by Brian Giese
My initial goal for this month, was to talk about the first couple weeks as I played a ton of games and prepared for AdepitCon, and then cover an early month event, and then go over the big event at AdeptiCon.
Sadly I became very ill a week before AdeptiCon. I did make the trip, but I was feeling fairly miserable almost the entire con, and even dropped out of open masters halfway thru my first game. I did manage to feel better for Sunday and the Team event, and had a lot of fun then. I also did manage to play a lot of games, and I have a variety of things to discuss this in this months report. I played in a 35pt Highlander event at the start of the month, but I don’t really have anything to report on it. I went 2-1 in the event. I didnt like the lists I used, and I dont really like the format, so I don’t have a ton to say about it.
- AdeptiCon thoughts (limited)
- April Game Results
- Finding the right balance of ranged/melee in a list
- Plans for future(aka I wait in the corner for july and tiberon release date)
- Ka-Ka-Ka-Krea (My current most favorite model )
AdeptiCon thoughts (limited)
I was very excited for AdeptiCon for the past couple months. Sadly being sick for a full week before and most of the con sort of took away some of the fun for me. It was still a great con, and plenty of amazing players showed up. I played in the 25pt kickoff event, Hardcore, and Team Event. I skipped 2 other events completely, and tried to play in the open masters, but dropped partway thru my first game. I should have skipped Hardcore to try to have enough energy for the masters, but I’m not that smart. I also was able to play against players I have not faced before, including players from Nebraska, North Carolina, and Texas.
The team Event was the only event I played in, where I didn’t feel too terrible. My partner was Rydiafan, and we played an E Makeda/ E Sorscha list. Basically standard Bullet list with Winterguard DeathStar.
We ended up going 2-2. One loss was due to some bad luck on dice, and bad placement of Karn on a caster kill try. The 2nd loss was a hilarious team goof up in the last round, when Sorscha put Iron Flesh on E Makeda to “help” when I was about to charge Makeda forward. ( I was eyeing up my charge lane, during my teammates model activation, and didn’t realize what he was doing. heh)
I played Zaal in the Hardcore event, and I feel he can compete there. I lost the first round in an extremely close game, that I started off down in, but pulled myself back in, and almost won. I ended up going 3-2 in the event. In the 4th round I lost a game, when I went for a chance for fastest caster kill, but I messed up my order of operation. Quick Thinking while being sick is not something I should have even attempted, but I could have snagged a 7 minute kill if it would have worked out. Still a fun event.
April Game Results
I managed to play a decent number of games in April, even with being sick for almost 2 weeks, and missing some time at Adepticon. My win/loss ratio is at its worst. I did play a lot of 25pt games due to practice for AdeptiCon, and I also had some highlander game practice as well. I find it hard to care about win/loss ratio in small games, but I am simply tracking pure numbers here.
I played 34 games in April and my win ratio in April was 61% *
- Dominar Rasheth 1 Game
- Supreme Aptimus Zaal 14 games (5 in tournaments)
- Void Seer Mordikaar 3 games
- Supreme Archdomina Makeda 4 tournament games
- Master Tormenter Morghoul 8 games (5 in tournaments)
- Tyrant Xerxis 4 games (3 in tournaments)
Finding the right balance of ranged/melee in a list (and dealing with the ranged game)
One challenge I currently am facing is dealing with some gunlines. Often times, 3 titans going down the field will be enough to shrug off any infantry guns that are being shot, but more and more armies are including warjacks/warbeasts that are also shooting long range powerful shots across the field.
So this requires some thought on how to deal with guns. When I played Cryx, I would go with mass swarms of fast infantry and try to just overwhelm my opponent with options. I do like that strategy, but with skorne, I don’t have the option.
Another challenge when dealing with enemy ranged weapons, is some of the nasty ranged weapons have other dire effects. Some cause fire/corrosion, or even leave AOE in play that cause damage if entering. Others have “on hit” effects like Def Debuff, or even ranged slam/throw/knockdown abilities. Advancing across the battlefield in today’s world can be a dangerous endeavour.
Skorne does have some options. Models like the Krea can increase Def/Arm in a 2 inch bubble against ranged attacks, and this can be the difference for many models survivability. Some skorne casters do have access to ARM or DEF/ARM spell buffs, but many armies today have ways to strip upkeeps, so these are only sometimes useful. Gunlines that can first purify all defensive before shooting, due make me sad. (or jealous)
Another Defense is the Cyclops Brute (and the unreleased Tiberion). Shield Guard can be the difference between life and death. The Cyclops Brute animus also prevents knockdown which can be an added bonus.
The Karax girded ability can come in very handy about 1/2 the time against some ranged armies. When I face Khador mortars or Dire Troll Bombers, and I have Karax I feel pretty good about the game, but when I see vanquishers/Ravagores, I’m sad again. The Razor Worm animus can also give girded to a model, which can come in handy, if you happen to have a Razor Worm in your list, and while I dont feel he is a bad beast, its just hard to make him fit in the list. (this is the challenge in picking support models)
Swamp Gobbers are a nice 1pt model if you want another cloud on the table. These are effective against a majority of ranged armies.
