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View Full Version : Viability of the SoC Eshin list (need advice).



Azroth
03-05-2005, 06:34
As I've mentioned before (not that anybody should remember, but still), I have no Fantasy experience whatsoever. It has never really appealed to me before, but that's changing more and more now. I have bought a box of Ogres (and will buy more) just to build and convert some, and have serious thoughts on starting a Fantasy army or two. And frankly speaking, the Storm of Chaos Eshin list looks like a lot of fun, because it's so different to all the other armies. I don't particurarly like the rat models, so it would probably end up being a ninja Gnoblar army or somesuch. I'm just wondering about the list, i.e. the rules.

Is the list viable? Can it be used properly? I don't need to win 90% of my games, it's not about that, but I've heard a lot of people complain that some of the SoC lists are both poorly tested and executed, and I don't want an unplayable list. I want something that is fun and different for both me and my opponent. Any Skaven vets out there feel like commenting on this one? Thanks in advance. Cheers.

EDIT: And most important of all, is a pure skirmish army viable? This seems like the most fun and is what really makes me want to do the list.
-Az

User Name
04-05-2005, 04:00
The pure skirmish army is a viable option but it usually ends up being a pritty boering game of run out of your enemies LoS and shooting at him with slings. Other than that it is a list just like any other with more of a focus on killing enemy charicters.

adreal
04-05-2005, 07:07
oh the eshin list is great, i love it, you can control pretty much the entire game if you know what to do, so :)

Great units: Master assassin, Triad, tunneling teams, eshin sorcerer.
Okay units: gutter runners, assassins, globadiers, rat swarms
average units: night runers, giant rats, can rats, slaves, stormvermin
units you should never ever use: jezzails, plague monks,censer bearers, DoW

jezzails may be alright in a normal skaven list, but i dont think there much good in this one (assassins cant give Ld bonuses, and your master assassin should be upfront)

all that being said, will this be your only army list? its alright on occasions but i wouoldsnt exclussivly use this list

Major Defense
04-05-2005, 10:27
WTF!? Censer bearers are some of the most deadly units Skaven can get! My T3 High Elves are terrified by them.

As for the Eshin list, the "Cover of Night" rule seems like a double-edged sword. It might cut back on a shooty army's advantages but since you're rolling that die every turn you could find yourself unable to charge/shoot while chance might favor your opponent and let them charge/shoot you where you thought you would be safe. Then again the exact opposite might just as easily happen.

Sariel
04-05-2005, 19:26
Oh. An all-skirmish Eshin list is most certainly viable. Trouble is, it would sort of play like this:

1) Your Eshin Sorcerors try and Skitterleap your Fell-Blade-carrying Master Assassin into base contact with the most expensive characters your opponent has. Master Assassin thin-slices enemy character, and hopefully runs away fast enough. If you're lucky, you get to try again. With luck, he'll have killed enough of characters to make up his points cost before the Fell Blade kills him.

Considering the 200 VP you get for killing an enemy general (100 for the General, 100 for Eshin victory conditions), that means an enemy general only needs to cost about 135 points for you to break even - not very hard considering most folks load up their generals with magical goodies.

2) Your backup Assassin can do the same thing to softer targets like mages and BSBs. Or he runs around throwing Warpstone Stars..

3) Your Triads pick fights with soft, high-point-cost units like fast cav, war machine crews, small (10-12 strong) units of infantry.

4) The rest of your army runs to grab/deny table quarters. Once they get there, they run around and take pot shots at any targets in range.

Thing is, it can be incredibly frustrating for an opponent - there's nothing for the other guy to come to grips with in close combat, and the whole game revolves around picking off the other guy's characters one by one while the rest of your army grabs quarters and avoids combat.

On a side note, Eshin lists work best against folks who like to load up their characters with oodles of magical doodads. The more expensive the character, the juicier a target it becomes! A 300+ point Elven Archmage is a lot more attractive a target than a 100-point Elector Count...

