Karchev the Terrible
|This server will go offline in September 2018. Please migrate to our new server, Warmachine University|
|For more info on why we're moving to a new server, check out the Brief History section on the new main page, and/or listen to episode 45 of the LOS podcast|
| If you have made an edit within the last month or so, please check the new server and see if it was copied by the autobot. |
You may need to copy-paste your work to the new server manually. Sorry.
Karchev is the man in the machine, a warcaster with the body of a warjack and a heart of fury. This Khadoran patriot drives his battlegroup forward relentlessly to crush the enemies of his beloved Motherland. Few are those that can withstand the sheer brutality of his assault. A single swing of his mechanikal axe Sunder can fell entire units as he wades into close combat with his warjacks in tow. Nothing short of the most advanced firepower can slow the unstoppable force that is Karchev.
- 1 Basic Info
- 2 Thoughts on Karchev
- 3 Other
|Karchev the Terrible|
|See also How to Read the statblock|
Weapons and Attacks
- Fissure - 10" spray, POW 12
- Open Fist - 1" reach, P+S 15 melee weapon
- Sunder - 2" reach, P+S 19 melee weapon
- Warcaster - All warcasters come with a stack of standard special rules - most notably being awesome.
- Arcantrik Turbine - Karchev can spend focus to gain a movement buff and Pathfinder.
- Man in the Machine - Karchev is neither a a warrior or a warjack, but a mix of both. He is a living model, but suffers damage like a warjack. He can make slam, trample and throw Power Attacks without spending focus. He cannot spend focus to heal damage, but he is Repairable.
- Repairable - This model can be repaired as if it were a construct.
- Unyielding - This model gains +2 ARM against melee damage rolls.
This rule changed in 2018.01
Feat : Unearthly Rage
While in Karchev's control range, models in his battlegroup gain boosted melee damage rolls, and their melee weapons gain Damage Type: Magical. Unearthly Rage lasts for one turn.
- Battle-Charged - Cost 2, Upkeep
- Models in the caster's battlegroup and in their control range gain Countercharge. (Countercharge - When an enemy model advances and ends its movement within 6" of this model and in its LOS, this model can immediately charge it. This model can use Countercharge only once per round and not while engaged.)
- Eruption - Cost 3, 8" range, 3" AOE, POW 14
- Causes Fire Damage. Also, the AOE is a cloud effect and a hazard that remains in play for one round. Models entering/ending their activation in the AOE take an unboostable POW 14 fire damage roll.
- Ground Zero - Cost 3
- Center a 5" AOE on the caster. Each other model in the AOE is hit and suffers a POW 13 damage roll. Then, after all damage rolls, push enemy models d6" away.
- Jumpstart - Cost 1
- The caster's warjacks currently in CTRL range stop being stationary, stand up, and face in any direction. But not if they were knocked down this same turn.
- Road to War - Cost 3, Upkeep
- When a friendly Faction model in the caster's CTRL range destroys one or more enemy models with a melee or ranged attack during its activation, immediately after the attack is resolved one warjack in the caster's battlegroup that is in its CTRL range can advance up to 3". A warjack can advance as a result of Road to War only once per turn.
Thoughts on Karchev
Changes from Mk2
Karchev has changed dramatically. In Mk2, he was a caster focused on delivering a group of three or fewer jacks safely to enemy lines with little support using Tow and Sidearms, letting them wreck face for a turn with his feat, then keeping their damage output astronomical for the attrition game with Unearthly Rage.
Someone must have read the old battlecollege entry that called out Unearthly Rage as more of a feat than a spell, because that is exactly what they did, though they removed the boosted attack rolls. The lack of Unearthly Rage as a spell means his feat turn is far more critical than in Mk2. Also, the replacement of Tow and Sidearms means he is much more reliant on his army to get his 'jacks in position using Road to War. That being said, his new incarnation makes a successful alpha strike much, much worse for your enemy due to the potential of a field full of Counter Charging ARM 20+ jacks. He can also move many more jacks, since he is no longer limited to the three he can Tow.
Karchev in a nutshell
He's the jack caster of Khador - in every sense. Few can match his raw combat potential, and he rewards an aggressive play style on the board. Also he's big and mean, which works for him and against him. He has a lot of tricks to make his 'jacks faster than opponents expect and to allow them to come from unexpected directions.
- Road to War - This is the most critical spell for getting the most out of Karchev. It can be difficult, since it requires 1) killing an enemy model 2) with a melee or ranged attack 3) during the model's activation. This means it is easiest to trigger by killing single wound infantry. Jacks can have difficulty activating this effect without being fed extra focus, but your army can help with this by taking out exposed solos or squishy members of support units (I'm looking at you Widowmakers). One move is triggered per attack, not per model killed so AoEs will not potentially move your whole battlegroup. Since this only triggers on attacks, enemies killed by non-attack sources will not help you. Finally, since it is only triggered during a model's activation it does not benefit from counter charges generated by Battle Charged.
