Theme - Dark Host
| Theme - Dark Host |
Torn from the horrors of the void and given new forms in the bodies of the dead, banes are dark, sinister warriors in the service of Cryx. Far from mindless, they possess a military cunning mixed with an utter malevolence to life. Supported by potent necromancers, armies of horrifying banes beset the enemy like a tide of darkness and death.
- 1 Theme Rules
- 2 Thoughts on the Dark Host
- 3 Other
An army made use the Dark Host theme force can include only the following Cryx and Mercenary models:
- Cryx warcasters
- Non-character warjacks
- Bane models/units
- Darragh Wrathe
- Machine Wraith solos
- Necrotech solos
- Scrap Thrall solos
- Skarlock Thrall solos
- Soul Trapper solos
- Void Archon solos
- Wraith Engine battle engines
- This army can also include one Mercenary solo and one Mercenary unit that will work for Cryx.
Full model list
This list was last updated: 2019.11 (Edit)
- All Cryx warcasters
- All non-character Cryx warjacks
- Character warjacks can be taken, but only if they have a bond and they're in their bonded model's battlegroup.
- Bane Lord Tartarus
- Darragh Wrathe
- Machine Wraith
- Master Gurglepox
- Scrap Thralls
- Skarlock Thrall
- Soul Trapper
- Void Archon (★)
- Up to one solo
- Up to one unit
(★) Void Archons don't count against your "Up to one Mercenary" slot
You can spend each Requisition Point on either:
- One Cryx CA
- Three Machine Wraith solos
- Three Necrotech solos
- One other small- or medium-based Cryx solo
- Bane models gain Prowl.
- Before models are deployed at the start of the game, you can place two 4" AOE dense fog terrain features completely within 20" of the rear table edge of your deployment zone.
2019.07 Theme Remix
- Game-wide Remix changes
- Can now take multi-models as a freebie.
- Void Archons added to the list of allowed models
- Master Gurglepox released
Thoughts on the Dark Host
Dark Host in a nutshell
Banes are the elite undead of Cryx, and this allows you to field an entire force of them.
Banes hit like a ton of bricks, are relatively durable, but perhaps most importantly they all come with Ghostly which lets them ignore terrain and free strikes while moving. This gives you an upper hand in terrain mitigation and/or walking away from combats you don't want to fight. It also lets you easily zip into concealment to trigger the Prowl benefit.
Thoughts on the Dense Fog
Carefully read the different versions of stuff that ignores clouds / concealment / stealth. Often you'll be able to keep at least one of bonuses. For example:
- Eyeless Sight ignores everything.
- True Sight ignores the clouds for LOS and ignores Stealth, but doesn't ignore the +2 DEF you get from being in concealment.
- Ghost Shot ignores LOS and concealment, but you still have concealment which is enough to trigger Prowl & Stealth ... which Ghost Shot does not ignore.
Thanks to Prowl, running Banes into the clouds on Turn 1 is great protection vs shooting, whether it is Bottom-of-One shooting from advanced deployed stuff, or Top-of-Two shooting from stuff that ran into position last turn. But after Turn 1, your Banes should be advancing forwards as quick as possible and leave the clouds behind for your support and caster to hide in.
If you get choice of table edge, carefully review the terrain.
- If there is good terrain within 20", you can form a LOS-blocking bunker for your caster to hide in all game.
- If there is concealment-providing terrain at about 30", you can set-up a 'Leap Frog' strategy where your Banes run into the clouds round 1, then into terrain on round 2, for two rounds of Stealth.
- Or, considering that you have so much Ghostly, you may prefer to choose the table edge that makes the opposite side worst for your opponent.
You're going to struggle vs high-DEF opponents.
- Bane Lord Tartarus can help fix this, but you may want a caster that can help out too.
You're going to be peppered with ranged attacks on the way in. You'll probably be charged, rather than getting to charge.
- SPD 7 on Bane Riders and Wraith Engines is still pretty good.
- Making good use of terrain for maximum Prowl can help.
- You'll want a caster that can help deliver the Banes, whether by buffing them (like Terminus) or preventing the enemy attacking them (like Coven).
No ranged attacks
If you want to snipe out annoying enemy solos, you'll need either Darragh, a Skarlock, or some arc nodes. Machine Wraiths can also make decent "missiles" vs squishier support pieces.
Limited Magical Weapons
Incorporeal solos (here's looking at you Gremlin Swarm) are a problem for the list
- You are looking at Warcasters, Darragh Wrathe and Spells as your only options against Incorporeal, unless you include a unit like Cephalyx Overlords.
- Bane Lord Tartarus should always be your first Requisition.
- Wraith Engine(s) are popular for their ability to protect your Banes on the way in.
- It'll push Bane Warriors to ARM 17, which makes them decently durable vs the typical anti-infantry gun (that has POW 10), and almost immune to blast damage (typically POW 6 to 8).
- It'll push Bane Knights to a very respectable ARM 20 while in Wall of Steel, which is great vs everything except auto-one-wound attacks (such as Sniper).
- It'll also put Bane Riders to ARM 20 but for them this is a smaller benefit because, being multi-wound models, your opponent is going to be gunning for them with high-POW weapons anyway.
