-By: Matt L.
“Your claim to power is meaningless. There is only servitude or annihilation. Make your choice.”
~ Emissary of Lord Toruk to the fourteen pirate kings of the Scharde Isles
The Cryxian empire was founded by the Dragon Father, Lord Toruk, the first of the dragons who, out of desire to create a brood to serve him, cut slivers of his ‘Athanc’ or heart stone, giving rise to the lesser dragons. These weaker dragons essence was too pure though, and refused to humble themselves into servitude and turned on their creator.
Thus began a war of dragons. After many fell to our Lord, his progeny put aside their petty sibling rivalries and began to work together, and they fought to a stale mate. It was then that Toruk descended upon the Scharde Isles and built himself an empire where he shapes the world to his will through life and death itself.
Cryx is kind of a glass cannon, meaning that they can hit hard, but if they don’t kill what they went after, there is a high chance they will be cut down because of it. They live for the alpha strike, and live more for crippling your enemy’s weakness than strengthening their own.
The two faces of Cryx
Before going over the different area like casters and units, I want to elaborate on the fact that Cryx isn’t just the “undead faction”. In Cryx you have two sides to consider what you want to do with.
With Living Cryx each model has a main function, and they do it well, but they still need the support of your caster to truly be great. They have some synergy, but usually it is only between their own types of models.
Undead cryx makes up a little over half of the factions warrior models, even in regards to our warcasters. There is a bit more synergy available, but most of the undead have a way of swelling your army mid-game.
The warcasters of Cryx are truly varied in their skills and abilities. The majority of them, one way or another, focus on getting their models up the board unhindered while also trying to get their debuff spells out early.
The main front line casters for the faction are Lich Lord Terminus and Lich Lord Venethrax. They thrive best destroying enemy models around them. Goreshade also does well at being in the front lines, but he also doesn’t mind resting in the middle lines waiting his turn.
We have quite a few middle line casters, who prefer to wait until your opponent’s army is mostly dead. Skarre, Asphyxious, Sturgis and Aiakos are good examples of this. They get close, but still wait too directly engage.
Lastly, you have your back line casters, who want to stay back and only engage as a last option. Deneghra, Scavereous, The Coven and Mortenebra1 are prime examples of this. They are much happier being far from the fight, slinging spells from their arcnodes from afar. Don’t let your guard down though, just because they avoid the physical fight, they are more than capable of killing your enemy.
Bonejacks and Helljacks
The Warjacks of Cryx
Bonejacks are our light warjacks, there are three chassis for bonejacks. The Deathripper chassis is your standard bonejack, bringing a mix of possible ranged or melee jacks. The Deathripper chassis are move quickly (SPD 7), and come with arcnodes, capable being used to channel spells while your caster rests in back. This chassis comes as Deathrippers and Ripjaws for melee, or Defillers and Nightwretches for your ranged needs.
Next is the Helldiver Chassis. This comes as Helldivers and and Stalkers, which are both strong contenders for the ambush game. Helldivers can start the game burrowed underground, and can choose to move the special marker it comes with instead of surfacing to strike, and can’t be attacked while burrowed. Afterward the Helldiver can still dig in to gain cover and immunity to blast damage. Your Stalker is my personal favorite of the bonejacks, it is stealthy, can leap up the board, and can ignore spell effects that aid the target’s DEF and ARM.
Next is the fliers, the Scavenger Chassis, which brings you the Scavenger and the Shriek. Scavengers are your big damage dealers, if their target already has damage; it gets to do an extra damage die on attacks, as well as healing if it destroys an enemy construct. The Shriek is one of two medium-based models that are allowed to preform tramples, and is good at taking out light infantry.
There is also the Cankerworm, Asphyxious’s character ‘jack. It is its own custom chassis, and is brutal against enemy constructs.
Helljacks are your Heavy warjacks, and come in both the Slayer Chassis and the Harrower Chassis.
The Slayer Chassis comes with Slayers, Seethers, Reapers, Inflictors, and Corrupters as well as multiple character jacks that We will cover a little more indepth in another entry. They are pretty quick for heavies, moving at SPD 6, are harder to hit than most, but also lighter on armor.
Slayers, and their angrier cousins the Seethers, are melee only, but do their job well with two deathclaws and tusks. Reapers have a harpoon gun, which they can use to drag enemies closer to rip things to shred in melee. Corrupters are an odd creation, which comes with attack types, each of which does interesting things to living models. Inflictors are our first jack with a shield, and that is a fun little thing to fool around with.
The Harrower Chassis is my preference and it is sometimes referred to as a crabjack as it has four legs and is both amphibious and steady, meaning it ignores water terrain movement penalties while gaining a benefit for being completely within water, as well as not being able to be knocked down. This chassis comes as either a Harrower, Leviathan, or Desecrator. The Leviathan comes with a spiker cannon which does more damage the larger size base it is shooting, and a simple open fisted claw. The Harrower can steal souls, and use them to allow its gun to ignore line of sight for its targets, and it also has thresher on its melee weapon. The Desecrator is to banes what a Stormclad is to storm knights, if it starts within 3” of a Bane model, it gains a free focus point, its gun creates a temporary hazard on the field, and its melee weapon has the potential to get a lot of free attacks.
