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Magos Explorator
11-06-2008, 21:28
I'm getting back into Fantasy after stopping around the 5th/6th edition changeover, and am assembling forces of Skaven and High Elves. If I've understood the rules correctly, instead of being limited by the points value of characters I'm now limited by their number--which for the Skaven seems like a bit of a blow, given past reliance on lots of cheap characters!

I was wondering whether, given limited Hero choices, Warlock Engineers were worthwhile and how many slots I should fill with them in an e.g. 1000 or 2000 point game? If I'm reading it correctly, they're not so much like other spellcasters as magic missile chuckers, which could be fairly nice in general but given they're competing for slots with assassins and chieftains I'm not sure which is the best choice!

I was thinking for 1000 points to maybe have 1 Warlock Engineer, 1 Assassin and 1 Chieftain. But I may drop the Chieftain for a second Engineer, since I figure combat resolution rather than kills is likely to determine the flow of combat, and Warp Lightning should allow me to soften up enemy units a little before melee. Plus for large units I should still have respectable Leadership.

In 2000 points the extra slot would then probably go to a Grey Seer - but in this case, would I be well-served to drop the second Warlock for another Assassin?

(As it happens, at the moment I've got model-wise 2 Grey Seers, 3 Warlock Engineers and 2 Assassins.)

The overall army composition will revolve around a few large blocks of Clanrats , with some slaves and 30 Stormvermin as support. I hope to eventually get some Clan Moulder troops, too. I've got 30-40 Plague Monks, about a dozen Gutter Runners, and 10 Jezzails.

W0lf
11-06-2008, 22:42
Warlock engineers are broken for their cost.

3x warlocks + a grey seer on bell for the 14 power dice - game winnign SAD crap.
3x warlocks + warlord with +2 attacks, 4+ ward and bands of power - brutal magic, good ld and a fairly powerful character.

2 best combos imo. Can see why you 'd bother with anything else. But hey i power game.

( i dont play skaven but my main opponent does and these are his set-ups)

Stinkfoot
11-06-2008, 22:46
In order to make magic work in 6th/7th addition, you really need to overwhelm your opponent in the magic phase. Spending 100 points on spell casters will do zero damage. Spending 400 points on spellcaster will do 200-600 points of damage. That's a good rule of thumb as least.

As for your question, I think engineers are the best Skaven hero choice at the moment. Skaven have a lot of cool heroes, and a chieftain BSB is very useful, but I don't think they're as important as the Engineers.

I'd take two engineers in all games 1000-2999 points. Take a Seer once the lord slot opens up. For the extra hero slot, I'd say either take a BSB as mentioned above, or an Assassin with the Weeping Blade. The Assassin is a very Skaven-esque unit if the enemy takes lots of threatening heroes, but otherwise the BSB probably has more synergy with the rest of your army.

fubukii
12-06-2008, 02:29
Warlock engineers are broken for their cost.

3x warlocks + a grey seer on bell for the 14 power dice - game winnign SAD crap.
3x warlocks + warlord with +2 attacks, 4+ ward and bands of power - brutal magic, good ld and a fairly powerful character.

2 best combos imo. Can see why you 'd bother with anything else. But hey i power game.

( i dont play skaven but my main opponent does and these are his set-ups)

As for the topic of warlocks they are probably the single best hero slot in the army. No other hero is half as good. On the topic of the grey seer on bell, its way to pricey 700 pt units in a skaven army are a bad idea, one bad round of combat and its game over, as you lose almost half your army in 1 combat.

Best bet with skaven heroes is
Warlord +weeping blade or extra hand weapon, ward save bands of power.
o Grey seer on foot (2oo pts for +2 pd is silly lets be honest)
3 locks

All of the other skaven heroes minus the plague priest with a censer are really bad. The assassin costs almost as much as a lord choice from other armies and is a rather bad choice. Chieftans are kinda iffy, and i dont want to talk about master moulders :)

hippie
12-06-2008, 04:22
i use a grey seer on bel a engineer with stormdeamon
and 2 plague priests (skitterleap those bastards and watch them go whoohoo)
fairly magic +-10 pwd /5dpd
and 2 heavy hitters who can kill a lot

king.rat
12-06-2008, 10:15
personally i go for chiftains or warlords for the most part only relying on the engineers to carry a scroll or two, assassins are not worth thier points, bsb's are a good thing and not to be squeeked at, a chieftain with heavy armour and a great weapon is cheap,basic and nasty against most things. concentrate on the core not the characters, yes they do give a boost to the units they are with but see to the units first, you cant win a battle on characters alone with skaven. i go for fighty rather than magic.

