The Skorne Chronicles: Vol 1



As I mentioned a little bit ago, Skorne has called my name for a time now. This desire to play the empire has not stemmed from the desire for a new and different style of play. I love how Cryx plays so much I could play them for years without getting too bored. Its one of the strengths of the system as there are some 15 casters, each with their own strengths and weaknesses to overcome and to play with for all the original factions, and some 11 or so for each hordes faction.

Skorne called to me because I’ve a ton of models I’ve never used and feel that I could get more use out of if I actually played that faction for a bit. Since I last played skorne, I’d picked up and assembled:

Xerxis 2
Makeda 3
Praetorian Keltarii
Praetorian Swordsmen
Reptile Hounds
Slingers (were on the board once)
and Cataphract Incindiarii.

I was, and still am, eager to see most of these models on the board sometime soon. Thankfully, Over the weekend I was able to cross a broad swath of those models off the board as I played in two games against my friends.

Before I get to how those turned out, I’d like to just talk about my thoughts on the overall concept, execution, and draw of Skorne. It’ll be a little bit of an overview, but it is also going to give a better feel to how I look at the faction, its casters, and its units.

I find the Skorne playstyle somewhere between Cryx and Protectorate, more often than not. They have some extremely powerful casting warlocks in Zaal, Rasheth, and Mordikaar. They have some fantastic combat casters as well, with Xerxis 1 and 2 leading the pack of Makeda 1,2 and 3, Morghul 1 and 2, and Naaresh. I think that Hexeris mostly fist the hybrid role here. All the casters have some sort of combat enhancer, I think its one of the things that really makes Skorne hum. Their troops mostly function on their own, but their casters like to take them right above average, and a ton of casters have to hit buffs: Carnage, Carnivore, Last Stand, Black Spot, and Death March. There are also sheer brute damage Spells and Utility spells for combat sprinkled around: Silence of Death, Fury, Banishing Ward, Ghost Walk, Revive, Hollow, Iron Flesh, Ashen Veil, Blood Mark, Defenders Ward, Ignite and Inviolable Resolve are all available to the faction. Speed is also a factor for the faction, with spells like Savagery, Leash, Deathmarch, Road to War, and Mobility all coming into play.

While the troops and solos of the faction are good, so are those of a number of other factions. Ret, Khador and Cryx, live or die on the back of their troops, each in different ways. Skorne lives or dies by its beasts, and this is what intrigues me as a faction the most. I tend to lean away from the spellcaster and hybrid casters, who are sometimes extremely similar to my Cryx counterparts. Instead, I go for the martial and ‘Beast casters that are so very different from what I have available to me in Warmachine.

Relying on those beasts has been a fundamental joy of mine when it comes to playing Skorne, with a close second of medium based infantry. With recent developments in the faction, I am coming back to the faction a little behind the times, but I look forward to the change in scenery none the less.

As I told a friend on Saturday, I love tusks and flags, so this is the faction for me, lemme tell you. This is what I whipped together for those games.

My Xerxis 2 List

Xerxis, Fury of Halaak+5
-Krea (Bonded)4
Tyrant Zaadesh3
Praetorian Swordsmen (10)6
-Praetorian Officer and Standard2
Venator Slingers (10)6
Mortitheurge Willbreaker2
Extoller Soulwarden2
Paingiver Beast Handlers(4)2
Tyrant Commander and Standard Bearer3

and my Makeka 3 List

Makeda and the Exalted Court+2
-Molik Karn11
-Cyclops Brute5
-Cyclops Savage5
Praetorian Swordsmen (10)6
-Praetorian Officer and Standard2
Praetorian Keltarii (10)8
Nihilators (10)8
Paingiver Bloodrunner Master Tormentor2
Paingiver Beast Handlers(6)3
Paingiver Bloodrunner Master Tormentor2

Each of these had a goal. The first, Xerxis 2, had a super Simple goal – Play the Mammoth. Of the two casters I was going to bring, he was the one who did the most for the Mammoth, I thought. This was simply a fun list jam packed with models that are useful or that I’d never used, and I thought I’d give it a go.

I ended up pairing against a buddy of mine (he’s probably done a good battle report by now) running a Butcher 3 experiment list. Something along these lines:

The Butcher Unleashed and Argus+4
-Beast 0911
-War Dog1
Nyss Hunters(10)10
Tactical Arcanist Corps4
Kayazy Eliminators3
Kayazy Eliminators3
Koldun Lord2

This game ended up being a complete monster of a game, especially for my first one back to Skorne in such a long time. My friend likes to run his B3 on scenario, and he did exactly that, scaring me into being a bit cautious or else being hacked neatly in half by the Butcher. I made a fairly large mistake towards the end that allowed him to really take off to victory, though I don’t know that I could have won either way. Towards the end of the game (Incursion) I had my Mammoth front and center. I had managed to collapse his left flank (my right) down to two Eliminators and a Koldun Lord. Thinking Hastily, I sent the Mammoth into his remaining forces on my left, and while I killed a pile of stuff, didn’t get anything in return. I believe, and I could be wrong here, if I had gone after the center and right flag with the Mammoth and Xerxis2, I could have tried to hold out for scenario. Butcher could have charged and killed the Mammoth, but Xerxis2would be in place to counter-charge and see what damage he could deal to the Butcher. It would have been extremely interesting.

the next game was with my Makeda 3 list against a friends Kreoss 3 list that he has been running for a while. I’d not managed to play against the refined version yet, and it was a damned good list.

Intercessor Kreoss+5
-Fires of Salvation9
Daughters of the Flame5
Knights Exemplar5
Exemplar Vengers(5)11
Choir (4)2
Choir (4)2
The Wrack1

Things did not go well for me. the Makeda 3 list I had brought was built to solve for infantry, and this list didn’t have much. However, I always play through these less than stellar matchups when I come across them because sometimes you’ll end up list locked against a bad matchup, and you’ll need to know what you can bend your list to do.  Praetorian Swordsmen weren’t much help this fight, even with their two attacks, and the Nihliators were similarly useless. The Keltarii, on the other hand, they felt like they were exactly what I wanted them for. Turn 2 Charged them in and reformed, and turn three I sent the last three souls into the back lines of the army to start causing some problems. At that time, though, it was already too late for me. Vengers and Fires of Salvation had decimated and pushed in my right flank. Exemplar Knights and Daughters of the Flame had torn apart my Praetorian Swordsmen and the Keltarii. The Nihlators were all I had left, and I was facing down three heavy ‘Jacks. Thankfully, I’d brought Makeda and her battlegroup into the center of the board, into a place where I could commit them and get some work out of her feat, and was able to clear a line for Karn to charge sideways, sidestep around the end of a wall after blowing a Choir off the board, and slice into Kreoss 3. By all accounts and measures, I’d have lost that battle. Initially, I’d set up the army to win by attrition, as each model of yours needs to kill two or more of mine to make up lost ground. However, it just wasn’t to be and I had pocket Karn ready to unleash.

I think for Thursday or Tuesday of next week I’ll go a bit deeper into what I think about each battle, a bigger report on each one, and the feelings of the lists! see you then!