An Inconvenient Truth – Khador Edition

Khador Army


I have been giving this lecture for a little while now and the people who know me would have heard this one before, especially any of the new guys who are just getting into the game. While I talk about Khador specifically the point of the article isn’t Khador specific but they are the faction closest to my heart.

A new era of Warmahordes is upon us. With this new world there come the complaints from the community at large. While this cross-section may not be the largest they are certainly the loudest. I am hearing a lot of hate in my meta and if you look at the forums it appears to be a worldwide thing that Khador are getting hit hardest by the nerf hammer over the past few books. All I am asking is don’t be a “me too” player (thanks OrsusSmash for the expression) and follow this trend of unsubstantiated faction hate.


Infantry spam has been the way of the Khador for a very long time and we are very good at it one of the best in the game. While I don’t want to toot Khador’s horn too much, it is our high defence that bent the meta to begin with and now it is straightening itself. The people who are being left behind are those who thought they could ride on the high defence forever and auto-win. The meta shifted and they did not.

The worst part about all of these anti-Khador rants is high defence is still awesome. It is still meta bending and people will still have to take a counter. Khador is known for being the slow dumb brick faction. I don’t like this thinking personally. We have awesome infantry (no one is denying that) and our casters cannot run multiple jacks too well. While there are exceptions to this rule they are not common and not powerful enough to justify the slow brick status.

The thing about Khador is not just about the slow armour 20 guys it is about the slow armour 20 guys and the fast annoying infantry. Nyss and Kayazy under iron flesh is still one of the most feared things in the game. WGI will still spray and hose down infantry or CRA something big. Iron Fangs are so underused and underutilised it isn’t funny (It is sad because up until recently I was neglecting them too). Khador loves being about Combined arms, many parts working towards the whole.


Then look at our jacks. Spriggan is arm 21 naturally and has a decent spear, Devastators have bulldoze and are an unprecedented ARM 25 and Behemoth can shoot hard and has 2 armour piercing fists. Juggernaught is in an interesting conundrum but I will go into that in a later post. Actually everything on that chassis has its place but not in every list but damn can they put out the damage or completely disrupt an opponent’s plan. People use a Khador heavy as a bench mark for killing for a reason, our arm is high and you really don’t want to leave one alive and give them a chance to retaliate.

This goes double for Conquest. I have been playing him a lot recently and he has really stepped up to the plate.


The most recent complaint that has been directed my way has been that our casters don’t stack up. To which I say read and reread your cards again. Our casters are amazing. We have point and click casters like Butcher 1 and Vlad 1, we also have some interesting tricky casters like Irusk 2 and Old Witch. All 4 of the ones mentioned there are very competitive.

I really can’t think of a single person who likes to see any of those casters across the table. If you want a Skew list we have one of the most fun tiers in the game (Butcher 2 Doom reaver spam) and we have Karchev and Harkavich for jack heavy lists. I am actually happy to see they are showing up more in tournament play and doing quite well. The thing about Khador is we have a great selection of casters and most of them can be used in a competitive environment without worry.


The main reason for the article is getting new Khador players to try new things. I have had new players tell me that they won’t bother with doom reavers because they “just die too easily”, Won’t try the rifle corps because WGI are better, won’t play with Shocktroopers because they “are just too slow”, or the worst I have some across won’t try eIrusk (despite loving the model) because “Irusk 1 is so much better, everyone on the forums say so”

Finally. I am not saying everything is roses. I am not saying everything we have is awesome and massively competitive. We hit like a truck and can whether the consequences. What I am saying however is as a faction we are still one of the best out there so get out there and try out everything for yourself. I have been and it has been awesome. Stop scaring the new players.

So go out there, play as many games as you can. I personally try out lots of stuff over and over again until I know if I like it. Push your models to the limit and try things with them you didn’t try last time, sometimes they will surprise you. When you try different things you may be surprised at what the wider Khador have to offer. Take off the shackles of forum talk and play your game.

