Lucius, Guild/Neverborn Dual-Faction Master
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Lucius2E.pngOverview

Lucius Mattheson is the right hand of the Governor-General of Malifaux. He is the master of guile and an effective leader. Lucius improves the capabilities of his Minions and gives them extra actions. He underwent a major revision in the 1/1/2017 update, and his new card can be found on the Wyrd Errata Page.

The current release, an all plastic box, contains Lucius, 2 Lawyers, 2 Guild Guards, Captain Dashel and the Scribe. The metal Lucius crew box contains Lucius, Ryle, a Guild Guard Captain, a Lawyer, and a Guild Guard.

Mobility

Lucius has a walk of 4 and a charge of 6. Lucius does have a few actions that increase his mobility, and can get across the board quickly if you need him to. He can effectively have an extra Walk action by targeting himself with his Commanding Presence ability, but if you flip a Black Joker on his Horror Duel, you'll Paralyze him. In general, Lucius is not a fast master, but his crew can be quite a bit faster than it is with other masters.

What Lackeys Are For (Stat Card - Tactical Action)
It requires a card of five or more and an extra Mask to work, a target friendly model within 10", and can only be used once per Turn. You place a scheme marker in BtB with Lucius, then place Lucius in BtB with the target friendly model, and then place that target model in BtB with the Scheme Marker you just placed. The easiest trick is to Walk Lucius a couple of times, commanding extra (1) actions as he goes, and then use this action to place a Scheme Marker in a place you need it to score VP's, and exchange places with a friendly model so Lucius returns to the backfield where he's safe.



Offense

Because Lucius focuses on increasing the utility of his subjects (crew) he is not a combat powerhouse. He does have some attack options.

Melee

Sword Cane (Stat Card - Attack Action)
Lucius is proficient with his sword cane, wielding it with a 6 of rams. The damage profile is the average damage of 2/3/4; the true power of his sword cane is in the Red Tape trigger available with a second ram. Being tied up in Red Tape gives the target two negative twists to Attack Actions against Minions and Mimics until Lucius activates again or leaves play, which can surgically neuter a heavy hitter that would otherwise be making mincemeat of your models.

Hidden Weapons (Secret Objectives Upgrade - Tactical Action)
While not an attack , the (0) action Hidden Weapons allows Lucius to, with a five or higher of any suit, take a Sword Cane action for every friendly scheme marker within three inches; the scheme markers are then discarded. This is useful if Lucius is surrounded by two or more enemies that he would like to mire in Red Tape or if you can figure out how to put a large number of scheme markers next to an enemy model, and then attack it several times with Lucius. Lucius could probably manage at least a few extra attacks working with the Fae knights Thorn or Tooth.

Ranged

Hidden Sniper (Secret Assets Upgrade - Attack Action)
As a (0) action, Lucius may call in a sniper attack. This sniper is clearly a pro, and the attack lacks a projectile symbol, meaning it never scatters in combat and ignores cover. Furthermore if the target is within three inches of a Scheme Marker, the attack gains a positive twist and ignores Line of Sight. The downside is that you need a ram for the attack to succeed, and a mask if you want the Purposeful Strike trigger, so you'll often need a stone to pull it off. The damage from the strike is the same as from the sword cane, but the Critical Strike trigger along with the double ram requirement makes it a bit more scary. Purposeful Strike, lets you either discard or place a Scheme Marker within three inches of the target, which is great in scenarios where scheme markers are important, but you won't be able to get the Critical Strike damage at the same time.

While Secret Objectives and Secret Assets are not Limited upgrades, they both give Lucius a (0) action, so do conflict with each other.


Resilience

Lucius has high defense and higher willpower, but low wounds for a master. He is perfectly content to command his subjects from afar, but can be fairly resilient in the thick of battle. He is able to replenish his Soulstone cache, inflict negative flips on attacks and can even pass successful attacks to friendly Guardsmen or Mimics.

Highest Authority (Stat Card - Ability)
Lucius may discard a card to inflict a negative twist on any Attack Action targeting himself. This ability is useful only when Lucius has cards in hand, but combined with his good defensive stats can make him very hard to hit. Watch out for models which can either use Soulstones or have a built in positive twist to hit, as you'll be draining your hand just to put them on a straight flip. Also keep in mind that Lucius has quite high Df and Wp, so sometimes you'll be better off trying to dodge the attack normally to save your hand.

