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Haravikk
17-02-2010, 12:49
I think I mentioned in another thread somewhere, but now my Dwarfs are almost done, I'm looking at Skaven as my first evil army.

Anyway, aside from being a pretty awesome model, I'm curious to know just how good are Plague Furnaces really? My main concern being that with them being large-targets, and lacking the 4+ ward save of the screaming bell, they seem ideal targets for enemy shooting; even if they can't take out the furnace itself they can get some hits in on the plague priest as well.

My plan is to have a "plague heavy" army, since each priest can be a level 2 wizard, so with maybe a couple of warlock engineers to support them should cover magic fairly well. Plague Monks are then really cool models, and not too shabby as a unit, especially when unbreakable.

But obviously I'm only approaching this purely in theory, would be to nice to have people's thoughts on the value of the Plague Furnace, and any tricks to keep it protected?



Also, a small rules question; the Plague Banner's wording states (I believe) that is allows all Plague Monks in the same unit as the bearer to re-roll to-hit, and to-wound rolls for a single combat. Does this include the furnace's crew and/or the Plague Priest?

I'm also curious about the usefulness of Plague Censor Bearers; they're on the expensive side both to buy, and in points-cost, but they seem like they could make excellent accompanying units for the plague furnace.

Razakel
17-02-2010, 13:21
As a Dwarf player I always target the Furnace first with my Shooting. You need to weigh the pros and cons against each other and see if it is worth it.

Pros:

#1: The model looks awesome (especially when painted).
#2: It isn't THAT fragile, even in the absence of a Ward Save, it will draw fire from the rest of your opponents army.
#3: The Plague Monk unit pushing it will become a complete tarpit, able to hang onto Black Guard with the Banner of Hag Graef, Hammerers, Chaos Knights, and almost anything else your opponent will throw at it. They might not win, but it will tie down elite units and give you the chance to flank charge them.
#4: The Wrecker attack can make tatters of units if you get even slightly lucky.
#5: It has Magic Resistance (2), I know several Skaven players forget this, AND IT IS CRUCIAL YOU DO NOT! I've seen Tzeentch players Infernal Gateway a Furnace and the unit pushing it because the Skaven player in question forgot about his Magic Resistance!
#6: A very brilliant (and :cheese:) tactic is to give the Plague Monks the Storm Banner, and the Priest the Shadow Magnet trinket, for at least one turn your opponent will be at -3 to hit and need to roll a 4+ to get his War Machines to work.

Cons:

#1: The Plague Furnace can be destroyed easily by concentrated firepower. If your opponent has decent shooting, it will probably die.
#2: For a Skaven unit it is extremely expensive, upwards of 300 points for the Furnace + Priest and 200 + for the Monks themselves, it can be very painful to lose.
#3: It will take D6 strength six hits if it moves across any kind of terrain at all, which makes it quite restricted if your opponent knows what he's doing.
#4: Its maneuverability is quite poor, the unit is quite large and lumbering, it can be easily march blocked and avoided by a canny opponent with some Fast Cavalry.
#5: Since the Furnace must be placed as centrally as possible, flank charges will be nightmarish, they will cancel your rank bonus and though you won't break, you probably won't kill a flanking unit for several turns, tying up your valuable heavy hitter.
#6: The unit is Frenzied, you can be led helplessly into situations you can't control, particularly by Flyers. Make sure to keep a Warlock Engineer nearby to Zap them or your unit might be led on a wild goose chase for the entire game.
#7: This, for me is the biggest con: The thing has too many bloody special rules. You would need to be an actor and rehearse the entire things retarded plethora of rules. You will forget some in some games, and different ones in others, try not to let it bother you. This is a problem universal to the Skaven army, do your best!


The Bottom Line:

The Plague Furnace is an extremely powerful unit with a lot of potential, you should try to set it up in the center of your army. It can go toe-to-toe with some of the most elite units in the game despite Skaven being (as a rule) dreadful in close combat.

Your a Large Target, but you also have Magic Resistance and an entirely separate army, if your opponent shoots solely at the Plague Furnace everything else may reach him.

Take a Hell Pit Abomination to force him to split his fire, or concentrate on one to the exclusion of the other, people will generally go for the Abomination first, letting your mighty Furnace crash into him on near-full wounds.

As for your other questions;

#1: I would say yes to the Plague Banner question, the crew and Priest are Plague Monks themselves, RAW would probably disagree with you, but your in the game to have fun (I assume) and sometimes RAW just isn't fun.

#2: Plague Censor Bearers are an unbelievably dangerous unit, Frenzy + Hatred = bad for your opponent. I once saw a unit of them take down 14 Greatswords and run the unit down in the same turn. They are expensive, but if I played Skaven, I would never leave home without them.


