Cygnar Arcane Tempest Unit
Cygnar’s dashing gun mages are a unique breed of soldier-sorcerers who can weave devastating arcane power into their unerring pistol shots. With highly accurate magelock pistols, gun mages can snipe distant targets, cripple heavily armored foes, or knock enemies off their feet.
|Arcane Tempest Gun Mages
| Unit Size
CA has 5
|| 11 for unit, +4 for CA
| 2.1 each
|See also How to Read the statblock
- Magelock Pistol- 10" range, POW 10 gun.
- Damage Type: Magical - This weapon can damage incorporeal models.
- Attack Type - Each time this weapon is used to make an attack, choose one of the following special rules:
- Critical Brutal Damage - On a critical hit, gain an additional die on this weapon's damage rolls against the target directly hit.
- Snipe - This attack gains +4 RNG
- Thunderbolt - Enemy models hit by this attack are pushed D3" directly away. On a critical hit they are knocked down as well.
- Sword - 0.5" reach, P+S 7 melee weapon. Avoid using it.
- Entire unit
- Gunfighter - This model can use its ranged weapons even while in melee, but when it does so it can only target models it's in melee with. It can even make ranged attacks after charging.
- Officer only
- Officer - This model is the unit commander even if the unit has a Leader model.
- 'Jack Marshal - All 'jack marshals share the same set of special rules, which basically amount to: This model is not a warcaster but may control a warjack.
- Drive : Rune Shot - While in the ATGM officer's CMD range, the ranged weapons of a warjack under his control gain Damage Type: Magical. Also, when the warjack makes a basic ranged attack during its Combat Action while in the officer's CMD range, you can choose one Attack Type available to the officer to apply to the attack.
- Granted: Swift Hunter - While this model is still alive and in formation all of the unit gains Swift Hunter. (Swift Hunter - When this model destroys one or more enemy models with a basic ranged attack, immediately after the attack it can advance up to 2".)
- Moment of Clarity (Minifeat) - Once per game the unit gains True Sight for a turn. (True Sight - This model ignores clouds for LOS, and ignores Stealth always.)
2017.09 Xmas CID
- Lost Practiced Maneuvers but replaced it with Moment of Clarity
Thoughts on Arcane Tempest Gun Mages
This model/theme's rules have recently changed dramtically, and the "Thoughts On" section has not (yet) been updated to reflect its new capabilities.
Please feel free to update the article and remove this warning.
Arcane Tempest Gun Mages in a nutshell
Gun mages are trick-shooting elite troops who kill infantry stone cold dead - but against hardened targets are normally reduced to trying to push them back and out of range with knockback shots. A good unit at what they do - with an officer who is primarily an interesting Jack Marshal. In the early stage of Mk3 they were considered to be a marginally useful unit due to their limited utility against swollen battlegroups. Now, the 2017 SR scenarios and the growing popularity of the infantry oriented theme lists (Ghost Fleet, Legions of Dawn, Operating Theater, Infernal Machines, Dark Host, etc.) generates an increasing demand for them.
Thoughts on adding the CA
The role of the CA has changed - Moment of Clarity (True Sight for a turn) is an excellent ability and allows the Gun Mages to readily handle stealth light infantry for at least a turn. The Rune Shots are excellent if you want to marshal a shooting jack, especially with the Snipe Bullet.
Combos & Synergies
- Their special theme force, Sons of the Tempest gives you free solos, free upkeeps, and some extra punch for your gunfighter shots.
- Gun Mages are commonly seen with casters with Deadeye so they can fish for criticals
- They also get on well with assassin-casters (chiefly Captain Allister Caine and Lord Commander Stryker to open up routes to the enemy caster.
- With Captain Allister Caine's Fire for Effect spell you've got roughly 40% chance to achieve POW+4D6 damage with your Critical Brutal Damage shots against targets with DEF13 or lower.
If you're taking the unit attachment you almost certainly want a warjack to go with it. Three stand out due to their rapid-fire guns.
- Sentinel - the cheap and tough shield guard
- Cyclone - That's 2*D3 Rune shots this cheap heavy can make; does that sound good? Wait, there's more! Place a covering fire template behind an advancing enemy, and shoot them into it with the Thunderbolt rounds.
- Grenadier - if you have the reloaders then the snipe shot and take aim combination on a three shot jack is nice. It even makes the blast damage pretty effective.
The Hunter is somewhat less appealing than it used to be, as the Jack Marshal rule no longer gives pseudo-focus. However, it still can be a valid choice, as Strike true and Take aim commands can make it hit DEF16 targets on an average roll. If you manage to put a focus on it from another source (like Captain Arlan Strangewayes), it can be pretty devastating for high DEF - low ARM targets.
