The ranks of the Winter Guard are the patriotic backbone of the Khadoran Army. Hardened by a rigorous training regimen and driven by their love for the Motherland, these soldiers march against the enemies of the empire. They make every effort to see the will of the empress done, whether pushing deep into hostile territory under the cover of withering artillery fire or giving their lives to defend Khador from those who would threaten its sovereignty.
Thoughts on this Theme Force
WGK in a Nutshell
This Khador theme force is used, as the name would indicate, to play the Winter Guard.
The Winter Guard theme is versatile due to the wide verity of Winter Guard models available. It is quite easy to form the core of your army around a few Warjacks with fire support provided by the Winter Guard Rifle Corps and Rocketeers or Field Guns, while still gaining a number of advanced moves for your Jacks due to each artillery piece included counting as a "Winter Guard Unit". Keep in Mind while building your lists that the artillery pieces can be selected as theme bonuses and while their points do not count towards more free models they do count towards you unit count providing more advanced moves.
Tim Banky, Professional Tournament Winner
To my way of thinking, there are about 4 archetypes of list types:
- Winter Guard Kommand (Gunline, combined arms capacity)
- Jaws of the Wolf (Heavy warjacks, supporting variable threat ranges)
- Legion of Steel (Melee-centric, high-damage infantry & board denial based pieces)
- Vlad2 (Multiple combined arms vectors, threat saturation)
At it's most pure, WGK is a gunline supported by a closing array of heavies. It's main weaknesses are a lack of anti-stealth and anti-incorporeal tools, a lack of sustained damage multiplication, and a certain amount of difficulty in claiming scenario zones. To a lesser extent, the lack of flexibility in the heavy layout is also a point of criticism. Finally, simply moving all the models and making all the attacks can be clock-intensive.
- Vlad1 is a popular caster for WGK, because he addresses damage multiplication.
- Aiyana & Holt solve some of the damage and magical weapon weaknesses but often cost the list a heavy.
- Old Witch2 offers damage multiplication in Curse of Shadows, and wins the gunline-vs-gunline matchup.
- Butcher1 offers damage multiplication in the form of his feat, and access to magic weapons in the form of his character jack.
In most ways this list is the single most powerful archetype in the game, stifled somewhat by the SR2017 need to project diversely into zones. My personal efforts to beat Khador locally are part of what drew me to The Ghost Fleet, a Cryx list teched specifically to attack the weaknesses of this theme (that's a little meta-evolution talk for you. After the Ghost Fleet CID goes through you'll see this list return to popularity).
Theme weaknesses & mitigating them
- One of the few themes limited to non-character solos, so no free Joe and no free Jr. Sorscha.
- Speaking of solos, the theme lacks them in both number and quality, which can be an issue on certain Scenarios. Consider a humble Gobber Tinker, and/or Alexia & The Risen to drop some thrall warriors.
- Outside of the Battle Engine and certain Warjacks, the lack of pathfinder can make this army difficult to deploy and move around. The Old Witch of Khador & Scrapjack can help with Weald Secrets and Zerkova1 with Ghost Walk.
- Lack of Tactician can make moving so many bodies around difficult, Irusk2 provides a large Tactician bubble.
There are two ways of playing this list;
- Lots of Winter Guard for Sacrificial Pawn targets, with jacks to do the heavy lifting;
- As Few Winter Guard As Possible, aiming to get the Advance Move bonus as often as possible.
The second method is good for casters that love warjacks (e.g. Karchev the Terrible); by buying cheap artillery units or min-size infantry you gain Advance Move and extra warcaster survivability without sacrificing too many options in comparison to a jack-only list - really just the character jacks.
Currently, Assault Kommandos don't contribute towards free points, advance move and can't be used for sacrificial pawn. There is no real incentive to ever take them.
Starting a 25 point force
Start with a full unit of Winter Guard Infantry with two Rocketeers weapon attachments and their Officer command attachment. Add in the legendary Kovnik Joe and it leaves you just enough points for a War Dog. Altogether this is a great starting 25 point force, clocking in at a whopping 16 models!
