Theme - Dark Host

From LOS Warmachine University
Jump to: navigation, search
We have 1219 articles and 90% are complete!   Please help us finish these articles (and/or the rest) (Edit)  
Locke (1 year review) Suppresor (one year review) Exemplar Bastion Seneschal (one year review) Exemplar Errants (One one year review)

Cryx Logo.jpg Theme - Dark Host

Cryx Theme Force
Black Industries - Dark Host - The Ghost Fleet - Infernal Machines - Scourge of the Broken Coast - Slaughter Fleet Raiders

Bane Thrall art.jpg

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.

Theme Rules

Theme Restrictions

An army made use the Dark Host theme force can include only the following Cryx models:

Full model list

The models allowed in Dark Host are:   [Show/Hide]

This list was last updated: 2017.06   (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.



Battle Engines


  • One solo
  • One unit

Theme Bonuses

  1. You may also include one Mercenary solo and one Mercenary unit that will work for Cryx.
    • These models can be included even if they have the Partisan [Cryx] rule.
    • Mercenary units in this army can include attachments, including a Ranking Officer.
  2. For every full 20 points of Cryx units and battle engines in this army, you can free of cost either:
    • one CA, or
    • one medium-based solo, or
    • one small-based solo.
    Free models don't count towards the 20 points.
  3. Bane models gain Prowl.
  4. Before either player deploys models, you can place two 4" AOE dense fog terrain features completely within 20" of your table edge.

Recent Changes

No changes since 2017.06

Thoughts on this Theme Force

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 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 let's you easily zip into concealment (which includes the fog) 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.

Note: In SR2017, dense fog placed by theme forces does not expire per normal terrain rules. (Link in the Rules Clarifications section.)

Theme weaknesses

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.

Slow SPD
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.

List Building Tips

  • Your first free solo should always be Bane Lord Tartarus.
  • A Wraith Engine is almost mandatory in this list. It'll contribute to your free points, and help 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 that is less great 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 or contribute to your free points, 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.

Starting a 25 point force

If you want to try this theme but are still stuck for ideas, try this. It's relatively newbie friendly.

Caster Thoughts


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.


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.

Bane Witch Agathia

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

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

Agathia - Aiakos2 - Asphyxious1 - Asphyxious2 - Asphyxious3 - Coven - 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 - Madelyn Corbeau (Mercenary)
Other Warjack Controllers Iron Lich Overseer (Marshal) - Aiakos1 (BGC) - Deneghra0 (BGC)

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


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

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

BO Boarding Party - BO Ironmongers - BO Smog Belchers - Bloodgorgers - Marauders - Cephalyx Drudges - Cephalyx Overlords - Satyxis Gunslingers - Satyxis Blood Witches - Satyxis Raiders - Scharde Dirge Seers - Scharde Pirates - The Devil's Shadow Mutineers

Units - Undead

Bane Knights - Bane Riders - Bane Warriors - Bile Thralls - Carrion Thralls - Mechanithralls - Necrosurgeon - Revenant Cannon - Revenant Crew - Soulhunters - The Withershadow Combine

Solos - Living/Construct

Aiakos1 - Axiara - Darragh Wrathe - Deneghra0 - Gerlak - Misery Cage - Satyxis Blood Priestess - Satyxis Raider Captain - Severa Blacktide - Warwitch Siren

Solos - Undead

Agrimony - Bane Lord Tartarus - Bloat Thrall - BTO Mobius - Captain Rengrave - Hellslinger - Iron Lich Overseer - Machine Wraith - Necrotech - Pistol Wraith - Scrap Thrall - Skarlock Thrall - Soul Trapper

Battle Engines & Structures Wraith Engine
Theme Forces
Black Industries - Dark Host - The Ghost Fleet - Infernal Machines - Scourge of the Broken Coast - Slaughter Fleet Raiders
Refer to Who Works for Whom and/or Category: Cryx Mercenary
This index was last updated: 2019.05

Rules Clarifications

RC symbol.png

Rules Clarification : Prowl      (Edit)

