Theme - Hammer Strike

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Mercenary Theme Force

This theme force is used to field the dwarf and ogre alliance of the Rhulfolk.

Theme Rules[edit]

Theme Force Restrictions[edit]

A Hammer Strike army can only include models from the following list:

Allowed models Which includes
Last updated 2017.01
Rhulic warcasters
Rhulic Non-character warjacks
Note: Character warjacks can be taken, but only if bonded with their favourite warcaster (Cankerworm with Asphyxious, etc)
Rhulic models/units

Theme Force Bonuses[edit]

  • For every full 20 points of units and battle engines in this army, you can add one weapon crew unit, command attachment, or Ogrun Bokur solo to the army free of cost.
    • Free models/units do not count towards the 20 points.
  • Heavy warjacks and weapon crew units 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.
  • Warrior models gain Tough

Recent Changes[edit]

2017.06 Errata

Battle Engines now count towards the free points.

2017.09 Errata

Warrior models gain tough.

Thoughts on this Theme Force[edit]

Hammer Strike in a nutshell[edit]

Extended deployment zone, and heavies with Reposition are good things. Repositioning Horgenhold Artillery Corps is better. Tough on high ARM models is alright.

Warmachine has a small but passionate collection of Dwarf players, and this theme is just for them.

Theme strengths and playing to them[edit]

Dwarves can field a lot of ARM and boxes, they're all tough and they are adept at both ranged and melee combat. Hammer Strike rewards taking units and Crawlers, so 20 Forge Guard and 2 Crawlers is something to seriously consider to get your three free picks.

Theme weakness and mitigating them[edit]

It is the slowest army in the game. Ossrum mitigates this, however Gorten and Durgen do not and you may struggle to contest those distant flags and zones in certain scenarios.

On early turns your heavy warjacks will get further with a Trample + Reposition than they would with a regular Run.

High Shields and Ogrun Assault Corps aren't exactly the greatest units, so you're basically only going to take Forge Guard and Siege Crawlers to get freebies.

Tactical Arcanist Corps are the only magical attacks in the entire army besides your caster. This makes Hammer Strike unplayable into Cryx for all intents and purposes.

List Building Tips[edit]

Several ways to max out free points:

  • 20 points: Two minimum units of Forge Guard (20 points)
  • 21 points: Full unit of Forge Guard (16 points), and Herne & Jonne (5 points)
  • 22 points: Full unit of Forge Guard (16 points) and a unit of artillery (6 points)
  • 23 points: Siege Crawler (18 points) and Herne & Jonne (5 points).
  • 40 points: Full unit of Forge Guard (16 points), a Siege Crawler (18 points), and a unit of artillery (6 points)
  • 41 points: Two Siege Crawlers (18 points), and Herne and Jonne. With two free artillery corps this is sometimes known as Full Madhammer.
  • 41 points: Siege Crawler (18 points), 10 Forge Guard (16 points), Tactical Arcanist Corps (7 points)
  • 42 points: Two full units of Forge Guard (32 points) and one minimum unit (10 points)
  • 60 points: Two full units of Forge Guard (32 points), a minimum unit of Forge Guard (10 points) and a Siege Crawler (18 points)

Ogrun Assault Corps could stand in for any unit of Forge Guard, but are universally considered a poor choice.

The Artillery Corps are considered the best item to take as the freebie, rather than a Bokur or a High Shields CA; to take the CA would first mean taking High Shields (there is of course nothing wrong with the Bokur).

Caster thoughts[edit]

This was an Ossrum only theme prior to the Tough errata and the release of Irregulars. Now there is debate about whether Ossrum is better in Hammer Strike or Irregulars due to the greater options available in the latter, vs. the Rhulic-specific bonuses of the former. The major difference being Ossrum can be built to beat Cryx in Irregulars, but not in Hammer Strike. Ossrum suffers a free points penalty for taking a large battle group in Hammer Strike, but also for taking a Crawler in Irregulars so it sort of balances out because he wants both in his army.

There is no debate that Durgen is much better in Irregulars.

With the addition of Tough, a compelling case can be made for Gorten to use this theme over Irregulars since he can keep Tough models upright and put walls in front of them.



In Mk1 and Mk2 this was known as The Searforge Commission.

Rules Clarifications[edit]

Rules Clarification : Theme Forces    (Edit)
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 of what the "Allowed models" are. (Infernal Ruling)
    • If you do, that Merc unit will count towards your "X points of [Faction] models/units" benefit (if your theme is worded that way). (Infernal Ruling)

"Extra" Mercenaries

  • 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 in Steamroller

  • When you make substitutions to your list, you need to double-check that you haven't removed something that allows you to take free models.
  • If you have, then you either need to remove those free models, or pay full points cost for them.

Unit Attachments & free points

Theme - Black Industries

  • Carapace only applies to Cryx heavy warjacks, and not to Merc warjacks. (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)

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. Click here 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.
    • This holds true even if it's a unit with multiple Reposition moves. (Infernal Ruling)

Models in this Theme Force[edit]

Refer to Category:Hammer Strike

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)
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)