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!
Warjack Points: +5
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.
- Hex Blast
- Psycho Surgery
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
|Weapon- 2x POW:8 P+S 17|
- Eyeless Sight
- 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
|Net Launcher- RNG 6 ROF 1 AOE 3|
|Weapon - POW 6, P+S 16|
- Eyeless Sight
- 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.
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
|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
|Weapon- POW:5 P+S 11|
- 5 health
- Magic ability 7
-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.
- 5 Health
- Mercenary Attachment – Can be added to a small or medium based non-cephalyx mercenary Unit.
- 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!
|Weapon: 2x POW 2 P+S 8|
|Weapon: POW 4 P+S 12
- 5 Health
- 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 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]
- Eyeless Sight
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!