Theme - Secret Masters

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Circle Logo.jpg Theme - Secret Masters

Circle Theme Force
Secret Masters - The Bones of Orboros - The Devourer's Host - The Wild Hunt

The blackclads are few in number, but their work is constant and endless. Only a small handful of these druids can be devoted to any single task at a given time. But the masters of the wilderness are cunning. They have woven a web of many debts among the inhabitants of the wilderness, whom they can call upon to fight on their behalf.

Theme Rules - Remix

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Rules subject to change - 2019 Theme Remix
All existing theme forces are changing from the "free cards" system into a new "Requistion Points" system. There will be an interim period between the end of 2019.07 to mid 2019.09 where players can use whichever system they prefer.

The Remixed version became officially available on the 26th July.

Theme Restrictions

An army made use the Secret Masters theme force can include only the following Circle models:

  • This army can also include any number of Minion solos and Minion units that will work for Circle.
    • These models/units can be included even if they have the Partisan [Circle] rule.
    • Minion units can have non-Ranking Officer attachments

Full model list

The models allowed in Secret Masters are:   [Show/Hide]

This list was last updated: 2019.07   (Edit)

Warlocks

Warbeasts

  • All non-character warbeasts
  • Brennos
  • Character warbeasts can be taken (Living or otherwise), but only if they have a bond and they're in their bonded model's battlegroup.

Battle engines

Structures

Units

Solos

Minions

  • Any number of solos
  • Any number of units

Requisition Points

You can spend each Requisition Point on either:

  • One Circle command attachment
  • Two Blackclad Stoneshaper solos
  • Three Gallows Grove solos
  • One other small- or medium-based solo without the Lesser Warlock special rule.
    • Note:This can be a Minion solo or a Circle solo.

Theme Bonuses

  1. Blackclads gain Sacrificial Pawn [Minion Warrior Model]
    Sacrificial Pawn [Minion Warrior Model] - When this model is directly hit by an enemy ranged attack, you can have one friendly, non-incorporeal Minion Warrior Model model within 3" of it hit instead. That model is automatically hit and suffers all damage and effects.

Recent Changes

2018.10 Tharn Dynamic Update

  • The Well of Orboros was released, and this theme's rules were immediately rewritten to allow it.
  • Now allows unlimited minions, and they count towards free points. Pretty cool!

2019.07 Theme Remix

  • Game-wide Remix changes
  • Brennos added to the list of allowed models.
  • Freebies expanded (used to just be a Circle solo, or a Blackclad CA)
  • Lost the free upkeep benefit

Theme Rules - Old version

Old Restrictions   [Show/Hide]

An army made using the Secret Masters theme force can include only the following models:

Warlocks

Warbeasts

  • All non-character warbeasts
  • Character warbeasts can be taken (Living or otherwise), but only if they have a bond and they're in their bonded model's battlegroup.

Battle engines

Structures

Units

Solos

Minions

  • Any number of solos
  • Any number of units
Old Bonuses   [Show/Hide]
  1. This army can include any number of Minion solos and Minion units that will work for Circle.
    • These models/units can be included even if they have the Partisan [Circle] rule.
    • Minion units can have attachments, including a Ranking Officer
  2. For every 20 points of Blackclads and Minion units you can add free of cost either:
    • one Circle solo, or
    • one Blackclad command attachment.
    Free models don't count towards free points.
  3. Blackclads gain Sacrificial Pawn [Minion Warrior Model]
    • Sacrificial Pawn [Minion Warrior Model] - When this model is directly hit by an enemy ranged attack, you can have one friendly, non-incorporeal Minion Warrior Model model within 3" of it hit instead. That model is automatically hit and suffers all damage and effects.
  4. Friendly models/units can begin the game affected by the upkeep spells of models in this army.
    • These spells and their targets must be declared before either player deploys their models.
    • Models in this army do not have to pay to upkeep their spells during your first turn of the game.

Thoughts on this Theme Force

Initial Thoughts on the Remix

Brennos got added and free models got changed into requisition options. This really isn't even enough change to justify a Recent Change tag even if you can now take minions as requisition options. The biggest change is going to be the much needed Farrow tune-up.

Secret Masters in a Nutshell

This is a minion infantry theme with Blackclad support and Blackclad guns to roast infantry. Your mainline infantry will be multiple Farrow or Gatorman units (Farrow Valkyries, Farrow Brigands, Farrow Slaughterhousers, and Croak Raiders)

This theme has three selling points:

  • A cloud wall to hide your beasts behind. Other factions do it better, but it's still fun to have one of your own.
  • It lets you mix living and construct warbeasts and take a Blackclad Stoneshaper to support the constructs.
  • Some warlocks struggle to cast all their upkeeps on turn 1 and this gets round that. Most notably Morvahna the Autumnblade. (Kromac the Ravenous also has this problem but isn't allowed in the theme)

See also this Insider article for the Developer's opinion on it.

