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Warmachine: Initial thoughts on Lord Arcanist Ossyan

4 Minute Read
Jun 27 2011

Guest article by Nick

The Retribution has been hurting bad for new warcasters and jacks since their initial release 2 years ago. Thankfully, Wrath came through with 5 new myrmidons and a very promising support caster, the time mage Lord Arcanist Ossyan.

His mediocre statline disappoints, but the picture gets rosier as you read his feat, gun effects, and stellar spell list.

The feat: May as well start here. Enemy models in Ossyan’s control area roll one less damage die on ranged attacks… and friendly faction models roll one additional damage die on ranged attack damage rolls targeting models in his control. Meaning you can also boost those rolls if you have the ability to.

Potentially devastating, potentially underwhelming. As always, it’s going to come down to match-ups. I don’t want to see an all stealth army. And I most definitely do not want to fight jacks supported by choir.

But when I am actually allowed to hit my enemy with ranged attacks, these units are the ones I will be experimenting with.

Invictors: Boosted POW 12’s win games. I will always have the unit attachment along for the once per game range extender.

Stormfall Archers: Brutal shots are now POW12 +4D6. Enough said there, go crack some armor with decent die rolls.

Mage Hunter Strike Force: Already shooting jacks for POW10 + 3D6, I’ve brought down Khador heavies in one turn. Add another damage die with the feat for good measure.

Hydra: With 3 focus he is going to be a POW 15 boosting for 4D6. And you get to boost the attack roll. This could kill some warcasters outright.

Destors: These guys have gunfighter. Meaning they can benefit from the feat while in melee. That will definitely come in handy when playing savvier opponents.

Himself: Don’t forget to feat before you shoot for the additional die here as well.

The Gun: Nice range and POW, on a direct hit a 4 inch AOE is centered on the model. It is a -2 DEF AOE which doesn’t allow you to run or charge if you start your activation in it. Don’t count on every model in the AOE being affected though. As the AOE moves with the model hit, your opponent can simply walk it away.

The Spell List
Admonition: In a game all about alpha striking, the ability to walk away from a model that just charged you without being free struck is welcome indeed. Especially for Myrmidons who seem to die prematurely. Just be wary of enemy abilities that can dispel or otherwise remove upkeeps.

Chronomancer: Ossyan’s signature spell. An upkeep that gives your battlegroup the ability to boost attack and damage rolls after seeing them. It’s like cheating.

Quicken: What elf unit wouldn’t want +2 SPD and DEF? Halberdiers with the UA can shield wall and move 11 inches. Dawnguard are no longer measly SPD 5s. The battle engine runs for 12 inches.

Shatter Storm: When target model/unit destroys an enemy, center a 3 inch AOE, models underneath suffer a pow 8 damage roll. More importantly, the destroyed model is removed from play. It will not generate a soul, and it cannot be brought back through Cryx or Everblight trickery.

Here is the first list I put together after reading Wrath:
Lord Arcanist Ossyan
Hydra and a Griffon
Full Dawnguard Invictors + UA + Soulless Escort
Stormfall Archers
2 Heavy Rifle Weapon Crews
Narn and a Mage Hunter Assasin

This army is built for a devastating feat turn. I’m hoping to remove a lot of points off the board in one go. Pulling it off will require smart deployment. Turn 1 will see quicken cast on the Invictors, and admonition cast on either the hydra or Ossyan himself. Since his feat requires him to be pretty close to the enemy, it will be reassuring to have the ability to just walk away. If your feat goes poorly and there are enemy models still alive that shouldn’t be, or if some trickery sends the Deathjack 20in across the table, you are safe. The Griffon will hang back to help the invictors become more of a melee threat late-game with their flank ability. Narn and the Mage hunter will go on opposite flanks in an attempt to keep my opponent bunched up in the center of the board.

I can’t wait to try it out… and then most likely return to the drawing board after a game or two.

You Retribution players have been waiting a long time for a new Warcaster. What’s your take on Ossyan?

Ben Williams
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