Since we’ve got two warcasters and army lists out, it’s high time we started filling out their respective battlegroups. After all, even in the Imperial Corporation, a warcaster is nothing without his warjacks. Since Imperial in the official Warzone series is a bit scanty when it comes to warjacks, I’ve taken it upon myself to make some for them, using Hyperion from Borderlands as my source of inspiration. Before we get into those, the first warjack is Imperial’s trademark battle walker, the Hurricane.
- Unit Composition: 1 Heavy Warjack
- Cost: 14 points
- Force Allocation: 3
- Stats: SPD-5, STR-11, MAT-8, RAT-8, DEF-14, ARM-19, HP-30
-Heavy Charger: RNG-11, ROF-D3+1, POW-13
-Heavy Chimney: RNG-6, ROF-1, AOE-3, POW-6
-Stomp: RNG-0.5, POW-3, P+S-14
-Heavy Gun Nest: RNG-10, ROF-D3+2, POW-12 (8 pts)
Independent: This weapon fires on its own, and can be used even if the warjack already activated.
- Special Rules:
-Beacon of Imperial: Any friendly model or unit with at least one model within 5” of this model can reroll failed CMD tests.
-Radioactive Dome (Action): Unless replaced with a Heavy Gun Nest, this model may use one of the following abilities per turn.
-Supply Drop: Once per game, the controlling warcaster can gain an additional 4 FOC, which can be allocated.
-Microwave Pulse: No model within 9” can make Tough rolls.
-EMP Pulse: Warjacks and battle engines within 9” suffer -1 ARM. If the warjack/battle engine has already activated, it suffers an unboostable POW-13 Electrical damage roll.
-Walker: Even though it is a construct and has all of the special rules of a warjack, this model cannot generate its own focus.
On its own, the Hurricane is really no slouch. It’s pretty fast for a heavy, and has excellent offensive and defensive values, letting it reliably hit its targets and wade through enemy fire as it moves down the field. It’s ARM is only 1 below that of a Khadoran ‘jack, and its HP is about that of an average heavy, so nothing special there. Out of the box, the Hurricane has three main weapons and one special feature, all with different abilities. The Heavy Charger is a bigger version of the infantry-portable machine gun, possessing a decent rate of fire and POW that will obliterate infantry and severely hurt armored units. The Charger is mainly useful for fighting heavies; for infantry clearance, you have the Heavy Chimney mounted on the other arm. This is a bigger version of the weapon mounted on the Greyhound and works the same way, laying down clouds of poison gas to choke out the enemy’s gun line. Just make sure your men are out of the way before using it. If both of those aren’t enough, you can always give your enemy a kick from the Hurricane’s hydraulic clodhoppers, which while a solid melee attack is best reserved as a final option. The Hurricane’s usefulness comes to the fore with its stack of unique rules. Beacon of Imperial is a new ability which inspires friendly Imperial units around it, letting them reroll failed CMD rolls and ensure they hit their targets or shrug off negative effects with greater ease. The large radioactive dome on the Hurricane’s back which it has in place of a cortex functions both as an offensive or defensive device. One per turn, you can spend your movement or combat action to use one of its three abilities. Supply Drop turns the Hurricane into a larger version of the Cygnaran Squire, boosting its controlling warcaster’s FOC once per game and letting them buy more attacks or cast more spells, depending on who you’re running. Microwave Pulse is useful against trolls, Trenchers, and other armies relying on Tough infantry, though you want to be careful when using this one, as your own men can get caught in the blast. EMP Pulse is the Hurricane’s anti-warjack feature, as it inflicts a small penalty to their ARM, letting them take more damage, and inflicts a POW-13 Electrical autohit if they already activated. This isn’t an issue if you’re playing Cygnar, but for other factions like Cryx or Protectorate this can be a real problem. If the dome isn’t your style, for 8 points you can tear it off and have a fireteam of Trenchers clamber on top to create the Heavy Gun Nest upgrade. All this really does is grant you up to 5 extra shots per turn, so its good offensively, but it cripples the Hurricane’s support ability. Now onto the downsides. Despite its great stats and low cost, the Hurricane is ostensibly a ranged/support ‘jack, meaning it will get wrecked in a pure melee fight, and if it goes, all of your support options go with it. You can fight somewhat in melee with your stomps, but with one attack per turn without spending focus, you won’t be doing a whole lot. While we’re on this, the Hurricane isn’t technically a warjack, but is a large, bipedal battle engine that functions as a warjack, meaning it has no cortex and as such no Power Generator rule. You can allocate focus to it, but it can’t generate its own, so if you want lots of boosted attacks, you’re going to be throwing Focus on it all the time. It’s kind of a drain on your warcaster that way. Nothing wrong with the Hurricane on its own, and it is a solid ranged/support piece, but forget about going toe-to-toe with a Juggernaut and coming out unscathed.
