Toruk to Tyrant – May Recap and thoughts on the first 5 months playing skorne.

Another Month has come and gone.  May was a great month for me.  I had a lot of good games with skorne, and I recently moved to a nice new apartment (but you probably dont care about that as much as I do)

I did play a few less games this month because of my move, but I did manage to make 2 different events. I did already cover my Mayhem Cup results early this month.

This time I wish to cover the following topics





Summary of May games (brief discussion of 2nd event I went to)

I manged to play 23 games in the month of May. I played in 2 events, and I won 71% of my games in May.

  • Lord Assassin Morghoul 1 games
  • Dominar Rasheth  2 games (both in tournaments)
  • Lord Arbiter Hexeris 5 games (3 in tournaments)
  • Supreme Aptimus Zaal 13  games (10 in tournaments)


The 2nd event I went to this month was a local event, and I decided to have some fun and I played a Zaal theme force along with finally forcing myself to play a little with Epic Hexeris.   I discovered that both casters play very similarly.  I did mange to lose a game with each caster.  The are so similar that I may not play very much more with Epic Hexeris for a while.  I believe he is good, but he does not fit my style of play as much as Zaal does. I really hate rolling 1d6 for spell effects, and ashes to ashes will drive me crazy.  This event did reinforce my thoughts on why I don’t take the Zaal theme force to competitive events.  It is a good theme force (and fun to play), but it limits me too much from the models I want on the table. I still managed to get best of hordes and Skorne coin even with 2 losses.








Overview of my first 5 months so far with skorne



In the first 5  months of 2011 I attended 9 Events with cryx.  (13 total tournaments, since I played in 4 events at AdeptiCon).  I managed to win 3 of the events (including the Team event at AdeptiCon) I also nabbed one 3rd place.   I made it into the finals at AdeptiCon but did not place.

By this time in 2011 I had played around 55 games with Cryx.

In the first 5 months of 2012 I attended 8 events with my skorne. (2 were mayhem cups, and one was AdeptiCon, for a total of 13 events)  I managed to win 2 of the events, I also nabbed one 3rd place, and at the latest Mayhem Cup I went 5-1 to get 5th place (out of 59 people)  I am still sad I was so sick during all of AdeptiCon, as its such a fun con.  I also managed a Best of hordes and Skorne coin in one event I went 3-2. It was a bad day for Hordes, but I managed to get some shiny prizes.

I have played 114 games with my skorne already

Last year June I played somewhere between 75 and 100 games with Cryx. It was Insane.  This June I may only attend 1 event, and I doubt I will get more than 30 games in. (Sadly I am probably going to miss Diecon this year.

I have really enjoyed my time with skorne, and this year some models I really enjoy are being realized. The skorne slingers make almost all my lists, and I’m excited to field the cyclops raider.  I am looking forward to July and Tiberion.

I am a bit sad I don’t have a good reason to put a huge based model on the field yet. I did just buy the Skorne battle engine, but I wont have it ready for a little while to use, and I’ll only use it in some friendly games.  By the time my year of skorne is over, the new gargatuans will probably just being coming out.




Revisiting Zaal

So far this year I have played 43 games with Supreme Aptimus Zaal.  I have enjoyed every moment of these games.  In January I posted some of my first thoughts on Zaal as I just started playing him.   After 5 months of using him I feel very strongly that all my initial thoughts were very accurate. (I like being right!)

Why do I love Zaal?

  • At any point in the game when playing Zaal, I feel any model of mine can kill any enemy model they are facing off against.  With my feat and Last stand, nothing can survive when I want a specific model dead in melee.  I don’t care what my opponents DEF or ARM stats are.  It’s a very nice feeling. Of course I have to be willing to rely on my feat, or sacrifice a model with Last stand, but most often I trade models in a way that benefits me a lot more then my opponent.
  • I can take such a wide variety of models with Zaal.  This is both a huge positive and a small negative.  It is great, because I get to use a wide variety of my models,  and they all perform well, but a negative, because with all choice I still have yet to narrow down my list choices.
  • I’ll summarize my last article briefly
    • Great Spell list. Hex Blast is an important spell. Last stand is simply amazing. Inviolable Resolve helps me keep Hakaar armor high.  I rarely cast awaken spirits, but it does have its moments.
    • Direct Spirits is a powerful built-in ability. Not letting your opponent have your souls, and Zaal determines were friendly souls go. Simply amazing
    • Annihilating Gaze is a powerful ranged attack against living models, and even better now that Skorne can cast Snipe.
    • His Feat is pure offensive power.  If you time the feat right, you can clear the enemy off the board as all your models boost their attack and damage rolls. Combined with Last stand I have never failed an assassination attempt on my feat turn.
    • Kovass –  This model will give our opponents headaches. I often cast last stand Hakaar when hes off killing a DeathJack or Avatar of Menoth. After hes done, the Kovass comes out to reign terror down on my opponents.  Many times my opponent will kill the kovass, but they are putting resources into him they didn’t want to, and when he survives, he just wipes out models, or kills a caster.


I still have not found a set list with him. I like to play with both with Infantry spam and a good mix of warbeasts and infantry.


Zaal most common combinations for lists I play.

