Sorry for the delay on my articles. Some personal things have been keeping me from writing them. WARNING: This article will assume knowledge on behalf of the reader, if you don’t know what I am talking about read the tacticas on the PP forums to find out (or PM me). Anyway, Valachev is Khador’s resident make Mercs faction model. He presents a conundrum in Khador in a character restricted environment because:
a. Khador likes using Mercs
b. He is a character
Let me get out of the way a few bits of housekeeping before I get into the meat of the article. I will only be touching on Mercs in Khador in this article. Honestly because I am still in testing for some of them and because this is about Valachev. Valachev has abilities I always forget which could make a huge difference to a game. This is an example of knowing your model.
1. Disbanding is good, especially against a debuff faction. Plus it is one of Khador’s only ways to get rid of upkeeps. I have forgotten this a number of times and it has cost me the game. It is oft forgotten but you will catch people with this.
2. Frostbite, he is a Greylord so has a magical shotgun with a pretty good magic ability.
3. He becomes the leader of his unit. Even if it is a character unit. I say this because it allows you to keep your key leaders safe or put them in weird positions. Alexia and Cylena are great examples of this. You don’t measure from them so you can extend their safe range or put them in better positions to charge.
4. Iron Flesh is not a faction spell… I repeat, Iron Flesh is not a faction spell. So you don’t need Valachev if all you are thinking is chuck Iron Flesh on the unit.
So, Khador have quite a few Merc units that work for them. The problem is a lot of our spells, buffs and feats are Friendly faction. Not all but enough to make it annoying when picking out your models. If you decide you want a Merc unit you must decide if they need him or not. Valachev and Zypher are amazing on all Merc units as it is without all the in faction buffs. He is more needed where the in faction buffs are required. For example, the Old Witch does not need him as she does not have in faction buffs. pButcher or eIrusk however have pure in faction options which causes stress if your Mercs can’t benefit. So make sure you use him to maximise potential.I will start with Khador’s favourite Merc unit.
Cylena Raefyll & Nyss Hunters
They can find a place in almost any Khador list. They like Iron Flesh, they can CRA and create a ranged threat and are weapon masters. There is nothing not to like about these models except assembling them. They play right to Khador’s strengths of high def which we can make higher but they have things that Khador want. Pathfinder, Hunter, a ranged threat mixed with melee and super speed. If you don’t know much about nyss hunters go read all of the threads about how broken they are elsewhere. They are pretty awesome.
The Valachev affect:
These boys (and girl) go up a notch with Valachev. Zephyr allows them another 3” of movement for them to shoot with, so can walk 10” essentially and shoot 12” making a 22” threat. The spell also allows them to disengage from combat without freestrikes and CRA people to death. Oh and they can stand still before doing all of this, move 3” and get the aiming bonus taking their average RAT to a high RAT. I see great things here which is why Nyss are the top of the list. Also Cylena grants CRA and you can keep her far further back with Valachev controlling this unit.
Alexia Ciannor & the Risen
Khador play infantry heavy and for a low 5 points you can bring along Alexia and her Risen to bring them all back. Really I think she could be the most underused Merc unit in Khador and I am guilty of not using her like I should. Risen are great to jamming up places. Alexia is a late game threat and with all of the damage buffs Khador can hand out they can become a real threat. Seriously think about Battle Lusted Alexia in late game may be broken. CMA pow 10’s under fury is also very good for the little risen.
The Valachev Effect:
Well again Alexia can be in weird positions. Zephyr can get you out of bad situations but it also allows for an extra 3” on the thrall bomb which can be fun. You will have 2 lots of disbanding and really you can be in weird places at all times. I really like him here. It allows Alexia to not be in charge of the unit so you can get her into better positions to take out whatever you need her to (and that is pretty much anything) and not worry about CMD of your unit because Valachev is taking care of it.
Aiyanna and Holt
If you haven’t been using A&H in Khador I will be surprised. They are our best/only source on magical weapons, Holt is a boss with his 2 pistols and let’s not forget Harm. Ok they are amazing as is.
