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> Skorne diary, Arcanacon report on p.2
morsla
post Aug 28 2011, 12:57 PM
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This isn't really a modelling diary, so I'm posting it in here... I'll be adding (very) occasional photos when I get the chance, and will no doubt be talking a lot about painting to begin with, but I'm interested in a more general look at building an army: list building ideas, notes on particular units or Steamroller scenarios, battle reports, and that sort of thing.

First: a bit of background.

I'm going to try to get an army together by Arcanacon. I have stepped down after running it for the past eight years, and Matt Aslin (Archipelago) has taken the reins - telling me in no uncertain terms that I'm expected to actually play at the tournament in 2012. I can't really argue with that smile.gif

I've played most of the factions in the game at some stage, with Retribution, Skorne and Legion as the only three I haven't tried before. I'm going for Skorne, as Hordes is definitely my weaker game: I've played hundreds more Warmachine games over the years. At this stage, I don't know if this will be an army that I can take to the main event - most of the models that I own are very warlock-specific, and building a second (or third?) list will be a little tricky. I'll see how things go.

Goals:
  • Build and paint at least one 50 point Skorne theme list (T4), sticking to models that I like the look of.
  • Use a colour scheme that lets me get figures on the table relatively quickly
  • Play some games with units that don't seem to get used very often
Warlock:
I'm starting with Epic Morghoul. He seems to have a reputation for being the faction's worst warlock, and is largely ignored outside of small Mangled Metal games. His theme list (Imperial Executioners) is one of the most restrictive in the game, but includes all of my favourite Skorne figures.

Warbeasts:
If I'm aiming for a T4 list, I have the following beasts to choose from:

- Basilisks (Krea, Drake)
- Cyclopes (Savage, Shaman, Brute)
- Razorwurm
- Rhinodon
(EDIT: The Archidon and Cyclops Raider also qualify, and have been released since this thread started...)

Units:
This one's easy. There are only two units I can take:

- Paingiver Bloodrunners
- Paingiver Beast Handlers

Solos:
Even easier. With no access to minion, there's really only one:

- Paingiver Master Tormentor.

To meet the T4 requirements I need to have at least four warbeasts, two units of Bloodrunners, and can't take any of the SPD 4 beasts. In exchange, I get a free Master Tormentor, a bonus to the starting roll, Stealth on my first turn, and some of my beasts can Advance Deploy. It seems to be the very definition of a finesse army: lots of mobility (Pathfinder, teleporting troops, Apparition, Sprint, immunity to freestrikes), Advance Deployment, and no heavy hitters to speak of.

35 point army list

Until more units become available, the 35 point version pretty much writes itself:
QUOTE
eMorghoul [+6]
- Cyclops Brute (Advance Deployed) [5]
- Cyclops Savage [5]
- Rhinodon (Advance Deployed) [7]
- Archidon (Advance Deployed) [7]
Paingiver Bloodrunner Master Tormentor [2]
Paingiver Bloodrunner Master Tormentor [2]
Paingiver Bloodrunner Master Tormentor [0]
6 Paingiver Bloodrunners [5]
6 Paingiver Bloodrunners [5]
6 Paingiver Beast Handlers [3]

50 point army list

At 50 points, it becomes a bit harder. There are only so many Bloodrunners that I want to paint (as much as I love the models...) and I think I've also reached my limit on Master Tormentors. That only leaves me with Beast Handlers and more Warbeasts to fill the points.
QUOTE
eMorghoul [+6]
- Cyclops Brute [5]
- Cyclops Savage [5]
- Cyclops Shaman [5]
- Rhinodon (Advance Deployed) [7]
- Rhinodon (Advance Deployed) [7]
- Archidon [7]
- Basilisk Drake [4]
Paingiver Bloodrunner Master Tormentor [2]
Paingiver Bloodrunner Master Tormentor [0]
6 Paingiver Bloodrunners [5]
6 Paingiver Bloodrunners [5]
4 Paingiver Beast Handlers [2]
4 Paingiver Beast Handlers [2]

The new warbeasts give me a couple of magic attacks, and a couple of places to cast the Krea's animus from. I'm not entirely sold on it, though. I'd like to find a way of fitting in a second Savage, as I have one assembled already... if I drop both Beast Handler units down to minimum size, I could take a Savage in place of the Krea. Alternatively, I could probably do without the Shaman: I don't have many expensive animi to cast, and if my units get hit with upkeeps they are probably dead that turn anyway.

Any thoughts on which way to go? I'm leaning towards replacing the Shaman (which I don't own yet) with the second Savage (which I do, and it can be a more effective solo/light hunter).


