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Mercenary Llaelese Light Warjack
Originally designed and crafted from the finest materials and the skilled hands of the Golden Crucible, only a small number of Vanguards were ever produced. Able to keep pace with the fleetest of warcasters, and to set their cannon-laden shield and long hafted poleaxe against their foes, the Vanguard is a highly prized masterpiece on the battlefield.
- Shield Gun - 8" range, POW 12 ranged weapon.
- Shield - 0.5" reach, P+S 11 melee weapon.
- Shield - This 'weapon' is a shield that provides a cumulative +2 ARM bonus. The bonus doesn't apply if the weapon is crippled or if the damage originates in your back arc.
- Guisarme - 2" reach, P+S 14 melee weapon.
- Warjack - All warjacks share the same set of special rules. Most notably being big and stompy.
- Construct - This model is a construct and is not a living model.
- Assault - This model may make a ranged attack as part of its charge.
- Maker's Mark [Crucible Guard] - This warjack can be taken in a Crucible Guard model's battlegroup. If it is, it counts as a Crucible Guard model instead of a Mercenary warjack. Also, it can be taken in Crucible Guard theme forces whether or not that theme force explicitly says it can.
- Set Defense - Charge attacks, slam attacks, and impact attacks versus this model suffer a -2 to hit penalty.
- Shield Guard - Once per round, when a friendly model is directly hit by a non-spray ranged attack during your opponent's turn while within 3" of this model, you can choose to have this model directly hit instead. This model is automatically hit and suffers all damage and effects. This model cannot use Shield Guard while it is incorporeal, knocked down, or stationary.
- Cost reduction to 10 points (from 11)
- Gained Maker's Mark. Cruicible Guard was not yet released at the time of the Errata
Thoughts on Vanguard
Vanguard in a nutshell
The Vanguard is a combined arms jack with a focus on defense and protecting other models. It's expensive for a light, but versatile.
Its stats compare favorably to 13/16 Cygnaran lights. For 1 point more than a Charger, the Vanguard gets +3 ARM, +2 POW, +1" reach, Assault, Set Defense, Shield Guard and an extra initial attack. In Llaelese Resistance, it gets Pathfinder. When standing near Ashlynn d'Elyse, it gets +1 to attack rolls. This is all quite good.
Combos & Synergies
It will perform admirably in a Llaelese Resistance led by Ashlynn army where it will have Pathfinder with a nice piece of rubble to hang out in, knockdown immunity and +1 to hit. You might see it with other Llaelese Resistance casters from time to time as well.
- His Fire Group and Moving Shadows spells are good support spells for the Vanguard's fairly average ranged attack.
- Still, probably not his cup of tea and he normally takes something different.
- He does not like being shot, so Shield Guard(s) are nice.
- Calamity helps the damage output and Mobility and Unyielding let it get up there and jam pretty effectively.
- Combined with Bullet Dodger it is 15/21 against melee attacks even before Set Defense.
- The Vanguard is the only Mercenary jack, besides Gallant, that goes well with her feat thanks to its gun, DEF, and Set Defense.
- A Vanguard makes a good Admonition targets, too.
- Lastly, as a Llaeleae model, her Veteran Leader ability works on it giving it +1 to hit.
Drawbacks and Downsides
- It's not as expensive as it used to be, but it's hardly cheap for light warjack.
- POW 14 makes it weak into armor so its more of an infantry and cavalry slayer that can help out with high ARM here and there.
Tricks and Tips
- The Vanguard is very flexible and can find a role in most armies.
- If you are expecting too much anti-armour firepower to make taking a Rover worth it, the Vanguard can be a suitable throw-away guard.
Released in Warmachine: Superiority (2006)
Who can take this warjack
To include this mercenary warjack in your army, it must be controlled by one of the following warcasters or marshals. Thus, to include this jack you first need to find a controller that works for your army.
Note: The Vanguard and Toro could also be controlled by a Crucible Guard battlegroup controller.
- Crucible Guard
- Convergence of Cyriss
- Other Factions
- This warjack can be taken in just about every other theme force, because there is nearly always at least one merc jack marshal that'll work for any given theme.
