Siege Animantarax

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Skorne Logo.jpg Siege Animantarax

Skorne Battle Engine

Mk4 icon.png
This model is available in one Prime Army, Army of the Western Reaches. It can also be used in the Unlimited game mode. You can view the other Mk3 models that made it into a Legacy Army at this page.

Note that the rest of this page is about the model's Mark III rules.

Lumbering inexorably across the battlefield, animantaraxes are living siege engines. The ornate houdaas atop their backs bristle with veteran crews of Praetorians wielding spears and Venators manning double-combed reiver guns. Incoming fire serves only to enrage these giant beasts, and their handlers gladly indulge their anger and watch with grim satisfaction as the behemoths smash through their foes and deliver death to everything within reach.

Basic Info

Siege Animantarax
Missing Info
Siege Animatarax.jpg
COST {{{cacost}}}
UNIT SIZE {{{casize}}}
FA {{{cafa}}}
Warcaster 0
STR 15
M.A. N/A
DEF 10
ARM 20
ESSENCE {{{essence}}}
HP 35
F. Field N/A
WJP {{{wjp}}}
WBP {{{wbp}}}
IHP {{{ihp}}}
FA 2
Warcaster 1
the Statblock


  • Cavalry symbol.jpg Cavalry
  • Pathfinder symbol.jpg Pathfinder
  • Beast - This model can be targeted with Medicate special actions as if it were a warbeast.
  • Dual Attack - This model can make melee and ranged attacks in the same activation. When this model makes its initial melee attacks or a power attack, it can also make its initial ranged attacks. This model can make ranged attacks even while in melee.
  • Reposition [3"] - At the end of an activation in which it did not run or fail a charge, this model can advance up to 3", then its activation ends.
  • Trample Power Attack - This model can make trample power attacks.
  • Cantankerous - When this model is damaged by an attack, it gains one rage token. This model can have up to three rage tokens at any time. During its activation, this model can spend rage tokens to make additional melee attacks or to boost melee attack or melee damage rolls. It can make one additional melee attack or boost one roll for each rage token spent.


  • Double Reiver - 12" range, ROF d3+1, POW 13 ranged attack
    • Volume Fire - Gain +1 to attack and damage rolls with this weapon against medium-based models and +2 to attack and damage rolls against large- and huge-based models.
  • Club Tail - 2" reach, P+S 18 melee attack
  • Mount - 1" reach, POW 15 mount attack
  • Spear (x2) - 2" reach, P+S 11 melee attacks
    • Independent Attack - This attack has base STR 6, base POW 5, and P+S 11. During its activation, this model can make its initial attacks with these weapons before it makes its Normal Movement.

Theme Forces

Thoughts on the Siege Animantarax

Siege Animantarax in a nutshell

The Siege Animantarax battle engine works as if someone stuck a Venator Flayer Cannon on the back of a Rhinodon, gave it an injection of nitrous oxide, then cut it loose from the battlegroup; it neither needs, nor can receive much in the way of caster support. It shoots like artillery, with volume fire making up for any loss of aim bonus. It is faster than an unbuffed Archidon, has a POW 18 with auto knockdown, gets free charges with boosted attack rolls (thanks to the Cavalry rule), the ability to buy three extra attacks is as good as most heavies, and it has no leash.

The alternative comparison is that it's the Titan Cannoneer's battlegroup-independent cousin, costing the same and with fairly similar stats other than its speed; cantankerous tokens replace Fury.

