Skarrd – The Evolution of Samaria’s Horrors

August 7, 2017 Cards  No comments

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Only a short time before Dark Age: Skarrd comes out for everyone to marvel upon, and it will probably take quite a while for you readers to find all the cool new aspects of the older units and pick out the best parts of the new ones.

In proper Dark Age fashion, we have decided to give you a little preview of just a handful of these monsters. Five previews; one from each section of the book. We are going to take a look at the new versions of four existing units – and preview the existence of one that has never before been seen!

Dark Age: Skarrd brings some awesome new tactics to the tabletop, and we cannot wait for you players to discuss and utilize these units in new and fantastic ways!

Let’s begin…

Skarrd Horde – The Drillhead

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One of the old stand-by units for both the Skarrd and Johann’s old comrades, the Followers of the Heretic (under new management as of the events in this book, by the way!), the Drillhead has been something of a staple for many forces. Reducing its cost by 10 points to follow the 25-point increment standard, the Drillhead has had quite a few adjustments to also fall in line with the current power level of the game and strategic utility of these horrid little grafted worms.

It’s Assault Group allows for the monster to reach out with its coiled body and stab at foes using RE all of the time, sending horrifying chunks of enemy flying in all directions if it gets a good stab going. Once an activation however, it can really put all of its weight behind an attack and shred even the toughest of foes.
While it lost some protection and a HP from its former profile, the new Drillhead has something that its story has supported since the very beginning – Regeneration. The zmei worms have always been noted to regrow very rapidly when cut up… and now they show that on the battlefield!

Drillheads are not quite the same asset of war they once were, but having a new role has made them no less a stalwart part of any Skarrd force.

Blood Cult – The Keepsake

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Formerly used a leader of the hideous Puppets either through Squadlink or being nearby them, the Keepsakes have become a more universal “middle management” kind of Commander. Their Commander trait and high Squadlink numerical value allows them to be able to join with packs of Buzzblades, Warblades, Blood Mistresses, and yes… even Puppets once more. Their Incite ability turns even lowly 25 point grunt Buzzblade soldiers into capable warriors, and tossing in a Blood Reign if possible can be utterly devastating!

Between the Blood Cult Psychogenics available to her as well as the addition of a second Assault Group – the Bloodcurse – the Keepsake can be tremendously useful at short ranges too. Simply adding Bleed Counters to models at range without fear of retaliation and then making the most out of Psychogenics like Blood Dominance and Sanguine Plague.

Blood Cult players are going to set aside 75 points, at least in their competitive Reinforcements, to make sure they have a Keepsake on hand when pack tactics and Bleed are going to be game winners!

Toxic Cult – Father Curwen

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The supreme leader of the Toxic Cult has become a more “hands on” kind of battlefield leader in his new form. Statistically falling in line with the new 150-point Cult Fathers (and one Mother!), Curwen is still a powerful asset on the tabletop – but former Toxic Cult players should take note and just don’t think he is the all-consuming tank that he once was. In Dark Age, after all, everything dies…

Curwen still keeps a lot of the same feel as his older version. His Injector Scythe can either sweep aside several targets – giving them all Toxic Counters to be used in a multitude of ways – or single Reach attacks can make use of existing Counters to ensure his attacks strike home. Even if he doesn’t want to directly engage, his Foul Spew is still a great way to get past tricky armor and add even more Toxic Counters to small groups of models.

While Virulent Fumes no longer inflict free hits, they help make Curwen last longer in combat and add to his role as a Commander of his troops. His Squadlink number rate of 6 allows him to take a HUGE amount of soldiers along with him when he charges into battle, and if he keeps himself near their enemies as well they can benefit from his foul odor too!

Being a Psychogenic Master, as well as his innate Toxic Cult abilities, gives Curwen a multitude of different ways to use the Toxic Counters on friends and foes alike. When planning out the uses of Curwen’s AP in his activations, players will want to take a few extra seconds to look at every option he currently has to spend, add, and spread all that Toxic around!

Cult of Metamorphosis – The Nightmare Juggernaut

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One of the iconic Cult of Metamorphosis models, the Nightmare Juggernaut has always been a ferocious force to see on the battlefield – and now it is a tactical surprise as well! From one of its first narrative appearances, the Nightmare Juggernaut was supposed to be a “tunnel up from below” type of siege monster… now it is! The addition of Ambush to this model allows it to get stuck in to the enemy right away, barring a bad Ambush scatter of course, and disrupt enemy plans by suddenly appearing where it was not expected. If the Nightmare Juggernaut appears properly and its player gets initiative, it can be devastating.

Its Assault Group is the exact same as that of the normal Drillhead (which makes sense, knowing what this creature is made up of), but uses Pack Attack to roll as many dice as it has current HP. This means that – even though it has Regeneration – once it starts getting damaged, its efficiency drops quickly.

Luckily for Cult of Metamorphosis players, the Nightmare Juggernaut is a difficult monster to kill. Although its DEF 8 makes it easy to hit again and again, its AR 20 and 4 HP (effectively 5 HP, if you count while it is Regenerating) keeps it around. Enemies might have trouble delivering that last killing blow through that hard flesh – even when it is lying there trying to heal!

Cult of Decay – The Macabres

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A brand new unit to the Skarrd, the Macabres are what happens when Buzzblades have a constant diet of highly rotten flesh. It makes them mutate bigger, tougher, meaner – and definitely crazier. Macabres run headlong into battle swinging their cleavers, hooks, blades, and chains at anything that gets too close – hoping they can make a future meal out of them!

Multiple swings per attack AP make them efficient killers at their meagre 50 point cost, but knowing that their Frenzied ability could cause them to turn all these swings at friendlies makes them somewhat dangerous to have around. Crafty players will bring a Scourge out of the Horde to hopefully keep them in line, but they will need to protect the whip-cracker – as he is nowhere near as resilient as these bulky barbarians are.

Their above-average AR of 16, Tough as Nails, and Fueled by Combat (albeit only with a PS 12) means that – against the right opponents – they can get in and stay in combat for quite a time. Their lower point cost makes them a good way to bulk up – pardon the pun – Cult of Decay forces with efficient killers.

While we would love to show you more… we still have to go and get some things prepared for GenCon… and some things aren’t even Skarrd…

LETease

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