W0lf
12-06-2008, 12:38
The bell really is worth it thou.

The dice not so but 4 really important factors make it worthwile:

No. 4 - MR 2 is not at all shabby for the unit. Its likely to face magic and with naturally high number of dispel dice (wizards) the MR is brilliant.

No. 3 - Bell effects are very good. Especially 10 (aka gimp warmachines). 13 on a bell is potentially game winning.

No. 2 - IMMUNE TO PANIC. This is so good its almost incomprehendable. You would be very suprised how useful this is. Its alot easier to make a unit with a 500 pt greyseer worth 600 VPs flee off the table then youd think it was. one failed panic check could be game over for you.

No 1. - My skaven opponent didnt really realise the impact of this untill we switched armies and i showed him the hard way. S6 Impact hits. Seriously With +5 CR and impact hits the unit does alot better then you would think. 99.9% of the time the opponent will be marching on your bells unit... its better to charge then be charged and trust me S6 impact hits are NOTHING to sniff at. Killing 3-4 of an enemy unit that is 5 wide is devastating.


Oh and the extra power dice are not bad. But i really do rate the seer on bell, so much so i wouldnt biother with a bell-less seer. That said the warlord is indeed as viable.


you cant win a battle on characters alone with skaven. i go for fighty rather than magic.

You could not be more wrong. Skaven are one of few armies that can win based on characters. Skaven magic is easily the best with the possible exeption of Vampire counts. No wizard int he game would turn down 2d 6 S5 as a base spell.

ZeroTwentythree
12-06-2008, 13:53
I was wondering whether, given limited Hero choices, Warlock Engineers were worthwhile and how many slots I should fill with them in an e.g. 1000 or 2000 point game? If I'm reading it correctly, they're not so much like other spellcasters as magic missile chuckers, which could be fairly nice in general but given they're competing for slots with assassins and chieftains I'm not sure which is the best choice!


IMHO, I think the extra LD for a warlord at 2000 points is a better buy than a grey seer. Also, I'm not generally fond of the assassins at under 3000 points, since I prefer filling the character slots with other choices.

1 engineer at 1000 points, and 2 at 2000 points should be a good starting point.






No. 4 - MR 2 is not at all shabby for the unit. Its likely to face magic and with naturally high number of dispel dice (wizards) the MR is brilliant.


I take a horde with a pair of engineers & a pair of dispel scrolls to stop a couple early big spells. If the army's big enough, you can just soak a certain amount of magic casualties.

Besides, most opponents will simply cast on other units, rather than the one with the bell in it.




No. 3 - Bell effects are very good. Especially 10 (aka gimp warmachines). 13 on a bell is potentially game winning.


Or they can be completely useless.

Or worse yet, they can make your entire army frenzy, forcing unwanted suicidal charges, like weapon teams, globadiers, jezzails, etc. Or keeping you from fleeing once you've baited charge-traps. Skaven can do a lot by outmanuvering & baiting their opponents -- but can then have it totally undone by the frenzy result on the bell.

Yes, the anti-war machine result is good. If you get it. And if you're playing against someone with war machines. There's just a whole lot of chance of the bell results doing nothing, and that can be a bit of a risk for a 200 point upgrade.




No. 2 - IMMUNE TO PANIC. This is so good its almost incomprehendable. You would be very suprised how useful this is. Its alot easier to make a unit with a 500 pt greyseer worth 600 VPs flee off the table then youd think it was. one failed panic check could be game over for you.



OR you can avoid having that many points in one place in the first place by skipping the grey seer altogether. Adding the warlord also gives you the benefit of having a higher LD for the army general.






No 1. - My skaven opponent didnt really realise the impact of this untill we switched armies and i showed him the hard way. S6 Impact hits. Seriously With +5 CR and impact hits the unit does alot better then you would think. 99.9% of the time the opponent will be marching on your bells unit... its better to charge then be charged and trust me S6 impact hits are NOTHING to sniff at. Killing 3-4 of an enemy unit that is 5 wide is devastating.


