Thursdays with Thanan: Skorne Battle Box

Welcome to another titillating episode, dear readers! So far we’ve examined Circle Orboros, Cygnar, Legion of Everblight, and Khador (in that order, no less). Today, we delve into the Skorne empire. The Skorne army is one that lives and breathes by a warrior code, similar to the Japanese empire of old. The Skorne have turned that idea into a way of life – and death. The Skorne emphasize a heavy melee approach, having some of the toughest warbeasts, with high armor and lots of hit points, as well as having some of the highest base P+S attacks. No glass cannon, this army. It strives to provide as many haymakers as possible to the opponent’s jawline, even if that means taking a few themselves. Feel free to comment or question at the bottom! The Skorne battle box is comprised of Morghoul 1 (aka pMorghoul), a Titan Gladiator, and two Cyclops savages.

Morghoul 1 – Morghoul is a speedy melee assassin style character. He has a very good MAT, super high defense, and goes squish if you look at him. He has quite a few nifty abilities. Of course, he comes with pathfinder, as well as anatomical precision – which means that any time he hits a living model, that model auto takes one point. He still rolls for damage, but if he fails to beat the armor the enemy still takes one pip. Great for clearing out high armor, single wound swarms, or for putting damage on a caster camping focus. He also has maltreatment, so he can do d3 damage to a warbeast and reave one extra fury. This is a safe way to get a bit more mileage out of Morghoul for minimal damage to a beast. He has overtake, so after killing one guy, he can advance, make his second attack, advance again, then he ALSO has sprint! So he can charge 10″, overtake 1″, overtake 1″, sprint 7″. “Dang,” you think to yourself, “that could be useful if they had infantry.” I agree. Unfortunately, he can potentially do that, just not in the battle box format. He has the nifty perfect balance skill, which means that he can’t be combined attacked, targeted by free strikes, AND models do not get back strike bonuses, AS WELL AS standing up for free the next round. His magical weapons have inflict pain, it can place or remove 1 fury from a warbeast. You could potentially block transfer targets, force frenzies, or remove all the fury that an opponent was planning on using. It also has double strike, so he can spend one fury and attack twice.

Let’s think through a combat with Morghoul, in the battle box. Let’s assume that you’re facing a Circle army. You charge an argus sitting right next to Kaya, and it has 3 fury, 2 hit points. You tick it twice with both your initials. It dies, but you’ve taken off two fury, so Kaya only takes 1. Your opponent was silly and spent all that she had spirit dooring, so now she has 1 fury for a transfer. You overtake with 6 fury remaining. You spend 6 fury for 12 additional attacks, a minimum 12 damage, assuming you hit. Let’s assume you hit. And assume that you rolled more than 4 at least a couple times. You just took them out. Congrats. Let’s also look into Morghoul’s spells and feat.

  •  Abuse – One of your warbeasts takes d3 damage, but gains +2 speed and strength. Great to make your slow titan suddenly speedy!
  •  Admonition – If an enemy model ends up within 6″ of one of your beasts (or Morghoul if you chose him), that model gets a 3″ move (aka free walk out of combat).
  •  Torment – When a model is damaged by this spell, it loses tough, cannot heal or be healed, and cannot transfer. Cast this on a beast with regenerate (warpwolves for example), or a warlock.

Morghoul’s feat – enemies can’t spend focus, be forced, or have damage transferred to them in Morghoul’s control area. The hardest part about this great feat is getting them within 10″. If an enemy can’t spend focus, they cannot cast spells, cannot assign focus to warjacks, and can’t even boost! You’re forcing them to camp, essentially. Against Hordes, beasts often can’t charge, can’t boost, etc. Also, if you start putting damage on their warlock, the warlock can’t transfer damage to any warbeast within 10″. This feat is a game changer.

Titan Gladiator – The titan gladiator is a massive powerhouse. It is ponderously slow, but has very high armor to help make up for the fact that it will likely be taking a charge in the battle box format. The titan comes with 3 decent POW attacks with average MAT. The gladiator has bullheaded, so when it frenzies it slams instead of charging. It also has follow up, so when it slams it can advance up to the distance the slammed model was moved. What this means is that you can slam a heavy over top of a caster, then walk up to the caster and buy attacks! Gladiators also have grand slam which means they don’t need to force to slam and models slammed move +2″. Also, his tusks attacks add the weapon’s POW to head-butts and slams. His animus, rush, is great! It gives +2″ movement and pathfinder.

Cyclops Savage – The savage is decently speedy, with average MAT, good defense, good armor. One good POW attack for a light, and it can boost attacks or damage rolls after rolling with his special ability, future sight. His animus gives his passive ability to another model. The battle box comes with two of these good fellas.

Skorne battle box play style and tactics – The Skorne battle box has solid beasts and a good caster. Unfortunately for the battle box, it is a little difficult to keep everything in the small control area of Morghoul 1. The titan gladiator can help keep enemies on their toes, with free of fury slams to knock enemy beasts onto the caster and follow up and beat caster face. The cyclops can get your enemies from 15″ away! Use your spell abuse and the gladiator’s animus rush to snipe charge your opponent from almost half the table away. Also, Morghoul’s feat can pretty much completely shut down any battle box, so use this when your opponent is in range to seriously stop their plans.

Warnings and such – Despite having very high armor over all, the Skorne battle box will still die if you get alpha struck from things that are faster. Getting pinged from half way across the map will slowly whittle away your force as well, so it’s important to close quickly. Things with speed, defense, or armor debuffs will put a bad kink in your plans as well. If things are getting dicey, don’t be too afraid to charge in with Morghoul to take out a light or finish off a heavy. He pretty much gets to ping things for a minimum of 1 each attack, and since he probably won’t need to boost against beasts he can use his fury to buy attacks and take off like 12 or 14 damage! But if someone can throw a model on top of Morghoul or slam something on top of him, you will die. Beware of knockdown (Stryker 1 has a 5″ aoe of knockdown as well! Watch out for this!)

Next week I delve into the holy Menoth battle box. If you have questions or suggestions, let me know down below!


Author: David Counts

David Counts plays Circle Orboros primarily, and has recently gotten into Cygnar. He enjoys rolling 1s way more often than statistically probable and long walks on the beach. You can find David most days in or around Des Moines.

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