View Full Version : New Skaven Army

29-09-2008, 23:53
Hi I am starting a new fantasy army and my first game is against dark elves. I have little idea as to an appropriate composition for a 2000 pts Skaven army and little idea of how to use one. I want to create a list that will work well against dark elves but with a little alteration will work fairly well against any opponent. Could anyone help me out with a few ideas and tactics ?

30-09-2008, 00:46
well the true horde 2000 point skaven army is a little daunting to assemble in one go as your looking at easily 200+ models. I was using a magic heavy list to get me by for awhile as it can include significantly less models but I would just recommend starting at lower point games. For any collection your going to want at least 2 units of Clan rats preferably above min size and ideally a unit of slaves (which are really one of the keys to the army) for every unit of clan rats as well as at at least one weapon team. The rest is quite variable, I would dig around in the codex and list here and on underempire and see what you like. I wouldn't recommend any of the specialty lists if your focus is gaming rather then modeling for fluff.

30-09-2008, 01:10
I have had a soft spot for Skaven for years, and have a large collection of Skaven models. But primarily as a 40K player I have never used them. The number of models I would need is not a problem as I have over 400 Skaven models (although I inherited a number of these). The problem I am having is deciding what not to take, as I seem to run out of points very fast and have little to show for it (6 unit in my last 2000 pts list). The armies I use in Warhammer are Empire and O&G, I thought the Skaven firepower and the numbers would make a nice blend of the tactics I all ready employ. As a 40K player I have found speed and dice are the most important concepts in army design, and I have had the most success in fantasy when I employ these concepts in my army design. I have an inherent dislike of magic item or wargear combo’s, and prefer to rely on basic troops (by basic I mean without excessive upgrades I have no problem with special and rare choices. The size of the game is unfortunately set and I was trying to use it as an excuse to get my Skaven out of the box.

30-09-2008, 01:28
Plaguemonks are generally rather useful, as are plague censor bearers (they'll outfight swordmasters!).
Giant rat units are well worth having as are small night runner unit's with throwing stars.

Warlord tooled for combat.
ASF sword plus bands of power makes him pretty nasty.
BsB mainly for the re-rolls for break tests making your ld10 units (due to warlord) really rather difficult to shift.
Then most likely 2 warlock engineers, although having plague priests is generally a lot of fun as they're really rather brutal as character's go, cheap and hideously hard hitting.

Ratling guns and such are best kept behind unit's as rearguards and deterrants for things like fast cav and enemy flyers.

Vs the new Dark elves the ring of hotek will be an utter pain with a magic heavy list.
Outshooting them is generally not going to happen, bolt throwers will drop jezzails from beyond their range with ease.
Putting character's with plaguemonks generally stops them running away, many a time I've simply pummeled the unit the general (or a character) was in and made them panick and run off.

bork da basher
30-09-2008, 10:51
this is my standard all comers skaven list, like yourself i dont like lots of magic items and have kept them to a minimum. the list has decent firepower, great magic, numbers and lots of little tricks which i really enjoy with the skaven.

depending on who you want to lead your force will make a big impact on what you choose to put in your list. for me its always a grey seer, the warlords extra LD and combat prowess is nice and everything but the skaven lore is awesome and a lvl 4 mage is a force to be reckoned with, seer led skaven tend to follow the trend of lots of warlocks backed up by skryre shooting with few bodies on the field. at range its a lethal army which can unleash huge amounts of firepower. i prefer this style.

warlord led armies tend to rely more on numbers, big units of clanrats all packing LD 10 in range of the warlord and basically steamrollering over things winning their combats by weight of numbers and static CR. this sort of army can suffer against certain armies though.

anyway this is what i use against anyone and might help to serve as a basic guideline for you. i'd fancy this armies chances against dark elves any day though :D

Grey seer / tenebrous cloak / 265

Warlock engineer / warp blades, warp power accumulator & condenser, storm demon / 110
Warlock engineer / warp blades, warp power accumulator & condenser / 85
Chieftain / BSB / 70

23 clanrats / standard & musician, ratling gun / 190 (greyseer & BSB)
24 clanrats / standard & musician, ratling gun / 195 (warlock)
24 clanrats / standard & musician, warpfire thrower / 210 (warlock)
2 packs of giant rats / 30 / 60
2 packs of giant rats / 30 / 60
20 slaves / musician / 44
20 slaves / musician / 44
2 poison wind globadiers / 20
2 poison wind globadiers / 20
2 poison wind globadiers / 20

5 jezzails / 100
25 plague monks / additional hand weapons, standard & musician / 215
3 gutter runners / tunnelling team / 45
3 gutter runners / tunnelling team / 45

warp lightning cannon / 100
warp lightning cannon / 100


30-09-2008, 16:20
Thanks for all your help, this is the list i have worked out so far. What do people think?

