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Infantry may not be the stars of Warmachine, but that doesn’t make them any less important. From screening high priority targets to overwhelming a foe with sheer numbers, infantry plays a critical role, especially in the armies of Cryx. Today, I’m taking a look at the Mechanithralls.
IN SHORT: Cheap, plentiful, hard-hitting, and a little cross-eyed, the humble Mechanithrall is a mainstay of Cryx infantry.
STRENGTHS: Mechanithralls are dirt cheap. At 3 points for 6 or 5 points for 10, they can outnumber almost anything of equivalent cost. They also hit surprisingly hard. Each Mechanithrall is capable of 2 P+S 11 attacks or performing a single combo strike at P+S 15. That’s pretty amazing, and makes them very flexible.
Like all undead units, they don’t care about causalities. Command checks? Pffft! Those are for the living! Mechanithralls will march blindly into whatever gun-line or meat grinder you send them into.
And while an individual Mechanithrall goes down easily, they have weight in numbers that adds its own degree of resilience. Sure, something like a full unit of 5 Menoth Exemplar Bastions are tough to put down, but for the same cost Cryx can have 16 Mechanithralls!
WEAKNESSES: Mechanithralls die easily. Shoot them, they die. Hack at them, they die. Sneeze on them, they die. Just get used to it. Mechanithralls have low ARM and okay DEF. It’s nothing spectacular.
Mechanithralls also have a low MAT score of 5. Fortunately, this isn’t nearly as bad as most people think. Let’s compare a unit of 10 Mechanithralls to a unit of 6 Bane Thralls (same point cost). Sure, the Bane Thralls have a higher MAT, but the Mechanithralls will have 20 attacks to their 6! Under most conditions, the Mechanithralls will kill more enemy infantry due to their higher number of attacks.
With that said, Mechanithralls do have a low MAT, and do enjoy some debuff love to operate at peak efficiency.
SYNERGIES: Mechanithralls work superbly well with a Necrosurgeon and some Stitch Thralls on the field. For an additional 2 points, the Necrosurgeon can collect the corpses of fallen Mechanithralls or living models (your or the enemy’s) and bring back 3 Mechanithralls … per TURN! Wow! Just remember, this only works if a unit of Mechanithralls is still on the table. If you’re opponent wipes them all out, then that’s it! No new Mechanithralls for you!
Mechanithralls also benefit greatly from DEF debuffs. Fortunately, this is Cryx. We’re spoiled for awesome debuffs in this zombie’s army! Just be aware of warcasters that cannot debuff DEF or buff the Mechanithralls’ MAT. I’m not saying don’t take them, just to be aware of the limitations. It can be a little tricky getting the most out of your Mechanithralls if they keep whiffing against high DEF infantry.
Mechanithralls also like a good ARM debuff. Again, we’re in Cryx. This is not a problem! The high number of attacks Mechanithralls put out helps maximize the use of debuffs. Remember, if you reduce an opponent’s ARM by 2 and hit him with one big attack, that’s 2 extra points of damage. Hit him with 10 smaller attacks, and you’ve done 20 extra points of damage. Ouch!
Finally, take Mechanithralls when fielding Lich Lord Terminus. Mechanithralls go with him like peanut butter and chocolate thanks to his Shadow of Death rule. Mechanithralls with Tough? Yes, please!
JUST FOR FUN: Got a unit of Mechanithralls taking ranged hits? Got a Necrosurgeon flush with corpse tokens? Not quite, but almost in charge range this turn? Try this trick out. Activate the Necrosurgeon first, move her ahead of the Mechanithralls, towards your intended target, and deploy the 3 new Mechanithralls HERE. Remember the Mechanithralls must be within 3” of the Necrosurgeon and inside the unit’s command range. Now activate the Mechanithralls.
Congratulations! You’ve just taken some of your casualties, reanimated them, and deployed them closer to their target. You are now in charge range. Now go smash something!
SUMMARY: Mechanithralls are an excellent addition to almost any Cryx force. Their raw stats may not be spectacular, but don’t let that fool you. With plentiful attacks and the right support, they can drown your enemies in a wave of bodies and devastate their most powerful models. Bring on the undead!