Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Army Lists: Skorne

One of the things I always find amusing as a Skorne player is the ease of list building for certain factions in comparison to Skorne. Models-wise Skorne has underwhelming ranged models and their key solos are now support solos with the attacking ones being supplanted by far better minion options. The amount of synergy needed to 'cover all angles' means that playing less than 50pt lists with Skorne can be a gamble - with a chink in the armour often present. When taking a warlock it is therefore always a quandary for list building. As a melee orientated faction Molik Karn and the Titan Gladiator are often seen as auto-includes but that is very dependant on who and what are supporting them. When facing a strong shooting list access to Defender's Ward and a Krea's animus is just as valuable as a heavy beatstick. Putting all your eggs into the Molik Karn basket is a sure fire way of printing a target on his chest unless you have a raft of further support. It is also good to note that unless your playing one of the Makedas the Bronzeback outperforms Molik as a heavy hitter and lacks his fragility. With the constant threat of gun lines and chance of facing casters that can shut down models/units playing a combined arms list is almost second nature to Skorne players.

Combined Arms List

Archdomina Makeda 5
- Molik Karn 11
- Titan Gladiator 8
- Aptimus Marketh 3
Cataphract Cetrati (Leader and 5 Grunts) 11
Nihilators (Leader and 9 Grunts) 8
Paingiver Beast Handlers (Leader and 3 Grunts) 2
Praetorian Swordsmen (Leader and 9 Grunts) 6
- Praetorian Swordsmen Officer & Standard 2
Hakaar the Destroyer 4

This list is actually about denial. It denies the opponent by resurrecting the models killed. In the first turn the Cetrati have savagery cast on them and move up the table quickly in Shieldwall. The Swordsmen run with Defender's Ward on them - making them Def 15 and ARM 16 (good against scatter damage). The Nihilators can also run in relative safety behind the Swordsmen and Cetrati. In the second round the infantry don't need to even charge they can also run to engage as long as a couple remain safely hidden away behind terrain or the Cetrati Shieldwall. Obviously this is the round where Makeda feats. The enemy has little alternative but to plow through infantry that will be coming back next round. On the third turn Makeda changes attack and casts Carnage, with Aptimus Marketh casting Defender's Ward or Savagery as needed. Whilst the Cetrati, Nihilators and Swordsmen (under mini-feat) clear charge lanes (MAT 9, 9 and 8 respectively) Molik Karn can ping-pong into position, and the Gladiator or Hakaar have surprising threat ranges under Savagery. The 'combined arms' aspect of this list is that it works no matter what the opponent brings. The entire army throw themselves up the table regardless of the opponents list. The loss of beasts can hurt this list but with resurrecting MAT 9 Cetrati - this list can provide many opportunities for winning the game.

Tournament List

Supreme Archdomina Makeda +5
- Cyclopse Savage 5
- Cyclopse Shaman 5
- Molik Karn 11
- Titan Gladiator 8
Paingiver Beast Handlers (Leader and 3 Grunts) 2
Praetorian Ferox (Leader and 4 Grunts) 11
Praetorian Swordsmen (Leader and 9 Grunts) 6
- Praetorian Swordsmen Officer & Standard 2
Tyrant Rhadiem 5

The 'Molik Karn Bullet' list is by far the most common Skorne tournament list and as such is seen in pretty much every Skorne players arsenal (though with variations on the above). The list excels against almost any opponents list as it has many aspects of the combined arms list. This makes it doubly powerful and doubly common. The list strikes in the Skorne player's second turn and actually relies on the opposing warcaster being within a 6" model free bubble that also blocks charge lanes. Any friendly model that is within 6" of the caster also has to have a 6" distance from a model that Molik Karn can reach.
The set up is that the Ferox run and block line of sight and guard Rhadhiem, eMakeda and Molik Karn. The Swordsmen also run to provide as many distractions as possible to the opponent and to remove all emphasis from the cyclops chieftain as he lurks at the back. In the second turn the Skorne player has a number of options but typically eMakeda has upkept leash and charges forward killing a Swordsman so to not end her activation. She then casts Road to War catching as many Ferox and Swordsmen as possible, feats and sits on 3 Fury. The Ferox have a charge range of 15" and strike to clear a charge lane for Molik. The swordsmen can also do their bit by moving up with Vengeance, mini-feating and charging 11" with auto 1 point of damage and side-stepping away or into position where they are 4" away from the opponents warcaster or a model within 2" of the opponents warcaster. Remember all these infantry attacks are boosted and they are all immune to free strikes. The Shaman get's rid of any nasty upkeeps on Molik (or puts Rush on the Savage) and next the Gladiator moves up and pushes him 1" and casts Rush on him. Next the Paingivers strip the fury off the Shaman and Gladiator and enrage the savage and Molik. The final stage is when Molik (who has already moved 4" and should now be about 5" behind eMakeda) charges his natural 13" and strikes something 2" away. He then side steps either once or twice and ends within 2" of the opposing warcasters and then proceeds to have 5-7 boosted MAT 7 attacks that do 15+3d6 damage each. Typically the Warcaster or warlock will not be able to survive this - but the joy of this list is that if the do somehow survive the opponent is still beset by Ferox, Swordsmen and Cyclops that all have boosted free strikes, can't be knocked down and even if they can open a charge lane to eMakeda she has 3 transfers or can use a fury to resurrect a Ferox that was killed to unblock the charge lane. Rhadhiem and the Gladiator are typically still in play for 3rd turn threats and with Engine of Destruction eMakeda can afford to go to an end game with confidence that she can still win. In certain cases Molik can be used to target a series of solos and support units to hamstring an opponent and still leave eMakeda in good shape to survive the retaliation round. This safety net makes the MK Bullet one of the most versatile tournament lists in the game as it combines many aspects of the combined arms list with the crazy threat range of a top assassination list.

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