by Felix Flauta/Malfred
Unlike some folks, I wasn't drawn to Warmachine by the giant stomping robots. Rather, I was drawn to the religious knights and covered faces of the Protectorate of Menoth. And unlike most of my armies, I actually get to game with these.
As you may or may not know, Warmachine armies are largely determined by the commander, a warcaster. His or her abilities will govern other unit selections you might want to make, so I've broken down my army profile into sections based on the warcasters and common units that I like to use with them.
As time goes by, I hope to append the lists to the bottom of each warcaster, and append the full warcaster list at the bottom of the profile.
High Exemplar Kreoss
The High Exemplar Kreoss charges in, breaks everyone spell casting abilities (well, not warlocks) and then knocks everything to the ground with the force of Menoth's Wrath.
Kreoss is the noble Exemplar "who should have been a paladin instead." While I always liked the ex-Khadoran turned full blooded knight with the heart of lawful goodness, I tended to stay away from him due to the conception of his being an "easy button" warcaster. I figured early on I'd learn more using a more difficult to use warcaster than I would learn using this denial warcaster.
Someone decided that inaccurate Skyhammers would be a good idea attached to the arm of a light warjack, the Redeemer Warjack. Suddenly every Protectorate warcaster had access to cortexes wielding field artillery. The faithful would not advance without their covering fire.
This is a straightforward inclusion in a High Exemplar army. I really should have two for a crazy amount of carpet bombing action, but as it is I can only field one.
Knights Exemplar Errants
Knights Exemplar Errants travel far afield without their relic blades to scout enemy lines and hold important territory for the High Exemplar's armies. In battle, their crossbows are consecrated and their sword arms are strong. And in death, an exemplar knights errant might delay his return to Menoth with the sacrifice of his brother's life.
The Knights Exemplar Errants Unit can be a bear for the enemy to dislodge. While they are slow and easy to hit, they have decent base ARM and advance deployment. On top of that, Protectorate of Menoth can make it difficult to kill the one Errant the enemy really needs to kill, and then Bond of Life will probably save that model by sacrificing a nearby model in the unit in its place.
Grand Scrutator Severius
The Grand Scrutator's faith guides every one of the chosen that he leads into battle. He has Menoth's Eye and His Blessing, and Severius would use both against the Cygnus and its heretical religion.
I know that you get the High Exemplar first in the box, but the Grand Scrutator was my first attempt at Warmachine and boy was I ever punished for it. My earliest opponents were Khador players who capitalized on every error that I made. Severius's frailty didn't help things much since Warmachine games end when the army commander goes splat. I soon learned to keep the old man safely back back back and relied on his 16" CTRL area to effect victory on the battlefield...sometimes.
Sturdy light warjacks deliver spells for their controlling warcasters and hold up against some of the mightier foes on the battlefield. A well-placed Revenger can mean the difference between victory and defeat.
Severius likes to use two Revengers as he's obviously an offensive spellcasting warcaster. On a heavy casting turn, one of these Revengers can run 10" with Severius's focus, giving him the ability to cast Ashes to Ashes and Immolation at targets that are 24" away.
They protect that which needs protecting, as the Protectorate itself is still developing its warjacks. The choir acolytes join their songs to the voice of the Warpriest, who calls upon Menoth to sanctify the walking weapons of war.
Did you know that Choir have reach? I love the look on people's faces when I tell them my unit of choir that has been protecting/boosting my warjacks can also engage a key model and possibly even hit with the aid of Eye of Menoth.
The suffering is for both volunteers and heretics. Some would test their faith on the Wrack and be used as a tool of the holy war, whereas others are put up as a warning to enemies. If they scream, their voices are drowned out by the cries of their souls.
Two sufferers give Severius the option to cast up to 8 focus points in a single turn (he typically has 7 from upkeeping Eye of Menoth). And besides, they are highly thematic when you consider the kinds of things that Scrutators do.
(They Scrutate, of course)
They say you never hear the one that gets you. So every Deliverer follows their Arms master onto the field glad to hear the sounds of Skyhammer rockets all around them. Unfortunately, your neighbor's rocket could easily misfire and get you as easily as it gets them.