Other Mercenary models
Rules Clarification : Shield and/or Buckler (Edit)
- The only time you lose the Shield bonus is when the weapon is crippled, or if the attack originates in your back arc. (Infernal Ruling)
- In other words, you still get the Shield bonus while knocked down or stationary.
- You don't get the Shield bonus vs stuff originating in your back arc. This includes stuff that "leaps" off models in your back arc, such as Electro Leap. (Locked thread)
Rules Clarification : Warjack (Edit)
- The Cortex/Induction core rule means a warjack cannot have more than 3 focus at any time (maybe 4 if they're really special).
- Many abilities give out focus and don't state an upper limit (such as Convection and Empower). Despite not stating an upper limit, they are always "hard-limited" by the core rule.
- A warjack can have more than 3 focus during a turn, though. For instance, a knocked down warjack can Power Up and be Allocated 2 focus, then spend 1 to shake knockdown, then another model could Empower it back up to 3.
- Warjacks cannot spend focus outside of their activation. For instance, they can't boost free strikes or trigger Powerful Attack on Broadsides. (Infernal Ruling)
Rules Clarification : Construct - None yet. (Edit)
Rules Clarification: : Assault (Edit)
(Click Expand to read)
Step 1: Declare the charge
- Are you in already melee? With any enemy, not just your charge target?
- If yes, you don't get an Assault attack at all (Refer to the latest Errata). Instead it's just a normal charge.
- If no, continue to Step 2.
- Note: You cannot be "in melee" with a stationary/knocked down target. Feel free to declare charges (and Assault shots) in this case.
- You can even charge a knocked down model you're in B2B with, advance 0", and get your ranged attack and your melee attack(s).
Step 2: Move the charging model
- As soon as the movement is finished, determine whether it was a successful charge or not.
- Do this before resolving anything that triggers on "Ends Movement" (like Admonition, Countercharge).
- Do this before resolving your Assault attack.
- Did you make a successful charge? You get the ranged attack even though you're "in melee". Refer to the latest Errata.
- Did you fail the charge? You still get the Assault shot anyway.
- Did you fail the charge, but end your movement in melee with someone different to your charge target? You get the ranged attack even though you're "in melee". Refer to the latest Errata and also this (Infernal Ruling)
- Now that you've figured out whether the charge successful, you (or your opponent) can trigger "Ends Movement" effects.
- Nothing that happens from this point onwards will retroactively change a failed charge into a successful charge, or vice versa.
- If your charge was successful you may use "any time" abilities between 'finishing movement' and 'starting Assault attack'. (Infernal Ruling)
- If you fail your charge, you may not use "any time" abilities before or after making the Assault attack. (Infernal Ruling)
The Infernal Ruling dictates that Assault is not a "triggered ability" (since if it was, you wouldn't be able to cast a spell between ending movement and using your Assault shot).
Thus Assault will never occur simultaneously with another ability that triggers/resolves at "ends movement". Instead, the other ability is always resolved before the Assault shot
Step 3: Make the ranged attack
- The ranged attack is optional.
- Since the Assault attack is outside your Combat Action, you can only do a basic ranged attack. CRA & Special ranged attacks are only allowed during your Combat Action, you can't do them. (Infernal Ruling CRA & Special Attack)
- Did you move at least 3" during the charge movement? Who cares, that is irrelevant to the Assault attack!
- Make your ranged attack vs your charge target
- If the charge target is already dead (which can happen when units charge) then you don't get to redirect your Assault attack vs 'someone else'. You simply don't get an Assault attack. (Infernal Ruling)
- A model which can do something "instead of making a ranged attack" (such as the Spriggan's Targeting Flare) then they can do that as an Assault attack. (Infernal Ruling)
- If your ranged attacks triggers other attacks/damage that occur "after the attack" (such as Drag or Electro Leap) then those will resolve as per normal, regardless of whether you had a successful charge or not. (Infernal Ruling)
- Is the target in melee with the shooter?
- If yes, then you ignore the +4 DEF bonus (as per the 3rd paragraph of "Targeting a Model in Melee" (TMM) rules)
- If no, resolve the ranged attack exactly the same as if it were a normal ranged attack.
