Peek Into the Podium: Harrison Hare

In our second Peek into the Podium, I grabbed the second place player at our first event, Harrison Hare, talking about his monstrous Khador Army! Harrison has been beating peoples faces in with the Big Red Army since before I knew his name, so it was no surprise to see him on the podium

Khador Army – 75 / 75 points

[Theme] Winter Guard Kommand

(Butcher 3) Kommander Zoktavir, The Butcher Unleashed [+22]
– Kodiak [13]
– Marauder [10]
– Marauder [10]
– Ruin [17]
– War Dog [3]
Kovnik Jozef Grigorovich [4]
Widowmaker Marksman [4]
Winter Guard Mortar Crew [0(5)]
Winter Guard Mortar Crew [0(5)]
Winter Guard Rifle Corps (max) [13]
– Winter Guard Rocketeer (3) [6]
Winter Guard Gun Carriage [17]

So. Butcher3 is still a pretty big crutch for me. He was definitely hurt a little bit in the transition (no more 22″ threat range…) but the change to Vengeance and Power Up really keep him at the forefront. Butcher3 lists still ultimately have the same gameplan as Mk2: deliver Butcher. To that end, I feel like the survivability that WGK gives is worth more than what Jaws of the Wolf gives. Worst case (which happened this tournament) I can surround Butcher with a ton of WG and waddle forward and have a giant meatshield. Aside from that design goal, the list is designed to be able to have game into both Ghost Fleet and Dark Host, and has good enough game into Ghost Fleet that I almost always have Dark Host dropped into me. Despite only getting the Advance Move on 3 of the 4 jacks, combined with energizer, Ruin’s Boundless Charge, and Kodiak’s Heavy Boiler the WGK benefit allows me to get my jacks surprisingly far forward on Turn 1.
For ‘jacks, Ruin is basically an auto-include with any of the Butchers. If we’re honest, he is probably a little undercosted currently for the enormous amount of utility he provides. The free Boundless Charge is worth it’s weight in gold on a SPD 4 chassis. Kodiaks are in an amazing spot right now and provide a ton of utility for the extra 3 points above the Marauder. Which at 10 points is absolutely insane. In their current form, I don’t believe I’ve played a list without at least 2 of them. They provide a ton of pressure on huge bases, particularly the Wraith Engine and the Death Knell. Slap Silence of Death on one and suddenly a P+S 18 weapon master is eating your colossal.
The Gun Carriage gets its own section because it’s a great piece in the list. Silence of Death + the GC’s impact rules make it become the Lawnmower of Doom. With 38!!!! boxes at ARM 20 this thing routinely survives a large chunk of enemy fire, and it’s fully operational down to the last box. This is generally the reason why I see Dark Host so much. Outside of feat + parasite, the pirates can’t really take out the GC very easily and it just steamrolls through the whole lot. In other matchups, the GC often winds up being the sacrificial lamb thrown way far into the enemy’s face, allowing Butcher and the rest of the jacks to get in position. As mentioned earlier, it often times survives which normally changes the entire game as it’s knockdown and rough terrain templates can usually wreak havok if the enemy’s entire turn was spent trying to destroy it.
Since it is WINTER GUARD KOMMAND, we have to throw in some WG. Rifle Corps got a huge boost in Mk3 and are one of the most selected units now (I think I played them like twice in Mk2?). Add in 3 Rocketeers and it just gets dumb. Oh and Joe’s there to give a +2 to hit because RAT 5 is bad. Generally I get at least one turn of a hard target eating 3 boosted POW 12’s and 1 RAT 17 POW 20 CRA. It usually puts quite the hurt down. If enough survive they do it again next turn. If they don’t? Oh well, that means you weren’t attacking Butcher, one of the 4 jacks, or the Gun Carriage. I follow it up with 2 WG Mortar Crews (for free) for 3 reasons: POW 10 blasts kill things and POW 16 does damage when it can hit (like when something is knocked down by a Gun Carriage slam maybe?), they are usually great Sac Pawn targets since they like to hang back with their long range and Arcing Fire and they have Take Up with the grunt, and they are a WG unit so they provide Advance Move for the jacks. And in the very late game it they somehow survive, they can control circle zones! I don’t take a Field Gun here because I’ve found that the single shot without any sort of help beyond aiming or using Joe’s +2 falls flat compared to the Mortar. Even when enemies are immune to blasts, they can usually target and take out an objective from downtown. Whereas if there’s a bunch of immunity to knockdown, the FG becomes a paperweight.

The last bit are the solos. As mentioned above, it’s the Winter Guard theme so Kovnik Joe is auto-include. The last 4 points are filled with the Widowmaker Marksman. Steamroller 2017 made solos, particularly solos with Stealth, a hot commodity. And that is generally exactly what the WMM does. He goes and sits on a flag and takes pot shots when he can. Swift Hunter does allow him to move up, kill something, and slink back to his flag. Late game, having an auto 3 damage with no tough really helps clear out annoying contesting models are taking out that ‘jack that you somehow managed to not kill. I generally find that both solos provide more than their points cost in work each game. And last but not least the War Doge. He helps keep Butcher alive when he presses forward to take out a chunk of the opposing army. The immunity to free strikes can also help getting Butcher in for the ‘caster kill.

