Captain E. Dominic Darius
Encased in his enormous steam-powered armor, Captain Darius strides into battle like a man of iron. The most ingenious element of this walking arsenal is a drone deployment system allowing him to unleash a number of halfjacks to serve as both weapons and battlefield repair assistants. Darius and his battlegroup act in tandem to disassemble the enemy army with the precision of a well-tuned machine.
- 1 Basic Info
- 2 Analysis of Darius
- 3 List Building Advice
- 4 Other
- Warcaster - All warcasters come with a stack of standard special rules - most notably being awesome. (Click the link for a full rundown.)
- Repair [d3+3] (★ Action) - RNG B2B. Target friendly Faction construct model. If the model is in range, remove d3+3 damage points from it.
- Repairable - This model can be targeted with Repair special actions as if it were a construct model.
- Activate Halfjack - Darius comes with a set of halfjacks. At the start of the turn, if he has fewer than three, you add to play one halfjack.
- Crane - Once per turn at any time during its activation, this model can choose one other friendly large-based or smaller model within 2" of it. You can place that model anywhere completely within 2" of its current location, and if it was knocked down, it immediately stands up unless it was knocked down this turn.
- Steam Cannon - 12" range, POW 14, AOE 4 gun.
- Quake Hammer - 1" reach, P+S 15 melee weapon. He apparently stole it from an Ironclad.
- Wrench - 0.5" reach, P+S 11 melee weapon.
- Arcantrik Bolt - Cost 2, 10" range, POW 12
- If this spell damages a warjack, it suffers stationary for one round.
- Fortify - Cost 2, 6" range, Upkeep
- Target warjack in the caster's battlegroup gains +2 ARM and cannot be knocked down, pushed or moved by a slam. This immunity is also passed to friendly models B2B with the jack.
- Full Throttle - Cost 3, Target SELF
- 1) Warjacks in the caster's battlegroup that start their activation in his control range can run/charge/trample/slam for free. 2) All battlegroup models gain boosted melee attack rolls while in the caster's control range. Lasts one turn.
- Jackhammer - Cost 1, 6" range
- Target model in the caster's battlegroup immediately makes one basic melee attack.
- Refuge - Cost 2, 6" range, Upkeep
- At the end of an activation in which the target friendly Faction model hit an enemy model with an attack, the affected model can make a full advance that ignores free strikes.
Feat: Pit Stop
Darius and the Halfjacks in his battlegroup currently in his control range can each completely repair one friendly Cygnar warjack with which he or it is B2B. Remove all damage from those warjacks.
Darius starts the game with 3 Halfjacks solos in play.
- Construct - This model is a construct and is not a living model.
- Companion [Darius] - This model only comes with Darius, is part of their battlegroup, and if Darius dies this model is RFP'd.
- Prime Mine (★ Action) - Replace this model with a mine marker. You can have up to three mine markers in play at any time. After resolving continuous effects during your Maintenance Phase, you can detonate any number of friendly mine markers. Center a 4" AOE template on each detonated mine and remove the mine marker from the table. Models in the AOE are hit and suffer an unboostable POW 14 blast damage roll.
- Repair  (★ Action) - RNG B2B. Target friendly Faction construct model. If the model is in range, remove 1 damage points from it.
- Unarmed - This model has no weapons.
- Heavy Metal
- Sons of the Tempest
- Storm Division. Darius and the halfjacks gain Immunity: Electricity in this theme.
Analysis of Darius
Darius in a nutshell
Darius is a melee brawler of a warjack controller, able to toughen warjacks, to repair them, able to speed up one heavy a turn, and relatively focus efficient.
He is one of five Cygnaran battlegroup warcasters:
- Captain Allison Jakes - speed and fast melee hit and run
- Captain E. Dominic Darius - brawl and win the attrition game
- Captain Kara Sloan - shoot the enemy to pieces
- Captain Jeremiah Kraye - Run and Gun shooter
- Commander Adept Nemo & Storm Chaser Finch - fully loading battle group backed up by shooting.
He has quite a beefy frame (on par with Butcher) to fend off half-hearted assassination attempts, allowing you to worry a bit less for his personal safety than with other casters in the faction. Make no mistake though; he is on medium base, and only as durable as a light warjack. Anything that can one-round a Sentinel or a Charger can make short work on him too.
- Arcantrik Bolt - Your only tool for hunting Incorporeal models. Considering your shallow FOCUS pool, it is quite unlikely to be used during the battle, save for endgames. Then, you might want to use it against a warjack to bestow its Stationary effect upon it. If you manage to knock it down as well, the jack will suffer both effects.
