Theme - Operating Theater
| Theme - Operating Theater |
Mercenary Theme Force
The inscrutable cephalyx tirelessly perform diabolical experiments on their captives deep below the earth. Masters of powerful psychic energies and advanced surgery, these alien beings shape both the minds and bodies of lesser creatures to create heavily modified laborers and warrior slaves to suit the sinister agenda of their vast underground hives.
- 1 Theme Rules
- 2 Cephalyx Unique Rules
- 3 Thoughts on Operating Theater
- 4 Other
An army made use the Operating Theater theme force can include only the following Mercenary models:
- Cephalyx warcasters
- Non-character monstrosities
- Cephalyx solos/units
- Non-Cephalyx units with Cephalyx Dominator command attachments
- Asphyxious the Sanctified and Annihilation Servitors
- Void Archon solos
- This army can also include Bloat Thrall, Machine Wraith, and Pistol Wraith solos. These solos are considered to be Mercenary solos instead of Cryx solos.
Full Model List
This list was last updated: 2020.02 (Edit)
- Cephalyx warcasters cannot take warjacks.
- Asphyxious4 can take warjacks.
- MacHorne1 plus a Cephalyx Dominator can take a warjack.
- Bloat Thrall
- Bloat Thrall Overseer Mobius
- Cephalyx Agitator
- Doctor Stygius
- Machine Wraith
- Pistol Wraith
- Void Archon
- Two Cephalyx Agitator solos
- One other small- or medium-based solo
- Operating Theatre is a Cephalyx theme (and therefore fulfills the requirements of Selective and Limited Employment)
- Monstrosities gain Hyper-Aggressive.
- Hyper-Aggressive - When this model suffers damage from an enemy attack at any time except while it is advancing, after the attack is resolved it can immediately make a full advance directly toward the attacking model.
- Drudge models in the army gain Rise
- Rise - If this model is knocked down at the beginning of your Maintenance Phase, it stands up.
- One Cephalyx Mind Slaver & Drudge unit gains Ambush.
- Ambush - You can choose not to deploy this unit at the start of the game. If it is not deployed normally, you can put it into play at the end of any of your Control Phases after your first turn. When you do, choose any table edge except the back of your opponent's deployment zone. Place all models in the unit in formation completely within 3" of the chosen table edge.
- Game-wide Remix changes
- Void Archons added to the list of allowed models
- New benefit: drudges get rise. Other 3 remain the same.
2020.01 Doctor Stygius released
2020.02 Strange Bedfellows
- Asphyxious4 added to the list of allowed models.
Cephalyx Unique Rules
Refer to Cephalyx Rules.
Thoughts on Operating Theater
- Please add some thoughts on Asphyxious4, then delete this tag
Operating Theater in a Nutshell
This theme force is used to field the inscrutable forces of Cephalyx. Most Cephalyx models can only play in this theme.
Playing as a Cephalyx player is like playing as the dealer in a game of three card monte. Most of your Cephalyx Drudges, and your monstrosities are awful, but some are going to be outstanding. And you get to decide which ones. Which of your heavies becomes the arc node for the turn. Which of your Cephalyx Drudges leaps from a poor MAT and decent attack power to an amazing MAT and attack power. And which of your Drudges gets turned into a walking bomb or spray. But there is one way to "win" a game of three card monte as the punter that's illegal in the real world. Punch the dealer in the face. In your case it's not just your Warcaster; you need to keep your unit leaders safe. The death of the Mind Bender or Mind Slaver leave you with awful troops who need to huddle together. If your Cephalyx Dominator dies your mercs run away. And your Cephalyx Agitator and Cephalyx Overlords are the key to actually hitting. Everything else is disposable.
For really heavy armour you can use one of the Mind Bender's tricks and a Combined Melee Attack well to give Drudges in the Slaver unit a MAT in double figures, and a P+S just short of 20. This is not something even the most extreme ARM-skew lists are going to survive if they make contact. Defensively, Thralls have all the DEF of a heavy warjack, and ARM high enough to make blast damage not much of an issue (although they die to any direct hits). Oh, and they are tough. As, thanks to the Dominator, are any mercenaries you brought along (always assuming you didn't shank the Dominator on turn 1 so that your opponent couldn't take your mercs out of the game on turn 3). This means that a Cephalyx list is basically a massive wave of tough, almost blast-immune infantry that excels at breaking heavy armour. And gets destroyed by enemies with good spot-removal abilities.
Cephalyx have fallen far behind the power curve and only rarely get new models, having received only three since inception (Cyphon, Stygius and Void Archons) besides Dominator-attached units. They never really caught on with the players and are likely to languish for some time due to unpopularity.
List Building Tips
- Drudges are effectively an all-or-nothing proposition. Awful troops but sometimes quantity has a quality all of its own and many lists simply can't kill 60+ points split between Drudges and Alexia Ciannor & the Risen fast enough. This works out at just over a point per model for tough troops (with Alexia recycling the killed drudges for even more annoyance).
- Spamming Monstrosities can work pretty effectively. They are cheap, tough. and with a Cephalyx Agitator hit hard.
- Errata has restored the theme to its original MK2 form with the ability to take a few cryx solos. This has opened a few more options, such as using Machine Wraiths & Pistol Wraiths as psuedo-Gremlin Swarms.
- Two Agitators should be your first choice at 6 points, and after that Mobius is 6 and the Pistol Wraiths 5.
- It is the only theme where you can essentially field all the merc units together, so long as you bring the attachments.
- Press Gangers can either ambush or advance deploy giving you an important scenario edge. Fallen unit members fuel Alexia and can be Shanghai'd back by the remaining Press Gangers.
- Croe's Cutthroats work very well with ambushers as the enemy has to turn around to deal with them, exposing their back arcs. Thexus can also turn models around telekineticly.
- Herne & Jonne can provide Artillerst to Subduers, but also to Bloat Thralls. It even stacks with Mobius's Spotter Battle Plan on the same thrall since they are rules with different names, making for a RAT 9 Despoiler shot.
- Horgenhold Forge Guard are the hardest hitting melee units in the faction. They are slow though, so they appreciate Thexus's movement tricks.
Starting a 25 point force
The following is a good grounding into the Cephalyx
- Exulon Thexus or Cognifex Cyphon (+29)
- Cephalyx Overlords 8
- Cephalyx Mind Slaver & Drudges (Min) (8)
- Cephalyx Mind Bender & Drudges (Min) (7)
- Cephalyx Agitator *2 (free)
- Machine Wraith 2
You can either use Cyphon or Thexus in this list; Thexus is probably stronger at higher point values but Cyphon has a really good feat at this point value. This list has a spare warjack point. Arguably, using 3x Warden (and dropping the Machine Wraith) is better than 2x Wrecker, but if you're just starting out, 2 heavy kits might be easier to buy than 3.
The very first theme force released in mk3, it actually had its rules written into the core rulebook.
Cephalyx came out the year after Convergence, and while they had enough models to become a mini faction, PP decided to make them a Mercenary theme force instead, which turned into a failed experiment as players did not want to buy into Mercenaries to play them at the time.
Other Mercenary 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]