Drawbacks and Downsides
- Against tough targets the best thing they can do is knock them back or down - and that doesn't work against everyone.
- Armour like paper - even blast damage can cut a swathe through their ranks.
- Gunfighter somewhat mitigates their weakness in close combat, and their naturally high DEF gives them a bit of staying power, but that still shouldn't encourage you to linger too long in melee.
- Anything that forbids shooting will leave your Gun Mages with their ceremonial swords - which is the synonym of dead.
Tricks and Tps
- Always look to clog the enemy with knockback shots.
- Thunderbolt rounds are powerful board controlling tools. Knowing their threat, the enemy will probably try to place their zone/flag contesting models closer than normally would; giving extra (fraction) inches for your melee units to counter-attack.
- Cygnar offers a lot of tool for infantry cleaning, from jacks like the Cyclone to Trencher and Stormsmith weapon crews, as well as regular and trencher Long Gunners. Each have their own niche utility beyond killing infantry units, so choose according to your needs.
- The unit (not including UA) was originally released in Warmachine: Prime (2003)
- The UA was released in Warmachine: Legends (2008)
- Arcane Tempest Gun Mages were the first Gun Mage unit and are therefore known colloquially as Gun Mages.
- They were renamed Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Pistoleers after the Tempest Blazers came out, and then re-renamed as Arcane Tempest Gun Mages after PP realised that the ATGMP name was a lost cause.
- In Mk1 Gun Mages didn't have Snipe, but instead had Cortex Damage along the lines of the Lancer's shield. They were too good at their job and warjacks were consequently rare. (For that matter in Mk1 Cygnar was an anti-warjack faction, with Disruption being much more common than Electroleap).
Other Cygnar Models
Rules Clarification : Magical Damage (Edit)
- The "Damage Type: Magical" is not inherited by "secondary" damage from a weapon. That is, stuff like arcs (Electro Leap) or hazards (Scather). (Infernal Ruling)
- All spells have "Damage Type: Magical" (refer errata).
- This is inherited by "immediate" secondary damage (such as Eruption of Spines). (Infernal Ruling)
- and might be inherited by "lingering" secondary damage (see below).
- If a spell leaves a template in play that does damage to models that walk around in it, then:
- if it is not described as a hazard it will do magical damage to models that walk around in it. (Example: Razor Wall)
- if it is a hazard then it will not do magical damage to models that walk around in it. Instead, it does whatever damage type is specified by the spell description. (Example: Breath of Corruption).
- (Infernal Ruling)
- If a weapon/spell includes Magic Damage and another kind of elemental damage it will still damage Incorporeal models. Incorporeal models are not affected by the rule "if an attack does multiple types of damage and a model is immune to at least one it is immune to the entire attack."
The phrase "immune to non-magical damage" should be interpreted as "immune to damage that doesn't include Damage Type: Magical" (not interpreted as "has immunity to Corrosion and Electricity and Cold and etc.")
Rules Clarification : Attack Type and/or Arcane Savant (Edit)
- If you forget to declare your Attack Type before rolling the attack, and you and your opponent can't agree on a fair fix, then the Judge's Policy is that the first listed Attack Type is the one that will be used.
Rules Clarification : Brutal Damage (Edit)
- Brutal Damage only applies to the model directly hit, so it never affects blast damage.
Rules Clarification : Snipe (Edit)
- Although Snipe the spell and Snipe the Attack Type are two different "sources", they are multiple instances of the same effect. As such, they're not cumulative. Refer to the "Rule Priority" section of the core rulebook.
- Snipe does not affect the range of weapons that use the Spray template, or one's which have RNG = CTRL.
Rules Clarification : Thunderbolt (Edit)
- If you have multiple effects that resolve on "hit" (such as Thunderbolt & Electro Leap), then you get to choose the order.
- Thus, you could trigger Electro Leap first (and bounce from their initial position), then move them via Thunderbolt.
- Or trigger Thunderbolt first, move them, and then Electro Leap (and bounce from their final position).
| Push (Edit)
- Pushed models do not change their facing.
- Pushed models move at half rate through difficult terrain. Also, Pathfinder doesn't apply during pushes.
- Pushed models stop if they contact anything - a model of any size, or any obstacles or obstructions.
- You don't get free strikes against pushed models, because it is "involuntary movement" and therefore does not count as an advance.
- Pushed models suffer the effects of anything they move through (such as acid clouds).
- If you use a Push vs a charging model (via a free strike for example), this will stop the charge movement (refer core rulebook).
- However, if the pushed model is in melee range of its charge target after the push, then it is considered a successful charge. (Infernal Ruling)
- In that scenario, you measure whether the charging model moved 3" or less excluding the push distance. (Infernal Ruling)
- Knockdown (Edit) - Remember, knockdown only prevents what it says it does. Refer to the Knockdown page for a recap of what a model can/can't do.