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morsla
post Aug 28 2011, 01:18 PM
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Colour scheme notes:

I want a colour scheme that doesn't take as much work as my last few armies (multi-coloured blending and tartan patterns for the Trollbloods, sculpted flames on the Protectorate, hundred of tiny runes on the Thamarites...). Also, I bought many of the models after reading about Ron Kruzie's 300-style Skorne army in No Quarter 17-20. I like the black and gold monochromatic look, so I'll be copying it as much as possible.

These are some notes on colours that I'm using. Lately, months can pass between opportunities to paint, so I need help remembering what I used last time I picked up a brush...

Gold armour: cold, desaturated highlights with some depth to it
- Basecoat with VGC Hammered Copper
- Drybrush with VGC Glorious Gold
- Drybrush with VGC Polished Gold
- Final drybrush with VGC Shining Gold + VGC Chainmail Silver
- Shading wash, using 2:1:1 mix of Brown ink : Blue ink : glaze medium

Flat armour plates: Just on the warbeasts, probably - the Paingivers don't wear much armour
- Black, to reclaim areas covered over by gold drybrushing
- Gloss varnish, applied after the completed models have a layer of Matte Estapol brushed onto them

Cloth and rope: should be a dark neutral brown, with a warmer highlight
- Not sure yet. Some mix similar to VMC German Brown, but I'd prefer to be using P3 colours for smoother blending on the robes.

Skorne flesh: needs to be pallid and unwholesome, without looking undead.
- Basecoat with 80:20 mix of P3 Menoth White Highlight : P3 Hammerfall Khaki.
- Light shading wash #1: basecoat + P3 Thornwood Green + glaze medium
- Mid shading wash #2: as above + more P3 Thornwood Green
- Dark shading wash #3: as above + P3 Thamar Black

Warbeast hide: similar to Skorne flesh
- As per Skorne Skin, but use Thrall Flesh in place of Hammerfall Khaki.

Bases:
- Sand texture, sprayed black
- Basecoat P3 Battlefield Brown
- Drybrush P3 Gun Corps Brown
- Final drybrush P3 Gun Corps Brown + VGC Khaki
- Static flock (summer green + winter beige mixture)
- Drybrush flock with VGC Rotting Flesh

A note on paints and painting:

I prefer using Vallejo Game Colour paints when I'm drybrushing, and P3 paints when I need smooth blends on large areas. The Vallejo metallics have been surprisingly good... they've sat up the back of my paint drawer for years, and I only just cracked them open and added some bits of casting sprue to act as stirrers. I've started to use the two-brush blending method for areas like robes, and for blending shading washes in to areas of flesh, and find that it really speeds up my painting.


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Delrogue
post Aug 28 2011, 02:10 PM
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Morsla, have you actually got your hands on the Bloodrunner models yet? I've been trying to buy some for a while and there seems to be a bit of a shortage of the at the moment..

I played around with eMorgs for quite a few games on vassal and it was a lot of fun. I'm also taking a very odd eMorgs army to the Geoff Jose evebt next weekend, looking forward to it very much.

From everything i've seen, he seems to be one of those assassination casters who tends to just help the rest of his army kill the opposing caster rather than do it himself, because without anything more than apparition, it's very easy to protect your caster from him.... So he tends to work by forcing your opponent to keep away, allowing the rest of your army to win...

That seems to work, however not with the theme force. You are missing a lot of crucial pieces like big heavy hitting beasts (BB, Molik, Glad) or strong infantry (nihilators, gators, cetrati), or any of the pieces that can give your caster and army unexpected movement or shut down an opponents ability to retaliate (agonizer, tyrant commander, etc).

I think what you are left with is an army that has to not engage the opposing army. One that can go through or around it, creating havoc and unexpected angles of attack.

To this end, i think you should have another look at Razorworms in this context and maybe see if you can squeeze a few into your 50pt list at least. I'd take these over the savage for sure, and perhaps over the shaman as well.

They already have AD, so you can give that AD bonus to something else. On the feat turn (and on every other turn), the big vulnerability Morghoul and your Arm light Runners will face is blast damage. Having a Razorworm moving up the field with them - running its animus, will really help to actually get you up the field in one piece.

Drag Below is the key ability though. The Bloodrunners have an innate ability to move through the enemy lines with their special ability, as will Morghoul with Ghost Walk... but your Beasts will be stuck on the other side of that line, and they are what will slow your army down...

Drag Below gives you the option to burst through that line with your beasts.... charge and kill something, then move again and dig in (immune to Freestrikes on Morgs feat turn).

I think this is actually going to be key to how Morghoul's theme army will need to play. Move through the enemies screening line, blind/engage the heavies/beasts that are bringing up the second line, then throw Morghoul down the enemy casters throat and pop feat and hope he can't take you out. tongue.gif

This post has been edited by Delrogue: Aug 28 2011, 02:19 PM
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morsla
post Aug 28 2011, 02:56 PM
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I have two units of Bloodrunners - I've just finished assembling the second unit, as I was waiting until I picked up the new pMorghoul sculpt so I could swap the legs around with the Bloodrunner unit leader. I've been slowly picking up most of the figures for at least a year, which seems to be a theme with my "new" armies smile.gif

I hadn't really looked at the Razorwurm before. Would you bunch the Bloodrunners around them to benefit from Girded, or would you cast the animus on the middle of a group of infantry?

