LPG - Infernals
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Unique Faction Rules
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- This article is part of Warmachine University's Learning to Play the Game (LPG) series, which is "Intermediate Training" aimed at new players who are still learning the core rules.
- (See also Basic Training and Advanced Training.)
The Infernal Faction was released 2019.06 and it introduced two new model types to the game, Infernal Masters and Horrors, which are the Faction's equivalent to warcasters and warjacks respectively. There is also a type of solo called a Master Infernalist, which is the equivalent to a "Junior Warcaster".
They also introduce two new game mechanics, essence and summoning. Essence is the Faction's equivalent to focus, and summoning ... is its own thing.
- 1 Essence
- 2 Infernal Masters
- 3 Horrors
- 4 Summoning
- 5 Other
- 6 Official Rules
Essence is the Infernal's version of focus or fury. It is integral to the entire design of the Faction, with everything being balanced around how they generate essence and how they spend it.
Essence does not auto-replenish (like focus does). Essence is not generated by your battlegroup then leeched from them (like fury is).
Instead, to replenish essence during the Control Phase, Infernal Masters must choose a friendly non-soulless model in their control range to sacrifice. The sacrifice is RFP'd, and essence gets topped back up to full.
- If you choose a trooper to sacrifice, it needs to be in formation.
- If there are no non-soulless models available, you can cut yourself to top up essence, at a 1 hitpoint to 1 essence ratio (like a warlock does).
- After topping up, any enemy souls you collected last round will convert into "bonus" essence via the Cull Soul rule.
- In general, essence is spent on the same things as fury and focus: to buy and boost attacks, cast spells, and make power attacks.
- When an Infernal Master is damaged by an enemy attack, they can spend essence to transfer that damage to a horror in their battlegroup (like a warlock does). Note that you can transfer to the horror even if it's at full essence (unlike a warbeast).
- Infernal Masters can spend essence to heal themselves or their horrors (like a warlock does).
- Infernal Masters can spend essence to summon more Horrors into the game. See the #Summoning section.
- Horrors need to pay their Tithe to stay in existence.
- Tithe occurs at the end of the Infernal player's turn. Each horror spends one essence to stay in play.
- The Infernal Master cannot pay tithe on behalf of a horror.
- Paying tithe is optional, but any horrors that don't pay it will be RFP'd.
Essence - Other
- All models with the ESSENCE stat start the game with full essence.
- Essence does not auto-expire. It stays on the model until it is spent.
- Infernal Masters can allocate essence to their Horrors (like how a warcaster allocates focus).
The official rules document has a bunch of special rules for infernal masters, but most of it boils down to simply giving them the rules that lets them gain/spend essence as described above, summon horrors as described below, have a battlegroup, have a feat, etcetera.
In addition to these "boilerplate" rules, they also get:
- Inscrutable - Opponents cannot take control of this model.
- Damage Transference - When an Infernal Master is damaged, it can spend an essence point to transfer that damage to one of their Horrors (like a warlock). Note that you can transfer to the horror even if it's at full essence (unlike a warbeast).
- Infernal Master Destruction - When an Infernal Master is destroyed or RFP'd then horrors in their battlegroup are RFP'd. Warjacks go inert, warbeasts go wild, but horrors? Horrors go poof and vanish.
A Master Infernalist is a mortal human who can control horrors, and are Infernal's equivalent of a "Junior Warcaster" or Lesser Warlock. A Master Infernalist shares all the same rules as Infernal Masters, except the Master Infernalist does not have a feat. As such everything on this page is equally applicable to an Infernalist Master.
Horrors can be put in your army list as part of a battlegroup, and you can Summon additional Horrors during the game (as described below).
Horrors gain several advantages in comparison to warjacks, and come with a couple of inherent drawbacks:
- They can run, charge, or power attack for free (until their first damage web is crippled)
- Horrors are living but Soulless (a destroyed Horror will generate a corpse but not a soul)
- Additional horrors can be summoned mid-game, as described below.
Damaging a horror
Horrors have a damage web (instead of a grid or spiral), which is made up of three circles surrounding one another
Damage is not randomly assigned, you start at the outer layer, fill it up in any order, then work your way to the next circle inwards.
