Orsus Zoktavir, the Butcher of Khardov
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| Orsus Zoktavir, the Butcher of Khardov |
Mark IV Status: Limbo - This model has not (yet) been updated with Mk IV rules, as of 2022.12. Privateer Press have promised it will get updated ... eventually.
The Butcher is a potent symbol of the consequence of treachery against Empress Ayn Vanar. In the protective casing of his modified suit of steam-powered armor shaped from the hull of a warjack, he is a force of destruction, a one-man wrecking crew. Soldiers across western Immoren cannot purge the vision of the axe-wielding giant from their nightmares: a man become a living personification of warfare and bloodshed.
- 1 Basic Info
- 2 Thoughts on Butcher1
- 3 List Building Advice
- 4 Other
Feat: Blood Frenzy
While in the Butcher's control range, friendly Faction models gain an additional die on attack damage rolls this turn.
| Full Throttle
|Warjacks in the spellcaster's battlegroup beginning their activations in its control range can run, charge, or make slam or trample power attacks without spending focus that activation. While in the spellcaster's control range, models in its battlegroup gain boosted melee attack rolls. Full Throttle lasts one turn.|
|Target friendly Faction model/unit gains +3 to melee damage rolls but suffers -1 DEF.|
| Iron Flesh
|Target friendly Faction warrior model/unit gains +2 ARM and Blast Resistance. Models are not affected while out of formation.|
|This spell has zero special effects.|
|Target friendly Faction model gains Retaliatory Strike.
- Armored Korps
Flame in the Darkness
- Jaws of the Wolf
- Legion of Steel
Warriors of the Old Faith
- Winter Guard Kommand. In this theme the caster gains Sacrificial Pawn [Winter Guard trooper model].
- Wolves of Winter
Thoughts on Butcher1
Butcher1 in a Nutshell
One of Khador's most iconic casters, and a true melee powerhouse, Butcher 1 is a support caster at heart despite his ability to tear into foes himself. Fury & Iron Flesh are his bread and butter so spread it around to the units/jacks that need it most. He's an easy caster to learn and fun to play.
Butcher1 is definitely one of the better starter warcasters. He is straightforward to use, works well with everything, and can hold his own in a fight. Always a good caster to use when trying out new things and finding out what you like playing with and what you don't.
Feats don't get any simpler than Butcher's: All damage rolls from attacks gain an additional die. This includes ranged attack rolls. A Butcher gunline list is a fun option for that feat turn.
It does say attack damage rolls, so things like collateral damage won't get the bonus.
Lastly, it's gain a die, not boost, so stuff which "cannot be boosted" will benefit anyway. Like Impact attacks. Additionally, you can boost on top of the additional damage die so anything boostable can be + 4D6. And yes, charging weapon masters roll 5D6 for damage. Yikes!
- Fury - Not much to talk about; +3 on the damage roll almost statistically equals a boost. There will rarely be games where you won't cast it on turn 1.
- Iron Flesh - Staple Khador infantry buff; beside the ARM increase the best part is about the blast immunity. Use it in conjunction with your inaccurate AoEs to carpet bomb your own lines without fear, especially ones with the Winter Guard Artillery Kapitan's Close Fire action.
- Full Throttle
- Full Throttle allows your jacks to soak an opponent's attack and come back swinging. A Juggernaut with disabled arms will still reliably hit DEF 13 targets under Full Throttle. This spell encourages you to take multiple cheap warjacks. Pop the feat to really make your opponent hurt.
- The focus burden is heavy, but it saves at least 2 focus per jack due to the free charges and boosted attack rolls, so if you get all your charges of and have jacks with lots of initials, you'll come out on top.
- Also excellent if your jacks were disrupted, as they can still charge in for free and with boosted attack rolls.
- Same goes for getting stationary / Knockdown off your jacks - use the Power Up focus to shake the effect during your Maintenance Phase, and then cast this so they can still go to town.
- Obliteration - For all its destructive power, this one is probably the least used spell on your list due to its prohibitive cost.
- Vengeful - You'll hardly have resource for that one, but if you want to send in a melee brawler, this back-up protection comes handy. The abysmal DEF of the Khador jacks will enable it to reliably trigger. Prime targets will be the Juggernaut with its Critical Freeze, or the Destroyer with the Critical Amputation on its axe.
Drawbacks & Downsides
- Lots of upkeep spells make him and his army vulnerable to upkeep-hates, such as Purgation, Lamentation or Purification, Eiryss2, or Eilish.
- Low SPD reduces his personal threat to 10" bubble, and makes him susceptible for SPD de-buffs.
- Despite being one of the toughest casters, he needs screening, which is somewhat difficult with a medium base.
- No speed buff for his army, which is pretty relevant in a game where long threat ranges decide the game.
- No hit buff, which is relevant because most of the factions shooting is tied to very low RAT values.
Tricks & Tips
- Butcher's feat gives an extra die - you can still boost if you want.
- The bonus from Fury is not a STR buff so, for example, it won't affect the distance you can throw a model.
