My newly painted Cryxian force faced off against Phil’s Protectorate of Menoth tonight. Phil is an old hand at the Protectorate and I’m relatively inexperienced with Cryx. We are, however, both very experienced at playing Warmachine, so I knew this was going to be a challenge. We decided on a simple 500pt kill the ‘caster scenario with lots of terrain to force us to think a little.

The Armies
I decided I go with a ranged magic assassination list with a strong Bane influence. I was hoping Tartarus could get close to the enemy troops and scythe through them. Here’s my list –

  • Iron Lich Asphyxious
  • Skarlock
  • 3 Defilers
  • Bane Knights (6)
  • Bane Thralls (6)
  • Bile Thralls (6)
  • Bane Lord Tartarus
  • Pistol Wraith

That’s exactly 500pts. Phil’s list had his usual two units of Zealots and two arc nodes. Both of our casters had the potential for ranged magic kills, but the big differences are that he had some magical defence and I had a ‘caster that could really do a lot of damage in melee. Here’s Phil’s list –

  • Grand Scrutator Severius
  • Hierophant
  • Guardian
  • Revenger
  • Choir of Menoth (6)
  • Holy Zealots (6)
  • Holy Zealots (6)
  • Temple Flameguard (8)
  • Temple Flameguard Officer and Standard Bearer)
  • Knight Exemplar Seneschal

Terrain and Deployment
The table had a good amount of terrain with three fields, two good sized houses, a couple of hills, a forest and a pond. We decided that the fields would count as rough terrain, but would also provide concealment to small based miniatures in them. Phil won the toss and decided to deploy and go first. He deployed on either side of a field with his Temple Flame Guard (TFG), Seneschal and a unit of Zealots on one side and ‘jacks, the other unit of Zealots and Severius’ retinue on the other.

I deployed with a front line of the Pistol Wraith on my left flank, then a Deflier, a unit Bile Thralls, the Bane Thralls, the Bane Knights and Tartarus in. They were followed up by Asphyxious with two more bonejacks and the Skarlock. My plan was to use the mobility of the Bane Knights and Tartarus to out flank Phil’s army on my right flank; use the stealthy Bane Thralls to cause a nuisance in the middle; give him a problem in the form of the Bile Thralls on my left and use the arc nodes to run up and take out things as they came forward.

The Game
The Protectorate forces moved quickly up between the house and a field with the Zealots leading the way. Severius hung back to cast some support spells. I know how painful some well placed fire bombs from the Zealots can be so I ran a sacrificial bonejack up to arc Breath of Corruption (BoC) onto one of the units. Five of the unit were killed and I finished off the final with Hellfire. I should have targetted the other unit with BoC first as the template was exactly where I wanted it. Being an upkeep spell meant casting it again would remove the first template. So that was a lot of focus to get rid of a 40 point unit, but it was worth it. The remains in play cloud from Breath of Corruption was right in the way of where the TFG would like to advance. This stalled them significantly and gave the Bane Knights time for their flanking move.

Phil responded immediately by casting Immolation on the lead Defiler and between that, some fire bombs from the remaining Zealots and critical fire it was disabled. The Seneschal moved out into an exposed position. I had little to kill on that turn, so I moved my army up the right flank and used the Pistol Wraith to kill him and only him that turn, thus denying him Restoration. Phil moved the Zealots to throw some fire bombs towards the Bane Thralls killing one and then sent the Guardian to arc Ashes to Ashes on the Bile Thralls. Five of them were destroyed and my left flank was left with nothing on it. This was okay as the Guardian was now out of position and I would be able to take care of the Zealots with my own arc nodes, which I did on the next turn.

My Bane Knights and Tartarus continued their relentless advance and were now closing on the TFG. Asphyxious moved into a copse of trees and conducted things from there. He arc noded Hellfire onto the Guardian several times, using his feat to deal a lot of damage, but somehow failing to disable the ‘jack. Phil retaliated by casting Ashes to Ashes through the Revenger, this time on a Bane Thrall killing him and another, and bouncing it onto Asphyxious for little damage. All the same, it served as a warning and I would have to be a little careful. The three remaining Bane Thralls then pulled off the charge of the game and utterly annihilated the Revenger in one turn.

Phil charged and killed the two Bane Knights he could reach and then bolstered the TFG for the impending onslaught, but unfortunately (for him) failed to cast Holy Vigil (+4 DEF) on them as he was just out of range. Tartarus walked into them and used his Thresher attack to kill five TFG, thus adding five to the Bane Knight unit, which set up to charge as many TFG as possible. On the charge the TFG were reduced to three and they would be easy to mop up next turn. Things were looking grim for Severius and he backed into the nearby field.

Phil moved up the Guardian and attempted to immolate the Pistol Wraith, but (amazingly) failed to do enough damage. The Bane Thralls, who were on a roll, then charged it, dealt a good deal of damage and took out its arc node. Asphyxious moved up, using his movement and Shadow Wings, to behind one of the houses and sent another bonejack towards Severius. Tartarus and his Bane Knights killed the remaining TFG and moved on the choir. They still had Severius to kill and that would be a challenge as he now had Holy Vigil upkept on himself in the concealing field.

I charged everything I had at him and Asphyxious swooped in, but Severius’ feat forced the Iron Lich back for a turn and his magic killed everything I threw at him. Asphyxious came at him again and this time would not be denied. His first swing missed, but the second hit triggering Sustained Attack. Severius was destroyed with a couple of boosted hits. None of his force remained alive and all I had left was Asphyxious and two Defilers. Utter carnage, but a great game.

Here are all of the images I took of the game –