Wrong Eye and Snapjaw – The animus here is great. The only way around it is purification, which isnt too common. Not being able to be shot by spells or magic attacks makes these 2 guys very good when dealing with guns… Skorne doesn’t have a lot of direct buffs for them though.. Morghoul can use Abuse, which can catch people offgaurd. Rastheth does do a lot of debuffing, which by default helps anyone really. The only issue I have with fielding these 2 models is trying to fit them in a list.
Bog Trogs – While this unit does not have guns, the ability to come onto the side of the table, will often force an opponent to reposition their armies to deal with them. If they are not careful, bog trogs can do very well at attacking support models, or at least distract some ranged units good enough to let your main force advance well.
Fighting Fire with Fire (and cannonballs)
Skorne does have some ranged options, and the Domination gave Skorne even more options.
Venator Reivers – I have talked about my joy of these models in the past, and I feel they are a solid and good range unit skorne has. The UA makes them even better and once a game snipe is sweet. Extra damage to med/large bases is just a sweet bonus. CRA is always good.
Venator Slingers – This unit keep finding ways into more and more of my lists. They are so inexpensive, they almost always do something for me. Having a unit good against warmachine is handy, and even though in hordes, they often don’t do too amazing, I use them to hunt for support models. Roll enough dice at those pesky models, and you will get them sooner or later. walking 6 to 8 inches and throwing 10 inches with arcing fire, makes it hard to hide from.
Venator Flayer – This is a 2pt model that I almost love. My issue with it, is the D3 attacks. I don’t like random things. If it was D3+1 I would probably field it a LOT more. The range is OK, and it has the extra damage to med/large base models from Reivers. With the right caster (epic Hexeris, and right buffs, (extra range) This model has it place.
Venator Catapult Crew – I’ll be honest and I saw I rarely field this model. However, it has good range, good power, and 4 inch AOE is nice. I just have hard time finding 3pts. I believe it will gain the same benefits with right caster and buffs as the Venator Flayer.
Cataphract Acuarri – I include these models in an attempt just to be complete with all current range attack models Skorne has access too. This unit is a weaponmaster in melee, which is also nice. Short range, but has Combined range attack and Drag (medium or smaller based models). this is not a unit I would focus on if trying to fight the ranged game, due to their short range, but drag is always an ability that can mess up an opponent.
Extoller – Against Hordes, this 2pt model is often a rockstar. Even against Warmachine it can be good. This model feels Cryx good to me. The ranged attack against living models is extremely powerful. Adding enemies STR to the Damage often provides Dice Even damage rolls. If its to far away to shoot, its often giving eyeless sight or magic weapons to a nearby model. It collects souls of fallen skorne warriors to be able to boost its already great ranged attack (or hold onto for some army until its ready to shoot). It has gunfighter, so it can charge into combat. Short range is the models only setback, and that gets a boost with model discussion below. lets not forget about Ghost shot, so an extoller doesn’t even need to see its target, nor does it care about cover/concealment, cloud effects, etc. only Stealth can save a model from 1 extoller.
Zaal/Mordikaar – Only 2 warlocks currently with a ranged attack. Zaals is the same as the Extoller, so its amazing. Zaal. zaal also has Ghost shot. Mordikaar has a 3inch AOE attack with decent Pow and a decent range. Ranged attacks on warlocks is always a nice bonus. Note – Both these casters can and will die, if they get to far forward, so its requires some practice/skill to know when its right to use their guns.
Cyclops Shaman – Another model with Ghost Shot.. Range is ok, and the weapon is the same as a Handcannon, but being able to boost a hand cannon, that can ignore LOS and cover/concealment can oftentimes end a model. The attack is also magically, so that’s a bonus, and an extoller can give this model eyeless sight to ignore stealth. This model is good for other reasons as well.
Basilisk Drake – Impressive POW on spray 8, that is also magical?, and the beast only costs 4pts. yes please. Rat isnt too special, but thats not too uncommon on sprays.. you can always boost on that one model you really want to hit.
Titan Cannoneer – Skorne is very lucky with some of the most powerful warbeasts in the game. I think players rarely see the cannoneer because of it. However in this escalation world of guns, what better then a titan wielding a cannon. The range on the gun is average, but the POW is great. The 3inch AoE is nice, but unlike many AoE in the game, this has no other effects (sad face). This model like many will benefit with some buffs and the right caster. Skorne doesn’t have too many ranged buffs, but the Extoller, Epic Hexeris, Rasheth, and the soon to be released Cyclops Raider all can help improve this model.
Cyclops Raider – “Coming soon(may 23rd) to a skorne list near you” I dont want to use the word “gamechanger”, but this model is giving skorne some interesting options. Its amazing what 4 more inches of range on the battlefield provides. This model can enhance already good models like Extollers, (caster attacks from Morkidaar/Zaal get some good distance). It feels required for the Skorne Battle Engine, and It also makes skorne artillery/Cannoneers feel effective) This model can also sit still and shoot steath models (yes please) We already have the extoller for eyeless sight, but more ways to shoot stealth is welcome.
