LIST FOCUS – Infernal Machines

Here I am again for another exciting edition of LIST FOCUS
“That thing I made up a week ago as an excuse to post a bunch of junky lists.”

Today we are talking about Cryx and their newly spoiled theme Infernal Machines. First I want to say one thing: I LOVE CRYX. I own every faction and upon entering MK3 I had no intention of playing Cryx. As the meta became defined and people started to dislike them I felt energized to prove them wrong. Currently it is my favorite faction to play as it provides endless creativity and surprises on the table. There are so many untested ideas in this faction and I am excited to explore what is essentially uncharted (salt) waters.

The Theme: The initial benefit of the theme is how inclusive it is. So many strong models are available that if you inspect your current lists in war room you may find some already qualify (just remove the ragman.) Hyper aggressive on warjacks is a welcome addition. While it can often be useless or even detrimental you can get some strong plays out of this ability. The best jack for this ability is the Inflictor. Shield guard allows you to hyper aggressive without an enemies consent and depending on their target this could screw up all kinds of plans. While enemies will rarely give you an easy kill from a forgotten hyper aggressive move it is always an option. Other effective uses include stealth warjacks where a unit of idrians may land one shot only to find themselves engaged by the stalker. I also found it cute on 3Gaspy when a Centurion tried to kill a Slayer with reach and was engaged after the first hit. Slayer still died despite his unyielding but what a sweet trick! It’ll take some practice but I foresee this ability  providing extra leverage against combined arms enemies. A good example would be a Khador list with a Behemoth supporting it. A few stray shots get caught by inflictors and you may get some free advances when he’s not expecting it. Next benefit is ambush thralls. A min squad with triple brutes is about as far as I’d go, with a nice Machine wraith move, Telekinesis, hell mouth or Abyssal Gate I could see those brutes getting some serious damage on a heavy. The free stuff of course, is an added boon. I wouldn’t go out of your way trying to save 4 points if it’s not in the best interest of the army but I’ve found it’s super easy to get one free model and not much harder to grab second. So many models apply to the free points!

Aikos2: (Conflict chamber would not let me add Machine wraiths – so this list is 3 Machine wraiths short.) My theory with Aikos is to alpha and then control. The alpha is generated by Aikos feat and the excellent threat ranges of his battlegroup. The control is generated by stranglehold, white squall and machine wraiths. By positioning enemy models with these effects you could hit the front line and then deny the second line from reacting. It may be trying to many things at once but I’d like to give it some play time and I wanted to show Kharybdis in a couple of lists just for fun. While I’d probably start with the brutes in play and use them as shield guards an ambushing squad + carnage could really put the hurt on an enemy’s flank. With Aikos ability to re-position himself quickly this could make for an interesting strategy. Is he competitive? I’ll let you know soon. Also consider Malice if you’re less interested in mat 10 stalkers with 16” threat.

Deneghra2: Few casters have fallen so far from greatness. Can 2Denny find redemption in her newest theme list?! We may never know! This army is designed to play to her entire set of skills. In the past I’ve ignored her feat, but with the free points it may be possible for an army to make use of her feat. We have accurate pistol wraiths to enable her feat and a nice innacurate bloat thrall to drop an aoe feat effect into unsuspecting enemies. The mech thralls are far more effective when debuffs are present and they’re also very good models for hell mouth. Keep an eye on the command range as you CANNOT target your own models while they’re out of command. The big trick to any 2Denny army is double hell mouth. Hell mouth is one of the best spells in the game and the threat ranges can become unpredictable as the game grinds on or Denny starts getting some souls. I’d suggest dropping one of the 4 point pieces for a couple of soul trappers and a mechanic but this list shows the general strategy. Attrition the enemy – even if that means the majority of your army gets blown to shit in one turn. Aggressively hunt for casters and warjacks using hell mouth. Another big part of the list would be pursuit and that makes me think I need a second arc node. Wow I guess I did a bad job assembling this list. Back to the drawing boards. Just remember – don’t be a hero with your death jack. Hide behind buildings; he’s a late game piece and is primarily there to cast hell mouth. Is she competitive? Hell mouth is (one of) THE BEST spell(s) in the game.

