Then & Now – Karchev’s Iron Curtain

The man, the machine, the Legend!

I have only played one caster for Khador, Karchev. I wanted to make him work. The image of Karchev with a bunch of Jacks, Man-o-War and some support just pulls me in… I played it in Mk2 without much success. I hope the first Theme list book (December 2016) will be a Man-o-War theme book.

For his theme you get and increase on the Field Allowance of Koldurn Lords, Man-o-Wars Units get advanced move, 3″ AoE clouds placed before deployment and -1 Pt per jack in his Battlegroup. Being up field is good for a slow unit like Man-o-Wars. FA for Kordurn never did anything, smoke on turn one never did anything. Cheaper Jacks helped a little. Two unit of Shocktroopers eats up a lot of the list.

Karchev Mk3 013Karchev survived the design space pretty well. I had to look really hard to see a change on the picture card. Focus us 6, well Arcane Turbine used to do that. His damage grid doesn’t have an “B” (body) on the grid. Turning the card over. Arcane Turbine, now you spend a focus to get +2 Movement. Man in the Machine has been cleaned up. He is a living model, not a Warjack and not a Warrior. Power Attacks happen without spending Focus. Things that effect the damage from or the damage applied to a Warjack effect him too. He can’t heal himself. Repairable like a construct isn’t a surprise. Unyeilding is a nice addition. His axe still does knockdown too. Better wording, a little simpler and maybe a little better too.

Karchev’s Spell list is a big change. Three new spells.

  • Eruption: POW 14 Fire AoE cloud hasn’t change.
  • Ground Zero: 5″ AoE with a D6 push. Ok, I know that one.
  • Battle-Charged: Battlegroup gets countercharge. Nice upkeep.
  • Jumpstart: Cheap way to clear knockdown, stationary and change facing.
  • Road to War: Battlegroup spell that trigger a Jack to move 3″, nice upkeep spell.

Karchev lost Tow, I never like the turn you back to get your jacks into charge position. Unearthly Rage was to much free fury, no surprise if you think about it, but…. Sidearms was knockdown prevention and DEF bonus when in BtB with a Battlegroup Jack. Not sure why that one is gone.

His Feat has changed, well kind of….
Old Feat – Total War – Battlegroup can charge for free, pathfinder and change facing. Hmmmm…. Jumpstart changes your facing.  New Feat – Unearthly Rage (sounds familiar) – It was to much for a Spell, but as a Feat it is still really good. The whole battlegroup gets boosted melee attack and damage rolls while in his Control Range. Big Thumbs up!

Karchev Mk3 010Karchev still has that Big Axe, one open hand and that 10″ spray. On a big turn Road to War can move all of your Jacks 3″, Countercharge can easily disrupt someone assassination run. Jumpstart adds flexibility and Kreoss & Barnabas hates it. A big fire AoE Cloud and a way to move stuff that gets to close. So many tools, He is still a Large based caster with a low DEF. I hope you bring some Mechaniks too.

Karchev wants jacks, I’m only going to talk about a few. There are to many to do them all. His Jack point went from +5 -> +30…. Ding ding ding..

Behemoth – He was part of Karchev’s Gunboat list. Tow was used  to drag Jacks around so they always got to aim. You might be able to get a few inches of free movement now with Road to War. He lost some ARM and gained some MAT. I was surprised that his twin guns got AoE 4″. Sub-Cortex gives the guns Powerful attack. His points went down a whisker too. He is putting a lot of eggs in one Big Basket. The Big Boy got a little cheaper

Berserker – Old, cheap and dangerous is my idea of fun. His changes are on the back of his card. Aggressive and Chain Attack are gone. Free focus is bad. He still has twin POW 16 axes, Berserk and Unstable. If you “spend more than one focus point” you have to roll. Heck, you get a free one every turn anyway. His points  went from 6 -> 8. Thirty one HP for 8 points. For 2 extra points you can take four of these in his Battlegroup. Not recommending this as the best option, but it would be funny…

Karchev Mk3 012Mad Dog – Old chassis, new Jack.  Take a Berserker, change the Weapons and give it Jury Rigged. Smasher give him trample bonuses and unstable. 30% cheaper than Mk2.

Rager – Berserker with a sword and a BIG Man-o-War shield/cannon. Now he has Shield Guard (like Mk2),  Unstable and he swapped Aggressive for Point Blank. Just a little cheaper than Mk2. Shield Guard never hurts.

Karchev Mk3 015Battle Mechaniks – Lost some DEF, Jack Marshall, Iron Sentinel & Assist Repair. Sounds bad?  Base to Base they Heal D3 damage on a construct. That’s it “PERIOD”… Price is a little cheaper, don’t leave home without them. Field Allowance is three. I might need some more.

Battle Mechanik Officer – He is 3 Points for Girded and he repair for D3+3. So he keeps his unit a little safer and is better at repairing. He can be repaired too. I will always take one.

Karchev Mk3 003Greylord Ternion – Three single wound models with Magic and a 1″ Axe. The command went down. The Magic Abilities are the same. Apply Blizzard clouds to guard your approach. Get close and spray or use Ice Cage. Price went down a whisker.

Greylord Outriders – Junior Ternions – There isn’t any substantial change except cost.  Light Cav with concealment all the time. 8″ spray can happen. Winter’s Wind can make enemy models, without immunity to cold, stationary for a a round. Hmmm, put that on 5 models….

Karchev Mk3 014Man-O-War Shocktroopers – The original. To expensive and to slow was the book on them. Shield Wall, CMA a reach weapon and a shield cannon. Adding the Battle Mechanik Officer in Mk2 made them repairable. Nope, not enough.  Mk3 they are cheaper, kept 8 HP per model, easier to repair (no die roll) and promises of things to come.