I'm looking forward to trying out a few games. Without heavy hitters or Molik Karn's fatewalker/sidestep abilities, I really have to pick my fights carefully. Being able to advance deploy almost the whole army (including the heavies) will help - it means I can threaten scenarios early in the game, while keeping the option to assassinate open.

I think I'd aim to deploy first in most games. Enemy AD would still get to react to my deployment, but I'd actually get some use out of that Turn 1 Stealth - running the beasts forward, I could have most of the army on the halfway point by the opponent's first turn.

1-2 Heavies can probably be neutralised with slams, throws and Blind (part of the reason why I like the Savages - MAT 6, SPD 6 and Future Sight makes them decent at slams and headbutts). I think the army really needs something like the Kayazy eliminators, though, to tackle multi-wound support solos and officers - with the units available now, those figures are easy enough to get to, and hard to actually kill.


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Delrogue
post Aug 28 2011, 03:53 PM
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I'd cast it on the Razorworm, then crowd 3-4 Bloodrunners around it and spread the rest out...

Also - if you have 1st turn stealth, you should be aiming to go second?

That way, your opponent runs his army up first turn, and then you run yours - benefitting from Stealth so there's nothing he can really do to you on his second turn (still too far away to charge, and can't shoot), then your turn 2 you pop the feat to nullify his turn 3...

If you go first, Stealth is not as useful for you, because even if you run, you are still a fairly significant distance from his army, meaning there is not much shooting he could do anyway..
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morsla
post Aug 28 2011, 04:50 PM
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It's only Round 1 stealth, unfortunately wink.gif So if I go second it's even worse - they take first turn (and don't shoot, because everything is out of range), then I take my first turn, lose Stealth, and they can open up on everything now my army is in range...

If I go first, I can get the Rhinodons on the halfway line, and most of the other units a couple of inches beyond it. That puts my army about 14" away from their guns, so any ranged units would need to be able to move 9" (or have some lucky scatters) in order to hit anything in their first turn. In turn 2+, the Bloodrunners, Master Tormentors and eMorghoul still have stealth, but the Paingivers and beasts become visible.

I've re-read the Razorwurm page, and will give one a shot in place of the Shaman. It doesn't look very impressive on paper: no slams, no reach, and a single P+S 12 attack. I'm not used to adding Beast Handlers in, though, so if it spends most of the game at P+S 14 that might change things a bit.

I'm tempted to pick up a second Drake instead of the Krea, so I have a second decent ranged attack in the army. Maybe sprays will end up being the way I reach through units to get at their officers.


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Delrogue
post Aug 28 2011, 10:35 PM
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Hmm yeah first round only... Not great. sad.gif

Are you sure you really want to stick to theme? smile.gif
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post Aug 29 2011, 10:22 AM
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Lots to think about there Ben but look forward to seeing how it all comes together. Just remind me_not_to take MACBAIN vs. this. wink.gif


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post Aug 29 2011, 02:23 PM
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Oh and having your beasts be left behind? Trampled with the Rhino with its animus up. Good times. smile.gif Also can the Tormentor solo use the Rhinos animus? Thinking boosted Thresher attacks with its whip.


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morsla
post Oct 11 2011, 04:38 PM
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Quick photo update!

I had a couple of 25 point games using some of these figures on the weekend. 25 points is a bit of a strange army size - I find 35 more comfortable, and like the ability to really flesh out a theme at 50. At 25 points I only went to Tier 1, and took a Titan Gladiator. Now I'm thinking of building a regular Morghoul theme list, to take more of them... Titans are fantastic, when they finally get into combat smile.gif

Blurry photo of eMorghoul:
IPB Image

The indispensable Cyclops Brute:
IPB Image

And two Savages:
IPB Image

IPB Image


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Delrogue
post Oct 11 2011, 04:51 PM
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Very nice scheme - looking the goods. I'm going with something very similar with my Circle (black and Silver rather than gold).

Nice freehand on the banners. Any chance you could do some sort of free-hand design on the fan? I've always thought the model looked really plain and was just calling out for a fan design on it...
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post Oct 11 2011, 07:25 PM
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Ahhh Morghoul, how I wept as your skewered pSev.

I am a silly, silly man for leaving that lane open strait to the old man.


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post Oct 11 2011, 10:51 PM
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Nice paint scheme Ben

I am sticking to the traditional red, I thought about some other colors, but I really enjoy painting red, it blends nicely.

I have this crazy idea of creating a Cyclops only army.

