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View Full Version : Which is better Screaming bell or Plague furnace



Exo10
27-10-2010, 04:55
So i was wondering which one to build for my skaven army. Advice is appreciated

Ramius4
27-10-2010, 04:59
One of each.

Tarian
27-10-2010, 05:01
Assuming one, Bell is more defensive, Furnace is more offensive, imo.

Exo10
27-10-2010, 05:14
i only have one to build not two

Ramius4
27-10-2010, 05:28
Assuming one, Bell is more defensive, Furnace is more offensive, imo.

I disagree. The Bell requires the Grey Seer, who should theoretically kill off more enemy per game than the Furnace ever will. The Bell is more difficult to destroy however with its ward save.


i only have one to build not two

Buy two? :p In all seriousness, if I had one I'd go with the bell.

But I think it's down to what is more fun for you to use. Both are a blast to field. The furnace can really cause havoc in close combat, while the bell can do things for the rest of your army as well as the Grey Seer's spells in the magic phase.

Both of them are tough in close combat and make the unit unbreakable, so it's kind of a wash there (disregarding damage output of course.)

Triple7s
27-10-2010, 06:26
Depends entirely on what you're wanting out of it. The bell obviously has the superior magic. You get the line of sight bonuses, you get the ringing of the bell (both voluntarily and involuntarily). You get the Grey Seer, who i've seen work wonders with the added LoS and cracks call/dreaded 13th. Unbreakable clanrats get at least some rudimentary form of armour save unlike the monks pushing the furnace. Plus (although im not 100% sure without the book open in front of me) i'm pretty sure your Seer can cast spells even if the unit is in combat.

The furnace is much more specific, being able to be deployed in one unit only. This unit doesn't have an armour save and is frenzied. The Plague Monks really really need to rely on getting into combat quickly and efficiently, or they'll get whittled down and leave your furnace stuck. The furnace attacks are pretty effective, especially against stuff like elves. Plague magic isn't bad, if you can get off the poisoned attacks spell on a big unit you can cause some interesting wounds. The biggest benefit this unit has over the clanrat/bell unit is a higher toughness and more attacks per model, but its tempered by the no save thing (most people like to run some form of banner for bonuses, usually Storm Banner).

When it comes down to it though, neither is really "better" or "worse", just different. You want magic? Go bell. You want combat? Go furnace. Just always make sure to have big units of guys pushing it.

Exo10
27-10-2010, 11:46
The plague monks with frenzy would get 3 attacks each because they have 2 hand weapons and +1 attack right?

Ratbeast
27-10-2010, 11:47
Id say 2 plague furnace is the way to go, skaven troops cant kill much, thats why id go 2 plague furnace, they bust things up pretty good and thats what the rats need

Exo10
27-10-2010, 11:53
Id run without the plague furnace a horde of 40 plague monks which would be dishing out 30 attacks per rank no? Just wondering how many attacks they would give out

Rhellion
27-10-2010, 12:29
Id say 2 plague furnace is the way to go, skaven troops cant kill much, thats why id go 2 plague furnace, they bust things up pretty good and thats what the rats need

2 Plague Furnaces is a mistake. For the cost of a naked plague priest on a plague furnace, I would rather have a Hell Pit Abomination. I would choose the Bell over the Furnace for it's range of use and protection of your General. The extra power against war machines and the bonus in the magic phase is very nice (peals and scorch).

75hastings69
27-10-2010, 12:36
Hmmmm... I like the screaming bell.... but I like the plague furnace too... But which one is better??? There's only one way to find out..... FIGHT!!!!

(sorry really couldn't help myself :) )

Djekar
27-10-2010, 13:57
Firstly

Id run without the plague furnace a horde of 40 plague monks which would be dishing out 30 attacks per rank no? Just wondering how many attacks they would give out No. Supporting attacks are limited to 1 per rank.

Second, I would have to say the bell for the following reasons: A) while it shouldn't be a big deal, the Bell survives a lot longer with it's Ward Save; B) The grey seer is way better than the Plague Priest; C) I feel like the Bell synergizes better with the units that are allowed to push it. Plague Monks get unbreakable and easier to run in horde (since you have to have less models in the unit) - woo, more WS 3,S3, I3 attacks. Stormvermin get the same benefit however ... WS 4, S4 I5 attacks ... yes please.

Your mileage may vary of course, but I've actually been thinking about this for a while.

Orangecoke
27-10-2010, 15:58
Agree with Djekar for all the reasons he listed. The thing is, Skaven are very squishy. I like the bell unit as the "solid core/center" of my army - the Bell gives it a lot of protection and I am never worried about it. It's also big and hard to maneuver at times, which I think would be a challenge if it was the furnace trying to get into CC quickly.

