Aiakos, Scourge of Meredius

Every now and again something comes along that just blows your mind. It’s been forever since that happened to Cryx, but now it has. The name is Aiakos and he’s a Journeyman Warcaster, which is something I’ve been wanting since my very first day with Cryx.

Aiakos

Holy fucking shit the artwork is amazing! I opened the rules expecting to find another model with zero actual use on the table, but the more I look at him the more I see great potential and unrivaled flexibility. You have the rules so we can skip the boring parts and get right to the core of it, but did I mention he’s only three points!

  • Melee: He has huge non-linear threat, with up to five attacks in a round. He has respectable MAT and he’s in a faction full of debuffs. If you field him with pSkarre / pDeneghra, and run in a Bane Thrall, or something else to apply Dark Shroud, this guy stands a fair shot at one-rounding a Khador Juggernaut. Yes, this makes perfect sense for a three point solo, now shut up!
  • Survivability: He can be DEF 14 & ARM 19 with Escort up and full camp. This would be fairly easily dispatched, but the fucker has stealth! This is just lovely, and allows us to put some expensive stuff on him without being vulnerable. Stealth is the perfect defense for a guy with his stats, as Gun Mages won’t dent him and high powered shots rarely ignore stealth.

He also has a magical Harpoon (if I ever manage to pull out incorporeal eDeneghra from behind her own lines… just saying…), which could be interesting with his long threat range when jumping. Then there’s his spell list, and while I was crunching numbers on Deathbringers I suddenly noticed another aspect of Aiakos.

  • Assassination: Deathbringers also affects himself, so with several of our casters Aiakos has a real shot at bringing down the more squishy Warlocks. With pSkarre he hits DEF 14-15 most of the time with Dark Guidance (add Puppet Master for fun and profit), has three attacks after casting Deathbringers, and does 2d6+17 damage on her feat round, while negating Tough, Healing, and Transfers. There are many Warlocks that will go down to Aiakos, which again is perfectly fair for a single three point solo character.

Escort is the money shot though, so let’s take a look at the options we have with him. There are several categories of Jacks, so let’s begin with the ones that absolutely jizzed their pants when reading his rules.

  • Stalker: It has great synergy with his own Stealth ability. It has extended control range, allowing it to roam 16″ away from Aiakos. It saves you casting Deathbringers, which leaves Focus for upkeeping Escort and filling the Stalker up entirely (from a safe position even). The Stalkers main problem is a low threat range, which Escort solves perfectly. These guys are just made for each other.
  • Leviathan: This promises a comeback for the Leviathan. With debuff casters such as the Deneghras, the main problem has always been fueling the Leviathan while getting out your debuffs at the same time, but no more.  The Leviathan suddenly becomes a SPD 7 heavy, increasing it’s melee threat range to useful, and the bastard jack now threatens twenty inches when shooting.
  • Reaper: Thirteen inch threat is damn good, and being able to power it to full is just awesome. Aiakos also has a Harpoon, and though I can’t see this turning into a power combo, I have to admit that it’s thematically spectacular to outfit him with a Reaper and go harpoon crazy! The long threat and reach also allows him to get that Grievous wounds in where it’s needed, without risking Aiakos himself.

The Harrower deserves a special mention as it gets a Grievous wounds thresher and 12″ threat, but I don’t see myself using that combination a lot due to the price tag (and I would go with either the Leviathan or Nightmare depending on the part I needed the team to play).

Helldivers also deserve a mention, though I don’t think I’ll be using them much with him either, because added threat, Focus to Slam, and Grievous wounds on the Helldiver seems hilarious (but the tiny control area makes it problematic).

Undoubtedly there are combinations I haven’t thought about, and the Scavenger does well with the added threat, and so does the Desecrator, but any of our Jacks can really benefit from two addition inches of threat.

I’ve seen people talk about running Erebus with Scaverous, as he suddenly has a lot of threat range and doesn’t drain Scaverous’ Focus when gathering souls, which might really make Scaverous with Erebus a viable build. Thanks for pointing out that this doesn’t work.

BITCH PLEASE!

It’s been along time, since anything in the game had me this excited. Aiakos might very well be completely and utterly broken, but the way he interacts with Cryx as a faction is nothing short of brilliant.