Sword Cane (Stat Card - Attack Action)
As mentioned before, the true power of the sword cane is in the Red Tape trigger available with a second ram. Lucius can use this trigger to protect himself and lock the target in engagement to keep his other models safe. Getting back to a neutral flip from this is very difficult but it sometimes a serious threat can get some damage through Red Tape, or at least drain your hand. With the Jan '17 errata, Red Tape now lasts until Lucius activates or leaves play.

Secret Service (Upgrade - Trigger)
With a ram Lucius may pass any successful Attack Action targeting Defense to a Guardsman or Mimic within three inches. Oh, and if you do siphon off the poor shmuck's wounds with Devil's Deal and then claim the victory points from Frame for Murder, feel free to cackle maniacally.

Loop Holes (Upgrade - Ability)
This ability allows Lucius to be considered friendly to his enemy's crew with respect to auras and pulses. This allows him to ignore the harmful effects of the enemy's auras and pulses and to benefit from their beneficial auras and pulses. Whether this actually contributes to Lucius's resilience is out of your hands but certain abilities (like Pandora's Misery) are completely shut out by this upgrade.


Utility

Devil's Deal (Stat Card - Ability)
If Lucius spends a soulstone, you can inflict two damage on any friendly model within six inches, and after the current action is complete, you add a soulstone to your pool. As long as your Henchmen aren't using up all the soulstones, Lucius can keep spending them for as long as he has friendly models to damage. Typically, this adds to his resilience, as he can keep doing damage reduction flips against every incoming attack for as long as his minions last. However, he has

Elite Training (Stat Card - Ability)
Minions, Mimics, and Guardsmen within six inches of Lucius get positive twists to their Attack flips and Horror Duels. If you want to make life easy for yourself, you can restrict your Enforcers and Henchmen to those that have the Mimic or Guardsman keyword, so every model in your crew is affected by this ability, and you won't have to remember if a specific model is the correct type. This doesn't help Lucius himself. Like most of the Neverborn Masters, and some of the Guild Masters, he's a backfield manipulator who lets others do the fighting. The primary benefit of Elite Training is the benefit to Horror duels, so you won't paralyze your own models when you attempt Commanding Presence on them.

Commanding Presence (Stat Card - Ability)
When Lucius completes a walk action you can target any friendly model within 12" to make it take a TN 12 Horror Duel. If the target succeeds on the Horror duel, it can take any (1) Action. Lucius can target himself with this ability to effectively gain an extra Walk Action every Activation. Commanding Presence is a great way of improving the mobility of both Lucius and the rest of your crew, since Lucius can walk 12", or 16" if you feel good about the risk of flipping a Black Joker, and get three other models in your crew to take any (1) action you like. This can effectively turn three actions into seven actions, but only if the only thing you want to do with Lucius is walk.

Since a model becomes immune to the Horror Duel after succeeding against the Horror Duel, and is paralyzed if it fails, Commanding Presence can only be used once on each model in your crew each turn. Typically, you'll use this as a means of getting extra (1) actions from your crew without having Lucius fall far behind them; or extra actions from Enforcers or Henchmen, which cannot be targeted by Issue Command.

Personal Retinue (Surprisingly Loyal Upgrade - Ability)
This gives Lucius an interesting hiring pool that no other Neverborn or Guild master can match. Guild crews can take Doppelgangers and Changelings, while Neverborn crews can take Master Queeg and Austringers.

Purposeful Misinterpretation (Legalese Upgrade - Ability)
At the end of the game, you turn all enemy Scheme Markers next to Lucius into friendly scheme markers. This will typically let you deny your opponent VP rather than score yourself any. If they need scheme markers in your deployment zone or next to your models at the end of the game, you can deny them a few VP by transforming them into friendly scheme markers.

Loop Holes (Legalese Upgrade - Ability)
You can choose to consider Lucius as friendly to the enemy crew when deciding if he's affected by auras or pulses. This requires you to have a LOT of knowledge of your opponent's models, and what models they might bring. It can give you a significant edge against masters like Pandora, who's Misery aura only damages enemy models. Other examples are using "Roll Me Closer Dear" on an enemy Abuela Ortega, or being immune to Sue's Ring of Fire Tactical Action. These abilities are relatively rare across all models, so it will be very hit or miss whether you get any use from Loop Holes at all.

