One of the things about Warmachine that takes getting used to for many wargamers coming from other games is the combo-centric play style. So this series will cover some of the basic combos in the game as a jumping-off point for those of you new to the game.
The “Pop ‘N Drop” is a simple, effective, and widely available combo. In essence, you knock someone down to make it easy to hit them, then pummel them into the dirt with everything you have.
A prime example would be Kreoss, who has a feat that knocks down all enemy models in his control area. So he can run up, pop everyone on their rear ends, then have, let’s say, a Redeemer drop the enemy warcaster with a rain of normally inaccurate rockets. With the redeemer’s long range and high potential firepower but poor accuracy, one of the best ways to ensure it lands a series of devastating blows is to target a knocked-down model, making this a common tactic with the jack.
There is another variation though. Knocked-down models no longer block line of sight nor offer screening bonuses. So if you want to pound an important model but just can’t get a bead on it for all the stuff in the way, just knock down the interlopers and rain death on the poor sap.
A similar effect can be achieved with anything that makes a model Stationary, at least as far as making it easier to hit things. And since there are a few models that are immune to knockdown, it is good to have the stationary option if you can get it. Khador has more then it’s share of stationary-inducing models, Sorcha being among the most (in)famous in the game.
When attempting a Pop ‘N Drop, try to either get a really sure-fire option (like Kreoss’s feat) or a couple of options so that your enemy can’t be sure where this little trick might be coming from (Harbinger’s Tremor of Faith spell, and Master Holt’s chain attack for example).
This may take a little practice, and a bit of planning, but should be easy enough to get the hang of. Of course, since this is one of the more wide-spread combos, expect your opponents to have it as well, or at least have a solid counter for it in a tournament environment. Now, go out there and kick some little toy soldier teeth in!