Mercenaries

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Mercenaries can work for other factions, as you'd expect. Each Mercenary model will only hire themselves to certain factions, and which factions they work for changes on a Mercenary-by-Mercenary basis. See Who Works for Whom for an overview. Alternatively, you can field an army made up entirely of Mercenary models.

Mercenaries are an eclectic bunch from all walks of life; from the in-it-for-the-money Steelhead licensed companies, to the vendetta-focused Nyss Hunters. Some of the colorful characters you'll meet include murderers for hire, shambling undead, snake charming elves, and the list goes on.

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Tip !
New players often misunderstand how they can include Mercenary models in a non-Mercenary Faction (especially how they can include Mercenary warjacks/warcasters).

  • Mercenary warjacks can only be controlled by a Mercenary model.
    In a normal game, this means other Factions need to hire a Mercenary 'Jack Marshal or a Mercenary "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.
  • Mercenary units, solos, and battle engines can hire themselves out to any non-Mercenary army that is listed on their card.
    Most non-Mercenary Theme Forces place a limit on how many Mercenaries can be included.

There are many exceptions to the above rules, such as Partisan, Limited Employment, and Maker's Mark.


Starting your own Mercenary force

Introduction

Mercenaries are soldiers for hire that are allowed to be used as friendly models in other factions for whom they will work. As a faction unto itself, Mercenaries represent any number of agendas covered in more detail below. It has the most theme forces of any faction due to the huge variety of models available.

Aesthetic

Despite the variety, 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.

Playstyle

There is so much variety in the faction that virtually any playstyle is possible. 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.

Mercenaries have arguably the best inventory of warjacks in the game. Cygnar players would take the Nomad over the Ironclad for the same price, Khador players would take the Toro over the Juggernaut. Both would love access to the Mariner, Blaster, Gunner or the Driller.

Mercenary warcasters tend to be low focus (usually 6), support-oriented, and most have unusual and very powerful feats. Few are capable caster-killers.

Mercenaries play combined-arms armies that often outnumber the opposing force. After Crucible Guard and Cygnar, Mercenaries probably duke it out with Retribution for third strongest ranged faction. Most factions are better in melee, though unlike Crucible Guard and Cygnar, mercs are not weak in that department by any stretch.

Mercenaries do not feature fire, ice, lightning, force or corrosion themes like the other Warmachine factions, but they do have the most blast weapons of any faction by a wide margin. So it's sort of the explosion faction.

Starter Sets

No mercenary starter set exists or likely ever will.

Worthwhile early purchases

The Mercenary faction has 9 theme forces, each at least as large as a mini-faction. There is also very little model overlap between the themes so you need to plan your first purchases carefully.

It is best to pick your favorite caster and build around them. Research which theme forces they play in (the Talion Charter theme only allows Privateer warcasters, for example) and make a plan to build your army for those themes. Note that the majority of Merc casters have at least three themes they can play in.

After your warcaster you'll need to buy a battlegroup. Human, Rhulic and Cephalyx casters are restricted to different types of models in their battlegroup. Human casters cannot run Rhulic warjacks and vice-versa. Cephalyx run only monstrosities.

  • All the human merc warjacks have been errata'd and all are solid picks. For those on a budget, get 3 Nomad kits and magnetize the arms.
  • Cephalyx monstrosities can also be magnetized so 3 heavies will start you off on the right foot.
  • Rhulic players should start with 2 Drillers and 4 Gunners, then buy 4 Blaster gun bits from the Privateer Press online store and magnetise the Gunner/Blasters.

Unit and solo purchases are far more theme-dependent. In brief, your fist first purchases for each theme should be:

Conclusion

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Given the sprawl, there is quite a bloat of models to collect in the Mercenary faction. 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. On top of all these options, a mercenary player has access to every unit from three different factions in the Llaelese Resistance theme force, and even a bit of Cryx at your disposal making the options nearly endless. If you like variety, Mercenaries have no equal.

Theme Forces

Flame in the Darkness

This theme represents the Thamarite and Morrowan forces putting aside their ideological differences and teaming up to fight off the Infernal invasion. It is shared with Cygnar and Khador and grants access to their warjacks. It is a very melee-oriented force featuring angels and holy warriors.

The models allowed in Flame in the Darkness are:   [Show/Hide]

This list was last updated: 2019.10   (Edit)

Warcasters - For Mercenary players

Warcasters - For Cygnar players

Warcasters - For Khador players

Warjacks
Note: All warcasters get the same warjacks to choose from, regardless of their original Faction:

  • All non-character Mercenary warjacks (except the Rhulic ones)
  • Up to two non-character Cygnar or Khador warjacks (one of each is legal).
  • Gallant
  • Other character warjacks can be taken, but only if they have a bond and they're in their bonded model's battlegroup.

