Warcaster

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War-Nouns (Edit)
Warmachine Warcaster "Junior" Warcaster 'Jack Marshal   Warjack Colossal   Vector Monstrosity
Hordes Warlock Lesser Warlock     Warbeast Gargantuan   Warbeast Pack  
Infernals Infernal Master Master Infernalist     Horror        

This article regurgitates the core rules for Warcasters.

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Tip !
If you're a new player you should check out the training article LPG - Warcasters & Warlocks.

Core Rules - Warcasters

All warcasters have the following special rules in common.

Battlegroup Commander

This model can control a group of warjacks. This model and the ’jacks it controls are collectively referred to as a battlegroup. This model can allocate focus points to warjacks in its battlegroup and can channel spells (p. 73) through warjacks in its battlegroup with the Arc Node advantage.

As warcasters and warjacks are independent models, each model in a battlegroup can move freely about the battlefield separate from the rest of the group. Although warjacks usually benefit from remaining within their battlegroup commander’s control range, they are not required to do so.

Only friendly models can be part of a battlegroup. If a rule causes a ’jack to become an enemy model, it is not part of its original battlegroup while that rule is in effect.

If an effect causes a battlegroup commander to fall under your opponent’s control, while the model is controlled by your opponent the warjacks in its battlegroup remain under your control and become autonomous (p. 67). If you regain control of the battlegroup commander, it resumes control of the warjacks in its battlegroup unless some other model has already taken control of them.

Power Up

Warjacks are empowered by the mere presence of their controlling warcaster on the battlefield. During the Control Phase, each warjack with a functional cortex in a battlegroup that is in its controller’s control range (p. 69) gains 1 focus point. A warjack with a crippled cortex or no cortex at all cannot power up and does not gain this focus. Remember, a warjack cannot have more than 3 focus points at any time.

Allocating Focus Points

In addition to focus points gained from powering up, a battlegroup commander can allocate additional focus points to the warjacks in its battlegroup during your Control Phase. A warjack must be in its battlegroup commander’s control range to be allocated focus, though it need not be in its line of sight. Remember, a warjack cannot have more than 3 focus points at any time and a warjack with a crippled cortex cannot be allocated focus.

A battlegroup commander cannot allocate focus points to warjacks in another model’s battlegroup, even if they are both part of the same army.

Feat

Each warcaster has a unique feat that can turn the tide of battle if used at the right time. A warcaster can use this feat at any time during its activation. A warcaster can use its feat only once per game.

Remember that a warcaster cannot use its Normal Movement to run after using its feat and cannot use its feat after using its Normal Movement to run, as its activation ends as soon as it completes the run movement. Additionally, because a warcaster can use its feat at any time, it can do so before moving, after moving, before making an attack, or after an attack but not while moving or attacking (see “Use of ‘Any Time’ Special Rules,”p. 11).

Focus Manipulation

This model has a Focus stat (FOCUS). During your Control Phase, this model replenishes its focus points so that it has a number equal to its current FOCUS. To replenish focus, a model gains focus points so that it has a number equal to its current FOCUS. This model begins the game with a number of focus points equal to its FOCUS. Unless otherwise stated, a model can spend focus points only during its activation.

A model with the Focus Manipulation special rule has a control range and can spend its focus 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 Focus Manipulation special rule loses all focus points in excess of its Focus stat.

Control Range
A model with the Focus Manipulation special rule 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 FOCUS. When a special rule changes a model’s current FOCUS, its control range changes accordingly. Some spells and feats use the control range, noted as “CTRL,” as their range or area of effect. A model is always considered to be in its own control range.

A warjack must be in its battlegroup commander’s control range to power up, to be allocated focus points from the warcaster, or to channel spells (p. 73).

Focus: Additional Attack
A model with the Focus Manipulation special rule can spend focus points to make additional melee attacks as part of its Combat Action (p. 36). It can make one additional attack for each focus point spent. Some models have special rules that enable them to also spend focus points to make additional ranged attacks.

Focus: Boost
A model with the Focus Manipulation special rule can spend 1 focus 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 particular roll can be boosted only once, but a model can boost as many different rolls as you choose and can afford.

Focus: Shake Effect
During your Control Phase after allocating focus, a model with the Focus Manipulation special rule can spend focus points for the following:

  • If the model is knocked down (p. 61), it can spend 1 focus point to stand up.
  • If the model is stationary (p. 61), it can spend 1 focus 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 focus point to cause the effect to expire.

Power Field
Warcaster armor is perhaps the most sophisticated blend of magic and mechanics to be found anywhere. Besides its seemingly impossible strength, this armor creates a magical field to surround and protect the warcaster from damage that would rend a normal individual to pieces.

At any time during its activation, this model can spend focus points to remove damage it has suffered. For each focus point spent this way, the model can remove 1 damage point.

Reinforcing the Power Field
When a model with the Power Field special rule would suffer damage, it can immediately spend up to 1 focus point to reduce the damage it would suffer by 5. The model is still considered to have suffered damage even if the damage is reduced to 0 or less. Excess damage prevention is lost.

