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Skorne Logo.jpg Nihilators

Skorne Nihilator Unit

The skorne code of hoksune is an unforgiving ethos when carried to extremes. Those warriors who totally embrace their destiny are frightening, utterly committed warriors. These merciless savages endure pain so frequently that they are inured to all but the most grievous of wounds as they methodically slaughter all who stand in their path. Each nihilator wishes for nothing less than a glorious death after carrying out an unspeakable slaughter.

Basic Info

Missing Info
COST {{{cacost}}}
UNIT SIZE {{{casize}}}
FA {{{cafa}}}
Warcaster 0
BASE Small
M.A. N/A
DEF 13
ARM 13
ESSENCE {{{essence}}}
HP 1
F. Field N/A
WJP {{{wjp}}}
WBP {{{wbp}}}
IHP {{{ihp}}}
UNIT SIZE 6 / 10
COST 9 / 15
1.5 each
FA 2
Warcaster 1
the Statblock


  • Tough symbol.jpg Tough
  • Berserk - When this model destroys one or more models with a melee attack during its Combat Action, immediately after the attack is resolved it must make one additional melee attack against another model in its melee range.


  • Greatsword - 2" reach, POW 5, P+S 12 melee weapon

Theme Forces

Disciples of Agony

Thoughts on Nihilators

Nihilators in a nutshell

Nihilators are, point for point, arguably among the best threshers of densely packed infantry in the game. A good melee threat range, accurate, hard hitting, and they can (and indeed must) keep hitting until they run out of targets. And as infantry go they are pretty cheap - and tough gives them a little resilience. Nihilators are unfortunately currently facing a metagame that doesn't suit them - when the metagame gets shooting-heavy their defensive stats just mean they get shot off the board, and they aren't that good at breaking armour. A more than viable choice for chewing through melee infantry swarms - and if your meta has a lot they are pretty good at what they do.

Ultimately however, despite their generalist seeming stats they are a highly specialist unit with a lot of rivals that do related jobs better.

Combos & Synergies

Nihilators only appear in the Disciples of Agony theme force

  • Dominar Rasheth has debuffs - his feat makes them really good at taking out circles of infantry and he has the ARM debuffs needed for them to hurt most heavies - and he also likes Skorne infantry to channel through.
  • Tyrant Xerxis loves infantry and especially large units of them. And can make them hit really hard.
  • Supreme Aptimus Zaal can really get them threshing tougher targets under Last Stand.
  • Supreme Archdomina Makeda - free strike immunity is awesome for getting them right into the heart of enemies, and they love extra speed. And knockdown immunity on her feat turn is awesome for a tough unit. Of course more than anyone else Makeda 2 would rather take Praetorian Swordsmen in Masters of War than she would Nihilators.

Drawbacks & Downsides

  • They're a special order model.
  • Don't bunch them up. Berserk and long weapons can make them kill each other.
  • They don't counter Tough.
  • No Pathfinder.
  • DEF 13 ARM 13 means that they aren't good at either avoiding incoming fire or surviving blasts.
  • Even on the charge they don't do that much to heavies. Just enough that it can look like a good idea without being one.
  • Nihilators excel at threshing large swathes of non-tough infantry. This was great in Mk2 - and is great against anyone running infantry hordes in Mk3. But their favoured targets are seldom seen.
  • If expecting some infantry and a line of armour or some rough terrain, their old rivals the Praetorian Swordsmen with the UA are more flexible.
  • They have as mentioned a number of rivals.
    • Praetorian Swordsmen, their Mk2 rivals, aren't seen in the same theme. Although Nihilators have 1" more threat range, Relentless Charge more than counteracts this - and Side Step and two attacks are more useful than Berserk. Swordsmen also get Power Swell, meaning that as well of threshing infantry they have a turn of weapon mastery and taking out armour. (They can also use their second sword to kill confirm on tough models).
    • Paingiver Bloodrunners threat further, auto-wound single wound infantry and ignore tough, have Pathfinder, have stealth and a decent DEF to keep them alive, advance deploy, and reposition. If you're not expecting overwhelming hordes of infantry or lots of multi-wound infantry (and remember Paingivers' Gang and that even without it they hit as hard on the charge as Nihilators do with berserk attacks) the Paingivers are easier to keep alive, better at killing, and a lot better at getting places.
    • Farrow Slaughterhousers are near-weaponmasters who can ignore tough. They theoretically have 1" less threat range, but this is made up for by Relentless Charge. Even when not Weapon Mastering they are at +2 Mat on the charge, and the Paingiver Task Master makes them no-knockdown-tough as well as giving them even more hitting power. If you're worried about armour these guys are effective.
    • A Paingiver Bloodrunner Master Tormentor or two (two cost a point less than a minimum unit of Nihilators) is an excellent pick against close-bunched infantry. They have both Pathfinder and 2" of extra threat range, their Thresher lets them attack everyone in range without having to keep chaining berserks so is far more reliable (as well as ignoring Tough), and they can sprint back to safety (6" may not seem much but remember the CMD of Nihilators is only 7"). This is probably the rival that's worse for the Nihilators as it does their job better unless you have specific synergy for the Nihilators (like Supreme Aptimus Zaal or Tyrant Xerxis.

