Grandma and the Madman

by Nate Birkholz

No, not a madcap drive-in movie from the 1970s, but my fundamental choice between two Khador warcasters–Zevanna Agha, the Old Witch of Khador, or Orsus Zoktavir, The Butcher of Khardov.

Orsus Zoktavir, the Butcher of Khardov:

  • Pro: Straightforward playstyle, looks to be one of the flatter learning curves in the faction;
  • Pro: Can run lots of Jacks via Full Throttle (in fact, why take him if not to use Full Throttle), and what is Warmachine but a game about giant steam-powered warjacks?
  • Pro: He  can make the assassination run himself, with support, instead of handing off the responsibility
  • Con: While he provides his forces some support, it’s all pretty singleminded “Axe to Face” style tactics
  • Con: Jack-heavy forces don’t seem to provide as great of flexibility, especially for scenario play, but even for Caster Kill games
  • Con: He’s kind of “emblematic” of Khador and thus maybe tough to suprise anyone with him.

Zevanna Agha, The Old Witch of Khador (and Scrapjack):

  • Pro: Board control playstyle provides more depth and challenge
  • Pro: The Witch is acknowledged as an effective scenario warcaster
  • Pro:  interesting synergies with a broad array of unit types means expanding my collection opens new opportunities
  • Pro: I like the fiction of the old lady a lot, especially considering my Russian heritage and the Baba Yaga stories I read in my youth
  • Pro: I own the model(s) already
  • Con: More challenge means more frustration at first, and more lost games
  • Con: Not an assassin, so I would imagine that your target has fewer contingencies to anticipate
  • Con: People–on the boards at least–are heavily divided on her playstyle, maybe I will fall on the “wrong” side of the line
  • Con: She’s not a heavy-metal jack caster, and doesn’t do a lot to stop Jacks, so  potentially will have troubles facing jack-heavy forces.

Ultimately, I feel like I will have more fun initially with the Butcher, but I feel like getting good with the Old Witch has the potential to be much more rewarding. I am new to miniatures games in general and Warmachine in particular, but I am a lifelong gamer and want a bit of a challenge. That said, there is a part of me that is becoming lazy about gaming challenges over the years.

I make a living by being decisive. When it comes to hobbies, I end up indecisive. But the ~$170 entry fee to the hobby, or the $75 for a 15 point force, makes me doubly so, especially with a wedding to pay for.

I had this grand idea that I would write this out and end up making the decision. Not so. What to do, what to do?

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