Charnel Flames: 1

I brought Cryx to the club last night, and in the words of Mr. Salad Fingers: It’s almost orgasmic. I decided on going with Venethrax this time, and Kris said it well ‘I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen that model before‘.

No one really plays Venethrax and I’ve always considered him a poor mans Terminus, but I’ve had enough games with Terminus so why not give old Vinnie a chance to prove himself?

I didn’t really have a lot of time to think about the list, so it’s a lot like my Terminus list except with Satyxis Raiders to give me a fast attack option to collect some early souls.

Lich Lord Venethrax
– Malice
Bane Thralls (Leader and 9 Grunts)
– Bane Thrall Officer & Standard
Bile Thralls (Leader and 5 Grunts)
Satyxis Raiders (Leader and 9 Grunts)
– Satyxis Raider Sea Witch
The Withershadow Combine
Bane Lord Tartarus
Darragh Wrathe
Madelyn Corbeau, Ordic Courtesan
Satyxis Raider Captain
Saxon Orrik
Skarlock Thrall

Not at all creative but I thought I was going with pDeneghra until a couple of hours before the actual game. I was facing Peter and his Nemo3 list. I honestly can’t remember the last time I had a really good match-up, but at least I’d find the flaws in my list in the very first game.

Artificier General Nemo
– Stormwall
Storm Strider
Storm Lances (Leader and 4 Grunts)
Storm Tower
Journeyman Warcaster
Major Katherine Laddermore
Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator
Stormsmith Stormcaller
Stormsmith Stormcaller
Stormsmith Stormcaller

His list was also an experiment. The tournament we’re attending in February is character restricted across a three man team and we need to bring two lists each, so that’s six lists total and one of our players went ‘oh I think I’ll bring my Mercenaries‘.

We’re working on him with pliers and blowtorches, but we have to assume the worst and create some lists that will work without the majority of mercenaries. This is why I hate character restrictions, because it makes a lot more sense for me to take one of the top tier casters that do well without mercenaries, instead of bringing something rarely if ever encountered at tournaments (dead horses… I beat them!)

With no Gorman on either side, no Eiryss on his (bwahahahaha!), no A&H on his, and me telling the Mercenary player that he would have to fight me physically for Madelyn Corbeau and Saxon Orrik, it was game on! He won the roll to go first, but had to pick a zone to avoid getting violated by the terrain, so I got to got first.

Deployment: Why did it have to be Colossals!

I’m not sure why he picked that side. When he announced that he would pick a side I was sure he would pick the side closest, but he didn’t. The big guys had to go on first so I placed the Bane Thralls on the left flank so they would have a go at the Stormwall. I placed the Bile Thralls on the right flank because they weren’t going to be doing much this game anyway, and decided I would push for scenario.

I had no shot at tanking this list because his massive lightning spam would annihilate my puny single wound troops, I couldn’t stay back because he vastly out gunned me, and if I moved up to far on the first round he would begin shooting me without really losing anything in the process. It was pretty much a nightmare scenario for my list.

Cryx Turn 1: Eeeeeasy does it.

The white base with a dismounted Darragh Wrathe is Tartarus because he somehow escaped me when I packed for the game in a hurry (sneaky twit!), and the white marker on his side is the Storm Lancer that could have used some more glue!

I did some math and decided to move up 10.5 inches, or 4.5 inches with the Satyxis. This would mean safety from all but Nemo3, and if he shot at my Satyxis Raiders he would need to buy a lot of extra control range and boost to hit, so he wouldn’t get up his defensive upkeeps for a round.

I was counting on him moving into range, shooting a pile of Satyxis, and moving up the big guys to protect him, moving them within range of the remaining Satyxis. Assuming two hits, and four leaps, I would have roughly half the Satyxis Raiders left and that should be enough to seriously damage the machine that didn’t get Arcane Shield from Junior.

I used the Skarlock to put Harvest on the Satyxis and Venethrax pops Dragon Slayer on himself. I was really considering Lamentation, but Nemo3 has the option of casting from outside my control area anyway and I had a feeling Venethrax would need the ARM on the following round.

Cygnar Turn 1: Pew Pew Fizzle!

My gamble more than payed off. Nemo3 moves up, extends his control range by 4 inches, shoots twice with the spectacular Gobber, and rolls a single leap on each shot. I lost three Satyxis and one Bile Thrall. Stormwall and Strider moves up into range of a majority of the Satyxis, and now I just need some flaming dice for once. The Strider gets Arcane Shield so the main target becomes the Stormwall, and he moves up the lancers :(

Mistakes in turn 1

There weren’t really any major mistakes. The gamble was intentional and payed of, but I should have left a hole for Venethrax to advance through, because the activation sequence turned out a little wonky when the Raiders had to go first.

