It’s been a surprisingly hectic couple of weeks for gaming, and while I have some resources for reports on every single game I’ve played, what I don’t have is time to type them all up and fiddle about with BATTLE CHRONICLER (it took me the better part of an hour and a half this morning just to set up pictures of a table, deploy two fifty point Warmachine armies and move the first one…), so things are a little bit delayed at the minute. It is entirely due to the amount of very serious work I have to do over the half-term break, and entirely not due to my renewed WoW access and the challenge of coming to grips with the new Warlock mechanics. Just so we’re clear.
Anyway, I played two games with my new Skorne box against a new Cygnar box over at Dice and Decks last Friday.
The first game was characterised by dice which the word ‘cold’ doesn’t begin to describe. I have frostbite on my palms from attempting to chastise an errant d6 that wouldn’t manage above a two all day. It became something of a dogpile by the bottom wall, as the Skorne tried to cut Stryker down and didn’t, while Stryker spent six focus drilling Morghoul down to the point where a damaged Lancer could whack him to death with its shield.
The second, meanwhile, turned on the actions of a heroic Titan Gladiator which, on account of failing to charge the Ironclad, ended up with the perfect angle to slam a Charger over the top wall, Follow Up and slap Stryker in the face just when he thought he was safe.
Rather than do an in-depth turn-by-turn breakdown (that’d be rather hard given that I don’t really remember much detail), I’m going to summarise the notes on Skorne that I made on the bus home.
They’re very easy to screw yourself with, thanks to the various take-damage-and-gain-a-buff mechanics on top of the damage transfers every Hordes faction has to work with. Several of the dead beasts were actually my own fault for being a bit trigger-happy with Abuse and not having the Fury to heal the damage, and I cheated myself out of a charge by Abusing a Cyclops with my last two fury and then watching the Abuse damage take out its Spirit, preventing forcing to charge.
They are, however, one of those deceptively fast slow factions, with a lot of long threat ranges. If we worked it out right, a Cyclops Savage is sitting on 15″ – SPD6, plus 3 for charging, 2 for Abuse, 2 for Rush (which stacks with Abuse because it’s an animus and Abuse isn’t… we think) and finally 2 inches of Reach. The Titan is no slouch – despite its low SPD, it benefits from the same buffs as the Cyclopes for a potential 11″ slam attempt, and Follow Up is a nifty little ability that allows it to reap the benefits of knocking something down with the slam. Even Morghoul sits on a base SPD7…
I’m slightly underwhelmed by Morghoul, whose weapons suggest a melee capacity he’s not quite delivering on. I suspect his forte is ripping through lighter models than warcasters, though; he may come into his own when people start showing up with infantry (not that I care; I’ll be running Hexeris by then). His small control area is also a nuisance; for all that he’s fast, there’s a limited area which he can occupy whilst performing his duties, so he’s not as mobile as his high SPD and immunity to free strikes may suggest.
For expansion, I’m currently thinking something like this:
Army: Hexeris Test 25
Type: Skirmish (1 caster, 25pts)
Lord Tyrant Hexeris (*6pts)
* Cyclops Savage (5pts)
* Cyclops Savage (5pts)
* Titan Gladiator (8pts)
Cataphract Arcuarii (Leader and 3 Grunts) (6pts)
Paingiver Beast Handlers (Leader and 3 Grunts) (2pts)
Ancestral Guardian (3pts)
Bloodrunner Master Tormentor (2pts)
There’s an interim version of the list featuring the full Arcuarii unit, no Master Tormentor, and Morghoul, but I’m not sure how I’d rate that one. The idea behind Arcuarii is that I’ve recently become enamoured of Drag as a scenario tool, and I quite like the idea of hauling things into range of two or three angry Skorne with big harpoons. Not as tough as Cetrati, but if they have Hollow on them there’s something of a deterrent. Beast Handlers provide Abuse to Hexeris/take the weight off Morghoul and also feed the Guardian if anyone goes after them, and the Master Tormentor runs interference and hits things hard.
That’s the plan, anyway.