Friday, 10 July 2015

Getting Started: Scourge Unit Overview

It's been a long time coming; an awful long time coming really. Every other army has one of these (although perhaps not up to date, but one exists none the less), but not our Jelly Overlords. I'm shouting about a unit overview for our adorable occupiers!

If you want to read any of our other unit overviews they are here for UCM, PHR, Shaltari and Resistance

So sit back, clear your head and let the fleshy tar seap into your mind holes, you're about to ingest a whole lot of information...

--Note-- This is a huge post, and although could have been split into two was not to keep the resource in one place.

I know what you're all thinking, I'm possibly the last person to be talking about the Desolator as my 'love' for the unit is well documented through most media, but I will be as impartial as I can be...

The Desolator sucks tramp arse.

I jape of course! Well kinda. Let's start with the good stuff.

As far as commanders go it is quick and has a decent threat range of 21" with it's ion storm (more on that later), and being an air unit means it can simply float above small buildings and enemy units to get to where it needs to go. Since the big errata, Cthulhu's jaw can now claim focal points which is huge in game terms, and considering it is difficult to take down (being a A6 air unit) it can be a game changer. Weapon wise it is a superb demolition unit, but this sadly ends the praise for the weather squid.

You see, when I pick a unit I want it to have a little utility. Demolition is fine and sometimes useful, but the issue is the alternative shot for the weapon - the lightning generator (ion storm - wide). Being able to hit every unit and building within 12" at first seems outrageously useful! However, you'll quickly realise that you have eight Prowlers in range of it, or a couple of Hunters and some Reapers and the gun hits everything within 12". You see the problem? Scourge are forced to deploy so far forward that using this weapon will typically open yourself upto danger. Instead of running it in with your main force, the other option is to send it on its own to terrorize the enemy flank, but it just seems to flounder alone. Although it is tough it is not indestructible, and the gun will cause less carnage than you anticipate.

Some people love it. You Americans seem to enjoy the duel Desolator list, and I could see how that would work by loading both with commanders (so they can claim FP) and rubbing yourself up against Lady Luck. She doesn't mind, rub away.

The Desolator isn't a null choice and I would actually recommend starting with this commander. It is easier to use and more forgiving than the Oppressor, which is better for a new player. Also you'll get to own the model, which is bitching.

Now we're talking. A giant mecha-Crab which shoots three high energy guns and can literally pull your opponents apart with combat attacks? Yes please, I'll have five. Like almost all units in DzC, as awesome as the Oppressor is it is not without its foibles, so like with the Desolator let's go from good to bad.

What if I told you I could give you untold power in the palm of your hand? A unit which can one turn anything in the game? Is this some kind of magic I hear you ask? Nope, just a jaunty oceanic warmachine. What the Oppressor offers in spades is aggressiveness and firepower. With four E11 shots and one E12 within 9" it has no issue at taking down units of any size. If it gets into contact with it's target, it also gets two E10 combat attacks. This kind of potency is fairly unique, and there isn't really anything else in the game as dangerous as an Oppressor when up close. It is the ultimate predator.


Range is an issue. It does have two E11 shots from up to 18" away, but it's typically not worth using them. You have to be close, so close you can smell your prey, to get the most out of the crab. This presents another issue, in that it isn't particularly robust. A10 and 5DP may sound excellent, but when a single Ares strips two DP from you, or a swarm of Hunters round a corner and take aim, it quickly becomes squeaky bum time. You also have to buy a Harbinger for it, making it a very expensive squad, but having said that the Harby is excellent and should always be given the AA upgrade. Trust me on this.

All in what you have is a potent machine of destruction which will nonchalantly melt your foes to slag, but one that can't take a heavy beating in return. He is the school yard bully, who can give it but not take it. Deployment is key for gaining the most of this commander, and in 25%-50% of your games it will be destroyed. This makes it neither a boss for the feint of heart or a new player, but once you understand how to use it correctly he will be your MVP almost every game.


Warrior Horde
There has to be a grunt in every army, and this important (but underwhelming task) falls to the humble Scourge Warrior. Most races roll with three standard troops choices and an exotic, but you will typically find Scourge will have two of each due to Destroyers. Warriors are cheap and mundanely average in combat, but have the potential to lay down a cheeky E11 shot with their guns (which uses a special focus fire mechanic). I have caught many a PHR walker out with this, commanding my boys to lean out of a window and unleash hell!

