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99% of this website is about Mark 3 (mk3), which is the previous edition of the game (2016 to 2022). The reasons for this are explained here.

1% of the website is about Mark 4 (mk4), but only in regards to which mk3 models are useable in mk4 Prime and which are mk4 Unlimited. See Legacy Armies for more detail.
Cryx Logo.jpg

Cryx Thrall Unit
Skarlock Commander
Command Attachment
Brute Thralls
Weapon Attachments

Mk4 icon.png
This model has not (yet) been updated with Mk IV rules, as of 2022.11. Privateer Press have promised it will get updated ... eventually.
You can view the Mk3 models that have been updated on this page.

Note that the rest of this page is about the model's Mark III rules.

Soldiers who survive an engagement may well experience the horror of seeing their fallen friends among the next wave of attackers. The lifeless eyes of their former companions stare from behind rotting flesh, while steam-powered pistons promise an impending and brutal death.

Literally fearless and all but mindless, brute thralls march ahead of scores of mechanithralls as they wade into combat.

Soldiers assailed by a skarlock commander and its thralls are tormented by the sight of their comrades brutally slaughtered, only to have their souls used as fuel to power the commander’s dark magic.

Basic Info


Missing Info
COST {{{cacost}}}
UNIT SIZE {{{casize}}}
FA {{{cafa}}}
Mechanithralls / Brutes
BASE Small / Medium
STR 7 / 9
MAT 5 / 6
M.A. N/A
DEF 12
ARM 12 / 14
CMD 6 / 5
ESSENCE {{{essence}}}
HP 1 / 8
F. Field N/A
WJP {{{wjp}}}
WBP {{{wbp}}}
IHP {{{ihp}}}
UNIT SIZE 6 or 10 & up to 3 WA & +1 CA
COST 6 or 9 +2 per Brute +3 CA
0.9 pts each (base unit)
1.3 pts each (full unit)
Warcaster 1
the Statblock



  • Steamfist (x2) - 0.5" reach, P+S 10 melee weapons
    • Combo Strike (★ Attack) - Make a melee attack. Instead of making a normal damage roll, the POW of the damage roll is equal to this model's STR plus twice the POW of this weapon. (Giving a total P+S = 13)

Brute Thrall


  • The Brute has a different statline
  • Undead symbol.jpg Undead
  • Shield Guard - Once per round, when a friendly model is directly hit by a non-spray ranged attack during your opponent's turn while within 3" of this model, you can choose to have this model directly hit instead. This model is automatically hit and suffers all damage and effects. This model cannot use Shield Guard while it is incorporeal, knocked down, or stationary. The Shield Guard special rule can only trigger once per attack roll.


  • Heavy Steamfist (x2) - 1" reach, P+S 14 melee weapons
    • Combo Strike (★ Attack) - Make a melee attack. Instead of making a normal damage roll, the POW of the damage roll is equal to this model's STR plus twice the POW of this weapon. (Giving a total P+S = 19)

Skarlock Commander

Skarlock Commander
Missing Info
Skarlock Commander.jpg
COST {{{cacost}}}
UNIT SIZE {{{casize}}}
FA {{{cafa}}}
Warcaster 0
BASE Small
STR {{{str}}}
M.A. 6
DEF 14
ARM 12
ESSENCE {{{essence}}}
HP 5
F. Field N/A
WJP {{{wjp}}}
WBP {{{wbp}}}
IHP {{{ihp}}}
Warcaster 1
the Statblock


  • Undead symbol.jpg Undead
  • Officer symbol.jpg Officer
  • Battle Wizard - Once per turn, when this model destroys one or more enemy models with a melee attack during its activation, immediately after the attack is resolved it can make one Magic Ability special attack or special action.
  • Magic Ability [ 6 ] - This model can cast spells. Normally this uses up the model's Combat Action and as such is limited to one spell per activation, but exceptions do exist.
  • Soul Taker: Soul Cage - This model can gain soul tokens. When a living enemy model is destroyed within 2" of this model, this model gains the destroyed model's soul token. This model can have up to three soul tokens at any time. This model can spend soul tokens for the following:
    • Invigorate - Once per turn, this model can spend a soul token anytime during its activation, if it does each model in its unit gains +1 to attack rolls until the end of the turn.
    • Strength of Death - During its Combat Action, this model can spend soul tokens to boost one attack or damage roll for each token spent.
  • Tactics: Advance Deployment - Models in this unit gain Advance Deployment.



Dark Fire

(★ Attack) 10 - 12 - Yes
When a living enemy model is destroyed by Dark Fire, the spellcaster gains the destroyed model's soul token regardless of the proximity of other models.

(★ Action) - Unit - - No
Enemy upkeep spells and animi on this model and its unit immediately expire.

