The "good guys" of Warmachine. Along with generally being the heroes of the setting, they are also the group that is credited with the creation of the first Warjacks. It's usually known for the best ranged units in the game. Situated in the middle of western Immoren, Cygnar is the crown jewel of the Iron Kingdoms. Cygnar has the largest population, the best arcane mechaniks, the most resources, and the best gunsmiths in all of Immoren, and are beset on all sides for some combination therein. The boys in blue consequently have developed a combat style that favours the ranged game, offering blistering amount of buffs, utilities, and electrical goodness to ensure that the game stays that way until they're good and ready to get stuck in. Of course, when they do decide to get into the fray, combined arms warjacks can swamp enemy forces quickly and dangerously.
Cygnar for Beginners
Cygnar is a mixed arms faction that heavily favors shooting, including lots of buffs and special effects for their ranged weaponry, to represent their high-tech armaments. They aren't slouches in melee either, with many models having access to decent POW. Cygnar units often have issues with survivability and that is where their plethora of spell support comes in, with many warcasters having access to either Blur or Arcane Shield.
Their signature element is lightning, providing the disruption status effect, which makes warjacks drop their focus and prevents allocation next turn as well, giving them a better matchup vs Warmachine armies than Hordes, where the disruption effect will be useless. Lightning can do more than just disrupt however, with many models with the element having the Electro-Leap special rule, where a slightly lower POW lightning bolt will chain to models (both allied and enemy, ignoring the attacking model) and automatically hit them. To go along with this, many of the models in faction have immunity to lightning, allowing them to shoot friendly models in the back and 'bounce' lightning into enemy models, effectively ignoring high defense and stealth.
Cygnar's warcasters mostly focus on buffing models defence and ranged attacks, having few debuff spells and normally only one offensive attack. Also don't expect Cygnar warcasters to go on a killing spree through swathes of enemy models. Although Stryker2, Caine and Haley all have powerful assassination runs, they are fragile casters that are weak to retaliation.
Cygnaran warjacks generally have average ARM, and slightly higher than average DEF, which may give poor accuracy models trouble hitting them. Where they shine is their above average SPD and their High accuracy in both ranged and melee combat.
Cygnaran Warcasters are generally support based. Rarely will they ever rely upon slinging offensive spells, although we do sport some good ones. Being a strongly ranged faction, every caster except one has some kind of ranged weapon, and several are capable of scary amounts of firepower, including Sloan, all three Caines and Nemo3. That isn't to say our casters can't hold their own in melee, with Stryker2 able to attain the highest unassisted P&S in the game, and Sturgis being able to have 16 attacks in melee. Overall, Cygnar casters are a varied and balanced bunch, and can offer any play style, from all jacks to infantry swarm to simply gunning down the enemy army to controlling time itself.
Cygnaran Warjacks are a well rounded bunch. Their stats are middling for jacks - They aren't as heavily armored as Khador jacks, not as swift as Cryx jacks, and don't sport the bevy of weapons Retribution jacks do. However, they do all of those things well, though not great. Because of the solid statline, we enjoy a jack for every season. Defenders are the premier shooting jack in the game, Centurions can hold zones like you wouldn't believe, Hammersmiths beat things into the ground until they stop moving, and Stormclads have a well rounded package combining survivability, efficiency, hitting power and versatility.
Light warjacks follow some of the same themes seen in heavy jacks, though with more of a combat support bent. Sentinels provide shield guard and crowd control, Fireflys buff our lightning attacks, and Chargers and Hunters excel at being focus efficient, ranged monsters.
Cygnar's character jacks take everything above, and dial it up. All of them are seen as balanced and worth taking, and most don't rely on their bond to be useful, which means they often work into many different lists. Special shoutout to Thorn, who is probably the best arc node in the game, and was often taken with 'casters who don't need one, solely because his combat abilities are so useful. Note, that most of the theme lists won't allow you to take not-bonded character jacks. Weigh the option, whether the loss of free solos and theme benefits are worth the inclusion of that given jack.
In terms of colossals, the Stormwall might very well be the best colossal in the game. Only 3 models in the game cost 39 points, the mercenary Galleon, and both Cygnar colossals. Being the most expensive model to include in your army should come with certain expectations, and the Stormwall and Hurricane can actually deliver. Cygnar colossals boast fantastic firepower, excellent melee, and good survival (especially when paired with Arcane Shield from a warcaster or journeyman). What sets them apart might be their ability to pressure scenarios. The Lightning Pods available to the Stormwall allow you to contest or even capture scenario objectives from great distances at little risk to your important units. The Hurricane's abilities are a little more niche, but against fliers or models susceptible to its knock down, it can achieve amazing results.