- Fortify - Your bread&butter spell, usually will be on your biggest, meanest brawler jack from turn one, and won't be dropped until it falls. Since Darius tends to operate close to the front to use his Crane ability, it defends him from occasional slams against the screening warjacks to knock him down. It makes a Sturdy + Steady model out of your jack, and all those in B2B. You are also protected against non-power attack slams, like Thunder Strike or Force Hammer. Watch for the wording; affected models can still be made stationary, be placed, or be moved via Power Strikes and Throws. If you bring a Journeyman Warcaster (and usually you will), you can opt to drop Fortify onto a light like a Sentinel, hiding behind your Colossal in B2B, and cast Arcane Shield onto the colossal for a respectable +5 ARM.
- Refuge - Despite its name, it can be just as good for threat extension, as for seeking shelter after an attack. Considering his low speed Darius himself can also be a good target for that. Read the spell's rules clarification page.
- Jackhammer - Run up, and send a sucker punch into the opponent's face. It is limited to basic attacks, so you cannot use the Ironclad's Tremor attack for example. Unless you cast Full Throttle first, you also cannot boost the attack rolls. Since its range is short, consider arcing through a Lancer. Three Warjacks in particular love this spell: the Lancer, the Defender, and the Hurricane. Buying additional Cortex-Damaging attacks can be a great way to disable multiple enemy jacks in a single turn.
- Full Throttle - One of the best battlegroup spell for melee warjacks, this has all the higher return-on-investment the larger your battlegroup is. Since it eats up half of your FOCUS pool and Power-Up grants you free focus, always calculate when you'll reach a break-even point. Look for warjacks with nice critical effects, like the Thunderhead, the Ironclad or the Centurion. You can also use it on a crucial warjack, which hangs outside your CTRL area during your control phase, but you still want to charge/run with it. It can also partially offset disabled cortex systems, and weapon systems to some extent. Especially useful if your jacks suffered Disruption en masse (like in a Nemo1 mirror match), as you can still run them for free. A note on wording: to get the free charge/slam/trample/run, it is enough to start the model's activation in the caster's CTRL area, but to gain the boosted melee attack rolls you must be within CTRL range at the time of the attack - so don't run too far up ahead. Darius also gains the boosted melee attack rolls.
Simple as it gets: you remove all damage point from as many jacks as you can get into B2B with your caster and the half-jacks. Don't expect it to be a game changer though - enemies will concentrate on one jack at a time, ensuring that it won't get up after a proper beating. Restoring your banged-up colossal from 4 boxes to full sounds awesome, but opponents will rarely do that favor. If you can save a heavy - go for it, it can give you the necessary advantage in the war of attrition. Also, be on the lookout for the abilities that cancel healing (see Drawbacks and Downsides). Keep in mind that though colossi cannot be affected by Grievous Wounds, other tricks like Entropic Aura can still stall your repair attempts. In such cases pay attention to remove those "jamming" models before your feat.
You should also consider this feat's passive benefits. By having this on the table, you are forcing your opponent to commit (and sometimes over-commit) to "one-rounding" your 'Jacks (and, more importantly, your Colossal). Use the threat of the full repair to goad your opponent into overestimating the resources needed! Example would be to have your opponent over-commit to one flank in early turns.
Drawbacks & Downsides
- He is focus starved.
- He and his jacks are pretty sensitive to difficult terrain, SPD de-buffs, jamming units, and Incorporeal models.
- No army support outside warjacks.
- Enemies will rarely leave around half-dead warjacks for your feat.
- Grievous wounds and effects like Entropic Force or the Accursed Arcana shut down your feat completely (the latter 2 can affect your colossi as well).
Tricks & Tips
- Darius cannot use his repair ability on himself, as he cannot be in B2B with himself.
- Feel free to use the halfjacks as charge-lane blockers, or contesting pieces. They're also solos, ideal for scoring on flags.
- Remember that Prime Mined halfjack explosions are "may" and not a "must". You can happily walk into your own mine field without fear. Walk a tasty target on top of one of your own mines and your opponent will need to do a cost-vs-reward analysis to engage.
- Crane is only limited to friendly models, not friendly faction models. Feel free to crane out Eyriss from melee if the enemy ran in to engage her.
- Study your opponent's list carefully, especially models with Steady, Sturdy and blast immunity.
- You can change the facing of the craned model - use it in case your key models were turned around due to Domination or Telekinesis to counter charges, or if the enemy simply ran behind you to avoid being charged at.
