View Full Version : Plague Furness or screaming bell

22-04-2011, 07:42
I'm starting a skaven army but can not work out which of these to take. I love the models so it's a 1+ for at least 1. I love the idea of a huge battering ram with the Furness however just having the lvl 2 kinda upsets that. Do they work in combat? Also is the bell worth the 500 rough points needed with the lvl4 on top?

22-04-2011, 17:41
Plague furnaces and the screaming bell are both usually worth while- whether to take them or which one is dependent upon playstyle, and what your overall army/strategy is-

It might be more helpful if you post what your theme is- or the models you currently have or want to run with it- as it is a question of synergy-

I don't use bells or plague furnaces because I tend to play a more subtle, hard to figure out, close combat army- almost like an elite skaven army (if anything skaven can be called elite)-

The furnace is great if you want to anchor a flank- it also gives you a unit that is difficult to destroy and will really grind down your opponent-

The bell increases your leadership and is ideal if you want to run 100's of slaves, and lots of warmachines/weapons teams-

23-04-2011, 14:44
When I played rats, I ran a bell with my seer. Mostly because it was more fun then because it was more effective.

But that's preference.

23-04-2011, 15:48
The bell sets out your lvl4 caster to be easily killed.

The furnace is a literal wrecking ball with just a support combat/caster on it.

The choice seems obvious to me :)

23-04-2011, 16:05
I run the furnace and am quite pleased with its results. I think the bell is worthwhile if you are running a stormvermin death star but otherwise furnace all the way.

23-04-2011, 16:11
The choice seems obvious to me :)

Take one of each ;)

The key to a bell is to not let it get into combat, or a smart opponent will just devote attacks to killing the seer. Shooting is unreliable, as you randomize first, then you get a ward on top of that :p

As for the furnace... its brutal in combat, as long as you get the charge. You can conceivably do 16 auto str5 hits on the turn you charge, between impact hits and the wrecker attack, and that doesn't count fenzied monks, the priest, or the unit pushing the furnace

23-04-2011, 16:47
Cheers :) I was thinking the Furness as I going for a more combat heavy army rather than shooty.

03-05-2011, 02:07
The bell sets out your lvl4 caster to be easily killed.

The furnace is a literal wrecking ball with just a support combat/caster on it.

The choice seems obvious to me :)

How is he easier to kill? He can avoid challenges and is only hit on a 1 by ranged attacks. It's not subject to templates like other characters on monsters since it has it's own rules.

03-05-2011, 02:23
He's easy to kill because you don't challenge him, and just direct attacks. That said, I use the Bell, since my army is very shooty, and if they get to the Seer behind the walls of Slaves and Clanrats, it doesn't really matter if he dies at that point anyways, since the game is over. :P

Lord Inquisitor
03-05-2011, 02:36
The bell doesn't bother me too much but the furnace is a real thorny unit to attack - a frontal assault with just about anything is suicide while it is very resistant to flanking as it's unbreakable.

03-05-2011, 03:10
He's easy to kill because you don't challenge him, and just direct attacks.

but you can do that without the bell, so how's he easier?

03-05-2011, 03:29
because the bell has to be up front, and the grey seer can't skitterleap away.

A Seer on foot can skitterleap, displace using combat reforms, or even not join the unit to begin with

03-05-2011, 08:36
I agree once in combat the bell makes your seer pretty vulnerable. However so far between it and the furnace I'm leaning towards the bell if I include either of them.

- If you're taking the furnace then you generally have a large unit of plague monks to push it. That same large unit of plague monks (with the plague banner) is pretty devastating on it's own - so to me the furnace (and priest) are a lot of extra points which are often not needed, and can even be self-harming with those 10+ toughness tests per turn in combat against your "elite" rats.

- Screaming bell sits inside a unit of clanrats behind your lines - for me, so far, usually behind a large unit of plague monks! He's reasonably well protected against shooting (if you're really worried take the storm banner), and in combat you can always use the rival hide talisman or even a chieftain/assassin to "bodyguard" him from enemy character killers. However as already said, the bell going into combat should be a last resort.

03-05-2011, 11:12
I run a bell and i have problems because apparently cannons hit both the seer and the bell. I t says that templates hit all the hittable parts of a model and a cannon is a template. So seers just get shot off. I now dedicate gutter runners to killing cannons turn 1.

Dante blackfur
03-05-2011, 17:01
well when I play over 2k, I just run one of each. :D works pretty well since most players see the furnace and think that they have to kill it (which is true) so my bell is targeted less allowing it to run its annoyance much more effectively.

