Weird lists that seem fun and ridiculous on paper that usually transfer poorly to table top play are my preferred style of list. I did it in Magic, I’ll do it in Warhammer. This particular list is my own original list, however the idea is not mine. Kroaknado has long lived in the hearts of many Seraphon players, though not all seek its splendor. I tried looking online, and there were no comprehensive guides on utilizing Kroaknado in a 2K point list, so, here we are.
In order to fully understand Kroaknado, I need to explain a few things about Lord Kroak. First of all, Lord Kroak has four spell slots he can use each turn. One spell in particular of his can be cast up to three times in a hero phase, here is what it read:
Celestial Deliverance: The caster can attempt to cast this spell up to three times in the same hero phase. Celestial Deliverance has a casting value of 8 the first time it is attempted in a hero phase, a casting value of 9 the second time it is attempted in a hero phase, and a casting value of 10 the third time it is attempted in a hero phase. Each time the spell is successfully cast, pick up to 3 different enemy units within 10” of the caster and visible to them, and roll a dice for each unit you pick. On a 2+, that unit suffers D3 mortal wounds. If that unit is a Chaos Daemon unit, on a 2+ it suffers 3 mortal wounds instead of D3 mortal wounds.
Kind of wordy, I know. The goal is to abuse Kroak’s spell casting abilities to create a circle of death in which no one is safe from Kroaknado. In order to go into further detail, allow me to present my list.
In order to break this list down in a comprehensible way, I need to split it into four quadrants. First, the two Battalions’ effects and the Endless Spells, second and third will be the units divided based on which Battalion they are in respectively, and fourth will be the eye of Kroaknado.
Battalions and Endless Spells
Eternal Starhost requires an Eternity Warden, and three units of Saurus Guards, and gives two abilities to the units in its Battalion; Drakescale Shieldwall which adds 1 to all save rolls made by the Saurus Guards, and Patient Guardians, which changes the damage for the Saurus Guard’s melee weapon from 1 to 1D3. Very good way to power up models who are already hard to kill, makes for an excellent defensive line who will guard Lord Kroak for the majority of the game.
Shadowstrike Starhost requires a Skink Starpriest, two units of Skinks, and a unit of Ripperdactyl Riders. This Battalion gives three abilities to its units. The first is Stealthy Advance, which allows each unit in this Battalion to move up to 2D6” each after setup is complete. The second ability, The Trap is Sprung, allows the Starpriest to choose a visible enemy unit, and allows other units in this Battalion to re roll hit and wound rolls of 1 in the following combat phase. The third ability is Strike from the Skies, which allows you to not set up the unit of Ripperdactyl Riders at the beginning of the game, and instead allows them to drop down and be set up during the movement phase anywhere more than 3” away from an enemy unit. During the next combat, they add 1 to their wound rolls.
Pretty decent offensive Battalion. This will primarily be used to seize objectives, as the Skinks get a lot of movement. Using Strike from the Skies in conjunction with The Trap is Sprung makes the Ripperdactyls capable of taking down almost anything, and will be our best option for taking out enemy wizards in the early game.
Balewind Vortex and Chronomantic Cogs are what make up the tornado half of Kroaknado. The Vortex gives Kroak an additional spell slot and adds 1 to his save rolls, and the Cogs give Kroak an additional spell slot and allows him to re roll failed saves. Combined, Kroak can have 6 total spell slots and is significantly harder to kill.
Eternal Starhost Units
Saurus Eternity Warden:5” Move, 4+ Save, 10 Bravery, 7 Wounds. The royal guard, if you will. Eternity Wardens have an ability called Selfless Protector which allows them to absorb wounds and mortal wounds in place of Lord Kroak. Additionally, they give all Saurus Guards within 5” of them an additional attack. They will primarily be sticking around Lord Kroak if needed, and backing up the Guards when pushing the objective.
Saurus Guards: 5” Move, 4+ Save, 10 Bravery, 1 Wound. Saurus Guards will do one of two things. They will either never die and eat the opponents alive simply through survivability, or they will eat mortal wounds and get wiped out almost instantly.
If they’re not eating mortal wounds, they will hold an objective for an entire match. With the Eternal Starhost, if a Battalion of 15 Guards and an Eternity Warden are camped in one spot, the Guards get 4 total attacks each, 3 of which hit and wound on 3, give -1 rend, and deal 1D3 damage each. They also add 1 to their save for being near an Eternity Warden, and an additional 1 for the Eternal Starhost Battalion, which means they save on 2+. They only have 1 wound each, so they’re still extremely squishy, but a force to be reckoned with nonetheless.
Shadowstrike Starhost Units
Skinks: 8” Move, 6+ Save, 10 Bravery, 1 Wound. Literally walking tissue paper. These are deployed as the front line unit to seize objectives, as they get 8”+2D6 movement from their Battalion on the first turn without running. They seize the objective, and slow the enemy down a turn or two while Kroaknado is being set up.
Skink Starpriest: 8” Move, 5+ Save, 10 Bravery, 4 Wounds. The real MVPs, the OG backup mage. Turn one they cast Chronomantic Cogs for Kroaknado, from the Spell Lore one knows Claws of Glory which has a casting value of 6 and allows a friendly unit within 18” to re-roll hit rolls of 1 until my next hero phase, the other knows Stellar Tempest, which targets an enemy unit within 24”, rolling 1D6 per model in the unit, and each 5+ deals a mortal wound.
