Jacks on Fire – a Durst list Guide

Hi guys, Jakub here – bringing you my very own Durst1 list that I recently took to a local tournament (games will be up soon, one featuring this exact list)

Let’s just get right to it then – first, I will feature the list, then explain the pivotal pieces and finally tell you a little bit about how I approach games with it and especially good and bad matchups.

Protectorate Army – 75 / 75 points

[Theme] The Creator’s Might

[Durst 1] Anson Durst, Rock of the Faith [+28]

– Devout [9]

– Purifier [8]

– Purifier [8]

– Purifier [8]

– Purifier [8]

– Reckoner [16]

– Reckoner [16]

– Hierophant [0(3)]

Exemplar Warder Elias Gade [0(5)]

Scrutator Potentate Severius [0(6)]

– Reckoner [16]

Vassal Mechanik [1]

Vassal Mechanik [1]

Vassal of Menoth [3]

Wrack [1]

Choir of Menoth (min) [4]

Choir of Menoth (min) [4]

So how does this work exactly?

This is a jack list so I will start with jacks – we have 8 of them but only 3 types:

Devout

The most straightforward jack that has only one role – defend Durst. Durst is an Arm 18 but if focused he can die – and since he only has focus 6 (control 12”) and this is a pure jack list means he will often be in the danger zone trying to keep everything in his control

Purifiers

THE core of this list, purifiers are natural def 13, but innate Ashen Veil* makes them “practically” DEF 15. DEF 15 is great for a jack but what we do with Durst – and I will elaborate on this later – is use Bulwark to bump it all the way to DEF 17, making them VERY hard to hit for some lists.

Aside from that purifiers just melt through infantry, having beat back, overtake, setting things on fire and all that good stuff.

On feat turn, it is priceless to look at the face of our enemy when we tell him that this is a DEF 17 ARM 20 light jack

*This model has concealment, and living enemy models within 2″ suffer -2 to attack rolls, unless they have Fire immunity

Reckoners

Reckoners are our heavies and our artillery – they sport a shooting threat range of 17” with their pow 14 gun and this list tends to “push forward” turn by turn, eventually pinpointing the enemy caster and 3 boosted shots often end the game – they are our potential win condition and the most flexible piece in the list – reckoners may not be the best fighters but we got tools to make them a powerhouse – mainly Severius0.

The 3 of them can even focus an enemy heavy with shooting and either kill it in 1 turn of shooting with good rolls or damage it to make it near-useless.

Speaking of Severius – one of the Reckoners is run under Sev0 due to focus constraints and the all-amazing Road to War upkeep, basically increasing the threat range by 3”

Aside from that, I take them for 2 more reasons

  1. they have Ashen Veil, making almost the entire list very hard to hit (basically a DEF 14 ARM 19 heavy). Only the Devout does not have it, and he is rarely on the frontlines
  2. It’s a heavy with MOV 5 and 2” reach, which is almost unheard of in Protectorate. They can keep up with our Purifiers and hit in combat from “behind” them – more on that later
  3. They can charge a heavy armor piece and usually kill it in 1 turn (P+S 20 melee hits)

The Caster

Durst1

This might be obvious now if you have been paying attention but we take Durst really only because of 1 thing, and 1 thing only – his spell Bulwark

Bulwark says:

If two models in the caster’s battlegroup are B2B and in the caster’s CTRL range, they gain +2 DEF and cannot become knocked down.

So this spell has a lot of conditions and usually could go unnoticed but what I mean is that if we play our cards right, everything in our battlegroup has +2 DEF and no-knockdown

Let’s digest it step by step

To get this benefit we need things to be:

  • In our battlegroup – that means only Durst and his jacks (so Sev0 and his Reckoner will never get this benefit)
  • in Base To Base with EACH OTHER
  • Within Durst 12” Control

This is more or less what you should strive for – obviously terrain, scenario and the enemy threat ranges will interfere but keep in mind this simple scheme:

Once we do this our stats look the following (assuming we are facing a list this is aimed at, so a “living” list, to get the maximum of our Ashen Veil):

  • Purifiers – DEF 17 ARM 16
  • 2 Reckoners – DEF 14 ARM 19
  • Devout – DEF 15 ARM 18
  • Durst – DEF 15 ARM 18

I would say Purifiers alone make it worth it, because they cost only 8 points!!!

