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Warmachine: No Quarter 54

9 Minute Read
Jun 2 2014
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 No Quarter #54 is here. It’s full of all sorts of awesomeness, but we know what we really care about: Cephalyx.

In our first glimpse into this new mercenary contract we get a look at 1 warcaster, 3 monstrosities (Cephalyx Warjacks basically), a unit, a UA, and a Solo. While there’s a lot of interesting stuff, we’re still only seeing a small part of the picture. There will be a Forces of Warmachine: Cephalyx on the horizon so this new faction may end up with as many choices as we saw with Convergence; possibly complete with a Colossal and Battle Engine. Although this isn’t really a new faction is it? It’s just a mercenary contract.

So what can you take with this new contract? Cephalyx, and lots of them that’s what. Any Cephalyx Mercenary unit is game. Mind Slaver and Drudge Units and Cephalyx Overlord Units get an FA bump of 1 each. You can also take a single Merc unit as long as you take the Cepahlyx Ranking Officer: the Cephalyx Dominator. This Mercenary unit will get AD. But maybe the coolest thing about this contract is the Cryx solos that you can bring with it: Pistol Wraiths, Machine Wraiths, and Bloat Thralls. We all know how ridiculously good Pistol Wraiths are, and I think Machine Wraiths are about as awesome as it gets for a point. Bloat Thralls are pretty unpopular but will go spectacularly with Exulon Thexis, the first Cephalyx Warcaster’s, feat.
What is that feat? Exulon Thexis brings Telekinetic Tide. This will let you push any enemy in Exulon’s control area 2″ – as long as they aren’t a Warlock or Warcaster. So many possibilities. Clear charge lanes. Bring targets into charge range. Bunch models up and cover them with templates from those Bloat Thralls. Unfortunately this feat will do nothing against those pesky Huge Based models. Additionally pushed models keep their facing so this Telekinetic Tide isn’t a huge opportunity for Back Stab or rear arc attack bonuses.

Continuing on with Exulon, his spell list further drives home the psychic theme with Deceleration, Hex Blast, Influence, Psycho Surgery, Rampager, Telekinesis. Man that is a useful list, especially on a Focus 8 caster. You’ll be able to cast a boosted Hex Blast, a couple of TKs, and still have the focus to boost here or there. Or you could cast Deceleration once and still have five focus to load up your Monstrosities with. 8 focus means lots of options. Go nuts.

He has some helpful abilities as well. The Sacrificial Pawn [Monstrosity] ability well let him shunt off a lot of ranged damage to his hulking pals. And he can let them or any other models that happen to be in his battlegroup run or charge for free if enemies are in his CMD range thanks to the Agressive Reaction ability. He can also channel spells through battlegroup models with Spell Driver although he’ll inflict D3+1 damage on them each time he does it.

The big downside to this guy is his big base, which coupled with his low defensive stats makes him a big target. 14 DEF/ARM and only 15 hit boxes mean that against any opponents with guns you’ll want to keep a Monstrosity close at hand to soak some damage.

And that brings us to the monstrosities. Boy these guys are cheap for heavies. And that’s just one of the things they have in common. Despite being flesh and blood creatures, these guys are a lot more like warjacks than beasts. They work using Focus rather than Fury. They all have systems and a damage grid. And what a grid. We’re looking at 36 boxes on each – that means every box on their grid is fully loaded. Their low ARM stat of 17 means these guys are going to be a lot squishier than you might think. They’ll be especially vulnerable to mobs of infantry since even a lowly P+S 10, if charging, will do about three or four damage to one of these guys. And hitting them won’t be a problem since they’re DEF 10. The biggest real difference between them and typical warjacks is that they have a Brain instead of a Cortex. The Brain functions pretty much identically to a Cortex, but since it’s a brain it’s immune to anything that affects a cortex. Also, these guys all have Eyeless Sight so there’s no hiding from them.

For our first monstrosity we have the Subduer. He’s tied for second most expensive Monstrosity at a whopping 7 points. And he’s the only one with a gun. This Net Launcher doesn’t do any damage but has the Catch ability. This is like Drag from the Reaper or Galleon, but doesn’t have to do any damage to reel em in. It just has to hit. The Net Launcher has an AoE of 3, which seems weird for a gun that does no damage, until you notice that it has the Quake ability. That Knockdown is going to be really helpful since the Subduer, like all the Monstrosities in this month’s No Quarter, only has a MAT of 5. He’s also quite the pillow fist with the low low P+S of 16 on his only melee weapon, the Impaling Blade. Still a useful guy. Pull effects like Catch are a little less useful with all the Huge Bases out there, but they still come in really handy.