Combos & Synergies

  • Paingiver Beast Handlers - Whip (Anatomical Precision) then medicate the Animantarax on turn 1 to max out rage tokens; the paingivers can concentrate on the battlegroup for the rest of the game.
  • Paingiver Bloodrunners can't medicate the Animantarax - but they can stab it just as well as the beast handlers can whip it to give it those sweet rage tokens. And then they are an excellent screen.
  • Lord Arbiter Hexeris - Black Spot allows you to "launder" your attacks. Killing enemy infantry with the spears, the Reivers, or even impact attacks to get extra attacks from the tail onto an enemy heavy.
  • Lord Tyrant Hexeris - Parasite makes for unpleasantly hard hitting Reivers.
  • Lord Assassin Morghoul - Mortality to allow him to kill his target. Shadow play to go through obstructions. And frankly if the Animantarax starts in 13" of the enemy caster and has a landing spot that brings them within 2" then a boosted knockdown charge will leave most casters about to die.
  • Makeda & the Exalted Court - Incite - a flat +2/+2 on to hit and damage on enemy models within Makeda3's CMD.
  • Lord Tyrant Zaadesh makes the Animantarax really scary on feat turn. MAT 8 P+S 20 auto-knockdown defensive strike is not at all what anyone wants to see coming the other way.
  • Basilisk Krea - because no one likes facing a huge base, ARM 22 vs shooting (ARM 12 vs Armor Piercing), and 12" range charge coming back at them (since only a mount attack can be used for a Calvary charge). Also, the Animantarax loves being able to land that first hit on a heavy warbeast without boosting, so paralyze them.

Drawbacks & Downsides

  • While huge bases can be jammed, keep in mind that independent attacks from the spears may help unjam the battle engine before it begins its charge (at MAT 6, P+S 11 you may need to boost attack and/or damage rolls against high DEF or ARM models) and, after moving at least 3", impact attacks may help clear the path to the target with MAT 6, POW 15 melee attacks.
  • Landing a huge base after a trample almost never happens.
    • Spd 8 certainly helps.
  • Recharging the cantankerous tokens when it's charged in can be a problem. Of course if the enemy isn't attacking it, you win anyway.
  • Don't work very well in double (debatable). While sheer speed mitigate their speed, they still are bulky, and you will have your paingivers severely taxed if you need to fill them both although a single unit can manage six hits between two Animantaraxes (leaving them unmedicated).

Tricks & Tips

  • Three paingiver whips (Anatomical Precision) and a medicate mean it's fully charged and down 0-2 health boxes. At that point it hits harder than some collosals.
  • Trample and shoot for that bit of extra movement (counting reposition it's almost as much as you get from running).
  • Knockdown on it mean your army can fire on his target without penalty. Assuming the Animantarax isn't in the way of course...
  • Thanks to its almost 5" base you can run it on turn 1 to about the 12" line, then have Paingivers whip it.
  • Don't forget that the Animantarax is cavalry so its charge attack roll is boosted.
  • It is also one of the rare living battle engines, so affected by rules and abilities which interact with such models (Life drinker, Bleed, Butcher 3's feat, Poison, Annoyance, Burning Ash, etc.)



  • Released in Hordes: Domination, 2011 November
  • This model has been reworked possibly more than any other in Warmachine. In Mk2 it was given a complete overhaul because the original version was terrible. In Mk3 it was given an overhaul both as part of the Great Skorne Errata (2017.01) and then again as part of the Great Battle Engine Errata (2017.07).

Other Skorne models

Skorne Logo.jpg       Skorne Index       (Edit)
Battlegroup & Similar
Warlocks Hexeris1 - Hexeris2 - Jalaam1 - Makeda1 - Makeda2 - Makeda3 - Mordikaar1 - Morghoul1 - Morghoul2 - Morghoul3 - Naaresh1 - Rasheth1 - Xekaar1 - Xerxis1 - Xerxis2 - Zaal1 - Zaal2 - Zaadesh2
Lessers & Attachments Aptimus Marketh (Warlock attachment) - Zaadesh1 (Lesser Warlock) - Makeda0 (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 - Makeda0 - 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: 2021.11

Rules Clarifications

Rules Clarification : Burst Fire and/or Volume Fire - None yet. (Edit)

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Rules Clarification : Knockdown      (Edit)

