The problem with being a multifaceted nerd is that sometimes, your nerdings can outstrip your ability to write about them. Since Wednesday, this has been the case. I’ve progressed, played more Dark Souls II, I’ve finished assembling my Star Nebula Corsair Models and played a bit of my first Relic Knights game,  I’ve learned of the move of the Infinity Forums, and I’ve gotten two games in with the Cephalyx. I even Painted Thexus in a single sitting.

I’m really happy with these guys. You’ve probably seen this picture already.

The games with the Cephalyx were easily my favorite, though. Every time I play them, I learn something new and important to how the army functions, as each model has multiple functions and abilities, with making the right choice a difficult task.

The first game I played against a buddy of mine running Harkevich. I was terrified that this list was going to do all sort of bad things to me. He brought the following:

Kommander Harkevich, the Iron Wolf+5
*Conquest19
*Juggernaut7
*Juggernaut7
Battle Mechanics3
Kayazy Eliminators3
Kayazy Eliminators3
Greygore Boomhowler (10)9
Harlan Versh2
Koldun Lord2
55

It lacked the guns I expected from a Harkevich list, and instead added the blasting power and movement shenanigans of the Conquest. I knew I could take down a colossal, given certain circumstances, but I figured that he’d never give me the chance. My army was going to get shelled all day, and if I ever needed to get real work out of any or multiple of my Monstrosities, I was done for. Tossing out Deceleration every turn is great for letting my army survive, but isn’t so great when it comes to getting work out of either my caster or my Monstrosities.

I brought the list I’ve been using the last few games.

Exulon Thexus+5
*Wrecker7
*Wrecker7
*Warden6
Mind Slaver and Drudges (10)6
Mind Bender and Drudges (10)6
Cephaly Overlords4
Cephalyx Agitator2
Cephalyx Agitator2
Cephalyx Agitator2
Tactical Arcanist Corps4
*Cephalyx Dominator1
Pistol Wraith3
Pistol Wraith3
Machine Wraith1
Machine Wraith1
55

Its a very solid list that, with just minor tweaking, might be where Thexus stands.

Battle Report!
Scenario: Incoming!
First turn: Khador
Choice of Table Edge: Cephalyx for the Wall

Deployment and Terrain Setup:

Brown only is rocks, Brown and Green is forest, tan and Green is a hill. Walls are walls.

 

I got to coutner-deploy, but it didn’t seem to matter. Thexus in the center with Mind Slaver and Support to the right, Mind Benders and support to the left.

I’ve noticed that I tend to adopt a very symmetrical deployment, and I can’t really justify it: Drudge unit, Machine Wraith, Agitator, Pistol Wraith and Wrecker to either flank. Thexus, Warden, Agitator and (most times) overlords to the center. The Forest got in my way this game, and I fortuitisly deployed my Overlords across from the forest.

I constantly griped about my army not having access to pathfinder as a huge problem. I’ve learned that that is not completely true. I have 14 models that ignore terrain during their movement, and its no small benefit. Overlords, Agitators, Mind Slaver and Mind Bender, Thexus, Pistol Wraiths and Machine Wraiths all get to wander in and around most terrain.

Turn 1
Khador
Everything runs, with Harlan taking a slot in the woods, one Kayazy on a hill, and the other behind the ever-tarpit of Boomhowler. Conquest toed into the friendly Khador zone and make to stick around.

Cephalyx
Everything runs but the overlords, who simply shuffle their way forwards a bit. I’m a touch aggressive with my Incorporeal models, as they are threatened only by Harlen, the Koldun Lord, and Razor Wind from Harkevich. This is compounded by me having a small, durable smoke wall that I am able to hid them behind in the TAC.

End of Round 1

 

Turn 2
Khador
Conquest stays still and crits a shot, taking out a drudge and damaging a monstrosity, Its about this time, followed by the broadsides shot, that I realize how much Deceleration is helping me. By pushing up my armor to 17, and 19 on the drudges, its making the blast damage trivial, and even throws aren’t killing me. He positions the Kayazy, Boomhowlers and Juggernauts to counter attack if I try and dig to deep. I now have a 4+ tough unit in my zone, and no hope of ever removing them.

Cephalyx
Have I ever mentioned that I have good luck? Nothing proves it more than this single turn. Though it takes two Pistol Wraiths to do it thanks to an early snake eyes, I Death Chill the conquest, preventing any counter-charge. I move up and in with the Slavers to try and threaten the conquest next turn, disregarding the Creeping Barrage that was put down last turn, loosing no one, even with Deceleration not working to my advantage. The Thrown Wrecker moves into threatening range of Conquest, and the other Wrecker makes a go at some of the Boomhowlers, killing a few. The Overlords move up around the wall and one of them takes a pot shot with his Psychic Assault at the Kayazy on the hill. Def. 17 makes them exceedingly hard to hit, but I roll the hard 10 and her mind melts, removing her. I then activate the Mind Benders, move them into position and spray down a few more, leaving the unit at 6. With one of the Sprays, I manage to catch a member of the second Eliminator team. Though the Eliminator here is not on a hill, I am on less Magic Ability, but it doesn’t matter, I roll the hard 9 and take her down. Essentially taking out the threat of the combostriking, ganged Eliminators was extremely key to me living through the game. With straight dice on my caster, a single pair could take me out. I moved the TAC up, and for the first time created a smoke bunker past the second turn, trying to safeguard both my Machine Wraiths and Pistol Wraiths from Harm.

End of Round 2. There is a Kayazy off the left side of the board.

Round Three
Khador
Conquest shoots and gets his second critical tossing a Wrecker, a couple drudges and an Agitator around, killing only drudges.The Boomhowlers move deep into the zone, taking out, along with Harlan Versh, a ton of the Mind Benders drudges. The rightmost Kayazy charges the Mind Slaver unit leader and fails to kill. The left side runs into position to threaten Thexus. The Juggernauts each take down a Kayazy and a TAC member, leaving my center decidedly open. Harvevich takes out a Mind Slaver Drudge or two, and the turn passes over.

Cephalyx
I am able to capitalize on the armies small size by overrunning it, using the Wrecker, Mind Bender Drudges, and an Agitator to eliminate Boomhowler and his friends, taking the zone. I take over both Juggernauts with Machien Wraiths, and my last TAC member is able to pop the Koldun Lord. The Overlords manage to miraculusly take down the final right Eliminator in melee, rolling a hard 11 in order to remove her, making a new Mind Slaver Drudge. Those Drudges then flood the enemy zone, ready to assist the wrecker in taking out Conquest. I move Thexus into the friendly zone in order to Dominate and score a point, and move the Warden in to take shots against the Agitators, Thexus, and anything else that feels like being saved.

Round 4
Khador
Conquest shoots, again, critting, again (#3!), tossing two agitators and a Warden into Thexus and the Mind Bender. An Eliminator then charges out, and after a trip-ones fails to kill the knocked down mind bender. The Harkevich Ejects one Machine Wraith, while failing on the other. Harlan takes a swing at the newly ejected Machine wraith and misses. Faced with two possessed Juggernaughts, and Conquest Facing down an entire unit of Drudges, an Agitator and a Wrecker, the game ends.

The end of the game.

Though my list is solid, I really want to make a single change, but cannot find the points to do it. The Mind Benders, in almost every game, seem to be divided among giving out buffs to the Mind Slavers, or tossing out spells to assist with attrition. I really want to drop the max unit and take two minimum units. one to toss out attrition spells, and the other to buff the Mind Slavers, running behind them so as not to get outpaced. I’ve yet to figure out how to do it, though, and leave the army in tact enough that it actually works. It would involve either dropping the Overlords, with their fantastic spray attack, or a Pistol Wraith + Machine Wraith, loosing the efficiency of duplicates.

