Warmachine and Hordes Journeyman League Progression Guide: Farrow

This week, we’re tackling a Journeyman League Progression guide for the piggy half of the Minion faction - Farrow.

Farrow warning, the Thornfall Alliance theme force is widely regarded as not very competitive at the moment (Feb of 2019). Farrow infantry as a whole is typically expensive and fragile, and the best solos are in Blindwater (Gators).

Here again is the progression of the official Journeyman League, remember that you must keep the same models in your list from the week before.

Week 1: Zero points total, you must use your factions battlebox or equivalent. No themes allowed.
Week 2: 15 points, battlegroup models only, no themes. 
Week 3: 30 points, battlegroup, units, and solos allowed, theme forces allowed. 
Week 4: 45 points, battlegroup, units, and solos allowed, theme forces allowed. Caster Swap (optional)
Week 5: 60 points, battlegroup, units, solos, and battle engines allowed. Theme forces allowed. 
Week 5: 75 points, battlegroup, units, solos, and battle engines allowed. Theme forces allowed. 

With that out of the way, let’s get this show on the road!

Week One:

The Farrow side of things starts off with a rather interesting “battlebox”. Helga, the Conquerer has a very interesting kit, and while there are arguments to be made for Carver, Midas or Sturm/Drang as the better Thornfall Warlock, we will probably be staying with Helga all the way through the Journeyman league since she is hilariously fun to play.

She has a very good defensive spell in Defenders’ Ward, which just gives +2 DEF and ARM to a model/unit. This is almost always going to go on your War Hog this week, as a 14/20 heavy is actually the hardest (?) to kill model in the battlebox level.

Dash is one of the best infantry centric spells in the entire game, making the somewhat average Farrow threat ranges into quite solid numbers. It also enables ranged options like Brigands to move out of engagement and still shoot which is quite potent.

Cyclone allows Helga to have a pretty reasonable personal threat range, which on her feat turn (more on this in a second) can set up some pretty terrific assassination runs.

Distraction is a really good spell that she will rarely cast, because if she misses the game is over, and Muzzle will situationally win you games on its own. Watch the Skorne box fail repeatedly as the Titan Gladiator cannot move towards the caster or, by extension, the battlegroup.

Helga’s feat is crazy. There are so many angles for this thing. Flanking Razor Boars can slam enemy models into your lines so you can kill them with safety. Slamming heavies into each-other or over infantry with random dudes feels pretty great, and when an enemy caster decides to sit behind a Warjack sometimes the game is just over.

The Razor Boars are reasonable little solo hunters (or roadblocks for enemy heavies at this level) and under her feat can completely neuter an enemy. Battle Boars bring Primal which is one of the most potent combat animi out there. Be wary with this ability - you often do not need it on your War Hog and if you do use it then you lose out on an entire next turn.

The War Hog has a pretty awesome defensive profile with Defender’s Ward and has one of the better damage outputs of the battlebox level with Aggression Dial.

Helga, the Conquerer
- War Hog
- Battle Boar
- Razor Boars x2

Week Two:

We are going to swing in two basic directions with this progression. The first one is going to take you into a fun, if not insanely competitive list in the Thornfall Alliance. The other is going to swing into a Will Work For Food build under Arkadius that I am going to caveat pretty heavily here that seasoned players playing in a JML with new players should NOT consider and for the heck of it I’ll also take you down another Will Work for Food Route that slots a Dracodile in (!!!) with Sturm and Drang because….why not?! (For those of you who have never come across this list before, the idea is you put Polarity Shield on the Dracodile and make it unchargeable which seems real strong to me).

In either case, the only legal option this week is to add a War Hog to the list, which isn’t a bad thing because War Hogs hit things hard which is kind of what you want to do in week 2 of a Journeyman League.

Helga
- War Hog
- War Hog
- Battle Boar
- Razor Boar (2)

Week Three:

Okay so things diverge pretty significantly here. If we are building towards the Arkadius WWFF build, we are going to want to start adding some solos. Same for Sturm and Drang, except we are just going to be going for the most expensive solos we can get our mitts on. The Thornfall list picks up a unit. Let’s go!

Thornfall Alliance:

In this week, we finally get to start adding some Farrow Infantry, and specifically we’re going to toss a unit of Brigands in to provide fire support.

The minimum unit plus Warlord is more effective than a maximum unit without a Warlord so we will be going that route to start off with.

Something to bear in mind - if you reposition after you dig in, you’re no longer dug in. Brigands force you to make some interesting choices every turn, and they’re a very good unit.