Good luck with your new army!

Tauren
17-02-2010, 13:40
A friend of mine uses both plague censor bearers and a furnace to deadly effect. Somehow he managed to also fit in a rather capable magic phase as well. I have seen his magic take plague monks over the top with poison attacks he took apart an entire unit of infantry in a single turn on the charge.

He runs two units of 6 (I think) plague censor bearers on a small base for skirmishing. They hit like a truck to say the least but are vulnerable to shooting.

Another thing he runs are core large rat units. Several small units of 6 with a herder. Along with that he uses death frenzy on larger units with master moulders in them to just cause trouble. He even takes a unit of stormvermin if I recall correctly for the banner along with a doomwheel/cannon and an HPA.

The skaven list is disgustingly powerful, the real problem is getting the furnace into combat, its very hard since it will annihilate anything.

Haravikk
17-02-2010, 14:41
Thanks both for the advice, and Razakel for the excellent overview on the furnaces!

Fluff-wise I'm not a fan of the hell-pit abominations, while I know they're sort of explained it seems like just a big chaos spawn which I'm not so sure about. It'd probably be an interesting and relatively simple conversion/scratch-build project but I'm unsure of using them. Granted they're a really powerful unit, but I suspect that's going to make them the first thing to be over-nerfed next time the army-book is updated.

I suppose I'm more looking at a verminous horde; lots of plague monks, some big blocks of clan-rats, maybe some vermin. Then a big salt-shaker of special units everywhere. Likely Plague Furnaces will be the biggest/most-expensive things I get, besides the mandatory doom-wheel later down the line; I mean, sure the doom-wheel is potentially the least dependable thing in a Skaven army, but it is pretty much the embodiment of their ideals :)


Regarding censor bearers; it seems they'll certainly be a unit to get at some point. I'm wondering though; do the Plague Monks have many chain pieces or good spares in the kit that could be used to make some Censor Bearers more cheaply? As a unit of ten censor bearers is what, £40? Not cheap! The Plague Monk (musician?) seems to have a chain of some-sort, if the box uses lots of the same sprue like Dwarf Warriors do, then a simple conversion may be possible by getting a few boxes of Plague Monks and building them carefully :)

Dantès
17-02-2010, 16:37
Fluff-wise I'm not a fan of the hell-pit abominations, while I know they're sort of explained it seems like just a big chaos spawn which I'm not so sure about. It'd probably be an interesting and relatively simple conversion/scratch-build project but I'm unsure of using them. Granted they're a really powerful unit, but I suspect that's going to make them the first thing to be over-nerfed next time the army-book is updated.

That means you've got about 7 years of use out of the Skaven book. Sounds like plenty of time to use the HPA if you ask me :p



I suppose I'm more looking at a verminous horde; lots of plague monks, some big blocks of clan-rats, maybe some vermin. Then a big salt-shaker of special units everywhere. Likely Plague Furnaces will be the biggest/most-expensive things I get, besides the mandatory doom-wheel later down the line; I mean, sure the doom-wheel is potentially the least dependable thing in a Skaven army, but it is pretty much the embodiment of their ideals :)

I love my doomwheel...I've heard many call it the 'crapwheel' and say it's much better to take the HPA instead...but what Skaven really lack is something to take out the big gribblies, which the Doomwheel does perfectly. Where the doomwheel really shines is vs. the big monsters that would most likely destroy your blocks of infantry like dragons, HPA, ogres, giants, minos, etc etc. It's DEFINITELY worth the 150 points, but I'm not sold on the HPA...



Regarding censor bearers; it seems they'll certainly be a unit to get at some point. I'm wondering though; do the Plague Monks have many chain pieces or good spares in the kit that could be used to make some Censor Bearers more cheaply? As a unit of ten censor bearers is what, £40? Not cheap! The Plague Monk (musician?) seems to have a chain of some-sort, if the box uses lots of the same sprue like Dwarf Warriors do, then a simple conversion may be possible by getting a few boxes of Plague Monks and building them carefully :)

Censer bearers are quite nasty. A unit of 10 is probably over doing it, as two units of five would serve you better. 2 units of 6 for an ablative wound in each would be even better. With a plague furnace in a unit of 30 monks next to them, the PCB should be second on the list of units to shoot at, so should be fine for a couple rounds.

Unfortunately, the Monks box does not come with enough bits to make censer bearers, as I don't think there's even one flail in there.

Razakel
17-02-2010, 17:48
A friend of mine uses both plague censor bearers and a furnace to deadly effect. Somehow he managed to also fit in a rather capable magic phase as well. I have seen his magic take plague monks over the top with poison attacks he took apart an entire unit of infantry in a single turn on the charge.