Aside from that Durst has some other decent spells!:

Deceleration – Cost 3, Target SELF

While in the caster’s CTRL range, friendly Faction models gain +2 ARM against ranged and magic attacks. Lasts for one round

This is THE spell when facing shooting – we do not have any anti shooting tech so we rely purely on the stats of our army – our already durable and hard to hit (Ashen Veil grants concealment, not only against living models, so that is an almost permanent +2 def vs ranged attacks) get even stronger.

This time the conditions to get the benefit are MUCH more lax – this affects all our models (including infantry), they only have to be in the 12” Control of Durst.

Less important but worth noting – this is not an upkeep and thus is only removed by blessed weapons (as it is still a spell).

Boundless Charge – Cost 2, RNG 6

During its activation, target friendly Faction model can charge without spending focus or being forced and gains +2″ movement and Pathfinder when it charges. Boundless Charge lasts for one turn.

This is an amazing spell itself but surprisingly gets very little use in this list – we really want to stick together and sending one jack on a “suicide bomber” mission will not only disrupt our gameplan but also accomplish very little in the long run.

When it gets used is in the late game – this is when our defenses eventually crumble and we need to send reinforcements to one flank or the other – this is our only threat extender so keep it in mind always.

But really, most of the time the enemy comes to you, you can just chill 🙂

Hallowed Avenger – Cost 2, 6″ range, Upkeep

Target friendly Faction warjack gains Righteous Vengeance. (Righteous Vengeance – If a friendly Faction model dies within 5″ of this model, next turn this model gets a free 3″ move and melee attack during the maintenance phase.)

We have VERY little infantry and we try to keep it behind us – for this reason this serves minimal purpose but can be of use in the initial turns (when the enemy usually shoots down our infantry, because it is impossible to shoot jacks) or on feat turns, when our infantry tends to hug our jacks.

Cleansing Fire – Cost 3, 8″ range, 3″ AOE, POW 14

Deals Fire Damage, and on a Critical hit it inflicts Continuous Fire.

Generic nuke spell – very costly for a 6 focus caster. The only thing special about it is the 3” aoe which sometimes finds use. CAN assassinate when no other option

FEAT

Bastion of Faith

While in Durst’s control range, warjacks in his battlegroup gain +4 ARM and Brace for Impact*. When a friendly faction warrior model in Durst’s control range is directly hit by an attack while B2B with a warjack in Durst’s battlegroup, you can choose to have the warjack be directly hit instead. The warjack is automatically hit and suffers all damage and effects from the attack. Bastion of Faith lasts for one round

So basically what it does for us is:

  1. +4 ARM for our battlegroup (again, no Sev0 Reckoner) in 12” Control
  2. When a warrior B2B with a jack gets directly hit (so no blast damage, no electroleaps, etc) we can make the jack take the hit instead
  3. Jacks cannot be slammed

How do we use it? We get in the threat ranges and pop it. Let them battle our DEF 17 ARM 20 light, 8 point jacks or DEF 14 ARM 23 heavies!

Aside from that, we have the 2nd part of it, which is shielding our infantry from being slaughtered – this is more or less how it should look like:

You probably notice we have no infantry B2B with our Purifiers – that is because Purifiers are DEF 17, while most of our infantry is base DEF 12 (DEF 14 when the enemy is in the Ashen Veil, which is quite often) – and that is exactly the same DEF our Reckoner has. Obviously, the Reckoner also has ARM 23, so it will simply deal less damage to it.

