Theme - Heavy Metal

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Cygnar Theme Force

Although Cygnar generally prefers a combined-arms approach to conflict, when its advanced warjacks are massed on the field under the control of a skilled warcaster, they are a match for any enemy. Such large, selfsufficient battlegroups are typically deployed to besiege fixed positions or to meet concentrations of enemy armor and heavy infantry on the battlefield. Where Cygnar faces deeply entrenched or armored foes, the tread of its mighty machines shakes the earth and its storm technology blackens the sky.

Theme Rules[edit]

Theme Force Restrictions[edit]

A Heavy Metal army can only include models from the following list:

Allowed models Which includes
Last updated 2017.09
Cygnar warcasters Too many to bother listing
Cygnar non-character warjacks
Note: Character warjacks can be taken, but only if bonded with their favourite warcaster (Thorn with Haley, etc)
Too many to bother listing
The following character warjacks
Mechanik models/units
Sword Knight models/units
Solos with the Battlegroup Controller ability
Solos with Partisan [Cygnar]
Cygnar Battle Engines
The following specific models
Up to one Mercenary unit and one Mercenary battle engine Too many to bother listing

Theme Force Bonuses[edit]

  • You may include one Mercenary unit and one Mercenary battle engine that will work for Cygnar.
    • These models can be included even if they have the Partisan [Cygnar] rule.
    • Mercenary units in this army can include attachments.
  • For every full 30 points of Cygnar warjacks and/or Cygnar battle engines in this army, you can add one Cygnar CA or Cygnar solo to the army free of cost.
  • Cygnar solos and Mechanik units in this army gain Reposition [3"] (Reposition [3"] - At the end of an activation in which it did not run or fail a charge, this model can advance up to 3", then its activation ends.).
  • Your deployment is extended 2" forward.

Recent Changes[edit]

2017.09 Themeopocalypse Errata

Gained access to Long Gunners, Precursors, and Partisan solos
The free points limit was increased to 30 (from 25)

Thoughts on this Theme Force[edit]

Recent Release icon.jpg

Recent Change
This model/theme's rules have recently changed dramtically, and the "Thoughts On" section has not (yet) been updated to reflect its new capabilities.

Please feel free to update the article and remove this warning.

Theme - Heavy Metal in a nutshell[edit]

It's all about the Warjacks, so if you want to get the most from this Theme Force, you should start by looking at Cygnar's main battlegroup Warcasters:

It is probably worth spending 90 points on jacks to benefit from 3 free solos for this list. This means that you will in all likelihood eschew infantry units entirely. You will suffer in terms of scenario play but many casters can crank their warjacks to the point where this loss becomes worth it. With three free solos, look over the options available to you.

  • Squire Being an expensive 5 point model you can take for free is pretty awesome.
  • Captain Arlan Strangewayes Between power up and arcane reinforcement, he becomes invaluable. This also allows you to equip the healing objective in scenarios that permit.
  • Lieutenant Allison Jakes Some warcasters like Kara Sloan or Caine3 are going to run Battlegroups almost entirely formed of ranged warjacks. Having Jakes run a Hammersmith to unjam anyone who tries to close the line with your primarily shooting army is a good way to perhaps buy yourself another turn of shooting.
  • Journeyman Warcaster This is an almost mandatory unit to take. Since warjacks are typically high armor, an arcane shield will be extremely useful. Let him run a Hunter or a Charger. If you are running a shooty list of fragile jacks and you want your shooty lights in your Battlegroup, consider giving him a cheap Sentinel instead to shield guard your valuable models.
  • The Trencher Warcaster Lieutenant allows you to be awash with focus if you really want to be. He can fully fuel a couple of Chargers, cast Fire Group and stay relatively safe thanks to his 8" control range and Dig In.

Combos & Synergies[edit]

  • Kraye can have any heavy Warjack on the halfway line on turn 1 if you opt to go 2nd through trampling and repositioning.
    • And with this theme you can have nearly every single model you take making use of Reposition.
  • Sword Knights have Flank and you can bring many Warjacks.
    • They're a good pick for Major Beth Maddox due to the interaction between Defensive Line and Tough granted by Dauntless Resolve.
    • Stryker2 brings Positive Charge to the party. With enough targets for that spell, the knights can be throwing out the equivalent of MAT10 P+S12 weaponmaster attacks thanks to Flank. Deceleration also goes some way to making them more resilient on the way in. If you can combine that with his feat, they will cause a lot of damage.

