WarmaZone #3: Wolfbane Commandos

What’s this, a two-for-one special on WarmaZone? What’s the world coming to?!? Sorry, I was just feeling extra-inspired today, and thought I’d share even more of my work with you. Stay tuned to the end of this posting for a fun little bonus entry I cooked up. Anyway, after the expensive yet specialized Blood Berets, you probably need something a little cheaper to bulk out your army. Enter Imperial’s resident highlanders, the Wolfbanes. In the official canon they are disgraced members of the Imperial clans that went their separate ways to become wild claymore-wielding warriors, but in my headcanon they used to be tribes of wasteland gangers that became a part of the Imperial family after being hired as a private security force. Now, the Wolfbanes are as much a part of the Imperial hierarchy as the ruling heads themselves. To start with these really fun and characterful warriors, we’ll start at the bottom with your bare-bones unit, the Wolfbane Commandos:

wolfbane-commandos

  • Unit Composition: 1 Leader, 5-9 Grunts
  • Cost: 6/10 points
  • Force Allocation: 3
  • Stats: SPD-5, STR-7, MAT-7, RAT-4, DEF-13, ARM-13, CMD-6, HP-1
  • Weapons (1)

-Bastard Sword: RNG-1, POW-3, P+S-10

Lucky

  • Special Rules:

-Brutal Charge

-Mercenary: This unit will work for Cygnar, Khador, and the Protectorate

-Minion: This unit will work for the Trollbloods and Circle

-Partisan (Imperial)

As you can see, they’re half the cost of the Blood Berets, cheaper than Trenchers, and really are nothing to write home about. They’re just a dedicated melee unit that exists to hack up intervening troops to clear fire lanes or clog up charge lanes to protect their more powerful brothers and sisters in arms. They possess the Luck ability, so they can reroll their attacks if they miss, and they have brutal charge, which gives a small bonus to their charge rolls when they attack. Nothing spectacular on its own, but an entire horde of these guys charging an enemy force, especially when paired with other Wolfbane solos and units, will give even steel-willed Khador pause. As you can also see, these are one of the few Wolfbane units that can hire themselves out to other factions, so three of Warmachine’s big four can take them along, as well as a dedicated mercenary force, and even the Trollbloods and hordes of Circle Orboros can benefit from their blades. I don’t see them becoming an official part of the Minions or Mercenaries forces anytime soon, but sometimes having a little extra melee punch can come in handy. That’s all to the Commandos on their own, but they have a couple of extra tricks up their sleeves (wait, do they even have sleeves…?) For an extra point per model, you can outfit your Commandos with a ranged upgrade pack:

wolfbane-commandos-add-on-pack

Now instead of your lucky bastard sword, your weapons loadout will look something like this:

  • Weapons (2) (1 pt)

-Aggressor Handgun: RNG-8, ROF-2, POW-10

-Charger HMG: RNG-10, ROF-D3, POW-11 (5 pts)

-Hand Ripper: RNG-0.5, POW-1, P+S-8

Critical Shred

Unfortunately, due to their poor RAT the Commandos still won’t be able to hit the broad side of a barn, but they can now hold their own in a firefight if need be. They also possess smaller versions of the Blood Berets’ Chain Rippers, which while not as powerful, can still mulch infantry in close combat if you roll well. Like the Trenchers, you can also spend an additional five points to equip them with Chargers and gain more clout in a ranged battle. Just don’t plan on hitting a whole lot. This still not enough for you? The Wolfbanes have one last upgrade, this one in the form of their Command Attachment, the Commando Pathfinder :

  • Unit Composition: 1 Command Attachment
  • Cost: 6 points
  • Force Allocation: 3
  • Stats: SPD-5, STR-7, MAT-7, RAT-6, DEF-11, ARM-11, CMD-7, HP-5
  • Weapons:

-Howler Grenade Launcher: RNG-9, ROF-1, AOE-3

Ammo Type:

-Explosive: POW-10

-Smoke: POW-0, Cloud

-Electric: POW-0, Damage Type Electricity, Disruption

-Clansman’s Claymore: RNG-2, POW-4, P+S-11

Brutal Charge

Thresher (Attack)

  • Special Rules:

-Attachment (Wolfbane Commandos)

-Battle Chant (Action): The Pathfinder and models in the unit gain +1 SPD and Pathfinder. Lasts for one turn.

-Granted: Prey

-Mercenary: This unit will work for Cygnar, Khador, and the Protectorate

-Minion: This unit will work for the Trollbloods and Circle

-Partisan (Imperial)

-Pathfinder

-Prowl

Now this is a little more interesting. With higher stats, the Pathfinder is better at both melee and ranged combat, and is a little more survivable than those under his command. His signature sword has lost Luck, but now possesses Brutal Charge as well as Thresher, letting him play forward and take down light-armored troops to clear lanes for his comrades. He also comes with a default gun, the Howler Grenade Launcher, which is like a wrist-mounted Swiss army knife. It can lob explosive shells, but it can also lay down smoke clouds for his Commandos to hide in, or electric blasts to shut down enemy warjacks. Just make sure you don’t miss. He of course has Pathfinder (duh), but also has Prowl, letting him benefit more from cover, but his true worth lies in the buffs he can dole out to his unit. Prey is the first buff that really ups their melee game, letting them roll an extra die of damage against a model or unit of your choosing. Between Brutal Charge and Prey, a unit of Wolfbanes will pretty much pulverize anything that gets in their way. His second buff is Battle Chant. This is mainly useful for getting the Wolfbanes down the battlefield faster, but it lets them traverse difficult terrain with no problems, and it gives them  longer charge range.

