Thexus V. Darius: Impromptu Game!

I had some unexpected free time on Sunday, and another stupid model trade turned into an old fashioned rumble.

I brought my Cephalyx (3-2-1) and he brought the Darius list he’ll be bringing down to the ATC in Tennessee next weekend.

I had decided to mess with my list, and it seemed to happen at the right time. While I really enjoy the Subduer, I wanted to try a multiple wrecker list.

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

He brought

Man, he needs a resculpt!

Captian E. Dominic Darius+5
*Centurion9
*Stormwall19
*Sylys Wyshnalyrr, The Seeker2
Storm Strider9
Black 13th4
Lady Aiyanna & Master Hold4
Captain Arlan Strangeways2
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution (Epic)3
Journeyman Waracster3
55

We ended up playing Incursion, because neither of us had zones on hand. The table was set up with a hill on my far left flank, on the board edge. There was a building about 4″ to the left and towards me from the center flag. There was a fairly large pond on the other side of the board, on my left flank. The right, on both sides of the board, was a fairly large forest.

I won the roll off and chose to go first. With the amount of shooting and general getting in there in that list, I didn’t want to be stuck on my half, which is a serious concern when everything is speed 5.

Deployment
He chose sides, and pre-deployed his Storm Strider and the Stormwall almost dead center on the side with the lake.

I then tried to not bunch myself up in deployment. I deployed mainly center-left, due to the forest on the right, with the Mind Slavers and Mind Benders stretching across my front line, punctuated by Agitators and Pistol Wraiths on the flanks. Past them, I deployed my wreckers on each flank, with the Warden staying back next to Thexus in the second rank. Capping it all off was the Machine Wraiths to either side. The overlords and a single Agitator took up back line rolls with Thexus.

His deployed Darius next to and slightly behind the Storm Strider. Junior, Sylys and Arlan stayed in the back. The Black 13th took my right, and Aiyanna and Holt took the left with the Centurion.

I deployed my TAC and the Dominator pretty central, and he AD’d Eiryss on the left, in the pond.

Turn 1. 
I learned, while muttering about threat ranges, that the Storm Strider can be placed by Darius’ Crane, increasing its threat by just over 5″ on its already impressive 14″, 10″ deploy and 5″ move. He was going to shoot whatever I let him. I started out moving the TAC up their 4″ and leaving the Dominator 9″ behind. They dropped smoke next to the forest, extending its protection out into the middle of the board. The Mind Slavers ran up next, behind the smoke cloud, and spread out a bit, leaving the Slaver 9″ in the back. The Wrecker on the left moved up next to the building, and the Mind Bender ran up behind, filling in the gaps with their warped and twisted bodies. The other Wrecker moved up next to the forest and behind the Slaver Drudges. The Agitators, along with the unit leaders, were terrified of electroleaps, and thus got stuck behind the army once again. They maneuvered up near the Monstrosities, just in case. Each flank had the Pistol Wraith and the Machine Wraith run screaming towards the side flags. Thexus went last, moving up just enough to catch the army in Deceleration, cast it, and camped.

His turn was similar. He started out Craning the Storm Strider up its full distance, casting Fortify on the Centurion, and ran a Halfjack over to the flag. The Storm Strider then moved up and shot at my Wrecker over near the building. Thankfully, he missed his first shot. The Strider is RAT 6, and needs 6’s to hit the Monstrosity under Deceleration. Amazingly, his second attack missed, giving me a bit of hope. The Stormwall advanced and launched a pod, but the Ryan couldn’t get line to it through the forest at the end of the turn. Eiryss ran over near to the flag, just in case. Jr. put Arcane Shield on the Strider, seeing as it was going to be assaulted next turn. Everyone else just moved into position.

He rolled for the flag, with the left one, with Eiryss and the Centurion, going away.

I’ll never leave home without an enslaved trio!

Turn 2
I assessed the situation, and assigned 3 to the wrecker near the house, keeping myself 5. I went into the tank for a few minutes, but came out ready to go. The Machine Wraith, having no greater purpose in life, ran out to engage Eiryss. The Pistol Wraith maneuvered to get cover from the building and dropped 2 shots into the Centurion, with the Chain Attack: Death Chill succeeding. The other Pistol Wraith moved to just inside the flag contesting zone, to either pull the B13th far enough out that I could Tag them or give up the flag. The Machine Wraith on the same side ran way out wide next to the forest to do the same.  The TAC then went, making room for Drudges and the Wrecker. One tossed a Flame Blast into the Strider, doing 2 damage, one popped the Stormpod, activating battle wizard and hurled a Flame Blast into the Black 13, doing 3 damage to Ryan. The final one took out one of the halfjacks.  I activated the Overlords next, moving them over towards the right flank, out of the way. The Mind Bender unit then moved up and dropped Adrenal Flood into three Mind Slaver drudges: Them dying is super convenient sometimes, it allows you to get in your own way, and then remove yourself! I moved the adrenal flooded models up into charge range of the Storm Strider, then activated the unit to charge with them. Sadly I’d only eyeballed one to be within range. 12.5 is actually a hard distance to judge. I should get better at it with Thexus’ control range. I’ve gotten pretty good at 8″ and 10″, but 5″, 6″ and 12″ still elude me after 9 years. Thexus activated and used Telekinesis on the wrecker, and cast Deceleration, again.  He then moved to catch everything he could in the aura, which was the whole army except for the Machine Wraiths. The wrecker and Subduer then moved up, in base to base with each other in front of Thexus to form a sort of screen some 4″ in front of him. Finally, the Wrecker charged, blasting through the Flag and getting just the tiniest portion of his reach onto the Storm Strider. Thanks to Beat Back, I was able to return to within striking range after each attack on the Strider pushing me away, and after all 4 attacks, the Arcane Shielded Storm Strider was a Wreck.

