Warbeasts/jacks in Mark III

Mark III has been a whirlwind so far and I don’t know what other player’s experiences have been but I have seen a slew of lists featuring very heavy battle groups. I think everyone expected more jacks with the new power up rule but I’ve also come up against and played quite a few beast heavy lists. I don’t know how much of this is people still holding on to old mentalities, especially with Skorne or Legion, or if the new edition boosts them as well as it does jacks. It seems like Skorne and Legion took a huge hit to their ability to run lots of beasts with the changes to the condition rule and Trolls didn’t really gain anything new to help. There was a decrease in fury and threshold stats almost across the board. I would love to hear player’s theories on this phenomenon or if maybe what I’ve been seeing is an outlier to the true new meta. For now I’m going to focus on some of the jacks/beasts that have stood out to me for better or worse.

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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?

Jacking Up Cryx Part 1: Objective & Options

So I have failed many times to own a Hordes army.  While I love the idea of an army comprised mainly of beasts, something about the Hordes offerings just never stuck with me.  I have owned (and subsequently sold) Circle Orboros, Legion, and Skorne.  My Warmachine armies though, haven’t failed me.  I play Cryx, Protectorate, and Mercs.  Still, I have a hungering for an army of mostly metal monstrosities.  While I can satisfy this at times, I have decided I really want to attempt refocusing my army construction on going jack-heavy, and I have decided I want to attempt this with Cryx.  Yeah, Protectorate may be the obvious choice, but Mortenebra has taught me the joys of a horde of Cryxian jacks.

So, in this first installment, I wanted to list all of the models that somehow can contribute to this goal.  What I am looking for is focus or psuedo-focus.  For example, Warwitch sirens directly contribute focus to warjacks, whereas a skarlock thrall, while useful in putting more of a warcasters focus into warjacks, cannot directly add focus or efficiency to warjacks.  That doesn’t mean a skarlock isn’t a good inclusion, just that it is of a different nature.  So, here is my list:

  • Warwitch Siren (directly contribues focus via power booster)
  • Iron Lich Overseer (contributes focus equivalency via Jack Marshall and Soul Matrix)
  • Aiakos, Scourge of the Meredius (as a Novice Warcasters, brings four focus directly to the table)
  • Scavenger (Finishes approximates boosting)
  • Desecrator (Accumulates focus near bane models)
  • Harrower (Soul Collector makes souls act just focus)
  • Seether (charges/runs for free, and gets one free focus, just for being awesome)
  • Deathjack (Skulls of Hate and souls = lots of focus)
  • Malice (also uses souls like focus, and starts with one for free)
  • Kraken (corpose tokens can be traded in for focus)

And while any warcaster is an obvious source of power for warjacks, some just stand above the rest in Cryx:

  • Mortenebra (THE jack casters.  Terminal Velocity equals boatloads of focus equivalency)
  • Skarre, Queen of the Broken Coast (Seas of Fate, while not directly focus, sure helps with efficiency)
  • Witch Coven of Garlghast (9 focus, Infernal Machine, and the ability to cycle like crazy)

So these are the models that will comprise the core of my jack-heavy lists.  Some of these things have never struck me as good models (Overseers, Desecrators…) but perhaps they will find a place in this kind of initiative.  In the 2nd part of this series, I will focus on figuring out which models are worth inclusion and which are not, and start building some lists.

Let me know if you have any good thoughts on models I should/shouldn’t focus on!


My Thoughts on the Armies: Cryx


There’s a reason they’re know as “The Nightmare Empire”, they can be an absolute nightmare to face at times. They just do a lot of things well. They can go with the glass cannon approach and hit like a ton of bricks. They can bring masses of infantry that can bolster themselves through respawn mechanics and wear you down through attrition. Several casters can shut down your army through debuff spells and feats. They have some of the most powerful casters in the game with some amazing feats. Their weaknesses would probably be low armor and a less than dominant ranged game. They won’t be going toe to toe with a Khadoran jack and trading blows(unless they are able to stack some of their crazy good debuffs) and they probably won’t beat you with a gun line. This doesn’t mean that they don’t have any good ranged options because they do, just that they probably won’t center an army around that strategy.

Some people feel that Cryx has a few too many abilities and their casters are broken. I agree that they have some very good ones but they are all beatable. They just might give their army a little more room for error than some other factions. I like to call them the “Tryx” faction because outside of Legion, I don’t think any other faction has more ways to ignore game rules.

