Saturday, 25 January 2014

On a budget: Cygnar

Over the coming months I'll be doing a series of on a budget articles for Warmachine and Hordes. the focus is to get a standard 50 point force together for less than £170, this limit will be increased for mercenaries and minions. The original idea for this article series was after a discussion with Citizen Williams over at A murder Of Ravens.

Here is the first one for you all to read, this has been reformatted from my original one that was put up on The Hobbynomicon. All of the on a budgets use the basic battlebox which is readily available from most flgs and online retailers.

The Cygnar battle box provides players with a good mix of warjacks and a very good caster in the form of Commander Coleman Stryker.  Stryker is a very good starting point, he’s very forgiving for players to use is incredibly survivable with his spell’s yet can augment his force and dish out a lot of punishment to boot. Both of his weapons are magical and cause Disruption. This nice little effect causes warjacks hit to lose all the current focus they’ve been allocated and also prevents them from getting any focus allocated to them in the next turn. Quite a nasty thing on warjack dependant forces, I would like to note disruption does not affect warcasters, warbeasts or warlocks. In his list of spells Stryker has 3 offensive spell’s with 2 possessing a decent RNG and POW of 10”/13 and 12”/11 respectively, and the third spell he possesses called earthquake being a POW- spell but AOE 5 and all models hit are knocked down. The spell states all models hit so be careful this also includes friendly faction as well. The rest of Stryker’s spells are a solid mix of giving +3 ARM, one giving and extra 4”RNG to a unit/models ranged attacks and his last spell granting +3 DEF against ranged and magic attack rolls. Then we have his feat which is called Invincibility which coupled with his defensive spells is rather  unpleasant for your opponent as his feat adds +5 to all friendly ARM stats in his control area. As a final point Stryker adds and extra 6 warjack points to any force he’s present in.
Next in the battle box we have a Cygnar regular Ironclad. A combat heavy warjack that has 2 attacks, in the form of an open fist and a Quake hammer. The Quake hammer comes with critical knockdown which is always useful and allows Ironclad to make a special Tremor attack. This special attack hits a single model and all models within 2” are also knocked down. With an average stat line but a slightly higher DEF for warjacks this guy is well worth his 7 PTS.

Our next Warjack is the Lancer. Armed with a War spear and Shock shield, the Spear has reach and set defence but it’s the Shock shield we are interested in learning about. The Shock shield gives our Lancer 2 rather nifty abilities. The first is Shock Field which means when the Lancer is hit by an enemy melee attack it sustains 1 damage to its First available cortex box. So long as the shield weapon system isn’t crippled this ability will still work. The Shield also causes 1 damage to the first available cortex system when the Lancer hits a warjack, regardless of if it damages, this take effect regardless of the system being crippled. Lastly the Lancer also possesses an ARC node, a really useful bit of kit that enables our warcaster to cast spells through so long as the Lancer is in his control area. We get all this for a nice cost of 6 PTS.

Lastly the Cygnar battle box contains another light warjack in the form of Charger. The charger is a really useful warjack as it possesses a battle hammer and a dual cannon. The dual cannon has a decent RNG and POW for a light but comes with ROF 2. This rather nice weapon also has the powerful attack ability, which lets you boost both attack and damage rolls on a shot for only 1 focus. So giving the charger its full 3 focus will let you fire 2 fully boosted shots a turn, this does however make the charger a very focus hungry warjack for a light jack. This is offset by the fact that once you close in focus will rarely be allocated for shooting with Ironclad and Lancer in tow. Charger does come in for a very respectable 4 PTS cost. This puts us on £31.50 spent on our faction so far.

With the focus hungry nature of the Charger on my mind my first addition was a very easy one to make. I added a journeyman warcaster which for a mere 3 PTS is a real bargain.

Our delightful journeyman can have his own battle group comes with 3 FOC and 2 spell’s. He is however rather susceptible to an easy death with only 5 damage boxes. This we can remedy by putting our focus hungry charger under his command. Charger needs the maximum of 3 focus to be effective which severely hampers Stryker but would not worry a journeyman as he needs to be kept at a safe distance. This useful solo that appears in most Cygnar force retails at £5.40.

Looking at what I currently have and Stryker now only running 2 warjacks I decided to add another warjack to our happy group. Lacking in the heavy jack and ranged department is a real nightmare at any points limit. So to remedy this I’ve added a Defender warjack. Another heavy warjack that comes with a Shock hammer for close combat and a Heavy barrel for ranged.

The Defender’s Shock hammer comes with the same cortex damaging ability that Lancers shield comes with. This offsets the fact that the Defender only has the 1 melee weapon. Finally the Heavy barrel our Defender also wields is a decent piece of kit. Boasting RNG 16 and  POW 15 can topple even the heaviest things in the game, and using Stryker’s snipe spell you can augment the RNG a further 4”. Defender comes in a respectable 9 PTS and costs £19.99

Our force is now currently sitting at 23 points with 4 warjacks a solo and a warcaster. So with this in mind I’d really want to keep my warjacks fighting for as long as possible. With this in mind I chose a unit of Field Mechaniks. This unit is led by a Crew Chief and has his Gobber assistants with him.