When desperate, Severius will not use his focus to deal spell damage to a target. Rather, he will cast Death Sentence and guarantee that every one of those inaccurate Skyhammer rockets hit. It's an expensive (focus wise) option, but it'll work in a pinch and when Severius has nothing else to lose.
The High Allegiant Amon Ad Raza
Maybe it is possible to conquer the limits of the body with the blessings granted to our minds. The High Allegiant has found such a path, and with his will alone he's able to join his mind to the primitive minds of his brothers in arms, his warjacks.
Here is one of the first warcasters to enter the fray without steam powered armor, and he has a wide range of combat abilities that make him seem like a Shaolin monk who is capable of bonding with warjacks.
It's too bad he's so darn squishy.
I think I spent maybe three to six months trying to get this guy to work. His low FOC stat limits his control radius and his lowers his ability to overboost his powerfield for more ARM. He's very squishy, and losing him could cost the game (lower point battles) or a huge chunk of your army (deactivated warjacks).
They strike and move, strike and move, and woe comes to the warrior that tries to put one down, and miss.
Superiority quotes Amon Ad-Raza as feeling one with these light warjacks, and it's easy to see why. They both can hit really hard, maneuver around enemies. They're also both extremely fragile and susceptible to powerful boosted hits.
How did any warcaster survive before these were made?
I only have one Devout painted so far, but Devout spam is a very tempting thing to use in an Amon Ad-Raza battlegroup. Their defensive strike stacks bonuses on the enemy's turn if Synergy is up, and their Shield Guard an Spell Ward abilities help protect Amon long enough to get him and his warjacks into position.
They are the little units that make an Amon army work. I think two units are the minimum for Amon, as enemies go out of their way to snipe the essential unit leader. In a 750 pt game, I say field your full three allowance. It's low points and provides some redundancy to a vulnerable list.
Feora, the Priestess of the Flame
Her temple is the source of her pride and power.
If Amon is about finesse, then Feora is the Protectorate's idea of brute force. With Engines of Destruction she can hit a single target harder than any other Protectorate warcaster and she's faster than any of the others on top of that. Because her hand to hand abilties focus on crushing single targets and her feat tries to eliminate squads of infantry, she's a lot of fun to play against infantry heavy armies that rely on a single heavy warjack or warbeast.
The Avatar of Menoth
A warjack walks about the field of battle without a warcaster nearby. Its independence is a mystery and possibly divine.
I like to field the Protectorate of Menoth's character warjack with Feora because, well, why not? She's a beast, it's a beast, and anything that gets in the way of the two of them is in trouble. Its Gaze of Menoth ability can help protect her from charges and its Holy Vessel ability (focus generation) leaves Feora free to keep all her focus for herself.
And it's always fun to run it into melee to cause a terror check and then to have Feora cast Blazing Effigy on it to kill models and force another command check. Sooner or later something's gotta give.
They are Feora's own guard, trained by her hands. There may come a time when their loyalties may be called to question by the Scrutators of the land, but it hasn't happened yet.
Feora makes them fearless even without the Unit Attachment, and they can be given additional additional +2 POW with her Ignite spell. If you split your combined melee attacks properly and leave spacing between bases, a unit can deliver three POW 15 hits onto a single target with the possibility of catching it on Fire. And fire is what it's all about with Feora, yes?
Grand Exemplar Kreoss
The pain of Baine Hurst's death drives the new Grand Exemplar to great feats of courage and strength. He and his brothers are focused, and together they will walk through the fire to avenge their own.
The even more infantry centered warcaster inspires one to field a nasty number of foot knights onto the field, along with the Seneschal officers that permit additional knights beyond the maximum allotment. His spells are more subtle than his High Exemplar version, and his feat encourages a player to field many strong melee models.
I think the Covenant/knights heavy army is one of my favorite among the Protectorate.
I know it's a slow warjack at SPD 4, but with the Grand Exemplar the Crusader can do a nasty bit of damage with a 7" trample that automatically hits (and thus prevents freestrikes). Also on feat turn a Crusader can spend a focus to single hand throw a target and then use its free melee attack on a stronger target. (At least I think that's how it works)
They command by word and they command by deed, and so long as Menites fall the Seneschal will rise again and again until he can raise his blades and smite the enemy.