Drawbacks & Downsides[edit]

  • Perhaps the biggest downside to Heavy Metal is how well it plays in Steamroller 2017 scenarios. With a tendency towards maximising free solos, you don't tend to see many units. And with the units (Sword Knights, Precursor Knights) available generally considered to be weak outside of one or two Warcasters, many players only crowbar in a unit of Mechaniks of some description.
    • With the points required to get a free solo increased to 30, there is a little more room to add in a frontline unit. However, with the theme's strengths being in its Warjacks, Battle Engines and Solos, those units would only really be seen with those who prefer a softer playstyle.
  • Warjacks that synergise with other models, such as the Stormclad with Storm Knights, are less efficient than they can be.
  • Character Warjacks are restricted to armies with the Warcaster they share a bond with.
    • For example, no Thorn for any old Warcaster who isn't a Haley...
    • You can still take Thunderhead
  • If you're bringing ranged Warjacks, you have very little to improve your chances to hit besides what your Warcaster brings.
    • Warjacks with Electricity weapons will still benefit from the Storm Strider, but at that point you may want to consider the Storm Division theme instead.

Tricks & Tips[edit]

  • A predominantly lightning-immune Heavy Metal list can be a good counter in most Cygnar mirror-matches, particularly against Storm Division.
    • Some options, such as the Stormwall or Stormclad, are lightning-immune but do not rely on lightning damage for most of their output.
    • Nemo3 in Heavy Metal can leverage his ability to fuel multiple Warjacks while further diminishing the ability of Storm Knight focused lists to assassinate.

List Building[edit]

  • The highest number of free models you can get in an average 75pt list is 3.
    • In practice this means you can have an additional heavy warjack on the table to what you would normally have.



Originally released 2017 February.

Rules Clarifications[edit]

Rules Clarification: Theme Forces     (Edit)
Warning: This is a long one.

Mercenaries and Partisans
  • When you take a Partisan Mercenary, it counts as your Faction. However this doesn't increase the number of total mercenaries allowed. (Infernal Ruling)
    • Exception: If the Partisan Mercenary is explicitedly listed as one of the models you can take in the theme (such as Cephalyx in Cryx's Black Industries theme), then you can take the full FA plus your "up to one Merc" allotment. (Infernal Ruling)
  • Sometimes a specific Mercenary/Minion model/unit will gain a theme benefit of "If this model is included, it counts as a Faction model" (such as Greygore in Kriel Company). In this case, the model/unit might or might not count against your "up to one merc" limit:
    • If that Merc is in the list of models explicitly allowed (such as Savio in Storm Division), they won't count against your "up to one Merc" allowance.
    • If that Merc isn't in the list, (such as the Devil's Shadows in Slaughter Fleet Raiders), they will count against your "up to one Merc" allowance.
  • Partisans will count towards any relevant free points. For instance, Nyss will count twoards the "20 points of Retribution units" in the Defenders of Ios theme. (Infernal Ruling)
  • Partisans can be eligible to be taken as free choices. For instance, Erysis1 can be taken as a free solo in the Legion of Dawn theme. (Infernal Ruling)

Mercenaries and Ranking Officers

  • If you can include a Merc unit, and its attachments, then you can attach a Ranking Officer. This is true regardless whether or not that Ranking Officer is on the list of "Allowed models" . (Infernal Ruling)
  • Adding a Ranking Officer to a Merc unit doesn't increase the number of Merc units you can take.
  • The Merc unit will count towards your "X points of [Faction] models/units" benefit (if your theme is worded that way). (Infernal Ruling)

Mercenary Warjacks, Warbeasts, & Companions

  • As per the errata to the core rules, if your "up to one Merc" ...
    • ... can take warbeasts/warjacks, then you can add warbeast(s)/warjack(s) (without exceeding your "up to one" allowance)
    • ... comes with a Companion model, then you'll get that Companion (without exceeding your "up to one" allowance)

Bonus - One [X] gains [Y]

  • If you need to choose which models get your theme bonus, then you do this choice after deployment. (Infernal Ruling)
  • An example is how Winter Guard Kommand gives Advance Move to one-warjack-of-your-choice-per-WG-unit.
    • In comparison, Destruction Initiative gives all Servitors the Shield Guard ability so you don't need to "make" a choice.
  • You should still write on your army list how many of these bonuses you get to hand out, though, so your opponent can clearly see. (Infernal Ruling)
    • ie at the bottom of your list, you'd write "3 warjacks gain Advance Move" but you don't need to state which three are going to get the bonus.