  • Whether you can trigger Prowl is a bit awkward; As long as you have concealment you can trigger Prowl ... even if the attacker ignores concealment, (such as with Hunter).
    • If you're standing in a cloud, and the attacker "ignores clouds for LOS" (such as Bird's Eye) you get Prowl.
    • If you're standing in a cloud, and the attacker "ignores clouds completely" (such as Alchemical Mask) you don't get Prowl. (Infernal Ruling)
    • Similar for standing in a forest.
  • If a debuff removes Stealth, Prowl does not reapply stealth. But this ruling is being rechecked. (Infernal Checking)
RC symbol.png

Rules Clarification : Stealth      (Edit)

  • "Automatically missing" is not the same as "cannot be hit by".
  • For instance, a stealth model can still be the target of an AOE attack and although it auto-misses, if the AOE deviates onto them they will get damaged.
RC symbol.png

Rules Clarification: Theme Forces     (Edit)

Rerolling the starting roll   [Show/Hide]
  1. If the original dice roll is a draw, you can choose to either use your theme-benefit-reroll (TBR) on your die only, or let both players reroll the dice and save your TBR for later.
  2. If you lose the original dice roll, then use your TBR and get a draw, then that's your TBR used up. Both players will now reroll the tie normally until there is a winner/loser.
  3. If both players have a TBR and the original roll is not a tie, then the loser will reroll (unless he really wants to lose). If his new roll results in:
    • If the loser is now the winner, the ex-winner can use his TBR to try and beat it.
    • If the loser is now tied with the ex-winner, then the ex-winner can choose whether to use his TBR or save it for later, as described in #1.
  4. If both players have a TBR and the original roll is a tie, then both players reroll it until there is a winner/loser, then you can start using your TBR as described in #3.
Warjacks/Warbeasts with bonds   [Show/Hide]
  • A warjack/warbeast with a bond can always be included in a theme force, whether or not they're in the list of allowed models, but only if they're controlled by that bonded model.
  • This applies even if that bonded model isn't a full warcaster/warlock (changed as of 2018.06).
Including Mercenaries   [Show/Hide]

Number of Mercenaries

  • If your "up to one Merc" ...
    • ... can take warbeasts/warjacks, then you can add warbeast(s)/warjack(s) (without exceeding your "up to one" allowance)
    • ... comes with a Companion model, then you'll get that Companion (without exceeding your "up to one" allowance)
  • There is a bug in Warroom that allows you to not only take one Merc solo/unit, but the entire FA of that Merc solo/unit. It's a bug.

Partisans & Theme Forces (Edit)

  1. If the theme force has the Partisan model on the list of allowed models, then it doesn't use up your "Up to one mercenary" slot, and so you can take the full FA plus another mercenary. Example: Cephalyx in Black Industries or Kayazy in Jaws of the Wolf. (Infernal Ruling)
  2. If the Partisan isn't on the list, it does use up your "Up to one mercenary" slot, and you can only take one. There is a bug in Warroom that allows you to take multiple.
  • Whether you used option 1 or 2 above, once they're in your theme force they count as a Faction model and so...
    • they can count towards free points (if applicable). For instance, Nyss will count towards the "20 points of Retribution units" in the Defenders of Ios theme. (Infernal Ruling)
    • they can be taken free of cost (if applicable). For instance, Eiryss1 can be taken as a free solo in the Legion of Dawn theme. (Infernal Ruling)

Mercenaries and Quasi-Partisans

  • Some themes include a benefit that says "If this model is included, it counts as a Faction model instead of a Mercenary model". For example Greygore in Kriel Company.
    In this case, the mercenary model has effectively gained Partisan and is subject to the FA limits described above. To reiterate:
    • If that Merc is in the list of allowed models allowed (such as Savio in Storm Division), they won't count against your "up to one Merc" allowance.
    • If that Merc isn't in the list, (such as the Devil's Shadows in Slaughter Fleet Raiders), they will count against your "up to one Merc" allowance.