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New Errata: July 15th 2013

So, Privateer Press has released a new errata document today.  Amidst the usual wordsmithing and slight changes (getting the world ‘huge’ added to lots of rules, for example) there were two very significant changes:

  1. Gaspy2 has had his feat nerfed yet again.  Now he can only return grunts with the feat, so no more Tartarus, Blood Hag, Bane Thrall Officer, etc.
  2. Taryn di la Rovissi’s Shadow fire ability no longer applies to just friendly faction models.  Now Cygnar and protectorate players can remove screening models with her.

I think these are both solid changes.  Gaspy2 was still continuing to win far more than his fair share of tournaments, and Taryn almost never saw play outside of Mercenaries.  I really think both of these changes are good for the game (and I am even a Cryx player).

What do you think?

My Favorite Assassination Ever

I have had many enjoyable turn of events in my time playing Warmachine, but I think last night may take the cake in terms of my favorite win of all time.  I was playing a Gaspy3 list against his Mercenaries; I was trying out the tier list packed with souls:

  • Gaspy3
  • Kraken
  • Malice
  • Cankerworm
  • 10 McThralls
  • Necrosurgeon & stich thralls
  • 2x pistol wraith
  • Withershadow Combine
  • 2 free necrotechs and scrap thralls
  • Warwitch siren
  • machine wraith

The tier gave me 3 free corpse soul tokens, which I put on the Kraken and both pistol wraiths.  I also got +2 inches of deployment and the free necrotechs.  My opponent was running a galleon and blobs of pirates…

The game went predictably:  the Malice/Withershadow combo made me two free bonejacks, the McThralls were chewed to bits by endless pirate attacks, 1 pistol wraith did squat will the other death chilled galleon.  The endgame neared when I sent my Kraken to kill Bart during his feat turn.  Thankfully the colossal was immune to knockdown, but due to the -3 to hit (plus the wall Bart hid behind) I fell about 4 damage short of killing him.

My opponent used the next turn to finish the kraken off with the galleon – and moved way ahead on scenario points.  When he handed the turn back to me, Bart was across the table from pretty much everything, behind that wall again.  At first, I could see no way to put the last four damage on him at all.

Until I remembered how awesome the Cankerworm is.  I started by allocating him 3 focus.  Then I had Gaspy go and cast mobility to give the worm +2 inches of speed.  Next, the withershadow combine moved near the galleon and used disbinding to put 2 more points of damage on Bart from 20+ inches away.  Finally, the Cankerworm walked away from the 4 pirates engaging him (go parry!), walked across the kraken’s wreck to B2B, spent one focus to adapt the Doom Driver, and then fired the newly acquired weapon against Bart, who now had no wall intervening.  The boosted attack and damage rolls sent the pirate to his maker.  I can just imagine the pirate’s thoughts as he watched the worm slither over the gigantic wreckage, pluck up the insanely long weapon, and lob a shot off at him with it.  Priceless.

Even my opponent had to applaud the originality of this assassination.  Adapt is one of those abilities I rarely get to use to any meaningful effect, but in this case, it was literally the only thing that won me that game.  Just another example of what keeps me playing.

Tips and Tricks for the New Warmachine & Hordes Player: Painting Edition 4

I have continued to paint up my Satyxis raiders.  This week I continued to do a little more work on the face and other skin portions of the models.  I have been working on the process of two brush blending to make the accents in the flesh more gradual.  Now that I had the basic flesh done I continued onto the block painting for the other regions of the model.

Painting Order

  1. For the leather regions on her armor I started with Cryx Bane Base.  I didn’t think the Thrallmar Black would look quite natural enough.
  2. I also used this for the base region of the chain mail.
  3. I based the metal regions and the chain weapon in Gun Metal from Army Painter.
  4. Her cloak has been based in Beaten Purple.
  5. The Horns were based in a deep rich brown
  6. For now the Hair was based in a deep grey so I can try to make her hair a more silver.

Painting the Face of the Satyxis Raider

Apologies for the blurry image this week, being sick and shaky hands made this a little harder, but as you can see her umm female accents turned out quite nicely.

I was surprised that the Cryx Bane Base made a better initial base than the Thrallmar Black.  But I guess that true black doesn’t exist in nature so it makes a little more sense.  That also helps keep the theme of the entire army together.

I also used this as the base of the chainmail.  I really don’t care for drybrushing.  It isn’t something that I am very good at yet, but it is a lot easier than individually painting all the links of the chain.  So that will happen this next week.

The Gun Metal was a nice deep silver colour.  It will let me do a few other shades of silver later to bring up the tone.

Using Beaten Purple for the cloak should help bring a richness to the cloak.  I will actually be doing the highlighting in more of a red tone to create a more drastic difference between the deepest and highest points in the cloak.

The Horns are the deep brown and I will be using some of my flesh tones later to lighten up the horns layer by layer.

Next week I will be moving from the basing to the detailing on the legs, chain and finally the cloak.