Theme - Heavy Metal
| Theme - Heavy Metal |
| Theme Force Deleted|
This mk3 Theme Force has no equivalent in mk4.
However you can build a similar army in Unlimited Cygnar (if/when the models in this theme get ported to mk4 rules)
Although Cygnar generally prefers a combined-arms approach to conflict, when its advanced warjacks are massed on the field under the control of a skilled warcaster, they are a match for any enemy. Such large, selfsufficient battlegroups are typically deployed to besiege fixed positions or to meet concentrations of enemy armor and heavy infantry on the battlefield. Where Cygnar faces deeply entrenched or armored foes, the tread of its mighty machines shakes the earth and its storm technology blackens the sky.
- 1 Theme Rules
- 2 Thoughts on Heavy Metal
- 3 Caster Thoughts
- 4 Other
- For the core rules on how Theme Forces work, see this article.
An army made using the Heavy Metal theme force can include only the following Cygnar models:
- Cygnar warcasters
- Non-character warjacks
- Ol' Rowdy
- Mechanik models/units
- Sword Knight models/units
- Long Gunner Infantry units
- Precursor Knights units
- Solos with the Battlegroup Controller special rule
- Solos with the Partisan [Cygnar] special rule
- Archduke Runewood, Lord of Fharin
- Squire solos
- Cygnar battle engines
- This army can also include one Mercenary unit, one Mercenary solos, and one Mercenary battle engine that will work for Cygnar.
Full model list
This list was last updated: 2020.02 (Edit)
- All Cygnar warcasters
- All non-character warjacks
- Ol' Rowdy
- Other character warjacks can be taken, but only if they have a bond and they're in their bonded model's battlegroup.
- Caine0 ("Junior Warcaster")
- Captain Arlan Strangewayes ('Jack Marshal)
- Glyn Cormier, Illuminated One (★)
- Grand Master Gabriel Throne (★)
- Harlan Versh (★)
- Jakes1 ("Junior Warcaster")
- Journeyman Warcaster ("Junior Warcaster")
- Major Harrison Gibbs (★)
- Morrowan Archon (★)
- Runewood1 ('Jack Marshal)
- Savio Montero Acosta (★)
- Squire (Warcaster Attachment)
- Trencher Warcaster Lieutenant ("Junior Warcaster")
- Viktor Pendrake (★)
- Up to one solo
- Up to one unit
- Up to one battle engine
(★) Because these partisans are specifically allowed in this theme, they don't use your "Up to one Mercenary" slot.
You can spend each Requisition Point on either:
- One Cygnar CA
- One small- or medium-based Cygnar solo with a points cost of 5 or less
- Cygnar solos and Mechanik 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.
- When a model in this army is affected by the Repair special rule, remove 1 additional damage point.
Thoughts on Heavy Metal
Heavy Metal in a nutshell
It's a warjack-centric theme, but that doesn't mean as much as it used to - the 2019 Oblivion update allows any theme to be warjack-heavy. So the question becomes, "Why would I build in this theme when i could use any other theme and have access to better infantry to assist me in scenario?"
You see, the non-warjack options in this theme are quite ... mediocre. That said, Heavy Metal does have several things going for it:
About as much Focus and Support as you could ever want
Access to all the battlegroup controller solos, as well as dedicated support for your jacks and caster in the Squire, Strangewayes and Runewood.
Useful mobility for solos
All Cygnar solos gain reposition (including partisans) which can be very useful especially on Caine0 or the Morrowan Archon. The battlegroup controller solos can also be more active in the game while staying safe.
A lot of friendly faction toys to play with
Unrestricted access to Cygnar Partisan solos and Precursor Knights, meaning you can even field a "Flames in the Darkness lite" kind of list with Precursors, Archons, etc. Every time a new partisan is released can potentially have a huge impact on this theme. This allows Heavy Metal to have some great in-faction support solos and look to Mercs for those less common options such as Ragman or Lanyssa Ryssyll.
Although not an overt theme benefit, the flexibility it gives the theme compared to what you get in Storm Division or Gravediggers should not go overlooked. The changes made by Oblivion have made some difference to those two themes, but brings significant new play style options to Heavy Metal.
Gets to the parts of the battlefield other themes can't reach
3 different sources of pathfinder in Alain Runewood, Gabriel Throne, and Rhupert Carvolo.
If it's broke, you can really fix it
Lastly there is the fact that your mechaniks repair one more box on your jacks thanks to the benefit. This is better than nothing but not worth building a list around, especially since many players don't even use field mechaniks.
Infantry options are limited and have glaring weaknesses
Outside of Precursors, the infantry options range from mediocre to bad and none of them have Advance Deployment or Ambush, meaning you might struggle with certain scenarios. While Precursors are definitely a quality unit, they need help with delivery. Caster such as the Haleys or Stryker1 and 2 are favored. Same goes for Sword Knights, and the Legion of Lost Souls.
Lack of good theme benefits
The theme doesn't actually reward you for taking warjacks by making them better like many other themes do. You get better repairs and better support solos, but this pales in comparison to flat out getting Gang Fighter, Carapace, Shield Guard, Pathfinder and the like.
