Supreme Aptimus Zaal & Kovaas

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Supreme Aptimus Zaal & Kovaas[edit]

Skorne Extoller Warlock

Zaal 1
Supreme Aptimus Zaal & Kovaas.png
Type Warlock
Base Size Small
Warbeast Points 26
DEF 15
ARM 14
HP 15
Fury 7

Weapons and Attacks[edit]

Spirit Eye - RNG 8, ROF 1, POW 6- Short range, low POW- but wait for it

Staff of Aarakis - RNG 2 P+S 9 - A pokey stick. If Zaal is using this something has gone badly wrong

Special Abilities[edit]

  • Warlock - All warlocks come with a stack of standard special rules - most notably being awesome.
  • Gunfighter - This model can use its ranged weapons even while in melee, but when it does so it can only target models it's in melee with. It can even make ranged attacks after charging.
  • Direct Spirits - When a friendly faction warrior model dies in this model's control area the soul may be given to any friendly faction soul taker in the control area. Also, enemies never gain soul tokens for things destroyed in this model's control area.
  • Ghost Sight - Zaal ignores LOS when casting spells on friends. Zaal ignores LOS when making ranged or magic attacks. Zaal ignores concealment and cover when making ranged attacks.
  • Soul Converter - Once per turn spend 1 fury to add 1 soul to each Exalted (Ancestral Guardians, Hakaar) in CMD

Feat: Rage of Ancients[edit]

Zaal gains as many rage tokens as Skorne warrior models have been destroyed (and stayed destroyed). Any Skorne model can boost attack or damage by spending a rage token. Remove the unspent ones at end of turn.


  • Awakened Spirit COST 2 RNG 6 Upkeep spell. Warbeast may cast is animus 1/turn for free. It can still only cast it once per turn.
  • Inviolable Resolve - Cost 2, 6" range, Upkeep
Friendly Faction model/unit gains +2 ARM and they cannot be moved by a push or slam. Doesn't work while out of formation.
  • Hex Blast - Cost 3, 10" range, 3" AOE, POW 13
On a direct hit, enemy upkeeps and animi on the target expire.
Friendly Faction model/unit gains an additional die on its melee attack and damage rolls. But a model that makes a melee attack is destroyed at the end of the turn.
  • Sunder Spirit - POW 12 COST 2 RNG 10 attack that removes a warbeast's animus on damage.


A Kovaas is created when an Ancestral Guardian is destroyed. Up to one Kovaas at a time.

Type Solo
Base Size Small
DEF 13
ARM 14
HP 5


Wasting Touch RNG 2, P+S 14

  • Damage Type: Magical - This weapon can damage incorporeal models.
  • Thresher (★ Attack) - Make a simultaneous melee attack against each model within its LOS and within melee range of this weapon.

Special abilities[edit]

  • Undead - This model is an undead model and not a living model.
  • Incorporeal - This model can walk through walls, terrain, models, and just about anything else. It can't be damaged except by magical effects. When it makes a melee or ranged attack it loses Incorporeal until its next maintainance phase.
  • Destruction Spawned - The Kovaas doesn't start in play - instead it appears when an Ancestral Guardian is destroyed. One in play at once. It keeps the Ancestral Guardian's souls and doesn't activate the turn it came into play.
  • Dessicator - Star action that places a medium sized cloud on the model. Other models that go into the cloud take a point of magical damage.
  • Soul Taker: Soul Cage - This model collects souls from living enemies who die near it. This model can store up to three souls and spend them for the following:
    • Soul-Powered - This model can spend souls to gain melee attacks during its activation.
    • Strength of Death - This model may spend soul tokens to boost attack or damage rolls.

Analysis of Supreme Aptimus Zaal & Kovaas[edit]

Supreme Aptimus Zaal & Kovaas in a nutshell[edit]

Zaal1 is an infantry and ancestral guardian warlock whose main big trick is Last Stand, and whose secondary big trick is getting excellent use out of ancestral guardians. He also has a few tricks beyond that.