Step 4: If you miss
- If you miss the target, and the target is not in melee with you, then resolve it the same way as a normal ranged attack.
- If you miss the target, and the target is in melee with you, then ...
- Randomly reassign the shot (as per the TMM rules) (nothing in Assault says it ignores this).
- Do not include the shooting model in potential 'randomees' (because you can't target yourself as per the 4th paragraph of TMM) but do include models the shooter is in melee with (as per the TMM rules).
- If the shot is randomly reassigned to a friendly model, then they will always get the +4 DEF bonus. The only way to ignore that bonus is if the 'point of origin of the attack is in melee with the target' and you can never be in melee with a friendly model.
Step 5: After finishing the Assault attack
- If it was an unsuccessful charge, your activation now ends.
- If it was a successful charge, and your charge target is ...
- still alive, then you get your charge attack (as per the charge rules)
- dead, then you get your initial melee attack(s) vs anyone still in your melee range (as per the charge rules).
- Either way, you don't get to make more ranged attacks (other than the obvious exceptions like Gunfighter, of course).
- Move all models in the unit before making any Assault attacks. (Infernal Ruling)
- Make all Assault attacks before making any Charge attacks. (Infernal Ruling)
- Each model in the unit is effectively "stalled" while you move/shoot the other models. This "stall" does not create an opportunity to use "any time" abilities. (Infernal Ruling)
- If a trooper's target dies before they make their Assault shot, they don't get to redirect it. You just skip their Assault shot. (Infernal Ruling)
- You cannot make Assault attacks while out of formation, as per the regular formation rules about making attacks.
- Assault & CRA (Edit)
- You cannot mix Combined Range Attacks with Assault shots, as CRA works during your combat action and Assault shots occur before it. (Infernal Ruling)
- Warbeasts cannot use Assault during a Frenzy. Refer to the latest errata.
- Assault vs Countercharge ( Edit )
- With reference to the Activation Timing (Apdx A), Countercharge occurs at Step 5, and Assault occurs at Step 5 for independent models and Step 6 for units. (Infernal Ruling about the Step 6)
- So, if a model with Assault finishes its charge movement within range of a model with Countercharge then...
- If it's an independent model then you need to resolve the Assault shot before making the Countercharge move. This is because both abilities occur at the same time but active player effects are resolved first.
- But if it's a model belonging to a unit, then you need to resolve the Countercharge immediately, then finish moving the rest of the unit, then start Assault shots.
- Assault & Drag ( Edit )
- You determine whether a charge was successful or not before making the Assault attack.
- If you make an unsuccessful charge but then use Drag to get your charge target into melee range, then:
- It is still a failed charge and your activation is going to end after the Assault attack is resolved. (Infernal Ruling)
- You will get the free melee attack from Drag as part of resolving the Assault ranged attack. (Infernal Ruling)
- Whether or not your charge was successful, this free melee attack is not a charge attack. (Infernal Ruling)
- You won't be able to purchase additionals (because your activation ended).
Rules Clarification : Maker's Mark (Edit)
- The benefit doesn't apply to Jack Marshals, because marshals don't have battlegroups.
Rules Clarification : Set Defense - None yet. (Edit)
Rules Clarification : Shield Guard (Edit)
- Shield Guard doesn't work vs spells.
- Since Shield Guard specifies "opponent's turn", it can't be used against stuff that shoots in your own turn (such as Watcher or Counterblast).
- The Shield Guard does not necessarily need to be in the attacker's LOS or range.
- The Shield Guarder is always hit even if they have an ability that makes them automatically get missed, such as Stealth. (Automatically missing is determined earlier in the timing sequence than the Shield Guard moving the hit.) (Infernal Ruling)
- You shift all effects onto the shield guard, including stuff that triggers on "when this attack hits".
- When you use Shield Guard vs an AOE attack, the template moves too. Because, with reference to Apdx A, the hit 'moves' at Step 6 and the template placement is determined at Step 7.
- Shield Guard doesn't work vs Point Blank attacks. Because Point Blank attacks are melee attacks that are made using a ranged weapon.
- On the other hand, it will work vs Gunfighter attacks.