2000 pts Skaven List

Heavy armour and shield, Blade of Fury, Warpstone Amulet, Bands of Power (199 pts)

Chieftain, BSB, Heavy Armour and Shield (76 Pts)

Warlock Engineer, Warp Blades, Warp energy condenser, Warp power Accumulator
(85 pts)

Warlock Engineer, Warp Blades, Warp energy condenser, Warp power Accumulator, Storm Daemon (110pts)

20 Clan Rats, Standard And Musician
1 Ratling Cannon (175 pts)

20 Clan Rats, Standard And Musician
1 Ratling Cannon (175 pts)

20 Clan Rats, Standard And Musician
1 Ratling Cannon (175 pts)

20 Clan Rats, Standard And Musician
1 Ratling Cannon (175 pts)

20 Clan Rats, Standard And Musician
1 Ratling Cannon (175 pts)

20 Slaves = 40 (40 pts)

20 Slaves = 40 (40 pts)

20 Slaves = 40 (40 pts)

20 Slaves = 40 (40 pts)

20 Slaves = 40 (40 pts)

2 giant rat packs (60pts)

2 giant rat packs (60pts)

7 night runners (35 pts)

5 Jezzailes (100pts)

Warp Lightning Cannon (100pts)

Warp Lightning Cannon (100pts)

bork da basher
30-09-2008, 17:46
firstly get rid of the blade of black fury, its not worth its points, get yourself a weeping blade for 5pts more. S9 D3 wounds can kill anything very quickly. warpstone amulet is a risk and if your unlucky and mean your loose rather than draw or draw rather than win. if you intend your warlord to get stuck into CC as you should do it should be worth the risk.

next increase the size of your clanrat units to 24+charecter or 25 without. you loose a rank and you loose a point of LD aswell as rankbonus. 5 ratling guns is OTT, ditch 2 of them and bump up your unit sizes, id also switch one for a warpfire thrower which can be very handy for causing panic tests.

i'd consider musicians for the slaves, you'd be amazed how long they stick around with a warlord close by, with +1 to rally and giving the edge in drawn combats they go a long way for 4pts.

reduce your night runners to 6 so they cant cause panic to other units.

30-09-2008, 17:54
lol 1000 SLAVES for 2000 points ???

now thats an army :p

30-09-2008, 18:42
I don’t understand the amount of hatred that Ratling guns get or that 5 is OTT. 5 guns only give me an average of 35 shot per turn, given the short range and the crap BS of the team that will only translate to 8 wounds against T3 opponents. Compered to empire out riders who get slightly more shots for the points have a better BS and a higher chance of survival. Or DE Crossbow men 60 shots at BS 4 at longer range for the same points, Ratling guns are rather week.

My experience with empire and O&G suggests that more units are better than bigger units. Yes I will go from Ld 10 to Ld 9 with the loss of 1 model but Ld 9 is still good. Any break checks I take will be ones I want to fail, so I run and force my opponent to peruse (Hatred) so I can clobber him with multiple charges.

The amulet is a big risk but it will take the 1 in 6 chance, I like the idea of my lord having 6 strength 8 attacks better than 4 strength 9 with D3 wounds as the latter option is only good against characters, and I use my characters for unit bashing. Having said that I will consider swapping my lords wargear around.

30-09-2008, 19:07
i think you have missunderstood the ratling gun you don't need to hit what you role on the dice is the amount of hits the unit recives there for they are nasty as hell an people concider them to be evil


30-09-2008, 19:16
I'm not sure I would consider the 5 ratling guns OTT. I would consider them easy VP, though. Especially against a shooting & magic heavy army like DE.

I understand what you're saying about more units vs. bigger units, but that's why you use slaves and giant rats. Throw them away as bait, counter and/or flank with larger (25+) clanrat units.

You're looking at a potential panic festival.

I would strongly advise against units of 20, but try them out for a while and see what works for you. You can always readjust later on.