Theme Forces

Thoughts on Mechanithralls

Mechanithralls in a Nutshell

Mechanithralls are cheap and disposable infantry. Victim stats mean that it's a rare occasion that they survive a hit. Low MAT means they struggle to hit anything with good defensive stats until you buff them up. They are not without their strengths, however. High model count and multiple attacks mean that you are going to be relying on statistics to get things done; roll enough dice and you should eventually get lucky. Combo strike allows for them to actually pose a threat to armor in larger numbers. They're faster than Bane infantry and much cheaper. Given their cheap price, it's not hard to just swarm enemy models with thralls and jam them up, allowing Brutes and other harder-hitting models to do your dirty work.

The important thing to remember is you don't actually take them to kill the enemy, you take them so they can die in great numbers for you (while the important parts of your army survive). A Necrosurgeon vastly increases their ability to remain on the battlefield. Rely on recursion to force your opponent to waste precious time trying to kill these guys. If a Dawnguard or a Gun Mage wastes a precious attack trying to kill one of these humble zombies, they are earning their keep.

If they do have to kill something, it is not out of the question. Remember that you are playing Cryx, the debuff faction. So with lots of rolls and strong debuffs they do pose a threat to the enemy.

Thoughts on adding the WA

Brute Thralls are larger, tougher, and more dangerous versions of Mechanithralls. They come with better MAT, POW, armor, and hit points. The most important thing they bring to your army is shield guard at a cost of two points per model. With hit points and armor to potentially survive a decently powered gun, they can vastly increase the survivability of not only the Mechanithralls, but your whole army. You can use the shield guard to absorb potentially devastating blasts on your thralls or high powered cannons aimed at your more important models like warjacks and solos.

In Strange Bedfellows especially the Brute Thrall has a lot of value vs high power guns as killing him will trigger Swift Vengeance on the solos in the army .

Thoughts on adding the CA

Probably the biggest boon for the thrall units is the extended command range which allows the unit to spread out further on the board. It makes a full unit of them far more survivable against AOEs. Disbinding might be useful when going up against upkeep-heavy armies, but out of this context he doesn't bring much to the table. Grants advanced deployments which is a very powerful tool. Allows you to choose a favorable match up for the thralls. Deploy them across from enemies who will struggle to produce the quantity of attacks needed to kill them. Invigorate is a great bonus for them, putting them at MAT 6 for the normal Thralls and MAT 7 for the Brutes.

Combos & Synergies

  • Necrosurgeon has awesome synergy, by regrowing the unit. Nothing says "tarpit" like a unit that grows as fast as you kill it.
  • Similarly, they have an awesome synergy with the Sepulcher colossal which has the same regrow ability.
  • Given how vulnerable Cryx warjacks are to even moderately powered gunfire, Mechanithralls may be worth taking solely for the cheap shield guards. Twelve points (6 for a minimum unit 6 for the Brutes) can provide you with a very effective way keeping important models alive against ranged attacks.
  • If you use the de-buff tools of Cryx, these guys will become a force to be reckoned with. Just a few examples:
    • Asphyxious4 - Dark Shroud effectively gives them +2 POW; casters with Scything Touch can also provide this.
    • Warwitch Deneghra - She's chock-full of de-buff spells, and her feat makes the thralls truly shine.
    • Skarre1 and Skarre2 - A select few models can have an awesome STR buff from the prime incarnation, and a key target will get a massive DEF debuff from the epic version's feat.
  • Lich Lord Terminus can provide them tough, a very powerful bonus given how many there are. This can potentially make them extremely difficult to kill efficiently. He also enjoys the presence of cheap Sacrificial Pawn targets.

Drawbacks & Downsides

  • They have stats to match their points cost. Their accuracy and durability is quite poor.
  • They're just cannon fodder without the Necrosurgeon.
  • Lots of figures to move, and lots of attacks to be rolled - you can easily run out of time, if death clock is in use
  • Unforgiving - your activation order must be spot on to make the most out of them.
  • Low command means that the squad of low armored models have to clump together rendering them particularly vulnerable to blast damage.
  • Susceptible to remove from play effects that will prevent recursion.

Tricks & Tips

  • Know when to use combo-strike against single wound targets (it doesn't matter whether you deal 1 damage or 10). These are my personal recommendations.
    • Against armor 16 and lower use multi-attack.
    • Against armor 17 and higher use combo-strike.
  • Know when to use combo strike against multi wound target (the amount of damage matters)
    • Multi-attacks against armor 13 and lower.
    • Combo-strike against armor 14 and higher.
  • They are fast, very cheap, and have low defense making them great "targeting beacons". Feel free to shoot them with good AoEs whiles after they run next to important enemies who can't normally be targeted.



