Skorne Chronicles, Vol 4



Pump Your Fist

In my pledge to stick with one caster for at least 12 games, this trip back to Skorne has gone completely off the rails. Each time I’ve played a game in the last month, its been with a different caster and a completely different list. Xerxis 2, Makeda 3, and now, Xerxis. Behold, the Fist of Halaak.

Tyrant Xerxis+5
Cataphract Cetrati (6) 11
-Tyrant Vorkesh3
Cataphract Arcuarii (4)5
Cataphract Arcuarii (4)5
Cataphract Arcuarii (4)5
Cataphract Incindiarii(4)5
Cataphract Incindiarii(4)5
Tyrant Commander and Standard3
Tyrant Commander and Standard3

I’ve been in love with the Fist of Halaak list for the longest time, as Xerxis is my well documented favorite caster in Skorne. He’s martial, he enables crushing melee power and he’s straight forward with it. I love his style, if it could be called that, simply because he’s so straight forward. There isn’t a lot of subtlety to a guy who has Fury, A feat that grants an additional die on melee damage rolls and +2 armor to models base to base with other Skorne models, and Defenders ward. He’s all about punching face, and staying around long enough to get there.

Originally, he was one of my very favorite combined arms casters. I ran him with a few Melee units, a big unit of Venators, and some beasts for support. Now, however, as the list above shows, I’ve completely embraced the Fist of Halaak Tier list. This list is simply bursting with wounds, Medium based models, and damage dice. Its durable enough to whether almost every storm, and can bring the pain where and when it needs to. Each of the Cataphract units brings its own style and flair to the army, enabling it to leverage some very different tactics when needed.

Though the Theme list has been around since the Skorne book was released in 2010, it has not gained prominence until recently. Much of that credit goes to the release of the Incindiarii. Until that point, the Fist lists would not have any solid way to deal with a swarm of high defense models. Thankfully, with auto-fire and AOE 3’s the Incindiarii have changed that completely. However, the meta has bent completely to the side, and now lists like Fist and the Miserable Meat Mountain are the standard around town. Bradigus brings a circle version, and there are many people who are trying to bend their factions into this mold. This is something thats just going to happen when a ssuccessfullist shows up, and I hold no ill will against it. Sadly, my old Cryx is well equipped to deal with these problems, as the big bad bbogeymen of Warmachine, but I’m not playing them. I am playing Skorne, and I want to play Fist!

A City of Clouds

I was granted a chance to put my Fist list up against a friend of mines High Reclaimer list the other day, and it was certainly a fight. He was contemplating his Kreoss 3 list, which I’d fought a number of times before, but I wanted to see what a High Reclaimer list would do against the Fist. I thought it would be a good matchup, as the HR has the ability to block LOS and charging to a vast majority of his army while engaging me with fast, skirmishing elements. Sadly, the game was called on time right as Xerxi’s durability was starting to shine. While my incindiarii and Arcuarii were all but dead, TIberion was holding the flank against a small swarm of Zealots, and Xerxis with his honor guard of Cetratii were holding the center and pushing to the other flank. The mission was fire support, and there was a ton of game left to play.

Quick Highlights

  • My Incindiarii were on fire. With Rat 6 and AOE 3, they were dropping fire-bombs on the heads of daughters and causing all sorts of havoc.
  • My Arcuarii, on the other hand, were beguiled by the beautiful voices and serene beauty of the same Daughters, and couldn’t find the mark but a few times.
  • Tiberion with Fury doesn’t need any Paingivers.
  • The High Reclaimers clouds are a bunch of garbage! I was so thrilled to have MAT 7 on my guys, that MAT 5 was just devestating. Missing those DEF 11 Bastions when rolling 4s and 5s was infuriating.
  • Not having Bile Thralls against zealots, or even the potential, is mind numbing. I have no idea what to do against them
  • The durability of ARM 20 is completely offset by the vulnerability of arm 15. Its just night and day.

The game was a ton of fun, but I really felt like I wanted more Armor in the list. Both the Incindiarii and the Arcuarii felt extremely vulnerable in that situation, and having them cut down by bombs, Daughters and a Reckoner was not my favorite experience. The shift from dice -8 on weaponmasters (3 damage) to dice -3 (8 damage) is palpable, and ended up with me having many less troops on the board than I had wanted at the time of contact with the enemy.

The problem could have been ablated by the proper use of Defenders Ward, but I am terrified to take it off of Xerxis. Running a single beast, I have almost no room for error when it comes to fury management, and the difference between having 3 transfers and 2 is immense when it comes time for him to move it onto himself. Instead, I’ve just gotten used to the fact that upkeeping Defenders Ward on myself is equal to “spend one fury, opponent will not try a foolhardy but possible assassination run against you this turn.” Def 15 Arm 20 is nothing to laugh at, especially when I am sitting on three transfers.

The Post Game Second Guess

Honestly, the game being cut short really defies my ability to judge the list, though I want to so very hard. Its got me digging into the Jank Tank to see what I can come up with in order to get the most out of my durability.  I’ve decided, and maybe this is to my detriment, that I’m just fine with a pile of Cetratii trying to make their way across the field. I can easily fit 22 Def 12 Arm 20 (shield wall) troopers into the list, and If I get creative, It can be 16 Cetratii and 8 Incindiarii, thus upping my ability to fight high defense and other strange threats.

I Feel the loss of some of my favorite pieces very strongly. Marketh is just a joy for spreading around Fury, and Nihlators are an amazing jam unit. Venators are possibly my favorite unit for picking apart solos and backline Troops. I know the Venetors are insanely expensive, in the context of Fist, but maybe there is something to be gained here by bringing them. I may have been onto something when I played them out of tier, but the lure of a theme list is so hard to overcome.

Here are two lists that I really like, but have decided that they don’t work, for some reason or another. This dosen’t mean that I won’t put them on the board, but it does mean that I understand they wont perform to my specifications, and therefore I probably won’t play them, except that I want to try as many fist lists out as I can, and I will probably bring at least one to every steamroller I play in this year. Here is hoping that is many and varied!