Is there a 4th list archetype?

Featured in the last No Quarter was a write up about the 3 main archetypes of list building or play-style: Attrition, Assassination, and everyone’s favorite, Control. After going over the tenants of these types PP asked the reader if they thought there was a fourth type. Well that got me to thinking, is there a fourth way that I’ve seen people approach the game or even how I may have built lists in the past and I think tonight really solidified that the answer is yes. I’ll explain and let you be the judge. Continue reading


Solos: Are they worth it?

I’ve been spending the last couple of weeks delving into Mercenaries in Mark III and one benefit of that is their access to a huge bevy of wonderful solos. With the removal of pacts/contracts it has really opened up the options. Two that have really stood out to me is being able to play Kell Bailoch and Orin Midwinter after mostly sticking to highborn covenant in Mark II. I’ve found list building to be extremely exciting because combinations of solos are so varied and can lead to so many neat synergies.

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Jacking Up Cryx Part 2: Machine Minds

This is part 2 in the series, if you want to see part 1, head over here.

After I decided to attempt a jack-heavier take on Cryx, one of the first places I decided to look was the newish Witch Coven tier list, Machine Minds.  It actually makes Iron Lich Overseers decent, since all jacks they marshall are cheaper,  and it gets a good deal more focus on the table via a Soul Taker bonus.  Here is the list I ran:

  • Witch Coven of Garlghast
  • 2 Deathrippers
  • Malice
  • Skarlock Thrall
  • Iron Lich Overseer
  • Harrower (on overseer #1)
  • Slayer (on oversser #1)
  • Iron Lick Overseer
  • Harrower (on overseer #2)
  • Slayer (on oversser #2)
  • 2 Warwitch Sirens
  • 2 Machine Wraiths (with Ambush)

So, I had 5 heavy jacks and 2 light jacks.  I had 7 souls on the table at the start of the game (1 on each overseer, 1 on each Harrower, skarlock thrall, 2 on Malice).  I had 2 power boosters to get more focus into the game on top of that.  I was feeling good about the mission to generate a good deal of focus or focus-substitute.  The Wraiths were going to Ambush and try and attack juicy targets from behind (my Khador opponent was only running character jacks).  The Witch Coven was going to juice Malice, and pass out their awesome spells.  Also, when the time came, their own assassination threat, coupled with the jacks, was what my endgame was looking for.

One thing I didn’t anticpate was how much stealth can be in this list.  The Coven, Egregore, warwitches, Malice (via Occultation), overseers and their jacks were all stealthed in the first 2 rounds of this game).  All my opponent could hit at range were the deathrippers and the skarlock.  In a three list format (what I am preparing for) that could cause some opponents quite an issue.  It is another perk to the list.

I don’t want to go into a  turn by turn analysis of the list.  But it played much like I thought it would.  The Slayers and Malice were there to deal with enemy heavies.  The Harrowers used Ghost Shot to hit key hidden targets and could really scare units with thresher and Soul Taker.  The Warwitches used Power Booster to spread more focus around, and also sprayed to help thin units.  The Machine Wraiths ambushed and killed a Manhunter and Lady Aiyana.  In the end, it was a boosted ghost shot from a Harrower, along with a soul-boosed spell from an Overseer, that finished off the Old Witch.

I like the surprising versatility of the list.  Between the Coven, the Harrowers, and the Overseers, I can put 6 boosted ranged/magic attacks into an enemy warcaster.  The Harrowers can deal quite well with units, especially high armor ones.  The stealth can trip up shooty lists.  The amount of jacks and associated attacks can really trip up some unprepared lists.  A Infernal Machine Malice can advance 8 inches and pull an enemy warcaster 8 more inches into charge range of a Harrower with 3 souls, a focus from Power Booster, and a Jack Marshall boost.  That is no joke.

One thing I think the list will struggle with is a lot of high def troops.   I was lucky in this game, as the Old Witch brought Winterguard and Kayazy.  Had I not got the assassination when I did, those troops were going to mire me for the rest of the game.  I really think the list could use a min unit of bile thralls (protected with occultation) to help with that issue.  In this game, it would have scared the Winterguard and Kayazy silly.  Maybe I will drop an arc node and the skarlock for another machine wraith and the thralls?  Drop Malice for them and another arc node or a Scavenger?  I am not sure.

What do you think?  Anybody else running this tier list?  What are your thoughts?

Steamroller: And the winner is… Cryx!

Tournament Rules: Steamroller, Divide and Conquer, 35 points, relaxed time turns (10 min, with a 5 min extension)

I went 3-0 for first place out of 8 contestants.

List 1: Terminus 35 point list

  • Lich Lord Terminus
  • Slayer
  • Bane Thralls (x10)
  • Bane Thralls (x10)
  • Mechanithralls (x10)
  • Mechanithralls (x10)
  • Mechanithralls (x6)
  • Necrosurgeon & Stitch Thralls
  • Necrosurgeon & Stitch Thralls

Opponents: Circle (Game 2) and Skorn (Game 3)

MVP: Terminus – ARM 27 and ARM 31 Terminus won both of my games with a caster kill. I almost lost against circle for putting him too far forward to get that Tough bubble on that last McThrall. Don’t do it! Keep him squarely behind that Slayer.

