We need to talk about Stormsmiths

Unsupported, 12 points allows you to bring 27 RAT 8 POW 12 attacks that ignore Concealment, Cover, and Stealth. It is trivial to get them to POW 14, and there are other synergies in faction.

No other point investment comes close to this offensive output anywhere in the game. It is so out of line from what is available elsewhere that I believe this model is worth a rules adjustment. Does anyone have game results with or against Stormsmith Stormcallers to share that backs up my assessment or disputes it?


Par for the course for stormsmith stormcallers. Back in MK I, they just had an activation roll, didn’t care about their targets’ DEF.


I can’t agree. They were POW 10 and rarely got to hit multiple targets back then. They are significantly stronger now.


True. Until the introduction of storm pods, Stormsmiths with their wet cardboard survivability had to get into position for Triangulation. And electrical damage rolls didn’t get so many, so easily stackable buffs.

Now the other stormsmiths don’t even need to get into position. The rest can hang back in relative safety while the ones doing the attacking strike. I think it’s this streamlining of how Triangulation works that causes the problems, because now you don’t need to expose any models or waste activations by running into position, they all can blast away with impunity. In earlier editions, you basically had to sacrifice a Stormsmith, or use some other, non-trivial support, to get a triangle going.


They are a legit issue. Combined with ionization with laddermoore who has a 10" bubble it becomes pow 14.
Throw in Maddox feat and it becomes pow16 with beat back and all it costs for this amount of output is less than a 5th of a 100pt list!

I brought this up on the FB page and it was INSANE how many people tried to justify this shit and I was MOCKED by several people saying it wasn’t a problem.


I think it’s a foregone conclusion that they are so far over-tuned to be problematic for the game. I have not heard a cogent argument to the contrary.

That said, what do we think would be a legitimate solution? Some thoughts:

  1. Increase their cost: Even if you tripled their cost, I think they are still a huge issue because of how much work they get done.

  2. Lowering the POW: Decreasing it significantly (by three? four?) would probably push them into unappealing territory, though they would still be able to shred units, hunt solos effectively, and fish for damage spikes against hard targets.

  3. Lowering the RAT: Probably not the base stat, but instead by removing their to-hit benefits. This would obviously help, but breaks with the theme of the models. They’re calling lightning down, so it’s nice to have it benefit from the current rules.

  4. Decreasing delivery potential: The range could be shortened, and/or DEF/ARM lowered, including removal of Force Barrier. I don’t think any of these changes make sense, given the general model profile. Additionally, they could still be held back safely and THEN annihilate way beyond their weight class.

  5. Changing the number of attacks: I think this is it. Buffs scale with number of attacks, and for twelve points you get more attacks than anything else in the game can put out, barring a quasi-infinite berserk-overtake setup. Even ignoring the buffs, the output is just too high, especially when considering the odds of crits and damage spikes.

So, I think you leave them as is, except remove the increase to their ROF. Thoughts?


I would agree with you that #5 seems to be the answer.

The only other thing I would suggest is maybe drop their pt cost to 3 if they lose their RoF 3.

Agree. ROF is the thing that is hardest to balance and the easiest thing to spiral out of control with buffs.


Stormsmiths are clearly broken. There isn’t any test game needed to see this. The damage output is ridiculous even though the threat range is somewhat limited.

What’s a bit worrying is that the remaining Storm Knight army is just weak. After Stormsmiths get a well earned nerf the army will be among the worst as it isn’t top tier even with broken models. Low threat ranges is a severe problem and lack of empover doesn’t help either.


I’ll help this whole thread cut to the chase: claims like this require evidence.

Traditionally, tournament results have been used as the benchmark for evidence. Stormsmiths and the Storm Knights army have been available for how long now? Most of this year?

How has this army been performing? Is it the case that it is trivially rolling over all opposition regardless of player skill, or has that not been the case?

Hand-wringing and grim prognostications and so forth are all but useless in this sort of discussion. :slightly_smiling_face: I have watched this exact cycle happen so many times that the reoccurrence is almost comical.

First, it was Eiryss1… and then players learned to actually screen their warcaster instead of leaving them standing in an open field 19” from Eiryss. The introduction of Shield Guard on models besides the Ogrun Bokur heralded the death of shooting in Warmachine because ranged armies are totally useless now, etc., etc., the MoW Suppression Tanker wins every game ever always because it has sprays in melee, blah blah blah, and so on and so forth.

List some events where the army as a whole overperfomed and explain the circumstances in which it occurred. Have a rational discussion that involves more than a handful of people manufacturing consensus. :slightly_smiling_face:


Condescending ad hominem posting aside, conversations like this are valuable precisely because they inspire more games and testing within the community. I agree that seeing them on the table in competitive settings is a crucial next step.


I will give you that for some reason no one is playing this army which is wild, however some one did post some battle reports on this site where they did in fact go undefeated at an event and they stated that it was because of the SS’s.

I understand where you are coming from with your argument and I have also been around the block and seen my fair share of Warmachine “boogiemen” and can honestly say the only thing that maybe comes close to this was Karchev Mad Dogs.

There is a very real possibility that this list isn’t actually a problem because some of the models required for a 100pt list aren’t easily obtainable because they aren’t in production anymore.