Most of the time opponents will target the bell pushing unit with missile fire and it will not arrive at combat with the +5 CR. And the impact hits are just as likely to cause only 1 or 2 casualties. Or if your opponent can soak the impact casualties, your bell & seer are now stuck in combat, with the bell being auto-destroyed if you break.





You could not be more wrong. Skaven are one of few armies that can win based on characters. Skaven magic is easily the best with the possible exeption of Vampire counts. No wizard int he game would turn down 2d 6 S5 as a base spell.


I totally disagree.

First off, warp lightning has a significant chance of wounding and eventually killing it's casters. This is especially true in the case of the engineers. Using warpstone tokens only increases this risk.

Second, there are plenty of spells that can unleash a significant amount of direct damage like that. Because of variations in the specifics, it's hard to quantify directly.

Third, there's quite a few armies that recieve substantial benefits from special rules and/or magic items focused on the magic phase in addition to having spells that really compete with warp lightning. VC, HE, LM and the new Daemons all fall into this catagory, I think.


In addition to all those specifics, I think that the remainder of the skaven army is just too soft and panic prone to sink 700 +/- points into a seer and a bell at anything under 3000 points.

I've actually been using the bell recently, just for a change and because of some higher point games. I'm quite unimpressed.

Mercules
12-06-2008, 15:46
In lower point games Engineers can completely alter the game. In Higher point games they become less important offensively and their value seems to lie in the fact they can help protect against enemy magic.

500-750 point game Engineers can blast everything in existence off the board(including themselves) 1K they are still very potent. 2K most armies have enough variety/troops/magic defense to deal with them.

Vandur Last
12-06-2008, 16:14
How essential really is the Warlords LD bonus? I mean a Grey Seer is effectively LD9 already and adds so much more than just LD. For a supposedly low LD army Skaven special rules make them pretty high on the LD chart, which would incline me towards more spellcasting Heroes and Lords.

ZeroTwentythree
12-06-2008, 16:26
That's only for formed units with a rank bonus. Everyone else doesn't get SiN. His "effective" LD isn't 9, it's 6. Some units may get an additional rank bonus.

It's the difference between LD6 and LD7 within 12" range for:

Fleeing units
Jezzails
WLC
Giant Rats
Rat Ogres
Night Runners
WFTs
Ratling Guns
PWGs
Formed units being flanked by enemies


I may be missing some.

Terror can wreak havoc on all of those units above, and can be an impressive tool with a smart opponent.

fubukii
12-06-2008, 23:38
well your are right that ld9 is impressive but take into consideration if your unit is fleeing, now its ld6 7 with a musician.

With a warlord im rocking ld8 to rally ALOT better then ld7 imo. warlords also can help you win combats due to killing models or overkill due to the weeping blade. grey seers are 100% useless unless they get warped lightning or plague. Ive had games where i dont get either of the spells and then my grey seer is worthless. granted its rare but it totally sucks.

The bells impact hits are strr 5 not 6. It also only charges 10 inches, meaning most likely (since you have a 700pt unit) you will be charged by anything faster due to not having sufficient units to redirect charges because most of your points are spent in 1 unit.

- I also agree with zero, the frenzy result totally sucks and hatred can also lead u into some bad spots. Id say the only good results on the bell are the stubborn, Panic test, and anti warmachine results all the other ones are complete trash.

skaven win games with cheap units killing more pts then their worth. You deny the enemy points by feeding them cheaper units then what u kill of their stuff. Works everytime i promise!

Magos Explorator
13-06-2008, 10:07
Thanks for the advice, guys--I think in 500 point games I'll probably take 1 Warlock, and in 1000 maybe add a Chieftain too (and vary the 3rd slot between a second Warlock and an Assassin). I'll post up some army lists in a while (am doing the Tale of Fantasy Painters challenge with High Elves and Skaven, so will aim to paint to complete a viable force first).

W0lf
13-06-2008, 10:45
Zero i like how you took every point and said why it wasnt that great... did you combine them?

Anyway i dont play skaven merely against them, a bell is far far far scarier then a warlord imo.

Oh and if you doubt warlock engineers play with 3 of them at 1K in a non-tailored enviroment. Its almost unstoppable.

ZeroTwentythree
13-06-2008, 12:17
OK, combined...

