The Cygnaran Storm series continues with one of Cygnar’s classic warjacks: the Defender.
The Defender is one of several heavy ’jacks based on the Ironclad chassis. As expected from a Cygnar warjack, the Defender is all about its gun: the Heavy Barrel. At 9pts the Defender is comparable to the Cyclone. But where the Cyclone is great at eliminating midrange infantry, the Defender uses its Heavy Barrel to deal big damage to single targets far down field.
Long Range Destruction
RNG 16 POW 15 on its Heavy Barrel. Combined with the standard SPD 5, that’s a 21″ threat range. Increase that threat to 25″ with Snipe from a Warcaster or the Gun Mage UA’s Rune Shot. POW 15 is enough to wipe a solo off the board, while boosting it will put a dent in even heavy Khador armor.Focus In
With ROF 1 you won’t be putting more than two focus on the Defender for ranged attacks. At RAT 6 if you can stand still for the aiming bonus you can often get by with just a single focus to boost damage. This kind of efficiency make the Defender popular with warcasters that want to keep focus for themselves, like Caine and Kara Sloan.’Jack Marshals
The same efficiency that makes the Defender easy on focus makes it a good candidate for marshaling. Often seen marshaled to the Gun Mage UA, the Defender can either get a boosted attack or damage roll, while the officer’s Rune Shot ability gives added ability to the Heavy Barrel. With Crit Brut against a high DEF target you can boost the attack roll, increasing your odds of hitting while also increasing the odds of getting the brutal damage. Or if you get the crit brutal without the attack boost, use the marshal boost to get the damage up to POW 15 + 4d6.Weapons
The Defender’s combination of melee and ranged weapons can make it a prime candidate for replacing an Ironclad when it comes to warcaster bodyguard duty as it can still get the job done in melee, but until then it can be firing its Heavy Barrel deep into enemy lines.Heavy Barrel
As discussed above, this is the reason the Defender is on the field. Put out big damage early and from far back, softening the front lines for your first line of infantry.Shock Hammer
When it comes down to melee, the Defender is no slouch. MAT 7, POW 16 the hammer can put out more damage at increased odds to hit, it’s hard to call this the “lesser” choice. Additionally, as with the Lancer’s shield, this hammer will blow a cortex box on an enemy ’jack when it lands a hit (even before the damage roll). So two focus will get you three blown cortex boxes as long as the initial and two purchased melee attacks hit.Compatible Warcasters
The Defender is such a solid ’jack there is no bad Warcaster choice. Still, there are a few who really make the Defender shine:Kara Sloan – Fire Group will give an additional 2″ or range, while her feat will get you a boosted ranged attack roll and a possible extra shot. Plus the focus efficiency will allow Kara to keep more for her own sniping efforts. Caine1 – Snipe will give that extra threat range, while the Defender’s focus efficiency will allow Caine to keep more for himself. Siege – Explosivo will turn the Heavy Barrel into a magical AOE 3, while his feat will make those heavily armored targets much more vulnerable.
The Defender is another of those foundational models that every Cygnar player should have. The long-range and high POW help it dominate the ranged game, while the Shock Hammer can get it done in melee and make other ’jacks think twice before engaging.