The Valachev Effect:
He extends the threat of harm which is always good. They can also make a pretty mean 6 point combo. Honestly I think there are better uses for Valachev but they can be fun under say, Signs and Portents.
Boomhowler and Co.
If you listen to the cast you will know of the Boomhowler love. They are a great tar pit and possibly one of the best in the game as doing so. My opinion on the matter is I still have not found a great place for them in Khador because they do not solve any of our problems and we have awesome Tarpits in Kayazy and IFP. Saying this they can be used to great effect if properly applied they are just more of a corner case.
The Valachev Effect:
Speeding up a tarpit is always good. They can also disengage if you want them too with Zephyr and people will have a hard time debuffing them this way. He also keeps Boomhowler safe for the same reasons mentioned above and he is the man you need to keep safe.
In theory they are good in general but they compete with Nyss and Kayazy for their role and that makes things difficult for them, especially in Khador where we cater so well to the alternatives. They do have poison shot though which is nice and a decent range. I think they are more Niche than anything else but they still made it into my quick description
The Valachev Effect:
Extra movement again… It annoys me because that is really all he gives them. Sure it is enough and allows them to disengage without free strikes but it is still all he gives them apart from making them faction. Since we really don’t help range they seem like they are even more over costed with him. In certain assassination lists they can find a niche but you have to look for it.
There are others to mention like Herne and Jonne and Pirates in general which I am not mentioning in this article because of a. Lack of practice and b. Lack of list space for them. I really find it hard to fit them into a list. There is little synergy between Valachev and the rest beyond Sea Dogs and the Irusks that we can’t get better in faction models. It is that lack of benefit that I see across the rest of the units. Feel free to disagree as I saw at Recruits there were pirates with Khador (I am unsure if they were with Valachev though). I feel that Khador’s infantry is so good that the alternatives need to work harder to become as good as what we already have.
Valachev loves certain casters and is less useful in others. As I said look at what you need before you use him because Character restrictions annoy him.
Old Witch: Don’t bother, nothing she does if Faction Friendly. If you aren’t using him and you want his abilities sure, but it is unnecessary here.
pSorscha: Again, nothing really here for him.
eSorscha: I like shatter storm on some models such as Nyss but it is far from necessary when we have other models like widowmakers.
eButcher: If you are using his feat on Mercs then you need Valachev… however I think you would be doing something wrong at this point.
Zerkova: Nothing from Friendly faction again
Karchev: Nothing for units here
Harkavich: He has fortune, now if you are taking lots of jacks and Nyss here fortune can be a godsend on these low RAT/MAT I think he is a plus here is running Nyss or Croes.
Strakov: His feat is faction Friendly. If you feel the need for speed with your Mercs then you need Valachev.
pButcher: Best friends these 2. I know it only affects his feat but pButchers feat is part of his power. There is not one unit what does not like getting an additional dice on damage for a turn. It is a game changer and I would put him in 99% of the time.
pIrusk: Yes, yes 1000 times yes. His feat and Battle Lust (2 of the main reasons you take pIrusk) require faction. Don’t leave home without it. Irusk is loyal and so should his army be.
eIrusk: Again, Yes. His Tough bubble, Martial Dicipline, Battle Lust, Fire for Effect and Feat all require faction. If there was a poster boy for wanting faction friendly Mercs it is him. Fire for Effect may sound funny but I have gotten off a number of assassinations by putting Fire for Effect on a nyss hunter and CRA’ing from him into a caster.
pVlad: Signs and Portents and faction only… so 100% of why all units are good with Vlad require Valachev.
eVlad: Same here. Transference, hand of Fate and Feat are faction friendly. You want you some Valachev here too if your plan is to use his to his full effect.
Vlad3: Vlad to is a loyalist and demands it of his followers. Dash and Hand of fate are 2 of his biggest advantages and you can’t use them unless you are loyal with Valachev.
Valachev is useful in a lot of armies and a lot of units. Choose carefully what you want him on because he can make or break a unit if used correctly in an army.