In terms of what models are available, there's a lot of overlap with The Bones of Orboros and Call of the Wild, so any of the three themes are a good option to start a new Circle collection.

Theme Weaknesses

  • Your Blackclad infantry does no armour cracking; the strongest attack your warriors can make is POW 12. Bring heavy beasts
  • Certain builds are better off as a Bones of Orboros force, namely if you're thinking of a Celestial Fulcrum plus construct beasts. Bones also has better in-faction skirmish units.
  • Farrow models need an update. As of the time of writing (2019.06) they haven't been touched since the start of Mk3.

List Building Tips

The most expensive requisition points are the two Blackclad Stoneshaper solos, the three Gallows Grove solos and the minions Alten Ashley, Hutchuck, Ogrun Bounty Hunter, and the Totem Hunter

If going for sacrificial pawns the Gatorman Bokor & Bog Trog Swamp Shamblers can be really effective. Especially if you are double-dipping the bodies with Morvahna the Autumnblade and Regrowth.

Starting a 25 point force

Secret Masters is great for Circle players who want to start a Minion army, or vice versa. This 25 point list is designed to consist of Circle stapes, plus minions that overlap strongly with a Will Work for Food list.

Casters of Note

Other

Trivia

Released in the themeopolcalypse (2017.09)

Other Circle models/thmes

Circle Logo.jpg       Circle Index       (Edit)
Battlegroup & Similar
Warlocks Baldur1 - Baldur2 - Bradigus1 - Grayle1 - Iona1 - Kaya1 - Kaya2 - Kaya3 - Kromac1 - Kromac2 - Krueger1 - Krueger2 - Mohsar1 - Morvahna1 - Morvahna2 - Tanith1 - Una2 - Wurmwood1
Lessers & Attachments Druid Wilder (Attached) - Una1 (Lesser)
Light Argus Moonhound - Winter Argus - Wild Argus - Gorax Rager - Razorwing Griffon - Rotterhorn Griffon - Scarsfell Griffon - Wold Wight - Woldwatcher - Woldwyrd
Heavy Gnarlhorn Satyr - Riphorn Satyr - Shadowhorn Satyr - Feral Warpwolf - Pureblood Warpwolf - Warpwolf Stalker - Wold Guardian - Woldwarden
Brennos the Elderhorn (Satyr) - Ghetorix (Warpwolf) - Loki (Warpwolf) - Megalith (Woldwarden)
Gargantuans Storm Raptor - Woldwrath
Units, Solos, Battle Engines, & Structures
Units Druid Mist Riders - Druids of Orboros & CA - Reeves of Orboros & CA - Sentry Stone & Mannikins - Shifting Stones & CA - Stoneward & Woldstalkers - Tharn Bloodtrackers & Character UA - Tharn Bloodweavers & CA - Tharn Blood Pack - Tharn Ravagers & CA - Tharn Wolf Riders - Warpborn Skinwalkers & CA - Wolves of Orboros & CA
Brighid & Caul - Death Wolves
Solos

Blackclad Stoneshaper - Blackclad Wayfarer - Bloodweaver Night Witch - Druid Wilder - Gallows Grove - Lord of the Feast - Reeve Hunter - Primal Archon - Tharn Blood Shaman - Tharn Ravager Shaman - Tharn Ravager White Mane - Tharn Wolf Rider Champion - Una the Falconer - War Wolf - Wolf Lord Morraig

Battle Engines & Structures Celestial Fulcrum (Engine) - Well of Orboros (Structure)
Theme Forces
Secret Masters - The Bones of Orboros - The Devourer's Host - The Wild Hunt
Minions
Refer to Who Works for Whom and/or Category: Circle Orboros Minion
This index was last updated: 2019.07

Rules Clarifications

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Rules Clarification:  : Sacrificial Pawn and/or Sucker! and/or Grim Salvation     (Edit)
(Click Expand to read)

Differences
  • Sacrificial Pawn is optional.
    Grim Salvation and Sucker are not optional.
  • Grim Salvation only works vs basic attacks, not special attacks, power attacks, chain attacks.
    • Spells are not basic attacks, because they are not "made with a weapon". (Infernal Ruling)
    • CRA and CMA are basic attacks. (Infernal Ruling)
    • If a Special Attack generates an additional attack (such as Multi-Fire), the second attack will be basic and as such can have Grim Salvation used vs it. (Infernal Ruling)
  • Sacrificial Pawn & Sucker! don't work against melee attacks.
  • None of them work vs magic attacks (spells).
    All of them work against Magical Ranged attacks, though.
  • The model the attack is transferred to is always hit, even if they have an ability that makes them automatically get missed (such as Stealth).
    Automatically missing is determined earlier in the timing sequence than when the attack is moved. (Infernal Ruling)

