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| Stormguard Infantry |
The Stormguard march to war darkening the air around them with the promise of an electrical reckoning. Each is a master of the voltaic halberd, a mechanikal pole arm constructed to hack through flesh and steel while torrents of lightning strike deep into the ranks of the enemy. Every halberd strike charges the sergeant’s nexus generator, and this coiled potential can be unleashed in a massive lightning strike to blast apart enemy formations.
- Entire Unit
- Immunity: Electricity
- Practiced Maneuvers - Each model in this unit can ignore other models in this unit when determining LOS and can advance through them if it has enough movement to move completely past them.
- Combined Melee Attack
- Set Defense - A model in this model's front arc suffers -2 on charge, slam power attack, and impact attack rolls against this model.
- Leader only
- Voltaic Halberd - 2" reach, P+S 12 melee weapon.
- Electro Leap - When a model is directly hit with a basic attack made with this weapon, you can have lightning arc to the nearest model within 4" of the the model hit, ignoring the attacking model. The model the lightning arcs to suffers an unboostable POW 10 electrical damage roll. Lightning arc damage rolls are not considered to have been caused by an attack. Resolve lightning arc damage rolls simultaneously with the damage resulting from the attack that caused the leap.
- Voltaic Halberd - 2" reach, P+S 12 melee weapon.
- Other Factions
Thoughts on Stormguard
Stormguard in a nutshell
Just like the Legionnaires in the Legion of Everblight, Stormguards "enjoy" a maligned status in the faction since the beginning of Mk3 (and they weren't overly popular in Mk2 anyway). The advent of theme forces didn't improve their situation either. If you look upon their basic stats, rules and the only theme force they're allowed in, you'll understand the "why". Despite being able to generate a potential 40 damage rolls on a Haley1 or Stryker2 feat turn(not including the leader shot), the models suffer from:
1.) Average stats all over. Indeed, Cygnar is not short on defensive buffs (either to boost their ARM or DEF), but apart of area-effect spells these have better places on more valuable and/or capable units.
- DEF12 means that most of the basic troopers will hit them on average rolls. Even with Set Defense, elite infantries, cavalry, or ones having access to any MAT buff (Gang, Prey, etc.) will have little trouble hitting them.
- ARM15 is also average in Cygnar. It won't stave off blast damage, and POW10 damage rolls will cut a swathe through their ranks.
- POW12 is also fairly average. You should target light/medium infantry with it, where your electro leaps can work ideally. MAT7 is OK.
- SPD5 without Pathfinder yields you a 10" threat range which is not something to write home about. You will have to rely on Rhupert or Gabriel Throne for Pathfinder, or consider casters who can fix this issue (like Maddox).
- With their 9/15 point cost they are just too expensive to be considered a good jamming unit.
2.) Their special rules are often confusing.
- Practiced Maneuver is really good for boosting your CMA's efficiency, however, the designated task of this unit is to kill infantry with their basic attack plus electro-leap - and that doesn't scale well with decreased attack volume.
- All the rules concerning Nexus Blast are disproportionately complicated, and makes a nightmare to be used - usually for a very little return on investment. The Leader also lacks Dual Attack. If he is still engaged after making his melee attack, he cannot shoot out of melee with his Quick Work shot. You will also rarely, if ever going to use his Gunfighter rule, as most of the time your melee attack will be stronger than your AoE. A small ray of light is the Retribution Legacy CID, where Destors also had a great rule simplification and boost for their ranged presence.
3.) Their current state in the Storm Division theme also discourages you to choose them.
- The cost issue has already been mentioned. They have no dedicated command- or weapon-attachment that could provide exclusive benefits for them.
- They get virtually no benefit from the theme, bearing electricity immunity by default, and Unyielding will not help them very much versus even light infantry charges.
- Stormblades hit WAY harder, threat reliably at (close) range, Silver Line Stormguards offer better support for the rest of your army, and Storm Lances are just plain better at smashing targets into oblivion.
As with other, seldom used units, CID cycles can easily turn them from shelf warmers to actually useful ones, so we hope that a CID will soon make this article mostly obsolete.
Combos & Synergies
If the above mentioned issues still didn't discourage you to take them, the following models may have some profit from their presence:
- Stormclad - Can gain a focus if activates within 3" of them.
- Maddox - Can improve their survival via Dauntless Resolve, plus Onslaught will manage difficult terrain issues.
- Rhupert can offer you Pathfinder through March, or concealment, where average unboosted shots start to fall flat.
- Stormguard have their built-in Practiced Maneuvers; however, if you intend to use them as a melee screen for other Storm Knights, think about keeping a Stormblade Captain nearby.
- Laddermore puts their MAT to elite levels.
- Silver Line Stormguard and Firefly make their electric damages stronger, while the Storm Strider occasionally buffs the accuracy of their ranged attacks.
- Stryker2 and Stryker3 - Both buff melee units, the first with Positive Charge, and the second with Fury. And of course, Stormguards love the feat of both.
- Morrowan Battle Priests attacks contribute to empowering the leaders shot, making it possible to boost the strength of the shot up to 19(with the blast doing 16). As normal, this would require the unit getting in to melee intact and the leader being able to kill its melee target. Also the unit gains rise so they become better targets for tough effects.
- Sir Dreyfus the Storm Knight - easily provides flanking opportunities.
Drawbacks & Downsides
- Their position is heavily contested on every side:
- If you just want a cheap polearm unit, go for Steelhead Halberdiers - even adding Murdoch will make them just as expensive as a full unit of Stormguards.
- If you want strong melee units with shooting capability, and who can enjoy the buffs of Cygnar's lightning theme, and the advance move benefit of the Storm Division, you should take the much more capable Stormblades.
- Silver Line Stormguard lack electro leaps, but are well defended against charges, and can offer support to other units with lightning weapons.
- Their main shtick is to charge into targets into/near light and medium infantries, and cause additional losses via electro leaps - and in the Storm Division there are many units who can do it either at range, or simply just better than them. They're also too expensive to be considered as good jamming units.
- Average defensive stats all over - even with Set Defense veteran/elite melee units have no trouble hitting them. They also rarely break armour on their own.
- The gun from the leader is really hard to get to work correctly, and generally isn't very powerful.
Tricks & Tips
- They are present in the Mk3 Two Player Battlebox. The figures however were made of an inferior quality material compared to the normal boxed set. They often come with bent spears and parts. Using hot water to bend them back into shape, and rinse them immetiately thereafter under cold water can solve this issue.
- The physical difference between them and the much better Silver Line Stormguard is backpacks and a slightly different weapon for the leader. If you're any good at conversion it's worth it. Give them some sort of backpacks, paint them silver, and call them Silver Line Stormguard.
- Watch out for RFP attacks against your leader; if it bypasses Field Promotion, then you'll lose his wargear.
- Be sure to use the 2" range and electro leap combination to your advantage. You can use a run to jam with the unit instead of charging to get models in to positions where if the opponents shorter melee range unit tries to approach to attack they'll always end up taking free strikes that generate electro leaps. This is especially effective against shield wall or high def units. This can be tricky to pull off due to how far models have to spread out.
- Released in Warmachine: Superiority (2006)
Other Cygnar models
Gunfighter + an AOE weapon
Gunfighter + a spray weapon
Units of Gunfighters