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Made in us
Master of the Hunt





Angmar

This is probably an incredibly easy question for you guys to answer, but forgive me, as I have never played Warmachine myself, only Hordes.

What is it about the mechanics between 'Jacks and Infantry that make the game more Infantry heavy? Is it simply Focus management, or is it something else?

 

I've been thinking about starting a Khador army, and I'd really like to keep it 'Jack heavy. Something like a core of Karchev, a Kovnik or two , and a pair of Kodiaks and then expanding from there. Do 'Jack heavy lists simply not work in the Warinfantry environment? And if not, why?

 

Thanks for your input!


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Amesbury, Massachusetts

In Warmachine, 'jacks need focus allocated to them from the warcasters to perform better. The Warcasters get a certain amount of focus to spend that refreshes each turn. This is the opposite of the way fury works in Hordes. In addition to giving out focus to jacks, they need to use to cast spells and boost their powerfields (every unspent focus adds to their ARM, as opposed to warlocks spending fury to shift damage). If most Warcasters have 6 or 7 focus, and jacks can be given up to 3 each, you very quickly find out you don't have enough focus to do everything you'd like to.

This is where infantry come in. They work on their own, and other than maybe some spells to help them out, the warcaster doesn't need to worry about using focus to support them.

Certain Warcasters can work well with jack heavy lists, like Karchev, Darius and Ad-Raza, this is because their spells and abilities can give the same effect as allocating focus, without actually having to do so. Others work best with just one jack, or even none, like Caine.

This is very different from Hordes, where you need the Warbeasts to generate fury for the warlock.

So, Karchev and a bunch of jacks can work fine, especially if you make use of the Trample power attack. Berserkers are a nice jack for him, since you don't need to worry as much about them exploding, not needing to allocate them focus.
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut





My typical Karchev 500 list looks like this:
Karchev
2x Berzerker
Spriggan
Mortar Crew
Manhunter
Eiryss
Battle Mechaniks

It's not all jack, but it's jack-heavy. I've thought about an all jack army, replacing the spriggan with a destroyer and the rest of the troops with a juggernaut, but have yet to try it.

Just remember, Karchev's Unearthly Rage spell rocks with models that do crits (Jugg, Destroyer) and his utility goes up with that spell the more jacks he has. The spriggan's flare grenades allow the mortar crews and karchev's Eruption to go through cloud effects. Iron Curtain is a devastating spell when used properly.

Jack heavy can work, but only really with the casters listed by Warpriest above. Infantry is just too good much of the time to really discount the use of it.
   
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Incorporating Wet-Blending





Houston, TX

Aside from Focus management, infantry also tend to be more cost efficient in terms of offensive (and sometimes defensive) potential. Consider the Charger v. a unit of Longgunners. Or even a Juggernaut v. a unit of IFP or MOWs. The units offer more targets, are less vulnerable to one big hit, get more attacks, and can hit just as hard (sometimes harder). This is particularly true in cases like the Protectorate Zealots with MB who are powerful offensively, have good defensive boosts and are dirt cheap. Warjacks tend to struggle when they get mobbed by any decent infantry. Even Trample isn't great if the troops have decent defense and a chance to do some damage. And once a WJ is tied up, it's usefulness can drop to 0 despite a hefty points cost.

Another (rare) situation is where you are playing a non caster kill or multi-caster scenario. Troops can still fight after caster death. 'Jacks go down.
So if I am playing 1000 Menoth and the HR bites it, his hordes of zealots are still a threat. If Kreoss leading a bunch of 'jacks go down, half my forces just died.

-James
 
   
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Master of the Hunt





Angmar

Good info all, thanks for the replies!

"It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
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Martial Arts SAS







This dynamics changes a bit with the newer Warjacks as the more recent releases have somewhat re-balanced the Warjack/Infantry ratio by releasing jacks with more anti-horde potentials. The Devastator, Castigator and Kodiak all have AOE effects that can get them loose from infantry bog downs (or if your opponent is smart he'll go nowhere near them). Trample helps some armies more than others as well. Choired Jacks usually have no trouble trampling infantry. The Berserker's +1/+1 can also help this and those few Mat 7 jacks out there can do a lot of damage too (DJ and the Avatar). The original 2 weapon system MAT 5 Jacks still struggle however.

Jmurph is on the money in larger games. Anything where a caster kill doesn't end the scenario is where Marshalled Jacks and Infantry really shine.They tend to get their points back more often. Watch out for anti-infantry casters though as Chain Lightning, Soulstorm, Ashes to Ashes or Feora's Feat can leave you with a pile of smoking corpses VERY quickly.

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Made in us
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Gun Mage






New Hampshire, USA

The Devastator, Castigator and Kodiak all have AOE effects that can get them loose from infantry bog downs (or if your opponent is smart he'll go nowhere near them). Trample helps some armies more than others as well. Choired Jacks usually have no trouble trampling infantry. The Berserker's +1/+1 can also help this and those few Mat 7 jacks out there can do a lot of damage too (DJ and the Avatar). The original 2 weapon system MAT 5 Jacks still struggle however.


Don't forget Cygnar's Thunderhead, which is a great infantry killer with it's "Pulse" attack. Esp. if Stryker knock's the enemy all down first.

HORDES itself is another balancing tool, as HORDES factions seem to have some very nice tools for dealing with infantry (Terror, Rend, Madrak's Feat, etc.) so WM players who decide to cross the line and take on HORDES may fall back in love with their 'Jacks real quick.

 
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut




I think alot of it stems from shooting in the game. Infantry based forces typically put more template weapons on the table than a jack heavy army, so thats more templates hitting the table every turn. Add in that there are weapon master units in each faction that can rip through jacks, that only makes it tougher.

But as said, the latter jacks have helped balance it a little. You have the DJ with necrovent and the Harrower with its cleave for cryx.

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