From here down, the terms Sacrificial Pawn, Grim Salvation, and Sucker! are interchangeable

  • Using Sac Pawn moves all damage and effects onto the other model.
  • The new model hit may use any abilities that trigger on being hit/damaged by an enemy attack (such as Vengeance and Shock Field).
  • Sprays and AOEs
    • A model hit by a spray attack can use Sacrificial Pawn to pass it to another model. The placement of the template does not change.
      • Note that this may cause the Pawn to be hit twice by the same spray. So you then resolve two damage rolls against it.
    • A model directly hit by a AOE may use Sacificial Pawn to pass it to another model. The AOE template is moved (because Sac Pawn is resolved at Step 6 of the Attack Sequence in Apdx A, but AOE placement occurs at Step 7).
      • Depending on how far apart the original target and Pawn are, the first guy might get clipped by the AOE anyway.
      • A model indirectly hit by an AOE cannot use Sac Pawn.
  • Sacrificial Pawn multiple times
    • If a model with the Sacrificial Pawn ability passes it to another model that also has Sacrificial Pawn ability, that second model may pass it along to a third model.
    • Models can only use Sac Pawn once each, you cannot set up an infinite loop!
  • Quick Draw vs Sacrificial Pawn
    • If enemy "Model A" shoots you, and then you use Quick Draw against "Model A", but they use Sac Pawn to move your Quick Draw attack to "Model B" then ... Quick Draw has no effect (or rather, it affects "Model B" who isn't currently shooting you so is irrelevant). Point is, "Model A" can continue shooting you.
    • This won't happen with Shield Guard though (outside of a very low-probability scenario) because Shield Guard can only be triggered during an enemy turn.
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Rules Clarification: Theme Forces     (Edit)

Rerolling the starting roll   [Show/Hide]
  • You cannot use the theme benefit to reroll if it is a draw. Instead both players reroll until there is a loser, and then the loser can use their reroll benefit (if they have it). (Infernal Ruling)
  • If both players have a reroll, first the original loser uses their reroll.
    • If the original loser still loses, fine.
    • If the original loser now wins, the other player can use their reroll.
    • If it is now a draw, both players reroll until there is a loser. Then the player that hasn't used their theme benefit reroll can still use it, if they want.
Warjacks/Warbeasts with bonds   [Show/Hide]
  • A warjack/warbeast with a bond can always be included in a theme force, whether or not they're in the list of allowed models, but only if they're controlled by that bonded model.
  • This applies even if that bonded model isn't a full warcaster/warlock (changed as of 2018.06).
Including Mercenaries   [Show/Hide]

Number of Mercenaries

  • If your "up to one Merc" ...
    • ... can take warbeasts/warjacks, then you can add warbeast(s)/warjack(s) (without exceeding your "up to one" allowance)
    • ... comes with a Companion model, then you'll get that Companion (without exceeding your "up to one" allowance)
  • There is a bug in Warroom that allows you to not only take one Merc solo/unit, but the entire FA of that Merc solo/unit. It's a bug.

Partisans & Theme Forces (Edit)

  1. If the theme force has the Partisan model on the list of allowed models, then it doesn't use up your "Up to one mercenary" slot, and so you can take the full FA plus another mercenary. Example: Cephalyx in Black Industries or Kayazy in Jaws of the Wolf. (Infernal Ruling)
  2. If the Partisan isn't on the list, it does use up your "Up to one mercenary" slot, and you can only take one. (There is a bug in Warroom that allows you to take the full FA.)
  • Whether you used option 1 or 2 above, once they're in your theme force they count as a Faction model and so can be taken as a Requistion Option (if they fit the Requistion description). For instance, Eiryss1 can be taken as a free solo in the Legion of Dawn theme. (Infernal Ruling)

Mercenaries and Quasi-Partisans

  • Some themes include a benefit that says "If this model is included, it counts as a Faction model instead of a Mercenary model". For example Greygore in Kriel Company.
    In this case, the mercenary model has effectively gained Partisan and is subject to the FA limits described above. To reiterate:
    • If that Merc is in the list of allowed models allowed (such as Savio in Storm Division), they won't count against your "up to one Merc" allowance.
    • If that Merc isn't in the list, (such as Order of Illumination Resolutes in Heavy Metal), they will count against your "up to one Merc" allowance.

