Fighting in the wars of the Iron Kingdoms has allowed the mercenaries of Rhul to stay apprised of the ongoing struggles abroad. These sell-swords fatten the coffers of mercenary clans and receive valuable combat experience against a variety of opponents. Numerous such clans offer the might of Rhulic ’jacks and veteran warriors to those who can afford their asking price. Together they crush enemy armies to dust beneath the tread of their machines and an unceasing rain of hammer blows.
- For the core rules on how Theme Forces work, see this article.
An army made use the Hammer Strike theme force can include only the following Mercenary models:
- Rhulic warcasters
- Rhulic non-character warjacks
- Rhulic models/units
- Gudrun solos
Full Model List
The models allowed in Hammer Strike
This list was last updated: 2021.11 (Edit)
You can spend each Requisition Point on either:
- One Rhulic weapon crew unit
- One Tactical Arcanist Corps unit
- One Mercenary command attachment
- One other Small- or medium-based Mercenary solo with a point cost of 5 or less
- Heavy warjacks and weapon crew units in this army gain Reposition [3"].
- Reposition [3"] - At the end of an activation in which it did not run or fail a charge, a model with Reposition [3"] can advance up to 3", then its activation ends.
- Warrior models in this army gain Tough.
- Your deployment is extended 2" forward.
2020.12 - Stone Lord Guvul Godor released
2021.10 - October Update:
- Gudrun added to allowed models.
- The free solo option now has to cost 5 points or less
Thoughts on Hammer Strike
Hammer Strike in a Nutshell
Hammer Strike represents the armies of Rhul on the tabletop. Every warrior model in this theme is either a dwarf or an ogrun. It favors a combined arms approach with good guns making up for lack of speed. It plays very similarly to Cygnar.
Only dwarf enthusiasts should buy into Hammer Strike because most of the troops cannot be used in any other Merc themes.
Sporting a colossal, battle engine, 4 heavies, 2 lights, and a bevy of solos and units, it has roughly as many models as Crucible Guard
Extended deployment zone, and heavies with Reposition are good things. Repositioning Horgenhold Artillery Corps is better. Tough on high ARM models is alright.
Rhulic armies can field a lot of ARM and boxes, they're all tough and they are adept at both ranged and melee combat. Hammer Strike rewards taking small-based units and Crawlers, so 20 Forge Guard and 2 Crawlers is a common sight.
Aside from the lack of model crossover with other themes (most of the troops cannot be used in any other Merc themes), Hammer Strike has four major in-game weaknesses. And yes, they are major.
Low SPD & no Pathfinder
The first is that it's the slowest army in the game without factoring anything else in. Only a few models go faster than SPD 5 and most are SPD 4. There is also no Pathfinder to be found. Only Ossrum can really do anything about this. You may struggle in certain scenarios.
The second is melee accuracy. There is no rhulic Veteran Leader, so your Forge Guard are stuck at a fairly average MAT 7, and your Drillers will be boosting to hit DEF 13 before Sustained Attack can be used. A DEF 14 Warpwolf Stalker is the Forge Guard's worst nightmare. The Basher and Avalancher help with this problem.
The third problem is damage boosts other than those on your caster. The Steelhead Gunner's Siege Tactics ability is the only boost. No Hermit, no Ragman, no Aiyana. This leads to most players focussing their list building on Forge Guard, who are weapon masters.
Few Magic weapons
Finally, the list has few options for Magic Weapon. Harlow Holdemhigh can remove Incorporeal and so will be in every Hammer Strike list. Tactical Arcanist Corps provide 3 cheap Fireballs, and that's pretty much it besides your caster. Incorporeal models could present a problem if you lose Harlow, but no matter what, you will be unable to shoot Protectorate Warjacks under Passage.
