An Economic Guide to Warmachine: Protectorate of Menoth
by Micah Walker · Published · Updated
The economic analysis of Warmachine continues as I dig deeper in Protectorate of Menoth and its themes this week. I will be building on my previous cost analysis of the overall game and warcasters/warlocks.
The community expressed interest in focusing more on commonly played models, and I want to honor that as best as I can. Protectorate represents the starting point for this deeper analysis because it was my starting faction, and I have played the most games with it. As I work toward increasingly unfamiliar factions, I will be reaching out to the appropriate groups and forums for better information. As always, there will be a section for corrections and updates at the bottom, and if someone from the community makes a great point, I will add it there, with credit given.
There are 19 warcasters in the Protectorate of Menoth roster. The average Menite warcaster has 28.5 warjack points and costs $22.32 for the model. Protectorate enlists 15 small or medium based warcasters, who cost $16.07 per model. This will be the number I will use for theme analysis. The remaining 4 warcasters are large or huge based and have an average cost of $45.75 per model. I avoided using these four models in my analysis due to them being outliers.
Active Duty Roster
The four Menite casters on the Active Duty Roster, or ADR, for Season 7 are Malekus1, Durst1, Reznik1, and Thyra1. The ADR comes into consideration when playing in the Champions or Masters competitive formats. The total cost of this season’s ADR for Menoth is $98. Keep in mind this accounts for the $40 battlebox that Malekus is currently exclusive to.
ADR Character Warjacks
Three of these four warcasters have their own character jacks. Each of these three jacks are competitively strong and an auto include in their warcaster’s battlegroup. Blood of Martyrs and Scourge of Heresy are both upgrade kits to the Crusader chassis, while Eye of Truth is a uniquely sculpted and packaged model.
Protectorate has four themes, and I have done an economic analysis for each one. I will highlight the financial pros and cons per usual, but I will also be mentioning the most commonly played models and units where applicable. Additionally, I offer examples of what I think the best two ADR casters are for each theme are as well. However, I avoided including any info on Mercenary/Minion options for my theme analysis, as that provides too many variables. Also, I do not consider Character Warjacks when assessing battlegroup cost unless a theme includes them as an allowed model. In the case of Protectorate, two themes allow the Avatar of Menoth. Due to the Avatar’s independent nature, I did not classify that model’s points as battlegroup.
Creator’s Might is the warjack theme for Menoth. Warjack themes always seem to provide opportunity for spam and variety alike. Because of this, I had to adjust the FA’s for certain models, like Dervishes and Crusaders to accentuate their tendency to be spammed. I also set the FA of both arc nodes, the Guardian and the Revenger, to 2. The Vigilant was set to FA 1 since you will probably never see more than one in a list. I also set Choir to FA 2, since you never need more than two units. Note that for the other Protectorate themes, FA U for warjacks gets set back to FA 2 or 3. It is unlikely you would spam warjacks in an infantry theme.
Creator’s Might grants free solos for every 25 points of warjacks and battle engines. I set my estimations with the goal of acquiring three free solos, so I needed 75 points of the “core” requirement of the theme. The rest of the points I set as filler, basically anything else that the theme allows. The most common selections for free cards are Durant1, the Covenant, and Vassals of Menoth. The theme also allows you to start the game with friendly upkeeps in play, and choir and solos gain Reposition 3″.
In terms of monetary pros and cons, Creator’s Might offers little interesting to speak of. Spamming cheap jacks costs more money than running balanced battlegroups. The Vessel of Judgment is unquestionably the least cost effective model in this list. I will provide the quick caveat that technically Choir, Wracks, and Vassal Mechaniks have higher CPP, but I discuss that more later. The free cards cost less for this theme than they do for the others. Basically, Creator’s Might holds the position of most economical theme force in faction. I find this unsurprising yet cool. If you got into the game for “big stompy robots,” you are more than likely on the most economical route for playing Warmachine, provided you do not spam. Creator’s Might also allows players to build a variety of lists with nearly any warcaster, making it an excellent entry point to the game.
