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View Full Version : How to use Giant Rats in 8th?



Juggernaut101
03-09-2011, 13:47
I want to know wether anyone uses them as an actual combat unit instead of just as redirectors. Would it be ok if you replaced a large Slave unit with GRs?

I was thinking a unit of 40 incl. 2 Packmasters.
Speaking of Packmasters, those guys are just there to boost the LD ( at least in their basic configuration ) aren't they? Just asking as I intend to use a bell so LD shouldn't be a major problem. But just as a precaution: is there a ratio of Packmasters per GRs I should be aware of?

Attacking from 3 ranks seems awesome on paper but I think I'm starting to develop an aneurysm from Skaven list building...so many options:D


Any and all help in this matter would be greatly appreciated,
Juggernaut

Deff Mekz
03-09-2011, 14:23
If you going to take them I'd take them with that special character Master moulder. (I 've forgotten his name sorry) Also, I'd take 50-60 in a horde so this way your fighting in 4 ranks and putting out a truck load of attacks.

Deff

ftayl5
04-09-2011, 02:31
50 In Horde formation + 10 Packmasters is my goal.
Add Skweel to that and you get yourself a very nasty unit that only costs like 340 points. And only 230 if there's no Skweel.

Such a unit would have 40 Attacks (if all in Base to Base) at WS3, S3 which isn't great but it'd be pretty epic for butchering (preferably) low toughness low armour save stuff.

Most importantly I think, would just be that it would be very intimidating and many an opponent would throw a lot of shooting or magic at it rather than some of your more valuable units.

In a large game, I could see running two of such blocks, one on each flank, as being very very effective. Fast cavalry, skirmishers and other pesky flanking unit's wouldn't stand a chance.

Just my 2c, and this is all theory hammer - I've never used such a unit or heard any successful tales of their use.

SlaaneshSlave
04-09-2011, 02:40
I've tried them out a bit. My biggest problem is that they do not count towards core. Having a 300+ point unit that does not contribute is hard to afford. It means they cannot take the place of slaves, but are in addition.

I do love my Rat Darts. A unit of 5 with a packmaster for 23? Yes, please and everyday. And if they contributed to core you would see more of them on my side of the table. But almost always take at least 1 unit of them.

Juggernaut101
04-09-2011, 14:01
Seeing as they lost SiN, wouldn't it be more advantageous to go for bus formation instead of horde formation? The unit seems to be a tad prone to running away, not a biggie as far as darts are concerned but a 40+ unit...


EDIT: @ SlaaneshSlave: Concerning the Rat Darts, what do they do for you that is so great? I played against them and to be honest they didn't impress me much. They're fast and good at flanking but at those numbers they just did not survive long enough. Do you "just" use them for re-directing?

Sexiest_hero
04-09-2011, 16:12
YOu can make rats count as core. What's a rat dart?

Oberon
04-09-2011, 16:37
A small and narrow unit of giant rats, rushed in front of the enemy in nasty angles to discourage charging/overruning, forcing his hand and just being annoying. Pretty much a great eagle that can't fly or fight for half price.

SlaaneshSlave
04-09-2011, 17:14
@Juggernaut: SiN applies to the Packmasters. So, the Packmasters' leadership is increased by the ranks of Giant Rats. Loose all the Packmasters and you loose SiN. Pretty cool mechanic really (once you read the Q&A to understand it).

Rat Dart is a min sized unit of 5 Giant Rats and 1 Packmaster for 23 points. They are good for a free drop to see your opponents deployment before you commit. They really shine in slowing down opponent units so you get another turn to thin them out.

If your opponent is Frenzied... Run the dart up and use the last inch of movement to angle at 60 degrees or so. Your opponent cannot wheel past you. So, they could fast reform which slows them down. Or they could charge you, and you hold. They angle to you, wipe you, then have to overrun to the table side as they are frenzied. Next turn they turn to face you.

If not Frenzied... Same tactic just good results, not amazing. After they vaporize the dart, they will just victorious reform and face you. End result is you lost 23 points & their deathstar moved forward 1-2 inches. You now have another turn of shooting & magic. 3 Darts can keep that unit out of meaningful combat for half the game.

Juggernaut101
05-09-2011, 15:07
@Juggernaut: SiN applies to the Packmasters. So, the Packmasters' leadership is increased by the ranks of Giant Rats. Loose all the Packmasters and you loose SiN. Pretty cool mechanic really (once you read the Q&A to understand it).

ARGH! Sigh, yeah, of course you're right. It is pretty clear once you read the last sentence of the paragraph talking about Rogres ... and realize that they're not talking about CC resolution :eyebrows: At least I hope you were talking about that...
At least that clears my doubts about Packmasters.




If your opponent is Frenzied... Run the dart up and use the last inch of movement to angle at 60 degrees or so. Your opponent cannot wheel past you. So, they could fast reform which slows them down. Or they could charge you, and you hold. They angle to you, wipe you, then have to overrun to the table side as they are frenzied. Next turn they turn to face you.