Runner up: Necrosurgeons – These classy ladies and flesh bags re-made many times their points. Keep the fleshies 5″ from the front  and the surgeons 8″ from them. It also helped that my opponents didn’t have magic bullet or the like.

Possible improvements: Not sure if one jack body guard is good enough, it just doesn’t block enough space off. I might try trading the slayer for two helldivers. They’re just sooo slow!

List 2: Mortenebra 35 point list

  • Master Necrotech Mortenebra
  • Deryliss
  • Leviathan
  • Stalker
  • Stalker
  • Helldiver
  • Helldiver
  • Slayer
  • Slayer
  • Necrotech
  • Scrap Thrall
  • Necrotech
  • Scrap Thrall
  • Scrap Thrall (x3)
  • Warwitch Siren
  • Warwitch Siren
  • Theme: Infernal Machines Lvl 3

Opponent: Minion Farrow (Game 1)

MVP: Helldivers – run the first turn then burrow, burrow, burrow until they are in position for charges on the enemy caster/warlock on a Terminal Velocity + feat turn

Runner up: Leviathan – pumping 3 13″ almost fully boosted shots using Interface was something people don’t expect from cryx!

Possible improvements: Be more aggressive with the stalkers, think about getting a Scavenger in the list. Scavenger+ Spectral steel + Terminal Velocity + feat == win!

Good game to everyone who participated and thank you very much to the tournament organizers!

The Dwarf, The Myth, The Legend: Gorton Grundback

So for my first jump into the wide world of the blogosphere I thought I would talk about a warcaster that is not seen all that often.  Gorton Grundback, one of the three Rhulic Mercenary Casters.  The Rhulics do not tend to be seen often as warcasters due to there restrictive nature in what warjacks they can field.  I am here to tell you today that their ‘jack restrictions should not stop you from considering these awesome stunty fellows.  I have been playing the Rhulic Mercenary starter box for the last few weeks now in our local journeyman league and have been having a blast with him, so i thought i would expound on a few things that make Gorton so great.

My recently painted Gorton Grundback model for our journeyman league.

His Personals:

  • Huge Armor; Gorton has an armor value equal to most heavy jacks making him one of the hardest assassinations in the game.
  • Dual Hand Cannon;  His ranged weapon can fire both barrels or 2 shots of your standard hand cannon, dealing a lot of damage that most people won’t expect.
  • Solid Melee Skillz;  His hammer does respectable damage and has a great critical effect: smite.  If Gorton buff’s himself he can easily be hitting as hard as most heavy jacks.
  • High Jack Points;  Gorton makes up for his low focus by bring a higher than average amount of ‘jack points to the table.  For this reason you can get several of the cheap yet awesome Rhulic jacks onto the table and still field a good amount of infantry to support them.

Feat — Landslide:

This is one of the main things that makes Gorton such a horror on the table.  He can push enemy models in his control range towards a table edge of your choice, and on top of that the effected models also take large hits to their DEF, SPD, and RAT.  This feat is definitely the first thing that makes Gorton out to be the denial caster that he is.  It can be used for many purposes, like pulling a weary warcaster in close so that they can get charged by your buffed up Basher, Driller or even Gorton himself.   On most occasions if you pull this off, you’ve just won the game.   But because Gorton clocks in as one of the slower SPD casters, and his control range is not huge, a smart opponent will avoid this when they can.

Assassination is not Landslides only strength, you can empty entire control zones of enemy models with it, and leave them stuck outside the control zone the following turn.  In some scenarios this may just mean the win.  If you use his spell Rockwall in conjunction with the feat you can control how your foe moves even more.  The wall can stop landslide movement because it is a push, allowing you to cherry pick targets or separate units from their commanders.


While Gorton does not have a impressive amount of focus he does still have 5 really good spells.

  • Strength of Granite:  This spell boosts a model in his battle group’s STR by a whooping 4!  This spell will be up for most of your game, either on a melee ‘jack like the Driller or on Gorton himself, making them all hit like a truck.
  • Rockwall: This upkeepable spell allows Gorton to make his own wall template in his control area giving him or his units some well needed cover.  As mentioned earlier you can also use it to help with manipulating how you push your enemies models with landslide.  It also has a great use to help much up charges for larger models because they can not end their movement on top of the wall.  To do this you place the wall about a half to a full inch from the target you don’t want to get charged, this way they have to stop up against the wall because their base wont fit onto the other side of it.  This is another way that Gorton shows his nature as a denial caster.
  • Solid Ground:  The last of the things that makes a Gorton a good denial caster, this spell makes all friendly models in his control range immune to knock down and blast damage.  Both of these things can be huge given the abilities of your opponent.
  • Molten Metal:  A solid and cheap offensive spell for Gorton that only works on ‘jacks.  This spell does 6 guaranteed damage to an enemy warjack as long as it is not immune to fire.
  • Eruption:  While this a good AOE cloud spell, it costs more than half of Gorton’s focus and thus won’t get cast much.  It is good for causing modest AOE damage and leaving a cloud around for mucking up LOS.

