Steelhead Heavy Cavalry
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| Steelhead Heavy Cavalry |
Mark IV Status: Prime - This model is available in one Prime Army, Soldiers of Fortune. It can also be used in the Unlimited game mode. You can view the other Mk3 models that made it into a Legacy Army at this page.
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.
|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
Thoughts on Steelhead Heavy Cavalry
Steelhead Heavy Cavalry in a nutshell
Steelhead Heavy Cavalry do exactly what Heavy Cavalry should do - absolutely smash anything they're able to charge. If (and it's a big if) you can charge and trigger Flank on both the impact attacks and the charge attack, 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
But achieving this Flank on everything at once will test your skill with model positioning. Running a Steelhead Halberdier into position to Flank the charge target is simple, but putting one to trigger Flank on impact attacks without the Halberdier getting caught in the impact then dying and/or blocking the charge lane is somewhat more difficult. Things get even more cluttered & complicated if you want to get two cavalry to charge the same enemy. Thus often it is better to get the Halberdiers to Flank only your main charge target, and avoid making extra Impact Attacks along the way (if you can Impact the main charge target, though, that is often worth it). Also the heavy cavalry is best used at several different targets for maximum damage, as it is hard to get more than two onto any enemy smaller than a huge 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 cavalry save Chosen of Everblight. Tack on Bulldoze in the Soldiers of Fortune theme and suddenly they are great board control pieces as well. They are also the best cavalry at not charging because, unlike other Cavalry, Flank lets them dish out a lot of damage even without the charge bonuses.
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
Protectorate of Menoth (Edit)
Crucible Guard (Edit)
Other Mercenary models