And then there was that guy who had his Tomb King in a unit of 4 chariots. Master Assassin charges them in the flank (avoiding the Tomb King and unit champion). 4 hits. 4 dead chariots, +11 to combat resolution for me, Tomb King crumbles. Wham. Close to 700 points from one round of combat....

adreal
05-05-2005, 00:10
WTF!? Censer bearers are some of the most deadly units Skaven can get! My T3 High Elves are terrified by them.

As for the Eshin list, the "Cover of Night" rule seems like a double-edged sword. It might cut back on a shooty army's advantages but since you're rolling that die every turn you could find yourself unable to charge/shoot while chance might favor your opponent and let them charge/shoot you where you thought you would be safe. Then again the exact opposite might just as easily happen.

censor bearers need plague monks to be used, thus loseing the cover of night rule, thus looseing the advantage of the skaven army with no ranks

Azroth
07-05-2005, 07:41
Thanks for the input so far guys, it's greatly appreciated. A couple of small questions though:

* Sorcerers or Assassins? Of course it's cool to be able to do something in the magic phase, and skitterleap seems like fun, but is it neccessary? The Master Assassin is pretty fast on his own, and I would just love to back him up with three Assassins. How important is it to have skitterleap?

* To Fellblade or not to Fellblade? Okay, so it makes the Master Assassin god-like in combat and enables him to easily whack just about every character there is, but I would hate to have him die from a couple of bad die rolls. Do you use it? If not, what do you use instead?

Cheers.

Azroth
11-05-2005, 07:44
Aw, come on. There's must be some would-be ninja-rats out there who can answer my most humble questions? Please?

Nazguire
11-05-2005, 07:58
Thanks for the input so far guys, it's greatly appreciated. A couple of small questions though:

* Sorcerers or Assassins? Of course it's cool to be able to do something in the magic phase, and skitterleap seems like fun, but is it neccessary? The Master Assassin is pretty fast on his own, and I would just love to back him up with three Assassins. How important is it to have skitterleap?

* To Fellblade or not to Fellblade? Okay, so it makes the Master Assassin god-like in combat and enables him to easily whack just about every character there is, but I would hate to have him die from a couple of bad die rolls. Do you use it? If not, what do you use instead?

Cheers.

Weeping Blades are good. I haven't got the book on me right now but I think it is +1 strength that multiplies into D3 wounds or something. That's a cheap and goodie weapon that allows other things to be taken as well. :D

Jedi152
11-05-2005, 09:19
* To Fellblade or not to Fellblade? Okay, so it makes the Master Assassin god-like in combat and enables him to easily whack just about every character there is, but I would hate to have him die from a couple of bad die rolls. Do you use it? If not, what do you use instead?
Personally i say no. Two reasons:

1) I don't think it's ever a good idea to spend more than 50 pts on magical weapon. Magical protection is just as important.

2)An assassin master is pretty 'god-like' in combat without it, and should have little problem dispatching characters anyway, so there really is no point in taking the risk of him dying from the fellblade.

And i recall the query coming up on the old Portent, and the concensus was: Yes he does have to test for the fellblade, and can still take wounds from it, while hidden.

A far more sensible option is the weeping blade, as Nazguire said.

To the original question: SoC Eshin can work, as long as you don't go the power-gaming route of 10 jezzails, or 10 globadiers (might work games wise - but fluff wise its horrendous). And all skirmishing can, just don't use the night rules for them. They seem to have no benefit to them whatsoever.

Azroth
11-05-2005, 09:27
No worries there, as I don't want to use jezzails or globadiers at all. I want an assassin army, not a bunch of guys with guns. Throwing stars and slings are the propa way to go.

Do you have any opinions about my sorcerer question? Do you really need them?

EDIT: And why wouldn't I want to use the "under cover of darkness" (or whatever) rule? Is it because it can hinder my own shooting/throwing too much? Since it's all pretty short-ranged, I thought the rule would be very beneficial indeed. But of course, I haven't played with it yet, so I really don't know. Would you care to elaborate a little on this subject?

