Theme - Disciples of Agony

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Skorne Logo.jpg Theme - Disciples of Agony

Skorne Theme Force
Disciples of Agony - Masters of War - The Exalted - Winds of Death

Connected by a desire to wring power from pain, the students of the ancient skorne master Morkaash show the enemies of the empire the subtlety of their unique arts. Potent mortitheurges, indomitable Nihilator cultists, and talented paingivers work in concert to bring low all living flesh that opposes them. Captured enemies who prove useful are kept as subjugated warriors, while all others taken alive are introduced to new depths of suffering at the barbs and blades of their captors.

Theme Rules

For the core rules on how Theme Forces work, see this article.

Theme Restrictions

An army made use the Disciples of Agony theme force can include only the following Skorne models:

  • This army can also include any number of Minion solos and Minion units that will work for Skorne.
    • These models/units can be included even if they have the Partisan [Skorne] rule.
    • Minion units can have non-Ranking Officer attachments.

Full model list

The models allowed in Disciples of Agony are:   [Show/Hide]

This list was last updated: 2021.10   (Edit)


  • All Skorne warlocks


  • All non-character Skorne warbeasts
  • All non-character Minion warbeasts (★)
  • Chiron
  • The Terrorizer
  • Other character warbeasts can be taken, but only if they have a bond and they're in their bonded model's battlegroup.

Battle Engines




  • Any number of Minion solos
  • Any number of minion units

(★) Minion warbeasts can be put in a Skorne warlock's battlegroup, and become Skorne warbeasts when you do so. Note that they cannot be placed in a Skorne Lesser Warlock's battlegroup, though.

Requisition Points

You can spend each Requisition Point on either:

  • One non-character Agonizer warbeast
  • One Skorne CA
  • Two Paingiver Task Master solos
  • One other small- or medium-based Skorne solo with a cost of 5 or less

Theme Bonuses

  1. Skorne warlocks can control non-character Minion warbeasts. Minion warbeasts in this army that are controlled by a Skorne warlock are considerd to be Skorne warbeasts, not Minion warbeasts.
    Tip: This benefit does not apply to Lesser Warlocks (Zaadesh1, Makeda0).
  2. Paingiver models in this army gain Sacrificial Pawn [Minion warrior model].
    Sacrificial Pawn [ Minion Warrior Model ] - When a model with Sacrificial Pawn [ Minion Warrior Model ] is directly hit by an enemy ranged attack, you can have one friendly, non-incorporeal Minion warrior model within 3" of it directly hit instead. That model is automatically hit and suffers all damage and effects. The Sacrificial Pawn special rule can only trigger once per attack roll.

Recent Changes

2021.10 Mega Update

  • Basilisk Krea and The Terrorizer are no longer a Requisition Option
  • The free solo option has to cost 5 points or less
  • Sac Pawn gains a clause to say "once per attack" so you can't chain multiple Sac Pawns together to move an attack halfway across the table.

Thoughts on Disciples of Agony

Disciples of Agony in a nutshell

Disciples of Agony is an incredibly flexible theme force and, whereas some theme forces (like The Exalted) almost build themselves, even if you are running an almost pure battlegroup build you have am overwhelming number of choices available and comparable to the flexibility of playing out of theme in a full faction. For their battlegroup most major factions have 8 non-character lights, 8 non-character heavies, and two colossals/gargantuans available for their battle group; for Disciples it's three lessers, thirteen non-character lights, thirteen non-character heavies, and three gargantuans. The sixteen available units is equal to the number of in-faction units available to the Retribution and one fewer than for Skorne. And there are more minion solos that work for Skorne than there are Skorne solos.

Disciples of Agony is therefore a truly vast theme and it will be a long time before what's available has been fully understood so making a guide for it is pretty difficult. Each of the following reasons for playing the theme is a good one:

  • Even before you take your caster into account you can stack free charges and +2 STR from the Paingiver Beast Handlers with either Rage from a Blackhide Wrastler or Primal from a Battle Boar for a 3-5 point STR swing, allowing your lights to wreck heavies.
  • You want to play Skorne warbeast heavy and get access to some excellent warbeasts and some animi that make you even harder hitting - notably Rage from the Blackhide Wrastler, Primal from the Battle Boar, and the threat extending Elasticity from the Swamp Horror
  • You like Minions and like playing debuff casters, and realise that Minions don't have any particularly good ones (Calaban in specific has trouble channeling)
  • You're a Minions player who wants to expand your caster range and don't mind getting a tiny handful of non-Minion models to open up a wide range of warlocks (notably a unit of Paingiver Beast Handlers, two Paingiver Task Masters, an Agonizer and probably Aptimus Marketh).
  • You're a minions player who wants to put Farrow and Gatorman infantry or warbeasts on the table at the same time. And make them no knockdown tough.
  • You're a Skorne player who likes the look of buffed minion infantry.
  • You want to use Skorne infantry that shreds enemy infantry in melee - namely Nihilators and Paingiver Bloodrunners. Which is just about the only thing minion infantry doesn't do well.
  • You, possibly thanks to recent scenarios, want ambushers and lots of them. The Gatorman Husk and Paingiver Bloodrunners are particularly good - and when you include Farrow Commandos, the Bog Trog Ambushers, and even the Bog Trog Trawler you have more ambush possible than any other theme in the game.