Rules Clarification: : Gunfighter (Edit)
Warning: This is a long one.
- You cannot Aim if you start your activation in melee. (Infernal Confirmation)
- A free strike with a ranged weapon still gets the +2 to hit and boosted damage (I'm pretty sure - I'd like to double check it though).
- 1. Outside of melee
- If the Gunfighter isn't in melee, and didn't charge this turn, then it shoots just the same as a normal model.
- 2. In melee, but didn't charge
- If it didn't charge, it can target anyone it's "in melee" with.
- This can be any model in the Gunfighter's melee range, plus any models that have the Gunfighter in their melee range.
- If a Gunfighter kills all the enemies it is in melee with, and still has the ability to make more ranged attacks, then those attacks just follow the normal Ranged Attack rules. (Infernal Ruling)
- 3. Charged into melee
- If it did charge, its initial attacks can only target models that are in the Gunfighter's melee range.
- If all models in the Gunfighter's melee range are killed before it makes its initial attacks, it loses any unspent initial attacks. (Infernal Ruling)
- However if it can purchase additional attacks (via Reload for instance) and/or get free attacks (via Black Spot for instance), then those non-initial attacks can target anyone it's "in melee" with, as per #2 above.
- 4. Other targeting notes
- Remember, you can never be "in melee" with a friendly model, so a Gunfighter can pretty much never choose to target a friend while it's in melee (although it may hit one accidentally, see "Missing" below).
- If the gunfighter is unengaged, it can still shoot a friendly model, which would just be a normal ranged attack.
- You use the Gunfighter's RAT for the attack roll.
- Gunfighters do not ignore the Cover/Concealment bonus. (Infernal Ruling)
- How the +4 DEF bonus for "being in melee" works with Gunfighters is:
- they always ignore it vs enemies, because the "point of origin of the attack is in melee with the target".
- they never ignore it vs friendlies, because you cannot be in melee with a friendly target.
- Obviously, if the Gunfighter isn't actually in melee with the enemy target, then the Gunfighter rules don't apply. So they do get the +4 DEF bonus as if it were a normal ranged attack (because it is).
Missing the Attack Roll
- If you miss the attack roll then you need to randomly reassign the shot just like you would with a normal ranged attack shooting someone in melee. Because nothing in the Gunfighter rules say you ignore this part of the "Targeting a Model in Melee" (TMM) rules.
- Do not include the Gunfighter model itself in potential 'randomees' (because you can't target yourself, as per the 4th paragraph of TMM) (Locked thread)
- but do include models the Gunfighter is in melee with, and any friendly models that are in melee with them (as per the TMM rules).
- Note that enemy models without magic weapons can't hurt you in melee, but they can engage you.
- Once they do that you're in melee and your target selection is limited to just models in melee (as explained above).
Gunfighter + an AOE weapon
- If you miss then the AOE will deviate as per the normal AOE rules. Not very far, though, considering the max distance you'll be apart is 2".
- If you use an AOE weapon to make a free strike, you get the +2 to hit and you get boosted damage against everything under the blast template.
Gunfighter + a spray weapon
- Who you can target with the spray is limited as described above, but you get to put the whole spray template down and potentially hit models well outside the melee.
- If you use a spray weapon to make a free strike, you get the +2 to hit and you get boosted damage against everything under the spray template.
Units of Gunfighters
- If a unit of Gunfighters successfully charge, but someone else in their unit kills their charge target before they get a turn to attack, then they may redirect their attack.
- Redirected attack:
- If they're still engaged, their initial attack (s) must be vs someone in their melee range.
- If they're still engaged, but no one is in their own melee range, they don't get any initial attacks.
- If they're unengaged, they are now free to shoot anyone within the gun's normal range.
- Gunfighter vs Point Blank (Edit)
- If a model has both Gunfighter and Point Blank, then you should declare whether you're using it as a ranged attack or melee attack whenever you shoot the gun. Because that can limit what other initial/additional attacks you can make. (Infernal Ruling)
- These two abilities are subtly different, but it's an important difference.
- Gunfighter allows you to make ranged attacks while in melee.
- Point blank allows you to make melee attacks with your ranged weapon.
- Since you can't make both ranged and melee attacks in the same turn, a Gunfighter model has a choice of either initial melee attack(s) or initial ranged attack(s). (unless it has Virtuoso or something).
- Whereas a Point Blank model chooses to make initial melee attacks, and then gets to make attacks with both weapons.