Mercenaries and Ranking Officers

  • If you can include a Merc unit, and its attachments, then you can attach a Ranking Officer. This is true regardless whether or not that Ranking Officer is on the list of "Allowed models". (Infernal Ruling)
    • This may change with the remix 2019.08
  • Adding a Ranking Officer to a Merc unit doesn't increase the number of Merc units you can take.
  • The Merc unit will count towards your "X points of [Faction] models/units" benefit (if your theme is worded that way). (Infernal Ruling)
Benefits for a single model/unit (eg "One unit of [blah] gains [yaddah]")   [Show/Hide]
  • If you need to choose which models get your theme bonus, then you do this choice after deployment. (Infernal Ruling)
  • An example is how Winter Guard Kommand gives Advance Move to one-warjack-of-your-choice-per-WG-unit.
    • In comparison, Destruction Initiative gives all Servitors the Shield Guard ability so you don't need to "make" a choice.
  • You should still write on your army list how many of these bonuses you get to hand out, though, so your opponent can clearly see. (Infernal Ruling)
    • ie at the bottom of your list, you'd write "3 warjacks gain Advance Move" but you don't need to state which three are going to get the bonus.
Free models and Specialists (ADR)    [Show/Hide]
  • If your theme only allows one merc solo, you can't have one in your main list and a different one in your specialists.
Unit Attachments & free points    [Show/Hide]
When to apply theme benefits   [Show/Hide]
  • Theme force benefits are applied when you construct your list and models keep the benefit for the whole game. You don't gain/lose theme benefits due to in-game changes.
    Also, if you put a new model into play midgame, they immediately gain any relevant benefits too. (Infernal Ruling)
    • For example, Scourge of the Broken Coast gives Dodge to "models in the army." If your opponent takes control of one of them, it keeps Dodge even though it's currently not "in the army".
    • For example, Storm Division gives lightning immunity to "Cygnar models in the army." If you include a Mercenary unit with a Ranking Officer, they will get the theme benefit and also keep it even after the Ranking Officer dies.

Cryx - Ghost Fleet   [Show/Hide]
  • The "free solo" can be any kind of solo, it doesn't have to be a Revenant solo.
Cryx - Scourge of the Broken Coast   [Show/Hide]

Protectorate - The Faithful Masses   [Show/Hide]
  • A Mercenary unit with an Attendant Priest does count as Protectorate unit for the purpose of calculating points for free cards. There is a bug in Warroom that prevents it counting properly. (Staff Ruling)
Protectorate - The Creator's Might   [Show/Hide]

Mercenary - Llaelese Resistance   [Show/Hide]
  • It is 2 Cruicible or 2 Cygnar or 2 Menoth.
    You can't take more than 2, and you can't mix and match from multiple Factions. (Infernal Ruling)
Mercenary - The Talion Charter   [Show/Hide]
  • The 3rd benefit is "Sac Pawn [Sea Dog trooper]", not just any Sea Dog. (Infernal ruling)

Circle - The Bones of Orboros   [Show/Hide]
  • Una1 cannot be taken in this theme (yet) due to the conflict between the theme's "Only Construct warbeasts allowed" and Una1's "Must take warbeasts with flight". There are no construct warbeasts with flight (yet). But if/when there is, then Una1 can be taken in this theme. (Infernal Ruling)
Circle - Call of the Wild   [Show/Hide]
  • When it comes to other things that alter COST (such as Lamentation), follow basic maths: Double/halve first, then add/subtract.
  • Due to the way Tanith's feat is worded, during her feat turn the COST of animi cannot drop below 1. (Infernal Ruling)
Circle - The Devourer's Host   [Show/Hide]
  • Free Tharn models do count towards the free corpse tokens. (Infernal Ruling)
  • Bradigus1 is not legal in this theme. The theme only allows living warbeasts, his rules only allow construct warbeasts, and you can't just 'skip' his battlegroup - you have to spend your warbeast points.
  • If you create a new model mid-game (ie with the Well of Orboros and that model can have corpse tokens, that model does not enter play with a corpse. Because it's not the beginning of the game. (Locked thread)

Legion - Children of the Dragon   [Show/Hide]
  • If you select Incubi as your "one" solo, you get five of them. (Infernal Ruling)

Skorne - The Exalted   [Show/Hide]
  • If a Construct model loses the Construct advantage mid-game, it keeps the theme benefit anyway. (Infernal Ruling)

Trollblood - Kriel Company   [Show/Hide]
  • Despite being treated as a Trollblood unit during a game, Dannon, Blythe, and Greygore still use up your Minion slot during list creation. They are more like a Partisan Minion unit, in that respect. (Infernal Ruling)

Crucible Guard - Magnum Opus   [Show/Hide]
  • If Mosby is attached to a Mercenary weapon crew unit, they would gain 3" reposition and would not lose it if Mosby is no longer in the unit. (Infernal Ruling)

Infernals - Hearts of Darkness   [Show/Hide]