Add in a caster & battlegroup and you'll have something like this:
Casters of Note
- Butcher1 offers damage multiplication in the form of his feat and Fury. Iron Flesh is also a really nice for keeping squishy WG alive, especially when stacked with Tough from Joe and Fog of War and No Sleeping on the Job from Sorscha0.
- Access to Ruin means an extra magic weapon.
- Vlad1 Signs and Portents is another damage buff which can be stacked with Joe's, who can be protected by Wind Wall.
- Old Witch1 deserves mention for Iron Flesh and Weald Secrets. The latter is one of the rare instances of Khadoran Warcasters handing out Pathfinder to troops. She and Scrapjack also have Prowl, so they like the presence of Sorscha0's Fog of War.
- Old Witch2 Curse of Shadows adresses damage, Windstorm helps against gunlines.
- Irusk2 buffs the hell out of the little red patriots! Tactician prevents you from jamming yourself up. Total Obedience gives them Tough, Battle Lust ups their damage, Solid Ground keeps them on their feet, his feat hands out Pathfinder and lets your shooty WGs ignore clouds and Fire for Effect is great on anything ranged.
- Sorscha2 Iron Flesh again and Desperate Pace ups their threat ranges. Her feat also helps with damage.
- Malakov2 has some decent buffs for infantry as well, namely Tactical Supremacy, Veil of Mists and his battle plans. He also has a number of synergies with Sorscha0 namely that his sneak battle plan is especially good with Sorsha0's Fog of War and Boundless Charge stacks nicely with Escort. He will also have many and more targets for Sucker in this theme.
- He sadly does little for damage multiplication, unless you manage to consistenly get backstabs with your Winter Guards under Throat Cutter.
- Kozlov is an easy to use battlebox caster with a number of infantry buffs
Rules Clarification : Advance Move - None yet. (Edit)
Rules Clarification: : Sacrificial Pawn and/or Sucker! and/or Grim Salvation (Edit)
(Click Expand to read)
- Sacrificial Pawn is optional.
Grim Salvation and Sucker are not optional.
- Grim Salvation only works vs basic attacks, not special attacks, power attacks, chain attacks.
- Spells are not basic attacks, because they are not "made with a weapon". (Infernal Ruling)
- CRA and CMA are basic attacks. (Infernal Ruling)
- If a Special Attack generates an additional attack (such as Multi-Fire), the second attack will be basic and as such can have Grim Salvation used vs it. (Infernal Ruling)
- Sacrificial Pawn & Sucker! don't work against melee attacks.
- None of them work vs magic attacks (spells).
All of them work against Magical Ranged attacks, though.
- The model the attack is transferred to is always hit, even if they have an ability that makes them automatically get missed (such as Stealth).
Automatically missing is determined earlier in the timing sequence than when the attack is moved. (Infernal Ruling)
From here down, the terms Sacrificial Pawn, Grim Salvation, and Sucker! are interchangeable
- Using Sac Pawn moves all damage and effects onto the other model.
- The new model hit may use any abilities that trigger on being hit/damaged by an enemy attack (such as Vengeance and Shock Field).
- Sprays and AOEs
- A model hit by a spray attack can use Sacrificial Pawn to pass it to another model. The placement of the template does not change.
- Note that this may cause the Pawn to be hit twice by the same spray. So you then resolve two damage rolls against it.
- A model directly hit by a AOE may use Sacificial Pawn to pass it to another model. The AOE template is moved (because Sac Pawn is resolved at Step 6 of the Attack Sequence in Apdx A, but AOE placement occurs at Step 7).
- Depending on how far apart the original target and Pawn are, the first guy might get clipped by the AOE anyway.
- A model indirectly hit by an AOE cannot use Sac Pawn.
- Sacrificial Pawn multiple times
- If a model with the Sacrificial Pawn ability passes it to another model that also has Sacrificial Pawn ability, that second model may pass it along to a third model.
- Models can only use Sac Pawn once each, you cannot set up an infinite loop!
- Quick Draw vs Sacrificial Pawn
- If enemy "Model A" shoots you, and then you use Quick Draw against "Model A", but they use Sac Pawn to move your Quick Draw attack to "Model B" then ... Quick Draw has no effect (or rather, it affects "Model B" who isn't currently shooting you so is irrelevant). Point is, "Model A" can continue shooting you.