30-09-2008, 19:33
Ratling guns don't use BS to shoot. You roll a dice, then another, then another until you want to stop and thats how many shots are fired or you role a a number twice which causes a miss fire.

Empire and O&G opperate quite differently from Skaven. Where both of the former have set LD skaven's is based off of their ranks so the more you have in one block the better. If they can survive 3+ turns with LD 10 (over 20 men in the unit w/the warlord) their going to stay for the second half of the game. Generally blocks of 30 clanrats are what people aim for. Field them in a 5x6 formation and thats 11 guys your enemy has to kill before that unit drops an LD. Times that by the 5 units you have, thats 55 models that have to die before your standard LD is 9. Where as right now all you have to lose is 5. And with the special rule that you can fire into combat... again the more the merrier.

And I agree with bork da basher in that 5 ratling guns is definitely OTT. I'd drop 3 of 'em add in a warp-fire thrower, bump up your main stay blocks to 25-30, and give your slaves a musik man. Also knock down your night runners to a unit of 5 and either give them throwing stars or an extra hand weapon. That way the unit strength is too small to cause panic in the army and it makes them slightly more maneuverable.

You might want to consider dropping a unit of clanrats and a unit of slaves (since the later you have to) to free up some extra points to upgrade your units. Another thing you might want to look into is a unit of tunnelers (gutter runners upgraded). Right now your list lacks any sort of war machine hunters and with so many models a well placed cannon ball or a Dwarven artillery army will really knock you up. And Jezzail teams work very well in units of 6.

30-09-2008, 20:01
Ok, here's some links you might want to check out:

http://underempire.net/index.php?showtopic=18679- Guide to build a complete SAD army, The Shooty Army of Doom.

http://underempire.net/index.php?showtopic=10909- Weapons Teams, which ones to use and how many

http://underempire.net/index.php?showtopic=8057- Eshin "Whats, hows, wheres and whens"

http://underempire.net/index.php?showtopic=26425- Skaven tactics

http://underempire.net/index.php?showtopic=8712- Legendary tactics articles (good one. I would suggest reading this first).

30-09-2008, 20:11
As general points they are very good, most people seem to thick that 30 is to big and too easy to out manoeuvre. I will probably end up with units of 25. I am happy with dropping to Ld 9, as thatís still only a 7 in 36 chance of failing panic and a 1 in 26 for a break test. I will perhaps try to take my units up to 21 to make the panic point 6 rather than 5. I am thinking of drooping 1 unit of rats and having 3 units of 5-6 strong night runners. The list I am trying to develop is not going to be used beyond this game, it is solely a list to be taken in an anything goes battle against DE. My opponent is going to a tournament soon and is getting in as many practice game as he can beforehand. I am using this game as an excuse to stick my Skaven together. I am going to stick with 20-21 for my clan rats for now as I haven't got the time to stick any more together. Thankfully all the slaves are metal models and just need sticking in the bases. What do people think about slings about 20 of my slaves have them? I was just going to mix them in with my other units.

30-09-2008, 20:46
As general points they are very good, most people seem to thick that 30 is to big and too easy to out manoeuvre.

I just want to go on record as saying I think 30 is a good starting point. :D

I usually run units of 30 clanrats & plaguemonks, and units of 25 & 40+ slaves.

Thankfully all the slaves are metal models and just need sticking in the bases. What do people think about slings about 20 of my slaves have them? I was just going to mix them in with my other units.

Slaves are BS2, that gives them a starting to-hit roll of 5+. Anything at long range, cover, skirmisher, multishot, etc. will be 6+ or worse. You'll do a bit better vs. large targerts, but then the S3 isn't likely to do much.

Considering the short range of slings, you'll generally be rolling 6+ to hit, at best. If you can deploy them about 10 wide and still get all 10 to be in range/arc, that's about 1.6 S3 hits. Against T3 unarmoured opponents you'll be on the lucky side of average if you get a single wound.

I've never been too impressed with slingslaves.

30-09-2008, 21:35
Thanks I have re worked my list it is in the army list section under 2K Skaven list against DE

01-10-2008, 05:19
units of 25 & 40+ slaves.

Really? My original list fielded a couple units of 40 slaves but from what I was advised and what I've read 40 is too much. Originally I based that off of the goblin units my friend used to field and 40 gobbos is nothing to laugh at. They may not hit hard nor win combat often but your not going to break 'em easily. And if you can lock a unit of medium to high end troops (for me it's saurus) that's pretty good, especially if you can shoot into the combat.

