Its Clobberin' Time!

With Privateer Press’s new Hordes anthology, Exigence, do out tomorrow, there is a great buzz on the forums about the new, leaked information. As happens with every book that they release, someone inevitably gets it early, and they share with the world what they’ve found in the book.

This time, unlike the release of Warmachine: Vengeance, there were a pile of unreleased models in the book, in addition to a ton of models that we knew existed, but didn’t know the stats on.

Highwaymen – we’d seen the models for this unit.
Highwaymen Solo –  some people speculated this existed based on a model with the Highway men while being painted
Fire Eaters – Surprise spellcaster Unit.
Brennos – character goat heavy warbeast which we’ve seen the art for.
Character Trio Wolves of Orboros – Surprise Unit
Blight Wasps – Beast Pack which we’ve seen only the concept art and concept rules.
Strider Brighblades – unit which we’ve seen the actual models for.
Zuriel –  character heavy which we’d seen the art for.
Maximus – Farrow solo which we’d seen the model and concept art.
Sacral Vault – Battle engine which we’d seen concept art for.
Meat Thresher – Battle Engine that we’d seen the 3d Render of.
Effarit – Surprise light cav solo!

Which leaves my faction, Skorne.
Man, did we get some fun stuff.

Praetorian Keltarii – Had seen the models
Scarab Swarm – Warbeast pack we’d seen the concept art and rules for
Melee Heavy Bug Beast – Warbeast that was postulated based on Exigence cover art
Ranged Heavy Bug Beast – Surprise Warbeast!

My friend has all the stats over on his site, so I’ll leave them there.

I do want to go a little bit into my excitement about the Skorne models that are going to be coming out one day.

Skorne, I think, is coming out very strong in this release cycle. With an already abundant stable of Warbeast, Units and Solos, we add to almost every category in excellent ways. One of the things that impresses me about the Privateer line is how much a simple change to a stat line or ability can really change how a model or unit functions in the game. This, combined with their ever increasing ability to make slight changes to expected norms in order to get a model or unit where they want it in design space is interesting to me.

Take the Ardus Beasts:

Ardus Sentinal, Ranged Heavy Warbeast

Ardus Sentinal, Ranged Heavy Warbeast


Ardus Soldier, Melee Heavy Warbeast

Ardus Soldier, Melee Heavy Warbeast

not only were they an almost complete surprise, they also have the completely unexpected speed stat of 3. They are, to date, the slowest models in the game. Lumbering, giant warbeasts that are even slower than Khadoran Warjacks and Titans. That slow speed, however, is deceptive. They are in a faction that excels at tossing its beasts at the enemy, and they have innate pathfinder and Advance Deploy. AD is a huge boon, as its essentially a free run before turn 1, and innate pathfinder is something that just can’t be overstated. the ability to plow through wreck markers, spontaneous forests and over walls without needing the Gladiator to be alive, well, and nearby, or having the Warlock expend fury is exceedingly powerful. additionally, the melee warbeast has reach on a 9 point MAT 6 model, which is pretty solid. Skorne doesn’t necessarily lack for reach on its warbeasts (Titan Sentry, Rhinodon, Cyclopes Brute, Cyclopes Shaman, Cyclopes Savage, Molik Karn and Tiberion), Tiberion and Molik Karn are expensive characters, and the rest have mat 5. Mat 6 and pow 15 isn’t the best, but it can easily be pumped up to 17. The final Kicker is pull on the Claws which allow it to pull models that it reaches with its fairly wimpy pow 17 to its giant maw that starts at 18 and is easily bumped to 20. The two claws are, for all intents and purposes, simply threat extenders for the bite that happen to do a pinch of damage. That, however, is simply the melee damage threshold. This beast also has some neat defensive tricks. Its got the same armor, with slightly less HP and DEF, -1 each, as its Titan friends, but also has the new Carapace rule, granting it +4 armor, for a total of 23, against free strikes and Ranged attacks. On top of steady, its going to be a real pain in the ass to remove via shooting.

One trick that this beast has going for it is that, with proper preparation, it can be surprisingly agile. I’ve been a fan of using a Willbreaker + Archidon to toss problem heavies towards my waiting Bronzeback or Gladiator for a long time now. The Archidon is generally hard to remove without commitment, and at the top or even bottom of turn 2, its exceedingly good to be able to tie up those resources. The Aradus has a very similar punch. If given the Bronzeback animus Train Wreck, it gains beat back on all its attacks. Due to how the rules work, beatback can be triggered before the pull rules on the claws(honestly, it wouldn’t matter) so the chain of events with this Safety Strike is as follows.