A Savage or two, a Brute, Shaman and Molak Khan for some heavy hitting.

This is far less because I want an effective army and more because I think it looks cool. tongue.gif

I am just finishing off my last couple of Circle figures before I get stuck into the Skorne, but the two Cyclops I have painted so far came up really nicely, the Skorne have some beautiful figures.

keep up the good work


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morsla
post Oct 12 2011, 11:33 AM
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Delrogue - I'd like to add something to the fan. Maybe some runes? I varnished the model (in a rush to get figures ready for games on Sunday) with matte estapol and a layer of acrylic gloss, so it'll be difficult getting much detail onto it, but I'll see what I can do.

Stumphy - I like the Cyclopes too smile.gif I've been gradually acquiring Arcuarii (I think they are one of the better units out there) so I can build a pMorghoul T4 list, now that I've seen what Titans are capable of doing. This is what it's looking like at the moment:

pMorghoul +7
- Bronzeback [10]
- Gladiator [8]
- Gladiator [8]
- Cyclops Brute [5]
- Cyclops Shaman [5]

Bloodrunner Master Tormentor [2]
4 Arcuarii [6] (Advanced Deployment)
4 Arcuarii [6] (Advanced Deployment)
6 Paingivers [3]
4 Paingivers [2]
6 Bloodrunners [5]

I could swap the Bloodrunners for a Cyclops Savage, but I like having some Stealthy models that can block charge lanes... I'll try a few games with each option. I'm also tempted to take two minimum-sized units of Paingivers (despite how vital they are!) in order to upgrade the second Gladiator to a Sentry. The Gladiator is fantastic, but some more defences could be nice. Combining the Shaman and Sentry (both using Locker) would also stop most enemy charges.


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Delrogue
post Oct 12 2011, 11:38 AM
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I've only ever taken 2x Min Paingivers in my lists... even when my pMorghoul list included 8 beasts, and i've never had an issue with going over on Fury...
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morsla
post Oct 12 2011, 12:28 PM
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I just have a habit of killing them off whenever I play against Skorne armies biggrin.gif

Have you tried the Sentry out? ARM 21 and Brace for Impact are pretty solid, and Reach is always nice (particularly with access to Beat Back). You lose a bit of hitting power, but one Gladiator and a Bronzeback (plus Admonition, Rush and Abuse) should be able to pick their fights and deal with any really hard targets. With a Shaman and one Gladiator, there are already a few places to cast Rush from.


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post Oct 12 2011, 12:38 PM
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I've never physically played with a Sentry, because I don't own the model.

However, I've been considering it a fair bit, and at least in the context of pMorghoul, I don't see a huge use for it.

Morghoul + Skorne Beasts = dead enemy Jacks and Beasts, with the ability to out-threat range most things in the game, especially in concert with pMorgs feat.

In practice, you are therefore better off killing an enemy beast/jack outright rather than just holding it up with Locker.

Mind you, I don't go a Morghoul theme list, I went with raw killing power with Molik Karn and a couple of Savages... pretty much anything I wanted killed can be killed by a variety of sources, so didn't seem to be much point.

In other lists, where you don't have the killing power and speed that Morghoul can give beasts, then a Sentry would make more sense.

I.e. He fits in nicely in the Rasheth theme list, and also in Zaal or Mordikaar...
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Delrogue
post Oct 13 2011, 12:36 PM
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Forgot to mention, with the fan thing, if your free hand skills are up to it, a full miniature style painting would look awsome, or even if it's just some Skorne-like script or a different coloured geometric design would really help it pop.

IPB Image

IPB Image

Or failing that, just making the fan part look more metallic would work...

I don't know about painting onto varnish though.. somehow I never get around to varnishing my stuff (so it's always getting chipped and battered).

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morsla
post Oct 13 2011, 12:52 PM
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The main body of a fan is usually flexible (silk or other cloth), while the blades are placed in the vanes. I think making the body metallic would look a bit strange, but there's definitely room there for some kind of painting.

I might buy an extra fan when I do a parts order (I need a few replacement bits - my second hand Basilisks have no heads, and I've lost a few cards) and try something on that. The current model has too much varnish on it (especially the gloss) to add much detail, as paint tends to just bead on the surface.

I'm going to wait until the new Hordes book before buying anything else for the pMorghoul list, in case there's a 1 point solo or something else that could fit into the theme list. Otherwise, if I can learn to play with two minimum Paingiver units, I think I probably will end up taking a Sentry in place of that second Gladiator. More smashing/slamming power is good, but I think I'd rather have a different model to paint instead smile.gif Rasheth is on The List for a future update, and he should get some good use from a large-based bodyguard.


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Delrogue
post Oct 13 2011, 01:48 PM
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Were the fans used as weapons not made of thin metal blades though? It's a bit of a grey area. smile.gif
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