Drake MacBain

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Drake MacBain
Mercenary Ordic Warcaster

Some mercenaries fight for a lost home, for revenge, for adventure. Drake MacBain fights for coin. No mission too dangerous, no battlefield too bloody, he'll work for any of the warring nations of the Iron Kingdoms without moral qualm. MacBain fights with the gritty determination of the hired professional and will let nothing stop him from the completion of his contracts. He is the consummate mercenary and has the tools to finish any job.

Basic Info[edit]

41073 DrakeMacBain WEB.jpg
DEF 15
ARM 17
HP 17
Focus 6
WJP +30
See also How to Read the statblock


  • Dual Hand Cannon - 12" range, ROF 2, POW 12 gun.
    • Both Barrels (★ Attack) - This model gains +4 to the damage roll for this attack. This model cannot make additional ranged attacks with this weapon during an activation in which it used Both Barrels.


  • Mercenary - In a 2+ caster game, he can work as a Cryx mercenary, Cygnar mercenary, Khador mercenary, or Protectorate of Menoth mercenary.
  • Warcaster - All warcasters come with a stack of standard special rules - most notably being awesome.
  • Dodge - When an enemy misses this model with an attack at any time except when it is advancing, this model can immediately advance 2" ignoring free strikes.
  • Gang Fighter - When making a melee attack targeting an enemy model in the melee range of another friendly Faction warrior model, this model gains +2 to melee attack and melee damage rolls.
  • Tough - When this model is disabled, roll a d6. On a 5 or 6, remove 1 damage point from this model; it is no longer disabled and becomes knocked down. While knocked down this model loses Tough.


Countermeasure - Cost 2, 6" range, Upkeep

While within 5" of target friendly Faction model/unit, enemy models cannot make ranged attacks.

Energizer - Cost 2

Each model in the caster's battlegroup that is currently in its CTRL range can immediately advance up to 2". Energizer can be cast only once per activation.

Fail-Safe - Cost 2, 6" range, Upkeep

Target friendly Faction warjack gains +2 ARM and does not suffer the effects of crippled systems.

Fortune - Cost 2, 6" range, Upkeep

Target friendly Faction model/unit can reroll attack rolls once.

Jackhammer - Cost 1, 6" range

Target model in the caster's battlegroup immediately makes one basic melee attack.

Rift - Cost 3, 8" range, 4" AOE, POW 13

The AOE stays in play for one round as rough terrain.

Feat : True Grit[edit]

(Also called "God Mode" or "Ultimate Tough"). Choose d6+5 non-warcaster friendly Faction warrior models in Drake's CTRL range. For one round, when they're disabled, they instead auto-heal 1 damage point and become knocked down.

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Tip !
This isn't Tough, so the feat's effect remain in play even after the model became knocked down.

Thoughts on Drake[edit]

Drake MacBain in a nutshell[edit]

The mercenary's mercenary. Drake MacBain is a control and support warcaster who himself doesn't do that much, but whose feat allows the Mercenary all stars to employ their abilities without dying and make your opponent's life quite difficult.

Feat thoughts[edit]

How you use Macbain's feat goes quite a long way to determining whether you win or lose. The most common plan is to feat on several members of your Countermeasure unit, run them forward and create a wall beyond which the enemy cannot shoot, then move your army up behind it. This forces the opponent to move up and not shoot or kill anything and take the alpha strike on the chin, or back up and cede scenario play.

Feating on Large or Medium bases can create a wall the enemy cannot bypass and could possibly be used to get far up on scenario.

It is also helpful to have a way around the knockdown effect.

  • A Freebooter can prevent knockdown on feat turn.
  • Boomhowler's Reveille fell call can remove knockdown from models the turn after you feat, even solos and other units. This is integral to a strong Macbain list.
  • A unit of Press Gangers with Bosun Grogspar won't be knocked down on feat turn.

Spell thoughts[edit]

  • Countermeasure - Macbain's signature spell. This spell is best used on whatever obnoxious advance deploying unit you have. Feat on that unit and run it way up the board.
  • Energizer - Energizer is a wonderful spell, but whether Macbain uses it or not depends on whether you brought a Galleon or Nomads.
  • Fail Safe - Best used on Galleons as they become more difficult to remove and dangerous until completely destroyed. Far less effective on other warjacks, but you'll want to put it on something.
  • Fortune - Macbain's hit buff. As hit buffs go, it's one of the weaker ones, but it goes well with combined ranged/melee attacks and Jackhammer.
  • Jackhammer - This is Macbain's damage buff. Most effective when paired with a Galleon.
  • Rift - Used only in the late game when Macbain has to get things done himself or if you really need some rough terrain.