List Building Tips
Ossrum is the strongest pick having speed boosts, an excellent feat and good ranged support. There are few Hammer Strike models he does not improve. Ossrum will either be taken in Hammer Strike or Soldiers of Fortune. If you want to run more infantry, play Hammer Strike. If you want to run mostly jacks, the Steelhead Ironhead and Arcanist make Soldiers a better pick.
The case for putting Durgen in Hammer Strike is all the AoEs you can get from the rhulic units, jacks and battle engines. He's probably better in SoF, but all the tools he needs are in Hammer Strike. His Forge Guard hit real hard under Primed, and Balthazar Bamfist keeps them from dying to blast damage, including when they themselves blow up. Earthbreakers, Gunners, Ogrun Assault Corps, Herne and Jonne, Horgenhold Artillery, Siege Crawlers, Bamfist and one unit of Forge Guard make up his army.
The only thing Gorten brings to Hammer Strike is Solid Ground preventing Knockdown for your tough infantry, but you can get that in both other themes. His army will be painfully slow and probably get taken off the table by guns before it does much. No way he's better here than in Soldiers of Fortune spamming Halberdiers.
Starting a 25 point Brawl list
In 2021.03 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.
- General Ossrum: [+28 WJP]
- Harlowe Holdemhigh: [3 pts]
- Steelhead Gunner: [3 pts]
- Thor Steinhammer: [3 pts]
- Horgenhold Forge Guard (Min unit): [9 pts]
- Command Attachment: [4 pts]
- Horgenhold Artillery Corps: [Free] (6 pts)
For more Brawlmachine list ideas, see Category: Brawl List
In Mk1 and Mk2 this was known as The Searforge Commission.
Other Mercenary models
| Mercenary Index (Edit)
| Units, Solos, & Battle Engines
| Warcaster attachments
Doctor Stygius -
Madelyn Corbeau -
| Lesser Warlocks
|| Rorsh & Brine (Farrow) - Wrong Eye & Snapjaw (Gatorman)
| Non-character Units
Cephalyx Mind Bender -
Cephalyx Mind Slaver -
Cephalyx Overlords -
High Shields -
Artillery Corps -
Forge Guard -
Idrian Skirmishers -
Kayazy Assassins -
Kayazy Eliminators -
Legion of Lost Souls -
Ogrun Assault Corps -
OoI Resolutes -
OoI Vigilants -
Precursor Knights -
Press Gangers -
Sea Dog Pirates -
Deck Gun -
SH Cannon -
SH Halberdiers -
SH Cavalry -
SH Mortar -
SH Riflemen -
SH Volley Gun -
Tactical Arcanist Corps -
Thorn Gun Mages
Special CA: Cephalyx Dominator (small or medium based units) -
Special WA: Morrowan Battle Priest (Morrow units)
| Character Units
Croe's Cutthroats -
Cylena Raefyll & Nyss Hunters -
Blythe & Bull -
Herne & Jonne -
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt -
Lynus & Edrea -
The Commodore Cannon -
The Devil's Shadow Mutineers
| Non-character Solos
Cephalyx Agitator -
Death Archon -
Gobber Tinker -
Menite Archon -
Morrowan Archon -
Ogrun Bokur -
Powder Monkey -
SH Arcanist -
SH Ironhead -
SH Gunner -
Swamp Gobber River Raider
Thamarite Advocate -
Thamarite Archon -
| Character Solos
Alten Ashley -
Anastasia Di Bray -
Balthazar Bamfist -
Black Bella1 -
Black Bella2 -
Bloody Bradigan -
Bosun Grogspar -
Brun Cragback & Lug -
Captain Crawtooth -
Colbie Sterling, Captain of the BRI -
Dahlia Hallyr & Skarath -
Dirty Meg -
Doc Killingsworth -
Doctor Stygius -
First Mate Hawk -
Flubbin2 & Dreyfus2 -
Flugwug the Filcher -
Glyn Cormier, Illuminated One -
Grand Master Gabriel Throne -
Harlan Versh, Illuminated One -
Harlowe Holdemhigh -
Hermit of Henge Hold -
Hutchuk, Ogrun Bounty Hunter -
Kell Bailoch -
Lanyssa Ryssyl, Nyss Sorceress -
Lord Rockbottom -
Major Harrison Gibbs -
Master Gunner Dougal MacNaile -
Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor -
Princess Delores Graciela -
Raluk Moorclaw, the Ironmonger -
