Goatboy’s 40K: Lord of the Skull Dance

Goatboy here again. While we wait for Death Guard let’s talk about how I can use and abuse my favorite model at the moment – the Lord of Skulls.

 I initially painted one for a client many moons ago when it first came out.  Before I was going to ship it – I wanted to get a game on the old BoLS battle report but alas a small car accident basically turned off my plans for the night.  The Lord of Skulls was in the car and it proceeded to fly forward, gut 2 Daemon princes, and only lose one arm in the whole process of getting hit from behind at a stop light.

 This locked in my initial “love” of the model as it survived a car accident and still took two skulls for Khorne.

Fast forward to the new edition coming out and my initial list for the ATC championship was a Khorne list with a ton of Zerkers, the Lord of Skulls, and some friends to abuse Warptime.  I ended up not taking that list (very sad panda pants on that) but still had bought a Lord of Skulls and painted it up.  I was having so much fun playtesting it I decided to bring it to the BAO.  They banned Models over 31 Power Level so I was left to only bring as many of my Baby Daemon Princes as I could.  Still this left me wanting. When the new Chaos Space Marine Codex came out and the Lord of Skulls got cheaper, less power level points, and stayed with the same set of powers/weapons – I got very excited indeed.

Welcome Back Lord of Skulls!

Welcome to the initial thought process for trying to shove a Lord of Skulls into any conceivable Chaos List I might have any desire to play.

First of all – you need a Lord of Skulls and some method to “power him up” via a Sorcerer, Daemon Prince, or some other ability.  I also need to make sure I take a Chaos Space Marine Detachment to ensure I get some of those sweet Stratagems and other abilities to help my Lord of Skulls shine.  I do expect it to die most games – but if I can get a round of it popping a wheelie up the table and smashing something of my opponents goodies – then you know it has done at least something for the Blood God.  It also helps if he has some support – either in back field objective holders, other units to help mop up after he has blown all his blood, or just something else to go punch the bad guys with.  It is kinda frustrating there isn’t a Lord of War choice in the Battalion as it lends me to take a Supreme Command choice to get him.  I don’t want 3 Lords of War (Even though I have Knights, Magnus, and more Knights) so it ends up using being this Jerk with some Malefic Lords (I suspect a point change at some time in the future).  Anyway – let’s start with my initial build with the new Chaos Space Marine points.

Khrone Khorne Khorne plus a Jump Pack Spell Jerk

Chaos Space Marine Battalion – Alpha Legion for this one.
HQ: Dark Apostle
HQ: Exalted Champion, Hydra Blade Relic
HQ: Warpsmith
Elites: Khorne Berserkers X 8, Chainaxe X 7, Icon of Wrath, Powerfist
Elites: Khorne Berserkers X 8, Chainaxe X 7, Icon of Wrath, Powerfist
Elites: Khorne Berserkers X 8, Chainaxe X 7, Icon of Wrath, Powerfist
Troops: Cultists X 10
Troops: Cultists X 10
Troops: Cultists X 10
Transport: Rhino
Transport: Rhino
Transport: Rhino

Supreme Command Detachment “Chaos Soup”
HQ: Malefic Lord
HQ: Malefic Lord
HQ: Malefic Lord
HQ: Bel’Akor
Lord of War: Lord of Skulls, Daemongore Cannon, Hades Gatling Cannon

7 Command Points

It hits under 2000 pts, has some guys to come help the Lord of Skulls with the 3 units of Zerkers, has some bubble protection in the sacrificial Cultists, and even some Smite spam a bit with the Malefic lords.  The Exalted Champ will make those Zerkers hit hard and you can even throw in some tricks with the Alpha Legion Stratagems and “hiding” a unit of blood crazed jerks.  I almost want more Command points but this army doesn’t need too many if it really wants to work.  It sets up, has a ton of guys in Rhinos, and then hopefully pushes forwards and does the good work of the almighty Khorne.

Still – while I have this list painted (got excited about using Blood Warriors with some small conversions as Zerks) it still isn’t a complete Goatboy list.  The next thought was to use either Renegades to try and keep a fat base of Cultists alive with the Fearless abilities of Huron.  Plus I could mix in two shootie Knights to complete a Lord of War Detachment.

