MCA, not just a Beastie Boy

If you don’t know who the Beastie Boys are…I’m sorry.  Seriously, go here and give them a listen. Here’s a link :

For us, WarmaHorders MCA is also an acronym for Maintenance, Control, and Activation.  These are the phases of a player turn. In this article, I’m going to be dropping an Open Letter to MCA, both the Beastie Boy and the first two of the three phases.  

So Ch-Check it Out, on page 29 of the Prime Digest Rules are the Phases in all their glory.  You’re thinking to yourself, “why should I care about the phases?” The answer is there are many things that trigger during the Maintenance and Control phases, some mandatory and some not.  Having knowledge of what triggers when will get you a leg up in your game, unless you’d rather Sabotage yourself.

So let’s start with the Maintenance Phase.  There’s a Sure Shot that you’re just as guilty as I am of forgetting Vengance and similarly named Vengance effects.  How about Steamroller objectives? I bet you’ve forgotten about them too.



First thing that hapens even before the phases start is that effects that you control which last one round expire before you even get into your Maintenance Phase.

Bullet 1: Not much going on here.  So we’ll Pass The Mic to Bullet 2

Bullet 2: This is a big one.  Fire and Corrosion continuous effects are checked here.  Roll a 1 or 2 on a single 6-sider and it goes out; otherwise, take damage.  We’re all very familiar with this, but there are a few slight nuances that need to be pointed out.  First, when you roll for it to go out, everyone I know and have played against has done it in the following order: Roll for expiration on a model, resolve damage, roll for the next model. If you read the bullet closely it states you check for expiration, then after checking to resolve the effects of those that remain in play.

This is important because in Tournaments the clock gets flipped repeatedly during the Maintenance Phase due to Continuous Effects.  With this the clock stays on the active player, they roll for all their expirations, then they flip the clock over to their opponent to resolve the fire/corrosion checks.  Because the casters keep whatever focus/fury they had from the last turn/round depending if they spent on Power Field or Transfers they can still chip or transfer damage. If they went down to 0 Focus/Fury then they are in a world of hurt.  

Bullet 3 is the meat and potatoes of the Maintenance Phase.  All wrapped up in one sentence. This is where Vengence effects trigger, This is when your Objective triggers happen.  Triumph’s Rapid Fire happens here. Hollow Holden’s Poison Fate happens here as well. 90% of your maintenance triggers will happen during bullet 3.  

Now let’s get to the Control Phase


Bullet 1: Replenish Focus/Leach Fury, Easy enough

Bullet 2: Power up/Spirit Bond, Okay, pretty simple

Bullet 3 Warmachine: Allocate Focus. Remember if the Cortex is Crippled you’re a sad panda and cannot have any Focus, Power Up or Allocation. I can dig it.

Bullet 3 Hordes: Upkeep spells, Smooth sailing

Bullet 4 Warmachine: Upkeep Spells, EzPz

Bullet 4 Hordes:  0_0 Threshold Checks. This is the important one for Hordes.  First If its a construct, forget-about-it. Constructs don’t make threshold checks, frenzy, or drop fury.  They keep what

Fury they have until you can leech, or find some other way to get the Fury off.  Now for the living beasts if you pass the check then you’re back to Body Movin’. You keep the excess Fury and go about your day.  Now if you fail and frenzy, this is where things get interesting. See the pic below

One of the biggest call outs I frequently have had to point out to players is that the charge is DIRECTLY towards their frenzy target, and cannot stop unless they run out of movement or CONTACT their charge target. No funny side charges, banana charges, or stopping just within melee.  

Bullet 5 is where everything else triggers.  Megalith and the Bones Theme heal here. Apparition can trigger here.  Ambushing Murder Bears come in here. This is where the biggest share of your out of activation triggers happen.

Keep in mind these Phases, or make a cheat sheet.  Whatever you need to remember the Phases. I personally, like you’ve had to bear, like to remember Adam MCA Yauch of the Beastie Boys.  MCA was the one who didn’t sound like a squirrel and had the deeper voice of the three. He was a founding member of the Beasties and directed many of their iconic videos.  Personal Trivia:  They were the first Cassette Tape I owned. I bought it with chore money and listened to it until the tape broke. He died on May 4th, 2012, effectively ending the Beastie Boys.  

See you in the cosmos.