This game was really rough for my opponent, and in hindsight I can see why. The Pistol Wraiths, Machine Wraiths, and TAC all form a very nice control bunker from which the Cephalyx army could emerge. I was unable to extend a piece of Terrain, which seems to be the normal use of the TAC, but I was able to keep everything I needed safe long enough to get a ton of great use out of it.

The second game I played was a bit different, though it was against Khador again. My friend brought along his Butcher III list, which I’d not fought against yet.

The Butcher Unleashed+4
*Juggernaut7
Andrei Makakov3
*Beast 0911
Iron Fang Pikemen (10)8
*Black Dragon UA2
Greylord Ternion4
Widowmakers4
Drakhun4
Iron Fang Kovnik2
Greylord Outriders9
54

I brought the same list as above.

I’ll not be doing a play by play of this one, as I don’t remember it as clearly. We ended up playing Fire Support, which was interesting, but the scenario didn’t end up playing a huge part in the game. Instead, I was funneled around a stand of trees until I could find a way to get to Butcher with a Wrecker, which promptly killed him and won the game.

End of my Turn, the Turn before Assassination

Board State After Assassination

Butcher III Has me terrified, and both the board and this list didn’t help. I ended up going second – I wanted the side of the board with a wall hopefully just outside of 14″ of the board edge because the game has killbox – and running everything like I normally do. It was an epic mistake, as I had forgotten that Greylord Outriders have pathfinder. Everything from Thexus to the leftmost flag was packed with models, and I lost 9 of them the first turn, including a pistol Wraith. Thankfully, I was able to follow that up with a Wrecker leaving him with only one Outrider. A Pistol Wraith was able to get a bead on Malakov’s Beast and forced it to chill out for a turn.  His turn 3 I was really worried about, as he pushed the Butcher deep into scenario presences. I was able, however, on my feat turn, to completely collapse my right flank. I used my feat to pull Ironfangs out of Shieldwall, to maneuver his dogs into position, and to get Beast 09 and Malavok into vulnerable positions. I put a concerted effort into killing the dogs, but was unable to kill either. Thankfully, he didn’t get Vengeance. I did, however, manage to sneak Malakov. I tossed two TAC Fire blasts and two Psychic Sprays at him, one from an Agitator and one from an Overlord, and finally took him out. Taking Beast from the fight at the same time was just money. With a collapsed flank, Butcher had no choice but to go get some work done himself. Between energizer, his base movement and Impending Doom, he was able to get one of my two Wreckers and chop it to bits. He also got a Machine Wraith for his efforts!

The final turn I was able to pour everything I had into getting the Butcher into the threat range of my second Wrecker. I had to use the two TAC, all three Overlords, and an Agitator to remove all the models, but in the end the Subduer moved forward and was within 8″ of Butcher. A boosted TK both turned him around and placed him in the woods, and a second TK put the Wrecker hopefully within charge range. After Measuring for sight through the forest, I determined the Wrecker could, just, see Butcher, and got a free charge off for the nearby Outrider. I forgot about two crucial rules here, as Monstrosities have Eyeless sight, and the Agitators need to act first to give the Agitation bonus. Regardless, I was able to get into him, and it took me down to my last focus, but the Wrecker was able to get the job done.

With this list, I think Khador is a really good matchup for me. I have enough oomph to take out armor and I have enough bodies to block the initial flood. Before these games, I’d never really used the TAC smoke bunker the way I think others do, and its truly amazing. While Trenchers can do the same for Cygnar, they are 6 points and extremely vulnerable. With arm 16, five wounds, and immunity to fire for 2 less points, you get a ton of utility for a tiny investment. I’d also completely forgotten about eyeless sight, which would have made the Butchers placement less worrisome. Reach is completely amazing when it comes to difficult terrain, because its never reduced. Trees and rocky landscapes matter not to a Spear or Flail, it seems.

Both games were extremely enjoyable and against friendly opponents. The Cephalyx will soon be in their third month, and after that I’ll be playing the fist of Halaak.  If you’re making it to the NOVA open August 28-31, be sure to look me up and have a chat. I’ll be running Warmachines all day! oh, and follow me on twitter, where I sometimes share the aggregate information of Nerddom

Recently, if it has not been clear, I’ve been playing the Witch Coven, trying to get a handle on them as I intend to play them at the Spell Draft event at lock and load. There isn’t much practice on can really do to prepare, other than make sure that you know the caster inside and out, allowing you to make do with a new spell list.

I managed to get 8 games in before the trip out to Seattle, Going 6-2 in that time. Granted, its 50 point games instead of 35, but the core of the list is staying very much the same.

Coven v. Kaelyssa – Loss: Assassination – List v. 1
Coven v. Butcher – Loss: Assassination  – List v. 2
Coven v. Iron Mother – Win: Scenario – List v. 3
Coven v. Reznik 2 – Win: Assassination – List v. 4
Coven v. Sturgis – Win: Scenario – List v. 3.1
Coven v. Morvanna 2 – Win: Scenario – List v. 3.2
Coven v. Kreoss 3 – Win: Scenario – List v. 3.3
Coven v. Rhan – Win: Assassination – List v. 3.3

The list that I’ve settled on looks like this:

The Witch Coven of Gharlghast+5
-Egregore-
-Deathripper4
-Nightwretch4
-Nightwretch4
Bane Thralls (10)8
-Bane Thrall Officer3
Satyxis Raiders (10)8
-Satyxis Sea Witch2
Bile Thralls (6)5
Warwitch Siren2
35

That is the core of list 3. I’ve messed around with some of the support staff, and at 50 I add a second Warwitch Siren, A Scarlock, and a full unit of Bane Riders. I really like this list. It can handle massed infantry, heavy armor and High Defense. Its durable against shooting and has some peculiar scalpel elements. I think its as close to a take on all comers list that I can write.

Now, with my list down, I’ve started to look at all the casters and see what spells they have and what would be nice to see get passed to me. There are some very nice ones out there, and while I still have some questions as to what spells are in the packs, I have some really cool plans. They did, however, say that they’ve removes spells that would “break the game. ” That is a bit of an opinion statement though, as I know plenty of people that feel that Purification breaks the game even now. That said there are some particular spell categories that I will be looking to grab:
Army Support – ex: Carnage,Signs and Portents,Transference, Mockery of Life. Arcane Shield
These are spells that will allow my normally average stat troopers to step up a notch. An 18″ control area really pushes spells like Signs and Portents and Carnage through the roof, while the Focus 9 will really give transference a boost.

Speed Buff – ex: Road to War,Dash,Superiority,Killing Ground, Crusaders Call, Coup de Main, True Path, Tactical Supremacy, Unstoppable Force, Quickening
These spells either give a single unit or my whole army a speed boost. Superiority is a specifically desired spell, as having a def 17, speed 9 Arc node would be magnificent. I really think that the scenario is ripe for Jamming, and I want to exploit that if at all possible. Besides, Satyxis with a +4 movement would be glorious, right?

Defense- ex:Fog of War, Temporal Barrier, Storm Wall, Star Crossed, Solid Ground, Caustic Mist, Rapid Growth, Pillars of Salt, Ashen Cloud, Deflection, Deceleration, Castigate, Lamentation, Bestial
These allow the Coven to capitalize on their main game: Army delivery. I’m fairly sure that this is going to be critical to getting a good Spell list. Fortunately, there are a ton to choose from. My personal favorite would be the 9 1cost Caustic Mists, but I’ll take pretty much everything on this list, and I could even double up. Star crossed + Ashen Cloud? Fog of War + Pillars of Salt?

Chain Lighting

Nuke- ex: Soulfire, Siphon Bolt, Razor Wind, Bone Shaker (probably the best 2 cost Nuke I could grab, netting me up to 18 dead models a turn), Chain Lighting, Sunder Spirit, Convection, Excarnate
This is the bread and butter of my concept. If I can grab just one 2 point nuke, I can eliminate units a a time. I’d need only 8’s to hit DEF 17, and at cost 1, boosting is easy. Most of them are POW 12 allowing great flexibility in the targets that it can kill.

