Tour de Cryx – The Sturgis Disaster: Midpoint

When I started the Tour de Cryx, I was pretty sure I would enjoy most of it. One of the portions I was looking least foward too, though, were the weaker casters. I wanted to get some playtime with the mid tiers, as they generally have interesting interactions, before moving onto the terrible casters. Sadly, I then asked the internet what I was going to play. They were relatively kind – They could have picked Deneghra 2. Instead they picked Sturgis. Two games in, what do I think about him? Lets take a look.

What Have I Done!

When I started thinking about Sturgis, I was pretty sure that he was bad, real bad. Then, I started building lists with him. I started to feel comfortable about the lists, the interactions. Sturgis himself even started to look pretty good. He has a gun, something most Cryx casters don’t, some solid spells to take out high defense and heavy armor, and he has a ton of personal threat.

The first time out, I decided to take this list – Option 2 from the Overview

Sturgis, The Corrupted
-Deathripper
-Deathripper
-Desecrator
-Cankerworm
-Withershadow Combine
Soul Trapper
Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor
Bane Thralls x10
– Bane Thrall Commander and Standard
Blood Witches x10
– Blood Hag
Croe’s Cutthroats x10

Unfortunately, that meant that he was going to be one of the few non-stealth models in the list, if I gave the Banes Stealth, and though his 15/16 stat line is good, its not going to save him from getting his head popped if he sticks it out to far.

I played it into a Kallus 2 list that simply wanted to crush me from way, way downtown. This was… not what I wanted. I did have a building to hide behind, though, so that made me a bit happier.

The list, though, performed admirably. Denied AD – on both the Croe’s and Cankerworm, bunched up in the Deployment zone, unable to unpack due to lack of experience with the list, and unable to get a good board presence due to the speed of the opponents list, I was still able to inflict massive casualties on the opponent’s army, killing Three Lights and a Heavy, a full unit of cavalry, both ambushing units and a few support solos. Having the army do that much work was a real surprise.

However, most of that work was done by a few models. Orin took out most of the unit of Blightblades, and, in his singular moment of usefulness, Sturgis used Blood Rain and took out a half dozen Grotesques. The Blood witches did pretty solid work against both the Groteques and the Raptors.

I don’t think the list really was bad, but it had a lot of room for improvement.

  • The Bane Thrall UA is a complete waste of points. Tough isn’t really a value added to the unit, or any unit, really. Being able to survive a single shot on 3 or 4 guys is a few extra attacks, and this world has precious few, but often as not it won’t matter. Rise is great. The mini feat, while awesome with a specific set of casters, isn’t good for Sturgis With no way to fix MAT, it is both extremely unreliable and draws the unit away from the targets it really wants to be killing, Heavies. P+S 13 weaponmaster is horrible overkill for almost every warrior model in existence, and it only matters if there even are units of infantry, which I have seen few.
  • Croes didn’t really have a purpose. While in Theory they can get some pretty solid shots off, I don’t know that trying to fit them into Sturgis is worth it.
  • Cankerworm was a disappointment. I even got him fully loaded into a warbeast.
  • The second arc node was redundant. I simply didn’t need it.

With all of that noted, or the second game I changed up the list a bit.

Sturgis, The Corrupted
-Deathripper
-Desecrator
-Desecrator
-Withershadow Combine
Soul Trapper
Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor

Satyxis Raider Captain
Bane Thralls x10

– Bane Thrall Commander and Standard
Blood Witches x10
– Blood Hag
Satyxis Raiders x10
– Satyxis Sea Witch

This version performed admirably enough. I did, once again, play this into a line of guns that was going to kill me from around about 22 inches or more away. (Caine 3). I managed to win, but only by staying behind a building until I was safe (never), keeping half my battlegroup out of Control Range while gathering focus from Banes and rolling super-duper hot on the last attack roll and damage roll of the game. I rolled boxcars twice. I needed a 10 followed by an 11.

This was the game that let me know I needed to do something, anything about shooting. Stealth doesn’t matter on single models, which is an interesting, if frustrating, position for the game. Fewer models ignore stealth overall, but those that do tend to have powerful weapons. Its valuable on a plethora of troopers, so that more of them get across the field.

That put me in a very difficult position. I needed to be able to protect my army against guns, because there are so many, many guns recently, but also be able to have an army. Cryx’s Bullet Protection is not cheap, though it is plentiful. I figured what the hell. Lets put it all into a single army, and work backwards from there.

This is the list I’m taking to the next game, and it if works out, I’ll be taking it to a tournament as well.

Sturgis The Corrupted

-Desecrator
-Deathripper
-Inflictor
Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor
Bane Thralls x10
Satyxis Raiders x10
– Satyxis Sea Witch
Mechanithralls x6
-Brute Thrall
-Brute Thrall
-Brute Thrall
Mechanithralls x6
-Brute Thrall
-Brute Thrall
-Brute Thrall
Satyxis Gunslingers

 

This has it all! Stealth, Clouds, Shield Guards (7!) Spell denial, Whipping Winds. Everything here is protect at all costs, and I still have the core of every Cryx army – Bane Thralls and Satyxis.

You know what sucks, though? Having no caster. I’ve played a lot of casters, through three editions and multiple factions. I have never felt that my caster was as impotent and terrible as I have playing Sturgis 2. His army may do some work, he may be able to get there and get a parasite or a blood rain off, but he’s extremely lackluster. Maybe I need to find a way to deliver him without getting Killed, hence the list rework, but it feels so rough. His feat, perhaps, is the most disappointing of all the aspects, as I felt that with a feat that could influence the game in severe ways, he’d probably be at least tolerable. Instead, with his small control range, inability to pull warcasters, and desire to hide behind the nearest large object like a coward, it was really humbling. Hopefully this next incarnation doesn’t make me want to toss the model in the trash, as I am likely to finish him tonight.

Let’s see where this new list takes me. I look forward to tossing him aside for the next up caster Mortenebra 2, but it will please me to know that I’ll be done with at least one of the bottom of the barrel casters for the time being. Then you bastards are likely to pick Aiakios 2, or Denny 2, ain’t ya. Well, I asked for it.

Until next time,