Steelhead Heavy Cavalry
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| Steelhead Heavy Cavalry |
Steelhead Mercenary Companies often include hardened horsemen, providing the speed and power of heavy cavalry at a reasonable price. Though they demand more than Steelhead infantry, employers consider the horsemen a bargain. The cavalrymen have a reputation as tough veterans who seek out the greatest risk because it brings them the best pay. Though some citizens in war- torn areas accuse them of banditry and looting, Steelhead officers insist their men are professionals who take only the normal liberties expected of any red-blooded soldier in a time of war.
- 1 Basic Info
- 2 Thoughts on Steelhead Heavy Cavalry
- 3 Other
|Steelhead Heavy Cavalry|
- Flank [Steelhead Halberdier] - When this model makes a melee attack against an enemy model in the melee range of a Steelhead Halberdier, this model gains +2 to attack rolls and gains an additional damage die.
- Reposition [3"] - At the end of an activation in which it did not run or fail a charge, this model can advance up to 3", then its activation ends.
- Relentless Charge - While advancing as part of a charge, this model gains Pathfinder.
- Blunderbuss - 8" range, POW 12 ranged attack
- Point-Blank - During its activation, this model can make melee attacks with its ranged weapon, with a melee range of 0.5". Do not add this model's STR to damage rolls with ranged weapons. Charge attacks made with ranged weapons are not boosted.
- Cavalry Axe - 1" reach, POW 5, P+S 11 melee attack
- Brutal Charge - This model gains +2 to charge attack damage rolls with this weapon.
- Mount - 0.5" reach, POW 12 mount attack.
- Other Factions
- Mercenary models can be hired by other Factions. Normally those Factions' themes will have a limit on how many models they can hire. Refer to #Other Theme Forces, below.
- Aside from that, there are a few themes that will change what Faction this model counts as (and thus what "friendly Faction only" buffs it can receive). They are:
No changes since 2019.03
Thoughts on Steelhead Heavy Cavalry
Steelhead Heavy Cavalry in a nutshell
Steelhead Heavy Cavalry will test your skill with model positioning. If (and it's a big if) you can charge, impact and trigger Flank, you're looking at:
- Impact Attack(s): MAT 8 + 2d6 to hit, POW 12 + 3d6 damage
- Cavalry Axe charge attack: MAT 8 + 3d6 to hit, P+S 13 + 4d6 damage
- Blunderbuss Point Blank: MAT 8 + 2d6 to hit, POW 12 + 3d6 damage
Running a Steelhead Halberdier into position to flank is simple, however, putting it where you can get 2 or more Heavy Cavalry models onto the target where they can either impact or use the Blunderbuss without potentially killing your halberdier with an impact attack requires careful planning. NEVER risk your flanking Halberdier with an impact attack.
Thus, the heavy cavalry is best used charging onesy-twosey at several targets for maximum impact as it is hard to get more than two onto anything but a large base. Few Mercenary casters can deliver them effectively. However, two or three can, and with those casters the Steelhead Cavalry become monstrously powerful and more dangerous than any other heavy cavalry save Chosen of Everblight.
Despite all the drawbacks, when they do hit, they hit like nothing else in Mercenaries. Tack on Bulldoze in Soldiers of Fortune and suddenly they are board control pieces as well. They are also among the best cavalry units in the game on turns they do not charge as they still dish out the pain with Flank factored in.
Combos & Synergies
- Steelhead Halberdiers - the Heavy Cav do not function without them.
- Stannis Brocker so you can ride through the halberdiers and the other horsies.
- Captain Damiano gives them Money Shot and his feat makes their attacks much more effective.
- Lieutenant Crosse can provide Dauntless Resolve, Ghost Walk (which works a treat with Bulldoze and Tactician), a turn of stealth, and shield guard halberdiers to ensure they get there. He runs them better than anyone else.
- Fiona the Black Can cast Occultation on them and put -2 ARM on their charge target, Befuddle it into optimal position for a charge, then protect them with her feat.
- Use Bulldoze in combination with Power Lifter from the Steelhead Ironhead for some serious threat extension.
Drawbacks & Downsides
- Usual cavalry drawbacks - they are big and shootable targets.
- The riders' effectiveness against harder targets are tied to the Halberdiers. If the enemy techs against infantry, it usually greatly reduces the cavalry's performance as well.
- This unit and your support needs spotless order of activation and even so it can be a positioning nightmare - new players beware (and read the cheat sheet in Tricks & Tips).
Tricks & Tips
- Use one Cavalry model to bulldoze a model your opponent thought was out of range 2" forward to be charged by the rest of his unit.
Activation-order cheat sheet
Getting the most out of the Steelhead Heavy Cavalry is anything but easy for new players. Here's a general run down:
- Remove any jamming or blocking infantry/model who might get into the way of your Halberdiers or horses, or would threaten you with free strikes.
- Also pay attention for out-of-activation movements and attacks that might mess with your order of activation (Admonition, Enliven, Watcher, Counter-Charge, Dodge, Riposte/Defensive Strike, Dark Sentinel, Garryth2's feat, etc.)
- Get your large proxy base. Measure the desired final position of your cavalry.
- Remember that your hand axe has 1" melee range, but your impact attack and point blank attacks have 0,5".
- Your impact attacks can hurt friendly models too - leave space if you want to avoid "friendly fire". On the flip side, Flank bonus triggers only on attacks against enemy models, not against your own - but it does trigger on Impact attacks.
- Impact attacks and charge attacks will happen only if you are able to move at least 3". Also, impact attacks are optional, you're not bound to make it - but in that case if you charged, you won't be able to add your mount's attack to your initial attacks. Read the Cavalry rule run-down for details.
- Run / charge in with your Halberdiers to engage the desired target.
- If you have Stannis, measure his final position so that all the Halberdiers you might want go through with your cavalry will be in his CMD radius. Remember, the moving model doesn't have to be in CMD, just the ones you intend to be moved through.
- If Stannis is already dead, or you didn't bring him (why did you do that?), then grab a laser and check that no charge lane will be blocked by your Halberdiers.
- If you messed up at this stage and there's no Stannis to help you out, you may still remove the misplaced model with a ranged attack, or with an impact attack from your cavalry - though this should only be an emergency solution.
- Move/Run/Charge Stannis to his pre-measured position.
- Move your Cavalry models into the positions you left between the enemy and your halberdiers.
- Deliver your attacks. Measure carefully where to start. Your hand axe gets the extra damage die for charging, while your point blank attacks won't. However, they may kill your target in range for your point-blank attack.
- Use your 3" reposition move at your own leisure.
Released in Warmachine: Legends (2008)
Other Theme Forces
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