Lack of cheap focus support
The only focus support your caster is going to get is from the Squire, which, to be fair, is excellent, and from Strangeways a 4 point character solo and many players will argue paying 4 points for a single Empower is poor value, especially when other factions can get multiple Empower bots for 2 points each.
List Building Tips
When building a Heavy Metal list is is recommended to focus on the aspects of the theme that set it apart from other themes in the faction, elsewise you should think about if your lists wasn't better in another theme.
- The Squire and Strangeways are near auto includes in any Heavy Metal list, because as mentioned, they are all the focus support you will ever have in Cygnar and other than Haley and Nemo Cygnar casters aren't known for their high FOCUS numbers.
- Runewood also has a place in most lists, as he provides some excellent Battle Plans. Don't feel obligated to bring Sword Knights just for him, though.
- The Journeyman Warcaster is also often seen as a source of Arcane Shield. Cygnar jacks have relatively low ARM (in part to accomodate for the access to this guy.)
- Many lists usually accommodate one other junior warcaster, usually Caine0, as Jakes1 and the Trencher Lieutenant are more niche pieces. Caine can bring Ace with him for a strong shooting contingent who will snipe out support solos and CAs out for you with Trick shot, keeping you in scenario.
- Order of Illumination Resolutes are your best unit option in this theme. They are relatively durable (and love Arcane Shield) and hit hard once they get there. Plus they benefit from the extra repairs.
- Morrowan Archons are a powerful piece, not just as Veteran Leaders to certain casters, Partisans and the Resolutes, but are also great combatants and provide a DEF boost in a 5" aura (Repo helps getting the aura where you need it), meaning casters with their own DEF buffs (aka the Haleys) can field a difficult to hit DEF skew.
- Nemo4 - A game changer for the theme! He's a great anchor piece who provides you with many ways to stay in scenarion by summoning in a solo, bringing his own unit of mechaniks and shooting enemy models off scenarios. Plus he brings a recursion element which is best abused by Resolutes, who can be repaired (by his own mechaniks) after being resurrected.
- Major Harrison Gibbs, aka Stryker2's best friend, as he is able to heal Stryker after taking Overload damage. If you bring him, Ragman is a good choice for your merc slot, as he can walk 6", cast Death Shroud and then Repo 3".
- Vigilants and Glyn Cormier are a nice module for Kraye, as with True Sight they can Light 'em Up even through clouds.
- Acosta - A very good combat solo in his own right. Due to Dodge and Riposte he appreciates DEF buffs from Archons or your caster.
- Sword Knights are a bit lackluster and their CA does nothing to alleviate that. They really shine with casters with either Positive Charge, because it stacks with their Flank ability, or DEF buffs because they stack with Set Defence, which also prevents DEF reduction from knock down.
- Field Mechaniks are cheap point fillers. However for their price you could include a merc solo if you haven't already. Widget costs as much as a min unit, repairs just as well and is an excellent flag camper. They are, however, the cheapest way to include Battle Priests into you list.
- Trencher Combat Engineers also repair and are much harder to take down with blasts than their Gobber brethren. They also come with Sabotage which can be situationally useful and, probably the biggest reason to ever include them, load up Grenadiers.
The Battle Engine
- Most HM lists will incorporate at least one Storm Strider, it being one of the best models available in the theme. It's a powerful shooting platform able to fry single wound infantry while also doing decent damage against harder targets, while being durable enough to survive.
- Nemo4 can be taken in this theme which opens up a few interesting combos; first of all, he can summon a non-character Cygnar solos regardless of theme restrictions, which will usually be a Gun Mage Captain Adept for attack type support, Trench Buster for Shield Guard or Patrol Dog for stealth removal. Secondly, he can recur infantry, which works excellently on Resolutes, who can also be repaired by his Mechaniks. Lastly he brings a Cygnar, CoC or merc jack with him (or more if you want). A jack with a powerful AOE gun, such as an Assimilator, Mule or Mariner will work very nicely with Caine0's FFE upkeep, but a simple Toro with Lightning Shroud is a sight to behold as well.
- Alexia1 comes with lots of throwaway bodies that can contest scenario elements and she can pick up the bodies of the fallen to create more of them. Or pop out some Thrall Warriors who hit hard. One trick people like to do is shooting Thralls in the back with Storm Striders to get the E-Leaps on models with Stealth or astronomical DEF values.
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.
- Alexia1: [10 pts]
Similarly in 2020.11 LuckGod, a prolific Warmachine blogger, put together this list and wrote an article which you can read here.
- Darius1: [+29 WJP]
- Field Mechaniks (Min unit): [3 pts]
Total RRP: USD $197 (based on PP's online store prices 2021.03)
- Note - This list/article was written before the 2021.10 Errata and therefore may have incorrect point values
Similarly in 2020.11 Jaden Iwassa, another of the LOS authors, put together this Brawl list and accompanying article which you can read here.
