We’re back, and we’re still going with the vicious warriors of the Imperial Corporation! Last time we looked at the tragic yet vicious Mourning Wolves, and in today’s issue of WarmaZone we’ll be looking at some more outcasts from the Wolfbane ranks. The Headhunters are considered wild and unhinged even by their fellow highlanders, and practice their brand of warfare with a sort of ritualistic shamanism. When not on the field, they practice unusual rituals, chanting and bathing their axes in oils to ready themselves for the big kill. As their name should imply, they also collect heads from their fallen enemies. Most of the time they just wear them on their belts like bloody trophies, but in a pinch they can charge them with druidic power and chuck them at their foes like screaming, gory grenades to knock them on their backs, which in turn lets them close for the kill and replace the lost head with another. They’re pretty scary, but in the field, they’re scarily effective.
- Unit Composition: 1 Leader, 3-5 Grunts
- Cost: 11/18 points
- Force Allocation: 2
- Stats: SPD-6, STR-8, MAT-9, RAT-4, DEF-15, ARM-13, CMD-7, HP-5
-Aggressor Handgun: RNG-8, ROF-2, POW-10
-Headhunter’s Axe: RNG-2, POW-4, P+S-12
-Screaming Skull: RNG-8, ROF-1, AOE-3, POW-0
- Special Rules:
-Grisly Trophy: For every living warrior model killed by this enemy with a melee attack, it gains a severed head token. This model may spend these tokens to buy or boost attacks.
Whereas the Warhounds were slow and tanky, plodding along to smash their enemies with their big hammers, the Wolfbanes are the opposite, as should be expected of a unit of reckless berserkers. They’re fast, their MAT is ridiculously high, and so is their DEF, letting them dodge the worst of enemy fire as they close for the kill. RAT is low, so they won’t be using their ranged weapons often, and their ARM is about the same as that of your average Trencher, so they won’t be weathering any cannon shots. They’re comparable to a cruise missile, charging wildly at the enemy and hacking away with wild abandon until they’re finally put down. If you’re taking the Headhunters, warcasters or spellcasters with ARM buffs, or even tougher units to soak up enemy fire, is a must to keep them safe so they don’t all get killed by enemy fire. For their weapons, you have two ranged and one melee. I’m getting a little tired of always talking about the Aggressor Handgun, but it’s there if you want it. The second ranged weapon is the Screaming Skull, which I briefly mentioned in the little intro paragraph. In essence, it’s one of the Headhunters’ trophies, pumped up with magic power and chucked at their enemies in a shrieking ball of fire and teeth. It has no POW value, so you can’t kill anyone with a Screaming Skull, but like the Mourning Wolves’ Tangle Chain, it knocks down all enemy models within a small AOE, and even has Magical Weapon to knock down Incorporeal models. The range is a bit less, but it’s good at just creating a target-rich environment for the Headhunters to run amok, and can even shut down pesky Incorporeal units like Ghost Raiders. Their primary armament is the Headhunters’ Axe, a long-ranged melee attack with a decent POW for taking down lightly-armored units and denting heavies and Magical Weapon for clearing out ghosts and ghostly units. In addition, they boast Brutal Charge to pump up their POW further and make them even stronger in melee, and Dodge for when they realize an enemy is too strong to take down and have to back out. Steady is pretty standard fare for Imperial’s heavy infantry, but it’s good for keeping the Headhunters from getting knocked down if they miss with a Screaming Skull throw. Grisly Trophy is their signature ability, and what makes them so good at what they do. For every living enemy warrior model they kill with a melee attack, they gain a Severed Head token (yuck), up to three. They can store these for an ARM boost, or they can spend them to buy or boost attacks, much like Fury or Focus. It doesn’t sound too spectacular at first, but let me paint a picture for you. A Headhunter can essentially have up to four basic attacks, or two boosted, and if he’s swinging at living models, he can just reload his trophy belt and have another full set of attacks next turn. If you’re not careful, these guys could wipe out your entire offensive force in two turns. And THAT’s why you take the Headhunters! They’re not too good at ranged or very resilient, but they’re monsters in melee. If I could make a recommendation, the Mourning Wolves work very well with the Headhunters, which was my logic behind this order. Instead of spending a turn to knock down their enemies themselves, the Mourning Wolves can do it for them, and allow the Headhunters to close with their axes and load up on heads. The problem is that against undead or construct models, the Headhunters lose the power of Grisly Trophy and are severely hampered. If you’re facing Cryx or Convergence, leave these guys on the table. They may still be able to provide Knockdown or stop Cryxian ghosts, but their melee game will be drastically impeded, and they won’t do as well as they normally would. Also, they’re not as strong as Warhounds, so be careful about playing them too far forward, or they will become a very tempting target to the enemy. These guys work best alongside other Wolfbanes, so if you’re running the Wolfbane army list (be patient, it’ll come), make sure to take a unit of these guys to up your melee game.
If you thought the Headhunters were the only crazed savages Imperial had to offer, think again. Next time, we’ll look at the MOW’s own madmen, the Golden Lions of the Special Forces. Until then, God’s blessings, and I’ll see you soon!
-The Raging Goblin