That's a lot. You've an incredibly flexible theme force, approaching the flexibility of the entire Minions faction taken out of theme while getting theme force benefits - and the pair of Paingiver Beast Handlers is an excellent benefit and should regularly push you to 16 free points (which is after the rebalance as good as it gets; pre-rebalance this list sometimes gained 21 points).

Requisition Options

Disciples of Agony doesn't have great requisition options and, for example, has precisely no command attachments available. Fortunately the options are all good - but only certain specialist lists want two agonizers, so if you're playing beast heavy it's not that unusual to only bring 13 points of requisition options.

Theme weaknesses

Sacrificial What?

Sacrificial Pawn for Paingivers isn't very good. I mean, it's good for the Paingivers sure, but it's not great when compared to benefits that some other themes get. And after all, do you want Paingivers in your list? (Other than Beast Handlers of course - and on the offchance you want to use either a Morghoul or Xekaar). Do you want them hanging out next to Minions?

List Design Indecision

It's an exceptionally flexible theme force - but you can only bring the army you bring. Flexibility in list building often leads to disjointed lists that tried to cram in a "little bit of everything". If you put a generalist list on the table it'll lose to one that is focussed on one aspect (which most theme forces are).

Minion friendly - kinda?

Although it allows unlimited Minion infantry, it doesn't make them any easier to buff with "friendly Faction only" spells. So they'll only really benefit from a debuff caster, and a Task Master.

Starting a 25 point Brawl list

In 2020.09 Phillip Melvin, one of the LOS authors, put together this list for the Brawlmachine format. He even wrote about it's playstyle and expanding it beyond 25 points, which you can read here.

Makeda3: [+25 WBP]
Swamp Gobber Chef: [1 pt]
Paingiver Beast Handlers (Min unit): [5 pts]

Total RRP: USD $190 (based on PP's online store prices 2021.05)

For more Brawlmachine list ideas, see Category: Brawl List

Casters of Note

This section will go into detail a bit more than usual, for the benefit of Minion players that are unfamiliar with Skorne warlocks.

Battlegroup Casters

  • Lord Arbiter Hexeris (Hexeris 2) has a classical weakness that he doesn't fix ARM even if he handles infantry, and can run a big battlegroup. A wrastler or battle boar changes all that - and he doesn't do that much with or for infantry, but they help.
  • Primus Jalaam is a battle-group centric caster who prefers his heavies to be higher DEF than titans because that synergises with his feat. Warpath is amazing, he hands out Pathfinder, and he has a nice defensive feat and can keep away shooting.
  • Makeda & the Exalted Court (Makeda 3) - Skorne's S-Tier Caster with Incite, battlegroup Grievous Wounds, a DEF buff and a dance of death that can even lead to Makeda causing an assassination. Makeda is terrifying.
  • Master Tormentor Morghoul (Morghoul 1) - Morghoul 1 has a fundamental weakness that he does not scale. But with Marketh's help and the help of the ubiquitous Paingiver Beast Handlers your light beasts get a 2 point SPD buff, four point STR buff, and free charges. Add Primal and your lights move like greased lightning and one-round heavies. And he may do nothing outside his battle group but can be good for them. He is, however, considered one of the worst warlocks in faction and with good reason - especially since Xekaar's recent buff.
  • Xerxis, Fury of Halaak (Xerxis 2) is a scary battlegroup caster thanks to +2 speed, a great feat, and a couple of nice upkeeps. He likes warbeasts that can at least keep up with his SPD 7 - and you're always going to have frenzy after your feat turn, so Primal's worth bringing.
  • Lord Tyrant Zaadesh - Countercharge for all, a MAT and STR buff and Defensive Strike for the battlegroup (and other models including Nihilators and the Siege Animantarax if you bring them). Come in at Zaadesh and risk getting handed your head.
  • Beast Master Xekaar has recently been reworked, gaining the awesome Alpha Hunter and the ability to Reposition 5" after casting his spells. He's always been a minion-friendly caster and now gained a strong battlegroup buff while his being a Paingiver gives him Sacrificial Pawn in this theme. He can use Aptimus Marketh for an extra Mortality, and a Blind Walker for the channeling he needs or even just rely on the threat extension of Farrow Bone Grinders while sacrificial pawning to them. He looks like a really good jack of all trades, but in November 2020 this is just theorymachine.

Minion-friendly casters

Most minion-friendly casters are ones that have debuffs. Since the spells affect the enemy, it doesn't matter if your army is the same faction as your caster or not.

  • Lord Tyrant Hexeris (Hexeris 1) has precisely one friendly faction infantry spell - and Death March is good (as all Minion players know) although it really wants Nihilators. He has Parasite which goes well with the Minion gunline but you bring him for his feat which can completely eviscerate infantryspam armies. He's not a tournament caster but is a great counter in league play and utterly eviscerates certain types of army.
  • Archdomina Makeda (Makeda1) has, almost uniquely, a feat that affects friendly models and not just friendly faction ones. Grievous wounds and other things cancel it, of course, and minion infantry isn't affected by Carnage. Oh, and Molik Karn can get Rage or Primal for the assassination run.
  • Lord Assassin Morghoul (Morghoul 2) is a pure debuff and assassination caster. And gets Sacrificial Pawn, allowing him to play forward. What's not to love?

