Bug Zapper Extraordinaire
That sentence actually holds the key to Orin Midwinter because it talks about abilities that very rarely have any effect and casually mentions what makes him a wild card powerhouse so I've rewritten it: Specialized in hunting high defense solo characters, Midwinter occasionally uses his arcane energy to draw power from enemy wizards and Arc Lightnings something important.
As always the Battlecollege will take you through most of it. Orin Midwinter will die to a single Gun Mage almost every time, and unless he's using his stealth or hiding he'll die to anything that manages a slightly above average attack roll. This is what you have to work with but luckily Orin Midwinter has a few things going for him.
- Null Magic & Energy Vacuum
Null Magic. Now this is where it all comes together. Skorne hates (...) those guys with spells such as Forcebolt which can pull you close to them, destroying your positioning, shieldwall, and general movement shenanigans. Parking Orin behind a large or medium base will make them immune to those RNG10 attacks, keeping your important models safe from those nefarious magic users. - CardboardNull Magic also stops Energy Vacuum and we really like those power tokens. Energy Vacuum gives Orin a token every time an enemy model casts a spell within twelve inches and that's a lot easier to achieve than blocking spells (people will occasionally cast within the area because it benefits them somehow or they need it to be in range).
- Arc Lightning
How to zap bugs: AdvanceThe first thing I discovered was that if I had the first turn if was counterproductive to use his Stealth spell. If you have a way of keeping him safe from long range shooting (or your opponent has none) then run like the wind. There's 31" between deployment zones, which means that unless your opponent has something that can reach 19" on his first turn (or Advance Deployment, extended deployment zone, etc. etc.) you should be safe. If you go second then stealth is important unless you're facing Legion/Cygnar or something that in general ignores it.
The reason you run is because Orin Midwinter threatens sixteen inches with his Arc Lightning, and that means frying models on turn two if they dare leave the deployment zone (if you're really lucky you can Arc Lightning and have it leap back and fry important support models even if they didn't advance at all). If you advance just six inches you risk having no viable targets in turn two since that leaves an opponent the option to advance eight or nine inches and remain outside his threat range.
How to zap bugs: DefenseModels that ignore stealth rarely ignores Cover as well and Orin Midwinter is hard to shift at defense eighteen. There's no reason not to give him a little extra defense if you can, but let's be honest and admit that he's probably not important enough to get any of the good spots. Orin Midwinter has a special defense you won't find on his card though, and it's more powerful than stealth and cover combined: perceived threat.
If you cast Null Magic his perceived threat will be very high but if you run or stealth it will be extremely low because most people think Orin Midwinter is shit (not THE shit, just shit). Few people really expect him to fry half a unit or kill Eiryss while she's stealth and in Cover, so they leave him alone and expect to dedicate a couple of models to ensure an easy kill when he unveils himself and pops Null Magic.
How to zap bugs: OffenseOrin Midwinter needs no help but his potential skyrockets if he gets some. Arc Lightning threatens sixteen inches and with three potential leaps you can theoretically zap a model from 34" away by bouncing lightning bolts off two large based models. Realistically though we're talking 21-22" threat by bouncing a single bolt of the initial target and everything else should be considered a bonus.
- pDeneghra: The Withering makes him RAT 9 and POW 12 which is exceptional for a two point solo. Parasite means bouncing what amounts to POW 15 lightning bolts around and that's enough to fry several of the cavalry models in the game.
- eDeneghra: Web of Shadows and Curse of Shadows makes him RAT 10 and POW 12.
- Scaverous: Telekinesis is hilarious when you need to set up a chain of lightning going exactly where you need it. Defense and Armor debuffs available means Orin will fit here as well.
- All others: Solo characters like Eiryss and Anastasia are hard for Cryx to take out at range and we really need a way to handle them. A special mention should go to eSkarre and her feat which can keep him safe from almost anything, and the "Immortal Null Magic Orin Midwinter" is impressive.
Orin Midwinter isn't in all my lists but he's a fine answer to enemy incorporeal models, stealth solos, and against things that are immune to magic he can lay down a beating if he's got a few tokens to back him up (MAT 6 and PS 9 with three tokens means two dead solo characters if he can reach them).
It's important to remember that he's an offensive solo and not like his abilities otherwise suggest a defensive one. He'll probably die after he engages and throws out an Arc Lightning but he can inflict massive damage if you apply that spell correctly and there's usually no hiding from it. Orin Midwinter is a solid two point solo and he performs as such.