Theme - Dark Host

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Cryx Logo.jpg Theme - Dark Host

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

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.

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Theme Rules - Remix

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Rules subject to change - 2019 Theme Remix
All existing theme forces are changing from the "free cards" system into a new "Requistion Points" system. There will be an interim period between the end of 2019.07 to mid 2019.09 where players can use whichever system they prefer.

The Remixed version became officially available on the 26th July.

Theme Restrictions

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

  • This army can also include one Mercenary solo and one Mercenary unit that will work for Cryx.
    • These models/units can be included even if they have the Partisan [Cryx] rule.
    • Mercenary units can have non-Ranking Officer attachments
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Tip !
Void Archons don’t become Cryx models (boo!), but you can take two Archons and another Mercenary solo (yay!)

Full model list

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

This list was last updated: 2019.07   (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


(★) Void Archons don't count against your "Up to one Mercenary" slot

Requisition Points

You can spend each Requisition Point on either:

Theme Bonuses

  1. Bane models gain Prowl.
    Prowl - While this model has concealment, it gains stealth.
  2. 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.

Recent Changes

2019.07 Theme Remix

Theme Rules - Old

Old Restrictions   [Show/Hide]

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

Old Bonuses   [Show/Hide]
  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.

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.

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

  • 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.

    Step 1    
Buy the 2 player battlebox and sell the Cygnar models. Alternatively, buy the 1 player Cryx starter box and add a unit of Banes.

16 points
(45 points worth of models)

    Step 2    
Expand the list to 25 points with three new models. Only one of which is locked into Dark Host.

  • 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.

    Step 3    
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)
    • Skarlock Thrall (4) (★)
50 points
(89 points worth of models)

(★) Note, if you don't like or have Skarre1, you won't want to get the Skarlock or Scrap Thralls. They are only in the list for Skarre's unique Ritual Sacrifice spell. Most Cryx warcasters would be better with a second Deathripper instead.

    Step 4    
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.

    Order Codes    

Click here if you want a list of product codes to hand to your local game store for ordering.   [Show/Hide]
  • Models listed in red text are Special Order Models and if you're in the US your LGS will need to order them directly from PP, not via a distributor.
  • 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 34014 ($10) Skarlock Thrall
    • 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

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.

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.

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 - Master Gurglepox - Necrotech - Pistol Wraith - Scrap Thrall - Skarlock Thrall - Soul Trapper

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: 2019.09

Rules Clarifications

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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)
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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.
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Rules Clarification: Theme Forces     (Edit)

Rerolling the starting roll   [Show/Hide]
  • You cannot use the theme benefit to reroll if it is a draw. Instead both players reroll until there is a loser, and then the loser can use their reroll benefit (if they have it). (Infernal Ruling)
  • If both players have a reroll, first the original loser uses their reroll.
    • If the original loser still loses, fine.
    • If the original loser now wins, the other player can use their reroll.
    • If it is now a draw, both players reroll until there is a loser. Then the player that hasn't used their theme benefit reroll can still use it, if they want.
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 known bug in Warroom that allows you to take the full FA.)
  • Whether you used option 1 or 2 above, once they're in your theme force they count as a Faction model and so can be taken as a Requistion Option (if they fit the Requistion description). 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 Order of Illumination Resolutes in Heavy Metal), they will count against your "up to one Merc" allowance.

Mercenaries and Ranking Officers

  • Adding a Ranking Officer to a Merc unit doesn't increase the number of Merc units you can take.
Requisition Points   [Show/Hide]
  • You can choose the same Requisition option as many times as you like, as long as it doesn't put you over a FA limit.
  • You can't mix and match models from different options. Say one option allows 3 Machine Wraiths and another allows 3 Necrotechs. You can't use your Requisition Point to get 2 Wraiths and 1 Necrotech.
  • If you have an option that allows one other solo, you can't use it to get something already on the list. For instance, Ghost Fleet allows 3 Misery Cages (which are FA 4) for one Requistion Point, and it allows 1 other solo. That "other solo" can't be a 4th Cage.
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   [Show/Hide]
  • If a unit is allowed in a theme, any-and-all of its attachments are allowed too. Exception: Ranking Officers are not allowed unless explicitily mentioned.
  • If the theme force gives a benefit to a specific unit, any-and-all attachments to that unit will benefit too. Even if it is a "generic" attachment like the Void Leech. (Infernal Ruling)
    For example, a Trollkin Sorcerer will gain Serenity if its attached to a Dhunian Knot unit in a Power of Dhunia theme force.
  • If your theme allows "3 weapon attachments" as a freebie, you can spread them into different units.
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 - Black Industries   [Show/Hide]
  • The entry which allows "Cephalyx models/units" only applies to Partisan Cephalyx. That's because the theme's rules start off with "this army can only include the following Cryx models"​. Partisan Cephalyx are the only ones that fill that condition.
  • The Cephalyx Agitator also works for Cryx and can go in Black Industries but, because it is not a Partisan, it will use up your Mercenary solo slot.
  • (Infernal Ruling)

Protectorate - The Creator's Might   [Show/Hide]

Mercenary - Flame in the Darkness   [Show/Hide]
  • You can take any number of Mercenary jacks. You can also select two additional jacks from Khador and Cygnar in any combination you like. Character warjacks with a bond don't count against this limit of 2. (Infernal Ruling)
  • There is a bug in Warroom that allows you to take two Cygnar and two Khador jacks.
  • Morrowan Battle Priest:
    • If your warcaster is a Cygnar model that makes every unit you take a Cygnar unit, and Battle Priests can be attached to any unit.
      Warroom has a known bug where it doesn't allow this interaction.
    • If your warcaster is a Mercenary or Khador model, though, the only units the Battle Priest can attach to are the Morrow ones.
    • If you attach the Battle Priest to The Devil's Shadows Mutineers then it can be returned via Blood Bound. (Infernal Ruling)
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 - The Devourer's Host   [Show/Hide]
  • 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)
Circle - The Wild Hunt   [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)

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

Trollblood - Band of Heroes   [Show/Hide]
  • Boomhowler uses up your Minion slot. His Fell Calls ability is not enough to make him a "Fell Caller model/unit". (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]