Defense or Speed Debuffs – ex: Crippling Grasp, Quagmire (Imagine, if you will, Satyxis), Inhospitable Ground, Freezing Grasp, Black Spot.
With a pile of Banes and Satyxis, I could use a bit of help against some of the higher defense models. Yes, I have Biles, but I landing an extra shot or two on some of the Iron Fleshed Gunmages, Daughters of the Flame or other problematic models would be pretty useful.

Other- ex: Telekinesis, Ritual Sacrifice
There isn’t a ton to say here, really. I want both of these spells.

While looking through the spells, there were many that I really wouldn’t want, and while that will make the first few picks a lot of fun, it can make some of the later spells that no one else wants very damning. I’ve drafted a lot of M:TG, and the last few picks are whatever everyone rejected from the pool. I know I can end up with a pretty dead slot of I have Unearthly Rage or Positive Charge, but I can make do. There are very few spells I don’t want at all, or couldn’t use, especially at -1 cost. I’d really like to get as close as I can to keeping the Delivery Caster mentality, with some extra “pop” that would make the Coven really hum.

What I am really excited about is that I can use multiple Self-Upkeep spells in a round, due to the multiple activations that the coven has. The thought of starting the turn off with Signs and Portents, pushing the middle of the pack up with Road to War and then ending with Both Deflection and Fog of War really makes me giddy.

evayl

While I have all these grand plans, I expect there to be a ton of Vayle 2, Kreoss 3, Harbinger, Haley 2 and Coven. Each of them has a ton of focus and a back breaking feat. I even expect there to be a few Rogue casters looking to get one in – Casters that run Jacks well and will pick all the jack spells to make themselves super-powered: Absylonia, Darius and Magnus come to mind right away. While each of these casters can cause a massive amount of damage on their own, what I am really worries about is Timed Turns. I’m not particularly good at them, and prefer the deathclock variant overall, so I am worries that I’ll end up busting my turns by waiting to get that last move in.

No matter what happens, I expect Friday to be a ton of fun. Its an exceptionally long tournament with 6 rounds and the draft itself taking us all the way to the Staff Panel. I will have almost no time to play Iron Arena games that day, but I’m OK giving that up to play in the first Sanctioned Spell Draft Event.

I’ll be trying to update via facebook and twitter the coolest things I see at Lock and Load, so find me and follow!

Coven Art By Dan Roman

I have previously discussed the basics of Jam Theory, and then proceeded to talk about my  Infantry options just a few days ago. In keeping with that, I’m going to examine the remaining portions of a Warmachine list, breaking down why I take both the Solos and the Warjacks that I do. Its not a typical list, and its not going to appeal to everyone, I know.

First things first, as I mentioned in the original article, I don’t go the ‘Jack heavy route that others have gone.That rode is paved and well worn and its just something I don’t have the desire or capacity to buy, build, and paint. While lights are better in pairs, especially our combat versions, I’ve already got two magnetized Slayer chassis and I don’t use either. The list I run focuses purely on jamming the opponent and doesn’t run a single heavy, and I’ve never missed it. There was a brief time, after the first outing, when I realized that I had too much jam in the list and didn’t bring enough options, any really, to solve armor, that I considered a heavy of two. In the end it was ust more economical to add 12 Bane Thralls and Tartarus. I’ve even recently dropped Tartarus as well, not needing either his speed or his bonus to hit.

On the other edge of that sword, though, I’ve really been hedging my bets on the arcnodes. A friend of mine keeps telling me I take to many, and that 2 is going to be more than enough. What I’ve been running is a cheap trio of a ‘Nodes, featuring a pair of Nightwretches and a Deathripper. Again, I’ve been told that three is to many, but I feel that in this specific build you can never be to careful. Having the right spell in the right spot during the right witch activation in order to hand out Ghost Walk, Occultation, and Curse of Shadows wherever called for is a strong enough reason to have enough nodes to accomplish the task.

Nightwretch

The Nightwretch, specifically, is my go to in this list. Focusing on Jam and scenario, there will be many, many times that you’re going to need to remove but a single model from the Zone to win, or your going to need a charge lane cleared or a spot for an arc node freed. The humble nightwretch does all of that and more in a single package. With a Rat 5 it can hit jacks reliably, boosting to damage with its pow 14 cannon. Conversely, that same Pow 14 will decimate nearly any infantry model it hits, needing only to boost.  The sirens, vital to the list, tag along beside him making sure he can run or kill his target, whatever is needed.

Second here is the Deathripper. With the same 4 pc as the Nightwretch, they bring a completely different threat to the board. Amped up with Infernal Machine, this little jack can do tons of work. P+S 15 v. Curse of Shadowed targets, MAT 8 and Speed 9 with a 12.5″ charge just gives it insane threat range. I cannot say enough good things about this little demon in this specific list. The debate over whether ranged or melee is better is endless, but I am firmly on the side of ranged. My arc nodes are never in combat, being that they can’t channel then, or they are dead and can’t channel anyway. Though they are slightly more survivable with her feat denying LOS and giving an essentially +2 def buff, its very rare that any node I get into combat lives.

The other two Arc nodes make honorable mention here as well, generally accomplishing the same task at a slightly higher price point.both have upside and I’ve considered the Ripjaw for its AP attack and its vice lock, one of which can apply significant damage, the other pinning a model in place for scenario pressure. I’ve also considered the Defiler for its spray attack that ignores many defenses, at a slightly higher range, but lower power. Upgrading them, however, will result in the loss of either a Scarlock or a Warwitch siren, neither of which I am ready to give up quite yet.

Infernal Machine, many will say, is a direct call for a heavy ‘Jack with them, and I can’t really disagree. Our ‘Jacks with speed 8, Mat 9+ and terror are literal nightmares, but with all the focus that I toss around casting spells and delivering units I can’t spare the resources that would be needed to take care even a single heavy ‘Jack. Instead, I give Infernal Machine to my Deathripper and set him loose. Speed 9 on an arcnode is bonkers-good, and mat 8 with sustained attack is extremely legit. The 40mm base size has gives him a bit of added mobility that I’d have not expected, allowing him to get in to places I would not have been able to fit a heavy. The arc nodes are also fast enough to keep up with the jam, and can either run flanks, or lope down the middle behind the army.

Though three arcnodes may be a touch to many for some, I find that the utility of having one of them a combat ‘Jack and other two having powerful ranged weapons makes it so that the points are not wasted if I am not arcing spells through them. With Sirens giving power booster out and the Scarlock delivering ghostly where needed all three can be extremely potent threats and powerful scenario pieces.

For the sake of argument, though, lets take a look at some of the better  ‘jacks for the Coven to take, keeping the Jam in mind. I don’t expect everyone anyone to be net decking my list, but anyone who happens across this may want to tweak things a bit.

-Harrower: Oh man, the good things about this jack are endless. Reach and Thresher on its P+S 16 melee weapon, a P+S 14 Ghost Shot AOE 3 gun, Soul Collector, Pathfinder, Steady, it just goes on. There are, however, a pair of bad things: Speed 5, and PC 10. In a Jam list, the Speed 5 is an extreme handicap, especially for the 10 points. However, with an investment of Infernal Machine, it becomes a speed 7, mat 7 reach thresher monster. If you’re not taking the Machine Minds list, I think its a very strong option. It also can make a hell of a self fueling powerhouse after the initial three focus investment, possibly killing every model it can get in its 2″ reach

Deathjack

-Deathjack: Really? Really, I’m going here. Yes, Deathjack is good with almost everyone, but its also exceedingly amazing with the Coven. With the ability to charge in, Curse of Shadows, and then take its attacks, or to give itself Ghost Walk, Infernal Machine or Occultation, its a nearly self sufficient death machine. While Deathjack begs for Occultation, there are just better targets in the list I have than good ol’ DJ. The threat of a MAT 10 speed 8 Deathjack is enough to make many soil their shorts right out, thought he terror is redundant. Finally, an extra boosted Stygian Abyss could be stellar. Personally,  I’d just rather use the 12 points on the backup Bane Thralls, who are both more durable by quantity and can hit more often while granting a debuff.

