Theme - Gravediggers
| Theme - Gravediggers |
| Legacy ... sort of|
This mk3 Theme Force is somewhat similar to the mk4 Legacy Army "First Army".
If you're planning on starting a mk4 First Army army you may get some use out of this article, espcially the In a Nutshell, the Theme Weaknesses, and maybe even the List-Building Tips sections.
Trenchers are men and women of grit found at the forefront of every battlefield. The first on the field and the last to leave, it is the trenchers’ duty to form the vanguard of Cygnar’s military might and seize the battlefield against all opposition. Trenchers dig in and hold the line, proud to spill their blood for their countrymen and seeing the battlefield as the only proper gravesite.
- 1 Theme Rules
- 2 Thoughts on Gravediggers
- 3 Other
- For the core rules on how Theme Forces work, see this article.
An army made using the Gravediggers theme force can include only the following Cygnar models:
- This army can also include one Mercenary solo and one Mercenary unit that will work for Cygnar.
Full model list
This list was last updated: 2020.02 (Edit)
- All Cygnar warcasters
- All non-character warjacks
- Other character warjacks can be taken, but only if they're in their bonded model's battlegroup.
- Trencher Cannon Crew
- Trencher Chain Gun Crew
- Trencher Combat Engineers
- Trencher Commandos
- Trencher Express Team
- Trencher Infantry
- Trencher Long Gunners
- Captain Maxwell Finn
- Commander Anson Hitch
- Major Harrison Gibbs (★)
- Patrol Dog
- Trench Buster
- Trencher Master Gunner
- Trencher Warcaster Lieutenant
- Up to one unit
- They can have Captain Jonas Murdoch
- Up to one solo
(★) Because Gibbs is specifically allowed in this theme, he doesn't use your "Up to one Mercenary" slot.
You can spend each Requisition Point on either:
- One Trencher weapon crew unit
- One Cygnar CA
- One small- or medium-based Cygnar solo of 5 points or less
- Trencher warrior models in the army gain Rise.
- Rise - If a model with Rise is knocked down at the beginning of your Maintenance Phase, it stands up.
- You can reroll your starting roll for the game. Your starting game roll can only be rerolled once as a result of this special rule.
Thoughts on Gravediggers
Gravediggers in a nutshell
Trenchers form the highly-trained core of Cygnar's armed might, and this theme allows you to field an entire force of them.
You end up with quite a balanced army, especially from a scenario-scoring point of view, with a variety of warjacks, units and solos. This makes it a pretty versatile force for playing Steamroller scenarios. This is also currently the only theme force where you can take a ranking officer to your Mercenary unit choice, making them a friendly faction model.
Countering high ARM values are what Gravediggers will struggle with. Most models will only be equipped with POW 10 or 11 weapons with a similar P+S in melee.
Your main options for mitigating this are:
- Combined Ranged Attack on the Trencher Infantry and Long Gunners allows them to put out some high POW shots, although this can mean some hard choices into infantry spam lists played by Cephalyx or even Cryx.
- The Trencher Commandos mini-feat. POW 14 grenades hurt, but still don't do much into ARM19 or above.
- Warcasters with damage buffs such as Fury or Positive Charge make Trencher Infantry and Commandos hit very hard with their charge attacks.
- Ragman, Aiyana and Holt or the Hermit are the standard pick for this.
- Caine2 offers Fire for Effect, which can make a Combined Ranged Attack, Trencher Express Team or Trencher Blockhouse hit well above their class.
- Most of the boostable, high POW guns or P+S melee weapons will be on your Warcasters and Warjacks.
Outside high ARM, Incorporeal models can cause a lot of headache too. Your sources for magic damage outside the caster will be Triumph, and the Warcaster Lieutenant with a short ranged, extremely expensive spell, and his blade.
Unlike most themes, Gravediggers have a starter set. This is a decent purchase as you save about 11% over buying the contents individually. The contents are:
- A 10-man unit of Trencher Infantry plus their command attachment, plus two weapon attachments.
- A Trencher Cannon weapon crew unit
- Commander Anson Hitch, a character solo
- A Trencher Master Gunner solo
- A Patrol Dog solo
- This adds up to 35 points, plus the Cannon that you'll take as your first free card.
You'll notice that there is no warcaster or warjacks included.
List Building Thoughts
Most Gravediggers list include two Express TEams and for good reason, they are the best unit in the theme (maybe even the faction). The rest of the units is up to taste/caster/armybuild. Most list usually take two of the three big units (infantry, commandos, long gunners), none of them are bad, they just do different things and work better with different casters. Two units is also usually enough to maintain scenario pressure, while not limiting the points to spend on solos, mercs or jacks all that much. Rangers are usually taken my battlegroup casters to support their jacks as Trenchers hit accurately enough on their own.
The solo loadout is usually dictated by whether or not you want to go battlegroup heavy. There is no need for Hitch, Finn or Trench Busters if you aren't bringing lots of Trenchers, but if you do, they are almost mandatory, bringing you Tactician, Veteran Leader and ARM-cracking respectively. Master Gunners are often seen in both types of lists as tag-alongs for Express Teams, but they can also give RAT boosts to Grenadiers or Arcing Fire to the Blockhouse, and are also capable combatants in their own right. The is also not reason not to take the Patrol Dog and you are a bad person if you consider not taking him out for a walk. The most debatable option is the Warcaster Lieutenant, he can form a nice tag team with a Grenadier and hold down a zone and be difficult to remove, but Gravediggers doesn't struggle on scenario at all and you lose out on battlegroup buffs on his jack. It should also be said, that all of the solos, bar Hitch and the Patrol Dog are excellent combatants in their own right, being able to do work by themselves, thus you don't have to worry about support bloat.