- If the outer circle is filled the Horror can no longer run, charge, or make a power attack for free.
- If the middle circle is filled the Horror rolls one fewer die on all attack rolls (damage rolls are unaffected).
- If the inner circle is filled the Horror is disabled-boxed-destroyed.
Horrors and essence
- Horrors do not benefit from the Power Up rule.
- Horrors can be allocated essence (like how a warcaster allocates focus)
- Essence doesn't expire
- Horrors must pay Tithe each turn (as described in the Essence section above).
Summoning allows an infernal master to use essence points to summon a horror from beyond time and space to add to its battlegroup.
Summoned horrors do not need to be part of your army list, you get to choose which one your summoning if and when you summon it - letting you adapt your army to whatever the current gamestate needs. You're limited only by which models you physically own (or which models your opponent will let you proxy).
Summoning a horror
- An infernal master can summon one Horror per round, at any time during the master's activation.
- The master has to spend essence points equal to the ESSENCE stat of the horror being summoned.
- Choose a friendly Marked Soul in the master's command range to be the "Vessel".
Because it is a "choose", not a "target", you don't need LOS.
- The chosen model is RFP'd and you replace it with the Horror.
If there is insufficient room to place the horror, you can't put it there. Refer to the "Replace" rules in the core rulebook.
Summoned horror - Arrival turn
- A summoned horror enters play with only 1 essence point on it.
- You can't allocate essence to it (because that happens during the Control Phase, which is already over). You can fill it up with a Cultist Band, though.
- A summoned horror must forfeit its Combat Action the turn it entered play.
- A summoned horror still needs to pay Tithe as per normal.
Abilities that don't work on Infernals
There are a variety of abilities in the rules that interact explicitly with warcasters, warjacks, warlocks, or warbeasts. Because infernal masters and horrors are none of these, those abilities simply have no special effect vs the infernals. These beings came from outside time & space, and you expect your old tools to be fully effective?!
To give some examples:
- Infernal Masters are not warcasters or warlocks. Abilities like Siphon Bolt or Venethrax1's feat won't affect then.
- Infernal Horrors are not warjacks or warbeasts. Abilities like 'Jack Hunter won't affect them.
- Infernal Horrors don't have columns or spirals, nor do they have systems or aspects. Abilities that target a specific column/spiral/system (such as Precision Strike) don't affect them. Damage will just be applied normally.
List of Infernal models
|Infernal Index (Edit)|
|Unique Rules : Masters, Horrors, Essence, & Summoning|
|Infernal Masters||Agathon - Omodamos - Zaateroth|
|Attachment (1)||Lord Roget d'Vyaros|
|Master Infernalist||Princess Regna|
|Lesser||Foreboder||Heavy||Desolator - Soul Stalker - Tormentor|
|Light||Lamenter - Shrieker||Colossal||Guardian of Souls - Harvester of Souls|
|Units, Solos, & Structures|
Eilish1 - Eilish2 - Great Princess Regna Gravnoy (Master Infernalist) - Hermit of Henge Hold - Lord Roget d'Vyaros (Attachment) - Lynda the Forgotten - Nicia2 - Orin1 - Saxon Orrik - Runewood2 - The Wretch - Umbral Guardian - Valin Hauke, The Fallen Knight
|Dark Legacy - Hearts of Darkness||J.A.I.M.s|
This index was last updated: 2021.07
(1) - Note that an Infernal Master Attachment is not part of the battlegroup, they are merely listed there for convenience.
Rules Clarification : Infernal Master (Edit)
Rules Clarification : Inscrutable - None yet. (Edit)
Rules Clarification : Horror (Edit)
Rules Clarification : Master Infernalist (Edit)
Page 95 of the 2020.02 edition of the core rules
Infernals are beings from beyond Caen with but one interest in humanity: the acquisition of souls. For centuries, they worked in secret through their agents, bartering for souls in exchange for services and arcane power. Now they have come in force to collect their due in fulfillment of an ancient pact sworn by the gods.
Infernal forces are led by infernal masters, tremendously powerful beings able to command the terrifying infernal horrors. Infernal masters are among the most potent entities known to exist beyond Caen. They wield arcane power beyond reckoning and are unfettered by natural law. They are the Infernal equivalents to warcasters and warlocks.
