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Warjacks, or ‘jacks for short, are techno-steam powered constructs designed for waging war. They are, in general, powered by a coal-burning steam engine and guided by an arcane supercomputer-like ‘brain’ called a cortex. Heavily armored and often carrying oversized weaponry, ‘jacks fill a role similar to traditional military armor such as tanks and artillery. They are several times more durable and powerful than normal troops, but are far more costly.
Warcasters are the pivotal characters of the game. Warcasters are powerful generals and spellcasters who have learned to control warjacks. Warcasters serve multiple roles: in addition to guiding the warjacks’ destructive power, they are the army commanders, potent combatants, and powerful spellcasters. In addition to warcasters and warjacks, armies can field supporting infantry troops of many varieties, powerful machines of war called battle engines, durable structures that support their infantry troops, and even more massive versions of warjacks known as colossals. Some are infantry or gunners, while others have more specialized roles, from warjack repairmen to “journeyman” warcasters – novice versions of the models that command armies. Most of these troops come in groups and move in formations, but there are also independent characters called solos.
Battle engines are huge mechanical constructs that are not warjacks and thus does not require focus. Each faction has one battle engine available at the moment. Taking a role similar to a battleship, each Colossal is heavily armed and capable dealing and receiving large amounts of damage. Their powerful presence is balanced by their high cost to include them in an army, making the loss of a Colossal during the course of a game a heavy loss of resources. Epic versions of older warlords, as well as new units, solos and warjacks. Most recently, through the CID or Community Integrated Development process, a new model type has been added called structures.
These immobile models often deploy far ahead of normal forces, but may not change positions throughout the game, and provide a powerful, if situational, bonus to your army. Stationed atop the largest base size in the game, these massive buildings can be seen from anywhere on the battlefield, making them tempting targets, but often powerful fortifications. The overall gameplay is supposed to encourage aggression rather than defensive tactics, such as sitting behind fortifications. This was referred to among players and the game’s developers as ‘Page 5’ in previous versions of the game, however in the “Mark 3” rules, the company has pushed into a more balanced direction with regards to both aggressive versus controlling strategies, and the previous performative masculine rhetoric. Individual units move, attack, and may perform other actions such as repairing a warjack or using a feat. Each warcaster receives a certain number of focus points each turn, which represents that warcaster’s power. At the beginning of the turn, focus may be spent to pay for ongoing abilities and allocated between the warlord and ‘jacks in the caster’s battlegroup within their “Control Area” or sphere of influence – a distance based on the ‘caster’s focus stat.
Focus allows warjacks to become more accurate and powerful by “boosting” their attacks, and to perform special actions called “Power Attacks” such as slamming a model across the battlefield with their heft or throwing an enemy model at another model. Good focus management can often be the difference between winning and losing. The warcaster is the single most important model on either side in the game. If a player’s warcaster is killed, they lose the game, no matter how many casualties, or how much damage, they have inflicted on the enemy. Caen, upon the western portion of the continent of Immoren.
The kingdoms of Cygnar, Ord, Llael, and Khador are the main human kingdoms of Western Immoren, collectively referred to as the Iron Kingdoms. They were created four hundred years ago by the signing of the Corvis Treaties. In the in-game storyline that unfolds through the fiction in game manuals and other supplements, Cygnar and Khador are currently at war, and Khador has annexed almost all of Llael. Ord is decidedly neutral in the war, though it chafes under the imperialist designs of Khador to the north. The Protectorate is populated by members of the Menite faith, historically alienated by Cygnar’s Morrowan government. Recently, the Protectorate has declared a crusade against Cygnar, and is mobilizing secret armies that were in existence in breach of treaties with Cygnar in addition to police forces and temple guards. Additionally the Northern Crusade, led by the Harbinger of Menoth and Hierarch Severius have marched into Llael – both to push back against the encroachment of the Khadoran expansion and a more insidious goal of converting old-faith Khadorans back to modern Menite worship.