Theme - Heavy Metal

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Cygnar Logo.jpg Theme - Heavy Metal

Cygnar Theme Force
Flame in the Darkness - Gravediggers - Heavy Metal - Sons of the Tempest - Storm Division

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.

Theme Rules

Theme Restrictions

An army made using the Heavy Metal theme force can include only the following Cygnar models:

  • This army can also include one Mercenary unit, one Mercenary solos, and one Mercenary battle engine that will work for Cygnar.
    • These models/units can be included even if they have the Partisan [Cygnar] rule.
    • Mercenary units can have non-Ranking Officer attachments.
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Tip !
A Mercenary battle engine is allowed, which is unusual.

Full model list

The models allowed in Heavy Metal are:   [Show/Hide]

This list was last updated: 2019.11   (Edit)


  • All Cygnar warcasters


  • All non-character warjacks
  • Ol' Rowdy
  • Thorn
  • Thunderhead
  • Other character warjacks can be taken, but only if they have a bond and they're in their bonded model's battlegroup.

Battle Engines




  • 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.

Requisition Points

You can spend each Requisition Point on either:

  • One Cygnar CA
  • One small- or medium-based Cygnar solo

Theme Bonuses

  1. 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, this model can advance up to 3", then its activation ends.
  2. When a model in this army is affected by the Repair special rule, remove 1 additional damage point.

Recent Changes

2019.07 Theme Remix

  • Game-wide Remix changes
  • Ol 'Rowdy, Thorn, Savio added to the list of allowed models.
  • Up to one Mercenary solo added to the list of allowed models.
  • Murdoch removed from the list of allowed models.
  • Freebie models stayed pretty much the same
  • Lost the +2" deployment zone benefit, gained the +1 repair benefit. Kept the Repo benefit unchanged.

2019.11 Strange Bedfellows CID

  • Beta rules for Nemo4 released

Thoughts on Heavy Metal

Recent Change icon.png

Recent Errata - This article needs updating
The "Basic Info" section has been updated to match a recent errata/spoiler, but the "Thoughts On" section hasn't been brushed up yet.
If you play this Faction, please delete the old irrelevant info and then delete this warning.

See also Category: Recent Change and Category: Recent Release.

Heavy Metal in a nutshell

It's a warjack-centric theme, which use to mean a lot more pre-Oblivion. Now themes no longer punish you for not taking specific kinds of models, so any theme can go warjack heavy. This combined with the fact that Heavy Metals features very mediocre unit options might make you go "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?" This is a valid question and in many cases you might be better of in other themes, but Heavy Metal does have several things going for it:

  • Access to all the battlegroup controller solos, as well as dedicated support for your jacks and caster in the Squire, Strangeways and Runewood.
  • All Cygnar solos gain reposition (including partisans) which can be very useful especially on Caine0 or the Morrowan Archon.
  • Unrestricted access to Cygnar Partisans, meaning you can even field a "Flames in the Darkness lite" kind of list with Precursors, Archons, ect.
  • 3 different sources of pathfinder in Alain Runewood, Gabriel Throne, and Rhupert Cavolo.
  • Lastly there is thet 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 field field mechaniks.

Theme Weaknesses

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 definetly a quality unit, they need help with delivery. Caster such as the Haleys or Strker1 and 2 are favored. Same goes for Sword Knights, and the Legion of Lost Souls.

Lack of good theme benefits

The theme doesnt 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 foccus supprt 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 appart from other themes in the faction, elsewise you should think about if your lists wasn't better in another theme.

The Support

  • 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 relaitively low ARM (in part to accomodate for the access to this guy.)
  • Many lists usually accomodate one other junior warcaster, usually Caine0, as Jakes1 and the Trencher Lieutenant are more niece pieces.


  • Precursor Knights are your best unit option in this theme. They are relatively durable (and love Arcane Shield) and hit hard once they get there.
  • Morrowan Archons are a powerful piece, not just as Veteran Leaders to certain casters, Partisans and the Precursors, but are also great combatans and provide a DEF boost in a 5" aura (Repo healps 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.
  • 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 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 Positive Charge, though, because it stacks with their Flank ability.
  • 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 cheapes 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 bretheren. They also come with Sabotage which can be situationally useful and, probably the biggest reason to ever include them, load up Grenadiers.

