Cryx or Convergence, choose one, choose wisely.

I’m one of those players who can’t seem to find a faction that clicks 100%.

Is this a bad thing? Who knows, however I am certain it isn’t a very good thing.

I currently own 4 factions, Retribution, Cryx, Convergence and Legion. (There’s also a Circle bbox on my shelves but that’s for PG purposes ^^)

Retribution was my starting faction, and in hindsight it wasn’t a good place to start from. I love the look and fluff side of them elves, I just don’t like where they take me on the tabletop. I am sure I’ll put them on the table again some time, however not for any events, just for a quick game or to help others test their list against a retribution setup.

Legion, well there’s an interesting faction… I had the brilliant idea to start playing some hordes just to get some insider info on how hordes plays. And ofc if I liked it I wouldn’t be against staying on, the horde side of things. In the end it just didn’t appeal as much to me as it seemed and I pulled the plug early before investing too much into the faction. By no means do I think hordes isn’t just as fun / good as warmachine, I just like playing machines and focus more than bests and fury. Personal choice really.

Cryx, I love them for what they can do, I partially like the whole nightmare empire theme. What I don’t really like is how much of what the faction can bring isn’t really a play-worthy option in the current meta.

There’s an ongoing discussion on the Cryx forum atm regarding what Cryx fears on the tabletop (find it here), it pretty much comes down to high def, lists with lots of shooting,pHaley.

The main problem for Cryx these days is that pretty much every faction has easy answers to them, while Cryx doesn’t have good answers to counter those options. Khador lists with Winterguard sitting at Def 17 and Joe to make them sure to hit, add in an old witch feat and it gets really hard, not impossible, but really hard.

As a newer player in general (just over 2 years of playing once every week), and the newest player in my meta, I think playing Cryx is actually not as easy as compared to playing more players on equal skill level. Our meta is also more competitive when it comes to list building, and as such the anti-Cryx list is a frequent flyer for all players.

I do notice a positive side to it all, when I go to a regular steam roller and get matched to players who are in my skill bracket, I am able to pull off a win because they simply don’t get the same amount of work done with models that on a regular game night would cripple my list and send it home.

In the long run ofc since a ranged Khador list cleans up infantry swarm on turn 2, and leaves nothing to really respond with, I don’t get to learn much except for, “you stepped over the AD line, big mistake”

I want to try a Goreshade 3 list really bad, but I can’t think of an anti-Cryx list in my meta that doesn’t have easy answers to incorporeal.

I’m taking Cryx to the masters in The Netherlands in September, and I keep losing myself in which caster to bring and which list to build. Currently I am looking at Ghaspy3, eDenny and eSkarre. I just played a few games with Mortenebra and I really liked her. Plus as stated before I’m dying to try out 3Shade. So lots of back and forth thinking there.

Last but not least Convergence. I picked up the faction when the release dates for the 2nd vector chassis and enigma foundry were known and I own all models now. (Still need a 2nd unit of Optifex directive and an Enigma Foundry)

This is by far the most appealing faction to me; I simply love how all the models look. After the Masters I am going to give them a run again, the first attempt was rather sad, not having much of a knowledge base on the faction was a big hindrance.

Now with players making it to the top in events and more lists / play styles becoming known, it is less complex to start at the bottom of the faction learning curve. I also know to side step the trap called “Iron Mother”. At first I liked her and I really wanted to make her work, but it just didn’t. I am inclined to join Will Pagani’s train of thought that she is the lowest ranking caster in the faction joined by Axis.

While thinking of convergence I start doubting if I shouldn’t just get it over with and start playing them again now, and take them to masters instead. I don’t see my chances improving much either way. Model stats and spell lists are still not known by heart for Cryx so not much of a difference if I have to get used to the convergence spells and stats.

So the internal debate I will be having with myself until Friday’s game night will be “Cryx or Convergence, choose one, choose wisely.”

Goreshade3:

Or 3shade or… he has been given quite a few names since he was spoiled.

I went from “this has potential” pre-release, to meh better things out there, and now I have landed on “this could be really fun and effective at the same time”.

I feel like I’m starting a trend of reading a post by Sanctjud on the cryx forums and really wanting to try stuff out after, first he got me hooked on playing 30 bane knights, and now this has some great potential aswell.

So first the basics / sources.

Tom Guan, who is one of the bigger cryx tournament players took a list to masters and he actually has quite the amount of batreps on it here.