The most popular warcaster for Creator’s Might since it came out is Amon1. Pound for point, nothing hits like a Crusader under Amon’s spell Synergy and battle hymns from the Choir. Kreoss1 also has had a lot of success with this theme and has been my go to for it. The “Pop and Drop” Redeemer spam is still real, and Kreoss’s kit gives him play in many situations. In terms of Season 7 ADR, Durst1 and Reznik1 seem the more obvious choices. Durst runs the Menite jack brick like none other in terms of tankiness, and Reznik’s unique battlegroup synergies make his jacks incredibly resilient to spells while creating opportunities for out of activation movement. Reznik particularly benefits from having a sideboard to swap Redeemers in and out. Malekus still does well here, but he specifically wants the warjacks and colossals that bring fire type guns. If you like seeing the world burn for a turn, he’s your guy.
Guardians of the Temple
If you are looking for a fast paced infantry killing machine, look no further than Guardian’s of the Temple. The core of this theme is Flameguard models and units. For every 20 points you bring, you may bring a solo or command attachment for free. The target this time is to have 60 points of Flameguard models in the list to get 3 free cards. The theme also grants Temple Flameguard the Tough and Steady rules when B2B and gives one unit of Daughter of the Flame the Ambush rule.
This theme’s core does not provide as much internal diversity as Creator’s Might. Flameguard have only four unique unit choices at the moment. The theme does not provide much in terms of variety for it’s free cards either. Outside of command attachments, the most appetizing models to spend free cards on are Nicia and Pyrrhus, who are combat solos. Pyrrhus works exclusively with Temple Flameguard units, which incidentally possess spamming potential. I set their FA to 5, but I doubt you will ever see that many on the table. Temple Flameguard also have one of the higher CPP’s for models in this theme, at $4.55 per point. Daughters of the Flame are the most economical unit at $3.30. Too bad you can only field 20 points of them, but that is enough to get Nicia for free.
Speaking of Daughters, Thyra1 is the probably the best warcaster for this theme. On top of granting Vengeance to Daughters, she provides the hit and damage fixing the melee based theme craves. Her feat further accentuates the pressure and speed of this theme. Vindictus1 also does quite well with Flameguard, but he just makes any infantry better. Expect his name to come up a few more times. Besides Thrya, Malekus is probably the only other warcaster from ADR I would mention with this theme. He makes Flameguard Cleansers hit really hard, and his Ignite buff helps all the other infantry.
Exemplar Interdiction is perhaps the most limited theme force Protectorate has to offer. Despite offering five separate units in addition to Rhoven’s honor guard, a wide variety of free solo and command attachments, access to the battle engines, and sweet theme benefits, this theme is hamstrung by the low model speed of Exemplars. Exemplars (and the battle engine for that matter) are SPD 4 or 5, with the only exception being the Venger cavalry at SPD 8. This makes the longest melee threat range of the fastest non-cavalry, non-character model only 9″. That being said, the word on the street is that Exemplars will go into CID Q2 or Q3 of 2018, so there should be some changes coming to the models.
The core of the Exemplar Interdiction is the Exemplar models and units, and for every 20 points you get a free small or medium based solo or command attachment. The theme force also hands out blessed weapons to jacks, but usually it is still reasonable to load up to 60 points of these elite weapon-master infantry into your list. This yields the ideal 3 free cards. The theme also grants 2″ to deployment to help make up for the slow overall speed of this list.
The only unit with FA U in Exemplar Interdiction is the Knights Exemplar. Don’t let the 9 point cost of this unit deceive you; these are not spam material. Most lists take only 2 or 3 units of Knights as they usually required a screen for delivery. Knights also have a higher CPP than most of the other Exemplars at $3.89. Considering that the cheapest units in theme are Bastions and Cinerators at $2.81 CPP, be ready to invest money when it comes to this theme. The community considers these medium based models virtually unplayable, and the theme truly revolves around Knights and Errants. The average cost for free cards in this theme is the relative highest for Protectorate at $15.76. While this theme places technically in the middle of the infantry themes, I believe it is safe to say it is the most expensive to put on the table. If they do bring up the power level of Bastions and Cinerators in the future, that will likely change.
Another unexpected cost lurks in the Venger cavalry. If you plan to run Vengers, you need to be prepared to buy custom foam and invest the time and money into pinning/magnetizing these models. This is an issue I personally ran into. If the upfront cost of $90 per unit doesn’t concern you, the extra $30+ dollars for foam and hobby supplies might. By contrast, Flame Bringers can fit into most warjack foam pretty easily, even though they are also a little bit annoying to put together.
