The Warpborn Skinwalkers are Circle Orboros’s version of a tanking unit, meant to get upfield and delay the opponent’s advance while the rest of the Circle player’s army gains an advantageous foothold on the battlefield.
Last month also saw the release of the Warpborn Alpha, a Unit Attachment for the Skinwalkers that makes them even better at their role. The Warpborn Alpha provides two things to the unit: Tactics: Rapid Strike and Granted: Blood Drinker. The former allows the unit to make an additional melee attack during their combat action while latter allows models in the unit to immediately end their activation when they destroy one or more living molds to heal d3 damage. While Rapid Strike may not sound like it will make them more survivable, two chances at killing an enemy model to trigger Blood Drinker sounds better than just one.
|Warpborn Alpha unboxed|
Rapid Strike also does something else rather interesting, which is to allow the unit to “waterfall” their attacks to increase both accuracy and damage output by mixing it with Combined Melee Attack. A good example would be to combine Model A and Model B on one target and kill it, causing Model A to trigger Blood Drinker. Then Model B and C combine on another target, killing it and triggering Blood Drinker on Model B. Model C then combines with D, etc. It may sound like something of a Rube Goldberg Machine, but in practice it becomes easy to manage after a few runs.
|Warpborn Alpha built, required several pins and some epoxy putty|
With Regrowth from Morvahna and Zombify from the Witch Doctor (always applied after Regrowth to get around its “living model” requirements), the Bloodtrackers are the gift that keeps on giving, giving them Tough and making them immune to Terror as well. With their high DEF, Stealth, Reform, and ability to clear out a lane, they fit with Morvahna like peas and carrots. The Skinwalkers get Restoration and run screaming at the enemy with a unit of Shifting Stones in-tow, sometimes gettings Zombify from the Witch Doctor if appropriate. The Wold Guardians are present to keep Morvahna safe from ranged and magic attacks and teleport in to take on heavier enemy threats. The Fulcrum is there to provide ranged support where necessary, perhaps softening up a heavy target for a Wold Guardian or clearing out a lane with its Spray and AOE 4 attacks.
The Battle Report:
Before the introduction of the Warpborn Alpha, I was never terribly excited about the base Skinwalker unit. They certainly had the stats to take it on the chin from all but the hardest hitting offenders, but lacked the ability to do much else. However, with a second attack in addition to the ability to gain back their health, I’m pretty fond of them. In the above game, they weren’t going to survive taking swings from Enraged Skorne Titans regardless of their ARM values, but with their dramatically increased melee presence, they were integral in removing one of Draxos’s Bronzebacks and did a great job of gumming up the works mid-field.