The Skorne are a dark empire from the far side of the Abyss who have seen what lies beyond the grave and want no part of it. The way to escape is through Exaltation and having their soul stored in a stone, with the Extollers only choosing the bravest and most honourable warriors. Katanas, halberds, daggers, claws, these people devote their lives to enduring suffering and inflicting it upon others, in part in an attempt to escape what lies beyond the grave. They usually have armor values above other factions from Hordes and lagging only slightly behind Khador of Warmachine. What makes them a powerful force is that once they engage in melee, their foes usually crumple around their agony-inducing instruments of torture, and their armor is able to withstand the desperate counter-attacks of their opponents. Lastly, the Skorne have learned another way to immortality besides Cryx. Even when one of their number does fall, their soul may be offered up to their ancestors, who will fight with renewed vigor and power, turning losses into potential gains.

If you like the idea of Greco-Roman style phalanx combat, and if you like it when one of your number dying makes a unit at the back of the formation leap into action and tear your foes apart, then the Skorne are a solid fighting force that you can enjoy. For the slow, frighteningly durable, and murderous Skorne army, favor Tyrant Xerxis and Lord Tyrant Hexeris.

Skorne 101

The Skorne are a combined arms faction, infantry (most notably Nihilators and Cataphract Incindiarii) that specialise in destroying opposing infantry, and renowned warbeasts that specialise in destroying enemy warbeasts (the Bronzeback Titan being powerful enough to one-round a Colossal). And they are in particular known for their support, especially the awesome and ubiquitous Paingiver Beast Handlers turning melee warbeasts into wrecking machines and providing fury management. Other notable support models include the Tyrant Commander and Rush animus from the Titan Gladiator solving the Skorne speed and Pathfinder problem and the Basilisk Krea protecting from incoming fire. (The Titan Gladiator is a strong and cheap beatstick in its own right, and the Krea is very versatile).

The Skorne have probably the best balanced set of warlocks in Hordes (and better balanced than any in Warmachine); of 13 warlocks to date, there is no consensus at all on which of the top 11 is the best and all the 11 are regular features at tournaments. If there is consensus it is that Tyrant Xerxis with his Fist of Halaak theme list is very good. That's not to say all the warlocks are remotely the same, indeed there would probably be much more consensus as to which the best Skorne warlocks are if they were more similar. To see what actually works in top level tournaments see the Skorne Tournament Analysis page.

Skorne Assassinations

Skorne, more than any other faction put assassination on the table (and normally win via attrition or assassination, seldom by scenario). Everyone's first favourite warbeast, Molik Karn, is capable of charging 9", sidestepping twice for a further 4", and then reaching out to assassinate a warcaster who started 15" away from him even if he has to walk round a corner to do it - and that before buffs are taken into account. In addition to Molik Karn, almost all the other Skorne warlocks bring an individually distinctive method of assassinating someone who thought they were safe more than a foot away and screened by troops (the exceptions being Hexeris2, Rasheth, and Xerxis1 - and only Rasheth will fail to destroy an enemy caster who gets too close).


The Skorne are also renowned for a trait that is not exclusive to them, but so agonizingly prevalent in their forces that it has been named after them. It is Skornergy. Skornergy is the opposite of synergy, it is a thing in which two good abilities or features are mutually exclusive or contradictory. Primarily focused in their Warlocks, it makes it very important to double-check any spell or ability of a new warcaster against his other spells or abilities before using them. It is, however, also seen in their very army layouts at times (Immortals want you to field Ancestral Guardians. Ancestral Guardians want you to field living models, Zaal wants all three in large numbers but needs warbeasts to fuel his Fury). Skornergy isn't insurmountable, and it can be turned against your enemy by leaving him to have to choose between two bad options, but it does demand a detailed understanding of your models and their rules interactions.

The newbie guide for starting to build a Skorne collection is All enemies Skorned


Skorne Units and Models

If you want to look at theme lists see the Skorne Theme Lists page.


Character warlock attachment:


Warbeast pack:
Lesser warbeasts:
Light warbeasts:
Heavy warbeasts:
Character heavy warbeast:
Gargantuan warbeasts:



Character Unit:


Character solos:
Lesser warlock:

Battle Engines

Skorne Minions

Skorne have a lot of in-faction spells on a number of their warlocks, but other spells are minion friendly. And the Skorne even have a model (the Paingiver Task Master) that makes the power units (the Gatorman Posse and the Farrow Slaughterhousers) as well as other minions more powerful. Before taking minion units with Skorne it's worth checking the minion-friendliness of Skorne Warlocks.

