Koldun Kommander Aleksandra Zerkova
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Few people in the Khadoran Empire have more drive than Aleksandra. Most of her peers see her intensity and zeal for the occult as unsettling. She employs soldiers and warjacks with equal dispassion, and most who come to know her deem her heartless and cruel. Certainly she has the will and the courage to walk into the darkness without flinching, a talent that may prove vital to Khador's triumph in the months and years ahead.
- 1 Basic Info
- 2 Thoughts on Koldun Kommander Aleksandra Zerkova
- 3 Other
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Weapons and Attacks
- Rod of Whispers - 10" range, POW 13 gun.
- Quietus - 0.5" reach, P+S 11 melee weapon.
- Warcaster - This model comes with a bunch of special rules, most notably being really awesome at everything.
- Immunity: Cold - This model does not suffer cold damage.
- Pathfinder - This model treats rough terrain as open terrain while advancing. While charging, slam power attacking, or trample power attacking, this model does not stop its movement when it contacts an obstacle.
- Arcane Artifacts - When Zerkova casts a spell, she can choose one of the following special rules. Each special rule can be used once per activation.
- Sacred Ward - This model can't be targeted by enemy spells.
Feat : Howling Wind
Enemy models can't make ranged attacks while in Zerkova's CTRL area. Also, if they activate in her CTRL they can't run, charge, make power/special attacks, give/recieve orders, or make special actions.
- Freezing Mist - Cost 2
- Place a 3" AOE cloud within the spellcaster's CTRL range. The cloud lasts for one round. Models suffer a -2 penalty to attack rolls while in the AOE, unless they have Cold Immunity.
- Frost Hammer - Cost 2, 8" Spray, POW 12
- Ghost Walk - Cost 2, 6" range
- Target friendly Faction model/unit gains Ghostly for one turn. (Ghostly - This model can advance through terrain and obstacles without penalty and can advance through obstructions if it has enough movement to move completely past them. It cannot be targeted by free strikes.)
- Hex Blast - Cost 3, 10" range, 3" AOE, POW 13
- On a direct hit, enemy upkeeps and animi on the target expire.
- Watcher - Cost 3, Upkeep
- Once per turn, when an enemy finishes their movement within 6" of the caster, you can choose one of the caster's warjacks currently in their CTRL range. That warjack can immediately make a full advance towards that enemy and then attack it with a fully boosted melee or ranged attack.
Thoughts on Koldun Kommander Aleksandra Zerkova
Comparison to Mk2
- Completely new spell-list, only Watcher remained
- Arcane Artifacts changed
- Minor wording change in her feat
- Lost Mechanikal Seizure on her melee weapon
- Gained Grave Door
Koldun Kommander Aleksandra Zerkova in a nutshell
Zerkova was generally regarded as one of the most neglected caster in the faction, and Mk3 still has to bring something beside the general rule changes to alter that status. She has a strong denial/defensive feat, and some nice, spell-slinging tricks, thanks to her upgraded ranged weapon, but apart of that, she performs strictly average on the battlefield.
Her Arcane Artifacts boost considerably her spell casting capabilities, so here is a detailed run-down:
- Focus Sphere: your most important option, probably you'll want it to be used on an offensive spell to spare the boosting to hit. As it is tied to the casting of the spell, it cannot make your upkeep free.
- Lens of Tarvodh: +5 RANGE on paper looks cool, but practically, it is limited to Hex Blast (and to some extent, Ghost Walk). Still, it is good to remember, if you want to deliver a killing blow from afar.
- True Sight: You'll only ever use it on Hex Blast, and still, you'll probably choose the previous two options.
- Freezing Mist: this spell first seems to be the poor man's trencher smoke, but it offers quite a few utility. Main targets are shooty enemy warjacks, who now lose their aiming bonus anyway. You can also shield your more vulnerable troops, or place it upon enemy models, which are already engaged with your units.
- Frost Hammer: Works well with Focus Sphere; for the basic cost you can fish for critical hits with a boosted attack roll on a crucial model.
- Ghost Walk: Her only support spell for her army. Can yield surprising results, if your enemy thought, they will be safe from your slow Man-o-Wars on the other side of the forest, or a caster was deceived by the lack of pathfinder upon your Uhlans, and sought refuge beyond a wall.