Darius can be quite unforgiving in terms of order of activation for beginners. Here's a short guide for him:
- Maintenance Phase - This is where you blow up Mine markers, after you resolved continuous effects, and resolved everything else that happens in this phase (like attacks from Rapid Fire). If you skipped that, no explosions for you.
- Control Phase - You put new Halfjacks into play at the end of this phase, so Power Up and allocate Focus first, if you don't want to be called out by your opponent.
- Activation Phase - That is where your Crane ability can be triggered. As with all the "any time during its activation", it cannot be triggered after you ran, or failed a charge, but can be triggered for example after you hit something under your Refuge spell, or you made a charge move, but before you attack. Read the End of Activation article for a detailed rundown.
List Building Advice
Darius has remarkable tools for attrition and also to deny the opponent's scoring with the half-jacks and their minefields or by simply placing immovable contesting jacks into zones. He may also manipulate the threat range of a single model, or provide excellent focus efficiency for his battlegroup.
This one seems like a no-brainer for Darius. You can get all the necessary supporting solos for (nearly) free and you'd take all the jacks anyway. However, this force has several weak points, especially mobility and dealing with jamming infantry.
- Sentinel - his ARM and HP boxes make him one of the toughest warcasters in the game, but the Sentinel is still useful for dissuading ranged assassination runs.
- Long Gunners - As your threat range tends to be short, faster enemies may try to outmaneuver you. Long Gunners can put pressure on them to come closer, and can help you to score in the circular zones in scenarios.
- Sword Knights - Cheap, disposable screen for your slower jacks, who can hit way above their class due to Flank.
Sons of the Tempest
This list solve all the issues with Incorporeal models, for a trivial amount of points. Gun Mages are fragile and usually have problem of dealing with heavy armor - but that's what your jacks are there for.
- Arcane Tempest Gun Mages - A unit with their CA is just enough to give you a free solo, great protection against Incorporeal models, means to harass stealthy foes and a modicum of board control with their Thunderbolt rounds.
- Tempest Blazers also excel at harassing flanks and hunting solos, and deal out more damage with their Brutal Damage ammo type.
Though the above mentioned support solos are readily available and Storm Knights are more or less self-supporting units, they tend to be very expensive to reach the free-model point threshold. With the changes in Immunity:Electricity, your means to remove chaff infantry with electro-leaps from your own models were greatly diminished. However, Stormclads may operate very efficiently in Darius' battlegroup thanks to their Accumulator rule.
Probably the hardest theme to play with him, as most of the important support solos will be unavailable, save for replacing Arlan with Aiyana under Murdoch's care for magical attacks. Trenchers in general tend to be self-sufficient units, and Rangers can shore up your chances to hit with your ranged warjacks, but you will be hard-pressed to squeeze in the desired amount of warjacks beside the expensive trencher infantry.
Battlegroup, Mercenaries, Etc
When building an army with Darius, you should have an insanely good reason to leave out the following models:
- Journeyman Warcaster - Arcane Shield is really useful for making tough jacks tougher, and you can put Fortify elsewhere. He can run a Charger or a Sentinel.
- Squire - vital to extending full throttle's reach and helping lessen his focus burden.
- Arlan - He's short on magical attacks, something Arlan can mitigate. He can occasionally hand out extra focus, or repair Darius in a pinch. Problem is that he cannot be everywhere at once, and will probably be a high-priority target for your opponent, especially if they rely on spamming Incorporeal models
Darius likes tough melee warjacks that he can repair.
- Centurion - With full throttle, it can polarity field in the opening turns, and it is a tough and hard hitting melee jack. Fortify makes it even harder to kill.
- Hammersmith - Cheap, tough, and hard hitting melee jack. Full throttle means he will definitely get his chain attack off.
- Ironclad - Cheap and focus-efficient melee jack. A boosted tremor (thanks to full throttle) can be game ending.
- Defender or Lancer are both ideal targets for Jackhammer, helping them to knock out a warjack's cortex. The former also has decent ranged capability, and the latter can actually help channeling Jackhammer to other targets.
- Stormclad - He has the longest native threat range of any Cygnar heavy, and the highest native P+S, 2 things that Darius struggles to buff.
- Stormwall or Hurricane - Cygnar's two Colossi are both extremely tough and get a lot of mileage out of Darius' feat. The Hurricane has the added bonus of cortex-damage on his fists as well as an arc-node, and both help get mileage from Jackhammer.
- Originally released in Warmachine: Apotheosis (2005)
Other Cygnar models
Note to Editors