Seneschals allow the Grand Exemplar to field even more Elite Cadre knights of either variety (I think you have to pick between one extra Errants unit or one extra Knights unit). On top of that, both the Grand Exemplar and the Seneschal have abilities that trigger on the death of the soldiers around them. Seneschals can also help epic Kreoss control the location of dangerous enemies with its chain attack Smite, though the one time I really needed it to work I rolled a double 1.
My Seneschals usually die long before I get to use any of these abilities, however.
It only takes a few deaths to empower their survivors.
With Elite Cadre, these guys probably won't miss hitting anything. As part of the Grand Exemplar's Elite Cadre they are also protected from continuous effects such as Fire and Corrosion. So picture this, when they die, knights in their unit get stronger, nearby Seneschals get stronger AND tougher AND heal, and epic Kreoss heals on top of that.
The Covenant of Menoth
Above the fray, the armies of the GRand Exemplar could hear the inspirational passages of the Covenant.
It's a big book. If you can get to the third passage, suddenly Grand Exemplar Kreoss won't be able to be knocked down or be made stationary, enemies within 8" of the book won't be able to cast spells, and every Protectorate model that ends its movement within 8" of the Covenant gains an additional melee attack at the end of the turn. Now picture your melee heavy army hyped up on epic Kreoss's Strength of Arms feat and you have three melee attacks in a turn that will automatically hit.
The High Reclaimer
None can remember when last the High Reclaimer spoke. If he were to utter a word it would be likened unto destruction and death.
Without a proper name (either lost or long forgotten), he's often referred to as Silent Bob, and he's largely disappeared from play locally. However, he has a host of neat tricks that offset his low FOC stat and limited spell list.
The Temple Flameguard's customized warjack design can lead far more than the Temple. Disguised peasants and soldiers alike derive inspiration from the Guardian's banners.
The High Reclaimer cannot/does not speak, so it's helpful to have officers and/or this heavy warjack around. The Guardian gives the High Reclaimer an arc node to work with so that he can lay down Burning Ash clouds to give him time to bring his soldiers to the battle. Also, it's banners insure that no one within 10" of it will flee due to heavy casualties or in the face of Terror causing enemies.
The only issue is that it's just a tad bit expensive for all this.
With a proper officer or Guardian nearby, Zealots can survive without the Monolith Bearer. Yes, it's blasphemy, but remember they're there for both soul fodder or to power warjacks with the High Reclaimer's Ritual Sacrifice spell. And if they should happen to get too close...look out.
Temple Flameguard Cleansers
It's great to line these guys up and start shooting them in the back. Guy in front advances somewhere near the enemy and the guy behind him sprays him immediately causing an explody.
Then when the High Reclaimer uses his feat to resurrect models, he can resurrect dead Cleansers close enough to explode onto the enemy commander.
Kell Bailoch and Eiryss the Mage Hunter
There's not much to say about these two except that they're in the army to kill Cleansers. They're very accurate shots and they're independent models that won't depend on the warcaster's CMD stat.
Sunburst Deliverer Crew
Someone recently told me they used the High Reclaimer's feat to resurrect this unit to a more useful position. I haven't tried it yet. but I have to keep it in mind. It would probably work better if the unit could activate on the same turn.
Harbinger of Menoth
She floats. And she has a giant flag. She, like the Grand Exemplar, is also a strong infantry leader with her support spells and abilities. When fielding either warcaster I find myself frequently running out of room and patience for the infantry models I don't have room to field without scrunching them up. I guess it's a good thing she takes up 100+ points of army all by herself?
I used to try to use her aggressively, but she was always too soft to survive assassination attempts. Without arc nodes, using spells other than Martyrdom puts her at serious risk. But if the enemy is right there in front of her, two dropped Cataclysms with one boosted from a Wrack might just be enough if the enemy is softened up before her harbinging (is that even a word?).
Her lists are also among some of the most hated Protectorate of Menoth armies.
Zealouts and Monolith Bearer
Yes, this is the only time I list them in my army profile. I use Zealots + Monolith Bearer more often than its represented in my army profile, but I refuse to use them every game.
However, they deserve special mention with the Harbinger. Even when the Harbinger denies you from killing a zealot, typically a player will allow one to die first. Then when the Harbinger martys something in the unit, it's ARM becomes 14, which might be enough to stop a second attack.