Mercenaries and Ranking Officers

  • Adding a Ranking Officer to a Merc unit doesn't increase the number of Merc units you can take.
Requisition Points   [Show/Hide]
  • You can choose the same Requisition option as many times as you like, as long as it doesn't put you over a FA limit.
  • You can't mix and match models from different options. Say one option allows 3 Machine Wraiths and another allows 3 Necrotechs. You can't use your Requisition Point to get 2 Wraiths and 1 Necrotech.
  • If you have an option that allows one other solo, you can't use it to get something already on the list. For instance, Ghost Fleet allows 3 Misery Cages (which are FA 4) for one Requistion Point, and it allows 1 other solo. That "other solo" can't be a 4th Cage.
Free models and Specialists (ADR)    [Show/Hide]
  • If your theme only allows one merc solo, you can't have one in your main list and a different one in your specialists.
Unit Attachments   [Show/Hide]
  • If a unit is allowed in a theme, any-and-all of its attachments are allowed too. Exception: Ranking Officers are not allowed unless explicitily mentioned.
  • If the theme force gives a benefit to a specific unit, any-and-all attachments to that unit will benefit too. Even if it is a "generic" attachment like the Void Leech. (Infernal Ruling)
    For example, a Trollkin Sorcerer will gain Serenity if its attached to a Dhunian Knot unit in a Power of Dhunia theme force.
  • If your theme allows "3 weapon attachments" as a freebie, you can spread them into different units.
When to apply theme benefits   [Show/Hide]
  • Theme force benefits are applied when you construct your list and models keep the benefit for the whole game. You don't gain/lose theme benefits due to in-game changes.
    Also, if you put a new model into play midgame, they immediately gain any relevant benefits too. (Infernal Ruling)
    • For example, Scourge of the Broken Coast gives Dodge to "models in the army." If your opponent takes control of one of them, it keeps Dodge even though it's currently not "in the army".
    • For example, Storm Division gives lightning immunity to "Cygnar models in the army." If you include a Mercenary unit with a Ranking Officer, they will get the theme benefit and also keep it even after the Ranking Officer dies.

Protectorate - The Creator's Might   [Show/Hide]

Mercenary - Flame in the Darkness   [Show/Hide]
  • You can take any number of Mercenary jacks. You can also select two additional jacks from Khador and Cygnar in any combination you like. Character warjacks with a bond don't count against this limit of 2. (Infernal Ruling)
  • There is a bug in Warroom that allows you to take two Cygnar and two Khador jacks.
Mercenary - Llaelese Resistance   [Show/Hide]
  • It is 2 Cruicible or 2 Cygnar or 2 Menoth.
    You can't take more than 2, and you can't mix and match from multiple Factions. (Infernal Ruling)
Mercenary - The Talion Charter   [Show/Hide]
  • The 3rd benefit is "Sac Pawn [Sea Dog trooper]", not just any Sea Dog. (Infernal ruling)

Circle - The Bones of Orboros   [Show/Hide]
  • Una1 cannot be taken in this theme (yet) due to the conflict between the theme's "Only Construct warbeasts allowed" and Una1's "Must take warbeasts with flight". There are no construct warbeasts with flight (yet). But if/when there is, then Una1 can be taken in this theme. (Infernal Ruling)
Circle - The Devourer's Host   [Show/Hide]
  • Bradigus1 is not legal in this theme. The theme only allows living warbeasts, his rules only allow construct warbeasts, and you can't just 'skip' his battlegroup - you have to spend your warbeast points.
  • If you create a new model mid-game (ie with the Well of Orboros and that model can have corpse tokens, that model does not enter play with a corpse. Because it's not the beginning of the game. (Locked thread)
Circle - The Wild Hunt   [Show/Hide]
  • When it comes to other things that alter COST (such as Lamentation), follow basic maths: Double/halve first, then add/subtract.
  • Due to the way Tanith's feat is worded, during her feat turn the COST of animi cannot drop below 1. (Infernal Ruling)

Skorne - The Exalted   [Show/Hide]
  • If a Construct model loses the Construct advantage mid-game, it keeps the theme benefit anyway. (Infernal Ruling)

Trollblood - Band of Heroes   [Show/Hide]
  • Boomhowler uses up your Minion slot. His Fell Calls ability is not enough to make him a "Fell Caller model/unit". (Infernal Ruling)

Crucible Guard - Magnum Opus   [Show/Hide]
  • If Mosby is attached to a Mercenary weapon crew unit, they would gain 3" reposition and would not lose it if Mosby is no longer in the unit. (Infernal Ruling)

Infernals - Hearts of Darkness   [Show/Hide]