Casters that want Skorne units

  • Dominar Morghoul & Escorts - his feat turns Nihilators into MAT 7 infantry with Reach, Acrobatics, Berserk, and Overtake. And Night's Reflection is just good. But he's a Skorne infantry caster.
  • Dominar Rasheth - the fat man is one of the best debuff casters around - but needs Skorne infantry to channel through. Bloodrunners are amazing at getting places to do this - and minion guns are as good as Skorne ones for taking advantage of debuffed models. He needs some Skorne infantry - but he's a superb debuff caster who can get by with only a few Skorne.
  • Tyrant Xerxis (Xerxis 1) has a feat that turns lights into wreckers - and battle plans that really go with Nihilators; they can already thresh infantry but Stir the Blood and his feat lets them shatter heavies.

Non-casters of Note

Disciples of Agony being such an unusual theme a crash course in Minions for Skorne and in Skorne for minions is useful to knowing where to look for for this theme, and thus this section is more expensive than in a more normal theme and assumes that the reader is only familiar with half the army. Note that to save space beasts that have an approximate equivalent between Skorne and Minions for Disciples of Agony aren't being included (it doesn't make that much difference if you bring a Gun Boar or a Cyclops Raider as a light shooty beast and the Ironback Spitter sits almost exactly between the Titan Cannoneer and the Aradus Sentinel). And Gargantuans are all distinctive, expensive, and should thus be bought with research and care.

Minions for Skorne players

There is no need for Skorne to take any Minions in Disciples of Agony - you can perfectly happily play a Skorne beast list, probably with a couple of Animantaraxes, Zaadesh for Fury management, and Bloodrunners for screening and have a decent list. On the other hand Minion heavy beasts are excellent and there is a lot of variety in minion units.

Minion beasts

For the most part, minion warbeasts can bring useful animis at the cost of being more fragile (especially for heavies) or slower (especially for lights). Skorne have a lot of warbeasts, which already pretty much cover every use cases, but alternatives can offer specific trade off which can come in handy.


  • Dracodile - the good part is that it have the speed and healing of an hydra and the resilience and a mammoth. The bad part is that it's much weaker than either as a ranged beast, and its animus is overall a lot less good too. The lack of ranged game mean in particular that he tend to have problem to deal with infantry and is easily jammed.

Heavy beasts:

  • Blackhide Wrastler - It competes with the Titan Gladiator as a heavy/support combo, providing Rage rather than Rush. Normally Rush is more useful (especially when Paingiver Beast Handlers fix hitting power) but the Wrastler is faster and harder to kill and can let you buff lights into the stratosphere.
  • Blind Walker - It has the cost of a light, the toughness of a heavy, can shield guard, and can arcnode. Where's the catch? It's a bad brawler even by the standards of lights, and it needs to activate before your caster and can't run if you want to arc node (which damages it).
  • Swamp Horror - a slow beater who, because of 4" melee range threaten rather far, and drag can setup other beasts to finish. Scale extremely well with buffs and debuffs since it have a lot of low power attacks. Elasticity work on any (friendly faction) model, which can lead to hilarious results when you get imaginative. Tend to be much worse against model it can't drag, most notably battle engines, so take that into account. Its key Skorne competitor is the Rhinodon that has only 1" less threat, is better into undraggable models (and Thresher can be really good) and most importantly is 11 points rather than 15.
  • Road Hog - An archidon with a spray, for half again the cost. Very brittle for its cost, but like the Archidon useful for Hit and Run and sprays aren't horrible.
  • War Hog - for if somehow a titan doesn't hit hard enough but you don't have the points for an bronzeback. Can one round a colossal, but the colossal will probably kill him at a range before he can be delivered. There was a lot of interest in the War Hog when it was reworked, but the consensus even before the Titan Gladiator was dropped to 13 points and the Blackhide Wrastler to 14 was that thanks to Paingiver Beast Handlers there was no need for a warbeast that just hit very hard and provided no support.
  • Ironback Spitter A cheaper Titan Cannoneer ; a threat both at range and in melee - or if you prefer a jack of all trades and master of none.

Light beasts:

  • Battle Boar - 6 points of slow MAT 5 warbeast that's mostly there to use Primal for +1 to hit and damage as an animus caddy. In general the Skorne use one of their own two animus caddies at 7 points; the Terrorizer for Rush and the Basilisk Krea for its aura (and paralysis).
  • Boneswarm - fully loaded with corpses it's P+S 15, DEF 13, ARM 18 for seven points and with the Swarm animus if you need more DEF. An excellent light warbeast if you can load it with corpses (and awful if you can't). Fortunately a single Boil Master & Spirit Cauldron) can do that and has two other great support spells. Very mediocre without a boil master but solid with one. Remember that once you take into account the boil master, the boneswarms aren't really cheaper than archidons, which are often a very solid alternative by being faster, hitting harder, but overall more fragile.
  • Gun Boar - the more vanilla of the Farrow light shooty beasts is competing with the Cyclops Shaman. The ability to shoot through walls and to borrow animi (like Rush) is considered really good for the Shaman, while a POW 13 high explosive small blast with only 1" more threat range isn't rated that highly while the Splatter Boar's alchemical mortar is a whole lot more interesting and versatile for one point more.
  • Splatter Boar - animus give +2 RAT to AoE shots (great if you brought a Mammoth) and the shot types can be interesting. It's got three good rivals; at one point less the Gun Boar and Cyclops Shaman above and at one point more the Cyclops Raider with 5" more threat range and excellent spot removal; it's interesting both the Skorne beasts are single target and the Farrow are 3" AoE.

