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Warmachine: One Man’s Journey Part I

4 Minute Read
Sep 22 2011

I recently talked a little about PP’s new Journeyman League, which gives new and old players the opportunity to start new armies in a controlled league setting. This is the first post chronicling my own experiences.

My local store is just beginning it’s Journeyman League. We’re running the league with the stock rules, so the battlebox contents must be included for 5 of the 6 weeks, and the caster can’t be swapped out until week 4.

I’ve chosen Skorne for my new army. I’ve had bits and pieces of the faction for nearly a year, but never enough to play a game. I’ve liked the army for a long time. The synergistic, melee-centered approach should make a nice change from my Legion force. What do I mean by that? Most Legion models/units are pretty self-sufficient. The buff’s that do exist simply make a good model better.  Shooting is everywhere- most of the Warbeasts have some form of ranged attack – and several Warlocks build their lists around ranged death. The army relies on high defense, lower armor, and high speed to get the alpha strike. 

Skorne is different. Ranged capability is limited to far fewer models. The Titan Cannoneer is the only heavy Warbeast capable of long ranged attacks. The Venators are the only ranged unit.  Melee models carry the load. The faction also relies on internal buff’s to get the most out of their models.  Cataphract Cetratii in shieldwall are solid. Cetratii in shieldwall with Defenders Ward, a Basilisk Krea and Titan Cannoneer nearby using their Animi are damned near unkillable.  Model speeds are generally slower than I’m used too, but Skorne makes up for it with relatively higher ARM and a number of SPD buffs within the faction. List construction is key for this faction. I’ve seen players spend so many points on support models that they don’t have enough main line units, and consequently lose the game. I fully expect that learning how to create solid, well-rounded lists  that can pack a punch, utilize internal synergies, and still be able to handle a variety of foe’s will make up most of my learning curve.

I’ve already got the battlebox and a color scheme picked out – bone white armor with bronze, black leather, and deep red cloth to tie the force to the standard faction colors. I’m confident a white primer, hit with light bursts of an Ivory spray should do a lot of the work for me. The battlebox had a little mispack for one of the Cyclops Savages, but everything else is built and primed, and once the mispack is sorted out I’ll be able to get those fully painted. I’ve got another small glitch – I’m going on vacation for nearly the first couple weeks of the league, meaning it’ll be difficult to play a lot of games at the smaller point levels and actually earn enough points to win the league. Since I’m an experienced player using the league as an avenue to build up a new army, I’m ok with that.

Here’s what I’ve got to work with:

-Master Tormentor Morghoul
-2x Cyclops Savages
-Titan Gladiator

I’m sticking with Morghoul throughout the league. I *may* change casters in the last week if I can get Nareesh (he works well with the Cyclops’), but even that’s doubtful. I like Morghoul, he’s a solid Warbeast caster with some nice Warbeast buffs. For the 15 point level I’m thinking of the following:

-2x Cyclops Savages
-Titan Gladiator
-Minimum unit of Paingiver Beast Handlers
-Void Spirit

The Paingivers are a must. They help me manage Fury, heal damage, or boost their damage potential as needed.  Combined with Morghoul’s spells and the Rush Animus from the Titan, I can have a SPD 6 Cyclops Brute charge a target (for free) up to 15″ away. That give me the potential of making my own alpha strike, which is similar to Legion’s play style and should make the transition to my new faction a little easier. At the 15 point level, I’m betting many lists will not have a lot of magical attacks. The incorporeal Void Spirit should provide a nice solo hunter, or at least a distraction.

I have a general idea of where I want to go as I build up to 35 points, but I’m sure ideas will change as I get some games under my belt  My 35 list currently looks like this:


-2x Cyclops Savage Warbeasts
-Titan Gladiator Warbeast
-Bronzeback Titan Warbeast
-Aptimus Marketh- Warlock attachment
-Full unit of 6 Paingiver Beast Handlers
-Full Unit of 10 Nihilators

Now, this list scares me a bit. It has no way of dealing with terrain, no shooting, and very little way of dealing with small flanking models like Eyriss, Deathstalkers, Totem Hunters, and such. There’s a good chance I’ll switch things around before the league is all said and done, but for now, that’s what I’m building towards.

I’m already debating swapping out the Bronzeback for a Titan Cannoneer for some boostable ranged AOE help, dropping the Beast Handlers down to a minimum unit, and adding the Void Spirit into the list. But that point level is still weeks away, giving me time to figure it all out.

I’ll keep checking in as the league progresses with bat-reps, painting articles, and tactics. Keep an eye out! If you already play Skorne, send some tips my way.

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