Warrior's main strength actually lies in their dropship, the Intruder, which is the joint nippiest ship in the game at 30". This speed enables quick objective extraction and more importantly the ability to leave options open without committing yourself.

Aged Ones
One of the issues with having to use a host, is that after a while they start to go a little...sqwiffy.... Aged Ones are very old Warriors whose minds have started to decay, turning them into bloodthirsty savages who would rather consume their fallen enemy than find an objective.

They sound cool, right? Unfortunately the fluff is where they stop being any good. They are much better in combat than a Warrior but just as squidgy, meaning they rush into CQB, destroy a chunk of their foe and immediately get obliterated. It feels like you load up the unit into a giant cannon and shoot them into a building.

The problem is that in dropzone a troops role is nornally grabbing objectives or occupying enemy troops, and Warriors are much cheaper for objective grabbing and Destroyers much better at troop stalling.

You would think Hawk want Scourge to be CQB specialists, with the Razorworms being yet another combat only troop! For your twenty five points you get three of the ten metre long killing machines, which is fairly cheap considering they are above average in combat and have a dodge roll. The issue with Razorworms is that they cannot be mounted in a conventional transport, and as things stand must be carried in a Slayer or Tormentor. As you can guess, this can make them somewhat linear and awkward to use.

Another problem is that they really are combat only troops and can't carry objectives (having no hands and a lack of logical thought process makes tasks like hacking a computer an issue). There is a debate as to whether Worms can actually search for objectives or not, as the rules don't strictly say they can't. Personally I would play it as they can't search as it just seems more in spirit of the unit (again the no hand and thought deal). It is worth saying though, if you are using Razorworms to search for objectives something in the game has gone wrong...

All in a really cool unit, but one that is too awkward to fit in a list unless you use Tormentors. There are rumours of a dropship deployment method coming at some point, which may make them a more viable choice.


These big boys don't play nice. They are the joint most survivable troop unit in the game, are better than average in combat, have no modifiers at finding objectives, and carry around enormous guns capable of eliminating troops and tanks. Their downside? Well, nothing really to be honest.

If I had to pick one bad thing, and I mean you would really have to force me into this at gun point, it is that they are an exotic choice. And this is only a bad thing because I can't exclusively have Destroyers in my list, which is a ridiculous thing to moan about!

These are my favourite troops in the game. Their 4+ passive means they don't just survive combat,
they can survive AT shots too. If you manage to wound one by shooting, dispersed formation means you can only kill one per shot! In CQB they get nine dice a base, which is okay, but with average dice rolls they are so robust they will be around for a few turns of combat.

They're just so good. Your first picks when making a list should be two squads, standard. They are my only auto-include in a Scourge army.

"For when you've absolutely, positively, got to kill every Siren in the room..."

If you thought Destroyers sounded bad ass, wait until you meet their dads. Kids who scream "My dad is harder than yours!" can jog on. Evisys aren't really Destroyers pappys, but rather older, more angry and grumpy versions of their brothers and sisters... so like a dad?

They are the most brutal CQB unit in the game, and almost ridiculously so. Each base has all the Destroyer traits (so just doesn't die) and packs eighteen dice a base in combat. That is thirty six dice for a single full strength squad! Stick them in a room with anything and you'll be left with what resembles a skip load of bolognese.

They are old and mad though. So old and mad in fact, that they don't remember to look for objectives. Evisys suffer a -1 to the dice roll to look for objectives and intel, which means they physically can't find an objective in a large building for the first turn they occupy. See a glaring issue? This is for me why standard Destroyers are still king. I can use them to perform mundane infantry tasks, whereas you can't count on Eviscerators.

If you have a hankering for combat one squad can be slipped into a 1500 point list easily enough, but be ready to really think about how you utilise the rest of your infantry.


The Archangel. The Pathfinder Archangel. The Hellhog. The Warpspear. The Athena. These are all examples of good or excellent Fast Movers. Notice how the Corsair hasn't been listed.

To explain, FM's should primarily be used to take down light dropships used for shipping infantry about. They will rarely earn their points, back but can and will win you games. Each of the listed FM can perform this task reliably, whereas the Corsair can't. They have a single shot which hits on a 4+, which means 50% of the time you're shooting sky and this is too unreliable for a unit which isn't really that cheap. I will of course point out that the shot is E11, meaning it can tank hunt, but as noted earlier this shouldn't be the task of a FM. Besides, the Scourge have enough E11 weapons knocking about to not miss one more.

