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Notice: MkI Rules

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Lieutenant Allister Caine - Cygnar warcaster

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Caine is a pistol wielding whirlwind. He can wipe out masses of enemy troops with ease, or he can end up quickly as a corpse. Of all the Cygnaran warcasters he's one of the most difficult to master. His feat and several of Caine's other powers have been errata'ed at least once. Be sure to check the comprehensive FAQ about him.


Lieutenant Allister Caine's Statistics


Caine is fast and hard to hit, but has the lowest armor and lowest number of damage boxes of all the warcasters in Prime. If he's ever immobilized (by High Exemplar Kreoss' or Kommander Sorscha's feats for example) or is autohit in some other way he can be quickly destroyed. He's weak in close combat, but must get reasonably close to the enemy to be of any use. To balance that he has the best ranged combat ability of any warcaster.

He has a focus of six, which is decent, but he's going to be using a lot of it to cast spells and boost his own attacks. Caine is a passable commander with a command score of eight, but he Flashes around a lot, and gets separated from his warrior units easily.

Feat - Maelstrom


Once per game Caine can make a single shooting attack against every model in his control area. He can boost the damage and the attack roll, but with his RAT of eight you're not normally going to have to boost the attack roll. Use this feat to tear away a unit of warriors screening an enemy warcaster, hit it once with the shot from the feat, and then nail it four more times with your regular attacks. Slaughtering the rest of your opponent's army is gravy.

A clever opponent will keep his forces spread out and use terrain, cover, defensive spells, and tough intervening models to deny you targets. Stay focused on using Caine's feat to clear the chaff out of the way and assassinate the warcaster. This feat can allow you to blow away one model after another, and as long as you keep destroying the intervening models you can keep slaughtering through successive waves of enemy models. Caine will ignore the +2 DEF that models get from being screened thanks to his Crack Shot ability.

Weapons - Sword and Spellstorm Pistols


Caine is a nightmare with his pistols, and weak in melee. Don't get into melee with anything ever! His sword has a total P+S:8, and no special abilities. His pistols have a ROF of two each and are POW:12. For two focus Caine can get four ranged attacks per turn at POW:12, and usually he'll spend two focus on his Flash spell. This leaves two focus left over for spells, overcharging his power field, boosting his attacks or allocating to warjacks. He needs a Journeyman Warcaster along to run one or two warjacks for him, although the combination of Caine, Dirty Meg and a dead-eyed, sniped Mule is currently thought to be a good potential combination.

Special Rules


  • Crack Shot: This has been changed with the release of Escalation. There's a new rule for troops being in front of each other called "screening," and Caine can only bypass that now. Intervening models will still block his line of sight. Caine can no longer assassinate enemy warcasters or wipe out entire armies with his feat without getting some sort of elevation advantage or tearing through intervening models one after another.

  • Range Amplifier: Caine doesn't need a Lancer. His spells all have an incredible range, but he's rarely going to use them. You'll want to favor just channeling focus into his pistol attacks and casting Flash. Still, being able to slam a model from thirteen inches away and then teleport twelve inches is pretty cool. This ability and his spell Flash are the reasons that Caine isn't often fielded with Lancers.

Spells


Arcane Blast: Unlike Stryker, Caine can make good use of this spell if there are enough enemy models packed in close together. With the Range Amplifier it has a slightly longer range than his pistols. With Caine's RAT:8 and access to the spell Deadeye he should never have to hit a target with a high DEF by using this spell at point blank range.

Flash: You should be casting this spell every turn Caine is near the enemy. Move in, shoot, and flash out. If you use Flash correctly you'll drive your opponent crazy trying to hunt down Caine and exterminate him, but he can't shoot in melee, so don't be moving into melee range of enemy models and expect to shoot and Flash out. Due to changes in the place rules in Remix Caine is immune to free strikes when he uses Flash. Many people agree to an unwritten rule that Caine cannot be moved to a place that's inaccessible to normal movement. In other words, you can't perch him on top of a pop can unless there's a ladder built into the side of it. Agree with your opponent in advance where Caine can Flash to, and what the ARM and damage of structures that he might be perched on top of are. It's neither clever tactics nor good sportsmanship to Flash Caine to some surprise location that doesn't intuitively seem fair or logical, and then insist that the structure is ARM:30 and has thirty damage points. That's just bad sportsmanship!