-Slayer: Its a simple, brutal instrument of death that can really push the boundaries of awesome when Infernal Machine is applied. MAT 9, Speed 8 and Terror are simply above and beyond what most heavies can reasonably accomplish. With the Coven able to feed him up to three focus easily, its a no brainier for its 6 point investment.

The light of note here is a Stalker. Sometimes its the simple things that win games, and an Arcane Assassin POW 12 Jack with Mat 7 and speed 7 can cause ample amount of terror without Infernal Machine. With Infernal Machine it goes up to SPD and MAT 9, causing terror and all the while being def 16 w/ stealth. Its one thing I feel might take the spot of the Deathripper, but I’m not yet convinced.

Next time, I’ll talk a bit about my Solo choices and a bit about how I’ve learned to play the game. I’m so very happy that I picked the coven back up again.

Oh, and Next week I’ll be at lock and load! I’ll probably be tweeting my journey through Spelldraft, my Iron Arena adventures, and any spoilers I get along the way. Follow me @Seethingginger for the dumb tweets! Don’t worry though, I’ll do a Lock and Load wrap up the Thursday after I get back.

The rules for the Cephalyx have been spoiled!

I really like when new things shake up the foundation of the game, but I also like when new, crazy things are released just for the fun of it. Enter the Cephalyx, here to take your mind and enslave it for their purposes.

 

The spoilers that I’ve been perusing, which are the same on Focus and Fury, Muse on Minis and Privateer Press, are very interesting. It very much seems that their playstyle is going to be a combination of Protectorate and Cryx. Everything in the list can be dangerous, and they are combining together to make a superpowerd cannon of death.

Lets get to it!

Exulon

Exulon Thexus

SPDSTRMATRATDEFARMCMD
6454141410

Focus:8
Health: 15
Warjack Points: +5

Pathfinder
Sacrificial Pawn [Monstrosity]
Aggressive Reaction: While one or more enemy models are in this models command range, Models in this model’s battlegroup can run or charge without spending focus

Spell Driver:When this model casts a spell, it can channel the spell through another model in its battlegroup that is in its control area. Once a spell is cast this way, the model it was channeled through suffers d3+1 damage points.

Spell List

  • Deceleration
  • Hex Blast
  • Influence
  • Psycho Surgery
  • Rampager
  • Telekinesis

Feat: Telekinetic Tide: Push each enemy non-Warlock, non-Warcaster model currently in Thexus’ control area 2″ in any direction.

Ok, man! what a pile of rules! This guy has a ton of neat, control based craziness that I just love, especially seeing as I’ve been playing the coven recently, and they have kinda the opposite shtick: The Coven delivers your army, and Thexus wreaks hell on the incoming army. While his defensive stats are pretty poor, deceleration does a lot to protect you from enemy ranged threats, bumping both his armor and his defense up by 2. Sacrificial Pawn [Monstrosity] pushes that threat down even lower, having an ARM 17, 36 HP model right next to you to eat whatever bullets do make it past your Def 16. You do sacrifice a single potential arm point, but with the rest of the army also benefiting from the +2/+2 within the massive 16″ control area, it won’t really matter, even pushing the Monstrosities armor up to 19, making most gunshots simply a flesh wound.

Psycho Surgery further amplifies the ability for the army to simply shrug off guns. It also makes the Monstrosities function thematically similar to warbeasts, and by spending 2 focus, he heals not only himself up to 4 wounds, but also his entire battlegroup. Convenient for the turn that you end up eating a few shots and taking a little damage all around due to Deceleration, Sacrificial Pawn, and a few Spell Driver rolls.

Rampager, Telekinesis, and Influence all demonstrate Thexus’ complete control over the minds of others. TK is considered one of the best spells in the game, and the combinations that this can engender with the models in the Cephalyx army are just crazy. Backstrike bonus’ nearly all the time, especially for the Monstrosities – If your in charge range, your in TK range, and your most likely going to be turned around to get pounded from behind. Rampager is just a continued play on the theme. Pulling a Warbeast not only forward, but out of control area and likely facing their own army for the inevitable frenzy is going to be a glorious day. Influence is generally a dead spell, but the ability to combine it with TK means that you can, very likely, slide the model you want into just the right spot to hack down up to 6 of his friends, Very likely with the backstrike bonus on all of the influences for an effective attack roll of 10! You could even set up a caster to be hit by a back strike of his own models up to 6 times! The possibilities are endless! With a run of 10″ and a spell range of 8″, on a heavy warbeast that can trample, it can be very possible to get the drop on enemy casters.

Have I been talking about how good Telekinesis is? Oh, I have? How about 16″ of TK in every direction! do you want to set up that chain of gorgeous influences? Do you want to have a great target for Rampager, or even that fantastic Hex Blast? Great! because his feat is all of that! Now, it does take a bit more finesse than just using TK, but the two combined can be just amazing. Once you TK the enemy to face his own army, Thexus’s Feat Telekinetic Field will just be an additional 2″. I really think this feat it going to be ball busting. Between moving models out of zones and breaking up any form of LOS blocking or positioning that the opponent was using, its just going to be a nightmare.

Unlike both Convergence and Retribution, this army looks to be sticking on me. Its part of an army I already own and play, and seems to have both a cool play style and ascetic.

While the Warcaster looks good, that is to be expected. Whats really cool is that the rest of the army, as spoiled, looks very cool as well.

The Monstrosities are the star of the show, however. Cheap, moderately durable models with a modest damage output. Exulon starts the game with three options: offensive, defensive and utility.

First, the offensive
The Wrecker

Monstrosity 3

SPDSTRMATRATDEFARMCMDFAPC
510541017-U7
Weapon- 2x POW:8 P+S 17
  • Eyeless Sight
  • Reach
  • Beatback
  • Chain Weapon
  • Chain Attack: Bloodbath

For a mere 7 points, this guys is a complete steal. Two reach P+S 17 attacks with Chain weapon is great for taking down those pesky medium base, high wound troopers. Beat back is going to ensure, as well, that he can eat all or nearly all of them in a turn. Given how good beat back is on the Bronzeback, who does not have reach, I can only extrapolate how well its going to be on the Wrecker. While his MAT 5 will keep him from realizing the greatest of potentials, its still going to be good enough (stay tuned for the Agitator!) . Being able to load this guy up with 3 focus and get 6 attacks at base P+S 17 is just going to be a joy.

Next up we have the Subduer

Monstrosity 1

 

SPDSTRMATRATDEFARMCMDFAPC
510541017-U7
Net Launcher- RNG 6 ROF 1 AOE 3
Weapon - POW 6, P+S 16

 

  • Eyeless Sight

Net Launcher

  • Catch: If this weapon directly hits an enemy model with an equal or smaller base, Immediatly after the attack is resolved the model directly hit can be pushed any distance directly toward this model. After the Model directly hit is moved, this model can make on normal melee attack against it. After resolving this melee attack, this model can make additional melee attacks during its combat action.
  • Quake

This guy is actually one of my favorites, as much as his range on his weapon is terrible. The possibility of rampagering a heavy into range of the Subduer, having him shoot it in the back, knock it down, and drag it over to the heavy to get pummeled to death is really a pleasant thought. The AOE on the gun is neat, because it acts as an AOE knockdown, under certain circumstances, and then will pull the model hit over to the Subduer, as above. Catch is a very neat rule, being a much less focus intensive version of Drag, albeit on a much slower platform. Not having to damage is just a really good upgrade. I like the little guy! and for only 7 points!