Minion units

There are a lot of good minion units out there - far more than any one player needs even if this is their only theme. The problem is that other than no-knockdown-tough you've little defensive tech and your casters can't protect them.

  • Boil Master & Spirit Cauldron - Puppet Master is great, a boosted Spectral Lash is great - and corpse tokens to a Boneswarm or even the Shamblers are great. The Skorne Mortitheurge Willbreaker finds little use in this theme thanks to the Boil Master.
  • Croak Raiders - RAT 6, Pathfinder, Advance Deployment, and ranged burnination. Works really well with debuff casters - and the Task Master can give them either Reposition or make them no-knockdown-tough. Skorne players sometimes also use Raiders as their minion unit in Masters of War to oil things up for Cataphract Incindiarii
  • Farrow Bone Grinders very cheap infantry that can exploit debuffs - and are effective weapon masters against living warbeasts. You get what you pay for. and if you know your opponent is bringing Def 13- warbeasts these guys are exceptional value. If not they are walking tough bullet stoppers.
  • Farrow Brigands - always played with the command attachment, Brigands are less than the sum of their parts, but that's a lot of parts. In general, especially backed by the Task Master, Brigands are less effective than the advance deploying Croak Raiders unless their Prey plays into their hands. But they are a very interesting, fun, and good look ing unit
  • Farrow Commandos - shooty ambushers. They threat further than Bloodrunners the turn they ambush - although as advance deploying skirmishers the Bloodrunners out-threat the Commandos and kill more effectively.
  • Farrow Slaughterhousers - if you have some ranged support to scratch up enemies first these are probably the best value weapon masters in the game. POW 12 with Finisher, MAT 9 and Pathfinder on the Charge, ignores tough, and removes from play. These are killers even without Task Master support to push them over the top but want some gun-support (most of which hasn't been discussed here)
  • Farrow Valkyries - 8 points for 3 shield guards with Vengeance. Excellent if you either worry about shooting or want to go ARM skew. In general the Task Masters leave them alone because they are only three models to the unit - but they still benefit from being no-knockdown.
  • Gatorman Bokor & Bog Trog Swamp Shamblers - recycle dead models into more zombies. Then use the Task Master to make those zombies no-knockdown-tough and get in your opponent's way.
  • Gatorman Posse - they are ARM 18 in melee with 8 wounds heavy infantry (to stack with the Agonizer) and gain No Knockdown and +2 POW from the Task Master. In general Skorne players trying to brick up with infantry should play Cataphract Cetrati in Masters of War - but if Minion players want to use their Gators in different ways this is probably the third best way (with Maelok in Blindwater being the first and Rask in Blindwater being the second best way).
  • Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew 2 points for a 5" cloud and two DEF 15 models. What's not to love? It's of course possible to use a Task Master with nothing better to do to reposition the bellows crew entirely out of the 5" cloud

Minion solos

Remember that all the Lesser Warlocks count as minion models and therefore can't take advantage of Beast Handlers. Only the most useful solos for Skorne have been listed here.

  • Bog Trog Mist Speaker - Guidance is something that when you need you need (largely for killing incorporeal models). In any other theme Skorne just use the cheaper Extoller Soulward but it's not allowed here.
  • Gatorman Husk A hard to kill ambusher is great on scenario
  • Swamp Gobber River Raider - you get what you pay for and these are 1 point solos. Good for scenarios, and to exploit debuffs.
  • Eilish Garrity, the Occultist - a standard bag of tricks, most notably shutting down spellcasting infantry who try targeting models within 5" of him. Other than that the Boil Master & Spirit Cauldron is a better Puppet Master, and Skorne tend to use the Cyclops Shaman to remove hostile upkeeps and do a whole lot of other things.
  • Feralgeist - 2 point Incorporeal solo.
  • Gremlin Swarm - 3 point living incorporeal solo which does things without losing incorporeal.
  • Hermit of Henge Hold - Mostly useful for Telemetry and for Ancient Shroud making this model hard to kill as this theme has no problem hitting hard enough. Skorne in general are the players least likely to own the Hermit as other themes get Telemetry from the Immortal Vessel and Skorne are known for hitting hard without his help. Reposition 3" from the Task Master can put his aura in interesting places.
  • Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor - Arcane Vortex on the cheap is great, and boostable e-leap are very useful too.
  • Saxon Orrik - Pathfinder on a stick. There are generally better alternatives like the Rush animus for your beasts, and models that provide their own Pathfinder (including Bloodrunners, Croak Raiders, and Slaughterhousers) but he's there if you need him.
  • Void Archon - the roving ball of death. Doesn't use the minion slot in The Exalted so is useful outside this theme - but has suffered a recent serious nerf.
  • Wrong Eye & Snapjaw - these guys can't benefit from Beast Handlers or battle group buffs. On the other hand if you're running a DEF skew Star-Crossed is excellent.
  • Barnabas, the Conqueror makes a Gatorman Posse both faster and gives them Relentless Charge which are very nice buffs. The bad thing about him is he's a lesser warlock but his beasts can't benefit from Beast Handlers (and can't be brought under control if Barnabas dies).
  • Death Archon It's an archon and a complete infantry thresher. With the beast handlers your beasts can handle theirs - here's a way to handle their infantry. Unfortunately it was nerfed in the Rebalanceopalypse and is no longer a blender.