  • Knockdown (Edit) - Remember, knockdown only prevents what it says it does. Refer to the Knockdown page for a recap of what a model can/can't do.
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Rules Clarification : Independent Attack      (Edit)

  • Various rules interactions: (Infernal Ruling)
    • The Independent Attack does not occur during your Combat Action.
    • You can use your Normal Movement to run or trample, after using an Independent Attack.
    • You can make your Independent Attacks before deciding and declaring whether you are running, trampling, or whatever.
    • You cannot make your other attacks before your Normal Movement, only the Independent Attacks.
    • You can make Independent Attack, then forfeit your Combat Action (to Haley2's feat, for example).
    • You can declare a charge, make your charge movement, then make your Independent Attack, then make your charge attack.
    • You can purchase more attacks with the Spears but only during your Combat Action, after completing your movement and initial attacks.
    • Independent Attack is optional. You can do one spear attack, then move, then do the other attack during your normal Combat Action.
    • Independent Attacks are still initial attacks, so can be prevented by stuff like Stagger

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Rules Clarification : Battle Engine      (Edit)

  • The main differences between battle engines and the other huge bases are:
    • They can be placed, and they can move outside their Normal Movement (such as Dodge).
    • They can benefit from Advance Deployment, Incorporeal, and Stealth.
    • They can't make ranged attacks while in melee.
      At least not by default; but many battle engines have Gun Platform, Dual Attack, or similar.
    • Unlike Colossals and Gargantuans, your opponent can take control of your battle engine. There are very few such abilities that work on this model type, though.
  • Being a huge-based model, a Battle Engine can never gain the DEF bonus from concealment ... but it can still have concealment and thereby trigger Prowl.

Huge Base (Edit)

But this bonus doesn't apply to slams triggered by normal attacks (such as Critical Smite or the Hurricane's Thunder Charge ability).
Also, simply being on a huge base triggers a bunch of rules scattered throughout the rulebook, click to read them.   [Show/Hide]

From the 2020.02 edition of the core rules (Edit)

Fields of Fire
Page 37 A huge-based model’s front arc is marked on its base. Its front arc is further divided into two 90° fields of fire. These fields of fire determine which models a huge-based model can target with its weapons, depending on the location of those weapons. Weapons located on a huge-based model’s left side (L) can be used to target only models in its left field of fire, and weapons located on its right side (R) can be used to target only models in its right field of fire. Weapons with locations “S,” “H,” or “—” can be used to target models in either field of fire. If any part of a model’s base is on the line separating the left and right fields of fire, the model is considered to be in both fields of fire.
Concealment, Cover, LOS
Page 49 Concealment & Cover - Huge-based models never gain the DEF bonuses from concealment or cover.
Page 60 Clouds - Cloud effects do not block line of sight to huge-based models.
Page 87 Forests - Forests do not block line of sight to huge-based models.
Huge-Based models in melee
Page 54 - Huge-based models never gain the Target in Melee DEF bonus.
Page 65 - Combined Ranged Attacks cannot target a model in melee unless it has a huge base.
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Rules Clarification:  : Cavalry      (Edit)
(Click Expand to read)

Mount Weapon
  • Although the core rulebook specifies mount weapons have 0.5" range, this doesn't "overwrite" models that have a longer mount range listed on their card. (Infernal Ruling)
  • Mount Weapons are melee weapons. (Infernal Ruling) This means:
    • Mount Attacks can benefit from any buffs that affect "melee weapons" (such as Acidic Touch and Elasticity) or "melee attacks" (such as Battle Lust).
    • Mount Weapons can be used to make free strikes.
    • If the model doesn't have any regular melee weapon (such as the Gun Carriage) then it does have a melee range, can engage enemy models, and can make free strikes; anyway.
    • Despite being a melee weapon, you cannot use a Mount's special attack on the same activation you charge. (Infernal Ruling)
      • Exception: If you have Trampling Hooves, because that allows you to make charge attacks with your mount when you charge.
  • Mount attacks will trigger "Melee attack" stuff like Battle Wizard.
  • You can purchase additional attacks with your Mount Weapon. (Infernal Ruling)