Common army selection[edit]

Zaal is an infantry warlock - but has enough warbeast points for a few warbeasts. The following are the most common:

  • Basilisk Krea - to spread its aura to protect your infantry from incoming fire
  • Basilisk Drake - an all round good warbeast that flanks with the Krea
  • Cyclops Raider - Zaal occasionally likes to blast things with his Spirit Eye.
  • Titan Cannoneer - see Cyclops Raider. It also can help to have a heavy.
  • Cyclops Shaman Effectively a second Krea bubble while having a bag of tricks of its own.
  • Cyclops Brute - Shield Guard
  • Scarab Pack - well done. You managed to buy infantry in your warbeast points(!) These critters synergize excellently with Last Stand. Move up all the critters to designated target. All of them have Last Stand; but you forfeit 3 out of 4 initial attacks. The last critter attacks. It attacks at 3d6 and damages at 3d6+11. It can buy all the additional attacks with fury, so you only lose a single critter to last stand. The rest are still there for future use, and you still produced 5 attacks averaging 21.5 damage pr. hit, without even considering boosts from the feat. And you can massively increase chance of paralysis by boosting some of the attacks.

His infantry is a much greater proportion of his force, and what he really likes is infantry that can get multiple attacks .

  • Ancestral Guardian - between Soul Converter and the Kovaas there's no reason to not bring as many as you own
  • Praetorian Ferox One of his two choices for assassins, Praetorian Ferox with Last Stand can frequently make short work of casters and have an excellent threat range.
  • Immortals With the Extoller Advocate, they can turn incorporeal, and then get a non-linear charge off with a total threat range of 14". Vengeance also lets them use two attacks in a turn for Last Stand.
  • Nihilators Last Stand + Berserk? Terrifying.
  • Praetorian Swordsmen Two attacks for a low cost/ and with the attachment, they get the opportunity to reposition and strike again - and to make one attack at 5d6 damage and the other at 4d6.
  • Praetorian Karax Very cheap bodies
  • Venator Reivers/Venator Slingers - you get the work out of them from shooting and then throw them in under Last Stand.
  • Extoller Soulward Direct Spirits makes sure they have the perfect number of souls for blowing things up (two)
  • Gatorman Bokor & Bog Trog Swamp Shamblers With that many bodies, why not? Zaal can't use Faction spells on minions, but its an excellent infantry recycling machine for a warlock that likes to off his own guys. After you "Last Standed" your own unit into destruction, your Bokor picks up the bodies and reuses them the next turn. It can help Zaal apply pressure on the turns after the feat, if such a thing happens. It does not always work because opponents tend to have plans too, but its good fun. Apply Tough from a Paingiver Task Master, and get in the way of things like the best of them.

Supreme Aptimus Zaal & Kovaas and Theme Forces[edit]

Without ancestral guardians Zaal loses access to his Kovaas. This means that literally the only theme force to suit him is The Exalted. He'd almost certainly love Masters of War if only he could take a couple of Ancestral Guardians and Hakaar in it but as he can't it's The Exalted or nothing.

Drawbacks and Downsides[edit]

  • He's squishy
  • You absolutely must use Last Stand to trade up. It kills your troops so your opponent doesn't have to. If what you are attacking isn't more valuable than your models, you lose on the trades.
  • Zaal's big thing is using Last Stand to kill things they normally couldn't. If you can beat the skews without Last Stand, it's better, because you don't destroy your own models.
  • It almost never happens but Soul Converter doesn't say it only applies to friendly Ancestral Guardians. So you can end up fueling your opponent's AGs in a Skorne-on-Skorne mirror match. (Normally a Zaal-on-Zaal one because Zaal 1 and Zaal 2 are the only casters who really like AGs).
  • His only theme force is The Exalted and the consensus is that Zaal the Ancestral Advocate runs it better.

Tricks and Tactics[edit]

  • The Ferox Assassination and the Immortal Assassination are both mentioned under their sections.
  • The Kovaas assassination involves leaving an Ancestral Guardian with Last Stand up. If it gets to Retaliatory Strike then the Kovaas pops out at the end of the turn. An incorporeal model fully loaded on souls that you can last stand and is right in the heart of the enemy army? Throw last stand on that and it tends to demolish casters.
  • Models with Combined Melee attack love Last Stand. Only the model that initiates the attack gets destroyed!
  • Remember, if the enemy caster gets too close you can Last Stand Zaal himself and beat the enemy to death. If the enemy caster dies first, Zaal wins!
  • Did we mention how awesome Last Stand is?
  • His gun is really good against gargantuans, being +1 or +2 against most. Whether you want to be that close to one is up to you...