Now onto the unusual part. Since Imperial doesn’t have any warjacks in the official Warzone game, I thought to make some to support them, inspired by Hyperion’s legions of automated warriors. Unlike other nations who build mass numbers of warjacks exclusively for battle, Imperial is more like the Mercenaries faction in that its warjacks are laborjacks that have been outfitted for battle instead of being specially built. As far as Imperial is concerned, when you have the strength of your people on your side, why do you need to rely on a bunch of machines? To give you a taste of this, I give you the Loader. These guys are the workhorse grunts of the Imperial automated divisions, and are mostly used for recovery and moving cargo, but in a pinch they can be turned into aggressive combat units. So, what can they do?
- Unit Composition: 1 Heavy Warjack
- Cost: 8 points
- Force Allocation: Unlimited
- Stats: SPD-5, STR-10, MAT-6, RAT-4, DEF-12, ARM-17, HP-30
-Cargo Clamp X2: RNG-1, POW-4, P+S-14
Chain Attack: Grab and Smash
- Special Rules:
-Jury-Rigged: At the start of this model’s activation, it can gain +1 SPD, but suffers one point of damage to its Motor system. This ability cannot be used if the Motor system is disabled.
Think of Loaders as a cousin to the Freebooter, being a light ‘jack that moonlights as a heavy. There’s nothing special to it, as is befitting of a laborjack that’s just been refitted for battle, but that’s kind of the point. For weaponry, it packs two heavy claws that do a decent amount of damage each, and can do a Grab and Smash chain attack if they both hit. The Loader benefits greatly from the amount of Knockdown abilities the Wolfbanes and other Imperial units boast, as Trash coupled with boosted damage or a charge can do really nasty things to those in its way. Just like the Freebooter, it boasts a jury rigged modification to its motor, allowing you to shred gears for an additional burst of speed. Alongside dedicated mechaniks like Benjamin Taylor, this isn’t as big a problem as it is with the Freebooter, as you can make repairs to the motor after tearing up the gearbox. Not much else to say about the Loader except that it’s cheap, fast, and brutal in melee. The only problem is that it severely lacks a melee game, so running some ranged units alongside it isn’t a bad idea to keep the snipers off. Now since the Loader doesn’t exist as an actual model, I’m here to help you all out with a handy parts list. By buying these bits off of the Privateer Press site, you can make your own Loader to field in your Imperial army. You will need:
-2X Ghordson Driller Grappler Upper Arm
-2X Ghordson Driller Grappler Vice
-1X Mariner Left Leg
-1X Mariner Right Leg
-1X Mule Left Shoulder
-1X Mule Right Shoulder
-1X Mule Shoulder Spikes
-1X Mule Torso
-1X Nomad Waist
-1X Road Hog Backpack
-1X Talon Head
If you decide to make one of these, send me a picture of your work. I’d really like to see how you do a mass-produced Imperial steambot. As a tip, you can try painting the Loader with the muddy greens and browns befitting the Line Infantry, as you can see on the Hurricane above, or if you want to make it look fresh off the factory floor, you can try a yellow and black construction vehicle scheme, as the Loaders are essentially glorified forklifts.
That’s all for now, but at least you have some ‘jacks you can field alongside your warcasters. More will be coming in the future, but I still need time to work on them. In the meantime, I will be looking at solos next, and we’ll start with a two-for-one deal: the Trencher NCO and Standard Bearer. I’ll see you all next time!