My opponent took a couple of seconds to compose himself, his plans having changed at the last moment with the removal of the Storm Strider. I’ve learned to try and pull off the big moves at the end of a turn, because the opponent has to rethink their turn order once you’ve changed the battlefield so significantly. If they’ve thought out a plan, they now have to rethink it. If they had no plan, they are probably a little surprised by the turn of events. Either way, it’s something worth trying. He started with allocating 2 to the Stormwall, upkeeping fortify, and keeping the rest on Darius. The Black 13th went first, moving so that they could draw LOS outside of the forest. Watts shot at the Machine Wraith, removing it, Ryan dropped a Mage Storm on a Mind Slaver Drudge, killing it and one other, with a Third suffering no damage. Lynch took aim at the one in the cloud and smoked him, but tough let him stay the course. Eiryss ran forward and out of melee with the Machine Wraith who, needing 8’s to hit, connected and his claws rent the Elven Hooker from the world. One halfjack moved up and became a mine almost halfway between the two flags. Holt stood still while Aiyanna went stealth. Holst took a shot, killing an Agitator too far from my Monstrosities, and then took a pot shot at the corporeal Pistol Wraith. Def 20 was too hard to crack, though, behind a building and under Deceleration. The Stormwall took an ill spirit on the Wrecker that had destroyed the Strider, and charged him, getting well within range. He drops a pod and kills a pair of Drudges, and then both initials and a bought attack later, the Wrecker is still standing tall. Darius then moves up and starts Jackhammering, killing the Wrecker but spending a ton of focus to do it. He then shoots off a rocket into the Drudges, killing a pair and making one of the tough. Sylys, Arlan and the Journeyman move up, with the Journeyman putting Arcane shield on Darius, bringing his armor up to 21. The Centurion shuffled over near Darius.

Turn 3
I give 3 focus to my second Wrecker immediately glad I had brought him along, one to the warden, and kept the other 4. The Pistol Wraith stood still and Death Chilled the Centurion again. The Overlords, emboldened by the lack of presence over near the flag, moved towards it, one of them touching. One of them looked to be in range of the Black 13th in the woods, so I took a shot with their Psychic Assault. Sprays are the best. Ignoring Stealth and concealment, I only needed 8’s, and ignoring LOS I was able to tag Lynch behind Ryan. Turns out, as anyone who plays against me regularly knows, 8’s are my average. I kill both Ryan and Lynch with the spray. Dice +1 does that. The Mind Bender then goes, giving the three remaining, non-knocked Drudges Adrenal Flood, and each of them moves into charge position. The Warden then goes, running up into range of Telekinesis range of the Centurion. The TAC get in there as best they can, and tossing Fireballs about. One targets Holt, clipping him and incinerating him, while the other two fly wide of their intended targets. Again, I used killing a Storm Pod to trigger Battle Wizard.  The way now clear, I charge with my Mind Slaver and Drudges, getting three into combat and having to run one. One getting into combat was exceedingly close, having to use a laser and proxy base to figure it out. After all three charges I leave the Stormwall at 23, exactly half. I then realize that I could have moved the Agitator up, and wail and gnash my teeth. I move him up and set to agitating, getting the bonus for the inevitable charging Wrecker. Thexus goes, getting cocky and moving with 10″ of the Stormwall, and once again used Telekinesis: The first on the Centurion, placing him closer to the Machine Wraith, and the second went to the Wrecker, pulling him that much closer to the Stormwall. I moved the Pistol Wraith and the remaining Agitator into what I thought were safe positions. Finally, I launched the Wrecker at the Stormwall, easily in range and charging for free due to the placement of the Stormwall itself. Two initial attacks and two bought attacks later, I was sitting on a focus, looking at a pile of rubble that has once been a proud Stormwall. Finally, I moved the Machine Wraith over near the Centurion over, but was outside of an inch to try and possess it.

CP: Thexus 1/Darius 0

Worth their weight in eights!


