I got it in my head at some point today that there are some interesting potential rule interactions that exist inside the rules of Warmachine (currently, I can’t think of any widely available options for these interactions but a couple of these can be forced within the game). I started to craft together a jack or two that had some of these interactions and it dawned on me, I could just make these character sentinels! It’s cleaner, I don’t need to muck around deciding what 1 point of defense is and it’s easier for other people to understand if the rule interactions are mounted on something familiar. So onto the rule interactions themselves!
All of these started with the same thought, Shield Guard is a cool rule. What sort of nonsense could models with Shield Guard get into if they had a second rule to synergize with it?
The first one is obvious (and easy to do in Skorne), Carapace. Shield Guard forces the model to suck the hit. If the model has to take the hit, it either should be immune to the hit (which PP tried to head off at the pass) or comically tanky against the hit (so you can shield guard multiple hits). Carapace is a great rule to have with Shield Guard.
This led to another rule that has interesting interactions with arbitrary ranged attacks, Quick Draw. While not worded exactly like it needs to be, it does look like something could be really cool for a model with low armor. Ultimately, I think it would be better served as an individual rule separate from Shield Guard (call it “Interception”, Once per round, when a friendly model within X inches of this model would be hit by an enemy ranged attack, this model may make a ranged attack roll. If the result is higher than the enemy hit roll, that attack is considered to be a miss.). So this is cool alternative to Shield Guard that rewards high RAT instead of high ARM but not fantastically applicable to this project.
As I was chewing on the previous two concepts, another cool idea for a character Sentinel occurred to me. Cygnar has an expensive solo (both in points and dollars) called a “Trench Buster”. Not the most Skornegistic model ever to exist, but a fairly shiny example nonetheless, the Trench Buster blows himself up if he uses Assault (#AoE Guns with Assault). My idea was to apply the “Trench Buster” concept onto a Sentinel. Create a light jack that is focused around making that initial charge into the enemy and perhaps surviving the turn.
Now I had originally planned to create three character Sentinels, one for each thing I mentioned previously…but Interception is just cleaner without a additional rules interaction muddling the water. So without any further rambling on my part, I humbly present Rampage and Vigor (a PDF will be at the bottom of the post for any interested parties). Having said that, it turns out that WordPress hates my formatting so I’ll have to describe them (they have identical hard stats to regular sentinels).
First Rampage. He is bonded to Sturgis! I wanted to have a bond and rather than leave it blank, I picked the most aggressive Cygnar caster without a character jack. Rampage costs 10 points, has Assault, Relentless Charge and Unyielding. Its bond grants Uncontrollable Rage (that special rule Cryx Seethers have that forces them to run or charge for free all the time). The interesting part of Rampage is its weapon loadout. Taking a page from Khador, its shield has a 6”, POW10 spray with the Anatomical precision special rule. This allows Rampage to clear out shield-walled troops while still leaving his spray on the low end of the POW spectrum. Its other weapon is a “Piston Spike” (again, stealing from Khador’s design aesthetic). It is a P+S 13 melee weapon with Critical: Brutal Damage. I wanted to spice this up, make it armor piercing or sustain attack coupled with critical shred…but that’s starting to clutter the card with special rules (and Rampage’s card is already fairly full). That’s about all she wrote for Rampage, onto Vigor!
If Rampage is all about busting trenches and putting the fear of Jacks into shield wall troops, Vigor is all taking Shield Guard shots to the chin and continuing to function. I’m not tremendously happy with the current collection of rules on his card, it achieves my purpose (Carapace on a Shield Guard model) but doesn’t feel that “flavorful”. Anyways, you lot need a summary not rambles so Vigor features Carapace, Shield Guard and Steady. Its weapons are a shield named “Barrier” (P+S:12 and Repel) and the “Boom Tube” a 12”, AoE3, POW12 gun with High Explosive(12). I’m left feeling rather underwhelmed with how Vigor turned out, it works but it isn’t a elegant solution. I’ll probably revisit Vigor at a later date (probably scrapping Carapace in favor of something a little more clever and dynamic). Hopefully I’ll be able to con some poor sole into giving them a spin.
Aforementioned PDF link: (sentinel-character-variants-rampage-and-vigor).