While our first real glimpse of the Crucible Guard was the 'tanks' teaser and Rocketmen 3D render at Lock and Load 2017, the next for many of us was a bit of concept art and a render for a Warcaster by the name of 'Syvestro.'
This particular look is what lead to my own intense interest in the Crucible Guard as a faction, showing a push towards a much more purely steampunk, but refined, look that I absolutely adore. You can imagine, then, my excitement when Line of Sight was picked to first reveal to the world the pre-CID full stat block for Aurum Adeptus Syvestro, Crucible Guard Ordic Warcaster.
Syvestro features a statline I often jokingly refer to as the "Circle Warlock" statline, at Focus 7, ARM 15, DEF 15, SPD 6, but his statline is far from the most important part of what the Aurum Adeptus is bringing to the table. This Warcaster is actually loaded with great defensive tech, including an immunity to Corrosion and Fire (which has been a fairly common theme with this faction, based on what we've seen so far), an Alchemical Mask making him immune to gas effects and able to ignore line of sight through cloud effects, and his potent Field Alchemy ability.
Concerned about a ranged or magic based assassination? Drop Impenetrable Haze to stop attacks from targeting Syvestro from more than 5" away. If guns aren't as much a concern, speed up your Warjacks with Super Fuel (a great way to get those Ice Cage or Rust sprays from a Suppressor a little bit deeper into enemy lines, or just go further to beat face with the fabled Toro warjack.) A little strapped for focus this turn? Ephemeral Vitae gives you a free spell... and boy does Syvestro have some spells to cast.
Coupled with abilities like Ephemeral Vitae, Syvestro has an absolute beast of a spell list. Admonition is always a welcome sight, and with Admonition on himself and Impenetrable Haze active, he's going to be nigh invulnerable in many cases, making a caster who can use his resources to just... not die, if he wishes. If he's in less danger, Admonition on a 'jack is always quite a strong tool in the arsenal. Explosivo gives an out for magic weapons, infantry clear, and RFP all at once and is a great spell to have, especially in a faction that seems so reliant on its guns. Stygian Abyss is a solid nuke, though a bit expensive, that can be even stronger in conjunction with his feat... which we'll get to later. Revive with access to a free spell... and also with his feat... has a lot of power for attrition, and Purification is one of the most powerful effects in the game, usually considered somewhat costly... but on a caster with access to a free spell is extremely effective. Lastly, Syvestro has Transmutation, a fascinating upkeep on a model/unit which changes its effect based on being on enemy or friendly model/units. On friendly pieces, it confers a +2 bonus to STR and DEF, as well as Pathfinder. On enemy models, it does the opposite, reducing their STR and DEF by two and removing their Pathfinder. This makes it an extremely flexible spell, acting as a sort of hit fixer, ARM buff for your models, board control, damage fixer, and DEF fixer depending on exactly how you opt to use it; offensively or on your own models. This is pretty consistent with the sort of high flexibility, multiple option per activation playstyle Crucible Guard has so far offered.
Syvestro's feat is his power play; Meta Principle allows Friendly Faction models in his control to roll an additional die on attack and damage rolls, removing any die of your choice (makes the crits on Stygian Abyss or... any other critical effects much more consistent.) Further, enemy models that are destroyed in Syvestro's control on his feat turn allow you to remove d3 damage from any friendly faction model in his control, per enemy model killed. For multi-wound infantry in particular this is quite strong alongside Syvestro's Revive, allowing you to bring a couple back at 1 hp, then get them healed back up. The ability to fairly easily repair his warjacks this way is also quite potent, allowing crippled 'jacks to immediately come back online.
While not exactly a front line caster (though able to survive further forward than most would expect, I believe), he does feature a couple of weapons. First is a RNG 6 AOE 3 POW 13 grenade which is magical and has our first instance of Decrepitation, which gives it an additional die on damage against construct or undead models. Coupled with things like his feat and the factions' various ARM debuffs, you could really rip a chunk out of a 'jack with this thing. His other weapon is a .5" POW 10 magical blade with Blessed, which can get a bit of work done with some debuffs but clearly isn't the focus of his kit.
Overall Syvestro looks like quite a toolbox, able to be as survivable as he wants to be or as aggressive as his army would like to be based on which resources he wants to use. He isn't all that Privateer left us with today, though; today we are going to show off the stats of a heavy infantry unit... the Crucible Guard Assault Troopers.
Some time back we had an Insider showing artwork for a heavy infantry unit featuring large pickaxes and guns. You can find that Insider here. This, however, is an entirely different unit, forgoing the range in favor of vicious hammers, up close and personal.
Initial impression? The stat block is a little lackluster, but don't let it fool you. SPD 5, DEF 11, ARM 16 are low, but they have a decent MAT of 7 and some solid defensive tech built in. Ashen Veil makes their DEF a little bit deceptive, making them DEF 13 against most shooting and living targets in melee. Carapace makes their middling ARM value much tougher into guns or free strikes, then Tough, Immunity Corrosion, and Immunity Fire round them out to be reasonably resilient.
What you brought them for though... is hammer time. With 2" melee weapons rocking a POW 13 attack, in addition to Brutal Charge, these guys are here to do a bit of damage. No, maybe on its own that's not incredible (though perfectly fine for beating on those pesky Cryx and Circle heavies), but with Crucible Guard's access to ARM debuffs they can start hitting far above their weight class. Further, the hammers have critical fire and Flame Burst. Flame Burst in particular is a rule I've usually found underutilized where it is found, allowing these normally armor crack centric pieces to be a bit more effective into infantry, lighting groups of targets ablaze when they kill enemies.
Synergies across other Crucible Guard spoilers we've seen so far are pretty clear; Baldwin is able to fire his various elemental weapons over these with impunity as well as giving them a huge boost to effectiveness with his feat, and pieces like the Dragons Breath Rocket, Combat Alchemists, and Supressors giving them help with whatever stat they may need at the time to murder what they want, but Syvestro has some exciting interactions with heavy infantry like the Assault Troopers. His feat increases their output, but also lets them push for Critical Fire much more easily (in a faction we know has access to Oil!) Assault Troopers that have been Revived or otherwise taken some damage can get healed up very rapidly on his feat turn as well. Throw Transmutation onto a unit and they're charging at POW 17, or 19 with a debuff like Withering Humour thrown out, while also being DEF 15 against many types of attacks, as well as giving them Pathfinder.
At 13 points, Assault Troopers seem quite formidable, with stacking debuffs and buffs allowing them to easily hit far beyond what a unit of their cost might typically, as long as you can get them across the table. Luckily they have some defensive tech and other tools in their army to keep them alive, and a unit with these numbers won't disappoint when it comes time to just bash some things with a hammer.
Each Crucible Guard teaser has been more exciting than the last for me, and I for one am waiting with bated breath for the Community Integrated Development cycle to finally get the full context and start tinkering with these mad scientists for myself. Each crazy army composition, from a swarm of hornet-like Rocketmen, to a flying V of huge based gun platforms laying down punishing fire, to a block of hardy, elemental immune heavy infantry I can shoot ice and fire through without a care while they smash things in their path, there's a little something to excite from all sorts of playstyles so far... and we've definitely not seen it all yet!
Thanks for reading, and we'll see you in CID!