Monday, November 17, 2014

Post 100 - Acknowledging our "special" cousins


To celebrate this monumentous occassion, I thought I should do an utterly biased/brutally honest review of our sister sub-faction, the Thornfall, in the style of this grading article. Please don't expect anything of serious value :)


Pigs have been pretty terrible thus far. I would argue they are the worst "faction" in Warmahordes. This is mostly because Pigs (like Gators) are super restricted, but unlike Gators don't have access to Posse. You can take Rhulic/Pirates casters and jacks in Highborn/4-Star with good troops/solos.
Pigs beasts are really bad for their cost, their infantry options are limited and in no way compare to Gatorman Posse as a faction backbone, they lack a strong sense of in-game faction identity and they are pretty much worse or equal to Gators in 95% of matchups.

Recently however, they got a few good releases that could improve to their viability as a faction: the Arkadius theme, Maximus, the Efaarit and the Meat Thresher. If things keep going like this, they might catch up to Gators within 2 releases cycles (circa 2017!)

Pigs' greatest strength at the moment is that nobody expects them. And Carver's massive balls.


Lord Carver - 9
Potentially one of the best warlocks in the game. Incredible spell list, very solid feat (damage boost + infantry shred in one package?), very survivable and good personal damage output.  He brings much destruction - one could argue the most destruction, in very large quantities. His biggest weakness, is of course being in Pigs, which keeps him chained down at a solid 9.
He is one of the best Who's the Boss casters out there, where he gets bumped up to a hard, highly overpowered 10 with almost any balanced Hordes list. At my last Who's the Boss tournament, I managed to get a free pick and chose Karchev because everyone always thinks Unearthly Rage with beasts is totally insane. It is indeed nuts, however the downside is you have Karchev as your caster (who sucks more than ever in a meta where lists have to deal with Colossals). Next time, I will not hesitate to take Carver, a man's pigman.
He even has his own tax, applied to Pig heavies and lights - the Carver tax. Ruthless imperialism has its downsides.

Arkadius - 8
A really good beast spamming warlock who finally got his time in the sun with a tier list that makes up for his garbage warbeasts by reducing their PC by 2 across the board AND giving him access to an even better version of one of the game's best light warbeasts.

PP: Pls buy plastic War Hogs, we will be nice from now on :(

Arkadius makes warbeasts grind hard and often. He also happens to have one of the most overpowered spells in the game (Crippling Grasp), which has made people believe he sucks because he doesn't have an arc node, rather than because his beasts are garbage.
Solution? The Ark's Ark, the best thing Pigs have received since Carver. The good thing about the list is that it specifically names out the 3 current Pig beasts for the discount (allowing for new, less garbage pig beasts in the future) and still takes a lot of practice to use effectively due to his very chaotic, frenzy-heavy playstyle.

Midas - 6
Midas does some cool stuff and has very solid spells. His tier is also sweet in that it gives you good Boneswarms and most of a heavy warbeast for basically nothing (at least pre-Efaarit and Meat Thresher).
His downfall (other than being in Pigs) is that he is skewed towards Hordes matchups due to his anti-beast abilities, and has no defensive tech to speak of yet needs to get up in the fray to have an impact (ie. mostly casting Calamity, Curse and using his feat). Not to mention that he wants to spend a lot of fury to cast his sweet spells in order to carry his army.
If the Bone Tokens gave him some defensive tech (ie. Ancient Shroud effect per Bone Token), he might be Carver-levels of legit since his spell list really is that good and he can grind pretty effectively (mass RFP not withstanding).

Sturm & Drang - 3
I love the design on this guy. He looks so fun. But.... he  actually kinda sucks to play and feels incredibly limped dick - again mostly because of his crappy beasts.
Sturm can do cool stuff with TK (one of the best spells in the game), his neat spray and his defensive spells. Drang brings really good bonuses to melee warbeasts.
But they are both polishing turds - badly. Sturm has lots of defensive tech, but none of it really stands out as serious playmakers with his current model pool. Drang only has access to craptacular heavies that are not even a quarter as good as Mulg. Not to mention they are on a medium base in a primarily small-based faction with no worthwhile anti-shooting tech and are SPD 5. WHY SPD 5? If they had SPD 7 with Ride-By, they could do a lot more stuff and not need to worry about constant death.