Helga
- War Hog
- War Hog
- Battle Boar
- Razor Boar (2)

Brigands (min)
- CA

Arkadius WWFF:

Arkadius wants some fairly specific tech in his list, and I really like adding some of that in this week so that you can get used to it.

They’re good solos that can really help out your list by handing out Ghostly (Witch Doctor), Enliven (Kwaak and Gub) or ancillary attack (Targ).

All three of these solos are phenomenally good in their own right, and learning how to play with them is an important part of playing minions to their full potential.

Helga
- War Hog
- War Hog
- Battle Boar
- Razor Boar (2)
- Targ

Gatorman Witch Doctor
Kwaak Slickspine and Gub

Sturm and Drang WWFF:

The way this is going to work is basically this: we’re going to cram expensive solos in the list, pay for them for three weeks, and then at the end get ourselves a Dracodile by playing 4 points down, making 17 points free at once, and then paying 15 points for a total of 4 + 17 + 15 = 36 points of sweet, sweet unchargeable dracodile goodness.

We’re adding a Gatorman Soul Slave here (who doesn’t make any sense at all but he’s a five point solo that can cast Telekinesis later) and Hutchuk for making all the annoying Warjacks disappear.

Helga
- War Hog
- War Hog
- Battle Boar
- Razor Boar (2)
- Gatorman Soul Slave

Hutchuk

Week Four:

It’s caster swap time! Now, even though I like swapping things up, I think Helga is actually the best option for the Thornfall Alliance theme, and so we are going to stick with her through the whole league if you go this route. Carver can absolutely work as well, but MIdas, Arkadius, and Sturm/Drang really really get a lot out of Will Work for Food and playing in Thornfall is hard for them.

You’ll notice we paid for the solos in our WWFF lists last week. That was intentional. The Arkadius list can add 25 points this turn and the Sturm and Drang list is going to just be paying for the solos until week six when you can fit the Dracodile in.

Thornfall Alliance:

This week we are continuing to add models to our list, maxing out our brigands and adding Farrow Valkyries for sweet sweet Shield Guard/Vengeance action. We will take a free Razorback crew as well, since these guys can really put the hurt on knocked down models and boy do they like Dash.

At this point, Defenders Ward is a very reasonable buff for the Brigands, making them 14/17 or 18/17 against ranged attacks while dug in, and it can transition to a War Hog or Helga herself later game if you so desire.

Helga
- War Hog
- War Hog
- Battle Boar
- Razor Boar (2)

Brigands (max)
- Warlord
Razorback Crew (free)
Farrow Valkyries

Arkadius WWFF:

Arkadius is one of the craziest Warlocks in the entire game, and he has an incredibly deep toolbench of tricks. Again, if you are a veteran player in a JML full of newer people stay away from this Warlock. He might be the single most negative play experience for a new player in Minions that I can think of.

We’re going to add a Road Hog and Dahlia Hallyr and Skarath this week for two 10 inch sprays and some sweet anti infantry tech in Dahlia’s Haunting Melody. Forced Evolution goes really well on Skarath too.

Arkadius
- War Hog
- War Hog
- Road Hog
- Battle Boar
- Razor Boar (2)
- Targ (free)

Dahlia Hallyr
- Skarath
Kwaak and Gub (free)
Gatorman Witch Doctor (free)

Sturm and Drang WWFF:

This week is pretty unexciting for the Dracodile list. Remember, the whole point of this is to cram a 36 point Gargantuan in your list in the final week, every sacrifice is worth it.

That being said, Sturm and Drang have so many interesting tricks that you should be entertained for at least a little while.

We are going to add in our Underchief MIre with a Boneswarm this week. Mire is the way we’re fitting a Dracodile onto a Farrow Warlock. Additionally, we get a Totem Hunter to really abuse Telekinesis.

Sturm and Drang
- War Hog
- War Hog
- Battle Boar
- Razor Boar (2)
- Gatorman Soul Slave

Mire
- Boneswarm
Hutchuk
Totem Hunter

Week Five:

Getting near the end here! The Arkadius list is going to pick up another support solo in Lanyssa Ryssyl as well as a second Battle Boar to make sure we have all the Primal we could want. Sturm and Drang continue to contort into weird places to enable the incoming Dracodile, and Helga’s list just gets punchier.

Thornfall Alliance:

Helga’s list continues to grow with two more units of Valkyries and a free Efaarit scout. Valkyries are the best value per model option that Farrow have access to, and while three units sounds like a lot, you’ll find yourself reaching for them more than you expect after the league is over. Besides, if you play other Hordes factions you can always paint them like they work for a specific other faction and play them there as well!

An Efaarit Scout is a good combination piece with the Razorback Crew for doing damage at range, especially to enemy models that are knocked over.

