Theme - Masters of War
| Theme - Masters of War |
Conflict is to be savored, for battle is the only true chance to prove one’s devotion to the hoksune code. Though the martial orders of Cataphracts and Praetorians disagree on which best exemplifies the martial code of the skorne, they equally embrace the opportunity to demonstrate their adherence to it. Acting on the orders of their tyrants, these disciplined warriors grab the enemy army by its throat and do not relent until the foe is vanquished or they have been claimed by the Void.
- 1 Theme Rules
- 2 Thoughts on Masters of War
- 3 Other
- For the core rules on how Theme Forces work, see this article.
An army made use the Masters of War theme force can include only the following Skorne models:
- Skorne warlocks
- Non-character warbeasts
- Molik Karn
- Cataphract models/units
- Praetorian models/units
- Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer units
- Extoller solos
- Paingiver Beast Handlers units
- Makeda of House Balaash
- Mortitheurge Willbreaker solos
- Ancestral Guardian solos
- Supreme Guardian battle engine
- This army can also include up to one Minion solo and one Minion unit that will work for Skorne.
Full Model List
This list was last updated: 2021.11 (Edit)
- All Skorne warlocks
- All non-character Skorne warbeasts,
- Molik Karn
- Other character warbeasts can be taken, but only if they're in their bonded model's battlegroup.
- Cataphract Cetrati
- Cataphract Incindiarii
- Cataphract Arcuarii
- Legends of Halaak
- Paingiver Beast Handlers
- Praetorian Ferox
- Praetorian Karax
- Praetorian Swordsmen
- Praetorian Keltarii
- Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer
- Extoller Soulward
- Aptimus Marketh
- Extoller Novititate
- Immortal Vessel
- Makeda of House Balaash
- Mortitheurge Willbreaker
- Tyrant Rhadeim
- Tyrant Zaadesh
- Ancestral Guardian
- Hakaar the Destroyer
- Up to one solo
- Up to one unit
You can spend each Requisition Point on either:
- One Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer unit
- One Skorne command attachment
- Three Extoller Novititate solos
- Two Extoller Soulward solos
- One other small or medium based Skorne solo with point cost 5 or less
- Skorne warrior models gain "optional Take Down".
2021.10 Mega Update
- The free solo has to cost 5 points or less. But just about every option you'd take in this theme has been improved.
Thoughts on Masters of War
Masters of War in a Nutshell
This is an incredibly flexible list, and can be played as anything from a cataphract-and-minion gunline to the (more common) melee infantry mob. You can even spend 32 points on Battle Engines and connect a line of Cetrati between them for a low model count brick-like army.
With all the Remove From Play effects it's an excellent counter to the notorious Cryx Ghost Fleet or various other recursion effects.
A quick note on sportsmanship. Though your warriors' attacks can RFP a model, it is not the same as having RFP on them all the time. In the spirit of fair play, always inform your opponent whether or not you'll use the RFP feature. If you miss that, they can assume that the model was destroyed and not removed from play, causing a whole lot of confusion (soul collecting, eligibility for revival, etc). You might not always want to RFP a model, since this prevents certain effects from happening. One example is creating a Void Spirit when an enemy model dies within 5" of Despoiler under Void Seer Mordikaar.
Frankly this list is spoiled for choice. It's entirely possible to go in with no single wound models other than Paingiver Beast Handlers (or on rare occasions not even then) and a wall of Cataphract Cetrati between two Supreme Guardians as your backbone - or to flood the battlefield with Praetorian Swordsmen. About the only thing it can't do is single wound shooting models, although Cataphract Arcuarii and Cataphract Incindiarii can shoot.
List Building Tips
This is far too flexible a theme force to have anything like a standard build (unlike e.g. The Exalted). Supreme Archdomina Makeda alone has effective lists ranging from two maximum units of Praetorian Ferox, Tyrant Rhadeim, a maximum unit of Cataphract Cetrati and two TyComs and Vorkesh for free to five maximum units of Praetorian Swordsmen all with Command Attachments, Vengeance, and protected by her Deflection. And the nostalgic will be bringing out the Fist of Halaak and playing Tyrant Xerxis with a huge mess of Cataphracts.
Just to put things into perspective for how absurdly flexible this theme is there are seven combat units plus two support available; each of the first three mini-factions (Convergence, Grymkin, and Crucible Guard only has eight possible units.
The basic choices of Masters of War
With seven(!) different non-support units in Masters of War, all of which look viable, it's worth running through what they all are.
- Praetorian Swordsmen - Cheap single wound infantry with no defensive tech, two Pow 9 attacks and side-step. The CA gives them relentless charge for Pathfinder and has a one-turn weapon master minifeat
- Praetorian Karax - Cheap single wound shield wall troops. The CA gives them +3 ARM for one turn.
- Praetorian Keltarii - Fast single infantry with reach weapons, Blade Shield, two attacks, Reposition, and Parry for shenanigans.
- Cataphract Arcuarii - Multi-wound weapon master infantry with ranged weapons with weapon master Drag that can affect medium bases.