The Crew Chief come’s with the repair ability set to skill level 9 so will pass most skill checks and also has iron sentinel giving him a better chance of surviving. The Gobbers also have repair but at skill level 6, but can assist with the Crew Chief’s repair ability. They grant an additional damage boxed repaired per Gobber helping. The unit size I have added is the minimum of Crew Chief and 3 Gobbers for 3 PTS. The blister for this unit retails at £13.60

Looking at the back story to Stryker and also his tiered list he had a good amount of galvanic units so with 24points left in our allotted 50 I think you can guess what I shall be adding. Firstly I’ll be adding a unit of Storm blade infantry with 2 of the weapon attachment operators. Having combined melee, immunity electricity and dealing electrical damage on the unit is a terrifying prospect, couple this with the high MAT and ARM for infantry they are a true force to be reckoned with in the Cygnaran war effort.

 The unit does also possess a short RNG attack but with only a RAT of 5 this may be difficult to hit. This is where the weapon attachment operators come in. I’ve added to from the boxed set due to point’s constraint but I’m left with 1 spare for future choices. These function the same as their parent unit but have a better ranged attack with a RNG of 12”. They also have a rather nice rule that allows ranged attacks from its parent unit automatically hit.  This unit adds 7 PTS to our force and costs £27.00.

With having a unit of Storm Blades we can add a command to them now. This consists of an Officer and Standard bearer for the unit. The Officer comes with a healthy 5 damage boxes, an improved MAT and RAT over his companions and grant the unit the assault order. This is a nice little bonus that means the unit can make ranged attacks as they enter in combat giving them a better chance at finishing off the unit. Unusually the Standard also adds an extra bonus to the unit by making the unit’s ranged attacks benefit from AOE 3”. We can add this into our unit for a bargain 3 PTS and at a cost of £9.95.
Having a Storm detachment in a Cygnar force is nice to have, but what it really needs is a Storm Clad.

A warjack that excels in close quarter fighting and has many perks to it as well. Armed with an open fist, Generator blade and the short ranged Generator blast attack this is a jack that will make you proud. Like all Cygnar galvanic units he is immune to electricity and most of his attacks deal electrical damage. The generator blast benefits from electro leap so can arc lightning to nearby models as can the generator blade in close combat. Now you may be saying Strykers great but can he really power 3 heavy and a light warjack easily. I’ll be honest he may struggle, but to help with this problem Storm Clad has a Storm Accumulator. Which means when he activates he gains 1 Focus point if he has a Storm Blade within 3” of him, but that’s not all he is a warjack and can be jack marshalled by our next addition rather well. Storm Clad is the most expensive jack in our force at a hefty 10 PTS but this is offset by his monetary value of £16.30.
I mentioned just that the next addition will greatly help manage your forces resources. With this in mind I’ve added the Storm Blade captain.

 With the same statline as the officer and same amount of damages boxes it may be hard to understand why I’ve chosen him. First and foremost he is a solo jack marshal which has many benefits. He also benefits from weapon master granting him an additional D6 in combat, but these aren’t the main reasons I’ve added him. He grants 2 added bonuses to all storm knights within his command area. The first is tactician which means friendly storm knights can ignore other storm knights for LOS and movement purposes. The next benefit is he grants Storm knights relentless charge. So any activation in which they activate and charge they gain pathfinder. He adds all this to your force for 2 PTS and cost’s exactly £10.00.

So far I have use 48 out of 50 points leaving me with enough for an extra solo. This took a lot of thinking and after a while it was obvious. Captain Arlan Strangeways has now joined Commander Strykers growing force. He brings a better repair skill than the Crew Chief’s to the force and another set of nice abilities to boot. With his magic abilities he can make your warjacks a lot more mobile or generate them an extra focus point if they have none on them. Finally he also has his Voltaic Gauntlet which is a spray weapon and has disruption on it. And the final reason why I have added Strangeways is he has a cool looking pipe. He costs 2 PTS totalling us to 50 and costs £7.25.

With this last bit we have our full 50 points totalling a caster, 3 solo’s, 2 units and 5 warjacks all totalling up to £140.99. this gives you a force that has a lot of tactical options with a hard hitting element however the force is incredibly survivable due to the spells and the amount of mechanics and spell buff’s you have available to you.

I'd also like to point out that al the heavy warjacks can have the arms magnetised, this isn't recommended for new hobbyists however. After a quick look around the internet I found many sources for magnets with varying prices. This information was passed onto me by Azrael71.

As usual all comments and feedback are welcome, and you can also follow other goings on via the Talking Wall facebook page.. All prices are from Titan Games and are correct at the time this article was published.


  1. You should also mention the plastic multipart jack kits.
    If you magnetise them you are getting 3 jack options for the price of 1.
    Especially useful if you also magnetise the Ironclad from the battlebox.
    Helps to keep those costs down ;)

    1. Many thanks, yeah it's a very valid point and one I'll admit I overlooked, I shall make sure it's in the others.

  2. Like it so far, although some further proof reading would help identify a few issues and make the article read better.

    One particular example that stands out is: '...on the unit is a terrifying prospect, couple this with the high MAT and ARM for infantry they are a terrifying prospect.'

    Just adding some variety to the sentences would make it less...awkward to read. Otherwise, good job!

  3. Many thanks for the feedback, soon as I can get near my laptop I'll make the relevant amendments. Next up I'll be doing troll bloods

  4. This is a really good idea that will help out new players or anyone wanting to pick up the game. Nice work

    1. Many thanks, over the next couple of months I hope to have the main factions written up and then start work on the more unorthodox factions.