Theme - Operating Theater

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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.

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For a recap of the Cephalyx rules, refer to Category:Cephalyx.


Theme Rules[edit]

Theme Force Restrictions[edit]

A Operating Theater army can only include Mercenary models from the following list:

Allowed models Which includes
Last updated 2017.09
Cephalyx warcasters
Non-character monstrosities
Cephalyx models/units
Non-Cephalyx Mercenary units with Cephalyx Dominator Too many to bother listing
The following Cryx solos
If included, they count as Mercenary models, not Cryx models.

Theme Force Bonuses[edit]

  1. 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.
  2. Operating Theater is a Cephalyx theme force (and thus satisfies the requirements of the Selective rule).
  3. For every full 30 points of units and solos in this army, you can add one Cephalyx Overlords unit to the army free of cost.
    • Free units do not count toward the total point value of units in the army when calculating this bonus.
  4. Monstrosities gain Hyper-Aggressive. (Hyper-Aggressive - When this model suffers damage from an enemy attack, except when advancing, after the attack it can make a full advance directly towards the attacker.)
  5. One Mind Slaver unit gains Ambush. (Ambush - This unit may choose not to deploy normally, and instead be deployed completely within 3" of an edge of the board (excluding the back of your opponent's deployment zone) on any turn after the first. )

Recent Changes[edit]

2016.12 Errata

Any and all units counts towards the first bonus, not just Drudges.

2017.02 Errata

Captain Sam, if Dominated, can take a warjack. She is the only one in this situation, being the only mercenary unit with Jack Marshal.
Note: No longer relevant since the 2017.09 Errata to the core Theme rules.

2017.09 Themeopocalypse

Gained access to the Cryx solos. Solos now count towards your free points (used to be just units).


Thoughts on this Theme Force[edit]

Operating Theater in a Nutshell[edit]

This theme force is used to field the inscrutable forces of Cephalyx. Due to the way the Selective rule works, Cephalyx are essentially a sub-faction within Mercenaries.

Monstrosities[edit]

Instead of Warjacks or Warbeasts, the Cephalyx use Monstrosities; Monstrosities are all cheap, with low armour and a lot of damage boxes (and can be healed like Warbeasts); their brain fulfils the functions of a cortex but (unfortunately for Cygnarans and their shock-weapons) isn't one. Most importantly they aren't warjacks so anything that specifically effects warjacks won't affect them (like a whole lot of spells). They also power up when they get damaged (feel free to scratch them with Cephalyx using Anatomical Precision) and keep their Focus from round to round. Also in theme they are all hyper-aggressive.

Cephalyx 101[edit]

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 abilitie.

List Building Tips[edit]

  • 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 and picking up two free units of Cephalyx Overlords 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).
  • If going for only some infantry there are a lot of good ways of getting to or just over 30 points for the free Overlords starting with two Cephalyx Dominators and possibly one unit of Mind Slavers to ambush or be sacrificed to power Cyphon. Favourite units include Lady Aiyana & Master Holt, Press Gangers, and Croe's Cutthroats with Exulon Thexus.
  • Spamming Monstrosities can work pretty effectively. They are cheap, tough. and with a Cephalyx Agitator hit hard.
  • The new 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 having some Pistol Wraiths run around.


Other[edit]

Rules Clarifications[edit]

Rules Clarification : Hyper-Aggressive      (Edit)

  • Because you must move directly towards your attacker, you cannot change facing after completing your Hyper-Aggressive move.
  • HA can be triggered more than once per turn.

