Insider 08-25-2017

When HORDES was first being previewed way back in 2005 in preparation for its 2006 release, I was simply not a fan of the Skorne look. The skorne’s weird faces and lack of helmets to hide said faces just simply weren’t my jam. I thought they were interesting, but I had no desire to put brush to miniature when it came to the models. There was really only one model that caught my eye, but it was one solo in a whole Faction. And so, I resolved that a Skorne player I would never be.

All of that changed the day I opened up HORDES: Evolution and saw the Immortals. Now, here was a unit I could get behind. Everything about it—from its look to its fiction—inspired me. For the first time, I began to contemplate a Skorne army of my own. A legion of stone warriors marching forward like an inexorable avalanche. It wasn’t until the release of Mk II and the introduction of theme forces, however, that my dream of commanding an army of soul and stone would become a reality. I had barely glanced through the playtest rules of Immortal Host before I had ordered my own Skorne army.

Of course, Immortal Host was simply my gateway drug into the wonderful world of flesh hooks and mortitheurgy. Soon, I was mixing and matching my Exalted with the living. But even as my collection grew, Immortals and their Ancestral Guardian big brothers remained the unshakable core of my Skorne armies.

All this is to illustrate that I cannot be more excited to get to talk today about the upcoming Skorne theme force, The Exalted. Not only does The Exalted provide a perfect theme for all Exalted and Extoller keyword models, this latest version of the Immortal theme force now allows Paingiver Beast Handlers and Void Spirits, because sometimes certain Supreme Aptimuses simply can’t help but meddle in forbidden arts that may or may not unleash the apocalypse. Possibly best of all, though, is that The Exalted doesn’t limit you to just the Zaals of the world. Now you can effectively run an Immortal army with any warlock your heart desires.

So, what fabulous benefits can you expect from this theme? Well the first one is that for every 20 points of Exalted models/units in the army, you score a free command attachment or solo. What this really means is that Hakaar the Destroyer now comes at the choice price of free.

In addition, all warbeasts in the army gain Death Rage, which lets a warbeast advance 3˝ and make one basic melee attack when it is disabled. Let me tell you, having your Mammoth death punch an enemy heavy from beyond the grave might just be as good as it gets.

Additionally, all models with the Soul Taker ability begin the game with 1 soul. If you’re doing the math, that means your Ancestral Guardians, Hakaar the Destroyer, Extoller Advocates, and Extoller Soulwards don’t need to wait for the casualties to start rolling in before being able to do their thing. As great as a free Hakaar is, a juiced-up Hakaar is even better.

Here's my current favorite list:

  • Zaal Ancestral Advocate - +29
    • Aradus Soldier - 16
    • Aradus Soldier – 16
    • Titan Gladiator – 15
  • Hakaar the Destroyer – Free
  • Ancestral Guardian – Free
  • Ancestral Guardian – 5
  • Immortals (10) – 15
    • Extoller Advocate – 4
  • Immortals (10) – 15
    • Extoller Advocate - 4
  • Immortals (6) – 9
  • Paingiver Beast Handlers (4) – 5

The list above is a slight tweak on a classic in my Skorne list stable from the Mk II days. Instead of Swordsmen, it swaps in more Immortals and swaps out the Aradus Sentinel for a Soldier to make maximum use of Death Rage. All in all, it’s a hard-hitting list that looks glorious on the tabletop.