Helga - 7?
I haven't seen Helga played much yet. I think she seems at least as good as Midas and her feat can be really devastating, especially against medium-base spam like Gators. Like most Pig casters, her spell list is incredibly solid. Dash, Defender's Ward, Distraction are easily top tier spells, and Cyclone + Muzzle are pretty close too. Her passive beast bonus is also really legit (especially since she also benefits).
The main issue I see is not being able to speed up beasts, or buff the damage of her troops. Again, another story of a good caster with a good feat and excellent spells, but is probably carrying too much.


War Hog - 3
The War Hog is across the board a crappy heavy. Its one redeeming feature is being able to hit somewhat hard, and a crit KD initial attack. Apart from that it is slow, costly, not that survivable, has a bad animus and is not generally fury efficient. Pigs make do with what they have, and this subpar beast is it. You take it because you have to.
Bebop also does not understand why War Hogs are so bad.
Road Hog - 5
The Road Hog is also pretty lame. It is expensive, has bad base stats, and hits like a wet noodle. However it does have a somewhat useful animus, a speed buff, a pretty decent ranged weapon with auto-fire, and can offer an element of surprise - none of which the War Hog has. I think at a point less, it would be solid, but 9pts for a heavy with no real damage output is hard to stomach.

Gun Boar - 5
Useless animus, bad stats... the pig story. However it gets at least mediocre because it can two-handed throw and it has quite good defensive stats for a light. Also, has a gun.

Razor Boar -7
Pigs' best beast IMO. The animus costing 2 makes it basically blank which frustrates some people, but if you think of it as a really tanky 2pt solo that benefits from battlegroup buffs and doesn't really care about frenzying, then it's pretty legit.

Midas Boneswarms - 7
Boneswarms how they should be - starting with 3 tokens! Makes it a very tanky light, well worth the cost. The animus is also somewhat useful to Midas in cornercase situations since he doesn't have unrestricted access to Spiny Growth like the Gator Master Race.

Arkadius' Goraxes - 10
Holy shit, these are totally insane. Goraxes by themselves are probably 8s, and these have Shield Guard as well (big deal for Arkadius), and the animus does HUGE amounts of work since the downside (auto frenzy) is really an upside in Pigs. Also you can autoplink them in the ass with Arkadius for a free charge before buffing them up to the gills and sending them to one-round a heavy twice their cost.
And the best part is these Goraxes alone were not considered enough to make up for the pig heavies and light, you also have to include them in a tier with -2PC on your other warbeasts and some aggro deployment bonuses.


Brigands - 4
Mediocre in a nutshell. Have a lot of potential and Hog Wild is a pretty good rule, but bad base stats, pretty high cost, and no really defined role in Farrow (are they tarpits? counter-chargers? how do they trade?, etc) makes them not so great. They are quite a bit better with Carver due to CRA increasing their flexibility a lot.

Slaughterhousers - 6
I quite like these. Bring anti-tough/RFP and a good counter charging toolset. However they don't have access to a great tarpit in Pigs, so don't get to shine as much as they would behind a row of Gators in Skorne.... other most other factions for that matter.

Bone Grinders -7
Sweet unit. Very cheap way to get an accurate magical missile, save animi after beasts die (would be excellent in Gators), boost caster spell range - solid, no real downside other than horrible stats, but for that cost, who cares. They make Calaban less terrible too :)

Razorback Crew - 5
Phew, I almost forgot about these. I graded them very average because it kinda depends on the terrain and the rest of your list. It is a RNG 14, POW 15 AoE3 gun which more than likely gets to AD due to the Thornfall Pact. That's not too terrible for 3pts if you get to make at least 2 shots with it, which you are likely to do if terrain is in your favour. If you don't, then it's not really worth it. Still one of the better artillery models when it gets to AD. Without AD, forget about it.


Gudrun - 5
This guy would be really sweet if he had Perfect Balance or some other ability that lets him stand up for free so he could deliver himself effectively after getting shot or whatever. I am guessing he will also be pretty legit with Helga + Defender's Ward as a Turn 1/2 tarpit. Aside from that, I have never seen him really pull his weight despite his pretty solid base stats - when he dies, he just gets killed again.

Maximus - 7
I like this guy a lot, and it mostly revolves around him being like Gudrun, but better, for a point less. Basically just the unmounted version of Fenris, but trading a little bit of damage output for survivability and Pathfinder charge (excellent way to protect himself on the advance). Great raw combat solo.