Guild Intelligence (Stat Card - Tactical Action)
The only (0) on Lucius' card, until the end of the turn all friendly models within 6" of Lucius may take Interact Actions while engaged. This can theoretically win you games off schemes like Dig Your Graves, but will often be ignored in favor of the (0) actions from his upgrades.

Issue Command (Stat Card - Tactical Action)
This action as a TN that requires a card of five or more of any suit unless the mask built into his Ca is taken from him. He can target any friendly Minion within eight inches, but can only use this on any one minion once per Turn. The minion immediately takes any (1) Action that you want it to. The range increases to 14" if the target is a Guardsman or Mimic, and Lucius likes working with a great many of that type of model anyway. This means that you want a substantial number of Minions in your crew, but whether you lead Guild or Neverborn with him, you're spoiled for choice. Issue Command has three triggers:
(Mask) Move It!: Before the target takes its action you push it up to 3", which can give any minion some crazy mobility. Lucius can Issue Command, force the minion to walk, target it with Issue Command, push it 3", and then have it walk again. A minion with a normally sedate Wk4 would get an extra 11" of movement outside it's activation. A minion with projectile attacks that's engaged can be pushed out of combat, and then shoot. Those are two obvious and easy uses, and that's just the trigger you get by default. A push followed by any (1) Action provides an infinity of tricks and skulduggery.
(Ram) Watching Closely: After you succeed in casting this on the target, it heals 2 damage. Healing is a relatively uncommon ability, and this heal allows you to save a soulstone with Devil's Deal, and then repair the damage you caused.
(Ram) Take Aim! : Before the target takes its (1) Action, it gains Focused +1 until the end of the turn. Obvious and easy to use, you use this on a model just before you order it to make an attack. The obvious and easy thing is to create a 'gunline' with models like Austringers, and let them make additional ranged attacks with positive twists to their attack and damage flips.
PLucius.png



Upgrades

Dual Faction

Useless Duplications
This upgrade is a dual-faction Guild/Neverborn upgrade that may be taken by a Mimic. The Useless Duplications ability can be very useful on a Doppleganger, whose Which One Is Real?! ability prevents her from having a card flipped for her when randomly determining a target. The combination of both of these abilities leads to the Doppleganger being impossible to target with a projectile attack when within two inches of another Mimic

The other ability Seeing Double allows friendly Mimics within three inches to discard a card to inflict a negative flip on a Melee Attack, basically giving them a limited Highest Authority. It can be nice to have all your Mimics tossing out negative twists and can be good on a bodyguard model like Mr. Graves, who will also benefit from the ability himself.

Since this upgrade keys off the Mimic characteristic how good it is will depend on the composition of your list. It's also available to all the henchman/enforcer mimics so you can save upgrade slots on Lucius by giving it to one of his subordinates.

Watch My Back
This upgrade for Lucius, or any Guardsman who can take upgrades, gives all Guardsman model in play the Accomplice ability. This is more useful for Lucius in the Guild faction, because he'll typically have more Guardsman models.

Guild

Badge of Office
Allows Lucius to reduce the damage of any one successful attack to 1. It's expensive and Lucius has lots of other defensive options already which might be better.

Dampening Field
Provides a tool for reducing enemy synergy by shutting off their auras or preventing healing for a turn. Since this provides another (0) action it may compete with some of Lucius's other upgrades but it can be quite handy if you think killing enemy buffs will be more useful than extra attacks. Interestingly there's no resist whatsoever for Dampening Field and it lasts for the current and next turn, although it can't target masters which may be the main source of auras, so your mileage may vary. In general if you aren't taking Secret Assets or Objectives this upgrades worth considering as it's basically extra free actions which may be a nuisance for your opponent.

Expert Sleuth
More (0) actions and scheme related shenanigans can be had from this upgrade, as well as a once off buff to initiative if you need it. Generally Lucius doesn't need to race towards enemy schemes and has other (0) options but if you think the game is going to be really marker heavy then being able to chase them down in the late game to remove them or make them your own could be useful. It's also a push which could potentially get Lucius out of a tight spot if necessary.

Plant Evidence
The push at the end of the game can create a good option with his Legalese upgrade, but Legalese is probably the better end-of-game Scheme Marker manipulation upgrade for Lucius.

The Thalarian Stone
Generally not a great upgrade, but Lucius might get more out of it than most with his ability to replenish his Soulstone Pool, and the one-time healing might be nice.