Starting a 25 point force

If you want to try this theme but are still stuck for ideas, try this.

Caster Thoughts

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:


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.


Brawl and win the attrition game. Lists with Colossi and Centurions are the mainstay for Darius.


Simple enough: Deploy 5 Chargers and 5 Hunters, then shoot the enemy off the board.


Similar to Sloan: Deploy every Charger you can and build huge synergy chain on feat turn. Consider Cyclones and Cygnar's Colossi for flavor.


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).

Other worthwhile mentions

  • Stryker1 - 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).
  • Stryker2 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.
  • Siege1 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.



  • Released 2017 February.

Other Cygnar themes/models

Cygnar Logo.jpg       Cygnar Index       (Edit)
Battlegroup & Similar
Warcasters Caine1 - Caine2 - Caine3 - Constance - Darius - Haley1 - Haley2 - Haley3 - Jakes2 - Kraye - Maddox - Nemo1 - Nemo2 - Nemo3 - Sloan - Stryker1 - Stryker2 - Stryker3 - Siege1 - Siege2 - Sturgis1
Warcaster attachments Squire (Cygnar) - Madelyn Corbeau (Merc) - Reinholdt (Merc) - Wyshnalyrr (Merc)
Other Warjack Controllers

"Junior" Warcasters: Caine0 - Jakes1 - Journeyman - T. Warcaster Lieutenant
'Jack Marshals: Runewood - Strangewayes - Anson Hitch - Stormblade Captain - T. Master Gunner - Gun Mage CA - Stormblade CA - Sword Knights CA

Light Charger - Firefly - Grenadier - Hunter - Lancer - Minuteman - Sentinel
Ace - Thorn
Heavy Avenger - Centurion - Cyclone - Defender - Hammersmith - Ironclad - Reliant - Stormclad
Brickhouse - Dynamo - Gallant - Ol' Rowdy - Thunderhead - Triumph
Colossal Stormwall - Hurricane
Units, Solos, Battle Engines, & Structures

Arcane Tempest Gun Mages - Black 13th Gun Mage Strike Team - Field Mechaniks - Legion of Lost Souls - Long Gunner Infantry - OoI Resolutes - OoI Vigilants - Precursor Knights - Rangers - Silver Line Stormguard - Storm Lances - Stormblades - Stormguard - Stormsmith Grenadiers - Storm Tower - Sword Knights - Tempest Blazers - Tr Cannon Crew - Tr Chain Gun Crew - Tr Commandos - Tr Express Team - Tr Long Gunners - Tr Infantry - Tr Mechaniks
Special CA : Captain Jonas Murdoch (Mercenary unit) - Special WA: Morrowan Battle Priest (any unit)


Arcane Tempest Rifleman - Archduke Runewood - Captain Arlan Strangewayes - Captain Maxwell Finn - Commander Anson Hitch - Grand Master Gabriel Throne - Glyn Cormier, Illuminated One - Gun Mage Captain Adept - Journeyman Lieutenant Allister Caine - Journeyman Warcaster - Harlan Versh, Illuminated One - Lieutenant Allison Jakes - Lieutenant Bastian Falk - Lieutenant Gwen Keller - Major Katherine Laddermore - Major Harrison Gibbs - Morrowan Archon - Savio Montero Acosta - Sir Dreyfus the Storm Knight - Squire - Stormblade Captain - Stormcallers - Tr Buster - Tr Master Gunner - Tr Patrol Dog - Tr Warcaster Lieutenant - Viktor Pendrake

Battle Engines & Structures Storm Strider - Trencher Blockhouse
Theme Forces
Flame in the Darkness - Gravediggers - Heavy Metal - Sons of the Tempest - Storm Division
Refer to Who Works for Whom and/or Category: Cygnar Mercenary
This index was last updated: 2019.07

Rules Clarifications

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Rules Clarification : Reposition     (Edit)

  • Models out of formation cannot move via Reposition. Refer to the "Out of Formation" rules in the core rulebook.
  • You cannot trigger abilities that occur "at the end of activation" (such as Sprint) after resolving Reposition, because your activation has ended. (Infernal Ruling) See also this article for a detailed explanation.
  • You cannot trigger abilities that occur "at any time" (such as Go To Ground) during a Reposition. Because you can't trigger it while moving, and after moving your activation has ended. (Infernal Ruling)
    • This holds true even if it's a unit with multiple Reposition moves. (Infernal Ruling)
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Rules Clarification: Theme Forces     (Edit)

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.

