Monday, 16 December 2013

Super-Heavy = Super-Fun! The Stompa and the Infamous Khorne Lord of Skulls

Continuing in our little rundown of Escalation goodies, today I'll go through the general rules for super-heavy walkers and let you know what I think of the Ork Stompa and the Chaos Khorne Lord of Skulls.

First up, let's cover some generic super-heavy walker rules. Every super-heavy walker causes Fear, has Move Through Cover, Hammer of Wrath, Relentless, Strikedown and Smash. No super-heavy walker may fire Overwatch. They behave exactly the same way as other super-heavies in terms of shooting and damage, however they can move 12" in the movement phase and otherwise behave exactly like Walkers out of the rulebook.

Other than the increased mobility and the ability to bring these terrifying behemoths into close-combat, super-heavy walkers have access to a special close-combat attack called a Stomp. Made at initiative step 1 the walker makes d3 stomps against any unit it is engaging. You begin by placing the small template touching, but not over, the walker, and any model at least partially covered by the template is Stomped. This incurs a roll on the Stomp Table, with results varying from absolutely nothing happening, to a s6 ap4 hit against infantry, to an instant Explodes result against vehicles. Depending on your luck your walker may end up doing more damage with its Stomps than with its conventional weaponry. If you rolled more than 1 Stomp on the d3, you can then place the template anywhere at least partially within 3" of the first and repeat the process. The super-heavy walker does not move at any time in this process, it's implied that after Stomping around, it then returns to its original position.

Already you can see that super-heavy walkers have a number of benefits over conventional super-heavy vehicles. Tonight I'm going to run you through two of the three available super-heavy walkers in this iteration of Escalation datasheets, and we'll kick things off with my personal favourite, the Stompa.

The Stompa

Who doesn't like a good Stompa? The sight of these massive amalgamations of 'ard stuff and 'splody things has warmed the fungusy hearts of many an Ork general. In regular games it's not a small investment, however the ability to comfortably fit this unit in at 1500 means it becomes a horrifying force backed up by hordes of Orks. I love these models. The sheer amount going on in just one of these is staggering. From grots making repairs to dozens of shooty extras, there's lots to enjoy about a good Stompa. However enough drooling, lets get on to the breakdown.

The Stompa is the most durable of the available super-heavies, coming it at AV13 13 12 and 12HP. No shielding for this big guy, but the extra hull points can mean the difference between losing him in a single turn to a destroyer weapon or not. The standard Ork bs2 applies, however it is ws4 with four attacks. The Stompa has a huge array of weaponry including three big shootas (one turret mounted, one front, one rear), another twin-linked big shoota attached to the Mega-choppa (a Destroyer Titan close-combat weapon with an ap value of 1), a skorcha mounted on the front hull, and three supa-rokkits (s8 ap3 large blast with an infinite range, and you can buy two more for twenty points a pop). The big guns (literally, they're like 5" long) come in the form of the Deff Kannon, a s10 ap1 7" blast primary weapon with a 72" range, and the Supa-gatler, the most Orkish addition to this vehicle. The Supa-gatler can fire 2d6 s7 ap3 shots THREE TIMES each shooting phase, at separate targets if you wish, however if you roll doubles on any of those rolls, the Supa-gatler runs out of ammunition and cannot be used again in the game. Bummer.

The Stompa also gets the opportunity to transport up to 20 models, and has four fire points, (one in the head, three in the belly), it is not however an assault vehicle. Needless to say though, this thing will churn up anything it sets its sights on, in a truly Orkish manner. Spitting fire and death, it can use that handy super-heavy walker move of 12" to roll up to your enemy battle line and wade in, literally with all guns blazing. The enemy has thunder hammers? Ok, sure, come within line of sight of the giant walking fortress with a s10 ap1 blast weapon. Not much can threaten a Stompa that doesn't match it in size, and unlike the Eldar titan (or the Imperial ones for that matter, come the FW Lords of War release) this guy just ACHES to be in close-combat. Get him there and he'll earn his points.

