At Home in Cygnar: Tempest Blazers Unit Review

Hey guys, John back again with the review for the newest Cygnar unit, the Tempest Blazers.

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I couldn’t wait to get the plastic off!

Any fan of the Arcane Tempest Gun Mages (like me) will love this unit. It’s Gun Mages on HORSES! Light Cavalry at that. I was very excited as soon as I heard about this unit, and I made my preorder as soon as I could. Now that I’ve had some time with the unit, I figured I would let you know how it’s been.

Plastic Horses Rock
Plastic Horses Rock

First off, let’s see what these guys can do. They have the same statline as the Gun Mages but with +3 SPD and +2 ARM. They have Gunfighter, Pathfinder, and the Gun Mages typical Magelock Pistol. Their shot types are Brutal, Blessed, and Electro Leap. All of this for one less than either the min or max unit of the Storm Lances.

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Different Horses

When I first heard about this unit, I had thought Blessed would be the shot that would be used the most. That has not been the case thus far as Electro Leap is amazing on these guys. It’s useful for chewing through an entire unit of Bane Knights or Errants. It turns each shot from these guys into two! So far, I have yet to use Blessed, but I could see it coming into play on a unit of Defender’s Warded Errants. It would lower the number that die, but would guarantee death. Same goes with Iron Fleshed ANYTHING. Last up is our old favorite, Brutal Damage. Plowing through multi-wound infantry or light ‘jacks, Brutal damage is probably the most cast shot type.

Different Gun Mages
Different Gun Mages

And let’s not forget… after their shots, the Blazers will just move away to stay out of charge range!

And they're ready to be painted!
And they’re ready to be painted!

Now, onto the synergy with other units and warcasters. Any warcaster with Deadeye will love the Blazers as much as they loved Gun Mages. Rangers make them better as well. They can go with a melee-centric army as well since they do have Gunfighter. Overall, they work well with just about any list that also runs Gun Mages. So, you might be asking, “why not just run Gun Mages?” Well, let’s take a quick look at the differences between the two units.

Points: For a full unit of Blazers, you will be paying 2 more points than the typical unit + UA of the Gun Mages.
Speed: Blazers are much faster than the foot slogging Gun Mages. Plus the Light Cav reform, the Blazers are much more maneuverable.
Survivability: Blazers win again because they can get away after shooting, have boxes, and even a bit better armor that doesn’t say, “Hi, I die to ANYTHING.”
Types of Shots: Brutal > Crit Brutal always, but Blazers are missing Snipe. Some would say it’s unnecessary due to their speed, and that’s not entirely wrong, but Snipe is certainly missed some times. Thunderbolt, Snipe, and Mage Storm combined are certainly better than Blessed, but Electro Leap makes up for that in droves. So, the winner in this category is likely based on what you need in your list.
Number of Shots: 7 > 5. Gun Mages certainly win in pure number of shots. But again, that’s tough to factor as in a lot of cases, Electro Leap can do even more damage than 7 Gun Mage shots.
‘jack Marshal: This is where Blazers just lose out in some lists. The ability to put the Gun Mage shots on the marshalled ‘jack is amazing.

With weighing the ‘jack Marshall ability of the Gun Mages highly, this puts the two units on about equal footing. So, it comes down to which unit fits into your list and what you need. So, let’s take a look at some lists where Blazers would work.

Major Victoria Haley: I’ve been seeing some eHaley lists replacing the Gun Mages with Tempest Blazers. This, to me, feels like a bit of a mistake as this forces the Sentinel (which I feel is a must have), to be under either Haley herself, Junior, or marshalled to Strangeways. Haley doesn’t need another ‘jack under her as she wants to spend her stack herself (with a little bit to her Stormwall). Strangeways frees up Haley’s Focus, but doesn’t really do much more than that. Not to mention, if you want a full unit of Blazers, you’ve gotta free 2 points. So, that means Strangeways or 2 Stormcallers are gone. Junior to me feels like the best bet if you’re going to do this as he frees Haley’s stack, and gives an additional Focus that the Sentinel can use. The biggest issue here is: Sentinel still has a short range. Which is a huge problem when this ‘jack wants to hang back with Haley. So, to me, the Blazers are out on this one.

Captain Allister Caine: The Blazers fit here just fine as they can take the space of any Merc unit you don’t like or you don’t own yet. They can drop into this list, and provide another good dose of the aggression Caine wants.

Siege: LOVES THEM. Hello, Siege’s Feat, I’m 3d6 POW 10 vs. your Half ARM. A full unit is highly useful in any Siege list.

And my favorite…

Captain Victoria Haley: TEN Brutal shots or TEN Electro Leap Shots. In a perfect world, those Electro Leap shots could take out 20 models (and I’ve come close to that number so far, BANES)! On top of that, you can’t charge me after I move away from you. Haley also has Deadeye. I’ve been testing this list a bit, and I love it so far.

Captain Victoria Haley
-Squire
-Stormwall & Lightning Pods
Journeyman Warcaster
-Sentinel
Rangers
Tempest Blazers
Cylena Raefyll & Nyss Hunters
-Jonas Murdoch

All in all, I’m happy with the new release, and I can’t complain that my faction got another book release before Hordes got all of their recent book released. I kid, I kid. I look forward to seeing what else this upcoming book will give us. I hear Stryker will be on a horse…

Lastly, I will give this unit a hard B+. It won’t fit in every list (Stormwall), but it is certainly another unit that makes Cygnar’s in-faction catalog a little bit better.

Until next time,
Best of Luck in Your Future Endeavours,
wwe future endeavours

Author: LanceLiezure

John Booher has been playing Warmachine since January 2012. He has played many different wargames since 2008 before landing in Western Immoren. Now, he plays Cygnar (mainly), Skorne, and Mercenaries and even runs Iron Kingdoms each week. You can find more out about our group at http://www.midsouthgaming.com.

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