Vogon
11-05-2005, 09:59
Well a guy at our local has a clan eschin army which he intends to tak eot the GT. He has had a fair amount of success with it. It took him a long time to get used to making the best use of it but persevered and is now a pretty tough opponent.

He makes use of both globadiers and jezails. He does have a sorcerer but in the games i've had against him it's been pretty ineffectual unless it survives to the last turn and uses skitter leap to contest a table quater.

Have fun

Vogon

Jedi152
11-05-2005, 10:20
EDIT: And why wouldn't I want to use the "under cover of darkness" (or whatever) rule?
To be honest, i've never played with it, and now reading it, it seems better than i recall it being.

Rolling a short range of sight would help your rats get to the enemy without being turned into vermin-y pincushions against shooty armies, but you won't be able to use your higher charge range to much effect, and your sorcerors won't be able to skitterleap assassins into combat.

I think i didn't like the rule at the time because for some reason, rats who live in sewers and only attack at night can't see in the dark!


He does have a sorcerer but in the games i've had against him it's been pretty ineffectual unless it survives to the last turn and uses skitter leap to contest a table quater.
The best thing about Eshin sorcerors is that they can skitterleap people into combat. One of the best tactics for Eshin is to skitterleap assassins into combat with heros/lords, assassinate them and use smoke bombs to get the hell out of there. Remember eshin get bonus VP's for killing characters.

Sariel
11-05-2005, 12:02
* Sorcerers or Assassins? Of course it's cool to be able to do something in the magic phase, and skitterleap seems like fun, but is it neccessary? The Master Assassin is pretty fast on his own, and I would just love to back him up with three Assassins. How important is it to have skitterleap?


Depends on the army you're up against. Eshin Skitterleaps are great for getting your Master Assassin into contact with a terror/fear-causing character - Ld 8 isn't all THAT spectacular.

If you're going with the all-skirmisher army, then yes, I'd say Skitterleap is pretty damned important. If you're actually taking clanrats with weapons teams, then a single Sorceror scroll caddy works fine.

Personally, I've always been fond of a Master Assassin and 2 level 2 Sorcerors with 2 Warpstone Tokens - against some armies, you're going to need that kind of support to get your Skitterleaps off. Extra Assassin is optional.. if you really want a backup of three Assassins, just buy a Triad. So you can't buy magical toys for them, but they're still Assassins, and a bargain at 210 points....



To Fellblade or not to Fellblade? Okay, so it makes the Master Assassin god-like in combat and enables him to easily whack just about every character there is, but I would hate to have him die from a couple of bad die rolls. Do you use it? If not, what do you use instead?
Cheers.

Yes.

I've always believed in emphasising a character's strengths (in this case, good WS, I, no. of attacks) rather than trying to cover up his weaknesses. If a Master Assassin does'nt whack the character in one turn, there's a good chance he's dead anyway - all the ward saves in the world are'nt going to help you when you're caught after loosing combat, and smoke bombs will only save you half the time... you want to make sure you get the points for taking out the opposing General.

That being said, the Fell Blade works best against expensive Lords carrying their maximum allowance of magic items. Greater Daemons, Bret Lords, Ogre Tyrants, Vampire Lords... you get the idea.

The Weeping Blade is a decent compromise, especially if you're up against Elves. Warpstone Stars are pretty nifty too - 4 S5 D3 wound shots are pretty respectable. Not great, but not too shabby either, especially if you're going to be using the Master in a leadership/support role.

Roman
11-05-2005, 13:19
I personally think its an incredably boring list, at least with the way I played it a couple times.

What happens, is I take out the small and weak suppor units like dire wolves, archers, dark riders etc. Using skitterleap, shooting etc. this isnt a hard task.

What then happens is that I just circulate around big units or powerfull knightly units and slowly throw them to death.

