The Winter Guard Death Star (WGDS)
I was browsing the Khador tacitca section and was amazing to find no one has done a write up on the Winter Guard. I decide it must be done!
So the first question you may have when getting into Khador is “What is the Winter Guard Death Star”?
It consists of the following:
10 man unit of Winter Guard Infantry
Winter Guard Officer and Standard Bearer
3x Winter Guard Infantry Rocketeers
Kovnik Jozef Grigorovich
This combination together leads to one of the most potent and versatile infantry units you can possible field in Khador. It in fact will be the start of almost all of your lists. It’s almost an auto include with any caster that has Iron Flesh. This is the final icing on the cake that will give them their well deserved infamous reputation. That being said no matter what caster you take they will have a use, and a massive influence on the game. So let’s take a closure look at how they work.
Winter Guard Infantry
The Infantry themselves are extremely average straight across the board. Nothing immediately jumps out at you, and you in fact will probably scratch your head saying, “what’s the big deal”? They come with a RNG 8 PS 12 gun and CRA. This is our foundation to build upon.
Winter Guard Rocketeer
This little guy brings a stick mounted rocket launcher to the party. It’s a nice RNG 14 PS 12 3” AOE that is very handy for shooting on the way in. This will help give the Death Star some long range offensive punch as it moves across the board. Don’t forget he also has a blunderbuss. He can make CRA’s with the blunderbuss and fill all the roles a normal infantryman can. In fact when I purchase these guys I just think of them as filling out my Winter Guard to max size. They also have the nifty ability pick up, allowing them to pass off their rocket launcher as they fall dead in the dirt.
Winter Guard Officer and Standard Bearer
This is where things start to get interesting. The officer herself grants the order Bob & Weave. This is the first step in raising our DEF to astronomical levels. This states that when you make a full advance, you will gain +2 DEF. Take note that this is an order. There for you cannot run and bob & weave. This is a common mistake I see people that are using it for the first time. While the officer brings the defensive boosts, the standard brings the offensive boost. Enter Grapeshot. This ability allows Winter Guard infantry to fire an 8”, POW 10 spray instead of their normal blunderbuss shot. You now have a unit that can advance and fire 15, POW 10 8” sprays, a multitude of CRA’s or one big “Death Star” CRA. Sit back and think at all the situations this unit can now deal with.
Kovnik Josef Grigorovich
This man is the final piece of the puzzle. He buffs the heck out of the Winter Guard and really sends the unit over the top. He has 3 speeches that he can issue, and each will have a different effect on the unit. They can be issued in his control area which is pretty large. Thus he doesn’t need to be very close to the front lines at all. He also only needs to be in range of 1 member of the unit to buff them.
The Bear’s Strength: +3 to the Winter Guard’s attack melee damage rolls. You will find that you will almost never use this speech.
Courage of our Forefathers: Tough + Fearless. You can make the entire 15 man unit tough and fearless.
For the Motherland!: Boosted Attack Rolls.
Ok hold the phone. You can now take a unit that has 15 sprays in it, and boost the attack rolls. That means on average you will be hitting defense 15. Need to clear off an objective? Call in the Winter Guard plowing service. Something important to remember is that Jozef benefits from his own speeches. Also be sure to activate Joe first to get the benefit of boosted attack rolls if you need them.
Jozef also brings a hand cannon to the party. With boosted attack rolls he can hit Def 17 on average. Not too shabby. It’s very useful for shooting enemy officers. His final ability is what makes Joe really hated among the enemies of the Motherland. He has sacrificial pawn. Keep him close to your Winter Guard when you get dug in and he can pass off hits he takes to other winter guard keeping him around much longer.