Skorne for Minion players

Unlike Skorne players who can play Disciples with just Skorne models, Minion players must get at least a few Skorne models: a warlock and something to spend your Requistion Points on. And almost always a unit of Beast Handlers to turn their beasts into brick-shatterers. (Note that this doesn't mean that beast bricks here are automatically better than in Will Work for Food; free Overtake in that theme is excellent at turning hard hitting beasts into infantry-mulchers. )

Compulsory Skorne models

These options are effectively compulsory for Minion players that want to try this theme. Beast Handlers is the unit that makes Skorne play like Skorne, and the rest are all requisition options.

  • Paingiver Beast Handlers (non-requisition unit) - these rather than the actual stats on Skorne heavies is what makes them so feared. Free charges and a choice of +2 STR, fury management, and healing turns shooters fury efficient, Road Hogs and Swamp Horrors into solid hitters, and Warhogs and Blackhide Wrastlers into wreckers.
  • Two Paingiver Task Masters - two of them are a requisition option and turn any minion infantry up to 11. With a 7" no-knockdown aura for minions, and the ability to hand minion units either a STR buff, tough, or Reposition, a couple of these guys make up for the lack of minions being friendly faction for Skorne warcasters.
  • Agonizer - a lesser warbeast and requisition option, the Agonizer produces an excellent STR debuff, making all your heavies that much tougher.
  • Aptimus Marketh is the Skorne version of the Gatorman Soul Slave and as such only works with some casters. With the right caster boostable Soul Slaves and free upkeeps are amazing.
  • Paingiver Bloodrunner Master Tormentor Your fourth choice requisition option for if you are playing pure beast (so no Task Master) or your caster is one of the few not to want Marketh. Also a veteran leader for Morghoul or Xekaar. (For other pure beast lists you might might take Makeda0 instead). This is lower priority than the other three suggestions.

Skorne beasts / battle engines

These options are not a "should get" but more of a "should consider getting".

Skorne don't generally have the best collection of heavy warbeasts as they are pretty reliant on Rush and Paingiver Beast Handlers.

  • Siege Animantarax - this is essentially an amazing heavy warbeast masquerading as a battle engine. SPD 8, four P+S 18 attacks with knockdown plus an artillery piece on its back. Oh, and impact attacks and ARM 20. It's a scary heavy even when not paired with an excellent debuff warlock.
  • Titan Gladiator - 13 points for the Rush Animus giving 2" extra movement and Pathfinder and all the hitting power you'd expect from a melee heavy. Its downsides are of course that (like all Titans) it's SPD 4 and DEF 10 so not as tough as it looks. Its opposite number is the Blackhide Wrastler with its hitting power of a heavy and the Rage animus
  • Aradus Soldier - slowest warbeast of the game, but advance deployement and Carapace. Hit like a truck. Specialized beast, generally speaking best for casters who can help its slow speed.
  • Aradus Sentinel for when the Ironback Spitter is too fast. SPD 3, Spray 10 - but with a POW 14 Poison spray it can do a significant amount of work (even if its threat range is 3" less than the Spitter. And like the spitter it's very pillow fisted in melee.
  • Bronzeback Titan - Hit like a truck, and a serious contender to hardest hitting warbeast of the game - but the War Hog is another contender while being 1" faster and two points cheaper. Unyielding's good and it can run a titan Herd well. But really with Paingiver Beast Handlers you probably don't need either.
  • Archidon - it may hit like a light on steroids, but at 10 points it costs like one. SPD 7, P+S 15 (before Paingiver Beast Handlers), long leash, and sprint make for an extremely good value beast if you can buff it. And with both Paingiver Beast Handlers and the Battle Boar in the theme you absolutely can.
  • Titan Sentry - the Sentry is a titan with a reach weapon, a shield, and Fury 4. A little expensive at 15 points, but can take hits in ways no minion beast can
  • Titan Cannoneer the rival to the Ironback Spitter is a couple of points more expensive. But the Far Strike animus gives it an extra turn of shooting, and in melee it's got a P+S 16 weapon and four fury. In practice with the help of the ubiquitous Paingiver Beast Handlersit has about the melee stopping power of an unbuffed Blackhide Wrastler and that after it's pounded the enemy for a few turns with the cannon.
  • Rhinodon - 11 points for a SPD 5 Thresher that can be ARM 20 with its animus. It's not as good at the infantry eating stunts as the Swamp Horror, but it's not that far off and is four points cheaper.
  • Chiron - an expensive, squishy for its price unique drake - or essentially an oversized Road Hog. Its spray is a big selling point, being an accurate, high POW spray 10 he can do during your opponent turn. Fury management for basilisks doesn't hurt.

Light warbeasts from Skorne on the other hand are frequently excellent and if going more deeply into Skorne it's worth considering doubling up on Agonizers or Basilisk Kreas.