In other words – we try to not make the game easier for our enemy by making him hit purifiers by hitting the infantry “attached” to it. We also keep our infantry “behind” so it is harder to reach

One more thing – you sometimes may “bait” your enemy into thinking you will transfer the hit to a jack, but you might just want to kill off that Choir member, especially if it threatens the jack much more than it threatens the rest of your list. You do NOT have to transfer

The Rest

The rest of our list is not half as exciting as our battlegroup so I will quickly go over it:

  • Severius0 provides +1 to hit / +1 to damage for everything in 10” Control. Keep everything within that bubble same as you do with Dursts 12” bubble. He also fuels the 3rd Reckoner with focus and gives weird angles by Road to War upkeep
  • Elias Gade – he is here to pick of other solo’s, light infantry, contest flags and put prey on something. Do not forget he ignores stealth, clouds and tough.
  • Hierophant – virtual “1 more focus” for our caster. Also more range for our spells (mainly Boundless Charge and the nuke). Might heal Durst if he gets harassed.
  • 2x min Choir – bread and butter of all Menoth lists – we have a lot of jacks so we take 2 units. They are also our only units so keep that in mind for scenario scoring
  • Vassal of Menoth – more focus for our jack heavy list. Also anti-disruption tech and a magical missile (good vs some 1 health incorporeal solos)
  • 2x Vassal Mechanic – repairs our jacks, scores flags, contests zones
  • Wrack – helps with our low focus

How does it play?

First 2 turns

The first two turns are our setup turns – as is with most lists I guess. Depending on the enemy speed they can give us only 1 turn to set up so be mindful of threat ranges and know how much you jacks can take on average – this is crucial when it comes to deciding when to feat.

We run forward in jack triplets, leaving Durst safe behind (as shown on the diagram before) and we only really care about contesting – this is a low model, low mobility list so we just want to get in the zone, stay there, attrition the enemy and NOT lose on scenario before we eventually start winning or a Caster Kill opportunity with Reckoners presents itself.

We feat on the biggest impact – basically since this list has very short threat ranges we just walk into enemy threat, fire our reckoner cannons at something dangerous and just brace for impact – if you picked your list correctly (more on the matchups later) you should survive easily, even with decent rolls.

Below is a sneak peek of my tournament game – I believe this has to be the end of turn 3 – basically I let the enemy charge me with everything he had and just returned fire, killing 80% of the infantry.

Notice how the positioning is almost identical to the previous diagram – I run jack triplets (2x Purifiers and a Reckoner) towards the left and the right zones – I got jammed on the left and started losing on scenario but managed to chew through the infantry and contest it. The Right flank was much less contested and I almost cleared it (you can see only 1 cavalry and a battle engine left there)

Here is another angle of the same scene just to make it easier to look at:

The Matchups

Strengths

This has been mentioned many times now but our strength is that we are very hard to kill, and can return fire with moderate success. It is not common to find models that have both high MAT and high P+S – and on our FEAT turn they will need both.

We are also a low model count list with limited infantry (this will be repeated in the weakness section) which makes it easy on the clock and not that hard to pilot, although the order of doing things can be overwhelming (lots of setup between focus allocation, vassals, choir, Sev0 positioning, Elias Gade clearing trash, etc)

We want to fight against:

  • Living armies (so try to limit undead and jack-heavy)
  • Low MAT lists
  • Shooting focused lists
  • High-count light infantry

Weaknesses

We are a low model count list – which makes us susceptible to some tech, almost lethal. We need to avoid any:

  • Non-living lists (Ashen Veil works on living models) unless they are shooting focused
  • High MAT lists and boost to hit lists (this includes cavalry, who have 3 dice to hit on charge, which makes it considerably easier for them) – things like recently popular Anamag1 in Primal Terrors who just always hits
  • Armor Piercing” lists – I recently played against Siege1, whose feat just melted through my jacks ARM, and had Combined Melee Attacks to boost both MAT and P+S of so many models, that I just did not survive that
  • Pushing – we do not want to lose on scenario AND we want to stick to our jack triplets – pushes remove our +2 def advantage and it hurts

This concludes my overview of this list – if you came this far I sincerely hope you enjoyed it 🙂

Should you have any questions (or suggestions) just post them down below in the comment section, I will do my best to stay in touch.

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