Khador Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Winter Guard Kommand

(Vladimir 1) Vladimir Tzepesci, The Dark Prince [+28]
– Marauder [10]
– Marauder [10]
– Marauder [10]
Kovnik Jozef Grigorovich [4]
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt [8]
– Koldun Kapitan Valachev [4]
Winter Guard Field Gun Crew [0(4)]
Winter Guard Mortar Crew [0(5)]
Winter Guard Mortar Crew [0(5)]
Winter Guard Rifle Corps (min) [8]
– Winter Guard Rocketeer (3) [6]
Winter Guard Rifle Corps (min) [8]
– Winter Guard Rocketeer (3) [6]
Winter Guard Rifle Corps (min) [8]
– Winter Guard Rocketeer (2) [4]
Winter Guard Gun Carriage [17]

Vladimir Tzepesci, the Turd Polisher should be his official name. Vlad1 is simultaneously a very flexible and boring caster. Signs and Portents, when you math it out, is effectively a +2 to every roll you make. Now you obviously have spikes both ways, and that doesn’t take into account how it changes crit effects (although this list doesn’t have any), but it’s a tremendously effective spell which is why it costs 4 focus. So what do we do with a turd polisher? We give him lots of turds to polish! As I described above, WGK just gives so much survivability as Khador casters usually need to play farther forward than most would be comfortable with. Even with a 14″ control area, Vlad needs to usually needs to not hang at the edge of the kill box in order to buff his army, so being able to let the WG die instead of him is big. This list is a little bit of a change from what I was playing in the past (4 Marauders, 4 min rifles with 3 rockets each) in order to include A+H+V and the Gun Carriage. While the magic weapons would certainly help into Cryx, it’s more so to give the list game into Grymkin. Those god damn Gremmlin Swarms are brutal. I’m also not sold on the Gun Carriage as it costs me another Marauder, but SnP plus the impact attacks and charge attacks makes it a pretty scary monster when it gets to live the dream.

Like above, the Marauder is King of Khador right now. Vlad loves having more ‘jacks to leverage his feat, and Marauders love having free charges and a 12″ threat range (14″ with Boundless Charge!). Throw SnP on top and huge bases are deader than dead, and most heavy ‘jacks/beasts are still dead. With SnP costing 4, Vlad doesn’t always have a lot of focus to give out, and Marauders are perfectly happy with even just the 1 Power Up focus. Often times I find I use a Marauder to just walk up and boost to hit on the Combo Smite to knockdown something for follow-up with Rocketeers. Sometimes he even gets to slam into other models/buildings and explode things like Cryx bonejacks (or those ever-present Stalkers…) or even Legion heavies.
As I said, the Gun Carriage is currently in Beta testing, and I’m not sure about it staying in this list. Like the Butcher list, it’s often used to jam down the enemy’s throat to allow the Rocket Corps to get into position as well as follow-up with Marauders. When it gets to get work done it feels great in the list, but sometimes it does fall a little flat. Especially when it misses a 4-dice-drop-the-lowest impact attack and stops dead in the middle of everything.
The meat of the list are the Rifle Corps + Rocketeers (aka ROFLCorps). SnP makes them absolutely shred most heavies/BEs, and even colossals. Having only 3 units vs. the old 4 does force me to be a little more careful with positioning, but Practiced Maneuvers gives them a ton of flexibility to still get where and shoot what they need to. Aiyana + Holt + Valachev is an expensive package. The magic weapons are nice, but the +2 damage really helps a list that has a ton of POW 10 guns. With Zephyr, Aiyana has a 19″ threat on the Kiss, plus she gets the SnP bonus. Holt is a nice addition of 2 POW 12 (or 14 on something that gets Kissed) SnP attacks. Occasionally, Valachev’s spray can even kill stuff! I’m also still not sold on them but I think it does provide a little extra wrinkle in the list selection process. The weapon crews, just like everything else, really shine with SnP. The blasts from the mortars can wipe large chunks of units off the board, even some heavier armored troops. The field gun can finally hit things to knock them down! As usual, they provide great Sac Pawn targets and provide Advance Moves for ‘jacks (although this list has 6 WG units and 3 ‘jacks so it’s a little redundant).
Kovnik Joe is the only solo in the army, and you really can’t have WG without Joe. That is a weakness of the list, as it leaves Joe or Vlad for capturing flags. Usually I’ve found that it doesn’t cause much of an issue as the army can push forward with the feat and take out a lot each turn with SnP, so when it’s time to step up there’s not much to threaten the flags.
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