  • Basilisk Drake - a light with a gun stolen from a heavy, the Drake as an 8" range (boostable) POW 14 spray on an 8 point beast, good for burning down both heavies and infantry. It also works well with other basilisks, letting the Krea chew through armour via flanking - and turning Chiron into effective fury management. Unfortunately ARM 14 means it goes down easily.
  • Cyclops Brute - DEF 13, ARM 18 light with set defense and reach that doesn't need corpses to get it there, the Brute is an excellent combat light.
  • Cyclops Shaman with a solo-sniping gun that ignores line of sight, anti-upkeep tech, and the ability to borrow the animus of other warbeasts (mostly Rush from the Gladiator, Rage from the Wrastler, and Force Aura from the Krea) the Shaman is an amazing bag of tricks. They can be kicked into overdrive with the Snipe animus from the Cyclops Raider or Titan Cannoneer.
  • Cyclops Raider Generally best as a way to give Snipe to shaman, but he can ignore stealth, have a great range, and his gun hit pretty hard. Unless you want to go deep into Skorne it doesn't do that much that a Spatter Boar won't.
  • Basilisk Krea - a light warbeast that produces a 3" bubble for +2 DEF and +2 ARM vs shooting means incoming fire doesn't have right of way. Don't forget the paralytic gaze. And don't forget it's friendly faction, meaning Skorne and your battle group but not your units. One of the best support models around
  • The Terrorizer is the new kid on the block - a character Agonizer who isn't pathetic (and doesn't debuff STR) but carries the Rush animus for +2" of speed, and it has a surprising punch if the enemy leaves it alive until the end game. It is, however, extremely squishy. The other model carrying Rush is of course the Titan Gladiator - a 13 point otherwise no frills heavy brawler.

Skorne units/solos

Units/solos have been combined under one heading because there aren't that many Skorne options available in this theme.

  • Paingiver Bloodrunner Master Tormentor - a ball of infantry death, advance deployment, apparition, Pathfinder, and Reach get you there - and Anatomical Precision deals with tough and armour, while Weapon Master helps - and Thresher clears their environment. And Stealth and Sprint for safety. Oh, and they can be used to beat up your Animantarax and give it rage tokens so you can run a beast light list without handler support.
  • Paingiver Bloodrunners are some of the best advance deploying melee skirmishers in the business. Pathfinder, Apparition, Advance Deployment to get there, Stealth and Reposition to stay alive, and MAT 7, Gang, and Anatomical Precision to kill things. Just remember they can't Apparition the turn they ambush giving them a lower threat range that turn than Farrow Commandos. And only one point per model makes them truly ridiculous.
  • Tyrant Zaadesh - Skorne's Lesser Warlock can only have actual Skorne warbeasts in his battle group. Zaadesh is a pretty basic lesser whose tag team needs one model in the battlegroup going in without it.
  • Makeda of House Balaash is a more complex caster who, oddly enough, supports all infantry including minions as well as running a battle group (although her upkeep is Skorne only).
  • Nihilators are an option in this theme, but are only really useful if facing a very specific metagame or if you're abandoning Minions entire and going all-in on Skorne. In general Bloodrunners are just a whole lot cheaper, a whole lot more survivable, and shank infantry ridiculously well while advance deploying and skirmishing.



  • Released with the Themeopocalypse (2017.09)
  • Merged with the "pure warbeast" theme, Imperial Warhost, in the Theme Remix (2019.08)

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

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Rules Clarification:  : Sacrificial Pawn and/or Sucker! and/or Grim Salvation     (Edit)
(Click Expand to read)

  • Sacrificial Pawn is optional.
    Grim Salvation and Sucker are not optional.
  • Grim Salvation only works vs basic attacks, not special attacks, power attacks, chain attacks.
    • Spells are not basic attacks, because they are not "made with a weapon". (Infernal Ruling)
    • CRA and CMA are basic attacks. (Infernal Ruling)
    • If a Special Attack generates an additional attack (such as Multi-Fire), the second attack will be basic and as such can have Grim Salvation used vs it. (Infernal Ruling)
  • Sacrificial Pawn & Sucker! don't work against melee attacks.
  • None of them work vs magic attacks (spells).
    All of them work against Magical Ranged attacks, though.
  • The model the attack is transferred to is always hit, even if they have an ability that makes them automatically get missed (such as Stealth).
    Automatically missing is determined earlier in the timing sequence than when the attack is moved. (Infernal Ruling)

From here down, the terms Sacrificial Pawn, Grim Salvation, and Sucker! are interchangeable

  • Using Sac Pawn moves all damage and effects onto the other model.
  • The new model hit may use any abilities that trigger on being hit/damaged by an enemy attack (such as Vengeance and Shock Field).
  • Sprays and AOEs
    • With reference to the timing chart in Appendix A: placing a spray template down occurs at Step 3. Using Sacrificial Pawn occurs at step 6. Placing an AOE template down occurs at step 7.
      Therefore if you use Sac Pawn vs a spray, the placement of the spray template does not change. If you use Sac Pawn vs an AOE, the placement of the AOE template does change.
    • A model indirectly hit by an AOE attack cannot use Sac Pawn vs it.
    • Since a spray template doesn't move, it may cause the Pawn to be hit twice by the same spray. So you then resolve two damage rolls against it.
    • When/if you shift an AOE template, the original target may be clipped by the edge of the AOE anyway (depending on how far apart the original target and Pawn are).
  • Quick Draw vs Sacrificial Pawn (Edit)
    • If enemy "Model A" shoots you, and then you use Quick Draw against "Model A", but they use Sac Pawn to move your Quick Draw attack to "Model B" then ... Quick Draw has no effect (or rather, it affects "Model B" who isn't currently shooting you so is irrelevant). Point is, "Model A" can continue shooting you.
    • This won't happen with Shield Guard though (outside of a very low-probability scenario) because Shield Guard can only be triggered during an enemy turn.
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Rules Clarification: Theme Forces     (Edit)