The last, defensive minded, Monstrosity
The Warden!

Monstrosity 2

SPDSTRMATRATDEFARMCMDFAPC
510541017-U6
Weapon: 3x POW 4 P+S 14
  • Grand Slam
  • Eyeless Sight
  • Follow up
  • Shield Guard
  • Buckler +1
  • Hard Head
  • 2 open fists

This fellow looks down right the coolest. With the facemask and the clamp-hands, he just has mean written all over his model. He isn’t the greatest rules complexity wise, but I know the rules he has well. I’ve played with Titan Gladiators for years, and the potential of a Grand Slam + Follow Up has kept opponents on their back feet the whole time. At SPD 5, he is slightly slower than the SPD 6 Gladiator, but again that is mitigated by TK and the Feat, when needed. Shield Guard existing for those few times you want to save a particular grunt, solo or leader is going to be invaluable. He’ll be staying behind the front lines just a touch, waiting for his chance to dig in there, knock something down, and have one of his brethren go in there and beat it to a pulp.

I’m really starting to feel the faction Contract has a lot more shenanigans, and its going to make it a freaking blast to play, and I’ve only gotten through the Warcaster and Monstrosities!

There is a Unit and two more solos in the Contract that we have the spoilered rules for, and one of them is the lynchpin of the whole setup.
enter, the Agitator

Cephalyx 9

SPDSTRMATRATDEFARMCMDFAPC
66641413932
Weapon- POW:5 P+S 11
  • 5 health
  • Pathfinder
  • Fearless
    Anatomical Precision
  • Magic ability 7
    Influence
    -Instigate(star action) while within 5″ of this model, friendly drudge and monstrosity models gain + 2 on attack and damage rolls. Instigate last for one turn
    -Psychic Assault(star attack) SP 8 pow 12 that ignores LOS
  • Sacrificial Pawn[Monstrosity]

He has, right off the bat a good suite of rules, but I expect that nothing will compare to his Instigate Action. The ability to tune your Drudges and your Monstrosities up will be nothing short of awesome. Your Monstrosities go from ho-hum to very, very good. Wreckers are MAT 7, P+S 19, Subduers RAT 6, Wardens MAT 7 with 3 P+S 16 attacks. with the Agitator in play, it is unlikely that we will be boosting to hit on all but the most elusive targets, and for that we have headbutt, quake, and Telekinesis. Very little is going to be escaping the clutches of our heavies or our infantry.

The second solo is the extremely fun Dominator, a Unit attachment for Merc units to allow them into the army.

dominator

Cephalyx Mindbender
SPDSTRMATRATDEFARMCMDFAPC
66641413911
  • 5 Health
  • Mercenary Attachment – Can be added to a small or medium based non-cephalyx mercenary Unit.
  • Officer
  • Pathfinder
  • Anatomical Precision
  • Granted: Fearless
  • Granted: Tough
  • Linchpin – When this model is destroyed or removed from play, all other models in this unit lose fearless for one round and immediately flee
  • Ranking Officer
  • Sacrificial Pawn[models in this unit]

His entire purpose in life is to grab a good mercenary unit and toss it into the Cepahlyx army to make them fight for him. Among the great contenders are Nyss Hunters who add a significant ranged element, Boomhowler who adds a serious tarpit – though it wastes tough, Steelheads to form a wall of cheap, difficult to remove models, and Alexia – a fan favorite for all the living models that the army will have. While the punishment for getting him killed is rather severe, keeping him safe with Sacrificial Pawn, a Warden, and proper placement shouldn’t be any thing difficult. Push comes to shove you can always TK him to the proper position.

Lastly, there is a new unit for the army.

Behold, the Cephalyx Mindbender!

Mind Bender

Cephalyx Mindbender
SPDSTRMATRATDEFARMCMDFAPC
56641413926 models:4
10 models:6
Weapon: 2x POW 2 P+S 8
Drudge Grunt
SPDSTRMATRATDEFARMCMD
585211154
Weapon: POW 4 P+S 12
  • 5 Health
  • Fearless
  • Officer
  • Pathfinder
  • Magic Ability 6
    -Adrenal Flood(* action) Rng 6 target Drudge Grunt gains +4 MAT and STR and can immediately advance 4″
    -Concussion pulse(*action) center a 4″ AOE  on this model or a grunt the spell is channeled through. Other models in the AOE suffer a pow 12 magical dmg roll
    -Psychic Assault
    Psychic Projection: This model can channel through grunts in this unit that are in formation. When it does, you can choose up to two more of those grunts and cast the spell once through each, even if the channeler is engaged. Grunts in this unit that channel a spell this way are then removed from play
  • Sacrificial Pawn[Drudge Grunt]

Grunts:

  • Eyeless Sight
  • Fearless
  • Tough

Now this is a cool unit! It can spray almost everywhere, detonate piles of clustered up troops, conveniently put there from the feat, and can roid rage a trio of Drudges into P+S 18. MAT 11 monsters.  There is very little not to like from the unit, and with a combination of proper use of Spells and Feat, I don’t think much infantry will live, and Armor based models have a lot to fear as well. Under excellent circumstances, you could pull a caster  backwards into the oncoming hugs of three of these little guys and end the game right then and there.

Finally, the Cephalyx aren’t anyone’s mercs, and every one of them has the Selective rule. They can only be brought in a list that specifies them as participants, and the Contract Puppet Masters is exactly that:
-Can include Mercenary Cephalyx units, and up to one Mercenary unit, provided it has the Dominator Attachment.
FA of Slavers + drudges and Overlords are increased by 1 ea.
In addtion, the Mercenary unit with the Dominator gains AD, And the army can take Bloat Thralls, Pistol Wraiths, and Machine Wraiths that are all considered Mercenary models for the game, instead of Cryxian.

I am very excited and glad I’ll be at lock and load. I will very likely be trying to score an art print of the Cephalyx in order to get it framed like my Kraken!

 

 

 

As a follow up to the Tier List concept I’d talked about a little bit back, and as a further discussion to the battles I mentioned a little after that, I’ve managed to get a  few games with the Coven, and am starting to think a lot about how to get them to work both well and consistently. Though they aren’t considered competitively powerful in MKII, they, along with the Bloat Thrall and the Machine Wraith, were bif factors into why I ended up picking Cryx back in 2006. Sadly, all three took a large hit in MK II.

The Witch Coven still grabs me, though. They represent everything I want in a spell slinging faction: plenty of Focus giving them a huge control area, an impressive spell list, and a magnificent feat. They are, however, unbelievably fragile, with complicated activation considerations and huge blocks of rules that make them fairly intimidating to parse out.

But using challenging casters is nothing new to me. I’ve always gravitated toward sub par models and units – the challenge of getting them to work is something I really enjoy. There are times, like with Revenant Crew, when it is not really worth the effort, but most times I find a comfortable niche that the model excels at and end up pleasantly surprised.

Without further ado, Lets get started, shall we?

The Witch Coven of Gharlghast, Cryx Warcaster!

Witch Coven

I’ll want to just delve completely into their rules, as Context is going to be key to figuring out what is going on.If you’re already familiar with the Covens rules, head on down to the concepts  here.

The Coven consists of four separate models: Hellenana, Morgaen, and Selene, the three witch sisters, and the Egregore, their giant necromechanical relic orb. Each model has its own statline, though the witches are the identical to each other.