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord -
Rorsh & Brine -
Rutger Shaw, Professional Adventurer -
Savio Montero Acosta -
Saxon Orrik -
Sergeant Nicolas Verendrye -
Stannis Brocker -
Taryn Di La Rovissi, Llaelese Gun Mage -
Thor Steinhammer -
Underboss Vizkoya -
Viktor Pendrake -
Weird Wendell -
Wrong Eye & Snapjaw
| Battle Engines
Hammerfall Siege Crawler -
| Independent Warjack
Malvin1 & Mayhem1
| Theme Forces (Edit)
| Flame in the Darkness - Hammer Strike - Llaelese Resistance - Operating Theater - Soldiers of Fortune - Strange Bedfellows - The Irregulars - The Kingmaker's Army - The Talion Charter
|This index was last updated: 2021.11
Rules Clarification : Tough - None yet. (Edit)
Rules Clarification : Reposition (Edit)
- Models out of formation cannot move via Reposition. Refer to the "Out of Formation" rules in the core rulebook.
- End of Activation (Edit)
- You cannot resolve two end-of-activation movement effects (refer to "End of Activation Movement" in the core rulebook). For EOA stuff that doesn't involve movement, though, it gets a bit more murky:
- Some EOA abilities explicitly state your activation ends as part of resolving the ability (like Reposition), and some don't (like Refuge).
- Whether it is explicit it or not, by definition an EOA ability is the last thing you can do for that activation. For instance, if you resolve Refuge and then continue your activation to cast more spells, then you have not used Refuge at the end of your activation.
- You cannot do an "at any time" ability during or after triggering an EOA ability; you cannot cast spells, purchase additional attacks, use a mini-feat, etc.
- If you start resolving an EOA movement (such as Reposition) then you cannot trigger abilities that occur "at any time" (such as Go To Ground). Because you can't trigger it while resolving the EOA movement, and after the EOA movement your activation has ended. (Infernal Ruling)
- For units: if any model in the unit starts resolving the unit's EOA movement, then no model in the unit can trigger an any-time ability. (Infernal Ruling)
- See also the training article: LPG - End of Activation.
Rules Clarification: Theme Forces (Edit)
Themes that change a model's Faction [Show/Hide]
- Many themes swap which Faction a model counts as. They're slightly inconsistent with how exactly this is worded. Despite this inconsistency - whenever a model is considered a different faction to normal, it will not be its original faction. (Infernal Ruling)
- For instance Lukas stops being a Crucible Guard model when taken in an Infernal army, and as a consequence he cannot take Toros or Vanguards in Infernals. (Infernal Ruling)
Rerolling the starting roll [Show/Hide]
- You cannot use the theme benefit to reroll if it is a draw. Instead both players reroll until there is a loser, and then the loser can use their reroll benefit (if they have it). (Infernal Ruling)
- If both players have a reroll, first the original loser uses their reroll.
- If the original loser still loses, fine.
- If the original loser now wins, the other player can use their reroll.
- If it is now a draw, both players reroll until there is a loser. Then the player that hasn't used their theme benefit reroll can still use it, if they want.
Warjacks/Warbeasts with bonds [Show/Hide]
- A warjack/warbeast with a bond can always be included in a theme force, whether or not they're in the list of allowed models, but only if they're controlled by that bonded model.
- This applies even if that bonded model isn't a full warcaster/warlock (changed as of 2018.06).
Including Mercenaries [Show/Hide]
Number of Mercenaries
- If your "up to one Merc" ...