Also Iron Flesh deserves a special mention here. When you cast Iron Flesh on the Death Star you get a monster of a unit. It’s capable of dishing out highly accurate attacks, while being well out of the ability for unboosted infantry to hit. You will need a MAT of 10 to hit a Winter Guard 50% of the time. How many infantry units are bringing MAT 10? Not many. Now tie in the fact that they are probably tough and fearless to boot. So 1/3rd of those attacks that do land are going to bounce off. This is how Khador play’s attrition for real. Forget the high arm façade.
Using the Death Star
It’s well known or learned very quickly by Khador players that our ‘jacks need serious help to get the alpha strike on anything. They are also easily bogged down by enemy tar pits. The Death Star solves both these problems. Being almost impossible to shift outside of some feats, and a few casters, the Death Star will be where you want it. With their high def and tough they can screen your jacks perfectly right up until the time they will be charging and crumping whatever needs an axe in the face. The whole time they are doing it they can be clearing off the enemies screen of infantry as well without even breaking a sweat.
The Death Star is a master of midrange board control. With the ability to advance then spray they can clear off almost anything that tries to get into the middle of the board early and pressure you back. They are extremely handy against “jam” lists that attempt to jam you out of a control area. Let the enemy try and jam you all they want, when they get 15 sprays in the face they will realize what a horrible mistake they have just made.The other common use is to simply run over everything on your way in and do a big POW 27 CRA on the enemy warlock/warcaster. Most often you will lose some guys going in, but you can easily still manage a 20+ POW CRA.
So we already know Iron Flesh is amazing on them for the reason’s stated above. Let’s take a look at what else casters do for them. I’ll detail some of the better casters to take them with.
The Old Witch
The Old Witch loves her some Winter Guard. Their ability to clear off control points with their vast array of sprays, combined with the Old Witch’s feat can mean unparalleled board control. People serious about the Old Witch tend to start their list by taking the Death Star.
This man does a lot for the Winter Guard. Of course he brings Iron Flesh to the table but his feat is huge with them. He can make the entire unit tough on a 4+ and immune to KD. 15 models, needing MAT or RAT 10 to hit, followed by 4+ tough roll and immune to KD. That is simply crazy. Many people when they first come up against this simply won’t know what to do. They will charge head long at it and get obliterated. The flip side of this feat is that now because his feat is making them tough, you can use Joe to boost their attack rolls making for a nice round of shooting right before you crash into each other.
eSorscha is made to run the Death Star. Not only can she give them Iron Flesh, but she can remove the biggest drawback, the hindrance of their speed. She can * action desperate pace the Death Star to get its speed back to normal and then some. She also gives them the ability to reroll missed CRA’s. Seriously if you love Winter Guard, eSorscha is the girl to run them with. Their PS 14 CRA’s can reroll to miss and under her feat turn will do double damage, just gross. A common win condition for her is to simply move the Death Star into range of the enemy warlock/caster, feat and do one big CRA. We’ve all see Star Wars.
This bad man also loves the Death Star and is one of my personal favorites when it comes to casters to run them under. The reason is when combined together they will annihilate most anything that is in the midfield. You can get 15 boosted to hit AND damage sprays under the Butchers feat. It’s quite the site to see, usually very little remains to retaliate. The other half of equation here is that because they are one of the best tar pits in the game they can act as a great set up for the multiple jacks usually running behind them. Just be sure to notice places enemy jacks could trample too and you can almost always get the charge off if played correctly.
I think Harkovich will end up taking the Death Star a lot more as people bring him to the table more. The ability to give the Death Star fortune combined with their sprays is extremely good and will clear out almost any infantry that I can think of in the game including the dreaded Satyxis Raiders. They also allow Harkvich to maneuver his jack’s into range behind a nice big blob of bodies. Just remember they won’t be as durable as they are with Iron Flesh casters
Signs & Portents boosts ranged attacks. I think we can just leave it at that.
So there you have it. That’s my run down on one of Khador’s most amazing units. I know I haven’t quite covered everything that it can do, but that’s because the unit is amazing. It can almost do everything. Feel free to post up other fun uses of the Death Star!