Aiakos will see the return of so many jacks that we just never see, or only see when someone is forced to bring it because he has to spend those WJ points on something. The only shitty thing about Aiakos is, that even when I’m throwing money at the kickstarter (which I will… a lot…) it’s still going to be April 2014 before I can use him in tournaments.

 

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32 Responses »

  1. Sadly, Prime p.82 says that affinities only kick in when they’re controlled by the stated caster. If only if only. That being said, this guy is gorgeous and I highly look forward to getting to use him.

  2. Aiakos does look incredible – and with him coming, I’m glad I’ve taken my Cryx back from limbo to finally learn how to play them! Unfortunately, with regards to the affinities – the ‘jack needs to be in the warcaster’s battlegroup to benefit from an affinity (not on the card, but check Prime, this has alreadt been discussed on the main forum with much disappointment and gnashing of teeth…)

  3. Warjack affinities require the specific warcaster to be the controlling warcaster, so Stealth on Nightmare won’t work. It was one fo my first thoughts as well.

  4. You don’t get the affinities if you aren’t in the caster’s battlegroup. Prime page 82, I believe.

    I’m also a little curious as to how 11.5 inches is a huge threat range in a faction with raiders, who are also one rounding a juggernaut just fine with +7 damage from buffs and debuffs. Non-linear is nice, though.

    I’d be really concerned about putting a melee jack on him, since he has to be within 8 inches (or closer for the escort buff) – you could send a jack out of his control on the theory that it’ll die the next turn anyway, though. Also keep in mind that grievous wounds is an aura, not a pulse, so if you want that he has to get up close and personal.

    Mainly I’m looking forward to shoving a leviathan on him with a Denny, because that’s exactly what she wants for shooting heavies to death, and, as you mention, it gets the option of mixing it up in melee, which is normally so bad for it.

    Also, one day he’s going to walk up, leap, harpoon a warlock who’s never played against him before, and laugh (if he can hit, damage, and hit again with only 2 focus for boosting, that is).

  5. Great write up!

    This guy is a monster that I’ll gladly terrorize my friends with! I was almost at the point of dismissing the idea of Cryx getting more game changing releases; oh how I was wrong!

    One nitpick: Unfortunately Deneghra’s Affinity won’t work with Nightmare unless it’s in Her BG… It makes it seem like it going by the text of the card but the rulebook clarifies that affinities require the character jack to be in the appropriate BG (pg. 82?). Same goes for Scaverous (how I wish this worked!!!)

    A followup question: Do you feel a Scavenger has much use with him? As an autonomous unit they should work good together. Aiakos is a worth pick up just as a 3 point combat solo. But the Scavenger as a throwaway solo hunting missile that can protect Aiakos on his journey up the field should get some work done too.

  6. I got to admit, I’m pretty excited too. This guy is going to be AWESOME!

  7. I’m pleased to see that sb else thinks this guy is a nuts as I figured him out to be.

  8. By the way Lamoron, you edited the part about Erebus but not about Nightmare, who also won’t receive the affinity benefit.

    Also, he totally looks amazing, and he could probably run well just as a solo without any jacks… With 4 focus for buying and boosting, he seems like he could be very strong on his own.

    • Damn, edited as well.

      I agree on the solo use as well, he doesn’t need a jack at all. I could see many lists bringing him along as a ‘Totem Hunter’ type solo, and at three points you can try some risky moves with him.

  9. another option is the cankerworm. spd 8, you most likely only need 1 focus to charge, or you can still cast deathbringers and put 2 focus on him for multiple hits, or just give him one to charge and keep one to boost something.
    cankerworm and stalker serve similar purposes, cankerworm on high ARM, stalker on multiple tough models.

    • I did consider that, but the small control area combined with a very fast melee jack seems problematic, and when the Stalker is a point less and has better synergy… then again, Aiakos and his faithful worm could be a funny conversion :D

  10. Hey!

    I’m so excited for this guy. Even as just a 3 solo with 4 focus and jump he seems really good.

    What are your thoughts on him with a kraken? Normally I’d be scared to but stealth and escort are pretty fancy. Shoot with the kraken until late game and then unleash the 14″ threat? Thinking I’d like to pair it with pdenny.

