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Skabscrath on Ghoul King - Worth it?

Vipoid

Necromancer
Joined
Apr 27, 2012
Messages
875
#1
I recently had a go at using a scream-list (I believe I based it on one of Jonny's lists), led by this ghoul king:

Ghoul King - 455pts
- Skabscrath
- DBG
- OTS
- Aura of Dark Majesty
- CotR
- Fear Incarnate

Anyway, the rest of the list performed well, but I felt like the ghoul king wasn't really justifying his points. Aura was useful, but his scream was only slightly better than those of the banshees in his squad (which are about 1/5 of his cost), and when I ended up in combat he wasn't a great deal of help there either. I guess I'd be less harsh if Skabscrath and CotR weren't so damn expensive.

Really though, I've had very little experience with full scream-lists, so I'm curious to hear what others have to say. Am I using a poor build (e.g. should I swap CotR for Red Fury)? Or, is it better to just forgo scabscrath on the SGK and make do with other screams?
 

bigbadbat

Harbinger of Dandelions
True Blood
Joined
Jun 14, 2012
Messages
1,244
#2
The build seems fine. CoTR paired with AoDm does give you that +2 on the scream, but we all know that screams are far from reliable.
I'd pay more points for combat reliability (RF) and view the scream as a fluffy extra to a scream list.
As you said, you can get a banshee scream for 1/5 the cost as that SGK. I'd probably kit the SGK for combat and try to sneak in a MN (Death) and maximize all the screams in your list with D&D.
 

Gokamok

Grave Guard
Joined
Apr 6, 2010
Messages
260
#3
I've been running a Skabscrath build a few times with moderate success, but I don't think it's particularly competitive unless you're playing under some kind of comp, where it might be worth it.

The build I used was as follows:

SGK
-Skabscrath, DBG, Potion of Strength, AoDM, Beguile

While CotR obviously synergizes with Skabscrath, I think it's better to have enough points to take a naked lvl 4 MN to go along with the SGK.
 

Demian

Vampire Count
Joined
Oct 28, 2011
Messages
1,248
#4
I too have played with a SGK with Scabscrath, this is what I found:

Flying Horror works wonders with this guy. Once the combat starts, you can Fly him anywhere you need him to. He can start deployed inside any infantry unit.

Curse of the Ravenant didn't cut it for me, as bigbadbat pointed out. Always give him Red Fury. That way if he fails his Frenzy test, he can still perform as intended in combat, just like any other blender SGK without ogre blade. To compensate, Potion of Strength!!

It is nice to fit a Lv 3 - 4 Death Master Necro, to synergize screams with Doom & Darkness. Cursed Book works well here too, but not just for D&D. Every spell it casts works wonders with large amounts of infantry tarpits.

Get a BSB, be it Vampire to mount it on a Hellsteed or a Wight King. Frenzy can ruin the day here.


I think the best thing here is the Flying Horror. Even without AoDM on the build. you can set up some nice charges here. He doesn't always have to scream, he blends too!
 

Vipoid

Necromancer
Joined
Apr 27, 2012
Messages
875
#5
Gokamok said:
I've been running a Skabscrath build a few times with moderate success, but I don't think it's particularly competitive unless you're playing under some kind of comp, where it might be worth it.

The build I used was as follows:

SGK
-Skabscrath, DBG, Potion of Strength, AoDM, Beguile

While CotR obviously synergizes with Skabscrath, I think it's better to have enough points to take a naked lvl 4 MN to go along with the SGK.
Well, most of my games are 2000pts, so including a master necromancer as well isn't really viable. At best, I could have a Lv3 MN, and a Ghoul King with Skabscrath and nothing else - not even DBG. :|

Demian said:
I too have played with a SGK with Scabscrath, this is what I found:

Flying Horror works wonders with this guy. Once the combat starts, you can Fly him anywhere you need him to. He can start deployed inside any infantry unit.

Curse of the Ravenant didn't cut it for me, as bigbadbat pointed out. Always give him Red Fury. That way if he fails his Frenzy test, he can still perform as intended in combat, just like any other blender SGK without ogre blade. To compensate, Potion of Strength!!

It is nice to fit a Lv 3 - 4 Death Master Necro, to synergize screams with Doom & Darkness. Cursed Book works well here too, but not just for D&D. Every spell it casts works wonders with large amounts of infantry tarpits.

Get a BSB, be it Vampire to mount it on a Hellsteed or a Wight King. Frenzy can ruin the day here.


I think the best thing here is the Flying Horror. Even without AoDM on the build. you can set up some nice charges here. He doesn't always have to scream, he blends too!
Interesting.

Well, I have a converted winged Ghoul King, so I'm happy to try flying horror. I'll go for RF as well, and see if that improves his performance in combat.

Thanks for all the advice so far, guys. :)
 
Joined
Jul 16, 2013
Messages
255
#6
So, here is my philosophy on Ol' Scratch:

Screams are good, but only in certain contexts. The Terrorgheist is the best unit in the VC book and yet Banshees are rarely played.

First off, only certain units are vulnerable to screams. Infantry shrugs them off, regenerators/ward saves shrug them off... you need to hit a high priority, low wound target to get good effect off (Frost Phoenix, Daemon Prince, Siege Engine, MonCav, etc.) AND you have to get within 8" of it.
Assume the average unit is going to have an effective leadership of 9. Assume your average die roll on a scream is 7.
Average banshee scream does 0 wounds, with no reliable way to get her in range to the right units.
Average TG scream does 4, and he can fly in turn one to hit the target. Throw Ol' Scratch on a SGK: Average scream does one wound. Add AoDM: Two wounds. Add CotR: Three Wounds.

So, all of that for one less wound than you get out of a (Cheaper) terrorgheist without a reliable way to get him to key targets
If you put him on a terrorgheist to get him into combat, both will die and you'll end up without a general and down a whole lot more points than he can earn.

Put him in an infantry block to protect him, and you're not going to be able to get him into position (and he's now saddled with Frenzy, making your general's block very easy to kite) And, if you went with CotR, you gave up Red Fury and, with it, a huge percentage of his combat utility.

I really wish that Ol' Scratch was better because I like the idea, but every instinct I have says it is not an effective choice.


That said, if you want to play it, always give things a try. If I had to run it, here's how I'd do it.

SGK
DBG, OTS, Skabskrath
RF, AoDM

Run him in a 5-7 wide block of ghouls, (A horde with frenzy is too easy to redirect) Ol' Scratch's primary benefit would be the bonus attacks, running as a S5 blender. The scream won't come in to play that often, but will give you some backup if someone tries to stick you up with heavy armor. Also leaves room for a master necro.

If you take him, run LoV for healing and Vanhel's, hellish vig. A S3 unit with frenzy needs all the manuevering and wounding help it can get.

Doom and Darkness seems like it offers great synergy, but it's a long way to go for what is essentially 3 wounds.

As for Fear Incarnate, save the points. Fear is nice on occasion but is never worth investing in.
 

najo

Mortarch of the Dark Soul
True Blood
Joined
Dec 23, 2012
Messages
2,047
#7
I agree with monster there. I've ran the same build as above and it was underwhelming. Screams were weaker than the Giest, the vampire doesn't blend as well as he could and he lacks defenses. Going CotR made him more survivable and boosts the scream, but the red fury is totally needed to blend. So, you only get a sub par blender with good screams or a poor screamer who can fight things that don't threaten him.
 
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