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Cryx Thrall Unit
Soldiers who survive an engagement may well experience the horror of seeing their fallen friends among the next wave of attackers. The lifeless eyes of their former companions stare from behind rotting flesh, while steam-powered pistons promise an impending and brutal death.

Brute Thrall - Weapon Attachment
Literally fearless and all but mindless, brute thralls march ahead of scores of mechanithralls as they wade into combat.

Skarlock Commander - Command Attachment
Soldiers assailed by a skarlock commander and its thralls are tormented by the sight of their comrades brutally slaughtered, only to have their souls used as fuel to power the commander’s dark magic.

Basic Info[edit]


DEF 12
ARM 12
Unit Size 6/10 mechanithralls

+1-3 Brutes
+1 CA

Cost 6/9
+2 per Brute
+3 for CA
0.9 each (base unit)
1.3 each (full unit)
See also How to Read the statblock


  • Steamfist (x2) - 0.5" reach, P+S 10 melee weapons
    • Combo Strike (★ Attack) - Make a melee attack. Instead of making a normal damage roll, the POW of the damage roll is equal to this model's STR plus twice the POW of this weapon. (Total P+S = 13)


  • Undead - This model is an undead model and not a living model.

Brute Thrall[edit]


  • Heavy Steamfist (x2) - 1" reach, P+S 14 melee weapons
    • Combo Strike (★ Attack) - Make a melee attack. Instead of making a normal damage roll, the POW of the damage roll is equal to this model's STR plus twice the POW of this weapon. (Total P+S = 19)

Special Abilities[edit]

  • The Brute has +1 MAT, +2 ARM, & -1 CMD compared to the Mechanithralls. He also has 8 hitpoints
  • Undead - This model is an undead model and not a living model.
  • Shield Guard - Once per round, when a friendly model is directly hit by a non-spray ranged attack during your opponent's turn while within 3" of this model, you can choose to have this model directly hit instead. This model is automatically hit and suffers all damage and effects. This model cannot use Shield Guard while it is incorporeal, knocked down, or stationary.

Skarlock Commander

Skarlock Commander
Skarlock Commander.jpg
M.A. 6
DEF 14
ARM 12
HP 5


Special Abilities[edit]

  • Undead - This model is an undead model and not a living model.
  • Officer - This model is the unit commander even if the unit has a Leader model.
  • Battle Wizard - Once per turn during its activation, when this model destroys one or more living enemy models with a melee attack, it can use one of its Magic Abilities for free afterwards.
  • Magic Ability [ 6 ] - This model can use its Combat Action to cast spells. Offensive spells are a (★ Attack) and friendly spells are a (★ Action).
    • Dark Fire (★ Attack) - 10" range, POW 12 attack. If it kills a living enemy model then the caster gets the soul regardless of the proximity of other Soul Takers.
    • Disbinding (★ Action) - Enemy upkeep spells and animi on this unit expire.
  • Soul Taker: Soul Cage - This model collects souls from living enemies who die within 2" of it. This model can store up to three souls and spend them for the following:
    • Strength of Death - During its Combat Action, this model can spend soul tokens to boost one attack or damage roll for each token spent.
  • Tactics: Advance Deployment - The unit gains Advance Deployment.

Recent Changes[edit]

2016.12 Errata

Brutes gained Shield Guard
Skarlock gained Advance Deployment and a points increase

2017.04 Thrall CID

They gained a point of DEF, and lost a point of cost. Brute's melee range increased to 1".

Thoughts on Mechanithralls[edit]

Mechanithralls in a Nutshell[edit]

Mechanithralls are cheap and disposable infantry. Victim stats mean that it's a rare occasion that they are hit by pretty much anything and survive. Low mat and rat give means they struggle to hit anything with good defensive stats. They are not without their strengths. High model and multiple attacks means that you are going to be relying on statistics to get things done, roll enough dice and you should eventually get lucky. Combo strike allows for them to actually pose a threat to armor in larger numbers.

This important thing to remember is you don't actually take them to kill, you take them so they can die in great numbers for you. A Necrosurgeon vastly increases their ability to remain on the battlefield. Rely on recursion to force your opponent to waste precious time trying to kill these guys. If a Dawnguard or a Gun Mage wastes a precious attack trying to kill one of these humble zombies, they are earning their keep.

