Flesh Echoes from the Skarrd Cult of Decay may look like zombie cannon-fodder at first glance. However, despite their less-than-Saintly stats, these blighters can support a Cult of Decay army in a surprising number of ways. Here are six tricks to make these Non-Living ne’er-do-wells the bane of your opponents!




by Owen Rehrauer

1. The Gang’s All Here

The first thing you might notice about Flesh Echoes is their low point cost (25 points). Skarrd armies, particularly Cult of Decay armies, are spoiled for strong options at the 100-200 point level. However, taking lots of these beefy models can leave a Skarrd army short on total activations. Enter the Flesh Echoes: cheap, expendable models whose inclusion in a list can keep your army’s total activation count closer 10. Doing so will keep you from being forced into activating key models before it’s tactically prudent to do so. Additionally, the Flesh Echoes can provide Gang Up bonuses for high point models (or even other Flesh Echoes!) to ensure their melee attacks have an even better chance of putting an enemy down.

That said, Skarrd currently have other 25 point options. Notably, the Cult of Decay also has the option to take Buzzblades and Bolas. Why take Flesh Echoes over the Horde options? Well, funny you should mention that…

2. All’s Well that Explosive Ends Well

Flesh Echoes have two special abilities on their card: Non-Living, which can be situationally useful, and Explosive End(Rot), which can be tremendously useful. This ability allows you to place a BL(2) template when Flesh Echoes is killed and causes any model in the template to be affected by Rot. This makes attacking Flesh Echoes in melee a difficult choice for living models, especially for models with a melee range of 0. Rot, a powerful armor debuffing weapon ability, has interactions with the Cult of Decay’s Gift of Evolution (more below). An opponent’s fear of getting Rot on a tanky model can let you bleed AP off of scary, high point enemy models.

For instance, if you engage a model like Saint John with a Flesh Echo, he has the undesirable choice of killing the Echo and gaining a Rot counter (as well as potentially spreading Rot to other enemy models) or spending 2 AP to disengage the Flesh Echo. Whats’ more, Rot can only affect living models. This means you can use this tactic aggressively when Flesh Echoes are paired with modes like Dishonors or The Marius Project.

3. Hurts So Good

You might be thinking “So, Flesh Echoes cause some trouble when they die, but what if my opponent opts to never attacks them?”. Thankfully, Mother Blazon’s forces aren’t afraid to break a few Echoes to make a necropathic omelet. I’m referring to the Volatile Enhancement(x) ability found on several Skarrd models, which can give other models in that model’s squadlink a benefit during its activation at the cost of an HP after it’s activated.

If you’d like to force Rot on to an enemy model while also potentially putting a Stun counter (via Jon Woe) on a charge target or having better chance at damaging the charge target (via Grafter), Volatile Enhancement pairs fantastically with Flesh Echoes. There’s other uses for those Rot counters too, such as…

4. Gift That Keeps on Giving

The Cult of Decay’s Gift of Evolution, Feast on Death, is a special rule all models in the Cult of Decay have despite not being printed on their card. Feast on Death allows a model to use one of the following options during its activation:

1) Remove Rot counters from a model to cause that model to take an automatic PW:3 hit.

2) Heal itself 1 HP after killing an enemy model with a Rot counter on it using a melee attack.

3) Remove a Dying counter from 1 model within 6”.

While Flesh Echoes can’t use option 2, options 1 and 3 can be quite useful. Removing Rot counters to cause automatic hits, even at PW 3, is a fantastic way to Sidestep defensive abilities like Parry or Retaliation. It can be also be useful for putting damage on low DF, low AR models.

The ability to kill Dying counters without having to spend AP is situational, but powerful against forces that take a Medic like the Forsaken, Kulkulkani, or even other Skarrd forces. There’s a reason the Cult of Rot was feared by other Baniss.

5. Surgin’ Generals

The Cult of Decay psychogenic Unholy Surge can be used to give friendly Non-Living models extra movement, with the potential to perform an out-of-activation charge! The psychogenic only requires a target be within 8” and lets you place a BL(2) template over a Non-Living model (over, not completely over!). Then, each friendly Non-living model under the BL(2) template can move it’s MV stat towards (towards, not directly towards!) the nearest enemy model.

Flesh Echoes make great targets for this psychogenic, which can be used to give front line brawlers like Dishonors or a Decay Abomination an extra charge. In tandem, you can move Flesh Echoes into engagement with an enemy (to grant a Gang Up bonus) before these models charge. It can also be used to help models with ranged attacks like an Abomination or ANG-1E get the jump on models with an extra burst of threat range.

6. Objective Realty

Flesh Echoes, like many 25 point models, are great at scoring Primary or Secondary objectives that just require a model be at a certain point and spend AP (or perhaps make a Mother Blazon-assisted PS check). While Flesh Echoes can be used to help the combat effectiveness of your army, don’t forget that they can also help you score those critical victory points. Don’t forget that all the tricks mentioned above help them to this end the extra movement from Unholy Surge helps them position better, Explosive End(Rot) forces an enemy to handle using a special subset of attack vectors, etc.

So… get out there with these new fungus-filled meat sacks and make your enemies pay!