I am excited to begin a series of posts about the main casters that Khador has. I have used about half and I like them all for different reasons. I have to say, that Karchev is my current favorite because he is a balls to the wall type of caster. I used him in a recent 3-player battle and really liked his simplicity and depth. I am looking forward to using him again. Here is my current understanding of how Karchev works and what he offers the Khador player.
Gather around, children, and I will tell you the story of one of the Motherland's greatest defenders... Karchev The Terrible. Gaze at his visage. Burn his face into your memory. Keep this icon under your pillow. His image will protect you on those nights when fear grips at your hearts.
Feat, Spells, and Weapons
Karchev has a pretty standard Khador type feat which is Total War. All models in his control area get pathfinder and can charge or make power attacks without spending focus. Also, at the beginning of their activation, they can change facing which is great for setting up those charge lanes. This may not seem like much, but given the dearth of focus that he gets, it is crucial. Paired with his spells it can allow a jack to unleash a beating on an unsuspecting subject. His spells are geared to giving jacks mobility and firepower.
His own skills are Arcantrik Turbine and Man in the Machine. Arcantrik Turbine allows him to gain an extra focus or gain +2" movement. Man in the Machine is a lot of text that boils down to this: his body can be healed by focus, his machine only by models with the repair skill. He is a living model, but not a warrior nor a warjack. He is affected by deep water, just like a warjack.
The most useful spell is Tow. This spell allows Karchev to place jacks B2B within his back arc as long as he moved within 2" of the jacks during his movement. This can really help move those jacks forward quite quickly. The catch? Only 3 can be towed.
Unearthly Rage is Karchev's main way of gaining focus efficiency. Rage allows all of his battlegroup warjacks, in his control area, to gain boosted melee attack and damage. In addition they gain the magical weapon trait. So, for a cost of three, you could boost 3-4-5-? jacks on all attack and damage rolls. That is incredible! What's more, you could give two focus to a jack and have them just demolish their opponent with multiple boosted attacks and damage.
This spell is a defensive spell. Basically it allows models in B2B contact in the control area to gain +1 to defense for each other model in the control group with which they are B2B. They also avoid knockdown. This is a great spell for making a brick move with some safety, but the lower defense of most Khador models hardly makes this worth it. The focus is better spent elsewhere.
Eruption and Ground Zero
These are two AOE spells. Eruption is a ranged spell that deals a POW14 damage with fire. In addition there is a cloud effect that damages models entering or ending their move in it. Ground Zero is a 5"AOE spell that deals a POW 13 damage and pushes the model away from the caster. Both of these spells are highly situational and cost a lot. I don't foresee using them too often.
Karchev has an open fist and the sword Sunder. He also has the ranged weapon Fissure. Sunder is a basic melee weapon at p+s 19. This will deal a lot of hurt when it hits and coupled with his spells and feat, could well cry the death of anything in his way. Fissure, on the other hand, is a marvelous weapon. It has decent p+s (12) but if it hits it knocks down the model. It is a spray so we are usually talking multiple models. This could set up a painful series of events for your opponent.
Karchev is first and foremost a warjack caster. No units have particular synergies with him. So any units taken will just be support for the situation. That being said, Mechaniks would be useful because they will keep his jacks up and running. What makes him shine are the jacks that will be unleashed in a hell of fury.
OMG! With Reach, Thresher, Imprint: Murderous, and Heavy Boiler this beast will roll! Give it a few focus and unleash your feat and spells and watch it demolish all in its path.
This jack will be totally unencumbered with Karchev. No focus is needed to give it boosted attack and damage, and with Tow you can get them into battle quickly. Why settle for one B? Take two or three. Did I mention chain attack? Ouch!
OK. This is amazing. Two open fists, armor piercing, p+s 12 attacks. Boosted by Unearthly Rage and can be allocated extra focus for ranged attacks. Did I mention those same ranged attacks can be made in melee combat? Did I add that it can make ranged and melee attacks in the same activation. It may not be very accurate, but who cares. It is killer! Can you say, "Time to Die?"
These seem to me to be the big 3 jacks that gain the most from running with Karchev. I am looking forward to using him in a 1:1 battle. That way I can see what he can do when he is totally focused on one enemy. As always, comments or suggestions about my analysis are welcome!