Friday, August 15, 2014

Jaga Jaga spoilers

Click for zooms
I had almost forgotten what playing Warmachine feels like, and then I see this. Thoughts to follow soon....

Later, in a secret location...

Highly uninformed analysis time:


The same base stats as Calaban, except +1 CMD, +1 Health and inverted MAT/RAT - which makes sense since she doesn't have a gun. The important thing about this comparison is that she is SPD 6. SPD 6! In my opinion, SPD 6 is Calaban's best feature.

Fury 7 is Calaban's second best feature, and she has that too.

She is also roughly comparable to Calaban in melee - they both have a POW 11 reach weapon with pseudo Weapon Master (Poison on Jaga-Jaga, Life Trade on Calaban). Jaga's Death Snake has Chain Weapon to ignore Shield bonuses (not super relevant on a POW 11 weapon) while Calaban has a Sustained Attack bite, and his weapon his magical while the voodoo undead reanimated snake isn't (which doesn't really make much sense, but see her spell list for details).

+5 WB points. That's a first.

Amphibious + Gatorman Warlock. Standard fare. Nothing special.


She is a spell caster through and through. Thankfully, unlike Calaban, she only has one offensive spell:

Deadweight - last seen on Broadsides Bart, this decent nuke is essentially a different take on Stranglehold. Instead of having to damage the target to have it sacrifice movement or action, you instead have to kill an enemy model within 2". Kill a McThrall next to Terminus, and he sacs movement or action next turn. Seems legit.

A very Gatormany spell that will likely be used to neutralize heavy targets for a turn or two. I like it but expect it to be situationally useful rather than common occurence.

Escort - the new Rift, Escort is the village bicycle on which everyone gets a ride. +2 SPD for your battlegroup and +2 ARM for your caster if she is near a warbeast (say.... a Boneswarm or Bull Snapper)?

Neato spell. I like heavies going fast, which is why I like Rask. I also like casters living, which is why I like Gatormans.

Ghost Walk - the old Cryx classic.
Half of Maelok's feat every turn where you need it? Yes please. Even casting it on one unit of Gatormans is pretty awesome.

Grave Wind - single target upkeep that gives +2 DEF and Poltergeist (push back attacker if missed by an attack).

A weaker version of Mordikaar's feat, but still pretty decent, especially if combined with the Swarm animus. Given the generally low DEF on Gatorman models, this will most likely be useful on Jaga-Jaga herself (competing with Escort) or on a DEF 13 Boneswarm (DEF 17 with animus in melee with a living unit). You could put it on a Wrastler or Snapjaw to make them DEF 14, which is also nice in the right situation (forcing other heavies to boost or risk pushback).

Spellpiercer - all friendly models get Blessed and Magical Weapons (assuming it's melee weapons only, the image cuts off)

PP HQ, 2011:
PP Employee A: Hey B, it seems that Gatorman players are having issues with all incorporeal stuff, like it is literally impossible to beat incorporeal spam lists on scenario when you only have 2 models with magic weapons and 2 magic spells per list at best.
PP Employee B: Indeed A, that does not appear to be a lot of fun. We better get on that right away.

3 years later, we have this spell on a Gatorman caster. Holy crap, what a spell. Gatormans now shred through Iron Flesh Kayazy, Defender Warded Errants, Blackbanes, any most other tarpit BS that isn't Tough spam or Warders with Krielstone. This fixes a lot of stuff, and is thankfully NOT an upkeep so you can still have a survivability buff on Jaga to keep her from death (which is good because the spell is an aura so she'll have to be a somewhat far up).

I still think they should have given her snake Magical Weapon baseline. I swear there is going to be that one game I am going to lose because I had to spend 2 fury to get Magical Weapon on my caster and not have enough fury to live through next turn.

Note: lasts 1 round. FU Incorporeal models running through my dudes.


When an enemy dude is boxed while within Jaga's control area, that model becomes a Dark Shroud zombie bot for you, the Gatorman player. It cannot activate other than make an advance directly after becoming a zombie. The model is RFP at end of turn.

Mmmm... I don't know about this. Essentially it is a janky way to get -2 ARM somewhere. Like, really, really janky. I think it will require a lot of play to see how it works but my initial impressions are not great. It does RFP, which is nice, but doesn't get around Tough.

Is there any advantage gained to keeping enemy models on the table apart from the Dark Shroud? I am guessing the use of it is to charge in with Gators and kill their front line, and then use the models you just killed to act as a defensive wall in front of you (since it lasts a round), or to hold scenario zones and such. A good way to prevent weapon master countercharges.

EDIT: The zombies can also make free strikes, something I had not considered. That is quite potent.

  • Is it shut down by anti-healing auras (ie. Blood Hag)? I would guess so.
  • Do you get the RFP effect if you chose NOT to zombie the model? The text isn't 100% clear but it seems the RFP effect is conditional upon the zombie effect.
  • I like that it is optional, because in general Gatormans don't want stuff staying on the table to gum up the board to block you in.
  • It also depends heavily on your opponent's list build and positioning. If they have an ARM 20 heavy, they can just keep it away from their infantry and it will probably never die. I guess you can use that to your advantage. That would also screw with Deadweight, your main way of controlling that heavy target.

Thoughts: Calaban 2.0

Well, this is the Cryx matchup at first glance.
In terms of pairings, you might bring this as your second list and will almost certainly bring it as your third list just to deal with that problematic matchup. I don't know if she is well-rounded enough to replace Maelok or Barnabas in a straight 2 list format, since they match up pretty well vs Circle and Legion.

She also doesn't have any strict anti-shooting tech, much like Maelok. Her way of delivering Gatormans is Ghost Walk and Escort for the beasts, while Maelok has Death Pact and Revive (and feat).

Her attrition comes from either Escort or Grave Wind  (Grave Wind+concealment / Escort+Spiny Growth is a +4 stat swing in either DEF or ARM, which is good), which unfortunately does nothing for Posse.
DEF buffing stuff always make me think about playing Boneswarms, which is inevitably leaves me disappointed.

Her spell list is really swell. Ghost Walk alone makes her really good for Gatormans, and then she has some survivability and speed buffs. Not to mention the problem fixer that is Spellpiercer.

Not a huge fan of the feat. An ARM debuff is pretty good in Gatormans but this is quite possibly the most annoying way to do it. However the 'zombie wall' effect is looking quite sweet as a defensive and disruption tool. Janky, but potent.

Overall I am not Rask-level impressed but think she is neat. There is a good possibility that the other releases in the book will spice things up for her. I will playtest for a few months and then reassess my opinion.