Carapace

Whether you’re a Cygnar player sporting a sweet gun line, or a Trollblood running Kriel Company,  you have to wonder how to handle Warbeasts and warjacks with Carapace.  Is it little more than cracking high armor?

What is Carapace

For those not in the know, Carapace is an ability that gives a +4 bonus to ARM against ranged attacks.  That includes sprays, AOEs, rockets, bullets, and so on, as long as the bullet, missile, what have you needed a RAT to hit.

Why is it a problem?

There are normally only a few models in the game with Carapace.  Skorne has two Warbeasts (Aradus Sentinel and Aradus Soldier) and the Scarab Pack, Retribution has their Battle Engine, Cygnar has the Brickhouse (a character warjack), and Minions have the Ironback Spitter.

Cryx is a special case, since their Black Industries theme grants Carapace to heavy warjacks.

The Scarab Pack has the lowest base armor, 12, and most everything else is around 18 ARM. That means if you want your guns to do any damage, you’ll need to be able to dent Armor between 16 and 23.

Now, for Skorne, they could theoretically bring both Aradus and the Ironback.  Both have decent range, between 10 and 12 inches, with their guns.  With an AOE 3 on the Aradus and an AOE 4 on the spitter, the will rip through units.  And the spitter causes corrosion,  so tough units might not survive.

Running the numbers

Using Odds Machine, we can quickly calculate some odds.  Into ARM 22, here are your chances:

1 box damage

  • POW 12 and 2d6 damage = 8%
  • POW 12 and 3d6 damage = 50%
  • POW 15 and 2d6 damage = 41%
  • POW 15 and 3d6 damage = 83%
  • POW 17 and 2d6 damage = 72%
  • POW 17 and 3d6 damage = 95%

5 boxes

  • POW 12 and 2d6 damage = 0%
  • POW 12 and 3d6 damage = 9%
  • POW 15 and 2d6 damage = 2%
  • POW 15 and 3d6 damage = 37%
  • POW 17 and 2d6 damage = 16%
  • POW 17 and 3d6 damage = 62%

What can we do?

The Carapace isn’t a spell, so blessed won’t help.  What Carapace does here is force you into melee if you don’t want them to keep shooting at you with impunity.  Unfortunately, it’s exactly why they have Carapace.

The Aradus Sentinel doesn’ move fast, but it usually is paired with a Soldier.  If for some reason the Soldier has counter charge, charging a sentinel just won’t happen reliably.

The Ironback currently has best of both worlds.  It doesn’t need a Soldier to protect it, since it has Retaliatory Strike and access to Counterblast.

So what do you do? Charge one of a pair, and get hit by the other?

Trollblood Solutions

First off, we have access to Mortality, Calamity, and a feat (Gunnbjorn) to prevent damage via ranged.  Gunnbjorn’s feat won’t prevent the corrosion from the spitter.  Ragnor can reduce damage for a turn.  And any speed reducing warlock can prevent the counter charge, if your placement is sound.

The stone can prevent the corrosion from taking effect, so with Gunnbjorn or Ragnor, you can eliminate the Spitter and Aradus guns for a turn.

Any of our melee armor cracking works once they get in range.  Champions, Mauler, Gargantuans, and heavies with weapons are all highly effective.  In Kriel Company, consider Boomhowler, and tag team them on a charge.  Use Calandra to turn one around, and take two boosted POW 20 CRA shots with highwaymen.

Cygnar Options

Most of the ranged heavies have pretty good melee weapons.  I usually try to think of those guys as heavy melee butt kickers with really good guns.  Avenger, Defender, Stormclad, Reliant and Thunderhead.  Even the Colossals.

Warcasters only encourage melee damage, with spells like Fury and damage buffing feats.  Add in armor debuff like Ragman and Aiyana and Holt for extra damage.

Cryx?

The special case, Cryx, begs for a counter charge caster with melee warjacks.  What this means for trolls and Cygnar is that you can bet you’ll want to manage your game and their countercharge potential by offering up sacrificial pieces, or running small guys into their melee jacks to prevent them from countercharging.  Calandra can also mess with them via Befuddle.

Bottom line

If they use Carapace to prevent killing their ranged beasts and jacks with your ranged army, then treat them like you would any ranged army.  Get in there with axes and swords and cleave some heads.

If they set up counter charges, you can either take away from their charge distance through speed reduction tactics, or force them to take a bad charge target.

So don’t be daunted by Carapace.  It won’t let your guns do much, but it doesn’t prevent melee from kicking butt. Get in there and have some fun.