Where to start
Beginners in Mk3 Cygnar have access to multiple starter sets and army boxes: New players will likely to meet this faction in the following sets:
- The Mk3 Battlegroup Set - Featuring Maddox, a Lancer, a Firefly and an Ironclad, this one is good for the so called "0 pts battles", when only the caster and his/her battlegroup fights. This, though not balanced between the factions, allows you to get familiar with the main concepts of the game, and the faction's specialities. As for Cygnar, it is supporting upkeeps for range, defence and mobility, and a feat for increasing damage. It also provides you means to arc your spells, and to learn some of the electricity-based tricks of the faction.
- The Two Player Battlebox - Same contents as the battlegroup boxes, plus a unit of warriors - in the Cygnar case, Stormguard. This enters you to the realm of units, with all their extra rules. As the enemy will likely field units of their own, Electro Leap will play a more pronounced role. This typical Cygnar gimmick is much better suited to damage single wound, medium ARM targets, than warjacks and beasts of the initial battlegroup-heavy fights.
- The Mk2 Battlegroup Set - Including Commander Coleman Stryker, an Ironclad, a Lancer and a Charger, this one foregoes the electric stuff, and concentrates on Cygnar's shooty side, plus its extensive upkeeps. All of the faction's staple support spells can be found in Stryker1's arsenal, most notably Arcane Shield, Blur and Snipe. Stryker has a really strong defensive feat, with which he can offer a more forgiving gameplay in the initial stages of the game, than Maddox does. He also has a pop & drop assassination trick in his sleeve, and in later games he can be a cornerstone if the Cygnar brick lists too, mainly consisting Colossi and some cavalry. Due to point adjustments this box is 1 pts over his warjack points.
- Cygnar Army Box - Time to time, Privateer Press releases complete army boxes, which gives you a decent-sized force, all by itself. This 2017 set contains a really shooty army, featuring Captain Kara Sloan, 2 Defender warjacks, a Charger, a whole unit of Trencher Infantry along with its command and weapon attachment, Captain Maxwell Finn, their support solo, plus Reinholdt, a mercenary attachment for Sloan. It is advised more for veterans who pick up a new faction, or for really committed newbies, as this box unleashes the whole rulebook upon you - from units to power attacks and solos. Its 50 points limit is slightly below the most popular 75 pts tournament formats, but prepares you well for such a challenge.
- Cygnar Trencher Theme Force - This one is an addition to the starter products from the end of 2017. Despite its outlook and that it is listed among the starter products on PP's site, it is not a full force by itself. Though it gives you the above mentioned Trencher Infantries along with various support solos and weapon crews, it contains neither a warcaster, nor warjacks. To have a decent (and legit) starter force, you'll need either Battlegroup sets to begin with, or a Warcaster of your choice and their favoured warjacks.
Cygnar has a lot of theme forces, from jacks to lightning-themed stuff, from trenchers to gun-slinging warrior mages. Whatever which way go, some choices will definitely should be high on your buy list:
- Squire - Not as must-have as in the previous edition, this unarmed attachment can still help you out tremendously. Free focus, plus an increased CTRL area is something that near any caster will appreciate. It vies with other attachment, like Reinhold, or Sylys Wyshnalyrr, but for a start, it is definitely an OK choice. Allowed in all of the current theme lists except Gravediggers.
- Gun Mage Captain Adept - Excellent ranged utility solo, who can help you out in quite a few things. Currently available in the Sons of the Tempest theme list, which is all about Gun Mages.
- Captain Arlan Strangewayes - Ubiquitous repair solo and jack tuner; he can pump up one of your jacks with FOCUS to help out your caster. Available in every theme force outside of the Gravediggers.
- Journeyman Warcaster - Walking Arcane Shield provider, can increase vastly the survivability of your units. Available in every theme force outside of the Gravediggers.
- Field Mechaniks - Dirt cheap source for repairing; they'll keep your jacks and battle engine going. Available in every theme force outside of the Gravediggers.
- Rangers - Excellent ranged support to increase the accuracy of your guns. Currently available in the Gravediggers theme force.
- Storm Knights are the elite soldiers of Cygnar, armed with the latest technological improvements.
- Heavy Metal focuses on warjacks, limited to battlegroups and a few support models.
- This theme is for the half-wizard pistoleers of Cygnar.
- Trenchers form the highly-trained professional core of Cygnar forces.
Models and Units
Mercenary Units Attachment
Cygnar’s military prides itself on having the most disciplined and best-trained soldiers in western Immoren, as well as providing them with the resources and equipment to overcome nearly any challenge. It has earned a reputation for defeating its enemies even while outnumbered, with an emphasis on the quality rather than the quantity of its infantry and warjacks. Cygnar’s warjacks have a wide range of capabilities and incorporate sophisticated military-grade cortexes that make them highly effective whether controlled by warcasters or ’jack marshals. The army has changed considerably in recent years to incorporate gains from industrialization and mechanika and now stands at the cutting edge of technological ingenuity applied to the arts of war.