Friday, July 16, 2010

Iron Lich Asphyxious Tier 4 List

So I REALLY love the theme lists in the Forces of Warmachine books. Not only do I love themed armies, but getting various bonuses for restricting your choices (as well as providing a reason to take some of these choices) is just too cool to pass up.

With that in mind, I'm going to start investigating them (as well as my 8th edition Dark Elves, which should continue on Monday), starting with my favorite Cryx caster, Iron Lich Asphyxious.
Let's take a quick look at the benefits of running him at Tier 4:
  • Mechanithrall units can advance deploy: Given that they get 2 attacks apiece, are fairly inexpensive, and Asphyxious's spells can make them terrifying to almost anything, having them get up the table faster (as well as getting some knowledge of where my opponent's threats are prior to setting them up) is extremely handy.
  • Cheaper Slayers and Corruptors: I've never used the Corruptor, but a decreased point cost may make it worth it. We'll see. I do love Slayers, however. Five point, fast heavies with 2 attacks backed up by a versatile caster? Very handy.
  • Free wreck markers: Because the list allows you to run the Cankerworm (who heals from wreck markers) and Necrotechs (who create things out of the wreck markers), starting the game with a bunch for no cost is very handy.
  • Faster warjacks on the first turn of the game: I will be running a bunch of Slayers, so letting them run 16 inches on my first turn is great.

This is the 50 point list I'd run, and I'll explain the pieces afterwards.

Iron Lich Asphyxious
- Cankerworm
- Deathripper
- Corruptor
- Slayer
- Slayer
- Slayer
- Skarlock Thrall
Mechanithralls (Leader and 9 Grunts)
- 2 Brute Thrall
Mechanithralls (Leader and 9 Grunts)
- 2 Brute Thrall
Necrosurgeon & 3 Stitch Thralls
Necrosurgeon & 3 Stitch Thralls
Machine Wraith
Machine Wraith
Necrotech & 1 Scrap Thrall
Necrotech & 1 Scrap Thrall
Necrotech & 1 Scrap Thrall

That's 4 heavy and 2 light wreck markers as well.

Asphyxious: Obviously, Iron Lich Asphyxious needs to be your warcaster for this army to be allowed. I'm fairly sure almost any army can be made around him, because he's so useful overall. He has a good debuff spell in Parasite, a good enhancing spell in Scything Touch, good direct damage with Hellfire, good crowd control with Breath of Corruption, and a handy utility spell in Teleport. His weapon is strong enough (combined with his spells) to put a serious beating on anything that gets too close to him, and on his feat turn he's going to spend 14 focus dealing some beatings.

Warjacks: Any non-character warjack is allowed in addition to the Cankerworm. That unfortunately leaves out the Deathjack, but it leaves more than enough choices for Asphyxious.

Obviously with the point reduction of Slayers, you'll want to take them. They are good melee jacks with 3 attacks to help clear out infantry, and potential to harm heavy jacks. Two open hands really come in handy from time to time too.

The Cankerworm is a requirement for the Theme List, and he's pretty cool- being able to take a weapon off of a wreck marker (once I destroy some of my opponent's jacks) is going to be a fun ability. Eating a wreck marker to heal is just an additional bonus.

The Corruptor is in there because he's a point cheaper than normal, and I can see him adding some utility. Burster will probably not get much use, but Distillation and Psycho Venom are going to be occasionally handy. RAT 5 will take some work to pull off hits though. Still, I can't think of a better army to actually run the model in.

The Deathripper is the only Arc Node I'm running (although the Corruptor can make temporary ones), which is very strange for my normal style. I think that with all the other things on the table, my opponent is going to be more focused on the scary things, and less focused on the arc node. And heck, if they want to take some shots at the arc node, that's fine too- just means the rest of my army is getting closer!

All these jacks, as I've noted, give me free wreck markers on the table to help power other parts of my army.

Units: Bane Thralls, Bile Thralls, Mechanithralls, and Necrosurgeons are allowed. As you can see, I only took Mechanithralls and some Necrosurgeons.

I'm not sure Bile Thralls really fit the theme of the army, and on top of that, I'm not sure there's much need for them. Yes, they're great for clearing out infantry, but I think I have enough tools to handle that. I'll re-evaluate after actually playing a game with the list though. Bane Thralls are one of my favorite units, but again, they don't have a role that I can't fill with something else. Also, neither of those two units gets a benefit from the theme list.

Mechanithralls are a great unit- they're so cheap! 2 attacks apiece give them a way to handle infantry, and their Combo Strike gives them an option against higher ARM models. Gaining Advance Deploy gets them up in the action faster (allowing them to keep up with the jacks). They gain additional help from the Necrosurgeons, who can potentially replenish the unit (as well as heal my caster). The Brute Thralls obviously add extra punch. 18 points for 32 models is a great deal- especially 32 models that will get my opponent's attention.

Solos: Moderate options here.

Bloat Thralls are one of the few Cryx artillery options, and hand us a way to deal with infantry, which may be a problem for this list, but I left them out for now. I think the list can handle infantry without their help. We will see.

I added two Machine Wraiths, not because I think they'll win me the game, but they are just so annoying to deal with sometimes. If I run against a jack-heavy army, I can hold two jacks down and force my opponent to waste focus getting them back, or force them to waste attacks damaging their own jacks to knock the Wraiths out. You can never tell what these guys are going to be able to screw over.

Necrotechs are a required part of the army, but are useful given the composition. Keeping my jacks healthy is a much needed skill given the number of jacks. Once the jacks are dead, spitting out a bunch of Scrap Thralls lets my jacks serve an extra purpose- those Scrap Thrall bombs add up! Starting with Wreck markers on the board means I can get Scrap Thralls out there early too.

Finally, there's a Skarlock. I take it in almost every army I'm allowed to.

Army Tactics: So I haven't played this yet, but I intend to shortly. This army has a bunch of models, plus the ability to create a few more. The jacks spearhead the assault, and should be able to either damage things in their way or disrupt my opponent's line. The Mechanithralls follow up, and swarm over my opponent's army, killing what they can. Everything else supports those waves. Asphyxious and the Skarlock support my front line with Scything Touch and Parasite (plus the occasional damage spell). The Necrotechs pick up a few wreck markers and send the Scrap Thralls forward (as well as repair jacks when they get to them). The Necrosurgeons keep the Mechanithrall units strong and heal Asphyxious from time to time. It should be a fairly durable army with a lot of threats.

I'll post some reports (and changes) once I get it in action.

Any thoughts?


  1. That looks like a pretty nasty list. The machine wraiths seem particularly annoying what with being incorporeal. I can see any non-magical ranged list finding them really frustrating.

    The only thing I wonder is if it is best to lead with the jacks. While they are nasty, putting them up front might let the enemy heavies get the first punches in if they can swing the charge and the Slayers can only take so many hits. Admittedly that would put the enemy jacks right there for the machine wraiths to play with but you might lost your front line.

    Still, playing up at 50 points seems like it would be really nasty. I've only gamed at 15 so just seeing that long list made me all scared :-)

    Looking forward to seeing how it goes.


  2. Yeah, I love the Machine Wraiths soley for their annoyance factor. If they actually accomplish anything, it's a plus, but for a single point, they're sure to cause their value worth of headaches.

    I was a little worried about my poor jacks on the front line, but I really think I can pull it off. I'm hoping that the Mechanithralls following close behind can draw some of my opponent's attention, but I admit I may have to have the jacks advance with their support to get the most use from them (a single wave instead of two). I'll need to run the list once or twice to really see though.

    We'll see how it goes. Once I get the chance I'll post some thoughts on its effectiveness. :)