Thursday, September 16, 2010

Archdomina Makeda: Thoughts/Tips

Makeda is the overall leader of the Skorne forces, both of the Army of the Western Reaches, as well as back in their own lands. Although this doesn't represent the 'overall ruler' incarnation of her, she's still a powerful leader with great fighting discipline.

Honestly, her stats are about as average as you can get. MAT 7 is nice, and her DEF/ARM of 15/16 is good, but not outstanding. Other than that, very average stats for a melee caster.

Two weaker attacks with the ability to Combo Strike for P+S 17. Having two melee attacks is always nice, and the flexibility of having a stronger attack really adds to the utility of the weapons. Again, it's not amazing, but it's certainly helpful.

Her feat is Walking Death, which saves all trooper models who are in her control area for one round, returning them to play at the start of her next turn if they were destroyed. These models can't move, but can certainly attack. Also, she can't save the trooper if the whole unit is destroyed.

This is a great feat... if you're running infantry, so it's not really geared for the really small games. At about 25 points, however, you should be running at least a unit, and sometimes two, so it's awesome. The feat specifically says Trooper models, which I believe means that you'll be returning just about everything that was in the unit, including all the attachments (like the officer) and even character attachments, for the one unit we currently have with one.

Also take note: it only works with living troopers, so Immortals and Hollow models (in a two warlock game) are unaffected by this (unless after dying, Hollow models are no longer considered Undead? Hmm...).

One final thing that a lot of people miss, and may actually be wrong despite my inability to find a ruling against it: the models don't have to be returned within 3" of the remaining member(s) of the unit. They just have to be placed so that when you're done, all the returned models are within 3" of a member of the unit, and in formation. This is an interesting difference- take for example, a unit of 10 Praetorian Swordsmen. If 9 of them died, I have seen a few (okay, maybe just once) people drop the 9 in a tight circle around the last guy. You can actually set them up quite spread out, so long as the conditions are met when you're done- all the models within 3" of another model in the unit, and all in formation. Pretty slick.

The feat is great, obviously, and you're going to get a lot of mileage out of it. The timing can be a bit rough, since your opponent could just ignore your troops for that round. If he does, I'm sure you'll make him pay. Also, if your feat is about to be used, try to keep in mind that you'll want to protect at least one member of each squad. Don't bunch them all up too much, which could just lead to them dying to a man.

Carnage: Friendly models targeting enemy models in her control area get a +2 on their attack rolls. This is really useful, as Skorne seem to have a lot of lower MAT models. Praetorian Swordsmen, Ferox, and Immortals all have MAT 6 (Karax are 5!), as do several of our beasts. Why not give them effectively MAT 8, which really helps their chances to hit those pesky enemies? I find this spell being cast from turn to turn, as it's so helpful for getting your close combat attacks to be effective and helps save fury on your beasts.

Defender's Ward: Great spell. Extra 2 defense and armor, and it's an upkeep spell. There are not many places this doesn't come in handy. On herself, it makes her 17/18 which is incredible. It can make beasts tougher to kill, and even your basic infantry get a huge boost from it (and obviously your elite infantry get a better boost). You should have this cast on someone first turn and upkeep it, or recast it on a new target every turn of the game.

Muzzle: A low powered offensive spell that stops a beast damaged by it from advancing towards her. Its range is 10, which is long enough to be useful, and it has a decent shot of putting a hurting on light beasts (and heavies if boosted). I rarely find a good use for this spell, however. I imagine if you find an opposing beast that really is that terrifying, however (maybe Mulg or an opposing Molik Karn or something), it will have its uses. Certainly not useless, but probably not getting used every turn.

Savagery: I believe Makeda is the only model with this spell. Great SPD increase when advancing, but can't make ranged attacks. This obviously works well with her special warbeast (which I'll mention when I cover him), but the uses of this spell are incredible. First, it makes your beasts move a lot faster, especially those heavies. Obviously, you have other means to enhance their speed, but this is still very handy. It can increase the speed of your infantry, while still giving them options afterwards. One trick, mentioned by loftybloke (check out his blog for more Skorne stuff!) was to have this upkept on a unit of Cataphract Cetrati, who could move up 9" a turn and end in Shield Wall (then using Defender's Ward once they are in combat). That's just such a cool use. You are going to find a lot of utility in this spell, so it will probably be upkept most of the battle, or recast when the need arises.