Changes from Mk2[edit]

He lost the ability to transfer damage to Ancestral Guardians and Inviolable Resolve was changed to Death Pact - this last change was reverted in the Great Skorne Errata.


Zaal might be named after the Persian medieval hero Zaal (or, Zāl), who according to myth was a great warrior king, raised by a mythical bird. He ended up really, really old. Quite like Skorne's Zaal.

Theme Forces this is a member of[edit]

Themes for any-and-all Skorne warlocks (& bonded beasts) (Edit)

Skorne Logo.jpg


Warlocks Hexeris1 - Hexeris2 - Jalaam1 - Rasheth1 - Makeda1 - Makeda2 - Makeda3 - Mordikaar1 - Morghoul1 - Morghoul2 - Morghoul3 - Naaresh1 - Xekaar1 - Xerxis1 - Xerxis2 - Zaal1 - Zaal2 - Zaadesh2
Lessers & Attachments Aptimus Marketh (Warlock attachment) - Zaadesh1 (Lesser Warlock)
Warbeasts Packs & Lesser Light Heavy Character Gargantuan
Scarab Pack - Agonizer - Reptile Hounds Basilisk Drake - Basilisk Krea - Cyclops Brute - Cyclops Raider - Cyclops Savage - Cyclops Shaman - Razor Worm Aradus Sentinel - Aradus Soldier - Archidon - Bronzeback Titan - Rhinodon - Titan Cannoneer - Titan Gladiator - Titan Sentry Chiron - Despoiler - Molik Karn - Tiberion Desert Hydra - Mammoth
Units, Solos, & Battle Engines
Units Cataphract Arcuarii - Cataphract Cetrati - Cataphract Incindiarii - Immortals - Nihilators - Paingiver Beast Handlers - Paingiver Bloodrunners - Praetorian Ferox - Praetorian Karax - Praetorian Keltarii - Praetorian Swordsmen - Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer - Venator Catapult Crew - Venator Flayer Cannon Crew - Venator Reivers - Venator Slingers
Legends of Halaak
Solos Ancestral Guardian - Paingiver Bloodrunner Master Tormentor - Extoller Soulward - Mortitheurge Willbreaker - Paingiver Task Master - Venator Dakar - Void Spirit
Aptimus Marketh - Hakaar the Destroyer - Tyrant Rhadeim - Tyrant Zaadesh
Battle Engines Siege Animantarax
Theme Forces
Winds of Death - Disciples of Agony - Imperial Warhost - Masters of War - The Exalted
Minion Skorne.jpg


Minion Battlegroups
Warlocks Arkadius1 - Barnabas1 - Calaban1 - Carver1 - Helga1 - Jaga-Jaga1 - Maelok1 - Midas1 - Rask1 - Sturm & Drang1
Requires a 2+ warlock game
Lesser Warlocks Rorsh & Brine - Wrong Eye & Snapjaw
Warbeasts The minion warbeasts you can include in a Skorne army depends entirely on what type of model is commanding them. There are too many permutations to list here, please refer to one of the model entries above for full details of what it can take.
Units, Solos, & Battle Engines
Units Bog Trog Ambushers - Croak Raiders - Farrow Bone Grinders - Farrow Brigands - Farrow Commandos - Farrow Razorback Crew - Farrow Slaughterhousers - Gatorman Bokor & Bog Trog Swamp Shamblers - Gatorman Posse - Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew
Solos Bog Trog Mist Speaker - Bog Trog Trawler - Croak Hunter - Efaarit Scout - Feralgeist - Gatorman Witch Doctor - Gobber Tinker - Gremlin Swarm - Ogrun Bokur - Swamp Gobber Chef - Swamp Gobber River Raiders - Thrullg - Totem Hunter Character Solos
Agata, Queen of Carnage - Eilish Garrity - Gudrun the Wanderer - Hutchuck, Ogrun Bounty Hunter - Maximus - Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor - Rorsh & Brine - Saxon Orrik - Targ - Wrong Eye & Snapjaw
Battle Engines Meat Thresher