Tricks & Tips

  • Use them in waves.
  • Minimum units are the same cost per model than maximum, don't bunch up a lot, and are a whole lot likely to be fratricidal.



  • Their name comes from the word "nihilism" which means, "the rejection of all religious and moral principles, often in the belief that life is meaningless." Privateer Press hit the nail on the head with this one!
  • Released in Forces of Hordes: Skorne (2010)

Other Skorne models

Skorne Logo.jpg       Skorne Index       (Edit)
Battlegroup & Similar
Warlocks Hexeris1 - Hexeris2 - Jalaam1 - Rasheth1 - Makeda1 - Makeda2 - Makeda3 - Mordikaar1 - Morghoul1 - Morghoul2 - Morghoul3 - Naaresh1 - Xekaar1 - Xerxis1 - Xerxis2 - Zaal1 - Zaal2 - Zaadesh2
Lessers & Attachments Aptimus Marketh (Warlock attachment) - Zaadesh1 (Lesser Warlock)

Agonizer - Aradus Scarab - Reptile Hounds - The Terrorizer

Light Basilisk Drake - Basilisk Krea - Cyclops Brute - Cyclops Raider - Cyclops Savage - Cyclops Shaman - Razor Worm

Aradus Sentinel - Aradus Soldier - Archidon - Chiron - Bronzeback Titan - Despoiler - Molik Karn - Rhinodon - Tiberion - Titan Cannoneer - Titan Gladiator - Titan Sentry

Gargantuans Desert Hydra - Mammoth
Units, Solos, & Battle Engines

Cataphract Arcuarii - Cataphract Cetrati - Cataphract Incindiarii - Immortals - Legends of Halaak - Nihilators - Paingiver Beast Handlers - Paingiver Bloodrunners - Praetorian Ferox - Praetorian Karax - Praetorian Keltarii - Praetorian Swordsmen - Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer - Venator Catapult Crew - Venator Flayer Cannon Crew - Venator Reivers - Venator Slingers


Abidan the Keeper - Ancestral Guardian - Aptimus Marketh - Extoller Novitiate - Extoller Soulward - Hakaar the Destroyer - Immortal Vessel - Mortitheurge Willbreaker - Paingiver Bloodrunner Master Tormentor - Paingiver Task Master - Tyrant Rhadeim - Venator Dakar - Void Spirit - Zaadesh1

Battle Engines Siege Animantarax - Supreme Guardian
Theme Forces
Disciples of Agony - Masters of War - The Exalted - Winds of Death
Refer to Who Works for Whom and/or Category: Skorne Minion
This index was last updated: 2020.01

Rules Clarifications

Rules Clarification : Tough - None yet. (Edit)

RC symbol.png

Rules Clarification : Berserk      (Edit)

  • Berserk attacks will generate even more Berserk attacks. You keep going until you miss, something survives, or you run out of targets.
  • Berserk grants an additional attack which by definition can only occur during your Combat Action. Therefore Berserk doesn't work on free strikes, impact attacks, etc.
  • If Berserk triggers at the same time as another "attack generating" ability (such as Black Spot), Berserk means you must make an attack. (Infernal Ruling)
    • In other words you can't say "I trigger both Berserk and Black Spot, I choose Black Spot, Black Spot is optional, so I'm not making any more attacks".
    • If your other generated-attack is a ranged attack (such as Quick Work or Kill Shot) then you can't use it. Not unless everything in melee range is dead, at which point you can't resolve Berserk. (Infernal Ruling)
  • "Immediately" means you can't save it until later in your activation. Berserk must be resolved at step 14 of the attack sequence (refer Apdx A).
  • You cannot use "Any Time" abilities while resolving the original attack, the Berserk attack, or between the attacks. Refer Apdx A.
  • Berserk doesn't trigger during a frenzy. (Infernal Ruling)
  • Berserk will not trigger if the target uses an ability to move the damage to another model (such as a warlock transfer).
    • But it will trigger if they use an ability to move the attack to a different model (such as Grim Salvation).