Special Rules:
Blood-Quenched: Pretty nice ability that gives her an extra point of STR and ARM for a round after she kills a living enemy model. It is cumulative as well, so if she somehow kills 3 such models, that's an extra 3 STR and ARM. It's great for keeping her alive, although it's not easy or common to be grabbing more than one or two of these bonuses. Still, one or two certainly can make a huge difference, especially if she's in the thick of the fighting.

Inspiration [Skorne models]: She is the leader of all Skorne forces, after all. They won't run if they are within her CMD range (of 9), and if they enter it, they'll automatically rally. Most Skorne units are CMD 9, so they aren't too likely to run anyway, but with her, they don't have to worry about it at all.

Side Step: After she hits with an initial or special attack, she can move 2", ignoring free strikes.

This has a few uses. First, she can use it to get out of combat. With a .5" melee range, she can get to the edge of her melee range, hit, and then get 2" away, out of my opponent's melee range. Of course, that's really helpful if she's already hurt and in a bad spot.

Another, and probably more useful use is to side step into another opponent. With two initial attack, she'll be able to side step twice (or once if she combo strikes), as mentioned ignoring free strikes. If she's going against low ARM models, this could put her into position to kill quite a few models, enhancing the rewards from Blood Quenched. Defender's Ward provides some additional protection for her as she does this, and of course the B-Q ARM bonus will just make you tougher and tougher to kill.

Certainly, it's another useful skill that just gives her more options.

Titan Gladiator: Nothing that isn't already obvious. Carnage helps save a lot of fury, bringing the Gladiator effectively to MAT 8. Defender's Ward doesn't have much use on him either. Savagery is wasted, since Rush is available, and he'll want to charge/slam if that's an option. The Gladiator is such a useful beast (because of granting Pathfinder) that it may be worth taking anyway.

Cyclops Savage: Prescience + Carnage will make your beasts incredibly likely to hit for minimal fury costs. Other than that, not much to speak of.

Titan Cannoneer: No real synergies. Diminish + Defender's Ward + Blood-Quenched all on Makeda can make Makeda very resilient against close combat death, however.

Paingiver Beast Handlers: Makeda helps out infantry, these guys make beasts better. Great for enhancing your entire army, but don't really have much interaction with one another. Makeda can help keep them alive longer, if you really have no other targets or desperately need these guys alive. Enrage + Carnage will make your beasts more reliable, obviously.

Obviously, she'll have better synergy with infantry, but I haven't covered other infantry yet... I promise it's coming!

Tier Thoughts:
Her Theme Force is called 'Army of the Western Reaches', and as you can imagine, is about infantry and combined arms. It's also very inclusive, including most of the living close combat units, every warbeast, and several solos (Praetorian and Cataphract). It also includes Saxon Orrik. It's fairly generic, and gives you a slightly increased deployment zone, as well as Advance Move on some units. More on this when I have a chance to put it into action.

She's a good warlock with a lot of tools to make her infantry better. Obviously, she's more geared towards close combat, with Carnage and her own special rules (and short range on her enhancement spells), but really any infantry you take with her will find her useful because she does offer some protection. Your ranged elements will love being brought back after death, and will love to see a warbeast get Muzzled instead of crashing into them. If you love Skorne infantry, and want to run a variety of different types, she's absolutely worth considering as your warlock.


  1. Thanks for the nod mate :)
    good write up on a good caster

  2. ooh also - Savagery plus the tyrant standard bearer guy makes Cetrati move 12" in shieldwall...

  3. That is awesome! I still don't own the Tyrant Commander model yet, although he is on the 'to buy' list once I have money again.

    And no need to thank me, if there's one thing I like, it's helping people find information to what their interested in! If someone is interested in Skorne, they should be looking into your blog as well:).

  4. :) Skorne are a great army when you get the units working together etc. Fun too, the most important part ofc!

  5. Looks like she could be a fun warlock to use... I really need to get my Skorne models assembled and painted!

  6. @loftybloke: ABSOLUTELY! They are just such a great army to play. I really feel like there's some great synergies that haven't been explored yet... I'm hoping that going choice by choice will help me find some :).

    @Papa JJ: She is a great warlock, I'd definitely give her a recommendation for any Skorne player!

    Xerxis and Hexeris finally were assembled, meaning I'm going to be getting a lot of games with them, then there will be articles on them as well.