Efaarit - 8
I am really tempted to give these a 9 because they are so good - basically a free, accurate, no consequence ARM piercing every turn on a really fast pathfinder solo. However, I will stick with an 8 because Pigs don't really have much good ranged support to really push them over the top.

Saxon - 8
Saxon would be worth his 2pts without the ability to give something pathfinder. Great stats, good survivability, and some good combat potential. But on top of that, he can also douche warbeasts and give pathfinder to your Slaughterhousers (one of their biggest drawbacks as counter chargers). I am probably slightly biased about how sweet he is, because he is the manliest man on Immoren. Also, his book art makes him look a lot like our favourite Slovenian Press Ganger :)

Alten - 6
It's hard to say really bad things about a RAT 8 RNG 14 hand cannon shot with AD, Camouflage and Swift Hunter. And he gets some free damage against beasts on top of it. Basically a better Widowmaker Marksman (the archetypal mediocre ranged 2pt solo in my book), minus the Stealth.

Pendrake - 5
Ha, I didn't even grade this guy in Gators (would be a 6). Usually Pigs will want Saxon over this guy (as they are mutually exclusive), but Beast Lore can do some cool stuff for your Slaughterhousers, which means they can shred high DEF warbeasts. Aside from that, meh. In Gators he is a bit more valuable because guns are so rare, which isn't really a Pig problem.

Targ - 4
 The only Farrow solo, and he wears their trademark crappiness with pride. He can heal, he can Anxilliary Attack. Wow. Again, polishing turds. Herding does help with control area, but that isn't a problem I've seen Pigs have. Since his special abilities only work on Pig beasts, I assume he was supposed to be a tag-along for Brine in other factions, while also giving those other factions Herding?

Rorsh & Brine-5?
You only hear about them in super janky theorymachine because they are hypothetically able to go super fast. Can do cool stuff but I literally cannot remember a time I have seen them played in Mk2 :(

Raluk Moorclaw also goes here, but I will continue to pretend he doesn't exist. Hypothetically best in a Sturm&Drang list with a marshalled Vanguard so he can repair your BE and Shield Guard for your caster.

Battle Engine

Meat Thresher - 7
I like it. It's not the Gator BE but it's still one of the better battle engines in the game. Again, a good counter charging model in Pigs with no good tar pit in front of it. It is DEADLY in melee with Trash and auto-KD - it basically one-shots Gatormans reliably, which is scary. Not to mention boosted hit rolls against small bases. Bulldoze is also one of the best abilities in the game, and having it on a huge base is really good. It doesn't quite make up for the lack of reach, but it comes close in a lot of situations. The gun is also pretty decent, despite the targeting restrictions and low RAT.

Conclusion & Discussion:

Can you win games with Pigs? Absolutely. I'd go so far as to say that if you are a player with sound fundamentals, you can even win the majority of your games with Pigs in a casual setting. However, if you were put in a situation where there was big money on the outcome of a game (ie. a serious competitive situation), Pigs are very likely the very last lists you would reach for, regardless of familiarity.

As you can see, Pigs do have access to some good models, especially in the warcaster and solo department. Where they fall down is crappy warbeasts, lack of consistent engagers and lack of an effective tarpit. The best tarpit they have at present is a swarm of Razor Boars, which is just a tad expensive, and small bases without reach don't take up enough of the board to really jam up. It seems to me that if the beasts were cheaper on the whole, they could be used as good frontline models..... and lo and behold, the Ark tier (one of the two good Pig lists). I guess this is also part of what makes Carver so good (the other good Pig list) - making heavies fast and high ARM allows them to take the initial hit and/or engage.

There are many perspectives on what Pigs as a "faction" are supposed to be, since PP has certainly not made it obvious over the years. Many believe they are a combined arms factions - if that is the case, they are a really bad one as Cygnar and Khador both do that significantly more effectively even at only their Prime release level. By this reasoning, Pigs are then purely aesthetics.