Cryx Turn 2: Kamikaze!

Come on dice deity, I’m not playing Hordes any more, I apologize for the heresy! JAMMING SPEED, LET’S DO THIS!!!

I got four Raiders in on the Stormwall and three on the Strider because they had nothing better to do. I rolled the dice and the four Raiders took out almost an entire side on the Stormwall. The Strider took a bit of damage and got a lot of tokens, which in retrospect was probably a really bad idea. I also put four damage on Nemo3 for good measure, and it all adds up. I also got a soul from the lancer that died.

Then I used the Skarlock to move Harvest to the Bane Thralls, and Saxon Orrik to give them Pathfinder. I thought I might pull a fast one on him with Death Ride from Darragh, and I did get some Bane Thralls and Tartarus in range of the cavalry. I moved up Venethrax and popped my feat, camping at 24 after upkeeping both spells.

Then I did something I probably shouldn’t have. I knew this round would be extremely bloody, and I shouldn’t have sent in Tartarus, but he did manage to kill a lancer and get a new Bane. The Curse allowed the Bane Thralls to kill another lancer, giving me another soul.

I honestly don’t remember where I got the third soul in the picture from, so I think that’s a mistake (maybe it’s the one from Malice that fell off and got put with the others). I was hoping I could cause a bunch of Terror checks on the lancers, and I did, but they made them all. Laddermore isn’t immune either but also made her checks. Then it was his turn (eeep!)

Cygnar Turn 2: brrrrrZAAAAAP! *sizzle* *pop*

We ran out of 3″ cloud templates pretty quickly, and at the end of the turn it was getting ridiculous.  We began combining smaller templates into larger ones covering the same area and trying to remember how many of them were really there, and then we ran out of large templates. At the end we were placing anything from wreck markers to flags and going ‘I guess it’s probably around here‘ and I counted at least 20 clouds.

His lancers and Laddermore fried a great deal of Bane Thralls. Chain lightnings from Nemo3 made roast chicken out of the Satyxis. Stormcallers fried Bile Thralls left and right. The Stormwall shot Malice and left him without a Cortex and melee arm. The Strider killed Darragh Wrathe with all it’s fancy tokens. I bitched a lot about Colossals shooting out of melee just around here. It was fun assigning damage to all the things that ran around in the clouds, and watching him struggle to draw LoS, but in the end it was a problem because most of my army fried.

Mistakes in turn 2

I messed up the activation sequence a bit so the one Bane Thrall that made it to the Stormwall (without charge bonus) didn’t do any damage since Arcane Shield was still up. I don’t think I made any major mistakes though, which is nice for a change.

Cryx Turn 3: Balls to the motherfucking wall!

I didn’t upkeep Harvest, but I did walk up the Skarlock and reapplied it to the Bane Thralls in case it mattered. The Bane Thralls charged, and one ran to apply Dark Shroud to the Strider, though I should have had the WSC on before the Bane Thralls but I forgot.

He had placed his big guys outside of Admonias range and moved AS to the Stormwall, but he had also placed a Pod down within nine inches of Madelyn Corbeau. Oh Madelyn, thou art truly the queen of two point solo characters, and with three inches of movement in the maintenance phase Admonia was in range.

The Bane Thralls really failed miserably and only killed a single lancer, but the most important part was getting one on the Stormwall and one on the Strider. Malice walks over and harpoons the Strider for hilarious damage (8), and I even forgot to use his soul to boost it.

Withershadow Combine shot it with Dark Fire for a lot of damage as well, and finally the Raider Captain blows it’s head of with her Hand Cannon. Interestingly that opened up an assassination vector. Nemo3 isn’t immune to KD and he had no Focus camped.

I sent the single remaining Satyxis down to roll a crit on his charge, but he missed so it was back the original lack of plan. At that point I was crunching numbers and thinking about jamming the Stormwall, but then I thought ‘I do have 9 Focus on Venethrax‘. To hell with it, it was getting late and the Stormwall was the only thing with high powered attacks he had left, so if I nuked it without spending to much Focus I could still tank his list.

Puny Stormwall, Venethrax be eatin’ dragons for breakfast, what you think YOU can do!?‘ Killing half a Stormwall took three whole Focus points… pathetic! That was pretty much it, and though Peter tried there was simply no way he could break ARM 24 without the Stormwall.

He danced a bit in his third turn, and then Venethrax danced over and split him in half. It was a very interesting game and I can see some potential in Venethrax. He’s not going to work well with the setup I spent a year perfecting with Terminus, but I think he might do well in a fast attack version. TO THE THEORY MACHINE!

What’s next!