A battlegroup includes an infernal master and the horrors it controls.
Infernal masters are independent warrior models.
All infernal masters have the following special rules.
INFERNAL MASTERS & FREE POINTS
Like warcasters and warlocks, infernal masters do not cost army points to include in your army. Instead, infernal masters grant you free points that can be spent only on horrors for your infernal master’s battlegroup. These bonus points are in addition to the army points determined for the game, and any free points not spent on horrors for an infernal master’s battlegroup are lost.
This model can control a group of horrors. This model and the horrors it controls are collectively referred to as a battlegroup. This model can allocate essence points to horrors in its battlegroup.
Since infernal masters and horrors are independent models, each model in a battlegroup can move freely about the battlefield separate from the rest of the group. Although horrors usually benefit from remaining within their infernal master’s control range, they are not required to do so.
Only friendly models can be part of a battlegroup. If a rule causes a horror to become an enemy model, it is not part of its original battlegroup while that rule is in effect.
Opponents cannot take control of infernal masters.
Each infernal master has a unique feat that can turn the tide of battle if used at the right time. An infernal master can use its feat at any time during its activation. An infernal master cannot use its feat during an activation it runs and cannot interrupt movement or an attack to use it. It can use its feat before moving, after moving, before making an attack, or after an attack but not while moving or attacking. An infernal master that uses its Normal Movement to run cannot use its feat that activation.
An infernal master can use its feat only once per game.
- ESSENCE is a measure of a model’s arcane power. For horrors, ESSENCE indicates how many essence points an infernal master must spend to summon the horror, as well as the amount of essence points the horror itself can have at any time. For a model with the Essence Manipulation special rule, such as an infernal master, ESSENCE determines its control range and beginning essence points. A model uses its ESSENCE when making magic attack rolls.
- Infernal masters do not replenish their essence points like a warcaster replenishes its focus points or a warlock leeches fury points. Instead, an infernal master must either draw on the vitality if its physical form or it must sacrifice one of its mortal servants to regain its essence points.
- Infernal masters and horrors start the game with a number of essence points equal to their essence stats.
This model has an ESSENCE stat. At the start of your Control Phase, this model can replenish its essence points either through leeching or sacrifice (see below). This model begins the game with a number of essence points equal to its ESSENCE. Unless otherwise stated, this model can spend essence points only during its activation.
A model with the Essence Manipulation special rule has a control range and can spend its essence points for additional melee attacks, to boost attack and damage rolls, and to shake some effects. During its controller’s Maintenance Phase, a model with the Essence Manipulation special rule loses all essence points in excess of its ESSENCE stat.
Infernal masters start the game with a number of essence points equal to their ESSENCE stats.
Allocating Essence Points
An infernal battlegroup commander can allocate essence points to the horrors in its battlegroup during your Control Phase. A horror must be in its battlegroup commander’s control range to be allocated focus, though it need not be in its line of sight. A horror cannot exceed its ESSENCE stat in essence points at any time.
This model has a control range, a circular area centered on the model with a radius that extends out from the edge of its base a number of inches equal to twice its current ESSENCE. A model is always considered to be in its own control range. When a special rule changes a model’s current ESSENCE, its control range changes accordingly. Some spells and feats use the control range, noted as “CTRL,” as their range or area of effect.
To replenish its essence points during your Control Phase, this model can choose a friendly non-soulless model in its control range. Troopers that are out of formation cannot be chosen. Remove the chosen model from play, and this model gains essence points so that it has a number equal to its current ESSENCE.
During its controlling player’s Control Phase, a model with the Essence Manipulation special rule can also leech essence points from its own life force to replenish its essence points. For each essence point a model gains from leeching, it suffers 1 damage point. This damage cannot be transferred. This model cannot exceed its ESSENCE in essence points as a result of leeching.
An infernal master cannot leech essence points from horrors in its battlegroup the way a warlock can leech fury points from its warbeasts.
ESSENCE: Additional Attack
This model can spend essence points to make additional melee attacks as part of its Combat Action. It can make one additional attack for each essence point spent. Some models have special rules that enable them to also spend essence points to make additional ranged attacks.