- Hex Blast: bog standard zapping spell with average POW. The upkeep/animi removal would come handy, were it not require a direct hit. In very desperate situations you can use it on your own heavies to remove a particulary nasty enemy upkeep from them (like Parasite).
- Watcher: A life-insurance spell, with a few limitation to be considered. It does not trigger, if the enemy's movement won't end within 6" of your caster, and your jack can make attacks only against the model that moved (so, if they moved a screening model in, it pretty much invalidates it). Against fast, alpha striking lists you'll want to pop it early, and never let it drop.
Zerkova's biggest selling point is her feat. It offers one excellent turn, where the enemy is limited to walk-and-strike close combat attacks, making their threat range highly predictable. It is also quite deadly for Gunfighter models, who either have no other means to attack, or perform much worse with their swords (read, Arcane Tempest models). However, it does not forbid boosting, so don't let your enemy get too close to you. Works well with Watcher, as the enemy will have fewer ways to bypass your jacks.
Typical Army & Strategy
Zerkova is a fairly odd caster in the faction (and in the entire game). She lacks dedicated unit support, offers almost nothing to her battlegroup, but still, rarely wins battles all by herself. Her feat is ideal for single-zone scenarios, and especially, for killbox missions, but she still needs her army to get the job done.
Freezing Mist with Focus Sphere allows her to spend her entire stack to place 12" of Cloud Wall. With Sylys Wyshnalyrr, she can do this while upkeeping Watcher. This LoS blocking synergizes nicely with her feat and allows her to deliver an army if the enemy doesn't ignore clouds.
She has some assassination potential against squishy casters with the Rod of Whispers. If you manage to kill, and then use Grave Door on a model near the enemy caster, you can deliver some well deserved Frost Hammer and Hex Blasts. It will most likely eat up all your FOCUS pool, but odds are you will still be far enough from retaliation.
As mentioned, it is kind of hard to offer an army to her. Power Up, and a good amount of FOCUS seemingly allows you to run an extensive battelgroup, but the lack of support limits her to self-sufficient jacks.
- The Juggernaut, or its angrier relative, Beast 09 is a plain and simple wrecking machine. Remember that Watcher boosts the attack roll, making it likely to freeze an assassination attempt in it's tracks, even if the attacker survives the boosted damage.
- Rager - a shield guard is always nice, if the enemy tries to kill you from afar during your feat
- Mad Dog - usually content with the Power Up focus
- Behemoth - all casters from the motherland love Big B, and enemies in her feat zone will rarely be able to run away from its templates.
- Conquest - its Creeping Barrage under your feat can be a powerful area denial tool for softer targets.
Among units she also prefers self-sufficient choices, like Widow Maker Scouts, Winter Guard Infantry (with Kovnik Joe), Doom Reaver Swordsmen (with their attachment), and naturally fast units, like the Kayazi Eliminators / Assassins, IF Uhlans and the Grey Lord Outriders.
Drawbacks, Downsides, & Bad Match-Ups
- Her feat can be bypassed by long range (>14") shooting, or by those, who can simply advance up to 14" without actually charging (Stryker2, for example). The limitations for charging/orders/power attacks are also invalidated, if the enemy activates outside her CTRL area.
- Very limited combat performance, and not extraordinary defensive stats. Also, spell-immunity tricks will make her a bad day.
- She offers very little direct support for her battlegroup, and for her army
- 2 out of the 3 Arcane Artefacts abilities are useless, if you want to channel spell throughout your Grave-Door-acquired arc-node.
- Grave Door only works on enemy model, so you cannot shoot your Mechanic in the back to get an arc-node. It is completely useless against a Convergence army.
Tricks & Tips
- Keep her Cold Immunity in mind, it can save her in match-ups against Vayl, or Sorscha.
- Playing Zerkova in the Winter Guard Kommand theme makes her a pain to assassinate. Spells are negated by Sacred Ward, shooting can be mitigated by sacrificing Winter Guard troopers and attempts at melee have to deal with Watcher first.
- Spell Ward does not makes you immune to spells. Bouncing lightnings, or overlapping AOEs from nearby models still pose threat to you.
- Originally released in Warmachine: Legends (2008)
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Rules Clarification : Feat : Howling Wind