Warcasters & Warlocks

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Warcasters and Warlocks are the leaders of your forces, and are the combined equivalent of the king and queen in chess. Loss of your warcaster normally results in you instantly losing the game (referred to as "Assassination Victory"), although some game variants allow the game to continue with different win conditions. However even in this case, with the loss of your most powerful piece and the instant shut-down of their entire warjack/warbeast battlegroup, it is unlikely that a win is still within your grasp.

All warcasters & warlocks are also characters. Over time new versions of a characters have been released as the storyline has developed. Later versions are __NOT__ more powerful then their counterparts, but instead have different focuses in the themes presented or take on new abilities as the character grows.

It is common to use numerical shorthand to differentiate between different iterations. For example, Kreoss can be fielded as High Exemplar Kreoss {Kreoss1}, Grand Exemplar Kreoss {Kreoss2}, and Intercessor Kreoss {Kreoss3}. There is other shorthand, such as pKreoss, eKreoss (for Prime vs Epic versions).

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Throughout this article, reference is made to "warcaster", "focus", and "warjack". Unless noted otherwise, the words are interchangeable with "warlock", "fury", and "warbeast". (Because I got sick of writing sentences that went "The warcaster/warlock can spend focus/fury to help his warjack/warbeast")

Warcaster Playstyles[edit]

Different warcasters play in very different ways, from assassins to support. A warcaster's playstyle will be driven, in my opinion, primarily by their spell list, secondly by their feat, and thirdly by their personal abilities & weapons.

Often, a warcaster will be able to play in multiple ways, depending on what sort of army accompanies him/her/it or even just depending on the current battlefield situation.

That being said, the "main" playstyles can be summarised as follows:

  • Support casters - Support casters are often "squishy" with poor DEF/ARM and a habit of spending all their focus on spells. They also don't have particularly great combat stats.
  • Army support - This sort of warcaster has a lot of spells to make their army hit harder and/or more accurately. A good example is Deneghra1.
  • Jack support - Same as Army Support, but with a focus on jacks. A good example is Master Necrotech Mortenebra.
  • Assassin support - This sort of warcaster has spells that make a single unit/model able to outmaneuver the enemy and/or deliver a powerful attack. A good example is the Witch Coven.
  • Tank - Tank casters have good DEF/ARM and hitpoints, and tend to cast no spells and instead camp focus for the ARM bonus. They then wade into the enemy lines and laugh at their puny attacks. A good example is Terminus.
  • Assassin - An assassin caster is similar to a tank, but with less durability combined with either more maneuverability and/or greater range on their attacks. They often rely heavily on their feat to actually conduct the assassination. A good example is Caine2.
  • Scenario caster or Control caster - This type of caster has spells that limits the enemy maneuverability, with a focus on driving them out of scenario zones so that your army can control and score the zones. A good example is Haley2 (Placeholder. - need a better example for Mk3).
  • Attrition caster - This is a variation on an army support caster, with a focus on tying enemy units up with units that can't be killed easily, and/or return to play as quickly as they are killed. A good example is Morvahna2.

Standard Special rules[edit]

"Standarised Specialisation", bit of an oxymoron, eh? Moving right along.

The rules that all warcaster & warlock models share are covered in detail in the main rulebook, but to recap they are:

Warlocks & Warcasters

  • Battlegroup Commander - This model controls a group of powerful models: warcasters control warjacks, and warlocks control warbeasts.
  • Feat - This model has a once-per-game ability, so powerful as to change everything (if used at the right time). Every single feat is different.
  • Control Area - You have a Control area, equal to double your focus/fury. Warjacks/warbeasts that stay within your control area gain additional bonuses, and many spells and feats affect everything in the CTRL area.

Warcasters only
Focus - Focus is probably the most defining aspect of the warcaster model. Basically, the key points are:

  • At the start of each turn, the focus leftover from last turn expires, and you regain a new stack.
  • You can allocate focus to warjacks you control.
    • Once a warjack has focus, it can wander out of your CTRL area and still spend it as normal.
  • Focus that you keep you can spend to cast spells, boost attacks, or buy extra attacks.
  • Focus that you keep and don't spend gives you the option of negating damage from enemy attacks.

Warlocks only
Fury - Fury is probably the most defining aspect of the warlock model. Basically, the key points are:

  • At the start of each turn, the fury leftover from last turn doesn't expire but you don't regain a new stack.
  • Instead, at the start of each turn you have to leech fury that has been generated by your warbeasts. You can also gain 1 fury point from each warbeast that has died.
    • If you don't have enough capacity to leech it away from the warbeasts, then those warbeasts might frenzy!
    • Warbeasts can only generate Fury when they're forced to do something (like boost an attack), and they can only be forced while they stay in your CTRL area.
  • Warlocks can also gather Fury from warbeasts that die to an enemy attack (if they want) and, in extreme circumstances, cut themselves to generate fury.
  • Fury that you keep you can spend to cast spells, boost attacks, or buy extra attacks. Or you can "dump" it, to give yourself space to gather next turn's fury and avoid frenzies.
  • Fury that you keep and don't spend allows you to transfer damage that your warlock takes to one of the warbeasts, instead.
    • Of course, this limits how much capacity you'll have to gather next turn's fury.

Rules Clarifications[edit]

Standard Warcasters

  • Your CTRL area is double your current focus statistic, not however many focus points you currently have.
  • 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.
  • 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 (e.g. running, failing a charge, failing a slam).
        • Even if the ability says "any time during the unit's activation", a model in a unit can't use it after they run/fail a charge. Because that model's activation has ended (even if the unit's is still ongoing) and you can't use abilities on models that are not active.
      2. You're in the middle of moving. (Note: Impact Attacks count as being in the middle of movement).
      3. 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).
      4. 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 you specifically can't.

Battle Engine Warcasters

  • 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.

Rules Clarification : Warcaster Cavalry or Warlock Cavalry     (Edit)
This summary just covers the interaction of Warcaster & Cavalry rules. See also the Warcasters & Warlocks and/or Cavalry pages for the more 'generic' rules clarifications.

  • 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.

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 argii 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 model 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 (with some exceptions, like CMA).

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 model 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 (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.

See also[edit]