Brute Thrall Femme Fatale. Con-exclusive model
  • The unit (without CA or WA) was released way back in Warmachine: Prime (2003)
  • The Brute Thrall WA was released in Warmachine: Superiority (2006)
  • The Skarlock CA was released in the Warmachine: Vengeance expansion (2014)
  • Sculptor: Will Hannah
  • Nickname(s): McThralls
  • The Brute Thrall Femme Fatale can be substituted for the stock Brute Thrall model.

Other Cryx models

Cryx Logo.jpg       Cryx Index       (Edit)            
Battlegroup & Similar

Agathia - Aiakos2 - Asphyxious1 - Asphyxious2 - Asphyxious3 - Coven - Deathjack2 - Deneghra1 - Deneghra2 - Deneghra3 - Goreshade1 - Goreshade2 - Goreshade3 - Mortenebra1 - Mortenebra2 - Rahera - Scaverous - Skarre1 - Skarre2 - Skarre3 - Sturgis2 - Terminus - Venethrax

Warcaster attachments

The Withershadow Combine - Satyxis Blood Priestess - Skarlock Thrall - Doctor Stygius (Partisan) - Madelyn Corbeau (Mercenary)

Other Warjack Controllers

Jack Marshals: Iron Lich Overseer       "Junior Warcasters": Aiakos1 - Asphyxious4 - Deneghra0


Cankerworm - Deathripper - Defiler - Helldiver - Nightwretch - Ripjaw - Scavenger - Shrike - Stalker


Barathrum - Corruptor - Deathjack1 - Desecrator - Erebus - Harrower - Kharybdis - Inflictor - Leviathan - Malice - Nightmare - Reaper - Seether - Slayer

Colossal Kraken - Sepulcher
Units, Solos, Battle Engines, & Structures

Asphyxious4 - Bane Knights - Bane Riders - Bane Warriors - Bile Thralls - BO Boarding Party - BO Ironmongers - BO Smog Belchers - Blackbane's Ghost Raiders - Bloodgorgers - Marauders - Carrion Thralls - Cephalyx Drudges - Cephalyx Overlords - Mechanithralls - Necrosurgeon - Revenant Cannon - Revenant Crew - Satyxis Gunslingers - Satyxis Blood Witches - Satyxis Raiders - Scharde Dirge Seers - Scharde Pirates - Soulhunters - The Devil's Shadow Mutineers - The Withershadow Combine


Aiakos1 - Agrimony - Axiara - Bane Lord Tartarus - Bloat Thrall - BTO Mobius - Captain Rengrave - Darragh Wrathe - Doctor Stygius - Deneghra0 - Gerlak - Hellslinger - Iron Lich Overseer - Machine Wraith - Master Gurglepox - Misery Cage - Necrotech - Ol' Grim - Pistol Wraith - Satyxis Blood Priestess - Satyxis Raider Captain - Scrap Thrall - Skarlock Thrall - Severa Blacktide - Soul Trapper - Warwitch Siren

Battle Engines & Structures Wraith Engine
Theme Forces
Black Industries - Dark Host - The Ghost Fleet - Scourge of the Broken Coast
Refer to Who Works for Whom and/or Category: Cryx Mercenary
This index was last updated: 2021.11

Rules Clarifications

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Rules Clarification : Combo Strike      (Edit)

  • You cannot make a Combo attack if the weapon is crippled. Refer "Crippled Systems" in the core rulebook.
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Rules Clarification:  : Magical Damage      (Edit)
(Click Expand to read)

* The "Damage Type: Magical" is not inherited by "secondary" damage from a weapon. That is, stuff like arcs (Electro Leap) or hazards (Scather). (Infernal Ruling)
  • All spells have "Damage Type: Magical" (refer errata).
    • This is inherited by "immediate" secondary damage (such as Eruption of Spines). (Infernal Ruling)
    • and might be inherited by "lingering" secondary damage (see below).
  • If a spell leaves a template in play that does damage to models that walk around in it, then:
    • if it is not described as a hazard it will do magical damage to models that walk around in it. (Example: Razor Wall)
    • if it is a hazard then it will not do magical damage to models that walk around in it. Instead, it does whatever damage type is specified by the spell description. (Example: Breath of Corruption).
    • (Infernal Ruling)
  • If a weapon/spell includes Magic Damage and another kind of elemental damage it will still damage Incorporeal models. Incorporeal models are not affected by the rule "if an attack does multiple types of damage and a model is immune to at least one it is immune to the entire attack."
    The phrase "immune to non-magical damage" should be interpreted as "immune to damage that doesn't include Damage Type: Magical" (not interpreted as "has immunity to Corrosion and Electricity and Cold and etc.")

