Ok, so I have to get this off my chest. I love Harkevich's fluff and model, I really do. And him being a 'jack oriented 'caster, love it. However, I've played some games with him now, and I really can't find anything I like about him. I just can't make him work. He can't buff accuracy on neither 'jacks nor infantry (Fortune hardly matters in my opinion and experience). He cannot buff damage output.
He can cast Broadsides which is almost like a sort of damage output buff, but not really - an extra shot is good, but this dictates you should have at least two warjacks with ranged weapons (Destroyer, Demolisher, Black Ivan, Behemoth, hell even Spriggan or Torch) which will be at least 18 points (minus his 5 Warjack points). Having three 'jacks with ranged weapons makes this spell at lot better. The problem is, though, aside from Black Ivan (which is an autoinclude with Harkevich if there ever was one) you're looking at extra shots that cannot be boosted and only have RAT 4. The stuff they can hit (really heavy, slow targets) will hardly feel it, and deviation is in my six years of experience nothing to count too heavily on (especially with bombards - AOE 3 and POW 7 is not as awesome as it sounds).
He has Escort, though, which is really awesome, no doubt about that. There's nothing bad to say about it, I love it. His feat is good as well. The only gripe I have is that in order to make use of the ranged attack the 'jacks get to make, they will often need to boost either the attack or the damage roll, leaving them with (let's be generous) two focus points.
Of course you don't need to perform this pseudo Assault, you could just accept the +3 ARM bonus and run into their face or bait them, both of which are fine tactics, depending on the actual situation of course.
Now, from my experience, Harkevich decidedly sucks. That's it, I said it. He sucks. He doesn't make 'jacks better at hitting or hurting, but he makes them more survivable and more maneuvrable (Pathfinder and +2" movement yes please!). He couldn't care less about infantry.
I think the general concensus here is that a list with multiple Warjacks is a bad idea, especially at 35 pts which is what I mostly play. That suggests using self-sufficient infantry like Iron Fang Pikemen or Great Bears, the Winter Guard Death Star, Kayazy Assassins with Underboss, Kayazy Eliminators and so on.
Now, as I said, my personal experiences and long nights of pondering the use of the Iron Wolf has all resulted in the same conclusion: He sucks and is a waste of my time. I get maybe three games in a month so I want to make sure I'll actually enjoy them and use models I like playing with, which currently isn't Harkevich.
As mentioned that's my personal experience, but being the logical, positive, open-minded, all round jolly good fella I am, logic dictates that there is something I'm not getting: Harkevich tactics, army composition, order of activation, some sly moves I haven't put two and two together and figured out yet. He cannot be as bad as I have only known him to be because he is a popular topic in the Khador forum and the Lists sub-forum, so I totally admit he isn't the problem, I am.
I was hoping I could get some help because I really want to work with him and enjoy playing with him. He has an awesome model, wonderful fluff and a strong, characteristically Khadoran feel to him that I just love.
I don't own the WGDS and don't plan on it, and I have no Eliminators yet but plan to get two units at some point during the summer. I have more or less everything else, barring WGDS, Markov, Rifle Corps, Bombardiers, Black Dragons and Kossites.
What can I do? What do you do when you have a good game with the Iron Wolf? I'm very interested in hearing anything you have to say, be it theorymachine, actual game experience, tips on what to do once the models have been placed on the board, which things work with him, you name it. I refuse to believe that he's bad, I know there's something I'm missing.
Generally I'm a good Khador player, I've played them since 2006 and I have won with every 'caster we have. I'm not super competitive, my meta is very varied despite having few players. My most frequent opponnent would be one Skorne player and two Cryx players, one of which also has Cygnar.
I really appreciate anything and everything you can give me.