Renegade A Go Go

Chaos Renegades/Red Corsairs Battalion
HQ: Huron
HQ: Sorcerer, Jump Pack, Force Sword
Troops: Cultists X 30, Could give them a Mark – depending on what you want the Sorcerer to be as well – might be worth it to Nurgle for the -1 or the 5+ FNP from Slaanesh.
Troops: Cultists X 10
Troops: Cultists X 10

Lord of War Detachment
Lord of War: Renegade Knight, Avenger Gatling Cannon, Reaper Chain sword
Lord of War: Renegade Knight, Rapid Fire Battle Cannon, Reaper Chain sword
Lord of War: Lord of Skulls, Daemongore Cannon, Hades Gatling Cannon

10 Command Points

This is just a big mess of Large bodies.  It probably isn’t very good – but at the very least you have some Objective Secured Jerks.  It might be better to do 3 units of 20 cultists to just hold the backfield but you are sitting there with 10 Command Points to use as needed and Huron can double move the Lord of Skulls once for you too if you want the Sorcerer to be set up differently.

Finally we get to the list that is near and dear to me as I have a fascination with Daemon Princes.  In fact they are probably my favorite model to paint with me hitting around 20+ at this point with commissions, prize support, and just sheer need to paint something for myself instead of a client.  It just never ends when it comes to making a Daemon Prince or two.  This leads me to what I initially was thinking about when trying to use the Lord of Skulls with a true “Goatboy” brick of doom.

The Brick of Death

Daemon Battalion
HQ: The Changling
HQ: Daemon Prince, Mark of Nurgle, Wings, Malefic Talon X 2, Warp Bolter
HQ: Bel’Akor
Troops: Brimstone X 9, Blue Horror X 1
Troops: Brimstone X 9, Blue Horror X 1
Troops: Brimstone X 9, Blue Horror X 1
Troops: Brimstone X 9, Blue Horror X 1
Troops: Brimstone X 9, Blue Horror X 1
Troops: Brimstone X 9, Blue Horror X 1

Supreme Command Detachment – Iron Warriors
HQ: CSM Daemon Prince, Mark of Slaanesh, Wings, Malefic Talon X 2, Warp Bolter, Fleshmetal Exoskeleton – Warlord
HQ: CSM Daemon Prince, Mark of Tzeentch, Wings, Malefic Talon X 2, Warp Bolter
HQ: CSM Daemon Prince, Mark of Tzeentch, Wings, Malefic Talon X 2, Warp Bolter
Lord of War: Lord of Skulls, Daemongore  Cannon, Hades Gatling Cannon

Supreme Command Detachment
HQ: Malefic Lord
HQ: Malefic Lord
HQ: Malefic Lord

8 Command Points

This is just a brick of death with massed Smites, a big “target” to throw at your opponent, and some basic tricks.  The hope is the Lord of Skulls gets to move up, get close, and then just cause some issues as things try to move around and deal with it. After that it is just time for the Smites to get online and the damage to start ramping up as needed.  Bel’akor getting access to all the new powers gives you enough tricks to deal with most things.  It probably isn’t the most fun of lists but it is the true competitive one out of this pile of Lord of Skull Nonsense.

I am looking at building a Kytan before long and putting together my Brass Scorpion.  This will let me kit out the complete “Khorne Lord of War” playset.  It could be something fun but without any models to throw down with I didn’t want to try and spitball a list or two.  I suspect the same Renegade set up would be best or some kind of Iron Warrior thought to fit within the theme of Destruction Robots.  Is it even worth it to look at with the cheaper cost point and interesting set of rules?  Is there any hope for me to ever use it in something competitive or should it just be set aside as the novelty act it always was before?

~Have you thought of some mean builds with the Monster truck of the 40k universe?

  • uatu13

    Good timing, the model has been out of stock for months now…

  • Simon Chatterley

    I played an event recently with my Brass Scorpion and in every game it was dead by turn 2. Don’t think it earned its points back in any game and the risk of it going nuclear in your own lines means he has to sit on his own.