Goreshade2: One of my favorites. This warcaster pretends to be a big doofus with his spam and jam feat. Yet he’s actually quite tricky. Abyssal gate, mirage and solid threat ranges make for a fast army that can threaten unpredictable distances with abstract angles. If you have the misfortune of being shot off the table feat to place models into enemies faces. The basic idea is to secure the enemy’s side of the table and then hold them in place. If that results in you dominating to victory then by all means…

Scaverous: For starters I wanted to say this kind of list can be better served by journeyman Aikos running double stalker and cheaper jacks on the iron liches. For example, two iron liches with scavengers is pretty cool and makes for a more expendable dark shroud. But I wanted to showcase Kharybdis one more time. In this case he’s a heavy bullet with 16” threat. This is a shock and awe army hoping to show up strong with the warjacks picking out key targets and passing turn to a diminished enemy that (hopefully) doesn’t have enough to react. Versus an enemy fielding heavy spam it would require more finesse but the general goal is there. Again, the ambushing thrall squad plays a roll with a TK caster capable of presenting easy kills for the brutes. Don’t hesitate to assassinate a caster if it fails to respect telekinesis.
(note: 4-12-17 it was ruled that Journeyman Aikos can not take Kharybdis in theme. I still like them as a duo but it is NOT legal in theme. Sorry!)

Skarre1: The love of my life is back with a swarm of light jacks. I’ve written many versions of this list so far and it’s possible that an iron lich scavenger combo may be required for the dark shroud. The stalker spam Skarre list has been out in the world for a while and it just so happens to fit perfectly into this theme. In a fitting nod to Mark1 Skarre I’ve included Soulhunters. It’s not just nostalgic – Skarre can fix every stat but speed and pathfinder. So having fast models models with pathfinder has always been her thing. Fix the only stats that PSkarre can’t and you’ll have all the basic ingredients of an effective army. Good on PP for including these unique pieces in a single theme for Skarre to murder people with.

Skarre2: A goofy attempt at a Cryxian gun-line. The theme rewards free points for bloat thralls and mine rarely see play so I thought I’d put them to use. Unfortunately black spot can not be on everywhere and that’s what the list wants. The army attempts to jab at the enemy while not giving them any great targets. Death warded kraken holds the middle with support from the bloats and Darragh. When the enemy forces an engagement Skarre2 feats and digs out of melee. Every time I read Skarre2 I see a good army waiting to happen.  I think she is best served out of theme or running Ghost Fleet but there may be a list in this theme that benefits her. I’m also pretty fond of hyper aggressive when your models will only be hit a few times per turn (feat turn). A heavy could really punish an enemy for landing a single low percentage shot only to find that heavy in the middle of their army but still unkillable.

Terminus: Mark1 Termy is back! He’s here with all the stupid thralls to roll tough (or not.) Termy has retained a floor of how bad he can be. He’s a weird guy in that he likes fighting warjacks and he likes fighting infantry swarms. A complete Khador brick is probably too much for him but anything short of that gives him targets for days. Plus a warjack spam isn’t fond of fighting a bunch of tough rolling goobers. The name of the game is attrition. The longer the game continues and the less models the enemy has means the less models that can stop Terminus. Is it competitive? Yes, the meta is actually quite open for Terminus right now as he dispatches heavy targets while remaining relatively safe. Avoid the jack spams and invite the balanced lists to dinner.

Venethrax: The initial excitement here is the hyper aggressive added to counter charge. It seems legit to give your enemy more things to worry about. You almost have Zadesh2 levels of out-of-turn actions. It seems so great, but is it? The list I’ve chosen is almost entirely geared to fighting Hordes (specifically Circle, which I hate more than anything.) It may need Darragh as an armor buff but for now I’ve decided an extra jack is preferential. The list may be better under, 3Gaspy who is quite an exciting prospect and can better deflect a Circle alpha. I have a lot of personal beef with Venny and his lack of focus efficiency. Watch out for Woldwyrds if you’re upkeeping lamentation. I hate Venny but atleast I got sweet carrion thralls to make into smoke clouds!

I’m still experimenting with the format of this LIST FOCUS series. So you may notice that each individual caster entry doesn’t say much about the theme itself and I’ll address that here. Hyper aggressive as stated in the foreword is a quiet ability. As such there is no serious synergy with any of the casters. Things like stealthed Nightmare or unyielding Barathrum could find little niche uses with it but for the most part it’s an ability your enemy has to respect and you have to respect. It’s never smart to hyper aggro full speed into an enemy gunline that’s not in range. I know this sounds obvious but I’ve seen it happen. Don’t hyper aggressive out of cover or concealment if a bunch of shots are still coming… It will take some time to master it completely but moving models on your enemies turn sounds awesome. Closing words on this theme are simple: this theme has game and I for one am crazy excited for it. Right now in my War room I have 24 lists made  in theme and I’m not slowing down.

2 thoughts on “LIST FOCUS – Infernal Machines

  1. I definitely like this tier with Terminus and Gaspy3. Helps their jacks close into battle where their combat buffs might come into play. Love the Hellslinger wraith, he kicks ass.

    The min McThrall + 3 Brute Thralls module for 12 points is questionably useful. The poor stats, really. McThralls require a lot more support to do well; compared to another 12-pt unit like Press Gangers. Not as good as the Blackbanes, Bane Warriors, Raiders, etc, but at least its playable.


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