A Beginner’s Guide to Khador

Hey guys, BigVik here with my next installment in my ongoing series of Warmachine Faction Overviews. This week we discuss the hardy red comrades from the North, Khador! ‘FOR THE MOTHERLAND!” Check the Tactics Corner for more great articles!

khador art

The lore for Khador goes all the way back to the beginning of the Iron Kingdoms. After the Orgoth were driven out of Immoren (think blood magic driven Chaos Warriors from Warhammer), the nations which helped fight them off convened to split up the land as warranted. At the time Khador felt it had been swindled as Cygnar had given itself all of the most resource rich, and fertile lands. While Khador was left with the frozen tundra to the north with much of their ancestrally controlled lands handed to Ord, Lael, and other smaller countries.

Fast Forward a couple hundred years, and Khador occupies a large part of Lael as it continues the grinding war to take back what is rightly hers!

Khador has a very interesting niche in the meta-game of WarmaHordes. The Warjacks are big, slow, and hit hard, the infantry are highly specialized, and the Warcasters are so varied they can do almost anything. The themes of the faction as a whole are generally representative of the cold, harsh, and desperate environment these hard bitten soldiers come from.

Warcaster art

The Warcasters in Khador are generally more hardy, and forward playing than contemporaries of other factions. Some are ‘Super-solos’, meaning the caster himself kills everything he gets his hands on, and your army is really there as delivery mechanism for him. Other casters primarily increase threat ranges in their army, or increase their killing power, and others will make them more survivable. Let’s look at some iconic Warcasters who really epitomize the themes of this very deep faction.

butcher 1 art

The first Warcaster we’ll take a closer look at is Orsus Zoktavir, The Butcher of Khardov, just rolls off the tong. Not only is he a great jack support caster, with his spell, full throttle, which makes his ‘Jacks both focus efficient and extremely accurate in melee, but he is the original ‘Super-solo.’ He comes in with the highest melee attack skill in the game. His massive two handed ax is iconic to the game, named after his long lost love, Lola. And I gotta say “Lola is thirsty”

Though later iterations of this caster become increasingly psychopathic mass murderers on the battlefield, Butcher 1, as he’s called in Warmachine vernacular, is definitely an iconic beat stick in the game, and is a great example of such for this faction.

sorscha 1 art

Next up is Kommander Sorscha Kratikoff, she is the personification of the Frigid North. She is as cold and stoic as she is majestic and beautiful. On the battlefield she commands the powers of Winter itself to summon thick fog, freeze her opponents in place, or even to rush forward with the ferocious winds to unexpectedly assassinate her unsuspecting prey. Sorscha loves to support her forces by giving them concealment on the approach, freezing an opposing unit in place, often the linchpin of your opponent’s army if possible, then wind rushing forward and killing your opponent’s caster for the win.

khador warjack

Khador Jacks are big, slow, and hit hard. They have some of the best melee attack skills, relative to other ‘Jacks, in the game. They have the highest base armor, and some of the highest base damage potential for their melee. The downside to them is their lack of speed, and lack of accuracy with their ranged fire. To offset their lack of ranged accuracy, it is not uncommon for their ranged attacks to be AOE’s such as bombards and mortars, making them very good at countering large numbers of weak warrior models.

behemoth art

I would be remiss to not follow up by talking about the most iconic Khador ‘Jack, BEHEMOTH. This guy is one of the most expensive ‘Jacks or ‘Beasts in the game, has 2 powerful bombard cannons, and 2 piston powered fists that put Big O to shame! Each bombard has a rule called powerful shot, meaning every to hit and damage roll from the shot it throws gets an extra die for 1 focus total, making it quite accurate, very deadly against infantry, and extremely focus efficient for casters who have too many things they want to do with their focus. Not to mention those armor piercing fists, which only count your opponent’s armor at half. Behemoth is the epitome of up-armored, over armed glory that is Khador!

khador infantry

Khador’s infantry is an interesting dichotomy, either extremely elite, or completely expendable. These range wildly, including street criminal Kayazy Assassins, the battle wizards of the Greylords, to the strangle gas shooting Assault Kommandos!

Man-o-war art

Even after mentioning all of these previous units, none sum up Khador’s infantry like the Man-o-War Shock Troopers! Highly elite soldiers mounted in power armor, equipped with a lumbering shield cannon and halberd. Closer to light Warjacks than they are to regular infantry, no wonder  these are some of the most sturdy infantry in all of WarmaHordes!


Ah the expendable guys, tied for the cheapest infantry in the game as of writing this article, the Winter Guard Infantry! Armed with an ax and a hand cannon, these guys are underappreciated in my opinion. They are summed up well with “Quantity is a quality all its own” as said by Josef Stalin, it is completely doable to have 60 of these guys on the field, in a game where a ‘swarm’ army is likely to be in the 40 to 50 range, and with proper support those lowly hand cannons can be used to clear dudes out nice and quick. If all else fails, Drown your enemies in the bodies of your fallen!

khador army

Khador is in a really strong place right now, even if their strongest tournament list did just get nerfed recently (RIP Mad Dog Spam). The ‘Casters are very resilient, and highly efficient at what they do, their ‘Jacks are the biggest and the baddest, and their infantry are varied enough that if you need a job done, there’s a unit that can do it!