Man-O-War Demolition Corps – Same changes as Shocktroopers, Their weapon got a boost, but lost Backswing and Ice Breaker. It gained Critical Freeze.

Man-O-War Bombardiers – Again, same changes as above in general. Only significant change was the price drop and Field Allowance of 3.

Man-O-War infantry have been promised a theme list. I hope…..

Karchev Mk3 002

Koldun Lord – Lost Jack Marshal and Iron Wall. I never understood why he was a Jack Marshall anyway. He is a battle Wizard and makes Greylords into them too. That alone is worth his points. His 1″ axe has Critical Dispell. Nice addition. Power Booster is gone. He doesn’t do jacks now. Wind Ravager in his command range, enemy models cannot make ranged attacks. I really like these changes and his points are the same.

Man-O-War Drakkun – Such a beautiful model. He lost some DEF & +1 ARM. Still has Countercharge, Dragoon, Steady, Critical Knockdown on the mount. The price went up a whisker. He is repairable and Preposition 3″ now . Between the two models, it is 18 HPs of Weapon Master. Still worth his points.

Karchev Mk3 004Man-O-War Kovnick – In Mk2 he was a Jack Marshall who never saw the table. He increase the Field Allowance for Shock Troopers and Demo Corps, but they never got used. In Mk3 he lost Weapon Master on his Axe, some DEF and ARM. Not looking good is it. He is repairable. He has Desperate Pace – * Action – Man-O-War unit gets +2″ movement this turn. Jack Marshal got better. His drive gives his Jack Assault. His points went down a little. Overall, the movement bonus to a MoW unit is very useful. If your running a MoW unit, he deserves a chance.


Karchev the Terrible – WJ: +30
– Berserker – PC: 0
– Berserker – PC: 0
– Mad Dog – PC: 0
– Rager – PC: 3

Man-O-War Kovnik – PC: 5
– Rager – PC: 11
Koldun Lord – PC: 4

Greylord Ternion – Leader & 2 Grunts: 7
Man-O-War Shocktroopers – Leader & 2 Grunts: 10
– Man-O-War Shocktrooper Officer – PC: 4
Man-O-War Shocktroopers – Leader & 2 Grunts: 10
– Man-O-War Shocktrooper Officer – PC: 4
Battle Mechaniks – Leader & 5 Grunts: 5
– Battle Mechanik Officer – PC: 3
Battle Mechaniks – Leader & 5 Grunts: 5
– Battle Mechanik Officer – PC: 3


First, this list in Mk2 was 60 points with 5 Jack points. So 10 points over. The same thing in Mk3 is 75 with 30 Jack points. It adds two MoW Shock Trooper UAs too.

I can hear you now. Why the cheap Jacks that no one think is any good. Look at whole list.

Karchev Mk3 001

Karchev with four Jacks makes Battle Charged very nasty. Who want to move closer to four Countercharging Jacks and Karchev. Four chances to activate Road to War (sadly Karchev can’t use that). Movement tricks on your turn and my turn.

The MoW Shocktrooper Officer is new. His unit gets Assault, can’t be knocked down or pushed. His axe has Critical freeze too. Icing on the cake. A nice addition. I can’t get the model soon enough. Why take a unit without him!

I have 14 models that can repair and a metric butt ton of stuff that can use it. If you don’t kill it, I will fix it.

I have 15 models that can be repaired.  They have a total of 265 HP.

  • BigK is ARM 19+.
  • Jacks are ARM 18 or 20.
  • MoW Kovnik is ARM 18.
  • Shock Troopers are ARM 17 or 21 with Shield Wall.

Two Jacks and all the MoW Shock Troopers have Assault. Nothing super on the RAT, but a shot is a shot.

Grey Lords and Koldun Lord are good utility. If you can get in a good charge, Battle Wizard will add some sprays to the carnage.

Nothing in this list is the best. Jack, Unit, Solo or Warcaster and all stuff that wasn’t top shelf in Mk2. I wonder if this list is better than the sum of it’s parts?

Till next time…

Just do it…

This entry was posted in Khador, project, Rant, Uncategorized, warmachine. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Then & Now – Karchev’s Iron Curtain

  1. Border Prince says:

    The change to Karchev’s focus isn’t just replicating the old Arcanatrik Turbine benefit. Because his FOC stat has increased, his control area has increased by 2″ radius. Given Karchev wants a significant number of large based models in his control area to benefit from his feat, that extra 2″ might be a big deal.

    I think the movement of Unearthly Rage to his feat makes the beserker chassis jacks much less valuable with him. Karchev used to reliably address their low-MAT, while they had multiple attacks to take advantage of all the boosts. And he could do that every turn. Berserkers could hit DEF15 on average dice with P+S and dice getting to an average of 26 on two attacks, followed by a headbutt knocking down anything that did survive. With all the boxes Karchev lists brought, that meant a very strong attrition game. That’s not so much the case now (when using Berserkers – juggernaut chassis jacks are a different matter entirely).

    • lonelymonk says:

      Would a different jack load out be more effective? Could be. A Juggernaut and Destroyer are 30 points. Better performance vs more Iron is a question for the table.

      I fully agree the focus 6 for his control area is significant.

  2. lonelymonk says:

    Picked up two Shock Trooper Officers.

    If I can get some Berserker kits, I will restart project BigK.

    I would need a 2nd unit of mechaniks and an officer.

    Overall, not that much to paint.

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