    Do you think this guy has any place with terminus?

    • I did consider him with the Kraken, but ultimately decided against it. The Kraken is a piece that often gets stuck in, and survives to the following round, which makes Aiakos a liability as he needs to be within 8″ to fuel it.

      I am very much considering him with Terminus. I’m a point short in making it work though, since there are only 6 available points in the list, unless I move out WE&SJ as well. It’s certainly interesting, but I think he’ll be running a Leviathan with pDeneghra instead.

  11. I did it…

    You’re a backer of
    WARMACHINE: TACTICS
    by Privateer Press Interactive

    Pledge Summary
    Amount pledged

    $205.00

    Now give me my frigging dolls!

  12. You can get all the bits to make the second Sturgis for an additional 10$.

    I love the rules for this Aiakos guy. He looks like a beast. I’m going to give him a Kraken to see how he does with casters that don’t increase threat range. Being able to fully load the Kraken while Skarre1 camps 3-8 focus seems really good.

  13. Hotness. This could get me back into Cryx.

    FMB

  14. Question, at our LGE we have been talking about this guy comboing with Scaverous. Seems like a lot of options, which brings me to ask. After your amazing edenny article would you think of doing one for the oft neglected Scavs? I just finished my conversion for him and am looking to play him and witch coven as my focus for the next few months.

    • I did write one on Scaverous a long time ago (here).

      The main problem was that I couldn’t run him in timed tournaments, since I just couldn’t manage the endless options he brought (though I only ever lost one game when playing without limits). I also feel that Character Restrictions screwed him royally, since he needs so many of the characters to run well.

      I’ve seen people running him as a tank caster with a ‘win’ feat and do well, but I’ve never tried it. I think I dismantled him model to build my floating Ergregore actually…

    • I think Aiakos with Scaverous is an amazing combo, I just can’t see myself doing well with it, since it adds even more options to a caster I already fail at running with time restrictions :D

      Telekinesis spam, and Aiakos with a fully loaded and Escorted Stalker, can theoretically hit an enemy caster that was 16.5″ from the Stalker when the round began. That’s pretty damn hard to protect against when playing SR 2013 :)

      • Any thoughts on Sturgis the Corrupted? I’d love to know what you think as he is one of the reasons I’m shuffling over to Cryx in the first place. You’re Terminus walkthrough is very very well written btw.

        • I have one on Sturgis in the works. The problem is, that I can’t seem to find the angle I want on him… every time I find something neat he can do, it turns out to be impossible because of some other interactions :D

          • Sturgis is a stealthy venethrax Lamoron. Wrap your head around that and I think you will “get” it.

  15. I think you missed the most broken choice, speed* 7 Helldivers.

    • Not really. Helldivers need to surface within his control area in order to be assigned Focus, which severely limits the usefulness of the +2 movement (in theory, I’ve never had him on the table).

  16. Aiakos is once again a notorious trap.
    Assigning away his focus is a great way to get an expensive journeyman killed and lose jack function.
    He is best played as a super solo.
    If you must bring a jack ( really you shouldn’t) it should be as focus efficient as possible.
    Sure you can hot swap roles, blah blah blah.
    Honestly you don’t have the time for more choices. See scarvenous for proof.

  17. Thinking about him and a Leviathan tag team to free up Terminus’ focus. I’d rather have an extra point and drop a skarlock to be able to throw in the two boosted shots from the Levy, while Terminus sits high and mighty on his focus stack of doom. The +2 Speed from Escorts also allows the thing to actually keep a good beat on our flying deathbird. I could see the quadfecta (Terminus, Aikos(w/’jacks), Darragh, and Withershadows) just making the Freight Train nigh untouchable. Plus if and when the Leviathans get wrecked, Aikos can go super-solo on whatever killed them, free up Terminus to do his thing.

    The only problem I see is what to do with the warjack points that have to be allocated to Terminus’ battlegroup? A stalker?

    • I’m not sure Leviathans have any place with Terminus in the international meta these days… but if you decide on going for it you might as well add some more Leviathans and force the enemy to come to you :D

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