  • EXAMPLE: Captain Victoria Haley has 2 focus points left and is hit by an attack that deals her 13 damage. She can spend 1 focus point to reduce the damage she suffers to 8.
  • EXAMPLE: The High Reclaimer has 1 focus point left and is hit by an attack that deals him 4 damage. He can spend his focus point to reduce the damage to 0. He is still considered to have suffered damage.

Spellcaster

This model can cast spells by paying the COST of the spells in focus points (p. 72).

Warcaster Units

Some warcasters are part of a unit rather than being independent models. The warcaster is the unit commander and activates as part of the unit. The warcaster is the model in the unit with the Officer advantage and is the only model in the unit that has the special rules of a warcaster. The warcaster controls a battlegroup, has a feat, can spend focus, and so on. If the warcaster is destroyed, its upkeep spells expire and its warjacks become inert as normal.

The models in a warcaster’s unit are part of its battlegroup.

Warcaster units cannot have command or weapon attachments added to them. However, a warcaster that is part of a warcaster unit can still have solos with the Attached special rule attached to it. If a solo with the Attached rule is attached to a warcaster that is part of a warcaster unit, the solo remains an independent model and does not become part of the warcaster unit.

Rules Clarifications

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

 
  • General
    • Damage from a feat is neither an attack nor Damage Type: Magical (unless the feat says it is).
    • 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)         [Show/Hide]
    • "Any Time" abilities can be used at any time during a model/unit's activation, except:
    1. Before any compulsory forfeiture of movement/action. See step 2 of the activation sequence, appendix A.
    2. After the model with the "Any Time" ability has had their activation end "prematurely". By this I mean you resolved something which includes the phrase "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).
    3. In between declaring your charge target and making your charge movement. (Infernal Ruling)
    4. In between completing your charge movement and determining whether it was a successful charge. (Infernal Ruling)
    5. When you're in the middle of moving. (Note: Impact Attacks count as being in the middle of movement).
    6. When you're in the middle of an attack. Which also includes effects that occur "after the attack is resolved".
      (Although the attack is "resolved" at Step 11, in terms of using an "Any Time" ability the attack is not "finished" until after Step 14. Refer to the first paragraph of Apdx A.)
    7. Your opponent interrupted your activation to trigger one of their own abilities (such as Countercharge).
    8. Units: See below.

    • 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
    • You cannot use an "Any Time" ability before issuing/receiving orders. See step 1 and 2 of the activation sequence, appendix A.
    • 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 doing one of those things makes that specific model's activation to end (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 Unitor Warlock Unit     (Edit)
This summary is specific to Warcaster/Warlock units. You may also want to check the Warcaster and Warlock pages respectively, for the "regular" rules clarifications.

  • All models in the unit count as part of the battlegroup. So, for instance, Butcher3's argus can be moved via his Energizer spell.
  • Warcaster units can have attachments. They can even attach units (such as the WSC). (Infernal Ruling)
  • The non-caster models are trooper models but are (normally) not Grunt models. Therefore they're not eligible for stuff like Revive.
  • Press Forward Order vs Casting Spells
    • If you're giving an order, it must be done first, before casting any spells or using your feat.
    • If you issue the Press Forward order and your caster does not have LOS to any enemy models, then they cannot declare a charge and instead must run, so therefore can't cast spells. But between the fact that models declare charges one at a time, and spells being an Any Time ability, it actually becomes a bit convoluted. The scenarios are essentially:
      • (A) "issue Press Forward order ► I want to cast a spell ► can I declare a charge ► if no, I must run & I can't cast spells."
      • (B) "issue Press Forward order ► I want to cast a spell ► can I declare a charge ► if yes, I can cast it. ► After casting the spell, do I still have a valid charge target ► if yes, rinse and repeat."
      • (C) "issue Press Forward order ► I want to cast a spell ► can I declare a charge ► if yes, I can cast it. ► After casting the spell, do I still have a valid charge target ► if no, I must now forfeit both my Normal Movement and Combat Action."
    • Refer to (Infernal Ruling) and (Infernal Ruling). However note that as of 29th May 2019 it is getting reviewed (Infernal Checking)
    • Note that, in the above scenarios, the "I want to cast a spell" step is a Any Time ability. So although you may not be able to declare a charge right "now", you could for instance move one of the troopers in the unit to open up LOS.
    • Unfortunately if you have no valid charge targets you cannot cast a spell, even if resolving the spell would give you a valid charge target (such as Energizer or Mage Sight).
  • Steamroller 2018
    • The non-caster models can contest scenario zones & flags.
    • The caster model cannot contest.
    • The caster model can control zones and flags by itself, but:
      • to control a zone, the entire unit remaining in play needs to be in formation.
      • to control a flag, the entire unit remaining in play must be within 4" of the flag.
  • 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 Warcastersor 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.

See Also

War-Nouns (Edit)
Warmachine Warcaster "Junior" Warcaster 'Jack Marshal   Warjack Colossal   Vector Monstrosity
Hordes Warlock Lesser Warlock     Warbeast Gargantuan   Warbeast Pack  
Infernals Infernal Master Master Infernalist     Horror