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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Enslave and Subjugate - Archnomad's New Skorne

Disclaimer: This is one of those thought process articles I sporadically write. It's a general summary of my thought process whilst I was writing out my current (post Dominion) eMakeda list. Hopefully you'll find it interesting, and if I'm lucky insightful. Cheers. 

So, I dunno if any of you know this, but I played my Skorne at NOVA (and did pretty damn well, also huge thanks to 200ponies for allowing me to even enter). I was using Rasheth T4, which is considered an unconventional or even bad army by a lot of people. I really don't get the Rasheth hate in the WM/H community, he's really a powerhouse. But hey, that's a discussion for another day. Today, I'm going to talk about eMakeda. Specifically, the eMakeda force I'm going to start.

eMakeda is really quite infamous in the WM/H community. The reason for this is the "Karn Bullet", or the "Molik Missile". Basically, what this is is Molik Karn with eMakeda, travelling 23" across the board to say hello to your caster. eMakeda's main attraction is her army wide move speed buff (2") as well as Leash (3" move). Meaning she can hand out 5" of threat range (which is more than most casters). In an army with high threats anyway, she just pushes them over the brink. Molik Karn can reach a massive 13" charge with eMakeda, and that's after a 3" leash. Her feat also goes pretty well with the army, it's useful for absolutely massive alpha strikes, or making Archidons absolutely ridiculous. So, I believe Makeda is one of Skorne's top Warlocks, with fairly few bad matchups (doesn't like Errants, defense stacking Khador or infantry hordes). So, lets go on with what I'm going to buy for this list, and why.

Well, for reasons already mentioned, Molik Karn is the first Warbeast on my list. Why? Well, I did just say... but, in short, Fury 5 with eMakeda (this is huge, means he can kill most heavies with his initials + buy 3, then afford to Fate Walker away 8"), largest melee threat range in the game, hits like a tonne of bricks, cool model, KAAAAAARN etc. Also, Makeda likes his animus. Useful mid to late game for keeping her safe, but able to still force her beasts. Yeah, it's Molik Karn, in an eMakeda army. Of course I'm taking him.

Engine of Destruction indeed.
My next choice is the remaining two members of what I call "the holy trinity of Skorne." A Bronzeback Titan and a Titan Gladiator. The Bronzeback Titan is probably the hardest hitting Warbeast in the game. Possibly the hardest hitting model in the game. Whilst enraged, he will on average pump out an absolutely massive 73.5 damage to an arm 18 heavy*. To the more savvy amongst you, this means he can feasibly kill two of them in a turn (and he has the tools to do so). His Animus is probably the most undeservedly underrated animus in the Skorne Arsenal. Beat Back. Means he can romp around the enemy forces, following a poor (soon to be dead) heavy. Great to kill multiple heavies in one round, great to open lanes, great to get to their caster. Honestly, just a great Animus. The Titan Gladiator is basically an autoinclude for Skorne. Rush and pow 18 when enraged, along with Grand Slam, Hard Head and Follow up, this thing is so much joy for 8 points. Being able to stack it's Animus with Road to War means I can give my heavies a brilliant +4" modifier when they charge in (so the slowest warbeast with that will still have an 11.5" threat, higher than a SPD6 heavy with reach).

Righty, at this point I've spent 29 points (24 with Makeda's warbeast points). So I added in the mandatory Paingiver Beast Handlers (2pts, so 26/50) and had a look at what I needed. Well, I really like Venator Reivers. And I really like them with eMakeda. They have a massive threat range with her (24"), and can kite with the best, as far as ranged units go. Able to easily bring high rat high pow shots to bear with their CRAs, these guys can dent heavies as well as being able to kill infantry, and provide (very) long range spot removal on anything that doesn't have Stealth. So, I bring a min unit with their UA. I don't go for the max sized unit of Venators, because for some reason Venators are 5/9, when most units of their kind are 5/8 (points wise). As a result I'd be more likely to bring 2 units of Venators than one max one. So, I have 17 points to kill. Ok doke, well the other mandatory choice for Skorne (even with eMakeda in my opinion) is an Agonizer. Best solo in all of Hordes. So, 15 points left.
I'm sorry, but Skorne do have some of the
most badass looking soldiers. Vampire
Samurai Romans. Dude. Awesome.

I'm definitely bringing our shiny new Archidon from Dominion. eMakeda's BFF, because it has flight. And it's a Skorne heavy. For those of you not intricately familiar with eMakeda, let me explain. eMakeda herself adds 5" to a Skorne heavy's threat range. Rush adds another 2". This means this thing has a 17.5" threat range. Cause it has flight, it ignores intervening models when declaring a charge, and can fly over them. Normally, it would just get free struck to death, but eMakeda's feat allows you to ignore free strikes, as well as boosting all your melee attack rolls. And this thing has 1 initial, mat 6, pow 15 (17 enraged), and, importantly (due to her feat), critical pitch. This means opposing casters are going to need to keep safe at almost all times when one of these things is around, as there's a good chance it'll either kill your caster, or hurl them into range of something that will. Oh, and it's 7 points. It's only really "that" good with eMakeda and eHexeris though.

So, I have 8 points left. What do I feel I need? Well, at the moment something that's bugging me is that I can only really cast Rush once per turn. That is, the Gladiator can cast it, as Makeda will most likely be pumping 3-4 into the Agonizer turn 1, and casting Leash, whilst in Turn 2 she will upkeep Leash and cast Road to War, and I do not really want to have her on 0 FURY at the end of my 2nd turn. So, I cyclops Shaman would be nice. But then I thought about it for a bit. Realistically, my heavies out threat most stuff anyway. And I'm a bit light on anti infantry. So, I added 10 Nihilators. Why? Well, if it comes down to a threat war between heavies, Nihilators make great lane blockers (lane blockers with tough are super annoying), and they can also reliably kill a lot of infantry (they struggle with excessive armour or defense, but that's about it). This nicely rounds out my list, which looks like this:

Molik Karn
Bronzeback Titan
Titan Gladiator
10 Nihilators
6 Venator Reivers w/UA
4 Paingiver Beast Handlers

So, this will be my "list one". My list two will be eHexxy, as he can deal with the things this list can't very well. Hope you enjoyed reading the article, and please comment with any questions or thoughts about the list. [=

*This is back on the Bronzeback damage thing. Thinking of other stuff that can do more damage than a Bronzeback with Enrage to an arm 18 heavy, well, one I'll test is pSevvy's Avatar of Menoth. It puts out 50 damage, assuming it doesn't have to charge, and rolls 4 Focus. Ok, what else? Hmm, the Deathjack on a parasite'd target with 5 Focus will probably do more. Lets see, it does 77 damage, assuming it doesn't have to charge. However, if it does have to charge (more likely), it only does 70.5 damage. Putting the Bronzeback back ahead by 3 damage. Hrm, ok then. Something I can think of is a Bronzeback with Last Stand (or any heavy with Last Stand to be honest...). But that seems unfair. 

Basically, it's the highest (raw) output beast in the game, or definitely one of them. Go on, prove me wrong! :P

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