Battle Report 113: Mercenaries (Cognifex Cyphon) vs Skorne (eMakeda) – Oppression Overwhelming vs Overwhelming Oppression!

This battle begins my path into the unknown, as I take control of Nick’s Cephalyx army for a while to satisfy a desire I’ve had ever since this contract was created!  I’ve created a few lists I want to try out and perfect, things will be a little dicey at first, but I hope to be a fine Mind Slaver in no time.


Won’t you join me?

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So this week Kassem and I were paired up to duke it out in the hallowed grounds of the Game Chamber.  As I mentioned earlier, I have been theory-crafting some Cephalyx lists for a while now.  (Somewhere in the archives I believe there is a game between Adam and I where I played Thexus in 3Gaspy.)  The two lists I penned were Exulon Thexus and the following Cyphon list:

Cognifex Cyphon
– Wrecker
– Wrecker
– Wrecker
– Wrecker
– Warden
Mind Bender & Drudges (max)
Mind Bender & Drudges (max)
Mind Bender & Drudges (max)
Mind slaver & Drudges (min)  Tier bonus
Objective: Fuel Cache

This is my Cyphon list mk1.  It goes all the way to tier 4, granting me the bonuses of FA:U Mind benders, +2 SPD for drudges on the first turn, advance moves for all Monstrosities, and a free min unit of Mind Slavers.  It’s a list that if you play in tier has a very straight forward construction, and the end result is a surprisingly fast hard hitting army that can be on the 22″ line turn 1.  The main thing this list wants to play into is armour skews or beast/jack heavy builds, as four wreckers can (in theory) make a mockery of armour.  In one word what this list does not want to see is Cryx, or weapon master spam in any form.  (The one list that makes me nervous now is Butcher 2’s Mad Dogs Doom Reaver spam list.)


IMG_20160316_185001The scenario was Close Quarters.  My deployment was pretty straight forward, Monstrosities up front, Drudges in the back.  (Phrasing.)  Cyphon was close to his flag with the idea of dominating as quickly as he could, and the Agitators were evenly spread out.


Kassem presented me with his pMorghoul and the following eMakeda list

Supreme Archdomina Makeda
– Titan Gladiator
– Archidon
– Despoiler
Cataphract Incindiarii (max)
Nihilators (max)
Nihilators (max)
Beast Handlers (min)
Tyrant Commander & Standard


This is a solid looking list to me.  Giving Nihilators all the benefits of Makeda’s feat, plus Road to war, plus the Tyrant Commander (TyCom’s) bonus, means that they will get into place and destroy all your hopes and dreams.  The only thing that can really stop them is tough.


IMG_20160316_185127Kassem deploys with the Inciniarii front and center, with a unit of Nihilators on each side.  Makeda and her battlegroup are relatively centered, with the Despoiler a little more off to the right.

With that, we are ready to commence rocking out with certain appendages out!

Cephalyx, Turn 1

Before the game begins, all of my Monstrosities get their advanced move.

After that one focus is allocated to three Wreckers, who then take it in turns running up to take a very aggressive board position.  One dives into a trench to try to make it a little more difficult to be hit by the inevitable Incindus barrage.  The Warden assumes his shield guard position behind the Wreckers.  All units of Drudges run forward with their speed bonus and form the second line, ready to die. I mean, do the bidding of their masters… guess I had it right the first time.


Cyphon floats forwardand tries to put Perseverance onto the Warden, but is just out of range.  If only I had a way to amplify my spell range.  D’oh, first mistake, but its not a game changing one at least.  So instead Cyphon camps four focus and silently waits while the sea of drudges finishes assembling around him.


Skorne, Turn 1

Makeda started things off, casting Road to War (for an extra 2″ of movement) and Leash onto the Archidon.  She then meandered forward, as this is a kill-box mission, with her trusty Archidon in tow.  The incindiarii were next, advancing and lobbing shots into my Drudges.  After the smoke cleared only one Drudge lay dead, with two more on fire.  Kassem also put a bit of damage into the Wrecker on my right, as hitting DEF 10 isn’t hard.  Next the Nihilators ran far forward and spread out to guard their flag and commence operation speed-bump.

