BoLS logo Tabletop, RPGs & Pop Culture
Advertisement

Warmachine: Exulon Thexis – To Tier or Not to Tier?

6 Minute Read
Oct 13 2014
Advertisement

 With two ways to run the Cephalyx Warcaster, which one do you choose?


Forces of Warmachine: Cephalyx has been pre-released at gencon and on Privateer Press Digital. We now know that Thexis is the only Cephalyx Warcaster we can expect to see for awhile. While I was a little surprised there weren’t anymore, especially given the big presentation Privateer made for these guys at Lock and Load, I can’t deny that Thexis looks like he will be an interesting tool in the merc players arsenal.

Once you’ve made the decision to go Cephalyx, there’s still one more thing to consider: Tier or no Tier? This is a decision you’ll have to make with every caster, but usually you know pretty quickly which way you want to go. Not with Thexis. The Puppet Masters Merc Contract, and Will of Darkness both have benefits that are hard to pass up.

With Puppet Masters the real draw are the Cryx solos you can take. Pistol Wraiths are amazing – especially in a meta that still features lots of expensive Huge based models. More generally speaking they offer range threat to a contract with limited options for it. And for those times when their RAT 7 just isn’t high enough, Thexis has Hex Blast to strip any annoying defensive upkeeps. Then there are the Bloat Thralls. While normally shunned by Cryx players, these guys are great for the Cephalyx who don’t have quite as many robust infantry clearing tools. Additionally, Thexis’ feat can clump a lot of infantry together for those 5″ AoEs to clear.

There are a couple more things to consider. Puppet Masters increases the FA on Mind Slavers and their Drudges to 3. If you really want to cram a horde of Drudges down your opponents throat, what more could you ask for? And of course you could always take three min units if you’re tight on points. It costs the same as two max units, giving you fewer bodies, but an extra mind slaver. The other big benefit of the tier is that whatever unit you choose to attach to your Dominator will get advance deployment.

55 / 55 (50+5) Warcaster(s) : 1/1 Warjack(s) : 2 Battle Engines : 0 Solos : 6 Units : 6

Exulon Thexus – WJ: +5
– Warden – PC: 6
– Wrecker – PC: 7

Cephalyx Agitator – PC: 2
Cephalyx Agitator – PC: 2
Cephalyx Agitator – PC: 2
Bloat Thrall – PC: 2
Pistol Wraith – PC: 3
Bloat Thrall – PC: 2

Cephalyx Mind Bender & Drudges – Bender & 9 Drudge Grunts: 6
Cephalyx Mind Bender & Drudges – Bender & 9 Drudge Grunts: 6
Cephalyx Mind Slaver & Drudges – Mercenaries – Mind Slaver & 9 Grunts: 6
Cephalyx Mind Slaver & Drudges – Mercenaries – Mind Slaver & 9 Grunts: 6
Cephalyx Dominator – Cephalyx Dominator: 1
Tactical Arcanist Corps – Leader & 2 Grunts: 4

So that’s my first go at a Puppet Masters list. After careful consideration, I really think the inexpensive TAC are the way to go for your Dominated unit. I feel like the Cephalyx synergize with one another so well that you want to spend as many of your points on them as you can. And the TAC can put up a smoke wall to protect Thexis and anything else you can fit back there. The hope is that there will be enough bodies here to make it up the field and put the hurt down. I want the Mind Benders to hold back and do their Adrenal Flood on the Drudges in the Slaver unit ahead of them obviously. Hopefully with the help of the Agitators, they and the Wreckers can deal with anything heavy, and the bloats and Slaver Sprays can clean up infantry.The Pistol Wraith will Death Chill the scariest thing to keep it out of my hair.

Advertisement

On the other hand, we have Will of Darkness. No Cryx solos here obviously. Instead, this Theme is really about the ambushing Cephalyx. Whenever you get a cheap unit with tough that can just show up on a board edge you know you’re in good shape. Now consider that the leader of this unit has a Spray, and the army is being led by a warcaster with a feat that pushes models into nice little lines… well you do the math. The free Agitator doesn’t hurt, and honestly neither does the fact that he doesn’t count against FA. I like Overlords ok, but I don’t see the point of bothering with more than two units, so that’s not a huge benefit in my mind. Nor is the extra mercenary unit. The biggest benefit I see is that it would give you the ability to take the TAC in a supporting role, and still have a god combat unit like the Nyss around. So while that is a good option, I think I’d still rather have more Cephalyx with all the insane shenanigans they can pull.

55 / 55 (50+5) Warcaster(s) : 1/1 Warjack(s) : 3 Battle Engines : 0 Solos : 2 Units : 7

Exulon Thexus – WJ: +5
– Wrecker – PC: 7
– Wrecker – PC: 7
– Warden – PC: 6

Cephalyx Agitator – PC: 0
Cephalyx Agitator – PC: 2

Cephalyx Mind Slaver & Drudges – Mercenaries – Mind Slaver & 9 Grunts: 6
Cephalyx Mind Slaver & Drudges – Mercenaries – Mind Slaver & 9 Grunts: 6
Cephalyx Dominator – Cephalyx Dominator: 1
Cephalyx Mind Bender & Drudges – Bender & 9 Drudge Grunts: 6
Cephalyx Overlords – Mercenaries – Leader & 2 Grunts: 4
Tactical Arcanist Corps – Leader & 2 Grunts: 4
Cephalyx Mind Bender & Drudges – Bender & 9 Drudge Grunts: 6

THEME: Will of Darkness – Tier 3

So here is my first Will of Darkness list. I’d like to try to have a strong flank where the Slavers can come in and immediately be supported by the Benders and Agitators. But this can tell your opponent exactly what flank you want to come in on, so be careful. Some scenarios it’s easier to get away with than others.

Advertisement

I’m still not sure if this is exactly the list I want. I have a slightly modified version with a third Agitator and a second unit of Overlords, but I think I need the third heavy in the backfield to protect Thexis.

Regardless of which way you go, you always need to be careful for difficult terrain. Cephalyx have few counters for it and Inhospitable ground will ruin their day. While you can always try to max out on your Overlords and Dominate a unit with Pathfinder, your Monstrosities will still get bogged down.

~So while I still haven’t decided which I prefer, Tier or Contract, I think right now I’m most interested in the Theme list. I still haven’t finished painting my Cephalyx, so it’s going to be a while before I can try them out. I know everyone proxies, but I just never have any fun when I do. Which do you guys prefer? Theme or Contract?

Ben Williams
Author:
Advertisement
  • Warmachine: No Quarter 54