By a miserable
Of course, this could not stand. Follow me beyond the break, where I compare the Rager to the Vanguard in context of the Khadoran army and Hunting Wolves in particular.
Let's start with a direct comparison of stats:
Rager vs. Vanguard
SPD 4 6
MAT 5 6
RAT 3 6
DEF 11 13
ARM 18/20* 17/19*
Dam 31 26
Gun Pow 15 12
Shield P&S 12 10
Weapon P&S 15 13
Cost 6 5/7**
* circumstancial ARM bonus from shield
** real cost whenever a Merc 'Jack Marshall is required
If you didn't count, when it comes to stats, the Rager wins out against the Vanguard in six out of the ten values. So, is it better?
Answer: Conditionally, yes. Now, which condition then?
Answer: As a back-row Warcaster shieldguard. My reasoning is thusly: In that role - Warcaster Bulletcatcher (WCBC, not to be confused with the WCCB, a very embarrassing end expensive project from my home-city) - the SPD, MAT, RAT and DEF, which are the very areas where the Vanguard wins, become irrelevant to it's job.
There are a bunch of other considerations:
1.) I think the high MAT/RAT of the Vanguard vs being able to boost with focus of the Rager are a wash and end up being about equal.
2.) The Vanguard's Set Defense (and the Reach on his weapon, as well as assault) is not considered in the comparison b/c I think it is kinda too conditional, but see also what I write about applications further down.
3.) The marshallability was left out because the Vanguard has to be marshalled (outside of Hunting Wolves), and while the Rager is PERFECTLY marshallable, it's also kinda questionable - because you aren't getting the Warjack points for him if you do, which you have to do if you only want him as a token 'Jack. And even if you don't, you could just get THAT much out of three focus in a pinch.
So, with that in mind - what are the different applications of these 'Jacks within Khador, assuming you do field both (which, admittedly, is unlikely, with the only exception mentioned below)?
Well, with the Rager being a WCBC, hanging back and doing nothing unless something went really right/wrong, the Vanguard is, in my mind, more of a frontline peace, keeping key pieces of your army safe - a role which is corroborated by his high SPD, DEF + Set Defense, and Assault, which allow him to keep up with the troops, and actually add their weight to the fighting, even farther away from the 'Caster or Marshal. I could see doing this with either of the Irusks.
Speaking of Warcasters running both Shield Guard 'Jacks: Hunting Wolves. The only theme force allowing. Does the Rager have a role there?
Answer: That depends on your number of Vanguards. ;) If you have only one, you could just take that as your WCBC. If you don't, you can use them upfield as Forceblast targets, with the Rager staying back. As pointed out, the two 'Jacks can perform different roles, so yes, I guess they can both perform, especially in this theme force. At 50 points, maybe sth like this:
Koldun Kommander Zerkova -6
> Rager 5
> Grolar 8
> Vanguard 4
> Vanguard 4
Greylord Outriders (max) 9
Greylord Ternion 4
Kayazy Assassins (max) 8
w/ Underboss 2
Kayazy Eliminators 3
Kayazy Eliminators 3
Gorman di Wulfe 2
Yes, it contains as Grolar as the main damage dealer. I guess three Shield Guards make for a good delivery system when necessary. Widowmakers are in b/c I'm a sucker for guns, and they haven't disappointed me yet. Icy Grip - which is becoming a real favourite of mine - could even help the Rager to do some anti-medium-infantry work...
I don't know when I'll be able to (Proxy) field it. As a summary, I think neither of the two Warjacks is better than the other. You'll have to analyse for yourself what you need to be shieldguarded, and that will most likely give you your answer.
So, I hope that sheds some light on the conflict.
Until next time,
P.S.: Running the Rager on a MoW Kovnik is actually rather plausible - the drive boosts all initial attack rolls, so he could be effective RAT 5 + 3d6 with aiming. Not to shabby with a Pow 15. Alternatively, you get a fully boosted charge attack, and could boost the initial shield attack with the Jack Marshall bonus.