My Bell/Seer have been the main reason for winning most of my games vs my main opponent who plays Lizardmen with an uber slaan.

Also, once your units start to get whittled down (losing some of their strength in numbers bonus for example) that 18 inch leadership range - from the hull of the bell no less - is a MAJOR boon.

CaliforniaGamer
27-10-2010, 17:00
Plague furnance in comp. play is worthless IMO. LD0, dies to spirit leech in 1 cast. Bell at least has a 2+ ward vs. magic.

Ramius4
27-10-2010, 17:15
Plague furnance in comp. play is worthless IMO. LD0, dies to spirit leech in 1 cast. Bell at least has a 2+ ward vs. magic.

Which is only relevent if the opponent:

A) Has death magic.
B) Gets Spirit Leech as one of their spells.

But yes, it is one way you can lose a furnace very quickly. The Furnace is very tough overall, but the lack of a ward save leaves it more vulnerable to war machines and magic.

CaliforniaGamer
27-10-2010, 17:48
Death magic is far and away the most popular brb lore, count on every WoC, DE and even Empire list of having at least 1 death caster.

And spirit leech the signature spell, there is 100% chance of getting it....

check mate.

8th ed has made the furnance completely obsolete aside from friendly play.

Ramius4
27-10-2010, 17:59
Death magic is far and away the most popular brb lore, count on every WoC, DE and even Empire list of having at least 1 death caster.

And spirit leech the signature spell, there is 100% chance of getting it....

check mate.

8th ed has made the furnance completely obsolete aside from friendly play.

Most popular or not, there are 6 armies out of 14 that can take Death magic without resorting to magic items or abilities to get it. I'd hardly call that obsolete.

the_slosh
27-10-2010, 18:01
Hmmmm... I like the screaming bell.... but I like the plague furnace too... But which one is better??? There's only one way to find out..... FIGHT!!!!

(sorry really couldn't help myself :) )

Heh Harry Hill...

Dont play skaven so i can't really help you but I think the plague furnance looks cooler :evilgrin:

Surgency
27-10-2010, 18:03
Most popular or not, there are 6 armies out of 14 that can take Death magic without resorting to magic items or abilities to get it. I'd hardly call that obsolete.

and at least 1 of those armies is better off taking a different lore, to make up for other weaknesses...

Ramius4
27-10-2010, 18:13
and at least 1 of those armies is better off taking a different lore, to make up for other weaknesses...

Most definitely. And DoC are also relatively likely not to have it without Tzeentch.

Besides, if you're really worried about 1 spell in the entire game that can reliably 'one-hit' your big bad model; there's dispel dice, scrolls, etc. to help you plan for that. You'll know in the first turn whether or not your opponent even has the Lore of Death. Again, which isn't a high a chance as is being made out to be. I see just as many armies going for Shadow and Life.

karse88
27-10-2010, 18:21
life is so... argh! take a toughness test or be slain? .. regrowth!??? woodelf who, out of nowhere pops back up from the ground! hehe.. hate that lore.
ramius4 is right.. you can't worry about 1 spell...

Exo10
27-10-2010, 19:08
Just about the plague monk attacks im bringing a horde of 40 anyways so if i death frenzy them then would each model get 4 attacks because of there extra hand weapon they get another attack is this correct i was confused about this. Anyone know?

Kevlar
27-10-2010, 19:10
With spirit leech only having 12 inch range any caster getting close enough to hit the furnace will soon be dealing with a p.o.ed plague priest.

CaliforniaGamer
27-10-2010, 19:14
With spirit leech only having 12 inch range any caster getting close enough to hit the furnace will soon be dealing with a p.o.ed plague priest.

or 24" range?....:shifty: check that.

Furnace is cool with themed Pestilens fun lists, perhaps Lustrian campaign?

Just not a competitive option is all.

Cannons love them, stone throwers thirst for them and lore of death generates lots of juicy extra PD off them.

Surgency
27-10-2010, 20:06
or 24" range?....:shifty: check that.

Furnace is cool with themed Pestilens fun lists, perhaps Lustrian campaign?

Just not a competitive option is all.

Cannons love them, stone throwers thirst for them and lore of death generates lots of juicy extra PD off them.



In 2 dozen games with my skaven, I've lost my furnace 4 times. Twice to cannons, once to magic, and once to high strength attacks. The key to keeping your furnace alive is to provide a LOT of threatening models to shoot at... Doomwheels, Bell, HPA, these will all garner just as much attention as a Furnace.