IMG_20160316_190952On the other flank the second unit of Nihilators advanced just as wrecklessley but due to the large obstruction couldn’t get quite as far forward without being easy targets.  So they spread out ready to counter charge into whatever tried for the flag.


End of turn one, no scoring, but shit’s about to get real.


Cephalyx, Turn 2

I think about things for a minute and decide to use Cyphon’s feat more defensively, for the +3 armour.  Cyphon advances again towards his flag and attempts to mind wipe the Nihilators standing nearby.  One two are hit, one toughs.  Cyphon then uses the knocked down Nihilator to cast Breath Stealer and then sacs Drudge to get an Emphatic Overload deep into the unit, killing another three.

IMG_20160316_192637Two Agitators move up and use Agitate to give a bonus to my Drudges and Monstrosities.  My front three Wreckers advance forward into Kassem’s battle line and start throwing thier Balls around.  (The ones on chains you perverts.)  One Wrecker gets its chain attack blood-bath off as one Nihilator toughs in front of him.  He manages to take out another Nihiliator, but sadly the Incindiarii is just out of range.  The Mind Bender and Drudges on my right run forward to try to jam the Nihilators back.

IMG_20160316_192620IMG_20160316_192645No points scored yet, however I’m pretty happy with how things are going so far.  I’ve almost cleared out my left flank, and due to the obstruction & forest forced his army into a bit of a bottleneck.  What could go wrong?


Skorne, Turn 2

Makeda up keeps Leach for free, thanks to her Despoiler friend.  Leaches the fury back in and begins.  Starting with Makeda, she walks out (or into) the kill-box, casts Road to War and Feats.  She camps the rest as Kassem, for one of the few times, decides to be a bit cautious in case I’m somehow able to get to Makeda.  The Incindiarii advance a little and take more shots, still not doing much damage as my tough rolls are on fire, but hurting my one wreker up a little more.  The TyCom puts Press Forward onto the Nihilators who with Makeda’s feat are able to walk into all sorts of silly positions.  Not that he needed it, but the boosted attack rolls let Kassem clear out the right side of Drudges pretty easily.

IMG_20160316_194823The Beast Handlers go next, Enraging all of his Beasts.  The Archidon charges, doing decent damageand leaves its Wrecker with only a functioning right arm.  The Gladiator charges and absolutely flubbs it’s rolls.  The Wrecker is attacked only has two boxes left, but in reality it should have been dead.  Finally the Despoiler charges in.  (I had forgotten this thing had reach on its tail.)  It attacks the Wrecker that was already softened up by the Incindiarii fire and is easily, with a critical brutal shot, take out My Wrecker.  The Despoiler has enough fury left over to kill the Drudge beside it and create a Void Spirit.

IMG_20160316_194845The Nihilators on my left flank aren’t able to do much, due to most of them being knocked down and affected by Breath Stealer, so the spread out and move forward to contest my flag.

IMG_20160316_194840End of turn 2, no points scored and lessons learned:  ARM 20 not nearly enough to stand up to Skorne beasts.  I still have four Monstrosities but only two of them have functioning Brains.

IMG_20160316_194856Cephalyx, Turn 3

Cyphon allocates three to the one Wrecker that still has a Brain.  The unit of Mind Benders on my left advance into the Nihilators and are promptly used for Concussion Pulses.  Two explosions later and there is only one Nihilator left.  Cyphon advances onto his flag and kills the last remaining enemy body contesting.

IMG_20160316_200450On the right, my Agitator uses its Psychic Assault to try to clear out the bodies in the way for the Wrecker to get onto the Despoiler.  (I know, I was shocked too when I found out it could do other things.)  The Mind Bender tries as well but misses both shots.  The Wrecker is forced to trample, doing decent damage to the Despolier, but not enough to put it into the dirt.

IMG_20160316_200437The other Wreckers flail ineffectually and do minimal damage, but they’re still bodies in the way.  The third and still fresh unit of Mind Benders advances forward ready to get into the fight.

IMG_20160316_200443End of my turn 3, score is 1-0 for me, but things are not looking as good as they were last turn.