If that was directed at me: the usage of “ad hominem” is completely wrong. :slight_smile: I did not attack anyone in some fashion to try to draw focus away from the argument; I said (paraphrasing) “provide evidence for the argument”. That’s not an ad hominem attack.

To drive home the importance of the need for such evidence, I then listed a few examples of how this situation has played out in the past, where “clearly” something was “broken” on paper, and how the grim predictions turned out not to be relevant in practice.

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The ≈October 2016 Karchev Mad Dogs issue is the perfect example of why evidence is required. :slight_smile: The list went…like…what, 12-0 or something ridiculous on scenario during the WTC that year? That provided evidence that the problem was real, and not just the usual noise.

I admit that I myself dismissed that particular list at first because the original argument presented was, essentially “But, look! The list! *wild gesticulations* It’s gonna win forever! Aaaah, panic!” when what was really needed was for somebody to explain the issue.

If anybody in that long-deceased thread had actually said “This is a problem because the warjack Advance Move benefits of the Winter Guard theme that has no requirements whatsoever to take any actual Winter Guard models, combined with the Mad Dog’s essentially free +2 SPD from Jury Rigged, combined with the Mad Dog’s disproportionately large number of boxes and ARM and general durability for the points make this list capable of boxing out the opponent from scenario and capable of easily grinding out scenario wins, despite the fact that it can’t fight its way out of a wet paper bag except during one turn”, then maybe that would have carried more weight. :slight_smile:


Regarding evidence: can this be a call out for folks to start testing? I would love to see batreps, and as more events occur I’m hoping we get to see how folks are responding in competitive environments, too. Bring on the games!

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To make this argument carry more weight, here are the facts, similar to what was provided for Mad Dog spam:

This is a problem because for only 12 points, the army gets nine models. Unassisted, they threat 16" and so do not have to be exposed until they need to attack. Destroying them preemptively takes considerable resources, especially considering they are DEF 13 with Force Barrier. They can be in formation for Triangulation quite trivially. Their attacks become high RAT (8) and natively ignore the three most common defenses against ranged attacks (concealment, cover, and stealth). These attacks become a respectable, but not absurd, POW 12. With relatively little positioning, and minimal advanced planning in army composition, those attacks can be POW 14 for multiple rounds and POW16 for one round. There will be 27 of those attacks, which is likely more attacks than some entire armies can bring to bear in a round. These attacks will be effective at: 1) putting serious damage on hard targets, 2) eliminating swaths of light targets, and/or 3) assassinating leader models. They also are magical (bypassing some additional defenses) and have critical disruption. Nothing in the game brings so much for so little with so few options to avoid it.

This game is not in the same place as it was in 2016, so the ultra-competitive players will not be making waves as fast as they did in the past. People seem very excited by the new armies, supply of older models is limited, and powerful things are not always instantly adopted. How long did Body and Soul or Ghost Fleet exist, with all the pieces available, before players realized, and brought to bear, their power? Just pointing out that this hasn’t torn up the competitive scene isn’t justification for ignoring it. Preventative measures, when a problem is clear, are healthier than reactive measures.

What we have here is far from panic and theory, and treating the arguments made so far as such is pretty dismissive. Many of us have been with the game long enough to know the cycles that happen. It is our experience that explains precisely why why this concern is being raised now. For 12 points, you easily get 27 high-quality attacks. It’s beyond the power curve, not just a new thing for players to adjust to (re: Eiryiss or shield guards).

Yes, there will always be a “strongest” thing in the game, but that doesn’t mean it has to be ludicrously strong. If we’re looking for quantification of “power,” which is difficult, I’d be curious to see what people think comes closest to the power of Stormsmiths. If they’re just a bit better than other things near the top of the curve, that’s fine. However, I think this is a curve with a long tail, indicating a skewed distribution of power, requiring attention.


That’s better. :slight_smile: That’s a lot more cogent than the other arguments so far.

I do have counterpoints to some of these items, but I lack the time to address them now. I’ll try to come back later and reply properly.

For the sake of full disclosure: I’ve performed the exact same analysis (which is why I have some counterpoints), but I have absolutely no stake in this fight and I don’t really care one way or the other. My Stormsmiths are packed away and they’ll probably never see the light of day, and I’m pretty confident in saying that I’ll never see Stormsmiths across the table from me again either. :slight_smile:

(What I do care about is a discussion of some substance beyond “The first conclusion is obviously correct.” I appreciate your effort to elevate the discourse.)


If I slammed the like button any harder I would literally destroy my mouse.

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I don’t think any even a little serious player can deny that Stormsmiths are completely broken as is. But like I tried to say above, the rest of the army brings these things down because it isn’t that good. So even though this 12 point module is ridiculous, it probably won’t win tourney after tourney because there’s still 88 points you need to fill (or well 81 after you add Laddermore).

This is a prime example of unsuccessful design. Broken models which might not stand out because everything else is weak enough. The whole Storm Knights army needs a serious look. It is certain that Stormsmiths will be fixed somehow. Hopefully the rest of the army too.

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I did a quick lookup and I’m not sure if I follow the problem adequately.

Is there any other model in play that alters the Stormsmiths rule?

Because at first sight seems that they get a +2 bonus to ROF, and 3 models makes 9 attacks.

How do we get to 27 ranged attacks?