- This won't happen with Shield Guard though (outside of a very low-probability scenario) because Shield Guard can only be triggered during an enemy turn.
Rules Clarification: Theme Forces (Edit)
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
- For your solo, if you select a solo that comes in multiples (such as Swamp Gobber River Raiders) you get the normal number of solos. Not just a single model. (Locked thread)
- As per the errata to the core rules, 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)
- 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)
- 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 bug in Warroom that allows you to take multiple.
- 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 count towards free points (if applicable). For instance, Nyss will count towards the "20 points of Retribution units" in the Defenders of Ios theme. (Infernal Ruling)
- they can be taken free of cost (if applicable). 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 the Devil's Shadows in Slaughter Fleet Raiders), they will count against your "up to one Merc" allowance.
Mercenaries and Ranking Officers
- If you can include a Merc unit, and its attachments, then you can attach a Ranking Officer. This is true regardless whether or not that Ranking Officer is on the list of "Allowed models" . (Infernal Ruling)
- Adding a Ranking Officer to a Merc unit doesn't increase the number of Merc units you can take.
- The Merc unit will count towards your "X points of [Faction] models/units" benefit (if your theme is worded that way). (Infernal Ruling)
Benefits for a single model/unit
(eg "One unit of [blah] gains [yaddah]") [Show/Hide]
- If you need to choose which models get your theme bonus, then you do this choice after deployment. (Infernal Ruling)
- An example is how Winter Guard Kommand gives Advance Move to one-warjack-of-your-choice-per-WG-unit.
- In comparison, Destruction Initiative gives all Servitors the Shield Guard ability so you don't need to "make" a choice.
- You should still write on your army list how many of these bonuses you get to hand out, though, so your opponent can clearly see. (Infernal Ruling)
- ie at the bottom of your list, you'd write "3 warjacks gain Advance Move" but you don't need to state which three are going to get the bonus.
Free models and Specialists (ADR) [Show/Hide]
- You can swap out as many models from your main list into your specialists and vice versa as you like, but you must completely recalculate the new army list when you do, including bonuses. As long as the new army list is valid, including all free models, it doesn't matter what the left over points in your specialists are. (Staff Ruling)
- 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 & free points [Show/Hide]
- If a unit counts towards your free points, then all attachments count too; regardless of whether the attachment is the same model type. For instance:
- If the unit gets a benefit from a theme force, the Attachment will too. (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.
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.
Number of free models [Show/Hide]
- If a model is normally added to your army in multiples (such as 3 Scrap Thralls for two points, 2 Crabbits for seven points, etc) and you choose to use your free card on such a model, you only get one model. (Infernal Ruling)
- There are some exceptions, such as Storm Division's benefit explicitly saying you'll get 3 stormcallers.
- There is one odd exception, for Children of the Dragon, where it was ruled that you'll get 5 incubi. However that ruling is an exception, not a general case.
Protectorate - The Faithful Masses [Show/Hide]
- A Mercenary unit with an Attendant Priest does count as Protectorate unit for the purpose of calculating points for free cards. There is a bug in Warroom that prevents it counting properly. (Staff Ruling)
Protectorate - The Creator's Might [Show/Hide]
Cryx - Ghost Fleet [Show/Hide]
- The "free solo" can be any kind of solo, it doesn't have to be a Revenant solo.
Cryx - Scourge of the Broken Coast [Show/Hide]
Cryx - Slaughter Fleet Raiders [Show/Hide]
- Despite being treated as a Cryx unit during a game, the DSM still use up your Mercenary slot during list creation. They are more like a Partisan Mercenary unit, in that respect. (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)
Trollblood - Kriel Company [Show/Hide]
- Despite being treated as a Trollblood unit during a game, Dannon, Blythe, and Greygore still use up your Minion slot during list creation. They are more like a Partisan Minion unit, in that respect. (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 - Call of the Wild [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)
Circle - The Devourer's Host [Show/Hide]
- Free Tharn models do count towards the free corpse tokens. (Infernal Ruling)
- 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.
Legion - Children of the Dragon [Show/Hide]
- If you select Incubi as your "one" solo, you get five of them. (Infernal Ruling)
Models in this Theme Force
Refer to Category:Winter Guard Kommand