Soul Hunters! Finally an excuse to use them. I think Venethrax needs an army that is hard to kill, but unlike Terminus he simply can’t tank everything and ignore casualties (or negate them with tough on everything).

I would really really like Gorman in the list, but the thrice damned mercenary player has hogged him for the tournament so that’s a no-go. I think I’ll put him in the list while testing though, to see how important he really is.

I’m also really unsure about the feat. I’m beginning to I should use it to create a massive cloud cover instead of running Raiders in, but then I would have to bring models cheap enough to throw away like that. I was considering Scrapp Thralls but they don’t trigger clouds when they blow up, or a cloud chain would have been the easy answer. I also need to kill the volunteers reliably, but I’m thinking Soul Hunters could do that, and then Light cavalry away to safety.

The Warjack points is yet another thing I’ve been thinking about. Malice was fine, but there are a lot of Colossals out there and Malice is damn slow when she can’t pull. Malice is also vulnerable to disruption if I don’t bring a Siren, and my list is incredibly vulnerable to bad terrain as it is, and adding a non-pathfinder Helljack wont exactly help.

Luckily I have a week to crunch numbers, and I’m looking forward to it.

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22 Responses »

  1. I ran what I called a “fast attack” Venethrax list once:

    35-point list
    Venethrax +6
    Reaper – 7
    Skarlock Thrall – 2
    Satyxis Raiders (max) – 8
    Satyxis Sea Witch – 2
    Satyxis Raider Captain – 2
    Soulhunters (max) – 9
    Darragh Wrathe – 4
    Bloat Thrall – 2
    Ogrun Bokur – 3
    Warwitch Siren – 2

    I held the Soulhunters back near Venethrax (and Darragh Wrathe). With Incorporeal from DW, they were able to stampede through the front line and attack. It was fun.

    I built that list last summer. I’d probably do it different now. Not even sure how I’d take it to 50 points.


    • I’m currently messing around with this. It looks a lot like yours actually, though my solution to Eiryss is to go for her with Machine Wraiths instead of trying to block her shot :)

      Lich Lord Venethrax
      – Cankerworm
      Bane Thralls (Leader and 9 Grunts)
      – Bane Thrall Officer & Standard
      Satyxis Raiders (Leader and 5 Grunts)
      – Satyxis Raider Sea Witch
      Soulhunters (Leader and 4 Grunts)
      The Withershadow Combine
      Bane Lord Tartarus
      Darragh Wrathe
      Machine Wraith
      Machine Wraith
      Madelyn Corbeau
      Satyxis Raider Captain
      Saxon Orrik
      Skarlock Thrall

  2. Never an excuse not to take soulhunters, just keep them in the Covens Tier…

    Have you considered the Blood Hag and Witches, might give you a flexible unit with some good benifits from the UA.


    • I did actually. I’ve considered several builds with them, to use either as a more or less self-reliant unit, or as fodder to create a screen (keeping the UA alive of course) with his feat.

      The reason I’m currently leaning towards Raiders instead is AD and charge range. Having two units with a potential 14″ charge range is huge, and it would allow me to roam a bit with the Soul Hunters if there’s no obvious target on the second round.

      Raiders also give me an opportunity to push enemy AD elements or even reap a few souls if someone does something stupid, but the Blood Witches are most certainly not forgotten.

  3. Pity about no Mercs. I’ve got Gorman + Dougal in with the ‘Thrax for a couple of recent games to good effect. While Dougal is there Gorman’s obviously the threat he is, his acid bomb is better under Venny’s ctrl, and the main feature is I run a small unit of Mechanithralls which Dougal can pop 4 of on feat turn (barring the dreaded double 1) to put up the unbeatable screen.

    I think Banes/Raiders is a great for him, but I’d much prefer an Arc node over Canker. Not many assassination threats on his feat turn with the LOS blocking if you cloud right, and you can spend all his focus on blood rains to clear single wounds, or a hellfire down some key models.

  4. Cannot fault the Wrathe + Soulhunter combination at all.

    In my experience double dipping either turn with incorpeal sends them ober the edge, plus with Venny you’ll be able to get through the feat turn as they get you some souls. Unless the damage is magical, though I think it is corrosive.

    With the Raiders how do you envision the Captain after the desperate pace move.

    And lastly bloat thralls are more than worth the cost for the five inch blast, either intentionally or otherwise.

    As a segway mind the canny player who puts corrosion on Venny, happend to me once and never again…


    • I’m not sure I understand your comment :/

      The damage is fire, but since it’s a feat effect it would damage the Incorporeal Soul Hunters. The Bloat Thralls didn’t work out for me the last time, and they’re slow as hell.

      The Raider Captain has a gun. She has Weapon Master and sprint. She has two attacks. She’s like a miniature Totem Hunter, and an excellent defensive sweeper with her high MAT.