- ... can take warbeasts/warjacks, then you can add warbeast(s)/warjack(s) (without exceeding your "up to one" allowance)
- ... comes with a Companion model, then you'll get that Companion (without exceeding your "up to one" allowance)
- There is a bug in Warroom that allows you to not only take one Merc solo/unit, but the entire FA of that Merc solo/unit. It's a bug.
Mercenaries and Ranking Officers
- Adding a Ranking Officer to a Merc unit doesn't increase the number of Merc units you can take.
- See also the section on Partisans
Including Partisan Mercenaries [Show/Hide]
Partisans & Theme Forces (Edit)
- Partisans are Mercenary/Minion models, so there are two ways you can add them to a theme force:
- Freely: If the Partisan is on the list of allowed models, then you can take as many as you want plus another Mercenary unit/solo. (Infernal Ruling)
- They can be explicitly allowed (for example Jaws of the Wolf allows "Kayazy models/units" so Partisan Kayayz can be used freely).
- They can be implicitly allowed (for example Scourge of the Broken Coast allows "living Cryx models/units" and Partisan Cephalyx fit that criteria, so they can be used freely). (Infernal Ruling)
- Limited: If the Partisan isn't on the list of allowed models, it does use up your "Up to one Mercenary/Minion" slot, so you can only have the one.
- Whether you used option 1 or 2 above, once they're in your theme force they count as a Faction model and so:
- They can be taken as a Requistion Option (if they fit the Requistion description).
- For example Lanyssa can be taken as a free solo in the Legion of Dawn theme. (Infernal Ruling)
- They will get any theme benefit that they fit the description for.
- For example Storm Division gives all Cygnar models Immunity Electricity, so Partisan Mercs in that theme get immunity too.
- For example Nemo4's Mechaniks get Reposition  in Heavy Metal. (Infernal Ruling)
Requisition Points [Show/Hide]
- You can choose the same Requisition option as many times as you like, as long as it doesn't put you over a FA limit.
- You can't mix and match models from different options. Say one option allows 3 Machine Wraiths and another allows 3 Necrotechs. You can't use your Requisition Point to get 2 Wraiths and 1 Necrotech.
- If you have an option that allows one other solo, you can't use it to get something already on the list. For instance, Ghost Fleet allows 3 Misery Cages (which are FA 4) for one Requistion Point, and it allows 1 other solo. That "other solo" can't be a 4th Cage.
- If your theme allows "3 weapon attachments" as a Requistion Option, you can spread them into different units. (Locked Thread)
- Models with the Man-Sized rule count as small-based models for the purposes of being a Requistion Option. (Locked Thread)
Free models and Specialists (ADR) [Show/Hide]
- If your theme only allows one merc solo, you can't have one in your main list and a different one in your specialists.
Unit Attachments [Show/Hide]
- If a unit is allowed in a theme, any-and-all of its attachments are allowed too. Exception: Ranking Officers are not allowed unless explicitily mentioned.
- If the theme force gives a benefit to a specific unit, any-and-all attachments to that unit will benefit too. Even if it is a "generic" attachment like the Void Leech. (Infernal Ruling)
For example, a Trollkin Sorcerer will gain Serenity if its attached to a Dhunian Knot unit in a Power of Dhunia theme force.
- If your theme allows "3 weapon attachments" as a Requistion Option, you can spread them into different units. (Locked Thread)
- A non-character unit with a character attachment (i.e. Captain Karli) still counts as a non-character unit. (Infernal Ruling)
When to apply theme benefits [Show/Hide]
- With reference to special abilities that themes give to models, Ranking Officers, adding new models, and/or taking control of models:
- Theme force benefits are applied when you construct your list or put a new model into play. A model already in play will not lose or gain any theme benefits mid-game based on any changes of faction status or otherwise. (Infernal Ruling)
- However, if the theme gives a benefit to models "at the beginning of the game" (such as Devourer's Host letting models begin the game with 1 corpse token) then this benefit does not apply to new models that are put into play mid-game. (Locked Thread)
- Example 1: Sons of the Tempest says "ATGM units in this army gain Pistoleer". If your opponent takes control of one of them, it keeps Pistoleer while under their control even though it's currently not "in the army".