This model can spend 1 essence point to boost any of its attack or damage rolls during its activation. Add an extra die to the boosted roll. Boosting must be declared before rolling any dice for the roll. Remember, a single roll can be boosted only once, but an infernal master can boost as many different rolls as you choose and can afford.
ESSENCE: Shake Effect
During your Control Phase after allocating essence, this model can spend essence points for the following:
- If the model is knocked down, it can spend 1 essence point to stand up.
- If the model is stationary, it can spend 1 essence point to cause the stationary status to expire.
- If the model is suffering an effect like Blind or Shadow Bind that can be shaken, it can spend 1 essence point to cause the effect to expire.
When this model would suffer damage, it can immediately spend an essence point to transfer the damage to a horror in its battlegroup that is in its control range. The horror suffers the damage instead of this model. Determine where to mark the damage normally. Transferred damage is not limited by the horror’s unmarked damage boxes, and any damage exceeding the horror’s unmarked damage boxes is applied to this model and cannot be transferred again. This model is still considered to have suffered damage, even if the damage is transferred. Models unable to suffer transferred damage cannot have damage transferred to them.
- EXAMPLE: An infernal master with one unmarked damage box remaining is hit by an enemy attack and would suffer 10 damage points. The infernal master spends a fury point and transfers the damage to a horror in his battlegroup. Unless the horror has at least 10 unmarked damage boxes, the remaining damage will be suffered by the infernal master.
At any time during its activation, this model can spend essence points to remove damage it has suffered. This model can also spend essence points to remove damage suffered by horrors in its battlegroup that are in its control range. For each essence point spent this way, this model can remove 1 damage point.
This model can cast spells at any time during its activation by paying the COST of the spells in essence points. Infernal masters can make magic attacks and melee or ranged attacks in the same activation like warcasters and warlocks.
A model with the ESSENCE stat uses it to resolve its magic attacks (p. 54).
This model can spend essence points to upkeep its spells.
- Marked souls are humans who have bartered some portion of their essence to the infernal masters in life. The remainder of their souls can be claimed at the time of death or when the terms of some bargain come to fruition. The infernal masters use this soul material to empower their magic and to summon horrors from beyond Caen. The infernalists and the cultists who follow them are marked souls.
- Infernal masters can use models with the Marked Soul special rule to summon horrors onto the battlefield.
Summoning allows an infernal master to use essence points to summon a horror from beyond time and space to add to its battlegroup.
An infernal master can summon up to one horror during its activation each turn. When an infernal master summons a horror, choose a friendly marked soul currently in the master’s command range. The infernal master must then spend a number of essence points equal to the base ESSENCE stat of the horror summoned.
Replace the chosen marked soul with the horror and remove the marked soul from play. The horror enters play with 1 essence point. The horror is part of the infernal master’s battlegroup. A horror must forfeit its Combat Action the turn it is summoned.
Infernal Master Destruction
When a model controlling horrors is destroyed or removed from the table, the horrors in its battlegroup are removed from play.
Horrors are unnatural engines of malignant rage and are the greatest assets in an infernal master’s arsenal. Horrors have been engineered for inhuman brutality and have been given a broad variety of melee and ranged weaponry to annihilate any opposition that crosses their path. They are savage monsters lacking any instinct but to kill at their masters’ behest.
Horrors are classified according to base size: a lesser horror has a small base (30 mm), a light horror has a medium base (40 mm), and a heavy horror has a large base (50 mm). Horrors are independent models even though they are assigned to specific battlegroups.
Horrors must begin the game assigned to a battlegroup controlled by a model with the Essence Manipulation special rule (p. 96).
All horrors have the following special rules in common.
Horrors start the game with a number of essence points equal to their essence stats. A horror can never have an essence point total higher than its current ESSENCE stat.
If a horror’s current ESSENCE is reduced for any reason, immediately remove excess essence points. Essence points remain on horrors until spent or removed by a special rule.
Essence: Additional Attack
A horror can spend essence to make additional melee attacks as part of its Combat Action (p. 34). It can make one additional attack for each essence point spent. Some models possess special rules that also enable them to spend essence points to make additional ranged attacks.
A horror can spend 1 essence point to boost any of its attack rolls or damage rolls during its activation. Add an extra die to the boosted roll. Boosting must be declared before rolling any dice for the roll. Remember, a particular roll can be boosted only once, but a horror can boost as many different rolls as you choose and can afford.