Skorne, Turn 3

Madkeda leaches back her fury, but the Gladiator and Archidon are still running hot.  They both fail their threshold checks and frenzy.  Their attacks are enough however to finish off the heavily crippled Wreckers in front of them.  The Despoiler up keeps Leash for free.  Speaking of the Despolier, it activates first, killing another Drudge to make a Void Spirit  and putting Good Damage onto the Wrecker.  The TyCom charges in as well, leaving the poor Monstrosity on only a few boxes of health.


The Incindiarii advance around and take a CRA onto Cyphon, setting him on fire but nothing else.


The remaining unit of Nihilators continue to be thwarted by my tough Drudges and struggle to push any deeper into my army.  Hey at least one thing is going right for me.  Lastly the Void Spirit runs over to contest the flag.  Score remains 1-0 for me.


Cephalyx, Turn 4

First thing, I need to see if Fire goes out on my models; it goes out in the Drudge and Mind Bender but not the Wrecker.  Kassem gets a great roll and the Wrecker melts away from the battlefield, leaving only the fresh scent of pine.  My Mind Bender attempts to kill the Void Spirit in the trench.  He gets the hit and at straight dice leave the spirit on one box.  The Agitator tries to line up as many models as it can for its Psychic Assault but does little damage to the models hit.


Meanwhile on the other flank, the Agitator moves up and puts up Agitate.  The Warden, who due to user error did not receive any focus, hits the Archidon, doing decent enough damage but not crippling any aspects.  Cyphon uses his mind wipe to hit the Contesting Void Spirit, wiping it from existence and somehow missing the Agitator in the process.  Finally the Mind Slaver and Drudges charge into the Incindiarii, only ones makes it in and as it is out of Instigate range it misses its attack.


I end my turn, dominating my flag again to go up to 2-0.


Skorne, Turn 4

Makeda leaches back up to full, up keeping Leash for free.  Not much left to do here for Kassem, the Despoiler cleans things up on the right flank, creating another Void Spirit in the process.  The TyCom and Banner charge into the Mind Bender and Drudge, final insult to injury I make one more tough check.  The Gladiator and Archidon Easily finish off the Warden, clearing the path for Makeda to walk up on full camp.


At this point I concede, as there is literally no way to escape the Supreme Archdomia’s wrath.  Victory to Skorne!



Post Game Analysis:

For my first time taking Cyphon out, I felt pretty good.  Looking back I can see the mistakes I made very easily, biggest of which being not using the Cyphon’s feat to take out two or more of his beasts.  Converting over to Cephalyx from Circle is going to take some time to adjust to however, I feel I can make the necessary adjustments.  I just need to be more mindful of my positioning, remember to actually allocate focus and keep my tough checks made above 70%.

Kassem played a damn good game, not panicking when I attempted to shove a wall of meat down his throat.  (okay you can snicker at that one.)  I like this list he plays, next time I will try Thexus and see how he plays out.  So until next time, stay lucky.


0 thoughts on “Battle Report 113: Mercenaries (Cognifex Cyphon) vs Skorne (eMakeda) – Oppression Overwhelming vs Overwhelming Oppression!

  1. I’m pretty optimistic about the Mist Speaker. Arcane Vortex is definitely its best ability outside of Blindwater (and probably in Blindwater to be honest). I’ll probably give 2 of them a try in a Rasheth cloud wall type list that skews against living models at least.

    The attack debuff from Vortex stacks with Swarm on the Aradus Sentinels (and Bone Swarm/Swamp Troll for non-Skorne players), so the area around the bugs will be a quagmire. Combined with 2-3 Breath of Corruptions you can block off a big part of the table as well. You just need a way to clear off the bugs once the opponent gets to them, and I think it’s pretty promising.

    Guidance will be good on a gator for clearing incorporeal stuff, and ok on the battle engine to let it see through forests and clouds. The biggest disadvantage here is that you’re giving up Vortex to use it.

    • Excellent points! Vortex is going to occasionally be brilliant… and better than I originally thought, for sure (I was thinking more “Gorman Smoke Cloud”, but it is definitely so much more than that!).

      Thanks for the feedback!

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