Witch
SPDSTRMATRATDEF ARMCMD
645416128
Egregore
SPDSTRMATRATDEFARMCMD
61111317-

As you can see, none of it is incredibly impressive. DEF 16 is good, but ARM 12 is abysmal. Their CMD and MAT are both on the lower side of bad, and to cap all off, each of them has only 8 wounds. Though It does make for a 24 HP caster under certian specific circumstances, its not particularly pleasing to see on  the card. Oh, and don’t forget that they do have weapons, though they are a measly P+S 7.But its the rest of the card that matters. Like the fact that they don’t have have a focus stat. Instead, they have the following rule:

Coven – The Witch Coven of Garlghast shares a single focus pool, and Witches do not receive focus individually. The Covens base FOCUS is three times the number of Witches in play. When the Coven replenishes its focus, the Egregore receives those focus points. The Covens control area is measured from the Egregore. Any Witch in the Coven’s control area can spend focus points on the Egregore. The Egregore cannot be affected by focus-reducing or focus-removing effects. Each focus point on the Egregore gives each Witch in the Coven’s control area a cumulative +1 ARM. Effects that ignore focus points overboosting the target’s Power Field also ignore this bonus. The Coven can use their feat only once.

The Coven rule gives them a focus of 9 for most of the game, and if something untoward  happens, it could possibly get down to 6 or even as low as 3, though its unlikely. The rule also makes the Coven immune to Eiryss’s disruption bolts portions of Reznik and Severius’s feats, Kaelyssa and Rasks Energy Siphon attacks, and a host of other abilities. In addition, it means that each model is a separate activation. with the advent of Warcaster Units, this can throw some people off. Each Witch, and the Egregore, activate separately, giving a great range of crazy interactions to the entire Coven. Having the Egregore, an independant model as well,  as the central point of the feat means that Nightfall is much more likely to reach where you need it while keeping the individual Witches fairly safe.

There are two other abilities that combine make the Coven a rules headache for newer players, but also completely unique in the scheme of Warcasters: Arcane Nexus and Perfect Conjunction.

Arcane Nexus – When a Witch casts a spell, the Egregore is the spell’s point of origin. The Witch must have LOS to her target, but the Egregore does not. All LOS modifiers are based on the LOS of the Witch. Witches can channel spells normally. The Coven can have up to one attached model; This model is attached to the Coven, not to an individual Witch. The Coven can have only one of each of their upkeep spells in play at a time.

Perfect Conjunction – A Perfect Conjunction is established anytime the Egregore is completely within the Triangular area between all three Witches and each Witch has LOS to each other witch. During a Perfect Conjunction, reduce the COST of spells cast by a Witch by 1.

So, what does all of that mean in non-rules speak? It means that when a Witch casts a spell, it actually originates from the Egregore, not from the Witches themselves. Though the Witch must be able to see the target, everything else eminates from the Egregore. This allows, in desperate times, the Witches to circumvent cover, stealth or other similar Line of Effect based rules to win the game

In addition to the Witches, the Egregore has its own set of rules. Stealth, Pathfinder and Construct, as well as Circular Vision, Steady and Companion make up the fairly common rules that allow it to wander around the board pretty much unhindered, as you would expect from a strange floating magical Orb. It has two additional rules that affect the Coven and how they play: Black Mantle and Sympathetic Link.

Black Mantle – While in B2B with this model, friendly Faction models gain Stealth.

Sympathetic Link – When this model would suffer damage, you must assign that damage to one or more Witches instead, divided as you choose. A Witch cannot be assigned more damage points that she has unmarked damage boxes. This model does not suffer the damage assigned to a Witch.

Black mantle is used to moderately protect the coven while in perfect conjunctions. while its not required to be in B2B, the Witches have nothing but their 16 DEF to protect them at that point, so stealth is better then nothing, and is very good many times. When its bad, though, its exceptionally bad.

Sympathetic Link is a major part of playing the Egregore. With the defensive stats of a Cryx heavy, its only really protected against POW 10’s, with anything higher than POW 12 causing serious discomfort. Thankfully, stealth is a good defense the majority of the time, with the same caveats as above for Black Mantle. The ability to rearrange damage as I see fit, however, means that I have around 21 damage before anything really negative takes effect. Taking damage through the Egregore is actually preferable to taking damage through the Witches do to the redistribution, but is still not something that you should be looking to happen. While its key to keep each Witch alive, keeping the Egregore safe is just as important. its much easier to hit the giant, glowing orb.

We’ve finally come to the spell list and feat, and man, these are good.

Spell List: (hover for complete wording)

  • Curse of Shadows – armor debuff and delivery system
  • Stygian Abyss – direct damage
  • Veil of Mists – control, terrain mitigation and delivery system
  • Infernal Machine – Warjack buff
  • Ghost Walk – positioning aid and delivery system
  • Occultation – delivery system

Its a very, very good spell list for getting the generally vulnerable and low defense models in the Cryx army into the enemy intact, and the same theme is taken into their feat, Nightfall:

While in the Coven’s control area, enemy models suffer -2 MAT and RAT and their LOS is reduced to 5″. Nightfall lasts for one round.

I’ll admit, it doesn’t look like much, but with the massive 18″ control area centered on the mobile and generally sturdy Egregore, it is brutal. Delivering an army with the feat is a fairly simple task thatcan put your opponent on the back foot and really give you a tempo advantage. Most of the time, you want to drop it turn 2, but sometimes its a turn 1 feat, if you and your opponent are both very fast, or you went second and want to see a model or two get to the enemy.

The Egregore is generally sturdy, and fairly safe during the feat, but know any melee tricks that the enemy has. while under the feat, they are going to be looking to take advantage of the Egregore’s relative vulnerability. Make sure you know your opponents walking threat range, as a lack of Line of Sight does not prevent the warpwolf Stalker from walking up 6″ and using reach to pummel you from 8″ out. The same can be said of guns: make sure any guns that can walk out of the feat also don’t have some insane 19″ or better range. strangely, many times its better to get closer to the Sniped or Marshalled defenders so that they can’t walk out and shoot the Egregore. One good set of spiked dice, and your heading for a bad day.

Good, we’ve gotten though the basics of the coven, their rules and a little bit of the thoughts behind them, but in order to make them work, we kinda have to know how they tick. While rules are good, the story is more in the details.

The Coven is an extremely versatile caster that allows you to deliver your army to the enemy with unprecedented flexibility. They have the capacity to either mitigate or completely ignore almost everything on the board. Terrain is taken care of with Ghost walk and Veil of Mists, guns with Nightfall and Occultation, free strikes with Curse of Shadows and Ghost Walk, and alpha strike capacity with Infernal Machine, Nightfall, and Stygian Abyss. They force your opponent to react to you, creating the decisions that are so common when playing against Cryx, where your opponent can’t get a leg up.

What is so frustrating about them, though, is their vulnerability. For all their ability to gain stealth, their combined 24 HP, their 16 defense and their unparalleled freedom of activations, they are incredibly hard to keep alive, and there are some insanely hard matchups out there.  If the enemy is allowed to build momentum, especially after the feat, there is little chance for the coven to really survive the onslaught. Unlike most casters in the Cryx stable, the Coven does very little to increase the potency of the faction, with Curse of Shadows their only reliable debuff, and no offensive buffs at all. Even their feat doesn’t help the Cryx army kill better, its simply extrapolates on the theme of delivery.

They key, as obvious as it is to state, of the Coven is getting your models to the enemy as fast as possible, and that means taking models that really matter once they are delivered. The Coven loves self sufficient models that can get tons of work done once delivered . However, the Covens fragility means you can’t typically wait out the enemy attrition style and that a single miscalculation or a solid play by the opponent can leave you on the back foot, leading to your eventual downfall. It only takes a RAT 9 (7 aiming!) POW 13 attack to remove a Witch from the board. While the models that ignore stealth are rare, its not impossible for those numbers to be able to draw a bead on one or more members, or even the Egregore.

Instead, I’ve come to the conclusion that a Coven army wants to be as deep into the enemy’s half of the board as possible, as fast as possible, and it has four major effects on how you play the army.

First, the opponent comes out of the gate reacting to you which immediately gives you tempo advantage, enabling you to capitalize on both your spell list and your feat. Good feat timing in this situation can drop the hammer on the opponent both mitigating their best possible turn and enabling you to overtake their position and get carve deep into their belly.