Others, like myself, believe the primary design of Pigs is supposed to be chaos, frenzy and gambling: their warlocks are built heavily around improving warbeasts (two of which have random, self-damaging mechanics); they have no fury management to speak of (one warlock actively encourages frenzy); and their beasts are mostly crap and work best when thrown away to frenzy and hope to get lucky.
The latest wave of releases confirms this approach between:

  • Maximus (literally: a Pig Doom Reaver, just because) 
  • Meat Thresher (a crazy Mad Max contraption) 
  • Helga (slams everywhere, fat Valkyrian lady singing)
  • Arkadius tier 
Let's see if the design keeps going this way. If Pigs get a few more releases in this style, they will develop enough of an identity and tactical niche to make them a viable competitive choice over Gators in the realm of Miniondom. Right now, they still suck and are mostly just things for Carver to carry on his manly back and look neat. Sorry, Bacon lovers :)

Also, gator meat tastes better than pig meat. Sjakk matt, griser.

Extending an olive branch

In the meantime, if anyone wishes to contribute Minion-themed quality guest articles, please get in touch. I'd be happy to discuss it! I made this blog primarily as an easily accessible, semi-permanent (1) depository of Gator information for players interested in playing the faction, and I have more or less kept it up to date these past years despite lulls of interest and long periods of no gaming activity. Especially with my tournament attendance about to take a massive nose dive for the next year, and only getting one release in the next ~18 months, there won't be too much to write about.

However it'd be really nice to have a foreign and/or Farrow element to the website: either stand-alone tactics articles, fluff articles, hobby articles, you name it. So if you know your stuff and can write nicely, leave a comment or send me a PM on the PP boards (Yertle4 - the guy who only posts in sarcasm).

Article on the Sacral Vault will be posted when the model comes out (late 2015 is likely!).

Also thanks to anyone who takes the time to comment or let me know they value this site, your comments and opinions are appreciated.

(1) Unlike the PP forums, I have control of what gets posted here and can be as critical or expressive as I want :)

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Jaga-Jaga, the Death Charmer


Jaga-Jaga is Blindwater's 5th warlock. Her nickname is Death Charmer, which means she charms Death. That can be either really cool or really creepy, depending on how you think about it.
In any case, she is a great support warlock, featuring a good dose of Blindwater's beloved douchiness and warlock survivability, while also bringing a range of tools unavailable to other Gatorman warlocks.


Her stats are very similar to Calaban - good for a spellcaster, and about average for a Gatorman (aka. good). SPD 6 is great when almost all your other stuff is SPD 5, especially when you have a reach poison weapon (more on that later).
Her combat stats are pretty average, and her defensive stats also about average for a warlock.

Finally, she is our second Fury 7 casters! Yay! And our first +5 WB caster! Boo!


Where her bread is buttered, her cuckoo slapped, her cheese melted:

  • Deadweight - a Cost 2 POW 12 nuke with a nice added benefit that allows you to 'attach' the corpse of the model you just killed to a nearby model, forcing that model to sacrifice movement or action next turn. Nice denial, but RNG 8 and no arc nodes makes it quite situational.
  • Escort - +2" movement for your beasts and +2 ARM for your warlock? In Blindwater? Yes please.
  • Ghost Walk - Allows target model/unit to ignore free strikes and terrain for the purposes of movement. VERY good in a melee centric force (aka. Cryx), and a way to grant pathfinder to Gatormans without praying for it. Awesome since we can't take the Manliest Man on Immoren (Saxon Orrik).
  • Grave Wind - a really sweet single-target defensive buff, grants +2 DEF and Poltergeist (knockback d3" whenever you miss the target model with an attack).
  • Spellpiercer - Jaga Jaga's signature spell, this grants magical weapons and Blessed to your entire army. Yowza.


Gatorman. Warlock. That is all.

Feat - Legion of DEATH!

Enemy non-construct dudes killed in Jaga's control area become friendly zombie versions of themselves and gain Dark Shroud. Right after becoming zombies, they can make a full advance (immune to free strikes) and cannot activate but otherwise keep all their abilities. Lasts for a round after which the zombies are RFPed (unless destroyed again prior to end of round).



Certainly not a melee monster, but Jaga-Jaga can deal a good chunk of melee damage to the right targets thanks to Chain Weapon and Poison on DEATH SNAKE (1). This means she can kill most living models singlehandedly, do some nasty damage to shield-wielding beasts like the Cyclops Brute, and has some late-game assassination power if it comes down to it.
The abilities on Death Snake also combine quite well with her feat if you want to kill a bunch of shield walling guys like MoW, Cetrati, Iron Fangs or whatever - charge in and kill one to get that Dark Shroud debuff, kill a few more, and you've got yourself a nice little bubble of tough zombie infantry surrounding you.
The one weird thing with DEATH SNAKE is that it is not magical. I highly, highly doubt that it would have been broken or OP in any way had it been magical baseline rather than needing to cast Spellpiercer, but alas PP doing what PP does. Apparently magically reanimated Tazelwyrms are a mundane occurrence in the IK.