  • Krea (in almost all lists)
  • Either a cyclops Brute or Raider – I would love to fit both in.
  • Titan Gladiator ( if I choose infantry spam I leave him out, otherwise hes always in)
  • Bronzeback Titan or Molik Karn  (I cannot decide which one I like better) the reach and speed of Karn is great, but a bronzeback damage output is great and lives longer
  • Units are almost always  a full unit of 10 Nihilators and 10 Venator Slingers, along with 4 Paingiver Beast Handlers
  • Hakaar + Marketh + 1 Extoller are most common solos
  • I go back and forth tweaking points to include either an Agonizer or Tyrant Commander


My infantry spam lists have Ferox (plus solo), slingers, Nihilators + 3 to 4 light warbeats, 3 Ancestral Guardians and 2 to 3 extollers. Often times I’ll add in 2 Tyrant Commanders as well.











Finding that second warlock for SR events.


I am pretty confident that 95% of all events in a Streamroller Format I am taking Zaal as 1 of my 2 casters.  This means I need a good warlock to pair with him. I am only planning for 2 caster events. 3 caster lists do occur, but that is not something I will  focus on now.

First I need to lay out what I feel Zaal’s strengths and weakness are, so I don’t pick a 2nd caster that is basically a mirror of him. I need something in my second caster that Zaal does not provide.

Zaal Strengths

  • High Def models are not an issue
  • Can Deal with Infantry Swarms
  • High Arm models are not an issue
  • Zaal Can remove upkeeps
  • Zaal Can stay fairly far back, which helps keep him alive.


Zaal Weakness

  • No real board control abilities
  • Army has poor attrition. I often kill my own models faster than my opponent
  • Very little ranged attack (key ranged models like extollers are great against hordes, but in a 2 list divide and conquer I use zaal more against Warmachine)

Other Factors

  • I use Aptimus Marketh with Zaal,  and because of character restrictions, he cannot make it into my 2nd list. I feel some skorne casters really need Marketh to really shine.  This eliminates Tyrant Xerxis, Lord Assassin Morghoul,  Archdomina Makeda, and Master Ascentic Naaresh from consideration for my second list.   I really enjoy the first 3 warlocks a lot, so this does make me a little sad.  I am also unsure if I would want to play Lord Tyrant Hexeris without Marketh. I am on the fence with him.
  • I feel Zaal plays very strong against warmachine and most cryx list.  I believe he has no base weakness against hordes, but  in divide/conquer type events, I do try to save him for warmachine match-ups.  This means my second caster needs to have at least some natural abilities against Hordes.
  • I also  want to make sure list #2 can handle Cryx in case I get in some weird match-up, where I get forced into my 2nd list against Cryx.

Options I like (lets me our contestants)

Contestant #1  – Dominar Rasheth (both in and out of Theme force)

Contestant #2 – Void Seer Mordikaar

Contestant #3 – Supreme Archdomina Makeda

Contestant #4 – Lord Tyrant Hexeris

Contestant #5 – Master Tormentor Morghoul

  • Each of those options bring something good to the table.  Dominar Rasheth and Lord Tyrant Hexeris IMO have some good default abilities against Hordes.  Hexeris steals enemy beast fury if close enough, and Rasheth can easily debuff most of the beasts very well.  The challenge with Lord Tyrant Hexeris, is his feat is most often useful against Warmachine, not Hordes.  He does bring some good abilities like physic vampire, that can mess with a few “gimmick” type lists. Rasheth does have some abilities that can shut down arc nodes, which can come in handy as well.
  • Void Seer Mordikaar can offer some excellent attrition lists, as well as have the ability to deal with armies with a lot of magic attacks.  Supreme Archdomina Makeda brings some speed  and movement tricks.  My only issue with her, is she is commonly used and good player are use to her “tricks”.
  • Master Tormentor Morghoul is a warlock that I do enjoy taking Marketh with as well, but I do believe he is not needed.  Morghoul is nice because you can take a small army count list, but still be able to deal with both Heavy beasts, and moderate troop spam.
  •  I have played in events, and paired Zaal with both Rasheth and Mordikaar and I have done well.  I have some very set Rasheth lists I am very happy with as well. I am still on the fence with my Mordikaar lists.    Currently I dont have a list for Lord Tyrant Hexeris that I am happy with either.

These are mostly my random thoughts, and any feedback people have on some warlock pairing would be welcome.









Bonus – Modified Bronzeback (It can go base to base with another model)


I cannot claim credit for this conversion. I had my friend PG_MajorTusk make this conversion for me. I wanted a second bronzeback for a while, and I wanted one that could be base to base with another model if possible.

Here is the result.  Current bronzeback used for reference
New and old bronzeback side by side


Front view



Old bronzeback trying to go base to base




New bronzeback going base to base

Author: Carnage4u

I have played Warmachine since 2004. Before that I have played warhammer fantasy for ten years, but I stopped playing Fantasy shortly after starting warmachine. I enjoy every aspect of the hobby. I love competive play, as well as just playing fun goofy lists on casual game night at our local game store. I also spent a good chunk of my free time working on making terrain for our events our local gamestores. I mainly play Skorne and Cryx, but I do own a small gatorman minion force that I have fun playing. Brian "carnage4u" Giese

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