Second, it gives the Coven breathing room. The Witches want to be able to sit comfortably at the back of your army and make sure they reach the enemy. With their ability to vanish off the board at the slightest glance of an enemy model, keeping them as far back as possible is key. They still want to threaten scenario, however, and allowing them to get in position to dominate either zone at a moments notice is the first step to that, with keeping the opponent on their side of the table, is the first step to that.

Third, playing off the theme above, it allows them to play a fantastic scenario game. Its much less difficult to control or dominate scenario zones and destroy objectives when the battle lines are drawn nearly completely past the zones. It can also allow for a very sudden end to a game, provided your willing to sacrifice one of your witches. Dominating from a vulnerable position matters much less if loosing your warcaster does not loose you the game, especially if you know you can just repeat the domination next round whether they remove your Witch or not.

Fourth, and finally, it puts their warcaster in a very large bind. They can either try and put themselves into the game, therfore exposing themselves not only to your army, but to the very real Spell Assassination that the Coven represent, Or they can try and hide near their own table edge.  While the assassination aspect of the Coven has been toned down a bit since the MKI heyday (Perfect Conjunction providing boosted hit and damage, and Stygian Abyss being P+S 13 with Crit Blind), it can still get the job done with a little help, and a single Shadow Bind crit can really make sure it does the job next turn. Three boosted damage POW 12’s seriously threaten arm 18 or less, averaging 15 damage against ARM 18. Three boosted to hit Pow 12’s have a ~82% chance that the model is pinned in place suffering -3 defense for a round,Both circumstances are scary at best, and can be used against almost every defense and armor value, due to the crit and high starting hit value.

This leads me to value, in a coven list, things that are both fast and defensive, with abilities that make the opponent unable to engage how they would like.

The three that really jump out to me are: Soulhunters, Satyxis Raiders, and Blackbanes Ghost Raiders. Each of these is speed 7 or greater, has ways to mitigate terrain, and innate defensive tech. Though Darragh Wrathe is required for the Soulhunters to get full use out of them, Ghost Walk can somewhat make up for not having him in the list. That eats a large portion of your 50 point standard list. Normally the challenge would be to get to the opponent on your terms, but we’ve covered the spell list.

With Raiders, UA, Captian, Soulhunters, Blackbanes, and Darragh, you’ve ate a massive 34 points. The addition of three arcnodes, two Warwitch Sirens, and a Scarlock eat a further 18 points that gives you a total of three points to play around with, don’t you feel lucky! Aiakos fits right in there, and with his four focus, stealth, 11.5″ walking threat, he fits right in!

As I said up top, I really think that the Coven holds a fantastic spot in Cryx. Yes, they have their problems, including the ever prevalent blast damage, no ability to change the Cryxian to hit probability, and the threat of Killbox on scenarios, but their capacity to step outside of the standard Cryx attrition or armor crack list makes them feel just a little roguish. I’m not convinced I should play them competitively, but I’m sure as hell going to test them out!

 

 

Early this week Matt Wilson,CCO of Privateer, Tweeted that he was going to be going to the Main office in Seattle, and would try to send out some spoiler pics. He sent three over the course of two days (and may even send more today.) Typical of Wilson and Privateer, they are all half obscured, upside down, or some other form of difficult.

 

The first pic was this one:

Stryker

It originally comes upside down and backwards, but that’s OK. Its obviously Stryker 3, mounted Cyngar Warcaster. The connection point for this super awkward model is fortunately huge wall. You can see other bits on the table underneath, including the horses head, Strykers head, and either a cloak or cape. This could be a really cool model, and with my small Cygnar army, if the rules are right I could definitely see adding him. Oh the awesome!

The next Picture came the following day:

Cephalyx

This hulking monstrosity has a few details that have been noticed by a couple forum goers. The first was that the back models base is un-slotted. Currently, the PP line only has 50mm unslotted models. that means that this model is on a large base unless PP has some kind of in-house unslotted smaller bases. The other part is that the plastic (perhaps?) models have different heads and joins in the army. The current theory is that they are a Large-based Plastic Warbeast kit.

If the cephalyx are an army of their own, I’m going to be selling my Merc army for them. I really enjoy the style and feel of the models, and would be thrilled to field a whole army of them!

Goreshade

 

Shortly thereafter, Came this picture. Its at a strange angle, but I’m pretty sure, from the Deathwalker in the back, the long, black hair, and the Spike-rack smokestacks that that is an Alt. Goreshade.
Nothing has made me want to play Goreshade the Bastard. Until I saw this. If the second half of the model is 1/3 as good as what I can see here, I’m going to have to use him. He seems to capture the power of a stationary model, and the malice of a moving one.

Reznik

 

and then, Thursday, he posts this puppy. Resin horses, the body of Reznik, Wrath of Ages, his spear and other assorted bits. this model is going to be enormous and insane, and I know a friend who really enjoys dropping Reznik on the table, so I hope his rules are solid enough to get the job done.

 

I think Matt’s splurge of Pics is done for now, he is heading home before going to templecon next week, where I am sure we will see all sorts of goodies. I hope its more revealing than last years L&L Keynote. I’ll be in person at L&L again this year, so we will see how that goes!

 

Edit: Simply moments before posting this, Chain Attack‘s facebook page posted a full stryker three!!

Saturday before last I took a trip to the local store and played in a little three round tournament. I am the normal PG for the store, but as I’d recently had a baby, I hadn’t had a lot of time to play Warmachine, so I was determined to play.

It had been a while since I’d played, and I thought that the I’d built some decent lists. I was going in without Epic Asphyxious because I was sure people would be teching against him, and I thought my chances without him were greater than with him.

I brought the Following lists:

Faction: Cryx Faction: Cryx
Tier 3Tier 0
Goreshade the Cursed +5Pirate Queen Skarre +6
* Kraken19Leviathan9
Bane Thralls (Leader and 9 Grunts) 8Skarlock Thrall 2
* Bane Thrall Officer & Standard0Bane Knights (Leader and 9 Grunts) 10
Bane Thralls (Leader and 9 Grunts)8Bane Thralls (Leader and 9 Grunts)8
* Bane Thrall Officer & Standard3* Bane Thrall Officer & Standard 3
The Withershadow Combine 5Blackbane's Ghost Raiders (Leader and 9 Grunts) 9
Bane Lord Tartarus4Necrosurgeon & 3 Stitch Thralls 2
Necrotech & 1 Scrap Thrall1Satyxis Raiders (Leader and 5 Grunts) 5
Necrotech & 1 Scrap Thrall1* Satyxis Raider Sea Witch2
Pistol Wraith 3Pistol Wraith3
3 Scrap Thrall1Pistol Wraith3
3 Scrap Thrall1
3 Scrap Thrall1

I’d been 11-1 with Epic Goreshade, and Skarre was bringing along Incorporeal to make peoples lives miserable.  The goal was to jam scenarios and flood the field with bodies, making making every choice of the opponent a painful one. Goreshade brought the Kraken for extra phantom hunter goodness, and I was ready to rock and roll.

The field was a tough crowd. There was only 9 of us, but we were all good. Locals Chris, Anthony and Phil had all won tournaments both locally and at nearby conventions. I’d tangled with Jason, Andy and Ryan both before and neither of them were pushovers. I knew that Curtis was a newcomer to the Area, but he’d been playing since the days of yore. The only person that I’d not played against or knew was a fellow I just referred to as Beard.

The Field was thus:
Phil and Me: Cryx
Anthony: Cygnar
Ryan: Mercs
Chris: Protectorate of Menoth
Andy, Curtis, Jason and Beard: Khador.

I knew it was going to be a long day. I’d been fighting Khador a long time, and its not my favorite fight.

