In Soviet Khador, you don’t play Warmachine, Warmachine plays you.

The armylist has been edited based on Chris’s comments.


Here we are again. After my foray back into 40k and another game lined up for the extended weekend (we celebrate our national holiday next Monday, so yay to that), I am jumping back over to Warmachine and I am currently working on my second army. ‘Second army?’ I hear you say. ‘You haven’t even really got to grips with your first one.’

And you would be right to say so, but I always start a new game that way. I like having two armies for several reasons. First of all, having two playable armies means that should my brother, who used to wargame but then quit because he never got round painting an army or finishing one before the next thing took his fancy, visit, we can get a quick game in while the womenfolk is chatting. In addition, I can get some solo game in too if I have the time and nothing better to do. But most importantly, by choosing Cygnar (shooty, fast, but slightly fragile) and Khador (slow, durable and with a focus on melee though also shooty), I have chosen two very different armies, so I can go back and forth and see which playstyle appeals more to me: the fine scalpel that is eCaine and friends or the sledgehammer that is the Butcher or eIrusk’s swarm of baby warjack’s aka Man O´War Shocktroopers. Finally, Khador’s stark and brutish red and gold is a nice contrast to Cygnar’s more regal blue and gold colour scheme.

I will add pictures soon, once I fully unpacked and assembled the stuff I bought cheap off eBay or got from other sources.

The first list I want to try is the following:

Supreme Kommandant Irusk (eIrusk): eIrusk is an infantry commander or Kommandant in Khadoran first and foremost. He has a set of abilities that reinforce that, namely letting units in his command range of 10″ ignore each other for purposes of line of sight and charging and giving them Tough (in essence a 5+ invulnerable if they lose their last wound) to represent the discipline he instills in his units. As ‘jacks don’t benefit from his abilities, he tends to only field one and fill the rest of his list with dudes, lots of dudes to be precise. He also gives one ‘jack +2 DEF and the ability to never be knocked down, but this is a freebie I guess. +2 DEF would be great in Cygnar where the ‘jacks have decent DEF to start with, but as nearly every Khador warjack is DEF 10, the bump is not that great as even RAT 5 or MAT 5 still hits on a 7 on 2d6. Not being able to knock the ‘jack down can be useful as it means it cannot be taken out of combat so easily, but again, if you are that close to a Khadoran warjack, you are either dead anyway or have a great plan to deal with it. But gift horses and everything.

Back to eIrusk, he has a good spell list with lots of utility spells to take out units with Stealth or solos, the ability to give Pathfinder, increased damage rolls in melee or increased damage and accuracy for ranged shots as well as two movement spells. Finally, his feat gives you an edge in the movement phase by letting your own guys charge through terrain, forests and cloud effects without penalty, as well as getting up if down, which is great with Tough, as models that survive a hit due to Tough are knocked down. He also lets your guys ignore forests and clouds when shooting. Enemy units with at least one model in his control area on the other hand gain a speed penalty and thus can’t charge or use power attacks that require charging, nor can they give or receive orders, which hurts a lot of units, such as those relying on Shieldwall to stay in the fight or those who wish to run or charge you. In essence, he is the greatest tactician alive and he will make you pay for getting close to him.

War Dog: The Khadoran warcaster attachment is a dog, as in a real dog. Of course, like everything in Khador, it is bigger and meaner than the traditional version. The War Dog does not improve your caster’s spell casting like the Squire or Sylys Wyshnalyrr, but it does what a dog does, it guards you and bites people in the ass. This means that it makes its warcaster immune to free strikes and back strike bonuses as well as giving a DEF bonus in melee, provided it is close enough to guard him. It can also countercharge people that get too close and as the icing on the cake can even run back to its warcaster after attacking. A solid investment for one point.

Demolisher: The only warjack in the list. It is one of a series of Khador ‘jacks that have shield fists, so look like a giant egg. As long as it doesn’t use its fists to hit people or has them disabled, it has an insane ARM of 25, meaning that even most heavy ‘jacks will have problems harming it, especially given its 34 hull points. But what can it do if it isn’t hitting people? Well, for one it has two shoulder cannons that fire mid-ranged blasts, it can even fire those in combat to be extra mean. It can also use trample and headbutts to pummel people into oblivion, as these attacks don’t require hands, just mass, which it has in abundance. Like all Khadoran warjacks, it is slow, though Irusk can move it if necessary, and not too skilled, but is mainly intended to get into people’s way and hurt them.

