Sniper Skorne

So a fellow forumite on the Privateer Press forums (by the handle of StivBelgrade) proposed an interesting concept for Skorne, a bunch of Cyclops Shamans and another warbeast with the Far Strike animus. Cyclops Shamans can copy any animus of other warbeast near to them and have a 10”, POW12 gun that has Ghost Shot (a ranged weapon with Ghost Shot ignores LOS, cover and concealment).

I like this concept. The idea of Skorne putting a serious ranged assassination threat on the table without a single heavy warbeast amuses me and so, at ridiculous o’clock in the morning, while sleep is eluding me, I began to build on this concept.

Here’s my first attempt:
Skorne – Skorne Sniper mkI
Dominar Rasheth – WB: +28
–    Cyclops Shaman – PC: 8 (Battlegroup Points Used: 8)
–    Cyclops Shaman – PC: 8 (Battlegroup Points Used: 8)
–    Cyclops Shaman – PC: 8 (Battlegroup Points Used: 8)
–    Cyclops Shaman – PC: 8 (Battlegroup Points Used: 4)
–    Cyclops Raider – PC: 9

Ancestral Guardian – PC: 5
Paingiver Bloodrunner Master Tormentor – PC: 4
Swamp Gobber Chef – PC: 1
Gobber Tinker – PC: 2

Praetorian Karax – Leader & 9 Grunts: 11
Paingiver Bloodrunners – Leader & 5 Grunts: 9
Paingiver Beast Handlers – Leader & 3 Grunts: 5

One of the big issues that people on the forums picked up on is: this style of gunline list doesn’t handle masses of infantry well. What they missed was, it doesn’t handle armor either…whoops…

Before I discuss the second version of the list, I want to discuss the various pieces of this list that I like and how the work together.

First, Rasheth. He has the fury potential to run 4 Shamans hot every turn (animus + fully boost) and not risk frenzies (3 fury * 4 shamans = 12 fury, -4 beast handlers, perfect 8). He also has an armor debuff, a terrifying feat turn (effectively boosting the Shamans to POW17, RAT8 for that turn) and has decent anti-infantry tech (acid clouds!). Compared to the other Skorne warlocks, none even came close to contesting this choice.

Second, Ancestral Guardian. Rasheth can arc through a warrior model. This will typically kill it (1d3 damage). Not only is the AG able to collect that soul, if I need to arc through it, it won’t die (and as a construct, I can chase it around with the Gobber Tinker to keep it healthy).

Those are the two big pieces that make the core of this list actually go. Now I’m going to say something that is going to drive the hivemind nuts, Battle Engine. On the Warmachine side of things, if a player mentions a battle engine, they typically get shout at about how that’s wasting power up and that heavy jacks are better and in most cases, the hivemind isn’t wrong about such things, but this is Hordes. Beast are more expensive and don’t have any magical nonsense like Power Up making the battle engine more expensive via opportunity costs. Now there are two available to Skorne, the angry turtle (in-faction) and the Meat Grinder (Minions). Each brings different strengths to the board and I think for this list, one is clearly superior.

Siege Animantarax (Angry Turtle)

My initial impression was that this model sucked, hard, really hard. SPD4 is bad enough on a beast, but it’s just crippling when the base is too big to hide. At a second glance, it seems that this model could move a whole 7” in a turn if the opponent would shoot it just a little…still rather awful (my opponents don’t have a “just a little” setting on their shooting, just “several overkill-y tons”). On the third glance, I finally saw that it could trample and had Reposition[3″]! Praise the Sun! The angry turtle can scuttle 10” a turn without any help (and that’s actually good enough). Overall, I think that the output this model has is still too limited to mulch huge swaths of infantry (5” bases are super awkward to trample with) but it’s something that I’m planning on returning to.

Meat Grinder

I’m actually just in love with this model! Its quick (SPD6), deadly to pretty much all infantry, and is near impossible to jam up. Primarily this is a model that chews through infantry by knocking them down and rolling 16+5d6 against everything that’s in melee range on the charge (which when coupled with Bulldoze and a huge base, can be a lot of models). The fact that it can also toss out 2-6 RNG12, POW12 shots is just straight gravy!

Now the battle engine serves two purposes in this next list, a “DISTRACTION CARNIFEX” and as a solution to infantry swarms.

The second part of this second iteration is the 6 points I want to fill with questions. A few options jump out at me:

  1. Totem Hunter – Fast, prey, great solo hunter.
  2. Hutchuk – Ambushing grenadier. Also not a slouch in melee at P+S 14.
  3. Double Bog Trog Trawlers – Ambush! 13” drag threat into the rear arc at RAT7. Funny things happen when unit leaders get drug out of coherency (especially backwards).
  4. Void Spirit + Feralghast – Incorporeal models are a pain to deal with.
  5. Master Tormentor + Gobber Tinker – More repair for the Battle Engine, another Channel target for Rasheth.

(It’s at this point that I realized that without troops to arc through, Rasheth starts to hate life and the AG really under performs, so I cut the AG. This freed up 5 more points, so I took a unit of Bloodrunners and a second Gobber Tinker.)

Skorne – Skorne Sniper mkII
Dominar Rasheth – WB: +28
–    Cyclops Shaman – PC: 8 (Battlegroup Points Used: 8)
–    Cyclops Shaman – PC: 8 (Battlegroup Points Used: 8)
–    Cyclops Shaman – PC: 8 (Battlegroup Points Used: 8)
–    Cyclops Shaman – PC: 8 (Battlegroup Points Used: 4)
–    Cyclops Raider – PC: 9

Meat Thresher – PC: 19

Gobber Tinker – PC: 2
Gobber Tinker – PC: 2

Paingiver Beast Handlers – Leader & 3 Grunts: 5
Paingiver Bloodrunners – Leader & 5 Grunts: 9

This list is something that I’m really excited to put on the table. To get to 75 points, I would add in Zaadesh, move two Shamans to him and swap the Raider for a Cannoneer. A unit of Karax and a Feralghast rounds off the 75 even.

Since the point of this list is assassination, I feel that the pressure from the Shamans should be sufficient scenario pressure to keep things even. Attrition is going to be where this list suffers and a lot of that will be down to how effective the Meat Grinder will be at clearly other infantry swarms.

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1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Indestructible Skorne | 4d6kobolds

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