- Darragh Wrathe is popular.
- He can speed up your army with Death Ride and provide some much-needed magic offense.
- But at 9 points that can't be taken for free he can be hard to justify sometimes.
- A Desecrator is a solid choice for your heavy warjack, as it gets bonus focus while it is near Bane models.
- The Void Archon was added to the list of allowed models in 2019.07. Thematically it makes sense, but in terms of competitive list-building... eh I'm not convinced it will change anything. It does allow for some weird jank where you go for double Void Archons plus a 3rd Merc solo and one Merc unit, and the Banes are in the list as a heavy-hitting anchor rather than as the core troops. Maybe there's something there with a gunline army with Deneghra1 but, as I say, I'm not convinced.
Starting a 25 point force & Expanding it
If you want to try this theme but are still stuck for ideas, try this. It's designed to be relatively newbie friendly.
Buy the 2 player battlebox and sell the Cygnar models. Alternatively, buy the 1 player Cryx starter box and add a unit of Banes.
- 10 Bane Warriors (16)
- 16 points
- (45 points worth of models)
Expand the list to 25 points with three new models. Only one of which is locked into Dark Host.
- Bane Lord Tartarus (6) (Free)
- 10 Bane Warriors (16)
- 25 points
- (59 points worth of models)
In this step we have swapped to Skarre1 to take advantage of her Dark Guidance spell, which vastly increases the Banes' accuracy.
It's at this point that you need to decide whether you like the way Banes play, and double down on your Bane purchases, or whether to cut your losses and move to a different theme.
Assuming you want to stick with Dark Host, we're going to move to 50 by picking up some support pieces for Skarre1, the Warrior's CA, and Knights as a second core unit.
- Skarre1 [+28]
- Reaper (13)
- Slayer (10)
- Deathripper (6)
- Stalker (8)
- Doctor Stygius (4)
- Bane Lord Tartarus (6) (Free)
- Scrap Thrall x3 (2) (★)
- 10 Bane Warriors (16)
- Command Attachment (5) (Free)
- 50 points
- (89 points worth of models)
(★) Note, if you don't like or have Skarre1, you won't want to get the Scrap Thralls. They are only in the list for Skarre's unique Ritual Sacrifice spell. Most Cryx warcasters would be better with a Machine Wraith instead.
To expand to 75 points, it really comes down to what you like the look of, what's available, and what you need to beat your local opponents. Look at the List Building Advice section for thoughts on what else is worthwhile to pick up.
- All prices are Recommended Retail Price from PP's website (as of 2019.09) and are in $USD.
- Step 1:
- PIP 25002 ($90) Two player battlebox
- PIP 34127 ($40) Cryx battlebox
- PIP 34110 ($50) Bane Warriors
- Step 2:
- PIP 34068 ($12) Skarre1
- PIP 34028 ($12) Stalker
- PIP 34042 ($17) Bane Lord Tartarus
- Step 3:
- PIP 63019 ($18) Doctor Stygius
- PIP 34003 ($11) Scrap Thrall x3
- PIP 34071 ($28) Bane Warrior Command Attachment
- PIP 34101 ($85) Bane Knights
- PIP 34152 ($17) Bane Knight Command Attachment
Your army reaches absurd levels of hitting-power and ARM under her feat. Typically seen with Stalkers, Wraith Engines, Darragh Wrathe, and Bane Riders. The 4" Clouds can do a lot to keep her safe after feating. pSkarre has the best hit-buff in faction: Dark Guidance.
Her Dash spell bumps your Banes SPD up, especially if you combine it with Darragh, and her Deceleration spell can stack ARM to very good levels.
You'll lose out on a Reinforcement target, unless you bring Cephalyx.
Spending one of your Requisition Points on three Necrotechs to follow her around and repair her could be worth it, especially if you’re using Bane Riders, no other units, and can’t get free CAs.
Guns got you down? The Coven is the best delivery system in Cryx. Enemies will find themselves helpless when caught inside of Nightfall. They face a hard decision: allow Banes to charge first, or retreat their models and lose scenario presence.
Agathia is in a weird place relative to this theme.
- On one hand, she is a Bane model so will gain Prowl and can stand in the clouds all game in relative safety. Also she appreciates Veteran Leader from Bane Lord Tartarus giving her +1 to hit with spells and, if necessary, +1 to hit in melee too.
- On the other hand, her spell list and feat doesn't really do anything to support Banes.
- Released 2017.07
Other Cryx models
Rules Clarification: Theme Forces (Edit)
Themes that change a model's Faction [Show/Hide]
Rerolling the starting roll [Show/Hide]
Warjacks/Warbeasts with bonds [Show/Hide]
Including Mercenaries [Show/Hide]
Number of Mercenaries
Mercenaries and Ranking Officers
Including Partisan Mercenaries [Show/Hide]
Partisans & Theme Forces (Edit)
Requisition Points [Show/Hide]
Free models and Specialists (ADR) [Show/Hide]
Unit Attachments [Show/Hide]
When to apply theme benefits [Show/Hide]
See also these Theme-Specific Rulings [Show/Hide]