The Starpriest’s job is to keep moving the Chronomantic Cogs up as Kroaknado moves, and make it harder for the enemy to land hits on the Saurus Guard and Lord Kroak with Summon Starlight, which gives -1 to hit attacks that are made against a chosen friendly unit. They’re going to hang out and provide the best moral support you’ve ever seen.
Ripperdactyl Riders 14” Move, 5+ Save, 10 Bravery, 3 Wounds. These guys are easily the hardest hitting unit we have. They have a Vicious Beak melee weapon that hits on 4+, wounds on 3+, and deals 1 damage, with three separate abilities that buff it. Swooping Dive allows them to re roll failed hit and wound rolls, Toad Rage increases their Vicious Beak’s attacks from 1 to 3 if the enemy unit is within 2” of a Blot Toad (cutest little guy you’ve ever seen by the way), and Voracious Appetite, which allows for any time they score a hit with their Beak attack, it turns into 1D3 hits.
Taking into account the Shadowstrike Starhost Battalion, they can also be set up anywhere more than 3” away from an enemy unit, and gives them +1 to wound rolls. These guys are certified assassins and will be used primarily for taking out enemy wizards. Kroaknado can be kind of sketchy if there’s a lot of unbinding and dispelling interaction happening, Ripperdactyl Riders are here for this reason.
The Eye of Kroaknado
Saurus Astrolith Bearer: 5” Move, 4+ Save, 10 Bravery, 6 Wounds. The Astrolith Bearer gives us an additional 1D3 conjuration points every hero phase and let’s us summon from his range instead of Kroak’s if we would like. Additionally, friendly units can re-roll hit rolls while within 12”of him. What he’s really used for however is his spell casting buff, which adds 1 to friendly spell casting rolls made within 12” of him, and adds an additional 8” to the spell’s range. This, with the Balewind Vortex, puts Kroak’s Celestial Deliverance’s range up to 24”. That’s 1,810 square inches. To put that in perspective, a standard table is 48”x 72”, or 3,456 square inches. Kroak’s range is over half of the entire battlefield, not including his Comet’s Call spell which has no range limit.
Lord Kroak: 5” Move, 4+ Save, 10 Bravery, X Wounds. The Kroak half of Kroaknado. Kroak’s task is to cover as much of the battlefield as possible with the range of Celestial Deliverance. Kroak is capable of holding down an objective and shoveling out mortal wounds as Saurus Guards back him up.
The Astrolith Bearer, with the Balewind Vortex puts Kroak’s Celestial Deliverance’s range up to 24”. That’s 1,810 square inches. To put that in perspective, a standard table is 48”x 72”, or 3,456 square inches. Kroak’s range is over half of the entire battlefield, not including his Comet’s Call spell which has no range limit. Not to mention Kroak will be sitting 7” above the table, making him immune to any melee attacks unless the units fly or are behemoths.
So, right from the start, our army is going to be divided into four separate bodies.
Behold my glorious microsoft paint setup. We would want to have these formations made for a couple of reasons. The Guards are set up so they can start heading to whatever area of the battlefield requires them. If nothing in particular calls, they head towards the center of the field. They don’t move very fast at all, that’s why the Skinks get the extra movement from the Shadowstrike Battalion to get into the action fast.
Movement speed doesn’t mean a whole lot however, as I have Lords of Space and Time, as well as Great Rememberer as Allegiance Abilities, which allow me to pick up a unit and set it up again anywhere on the battlefield more than 9” from an enemy unit twice every hero phase.
In the first hero phase, Skinks are going to be bolting into the action, Guards are going to be teleporting into the action, Ripperdactyl Riders are going to be swooping in to assassinate any Wizards, and Kroak is going to teleport in and get on his tornado to begin storing up conjuration points while striking the opponent with Comet’s Call.
This formation will be used when Kroaknado is in full effect. Going off the same color scheme as before, we have Kroak in the center surrounded by three units of Saurus Guards (all three for best effect, only one-two necessary depending on threat level), an Eternity Warden (for best effect, the one from the Battalion), an Astrolith Bearer, and a Skink Starpriest. This formation can be attained best through Lords of Space and Time, and can require strict measuring and maneuvering in order to ensure you can fall into this position at almost any time.
I advise this be used as close to the center of the table as possible, or on the main objective point if there is one, because from this position it will be nearly impossible to kill Lord Kroak, or even break the formation lines unless you have some heavy mortal wound engines. From here, you cover half the map in reach of Celestial Deliverance. You’ll want to first target the enemies wizards, then their shooters and flyers, then any behemoths they may have, and finally the small battleline units.
Alternatively, if you really want to up the cheese, we can use Lords of Space and Time twice, meaning we can teleport Kroaknado to the front line, expend all of his spells, then teleport back to safety. This strategy requires ditching the Astrolith Bearer however and is definitely less consistent.
I’ve seen other lists that table the Thunderquake Starhost Battalion due to their resilience and ability to pin down large portions of the board, allowing for better offensive support when you think your opponent will be packing a lot of mortal wounds. Bastiladons roll 1D6 every time they take a mortal wound and shrug it off on a 4+, and they ignore all rend. They are usually the first thing I summon in because of how obnoxious to deal with they are.
I hope this guide has been helpful for at least somebody looking for strategy advice on this play style. This isn’t necessarily the “correct” list, but one of the many variations of it explained in depth. Thanks for sticking this one out to the very end, I know it was a long one but there was a lot of information I had to fit into this guide. Thanks again, and happy rolling.