Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I love mercenaries!

It should come as no surprise that I have an unhealthy love for the money-grubbing sellswords we call mercenaries. I'm not the only one though, and if you can stomach the questionable choice of colors on the site, the Spite for the Unblighted blog has some interesting articles.
The reason I'm writing this is quite simply, that mercenaries not only cover a lot of problematic areas of an army (if you know how to abuse them), but also allows you to build new armies without investing hundreds of dollars to do it.

There you go, that's what I needed for a 50 point Khador list. That's pIrusk, Beast-09, Aiyana & Holt, and eEiryss. Actually I had already ordered both eEiryss and A&H to use in another list, but since I planned my Khador list while they were in transit I included them here anyway. That's about 80 dollars including transport from Maelstrom Games, and I could have done it a lot cheaper if I had gone with the Kodiak I've bought from a friend instead of Beast-09 (sadly I had already ordered when his second hand sale thread came up). This is the list of mercenaries I own that will currently work for Khador.
  • Mangler
  • Talon
  • Alexia Ciannor & the Risen
  • Croe's Cutthroats
  • Cylena Raefyll & Nyss Hunters
  • Dannon Blythe & Bull
  • Greygore Boomhowler & Co.
  • Lady Aiyana & Master Holt
  • Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire
  • Bosun Grogspar
  • eEiryss
  • Gorman di Wulfe
  • Gudrun the Wanderer
  • Harlan Versh
  • Lord Rockbottom
  • Madelyn Corbeau
  • Dougal MacNaile
  • Ogrun Bokur
  • Orin Midwinter
  • Ragman
  • Reinholdt
  • Rorsh & Brine
  • Saxon Orrik
  • Sylys Wyshnalyrr 
  • Thor Steinhammer
That's a lot of options, and it's all collected with other lists and projects in mind. It's 89 points, and missing just a caster and a Warjack or two. I bought pButcher and a Kodiak from a friend, and it cost me 20 dollars since it was surplus models. 

Funny pictures aside, that principle can be applied to almost any Warmachine faction, if your selection of mercenaries is large enough, so how do you go about starting a new faction then?
  • Warcaster
  • Warjack
That's all you really need if you have a sufficient collection of mercenaries. It probably won't be a sleek and deadly tournament list, but then we simply add a few additional models, and it can be.
  • Ranking Officer
  • Support model(s) for the chosen caster.
In my case I've chosen pIrusk and pButcher, but pButcher is the obvious choice when you consider his spell list because most of his spells are not limited to faction models. I already have a pile of models I consider useful with him, so I hereby present my 30 dollar pButcher list. 
The Butcher of Khardov
- Kodiak
- Sylys Wyshnalyrr, the Seeker
Alexia Ciannor & the Risen (Alexia and 9 Risen Grunts)
Cylena Raefyll & Nyss Hunters (Cylena and 9 Grunts)
- Koldun Kapitan Valachev
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution
Gorman di Wulfe
Madelyn Corbeau
Master Gunner Dougal MacNaile
Ogrun Bokur
Rorsh & Brine
Saxon Orrik
There are heavy hitters, ranged threats, available debuffs, plenty of Pathfinder and magical weapons to go around, and a multitude of shenanigans to mess up an opponent. If I want a Menoth army instead, then I could have one with pSeverius, Blessing of Vengeance and two attendant priests, and the list goes on.

The thing is, that we all love variation, and with a solid collection of mercenaries you can have something really rare: Faction and Caster variation. If you don't already have a pile of mercenaries it's just as expensive as getting a new faction, but since most armies already use a solid core of mercenaries, I'd expect most people to have quite a few options laying around.



  1. 30 dollars actually get's me a Trollblood army as well: Calandra + Dire Troll Mauler.

    Due to circumstances that are a bit long to explain in a comment, I already own the remaining models I need for this list.

    Calandra Truthsayer
    - Troll Axer
    - Dire Troll Mauler
    Greygore Boomhowler & Co. (Max)
    Trollkin Champions (Max)
    Fell Caller Hero
    Rorsh & Brine
    Wrong Eye & Snapjaw

    Calandra is a great minion caster, with a feat that affects them, and several spells that are useful to minions as well.

    Sure I'd be steamrolled in competitive play, but if I get bored with my faction I can change it for 30 dollars.

  2. The rest of the Hordes factions are a bit harder, due to the Fury system leaning heavily on Battlegroup beasts.

    Circle: pKrueger. I would think it would be about 80-100 dollars to purchase sufficient beasts and support though.

    Legion: eVayl. Defensive light beasts to generate Fury, and I think this could work really well actually.

    Skorne: pHexeris, simply because his style requires little of his army, and Death March Nyss Hunters are fun.