So in the end, there rarely is any combat, and the only thing my opponent is trying to do is getting in combat, which he never will (and if he does by using a spell, luck or anything, its only ~50 points unit).

Dont know if Im using them wrong here, cause the games were really dull and boring

Major Defense
11-05-2005, 15:39
I have a question...what good does it do to Skitterleap an assassin into combat unless it's with a lone character? The unit champion could easily challenge the assassin and require him to move along a unit's frontage to fight the challenge. The only way to move back to the character (assuming he survives the combat resolution) is to issue his own challenge in the second round. The character could then decline and the assassin would be stuck fighting the unit and taking another break test. Am I overthinking this or is it just silly to Skitterleap an assassin against a character in a unit?

Roman
11-05-2005, 16:01
why would you skitter him in a infantry unit?

Besides, you can move him away from the champ/character so he cant challenge. Remember, there can only be a challenge when both characters are fighting, so if the enemy champ/char is not fighting he cant issue or accept.

Riddy
11-05-2005, 16:23
I have a question...what good does it do to Skitterleap an assassin into combat unless it's with a lone character? The unit champion could easily challenge the assassin and require him to move along a unit's frontage to fight the challenge. The only way to move back to the character (assuming he survives the combat resolution) is to issue his own challenge in the second round. The character could then decline and the assassin would be stuck fighting the unit and taking another break test. Am I overthinking this or is it just silly to Skitterleap an assassin against a character in a unit?

Even if the unit champion challanges in the 1st turn the assassin will do 1 would plus 5 overkill, meaning against a fully ranked unit he will win by one, next turn he loses by 2 and breaks on 7 or more, then there is a 1 in 2 chance the unit cant chase and even if they can the master assassin runs 3D6 to the units 2D6. This basically means if the assassin rallys you get another chance, skitterleap him into the character again allocate some attacks on him if you think he'll decline a challenge and chop him to bits. Thats the whole point in an assassin, killing anything that can challenge.

Sariel
11-05-2005, 16:57
This basically means if the assassin rallys you get another chance, skitterleap him into the character again allocate some attacks on him if you think he'll decline a challenge and chop him to bits.

That's actually one of the trickier parts of running an Eshin list - getting your Sorceror close enough to whisk away the Master Assassin with a Skitterleap after the Master Assassin has thin-sliced the enemy general.

Then again, it usually should'nt matter for a character that moves 7"/14"...

And honestly, the last thing you want to do is to get the Master Assassin in a position where a measly unit champion can call challenge. Then again, like Roman says, only characters (and champions) in base contact with an enemy model can call challenge. So, the trick is to make sure your Master Assassin is NOT in base contact with the unit champion..

Of course, if the other guy has a (CHEAP) back-up hero on one side of the general, and a unit champion on the other, then you're out of luck.

(Incidentally, this only works if you're talking about units on 20mm bases. If the other guy is using infantry on 25mm bases, then you're fine - your Assassin can just appear right in front of the enemy character and still be out of base contact of anyone else...)

Sariel
11-05-2005, 17:12
I personally think its an incredably boring list, at least with the way I played it a couple times.

What happens, is I take out the small and weak suppor units like dire wolves, archers, dark riders etc. Using skitterleap, shooting etc. this isnt a hard task.

What then happens is that I just circulate around big units or powerfull knightly units and slowly throw them to death.

So in the end, there rarely is any combat, and the only thing my opponent is trying to do is getting in combat, which he never will (and if he does by using a spell, luck or anything, its only ~50 points unit).

Dont know if Im using them wrong here, cause the games were really dull and boring

Nope. You were doing everything right. ;)

A skirmishing Eshin list can get pretty frustrating for an opponent to go up against. Unless he's running a skirmishing Lizardman or Beastman list, that is...

Thing is, an Eshin list with ranked infantry (ie clanrats with weapons teams) can be pretty fun, and pretty hard (even without access to Warp Lightning!), with downright scary fighting characters and skirmishers in addition to enhanced Skaven leadership.