The Warden packs less of a punch than our other two monstrosities, and is tied for the lowest P+S of any heavy in the game with the much maligned Freebooter. To make things worse, the poor Warden doesn’t even have trash – although he does have 3 initials. The good news is that he has Grand Slam and Follow Up. You might not use these two abilities every game, but when you do you can be sure it will be amazing. He also has Shield Guard, which seems a little odd when all the important models in this faction have Sacrificial Pawn of some kind or another. But sometimes you run out of Sac Pawn targets, or might prefer to have a Warden take a hit than a Grunt or Mercenary model. At only six points it shouldn’t be too hard to squeeze one of these guys in, even if its just to be Exulon’s Sac Pawn buddy.
The last Monstrosity is the faction’s current go-to beatstick, the aptly named wrecker. For just 7 points you get 2 P+S 17 Ball & Chains that have reach and of course, the Chain Weapon advantage. Not content to simply beat models to death, the Wrecker also has Beat Back, and Chain Attack Bloodbath. These two abilities actually combo fairly well together with Beat Back giving the potential for you to maneuver into an even better position for that Blood Bath attack. Every list will want one of these guys.
The Mind Bender and Drudges are the new unit for this faction. The Drudges in this unit are nearly identical to the drudges in the pre-existing Mind Slave Unit. That includes the horribly low CMD they’ll have to contend with if their unit leader dies. Their weapons just have one less Pow so they only swing at P+S 12. The Mind Bender himself is also a less effective fighter with a lower P+S and no anatomical precision. But his purpose is to cast spells. He can even choose to channel these spells through his drudges, and if he chooses to do so he can cast through up to three of them. The downside, unsurprisingly, is that afterwards they go all RFP.

The Mind Bender has three choices for spells. Concussion Pulse will center a POW 12 magical 4″ AoE on top of the caster or one of his hapless Grunts. Psychic Assault we’ve already seen on other Cephalyx. But the most interesting of his spells has to be Adrenal Pulse. This one will give a Drudge Grunt +4 MAT and STR and let it advance 4″ immediately. And you can throw this one on Drudge Grunts from other units if you like, as long as they’re within the spells 6″ RNG. Sigh… I’ve been waiting for years now for a mercenary contract that will let my Mind Slaver unit shine, and now that said contract is here I feel like this new Mind Bender unit is the better option. Oh first world problems…

Let’s check on the Cephalyx Ranking Officer next. I don’t even have to summarize this guy. His rules are right here on the Game Wire. So take a moment to read all that and then come back. I know right! Fearless and Tough for just a point. And don’t forget, to top it off, in the Cephalyx Merc Contract he’ll give the unit AD. But if he dies… Well, at least he has Sac Pawn. Make sure you keep him safe from blasts, spells, and melee attacks. Nyss are my first choice to put this guy with. Good ranged support is something Cephalyx are clearly lacking right now – although who knows, that could change. You also clearly want this guy as far from harm as possible. Putting him in a unit with pathfinder also means you can hide him in the woods without worrying about interfering with the mobility of the rest of the unit.
And finally we have a solo. The Cephalyx Agitator is FA 3 and you’ll want all of those. He can do the obligatory Psychic Assault with a Magic ability 7, or go with Influence if that’s what you prefer. But that’s not what makes him so handy. Remember how Pillow-fisted those Monstrosities were? Well this guy is kinda like a mini super Choir for this army. His Instigate ability gives a +2 bonus to attack and damage rolls, much like the Choir of Menoth’s Battle Hymn. But this ability works for Drudges and Monstrosities alike.

The downside (of course you knew there would be a downside) is that it’s an aura style effect that only affects models within 5″. You can’t just cast it and send your models charging on ahead. This means you’ll need to plan turns carefully. Not only do you have to be careful about when you activate the Agitator, you’ll also have to think hard about where you activate him. You’ll have to activate him first obviously, so he may need to be sent up-field to where you’re anticipating having models later in your turn. You’ll have to make sure you don’t block any charge lanes with him. Keep him too far away from the front, and your guys might tear ahead of him and out of range. Put him too close and he’ll be even more likely to be killed. Fortunately he does have Sac Pawn Monstrosity, like Exulon, so that should help a little.

All in all, the Cephalyx look intriguing. They seem pretty powerful, but if your opponent is clever enough to find ways to pick off key models, everything will fall apart. This design feels very appropriate thematically with the Cepahlyx themselves as the brains with their minions being fairly useless without them. The Cephalyx will definitely suffer from some bad match ups. There are more than a few armies out there that can throw a lot of templates around, drum up a lot of magic attacks, or just find ways to attack at range indirectly. Fortunately these guys are technically just a merc contract so if you’re at a tournament and you don’t like what you’re up against, you can just break out your favorite Earthbreaker list, or whatever else you’ve brought. Additionally we have no idea what kind of abilities future warcasters may show up with. This game is full of feats and spells that return models to play or prevent their destruction. Is it crazy to imagine a Cephalyx warcaster showing up with an ability like Martyrdom? Maybe one that works only on Cephalyx models? So many possibilites!

Of course there’s plenty more in this new No Quarter for you even if you have no interest in Cephalyx. There are spoilers for all the new lesser warlock models, as well as the two new Circle warbeasts that released this month. If you have War Room you can check all of those out right now! There are also card previews for High Command, content for the new Zombies Keep Out, more previews of Warmachine Tactics, that Kaelyssa Theme List that got everyone so riled up before they errated it, a cool hobby article about custom Ogrun, new scenarios and NPCs for the IKRPG, plus loads more.

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~So what do you guys think of this new Cephalyx contract?

Ben Williams
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  • Warmachine: No Quarter 54