The latest Warjack to join the ranks of Khador's armies is the mighty Torch, a special issue Warjack for Strakhov with a array of abilities and immunities across the board.
As with all Khador 'Jacks, Torch is built to last, dish out damage but is slow. It is at the higher points end and competes with old favourites like the multi-purpose Spriggan and single minded Beast-09. What Torch brings to this triumvirate however is even more last-ability, all of the immunities and cloud generating effects make this the covert ops Warjack of the Khador arsenal. Oh and did I forget to mention he has a higher MAT and RAT value than the regular 'Jack?
Special Issue (Strakhov): This is Strakhov's best buddy, he can included in his force despite Tier constrictions. There is some debate still as to whether you can 'Bond' Torch to Strakhov in any game due to the way of description. As of this point I have not concluded if it can or not, simply because I do not use Torch with Strakhov.
No changes in this department, still as heavily armoured and stacked with hit boxes as the Juggernaut. However...
Torch, like his his human counter parts; Kommander Strakhov/Assault Kommandos, is immune to the following damage types: Fire and Corrosion. Our fire and acid loving friends out there will have to bring the direct damage to compete against Torch which is exactly what we want.
While not technically armour, this does add to Torch's survivability rate in fantastic ways. 'Smoke Bombs' works exactly as Gorma Di Wulfe's allowing the player to deploy cloud effects near the user. So not only do we have a heavily armoured, effect immune 'Jack, but also one that can conceal itself and friends!
Terrain is no problem when Torch charges.
With all the abilities that Torch already has, you would be forgiven in thinking that the weapons load out would be a little diminished. Some argue that they are but I disagree whole, having used Torch in-game a few times since getting him.
Exactly the same as the Decimator; if you load up on focus and charge, what ever you charge will die. However with the upgraded MAT rating, you are more likely to and that first attack without boosting, meaning more additional free attacks!
Standard fist weapon which is great as it gives Torch access to all the one handed power attacks. Most players will of course be using the Ripsaw primarily, but having the open fist is a great combat utility tool as always.
Oh yes, Torch comes with a flamer thrower, Torch also has a improved RAT meaning he will hit better than the average ranged Khador 'Jack. Now it is only SP6 meaning you will need to be very close to your enemy to use it as your primary ranged offensive, however this is not the reason for it's addition. Read on...
Torch can make ranged and melee attacks in the same combat action, so basically he can use the flamer in combat as a third attack. The SP6 no longer looks too bad as it does on paper simply for the fact that you can spray any opposing infantry while within combat, also having the ability to pop continuous fire damage on multiple enemies is always a good thing (especially if they are one or five wound infantry). A fantastic ability which really up's Torch's kill potential.
Torch pops smoke and creates DEF bonus' for those within and completely blocks LOS to those behind, this is the major utility of this Warjack. Not only is he a great beat stick, but he also helps at ferrying over the more fragile components of your army, the unit that comes to mind at time of writing is my Doomreaver contingents.
Tactics & Synergies
Firstly we will look behind the raw damage potential of this Warjack and explore what he does for the army itself.
I went into a little detail about how Torch helps brings fragile units up the field and this tactic remains true, to do it properly though you will need to extend the range of coverage. Strakhov, Gorman Di Wulfe provide their own Smoke Bombs giving you a effective 9 inch wall of 'Concealment' and LOS blocking. Considerations are as follows:
Our units must not be hindered by our own smoke, quite simply if we use anything without Alchemical gas masks we ourselves will not be able to shoot or charge, as a result forward planning is needed with our smoke units; activating smoke units last to allow our secondary units time to deploy and effect the battle.
Granting Stealth: There are a number of units/Solos out there that will gain 'Stealth' as Clouds provide Concealment Bonus, remember that normally being in a cloud does not block LOS so you can still be shot. The advantage of having units though that can gain this advantage is that they can act as forward skirmishers who can engage enemy skirmisher/harass problem units. Kell Bailoch immediately comes to mind.
Strakhov's and Old Witch's tier Lists allow deployment of either trenches or Forests. Torch having 'Relentless Charge' means it can act as the spear head of any all terrain attack force. The following comes to mind:
Torch, Kodiaks, Yuri the Axe, Kossite Woods men, Assault Kommandos: All of the mentioned units and solos gain abilities that ignore LOS in some terrain and 'Pathfinder', it is entirely possibly to protect your army throughreveresed in that Khador has speed on it's side while your opponent will lose LOS (before you even use Smoke!) and will have to come into your terrain at a slowed pace. Torch's Flame Thrower (and the Assault Kommandos) will be invaluable due to SP rules.
Bit of a fun one and not really a full tactic but more of a consideration. Being immune to fire means you can cast or have cast Fire through you by friendly units. Load up on Flame Thrower Assault Kommandos, run forward under Torch's protection and once Torch is committed in combat, throw the SP templates into the combat. A fully loaded Assault Kommando squad will have 3 Flame Throwers I believe and if fired through the combat, will generate so many hits it's not even funny. Great for catching those unaware Warcasters, love those Immunities! nb same works for Strakhov's Fire Bomb and Gorman's Acid bomb, get stuck in and start throwing fire and acid!
eButcher Token and Synergy
Like all melee 'Jacks, Torch benefits when Butcher kills something. Torch already runs at a native MAT of 7, assuming Butcher kills something before activation he will gain a +2 for that turn (and lets not forget movement bonus also). Less focus spent on hitting means more where it counts; Ripsaw and additional attacks. 'Virtuoso' comes in very handy here for token generation, having that SP6 usable in combat allows Torch to target the softer target like Choirs or gun-lines from beyond his initial combat range in effect a reach attack of 6 inches. With a little positioning IE anything with 'Bulldoze' or push back effect, Torch can rank up the kills with a single spray. This will not only provide plenty of tokens for Butcher, but also create new charge lanes for Torch or any other assassin during the Rage turn. Simply devastating.
This really is the tip of the iceberg of Torch's abilities, he is not as single minded as Beast-09 "run, run hit!", and also does not suffer as much of a knock back as the afore mentioned should it's primary weapon be lost. Although it is Strakhov's special Issue, this 'Jack works wonders with almost every Warcaster in the Khador book. At time of release, many of the Khador community did not like the 'jack but after using it in a few games now, I find Torch to be worth every point spent.
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Thanks for reading,
The 14th Legion