Getting back the theme itself, the two most popular Exemplar Interdiction warcasters are Testament (High Reclaimer2) and Vindictus1. Testament provides insane recursion and makes up for the pathfinder issues Exemplar face with his feat. Vindictus1 is always a safe choice with infantry, and he can make the Exemplar shine as well. His spell kit and feat bring the strong logistical and defensive support the Exemplar crave. In terms of ADR, about the only caster that really wants to take this theme is Reznik1. Reznik1 loves blessed weapons on warjacks, but he does not do a lot to support the needy Exemplar units. Thyra1 has a more supportive spell kit and feat for infantry than Reznik, so she could also be a good choice. The catch is that she prefers to run Flameguard because of her Elite Cadre for Daughters. When she has to, she delivers a more accurate, harder hitting version of Exemplars. You know what? That doesn’t sound half bad.
Faithful Masses is the convergence of the most playable Protectorate staples, the jankiest interactions, and the largely unplayed models. This theme gives you access to all the infantry the other themes didn’t give you access to. No, I am not writing them all down. For every 20 points of Paladin solos and infantry units you bring, the theme grants you a free small or medium based solo (including the Covenant because reasons). Faithful Masses builds too many different ways, but your desire remains to achieve 3 free cards. 60 points of Menite soup it is.
Idrians dominate the other units in this theme in terms of playability and economy at $3.00 per point. Their CA lends itself to being an excellent free card choice, which may be $20 but is worth it. Zealots represent the only spam opportunity in this list at FA 3. Their economy lacks luster at $4.17 per point. The free card price comes in at $12.81 on average, but the most taken free options cost $15 or $20. Considering the wide variety, the averages gauge the cost of this theme pretty well, though. Zealots hold up the expensive end of the curve along with choir, but everything else in this list sits comfortably lower.
Reznik1 runs Faithful Masses very well. He takes less advantage of the free wall template, but his jacks love getting Hand of Vengeance. I would run him with double Idrians or an Idrian/Zealot combo. Thyra1 dislikes zealots because of their weak melee attacks, but she works decently well with Paladins and Idrians. Malekus1 turns zealots into weapon-masters on his feat turn, and sources of fire abound in this theme. Durst1 puzzles over this theme. He needs decently high armor models and loves jacks too much. Faithful Masses teems with squishies, so if Durst had to build in this theme, he would likely take only a few Paladins. Vindictus dominates at this theme. I will not cover any of the other non-ADR warcasters, since basically everyone plays an angle into this theme.
Winners and Losers
The Redeemer drops in as the most economical model in the entire Protectorate. These spammy little bastards cost $1.73 per point, or $19 up front. The Vanquisher claims the distinction of being the cheapest heavy warjack in faction, but it lacks so much currently. The Dervish and the Crusader hold up the high end of the chart at $3.50 or so CPP. Hand of Judgement reigns as the least economical character warjack at $60 for 18 points. The Feoras pair well with it, but her overall power level needs a bump, as does the jack. Severius would be delighted to tell you his jack is the most cost effective, if he wasn’t dead. Whamp whamp. Blessings of Vengeance provides excellent support to both Severius warcasters, and I highly recommend purchasing this 13 point warjack for $30.
Exemplar Bastions and Cinerators preside as the cheapest unit. The versatile Idrians reign supreme in terms of playability and economy. The best thing about Idrians is that you can take them in any theme as your mercenary option, although I said I was not going to talk about that. Choir cost way too much per point, but you must take them anyways. Flameguard Cleansers take second for most expensive unit. Exemplar Errants possess the most expensive command attachment, and Knights Exemplar have the cheapest.
High Paladin Vilmon would be the most economical solo if you were not always taking him as your free card. The most economical solo you will spend the points for is the Vassal of Menoth at $2.67 per point. The other vassal, the Vassal Mechanik, holds the dubious distinction of being the least economically efficient model in faction at $8 per point.
I must point out that Protectorate requires these inexpensive 1 to 3 point models in order to function properly. Many of the factions own their fair share of supporting pieces like this. Legion immediately comes to mind, and Circle. While the essential support of Choir, Wracks, and Vassals posts a high CPP, they maintain their presence throughout all four themes. Having a model in both lists at a tournament slices its economic impact on your game in half, as it were.
Reznik2 rides in as the most expensive warcaster in the faction. This should not surprise anyone since he is the Menite battle engine warcaster. Vindictus1 possesses the distinction of being the least expensive warcaster model and the cheapest warcaster to field a battlegroup with. The cheapest warcaster to put on the table would be Feora2 only if you did not bring Hand of Judgment with her, which seems unlikely. Other notable warcasters are Amon1 at $12, Kreoss1 at $15, and Testament at $20.