Admittedly, I have little to no experience on the colossals at this time, but will be looking at them more in depth for another article later.
There are all sorts of options in the units section, so we’re going to cover the undead by title, and the living by race. Many units have Unit Attachments that make the unit as a whole stronger.
So let us start with Banes, and there are three forms of Bane Units, all of which come with Ghostly, which allows them to move through terrain unhindered. The Bane Riders are heavy Cav, the leader can curse a target so that they are easier to hit for the Unit, and they all have Brutal Charge. The Bane Knights have two inch reach, Brutal Charge and Vengeance. Bane Warriors have Dark Shroud and Weapon Master. Bane Lord Tartarus can curse enemy models, giving all banes a better chance to hit, and has the ability to grow the ranks of all small based bane units.
Mechanithralls are the easiest unit to grow larger. They have combine strike and really are primarily used to slow down enemy advancement. Necro-Surgeons can add to the Mechanithrall units, as well as heal our warrior models.
Bile Thralls are small-based abominations that spew toxic chemicals stored in their bodies. They can also purge, auto hitting any model caught underneath the spray.
The Revenant Crew are a a frustrating lot, as every turn that they are missing some, they are permitted to raise d3 back from the dead, they truly are the cursed lot of the Black Pearl, only staying dead if you successfully remove the whole unit. Then there is Black Bane’s ghost raiders, they create fire with their swords and can add models to their unit. There is also the Cannon Crew that can add to the Revenant Crew’s ranks. A solo, Captain Rengrave, who makes revenant models hit easier, and adds to the Revenant Crew if he kills a warrior model.
Soulhunters are Centaurs, they can take souls, they can use those souls to strengthen attacks, or to go incorporeal for a turn. They also have Life Drinker on their sickles.
Carrion Thralls, undead birds that have combined melee attacks with flight, as well as stealth while gaining concealment and gets more damage dice against models already damaged.
Bloodgorgers are Blighted Trollkin, affected by the powerful mutagenic aura all dragons have. They, like all trollkin, are tough. They are highly bloodthirsty and have an armor bump while engaged with other models. General Slaiughterborn pushes his men into a blood frenzy, giving them Berserk.
When you think Satyxis, think of Amazonian women with horns and more of a blood lust. There are three main units to Satyxis, the first are the Satyxis Raiders. These women are Pirates; they fight with whips and are able to send feedback to enemy warcasters if they damage a warjack that is part of a battle group. After that came the Blood Witches, these women have learned the art of blood magic and channel it into every attack against living models. The newest to arrive on the scene are the Gunslingers, these girls have learned to channel their magic into their guns the same way Cygnaran gun mages do so. One should also note the Raider Sea Witch and the Raider Captain. The Sea Witch makes the unit deadlier, and the Captain keeps them from being knocked down.
Last, but not least, are the Black Ogrun Boarding Party. Like Ogrun, they are loyal and strong, unlike their cousins, Black Ogrun are more bloodthirsty. They have harpoons that can be used to drag an enemy model into melee with them, and can combined their ranged attacks to help guarantee catching a model. They are also Tough.
Cephalyx Mind Slaver and Dredges, as well as Overlords, have been known for teaming up with Cryx on occasion, and count as Cryx models in a Cryxian list. Their big thing is, you guessed it again, increasing their ranks.
There are a nice selection of solos for Cryx as well. The first I’ll discuss are my favorite, the Warwitch Sirens. These lovely ladies can Shadowbind with a successful hit with her sword. She’s also able to cast spells; Empower allows her to give a focus to a faction warjack, Venom can spray enemies with a corrosive toxin, and she can convince her enemies to fight on her behalf with her Seduction spell. There are a few other solos that can cast spells, The Skarlock Thrall for example attaches to your Warcaster, and can cast select spells from their spell list.
Necrotechs are fun; they can repair jacks, or spawn scrap thralls, which explode in your enemy’s faces to kill them. The Machine Wraiths aren’t really good at doing things, but they can “infect” an enemy’s warjack’s cortex, causing it to turn on its allies temporarily.
Pistol Wraiths are masters of their guns, and are capable of stunning enemies they don’t kill if they hit the same target with their initial attacks. There is a new Character Pistol Wraith, who can augment their attacks with special effects, called the Hellsinger Phantom.
Bloat Thralls are like Bile Thralls on steroids, they don’t purge themselves, but when they die they explode causing corrosion on all models caught in the blast. Bloat Thrall Mobius gives regular Bloat Thralls new tricks and tactics, improving their abilities.
The Iron lich Overseer is a decent Jack Marshal Solo, who ca n also steal souls and can give himself stealth, also applying it to a warjack he controls as long as they are base to base.
Darragh Wrathe is a fun Cav Solo, a Dragoon who his first time being boxed kills his horse sadly. He is a battle wizard, meaning if he kills an enemy model with a melee attack, he may cast a spell. He also can buff allies speed or debuff an enemies models damage rolls.
The Withershadow Combine are another Warlock attachment, but are also unit of powerful spell casters.
I do hope this has given you a decent insight into the faction. My main suggestion is to try what looks fun to you, dear readers, and see what fits your play style.