- Cataphract Incindiarii - Multi-wound infantry with AoEs that automatically set fires.
- Cataphract Cetrati - Multi-wound shield wall infantry, Arm 20 in shield wall and a commander for Steady and Sacred Ward.
- Praetorian Ferox - Cavalry that are exceptional at leaping in the enemy's back line.
That's seven different units with different roles, not counting Paingiver Beast Handlers, the Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer, and the Legends of Halaak; by comparison the Convergence, Crucible Guard and Grymkin each only have eight units available. There's an obvious lack in Masters of War of any advance deploying or ambushing unit (which you might get through minions)
Other very common stuff is mostly support
- Supreme Guardian is one of the best battle engines in the game, especially if you take Novitiates with your requisition options.
- Paingiver Beast Handlers are what gives Skorne's warbeasts such a feared reputation. It might be worth taking for your battlegroup - but the Skorne beast theme is Disciples of Agony
- Mortitheurge Willbreaker is only two points to hand out Tough to an entire unit of Praetorians. Or to Puppet Strings for that critical roll.
- Immortal Vessel is there as one of the best things to channel through.
- Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer - One of the battle plans is your best source of Pathfinder and a second gives you 2" extra walk in shield wall or threat range with your ranged units. The standard bearer's only effect is to enable the TyCom to be further from the standard as long as they are within 3" of each other(!)
- Makeda of House Balaash gives another 2" extra to the infantry threat and is an effective fighter in her own right.
There aren't that many five point options but you only need three. If you're not sure you'll seldom go wrong in this theme with two Soulwards and two TyComs for 16 points.
- Two Extoller Soulwards cost six points rather than the normal five. They're also a great tech piece, handing out Eyeless Sight and magical weapons, and able to blow an entire aspect off a heavy warbeast in one shot. They'll normally not do that much but there are times when they're worth their weight in gold.
- Three Extoller Novitiates are also six points rather than five - but the only things they help are the Supreme Guardian battle engine and Ancestral Guardians; a reasonable alterative for heavy hitters that aren't warbeasts (for who you get Paingiver Beast Handlers -don't waste your points on both)
- Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer - five points so a legit requisition option and mentioned above as very common stuff.
- Tyrant Vorkesh - the five point command attachment for Cataphract Cetrati
- Ancestral Guardian - a five point melee solo that hits like a light warbeast.
- Aptimus Marketh - only four points, but a very good warlock attachment.
- Makeda of House Balaash - another four point model that's very good infantry support as well as running a battle group.
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. This has been updated for the post October 2021 points cost
- Ancestral Guardian: [Free] (5 pts)
- Praetorian Swordsmen (Max unit): [12 pts]
- Command Attachment: [3 pts]
- Legends of Halaak: [7 pts]
- Swamp Gobber Chef: [1 pt]
Total RRP: USD $185 (based on PP's online store prices 2021.05)
For more Brawlmachine list ideas, see Category: Brawl List
Almost any infantry caster loves this list (even Zaal 2 is occasionally seen here with a pair of Supreme Guardians and more souls than he'd ever get with The Exalted).
- Supreme Archdomina Makeda loves this list to pieces. There are lots of great options for her; a couple are:
- "Makeda 2 Kit-Kat"/Meowkeda (Makeda 2 with two full units of Ferox) was a very popular tournament list even before the theme. This way for each unit of Ferox you get a free TyCom
- Spamming Praetorian Swordsmen to take advantage of Vengeance then using Deflection to prevent them being shot off the board.
- Supreme Aptimus Zaal & Kovaas avoided this list until he could take Ancestral Guardians - but it gives you plenty to fuel his feat - or to sacrifice to Last Stand. And he doesn't mind getting a swarm of infantry boxed.
- Tyrant Xerxis is absolutely great with hordes of infantry, letting them move through each other and hit hard - all of which works superbly with Masters of War. The nostalgic can even put together a classic Fist of Halaak, getting free models rather than cut price Cataphracts.
- Dominar Morghoul & Escorts have been waiting for this list for a long time. It has everything he wants including Aptimus Marketh - although he probably wants Bone Grinders as his minion unit.
- Void Seer Mordikaar gets an entire mountain of souls and models to Essence Blast.
- Archdomina Makeda is a great and flexible warlock and this gives her a collection of extra boosts with things that work well with her.
- Zaal the Ancestral Advocate can play this theme but prefers The Exalted to leverage his feat. That said two Supreme Guardians at ARM 24 can be pretty effective.
Other Skorne models
Rules Clarification: Theme Forces (Edit)
Themes that change a model's Faction [Show/Hide]
Rerolling the starting roll [Show/Hide]
Warjacks/Warbeasts with bonds [Show/Hide]
Including Mercenaries [Show/Hide]
Number of Mercenaries
Mercenaries and Ranking Officers
Including Partisan Mercenaries [Show/Hide]
Partisans & Theme Forces (Edit)
Requisition Points [Show/Hide]
Free models and Specialists (ADR) [Show/Hide]
Unit Attachments [Show/Hide]
When to apply theme benefits [Show/Hide]
See also these Theme-Specific Rulings [Show/Hide]