Economic Advice for New Protectorate Players
The obvious place to start for most factions is the MK3 Battlebox. Any battlebox, army box, or theme box that Privateer Press releases provides models at a slight to significant discount to MSRP. Unless you plan to go all in on fire, Malekus is not for you, though. Revengers, Repenters, and Castigators will not make it into every lists, but this is still the cheapest place to fill your jack roster with these options. Excluding Malekus, the CPP of the Protectorate starter is $1.25.
In terms of themes, I think the best place to start is Creator’s Wrath. Even Malekus can build a good jack list. I would start looking at Kreoss1 and Amon next, possibly even Severius1. You do not need to go the spam route with Kreoss1 or Severius to make decent lists, but Amon is a higher price point. I think the second theme should be Faithful Masses because you can slowly add infantry to your jack lists. The theme benefits are still very strong for warcasters and warjacks alike.
The most essential pieces to obtain for Menoth are Choir, Wracks, the Covenant of Menoth, and a Heirophant solo. The best thing about these is that they are one and done purchases. They are essential parts of both theme lists I mentioned will be part of every single list you make. Models that are shared between lists reduce the economic footprint of your overall army. An additional benefit is that it saves storage space.
Protectorate also makes heavy use of several of their warjacks. The Reckoner and Sanctifier share the same heavy kit, and both are commonly used. I would recommend buying one or two of these kits and magnetizing them. Reckoners anchor every Protectorate gunline, and the Sanctifiers do very well in any infantry theme. I would also recommend picking up a Redeemer and a Vigilant, and they are cheap and useful models. Crusaders are a little more expensive, but again, if you can magnetize them to be Templars/Crusaders, then that will help you save money.
The first unit you purchase besides choir is Idrian Skirmishers. Not only are they economically viable, they fit into every theme list, via merc option for non-Faithful Masses lists. Running two units of Idrians is not a bad place to start for Protectorate, but eventually you will need to dip into one of the other two themes. There is a theme box for Exemplars, which is a very good place to start if you want to go that route. The theme box provides your choir, a good selection of jacks, and a healthy start to the Exemplar faction. Vindictus, who I have often praised this article, is also included. The box contains 78 points of models in addition to the warcaster, or enough to run a 50 point list right away. The CPP of models in this box is only$1.86. Considering how pricy Exemplars are, this is a steal! Edit: I have heard from multiple sources that two heavy jack kits (Castigator/Sanctifier/Reckoner) are included in the all in one, not just the two pictured Sanctifiers. This is ridiculously good value.
Solos besides the ones I already mentioned are somewhat flavor to taste. Vassals of Menoth work well in every list, are a great way to fill points, and are a reasonable free card option. For any infantry theme, you should look at picking up the character solos associated with the unit type. Nicia ($13) is a workhorse of a Flameguard model at a fair price. Elias Gade ($18) is essential to running Exemplar Errants. High Paladin Vilmon ($15) is a great pocket shield guard and free card option in Faithful Masses.
My final recommendation is that you should pick up the MK3 battlebox and the Exemplar box. It will run you $205, but these two boxes combined register the lowest CPP possible in faction. Additionally, you will be able to immediately play the game at 75 points with the models you have. If you buy a unit of Idrians next, you will have a good start to three different themes.
Upkeep and Updates
I know I inserted a little more opinion in this article, but the analysis required a bit more insight. The least expensive list to run in Protectorate involves the MK3 battlebox, 8 redeemers, and a vigilant. That sounds like a really bad time. I hope the opinions I add will be less of a sounding board and more of a source of guidance to compliment the math.
If there are any other models in Protectorate that you think I should shine a light on, let me know by leaving a comment. I check all the social media outlets I post on for a few days after I write, and I try to be responsive. Let me know what faction you would like me to dive into next, if you want. My projected procedure stands as alternating between Warmachine and Hordes. Circle Orboros awaits in the wings.
“Economic Advice for New Protectorate Players” added per suggestion of MysteriousChallenger. Swampmist and others confirmed that the All in One box has two heavy jack kits for the Reckoner chassis. Thanks for the feedback!
Let’s keep those dice rolling!
Wargamer, miniature painter, and now blogger for Midwest Wargaming. I love crunching numbers, and I can nearly guarantee that my articles will be the most boring, but you will learn something, damn it!
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