List Building Advice
Orsus has several victory conditions. The key to success is to know when to switch between the 3 modes.
- He can win via attrition, by keeping his troops alive via Iron Flesh, and increasing their hitting power through Fury and his feat.
- Thanks to his peerless combat capabilities he is a strong board controlling in himself, which can be used extensively in scenarios. It's a commonly held belief that anything that ends its activation within 10" of the Butcher is going to die. Enemies will rarely risk coming closer when he's in position to retaliate. You still must be wary of assassinations, though.
- His feat makes everything stronger - and seemingly harmless attacks now can have unexpected assassination potential too.
Full Throttle might want to steer you toward a larger battlegroup, and Jaws is your go-to choice for a warjack-heavy list. However, with Butcher wanting to spend his focus on support duties, you better look for self-sufficient, simple jacks.
- Mad Dog - with Full Throttle it can reliably hit DEF 19 models with trample.
- Marauder - a nice combo strike, which gets all the more accurate with Full Throttle.
- Devastator and Demolisher - both can trample around, or slam, keeping their ARM at max level.
- Juggernaut and Berserker - plain and simple; give it Fury and send it to whatever you want wrecked.
- Ruin is Butcher's pet warjack that he can take in any theme. The bond gives Ruin free Boundless Charge.
- Manhunters and Yuri - It is simply amazing that the put down on the table under his feat with 5 dice to damage on the charge.
- Rager - Butcher is pretty sensitive to ranged damage - use the Rager to screen him, and to Shield Guard shots, like Eyriss' bolts.
- Behemoth - Fully boosted blasts already with Powerful Attack - now why not push it further with the feat?
A forgiving theme for beginners; Orsus protects them via Iron Flesh, and boosts hitting power via Fury, while they protect him from ranged assassinations. More importantly they fix one of the weaknesses he has: not bringing any accuracy buffs to his army. Amongst Veteran Leader, Artillerist, For the Motherland, and knock down shots, WGK has no trouble connecting their shots however, perfect for his feat!
- Normally blast damage would be shrugged off by enemies with ARM above a certain level, but not on Butcher's feat turn. And this theme is full of blast templates, from the Winter Guard Mortar Crew, through the Winterguard Gun Carriage, to the Rocketeers of the Rifle Corps/Infantry.
AOEs from the Destroyer, Conquest and Victor can also become deadly.
- Don't forget that the feat bonus also applies to ranged attacks, amping up the damage of Riflemen CRAs.
- Assault Kommandos - They are absolutely the best unit in the theme, and excellent Sac Pawn targets if Butcher is staring down something with elemental guns like an Archangel. Thanks to Assault they have two attacks to benefit from the feat.
- Sorscha0 - People who know the backstory of poor Sorscha's father will probably roll their eyes for this combo, but a Boundless Charge on Orsus is a Boundless Charge. Let's pretend that she's plotting her revenge by sending him into the thick of the fight...
- Beast 09 - Threshers under full throttle are insanely accurate and under the feat they are devastating as well. With 2" its also a great Vengeful target.
Iron Fangs are grateful for all the support spells from your arsenal. Under your feat you can conduct quite mighty charge attacks with your Iron Fang Uhlans, just remember to stay in CTRL range while attacking.
- Iron Fang Pikemen - Iron Flesh makes these guys hard to take down especially in Shield Wall; you can also give them Fury to make them crush jacks/beasts
- Black Dragons - With Iron Flesh and Iron Zeal you can form a quite durable defensive line into the middle of the board.
Butcher's feat is a simple damage fix for the normally-unbuffable Doom Reaver Swordsmen and Fenris, and also creates deadly bursts out of the Outriders' sprays. Also, he cannot boost accuracy of his army, so the Greylord's Ice Cages always come in handy.
Though the Man-o-War Drakhun is nothing short of hilarious under your feat, Butcher offers them no movement buff, something they desperately need, so this theme is probably best avoided by Butcher1.
- Sylys - despite his melee prowess Butcher 1 tends to end up in melee less often than his second and third incarnations, so the free upkeep from Sylys can be prefferable to the melee protection the War Dog provides.
- Saxon Orrik - The lack of Pathfinder is a glaring weakness on Butcher1 and 2. Orrik goes a long way of helping him.
- Orin - Stop spells which might mess with the Butcher's SPD.
- Aiyana & Holt - Orsus has only a very expensive spell to deal magical damage at range; Aiyana can help him and his army out
See the advice written under the Jaws theme, above.
- This model has a limited edition sculpt, released in 2018.12.
- Released way back in Warmachine: Prime (2003)
- Butcher has a very special place in PP's heart, as he is the first model they produced for Warmachine.
Other Khador models
Video Battle Reports
- 2019.02 Tiny Men, vs Madrak1
- 2018.09 Arcane Assist, vs Zaadesh2
- 2018.08 Arcane Assist, vs Testament
- Not Snakes Gaming, 2018.07, vs Asphyxious1
- See also Category: Video Battle Reports for more casters with videos.
|* 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)