Units

Solos

Hammer Strike

Rhul is a nation of Dwarves and Ogrun, located in an impregnable mountainous region between Khador, Llael and Ios. Primarily a trade empire, Rhul has a military on par with any of the Iron Kingdoms, and they defend their own borders meticulously, but only involve themselves in the conflicts of the other nations to keep the trade lanes open and provide combat experience to its troops. On the tabletop, Hammer Strike plays to all the standard tropes of dwarves: slow, sturdy, well-trained, and well-equipped.

Llaelese Resistance

A guerilla force made up of Llaelese patriots engaged in a desperate struggle to restore Khadoran-occupied Llael as a free and independent nation. Most importantly, it grants you access to any 2 units from any one of Cygnar, Protectorate or Crucible Guard, which is super exciting.

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

This list was last updated: 2019.11   (Edit)

Warcasters

Warjacks

  • All non-character Mercenary warjacks
  • Character warjacks can be taken, but only if they have a bond and they're in their bonded model's battlegroup.

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

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Important
Unlike other Mercenary models, Cephalyx may only be played in this theme force. They cannot even be played in an out-of-theme list.

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Cephalyx are a reclusive and pitiless race of psychically powerful creatures that live underground. They capture and experiment upon live creatures, turning them into lobotomized 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.

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

This list was last updated: 2019.07   (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

Soldiers of Fortune

Soldiers of Fortune is the Steelhead theme force, with a few free agents tagging along. Steelheads are the most reknowned mercenary force in the Iron Kingdoms. The theme places a heavy emphasis on combined-arms and features some of the best artillery in the game.

Strange Bedfellows

This theme is shared with the Convergence and it allows you to mix Cryx, Convergence, Mercenary, and Cygnar models in the same force.

At the time of writing (2019-10), this theme is in beta testing.

The models allowed in Strange Bedfellows are:   [Show/Hide]

This list was last updated: 2019.11   (Edit)

Warcasters

Warjacks

  • All non-character Convergence warjacks
  • All non-character Mercenary warjacks
  • Mortenebra only: all non-character Cryx warjacks
Note 1: - Warcasters can take any mix of warjacks they like, regardless of their original Faction.
Note 2: - Vectors keep their Induction node, and Warjacks keep their Cortex, regardless of who their controller is.
  • Character warjacks can be taken, but only if they have a bond and they're in their bonded model's battlegroup.

Battle Engines

Units

Solos

Here's some examples of the model aesthetic for this theme:

The Irregulars

This theme allows Mercenary character models/units and a few non-character partisan units. It gives bonuses to marshalled warjacks. If you want to field the lesser warlocks, this is the place. It is less-cohesive than the other themes, but has more solos than you can shake a stick at to hand out the bonuses you want.

The models allowed in Irregulars are:   [Show/Hide]

This list was last updated: 2019.08   (Edit)

Warcasters

  • All Mercenary warcasters, except the Cephalyx ones.

Warjacks

  • All non-character Mercenary warjacks,
  • Character warjacks can be taken, but only if they have a bond and they're in their bonded model's battlegroup.

Battle Engines

Units

(★) The Commodore Cannon can only be included if your warcaster is a Privateer.

Solos

The Kingmaker's Army

Cygnaran rebels and hired sellswords led by Magnus in his ultimately successful effort to install a new king of Cygnar. Very similar to Soldiers of Fortune, but with a few Cygnaran units thrown in. Trencher Infantry, most importantly.

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

This list was last updated: 2019.07   (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.

The Talion Charter

The Charter is a group of pirates and privateers who also happen to sell their services as armies for hire. It is named after Captain Shae's ship. The only non-privateer models allowed are warjacks. Cryx Scharde units may be taken as privateers in this theme.

The models allowed in The Talion Charter are:   [Show/Hide]

This list was last updated: 2019.08   (Edit)

Warcasters

Warjacks

  • All non-character warjacks (human only, not the Rhulic ones)
  • Scallywag
  • Other character warjacks can be taken, but only if they have a bond and they're in their bonded model's battlegroup.

Solos

Units


(★) indicates Scharde models which are normally Cryx.

Models

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Unreleased Models

Last Updated: 2019.11

Warcasters

Human
Ashlynn1 Ashlynn d'Elyse
Aurora1 Aurora, Numen of Aerogenesis (Strange Bedfellows only)
Aurora2 Archnumen Aurora (Convergence Partisan)
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
Mortenebra1 Master Necrotech Mortenebra & Deryliss (Strange Bedfellows only)
Mortenebra2 Mortenebra, Numen of Necrogenesis (Strange Bedfellows only)
Rahera1 Captain Rahera, Terror of the Wailing Sea (Cryx Partisan)
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

Battle Engines

(Nemo1 to 3 are Cygnar warcasters)

Units

(Asphyxious1 to 3 are Cryx warcasters)

Special Attachments

Solos

Other

Mercenary Minion models

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

Official Short Stories

See Lore - Source Material#Short Stories