01-10-2008, 14:22
Yes, usually two units around 40. The unit of 25 is a more recent addition, mainly for the 'Ard Boys tournament.

I know it's not exactly the 100% most effective thing to do, but it really has worked out well for me...

1: They're almost guaranteed to get that +1 CR for outnumbering.

2: They can soak up boatloads of missile fire before panicking or losing their SiN.

3: They can take massive casualties in combat before losing their SiN, increasing their tarpittiness.

4: Psycological warfare. They may still be slaves, but people fear 40 of them more than 20 or 25.

5: Most importantly: It looks cool as hell. It's all about the style...

And in reference to your goblin comment, when I played an all gobbo army in 6th ed, I ran them in units of 35-40 as well.

bork da basher
01-10-2008, 15:14
it depends on how you like to use slave units, personnally if i have a single slave left on the table at the end of the game ive not gotten the most out of them lol.

20 does the same as 40 and only a nutter shoots a slave unit when he has ANY other choice to shoot at. if you panic the unit so what it wont spread to your main blocks, if you destroy it so what its 40pts. you march out, you move onto an angle and you dare the enemy to charge you, they charge or you will its as simple as that, that unit is then exposing a flank and ripe for plucking with a better unit. if they charge flee and if your in range of your general your'll rally all being well next turn (hence take a musician) and you'd have lured out a unit ready to be massacred. 40 is a tarpit but two units of 20 is far far more useful and easier to handle on the table. the humble slave used correctly is the best unit in the skaven army i reckon.

01-10-2008, 17:24
the humble slave used correctly is the best unit in the skaven army i reckon.

I agree

I also agree it depends how you use them how many you want, for redirection and baiting purposes the small ones work fine. I imagine the larger ones are harder to maneuver with and maintain range to the general but slightly more reliable when out of range.

01-10-2008, 18:23
How do you field a unit that big 8x5 or 5x8? and would it be tactical to field 4 units of that size with 4 units of clanrats to back 'em up? Basically, would this core design be a good idea at a 2.5k game or are there just too many slaves (I'm assuming they are fielded in a 8x5 formation):

TROOP: 1511
4x 40 slaves- musician- 336
4x 30 Clanrats- standard, musician- 660
2 ratling guns- 130
Warp-fire thrower- 75
2x 2 giant rats- 120
2x 5 night runners- throwing stars- 70
4x 3 poison wind globadiers- 120


Never mind about the 8x5. That kinda negates the SiN special rule.

And another question. Would a BSB who denied a challenge still count for CR and allow re-rolls on failed break tests because of the "Lead from Behind" special rule?

06-10-2008, 19:22
Ok I have had 2 games with the modified list now and they both went quite well. (a SV and a MV)

The 20 strong units of slaves worked well for what I want from them. I am thinking of dropping a WLC, a Rat gun and either 5 clan rats or 5 night runners taking a WFT a 4th unit of 20 slaves and a second units of gutter runners with tunnelling (but no poison though). If I keep the rat gun I can take poison with my second unit of gutter runners, I may all so drop a unit of globeadiers and keep the 4 units of night runners.

07-10-2008, 00:39
ok want my input here ya go

Items: Warpstone Armour, Desolate Blade, Shield, Halberd

Items: Heavy Armour

Warlock Engineer: 95
Items:Warp Blades, Warp-Energy Condenser, Warp-Power Accumluator

Warlock Engineer: 95
Items:Warp Blades, Warp-Energy Condenser, Warp-Power Accumluator

Core Units

25 Clanrats: 240
Gear: Spears, Shields, Light Armour, Warp Fire Launcher, Full Command

25 Clanrats: 250
Gear: Spears, Shields, Light Armour, Ratling Gun, Full Command

25 Clanrats: 250
Gear: Spears, Shields, Light Armour, FullCommand, Ratling Gun

3 Rat Swarms: 135

4 Packs of Giant Rats: 120

20 Slaves: 40

20 Slaves: 40

25 StormVermin: 285
Items: Full Command, Warpfire Launcher


5 Jezzails: 100


Warp Lightning Cannon: 100

Total: 1999

In Summary this army will dominate the shooting phase(unless playin Elves, Empire, or Dwarfs) and rock it up with numbers. use the rat swarms and giant Rats to gaurd flanks while the storm vermin, clanrats and slaves decimate the middle, ull do pretty good in the magic phase to