If they do have to kill something, it is not out of the question. Remember that you are playing Cryx, the debuff faction. So their lots of rolls and strong debuffs they do pose a threat to the enemy.

Thoughts on adding the WA[edit]

Brute Thralls are larger, tougher, and more dangerous versions of Mechanithralls. They come with better MAT, POW, armor, and hit points. The most important thing they bring to your army is shield guard at a cost of two points per model. With hit points and armor to potentially survive a decently powered gun, they can vastly increase the ability survival of not only the Mechanithralls themselves, but your whole army. You can use the shield guard to absorb potentially devastating blasts on your thralls or high powered cannons aimed at your more important models like warjacks and solos.

Thoughts on adding the CA[edit]

Probably the biggest boon for the thrall units are the extended command range which allows the unit to spread out further on the board. It makes a full unit of them far more survivable against AOEs. Disbinding might be useful when going up against upkeep-heavy armies, but out of this context he doesn't bring much to the table. Grants advanced deployments which is a very powerful tool. Allows you to choose a favorable match up for the thralls. Deploy them across from enemies who will struggle to producce the quantity of attacks needed to kill them.

Combos & Synergies[edit]

  • Necrosurgeon is an awesome synergy, by regrowing the unit. Nothing says "tarpit" like a unit which grows as fast as you kill it.
  • Similarly, they have an awesome synergy with the Sepulcher colossal which has the same regrow ability.
  • Given how vulnerable Cryx warjacks are to even moderately powered gunfire, Mechanithralls maybe be worth taking solely for the cheap shield guards. Twelve points (6 for a minimum unit 6 for the Brutes) can provide you with a very effective way keeping important models alive against ranged attacks.
  • If you use the de-buff tools of Cryx, these guys will become from annoyance to a force to be reckoned with. Just a few example:
    • Iron Lich Overseer or Bane Warriors - Dark Shroud effectively gives them +2 POW; and casters with the Scything Touch can provide them with by default
    • Warwitch Deneghra - She's chock-full of with de-buff spells, and her feat makes the thralls truly shine.
    • Skarre 1 and 2 - a selected few models can have an awesome STR buff from the prime incarnation, and a key target will get a massive DEF debuff from the epic version's feat.
  • Lich Lord Terminus can provide them tough, a very powerful bonus given how many there are. This can potentially make them extremely difficult to kill efficiently. He also enjoys the presence of cheap sacrificial pawn targets.

Drawbacks and Downsides[edit]

  • Inaccurate.
  • Easy to kill - effectively cannon fodders without the Necrosurgeon.
  • Lots of figures to move, and lots of attacks to be rolled - you can easily run out of time, if death clock is in use
  • Unforgiving - your activation order must be spot on to make the most out of them.
  • Low command means that the squad of low armored models have to clump together rendering them particularly vulnerable to blast damage.
  • Try and avoid remove from play effects that will prevent recursion.

Tricks and Tips[edit]

  • Know when to use combo-strike against single wound targets (it doesn't matter whether you deal 1 damage or 10). These are my personal recommendations.
    • Against armor 16 and lower use multi-attack.
    • Against armor 17 and higher use combo-strike.
  • Know when to use combo strike against multi wound target (the amount of damage matters)
    • Multi-attacks against armor 13 and lower.
    • Combo-strike against armor 14 and higher.
  • They are fast, very cheap, and have low defense making them great "targeting beacons". Feel free to shoot them with good AoEs whiles after they run next to important enemies who can't normally be targeted.



  • The unit (without CA or WA) was originally released in Warmachine: Prime (2003)
  • The Brute Thrall WA was originally released in Warmachine: Superiority (2006)
  • The Skarlock CA was released in the Warmachine: Vengeance expansion (2014)
  • Sculptor: Will Hannah
  • Nickname(s): McThralls
  • The Brute Thrall- Femme Fatale can be substituted for the stock Brute Thrall model.