03-05-2011, 17:39
I dunno, seems to me if you think that a Grey Seer is MORE vulnerable on a bell, your doing it wrong. Bells are army anchors, not deathstars. I would never attach Stormvermin to the bell, only clanrats. The Stormvermin should be out preventing the Bell from getting attacked. On top of that, you should have a warpfire thrower out front (or from whatever side you expect a charge). The Stand and Shoot reaction on the thrower usually intimidates any would-be charges. Position your army around the bell, protecting it, and gaining as many benefits from it's bubble effects as possible. If you think your Seer is that vulnerable, kit him out. Skalm or potions are good. I try to run my Bell well protected, so I just give him the Book of Ashur. That way I only need a 20+ to cast 13th on 6d6 or 4d6 and a few tokens. Try to lure out your opponents dispel scrolls before you make that essential casting of 13th though. Nothing like making half your opponents deathstar dissapear right before his eyes, and then finishing it off in the shooting phase.

03-05-2011, 21:30
I run a bell and i have problems because apparently cannons hit both the seer and the bell. I t says that templates hit all the hittable parts of a model and a cannon is a template. So seers just get shot off. I now dedicate gutter runners to killing cannons turn 1.

I believe page43 of the Skaven AB says that the hits are randomized, 1-5 bell, 6 Seer. Whether this affects Cannons hasn't been FAQ'd, so it appears that you follow AB over BRB

04-05-2011, 11:51
I believe page43 of the Skaven AB says that the hits are randomized, 1-5 bell, 6 Seer. Whether this affects Cannons hasn't been FAQ'd, so it appears that you follow AB over BRB

Thats how I read it too. If you hit it with a shooting attack, you have to use the randomization described in the book. There's no possible way to hit both the Seer and the Bell with a single template.

04-05-2011, 14:22
Hi BaSe,

I guess like everyone has already mentioned; the decision to take either a plague furnace or screaming bell is really up to what you would like to field. Both have great attributes.

I will agree with other people; only take a screaming bell of games 3000+. It is just too much of a point sink in low level games.

The plague furnace is conceivable in low level games but i wouldn't recommend it. Not for the cost in points but whether you still want friends after your game.

I am a complete Skaven fanatic. I love em. My only problem i ever have with the new army book is that everything in the book CAN be used effectively, if you know how. I always go to games expecting my mates to shower me with complaints and sometimes it does get to me.

Skaven players are both very lucky and very cursed to have a book that works against so many different armies. So, I would recommend you go with what you think is cool. Skaven players are lucky to have a book that allows us to make good decisions no matter what we purchase.

Plus, lets face it, if your really into Skaven your going to get both eventually. :D

I was in the same position as you, I chose to go with a screaming bell. In a 3000pt game i usually field,
1 screaming bell, Grey seer (of course),
1 warlock engineer,
2 hoardes of 50 clan rats w/spears and w/weapon teams.
1 doomwheel,
1 hellpit,
1 warp lightning cannon,
and if it fancy's me, 2 more units of 20 clan rats w/spears with 2 more weapon teams.

The reason I say this, is it's an example of collecting what you think is cool. I just started buying the units i thought looked great and then went from there.

In regard to tactics, my tactics are simple, WHAT TO KILL?

My army has so many scary things (now), I force my opponents to make hard decisions. kill the doom wheel, take a charge from a hell pit. charge my horde, receive counter charge from Doomflayers. Target my Bell, ignore all the other scary things coming for them.

I hope this helps you a little,

Happy collecting. ^_^

04-05-2011, 14:50
I think the Bell can be played quite easily in any 2k+ game. You don't need 3k to use it. You can't kit the Seer out with much unless your at 2250 or more, but its still viable. Luckily for me, all my friends have more stuff than me (whfb wise at least), so if I ask them if we can extend the points another 150-250 points, they are usually more than happy to oblige.

I don't really think its accurate to say that the Skaven book is 100% viable though. In my area, Rat Ogres are seen as pretty poor choices. They are comparable or better than other Ogre types, but that isn't saying much. Giant rats aren't really that great either, since slaves do the job better. Nightrunners are abysmal. At least the Gutterrunners have a purpose, even if they cost way too much, but the core runners are just bad. Vermin Lords are pretty bad too, unless you just happen to run a 2k+ game and have no use for a Seer or Warlord. But I digress.

04-05-2011, 15:55
It is worth to note that the Bell does give a 4+ ward...Furnace though deals out way more damage but is an easy target for cannons :(. Seriously though play what appeals to you the most as both the models serve there purpose.

I'll be taking the Furnace to Throne of Skulls This June if that helps :p.


04-05-2011, 22:33
That, and the MR2 + 4+ Ward helps minimize Death sniping on the Seer.

04-05-2011, 23:35
I like the plague furnace, as it is more predictable than the Bell, and cheaper too...

The answer anyway to war machines and shotting is the storm banner......

05-05-2011, 07:14
Is the Furness really cheaper? I wouldn't take a level 2 so in theory I'm having to add one to take it. Also with the bell there's the ward which I'd always take on a level 4 so in effect it's 40 points cheaper.
I'm now leaning to the bell with the Furness for larger games

05-05-2011, 08:20
Furnace is 250 pts including the plague priest, you can get away with giving him a flail for 254pts in total.