I get paired up against Khador in the first round (surprise!) and Its Beard! Turns out his name is Paul. This is cool to me because I like playing against different people, as they tend to have different theories and ways of playing the game. I was stoked, and he had only one list. I figured I’d take Epic Goreshade on his first tour, as I was familiar and confident. Sadly, I’d just picked poorly, as he was playing Vlad. This allowed him to wind wall away my only shooting threat and make me one dimensional, as I’d forgotten to pack an arc node into the list. He also got to choose sides, and due to table setup one of these was in the way of the center of my deployment zone:

Gale Force 9 Badlands Plateau

It was massive, and blocked my everything, but, I felt it was part of the deal with playing the game, so I worked around it. I ended up loosing in part because of it, in part because I forgot how the game worked, and in part because I hate Khador. I did have him kill some 40 Bane thralls, but at the end of the day, the Greylord Outriders he had were more than up for the task. both the Kraken and Goreshade ended up not committing until very late, and that caused me to not gain points nearly fast enough. we were scoring at the same rate until he was able to stop me from scoring on his turn, and he won the game, fare and square.

I entered the losers bracket, and was ok with that. I was fighting for second with about 3 other people. I had take out 47 Army points, and scored 5 control points in the last game so my tiebreakers were awesome.

Instead, Jason crushed my soul at the top of turn 2. I got one turn in and BAM, Sorcha’d.

See, Sorcha ran turn 1 into a defensive position, and I had moved Scarre prematurely up 7 inches from her deployment zone. Turns out, one wind rush + charge + feat later, Skarre was Frozen in place. Eiryss followed, doing what she does, and stripped my 5 FOC camp, and did a damage or two. Winterguard Rocketeers then slid up, bobbing and weaving, and did their job, lobbing rocket into a frozen Skarre until she was little more than quivering flesh chunks. It was significantly disappointing, as I’d not only gotten rolled, I didn’t kill a single model on his side.

I started doing the math about who was playing who, and I realize that unless Curtis loses his match, I was going to get the bye with the worst record in the tournament. So guess what happens? Curtis Wins. I get the bye, and Don’t even end up with the worst record and get my tournament fee back so I can play a later tournament (a bye counts as a win! Yay!)

At the end of the day, I enjoyed getting out and seeing some good friends. I didn’t put up a good show, but I expected that. I have to knock the rust off of 6+ months of not playing competitive Warmachine. Fortunatly, I had friends coming over on the 28th.

Sadly, as you’ll soon read, that didn’t end well for me either!

Having an infant requires most of my time investment, so I haven’t had much time to do a lot of non-sedentary nerding, so i was really pleased to played my first game of Warmachine in months Wednesday before last. I felt rusty and hazzy but it was a very close, very enjoyable game. Having a buddy who also has children come over for the game was a bonus, because he knows the routine. He showed up a bit after 6, and we chatted for a bit about all sorts of topics. I was starved for non-family contact! We set up the table and pulled out the armies to get things rolling.

I hemmed and hawed all week about what I was going to play. It’d been so long I didn’t want to try anything super-complicated. None of my coven lists made me excited to play, and I really was going to make sure my bane knights made it into the list as well. Eventually, a different friend and I hashed out a list that seemed pretty interesting. I didn’t have all the solutions like a tournament level list might, but it had enough.

Iron Lich Asphyxious
-Nightwretch
-Nightmare
-Cankerworm
-Scarlock
Bane Knights (10)
Soulhunters (5)
Withershadow Combine
Tartarus
Darragh Wrathe
Warwitch Siren
Necrotech and Scrap Thrall

Soulhunters are generally derided, but I always enjoy putting them on the table. They fill a similar slot as Satyxis and Blackbanes, running interference until the rest of the army arrives. With the POW on guns being around 10, it takes more than pot shots to drop the arm 15 5 wounds models, but not much more.

This army doesn’t really have a general plan. Its got answers to almost everything, though, so it can almost take all comers. High Def is taken out with Nightmare. Asphyxious and the Cankerworm deal with high armor, Tartarus and Bane Knights deal with Terrain and other uncomfortable positions. Scything Touch and Parasite will swing almost any non-def based combat in my favor. Arc nodes, Darragh, Withershadow and Warwitch Siren providing support just rounds it all out. I figured I’d just react to his game plan, and see what comes up.

He brought out his Rhulic force. Solid, hard, and full of pain.

Gorten Grundback
-Driller
-Grundback Blaster
-Ogrun Bokur
Thor
-Grundback Gunner
-Basher
Brun
-Lug
Hernne and Jon
Rockbottom
Highshield (10)
-UA
Forgeguard (10)

I knew I wasn’t going to get to the juicy center of that rock hard nugget, so I decided to play the scenario game. We rolled up one of the new 2014 scenarios. Into the Breach – It had a single zone, two effigy objectives, and a flag. Dominating the flag gave a single point, the zone was a pair for dominating and a single point for controlling, and if I took out his objective, I’d get a point: 5 to win. I didn’t really know how the game’d play out, but his deployment was a wall of arm 18+ on the flank with the zone, and enough deployed to the flag to keep me honest. I deployed with the soulhunters to the zone flank, the bane knights ready to wander through a building on the flag flank, and the bulk of my forces front and center. Its my general deployment: A central deployment will allow me to adapt to whatever the opponent does. He tries to force one side or the other, and I’ll slide off to the opposite and play cagey. If he goes center, I’ll try and envelop: I almost always have superior numbers as cryx just does infantry well, so envelopment is always a potential.

He took first turn and trundled his dwarves up the field. I find their speed 4 allows me to do more than I’d expect with some of my units, but their having ranged models makes up for it with significant threat projection. I’m worried that he’ll gun down important models, so I’m playing a little cagey. After turn one, I abandon the flag. I’d originally sent Asphyxious that way, but He sent Brun and Lug over, and I don’t think that I really want to commit enough to take them out. The center of the board, however, turns out just as perilous for him, as I was probably within 1/4″ of being slammed by a Basher and into the stand of trees. With no focus. He chose not to go for it, so we will never know, but It was really, really close. After realizing that, I reached out and blew the damned thing off the planet: Parasite + 3 banes will do most models in for the count. I softened it up a little with other models first, but it was off the board. Slamming into the front line with the Soulhuntersat the top of turn two cleared the Zone, and I camped firmly inside it, scoring with Asphyxious who had teleported over to get his toes into the zone, now safe from a removed Basher.

I was up 2-0, but he wasn’t going to make it easy on me. Gorten popped his feat, and slid half half the zones worth of models either out of the zone or into a position that they were easily dispatched. Thankfully, I had Asphyxious safely in the back, because everything else was murdered. He moved about 3″ deep into the zone with enough models to make scoring very difficult. With the turn passed over to me, I had to rely on everything I had to score 3 point by killing the effigy and dominating the zone. I shot the damaged effigy with the Withershadow Combine, did damage to it, but not enough to take it down. That complicated matters as there was an undamaged Gunner and some very frustratingly placed Rhulfolk in the zone to take care of. The way it was all situated, there was a single dwarf behind a solid line of models that I could not easily get to. Tartarus was in range, but thresher would end with that single dwarf, in combat, still contesting, with only ranged/magic attacks to get to him. I had to use Asphyxious to trash the gunner, because no one else was available. He succeeded and used the rest to clear some dwarves, teleport back and lob a hellfire at the Objective, killing it. One point, two to go. Darragh used some strange charge angles and the power of his horse, cleared the angle for Tartarus to charge in and sweep the last few dwarves out of the zone, netting me two points.

It ended the game, but it was nothing representing easy. A lot of rolls had to go my way towards the end there in order to pull it out. and after that, If it all failed, I was going to face an unhurt Gorten, a nearly full unit of Horgenhold, and a driller to the face of Asphyxious. Things were not going to be pretty. It was a fun game, though. My buddy is a great opponent. The rust is starting to come loose, and hopefully I’ll be able to play again, and more often, soon.