Sanctjud, the local whizkid around the Cryx forums, when it comes to finding amazing combos and devious setups, has been thinking on how to go “surprise turn 2 purge” with biles and 3shade, read about that here.

Now the main potential within this caster is the assassination run, and more so how he gets it to work. In general an assassination attempt is rather straight forward or at least avoidable. With this fella, parts of his assassination aren’t even on the board during the opposing players turn.

The simple idea is to have the following models: Goreshade, a unit of bane thralls and a scralock thrall. And ofc something that can punch really hard. Another requirement is that 2 banes have already died prior to the assassination run.

Goreshade moves into position, casts mockery of life 2 times, to bring back 2 banes. He then pops his feat and chooses one of the banes. This makes the target stationary and within melee of the other bane. Meaning, the target is now auto hit for melee and has -2 ARM.

In most situations this would be it then for 3shade’s activation, as the remaining focus would have been allocated to the heavy hitter, that will be sent in to finish the job. The scarlock casts scyting touch for free and hop instant machine of death.

There are variations to this however. Most lists bring a kraken, because why wouldn’t you with gshade. The kraken could be loaded up with corpse tokens, and then the question becomes, turn those tokens into focus or not…

Depending on the situation if Gshade doesn’t allocate 2 of his 3 remaining focus to the kraken, he himself would be able to fling Siphon bolt 2 times, meaning 2 less armor for a warcaster, BUT 2 transfers gone for a warlock. Also the pow of Siphon bolt has some potential if the target isn’t sporting too much ARM.

All-in-all I see some major potential and it feels like the bile approach would be really sweet for early game. I’ll have quite a few games on friday, so I’m going to playtest this.

If all goes well 3 shade will replace pDenny for the masters in September.

 

Mc Thralls: the full option package

Having never really played Mc Thralls before since one of my first journeyman leagues, I hadn’t touched my Mc Thralls in ages.

The first batch I ever painted was part of the first models I painted in my life and needless to say it looked horrible.

The below picture is a group shot of all the entire gang, 1 full unit, 2 min units, 2 necrosurgeons, 1 brute and a Scarlock Commander. The group is still missing 2 Brutes.

The models with the gold front arcs are the old one’s.

the were previously just basecoated, not washed, so with some washes I made them look somewhat more tabletop quality level.

The rest were painted up in my army’s scheme.

For the necrosurgeon, I tried to make it look a bit more bloody.

Next on the painting table will be either my 3rd and last unit of Bane Knights or an assortment of solos.

 

 

 

 

 

Asphixious3: first impressions

 

Asphixious3, or the caster I until recently didn’t even consider for tournament lists, and boy was I wrong in doing so.

My list building started on a Friday evening, after the weekly games of warmachine had ended, and the other players and I were having a discussion on which casters to bring in 3 list formats (50pts).

I already gave a quick overview on which casters I chose and why in my previous update. For Asphixious, the choice was less evident and only happened because it was pointed out to me that this caster might be a good idea.

 

My current list after an initial tweak looks like this:

System: Warmachine
Faction: Cryx
Casters: 1/1
Points: 50/50
Asphyxious the Hellbringer (*4pts)

Vorciferon(0pts)
* Stalker (4pts)
* Stalker (4pts)
Bane Thralls (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
* Bane Thrall Officer & Standard (3pts)
Mechanithralls (Leader and 9 Grunts) (5pts)

*Scarlock Commander(1pts)
* 3 Brute Thrall (3pts)
Necrosurgeon & 3 Stitch Thralls (2pts)
Necrosurgeon & 3 Stitch Thralls (2pts)
Satyxis Blood Witches (Leader and 5 Grunts) (4pts)
* Satyxis Blood Hag (2pts)
Satyxis Raiders (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
* Satyxis Raider Sea Witch (2pts)
Aiakos, Scourge of Meredius (3pts)
Machine Wraith (1pts)
Satyxis Raider Captain (2pts)

 

 

Asphyxious can pretty much make any model work, as he hands out buffs like candy, when it comes to either hitting or damaging. The tricky part is keeping him out of harm’s way while he’s leaning on just 2 focus.

The basic set up at deployment (when going first)

Witches in the center, bane thralls to the left, mctralls to the right.

Vociferon on the front line, Asphixious behind the witches.