Blur: Cast this spell on Arcane Tempest Gun Mages and your opponent will be driven to distraction by them. This spell will raise the DEF against ranged attacks for most models up to at least fifteen. That's pretty hard to hit. I've had better luck casting this spell on troops like Long Gunners rather than on warjacks like the Defender. This spell only works on ranged attacks, and offensive spells and melee attacks ignore Blur. It's not really at the top of the list for spells to use with Caine.

Deadeye: There are two uses for this spell. The first is the best, cast it on a unit like Long Gunners or Trenchers so they get a bonus to hit; like a warjack with a boosted attack would. You can also cast it on a warjack that has a focus point allocated to it. When the warjack shoots you can roll four dice for the attack roll. On average a Defender will hit DEF 19 (21 with an aiming bonus), and make even a Wind Rushing Sorscha worry. You could also cast this on Caine so he gets a single shot with four dice on the attack roll. This will hit DEF 22 or less with ease.

Snipe: Try and pick a unit that you want to have this spell for the rest of the game and cast it on them at +6" range at the start of the game and maintain it. Normally, this will be a Defender Heavy Warjack, Long Gunners, or Arcane Tempest Gun Mages. The Black 13th are also a prime candidate for this spell. Don't overlook extending the range of troops that have more powerful weapons with a limited range like Storm Blades or Trenchers. With the Officer and Standard Bearer from Escalation attached a unit of Stormblades with 6"of snipe are very powerful. If you can allocate three focus a turn to it then even the humble Charger can cause a lot of damage with an 18" range. This range bonus does NOT affect Caine's feat range, and it still only hits models within his control radius. Nice try!

Thunder Strike: This is one of Cygnar's most powerful attack spells, and it outranges Caine's pistols with the Range Amplifier bonus. Use it when your opponent's warcaster insists on cowering behind a heavy warjack. You can slam the warjack into the caster. The power of the spell is nothing to sneeze at either. The only downside is that if you happen to be maintaining Snipe or Blur when you cast this spell, or boost the attack roll or damage of Thunder Strike you won't be able to use Flash. Having the Squire around to re-roll this magic attack or getting an extra focus to boost can mean the difference between wasting 4 focus or slamming a dangerous enemy away from Caine.

Thoughts on Lieutenant Allister Caine


You are ALWAYS going to have a journeyman warcaster help Caine out. He simply cannot be bothered to allocate focus to his warjacks. Although Caine has no more conjunctions with them than Long Gunners or Trenchers it'd be a shame to not take Arcane Tempest Gun Mages and a Gun Mage Captain Adept for thematic purposes. Caine can boost their ranged attacks with the Snipe and Deadeye spells, or make them nearly immune to ranged attacks with Blur. The Gun Mage captain Adept is just as good of a commander as Caine, so you don't ever have to worry about Flashing away from non-fearless models.

Caine is hard to explain. You need to be shooting with him throughout the game, and you need to keep him safe from being immobilized or knocked down. If Caine ever loses his inhumanly high defense he's easy to kill. Beware of getting in line of sight of large units that can combine attacks! At some point you'll move Caine in close to several enemy models, use his feat, and then blow away the enemy warcaster. You can hit a model once with the feat, once with Arcane Blast or Thunder Strike, and then four times with the Spellstorm pistols. If that amazing amount of damage doesn't end the game you'll find Caine within 12" of the enemy warcaster at the start of it's activation. Oops!

In the early turns of the game Caine is able to turn any one model or unit into a sort of "super sniper" by casting both snipe and deadeye on it. This concept works best with the Defender, which can have two focus allocated to it for boosting the attack and damage dice. If the Defender doesn't move it will hit DEF:21 for 25 damage on average dice rolls. The Hunter makes a good close second so long as you're shooting at large targets. The addition of a mercenary Jack Marshal in the form of Dirty Meg allows access to quite a few mercenary warjacks. A particularly tasty target for Snipe and Deadeye is the Mule, who can hit targets 18" or 19" away, and with a Deadeye and boosted attack roll can hit DEF 18 or 20 on average dice, and a 4" AOE. The critical devastation is just icing on the cake at that point.

A good way of making up for Caine's feeble ARM is to have the Journeyman Warcaster cast Arcane Shield on him, and then keep the Journeyman safely away from the enemy. Have the Journeyman in charge of a Hunter, Sentinel, or Defender. Then Caine's ARM value, while not top notch, isn't exactly a joke any more either.

To ensure that game play is fair and fun I suggest implementing a rule that Caine not be able to Flash to any location that would be inaccessible to normal movement. The top of a soda can should not be an eligible teleport location.