Vengeance Bullet
Since Lucius only has a Shooting Attack Action with the Secret Assets upgrade so this upgrade is useless on its own. Could be nice to take a chunk out of a Henchman or Master though.

Neverborn

Aether Connection
If assassinate is in the scheme pool this could be a be a good option for Lucius since 2/3/4 damage prevention flips on top of all his other defenses and extra Soulstones from Devil's Deal will make him very hard to put down.

Fears Given Form
Lucius has a small engagement range, and doesn't like to spend a lot of time in melee. Hence, it is generally not worth the upgrade slot for Lucius.

Nexus of Power
While not an upgrade Lucius himself may take, Nexus of Power on a relatively close Henchman or Enforcer allows Lucius to heal a damage when he uses a Stone for something other than damage prevention. Since Lucius has the ability to replenish his Soulstone Pool, this ability might see more use than with other Masters.

On Wings of Darkness
Spending Soulstones on card-drawing can be a good option for Lucius and this upgrade makes it better. Flight also seems nice for him for evading enemies and terrain while making the most of his Commanding Presence.

Pact
The utility of this upgrade depends on how much Lucius fears the Black Joker, which is generally not very much, though it can let you use Commanding Presence on Lucius without fear.

Stone of Tyrant Echoes
Similar to Thalarian Stone but probably less good as Lucius can go defensive himself but can't heal.



Tactics and Tips

Tactics for Lucius are fairly straightforward: whatever your Minions need to do to win the game, Lucius gives them more actions. There are a lot of applications for this, from speeding up scheme runs to making a mobile gun-line, so it's important to evaluate where Lucius's AP is best spent each round. As a support master his own actions aren't on a par with say Sonnia's so consider what minions you need to keep alive for him to support and which ones you can happily throw at your opponent to stall them.

Highest Authority is Lucius's best line of defence; without it he's less durable than most henchmen. Don't let him get ambushed by anything with a positive flip to hit and think carefully about when to discard cards for this and when to hold them.

To help with the Horror Duels caused by Commanding Presence, Lucius gives nearby Guardsmen, Mimics, and Minions a positive twist. The Lawyer also gives a positive twist to Horror Duels to all friendly models within six inches of it. The Guild Sergeant gives all friendly Guardsman models a positive twist to Willpower Duels with in six inches. Finally, the Warden inherently has a positive twist to all Horror Duels.

The Loop Holes ability is very useful against Pandora and Sorrows, allowing Lucius to not be harmed by their Misery ability. It also gets around Chatty and other Interact hosers so Lucius can roll up his sleeves and plant his own schemes where necessary.


Lucius.pngStrategies and Schemes

Strategies
Lucius excels at strategies requiring movement or Interact Actions because he can give his Minions extra actions. Because Lucius tends to want to hire Minions to accept his commands, Reckoning is typically more difficult for him.

Schemes
Lucius also excels at schemes requiring movement or Interact Actions. Thus, he is well-suited for Breakthrough, Cursed Object, Deliver a Message, Distract, A Line in the Sand, Outflank, Plant Evidence, Plant Explosives, Power Ritual, Protect Territory, Dig Your Graves, or Spring the Trap.

Lucius has no particular advantage or disadvantage with Assassinate, Bodyguard, Entourage, Frame for Murder, Murder Protege, or Take Prisoner.

Lucius can have difficulty with Make Them Suffer because he tends to hire Minions instead of Henchmen.

Because he can give a Minion extra attack actions, Vendetta can be good for Lucius.

With the Legalese and Secret Assets upgrades, Lucius is good at thwarting schemes that require scheme markers in certain location, and taking those scheme markers for himself.

Because of his abilities to give enemy models negative flips on Attack Actions and the ability to replenish his Soulstone pool, Lucius can be surprisingly difficult as an assassination target, although he has to be careful with enemies that have an automatic positive twist on attack flips. Such an enemy who focuses an attack may still be able to cheat when mired in Red Tape unless Lucius has the card in hand to discard for Highest Authority.


Building a Crew

Guardsmen and Mimics
Thanks to his Surprisingly Loyal upgrade he can hire a variety of mimics and minions regardless of faction, these are listed below for convenience.

Guild Austringer
An out-of-turn Focus or Move Action from Commanding Presence can allow the Guild Austringer to position himself for a good Raptor strike. The Take Aim! trigger from Issue Command will also give a free Focus, and Move It! helps with positioning as well. Additionally, a position exchange from What Lackeys Are For can also allow the Guild Austringer to make more use of Delivered Orders or focusing for a Raptor strike.