The Trencher Blockhouse is a very good piece for scenario and attrition (heck, the quake gun can even set up an assassination), but its sometimes hard to find the points for it. Still the extended trench network, Girded and Reinforcements make your whole army extremely sticky to get rid off Consider the following tools to get even more value out of your piece of real estate.
- Snipe for a range buff, a range 19", POW 15 Quake gun is very scary for most casters to run into.
- Fire for Effect for overall effectiveness.
- Temporal Distortion, Deadeye or Earthquake for accuracy.
- Grenadiers - While they are available in any other theme, realistically you will only see them here thanks to the extra attacks the get from being near Trenchers. Getting a RAT boost from the Master Gunner or Rangers is also very nice for them, making sure your AOS land where you want them.
- Melee warjacks. What you'll be lacking thanks to so many Trenchers is some serious armour cracking. Consider something with serious punch, namely the Ironclad, Stormclad, Hammersmith, or Centurion
- Triumph is a quality warjack, able to be taken by anyone in theme. A powerful gun, Rapid Fire, True Sight and a Shield Guard to boot, makes him the envy of many other casters with less fortunate character jacks.
- Grand Master Gabriel Throne is usually seen in this theme to hand out Stir the Blood to a unit of Commandos or Pathfinder to something that doesn't have it innately.
- Order of Illumination Resolutes - The pack a punch in melee and a quite durable thanks to being multi wound models, both of which are rare in this theme.
Alternatively, you can up your scenario game with extended recursion options, this is best done with a Blockhouse and a caster that packs their own damage buff, such as Maddox
- Alexia Ciannor & The Risen for some tenacious recursion.
- Combine with the Trencher Blockhouse and Haley3 for maximum recursion. (Just remember that you can't do both, reinforce and revive, as both abilities try and Return the same model.)
Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire is a nice alternative to Alexia1, being faster, cheaper and able to create three thralls a turn.
Other honourable mentions go to:
- Anastasia di Bray can give you +1 to the starting roll if you really, really want to go first.
- Hermit as a more ranged friendly damage buff. Telemetry and Mad Visions are also always good.
- Haley3 can cast Tactical Supremacy on Trencher Infantry, allowing them to advance, drop smoke bombs, and reposition outside of them, allowing you to create a wall of smoke to hide your army behind. Her Temporal Distortion bubbles also skews the DEF of your forces. Additionally she can fuel at least two Grenadiers, three if you are so inclined but you might want to run a Lancer instead. Lastly, she can play for assassination, attrition or scenario thanks to her echoes, so she is just as versatile as her troops.
- Siege2 makes Trenchers faster with Desperate Pace and his feat and provides them with Fury, High Ground and Hallowed Avenger. He is the best caster for Commandos since they threaten really far under Desperate Pace and his feat. They also hit relatively hard thanks to Fury. High Ground makes Infantry even better against shooting and Hallowed Avenger punished your opponent for attacking them. Lastely, he too has such good scenario presence thanks to his trusty turret companion.
- Sloan likes Rangers well enough, making her jacks able to snipe out even the dodgiest of adversaries. Being able to squeeze out an absurd number of attacks out of Grenadiers also has its charm and, lastly, Grievous Wounds from the Express Teams makes sure that everything she crippled but couldn't finish off stays crippled.
- Maddox - She brings her own damage buff in her feat, making the Trenchers less flimsy in melee. Snipe on a Blockhouse is very good and Dauntless Resolve on Commandos hiding in trenches as well as receiving reinforcements can be a nightmare to remove from the table.
- Kraye has tools in just about any theme and Gravediggers in no different. Countermeasure is still best cast on rangers, there is a lot of guns to apply his feat with and Triumph is a jack he doesn't get to use elsewhere.
- Caine2 likes to hide in the Trench networks and Fire for Effect on a Blockhouse or Master Gunner is amazing.
- Styker1 has an interesting combo with Hitch. Hitch gives Feign Death to a unit and Stryker knocks them down with Earthquake, now they can't be shot. And the unit is back to normal next time thanks to Rise, so very little downside. More importantly however, he can snipe a Blockhouse and put Arcane Shield on another.
- Jakes2 the best target for her feat, Maxwell Finn, is in this theme. Trenchers are fairly self sufficient as well and only really need a damage buff, which Jakes brings in Positive Charge.
Starting a 25 point Brawl list
In 2020.09 Phillip Melvin, one of the LOS authors, put together this list for the Brawlmachine format. It was then updated for the 2021.10 errata. He even wrote about it's playstyle and expanding it beyond 25 points, which you can read here.
- Trencher Commandos (Min unit): [8 pts]
- Command Attachment: [3 pts]
- 2x Scattergunner Attachments: [2 pts]
- Trencher Express Team: [Free] (5 pts)
- Captain Karli: [3 pts]
For more Brawlmachine list ideas, see Category: Brawl List
- It was the first theme force to go through CID, with the beta rules released in 2017.06 and the final rules released 2017.09
Other Cygnar models
Rules Clarification: Theme Forces (Edit)
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Partisans & Theme Forces (Edit)
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