Verdict: The Stompa is formidable in every sense. High armour values and the sheer weight of weaponry means that even with bs2 SOMETHING is going to stick. Throwing out tank-killing blasts, and pounding across the board in true super-heavy walker fashion the Stompa is a sound investment for games of 1250 points and up, and is a welcome addition to any Ork force. Oh yes, and I musn't forget that any unit from Codex: Orks is Fearless within 6" of the Stompa. Bam.

The Khorne Lord of Skulls

Let's all welcome Mr Controversy. Now lots of people really don't like this model, and you know what, I'm not entirely sure if I disagree. However attention seems to focus on the model itself, and not on the actual profile of this abomination, so I feel it's been somewhat neglected. The Khorne Lord of Skulls is not a pushover. If your enemy is stupid enough to let this thing get close they're in for a really REALLY bad day.

The Lord of Skulls probably has the most Special Rules of any of the super-heavies; in addition to the array of regular rules for its type it adds: Daemon, Daemonforge, Fleet, It Will Not Die and Rage. So basically you have an AV 13 13 11 9HP i3 ws4 s10 combat monster with 6 attacks on the charge with a Destroyer ap1 Titan close-combat weapon, with a 5+ invul save, the ability to regain hull points and, oh yeah, it gets to reroll charge distances. Did I mention it can Thunderblitz? Well yeah, it's the only super-heavy walker that can, though it loses the ability to Stomp.

For every hull point the Lord of Skulls loses, it gains an attack, even if it then gains that hull point back as a result of It Will Not Die. It's a hard unit to take down, and as a result the Lord of Skulls isn't cheap. However it does have uses other than combat. The Lord of Skulls is armed, at base with 2 ranged weapons. The Gorestorm Cannon is a s8 ap3 hellstorm template primary weapon, which is pretty hilarious. Further for ten points it can be upgraded to an Ichor Cannon, a s7 ap2 large blast primary weapon with a 48" range, or for sixty points you can add the Daemongore Cannon, a s9 ap3 hellstorm template primary weapon that Gets Hot, but also causes Instant Death. Goodbye Wraithknights. The other weapon is, at base, the Hades Gatling Cannon, a s8 ap3 heavy 12 pinning weapon, which is nothing to sneeze at. For a further 60 points however you can equip the Skullhurler, a s9 ap3 10" blast primary weapon, against which successful saves must be rerolled. Hilarious.

Verdict: At this point the Khorne Lord of Skulls is the authority in super-heavy close-combat. This horror can make mincemeat out of pretty much any combat troops, and at i3 strikes before most of the things that can seriously hurt it, unlike the Stompa. While it can't Stomp, the addition of the Thunderblitz table when tank-shocking or ramming has the potential to do some serious harm, and still allows the Lord of Skulls to get where it's needed. Enemy warlord safe behind a wall of flesh? Not if you Thunderblitz right into his face and proceed to charge in and mutilate him. It is VERY expensive though, especially if you want to give it some serious ranged punch. In the end it comes down to how much you're willing to sacrifice to get this guy on the board. As any Chaos player knows, power is there for the taking, but it comes at a price.

Well that's it from me for this evening, I hope you all enjoyed the run-down. Tune in again soon as Crazy covers the Eldar Revenant, and we have a look at what else will be rearing up on a 40k board near you!

Make good choices,


  1. Some nice, informative reviews. Keep it up!

  2. The kastorel novem datasheet for the stompa really opens the stompa up even more. Especially with a weapon that has the potential to be a 36" blast template. In an escalation game that could comfortably cover most of an army, depending on how bunched up the enemy is, of course. And a klawstompa with supacharga is just my favourite! Not much to shoot but it really goes nuts in CC. These reviews are really well consolidated and you pack in a lot of good points of each unit :)

    1. Thanks! I'll try and cover the FW and IA book variants as the datasheets become available for Escalation, but there's still plenty left for now!

  3. I am seriously considering forking out for a Stompa - the main reason being it's the cheapest way of adding 770 points to an Ork army :)

    1. You really should, aside from the obvious pragmatism, you KNOW you'd have a good time painting and fielding one!


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