Warmachine and Hordes Journeyman League Progression Guide: Skorne

There are only a handful of Hordes factions left to do Journeyman guides for, including Skorne, Circle, both halves of Minions, and Legion. 

I'm going to hold off on the Legion one until we see what their CID looks like, and I'm still thinking about Minions and Circle, which means it's on to Skorne!

Here again is the progression of the Journeyman League, remember that you must keep the same models in your list from the week before

Week 1: Zero points total, you must use your factions battlebox or equivalent. No themes allowed.
Week 2: 15 points, battlegroup models only, no themes. 
Week 3: 30 points, battlegroup, units, and solos allowed, theme forces allowed. 
Week 4: 45 points, battlegroup, units, and solos allowed, theme forces allowed. Caster Swap (optional)
Week 5: 60 points, battlegroup, units, solos, and battle engines allowed. Theme forces allowed. 
Week 5: 75 points, battlegroup, units, solos, and battle engines allowed. Theme forces allowed. 

With all that in mind again, let's get going!

 
 

Week One

The Skorne battlebox consists of Beast Master Xekaar, a Titan Gladiator, a Cyclops Raider, and a Cyclops Savage. Much like the Protectorate battlebox, you're going to be in a bit of a weird place until week 3 since a lot of Skorne's warbeast awesomness comes from the Beast Handlers. Xekaar can actually get away with this a little bit since he has Enrage, but you're still going to want the Prodding rule that the Beast Handlers have. 

To be completely honest, every other theme besides the Imperial Warhost theme has some significant problems if you follow the core Journeyman Rules. The Masters of War theme list is invalidated by the Raider in the battlebox, the Exalted theme needs very specific models that are hard to fit into the list, Winds of Death works under basically one caster, and Disciples of Agony is a little awkward since you can't add the Minion warbeasts in week 2. 

With all that in mind, we're going to build towards Imperial Warhost and the Disciples of Agony theme, since I think those are two of the most fun themes in the faction. 

Xekaar
- Titan Gladiator
- Cyclops Raider
- Cyclops Savage

Week Two:

For Week Two, we're going to put a really difficult to kill model into the list -  a Titan Sentry. At ARM 21 (23 with an Agonizer! 26 with Xekaar's feat!), he's a really strong centerpiece for the list. Mortality makes him hit pretty hard and accurately too. 

Most of the other battleboxes will seriously struggle to crack an essentially ARM 24 heavy (while under Xekaar's Feat) and he's got a better threat range than most of the other battleboxes too at Speed 4+2 thanks to Rush and then PS 20/19/18 under Enrage and Mortality will let him tear through most of the other heavies out there.  

Xekaar
- Titan Gladiator
- Titan Sentry
- Cyclops Raider
- Cyclops Savage

 

Week Three:

Time to differentiate between the themes a little bit. The Imperial Warhost list will, as all battlegroup heavy themes, automatically have more points to play with thanks to having a free model built into the theme. 

Disciples of Agony:

With fifteen points to play with and an upcoming caster swap, we're going to simply add a minimum unit of Brigands and their Warlord. 

When this unit has Prey and Mortality on their target, they fire at essentially RAT 9 PS 16, and with the Hog Wild order letting them shoot and then charge something they can clear a heavy on their own with little difficulty. 

Add in Reposition and Pathfinder, as well as the ability to dig in and you're looking at one of the best ranged units in the entire game. 

 

Xekaar
- Titan Gladiator
- Titan Sentry
- Cyclops Raider
- Cyclops Savage

Farrow Brigands (min)
- Farrow Brigand Warlord

Imperial Warhost:

We're going to stick with a couple staples of the faction. The Basilisk Krea is probably the best anti-ranged beast in the entire game, with a great Animus that increases the DEF and ARM of models near it by 2 against ranged attacks. 

We are also going to put a Maximum unit of Beast Handlers into the list for Fury efficiency, free charges, and Enrage. 

Because we get a free model at this point level in the theme, we're going to have the Krea be free and also add in an Agonizer. This, combined with Xekaar's feat, will keep your models alive against melee better, and Zaadesh likes them as well. 

Xekaar
- Titan Gladiator
- Titan Sentry
- Basilisk Krea (free)
- Cyclops Raider
- Cyclops Savage
- Agonizer

Paingiver Beast Handlers (max)

Week Four

We get to swap casters this week! The Imperial Warhost list comes under the helm of Zaadesh 2 and the Disciples of Agony list comes under the iron fan of Morghoul 2.

Disciples of Agony:

We're going to swap casters in this list as well! Morghoul 2 has had a bit of a roller coaster ride for his power level over the last few years. He saw some play at the end of Mark II in his excellent Tier List (ask your grandparents kids), and then Mark III came along and nerfed him down a peg.

Then the Skorne errata dropped at the very end of 2016 and he was back in business. 

For this week, we're going to max out the Brigand unit and add a Minimum unit of Beast Handlers to the mix. 

We will also put a Paingiver Bloodrunner Master Tormenter into the list. They are Bloodrunner models, so Morghoul's Elite Cadre affects them, giving them parry. I am deliberately not using the free solo slot in order to fit more stuff in next week.

For the first couple times you play this list, I recommend writing "Apparition" on your hand to make sure you remember it on your solos and caster. 