Impact Attacks - Movement

  • Impact Attacks "pause" your charge move, and as such don't normally trigger "ends an advance" abilities (such as Countercharge).
    • The exception is if your Impact Attacks include your charge target, then you have to end the charge movement and turn to directly face the charge target before rolling any dice. In this case, stuff like Countercharge will get triggered before you get to roll your Impact Attacks.
  • You cannot "pause" in an illegal position to carry out Impact Attacks. For instance: a Pathfinder cavalry model pausing halfway over an obstacle; a flying cavalry model pausing while it 'overlaps' other models; or any cavalry model pausing halfway through an Incorporeal model.

Impact Attacks - The attack(s)

  • You resolve stuff that occurs "after the attack is resolved" (such as Battle Wizard) before continuing with your charge movement.
  • If you have an ability that boosts your "first" melee attack (such as Stir the Blood), then only one attack will be boosted even though you're making multiple simultaneous attacks.
  • If you choose to make any impact attacks, you make all attacks against all models in the Mount's melee range (even friendly models).(Infernal Ruling)
  • Impact Attacks cannot be boosted, refer core rulebook.
  • You cannot buy additional attacks while resolving Impact Attacks. Additional attacks can only be bought during your Combat Action, after resolving your initial melee attack(s) / special melee attack.

Impact Attacks - Other

  • You cannot use "any time" abilities while resolving Impact Attacks. Because Impact Attacks occur during movement; and you can only use 'any time' abilities before moving or after moving, but not during movement. (Infernal Ruling)
    • Exception: If your Impact targets include your charge target, then your movement has ended (refer rulebook, last paragraph of 'Impact Attacks') and thus you're fine to use "any time" abilities.

Cavalry unit

  • If you have a unit of Cavalry, charge them and do impact attacks, remember you interrupt movement to do impacts, but you have to resolve all movements before doing any charge attacks. So for example it would go:
    • Cavalry model A charges enemy X, and contacts model M. Stop and make impact attacks against M. Then continue movement to X.
    • Cavalry model B charges enemy Y, and contacts model N. Stop and make impact attacks against N. Then continue movement to Y.
    • Cavalry model C charges enemy Z, and contacts model O. Stop and make impact attacks against O. Then continue movement to Z.
    • Resolve model A's charge attack vs X, B's vs Y, and C's vs Z. (This can be done in any order, as per normal)

Other interactions

  • Cavalry model with no melee weapon
    • If you have a Mount weapon but no regular Melee weapon (such as the Efaarit Scout), you can still declare a charge. (Locked thread)
    • You can make Impact Attacks along the way.
    • Once you get to the charge target, however, you can't make a melee attack against it. Because you can't use the mount weapon for a charge attack, due to the way the Cavalry rules are written. (Unless you have a rule like Trampling Hooves.)
    • If you don't charge, the mount attack can be used as an initial melee attack.
  • Countercharge & Cavalry ( Edit )
    • A model with Countercharge and Cavalry can make Impact Attacks during the countercharge. (Refer "Charges Outside of Activation" in the rulebook).
  • Warcaster/Warlock Cavalry ( Edit )
    • Warcasters/Warlocks can't cast spells or use their feat while resolving Impact Attacks. Because Impact Attacks occur during movement - you can use spells or feat before moving, or after moving, but not during movement.
      • Exception: If your Impact target(s) include your charge target, then your movement has ended (refer rulebook, last paragraph of 'Impact Attacks') and thus you're fine to use "any time" abilities before starting the Impact attacks.
  • Flight on a Cavalry model (Edit)
    • Although flyers can move over obstacles/models, and horses can pause to do impacts while charging, flying horses cannot make impact attacks while overlapping models/obstacles. You need to pause in a legal position.
  • Gunfighter & Cavalry ( Edit )
    • A cavalry model that charges then makes a Gunfighter attack will not gain a boosted charge attack roll, because a ranged attack is not a charge attack. (Infernal Ruling)
    • You also won't gain a boosted charge damage roll, as per normal for a Gunfighter.
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Rules Clarification : Pathfinder      (Edit)