Theme Forces[edit]

Other Cryx models[edit]



Warcasters Agathia - Aiakos2 - Goreshade1 - Goreshade2 - Goreshade3 - Asphyxious1 - Asphyxious2 - Asphyxious3 - Terminus - Venethrax - Scaverous - Mortenebra1 - Mortenebra2 - Skarre1 - Skarre2 - Skarre3 - Sturgis2 - Deneghra1 - Deneghra2 - Deneghra3 - Coven
Warcaster attachments The Withershadow Combine - Satyxis Blood Priestess - Skarlock Thrall - Madelyn Corbeau (Mercenary)
Other Controllers Iron Lich Overseer (Marshal) - Aiakos1 (BGC)
Light warjacks Deathripper - Defiler - Helldiver - Nightwretch - Ripjaw - Scavenger - Shrike - Stalker
Heavy warjacks Corruptor - Desecrator - Harrower - Inflictor - Leviathan - Reaper - Seether - Slayer
Barathrum - Deathjack - Erebus - Kharybdis - Malice - Nightmare
Colossal Kraken - Sepulcher
Units, Solos, & Battle Engines
Living Undead
Units 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 Bane Knights - Bane Riders - Bane Warriors - Bile Thralls - Carrion Thralls - Mechanithralls - Necrosurgeon - Revenant Cannon - Revenant Crew - Soulhunters
Characters: Blackbane's Ghost Raiders - The Withershadow Combine
Solos Misery Cage - Satyxis Blood Priestess - Satyxis Raider Captain - Warwitch Siren
Characters: Agrimony - Aiakos1 - Axiara - Darragh Wrathe - Gerlak - Severa Blacktide
Bloat Thrall - Iron Lich Overseer - Machine Wraith - Necrotech - Pistol Wraith - Scrap Thrall - Skarlock Thrall - Soul Trapper
Characters: Bane Lord Tartarus - Mobius - Captain Rengrave - Hellslinger
Battle Engines No living engines Wraith Engine
Theme Forces
Black Industries - Dark Host - The Ghost Fleet - Infernal Machines - Scourge of the Broken Coast - Slaughter Fleet Raiders
Merc cryx.jpg


Mercenary Battlegroups
Warcasters Captain Bartolo - Captain Damiano - Cognifex - Drake MacBain - Exulon - Fiona - Magnus1 - Magnus2

Requires a 2+ caster game.

Other Controllers Raluk Moorclaw (Marshal) - Rorsh & Brine (Lesser Warlock) - Wrongeye & Snapjaw (Lesser Warlock)
Warjacks, Warbeasts, & Monstrosities The mercenary battlegroup members you can include in a Cryx army depends entirely on what type of model is commanding them. There are too many permutations to list here, please refer to one of the model entries above for full details of what it can take.
Mercenary Units, Solos, & Battle Engines
Units Press Gangers - Sea Dog Deck Gun - Sea Dog Pirates & CA & WA - Steelhead Halberdiers - Steelhead Heavy Cavalry - Steelhead Riflemen

Croe's Cutthroats - Nyss Hunters - Devil's Shadow Mutineers - Boomhowlers

Solos Ogrun Bokur - Swamp Gobber Raiders

Bloody Bradigan - Bosun Grogspar - Doc Killingsworth - [[Eilish Garrity - Hawk - Gorman - Gudran - Rockbottom - Dougal - Orin - Ragman - Raluk Moorclaw - Rorsh & Brine - Madelyn Corbeau (Attached)- Saxon - Seargeant Nicolas - Stannis - Wrong Eye & Snapjaw

Battle Engines None

Rules Clarifications[edit]

Rules Clarification : Combo Strike - None yet. (Edit)

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Rules Clarification:  : Magical Damage      (Edit)
(Click Expand to read)