Warlocks & warcasters

In a two Warlock game, Skorne can take a minion warlock (or even Magnus the Warlord, who is a warcaster) -
Character warlock attachment:


Minion warlocks can control warbeasts. Additionally, Wrong Eye can take minion Gator warbeasts, while Rorsch can take minion Farrow warbeasts.
Lesser warbeasts:
Light warbeasts:
Heavy warbeasts:


Only Magnus the Warlord can control mercenary warjacks in a Skorne army.
Light warjacks:
Heavy warjacks:
Colossal warjacks:


Skorne armies may freely take minion units, limited only by FA restrictions.


Skorne armies may freely take minion solos, limited only by FA restrictions.
Character solos:
Lesser warlocks:

Battle Engines

Faction Tactics

Skorne Backstory

The most important thing to realize about the Skorne is this; they know exactly what awaits them after death. Ever since the legendary Voskune discovered the secrets of looking beyond death, the Skorne have known that the realm beyond contains nothing but madness and pain. Their worldview is fundamentally based on the idea that death is ultimately a form of failure. The Skorne are determined to cheat death by whatever means they can -- either metaphorically, by having their exploits enter Skorne legend, or literally, by earning the right to have their spiritual essence locked into one of the Sacral Stones in which the Skorne keep the souls of their ancestors. It has also given them a fascination with pain and anatomy, and numerous castes have arisen in Skorne society dedicated to the study of these things. From these studies arose the arts of Mortitheurgy, a necromantic form of magic which draws of the energy of the Void beyond death, and Beast Handling, the skills of breeding beasts fit for use as weapons of war.

The Skorne civilisation arose under the dominance of the empire of a race called the Lyoss. Skorne history tells us little about the Lyoss, other than the fact that they were a religious people, something the Skorne see as predicting their downfall. When a great cataclysm stretched across western Immoren, the Skorne easily outlasted the Lyoss, and changed from a nomadic lifestyle to a race with an empire of their own. The loosely-affiliated great houses of the Skorne empire happily made war amongst themselves for nearly 250 generations, until the coming of Vinter Raelthorne, the ousted King of Cygnar. Vinter was the first human the Skorne had ever seen, and he was able to slaughter his way through the Skorne ranks and establish himself as their Conqueror. Vinter was hailed as a Skorne reborn in human flesh, and told the Skorne that he would lead them back into human lands, granting them a vast new territory for their new empire.

With the aid of Saxon Orrick, the Skorne built bridges across the Abyss dividing Eastern and Western Immoren, and Vinter led an army across them. His campaign failed to return, and the Skorne elders assumed that he had died and so fell back on their old ways. However, Vinter returned once again and killed those who had usurped in his abscence. He had realised that his previous campaign was too small and ill-equipped to make a serious dent in the Iron Kingdoms, and so he supervised the militarisation of the entire Skorne nation. They built even mighter engines of war and marched across the Abyss once again, slaying their way through human and trollkin armies alike. However, it was not long after the second invasion that Vinter revealed his betrayal; he had never intended the Skorne to overtake the human lands. Rather, his consolidation of their armies was in the hope that he could retake the throne of Cygnar, and drive the Skorne out of the human nations to consolidate his rule. Fearing the power of the army he had created, Vinter ordered a futile attack on Fort Falk, which ended in a massive rout. Archdomina Makeda learned of Vinter's treachery, and took control of the army. Vinter has fled, and the Skorne are ready to subjugate all of humanity under their rule.

Curiously enough, the Skorne are the only army in Hordes who can hire a Mercenary warcaster. All of the Warmachine armies can run warbeasts thanks to the Lesser Warlocks, but Skorne are the only force capable of actually hiring a fully fledged warcaster and bringing warjacks to the table. If you're playing a two-warlock/caster game, Magnus the Warlord is willing to work for the Skorne (well, I say willing, it was more a case of Morghoul torturing him until he gave in), and he can drag some Four Star warjacks along with him. It's an army that needs careful selection, and you're likely to find more clashes than synergies; however, there are a few combinations that really allow some serious killing. Xerxis LOVES eMagnus' feat, and Molik Karn with Bullet Dodger on him is just mean.