Aside from her personal damage output, granting Blessed every round to her army is a good effective damage buff against the right opponent, and there's also the Dark Shroud factor on her feat which is nice.


Despite lacking any form of anti-shooting tech, she herself is quite survivable thanks to Spiny Growth and her two defensive buffs. With Escort and a Snapper nearby, she will usually be sitting at 14/20 which is tanky as hell for a warlock (Xerxis2, as a comparison, is 15/21 vs ranged attacks with Krea animus) . If you choose to go with Grave Wind on her, you can be 16/18 instead. On top of that, she has 7 fury and will usually be camping 1-2, not to mention being pretty far back thanks to the big control area and no real incentive to get into the fight early/mid game.

Overall, not quite Rask-level of resilient, but comparable to Barnabas/Maelok.


 Despite being no slouch in melee vs the right target and being pretty tanky, her strengths definitely lie in the spell casting department and solving problems for the Gatormans. Given that she has no special abilities to speak of, all this goodness comes from her spells and feat.

She excels at 'leveling the playing field' in more ways than one:
  •  Spellpiercer is a unique spell which grants Blessed and Magical Weapons to all your dudes on all their attacks for a round. This negates enemy buff spells, which helps deal with stat skews in terms of DEF and ARM. In terms of DEF, this means Gatormans with re-rolls should be able to semi-reliably hit any unit in the game (ie. Iron Flesh Kayazy), and in terms of ARM means that even heavies stay within killable range for a few charging Gatormans and/or a heavy (especially if you throw in the Dark Shroud debuff from her feat). It's about as good as upkeep removal, since it is very resource and space efficient, but won't remove enemy upkeeps on your guys.
    Secondly, Spellpiercer also gives all your stuff Magical Weapons, which means Blood Witches, Blackbanes, Wraith Engines, Pistol Wraiths, Void Spirits and all those other ectoplasmic parasites can die in a fire. A glorious magical fire of cold steel.
  • Ghost Walk allows you to walk through any piece of terrain if needed, on top of being immune to free strikes. Now I know what a Bane Knight feels like. Feels good, man.
    Ignoring terrain is always sweet, especially walking through buildings and such, or giving effective pathfinder to a heavy. It also allows you get pathfinder while still praying for rerolls or Dirge of Mists. I also had a wonderful experience where I realized Ghost Walk entirely bypasses pBaldur's feat. It tasted like Cryx - thick, meaty, succulent carcinogenic deliciousness... I guess exactly what a KFC Double-Down "burger" tastes like.
    Being immune to free strikes in Gators is probably not as big a deal as it is in Cryx, because of the medium bases and the immense tankability meaning that if you're in combat you're likely there until something dies, but in terms of assassination potential, being able to walk a couple of Gators or a Wrastler out of combat with a heavy or weapon masters to kill a caster is pretty sweet.
She has a denial effect attached to her token magic nuke:
  • Deadweight is also a pretty cool undispellable denial effect, allowing you to hamper big scary targets like casters, heavies and Gargossals for a round.
    You will rarely be casting it because she prefers to stay back safely, but it is a great late-game spell since it can shut down that one serious remaining threat on the table when she starts to move up, if it comes to that. The RNG 8 is a bit of a downer, but if you manage to pull it off, you are probably quite safe next turn.
    Plus, it's her only magical attack. POW 12 magic missile on a FURY 7 caster ain't terrible, right?
And finally she can tank up  and deliver our heavies with her two upkeeps:
  • Escort is competing with Rift to be PP's favourite MkII spell, with every second new caster having it on their spell card. The effect on this one is two-fold:
    First, it makes your beasts faster. +2" faster to be precise, which is pretty damn good. That's almost like a Boundless Charge. Wrastlers walking 7" and throwing/deathrolling and Spitters threatening 18" is also pretty sweet. Unfortunately it doesn't affect Snapjaw since it is battlegroup only, but you probably want Snapjaw with your other list anyway :)
    Secondly, it gives Jaga-Jaga +2ARM if a beast is within 3" of her. When you have Bull Snappers in your list, this is really easy to do. It also makes her effectively +4ARM with Spiny Growth, which is pretty monstrous. Throw in some concealment and you've got a 16/20 caster with transfers.
  • Grave Wind is (at the time of writing) Jaga Jaga's second unique spell. It is a single-target buff that gives +2 DEF and Poltergeist (if a model misses you with any attack, you may push it d3" directly away). This is a really good defensive buff, because it can mess with your opponent's plans pretty bad at little cost to you. Even with our low defensive stats, here is what you can do with the spell:
    - 14/21 Wrastlers with Spiny Growth. That's a 7+ to hit for even a Bronzeback Titan or Warpwolf Stalker, and if he fluffs a single attack roll, he could just get pushed out of melee range and do nothing the rest of the turn. It effectively forces a boost, which effectively boosts survivability more than 'just' +2 DEF.
    - DEF 16 Totem Hunter... who is also super mobile and can do some serious hurt with the Prey bonus and Dark Shroud.
    - DEF 16/18 Spiny Growth Jaga, and with those transfers you're going to need a lot of attacks to hit. Would be a shame if you missed an attack and got pushed just out of melee range of that Fury 7 warlock with the Poison Reach weapon, wouldn't it?
    - DEF 15 Dirged Gatorman. Have a single Gator holding a crucial spot on the table? Why not buff him up some? 15/20 Spiny Growthed Gators are no joke. It's no Iron Flesh but it's still pretty sweet.