Typical Army & Strategy[edit]


Macbain plays well into most gun lines by creating an unkillable jamming wall of anti-shooting with his feat and countermeasure followed by a big alpha strike. He can also jam melee armies by putting unkillable bodies in their way to get the alpha. Watch out for Grievous Wounds, Entropic Force and Mortality.

With the advent of SR 2017, Macbain is in the unique position of being able to cheat the scenarios to some extent. With his feat, he can send a speedy model like a Kayazy Eliminator or a meager Press Ganger into your opponent's backfield to contest a zone or flag, and if they do not have a way to stop healing or to move that model, they will not score points on their turn. In scenarios like Spread the Net, this allows Macbain to get up on points extremely fast. This forces your opponent into a terrible position as they will need to sacrifice models to stay in the game and you will not be losing anything if you play Macbain's feat turn well.


Macbain has three upkeeps, Fortune, Jackhammer and Energizer. With 6 FOC to spend between those spells, his army needs to be constructed with a plan in mind because you can't use all his tools. If you bring a Galleon for Failsafe and Jackhammer, that's probably the only jack you'll have the focus to run. If you want to use Energizer with Nomads, you won't bring the Galleon.

Your next decision is which theme force you will take. In Kingmakers, MacBain has access to Rangers, Trencher Infantry and Longunners, Boomhowler gains ambush and Stannis can be a free model, furthermore models/units gain Feign Death, which can be handy with his feat. In Irregulars you have access to... nearly every merc option available. Which includes strong units and solos such as Kayazy Eliminators, Idrian Skirmishers, Lady Aiyana and Master Holt, Eiryss1 , Eilish, Ragman, Anastasia, and Sylys. All of which make it hard to justify any other theme.

The next decision to make is what to cast Countermeasure on. In Kingmakers, Rangers are a tremendous option because they run 14", Advance Deploy and give a hit boost to the Galleon. Outside of Kingmakers, Kayazy Assassins are popular due to having Stealth and needing no help from Macbain to do their jobs. Press Gangers are another fine choice as a cheap Advance Deploy unit to throw into your opponent's face quickly and not care if they die. Plus they can make more of themselves.

Greygore Boomhowler is a good pick thanks to Reveille standing up the models that get knocked down on Macbain's feat turn as well as an unkillable Cacaphony bubble if you can pull it off. They also gain Ambush in Kingmakers, for all that's worth.

Trencher Infantry or Croe's Cutthroats are fine targets for Fortune in the Kingmaker theme. Steelhead Halberdiers are always solid, and Steelhead Heavy Cavalry make good feat targets for an alpha strike, especially with Boomhowler nearby. In Irregulars, Kayazy Eliminators are great for feating and contesting zones, especially if you can get Boomhowler to stand them up. Fortune on Eiryss1 wins games. If you feat on Eilish Garrity and run him, he could remove your opponent's upkeeps the following turn.

Drawbacks & Downsides[edit]

  • With Jackhammer as his only damage buff, he has a bit of trouble with lots of ARM unless he brings help.
  • Failsafe is his only defensive spell for when the lines close and shooting becomes less important.
  • Upkeep removal ruins his day. Watch out for Rebuke and Purification.
  • Anything that prevents healing, like Grievous Wounds or Entropic Force, shuts down his feat.

Tricks & Tips[edit]

  • An unboosted Both Barrels attack is likely to do about the same amount of damage as a boosted-for-free charge attack, but has the added bonus of keeping you a lot further away from the enemy.
  • Use power models like Boomhowler, Eiryss1, Croe, Eilish and Orin to create no-shoot, no-magic bubbles that can't be killed and threaten assassination to create layers of control your opponent will have to chew clock to unravel.



Originally released in Forces of Warmachine: Mercenaries (July 2010)

Warjacks he can take[edit]

Mercenary Warjacks (Edit)
Light Buccaneer - Renegade (Magnus only) - Talon - Vanguard
Heavy Freebooter - Mangler - Mariner - Mule - Nomad - Rover - Toro
Gallant - Rocinante
Colossal Galleon

Theme Forces[edit]

Other Mercenary models[edit]