In order for the Corsair to make a reliable impact (well, as reliable as a FM can ever be) you really need three or four in a squad, and these are the kind of points that can only really be spared in 2k+ games.


Fast and nimble, and able to turn any 2dp unit in the game into molten slag with a single shot, the Hunter is a truely formidable foe. Every Jellyhead should be happy that it is the first standard tank they are likely to own!

As punchy as the Hunter is, it is of course not without its drawbacks. Being only A8 is the achielies heel of this unit, and no matter how fast you skim E10 weaponry is going to catch up with you sometime... The gun also only has a range of 12", so you're going to be so close to the enemy you could smell them. The key to getting the most from this skimmer is to exploit the enemy where they are softest, and not charge in head on.

In addition to punching holes in tanks they can also punch holes in buildings. Real big holes. Their E11 gun also has Demolition 2, meaning a squad of six can cause a whopping twenty four points of damage with perfect dice! To highlight squad size, six is the optimal number (or two squads of three running paralel). It will deliver a hit big enough to drop anything which scares your foe, and also means it is a decent drop on a focal point.

In a recent podcast we voted that the Hunter would still be a top unit choice, even if standard choices weren't necessary. That's how good this guy is.

Everyone loves a baby, right? What about an Oppressors babies? The Stalker brings a taste of the Oppressor with its E12 gun, and E10 claws of clawyness. Leave units within 13" at your peril, as a squad of three rounding and targetting your precious heavy units can be fatal. These boys also have a spine too, and like the Oppressor are A10 which is a nice change to have in a Scourge army; a splash of armour.

With high armour comes less manoeuvrability though, and Stalkers are very slow at MV4". This means you either have to deploy right on your enemys head, or hide them mid-table ready to pounce. A squad of three in a Harbinger is roughly the same points as three Hunters in a Marauder, and I would have three Stalkers over three Hunters, but six Hunters over three Stalkers.


These guys share the title of joint strongest AA in the game with the Zhukov, and are rightly feared for it by most. A squad of three will produce six E8 AA shots which hit on a 2+, which is enough to bring down anything in the game in one round of shooting. Much like the Hunter they are very short ranged at 9", so are best used as a 'seek and destroy' unit, hunting down air units that you reliably need to get rid off.

Also like the Hunter they are A8 and due the compromising positions they tend to end up in (hunting air units can be a dangerous game) don't expect to have a full squad remaining at end game. I would always advise a minimum of one squad per army, they are simply great at their job.

Scourge don't have many long range weapons, by nature they are close quarters beasts. Taking this into account, a few eyebrows were raised at the introduction of the Ravager. These crabs host two 18" AA guns, which is modest for most armies but breathtakingly long for a Jelly! The guns aren't only long range, nonono, they have two separate weapons profiles. This means that they can target two seperate units when shooting, and cheekily shoot them one at a time when reaction firing. It is easy to overlook the E10 combat attack, identical to the Stalkers, which will earn them a sneaky ground kill every now and then. Add to all of this A10 you've got yourself a reliable firebase unit.

Much like the Stalker though, the Ravager's issues lie in its speed. It is primed to be an area control unit, but once dropped if the warzone changes shape it is difficult to redeploy. They will of course be mounted in a Harbinger, but you really want this floating stingray to be hunting enemy dropships. They are also expensive at 45 points a piece, and add Harbinger to this (always with AA remember!) you'll be paying 196 points for a unit which may not impact the game in the way you want.

I am yet to be impressed with these guys to be honest. Twelve E6 shots are all well and good, but can be avoided due to the slow speed. On the other hand I can take Reapers and normally guarantee getting my target, but lose the squad. Truely two different units with different jobs.

I have a bit of a love affair for the Reaver, so I'm not sure this review will be completely unbiased... Let's start with the stinky bits, like its E5 armour. Scourge are quick and light, and E5 is in total character with this. If anything, it balances a unit which has few flaws. It does have two DP, but one lucky shot will fell a Reaver which means a player must always be careful with positioning. Oh, and stay away from Zhukovs - WELL away. Its other and bigger issue is that it can't contest focal points, and when you're spending 150+ points on a unit this is a big loss for contesting. So why would I take a Reaver over a Slayer, which is about the same points? Well, for two great reasons:

Manoeuvrability and target saturation.

