Guarding the jails of Malifaux the ever trusty Warden patrols the cells and keeps the inmates in line. Should a prisoner be foolish enough to attempt escape he will be hunted down by the Warden who requires neither sleep or other frailties of the flesh to stop them from their single goal of capture and return.
In my own personal opinion one of the best things to happen to Guild from the Twisting Fates book. Now I know that some people still regard the Avatars as a "big" thing or even the Pale Rider (though ALL riders but the Mechanical Rider are quite good) or the Exorcist (I hear you crying Ressur players..), there is something about this 5 soul stone minion that is quite great and let me explain why.
Lets look at traits for lack of a better word, the Warden is both a Construct, Guardsman and comes on a 40mm base. Being a Construct the Warden gains the "drops scrap counters" and being Immune to Morale Duels. The second trait is the one that interests me the most as you may already know I am a BIG fan of using Lucius to lead my crews... The Warden now being another choice for Lucius to take makes me quite ecstatic. Not only can the Warden be included in his crews but also benefits from all the other neat abilities that effect Guardsmen models. Lastly being on a bigger base means they can block line of sight a little more effectively and when they die they will drop two scrap counters instead of one.
Any incoming damage regardless of source is reduced by one point, it may not seem like much but sometimes this may save a model or at the very least force your opponent to waste an extra activation. It should be noted that if the model suffers Wounds instead of just Damage they still take the FULL amount of Wounds. This is because Armor only mitigates "Damage", it is a fine line between the rules that a few people actually forget.
Immune to Influence:
The model is Immune to any Willpower duels where it is the defender. This ability is worth it's weight in gold, while a regular guardsmen can be tempted by a belle's lure. Or a lesser being could be Obeyed by a master or a powerful minion the Warden simply continues on with its duty.
There are a few models that rely solely on the WP characteristic to do damage, depriving them of one of their tools is always a good thing. Though you will still be susceptible to Pandora's ability (while within 'The Box Opens' range) for everything else you should be just about fine.
This ability is similar to the "Arachnid" ability that most of Ramos' creations are known for... well you know without the extra legs. It allows the Warden to Walk and/or Charge through Severe/Climbable Terrain without any penalties. This ability lets them move wherever they want without worry of terrain slowing them down to where they want to go.
Great ability that gives the Warden a bonus flip to Attack and Damage as long as they target a model that has already activated this turn. This ability mitigates the fact that the Warden's weapons are only a cb of 4, in addition it gives you a higher chance to actually get Triggers off when you need them.
It should be noted that just because it IS a great ability to have don't always wait to activate your Wardens. Sometimes getting away clean or putting damage first is better than the potential bonus you may receive from this ability.
Not only does the Warden come with a higher Walk value than what is average for most Guild models (not even counting the bonus for the Mobile ability). But by discarding a card you get to take a free Walk action. This action lets the Warden zoom across the battlefield in no time and all for the cost of a low card from your hand.
For the most part this is usually I automatic choice for first turn where you are still trimming the fat from your starting hand. There are VERY few things that can outrun a model that can move 10" through terrain and STILL be able to attack.
Pinning Blow [Restraint Claw]:
Looking at the Restraint Claw you may ask yourself what is so good about a weapon that ONLY has 1/2/3 as it's damage output. Well in short THIS trigger, if you manage to hit with a Ram suited card as long as the enemy suffers damage they become Paralyzed.
There aren't too many models that have a Paralyze like ability in the game of Malifaux, if they do have the ability it is usually a Master or an expensive Minion. So when a 5 Soul Stone model gets the chance to do it, for me its just icing on the cake. Some opponents may not have cards to deal with this ability, but once it DOES happen to them they will start to worry about the Warden MUCH more than they did before.
Toss [Mechanical Fist]:
If you manage to hit with Mask suited card after damaging defender you may Toss them 1" per Wound inflicted ignoring Models and/or Terrain. This ability is actually quite nice since only Perdita and her family are really dependent on Mask suited cards. I have thrown models that I wanted to shoot at later in the turn out of combat or out into the open. You could also throw models into Severe Terrain that DO NOT have Hunter or Scout so it takes them some time to get out of it.
Another neat use of the ability is to Toss the enemy into another friendly model who can "hide" in combat from the enemy till it is their turn to activate. After all what melee models do not appreciate when they don't have to waste AP moving?
As I have mentioned earlier I think the Warden is a great addition to Guild crews the mix of high mobility and it's abilities make it a very versatile model. For only 1 Soul Stone more than a regular Guardsman they bring better abilities to the table with little to no weakness besides the low CB rating of both weapons.
I personally find them to be a great boon in my Lucius led crews, creating a wall between three Wardens and Ryle protecting my Austringers, Lucius and Governor's Proxy, there isn't much the opponent can do in the first turn to have an effect on my crew. As always thanks everyone for reading if I have missed or misinterpreted anything feel free to leave comments. Till then folks!