Carver + Piggy Power Level

Hi Warmachine players!

I am seeing proxy-Carver in pretty much every list I play against now.

The pig fires about as hard as a colossal, and with his built in ARM buff he is also almost as hard to remove as a colossal - but he is around 8-ish points cheaper. In addition he is independent from the leader, with his own fury provided by Carver, which is very good with the new spread out scenarios. And to top it off he has Eyeless sight, so no counterplay with stealth or clouds either. In merc lists, he’s even stronger, since you can get additional buffs on him due to friendly faction.

He seems to me like an auto include in most lists, and I don’t think seeing Carver vs Carver duels everywhere would be good the game or for list building. I think he should cost perhaps 4-5 points more. Or, to keep him at 20 points - lose Volume Fire, or lose Batten, or lose perhaps 3-4 points of RAT / RNG / SPEED / ARM / POW. In my opinion, this little piggy is not just slightly overtuned, you’re basically getting a pig-lossal for cheap in every list.

What do you think? Nerf or not? :smiley:


There are two pretty big points about MMD, randomized shots and low melee threat. He can be hard to play into, but you can definitely make things difficult. Use plenty of terrain when you are setting up the new scenarios. He has to boost quite often to hit with cover in the equation, which means his total damage potential of shots are going to be much lower.

With Carver being the super solo that he is, they definitely don’t have the weakness typical junior battlegroups have. He’s going to not only be safe from most things, but also requires a pretty big commitment to take out.

Breaking LOS and staying in cover is good against ranged units in general, not just the pig. Colossals also have around 10" melee threat, but typically do not have 4x POW 15 RAT 8 shots with 5 boosts against large bases.

My argument is not that there is no counterplay to ranged shooting in the game. My point is that you get a pig which is about as strong as a 28 point Colossal, plus a 4-5 point solo, for only 20 points, making Carver an auto include in most lists.

To be fair, for the 5-7 extra points you get almost twice the health, and friendly faction synergies going with a colossal. Wouldn’t say they are an auto include, but are a great choice if you need something a bit cheaper points wise or if you want something self sufficient.

I did the calculations for pig vs Hurricane, since they are both hard to kill heavy shooting models with similar threat ranges and purpose. I ignored miss chance, since they both have 4 shots on average that hit on 3+. It’s always going to be hard to compare apples to apples in Warmachine, but I think this is about as fair as I can make it.

output [damage 3d6 pow 15 vs arm 19] * 4 named “4x Piggy shots vs Hurricane”
output [damage 3d6 pow 16 vs arm 22] * 2 + [damage 3d6 pow 13 vs arm 22] + [damage 2d6 pow 13 vs arm 22] named “4x Hurricane shots vs Piggy”

4x Piggy shots vs Hurricane 26.02 (56 boxes) = 2.15 turns to kill
4x Hurricane shots vs Piggy 11.50 (35 boxes) = 3.04 turns to kill

In this scenario, 1 piggy kills 1.4 Hurricanes before it dies.

So, it seems to be worse than I thought. I think this makes Carver not just a “great choice”. While it’s hard to calculate exactly - if you take a Hurricane instead of Carver to a shooting match, I’d say you’re perhaps playing around 10-15 points down.

I don’t disagree that carver is strong, but 5-10 pt error is hyperbole.

Why compare to hurricane? It is legacy and not exactly tearing up the meta. Even If it proves a 10 pt difference, maybe hurricane is 10 pts overpriced and puggy is fine.

Great bear grinder or Tyrant with Bolt Thrower have a similar gun and more relevant competitively, so likely to be better comparisons. But still, models don’t actually walk to within 10" and stand there trading shots in a duel. The comparison is more about what that army can get in equivalent points, and it is not a simple comparison.

Notably, khador and orgoth have some great warjack support buffs available, that generally don’t apply to the piggy. Personally I like the great bear more for a few points cheaper.

Hi, thanks for the interesting reply!

I gave my reasons for picking Hurricane in the post you replied to. Feel free to disagree. Hurricane is not an 18 point jack, I will assume that was hyperbole.

Any comparison must make some assumptions. I was comparing the value in picking Hurricane to picking Carver.

Sounds interesting! Let’s compare!

Model Damage
4x Piggy POW 15 shots vs ARM 20 Great Bear 22.09
4x Piggy POW 15 shots vs ARM 22 Great Bear 14.65
5x Great Bear POW 14 shots vs ARM 22 Piggy 9.58

Piggy still does more damage against minigun + shield, at a slightly higher cost, but in this case:

  • Piggy is POW 18 vs Great Bear POW 14 in melee.
  • Piggy has threat 18" with the miniguns vs Great Bear 14"
  • Piggy has Eyeless Sight
  • Piggy gets 5 free Fury each turn, Great Bear gets 1 Focus
  • Piggy also has Carver, which is a pretty good late game solo

Khador can give out buffs, but focus, power boosters, spells and feats are not free, either. Also, Legacy mercs can buff Piggy further, and many factions can support non-faction models.