    At worst, this spell will often force your opponent to use his upkeep removal there rather than on Escort.

Finally, her feat: Legion of DEATH! (emphasis on DEATH!)

This is a great matchup fixer vs Cryx and other hard-hitting infantry swarms, thanks primarily to its jamming potential. The dream would be to get the alpha-strike with your Gators on their front line while the feat is up, jam their second line with the feated models so they either do nothing useful or die to free strikes, kill a heavy with your heavy thanks to the Dark Shroud debuff, and then clean up the rest next turn.

  • It has a freaking sweet name (comparable to the greatest spell name in Warmahordes ever, Glory of Everblight)
  • It counters infantry swarms pretty hard, especially melee infantry swarms.
  • It brings a very valuable ARM debuff to Gatormans. It is a janky way to get it, but free ARM debuffs are like gift horses.
  • It RFPs when all is said and done. This is great 98% of the time for you, and sometime very bad for your opponent.
  • The feated models keep all their abilities. This means the Blood Hag and Gallows Groves maintain their Entropic Aura (jankiest way to get anti-Tough in faction), Mage Hunter Assassins keep Weapon Master, Decapitation and Arcane Assassin on their 1/2" free strikes, Jannisa keeps Force Lock and Tough, and all those Doom Reavers keep Abomination and Reach. So many opportunities to douche people.
  • It is pretty match-up dependent, much like Calaban's feat (2) but quite unlike Rask's (alpha strike is always good), Maelok's (incorporeal and extra ARM is always good) or Barnabas' (except when you have mass anti-KD auras). The closest comparison would be Hexeris1's feat, except more emphasis on denial and board control and less on just killing stuff.
    Naturally, if you come up against some Godzilla beasts list or whatever list with next to no infantry, your feat does nothing. Yay.
  • It is janky. This is because mind control effects in Warmahordes are janky at their core - there are a ton of effects that get weird when the model's controller switches around, interactions get confusing, and also people don't usually like it if you touch their models because of the emotional investment they have in them (as a cold-hearted beast, I don't mind so much if you squeeze my lizard).
  • It only RFPs if the feated model is not killed (again) after becoming a zombie. This means notorious RFP haters eLich, eMorvahna or Goreshade2 will just focus their turn on killing all your zombies, which I guess isn't a bad thing for you either... just not the best. Against these casters however, you might just want to move your zombies as far away from them as you can to get as many RFPs as possible.

In summary, the feat has tons of potential and can win you a game (on scenario) almost by itself. However against most capable opponents who know how to stagger unit formation, position well and know to drop more balanced lists against her, you will probably get average disruptive effect out of it, make life a little difficult for your opponent and probably have less overall impact that Maelok's feat. If it granted guaranteed RFP I think it would be quite a bit more generally effective without necessarily being more powerful.