5 Man O´War Shocktroopers: I would call these guys baby warjacks if I wasn’t sure that would tick them off royally. Consider them Warmachine’s Terminators. They are slow and easy to hit, but have an enormously high ARM value that can get even better if they use their shieldwall order, boosting them to an ARM value most heavy warjacks would kill for. In addition, they boast 8 damage boxes each and are thus even harder to kill. The icing on the cake is their annihilator blade that brings the pain with Reach. In an Irusk army, they have added value as they can provide cover for the people behind them without blocking their LOS as Irusk lets you see through friendly units. So their job is steadily grinding forward and harming everyone who gets too close.

5 Man O´War Demolition Corps: The Demo Corps does not have the shield of their regular brothers, but have swapped it for an Ice Maul that can be used to gain two attacks instead of one or one stronger blow, not that their base POW of 14 really needs that against anything but the heaviest targets. They will hide behind their shielded brethren, then charge through them and go their best Butcher impression to smash the oposition Khador-style.

15 Winter Guard Infantry including Officer, Standard Bearer and 3 Rocketeers: Yes, that’s 15 guys in a unit, almost like in Warhammer. The Winter Guard is Khador’s conscript army and just as you would expect from an army based on WWII Russia, they are ill-equipped, poorly-trained and nobody cares if they die. But there are lots of them and they can get into people’s way, absorb casualties or just all aim at the same guy and hope that sheer weight of fire brings it down. The Rocketeers add some extra blasts to the unit and the command group keeps them going.

Winter Guard Mortar Crew: The weapon with the longest range in the game, this is there to drop large templates on infantry units and blow them to smithereens. Alternatively, it can also be used to snipe at an enemy Warcaster if they are knocked down and thus easy to hit. But on the whole, it just fires large volumes of shrapnel in the general direction of the opponent and sees what happens. As it is a weapon with an Area of Effect (AOE), it can be used to blow apart units with Stealth, as you miss them automatically, but still scattering and thus likely to hit at least a few of them. Granted, your POW is halfed in that case, but it should still be sufficient to shred light units.

Winter Guard Mortar Crew: ditto

Kovnik Jozef Grigorovich: Also known as Kovnik Joe, he is the mortar that keeps the Winter Guard Death Star together or helps Mortar Crews (see what I did there?). He is probably drunk half the time and really drunk the other half, as every good Khador officer should be. And as such, he is prone to giving long speeches, only that his actually help the Winter Guard around him. These bonuses include improved chances to damage people in melee, boosted ranged attack rolls or making people Fearless and Tough, which is nice if Irusk has decided that the Winter Guard should be detached to a place where they can’t benefit from his own Toughness aura. In most games, he will spend the first couple of turns advising the Mortars to increase their chances of hitting something, then switch attention over to the Winter Guard to either let them hit something more often with their blunderbusses or hurt it with their axes. He is a toolbox character that aids any Winter Guard unit, and as I run a lot of them, he will always have something to do.

Iron Fang Kovnik: He loses some of his appeal due to the fact that I have no other Iron Fang units in the army (they become immune to knockdown in his command range), but he is there to order the Man O´War Shocktroopers as his order gives them +2 SPD whilst letting them maintain Shield Wall, so they can advance 6″ and still rock their insane armour. He is not too shady himself with a POW 12 axe with Reach and Weapon Master as well as gaining an ARM bonus when engaging an enemy model. So get him stuck in and he will do fine.

4 Widowmakers: Khadoran snipers. Long range and they get extra bonuses when in cover. They can either drop guys out of shield walls by dealing one automatic damage instead of rolling (enough to drop most models as they are only one wound) or harm other high ARM models that way. If needs must, they can also try to take out annoying solos as they still have POW 10 so can oneshot an ARM 12 solo with 5 damage boxes (ie most of them) on average dice.

