[WM/H] List Build: Epic Skarre Shooting Spam

I took a version of this list to Fun, Quick and Dirty, where it did both rather well and rather badly in the space of one day.  A slightly refined 35 point version took the field against Dr. Shiny’s Khador types when he came up to see me a while ago, and it gave a tension-filled game with some moments of genuine excitement (although I forget who won… it was probably him, he was trying out the Old Witch and her feat basically either kills Cryx dead or stalls them out of usefulness for a turn).

Anyway, there were still some pretty nice interactions that emerged, and we got a photo of the list being set up, so I figured I’d talk through what happens in eSkarre Shooting Spam and let you, the dear reader, see what you think of it.

Army: eSkarre Solo Spam
Type: Skirmish (1 caster, 35pts)

Points: 35

Skarre, Queen of the Broken Coast (*6pts)
* Nightwretch (4pts)
* Nightwretch (4pts)
* Reaper (7pts)
* Skarlock Thrall (2pts)

Necrosurgeon & 3 Stitch Thralls (2pts)
Satyxis Raiders (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
* Satyxis Raider Sea Witch (2pts)

Bloat Thrall (2pts)
Bloat Thrall (2pts)
Pistol Wraith (3pts)
Pistol Wraith (3pts)
Satyxis Raider Captain (2pts)

The basic principle is to include lots of models that get lots of mileage out of Black Spot.  I’ve fallen down with eSkarre in the past by trying to use too many of her capabilities at once and creating an unfocused list with lots of gimmicks in it, so this one concentrates on one thing and tries to do it well.

Black Spot provides both a DEF debuff (very helpful to most Cryx models) and a safer version of Berserk that also applies to ranged attacks (when a model kills a model with Black Spot on it, that model can make another attack of the same type, which will not generate further attacks).

I love this spell.  It means the two Brute Thralls can a) actually hit things now and then, especially if they aim and b) chuck out four five inch AOEs per turn provided they kill at least one model with the first two, which is pretty likely.

It also means the two Pistol Wraiths can rip through light infantry units (two shots each, which frankly should be hitting with -2 DEF on the target and the Wraiths’ solid RAT, generating two more shots each for eight potential kills), build up a stash of soul tokens, and then be protected from most reprisals for a turn thanks to Skarre’s Fate Weaver feat (although beware of models which can cause damage rolls without making an attack or targeting a model, which rip the rug out from under this stratagem.  The Old Witch’s feat is one killer example.).

Finally, it allows the Satyxis Raiders to throw out a truly horrible number of melee attacks if they need them, although I can’t envisage a scenario where one would need all of them.

Oh, and did I mention that it’s possible to triple-dip Black Spot with a Skarlock in the army?  The first Black Spot is upkept from the previous turn on one target, the second is cast by the Skarlock on another, and the third is cast by Skarre herself on yet another target (and if that doesn’t die, it gets upkept to start the whole vile business off again in the next turn).

Let’s not think that’s the be-all and end-all, though.  Ho no.  For a start, the Raiders are quite adept at handling harder targets (charging and Combined Melee Attacks and Power Swell, if the Sea Witch isn’t dead), and also bypass Shield Wall with half their attacks, which can come in useful at handling the tougher infantry out there.  They also have access to the dreaded Backlash/Feedback double-dip, which can kill warcasters without ever having to touch them (in theory; in practice, people usually take steps to avoid that happening by butchering the Raiders).

For a second, it has the two Nightwretches and Skarlock on hand to bung Skarre’s offensive spells about the place, and quite a few decent POW guns; it also has the Pistol Wraiths’ standard ‘Death Chill the bugger’ option to keep particularly tough opponents out of the game for a bit.  Skarre herself is no slouch in melee, and she has the Necrosurgeon to staple bits of her back on when she slices them off for efficient upkeeps or Fate Weaver.

Finally, it has the Reaper, and if my last Cryx report showed us anything, it’s that the Reaper is very good at dragging things out of places they want to be in and into places where they don’t, and can seriously put the hurt on harder targets, especially if it’s able to control where its focus goes in terms of boosting and buying extra attacks.

That’s not to say it doesn’t have weaknesses; feats that reduce DEF or stall fast movement make it cry, and a clever player can stack DEF buffs to the point where Black Spot isn’t enough and the efficiency of the list drops.  The Captain is also a bit of a weak link at the moment – it’s not that she’s not good, it’s that she’s a Satyxis solo and has therefore been singled out and killed before I get the chance to see if she’s good or not.

I’d be tempted to drop her and spend the points on turning the Nightwretches into Ripjaws for more hard target handling, or maybe on a Siren, just because all my Cryx lists seem to need a Siren.  Similarly, the Necrosurgeon doesn’t always do much good; she’s useful to have for patching Skarre up on the feat turn, but the rest of the time she’s basically dead weight.

Any of these two point options could find themselves chopped or changed around, but since Cryx are spoilt for choice when it comes to cool things to spend two points on, I’m not overly concerned.  As lists go it’s not bad: not perfect, but not bad, and certainly a refreshing change of pace from my usual ‘Mechanithralls charge forward and hurt you’ approach.

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