I am not arguing that Piggy is the best option in every list. Perhaps you are right, and it’s fairly balanced in NuKhador and other armies with high synergy, but in many lists (especially Legacy lists) Piggy seems way better than anything else available to that army.

I think Piggy is fine. I’m even slightly off of him since the Mastodon dropped, but that’s purely Winter Korps things.

But as someone above said, there are 2 major factors holding it back: random shots and low melee threat. Expendable Shield Guards makes him kinda sad as well.

I do think you’re right about Piggy in legacy though, alot of armies doesn’t have a comparable option and there he can be a big boon. I don’t view it as a problem though, in my opinion he keeps more legacy armies relevant in a competitive meta that leans more and more into the new MK4 armies.

20 points feels about right imo, but he contributes a reasonsbly unique capability and can be played by all armies so it is likely to be played quite alot.


Bought him today, even though I didn’t want him at all, but well, gotta fight bacon with bacon I guess.

Going to be interesting to see what percentage of lists he will be used in, my guess is more than half. Time will show!

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Idk he’s so new that a lot of times I’m not sure if it’s him or that I’m not used to playing vs him. Also, perhaps some armies have really good ways of taking out carver and ignoring the big pig, hard to say

Hey, the main point might be about comparison between mk4 and legacy factions.

Most mk4 gives good support for their own pieces, and has comparable options in faction. For them the piggy question might be: do they want a battlegroup piece (with better support / buffs) or an independent piece (can take a flank without control range restrictions). And the answer might vary by list.

Legacy I think favour the piggy in most cases. Many have more debuffs, and Merc buffs work on piggy. They also don’t have similar volume fire guns, and less cohort support

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This isn’t a new phenomenon either. The Lesser Warlock + Warbeast packages in earlier editions were real bargains in some armies, because you would essentially get a solid heavy warbeast and a controller for the price of a heavy warbeast.

They have the advantage of being an independently operating module, and the drawbacks that they won’t receive the Leader’s battlegroup benefits and, outside of specific armies, they wouldn’t get Faction buffs either.

Perhaps RAT6 and Eyeless Sight together are too much. Without any actual experience, I couldn’t say. Math alone doesn’t apply to an actual battlefield, it applies only in laboratory conditions.

I have already played several games against the pig without my own pig, and it felt pretty unfair. So I bought my own pig, I am swapping caster and list to something less vulnerable to volume fire, and less dependent on stealth, and will try him out myself in a couple of events this weekend.

Warmachine is a math, statistics and trigonometry puzzle with beautiful miniatures. I agree you cannot compute everything that can happen in advance, but you can compute a lot about the relative value of models with similar roles and stats.

I think Piggy outperforms almost all the ranged jacks in the Legacy armies, and he looks like a decent choice for the Mk4 armies. He provides a very strong ranged threat that is not easy to get in many Legacy lists. You usually pay 10-12 points for a jack with one high power shot, and it might go up to 15 if it’s high power and long range. Piggy has 2D3 good high power shots with decent threat, and high armor on top of that.

Sure, 2D3 shots is swingy, but you have an 89% chance to get 3+ shots, and you can get lucky too and randomly blast something away.

Its worth noting Blessing of the Gods does let one model ignore Batten Down the Hatches for an activation, which can massively swing the math on damage into big pig.

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It’s actually even sweeter than ignoring batten: it ignores the arm buff, but not the def debuff, so easier to damage than if it didn’t have batten :slight_smile:


I do not see him as immediately overpowered. Strong yes, especially in some lists, in others not. Also not sure why we are comparing him to jacks that cost much less than 20 points.

In Khador I do not see a reason to really take him, for example. In Thornfall and Blindwater I would definitely play him - especially in Blindwater where he can get buffed with Rage, Guidance, Signs & Portents and Enliven, all at the same time.

Yeah in Winter Korps i’ve found a Mastodon has replaced Carver and MMD in pretty much every list i previously wanted them. Getting my faction buffs, double the HP, and better melee threat (haha) has been a big deal.

Doesn’t that imply that power continues to creep?

Not necessarily, because the power level is context-dependent (such as whether the model can benefit from Faction buffs). Just because something in one army is a better option doesn’t mean that Carver will get obsoleted in all armies.

The Mastodon is also 9-14 points more expensive than Carver2+MMD47 so I would hope it was more powerful.

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