Back in my day, Assassination was not only a viable solution to Warmachine and Hordes, it was one of, if not the, best solutions. Casters were squishy, spells were powerful, and knockdown was absolutely everywhere. This is how I cut my teeth, so Its no wonder that I itch for assassination all the time. Enter, the Scaverous Solution.
Lord Exumator Scaverous
In a world filled with casters that can do everything in nearly every faction, where each faction has their flavor of Heavy Enabler, Infantry horde, and Spam of the Day, Scaverous stands out as an old-school design that would have never been allowed in Cryx prior to MKII. When we transitioned over to a new edition the first time, the first caster we got was something unbelievable – A caster with Telekinesis, one of the, if not possibly the, best spells in the game. in addition, he came with a def reducer, ghost walk, an arm debuff, a great nuke and a friendly armor buff. He was kitted out to be a spell-slinging monster. He did, however, have a fatal flaw – no defensive tech. with 14/17 defensive stats, he was easy to take out with but a few shots if he cast more than a spell or two, and had relatively little areas to hide on the board and keep safe while his army did the work.
Then, the new edition dawned, and they changed him in a few key places. First, they subbed out Ghost Walk for the excellent Soul Harvester spell. While the trade wasn’t equal – terrain mitigation is an amazing ability that is absolutely clutch whenever its present – it was a very solid change along with his new ability, Knowledge of the Damned, that allowed him to force, or use, rerolls at the cost of a single soul. Additionally, they changed Feast of Worms to also grant him the souls of those killed within its area, making the spell much more worth the hefty cost.
But even then, he was still a difficult defense to defend, and a strong candidate to get shot off the board early. Then, early in 2017, they added two things to the game that made me feel that he is, very possibly, my favorite caster.
First, they added the 2017 SR rules packet, granting a ton of terrain to the game, and giving Scaverous so many places to hide. With advantaged terrain likely on both sides in a solid position on the board, he would be able to avoid getting pegged immediately to death. the second thing they did was add themes to the game. Dark Host, specifically, gave him new life as a caster that could hide behind a wall of clouds, often an extension of a midline or center-side forest, and stay protected for the duration of a game against most opponents.
Recently, though, the addition of a new theme force and a plethora of options has really opened up what Scaverous is able to do, where he is able to play, and what he brings to the table. Scourge of the Broken Coast allows him to do some extremely interesting things with new models, new rules, and new life, and I am loving it.
Scaverous New Clothes
While I know I talked about him in my LnL Recap, and again in the Tour, I think its worth coming back to him now because of how much fun he is to play, and what he brings to the table that many other casters, and lists, do not.
First and foremost, he is an assassination Caster, when building the right list to support it, and its something of a rarity in the faction right now. Deneghra had it generally removed from her, the Coven aren’t as reliable because the casters are harder, and both focus and fury make assassinations harder.
That said Croes cutthroats – a unit of range 10, speed 6 pow 12 weaponmasters with RAT 7+3 dice to hit are pretty solid at exploding both casters and heavies, making it so that assassination and attrition are both on the table as long as Scaverous has an arc node, and sometimes even when he does not, and what is better than that is that Croe isn’t limited to a single theme, making Scaverous able to play in almost any theme with a significant amount of flexibility, he just doesn’t get to use all the free cards.
Let’s take a look at where my current two favorites, though I have talked about them prior, and why I like them so much.
Scaverous likes Dark Host because they cover each other’s gaps fairly well, creating an army that can do almost everything at once.
Scaverous brings a grateful bane theme a defense debuff to the army in Icy Grip, as well as speed amplifiers in the form of TK. The theme brings him cloud and infantry that will likely get there with stealth. Banes bring much-needed hitting power, and models that can take death ward well no matter where it goes. However, he does lack a bit in the soul harvesting department with that list and has no models to really hide behind if he ends up needing to move out of the clouds. Instead, he ends up hiding and hoping the opponent doesn’t get a bead on him and can’t get through his clearly telegraphed position at the start of the game.
This list often has Knights in it to take Deathward, plenty of Bane Warriors for Dark Shroud and may need Bane riders to get up the field early, but I’m not sure they are worth the points with him. Rerolls go a long way with this army, erasing bad rolls from your spikes and likely pushing up the damage more than it needs to be.
Slaughter fleet is much the complete opposite of Dark Host, in that instead of covering the weaknesses of each other. Scaverous brings a hit buff, which is welcome everywhere, especially with the Trolls and Scharde Pirates being fairly light on the accuracy scale, once the Vet Leader is down. He also brings a threat extension often adding to the fairly solid 10+ ranged that many of the models have, and taking a certain squid-jack to insane levels of threat. In return, the theme brings him +2″ of deployment zone, often meaning that the opponent is in my threat range if they so much as twitch their base. However, what the army brings Scaverous is a ton of medium bases to hide behind, plenty of clouds to add to the layers of defense, sucker from the Blood Priestess, and Bloodgorgers with the most attacks and the greatest ability to play into infantry and gorge on soulsIt’sts a great pairing that, while it lacks in Soul Trappers, specifically, really combines into a harmony that is worth exploring.
The big problem with the list, though, is that it will often suffer against high armor, something that Scaverous himself has problems with. This can range from simply bothersome to downright impossible to crack, depending on the armor and quantity that he encounters.
Slaughter fleet is the list I have the greatest familiarity with, and its been a blast every time. I know there are at least half a dozen variants of the lists I want to try, but there just isn’t enough time in the day.
Finally, he also has two upcoming lists that are bringing him some great potential. Infernal Machines and Black Industries both have a high potential for changing Scaverous’ look with Denny 0 coming out, though I doubt its actually going to happen. Infernal Machines is a theme with fairly terrible benefits, infantry that dies to the slightest of gazes, and expensive warjacks to back it all up. That combination makes it hard to feel that Scaverous is going to want to spend time on the list.
Black Industries, on the other hand, brings almost no troops, a few jacks, and free arc nodes, which is something that Scaverous enjoys but can often do without. While I wonder what type of list Denny 0 and BI can bring to Scaverous, I want to see what can be done with a current list and the current options.
We’ll see what the future brings, as I am definitely going to be playing Scaverous for another couple months every time I get the chance.
Until next time!