This was a do or die turn for Darius. He was down the Stormwall and the Storm Strider, and was missing 2/3 Black 13th. He kept all the focus on Darius, upkeeping Fortify. He went first with Aiyanna, who moved up a touch and cast Kiss of Lyss on the Warden. He then activated Darius, moving up and craning the Centurion over into melee range of the Warden, and proceeded to Jackhammer it into the earth. Strangeways took Aim and sprayed a couple of drudges, killing one. Watts moved up into 4″ of the flag to contest, shooting an Agitator off the planet as well. The journeyman took a Dwarf out of the picture, leaving 2. Finally, Sylys took over and charged into the machine Wraith and missed. He forgot to activate his Centurion, but that wasn’t a big deal. He moved it in front of Darius, blocking LOS in most ways.

CP: Thexus 1/Darius 0

Turn 5
I really wanted to kill Darius this turn, but his Centurion posed a huge problem. With Fortify up, he couldn’t be affected my Telekinetic Tide, and neither could Darius. I would have to do this old school. I allocated 3 to the Wrecker and left the rest on Thexus. The Mind benders activated first, putting a pair of Adrenal floods out there, getting one a bit closer to Darius. The overlords took their cue next, moving around to get a pair of sprays onto Watts, not that I needed it as the first one melted the poor fools mind. The last two TAC moved forward and tried Fireballing again. I managed to remove a Halfjack, but the last shot scattered wide. Thexus then went, moving up to get within 8″ of the Centurion and attempting to Telekinesis him out of the way. The first attempt was snake eyes, which screwed up my plan to Hex Blast Arcane Shield off Darius. The Second one worked, though, and he ended up out of the way, finally. My last Agitator move up and started agitating to get the Instigation bonus on both the Drudges and the Wrecker. The Mind Slavers went next, with one charging Darius, and one Arlan. Arlan’s didn’t reach, but Darius took the full brunt of a POW 19 to the face, taking a few damage. With little left to activate, I charged the wrecker, for free due to the proximity of the Centurion, and started wailing on Darius. The Charge was going to be critical, so I boosted it, needing 6’s. I missed. 3 attacks later, Darius is sitting alive on three health, and I have nothing left to threaten him.  My Machine Wraith, left alive by Sylys, advanced next, staying in range of his magic weapon, and took control of the Centurion, removing the last enemy model from within 4″ of the flag in the center.  Both Pistol Wraiths then ran into position, one of them nestling up cozily next to the center flag, and I passed the turn and gained 2 more Control Points.

CP: Thexus 3/Darius 0

Darius was looking ill, but he wasn’t out of it. He set the turn in motion by activating Arlan, Smashing a drudge. The journeyman activated and shot the Agitator off the planet. Darius activated and spent 2 focus to eject the Machine Wraith, craned it over into melee range of the Wrecker, and Jackhammered him into the ground, again. Sylys activated next, charging the Machine Wraith and missing again. Aiyanna then activated and gave the Centurion magic weapons, who then proceeded to move to engage and then eliminate both the Machine and Pistol Wraiths. Out of models, he passed the turn. I took another CP from the far flag, and we knew I would win on my turn with the final one.

CP:Thexus 4/Darius 0

Turn 5
At this point, I asked my opponent if I could play it out. It’s not generally a good or nice thing to do, but I’ve not had enough experience with the army as a whole to be ensured of a win with what’s left. I wanted to engineer a way to do it. He graciously agreed to let me play out my mental exercise, and I started my turn. I moved up with Thexus, within 10″ of Darius, and decided to pop off a Hex Blast to try and make it easier for my army to do work. I hit easily, and figured why not, boost the POW 13 damage at Dice -5. The dice came up in my favor, and I took down Darius.

CP: Thexus 5/Darius 0

Thoughts
Man that was a fun game. I was able to really see the type of work I was missing with but a single Wrecker. I can’t see leaving home without 2 in the future, and that says a lot about the Subduer. The Wrecker is just way too good to leave in the foam.

Chain Lightning and indirect attacks are scary as hell. Turn 1, to try and protect myself from leaps, I had to leave a 5″ gap between the nearest friendly model and my Cephalyx. This held my Agitators way back, and I hoped keep them in play longer. Fortunately he missed with the Storm Strider and I was then able to remove it.

The hit 36 hit boxes are incredibly frustrating. Simple below average dice cause an overly aggravating amount of focus to be spent killing a single Monstrosity, leaving Darius on empty a number of turns.

As I play more and More, I’m able to start to see how the army is supposed to work. It’s an intricate, clockwork missile, very much the inverse of the Convergence. Where they seem to build a durable machine able to withstand the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, the Cephalyx seem to be those exact same slings and arrows, creating through their inner workings an unstoppable missile of outrageous fortune.

I’ve received hours ago the knowledge that my Relic Knights have arrived! Thursday I may very well have a first impressions post, but I am also very eager to write my first MTG Cube experience up!

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