I have been trying everything in Khador for a long time. I like to see how things tick. Hopefully over the course of the coming weeks I can put forward more info about the current state of Khador and some of the options we have on offer and try to get across why the sky isn’t falling. I will be play testing everything and giving my assessment. It really isn’t all bad

This goes for your faction too.

I have been playing wargames since I was 16. Once I discovered Warmachine and Hordes I have been all over it ever since, dropping all of my other games. I love my Khador and almost any other army you put in front of me. I hope over time I can build up a decent faction guide, if you have any questions you want answered let me know.
  1. z1g1 Reply

    Coming at Khador from a different view can really throw people off. I took Irusk2 to hardcore at Gencon this year and with 15 Men-O-War & a Conquest at his back I got to a respectable 3-1 record.

    In another tournament when I brought a standard Sroscha2 def spam lists everyone had a counter for it out there. I agree with Tossy that you need to think a little different.

  2. Herrklank Reply

    Thank you! I feel like ignoring whining on the forums is just another part of being a gamer, at this point. If you never try anything new, you never find the awesomeness! For example, I play Cygnar, and had always discounted the Sentinel as awful, because the forums said so. I bought one a few months ago on a whim, and it has never let me down since. I include it in most of my lists, now.

    Also, really? Khador’s getting nerfed? Have these people ever tried playing AGAINST Khador? A canny Khador player is terrifying to face, for any faction. I can’t think of a single Khador ‘caster or unit that I haven’t seen do something amazing at least a couple times. They’re a fun, diverse faction that really can do just about anything at least pretty well. Are they unstoppable? No. Are they competitive? You better believe it!

  3. MaGoff Reply

    Great article. I completely agree.

    People should really try to think more out of the box, find what they like and what works for them. Sure, advice from other players can be useful, but shouldn’t be taken as absolute truths. Do your own tests by playing different things and against different things. Personal experience is allways best.

  4. Tort Reply

    Don’t do this. Khador players have legitimate concerns about the changing meta. Don’t just tell them to shut up because Khador are still good. I think this is worse than the whining some players are doing about the changes. There is a lot to discuss here; how effective is high DEF as a basis for list creation in the new meta? How much do Khador players need to change their lists? Can all factions deal with high DEF or are there still some that struggle? What are good alternate lists in Khador that don’t rely on high DEF? Which casters are stronger in the new meta and which are not as strong as they used to be? What are the best ways to crack ARM as a khador player, in particular what are the best ways to deal with colossals? What tactics can Khador use to deal with the new meta?

    All you’ve done is list stuff, say it’s still good and tell people to stop complaining. It adds nothing to the discussion and serves only as a dismissal of real questions khador players have, especially new players who you claim the complainers are scaring off. A lot of new players are working off advice developed when infantry spam, particularly high def infantry spam was more of a problem than it is now. I think you do as much damage when you dismiss their concerns rather than give advice as the people on the forums you are criticising.

    • Tossy Reply

      What exactly did you not want me to do Tort? Every faction has legitimate concerns about the changing meta. In true PP style everything seems to have some out balanced and force you to think again. I must admit though as a Khador player I have not been too stressed about the change in meta because my win/loss ration hasn’t dropped with it… yet. Also I don’t generally get scared by new things I just try to plan to take it out.

      The claim that the sky is falling around Khador is one of my biggest issues to begin with and the forums perpetuate this thinking with little base or play test. This can be seen when the rules were spoiled for Stormwall. The amount of complains that came up on the forums were amazing and not one person had seen it on the table or even thought anything beyond “OMG BROKEN!”. This article is a list of all of the things that people are ignoring or just complaining about in faction which are actually good if you use them, sometimes better than the options we already have. Their concerns are not being dismissed, it is more a call to arms to redirect their negative attitude because Kayazy and WGI are no longer work as well as they did because people figured them out.