Dartan Vilmon and his Paladins of the Wall
They've sworn to protect the Harbinger and Dartan Vilmon is her own personal bodyguard. It's really a pretty picture with very pretty models.
What's disgusting is that when Martyrdom is up and Dartan Vilmon is in cornerstone and Invincible Wall with his fellow paladins, you suddenly have three models that must be taken out with spells or special type attacks, and then when they're martyred they're not knocked down due to Cornerstone. It becomes really difficult to dislodge this duo or trio depending on how many paladins I decide to field on any given day.
This mercenary comes extra special to help the Harbinger. I can't imagine why a ship's cook/doctor would want to help a floating girl, but when the Martyrdom spell starts cutting her, he comes a-healing. And even when his healing rolls that dreaded 6 that knocks a model down it doesn't knock her down. No. She's too busy trying to float away.
The Testament of Menoth
When Silent Bob walked and crawled his way through death and came out the other side, he came with the Omegus in hand and brand new ways to get around a battlefield.
Just like his non-epic form, he's still silent and still unable to give orders or help command checks, but the Testament's resurrection abilities allows him to resurrect models that can activate that same turn. He can also spend soul tokens to gain free movement.
But everyone takes him for his feat. Once you've faced the Testament, thereafter you find yourself protecting your commander with distance and unpassable bases due to its devastating effect. Essence of Dust allows the Testament's friendly Protectorate models to move through things. They can run, they can charge, they can kill.
All for the glory of Menoth.
A Castigator can clear the way with its Combustion special attack. A defense against Essence of Dust is to surround your warcaster/warlock with many small based model so that enemy models can't work their way through, so the Castigator can Combust, or it can use a two-handed throw to eliminate some kind of medium or large obstacle. It's not a must-have, but it's nice.
The Testament can Revive single models in this unit, which is a great deal as he's spending 3 focus to bring back a high ARM, multi-wound model. If they've been damaged, they can hit at POW 14/16 from 13" away and can even target a model over the bases of other small models. With Essence of Dust, it's a good chance Vengers will have a shot at the enemy commander.
And because their lances are blessed, they ignore things like ARM buffs and overboosted powerfields.
His songs cheer the soldiers on and remind them what it means to be a hero. He can give the Vengers the ability to be Tough, increase their defense.
Or he can give them Pathfinder and an additional 2" of movement. Suddenly the vicious knights can hit the enemy from 15" away and through models and terrain with the help of Essence of Dust.
Feora the Protector of the Flame
When she crawled out from under her fallen Devout, Feora's story became epic. And now she and her daughters fight in the streets of Sul to reclaim their city from the invaders.
Her righteousness is so furious, it automatically lights enemies on fire. She's highly mobile, well armored, and she even confers mobility to her warjacks and Temple Flameguard. Sometimes I think I'm in love, I mean I think she's my favorite warcaster.
Yes, that's a Repenter. Yes, I know, it's a Repenter.
Now that the Repenter can set things on fire, it has a use with epic Feora. Since fire effects are stronger around her, a Repenter can be counted on to try to set fire to multiple multi-wound or high ARM targets and expect any fire that lasts to wreak havoc. And if it doesn't wreak havoc, then epic Feora will on her feat turn as each fire in her ctrl area gives her a focus point.
Epic Feora gives the Vanquisher 6" of movement with her Escort spell. If she bonds with the Vanquisher, all its attacks will cause fire, which includes its circular strike as well as its ranged AE attack. While the range is much shorter than a redeemer's, the vanquisher is just cool to look at and deserves to fight alongside the Protector of the Flame.
Daughters of the Flame
The acrobatic widows of dead Menites start the battle in advance of the Protector. They benefit from the elite cadre rule and so increase their chances of hitting in hand to hand. As members of epic Feora's elite cadre their first move gainst 2" of movement on their first activation, and so they can typically reach any unit that deploys and advances too closely.
Temple Flameguard and Officer
Epic Feora can turn this elite cadre into a dangerous unit to attack. They already have all the defensive abilities: shield wall, righteous zeal, a command banner, ranking attack, Menoth's howl. She adds one more piece to a Protectorate of Menoth brick: Blazing Aura.
Now when units try to drop the ARM 12/16/20 unit (depending on what buffs are active at the time) they suffer an equally damaging roll in retaliation.