She stands a full head taller than Barnabas.

Playstyle + Tactica

List Composition

Posse. Lots of them, likely three full units but at least two. This is because the matchups in which you ideally drop Jaga Jaga will be infantry heavy, not too many guns, and low to mid ARM, and you will drop Rask against everything else (or Maelok/Barnabas). And as we know, Posse are freaking amazing in those conditions.
For warbeasts, Spitters are really good, as they benefit largely from Escort, and also Dark Shroud - even if you're shooting into combat, a boosted POW 16 deals some sweet damage. As always, they suck badly in melee but the gun pulls its weight in helping those 15 Gatormans do what they do.

Wrastlers are neat as well, also as a target for Grave Wind. They also remain our heaviest hitter, and with Dark Shroud and favourable melee attack rolls should be able to reliably kill any other heavy short of an Imperatus or Tiberion. Thankfully in the matchups in which you drop Jaga-Jaga, those things will not be as common (the worst is likely to be something ARM 19/20 like Ghetorix or a Deathjack). I find being able to walk 7" with Escort is also a sweet spot for the Wrastler to maximize his damage / power attack potential. Since her assassination potential is pretty crap, scenario/attrition play is the name of the game and power attacks help out here immensely.

Swamp Horrors bring some natural shooting protection and are pretty decent against infantry-heavy matchups when given a speed buff. Generally solid, but otherwise probably has the least synergy with Jaga-Jaga compared to our other casters.

Bull Snappers are a must, if only to just give you access to Spiny Growth. They are also pretty good at triggering the +2 ARM of Escort since they usually hang around your caster anyway. DEF14/ARM20 caster is pretty good. Also DEF14/ARM21 Wrastlers.
Also with Escort they will passively charge 13" for free against living warrior models. To put that in perspective, that is almost Jaga-Jaga's control area. The Snapper can just hang out near Jaga-Jaga, drinking tea and talking golf and giving her +2/4 ARM, and then spot out some annoying OP 2pt solo miles out and torpedo sink it.

In terms of solos, you are more or less in the same boat as with other casters. Witch Doctors are very useful against Cryx specifically and with multiple Posse in general, Croak and Totem Hunters are good at clearing lanes and countercharging, Pendrake helps against Hordes and to KD heavies, etc. etc.
The one point of difference in choosing solos is that Grave Wind is a pretty useful on a higher DEF solo like Pendrake or the Totem Hunter. Pendrake can jam beasts like a boss at DEF 20 + pushback, and a DEF 16 Totem Hunter with reach can do a good job tying up flanking infantry.

In terms of battle engines, the Sacral Vault is probably an ok choice. And by ok, I mean really good.


In terms of playstyle, I would describe it as "Fundamentally Gatorman".
  • Barnabas would be "Denial Gatormans" between his survivability, board control and attrition. 
  • Rask would be "Assault Gatormans" with his highly aggressive, alpha striking assault style. 
  • Maelok would be "Gator Harder" with his recursive tanky undead Posse spam. 
  • Calaban would be "Cocoa Butter Gatormans", "Gator-Aid" or whatever sounds cute.
Jaga herself likes to play like most Warmachine power casters - find some terrain and spend the whole game near it while casting your one OP spell, throwing out a few buffs where needed and upkeeping things. If things get a little uncomfortable, she can deal a good amount of damage against living targets thanks to DEATH SNAKE and Deadweight for some protection.
She doesn't so much do anything as just allow you to do what you want to do normally with Gatormans, which is grind and trade effectively.


  • Ghost Walk - granting immunity to free strikes is a very potent mid to late game ability for Gatormans. After engagement and having killed most of your preferred targets, this allows you to ungrind a little and prioritize more important targets. It's not as good as Maelok's feat, but it's a decent part of it, every turn you need it.
  • Spellpiercer - this is basically Jaga-Jaga in a nutshell. She hard counters incorporeal spam, and shuts down defensive buffs to reinstate Gatormanic physical superiority over the other inferior humanoid races, leaving the Gatormans to manfight everyone on equal grounds, where Gatormans usually win because they are OP (except in the fluff, where an entire Posse has trouble killing a sissy like Rutger Shaw).
  • Fast(er) beasts - Barnabas can also do this via Warpath, but Warpath is nowhere as consistent or effective a speed buff as a straight-up 2" extra movement all the time. 
  • Solutions for most situations - like Calaban, Jaga-Jaga is solutions-oriented rather than problem-oriented. Unlike Calaban, she does it effectively. As a result of this, she has very few straight-up bad matchups.