- Example 2: Storm Division gives Immunity:Electricity to "Cygnar models in the army." If you include a Mercenary unit with a Ranking Officer, they will get the theme benefit and also keep it even after the Ranking Officer dies.
- Example 3: Stange Bedfellows gives solos Swift Vengeance. If Nemo4 creates a new solo mid-game, that solo will have Swift Vengeance.
See also these Theme-Specific Rulings [Show/Hide]
Rules Clarification : Black Industries (Edit)
- The entry which allows "Cephalyx models/units" only applies to Partisan Cephalyx. That's because the theme's rules start off with "this army can only include the following Cryx models". Partisan Cephalyx are the only ones that fill that condition.
- The Cephalyx Agitator also works for Cryx and can go in Black Industries but, because it is not a Partisan, it will use up your Mercenary solo slot.
- (Infernal Ruling)
Rules Clarification : The Creator's Might (Edit)
- Elias Gade is allowed in Creator's Might. (Infernal Ruling)
- You can spend the "Two Vassal solos" requistion option on one Vassal Mechanik and one Vassal of Menoth. Warroom has a bug and tells you that you can't. (Infernal Ruling)
Rules Clarification : Flame in the Darkness (Edit)
- You can take any number of Mercenary jacks. You can also select two additional jacks from Khador and Cygnar in any combination you like. Character warjacks with a bond don't count against this limit of 2. (Infernal Ruling)
- There is a bug in Warroom that allows you to take two Cygnar and two Khador jacks.
- Morrowan Battle Priest:
- If your warcaster is a Cygnar model that makes every unit you take a Cygnar unit, and Battle Priests can be attached to any unit.
Warroom has a known bug where it doesn't allow this interaction.
- If your warcaster is a Mercenary or Khador model, though, the only units the Battle Priest can attach to are the Morrow ones.
- If you attach the Battle Priest to The Devil's Shadows Mutineers then it can be returned via Blood Bound. (Infernal Ruling)
Rules Clarification : The Bones of Orboros (Edit)
- Una1 cannot be taken in this theme (yet) due to the conflict between the theme's "Only Construct warbeasts allowed" and Una1's "Must take warbeasts with flight". There are no construct warbeasts with flight (yet). But if/when there is, then Una1 can be taken in this theme. (Infernal Ruling)
Rules Clarification : The Devourer's Host (Edit)
- Bradigus1 is not legal in this theme. The theme only allows living warbeasts, his rules only allow construct warbeasts, and you can't just 'skip' his battlegroup - you have to spend your warbeast points.
- If you create a new model mid-game (ie with the Well of Orboros and that model can have corpse tokens, that model does not enter play with a corpse. Because it's not the beginning of the game. (Locked thread)
Rules Clarification : The Wild Hunt (Edit)
- The animus benefit doesn't apply to enemy warbeasts. (Infernal Ruling)
- The animus benefit doesn't stack with the Druid Wilder's Herding ability. (Infernal Ruling)
- When it comes to other things that alter COST (such as Lamentation), follow basic maths: Double/halve first, then add/subtract.
Rules Clarification : The Exalted (Edit)
- If a Construct model loses the Construct advantage mid-game, it keeps the theme benefit anyway. (Infernal Ruling)
Rules Clarification : Band of Heroes (Edit)
- Boomhowler2 uses up your Minion slot. His Fell Calls ability is not enough to make him a "Fell Caller model/unit". (Infernal Ruling)
- Boomhowler3 does not use up your minion slot on account of having the Champion keyword.
Rules Clarification : Magnum Opus (Edit)
- If Mosby is attached to a Mercenary weapon crew unit, they would gain 3" reposition and would not lose it if Mosby is no longer in the unit. (Infernal Ruling)