Mercenary Mega Gargants: Order, with Theo Jansen

Theo already has over 20 years of Warhammer experience under his belt, transitioning from WHFB to AOS. As soon as Mercenary Mega Gargants were announced, we all knew that kicking an objective underneath 20 Hearthguard would be a barrel of laughs, so imagine my delight when Theo started talking about all the “Friendly unit” tech that Fyreslayers have. Let’s take a look.


“Move over stunty, I’ll get the objective!”

“Ok sure!… Wait what? What do you mean get the objective?!”

“Hold my ale.”

The premise of this list is pretty simple: we’ll use the Mega-Gargant’s strengths to complement our block of Hearthguard Bezerkers to the maximum extent.

The main strengths being:

  • It’s fast(er than a dwarf)
  • It’s hard to kill (more on that later!)
  • It can be a great help in tanking large units, and of course…
  • It can kick objectives towards those slow dwarfs!

The List

Allegiance: Fyreslayers
– Lodge: Hermdar

Leaders
Auric Runefather (100)
Auric Runemaster (120)
 General
 Command Trait: Warrior Indominate
 Prayer: Prayer of Grimnir’s Fury
Battlesmith (140)
 Artefact: The Nulsidian Icon
Auric Runesmiter (120)
 Forge Key
 Artefact: Tyrant Slayer
 Prayer: Prayer of Ash
Bundo Whalebiter (490)
 Allies

Battleline
5 x Auric Hearthguard (120)
5 x Auric Hearthguard (120)
5 x Auric Hearthguard (120)

Units
20 x Hearthguard Berzerkers (400)
 Poleaxes

Battalions
Lords of the Lodge (150)

Endless Spells / Terrain / CPs
Runic Fyrewall (40)
Extra Command Point (50)

Total: 1970 / 2000
Extra Command Points: 2
Allies: 490 / 400
Wounds: 127

How Does It Work?

Let’s start by getting the obvious out of the way: Lords of the Lodge in Hermdar is like peanut butter and jelly… if your sandwich were trying to kill you. Attack first, attack again, no battleshock, 4++ aftersave. It’s fucking stupid, so just embrace it and move on.

So it’s a big old toughie to leave out the second HGB unit, given that they’re so stupid and all. But we do have that whale-biting bastard, and the Auric Hearthguard actually pack some mean shooting that can hurt Monsters pretty bad. But the main factor behind dropping the second HGB unit is to open up the second Prayer and Command Point, to really build around Bundo and get him pumping.

The most powerful reason why Fyreslayers are such a great spot for the Mega Gargant Merc is the Prayers: in this list we utilize both of them to buff up the Mega-Gargant (aka Gargy). The first one is the Prayer of Ash:

At the start of your hero phase, 1 friendly model that knows this prayer can chant it. If they do so, make a prayer roll by rolling a dice. On a 1-3, the prayer is not answered. On a 4+ the prayer is answered. If this prayer is answered, pick a friendly unit wholly within 18″ of this PRIEST. Add 1 to saverolls for attacks that target that unit until the start of your next hero phase.

So the magic words here are “Friendly Unit”: that means a 3+ save Gargy! Already we’re making him tougher and tackling one of the most prevalent complaints about the Gargants. A 35 wound Gargy with a 3+ save is a jump from 70 effective wounds (at 0 rend) to a 105! Tasty. This works against both melee and missile attacks, making it a real challenge to remove the big lad. With his 11” move, it can be worthwhile slinging him up the board, to claim an Objective and eat attacks in the midfield.

And when you charge Gargy you better kill it, because Gargy fights twice. Gargy what now?! Yes, it’s the Prayer of Grimnir’s Fury:

At the start of your hero phase, 1 friendly model that knows this prayer can chant it. If they do so, make a prayer roll by rolling a dice. On a 1-2, the prayer is not answered. On a 3+ the prayer is answered. If this prayer is answered, pick a friendly HERO that is not mounted on a MAGMADROTH and is within 3″ of an enemy unit and within 12″ of this PRIEST. Make a pile-in move with that HERO, and then attack with all the melee weapons that HERO is armed with.

Take a look at your Gargy model. Notice what is absent on it? That’s right, he is not mounted on a Magmadroth! Beside sparing a poor little bugger that fate, it really helps out with this rule (although, a Gargy wearing Magmadroths as rollerskates? Anyone? High five? No? Moving on).

So now that Gargy can attack at the start of your Hero Phase, it suddenly is very dangerous in combat: if your opponent charges you, and you get the next turn, you’ll start ripping stuff apart.

It creates a tough choice for your opponent, as they’ll have to commit serious force to deal with Gargy. If they fail, they get smashed. If they send in road blocks, they’ll get smashed before they can roadblock anything. And if they do manage to kill Gargy, they’ll get counter-charged by Hearthguard Bezerkers, going first, going twice, being stupid, etc..

It realy does hurt that Gargy doesn’t count for more models, but such is life. This list does make him a genuine threat to a lot of armies and with an 11” move, you can’t really afford to ignore the big guy, allowing the dwarfs to drag their butts across the battlefield.

Alternatives

The obvious alternative is to run Lords of Lodge with two blocks of Hearthguard Bezerkers, leaving out the second Priest with one of the prayers. That may well be more competitive, but this list was really about leaning in to the Mega Gargant and maximizing what we can do with him.

One thing is for sure: Gargy feels right at home with the stunty lads.


Thanks Theo! Don’t miss the fourth and final article in the series next week, where JP Ganis will be taking us through his Death list tech, starring a Gatebreaker Merc.

Credit for the sweet Mega Gargants at the top of this article also goes to @carrionking87

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