The Tour de Cryx Continued – The Admirals New Boat – Skarre 3 Overview

She is finally on the way. Skarre 3, Admiral of the Black Fleet, has come to our pre-order doors and she is available in her carded glory to theorize and build lists on. Today, the first part of our experience with Skarre 3. There is likely to be a massive time span between today’s theory and the first two games because she’s not coming out for some time you. Welcome to Skell likely returns next week! 

Skarre 3 was something that, when she was announced at last lock and load, I was not expecting at all. Her and her motley crew of pirates, satyxis, Trolls and Ogrun were intersting, but I didn’t start getting excited until I saw her in CID, and that was when it was confirmed that she had my deepest desire – Deceleration. That she also had Dash was an amazingly sweet cherry on top, but man I was thrilled to see Decel in her spell list. Now she’s gone through testing and come out the other side of the CID channel. Let us take a look at what we have. 

Initial Impressions

Offense

Skarre’s offensive potential is, in a word insane. She is SPD 7 on a huge base, but she can fly, which gives her a bit more leeway. She’s MAT 7, which is great and has a single initial attack with her boat, and three attacks from the Satyxis Crew. With Dual Attack, however, she adds both Cannons and her Hand Cannon to the initial total, bring it up to a handsome 7 initial attacks. Due to the Independent attack rule, her three Crew Members can easily remove pesky models at the start or end of her movement. They aren’t powerful, but when they come in handy, its sure going to be nice to clear a path. The cannons, too, have special rules. Shadowfire is one of the coolest rules in the game, and to have it on two attacks, both with AOE’s and an on-hit trigger, is glorious. I don’t know that this is something that can be built around, to be honest. The way the Cryx faction is structured does not leave a whole lot of room to build those insane, plan A combos with this tactic as the main driver of the army. However, I do think proper use of this ability is going to spell the difference between a good player and a great player. When this comes into play, it is likely to simply end the game right then and there with little recourse. Its going to be great. Her ram is the last attack with a rule and its the surprisingly apt Ram. Being able to push people around is really interesting and fun, and if done correctly could allow her guns to reach really interesting places where, perhaps, they shouldn’t be. Getting to fire your cannons after charging in and moving another few inches probably isn’t what people are expecting. Sadly, she doesn’t have any offensive spells, but I’m pretty sure that is made up by the fact that she’s got a trio of guns. Maybe its just me. 

Defensive

The Admiral boasts a number of stout defensive abilities. Her defense is fairly high for a Huge base model, sitting at a gentlemans 12. It isn’t going to shrug off many accurate attacks, but it does put many in the iffy range, and can quickly change the math of many runs. Armor of 19 is completely awesome. I love her having a strong innate armor simply because it scares off a number of small arms and throw away damage that likes to end up on casters, changing the game like blast damage, fire, or random unboosted 12’s. She’s also got an absolute ton of hit boxes at 26, making her no easy pickings. You”ll need to get into melee with her, which is a chance I’m willing to take, especially with the length of the board being open in SR 2017+. Lastly, she has my absolute favorite spell in Deceleration. I’m really trying hard to make a list with her and getting a ton of use from it, and I want to do it one day, but I just can’t wrap my brain around it. I think its the combination of Dash and Deceleration make me want to take her with Warriors, instead of Jacks, making it hard to really pick a side. Maybe Infernal Machines. 

Spell List

Which brings her to the Spell List she has. It’s amazing, honestly, and I don’t know how I am going to handle wanting to cast everything every turn other than by her being dead every game top of 2. Her spells enable the army like no other caster we’ve had yet, even Aiakos 2 doesn’t do the same stuff she does, and especially not in the same way. Dark Waves is an interesting, first in a warmachine army spell that allows some really interesting non-linear placement of models that allows a solid threat extension in times of need, or even really just anytime, great for getting those shooting jacks a small tug forward while still allowing aiming. Dash is a great spell that allows warriors, especially non-bane models, to really dig deep into the opponent quicker than expected. It only works on warriors, which stops her from being battlegroup based, really the bonus to speed is something that nearly every model in the army likes, and there are some, like the Banes, that just relish the opportunity to be speed 7 models. Deceleration is, as I mentioned above, an amazing spell that allows the delivery of so much more of her army than I ever expect. Using it on Thexus back in MKII was pure joy, and I relish the chance to do that with my ARM 17+ Bane Warriors and ARM 20+ Bane Knights. Its a glory to behold and I cannot wait. Draconic blessing, a pretty good buff that allows the Cryx army to do what its supposed to do and just crush armor, is welcome. It takes the place in my heart of the old Scything Touch, and I like that its back in the lineup. Banes spreading out wide and dropping POW 15 weaponmaster attacks into a ton of stuff seems like the way to go. Lastly, we reach Guided Fire, which is an excellent spell, and one that I know I don’t have the mental capacity to see the best combinations with right now. I like the concept of a bunch of reapers and harrowers, but I don’t think you get past 2 or 3 without really losing the rest of her kit. It’s probably OK with only 1-2 heavies and the inverse lights, simply because it affects herself, which means that her guns become solidly accurate. The major downside to these spells is that all but one, Draconic Blessing, last for a single round, meaning that you need to have 10 focus to have them all up at the same time. Speeking of which