Essence: Shake Effect
During your Control Phase after your infernal masters have completed allocating focus, a horror can spend essence points for the following:
- If the horror is knocked down, it can spend 1 essence point to stand up.
- If the horror is stationary, it can spend 1 essence point to cause the stationary status to expire.
- If the horror is suffering an effect like Blind or Shadow Bind that can be shaken, it can spend 1 essence point to cause the effect to expire.
Horrors can make power attacks. A horror can normally make a power attack without spending an essence point. A horror with a crippled outer damage ring (see below) must spend an essence point to make a power attack.
- Lesser horrors cannot make power attacks.
- A light horror can make head-butt and slam power attacks. A light horror with at least one weapon with the Open Fist weapon quality can make throw power attacks.
- A heavy horror can make head-butt, slam, and trample power attacks. A heavy horror with at least one weapon with the Open Fist weapon quality can make throw power attacks.
Running and Charging
A horror can normally use its Normal Movement to run or charge without spending an essence point. A horror with a crippled outer damage ring (see below) must spend an essence point to run or charge.
Horrors are unnatural creatures whose very existence upsets the nature of reality. As such, these creatures can only exist on Caen for a short period of time before being banished from physical space.
A horror must spend 1 essence point at the end of each of its controlling player’s turns to remain in play. If the horror does not spend an essence point at the end of its controlling player’s turn, it is removed from play.
Recording Damage To an Horror
Horrors have damage webs consisting of three concentric rings of damage boxes (represented by circles). Different damage webs will have different numbers of damage boxes, but they function the same way. When a horror suffers damage, apply the damage to the outermost ring, marking one damage box per damage point taken. Once a ring is full, continue recording damage to the next ring that contains an unmarked damage box. Continue filling damage boxes until every damage point taken has been recorded.
When all the damage boxes in a ring of a horror’s damage web have been marked, the ring is crippled. If 1 or more damage points are removed from a crippled ring, the ring is no longer crippled.
The effects of crippled rings are as follows:
- Crippled Outer Ring: The horror must spend an essence point to run, charge, or to make a power attack.
- Crippled Middle Ring: The horror rolls one fewer die on the attack rolls.
- Crippled Center Ring: The horror is disabled like any other model that has all its damage boxes marked.
When removing damage from a horror’s , the damage must be removed from the innermost ring first. If all of the damage has been removed from the innermost ring, begin removing damage from the next innermost ring.
The Infernal Turn
The infernal player’s turn is divided into three phases: Maintenance, Control, and Activation.
Some effects are resolved at the beginning of a player ’s turn. These effects are resolved before the start of the Maintenance Phase. Remember to remove markers for any effects that expire at the beginning of your turn.
During the Maintenance Phase, perform the following steps in order:
- For each of your models with the Essence Manipulation special rule, remove all essence points in excess of its ESSENCE stat.
- Check for expiration of continuous effects on any models you control. After checking for expired continuous effects, resolve the effects of those that remain in play.
- Resolve all other effects that occur during the Maintenance Phase.
During the Control Phase, perform the following steps in order.
- Each of your models with the Essence Manipulation special rule, like infernal masters, can replenish its essence points by sacrifice or leeching. A model cannot exceed its current ESSENCE in essence points as a result of sacrifice or leeching.
- Replace soul tokens on models with the Essence Manipulation special rule with essence points. A model can exceed its current ESSENCE in essence points as a result of Soul Taker: Infernal Master.
- Each model with the Essence Manipulation special rule can allocate essence points to horrors in its battlegroup that are in its control range.
- Each model with the Essence Manipulation special rule can spend essence points to maintain its upkeep spells in play. If a model does not spend essence points to maintain an upkeep spell, the spell expires, and its effects immediately end.
- Resolve all other effects that occur during the Control Phase.
The Activation Phase is the major portion of a player’s turn. All models you control must be activated once per turn. This is usually done during the Activation Phase, but some effects allow a model to activate earlier in the turn. Units and independent models are activated one at a time in the order you choose. A model cannot forfeit its activation unless allowed to do so by a special rule. A model must be on the table to activate.