    In the current meta big things die so easily it’s painful.

    • Karru

      It’s just not the meta in my eyes, it is just how the game works in general.

      The price of big things comes from their so called durability and not their actual damage potential. There is barely any big model that can pay back its points before it just melts for half the points they usually cost, or at the very least is shot so hard that it gets crippled into uselessness.

      I’ve tried vehicles in different amounts, Heldrakes, Defilers, Imperial Knights, Rhinos, Razorbacks, Stormravens and so on. I have also tried monsters or monster-likes, Ghostkeels, Exocrines, Hive Tyrants, Swarmlord etc.

      My result was always more or less the same. If I don’t get the first turn, those big things do nothing and they don’t actually “soak up” fire any more. Since people just go “I’ll shoot my Lascannon/Missile Launcher at this thing and everything else here” so you are losing tons of wounds from random shots from weapons that are hidden deep within squads. The best part is that most big things don’t even need to be fully destroyed for them to become basically useless, even taking them down to half way cripples them quite hard.

      That has been my biggest gripe recently with 8th edition. You really don’t want to take big things at all, just take things like basic transports for your infantry if you want to play vehicles, because everything is just way too expensive to justify the price.

      • Cergorach

        I suspect that a year of gaming will see if that holds true. If it doesn’t we’ll see next years 40k general’s handbook with slashed prices on vehicles or a lot more wounds…

        • Karru

          I find the problem mostly rooted in the split fire rules 8th edition has as well as the damage chart, Strength vs Toughness and Armour save of vehicles/monsters.

          Since all high damage weapons are often rocking a -3 or -4 AP, your Vehicles are mostly looking at 6+ save or none. At the same time they are being wounded of 3+. This makes vehicles way more squishy than Infantry units, because a single shot can heavily cripple a Tank, while Infantry is looking at a maximum of one guy lost from a heavy shot or possibly even lots of shots from “regular” weapons before they lose models.

          Most Vehicles and Monsters that have Damage Charts usually cripple at 6 wounds suffered and have little to no way of regaining them. Single Krak Missile is enough to cripple a Tank or a Monster with one shot and there is very little chance for the tank to survive it in the grand scheme of things.

          So even if they start dropping the price of vehicles and monsters, I still doubt that it will properly fix the problem. The problem is rooted in the core rules, something that will most likely not change.

          One way to fix them is to give Vehicles and Monsters give them rules that reduce the AP value of weapons shot against them or maybe their Save can’t be modified past a certain point. Last option is to bring back some form of AV rules from last edition where the opponent has to roll to penetrate the vehicle which would make it harder to damage vehicles, even with high strength weapons.

        • NikosanPrime

          Looking at how things play I would say double the wounds. That way they live at least long enough to get some of your infantry closer up and be a bit of a shield for them.

          Also need to reduce the swing factor on the damage output from some of the Heavy Weapons, but that is another matter.

          But as my comments are all theory as I haven’t played a game yet in 8th I can only speculate.

  • Frank Haas

    Where can I find the rules for the Malefic Lord?

  • BigGrim

    God, those lists are boring.

    • Malisteen

      eh, the first one looks alright. It’s got some elite troops, some weenie troops, a variety of characters (a tech guy, a fighty guy, a preachy guy, some psykers, a daemon prince), plus a big centerpiece thing. I bet such a list would look good on the table and be cool to play against in a casual setting. I’d like to play against it. Looks more like a world eaters, Black Legion, or Renegades type list than an alpha legion list to me, but otherwise yeah, I like it.

      The other lists seem kind of spammy and obnoxious, though, yeah.

  • thereturnofsuppuppers

    Why bother? The list seems particularly uninteresting to play and to paint, and while it is enjoyable to win at competitive events, it might be worth putting that energy into a sport or something more worthwhile.

    • sethmo

      Goatboy plays in Tournies, also the lord of skulls is hilariously fun to play with.

      • thereturnofsuppuppers

        He’s alright. But those horrors…

  • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

    Why not Angry Hellwrights backed up by Angry Predators? All that raging fat, optionally supported by Daemon Chariots or Slaughterers. Spicy.