Guild Guard
The bread and butter guardsman option. These provide a lot of wounds per unit cost and can drop schemes but not much else. Great for bogging down enemy models and giving them conditions like cursed object but otherwise mostly chaff. Lucius can be quite happy taking a bunch of these in Guild for activation control and board presence but they're rarely worth porting over via Personal Retinue.

Guild Rifleman
The Guild Rifleman has a good Ranged attack and benefits from the Focused condition that Lucius can give with Issue Command to add a ram to his attack.
Under Lucius, the Guild Rifleman gains the ability to put out a truly terrifying amount of damage. Since the Rifleman gets +ram to his attacks when he uses focus, and a +ram when a nearby guardsman has already activated, the Rifleman can have a minimum damage of 3 per attack, and he can get three such attacks with Lucius and Dashel around (Lucius uses Issues Command and either stones or uses a card for the ram, allowing the rifleman to focus, then shoot, then Lucius uses Commanding Presence causing the rifleman to focus, the Rifleman then activates and shoots, then focuses as a (0) thanks to Dashel, then fires a third time). While this is VERY resource intensive (quite possibly costing a stone and 2-4 control cards), that level of damage coming from a 5 stone model can catch people off guard, and the possibility of that damage can cause opponents to play cautiously, which can open avenues for victory points.

Lawyer
The lawyer is a Mimic who gives a positive twist on Horror Duels to friendly friendly models within six inches. This helps other Minions deal with the Commanding Presence that Lucius has. He has Wp targeting attacks which can be hard to come by in Guild and drops scheme markers when he dies.

Warden
The Warden is a good minion with decent Melee and Ranged Attacks. When attacking an enemy that has already activated, the Warden may give the Paralyzed condition to the target. The Warden also receives a positive twist to all Horror Duels, which is useful for Commanding Presence.

Guild Minions

As a Guild Master, Lucius gains access to the following Minions.

Guardian
A giant robot and a minions as well. It's a great bodyguard that can benefit from Elite Training and has a huge melee reach for denying schemes. Being able to push into base contact with Protect means it's mobile enough to keep up with the crew as well. The price-tag can cut into your model count but it's still a solid option for Lucius

Hunter
If you've seen the Fall Schematic art you know that Lucius looks pretty cool with a hunter. It's kind of pricey and might not interact that much with the rest of the crew but Chain Harpoon is like a Lure with spikes on and it can kill stuff pretty good in melee.


Watcher
More often associated with Hoffman a Watcher or two can be a nice speedy scheme vector for Lucius as well.

Witchling Stalker
The condition removal provided by the Witchling Stalker is always useful, but can be especially useful if a Minion fails the Horror Duel caused by Commanding Presence. Their melee attack is nasty, which can make up for the rather poor melee abilities of Guardsmen.


Neverborn Minions

lluminated
The Illuminated is a popular choice as a Minion for Lucius because they are fairly resilient with decent Melee and Ranged Attacks.

Terror Tots
Because a Terror Tot can move up to ten inches with a single (1) action, a Tot can be even more mobile and effective as a dispenser of Scheme Markers. A Tot's Willpower is five, so a seven or higher is required for the Horror Duel when attempting to benefit from Commanding Presence.

Young Nephilim
The Young Nephilim is already an efficiently-cost model, extra Attack and Move Actions can only serve to make it more frightening. A Young Nephilim's Willpower is five, so a seven or higher is required for the Horror Duel when attempting to benefit from Commanding Presence.

Enforcers and Henchmen

Enforcers and Henchmen can benefit directly from What Lackeys Are For and Commanding Presence, but not Issue Command. Enforcers and Henchmen that buff minions can be used to make the Minions even more useful, but by doing so Lucius risks losing a great deal of utility if his Minions are all killed.

Doppleganger
The Doppleganger is useful for her Ill Omens ability especially if Lucius is able to run his opponent out of Soulstones. When considering which Action to copy, it is worth remember that the Doppleganger cannot copy any ability from Lucius.

Playing Against Lucius

The best way to reduce the effectiveness of Lucius is to kill his Minions. Also, with his Guild Intelligence ability it is best not to rely on engagement to prevent Interact Actions. Because of his ability to hand out negative twists to Attack Actions, Assassinate is typically a poor choice of scheme against him.


Ownership
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