So, preparing for Lock & Load has required me to be far more analytical about my lists than usual, and I have played many practice games and tweaked various aspects of the lists. When I wasn’t sure how to tune my lists any further, I took them to the Privateer Press Forums for advice. One of the things that was quickly pointed out was that I was carrying two Helljacks (in addition to 2 Bonejacks) in my Deneghra list.
Many people rightly pointed out that Deneghra craves her focus, and has little to give to one, let alone two, heavy warjacks. And while this advice was sound, it really got me thinking; why do I always take at least two heavy warjacks in a list above 35 pts? I think there are a variety of reasons, and I thought it would be worth throwing them out there:
- I started out as a Khador player, and Warjacks are the epitome of what it means to be Khadoran
Even though I often rock me some Cryx or Legion; Khador was, and will always be, my first faction. I started with the Reds, and many of my personal habits in this game are clearly defined by that beginning. When you are first learning the game – ARM 20, 34 wound models seem neigh unstoppable, and in fact my Warjacks often ran rampant in my early days; we just didn’t quite know how to handle them. Of course, once we masted power attacks and other subtle options, we learned how easy it is to shut down those giant slow hunks of metal. And as a Khador player, where armor defines everything, there is a certain pride in running as much armor as you can find. The look on an opponent’s face the first time they ask to see Devastator’s card is priceless. So I suppose it is natural, that I always think first about heavy Warjacks when I am building a list.
- Warjacks are what drew me to the game in the first place
Steampunk as a genre is something I really enjoy, even if I don’t get as involved as I would like. And the flavor in the Iron Kingdoms was perfect; steam power coupled with magic. The cortex as a concept is outstanding, and I really enjoy conjecture on how/why they work the way they do. The evolution from Steamjacks into Warjacks has always made a lot of sense, and PiP has built a series of great story points to tie into this. From the Rhulic faction and their clearly converted working jacks to the feelings in the Protectorate about how unholy Warjacks are, the Iron Kingdoms has always been written with Warjacks in the fore. I didn’t play Warmachine in Mark 1, but I understand the frustration PiP had with players who didn’t field ‘Jacks at all; the world was always meant to have them involved.
- I really want Warjacks to be integral to the game
It always makes me sad to see a successful list that includes little or no Warjack prowess in it. I understand the power of infantry, but I really like it when Warjacks are core to the list. If you think about the raw size, power, and investment in these machines, how could they not dominate the battlefield? In reality, were something like a Warjack even conceivable, it would be next to impossible for sword-wielding minions to stop them. Sure, the game itself has to support that possibility, but it never made sense to me.
So, with regards to my Deneghra list at the start of this post; I understand that ole Denny needs her arcnodes and nothing else, but I would rather handicap my list somewhat if it means more Warjacks find their way onto my side of the table. Nightmare is powered by her own blood, Slayers have wild animal horns bolted on, Reapers and Malice have freaking harpoon arms, the crabjacks can walk under the seas and are waterproof! That is just too cool, and having too many Warjacks is a problem I will probably always have.