Morghoul 2
- Titan Gladiator
- Titan Sentry
- Cyclops Raider
- Cyclops Savage

Paingiver Bloodrunner Master Tormenter 

Brigands (max)
- Warlord
Beast Handlers (min)

Imperial Warhost:

Swapping over to Zaadesh 2 makes us lose 3 Warbeast points, which is kind of rough. We want to save our free card until next week, so to fit another heavy into the list we're going to minimize our unit of Beast Handlers and put another Titan Sentry in the list. Why are we doing this? 

First of all, Titan Sentries are great beasts. Second thing is that between their Animus Ornery and Zaadesh's feat giving Defensive Strike, they tend to get two attacks at whatever comes at them. This can often be enough to cripple something important in an incoming heavy, leaving your Sentry alive to pulverize it next turn. 

We would get another free card, save it for next week so we can fit a Siege Animantarax into the list. 

Zaadesh 2
- TItan Gladiator
- Titan Sentry
- Titan Sentry
- Basilisk Krea (free)
- Cyclops Raider
- Cyclops Savage
- Agonizer

Beast Handlers (min)

 

 

 

 

Week Five:

We can finally add in a battle engine to our Imperial Warhost list, and we're expanding the Disciples of Agony build as well!

Disciples of Agony: 

For week five, we're going to upgrade Morghoul's battlegroup a bit with a Blindwalker, and then make the Tormenter from last week free to fit in a Battle Boar. 

The Blindwalker provides Morghoul with an Arc Node to get Mortality out onto targets that need killing, and the Battle Boar can Primal up the Savage or Blindwalker to combine with Enrage and Mortality for an essential six damage swing. That's almost as good as Deneghra 1 can do with a Wraith Engine in the list!

We're playing a couple points down, so let's upgrade our Beast Handlers to a max unit to ease the Fury burden on Morghoul.


Morghoul 2
- Titan Gladiator
- Titan Sentry
- Blindwalker
- Cyclops Raider
- Cyclops Savage
- Battle Boar

Paingiver Bloodrunner Master Tormenter (free)

Brigands (max)
- Warlord
Beast Handlers (max)

Imperial Warhost:

We're simply going to add a Siege Animantarax, make the Agonizer free, and then maximize our unit of Beast Handlers again. 

The Siege Animantarax becomes a true nightmare on Zaadesh's feat turn, becoming MAT 8 PS 20 on its auto Knockdown tail with up to four attacks and gaining Defensive Strike to prevent enemy a single heavy from coming in on it and killing it. 

The Animantarax is a pricey model, but you'll be playing one in many, many, many of your lists. It's better at doing the job of a heavy warbeast than most of the Skorne heavy Warbeasts, and it can be a true terror on the battlefield when applied correctly.

Zaadesh 2
- TItan Gladiator
- Titan Sentry
- Titan Sentry
- Basilisk Krea (free)
- Cyclops Raider
- Cyclops Savage
- Agonizer (free)

Siege Animantarax

Beast Handlers (max)

 

Week Six

It's the final week of the league, and hopefully by now you've started to get really comfortable playing not only with your list but against those your opponents are bringing to the table. 

We're going to finish up our Disciples of Agony list with some more infantry and some support solos. 

Disciples of Agony:

Rounding out the Disciples list is a unit of Bloodrunners, which will gain Ambush from the theme force, Parry from Morghoul, and +1 to hit from the Master Tormentor. 

We're also going to add a minimum unit of Farrow Bone Grinders to craft Talismans for Morghoul or put the hurt on Warbeasts, and that gives us a free solo which will be another Master Tormentor. 

Do bear in mind that you cannot apparate your Bloodrunners on the turn you Ambush them if you opt to do so. There is an infernal ruling on that which you can find here. 

This list has a lot of tools to handle both infantry and armor and looks a ton of fun to play. 

Morghoul 2
- Titan Gladiator
- Titan Sentry
- Blindwalker
- Cyclops Raider
- Cyclops Savage
- Battle Boar

Paingiver Bloodrunner Master Tormenter (free)
Paingiver Bloodrunner Master Tormenter (free)

Brigands (max)
- Warlord
Beast Handlers (max)
Bone Grinders (min)
Paingiver Bloodrunners

Imperial Warhost:

There are two routes here, an expensive one and a less expensive one. 

The expensive one is to simply add another Siege Animantarax to the list, unlock another free card and then use it for a second Agonizer. 

The less wallet-destroying option is to get an Aradus Soldier and Gobber Chef, add them to the list, and get your free Agonizer that way. 

The way that the JML handles removing models (aka, you can't) means that we don't have a doubled unit of Beast Handlers, and if this is causing you Fury problems, consider adding another Minimum unit and an Archidon to the list. 

Here are the options:

Zaadesh 2
- TItan Gladiator
- Titan Sentry
- Titan Sentry
- Basilisk Krea (free)
- Cyclops Raider
- Cyclops Savage
- Agonizer (free)

Siege Animantarax

Beast Handlers (max)

And either:
Siege Animantarax
Agonizer (free)
Or:
Aradus Soldier
Gobber Chef
Agonizer (free)
Or:
Beast Handlers
Archidon

Conclusion: 

There it is, two completely different lists coming out of the Skorne Battlebox. As always, this is following the default JML rules and if your Event Organizer is doing something different, more power to your group. 

Furthermore, if you think you have a better progression, please share! This is a game that is built around the sharing of information and there are few things better than helping someone else enjoy the game. 

As always, thanks for reading, and see you next time!