The Reaver moves an almost outrageous 24", and has MF12" on all weapons. This means it can repositioning quickly and without risk, and also get at units which can be tricky to neutralise (i.e. the Ferrum). As for shooting it has three weapons which can target three seperate units, so you have the option of pounding all your shots into one Odin or splitting them across a squad of technicals. The Reaver has a lot of utility and this outweighs the fact it can't contest FP's.

Through excessive use I can report that three is the optimum number for a list, but two is good. Four is okay but you lose too many points which need to be spent on ground units.

BOOM! BOOOOM! This bad boy is for the gamer who likes laying pie plates on the table and having their opponent remove a fist-full of models every turn. It boast a mad E11 large template weapon, which is also indirect fire (very useful in an army with so many Scouts!). You can't move and fire with the weapon, but if you need to redeploy the beast it can fly 9" which is useful. You can sense a but coming, can't you?

This is an indulgent unit with a very specific use. It is expensive at 165 points and this eats into your 1500 points. In my opinion it eats too much into your limit at a 'standard' game size, because it is so very, very specific. It shoots a large blast each turn. That's it. Don't get me wrong, the blast is immense and doubles up as a great area denial tool, but if there are no good targets to pick you can end up hammering one Sabre a turn. There is no utility to the Annihilator and for its points cost I feel there should be.

I would say it is not worth it in 1500 points, and should be a late addition to your collection. They become viable and dangerous in 2k games as you have the points to be indulgent, and also squads are larger which equals more targets.


Now we're talking. When I said I have a love affair for the Reaver, I would sell them down the river for a romantic getaway in the Cotswolds with a Prowler. I might get crabs though...

Small, annoying, and dangerous, the Prowler is an evil jack in the box which will spring up a sticky plasma surprise on its enemies. It is quick at 6", and packs a heavyweight punch at E11! If you manage to get as few as four into the enemies lines, just watch them panic whilst trying to remove the little buggers! Oh, and they're a Scout choice too, which means because they are so cheap your SoI is bound to be table wide.

Of course no unit is without its downside and the Prowlers is its armour. At A5 even some machine guns will take out these guys, so expect to remove a lot from the table. At 9 points each though, you have to ask yourself a question: Do you really care? Probably not.

MindymundymoondyMinders. For a while these chaps were the zones true underdogs, used by few and generally laughed off a list. I always had a feeling thay people used them wrong though, and Mega Mike backed that theory up when he used them at Invasion a few tourneys ago.

These cheap, frail, floaty AA can provide AA in two forms, either by creating a 'no fly zone' by deploying around an area, or by jumping onto the enemies light dropships and blasting them out of the skies. At accuracy 2+ they will be sure to hit their target, and are a nuisance that your foe will be forced to deal with (although at A3 they are not really that difficult to remove from play). As with Prowlers these air units are scouts and will extend your SoI, meaning you will have great coverage all over the warzone. Great unit all round, and worth fielding in most armies.


If you are looking for a unit which carries a 'Scorched Earth' level of threat, then the Slayer is for you. It packs two a hardcore E11 shots, and is very nippy for a heavy tank at 6", which means it can lay waste to more or less anything swiftly. If you take a couple of squads then any unit on the battlefield is going to be wary, and four plus transports cost a mere 282 points. They are also great at demolition, and four will cause an average of about 18 damage on both normal and hardened buildings.

This tank also embodies the 'Glass Hammer' approach unfortunately, and at A8 any E10 weapons which roll a 5+ to damage will double it out. This for me is an issue, as there is a lot of E10 knocking about the zone, which makes them very fragile. Also as their gun has only one profile you must shoot both shots into one target. You wouldn't think that was such an issue, until you're staring down a road at twelve Technicals and can only get rid of four... Slayers also have the capacity to carry Razorworms, but as you won't want them hanging about buildings waiting for an opportune moment to drop the critters, this is a task best reserved for the Tormentor.