  5. Poorly worded, sorry.

    By alternating the position of Wrathe you can put the Soulhunters anywhere you wanted to, with the benifit of the Death ride movement. I believe the feat is not classed as magical so they can pass through whilst moving and benefitting from incorpeal.

    Bloat thralls are good denial pieces, though they are an acquired play style. So alternatively have you considered sirens?


    • I did consider Warwitch Sirens, a lot actually. I’m not sure I really need them in the list, and while they’re insane models with insane abilities, they don’t add anything to the build. If I had six points left over I would include two Pistol Wraiths instead, which is something I’ve considered heavily as well.

  6. short add on:

    “…This model suffers damage and effects only from magical weapons , magic attacks, animi, spells, and feats…”

    • Yeah, I assume the Charnel Flames clouds are technically a feat effect and would damage Incorporeal models, but there’s no real reason for them to move through it, and they do have 5 boxes if I’m forced to do it.

  7. This is the list I’m working on to back Vinnie up. It’s a pDeneghra list I’ve been thinking about for a long time but never got around to trying. It looks really silly on paper, and there’s a really good chance it won’t work, but if it works like I think it will… Armageddon.

    Warwitch Deneghra
    – Deathripper
    – Deathripper
    Wrong Eye
    – Snapjaw
    – Brine
    Satyxis Blood Witches (Leader and 5 Grunts)
    – Satyxis Blood Hag
    Steelhead Halberdiers (Leader and 5 Grunts)
    Steelhead Heavy Cavalry (Leader and 4 Grunts)
    Machine Wraith
    Machine Wraith
    Machine Wraith
    Skarlock Thrall
    Warwitch Siren
    Warwitch Siren

  8. Hmm, reinforcements will still be in play come Februaries tournament, and another team mate has claimed both Lesser Warlocks, so I’ll have to redesign pDeneghra again.

  9. If your redesigning the list this is what I’m running at the moment;

    Theme Force: Witching Hour Tier 4
    50+5 points, 21 models

    Warwitch Deneghra  +5 points
    * Deathripper  4 points
    * Defiler
    * 2x Harrower  10 points each
    * Nightwretch  4 points
    * Scavenger  4 points
    * Stalker  4 points
    * Skarlock Thrall  2 points

    6 Mechanithralls  3 points
    2x Pistol Wraith  3 points each
    4x Warwitch Siren  2 points each

    Additional Rules

    Warwitch Sirens gain Advance Deployment.
    Add +1 to your starting game roll.
    One helljack gains Advance Move per Warwitch Siren.
    FA Warwitch Siren +1 per Helljack

    The bone jacks are a general mix, but can be changed to suit your requirements.

    If the tier is too restrictive then you may want to consider sea dogs and press gangers which work well with PDenny.


    • I had Sea Dogs in my first setup, but guess who’s using Lord Rockbottom (hint: It’s not me). I’m playing around with this at the moment.

      Warwitch Deneghra
      – Deathripper
      – Deathripper
      Bane Thralls (Leader and 5 Grunts)
      – Bane Thrall Officer & Standard
      Croe’s Cutthroats (Croe and 5 Grunts)
      Steelhead Halberdiers (Leader and 9 Grunts)
      Steelhead Heavy Cavalry (Leader and 4 Grunts)
      Machine Wraith
      Machine Wraith
      Orin Midwinter
      Pistol Wraith
      Pistol Wraith
      Skarlock Thrall
      Warwitch Siren
      Warwitch Siren

      Reinforcements: Satyxis Raiders (Leader and 5 Grunts) + UA + Satyxis Raider Captain + Machine Wraith.

      I’m really feeling the loss of Saxon Orrik and the sting of character restrictions. The list has crazy issues with terrain, which is something I’ve never experienced with pDeneghra before, but if I encounter pIrusk it’s going to be Venethrax signing up anyway.

  10. It just hit me that some of the Colossals have very interesting Salvage options for the Cankerworm. Salvaging a Kraken should give it a 4″ reach weapon, allowing it to charge 13″ with Pathfinder and Parry.

    Hyperion made my list as well… salvaging the Starburst Cannon would be entertaining to the extreme. The Galleon has all sorts of interesting options as well. The Thunderhead is still my number on target though (Lightning Coil on Cankerworm would be so incredibly naughty!).

  11. Venethrax felt a bit silly camping a million Focus each round while hiding behind a house, but eStryker can punch through ARM 28-29 and I didn’t feel like playing the odds.

    The Soul Hunters worked well, though giving them Soul Harvest did make them a lot less effective because they couldn’t gather souls to boost. The list ran smoothly and the decision to focus on speed and terrain was a good one in this game.

    2-0 so far.

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