Helga
- War Hog
- War Hog
- Battle Boar
- Razor Boar (2)

Efaarit Scout (free)

Brigands (max)
- Warlord
Razorback Crew (free)
Farrow Valkyries
Farrow Valkyries
Farrow Valkyries

Arkadius WWFF:

Pretty simple this week - we’re picking up Lanyssa for some out of feat threat ranges and a second Battle Boar really makes getting Primal where you want it a snap.

We are also going to add another Gatorman Witch Doctor to make sure you can get Ghostly out on multiple models. One of the weaknesses that Minion beasts tend to have is a lack of pathfinder and this really helps with that.

Arkadius
- War Hog
- War Hog
- Road Hog
- Battle Boar
- Battle Boar
- Razor Boar (2)
- Targ (free)

Dahlia Hallyr
- Skarath
Kwaak and Gub (free)
Gatorman Witch Doctor (free)
Gatorman Witch Doctor
Lanyssa Ryssyl

Sturm and Drang WWFF:

We have to spend a weirdly specific amount of points this week. We need to either spend only 12 points and conserve four, or we need to put a 4 point or more solo in the list and spend the rest on beasts.

I’m opting for the second, with Orin Midwinter providing incredible anti-spell support. This will be more important than ever next week as one of the few ways of handling a Dracodile is to debuff it with spells like Crippling Grasp and Enfeeble. We’re also going to add a Gun Boar so that we can get to exactly 100 points toward free stuff and he’s a reasonable solo hunter.

Sturm and Drang
- War Hog
- War Hog
- Battle Boar
- Gun Boar
- Razor Boar (2)
- Gatorman Soul Slave

Mire
- Boneswarm
Hutchuk
Totem Hunter
Orin Midwinter

Week Six:

The final week! The Helga list rounds out with some more dudes, Arkadius picks up the second punk rockin’ flamethrower pig, and we get to finally put the Dracodile into Sturm and Drang’s list and experience the joy of an unchargeable gargantuan!

Thornfall Alliance:

Rounding out Helga’s list, we add a unit of Farrow Slaughterhousers and a second Efaarit scout as a free card over our original free Razorback. Speaking of which, let’s toss in a second Razorback crew to round out our list, which now features a fairly punishing gunline (everything but the Slaughterhousers shoot!) with a strong assassination threat and decent punch with the warbeasts. This list, to me, looks like an absolute blast to play.

Helga
- War Hog
- War Hog
- Battle Boar
- Razor Boar (2)

Efaarit Scout (free)
Efaarit Scout (free)

Brigands (max)
- Warlord (free)
Razorback Crew
Razorback Crew
Farrow Valkyries
Farrow Valkyries
Farrow Valkyries

Arkadius WWFF:

Arkadius picks up a surprising amount of things this week. His Road Hog is cheaper than it looks because it makes another solo free, and that lets us play with three points.

I’m opting for a Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew to keep Arkadius/other important solos safe and a Gobber Chef to be annoying/manage fury with said Bellows Crew if necessary. This list is complicated, tricky, and extremely powerful as well as fun to play.

Arkadius
- War Hog
- War Hog
- Road Hog
- Road Hog
- Battle Boar
- Battle Boar
- Razor Boar (2)
- Targ (free)

Dahlia Hallyr
- Skarath
Kwaak and Gub (free)
Gatorman Witch Doctor (free)
Gatorman Witch Doctor (free)
Lanyssa Ryssyl
Swamp Gobber Chef

Swamp Gobbers Bellows Crew

Sturm and Drang WWFF:

It’s DRACODILE TIME. The big beasty comes in on Mire and leaves us with three points once all four of our other solos are free. I like what we did with Arkadius in this list for the same reasons, and a Bellows Crew and Gobber Chef are both super solid investments, so I will recommend them here as well.

Interesting/fun fact - the Dracodile’s animus when cast by Mire (for free!) gives Mire concealment because he is Amphibious, and therefore Stealth because he has Prowl.

Sturm and Drang
- War Hog
- War Hog
- Battle Boar
- Gun Boar
- Razor Boar (2)
- Gatorman Soul Slave (free)

Mire
- Boneswarm
- DRACODILE
Hutchuk (free)
Totem Hunter (free)
Orin Midwinter (free)
Swamp Gobber Chef

Swamp Gobbers Bellows Crew

Three different avenues, three totally different lists. I hope that you found something that sparks your interest in this guide, and please check out the others if you want to see information for another faction! As always, this is a guide. Don’t take anything here as gospel. If you want to change out something, do it! It’s your army, play the models you want to play.

Thanks for reading!