- Jumpstart - Your go-to spell against pop and drop tricks, stationary-causing attacks like Ice Cage, as well as movement shenanigans, like Telekinesis, which would change your jacks' facing. If more than one of your models were knocked down, use this spell rather than spending FOCUS on shaking the effect. Situational, but can be life-saving - and don't forget that it includes you too.
- Eruption - Even with the above-average damage of the hazardous effect, this one is pretty restrictive on your FOCUS pool.
- Battle Charged - ensures that the enemy must place itself very well, if they don't want to get charged in return.
- Ground Zero - Expensive, but can worth its weight in gold, when it comes to play. First, because it hits automatically. Even the most elusive jamming models will be hit automatically, and unless they have a 2" melee range, they have no way engaging you and evading the hit the same time. Heavy targets can also be pushed away from you, freeing up space for mounting a counter-attack, or simply just spraying them down with Fissure. Just watch out for rough terrain, as it halves the push distance.
Since all melee attack damage rolls are boosted, Karchev loves jacks with multiple melee attacks. Karchev is also a member of his own battlegroup, so he is an extreme assassination threat on his own with a full stack of Focus. His feat gives a boost, not an extra die, so it does not stack with the damage boost from charging. If you don't need the extra 3" of movement from a charge it is better to walk up and spend all of your focus boosting attack rolls and/or buying extra attacks. Since Karchev has few good ways of improving accuracy efficiently, you may want to knock target models down first. A charge from your Gun Carriage, or a shot from a Field Gun Crew will make sure your boosted damage rolls won't be wasted.
Though it gives you magical melee weapons too, it doesn't make your melee attacks magical, so you still won't be able to trample Gremlin Swarms to death.
Karchev is an odd duck now. He allows an extremely mobile Khador jack game through Road to War/Counter Charge shenanigans, but at the same time, he has no way of addressing rough terrain. He allows extreme damage output from his jacks during his feat turn, but at the same time he doesn't have any focus efficient ways to make them more accurate outside of Fissure, which can easily leave him overexposed. This means he needs to be very careful in choosing his army if he is no going to be stymied by certain enemies or battlefield layouts. Ironically, if you are aiming for a well-suited theme force, you might best be served by the Winter Guard Kommand force instead of the jack oriented Jaws of the Wolf, since it provides far more sources of knockdown to maximize the damage from his feat turn as well as advance move for his jacks and possible ways to provide protection despite his large base via sacrificial pawn. Also worthy of note is the Wolves of Winter theme, since stationary can also make those boosted damage rolls connect and it gives you access to the Greylord Forge Seer which can mitigate some of your focus shortage with Empower. Doom Reavers can also trigger plenty of Road to War movement.
It is difficult to consider Karchev independently of the other offbeat beat stick jack caster, Captain Jeremiah Kraye, with whom his Mk2 incarnation shared a lot of similarities. It appears he got the short end of the stick in the edition bump, since Kraye gets reposition 5 and cavalry rules for his jacks as passive effects, while Karchev has to pay upkeeps for far less reliable mobility boosts, nor does he get any accuracy benefits. He is definitely an incredibly powerful piece in his own right, and his damage potential far outstrips most casters in the game. His bump in WJ points also offsets some of the nerfing, but he will struggle far more against specific enemy army compositions, board layouts, and scenario conditions than he did previously.
Karchev is not for subtle scenario manipulation or cunning movement shenanigans. Quite often you'll win by assassination, or simply by attrition, destroying a huge chunk of your enemy's force under your feat turn. Though the in-yo-face approach seems easy, it requires perfect timing and model placing. Key elements are setting up a reliable Road to War chain to move your most important jacks up before a critical strike, and managing Battle Charged to stave off enemy jammers and/or heavy hitters from your army. For his personal combat output, Fissure is quite an efficient tool for setting up targets for the rest of your army. Sometimes it is better to stay your hand, and just shoot the target for a reliable knockdown, then letting your jacks finish the job, than rushing in all by yourself. With 1 focus, his personal threat range is a respectable 16", while with another to boost the attack roll, he can knock down warcasters and warlocks up to DEF15 with ease (while ignoring concealment, cover and stealth).
- Every warjack in his arsenal can screen him. If you expect pop&drop tricks, the clamjacks are ideal counters, as all of them resist knockdown. Spriggan has other utility for stealth removal too, and can activate RtW at range with its grenades. The Demolisher and the Devastator resist pushes on top of Knockdown, and can serve a pretty good deterrent against lists with lots of movement shenanigans (Rahn, for example).
- Karchev synergizes surprisingly well with the Decimator. RtW plus Beat Back allows a surprisingly mobile jack that is still able to gain an aiming bonus. It's auto-hit on subsequent melee attacks after a hit is also particularly deadly on his feat turn. You will still probably want a Forge Seer to feed this guys focus if you want to get the most from him.
