Warjacks & Monstrosities[edit]

Light Heavy Character Heavy

Colossal

Battle Engines[edit]

Units[edit]

Special Attachment

Solos[edit]

Mercenary Minion models[edit]

These models are both Mercenary models and Minion models, making them perfect for a player that wants to expand their collection from one to the other.

Solos

Units