      There have always been counters to high def and they are no more prolific now than they were before Colossals. People are more scared of Stormwall without even thinking about all of the other things that Cygnar used to field which just blitzed Khador infantry. Actually this goes for all of the factions they have things to counter us, the game would be pointless if they didn’t. I am focusing on the Cygnar match up because they have always been something that rips though a typical (and non-typical) Khador army.

      The whole point is the people who are shouting the loudest are the ones who want to stick with their old tactic rather than finding another combo which works for them in their meta.

      What you are asking for is a little difficult to explain because everything in the game is caster dependent. I will try quickly here though. High DEF is still amazing (but that was also said in the article). However It is better used across I amazing unit and bringing something to help it out. Another Jack or a high arm unit like IFP.

      All factions have a way of dealing with high DEF and infantry spam (but that isn’t part of the meta shift but the way it has always been). Khador players do need to change their lists, but not a whole lot. Just stop relying on one tactic to win. There is a lot more finesse in playing Khador because we are predictable so you have to set traps and lead people one way even when they know where you will be.

      My favorite casters in the new meta are essentially the casters that I always liked (pIrusk, eIrusk, pButcher, Old Witch, eSorscha, pSorscha, all 3 vlads) hell I almost named every caster and all of them work well. I even like Karchev and Hark to an extent too but I haven’t put in enough table hours post colossals to let you know for sure. Saying that Khador can crack colossals because he hit hard which is really what you need.

      In terms of dealing with a colossal it depends on caster, eSorscha, any of the Vlads and pButcher have no trouble killing them because they augment damage. Actually most of our casters augment damage and I must admit I have been playing against colossals a lot recently and they have not been enough game changing for me to worry. Whatever killed a jack for you in the past will kill a colossal. Usually a list will have 2 of these things (Spriggan and great bears for example) just send them both in at once. You can also straight up ignore a colossal if you see enough of an opportunity to do it. If not and you need it off a zone deploy so you will be on its side. Yes you can do that because of pre-deploy.

      My point was to think for yourself and examine the unused. Play style is a big part of this game, I would say more so than actual list build. Yes, there are things to avoid for obvious reasons which I am still plays testing myself to try and make them work but it is proving to be difficult. Assault Kommandos and Kossites being the main fixtures in my list of things I can’t get to work. I work better with an off kilter list but others do not.

      I agree there is more room for discussion too, which is why I will be keeping this series going, I mentioned that in the article too ^_^

    • Tossy Reply

      Ooops, that was almost as long as the article, ha ha ha

  5. Karl Reply

    Just out of curiosity are you going to test out Zerkova? I see very little love for her over the forums
    and you make no mention of her at all.. I have been playing her for 5 games now against a fast Legion army and losing sometimes decisively : P

    • Tossy Reply

      The goal is to test everything. Zerkova is an interesting case though because everything she wants to do she wants to be up close for but she dies to a stiff breeze. She will come onto the list of things tested but I must admit after playing her a few times I am apprehensive about her.

  6. Karl Reply

    I can understand that! I have been playing her for about a month now, still no wins
    but the games range from close to utter defeat. This is the list I run
    Sylys Wyshnalyrr, the Seeker
    Battle Mechaniks (Leader and 3 Grunts)
    Battle Mechanik Officer
    Iron Fang Uhlans (Leader and 4 Grunts)
    Lady Aiyana & Master Holt
    Man-o-war Shocktroopers (Leader and 4 Grunts)
    Koldun Lord
    Man-o-war Drakhun (with dismount)

  7. Chris Reply

    Good mroning, I am only the first paragraph in to the article and have not read the comments but a thoguht struck me. It refers to Khador ‘getting the nerf bat’ over the last few books. This seems like a strange train of thoguth to me becasue the books have not re-written rules or abilities of units, thus not changing their funtcionality, so they cannot really be considered ‘nerfed’, teh way that it applies to Trenchers, as an example, that changed significantly from MKI to MKII> I would think the feeling/expression shoudl be more along the lines of ‘getting the short end of the stick’ or some such. Although this may be addressed once i read past four or five lines :P

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