Rules Clarification : Beast - None yet. (Edit)

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Rules Clarification:  : Dual Attack      (Edit)
(Click Expand to read)

* If you fail a charge, then you do not get to make ranged attacks.
  • If you have multiple ranged attacks and/or melee attacks, you can intermingle them in any order. (Infernal Ruling)
  • You can charge, make a ranged attack, then make your charge melee attack. Even though you made a ranged attack, that doesn't change the fact that your first melee attack is the charge attack. (Infernal Ruling)
  • You must complete all initial attacks before buying attacks. You can't go: Make an initial melee attack, then buy a melee attack, then make an initial ranged attack. (Locked Thread)
  • Dual Attack doesn't let you mix initial attacks with a (★) attack. Dual Attack only lets you make either:
    1. Initial melee attacks and initial ranged attacks.
    2. Power attack and initial ranged attacks.
      Any other combination of (★ Attack) and initials is disallowed. See this thread for full explanation and links to relevant Infernal Rulings.
    • You could theoretically make a special melee attack and then buy additional ranged attacks (or vice versa) ... but the core rules say "The rules for these special attacks indicate the nature of any additional attacks that can be made afterward, if any" so the special attack would have to explicitly allow a swap - and I'm unaware of any that do so.
  • There is no penalty for shooting an enemy you are in melee with.
  • Your ranged attack(s) can target a model you are not in melee with. (Infernal Ruling)
  • Dual Attack & Drag ( Edit )
    • This is pretty-much limited to just the Prime Axiom under Syntherion, or the Swabber, Galleon or Prime Axiom under Aurora2
    • If you charge model A then utilise Dual Attack to make a ranged attack vs the same model, then you would get the free melee attack from Drag. The Drag attack is a charge attack. (Infernal Ruling)
    • If you charge model A then utilise Dual Attack to make a ranged attack vs a different model, then you would lose the free melee attack from Drag. Your first melee attack must be versus the charge target, and you cannot save the Drag attack for later. (Infernal Ruling)
    • If you didn't charge then ... just go nuts. There's no restrictions that I know of.
  • Dual Attack & Slam/Trample ( Edit )
Power Attack Slam and Trample combine your Normal Movement and Combat Action, and how this works with Dual Attack is:
  • Slam: You must resolve the movement, the attack, and moving the slammed model. Only then can you make initial ranged attacks.
  • Trample: You must resolve the movement, the attacks, and the free strikes. Only then can you make initial ranged attacks.
  • (Infernal Ruling)
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Rules Clarification : Reposition      (Edit)

  • Models out of formation cannot move via Reposition. Refer to the "Out of Formation" rules in the core rulebook.
  • End of Activation (Edit)
You cannot resolve two end-of-activation movement effects (refer to "End of Activation Movement" in the core rulebook). For EOA stuff that doesn't involve movement, though, it gets a bit more murky:
  • Some EOA abilities explicitly state your activation ends as part of resolving the ability (like Reposition), and some don't (like Refuge).
Whether it is explicit it or not, by definition an EOA ability is the last thing you can do for that activation. For instance, if you resolve Refuge and then continue your activation to cast more spells, then you have not used Refuge at the end of your activation.
You cannot do an "at any time" ability during or after triggering an EOA ability; you cannot cast spells, purchase additional attacks, use a mini-feat, etc.
  • If you start resolving an EOA movement (such as Reposition) then you cannot trigger abilities that occur "at any time" (such as Go To Ground). Because you can't trigger it while resolving the EOA movement, and after the EOA movement your activation has ended. (Infernal Ruling)
  • For units: if any model in the unit starts resolving the unit's EOA movement, then no model in the unit can trigger an any-time ability. (Infernal Ruling)
  • See also the training article: LPG - End of Activation.
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Rules Clarification:  : Trample Power Attack      (Edit)
(Click Expand to read)