Themes that change a model's Faction   [Show/Hide]
  • Many themes swap which Faction a model counts as. They're slightly inconsistent with how exactly this is worded. Despite this inconsistency - whenever a model is considered a different faction to normal, it will not be its original faction. (Infernal Ruling)
For instance Lukas stops being a Crucible Guard model when taken in an Infernal army, and as a consequence he cannot take Toros or Vanguards in Infernals. (Infernal Ruling)
Rerolling the starting roll   [Show/Hide]
  • You cannot use the theme benefit to reroll if it is a draw. Instead both players reroll until there is a loser, and then the loser can use their reroll benefit (if they have it). (Infernal Ruling)
  • If both players have a reroll, first the original loser uses their reroll.
    • If the original loser still loses, fine.
    • If the original loser now wins, the other player can use their reroll.
    • If it is now a draw, both players reroll until there is a loser. Then the player that hasn't used their theme benefit reroll can still use it, if they want.
Warjacks/Warbeasts with bonds   [Show/Hide]
  • A warjack/warbeast with a bond can always be included in a theme force, whether or not they're in the list of allowed models, but only if they're controlled by that bonded model.
  • This applies even if that bonded model isn't a full warcaster/warlock (changed as of 2018.06).
Including Mercenaries   [Show/Hide]

Number of Mercenaries

  • If your "up to one Merc" ...
    • ... can take warbeasts/warjacks, then you can add warbeast(s)/warjack(s) (without exceeding your "up to one" allowance)
    • ... comes with a Companion model, then you'll get that Companion (without exceeding your "up to one" allowance)
  • There is a bug in Warroom that allows you to not only take one Merc solo/unit, but the entire FA of that Merc solo/unit. It's a bug.

Mercenaries and Ranking Officers

  • Adding a Ranking Officer to a Merc unit doesn't increase the number of Merc units you can take.


  • See also the section on Partisans
Including Partisan Mercenaries   [Show/Hide]

Partisans & Theme Forces (Edit)

  • Partisans are Mercenary/Minion models, so there are two ways you can add them to a theme force:
    1. Freely: If the Partisan is on the list of allowed models, then you can take as many as you want plus another Mercenary unit/solo. (Infernal Ruling)
      They can be explicitly allowed (for example Jaws of the Wolf allows "Kayazy models/units" so Partisan Kayayz can be used freely).
      They can be implicitly allowed (for example Scourge of the Broken Coast allows "living Cryx models/units" and Partisan Cephalyx fit that criteria, so they can be used freely). (Infernal Ruling)
    2. Limited: If the Partisan isn't on the list of allowed models, it does use up your "Up to one Mercenary/Minion" slot, so you can only have the one.
  • Whether you used option 1 or 2 above, once they're in your theme force they count as a Faction model and so:
    • They can be taken as a Requistion Option (if they fit the Requistion description).
    For example Lanyssa can be taken as a free solo in the Legion of Dawn theme. (Infernal Ruling)
    • They will get any theme benefit that they fit the description for.
    For example Storm Division gives all Cygnar models Immunity Electricity, so Partisan Mercs in that theme get immunity too.
    For example Nemo4's Mechaniks get Reposition [3] in Heavy Metal. (Infernal Ruling)
Requisition Points   [Show/Hide]
  • You can choose the same Requisition option as many times as you like, as long as it doesn't put you over a FA limit.
  • You can't mix and match models from different options. Say one option allows 3 Machine Wraiths and another allows 3 Necrotechs. You can't use your Requisition Point to get 2 Wraiths and 1 Necrotech.
  • If you have an option that allows one other solo, you can't use it to get something already on the list. For instance, Ghost Fleet allows 3 Misery Cages (which are FA 4) for one Requistion Point, and it allows 1 other solo. That "other solo" can't be a 4th Cage.
  • If your theme allows "3 weapon attachments" as a Requistion Option, you can spread them into different units. (Locked Thread)
  • Models with the Man-Sized rule count as small-based models for the purposes of being a Requistion Option. (Locked Thread)
Free models and Specialists (ADR)    [Show/Hide]
  • If your theme only allows one merc solo, you can't have one in your main list and a different one in your specialists.
Unit Attachments   [Show/Hide]
  • If a unit is allowed in a theme, any-and-all of its attachments are allowed too. Exception: Ranking Officers are not allowed unless explicitily mentioned.
  • If the theme force gives a benefit to a specific unit, any-and-all attachments to that unit will benefit too. Even if it is a "generic" attachment like the Void Leech. (Infernal Ruling)
    For example, a Trollkin Sorcerer will gain Serenity if its attached to a Dhunian Knot unit in a Power of Dhunia theme force.
  • If your theme allows "3 weapon attachments" as a Requistion Option, you can spread them into different units. (Locked Thread)
  • A non-character unit with a character attachment (i.e. Captain Karli) still counts as a non-character unit. (Infernal Ruling)
When to apply theme benefits   [Show/Hide]
  • With reference to special abilities that themes give to models, Ranking Officers, adding new models, and/or taking control of models:
    1. Theme force benefits are applied when you construct your list or put a new model into play. A model already in play will not lose or gain any theme benefits mid-game based on any changes of faction status or otherwise. (Infernal Ruling)
    2. However, if the theme gives a benefit to models "at the beginning of the game" (such as Devourer's Host letting models begin the game with 1 corpse token) then this benefit does not apply to new models that are put into play mid-game. (Locked Thread)
    • Example 1: Sons of the Tempest says "ATGM units in this army gain Pistoleer". If your opponent takes control of one of them, it keeps Pistoleer while under their control even though it's currently not "in the army".
    • Example 2: Storm Division gives Immunity:Electricity to "Cygnar models in the army." If you include a Mercenary unit with a Ranking Officer, they will get the theme benefit and also keep it even after the Ranking Officer dies.
    • Example 3: Stange Bedfellows gives solos Swift Vengeance. If Nemo4 creates a new solo mid-game, that solo will have Swift Vengeance.