Partisans & Theme Forces (Edit)

  1. If the theme force has the Partisan model on the list of allowed models, then it doesn't use up your "Up to one mercenary" slot, and so you can take the full FA plus another mercenary. Example: Cephalyx in Black Industries or Kayazy in Jaws of the Wolf. (Infernal Ruling)
  2. If the Partisan isn't on the list, it does use up your "Up to one mercenary" slot, and you can only take one. (There is a known bug in Warroom that allows you to take the full FA.)
  • Whether you used option 1 or 2 above, once they're in your theme force they count as a Faction model and so can be taken as a Requistion Option (if they fit the Requistion description). For instance, Eiryss1 can be taken as a free solo in the Legion of Dawn theme. (Infernal Ruling)

Mercenaries and Quasi-Partisans

  • Some themes include a benefit that says "If this model is included, it counts as a Faction model instead of a Mercenary model". For example Greygore in Kriel Company.
    In this case, the mercenary model has effectively gained Partisan and is subject to the FA limits described above. To reiterate:
    • If that Merc is in the list of allowed models allowed (such as Savio in Storm Division), they won't count against your "up to one Merc" allowance.
    • If that Merc isn't in the list, (such as Order of Illumination Resolutes in Heavy Metal), they will count against your "up to one Merc" allowance.

Mercenaries and Ranking Officers

  • Adding a Ranking Officer to a Merc unit doesn't increase the number of Merc units you can take.
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.
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 freebie, you can spread them into different units.
When to apply theme benefits   [Show/Hide]
  • Theme force benefits are applied when you construct your list and models keep the benefit for the whole game. You don't gain/lose theme benefits due to in-game changes.
    Also, if you put a new model into play midgame, they immediately gain any relevant benefits too. (Infernal Ruling)
    • For example, Scourge of the Broken Coast gives Dodge to "models in the army." If your opponent takes control of one of them, it keeps Dodge even though it's currently not "in the army".
    • For example, Storm Division gives lightning immunity 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.

Cryx - Black Industries   [Show/Hide]
  • 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)

Protectorate - The Creator's Might   [Show/Hide]

Mercenary - Flame in the Darkness   [Show/Hide]
  • 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)
Mercenary - Llaelese Resistance   [Show/Hide]
  • It is 2 Cruicible or 2 Cygnar or 2 Menoth.
    You can't take more than 2, and you can't mix and match from multiple Factions. (Infernal Ruling)
Mercenary - The Talion Charter   [Show/Hide]
  • The 3rd benefit is "Sac Pawn [Sea Dog trooper]", not just any Sea Dog. (Infernal ruling)

Circle - The Bones of Orboros   [Show/Hide]
  • 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)
Circle - The Devourer's Host   [Show/Hide]
  • 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)
Circle - The Wild Hunt   [Show/Hide]
  • When it comes to other things that alter COST (such as Lamentation), follow basic maths: Double/halve first, then add/subtract.
  • Due to the way Tanith's feat is worded, during her feat turn the COST of animi cannot drop below 1. (Infernal Ruling)

Skorne - The Exalted   [Show/Hide]
  • If a Construct model loses the Construct advantage mid-game, it keeps the theme benefit anyway. (Infernal Ruling)

Trollblood - Band of Heroes   [Show/Hide]
  • Boomhowler uses up your Minion slot. His Fell Calls ability is not enough to make him a "Fell Caller model/unit". (Infernal Ruling)

Crucible Guard - Magnum Opus   [Show/Hide]
  • 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)

Infernals - Hearts of Darkness   [Show/Hide]