A screaming bell is at least 500pts with a grey seer, and as it is a bigger investment you probably want to spend more on magic items for protection.

So the bell is twice as expensive as the furnace, which is actually disposable, and you don't have to base your army around it. Use it to secure a flank for instance.

bert n ernie
05-05-2011, 09:33
Both my friend and I play skaven. I have always used the bell, and he has taken the furnace this edition.
I have found that, if the furnace is not sniped out by your opponent, it is more likely to do damage related to it's points. The leadership bubble given by the bell is good, but you will more than likely be playing a very defensive army focused in one general area.
This can be a problem against particularly fast or tough combat enemies.
I usually would take 25-32 clanrats, and the 360 line of sight and leadership is great. The bell ringing results are fairly unreliable, and sadly some are so situational that they are essentially null rolls.

The furnace is weak against empire players and so on. I would restrict the number of plague monks driving it and not go for 40 like some people do. It can become too much of an investment.
However if you get it to where it needs to go it will always be useful.

Personally I'd go for the furnace if I wanted to win a game. I've found that the bell doesn't often die in tournaments but it combined with the seer usually only get their points back if the 13th spell or crack's call does it for me.

05-05-2011, 10:12
Well, I would argue for using 40 monks even though you might meet artillery heavy opponents. A unit of 40 monks can still kick ass even when the furnace is pasted, particularly against empire (not so much against dwarfs).

So why not invest in a sizable unit instead of risking sitting with 20 useless monks if the furnace goes down?

For the record I use 34 monks myself in my furnace unit :P

06-05-2011, 17:46
Is it just me or is the Scorch result on the Bell completely useless? If your opponent has a lvl 4 wizard (and at those points, most likely will), he only needs to use 1 DD to kill the spell. Was that result any better in 7th?

06-05-2011, 20:41
Under 7th it was basically a free spell that didn't cost you any points or power dice, so yes, it was better. Now its just a waste of a power die, as you're required to use 1 due to the new bound spell rules, and as you say, its easily dispelled by just about any wizard

07-05-2011, 00:59
Actually, according to the FAQ, Scorch from the bell works just like it did in 7th, i.e. auto casts on a 5 with no dice required, so it can eat a dice, so it's not bad.

07-05-2011, 01:34
I haven't checked the FAQ recently. If thats the case, then its much better than it was when 8th first came out :p And makes me consider taking a Bell to Ard Boyz round 2 :shifty:

07-05-2011, 14:26
Well I knew it was a free cast (probly one of the very few free cast bound spells now, that aren't one use items), so in that regard, its good. It just seems weak compared to its position on the chart.

08-05-2011, 01:07
Free Scorch that requires 1, maybe 2 dice to get rid of it? I'd take that, especially with the Seer cackling with another Scorch or Dreaded 13th ready to go.

Dante blackfur
08-05-2011, 02:49
The leadership bubble given by the bell is good, but you will more than likely be playing a very defensive army focused in one general area.

that's a good pun, (If intended) :) but =I= personally like to take both in 2k plus games, mainly for the bells ld bubble, and its sometimes useful effects, plus it gives your lvl 4 an auto 4+ wardsave. which essentially saves you 45 pts of magic gear.

The furnace when I played it has almost always gotten its pts back you throw it at an elite expensive unit and through impact hits, fumes and frenzied monks you are likely to kill a lot of stuff. plus unbreakable so you won't run even in the unlikely chance you lose combat. plus another nice about the furnace is it can use the flame template :D which can give you more options.

The bell's main selling pt IMHO (Aside from fluff) is its 360 degree casting arc for your seer, (and since you you use the "restrictions" printed in the spell,) you can cast anything anywhere. its also useful as said above it gives you a 4++ ward, no added pts which gives you 100 pts for other fun stuff, like Skalm, or skavenbrew.

Again it really comes done to personal preference, take whatever one you like, they fill different rolls and different slots. play-test both see what fits your style. hope this helps


12-05-2011, 02:54
Skaven are remarkably versatile this edition.

Personally, my choice boils down to where I am with the rest of the list.

If you want huge blocks of infantry go bell, throw another defensive or casting item on that Grey Seer and anchor your flanks with doomwheel and a HPA (which are both must haves, good point value even if they fail you from time to time, plus they occasionally draw fire from your bell!).

If you're looking at a more deadly close combat list, go furnace, use it to anchor a flank and trick out a warlord to leadership bubble your primary battle line. 85 points gets you a +4 ward and 18" bubble, with the added benefit of Look Out Sir! My favorites, PCB's are a little weaker now, but still fairly cheap and gain Stubborn and Rank Bonus in close proximity to the furnace.

Look into buying a few cheapy magnets and making a single buy work both ways, you can run either way on a budget that way.