* The "Damage Type: Magical" is not inherited by "secondary" damage from a weapon. That is, stuff like arcs (Electro Leap) or hazards (Scather). (Infernal Ruling)
  • All spells have "Damage Type: Magical" (refer errata).
    • This is inherited by "immediate" secondary damage (such as Eruption of Spines). (Infernal Ruling)
    • and might be inherited by "lingering" secondary damage (see below).
  • If a spell leaves a template in play that does damage to models that walk around in it, then:
    • if it is not described as a hazard it will do magical damage to models that walk around in it. (Example: Razor Wall)
    • if it is a hazard then it will not do magical damage to models that walk around in it. Instead, it does whatever damage type is specified by the spell description. (Example: Breath of Corruption).
    • (Infernal Ruling)
  • If a weapon/spell includes Magic Damage and another kind of elemental damage it will still damage Incorporeal models. Incorporeal models are not affected by the rule "if an attack does multiple types of damage and a model is immune to at least one it is immune to the entire attack."
    The phrase "immune to non-magical damage" should be interpreted as "immune to damage that doesn't include Damage Type: Magical" (not interpreted as "has immunity to Corrosion and Electricity and Cold and etc.")

Rules Clarification : Undead - None yet. (Edit)

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Rules Clarification : Shield Guard      (Edit)

  • Shield Guard doesn't work vs spells.
  • Since Shield Guard specifies "opponent's turn", it can't be used against stuff that shoots in your own turn (such as Watcher or Counterblast).
  • The Shield Guard does not necessarily need to be in the attacker's LOS or range.
  • The Shield Guarder is always hit even if they have an ability that makes them automatically get missed, such as Stealth. (Automatically missing is determined earlier in the timing sequence than the Shield Guard moving the hit.) (Infernal Ruling)
  • You shift all effects onto the shield guard, including stuff that triggers on "when this attack hits".
  • When you use Shield Guard vs an AOE attack, the template moves too. Because, with reference to Apdx A, the hit 'moves' at Step 6 and the template placement is determined at Step 7.
  • Shield Guard doesn't work vs Point Blank attacks. Because Point Blank attacks are melee attacks that are made using a ranged weapon.
    • On the other hand, it will work vs Gunfighter attacks.

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Rules Clarification : Officer      (Edit)

  • Even if they're not on the Officer's card, an Officer can give (and benefit from) any non-standard orders that are on the unit's card (such as Shield Wall). Refer main rulebook.
  • When the Officer dies, the Leader model becomes the new Unit Commander (you don't get to choose).
  • But if your unit doesn't include a Leader model, then you do get to choose any of the remaining models to be the new Unit Commander. You don't swap the model, but it may be worth putting a token down so you can tell that grunt apart.
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Rules Clarification : Battle Wizard      (Edit)

  • Cavalry Battle Wizards can trigger it from their Mount Attacks. (Infernal Ruling)
  • This does not, however, allow them to trigger it twice in the same turn. (Infernal Ruling)
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Rules Clarification : Magic Ability      (Edit)

  • Almost every magic ability cannot be used on the same turn you charge. Because a charge must (almost always) be followed by a melee attack.
  • Using a Magic Ability counts as a spell, for effects such as Spell Ward, Witch Hunter, etc.
  • Unlike with warcasters/warlocks, using a Magic Ability is not an "any time" ability. This means:
    • You must complete your movement before you use a MA.
    • You cannot make ranged or melee attacks on the same turn you use a MA.
    • You cannot use a MA on the same turn you charge.
    • (Unless, of course, the rules for the specific MA you're using say you can.)
  • A model in a unit cannot use its Combat Action to cast a spell until all members of the unit have completed their movement. (Infernal Ruling)
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Rules Clarification : Dark Fire      (Edit)

  • "Regardless of proximity" soul takers (Edit)
    • The model which ignores distance doesn't always get the soul. Abilities which say you "can't" collect souls (such as Soul Ward) trump it, due to the general rule that "can't trumps can".
    • If there are multiple models that all have the "regardless of proximity" clause, then you randomise who the soul goes to. (Infernal Ruling)

Rules Clarification : Disbinding - None yet. (Edit)
Rules Clarification : Soul Cage - None yet. (Edit)
Rules Clarification : Strength of Death - None yet. (Edit)

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Rules Clarification : Tactics vs Granted     (Edit)

  • Granted = The unit loses the ability as soon as the model that grants it is taken off the table.
  • Tactics = The unit keeps the ability for the entire game, regardless of who dies.

Rules Clarification : Advance Deployment - None yet. (Edit)

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Note to Editors
To edit the WA's tagged abilities, Click here
To edit the CA's tagged abilities, Click here