Feat

Skarre 3’s feat is at the same time underwhelming and awesome. It allows her to cast each of her spells, that turn, for a point of damage each. That means that she can be way, way up the board turn 1, having cast Dash, Deceleration, Shipstream, and Draconic Blessing the turn before pushing her army deep into the board. It also means that turn 2, she can go all in either camp or blast models to peices as well as likely getting use from Guided Fire. If she really wants to, she can heal a few of those damage points, or even get repaired. I love Black Ogrun Ironmongers for that. It’s a great setup feat and can make a strong push feat, as well. Make sure you don’t punch any spells out you don’t need, though, because even just a single HP of damage is a lot, no matter how high the pool. pushing your caster closer to dead isn’t the goal. 

First List

Skarre’s been irritatingly difficult to pin down a solid list for, because like Denny 2 right before her, she has so many tools she wants to use both in list building and turn by turn. Its a strange place to be building when many casters simply reveal their hand to you early on and you build to set. 

She wants at least 2 guns for Guided Fire. She needs at least a unit of combat troops for Draconic Blessing, though it can go on a Jack in a pinch. Cycling Fire Immune models through certain situations, and getting the most out of a damage buff, in the same way, is pretty solid, all things considered. Two units are likely the best here, working in with Draconic Blessing and Dash together. She wants some durable things in the list for Deceleration to push over the edge, maybe even with tough. A good dark waves target helps, though honestly it can be used on anything for good effect. I’ve got two lists I’m itching to try. 

First, Skarre Dark Host: 

Cryx Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Dark Host

Skarre, Admiral of the Black Fleet [+27]
– Desecrator [14]
– Desecrator [14]
Bane Lord Tartarus [0(6)]
Darragh Wrathe [9]
Eilish Garrity, the Occultist [5]
Machine Wraith [2]
Machine Wraith [2]
Necrotech [2]
Necrotech [2]
Bane Knights (max) [15]
Bane Warriors (max) [16]
– Bane Warrior Officer & Standard [0(5)]
Bane Warriors (max) [16]
– Bane Warrior Officer & Standard [5]

This list is tough infantry made faster by Dash and Darragh Wrathe, a way to remove Rebuke and to hand out puppet strings. It can swing armor by 4 points across almost the whole army very, very easily. Its got Battlegroup Guns that are never going to need focus from Skarre with and casting Guided Fire turn after turn is probably OK. Machine Wraiths pull in jacks that get to close, and necrotechs heal both desecrators and Skarre from incidental damage. It’s a pretty bog standard Dark Host list with speed on models that don’t normally have it. I’m a fan!

The second list is the new Shiney: Slaugher Fleet Raiders

Cryx Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Slaughter Fleet Raiders

Skarre, Admiral of the Black Fleet [+27]
– Reaper [13]
– Reaper [13]
– Satyxis Blood Priestess [4]
Axiara Wraithblade [0(6)]
General Gerlak Slaughterborn [0(6)]
Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor [5]
Blighted Trollkin Marauders (max) [15]
– Jussika Bloodtongue [0(5)]
Blighted Trollkin Marauders (max) [15]
Bloodgorgers (max) [15]
Bloodgorgers (max) [15]
Scharde Dirge Seers [6]

This list looks like it’d get in and have a freaking field day against a ton of infantry, and with charging POW 13’s and harpoons to drag in big targets to their doom, it looks really fun. There are a bunch of tweaks I can see making to both lists, honestly, so I’ll have to wait until I get her on the table and see how she really works. 

What lists are you considering? What are you playing with her, and what themes are her best? Let me know! 

Anyway! Until next time! 

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I make my lists at Conflictchamber.com