Mercenary 'Jack Controllers (Edit)
Warcasters Ashlynn - Caine3 - Captain Bart - Captain Damiano - Gastone2 - Captain Shae - Macbain - Constance - Fiona - Magnus1 - Magnus2
BGC Gastone Crosse
Marshals Colbie Sterling - Dirty Meg - Raluk Moorclaw - Rutger Shaw - Sam & the Devil Dogs
Mercenary Warjacks (Edit)
Light Buccaneer - Renegade (Magnus only) - Talon - Vanguard
Heavy Freebooter - Mangler - Mariner - Mule - Nomad - Rover - Toro
Gallant - Rocinante
Colossal Galleon
Rhulic 'Jack Controllers (Edit)
Warcasters Durgen Madhammer - General Ossrum - Gorten Grundback
Cannot take Colossals
Thor Steinhammer
Rhulic Warjacks (Edit)
Light Blaster- Gunner
Heavy Avalancher - Basher - Driller - Rockram
Colossal Earthbreaker
Cephalyx Warcasters (Edit)
Warcasters Cognifex Cyphon - Exulon Thexus
Cephalyx Monstrosities (Edit)
Heavy Subduer - Warden - Wrecker
Units, Solos, & Battle Engines
Warcaster attachments Madelyn Corbeau - Reinholdt - Wyshnalyrr
Lesser Warlocks Rorsh & Brine (Farrow) - Wrong Eye & Snapjaw (Gatorman)
Units Cephalyx Mind Bender - Cephalyx Mind Slaver - Cephalyx Overlords - High Shields - Artillery Corps - Forge Guard - Idrian Skirmishers - Kayazy Assassins - Kayazy Eliminators - Ogrun Assault Corps - Precursor Knights - Press Gangers - Sea Dog Pirates - Deck Gun - Steelhead Halberdiers - Steelhead Heavy Cavalry - Steelhead Riflemen - Tactical Arcanist Corps - Thorn Gun Mages
Special CA: Cephalyx Dominator
Character Units Alexia1 - Sam & The Devil Dogs - Croe's Cutthroats - Nyss Hunters - Blythe & Bull - Boomhowlers - Herne & Jonne - Aiyana & Holt - Lynus & Edrea - Commodore Cannon - Devil's Shadow Mutineers
Solos Cephalyx Agitator - Gobber Tinker - Ogrun Bokur - Swamp Gobber River Raider
Character Solos Alexia2 - Alten Ashley - Anastasia Di Bray - Bloody Bradigan - Bosun Grogspar - Brun & Lug - Colbie - Dahlia & Skarath - Dirty Meg - Doc Killingsworth - Eilish Garrity - Eiryss1 - Eiryss2 - Hawk - Gastone1 - Gorman - Gudrun - Harlan Versh - Hutchuk - Kell Bailoch - Lanyssa - Rockbottom - Major Harrison Gibbs - Dougal - Orin - Ragman - Raluk - Rhupert - Rorsh & Brine - Rutger - Savio - Saxon - Sergeant Nick - Stannis - Taryn - Thor - Viktor - Wrong Eye & Snapjaw
Battle Engines Hammerfall Siege Crawler
Theme Forces (Edit)
Hammer Strike - The Irregulars - The Kingmaker's Army - Operating Theater - The Talion Charter - Llaelese Resistance

Rules Clarifications[edit]

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Rules Clarification:  : Magical Damage      (Edit)
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* 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 : Both Barrels - None yet. (Edit)

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Rules Clarification : Knockdown      (Edit)

  • 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.

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Rules Clarification:  : Warcaster      (Edit)
(Click Expand to read)

  • General
    • FOCUS (uppercase) is the stat printed on the warcaster's card. Focus (lowercase) refers to focus points a model currently has.
    • Your CTRL area is double your FOCUS stat, not double your focus points. (Infernal Ruling)
    • Casting spells or using feats is an anytime ability with the added restriction that you can't use them on the same turn you run even before you run.
      • See also the clarifications on Any Time abilities (below).
    • Some warcasters are also Battle Engines and thus follow all the Battle Engine special rules.
      • There is no particular interaction between the Battle Engine rules and the Warcaster rules.
    • Work out all damage modifiers (such as Decapitation doubling the damage that exceeds ARM) before reducing it with the Power Field. (Infernal Ruling)

Restrictions on "Any Time" abilities     (Edit)      
  • "Any Time" abilities can be used at any time during a model/unit's activation, except:
    1. 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).
    2. In between declaring your charge target and making your charge movement. (Infernal Ruling)
    3. In between completing your charge movement and determining whether it was a successful charge. (Infernal Ruling)
    4. You're in the middle of moving. (Note: Impact Attacks count as being in the middle of movement).
    5. 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).
    6. 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)
  • Warcaster/Warlock Cavalry ( Edit )
    • Warcasters/Warlocks can't cast spells or use their feat while resolving Impact Attacks. Because Impact Attacks occur during movement - you can use spells or feat before moving, or after moving, but not during movement.
      • Exception: If your Impact target(s) include your charge target, then your movement has ended (refer rulebook, last paragraph of 'Impact Attacks') and thus you're fine to use "any time" abilities before starting the Impact attacks.

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Rules Clarification : Warcaster Unit or Warlock Unit     (Edit)
This summary is specific to Warcaster/Warlock units. You may also want to check the Warcasters & Warlocks page for the 'regular' rules clarifications.