Siege Animantarax – (coming soon, May 23rd) – I do like the weapon on this model D3+1 initial attacks. This means with Epic Hexeris, black spot will generate D3+1 x2 (if all initial attacks hit) – this model strength is its ability to kill infantry. If you are willing to pay the 9pts for this model, and feel your meta is filled with tons of infantry, this model should kill a chunk of them. As stated, it can be given magic weapons/snipe/eyeless sight from varioius buffs, which all help in hitting infantry. If you want to hurt a heavy, I feel Rasheth is the caster to use. With the Debuffs he can use, you could do some serious damage to a hordes heavy with this model.
What does it all mean?
I have listed a lot of models skorne that can add to their ranged game and also defend against ranged attacks. Of course you cannot just fill up a list with these models and be set. There is a balance that must be made that allows for both Ranged and Meelee attack and Defense abilities, not to mention building a list that focuses on the strength of the warlock you choose, and finally making sure you have the correct amount of support models for the list to function well.
All these things together can cause a players head to explode. Then factor in, Streamroller events, where you need to have 2 lists, that do not overlap characters and you try to balance 2 lists for as many situations as you can.
Some armies can go extremely range heavy. I don’t believe Skorne can do this too often. I may try some Rasheth lists or Epic Hexeris lists, that have multiple range pieces (cyclops raiders, extollers, cannoneers, cyclops shaman and Venator Reivers and even Venator Slingers)
Lists where I plan on going more melee heavy, I will plan on keeping defensive models like The Basilisk Krea and Cyclops Brute in the lists.
I believe there is always value for at least 1 ranged unit, or 1 or 2 ranged beast in most skorne lists. After the Cyclops Raider is out, I believe we will see more skorne ranged armies. Some of the most effective armies I see have an almost equal split in range/meelee models.
Over the next 2 to 3 months I plan on trying out a variety of ranged lists and I will be working hard to find the right balance of ranged and meelee based models.
Many lists I will run 2 extollers, 2 Cyclops Reivers, Cyclops Shaman + some combo of Venator slingers/reivers and I will mess around with some cannoneers.
Plans for future
Skorne has some very interesting models coming out this summer. On May 23rd, the Cyclops raider comes out, and in my opinion it really opens up some different playstyles for skorne. I already talked about the ranged game and finding balance above, and I do believe the cyclops raider will be a model that makes many lists to help bring skornes firepower up a notch. I will be buying 2 on May 23rd. I will also be trying to use more Titan Cannoneers as well in May. I want to see how well these models can perform. I havent given them a lot of playtime yet.
May 23rd is also a interesting day, because the Skorne Battle Engine comes out. I truly love the model. I have proxied it as well to try on the table. The actual rules of the model leave a little to be desired, but the model itself looks so good, i I mays till buy one.
May 23rd the plastic kit for skorne is scheduled to come out , but no Tiberion until July (BOOOOO). That is one character warbeast I believe every Skorne player is very happy with. I believe many players will stop fielding Molik Karn so much in favor of Tiberion. I use Karn maybe 25% of the time at the most, but I will find it hard not to put Tiberion in at 1 of my 2 streamroller lists once he comes out. (and only 1 due to character restrictions)
The Mayhem Cup is being held on May 12th/13th. I have not decided on what lists I am going to take yet. I want to practice some with Epic Hexeris as well as more with Epic Morghoul. I also keep focusing and tweaking my Zaal lists. I imagine to play 2 out of those 3 warlocks. For the smaller events at Mayhem Cup I may bring my Gators along just for a fun change of pace.
I used to play Krea’s and Drakes all the time. Over the past 4 months I have rarely put the Krea on the table, and I feel I have been making an error leaving the Krea out.
I will admit one challenge with skorne is proper balance of Support models in the army. I have been going extremely support light, but I feel I need to modify that a little bit.
I would say 80% of the lists I face have at least moderate to more amount of guns, and maybe 1 in 10 games I face an opponent with no guns at the most.
Paralytic Aura is great animus +2 for both Def and Armor from ranged in a small bubble is extremely helpful. I have really missed it over the past few weeks.
Not to mention if the opponent wants to jam you with their High Def models, paralytic aura comes in handy to Debuff the enemy in the same range. -2 Def is often all it takes to bring down those super high Def models into reasonable odds.
The ranged attack of the Krea is nice, but I rarely use it. Short range and RAT 4 just means either the model I want to hit is out of range, or I am going to miss. (The Cyclops raider may make this something I can maybe use more.)
The krea’s ability to gain flank with the drake is another nice ability I rarely get to take advantage of, but that’s because my drake is usually more far forward spraying models until something large and unfriendly kills him. I may look at trying to the drake alive more into the late game. A flanking Krea with Last stand under Zaals feat is something I want to pull off sometime in the near future, if only for my own amusement.