- Furthermore, the types of bonuses, penalties, and special effects you (or your opponent) can trigger will change dramatically:
- Any buffs/triggers on ranged attacks (such as Evasive, Shield Guard, Deadeye, etc) will affect Gunfighter attacks, but not Point Blank attacks.
- Any buffs/triggers on melee attacks (such as Battle Lust, Riposte etc) will affect Point Blank attacks, but not Gunfighter attacks.
- Gunfighter & Cavalry ( Edit )
- A cavalry model that charges then makes a Gunfighter attack will not gain a boosted charge attack roll, because a ranged attack is not a charge attack. (Infernal Ruling)
- You also won't gain a boosted charge damage roll, as per normal for a Gunfighter.
Rules Clarification : Officer (Edit)
- Even if they're not on the Officer's card, an Officer can give (and benefit from) any non-standard orders that are on the unit's card (such as Shield Wall). Refer main rulebook.
- When the Officer dies, the Leader model becomes the new Unit Commander (you don't get to choose).
- But if your unit doesn't include a Leader model, then you do get to choose any of the remaining models to be the new Unit Commander. You don't swap the model, but it may be worth putting a token down so you can tell that grunt apart.
Rules Clarification : 'Jack Marshal (Edit)
- Marshals can take character jacks (unlike in Mk2). (Closed thread)
- Although they never get the Power Up bonus, a marshaled warjack can gain focus via other means (such as Accumulator, Empower, Spirit Harvester, etc).
- They can do this even after the Marshal dies and they become autonomous (unlike in Mk2).
- 'Jack Marshal & Ranking Officer (Edit)
- If a Ranking Officer joins a unit with the 'Jack Marshal ability, then they can still only take Mercenary warjacks - they don't gain access to Faction warjacks. (Infernal Ruling)
- They can control that mercenary warjack as normal, even though they're technically no longer the same faction as the jack. (Infernal Ruling)
Rules Clarification : Drive (Edit)
- If the Drive is on an Officer model, and that model dies, then the new unit commander does not inherit the Drive.
Rules Clarification : Tactics vs Granted (Edit)
- Granted = The unit loses the ability as soon as the model that grants it is taken off the table.
- Tactics = The unit keeps the ability for the entire game, regardless of who dies.
Rules Clarification : Swift Hunter (Edit)
- Swift Hunter must be resolved before other abilities that involve attacks (such as Quick Work). Refer Step 12 vs 14 in the Attack Sequence appendix.
- Swift Hunter does not trigger off special ranged attacks, only basic ones.
- Swift Hunter is not limited to a models' activation; out-of-activation shots can also trigger it.
Rules Clarification : Practiced Maneuvers - None yet. (Edit)
Rules Clarification : Moment of Clarity (Edit)
| Restrictions on "Any Time" abilities (Edit)
- "Any Time" abilities can be used at any time during a model/unit's activation, except:
- The model with the Any Time ability has had their activation end "prematurely". By this I mean you resolve anything which includes "its activation ends". Examples include:
- Running, failing a charge, or failing a slam.
- Abilities that include "then its activation ends" (such as Reposition and Teleport).
- In between declaring your charge target and making your charge movement. (Infernal Ruling)
- In between completing your charge movement and determining whether it was a successful charge. (Infernal Ruling)
- You're in the middle of moving. (Note: Impact Attacks count as being in the middle of movement).
- You're in the middle of an attack. Note that the attack is not over until you finish step 14 of the attack sequence (Apdx A).
- Your opponent interrupted your activation to trigger one of their own abilities, such as Countercharge.
- In general you can use "Any Time" abilities while you're knocked down or stationary (except Spells and Feats which specify you can't).
- If you have a gun with a random ROF, you can use an "Any Time" ability inbetween rolling the number of shots and actually making the first attack. (Infernal Ruling)
- Units with "Any Time" abilities
- Even if the ability says "any time during the unit's activation", a model in a unit can't use an Any Time ability if they run, fail a charge, or use an ability like Reposition.
- Because that model's activation has ended (even if the unit's activation is still ongoing) and you can't use abilities on models that are not active.
- So, for example:
- You cannot use a minifeat after the Officer runs. (Infernal Ruling)
- You cannot use a minifeat after anyone in the unit has begun a Reposition move. (Infernal Ruling)
Rules Clarification : True Sight (Edit)
- You only ignore clouds for LOS. Models can still get the concealment bonus, trigger Prowl, etc from clouds. (Infernal Ruling)
- A model that ignores Stealth must ignore both aspects: both (1) the auto-missing, and (2) the 'not counting as an intervening model' parts.
- This can have some strange interactions with casters & channelers, if one has True Sight and one does not. There are examples on the Category:Channeler page.
Note to Editors
To edit the CA's tagged abilities, Click here