The stalkers go on the far right and left for flanking goodness. The machine wraith is either set up so he can easily contest somewhere or so he can reach a warjack when the opportunity presents itself. Aiakios is placed centrally close to Asphixious.

The necro surgeons and stitch thralls are mixed in with the mc thralls and bane thralls (in front so they can move up fast.

The advanced deployment depends on the opponent’s deployment, however the raiders are always deployed in a single line so all can get up field as much as possible. The captain flanks the raiders on either side, out of habit I tend to choose the right side.

When going second (as I often do, not by choice):

This list has no real down side when you have to go second. Deployment doesn’t have to be different from the going first version, and as second player you can always reshape your deployment to respond to the other player’s set-up.

The same applies to how the first turn progresses. Stalkers each get a focus. Raider captain gives the raiders desperate pace. Raiders run and engage or if you are going second, raiders charge. Vociferon runs and ends up about 6 inches from the furthest back raider model. During Asphixious’ activation, the raiders get Ashen veil and he also casts mobility. The stalkers just run 16” and move up on each flank.

Aside from this every other model just runs and gets in place for the following turns. The locations they run to obviously depend on the scenario.

So far my games have shown that this list attritions like gold. The first wave of raiders, makes sure the opposing army can’t really get far up field, adding ashen veil makes them pretty hard to remove. Then there’s the second wave of blood witches, with their mini feat, and ofc ashen veil. And finally bane thralls and mc thralls. The bane thralls are also fun when ashen veil is applied on top of their stealth and tough / dead rise.

The tricky part is getting Asphixious’ hands dirty. Blood boon is nice considering you want to have carnage and scything touch active when you commit a unit, so you can make sure they’ll hit AND hurt their target. Ofc this also means Asphixious needs to be in melee with a model and kill it in order to activate blood boon.

Ashen veil, Carnage and scything touch can all be cast on the same turn, however it would leave you with 0 focus and no focus for the stalkers.

There’s ways to make it more efficient, blood boon is one element, soul collection with either asphixious himself or Vorciferon are also valid. Vorciferon does have a tendency to die pretty fast when he gets too close to any real action. Sure he gains armor and as such survivability, for each soul he has on him, however killing him when he’s full (3), means depriving Asphixious of 3 focus the turn after, thus making the little arcnode that could a much more interesting target.

The feat can ofc be set up in such a way that it allows you to be in a less ideal position, and still come out on top, while also making the next turn one with more than ample focus. The tricky part, well, the healing is nice however when a jack decides to charge and boost to hit, that’s 2 heals that don’t have any effect when you are on full health. “But it generates soul tokens” yes and when the caster is dead next turn…yea right.

So not as effective in any situation as you would like it to be. In short, even when feating, camp something or learn to live with the possibility of being utterly destroyed. One a beast/warjack has to start buying extra attacks (and hopefully boosts hit and dmg) you will most likely have suffered some damage from the charge attack, and then the heals have some use. I say some because you heal d3 and that could be 3 or 1, and with 3 focus spent it could be 9 or 3. While 9 could mean the next attack doesn’t even damage for the amount it healed you, and 3 could be less than a small bump in the road towards caster retirement.

This is not negativity, rather realism, I am notorious for rolling bad when it counts. SO the healing part of the feat (to me) is a nice bonus, but I don’t incorporate it into my plans, as it could backfire in a horrible way. The soul collection part is golden if you manage to survive the crucial feat turn.

I mentioned attrition before, and this list does it rather well, too well even. In a steamroller format, time is a factor. While normally your list plays faster each turn as the amount of models to activate goes down. For this list the number can stay level or even go up with relative ease.

In short you need to have a plan and stick to it or you will end up clocking your opponent to victory.

Killbox is not much of an issue with this caster, if you want to have models in your control for carnage, you need to move up the field. And that makes this one an up close and personal caster.

I haven’t had many situations where I had Asphixious charge a model for bloodboon, so I can’t discuss exactly how viable it is / how he performs in an actual melee situation. The one game he did, he spent 1 focus to charge and boost the roll to hit and killed a living model, allowing him to cast carnage for free. So it does work, the real question is: after 10 games how many times will this have worked or even been an option. So far ¼ of the games.

What I can confirm with certainty is that he is identical to every other cryx caster or even model out there when it comes to pHaley, it’s an auto loss.

Anyhow, Friday is another game night, I will be facing something other than Cygnar (hopefully) and will see some different situations. I may also break out the Edenny+30 banes list, more on that later.