Theme Forces, free models, and Specialists/ADR in Steamroller

  • You can swap out as many models from your main list into your specialists and vice versa as you like, but you must completely recalculate the new army list when you do, including bonuses. As long as the new army list is valid, including all free models, it doesn't matter what the left over points in your specialists are. (Staff Ruling)
  • If your theme only allows one merc solo, you can't have one in your main list and a different one in your specialists.

Unit Attachments & free points

Theme - The Bones of Orboros

  • Una1 cannot be taken in this theme (yet) due to the conflict between the theme's "Only Construct warbeasts allowed" and Una1's "Must take warbeasts with flight". There are no construct warbeasts with flight (yet). But if/when there is, then Una1 can be taken in this theme. (Infernal Ruling)

Theme - Call of the Wild

  • When it comes to other things that alter COST (such as Lamentation), follow basic maths: Double/halve first, then add/subtract.
  • Due to the way Tanith's feat is worded, during her feat turn the COST of animi cannot drop below 1. (Infernal Ruling)

Theme - The Faithful Masses

  • A Mercenary unit with an Attendant Priest does count as Protectorate unit for the purpose of calculating points for free cards. There is a bug in Warroom that prevents it counting properly. (Staff Ruling)

Theme - The Ghost Fleet

  • The "free solo" can be any kind of solo, it doesn't have to be a Revenant solo.

Theme - Kriel Company

  • Greygore/Dannon count against your "up to one Minion unit" allowance. (Infernal Ruling)

Theme - Llaelese Resistance

  • It is 2 Cruicible or 2 Cygnar or 2 Menoth.
    You can't take more than 2, and you can't mix and match from multiple Factions. (Infernal Ruling)

Theme - Scourge of the Broken Coast

Theme - Slaughter Fleet Raiders

  • The Devil's Shadows Mutineers count against your "up to one Mercenary unit" allowance. (Infernal Ruling)

Theme - Clockwork Legions

  • If you attach a small-based model to a medium-based unit, it is no longer a medium-based unit and won't benefit from Vengeance.
  • However, it will regain Vengeance when the small base dies. Furthermore, the small base dying will trigger Vengeance.
  • (Infernal Ruling)
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Rules Clarification : Reposition      (Edit)

  • Models out of formation cannot move via Reposition. Refer to the "Out of Formation" rules in the core rulebook.
  • You cannot trigger abilities that occur "at the end of activation" (such as Sprint) after resolving Reposition, because your activation has ended. (Infernal Ruling) See also this article for a detailed explanation.
  • You cannot trigger abilities that occur "at any time" (such as Go To Ground) during a Reposition. Because you can't trigger it while moving, and after moving your activation has ended. (Infernal Ruling)
    • This holds true even if it's a unit with multiple Reposition moves. (Infernal Ruling)

Models in this Theme Force[edit]

Refer to Category: Heavy Metal

Other themes[edit]

Theme Forces (Edit)
Cygnar Gravediggers - Heavy Metal - Sons of the Tempest - Storm Division (Edit)
Protectorate of Menoth The Creator's Might - Exemplar Interdiction - The Faithful Masses - Guardians of the Temple (Edit)
Khador Armored Korps - Jaws of the Wolf - Legion of Steel - Winter Guard Kommand - Wolves of Winter (Edit)
Cryx Black Industries - Dark Host - The Ghost Fleet - Infernal Machines - Scourge of the Broken Coast - Slaughter Fleet Raiders (Edit)
Retribution of Scyrah Defenders of Ios - Forges of War - Legions of Dawn - Shadows of the Retribution (Edit)
Mercenaries Hammer Strike - The Irregulars - The Kingmaker's Army - Operating Theater - The Talion Charter - Llaelese Resistance (Edit)
Convergence of Cyriss Destruction Initiative - Clockwork Legions (Edit)
Crucible Guard Magnum Opus - Prima Materia (Edit)
Trollbloods Band of Heroes - Kriel Company - Power of Dhunia - Storm of the North (Edit)
Circle Orboros Call of the Wild - Secret Masters - The Bones of Orboros - The Devourer's Host - The Wild Hunt (Edit)
Skorne Winds of Death - Disciples of Agony - Imperial Warhost - Masters of War - The Exalted (Edit)
Legion of Everblight Children of the Dragon - Oracles of Annihilation - Primal Terrors - Ravens of War (Edit)
Minions The Blindwater Congregation - The Thornfall Alliance - Will Work for Food (Edit)
Grymkin Dark Menagerie - Bump in the Night (Edit)