Can't normally trample
  • Sometimes Power Attack: Trample is a special rule given to a model type that can't normally trample.
    • If that model is a warjack or warbeast (such as the light warjack Shrike) then it needs to pay a focus/fury to do a trample.
    • If that model is not a warjack/beast (such as the Battle Engine Gun Carriage) then it can trample for free.

Trample Movement

  • You don't need LOS to your trample direction.
  • You cannot change your facing after finishing a trample. Refer main rulebook.
  • Unless you have something that allows you to ignore contacting the obstacle or obstruction (such as Flight), your trample will stop when contacting an obstacle or obstruction during a slam and/or trample. (Infernal Ruling)
  • If the trampler's Movement system becomes crippled (for instance by an Acid Cloud), this will not stop the trample. (Infernal Ruling)
  • Free strikes take place after the trampler has finished its movement, not during the movement. (Infernal Ruling)
  • If there is insufficient room to fit your base on the other side of the model, you have to "rewind" along the trample path ... you don't get to pick a different trample direction that suits you better! Yes, this does mean that in a worst-case scenario you might end up trampling 0" !
    • Thankfully, in Mk3, you can premeasure to avoid these issues before committing to the Trample direction.

"End Movement" triggers


  • You have to move completely over & past a model for them to be trampled, merely contacting them is not enough .
  • You can trample over medium-and-larger based models, if you have some way of moving through them. (For instance, you have Flight or they have Incorporeal.)
    • Note that, even though you "trample over" those medium-and-larger models, they don't suffer trample attacks and they do get to make free strikes against the trampler.


  • Even though your attack target is out of LOS and melee range when you're at your final position, you get an attack anyway because the Trample rules override that. (Infernal Ruling)
  • All abilities/buffs/etc involved with the attacks, both the trampler and the free strikers, are based on the models' final positions (except as noted otherwise in the core Trample rules for Shield Walls etc, where the contact point becomes important). (Infernal Ruling)
  • So, for instance:
    • If the trampler contacts a model and ends in its front arc, it won't get the back strike bonus (regardless of whether it 'trampled into' its back. And vice versa. (Infernal Ruling)

Free strikes vs Trampler

  • Resolve free strikes after the trample attacks.
  • If a free striker has some sort of 'directly away/towards' movement effect on their weapon (such as Critical Smite) then the direction you move the Trampler is based on the final model positions.
    • For instance, you trample past someone with Critical Smite, end up behind them, and when they smite you via the free strike you'll end up further behind them.


  • If the trampler has a 'models within [X]" ... ' ability (such as Ruin's Soul Taker, or anyone's Dark Shroud) then it will only apply to models within [X]" of the trampler's final trample location (not every model they trampled through).
  • Trampling with a flying model (Edit)
    • Flight allows you to trample "over" medium- and larger-bases.
    • Although you trample "over" them, you don't get to make a trample attack vs them and you don't ignore their free strikes. Refer the core rulebook.
      • Unless, of course, you have an exception like Blade Rush.
  • Dual Attack & Slam/Trample ( Edit )
Power Attack Slam and Trample combine your Normal Movement and Combat Action, and how this works with Dual Attack is:
  • Slam: You must resolve the movement, the attack, and moving the slammed model. Only then can you make initial ranged attacks.
  • Trample: You must resolve the movement, the attacks, and the free strikes. Only then can you make initial ranged attacks.
  • (Infernal Ruling)

Rules Clarification : Cantankerous - None yet. (Edit)