  • If you're giving an order, it must be done first, before casting any spells or using your feat.
  • All models in the unit count as part of the battlegroup. So, for instance, Butcher3's argus can be moved via his Energizer spell.
  • Only the warcaster/warlock model can dominate a Steam Roller scenario. They can do that regardless of where the grunts are.
  • The grunt models can contest Steam Roller scenarios, but not control them.
  • Warcaster units can have attachments. They can even attach units (such as the WSC). (Infernal Ruling)
  • Units Buying Attacks (Edit)
    • If you make attacks with model [A], then start making attacks with model [B], you cannot 'go back' and buy more attacks with [A]. Because:
    • A model can only buy additional attacks during its Combat Action.
    • A model in a unit must complete its Combat Action before the next model starts theirs (with some exceptions, like CMA).
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Rules Clarification : Unit of Warcasters or Warlocks     (Edit)

  • Even though they're warcasters, if they're out of formation they suffer the normal penalties (can't make attacks, actions, spells, etc).
  • They can't upkeep each other's spells.
  • They can only dominate one SteamRoller scenario element at a time.
  • Each warlock/warcaster can have different upkeeps on them if those upkeeps are "target SELF" or "target model". If you cast an upkeep that is "target model/unit", that is the only upkeep any of them can have.
  • Units Buying Attacks (Edit)
    • If you make attacks with model [A], then start making attacks with model [B], you cannot 'go back' and buy more attacks with [A]. Because:
    • A model can only buy additional attacks during its Combat Action.
    • A model in a unit must complete its Combat Action before the next model starts theirs (with some exceptions, like CMA).
  • The Legion Twins
    • Rhyas cannot dominate a zone while out of formation.
    • Rhyas can use the feat while out of formation.
  • Haley3
    • Only Haley Prime is an 'actual' warcaster model, and as such she is the only one that can dominate a scenario element.
    • The echoes can Control/Contest scenarios like a normal unit.
    • Haley Prime can dominate an element even if the echoes are out of formation.
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Rules Clarification : Grievous Wounds      (Edit)

  • GW prevents "repairs" as well as "heals".
  • It does not stop a warlock transferring damage, or stop the wounded model from being able to 'heal' someone else.
  • Does not affect models with the Massive rule.
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Rules Clarification : Gang and/or Gang Fighter     (Edit)

  • You can gain the Gang bonus vs knocked down/stationary models (refer to the latest Errata).
  • You can gain the Gang bonus on free strikes, but generally only the first "Ganger" will get it.
For example, if a target is engaged by two models with Gang, when it leaves the melee range of the first Ganger it suffers a free strike with the Gang bonus. Then it leaves the melee range of the second and suffers a normal free strike.

Rules Clarification : Tough - None yet. (Edit)

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Rules Clarification : Dodge      (Edit)

  • Dodge triggers after any missed attack - melee, ranged, or magic.
  • If you shoot at a model with Dodge that's in melee and miss, Dodge will trigger regardless of whether you then hit the random new target or not.
    • The Dodge movement occurs after making the attack against the new target.
  • An enemy model with 2" melee range that is B2B with you before you Dodge, will be exactly 2" away afterwards, and thus will be able to attempt a 2nd melee attack.
  • If you're missed by an AOE attack, but it doesn't deviate very far and still hits you then: Dodge still triggers, but the AOE does damage before you get the Dodge movement. (Infernal Ruling)
  • Dodge plus Riposte (Edit)
    • If a model has both Dodge and Riposte, Dodge triggers before Riposte (Appendix A Step 12 vs Step 14).

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Rules Clarification : Jackhammer      (Edit)

  • The caster can cast Jackhammer on themself (as they're a member of their own battlegroup).
    • The caster can do this before advancing. They can even choose to do initial ranged attack(s) as their combat action, after casting the spell.
  • Battlegroup members (Edit)
    • Spells that target/affect "models in the battlegroup" can also target/will also affect the caster, the caster's unit (if they have one), and the caster's Companion (if they have one).
    • It won't target/affect models which are Attached, though.
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Rules Clarification : Energizer      (Edit)

  • The models affected are determined when you cast the spell. If you then use the Energizer move to move the caster forward and try and get more models into their control range, it makes no difference.

Rules Clarification : Countermeasure - None yet. (Edit)
Rules Clarification : Fortune - None yet. (Edit)

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Rules Clarification : Fail-Safe      (Edit)

  • Fail-Safe only protects against those effects described in the core rulebook.
    Other "effects" of crippled systems that are on a model's card (such as Deathjack not generating free focus when his Skulls of Hate are crippled) are not ignored by Fail-Safe. (Infernal Ruling)

Rules Clarification : Rift - None yet. (Edit)