Mercenaries got the fewest releases in Vengeance due in no small part to the impending release of the Cephalyx contract but even with only a handful of releases they’re definitely in contention for getting the most out of this book. Even the one arguably dud release for Mercs isn’t horrendous and easily worth the cost of also getting to be the first faction with two Colossals. With only four releases to cover, most of which have already been released, this won’t take very long so let’s just get started.
We start with the big guy and he’s easily the most game changing release for Mercs this book. The Earthbreaker is arguably one of the better colossals before you consider his interaction with Thor Steinhammer but after that he’s top 3, trumped only by Stormwall and maybe Galleon although tha’s up for debate. Perhaps the most impressive achievement of the Earthbreaker is how it still managed to shake up Mercs even in the wake of the release of Galleon. This guy has practically flipped the Dwarf ‘casters on their heads. While Durgen still has his advocates, and is definitely still good, Gorten has pushed his way to the top tier of Mercenary ‘casters and Ossrum isn’t too far behind.
Earthbreaker has brought new life to Merc ‘casters that were in need of some love but he also narrows some of Mercs options. Dwarf warjacks will now see even less play because the Earthbreaker renders all of the Dwarf heavies redundant. Gun Bunnies are still solid, although Dwar focus is always tight, so they might see play now and again. I would be sadder about the loss of competitive Dwarf heavies but frankly Mercs needed a competitive bump and the Earthbreaker gives it to them so other warjacks be damned. Mercs are now the colossal faction!
Tactical Arcanist Corps
Few units have undergone such a fast redemption as the TAC did from the time they were spoiled to their actual release. A certain podcast that will remain nameless came up with some pretty poor fake spoilers for these guys a long while back and were deeply amused to see that they were almost correct but there was one difference that passed over a lot of people early on. The ability to make a cloud bunker is a big deal. Guaranteed immunity to shooting is something a lot of Warcasters like the sound of and a few of those are in Mercenaries. Even at the cost of 4 points it’s often worth it. It’s not like they can’t get work done, either. Their nuke spells have decent accuracy, POW and range with a small AOE to boot so they’ll clear out enemy infantry and solos if you need them to. These guys will hardly make every list but are an all around good choice.
Raluk is Mercs dud this book but as duds go he’s not so bad. His biggest problem is that he’s largely negated by the guy we’ll talk about next. He’s a ‘jack marshall with a pretty crappy drive which means he’s not great. He does have decent combat stats and Assault is nifty plus he’s a mechanic which is nice. He’s realistically not a model for Mercs but for other factions. He works for a couple of factions that were previously unable to take Merc ‘jack marshals: Cryx, Trollbloods, and Minions. I can’t comment as to whether or not those factions really want Merc ‘jacks but Buccaneers and Vanguards are solid so it might be worth considering. I will say that Trolls probably don’t care. He can also repair non-faction models which is handy in a few factions so you might see him with a Bucaneer in the odd Khador list. I think he’s more interesting than a lot of people give him credit for but still overall pretty meh. Definitely not big news for Mercs.
There’s just no one quite like Gastonne. He’s easily one of the best Novice warcasters, arguably the best although I’m inclined to throw that one to Durant. He’s a great super solo with his ROF 2 magic hand cannon and surprising melee damage out put if you trigger flank with any ‘jack in your army. The cheaper Vanguards is a huge bonus since that ‘jack is already amazing at five points. His ranged Sprint spell is so good it probably should never be printed again and Fire Group is okay. I think he’ll fit into a lot of lists either as a super solo or as a 7 point package with a Vanguard. Definitely a solid, if not revolutionary, addition to Mercenaries and one I look forward to putting on the table.
So that’s Mercenaries releases in Vengeance. I’ll probably do one of these for the Cephalyx when they come out so stay tuned for that this June!