This is quite common in Skaven army's I believe, a Skaven player I know does a similar thing. Double (Level Two) Warlock Engineers, one with the Warp Lightning Condenser, and a Plague Priest on a Furnace. Along with Slaves for cover and a Hell Pit Abomination to force people to split fire. Note: This is a 1,500 point game!


He runs two units of 6 (I think) plague censor bearers on a small base for skirmishing. They hit like a truck to say the least but are vulnerable to shooting.

Five or Six are common, and very effective.


Another thing he runs are core large rat units. Several small units of 6 with a herder. Along with that he uses death frenzy on larger units with master moulders in them to just cause trouble. He even takes a unit of stormvermin if I recall correctly for the banner along with a doomwheel/cannon and an HPA.

Another excellent point, Giant Rats with Death Frenzy are disgusting. Also, woe on your opponent if you get Bless with Filth off on the unit too. Needless to say the entire Orc Big 'Un unit of 26 was wiped out completely.



The skaven list is disgustingly powerful, the real problem is getting the furnace into combat, its very hard since it will annihilate anything.

I agree, that the Furnace is difficult to get into combat, but I have yet to lose a game against the new Skaven list yet, I don't think they're quite Daemon caliber yet.


Thanks both for the advice, and Razakel for the excellent overview on the furnaces!

Your very welcome.



Fluff-wise I'm not a fan of the hell-pit abominations, while I know they're sort of explained it seems like just a big chaos spawn which I'm not so sure about. It'd probably be an interesting and relatively simple conversion/scratch-build project but I'm unsure of using them. Granted they're a really powerful unit, but I suspect that's going to make them the first thing to be over-nerfed next time the army-book is updated.

It's not for everyone, and I'm glad to see someone going for the other choices in the Skaven army first. But you should try it at some point, it's certainly... a powerful unit. :)


I suppose I'm more looking at a verminous horde; lots of plague monks, some big blocks of clan-rats, maybe some vermin. Then a big salt-shaker of special units everywhere. Likely Plague Furnaces will be the biggest/most-expensive things I get, besides the mandatory doom-wheel later down the line; I mean, sure the doom-wheel is potentially the least dependable thing in a Skaven army, but it is pretty much the embodiment of their ideals :)

I'd include several units of Giant Rats if this is your goal, they can be tremendously powerful under the right circumstances.


Regarding censor bearers; it seems they'll certainly be a unit to get at some point. I'm wondering though; do the Plague Monks have many chain pieces or good spares in the kit that could be used to make some Censor Bearers more cheaply? As a unit of ten censor bearers is what, £40? Not cheap! The Plague Monk (musician?) seems to have a chain of some-sort, if the box uses lots of the same sprue like Dwarf Warriors do, then a simple conversion may be possible by getting a few boxes of Plague Monks and building them carefully :)

As Dantès pointed out, there aren't any Flails in the Monk box. But I would definitely recommend them, they are stupidly powerful on the charge.


That means you've got about 7 years of use out of the Skaven book. Sounds like plenty of time to use the HPA if you ask me :p

Indeed, the Army Book updates go quite slowly these days, particularly since the new Skaven one has just been released, get your share of the fun in!


I love my doomwheel...I've heard many call it the 'crapwheel' and say it's much better to take the HPA instead...but what Skaven really lack is something to take out the big gribblies, which the Doomwheel does perfectly. Where the doomwheel really shines is vs. the big monsters that would most likely destroy your blocks of infantry like dragons, HPA, ogres, giants, minos, etc etc. It's DEFINITELY worth the 150 points, but I'm not sold on the HPA...

The Doomwheel isn't all that bad, it's probably poorest against horde armies (other Skaven, Orcs & Goblins etc.) But I've really seen it shine against Ogre Kingdoms in particular. The only thing about it, is it's so damn random. One wound can screw everything up!


Censer bearers are quite nasty. A unit of 10 is probably over doing it, as two units of five would serve you better. 2 units of 6 for an ablative wound in each would be even better. With a plague furnace in a unit of 30 monks next to them, the PCB should be second on the list of units to shoot at, so should be fine for a couple rounds.

Unfortunately, the Monks box does not come with enough bits to make censer bearers, as I don't think there's even one flail in there.

Indeed, I would only take a unit of ten if you, for some reason needed to draw the fire of the opposing army to them, or you were playing a particularly large game (3,000 points maybe?)

