Sunday, December 11, 2011

Moonlighting with Minions: Skorne

I'm going to start this 'moonlighting with minions' theme off with Skorne, who can do it reasonably well.  As previously mentioned, the biggest thing you're looking for in terms of "do I want to run it with minions?" is whether the warlock in question has a preference for friendly models, or friendly faction models.

Unit of note: Paingiver Beast Handlers
These guys are basically the choir for Menoth (or, the Choir is Menoth's beast handlers? You decide).  For a mere 2 points, you get four guys that carry three wonderful beast-helping actions: heal for d3, remove/place any amount of fury on it, or +2STR and must charge/slam/trample for free.  Franlky, if you're going to play Skorne, you should own these guys even IF you're going to run a minion-heavy emphasis.

Solo of Note: Paingiver Task Master
If you're looking for a sign that Skorne likes minions, here it is.  You get No Sleeping On The Job for Minions, which means anyone within 9" of this gal who's a minion doesn't suffer knockdown.  You also get two spiffy special actions; one is good for +2STR and the other is good for Fearless/Tough.  That +2STR is handy for ANY minion unit, but gators suddenly get a respectable bite in melee.  Alternatively, Farrow Brigands enjoy fearless/tough/no-knockdown AND their prayers, and Slaughterhousers love them some PS13 pseudo-weaponmaster no-knockdown hits.  Go ahead and grab a pair of these gals.

The Warlocks
Lord Tyrant Hexeris
This guy's a wonderful all-rounder, with a MAT buff, some anti-magic, his own arc node, and a nice antipersonnel spell.  "That's nice," you say, "but what about his compatibility with minions?"  His MAT buff is any friendly unit (and Vengeance is a nice side boost).  His feat impacts only enemy models.  As it is, this guy wants at least one melee unit, and he has a solid amount of antipersonnel between Soulfire and his feat.

This guy's a solid candidate for a minion-heavy army.

Lord Arbiter Hexeris
Ah, he got a promotion! On the down side, he's no longer so minion-friendly.  Ashen Veil works on minions, but his big to-hit buff, Black Spot, does not.  Honestly, running minions with him gives up on Black Spot, and while Arcane Reckoning is situational, it still wants faction models.  All in all, it's kind of sad, but you're better off leaving this guy behind when it comes to a minion-based army.

Archdomina Makeda
Seeing as how she's the head honcho (or at least 2nd in command in this incarnation) of the Skorne, it's no real shock she's pretty faction-specific.  All her buffs, and her feat, are faction-specific.  She offers precisely NOTHING to minion troopers.

Supreme Archdomina Makeda
See above.  Don't bother with her for a minion-centric army.

Void Seer Mordikaar
I really have to respect someone that decided "No, I'm not dead, thanks," and badassed his way back to life.  However, if you go minion-heavy you're missing out on two buffs AND his feat.  He kind of likes to blow up warriors for sprays, but Essence Blast is faction-specific.  Similarly, he loves Hollow for fuel, but Hollow really wants a large faction unit, and so does revive.  Finally, the feat is what really does him in: +3DEF for faction models, which means that's the turn your minions EAT it.

Master Tormentor Morghoul
This guy is a beast caster; he's got three spells and two of them are beast-specific while the last is the token 'I have a ranged magical attack!' thing just about all warlocks have.  If you're gutsy, this guy can do infantry removal as well.  Additionally, his feat is a giant 'screw you' to the enemy battlegroup.

He doesn't support infantry, but this guy would love him some self-sufficient Minion troopers.

Lord Assassin Morghoul
Alas, this guy's not so minion-friendly.  His two unit-centric spells are not faction-specific, but the problem comes more from his feat: it IS faction-specific.  You're passing up on +2DEF and immunity to free strikes, which kind of hurts.

You can make the Lord Assassin work with minions, but you're giving up the feat.  It's not ideal, but it's probably still workable, and Ghost Walk + anti-tough on Silence of Death is pretty sweet.

Dominar Rasheth
Lest you despair about using Skorne with your minions, I give you Dominar Rasheth.  He is 100% compatible with minions.  Carnivore isn't picky about who you give it to.  Dark Rituals isn't faction-specific.  The feat is a control-area debuff.  Give this guy some minions and go to town.

Tyrant Xerxis
Let's see...Defender's Ward is faction specific.  His feat and all his neat extra rules like Battle Plan and Martial Discipline are faction-specific.  Do yourself a favor and don't even consider this guy with minions; he wants a Skorne infantry brick.  He does that well.  Just don't look too long or you might find yourself owning a bunch of heavy infantry...

Supreme Aptimus Zaal
I like this guy's fluff: he's dark even by Skorne standards.  However, there are a couple of big reasons to not rock this guy with minions: Inviolable Resolve is a nice armor buff, but it's Zaal's love of dead faction models that kills him for minions.  He can direct soul tokens to their recipients, and his feat is fuelled off the number of faction models you've lost.  Considering his feat is wonderful, you're better off just not considering this guy for minions.

Master Ascetic Naaresh
Hey, it's a dude with a penchant for masochism and punching daggers!  Oh, and he's minion friendly!  His only troop buff is Iron Flesh.  Lamentation is a wonderful 'screw you' to enemy casters.  Also, his feat is battlegroup-specific; it's good for healing Naaresh and giving your battlegroup +3STR/+3ARM.  Give him a unit (maaaybe two) of troops and you're good.

Skorne is pretty minion-friendly, when you get down to it.  pHexeris, pMorghoul, Rasheth and Naaresh can all appreciate and/or support minion models.  You also have the wonderful Task Master, which can shore up hitting power or durability for minions.

As far as minions go, it's largely up to you in terms of whether you go Farrow or Gator or even Bog Trog, as Skorne's support is compatible with either.  In practice, you're probably looking at one unit of minions, some support solos a la the Task Master, a Beast Handler unit, and then battlegroup.

I would say that if you wanted to start out with Skorne and Minions, the cost-effective way would be to pick up a Battle Box (order Cyclops Brute arms to convert one of the Savages; Morghoul will thank you), a Beast Handler unit, and a Task Master.  You end up with a solid battlegroup, support for your warlock (Morghoul's DEF17 loves a no-knockdown animus) and solid minion support.

No comments: