Insider 3-27-2013

In last week’s Convergence Insider I talked about the three types of vectors available to the Convergence of Cyriss. Now, thanks to the supreme efforts of WARMACHINE and HORDES players across the globe, the Machinations vault has been opened to reveal its contents to the gaming community. So it seems only right and proper that this week’s Insider should take a closer look at one of Convergence’s most badass warcasters: Axis, the Harmonic Enforcer.

Like all WARMACHINE and HORDES models, Axis began as a concept brief. From our first internal discussions about the Convergence, we knew not all of its members would have made the transition from human to clockwork bodies. We wanted our warcasters to represent a balance between those who had given up their mortal form and those who hadn’t yet. Axis was to be one of our living warcasters. Here’s a look at part of the original concept brief for Axis:

“The Enforcer is an arcane mechanik absolutely devoted to the Convergence, but the Constellation has not yet approved him to transfer his consciousness to a clockwork construct. This warcaster is devoted to the service of the Iron Mother. This guy is a cold, inhuman machine (more than most of the actual machines, that is).”

When discussing where Axis fits within the Convergence, it became clear he is the faction’s unstoppable force. A true front-line leader, Axis doesn’t bother himself with moral quandaries or flashy strategies. He is a sledgehammer employed when blunt-force destruction, rather than surgical precision, is required.

His armor is particularly suited to his direct approach to war, and it was while designing this engine of unstoppable power that we hit upon Axis’ most iconic feature: his twin warhammers. These mighty weapons, named Action and Reaction, are connected over his arms and shoulders and wholly replace his hands. After all, what purpose do hands serve in battle beyond gripping a weapon? The Harmonic Enforcer wields these enormous warhammers with ease, raining down heavy blows with the steady pacing of a metronome as energy is transferred back and forth between them. Each warhammer boasts Beat Back and Double Strike, turning Axis into an absolute wrecking ball capable of fourteen attacks at P+S 16 when he uses his feat Circumpotence.

Axis’ predilection for straightforward devastation extends to his battlegroup. With MAT 7 and RAT 2, Axis’ vectors aren’t going to spend much time shooting. As such, Axis prefers hard-hitting, melee-centric vectors like Ciphers, Inverters, and Conservators (whose Shield Guard ability helps deliver him safely into the thick of things).

His spell list also plays to his direct approach. Unstoppable Force gives his entire battlegroup Bulldoze, while Onslaught grants Pathfinder to friendly Faction models that begin a charge in his control area. Combined with Axis’ feat, this gives his force a frightening degree of mobility.

But the ability that truly defines Axis has to be Field Marshal [Counter Charge]. It can be a strain on oppenents to factor in the threat vector of just one or two models with Counter Charge; trying to consider an entire battlegroup of potential Counter Charges is absolutely mind-bending. While it can take serious practice to maximize this potential, a canny player can completely shut down his opponents with careful positioning.

‘Til next time.