Rules Clarification : Undead - None yet. (Edit)

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Rules Clarification : Shield Guard and/or Shadow Guardian     (Edit)

  • You can't use this ability vs spells.
  • You shift all effects onto the new model, including stuff that triggers on "when this attack hits".
  • When you use this ability vs an AOE attack, the template moves too. Because, with reference to Apdx A, the hit 'moves' at Step 6 and the template placement is determined at Step 7.
  • This ability doesn't work vs Point Blank attacks. Because Point Blank attacks are melee attacks that are made using a ranged weapon.
    • On the other hand, it will work vs Gunfighter attacks.
  • Shield Guard only
    • Since Shield Guard specifies "opponent's turn", it can't be used against stuff that shoots in your own turn (such as Watcher or Counterblast).
    • The Shield Guard does not necessarily need to be in the attacker's LOS or range.
    • The Shield Guarder is always hit even if they have an ability that makes them automatically get missed, such as Stealth. (Automatically missing is determined earlier in the timing sequence than the Shield Guard moving the hit.) (Infernal Ruling)

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Rules Clarification : Officer      (Edit)

  • Even if they're not on the Officer's card, an Officer can give (and benefit from) any non-standard orders that are on the unit's card (such as Shield Wall). Refer main rulebook.
  • When the Officer dies, the Leader model becomes the new Unit Commander (you don't get to choose).
  • But if your unit doesn't include a Leader model, then you do get to choose any of the remaining models to be the new Unit Commander. You don't swap the model, but it may be worth putting a token down so you can tell that grunt apart.
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Rules Clarification : Battle Wizard      (Edit)

  • A Battle Wizard doesn't have to kill a model to cast a spell. They can instead skip making melee attacks and use their Combat Action to cast a spell.
  • Cavalry Battle Wizards can trigger it from their Mount Attacks. (Infernal Ruling)
  • This does not, however, allow them to trigger it twice in the same turn. (Infernal Ruling)
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Rules Clarification : Magic Ability      (Edit)

  • Combat Action
Nearly all Magic Ability spells require the spellcaster to use their Combat Action to cast the spell. As such it is not an "at any time" ability (like it is when warcasters/warlocks cast spells). This means ...
  • You must complete your movement before you use a MA.
  • A model in a unit cannot use its Combat Action to cast a spell until all members of the unit have completed their movement. (Infernal Ruling)
  • You cannot make initial ranged or initial melee attacks on the same turn you use a MA.
  • You cannot buy additional melee/ranged attacks after using a MA special attack. Refer to the core rulebook, "Special attacks listed as a rule of the model itself are neither melee attacks nor ranged attacks. The rules for these special attacks indicate the nature of any additional attacks that can be made afterward, if any."
  • You cannot use a MA on the same turn you charge. Because a charge must (almost always) be followed by a melee attack.
  • Non-Combat Action
There are a few models that can use a Magic Ability without using their Combat Action. These models get around all the restrictions listed above.
  • Models with Geomancy or Necromancy can use a Magic Ability at "any time" just like a warcaster/warlock.
  • Models with Battle Wizard or Necrophage can make melee attacks then get a bonus "free" spell.
  • Models with Combat Caster can cast a spell before charging, then do a normal charge + melee attack.
  • Note that Battle Wizards, Combat Casters, etc have the option to use their Combat Action to cast a spell. Their special rule is in addition to the normal spell casting, not instead of.
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Rules Clarification : Dark Fire      (Edit)

  • "Regardless of proximity" soul takers (Edit)
    • The model which ignores distance doesn't always get the soul. Abilities which say you "can't" collect souls (such as Soul Ward) trump it, due to the general rule that "can't trumps can".
    • If there are multiple models that all have the "regardless of proximity" clause, then you randomise who the soul goes to. (Infernal Ruling)

Rules Clarification : Disbinding - None yet. (Edit)
Rules Clarification : Soul Cage - None yet. (Edit)
Rules Clarification : Invigorate - None yet. (Edit)
Rules Clarification : Strength of Death - None yet. (Edit)

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Rules Clarification : Tactics vs Granted     (Edit)

  • Granted = The unit loses the ability as soon as the model that grants it is taken off the table. (think "G for Goes away")
  • Tactics = The unit keeps the ability for the entire game, regardless of who dies. (think "Tac-Tick = K for Keeps")
  • Granted [ Vengeance ]
    • If the model granting Vengeance dies, the unit will not get any Vengeance attacks.
    It is "If you have Vengeance, and you were damaged last turn, you get a move+attack."
    It is not "If you get damaged, you get Vengeance next turn."
    • If you lose Vengeance halfway through resolving Vengeance, then you stop resolving Vengeance immediately. (Infernal Ruling)
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Rules Clarification : Advance Deployment      (Edit)

  • Sometimes you can attach a WA or CA that doesn't have AD to a unit that does have AD. If you do, the attachment effectively gains AD and they can all advance deploy together. (Locked Thread)

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Note to Editors
To edit the WA's tagged abilities, Click here
To edit the CA's tagged abilities, Click here