So, I bet the Wolfbanes have a lot more appeal now? Depending on how you spend your points, you can take this cheap, cannon-fodder unit and turn them into a whirling buzzsaw of destruction. That’s kind of the fun thing about Imperial; they’ve got something for every playstyle, and guys like the Wolfbanes aren’t afraid to help others out for a little coin. We’ll keep building our Imperial army list in the coming days, and we still have a lot more to flesh out, both in terms of savage highland warriors and the Ministry of War, so keep tuned.

…I did promise a surprise, didn’t I? Well, here it is. In my headcanon, and in the official canon of Warzone, while most of the Wolfbanes are devout Morrowans (or followers of the Cardinal in WZ), they still adhere to a lot of old, sometimes druidic practices. One such practice is the worship of a deity they call the Wolf of War or the Wise Wolf, whom embodies their love of beer, meat, and hand-to-hand combat. But, what if their supposedly mythic deity was more than just a myth? What if she was real, and could help out the Wolfbanes in battle? Well, now she can!

HeroForgeScreenshot.png

Have you figured out who this is? If you have, I hope you appreciate my little homage to this lovable character. This was also my attempt to add a little bit of humor and something cute into the otherwise dark and bleak world that is Lore. Well, I suppose you’d like her stats:

-Holo the Wise Wolf

  • Unit Composition: 1 Solo
  • Cost: 6 points
  • Force Allocation: Character
  • Stats (Human): SPD-5, STR-6, MAT-5, RAT-5, DEF-14, ARM-12, CMD-8, HP-8
  • Stats (Wolf): SPD-6, STR-9, MAT-7, RAT-4, DEF-12, ARM-14, CMD-8, HP-8
  • Weapons (Wolf):

-Claws X2: RNG-1, POW-4, P+S-13

-Bite: RNG-0.5, POW-3, P+S-12

Critical Consume

  • Special Rules:

-Animosity (Guild)

-Drinking Party (Action/Human): When using this action, Holo and one unit in her CMD range gain Stumbling Drunk, and Holo gains Hangover. Drinking Party lasts for one turn.

-Feign Death

-Inspiration (Wolfbanes): Wolfbane and Wolves of Orboros units and solos in Holo’s CMD range gain Unyielding.

-Mage Sight (Wolf)

-Nose to the Wind (Wolf): If an enemy unit deploys within 6” of Wolf Holo, she can charge the enemy, even if she already activated.

-Mercenary: This model will work for Imperial (Wolfbanes)

-Minion: This model will work for the Trollbloods and Circle Orboros

-Transform (Action): By using this action, Holo can change between her human and wolf forms, gaining the stats and benefits of the appropriate form.

-Tough (Wolf)

As long as her husband doesn’t notice she’s gone missing, I don’t see any problems. For her rules and stats, Holo is a multi-role solo that can switch from a support role to a fanged cruise missile, thanks to her Transform ability. In her human form, Holo’s stats are kind of pitiful, as she’s just an unarmed woman in the middle of the battlefield, and she has no weapons. However, this just her support form. In this form, she gains the ability Drinking Party, letting one unit and her take a break from battle and knock back a few beers, granting them Stumbling Drunk. When buffed with abilities that grant them Tough, this lets whoever she’s been partying with blunder their way out of melee and escape from stronger melee units and models. This ability also grants Holo the Hangover rule, which while she’s in her human form heals her completely and knocks her down when she’s been disabled. It doesn’t sound like much on paper, but thanks to this and her Feign Death ability, this keeps her safe from cheap shots while she’s down and lets her spring back up, fully-healed, when her next activation rolls around. Once she transforms into her wolf form, everything changes completely. She loses Drinking Party, but her stats take a huge boost, she goes from a small base to a large base, and she gains weapons. She now has two medium-range claws with a very strong POW, letting her shred lightly-armored models and damage heavy infantry and support units, and her short-ranged fangs. Her teeth aren’t much more powerful than her claws, but they possess Critical Consume, meaning on a critical hit she can eat a small-based model. Gruesome, but effective. In this form she keeps Feign Death, but now gains Tough, Mage Sight, and a new ability from Imperial called Nose to the Wind, letting her charge units that deploy (via ambush or advance deployment) near her for free. She’s a bit of a cruise missile in this form, as she possesses powerful melee abilities but lacks ARM and is on a large base, making her susceptible to Armor Piercing and Burst Fire attacks, so be careful. She’s both a Mercenary and a Minion, so she can be hired out to a dedicated merc force, or to the Wolfbanes, trolls, or Circle. She doesn’t really have a preferred faction to work with, but those with a lot of Tough units or buffs benefit from her support abilities. The two factions she works best with are Circle and the Wolfbanes, as she grants Wolfbane and Wolf of Orboros units and solos Unyielding, making them stronger in melee and more resilient overall. Then again, she is a Mercenary, so the way you use her in your army is up to you. And now, I believe our guest would like a rest before she takes to the field.

That’s all for WarmaZone today, but stay tuned for even more from the depths of my warped imagination. God’s blessings, and I’ll see you all again next time!

-The Raging Goblin

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