See also these Theme-Specific Rulings   [Show/Hide]
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Rules Clarification : Black Industries      (Edit)

  • The entry which allows "Cephalyx models/units" only applies to Partisan Cephalyx. That's because the theme's rules start off with "this army can only include the following Cryx models"​. Partisan Cephalyx are the only ones that fill that condition.
  • The Cephalyx Agitator also works for Cryx and can go in Black Industries but, because it is not a Partisan, it will use up your Mercenary solo slot.
  • (Infernal Ruling)
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Rules Clarification : The Creator's Might      (Edit)

  • ​Elias Gade is allowed in Creator's Might. (Infernal Ruling)
  • You can spend the "Two Vassal solos" requistion option on one Vassal Mechanik and one Vassal of Menoth. Warroom has a bug and tells you that you can't. (Infernal Ruling)
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Rules Clarification : Flame in the Darkness      (Edit)

  • You can take any number of Mercenary jacks. You can also select two additional jacks from Khador and Cygnar in any combination you like. Character warjacks with a bond don't count against this limit of 2. (Infernal Ruling)
  • There is a bug in Warroom that allows you to take two Cygnar and two Khador jacks.
  • Morrowan Battle Priest:
    • If your warcaster is a Cygnar model that makes every unit you take a Cygnar unit, and Battle Priests can be attached to any unit.
      Warroom has a known bug where it doesn't allow this interaction.
    • If your warcaster is a Mercenary or Khador model, though, the only units the Battle Priest can attach to are the Morrow ones.
    • If you attach the Battle Priest to The Devil's Shadows Mutineers then it can be returned via Blood Bound. (Infernal Ruling)
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Rules Clarification : Llaelese Resistance      (Edit)

  • It is 2 Cruicible or 2 Cygnar or 2 Menoth.
    You can't take more than 2, and you can't mix and match from multiple Factions. (Infernal Ruling)
  • You can have a non-character unit with a character attachment (i.e. Captain Karli). (Infernal Ruling)
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Rules Clarification : The Talion Charter      (Edit)

  • The 3rd benefit is "Sac Pawn [Sea Dog trooper]", not just any Sea Dog. (Infernal ruling)
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Rules Clarification : The Bones of Orboros      (Edit)

  • Una1 cannot be taken in this theme (yet) due to the conflict between the theme's "Only Construct warbeasts allowed" and Una1's "Must take warbeasts with flight". There are no construct warbeasts with flight (yet). But if/when there is, then Una1 can be taken in this theme. (Infernal Ruling)
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Rules Clarification : The Devourer's Host      (Edit)

  • Bradigus1 is not legal in this theme. The theme only allows living warbeasts, his rules only allow construct warbeasts, and you can't just 'skip' his battlegroup - you have to spend your warbeast points.
  • If you create a new model mid-game (ie with the Well of Orboros and that model can have corpse tokens, that model does not enter play with a corpse. Because it's not the beginning of the game. (Locked thread)
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Rules Clarification : The Wild Hunt      (Edit)

  • The animus benefit doesn't apply to enemy warbeasts. (Infernal Ruling)
  • The animus benefit doesn't stack with the Druid Wilder's Herding ability. (Infernal Ruling)
  • When it comes to other things that alter COST (such as Lamentation), follow basic maths: Double/halve first, then add/subtract.
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Rules Clarification : Oracles of Annihilation      (Edit)

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Rules Clarification : The Exalted      (Edit)

  • If a Construct model loses the Construct advantage mid-game, it keeps the theme benefit anyway. (Infernal Ruling)
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Rules Clarification : Band of Heroes      (Edit)

  • Boomhowler2 uses up your Minion slot. His Fell Calls ability is not enough to make him a "Fell Caller model/unit". (Infernal Ruling)
  • Boomhowler3 does not use up your minion slot on account of having the Champion keyword.
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Rules Clarification : The Blindwater Congregation      (Edit)

  • Void Leeches attached to a Gatorman Posse will gain Snacking, but they won't gain extra hitpoints. (Infernal Ruling)
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Rules Clarification : Magnum Opus      (Edit)

  • If Mosby is attached to a Mercenary weapon crew unit, they would gain 3" reposition and would not lose it if Mosby is no longer in the unit. (Infernal Ruling)
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Rules Clarification : Hearts of Darkness      (Edit)