  • No anti-shooting tech - this is what personally bugs me the most about her. Even Calaban has Occultation! Maelok also lacks hard anti-shooting, but at least Maelok can Revive Gators to make up for some of the lost attrition, as well as buff Posse armor on the advance. Jaga-Jaga does nothing at all in the anti-shooting department, which is my favourite aspect of Gatormans.
  • Low(er) attrition/grind potential - ok, I will grant that the feat in the right context can provide a sizable attrition swing by forcing your opponent to kill all the stuff you just killed and achieve nothing special for a turn. It is probably comparable to Rask's level of attrition between being functionally immune to non-Butcher3 assassinations, his feat and spamming Inhospitable Ground.
    But it's really hard to compete with Maelok's Feat+Revive+Death Pact and Barnabas' Iron Flesh+Feat+Terrain Creation on the attrition side of things when you're running lots of Posse. And since Rask is your first list, you will likely want the grindier second list.
  • Matchup dependant feat - this is one of those feats that either does nothing, or almost wins you the game by itself. The difference is something like 25% playskill/ 75% opponent's list, which makes her feat quite matchup dependent. At least it's a matchup Gatormans have had some trouble with in the past.
  • Feat administration time - Legion of Death becomes an increasingly bigger logistical nightmare the more effective it is. If you manage to take out 20 Banes with the feat, that's effectively adding in 20 solo activations (movement + attack) to your turn, plus having to put tokens on everything to remember what is feated and what isn't, plus making all those free strikes (enough that the clock will probably get flipped to you on each one) and remembering those models' specific rules..... In timed turns, it's probably even more time intensive than Butcher2's feat. In Deathclock, it'll be rough enough that you need to have LOTS of practice with the list against a wide range of opponents before doing it in a tournament.
  • No "surprise!" assassination factor - other than arguably Ghost Walk and the feat turn, most of what she does is predictable, which makes assassination much harder to achieve against a wary opponent. Rask can stack threat buffs on different beasts and turn anything in his list into a killing machine, Barnabas has Warpath and pop'n'drop, and Maelok is the sneakiest of all with Revive and feat shenanigans. Basically, Jaga-Jaga is a static caster, which isn't bad in itself and works well with Fury 7, but is a lot less excitingly explosive than her counterparts.

Conclusion - Calaban 2.0

Jaga-Jaga is a well designed caster that provides Gatormans with answers to one of their harder counters, and is a welcome addition to the faction.
She is optimally designed to deal with melee infantry spam, incorporeal models and moderate levels of ARM. In other words, Cryx. But her toolbox allows her to do well against everything that isn't naturally ARM heavy (ie. lists with lots of heavies and/or heavy infantry) or features a lot of high POW shooting - coincidentally, this is where Rask excels, so she theoretically pairs really well with him.

While she contests Maelok or Barnabas for that second/third list spot, she lacks the grind and assassination potential of the former and the control and defensive aspects of the latter, but still manages to hold her own thanks to an excellent spell list and matchup-fixing feat. Spellpiercer is basically a great summary of why you take her - denial of any enemy advantage allowing Gatormans to more or less beat everything in an even fight.

Is she "better" than Barnabas or Maelok? Maybe. Time will tell. My experience with her has shown that she is at least as good. She provides a more passive, solution-oriented toolbox playstyle as opposed to the aggressive, involved and problem-causing playstyle of the 3 other primary Gatorman casters. In that sense, I see her as similar to Calaban but playing her doesn't make me want to repeatedly insert metal blades into my thighs, so in my book that is a definite improvement.

I think in my lists she probably does not overtake Maelok/Barnabas for my second list, primarily because the Sacral Vault helps with mass single wound infantry.

Fun Factor:
[Figurative Opioid]------------X--------------------------------[Malaria]---[Calaban]

(1) What a name for a weapon... DEATH SNAKE. I like to pretend that she just has a huge machete and calls it Death Snake because that's a bad ass name for a knife. At worst, it is definitely the name of the snake - Death Snake, the dead reanimated non-magical snake.
(2) Even comparing Jaga's feat to Calaban's feat makes me feel dirty. I hate him so much.