Freitag, 30. Mai 2014

Khador 2014 - Part 07: A 'Jack with a Napoleon Complex

Ever since I mentioned this article on Bleeped Up Productions "Khador Tactics" recently - I guess I had best write it then, right? So today, we'll be talking about "Big B", the Behemoth. (Actually, the Khador Warjack. Not the mythological thing, and not the Polish metal band either.)

Even though "Big B" ain't as big anymore now that Conquest is around, who certainly takes the lead in both size of model and points cost regarding single models in Khador. So I presume the Behemoth, who has not one, but two arcano-mechanikal proto-brains, also has up to two chances at being pretty miffed about no longer being the star of the show. Thankfully, he's got two rocket powered turbofists to reinstate his preferred status quo - but we'll get to that after the break. We'll talk about what he does for a khadoran army, which 'Casters he jives particularly well with (and why), and then sum it up.

Nope, he isn't part of this article either.

So, what does Behemoth actually do?
   Yes, it's Kill Stuff, but actually, it's a little more than that. Behemoth's defining ability is his "Subcortex" rule (which is a big block of text, and requires intense reading), because it allows him to use his guns as well as his fists during his activation, and it allows for more focus being allocated, which is very good. Admitted, it's only two 3" AoEs, but they're there, whereas with a Destroyer or other double-duty 'Jack, the gun won't be able to do any work once the 'Jack commits to melee.
   The tricky thing about the Behemoth is that you will have to leverage both his guns and his fists to get full value out of his points. He's not just a melee beater, and neither just a gun platform. Thankfully, in addition to his POW 14 arcing fire bombards (even though they're RAT 4), he's got P&S 12 Armour Piercing fists, so he will be able to one round heavies (striking at a virtual P&S 20-22 against unbuffed targets).
   At ARM 21 and a full grid, he's also able to tank well (not as well as a Clamjack, but with a lot more offensive punch), especially with mechanics in tow.

What 'Casters does he like?
   If you've watched the Khador Tactics video on the Behemoth, you'll likely have heard some of this, but I guess I'll have to go over each 'Caster in turn, by order of first appearance. That being said, he may not like all 'Casters equally, but as I hopefully pointed out above - all 'Casters like him.

Butcher1 - He has Full Throttle, Fury, and his feat Blood Frenzy which turn the melee destruction potential of the Behemoth up like nothing else. However, he does not have anything to enhance his threat range with, except jamming with high DEF (Iron Flesh) infantry.

Butcher2 - He gives Behemoth free charges and power attacks all the time, as well as extra SPD and MAT if he kills stuff - and that's very good. He also still has Fury, and he rocks Boundless Charge, too. The variable focus makes maximising the Behemoth's destructive potential difficult, but not impossible. Also, the Behemoth can be very useful in racking up rage counters.

Butcher3 - He doesn't really do anything for Big B, except for Energizer, which is probably not enough to justify the price tag - but then again, Energizer allows for more aiming, so he could (theoretically) do a gunline with himself as a "back-up" melee threat.

Sorscha1 - She's most about making your models hit due to her feat and freezing grip, which puts a certain emphasis on the Bombards this time around - boosted POW 14s have, can, and will kill 'Casters. She can also amp up his threat with Boundless Charge.

Sorscha2 - This is one of the stupidly good combos. We're already aware that the Behemoth can one round a colossal with some damage output help, and Sorscha2's feat doubling damage is massive help in that regard (I don't know whether he could kill two colossals in one go with full focus, boundless charge, and the feat - but I would try it, given the chance.

Vlad1 - He's got Boundless Charge and his feat, the combination of which really stretches the Behemoth's threat range to "the board". Also, S&P is a useful thing, too.

Vlad2 - He only has Assail, and is mainly concerned about infantry, however... if you want a single quality 'Jack, why not go with the Behemoth who can do quite literally everything at the same time? ;)

Vlad3 - Infernal Machine is a very fitting upkeep, increasing Behemoth's threat, and there are extra movements shenigans available with the feat and Big B's two initials. Probably not the worst of choices, I say.

Irusk1 - Superiority and a few leftover focus are, technically, "all" the man has to offer, besides having Big B in his theme forces, but he certainly appreciates his 'Jacks not being melee slouches either.

Irusk2 - He brings Energizer, and board control, but nothing that screams "Oohh, Ooh, pick Big B!"

Old Witch - Augury (as well as the option for Pathfinder) is her big deal why she wants Behemoth. He sit behind a forest and shell the enemy troops, then come in when it's time to crack open some enemy armour.

Karchev - With Tow placing models, thusly allowing them to aim, Behemoth is a key component of any "Gunboat Karchev" list. Also, Tow enables Karchev's slingshot, which makes delivering the Behemoth to the enemy highly likely - and to top that off, there's Unearthly Rage.

Zerkova - Lady Z brings (quite unsurprisingly) a not-so-obvious package to support Big B: Spare Focus, Banishing Ward to keep the most obnoxious enemy spells meant to deal with him away, and Watcher. Now, while the idea of Behemoth moving up to intercept a heavy to Elbow-Rocket it, and cripple it enough to save Lady Z - no, that's not going to happen. It can be used to keep Big B save, though - just park Zerkova in such a manner that a model out to attack Behemoth triggers Watcher, and then Behemoth moves away. He WILL eat a free strike, but it will be no harder than the actual charge attack. And, there will be no follow-up attacks.

Strakhov - For Strakhov, I feel that Behemoth is a premier attrition piece (he'll certainly help with his game against Colossals...), and he also has Superiority to give him... ...but I think the real money's on Overrun. See, Big B likes the threat range extensions Strakhov gives, because that's when/why he gets to punch things to bits. But he's also - with four initial attacks, after all - a very good target to trigger Overrun, possibly even on himself. Punch one thing, move, punch the real target to death - and drop bombards. Or drop bombards, kill stuff, move, punch target to death. Such flexibility!

Harkevich - The Iron Wolf is currently the only one who can milk Behemoth for FOUR shots in total. Like this: Hark activates, feats, casts Broadsides (1). Behemoth then activates, charges a target, gets a free shot (2), and when he connects with the target, still has his initials (3&4). That's a lot of 3" AoEs... don't know whether that'll be good enough, though. If it isn't, well, there's still +3 ARM from the feat and +2 MOV from Escort to consider, and with the Armour Cracking provided by Behemoth for Harkevich, it's easy to see why those two have each other on short dial.

So, to sum it up: Big B is one helluva piece, and he is certainly worth every point. Don't just use him on a base of "what does the 'Caster do for him", but also look at what Behemoth will do for the 'Caster in question. If he does all you need/want... ...why not Big B?

Until next time, farewell!