Now, if you take just the Furnace, and nothing else thats big, you'll lose it. The key is to make the Furnace work with other items, so that most (if not all) of them get into combat, or to wherever you want them...

Rhellion
27-10-2010, 20:28
My Furnace is so uncompetitive I've lost it in 4 games... out of 43 games in 8th edition. Including 9 'Ard Boyz games.

Ramius4
27-10-2010, 20:36
My Furnace is so uncompetitive I've lost it in 4 games... out of 43 games in 8th edition. Including 9 'Ard Boyz games.

Horrible, how could you possibly live with those odds? :p

And just for the record, both playing and playing against Skaven, I've seen exactly 2 of them go away in approximately 15 or so games. I don't know what people are thinking bringing a weak Toughness 6, 6 Wound model to a game :rolleyes:

Rhellion
27-10-2010, 20:53
I still think the Bell is better (as it should be), but a Plague Furnace being pushed by Plague Monks with the Banner of Eternal Flame is all you need to deal with other Abominations, Hydras, VC Regen Banner, Life magic regen, or Trolls, etc.

Djekar
28-10-2010, 07:21
To throw in my counter-point odds here: Everytime my opponent has fielded the Furnace it has died, and only once has it gotten into combat before the end. Granted, this is only over ~15 games, but I'm thinking that it might be indicative of something.

I'm not saying the Furnace is worthless - far from it. But if you ask me which model is better, I'm going to reply with the Bell every time.

fyrenn
28-10-2010, 13:17
I'm not sure I get it - I know they are both good but i'm kinda surprised how everyone is leaning so strongly towards the bell.

The Furnace, IMO, is actually a fairly consistent attack unit in the army that has the ability to do some serious damage once it hits combat, and is that really that difficult?

I have the priest with the 4+ save talisman and the ironclaw curse thing. So, against spells the priest is 2+, the monks are 5+. Against WM, the 40 monks are 6+. I've even toyed with putting my BSB in there, or a WE or chief with that shadow trinket to make all shooty attacks -1.

All this is not even considering a storm banner, which at the least gives you one round unhampered.

How long does it really take to get your furnace to combat anyway? Once it's there, it's pretty great and hard to take care of, as far as I have seen!

Orangecoke
28-10-2010, 16:20
I think both are probably great, it's just for me if I am only taking 1 it will be the Bell. I just have had great success with it and the Grey Seer riding it.

Rhellion
28-10-2010, 16:38
I've even toyed with putting my BSB in there, or a WE or chief with that shadow trinket to make all shooty attacks -1.

Only Clan Pestilens characters can join a Plague Furnace unit... so only Plague Priests. No other characters.

TheKingInYellow
28-10-2010, 20:06
Magnetize it and play both when you feel like it.

Ramius4
28-10-2010, 20:09
Magnetize it and play both when you feel like it.

Or even easier, just say to your opponent, "I'm using this as (plague furnace/bell) today."

Malorian
28-10-2010, 20:16
Or even easier, just say to your opponent, "I'm using this as (plague furnace/bell) today."

And make a plague bell? ;)


I'd say a furnace for sure.

The greyseer is too important and sitting on the bell he's just waiting for someone to run up and kill him. Instead he should be on foot and in a bunker hiding in the back.

The priest on the furnace on the other hand is just a throwaway character and doesn't really matter if he dies.

TheKingInYellow
28-10-2010, 20:20
Or even easier, just say to your opponent, "I'm using this as (plague furnace/bell) today."

That works too :)

Honestly, as a WoC/VC/HE player who regularly plays Skaven, the Bell is annoying but I never really worry about it. The Furnace on the other hand, I go out of my way to avoid it or destroy it with magic ASAP.

greenmonsta
28-10-2010, 20:48
From what I have seen through the years of playing Warhammer is that the game is won in the close combat phase. Magic and shooting can swing the game dramatically, but the game is won by winning combats and running down the unit. I've never seen the Bell do nearly as much as the plague furnace. Ever. Also don't horde the furnace unit. make sure that you have plenty of ranks because just having the furnace in a combat will cause you to win that combat and you don't want your opponent to be steadfast.

Hashulaman
28-10-2010, 21:06
I don't play as skaven but against them, and I can say that the Bell would be a better addition, harder to kill, and has more uses. Plague furnace while good at what it does is only good in Close Combat while the Bell is more versatile. Plus the Bell looks cooler:D

Orangecoke
28-10-2010, 21:07
Plus the Bell looks cooler:D

+1! in an army as drab/brown as the skaven this is an important consideration :D