  • Ardus Soldier, under Train Wreck and Enrage Charges. (Total unaided threat 8″, with the base moving 6″)
  • Hits with Charge Attack, triggering beat back and pull to resolve after the attack is resolved.
  • Beat Back triggers, pushing the target 1″ back, and the Soldier moves 1″ backwards (total Solider forward progress 5″)
  • Pull triggers, pushing the target model 4″ towards the Soldier, which 3″ is deeper into your lines.
  • Repeat for second claw, but the push is only 1″ deeper into the lines. (Total Soldier forward progress 4″, total pull of enemy model 4″)
  • Make initial melee attack with the maw, using beat back to make a 2″ gap between models.
  • Buy 4 more attacks with the claws. This will drag the model an additional 5″ due to the maw attack beat back. All said and done, this moved your Soldier 1″ behind its starting position, and pulled an enemy model up to 9″ into your lines.

To add to all that craziness, none of that movement has to be linear. Each inch is in whatever direction you want. You could pull a model across your front lines, deep into your back lines, or even drop a heavy warbeast off 15″ from its starting position. Honestly, I don’t know many things that will really survive 6 pow 17’s and a pow 20. Armor 20 is taking 31 damage, with a jump in 7 damage for every point of armor lower. I don’t know of much at ARM 19 or 18 that is going to survive 38 and 45 damage respectively. Xerxis with Fury and Last Stand with Zaal bring the damage up by 21 points per armor. Doing 52 damage to arm 20 is no joke, and on the feat turn, both casters can turn it up to 73 damage. But that’s just fancy-pants movement shenanigan mode. Once the Ardus turns into killing mode, that’s when the real fun begins. The Ardus, against ARM 20, registers a whopping 43 damage with .5″ longer threat range than a Bronzeback (47 damage) and only 1″ shorter than Tiberion (41 damage). That Bug bastard is in the same class as some of our best damage dealers, and I am exceedingly stoked to use him.

That’s the model from Exigence that has me the most excited, so if that was a bit much for you, the rest of these will be shorter!

I’ve already talked about Zaadesh, And I’ll have to dedicate an entire post here to Xerxis II, so we’ll save that for later.

There are, however, two other entries, and they are both exciting.

The Ardus Sentinal is an extremely alluring warbeast. AD, Pathfinder and steady give it an early game presence, but the same speed 3 as the Soldier makes it a little less maneuverable. However, its ranged weapon is very solid. Range 10 isn’t the best, but with AD and a walk, it can easily tag 29″ into the board going second, and technically first due to getting to first fire on turn 2. It has an AOE and POW 13 with Arcing Fire, which ensures that it can almost always hit its targets. The big deal, though, is the always on Poison on the gun. Drifting AOE’s are extremely dangerous to troops, killing arm 17 troopers on average, and a direct, boosted shot can spike upwards of 27 damage. With a Raider in tow, this dude might be able to pump serious damage into a caster who isn’t paying attention, and even ones who are might just get wrecked. Xerxis II, of course, is the big “ranged enabler” of the faction, so I expect to see some Sentinels with him.

The final entry for Skorne is the Scarab Swarm. These are one of the two initial Warbeast Packs that are going to be released, and they have some interesting implications. What I really look forward to is running them with Zaadesh. Tag Team will allow them to hit extremely accurate and extremely hard. Tag Team grants +2 to hit and +2 to damage if a model in his battlegroup is in melee range of the same target as another model in his battlegroup. Like the unit members of the Warbeast pack, who grant it to each other. To add to that, The Scarab Swarm has +1 hit and +1 damage for every model in the unit that is in melee with their target.

Each Model in the Scarab Swarm pack, if they were all attacking the same target, would have MAT 10, pow 13. (+2 from Tag Team, +3 from each other member in the unit) They charge with a order, not by being forced, so they could each by a second attack as well. buff them all with enrage, and you’ve got just a supped up, extremely accurate unit. These little bastards are also fairly resiliant, with a supposed 10 damage boxes each, though at arm 12. Boosted 12’s will generaly take them out of the game, but I’m ok with that for their rather small investment in points (5). I am sure I am missing some really crictical thought processes on these little buggers, but I still have a lot of excitement built up towards them. I really look forward to all my exigence releases, especially getting that giant Ardus Soilder on the field!