View Full Version : What is the use of Giant Rats?

07-12-2007, 13:59
When i look at the stats, all i see is this:

"Slightly faster Clanrats without armour"

Why not use more Clanrats instead?

Or did i miss something? Is M6 really that important?

07-12-2007, 14:32
To be honest I don't think they can be included in the units that routinely find themselves in army lists. Their stats are... underwhelming to say the least as you have correctly pointed out.

The skaven players I know use them very rarely. It seems these days the only viable skaven list is the infamous SAD one.

The only use I can think of them (and that is something clanrats can't do) is flanking duty. Use a unit of clanrats/ slaves to tie a unit down and then move the giant rats around for a flank charge. Their movement of 6 should be enough for them to pull it of.

But seriously they are far from being indespensable. A "meh" unit for the most part, at least in my opinion.

08-12-2007, 02:28
I have had success fielding a couple of single pack units of giant rats. As cheap as they are they can be tossed away. I then deploy one on each flank. They then run forward and wait in the middle of the table. They are then moved on teh last turn so that I have units in all of the table quarters I need them in. Great unit in that regard.

08-12-2007, 04:32
I almost always take a unit of 4 packs & put them on a flank.

Unit strength 28.
Static CR 4 (3 ranks & outnumber).
9 Attacks (5 rats & 4 packmasters).
Move 12" a turn (our fast cav).
Cost 120 (basically free).

They dominate against missile troops, fast cav, skirmishers, war machines, lone wizards, basically everything except blocks of HtH troops or heavy cav.

Think of them as skirmishers with a CR of 4.

08-12-2007, 08:02
I also use 4 rat packs just like Slaanesh Slave. I also never though they'd be any good, but since I bought 2 battalion boxes I had enough bases and rats, and in a 2500 point game had to choose between rats and rat ogres.
I usually use them on one flank together with a unit of shadow runners. This combination which runs me less than 200 points in thoroughly annoying for most opponents because I usually can move around behind them with one unit or the other. Giant rats aren't quite as tough as clan rats but full ranks and lots of low strength attacks are quite a deterrent against lighty armoured units such as light cavalry. Now I pretty much always use one unit and I find they are fairly effective for their point cost.

08-12-2007, 09:01
I use three packs of one packmaster and 6 rats. Very good and disposable diverters/flankers/even speedbumps. Cheap deployment options too.

09-12-2007, 22:19
I've thought about them as to be used in conjunction with Rat Ogres, since they are the only RnF-unit who can keep up with them. But since I haven't used my Rat Ogres since 5th ed and I don't have any Giant Rat models, I don't know for sure :p

09-12-2007, 23:10
Well, they are Move 6, which certainly fills a niche in an army with no cavalry. You might look at them and say, "why?". I look at them and say, "why not?".

10-12-2007, 04:03
Grats are fantastic, I wouldn't think of leaving ==My== den without them.

M6, low cost (which leads to easy rank bonuses and increased Ld), and placement in Core makes them ideal flankers or speed bumps. They can easily position themselves for flank charges once your clanrats hit home and help greatly when it comes to outnumbering.

The Adept
10-12-2007, 07:27
There's always the much hated 'rat dart'. It's not so good since 7th ed insisting we get as many enemy models in combat as well. The idea is to form the rats up (single pack) either one or two wide. Then charge the flank of an ongoing combat. You'll negate their rank bonus, and they'll only have two or three guys in base to base with the rats, so you shouldn't give away too much CR from the easy kills. Plus, you get the +1 for a flank, providing enough rats survive. Not bad for the low low cost!

10-12-2007, 08:29
Plus, with such a small frontage they wheel like maniacs, march block, divert, and generally annoy the opponent. I rarely get them to the flank alive, but they still do their job. The only bad thing about them: they are easy to destroy completely, which causes panic to other rats nearby...

10-12-2007, 08:34
Truthfully the last person on earth I saw using g.rats (also rat ogres/poison wind gobadiers!) used them to give numbers to battles where the clanrats had sustained many casualties already. Sometimes he used them for flank charges. They were not that effective really, but it looked better than having 6 clanrat units / 6 ratling guns...

10-12-2007, 08:38
I'm going to join in here with a huge: giant rats are awesome.

My friends may get slightly annoyed when I keep on saying "that's a 30 point unit of giant rats, your turn to deploy" but they get downright infuriated when they claim a quarter, or start march blocking from the other side of some woods. Better yet, when they divert a unit so that I can charge their flank (or so that they can't move forward because the refuse to charge) I grin from ear to ear.

10-12-2007, 09:14
I'm no skaven player, but imho, giant rats are very good, to redirect charges an so on. They're just like light cavarly, slower, sure, but cheaper.

11-12-2007, 04:37
So from the general consensus of the people that use /like them, what are the best way to make units of them?

Do you deploy 1 single unit of 4 packs? Does 5 models wide work best as you get the 3 ranks + 4 PM attacks?

How well does deploying a single pack work? 3 models wide, 2 deep and a PM in the rear? Keep this unit in reserve / flank duty for grabbing corners and such?

I am new to skaven and will be carving up some movement trays here shortly, so any input, advice is always helpful.

11-12-2007, 09:44
If you take many, take them 5 deep to keep ranks as long as possible. If you take few like I do ("the rat dart" or something), then 1 or 2 wide and many small ranks. They are there not to fight, but to bring numbers and take ranks/get flank bonus.

12-12-2007, 16:27
Disclaimer: I'm not a skaven player.

Three things I've observed skaven players say:
1) a unit of giant rats can cost 30 points

This means they are useful in my book. There are always sacrificial uses for something that cheap.

2) Rat ogres are nice, but panic easily to shooting.
3) Rat ogres and giant rats are both M6.

From this it would seem to me like rat ogres need a screen (and if they end up with frenzy, they need blinker screens). It also seems like the giant rats would be your best unit for the job... unless there's a special rule that says they can't screen?

12-12-2007, 16:50
They block los alright, but are almost as easy (or even easier) way to panic those rat ogres, than shooting the ogres themselves. Never screened anything with them myself though, I just divert and flank, or draw them out in case of hatred/frenzy).

12-12-2007, 17:45
In 2000-2250 point games I tend to use 2 or sometimes 3 single packs of rats for many of the uses stated above, plus some others:

* Redirecting, diverting, and baiting (especially frenzied troops).
* Flanking.
* Goblin fanatic bait.
* Missile bait.
* War machine hunting.

That last one happens more than you would think. People tend to just ignore them and let them walk right up to their war machine crew. Even if the rats lose, they'll manage to prevent shooting for a while.

They've got other, less common uses... they can take down a light cavalry unit if they hit them on a flank, for example. Or engage weak skirmishers. They're flexible and cheap.

As others have also mentioned, though... they can easily cause panic and/or fail panic tests themselves, so keep that in mind when deploying & using them.