Ladies, Gentlemen, and Squids of unknown sex, I present to you the King of the Flamers! And the Tormentor deserves such a title. With ten (yes, ten!) E4 flamer shots each, you can bank on wiping out whole squads of infantry in one acidic spray. Like their cousins the Slayer they are nimble at 6", and have a couple of DP to keep them going. The fun doesn't stop with flame though, as they can carry a nasty surprise in their boots (trunks to the yanks...) - a real nasty surprise. Tormentors can rock up to a building, drop a base of Razorworms and then proceed to melt the occupants. Then the Razorworms can take their turn, and deploy into the building, ready to munch any survivors... Nasty, right?

50 points is a lot for a flame unit though, and 141 points for two plus Marauder is a hard pill to swallow in a 1500 point or less list. You then have the issue of flame only being useful in less than 50% of your games, If you know which mission you are playing then give them a go (they are particularly effective in Bunker Assault, Targets of Opportunity and Escalation), but for a tournament of which you don't know the games, I would take a unit which you will definitely get use of instead.

To Sumarise

Scourge are a fast, nimble and heavy hitting faction, but fold under sustained firepower. The key to performing well will be in carrying out successful alpha strikes, and identifying and swiftly dispatching any enemy units which are going to cause big problems for you. Using your speed and your excellent air capacity to full effect will win you games, and is also a laugh too. The Scourge hold the OB award for 'Most Fun Army To Use In DzC', which is a fine accolade to hold indeed.


  1. Well written. Thank you. I do love those minders. Blasting away on something and then moving and exploding is the best of times with them.

  2. I'd argue that the razorworms can search for objectives but with a -1 at least. It's a giant angry snake thing but it still has a scourge implanted in it. So they aren't mindless. The idea of extra psychotic old one worms is kinda neat though.

  3. Nice review! I'll have to go back and check out the other ones (I think I've read the Resistance one, tho... But, being old, somewhat angry (at least these days) and generally grumpy (get off my lawn, you damn kids!), my memory isn't what it used to be... (Actually, since my 20s, my memory isn't what it used to be... Oh, those were the days!... I think... :-S )


    1. Damn, forgot to hit "Notify me" before I hit "Publish... There we go...

  4. Nice write up. Scourge are a fast and fun army.

  5. Thanks for this, I am brand new to the game ( have the 2 player starter set, not played a game yet) and am leaning towards Scourge. The whole site is great.

  6. Very nice review, and also quite helpful! There is one thing I'd like to point out, however. The Annihilator can be more versatile if used correctly. Area denial is the most obvious one, but there is also the anti-infantry role. According to the rulebook, whenever an area template weapon is fired directly at a building, it gains demolisher 2. If it already has demolisher, double its rating. So against a building directly that's a E11 demo4 attack. With optimal dice rolling that's 12 hits! Aim this thing at a building holding infantry and watch them get squished!

    1. It sure is good at demo! The most damage it can do is 8 though (1 hit doubling to 2 damage x 4 =8), and then with falling masonry you're likely to get around 3 hits, so if you're lucky 5 wounds (which is a base). The problem with this is you don't really want to use this awesome gun of power as demo, as 3 Hunters can deal 12 damage with optimal dice.

      Area denial is very important, but it is a very expensive unit and if your opponent spreads their squads out carefully could get maybe 1 kill a turn.

      I'll be using one on a 2k game next week though, we'll see how it goes!

    2. I was under the impression that if you roll to damage on a 2 or above and you roll a 6, 3 points of damage would be inflicted because it's 4 above the required minimum. Multiplied by demo 4 would translate to 12 damage. If the six doesn't translate to 3 damage, me and my posse have been doing something very wrong.

      Let's hope it works out! I agree that an Annihilator is a bit of a luxury at below 2K but it is one I sometimes (perhaps foolishly) indulge myself in.

    3. Nope, it's just 2 DP at 2 or more over what you need to roll to damage, it doesn't jump to 3 if you roll a 6 when you just need a 2+... Sorry, you've been doing it wrong... :-D

    4. Monsieur Welch is correct I'm afraid. At the end of the day of you like the Anhiliator then use it, it's most important that you enjoy your list!

    5. Oh dear. I know some people who are about to be very cross with me. I might not survive my next 4 way games. That or my posse will be forgiving and understanding, and maybe even make it into a house rule!


  7. do u have a starter 1500pts list using the starter box as the core?

    1. Not on the site, but if you ping me an email to I would be happy to draft you one!