Monday, April 23, 2012

Spotlight: Orin Midwinter

It took me a long time to figure this guy out and as usual the revelation came when I looked beyond his intended purpose: Specialized in hunting spell-casters, Midwinter uses his arcane energy to draw power from enemy wizards, suppress their magic, or simply strike them down with arcs of lightning.

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.
  • Stealth
It's his most widely used spell but it's important to know that it's not always worth casting. Stealth is great unless you happen to be up against one of the many things in the game that simply ignore or circumvents it, but hiding behind something or someone works equally well. If you can manage both it's great but do remember not to stand to close because blast damage will kill him.
  • Null Magic & Energy Vacuum
Null Magic is the ability that made him famous and a trap spell if there ever was one. This spell will stop all spellcasting within twelve inches of Orin Midwinter (yes even your own) but since he dies if a little girl slaps him it's just about guaranteed that he'll be first on the hit list that round. Null Magic doesn't stop channeling either so positioning is vital with this ability, and no matter how hard I tried to make this work he always died. (if you need a guide on using that ability this one should help)
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. - Cardboard
Null 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
... well now that's interesting. The guy has a magical ability score of seven which means he can be expected to hit what he likes if he has access to debuffs. The average number of leaps is two so he can be expected to put three POW 10 attacks out there if he manages that first hit. The really interesting thing is that you get one leap automatically which means an answer to high defense/stealth models like Eiryss (if you don't know how that works you can go to 05:10 in this video where Galea does it with his Storm Lancers).
How to zap bugs: Advance
The 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: Defense
Models 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: Offense
Orin 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.
With War Witch Deneghra the man becomes a legend. Her feat is designed to turn him from alright into a whirlwind of destruction with lightning bolts taking out solo characters on average dice, and with the defensive qualities of of The Withering he might even survive a round/game.
  • eDeneghra: Web of Shadows and Curse of Shadows makes him RAT 10 and POW 12.
While not as powerful a combination the ability to ensure that his initial lightning bolt hits is pretty sweet. With Marked for Death and Web of Shadows he'll be hitting defense nineteen on average dice, so you can rely on him connecting with the solo you're really trying to kill.
  • 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.
With Scaverous there's no need to run in your own models to make the perfect chain because you can just move his. Back strike bonus, Icy Grip, and Feast of Worms also means he can hit and damage what he needs to.
  • 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 is in my Terminus list for just that reason and there's not a single caster in Cryx that won't benefit from having him.


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.



  1. Also consider that you can arc lightning into the back of one of your own, expendable models to extend the range if you need it. I pull that tactic using Shifting Stones and Chain Lightning all of the time and it works wonders, although CL does leap D6 times instead of D3.

  2. I actually tried that tonight... I ran up Saxon Orrik then moved up Orin Midwinter and used Arc Lightning on Saxon to get Eiryss down... but I was 5.1" away and Saxon has stealth :D

  3. I've been thinking about Midwinter lately as a specific answer to Eiryss. Usually my answer to her has been engaging her with a Pistol Wraith or Siren or somehow getting one of those close enough to shoot her, maybe with puppet master to increase the chance of success. Sometimes it works, but not always. Usually a move such as this means the death of the PW or Siren and that kinda annoys me. I play Scaverous at the moment and one of the things he's really good at, is camping at ARM impossible. But having eEiryss within 19" of him where he wants to end his activation makes this a very bad move, so you kinda have to take her out to have that option.