- For RtW chains units with long range guns can serve well. They can be either jacks (Destroyer, Behemoth), or units (Rifle Corps, Mortar Crew, etc.). The Widowmaker Scouts are also great, self-supporting shooters for that purpose.
- Field Gun - beside its respectable range for RtW, it has secondary use for knocking down hard targets for your jacks.
- Battle Mechaniks - you want to keep those jacks running, right? These are the guys you need. In jaws of the Wolf reposition ensures that they won't die to blasts once they finished repairs, while in Armored Korps a minimum unit will repair 6 points on your jacks. Note though that in the latter Karchev offers next to no support for the MoW units.
- You can also swell your repair potential with Mechanikally Adept models, and thanks to the updates, a presence of one won't lock you out from most of the themes.
- Kodiak - Kodiaks are already very mobile jacks thanks to their speed boost when running. This gets turned up to 11 with RtW/BC Karchev will also appreciate their built in Pathfinder since he does not have any way to hand it out. Finally, a source of cloud effect for screening is always appreciated, just be aware that Vent Steam cannot trigger RtW movement because it is not an attack.
- Mad Dog - earlier in Mk3 entourage of a dozen of Mad Dogs were quite common for Karchev. After the updates this humble jack still has some place in your battlegroup. It can still trample for free, still reliably hit DEF15 models while doing so, and still has some minor speed buff in form of Fleet.
- Rager - a shield guard is always nice for such a large caster, and under your feat your point-blank shot's damage roll is also boosted.
- Greylord Ternion - yet another tool for making targets easy prey with Ice Cage
- Greylord Forge Seer - A jack list tends to be critically low on magical weapons - the Seer can help you with that. Your feat amends that situation for a turn, but you will truly feel an Unearthly Rage, if you have to waste it to get rid of a contesting Gremlin Swarm or a Feralgeist near your flag. Don't be greedy to give a jack under the Seer's care.Though it cannot be affected by RtW's free move, it can trigger it for other jacks. His Empower can also be a crucial factor in triggering RtW movement or hitting a difficult target on Karchev's feat turn.
- Gun Carriage - Great source for knocking down the enemy and throw rough terrain into their path.
- War Dog - Guard Dog puts up his DEF to 14 in close combat, enough that non-elite models without boost start to miss attacks on him.
- Sylys Wyshnalyrr - He can make an upkeep free, which frees up Focus for your jacks. He can sort of boost your AoE spells, making them a real threat to even the heaviest of infantry. He's expensive and fragile though so be careful to protect him from blast damage and the like.
Drawbacks and Downsides
- Joint lowest DEF in the faction with Old Witch2 - whatever targets him, will likely hit. Beware Eyriss.
- Large base makes his screen hard, and screening jacks can easily be hit/pushed out of place.
- Deceptive ARM - he is as easy to kill as a regular heavy warjack.
- Karchev does very little to help anything outside warjacks.
- With two upkeeps and possibly a focus to improve his own mobility, Karchev has to be very careful with Focus management for his battle group without additional support.
- Even with SR2017, his army's focus points are jacks. Actually, low SPD, low DEF jacks.
- That makes him vulnerable to many tricks which hurts constructs (Dismantle and the like), and especially those which hurt warjacks and their controller (Domination, Feedback, Backlash)
- Speed de-buffs and rough terrain tricks can hinder the delivery of his army.
Tricks and Tips
- Don't forget, he's not a Construct. Anything that interacts with living models (Poison, Annoyance, Burning Ash, etc) affects him too.
- The open fist is not magical, unlike Sunder. Keep it in mind, when you try to wreck Incorporeal models.
- Since Karchev can trample for free, and since trampling doesn't end your activation, you can declare a trample and then cast spells afterwards, effectively giving you +3" range on your spells.
- Reinholdt can "reload" Karchev's ax giving him an extra spray during a round. How you reload an ax I have no idea.
- Though you use an AoE for Ground Zero, the damage is not a blast damage, so blast immune models can still be hurt. Also, the spell targets Karchev, so targeting restictions against spells (like Spell Ward or Sacred Ward can be circumvented).
- If an enemy cannot be targeted by your spray attack, run up one of your own model in line with the enemy, then target it with Fissure, catching the intended target with it.
- Originally released in Warmachine: Apotheosis (2005)
Themes for any-and-all casters (Edit)
- Winter Guard Kommand - (Article) (Category)
- Jaws of the Wolf - (Article) (Category)
- Legion of Steel - (Article) (Category)
- Armored Korps - (Article) (Category)
- Wolves of Winter (Article) (Category)
Other faction models
| * The "Damage Type: Magical" is not inherited by "secondary" damage from a weapon. That is, stuff like arcs (Electro Leap) or hazards (Scather). (Infernal Ruling)