- Alexia1: [10 pts]
Total RRP: USD $197 (based on PP's online store prices 2021.05)
- Note - This list/article was written before the 2021.10 Errata and therefore may have incorrect point values
For more Brawlmachine list ideas, see Category: Brawl List
It's all about the Warjacks, so if you want to get the most from this Theme Force, you should start by looking at Cygnar's main battlegroup Warcasters:
Similar to Sloan: Deploy every Charger you can and build huge synergy chain on feat turn. Consider Cyclones and Cygnar's Colossi for flavor.
Brawl and win the attrition game. Lists with Colossi and Centurions are the mainstay for Darius.
A good mix of Hammersmiths and Ironclads can deliver quick death to the enemy under Escort and Sprint, while Centurions hold down zones. Positive Charge and her feat are also great for flanking Sword Knights. A Sentinel with Arcane Shield on it can hang out around her to give her the Escort bonus. Lastly, Bullet Dodger on a Grenadier with the Trencher Warcaster Lieutenant and Trencher Engineers around can be really irritating for the enemy.
Run and Gun shooter. Kraye can have any heavy Warjack on the halfway line on turn 1 if you opt to go 2nd through trampling and repositioning. And with this theme you can have nearly every single model you take making use of Reposition.
Fully loading an electrical battle group. Nemo3 in Heavy Metal can leverage his ability to fuel multiple Warjacks while further diminishing the ability of Storm Division to assassinate (especially Storm Knight focused lists).
Simple enough: Deploy 5 Chargers and 5 Hunters, then shoot the enemy off the board.
Battle Engine Builds
Two Storm Striders can offer up some serious firepower that is also independent of the Warcaster. This allows them to go wide and contest the extreme zones without having to worry about your Warcaster's control range. In addition, with the release of Nemo4, the scenario game of the Heavy Metal battle engine builds became that much better since he brings a unit with him and can summon a solo of your choice as required.
Her toolkit tends to favour low model count armies with high quality models. Temporal Acceleration and Telekinesis hugely extend the Storm Strider's threat range and a third shot is devastating vs infantry. Combining Caine0 with Thunderhead can also yield some unexpected results by combining Haley's movement buffs with Caine's Spirit Door (And Fire for Effect on Thunderhead).
He loves a boatload of boosted weapons on his feat turn, especially from Chargers. With access to 4 battlegroup controller solos (among them his best friend Caine0) he can tear through medium base spam quite easily. Double Storm Striders through even more boosted shots into the mix which become outright terrifying by applying a Firefly's Ionisation.
Other worthwhile mentions
She offers the heretical option - the infantry-heavy Heavy Metal build. Although Heavy Metal's infantry get a bad rep, Haley3 can do amazing work to make them quite ridiculous by skewing DEF to the point where your opponent will struggle to bring enough high quality attacks to hit anything.
- Much like Gravediggers, model positioning is key - you're looking to overlap the DEF bonus of Temporal Distortion with the Blinding Radiance of the Archons and blend that with Defensive Line of Sword Knights. Your opponent will have a fit trying to work their way around DEF19 if they're a melee army (Remember that Dirge of Mists is an option for ranged attacks) and you can make it even more hilarious by adding Heroic Call to synergise with the no knockdown aspect of Defensive Line. Arcane Shield even makes them moderately durable if they do get hit.
- Chances are, if you want to set up flank, you'll want to use melee jacks like the trusty Ironclad, but that makes for a list with very few guns. It's worth looking outside of the Heavies to the light warjacks - Lancers and Fireflies are cheaper but still have 2" reach to trigger Flank from, which is much easier to work with compared to the 1" of most of the bargain heavy warjacks.
- Precursors are the alternative to the Sword Knights. Precursors don't skew as hard, but they hit like trucks independently of the presence of warjacks and thus give you greater flexibility in order of activation and list building. PKs let you put Chargers on Haley for supplemental shooting instead of having to invest points to get Flank working. They also don't mind Tactical Supremacy to stay in Shield Wall to get up the board. Overlap the DEF buffs and that's effectively DEF 17 + Sacred Ward to boot.
- A Jakes1 Sidekicked Stormclad benefiting from Temporal Distortion? What about Blinding Radiance? That's effectively DEF 18. You even have access to Ghost Walk to allow it to get around terrain.
- Acosta at effectively DEF19? I hope you get it at this stage. The added kicker is that any Riposte attack can benefit from the Temporal Distortion debuff.
- Revive, although not one of Haley3's best spells, can still have a place to keep the pressure up on armies that struggle to generate kills if Future has nothing better to do.
- Depending on the build, you still have to be aware of whether you want any damage or speed buffs added in, as these are still Haley3's typical weaknesses.
Double Stormwall, on feat turn you press the issue of two practically unkillable colossals at armor 27 with Arcane shield (2 instances of Arcane Shield with the Journeyman).
He keeps everything safe on the way in and gives Sword Knights some useful offensive and defensive buffs.
- Stryker2 brings Positive Charge to the party. With enough targets for that spell, the knights can be throwing out the equivalent of MAT10 P+S12 weaponmaster attacks thanks to Flank. Deceleration also goes some way to making them more resilient on the way in. If you can combine that with his feat, they will cause a lot of damage.
- Released 2017 February.
Other Cygnar themes/models
Rules Clarification: Theme Forces (Edit)
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