Thursdays with Thanan: Cryx Battle Box

Welcome, dear readers, to this, my final battle box article! We shall explore the nefarious and sinister Cryx battle box. Cryx as a faction is one that relies on trickery and subterfuge, as well as super powerful casters and a few key units. Cryx offers the ‘nightmare empire’/’evil undead’ feel, if you’re looking for that. The battle box contains Deneghra 1 (aka pDeneghra or pDenny), a slayer helljack, two deathripper bonejacks, and a defiler bonejack. Helljacks are equivalent to a heavy jack, and bonejacks are lights. The battle box relies on Deneghra to pump out spells and turn the game around with her feat, which is basically an awesome version of her already awesome spell.

Deneghra – Deneghra is a phenomenal spell caster. She has really bad MAT and RAT. She is pretty speedy, and has slightly above average defense and slightly below average armor. The one thing she does well is denial and spell slinging. OK, so that’s two things, but for her they are very similar. She has above average focus (especially in the battle box arena). Deneghra also comes with stealth naturally, so she can avoid most shooting without worries. You’ll still need to watch out for eyeless sight, and wandering blast damage if you’re not camping focus. She also comes with parry, so if something runs to engage her (or makes it to her and doesn’t kill her), or if she makes the poor choice to engage in melee, she can walk out of combat with no free strikes. Finally, she has cull soul, which means that living enemy models dying within 2″ of her become souls that turn into bonus focus for her in her next turn. Just because she can do this does not mean that it’s a good idea. Distance is the best way to keep Deneghra alive, and mixing it up in melee requires her to be right up next to things that can probably kill her, especially when everything in battle box games can boost to hit her. That said, her magical reach weapon is Sliver has one major redeeming reason to bring her into melee, shadow bind. Shadow bind reduces defense by 3 and makes the model hit unable to advance except to change facing. I could see that being useful in a rare few circumstances. Like if you charge a warpwolf (def 14), boost to hit, so it drops to 11, and then let your jacks do the rest. Just make sure that you’re not over exposing her when you do this. Let’s take a look into why Deneghra is so great, her spells

  • Crippling Grasp – This spell is probably the best debuff in the game. -2 speed, strength, defense, armor. And as if that’s not enough, no running or making special attacks. Also, in case you didn’t read the rules, a negative to speed means you can’t charge or trample or slam either. Oh, and this spell can be upkept. And it can be cast safely from 22″ away from your opponent.
  •  Ghost Walk – This spell allows a model/unit to ignore terrain, obstacles, and obstructions (assuming they can make it all the way through), while ignoring free strikes. A house in the way of your jack charging a caster? Goodnight, caster.
  •  Influence – A great spell if your opponent has a tendency to clump infantry together near each other. Extremely low fury to cast, you take over the model warrior (non warcaster/lock) and make one attack. No moves to get into melee range, no change directions, just attack. So they have to be pretty close (or have reach). However, if you’ve got like a model in the rear you can target a model in front, or take out a UA  or support solo… Lots of uses. None of them, however, in the battle box.
  •  Parasite – This is another good debuff that makes -3 armor to the unit/model you cast it on and grants +1 to Deneghra. You can put this on your own models if you want, like a support solo who will auto die in one hit anyway (armor 11 support solos for example). It’s also upkeepable, so you can cast this on one enemy, crippling grasp another, and half to 2/3 of the battle box your facing is suddenly very weak and not scary.
  •  Scourge – This small AoE does decent damage and knocks down models inside it.
  •  Venom – This spray causes continuous corrosion and low damage (but auto one pip).

Deneghra’s feat – Enemy models are at -2 speed, strength, mat, rat, defense, armor and focus. Also, as if that wasn’t enough, they can’t run or make special attacks. Wow. This feat is like a punch to the nuts. You want to do what? Well, next turn (if you survive), maybe.  The turn your opponent needs to do something is the turn they can’t. If you can advance and catch their whole battle box in your control, then charge your models into their face, well, -2 defense and armor makes things dead pretty quick. Oh, and also, you can still parasite and crippling grasp. So you parasite a light, crippling grasp a heavy, and feat. The light would be -5 armor. Wow. The heavy would be -4 speed, strength, defense and armor. Wow… This is why I considered playing Cryx. This right here.

Slayer – The slayer is a strong melee heavy with no option to shoot. It has above average mat for it’s two strong and one weak initial attacks. Both it’s fists are open fist so you’ve got the full range of power attacks. It also has combo strike, giving you the option of one super strong POW 22 attack.

Deathripper –This arc node is a speedy little melee jack. It has sustained attack on it’s mandible, so you only have to hit once. Unfortunately, they die SUPER fast. They have average MAT, way awesome defense, and low armor.

Defiler –This arc node, on the other hand, is a speedy little gun jack. It has average mat (do not engage things with this jack), low rat with a middle range spray that does continuous corrosion damage. This spray really shines against single wound troops, particularly those that have high armor (shield wall? hahahahaha) or armor buffs (mwhahahaha). Same defensive stats as the deathripper. The important things to note on these two bonejacks is that they have arc node. Get these things upfield to toss out her debuffs!

Battle box play style and tactics –The general idea with the battle box is to run your arc nodes into range to cast your debuffs. Then use your jacks to take out the enemy piecemeal. Remember to focus on the ones that have the debuffs. No sense in hurting three war beasts for a bit of damage only for a wily caster to heal them all to full for a few scant fury.

Warnings and such – Well, your opponent is going to hate you for ruining their fun with their brand new (still shiny? probably…) toys and not getting to use them to their full potential. That’s one thing. Also, if your opponent can put damage on Deneghra or take out your heavy you will have a hard time killing many casters or locks. And, while I mentioned this above, you don’t have superb defensive stats, so if something can ignore stealth or get some deviations onto you, they can start putting damage on you from afar where your debuffs have less of an effect.

OK, you’ve made it to the end of my last battle box article. I’ve got an idea in the works that hopefully will be pretty sweet, if we can figure out how to get it done! But now, dear readers, I ask for your input! Do you all have questions or ideas for articles? Let me know, and I’ll look into it!

Until next time,


Author: David Counts

David Counts plays Circle Orboros primarily, and has recently gotten into Cygnar. He enjoys rolling 1s way more often than statistically probable and long walks on the beach. You can find David most days in or around Des Moines.

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