Madelyn Corbeau, Ordic Courtesan: Miss Corbeau lets me move one of my models, not units in her Command Range by 3″ provided there is also an opposing model in her CR. This is great with Man O´War Shocktroopers, as they are glacially slow by themselves. If needs must, I can also use it to shift my Warcaster around if he is in the vicinity. Her other asset (apart from her two ASSETS of course) is that she can move up to an opposing living model and have it move then do a melee attack. This will not only let me wallop someone, but also get backstrike bonuses on the model as I get to choose which way it is turned. Finally, she can allocate any ranged attack that hits her to a friendly model in 2″, which is great with Man O´Wars as they can tank wounds quite well. In essence, she becomes fairly uninteresting as a target given the fact that her DEF is much higher than that of the Man O´Wars or most Khadoran guys for that matter, so you might as well just get it over with and try the easy shot on the Man O´War instead of the difficult shot on her that get redirected to the Man O´War anyway.


6 thoughts on “In Soviet Khador, you don’t play Warmachine, Warmachine plays you.

  1. As usually I could make a comment longer than your own post, but `there’s a thing I need to say straight away: As it goes for my count, that’s only 54 points and you have 1 left. (Calculations made by
    If FK and me are right, you can swap the War Dog out right away for Sylys (u know u can’t keep both due to Warcaster Attachement restrictions, right?) if the War Dog wouldn’t be the best 1 point solo in the game. If you put Reinhold away you get 2 points for a Widowmaker Marksman (giving the Widowmakers Swift Hunter, I believe).

  2. Yes, you are right, I had Eiryss instead of the Kovnik, that’s why my points were different. I guess it will be the Widowmaker for his RAT8 POW 12 goodness and yes, he and all Widowmakers gain Swift Reform, though a 2″ doesn’t seem that great. And Reinholdt will get a kick in the keister.

    I am aware that it is one attachment only, that’s why I wrote that I have to replace the dog if I want Silly String 😉

    If you have more advice, feel free to share.

  3. This list is intimidating. Two full units of MoWs and the Winter Guard Death Star is a brick in your opponent’s face. It seems hard to tackle them without exposing own models too much.

    One thing, however, I’d like to complain: that’s the Iron Fang Kovnik. It is a tough nut solo, but in your list he is underused by about 75%. The IFK does four things: (#1) being a tough melee fighter, (#2) ‘jack marshalling, (#3) No Sleeping on the Job, and (#4) Shield March. You utilize only #1 with your list. That’s like having Eiryss only for running fast into zones. Or like Sylys only for free upkeeps. Therefore I’d recommend the IFK only if you can make him at least using 3 of his abilities on full run.
    Maybe you’d like to switch him out? For 2 points there’s always Gorman di Wulfe (for cloud fogs and debuffs), Saxon Orrik (for giving pathfinder to units), or the Widowmaker Marksman. All three named models I see more useful for you than Mr. IFK.

  4. In my defence, he can give Shield March to the Shocktroopers, that’s why he is there.

    Marshalling is ok, but I don’t think Khador is a ‘jack faction unless your run the Iron Wolf or the Jackcaster. Also they are all so bloody expensive being heavy warjacks. I think I prefer the infantry for now.

    I could of course drop Maddie C and the Widowmakers for some Iron Fangs, as I have 6 ones spare.

  5. I forgot that Shield March isn’t restricted on Iron Fangs. This is making him more valuable for the Shocktroopers, I agree. But even if you could put Iron Fangs in, removing the Widowmakers is a bad trade imho. Widowmakers are so good with their Sniper ability, you should keep them in your army. As soon as the Winter Guard is clenched in melee, Irusk’s Fire For Effect is well spent money on them, since with aiming bonus they can take out engaged key models.

    Maybe I was to pessimistic on him and you should give him a solid field test for about five rounds. That’ll show whether he is doing his job quite well or underused as stated before. It depends on how you play him with the rest of the 53 points and there’s only so little efficiency and potencial you can see in a model on paper.

    You got a list like a brick and it’ll do you good service.

  6. I know that the Widowmakers are good, but given how often my light units die quick template death… It doesn’t help that I never seem to get a forest or other concealment area in my deployment zone … I guess the Iron Fangs are easier to use, as they are just another brick to swing at the opponent.

    I also have pButcher and eSorsha to try. Or if I feel really adventurous I can give Cavalry Vlad (cVlad? or Vlad3?) and his Iron Fang Uhlans a go.

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