List Helpers:

I have found now after playing him a lot that Gorton definitely doesn’t need a huge amount of ‘jacks with him since he has little focus to dole out.  Usually i find one or two heavies is all he needs, add in a few of the Rhulic light ‘jacks for fire support and you’ve got a solid battle group.  For heavies i prefer a Driller or a Basher.  The Driller with his sustained attack drill can really tear down any target it gets a hold of if it has Strength of Granite on it.  The Basher is great because it can always make slams for free which helps out a lot with Gorton’s focus issues.  Because both of the light ‘jacks never need more than one focus on them to be effective, Gorton can definitely handle running 3-4 of them.

When playing any Mercenary caster you have to choose which contract or tier list you want to run them in.  I have found that Gorton does the best in either Four Star Syndicate or Highborn Covenant (I prefer Highborn).  This gives him a much larger access to the other support solos that the Mercenary faction has to offer.   The one that stands out the most is Sylys Wyshnalyrr for his ability to upkeep a spell for free.  Given that you will most likely have at least two of your upkeeps going at once, this gives you such great flexibility with your focus.  Sadly if you play his tier or run Gorton in Searforge you wont be able to take Sylys.  Another great combo to bring with Gorton is having Thor Stienhammer marshaling some ‘jacks for you, ideally an Avalancher.  Because Thor can run jacks as effectively if not better than the Rhulic casters he is a great way to get some more ‘jack power onto the table without hindering your focus flexibility.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at one of my new favorite casters, and don’t underestimate this pint sized brick shithouse when you see him across the table from you!

My Lock and Load Lists – SpeedMachine

Next up are my lists for SpeedMachine.  For this tourney, I am fielding Legion of Everblight.  The format is now a 13 minute deathclock with 25 pts of Warjacks/Warbeasts.  Players have the choice of bringing one list or two, and I plan on bringing two, even if I end up not needing both.

Saeryn, Omen of Everblight

  • 2x Angelius
  • Seraph
  • Shredder
  • Harrier

Not too surprising here.  The list is obviously built around feat-turn assassination, with 4 models capable of flight without fear of fear strikes.  In additional, the Seraph brings the threat range up with Slipstream.  The Shredder is there as a tenacity battery, and the Harrier was to use up the last 2 pts on another model with flight.

Vayl, Consul of Everblight

  • Angelius
  • Carnivean
  • Scythean
  • Shredder

I really have enjoyed Vayl’s epic incarnation in the few games I have got in.  The assassination run of double boosted obliterations should worry any Warcaster, although Warlock will just shrug them off with damage transference.  However, it is still appealing enough to include as a second list to worry opponents.

My Lock and Load Lists – Three Commanders

So, I thought it was about time I finalized my Lock & Load lists, and I figured publicly airing them out was a decent enough way to finally commit.  First up are my Three Commanders lists.  I am the General, and our team’s captain is playing Skorne, while our lieutenant is fielding Blindwater.

WarWitch Deneghra

  • Nightmare
  • 3x Deathripper
  • Skarlock Thrall
  • 10x Bane Thralls w/UA
  • 10x McThralls
  • Necrosurgeon and Stick Thralls
  • 2x Pistol Wraiths
  • Warwitch Siren
  • Withershadow Combine

Deneghra is one of the reasons I started Cryx, and I still really enjoy fielding her.  While this is probably the weaker of my two lists, the tournament is Divide and Conquer, so this will see action at least once.  Between the pistol wraiths and combine, there is a nice ranged threat to throw at a unit that cannot charge due to Crippling Grasp, and the 2 thrall units can more than drop any heavy.  I have the WC to deal with enemy upkeeps.  I feel pretty good about the list build.

Skarre, Queen of the Broken Coast

  • Deathjack
  • Seether
  • Defiler
  • Bane Lord Tartarus
  • 10x Bane Thralls w/UA
  • 6x Bile Thralls
  • 10x Satyxis Blood Witches w/UA
  • Necrosurgeon and Stich Thralls

The stronger list, as far as I am concerned.  Maybe there are Cryx players who can field Deneghra better, but Skarre is my best Warcaster, without a doubt.  I have yet to drop a game with her.  The ability to scramble Deathjack and Seether up field without fear of reprisal (along with protecting Tartarus), is pretty huge.  The Blood Hag UA gives me a way to deal with upkeeps, and gang along with Black Spot can make high def units manageable.

As far as reinforcements, I am leaning towards throwing a Leviathan with Skarre (giving up 1 pt, since I own no 1 pt Cryx models), and perhaps putting a min unit of Bile Thralls along with a loaded Defiler for Denny.  I am not sure yet though.