Most rolls on the bell are going to suck, one a single unit gets the MR and immune to panic and MR (so your opponent will most likely concentrate on other units with spells,) and the skaven pushing it are still likely to have their rank bonus lowered or stripped and/or be charged before they can take advantage of a potential d6 impact hits... for 700 +/- points.

Yeah, you're right. It sounds much better when you put that all together. :rolleyes:

You want me to add the part about your general having LD6 in games under 3000 points too? Might make it sound even more attractive.

As with anything, it depends on your opponent's cooperation a bit. If you've got someone firing spells at the seers unit, sure, the MR2 pays off. It pays off as a deterrant to casting spells at him in general. Likewise, if you've got someone with a pile or warmachines, then the result that damages them is great -- if you roll it


As for the warlocks in low point games, that's really where they really work well.

In general, skaven are strong in lower point games, but are outclassed by a number of other armies in large games.

Stinkfoot
13-06-2008, 15:51
Thanks for the advice, guys--I think in 500 point games I'll probably take 1 Warlock, and in 1000 maybe add a Chieftain too (and vary the 3rd slot between a second Warlock and an Assassin). I'll post up some army lists in a while (am doing the Tale of Fantasy Painters challenge with High Elves and Skaven, so will aim to paint to complete a viable force first).

Not really a good plan in the > 1000 point games. It's never a good idea to take a lone wizard unless they have some special rules that let them cast a lot of spells. Skaven in fact have the opposite of such a rule. With one engineer you can only cast one spell per turn, and only on three power dice. You'll be lucky to get off one warp lightning all game at that rate. Take two engineers on the other hand, and you can probably cast a warp lightning every turn. Double the points for a six-fold increase in effectiveness? Yes please!

... Of course, that's assuming they survive all game, which they probably won't in all honesty. Still, it's well worth it.

W0lf
13-06-2008, 18:51
(so your opponent will most likely concentrate on other units with spells,)

erm and thats the reason the bell is good?

Not because your opponent is stupid but because it stops the unit being attacked by spells. That means only shooting to lose CR to and if the enemy have enough shooting to kill your ranks in a unit of say 34 + bell (thats 40 slots right?) then they are ignoring the rest of your army. Not to mention your magic phase + shooting can kill their shooting.

Oh and dont lie to yourself. Skaven arnt Ld 6 with a seer. More like Ld 9.

ZeroTwentythree
13-06-2008, 19:20
Oh and dont lie to yourself. Skaven arnt Ld 6 with a seer. More like Ld 9.


Only for 4 unit types, if they are within 12" of the general, and not fleeing, flanked, or have any other modifiers/situations removing ranks. I listed most of the types of troops that don't get the SiN bonus at all above -- and they also happen to be the units people generally complain are most powerful (weapon teams, jezzails, etc.)



And forget I said anything about the bell... It's apparent how good it is from the way it's dominating games and the actual skaven players here are unanimously supporting it and taking it in their armies. I give up. :rolleyes:

fubukii
14-06-2008, 10:19
except for the same points as a bell i can get 1 warlord 1-2 warlocks, 30 clanrat, 25 slaves and or a WLC. :)


I know what id rather have!

WageMage
14-06-2008, 21:09
The Bell is fine for fun games and always good for a laugh but is not worth its points.
It's a death sentence for the Seer because the Bell and thus the Seer (randomized) can be singled out by ranged stuff like cannonballs or Bolts, or he gets far too much HTH attacks because of his big base.
It also makes his Skitterleap spell useless.

The last couple of game I've come to value the Seer over the Warlord simply for the extra magic defence he gives us against TK, VC and Daemons.

@fubukii: Don't forget that the Death Frenzy spell is awesome, makes those fear/terror causers a little less scary.

fubukii
15-06-2008, 03:04
while death frenzy is indeed a pretty coolspell i would hardly say it justifys the use of a roughly 300 pt character.

Rubberchrist
16-06-2008, 05:32
First off, I'll have to agree... For the most part, the Warlock Engineers are point for point the best character in our army list. I typically run 1-2 depending on my mood. One should always have Storm Daemon... It is the best item in our list, and under-priced by about 10 points IMO.