Haravikk
17-02-2010, 18:41
Indeed, I would only take a unit of ten if you, for some reason needed to draw the fire of the opposing army to them, or you were playing a particularly large game (3,000 points maybe?)
Aye sorry, I just meant 10 of the metal models don't come cheap, would probably go with the consensus on units of five or six. Hmm, I wonder if chains are within my conversion skills; I do have some fine-ish chain that I could possibly just super glue so it stays in position...hell even if it's a disaster it's usually fun to try :)

As for giant rats; I suspect I'll go for one or two battalion boxes as a starting point, since they have the 20 plague monks. I'll then try to build the clan-rats so I can use them interchangeably as clan-rats or slaves (which I think was the original intention of that regiment box?), but that should furnish me with a decent number of giant rats. Rat Ogres ought to be handy too for the extra strength I think, not too huge a fan of their models (I prefer the Beastmen Minotaurs), but they might just be rife for converting as well, my bits box is nearing bits crate status so I'm sure I can rustle something fun up :)

KHolbourn
17-02-2010, 18:43
For cheaper censor bearers there is an easy option if you buy some pieces off "bitz box"
1. Take 10 clan rats or plaugemonks (depending if you look them shrouded)
2a. Buy chaos maraude flails for sharp censors
2b. Buy Empire flagellant big bell-flails for bongly censors.


The furnace and the censor bearers are horribly painful in games. In one game my opponent ran 3x6 censors and the plauge monk unit with priest and even with detachments and pistoliers you can't bait them all....
(see here: http://www.warseer.com/forums/showpost.php?p=4183008&postcount=301)

5 Censor beaerers charged greatswords and was countercharged by halberds. ~16 dead Empire troops later the censors won :(

While I'm sure you can make a "fair" list the skaven players down her are starting to lose opponents for a few reasons...

1. Hellpit of stupidity
2. Censors of stupidity
3. Doomwheel of mant special rules that don't make sense
4. Stormbanner (combines ~95 points of brettonian/Beast items into a cheap banner)

Haravikk
17-02-2010, 19:09
Wow, can't believe I've never seen that site before! I do so miss the ability to order bits from the GW site. As for the two options you gave the flagellants actually seem to have chain pieces and maces listed, combining the two could be another cool option :)
I think I'll probably spend the next six hours looking at everything on that site though :D

ObiWan
17-02-2010, 21:45
Regarding censor bearers; it seems they'll certainly be a unit to get at some point. I'm wondering though; do the Plague Monks have many chain pieces or good spares in the kit that could be used to make some Censor Bearers more cheaply? As a unit of ten censor bearers is what, £40? Not cheap! The Plague Monk (musician?) seems to have a chain of some-sort, if the box uses lots of the same sprue like Dwarf Warriors do, then a simple conversion may be possible by getting a few boxes of Plague Monks and building them carefully :)

There are 4 flails per plague monk box, and a host of other chains in the musicians thingamagig so if you are so inclined, you can make at least 4 PCB even more depending on your converting skills. Also, you get a lot of giant rats in there too, about 16 if I recall correctly.

Dantès
17-02-2010, 22:10
There are 4 flails per plague monk box, and a host of other chains in the musicians thingamagig so if you are so inclined, you can make at least 4 PCB even more depending on your converting skills. Also, you get a lot of giant rats in there too, about 16 if I recall correctly.

They're more mornings stars than flails really...I was thinking of doing the same, but they're just not big enough.

And I believe the amount of rats is between 8-10

outbreak
17-02-2010, 22:25
iirc a plague monk box comes with 4 flails in it. They are one handed though.
I found the best looking plastic censers i could make were using a plague monk body with the night runners box 2 handed flail. I cut the flail top off this and glued the chain tails from a rat ogre kit onto the flail then stuck the flail tops from the plague monks box set on top of the long thick chain. Ends up looking quiet distinct and fanatic like. I did this for about 4 of my guys then just made the other 2 with the single handed flails from the monk box and a sword. 2 battalions started my army and so i had enough bits to make a unit of 6 censers (don't want more in a unit or you have guys taking toughness tests while not in base contact with the enemy) easy. My second unit of censer bearers are the oldschool metals which imo look awesome.

Haravikk
17-02-2010, 23:26
Ah, was looking at the sprues on the site and wondering about this; the 4 flails do look pretty good as I always pictured the censor bearers more in that way (i.e - a metal cage full of warpstone or whatever) which they kind of look-like.

I likely won't try to build any right away, but the kit looks like it might give me a lot of good options once I get another unit or two of Plague Monks (I'll start with twenty from a battalion box and eventually work up to two units of 30 I think). I should be able to convert them into two-handed weapons, possibly using those banner-staff things?

I didn't think about using the rats in that set as giant rats though! Are they close to the same size? An additional 16 giant rats certainly wouldn't go amiss! Or if some of them are quite small a rat-swarm base.