That’s it for my overview of Khador, tune in next week for my look at the lords of death itself, Cryx!

And as always, Frontline Gaming sells Games Workshop product at up to 25% off of retail, every day!

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About BigVik

A gaming magpie, BigVik currently maintains perpetual noob status, playing Menoth and Khador in Warmachine, and Imperial Guard in 40k. He works as a professional coach and process consultant in his professional life, and loves bringing this into his gaming and writing.

10 Responses to “A Beginner’s Guide to Khador”

  1. Alex D January 26, 2017 2:19 pm #

    I ran Strakhov, torch, min squad of assault kommandos with u/a, min squad of pikemen, and torch. I’ve never had so much fun torching the enemies of the motherland and making them joke on my gas!

  2. fluger January 27, 2017 10:53 am #

    I’ve been enjoying the versatility of Sorscha. She’s a great toolbox.

    Current list is

    2 Demolishers
    1 Juggernaut
    10 WG with 3 rocketeers
    Kov Joe
    10 Iron Fang Pikemen with command
    5 Man o War Shocktroopers with Officer
    1 Widowmaker Solo

    I’d try different stuff, but I’m stuck with the models I have.

  3. BigVik January 27, 2017 12:49 pm #

    I’m loving the lists, for Alex D, a scary list I’ve been personally beat to death with is:
    beast 09

    max Ulans
    widowmaker scouts

    That’s from memory so it might be a little off, but the threat of this list is RIDICULOUS with beast 09 and Strakov allowing threat extenders, and Ulans and Drakun just doing what they do best!

    And I love the list fluger! It definitely has utility for most situations!

    • fluger January 27, 2017 4:04 pm #

      I have behemoth and don’t use him that much since mk3 came out. In mk2 it was nice to have a jack that didn’t need as much focus to use and I used him as my only jack. With the new rules on getting focus for all jacks in control range, I can’t justify the cost of him. Is he really worth two Juggernauts?

      Also, did you see the new Winter Guard Theme list? Looks really snazzy! One thing that I’m not sure is intended is the battle engine is Winter Guard so you could use it to sluff off shots onto it instead of WG infantry. A friend of mine was positing a list with the Witch where you zip her all the way up turn 1 and pop her feat (using her switcheroo power with the scrap jack) and pin the enemy in their deployment zone. She can be relatively protected by the Battle Engine. I thought that was pretty cheeky.

      • BigVik January 30, 2017 12:03 pm #

        Reading through this, yes Behemoth is definitely worth the points, he both is capable of taking down heavies, and putting a hurt on collosals with his fists, and is able to manage dude spam quite well because of his 2 powerful shot bombards.

        As per his points? Yes he hits that hard, has 36 boxes, is the magical 25 points where if you don’t want to spend points outside of manditory jack points you can just go 3 down with the 28 WJ point warcasters, its amazing in every way

        And yes I have seen the theme. Its gross in every way. I love the 1st turn witch feat with battle engines to sac. pawn to.

        Other builds are;
        Karchev, 10 marauder, 5 battle mechaniks, ITS MAD DOGS ALL OVER AGAIN!!
        Vlad 1, 3 marauders (cause why not), 5 min riflemen units with max rocketeers, artillary officer, free mortar, 2 free field guns. ALL THE GUN LINE

        Yea most Khador lists will be in theme I think, its just that good.

        • fluger February 2, 2017 3:23 pm #

          I think I’m “getting” Behemoth now and plan on using him more.

          I hadn’t considered running minimum rifle guys to max on the rocketeers, that’s nice.

  4. fluger January 29, 2017 12:16 pm #

    Played two games yesterday. Really digging Sorscha.

    Aldo played with a Kharchev list with behemoth. Really like Karchev.

    • BigVik January 30, 2017 12:04 pm #

      Karchev is amazing, even after his no boosted attack rolls on feat, and I think both Sorscha’s are definitely worth playing!

      • fluger February 2, 2017 3:26 pm #

        I have Sorscha 2, Karchev, and Supreme Commander Irusk. I like all 3 for different reasons. I think I need to own more Jacks to make Karchev really sing. I had mostly infantry in Mk2 so I don’t have the models to run him right yet. Irusk is fun but his feat is blah and he doesn’t have assassination threat like Sorscha. She just feels the most useful overall.

        • BigVik February 4, 2017 9:55 am #

          Sorcsha 2 and Irusk 2 are about as different as it gets, ignoring the raging lunatic that is Butcher 2, sorscha in all of her incarnations is a tool box/assassin, where as irusk, again in all of his incarations, effectively turns every game into bloody grueling trench warfare.

          If you don’t have a Wyrmwood infestation in your local meta, Irusk 2 effectively only has a feat on heavyily forested tables, and against Circle Orboros in general with their Gallows Groves. But his strength comes with his ability to support, and extend the table life, of his army. Sorscha always has a use for her more generally applicable tools.

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