If you want to use the Grey Seer, make sure you have two Engineers as well. If you are going to spend 300 points to take a Seer, you pretty much HAVE to dominate the magic phase. Also, you will want to have a BSB Chieftain for the re-rolls as your Ld will be weaker. With the Seer, count on weaker Ld. I know it is only one point difference with the Warlord, but it doubles the number of failures you can roll on those two dice.

The Assassin is pretty much always a waste of points unless you are running a scout-heavy list or an Eshin list. They will be overkill on Rank and File troops, and nowhere near tough enough against and really Fighty Characters

Same with the Master Moulder. I take at least 2 rat ogres and 2 blocks of Giant rats before even thinking about him. He is great, but only if there are a fistful of units to get his re-roll. He is good in CC against Rank and File, but I never give him more than a ward save and a great weapon.

Plague Priest; Dead Scary in CC. Extra hand weapons and Bands of Power (in a high-magic list), or a flail and a ward save in most others make this guy super-duper scary. Best in front of a 7x3 block of Plague Monks.


The thing to keep in mind with Skaven Characters, unless you tool them specifically for CC, keep them out of it at all costs! They are all pretty much expensive Clanrats with no armor. Our absolute best characters kitted out scary are no match for the super-combat characters of the dwarves, chaos, orks, or lizardmen. It is imperative we have good characters, but we win battles with static CR and outmaneuvering the opponent (or in the shooting phase if we are chumps), not in challenges.

-R

ZeroTwentythree
16-06-2008, 13:59
The Assassin is pretty much always a waste of points unless you are running a scout-heavy list or an Eshin list. They will be overkill on Rank and File troops, and nowhere near tough enough against and really Fighty Characters


I think that depends on what you are using him for. I think he only needs the support of a single unit, whether he's hidden in a ranked one or scouting with gutter runners. Still, he'd be pressed to take out any really combat oriented characters. (Which is why I'm not fond of the assassin.)




Same with the Master Moulder. I take at least 2 rat ogres and 2 blocks of Giant rats before even thinking about him. He is great, but only if there are a fistful of units to get his re-roll.



Which is still bad. Because you have to cluster a bunch of easily panicked troops together in order to get the "advantage". Furthermore, they are generally best used as support troops for other (non-moulder) units, meaning you're limiting yourself tactically to get make use of his ability.




Plague Priest; Dead Scary in CC. Extra hand weapons and Bands of Power (in a high-magic list), or a flail and a ward save in most others make this guy super-duper scary. Best in front of a 7x3 block of Plague Monks.

I like the plague priest, and think he adds some punch to the monks. I'd still give the monks full ranks, though -- with S3 on the troops, the extra CR still helps. I haven't been giving mine a ward, which is his major weakness (lack of armour) but have found that giving him extra S (I like to give him the desolate blade) helps take down big stuff or at least knock out some R&F troops and help push the CR in favor of the monks.




The thing to keep in mind with Skaven Characters, unless you tool them specifically for CC, keep them out of it at all costs! They are all pretty much expensive Clanrats with no armor. Our absolute best characters kitted out scary are no match for the super-combat characters of the dwarves, chaos, orks, or lizardmen. It is imperative we have good characters, but we win battles with static CR and outmaneuvering the opponent (or in the shooting phase if we are chumps), not in challenges.


Depends. As you say, skaven win by static CR, but that's getting more difficult IMHO as more armies are gaining the ability to put out enough wounds to overcome that. So some moderate CC characters that can knock down rank & file troops helps.

Also, as far as the super-combat characters, I've been known to play it risky, throwing a warlord with the crown (regen) and weeping blades into it, in hopes that the multiple wounds of the blades will help take out the enemy. It really depends on the situation, but it's sometimes been a risk that's paid off.

Regarding challenges, I'd also add to your comment that having champions is helpful, and also point out that declining a challenge is a good way of getting your warlock or seer to the back rank where he can actually leave the combat altogether. People are sometimes surprised when I do this, but it's a great advantage of the cowardly tactically superior skaven.

Rubberchrist
16-06-2008, 15:36
Regarding challenges, I'd also add to your comment that having champions is helpful, and also point out that declining a challenge is a good way of getting your warlock or seer to the back rank where he can actually leave the combat altogether. People are sometimes surprised when I do this, but it's a great advantage of the cowardly tactically superior skaven.

Amen to that. Anyone who is foolish enough to challenge a warlock engineer deserves to have them leave combat and Warp Lightning them in the side.

-R