Rules Clarification : Ambush      (Edit)

  • Whether a model/unit is going to use Ambush or not needs to be declared before either player begins deploying models.
  • Ambush occurs last in Step 5 of the Control Phase. You cannot use Apparition on a model that Ambushes. (Infernal Ruling)

Rules Clarification : Theme Forces    (Edit)
Mercenaries and Partisans

  • When you take a Partisan Mercenary, it counts as your Faction. However this doesn't increase the number of total mercenaries allowed. (Infernal Ruling)
    • Exception: If the Partisan Mercenary is explicitedly listed as one of the models you can take in the theme (such as Cephalyx in Cryx's Black Industries theme), then you can take the full FA plus your "up to one Merc" allotment. (Infernal Ruling)
  • Sometimes a specific Mercenary/Minion model/unit will gain a theme benefit of "If this model is included, it counts as a Faction model" (such as Greygore in Kriel Company). In this case, the model/unit might or might not count against your "up to one merc" limit:
    • If that Merc is in the list of models explicitly 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 the Devil's Shadows in Slaughter Fleet Raiders), they will count against your "up to one Merc" allowance.
  • Partisans will count towards any relevant free points. For instance, Nyss will count twoards the "20 points of Retribution units" in the Defenders of Ios theme. (Infernal Ruling)
  • Partisans can be eligible to be taken as free choices. For instance, Erysis1 can be taken as a free solo in the Legion of Dawn theme. (Infernal Ruling)


Mercenaries and Ranking Officers

  • If you can include a Merc unit, and its attachments, then you can attach a Ranking Officer. This is true regardless of what the "Allowed models" are. (Infernal Ruling)
    • If you do, that Merc unit will count towards your "X points of [Faction] models/units" benefit (if your theme is worded that way). (Infernal Ruling)


"Extra" Mercenaries

  • As per the errata to the core rules, 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)


Bonus - One [X] gains [Y]

  • If you need to choose which models get your theme bonus, then you do this choice after deployment. (Infernal Ruling)
  • An example is how Winter Guard Kommand gives Advance Move to one-warjack-of-your-choice-per-WG-unit.
    • In comparison, Destruction Initiative gives all Servitors the Shield Guard ability so you don't need to "make" a choice.
  • You should still write on your army list how many of these bonuses you get to hand out, though, so your opponent can clearly see. (Infernal Ruling)
    • ie at the bottom of your list, you'd write "3 warjacks gain Advance Move" but you don't need to state which three are going to get the bonus.


Theme Forces, free models, and Specialists in Steamroller

  • When you make substitutions to your list, you need to double-check that you haven't removed something that allows you to take free models.
  • If you have, then you either need to remove those free models, or pay full points cost for them.


Unit Attachments & free points



Theme - Black Industries

  • Carapace only applies to Cryx heavy warjacks, and not to Merc warjacks. (Infernal Ruling)

Theme - Llaelese Resistance

  • 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)

Models in this Theme Force[edit]

Refer to Category:Operating Theater

Other themes[edit]

Theme Forces (Edit)
Cygnar Gravediggers - Heavy Metal - Sons of the Tempest - Storm Division (Edit)
Protectorate of Menoth The Creator's Might - Exemplar Interdiction - The Faithful Masses - Guardians of the Temple (Edit)
Khador Armored Korps - Jaws of the Wolf - Legion of Steel - Winter Guard Kommand - Wolves of Winter (Edit)
Cryx Black Industries - Dark Host - The Ghost Fleet - Infernal Machines - Scourge of the Broken Coast - Slaughter Fleet Raiders (Edit)
Retribution of Scyrah Defenders of Ios - Forges of War - Legions of Dawn - Shadows of the Retribution (Edit)
Mercenaries Hammer Strike - The Irregulars - The Kingmaker's Army - Operating Theater - The Talion Charter - Llaelese Resistance (Edit)
Convergence of Cyriss Destruction Initiative - Clockwork Legions (Edit)
 
Trollbloods Band of Heroes - Kriel Company - Power of Dhunia - Storm of the North (Edit)
Circle Orboros Call of the Wild - Secret Masters - The Bones of Orboros - The Devourer's Host - The Wild Hunt (Edit)
Skorne Winds of Death - Disciples of Agony - Imperial Warhost - Masters of War - The Exalted (Edit)
Legion of Everblight Children of the Dragon - Oracles of Annihilation - Primal Terrors - Ravens of War (Edit)
Minions The Blindwater Congregation - The Thornfall Alliance - Will Work for Food (Edit)
Grymkin Dark Menagerie - Bump in the Night (Edit)