If not Frenzied... Same tactic just good results, not amazing. After they vaporize the dart, they will just victorious reform and face you. End result is you lost 23 points & their deathstar moved forward 1-2 inches. You now have another turn of shooting & magic. 3 Darts can keep that unit out of meaningful combat for half the game.
Mmmmm, staggered Rat Darts: I begin to see the light.

Thanks, SlaaneshSlave. That was very constructive. I still have problems adjusting from the Khorne/Nurgle approach to the sacrificial Skaven quagmire but I'm getting there.

Oberon
05-09-2011, 17:44
Just keep in mind that the darts have to close the enemy one at a time, otherwise they will panic each other or at least the enemy will get an overrun move to the other dart...

Grey Seer
06-09-2011, 17:38
A huge unit of Giant Rats also works well on your flank. I usually run 40 with 6 packmasters. The attacks, ranks and high initative are great against fast calvary. The M6 is effective at threatening flanks and engaging war machines and missle units. 10 wide, in addition to attacks, makes them hard to get around.

This is an effective unit, even better with skweel. I have been thinking about running the unit with a Master Molder (no skweel), perhaps with a two handed weapon or maybe a prod.

SVKBaki
07-09-2011, 08:03
I am new to Skaven and I intend to run a horde unit of them, but my question is where do you put the packmasters/moulders/ and especially Skweel.

My logic says to the back rank, but logic is not the case of many WH rules :)

So where to put them?

Jolly Puggles
07-09-2011, 08:13
I am new to Skaven and I intend to run a horde unit of them, but my question is where do you put the packmasters/moulders/ and especially Skweel.

My logic says to the back rank, but logic is not the case of many WH rules :)

So where to put them?

Master Moulders (including Squeel) must go in the front rank because they're unit Champions.

Other Packmasters can go wherever you like within the unit. Strictly speaking, you get the most out of them by putting them in the front rank where they can use their whips as additional hand weapons, but that does make them vulnerable to counterattack. Otherwise, it depends on how big your unit is and how you're fielding it. A small (i.e. non-Horde) unit should have Packmasters in the 4th rank where they can still use their whips. In a bigger (i.e. Horde) unit, is doesn't matter where you put them because you have 4 ranks fighting regardless.

tarrym
07-09-2011, 14:21
Master Moulders (including Squeel) must go in the front rank because they're unit Champions.

Other Packmasters can go wherever you like within the unit. Strictly speaking, you get the most out of them by putting them in the front rank where they can use their whips as additional hand weapons, but that does make them vulnerable to counterattack. Otherwise, it depends on how big your unit is and how you're fielding it. A small (i.e. non-Horde) unit should have Packmasters in the 4th rank where they can still use their whips. In a bigger (i.e. Horde) unit, is doesn't matter where you put them because you have 4 ranks fighting regardless.

You can always mix and match if you want to take advantage of the 2 hand weapons. Put most of the Packmasters in the front, and keep 1-2 in the 4th (or subsequent) ranks as a back-up for maintaining SiN when you get into the fight.

Of course whenever I've used Giant Rats my opponent has an uncanny ability to randomise a lot of shooting attacks on the Packmasters anyway so it makes little difference :)

Jolly Puggles
07-09-2011, 15:04
Of course whenever I've used Giant Rats my opponent has an uncanny ability to randomise a lot of shooting attacks on the Packmasters anyway so it makes little difference :)

Yeah, what's with that? I'm only new to fielding anything from Clan Moulder, but it always seems like a disproportionate amount of shooting attacks end up hitting my Packmasters instead of my G.Rats or R.Ogres. Weird.

Spinocus
07-09-2011, 18:39
Giant Rats should generally be deployed and run up the flanks. They're the most cost-effective flanking unit in the Skaven arsenal. They can race across the map and absorb a large number of casualties before (ideally) slamming into the flank of a big nasty or big block that needs disrupting. You can also field a metric crap-ton of them in a horde or ultra-deep unit meant to absorb and hold something big and nasty for a few turns and put some hurt on it. Although to be blunt, except for the 'put some hurt' bit the last option is what 2pt Slaves are for, isn't it? Last but not least Death Frenzied and/or Blessed with Filthified GR units in action are a sight to behold.... you'll be amazed what the little f'ers can munch through!

Using Giant Rats in horde formation is somewhat wasteful as the use of Packmasters' whips from the 4th rank effectively offers you the same benefits as the horde formation. More often than when you field GRs in horde formation you will watch those those rats in the 8th, 9th & 10th files contribute absolutely nothing to combat. On top of this you'll have a unit that is pretty damn unwieldy. It's a matter of preference really, a block arrayed 7 wide and sporting 7 Packmasters in the 4th rank gives you a few extra ranks for SiN and is far easier to maneuver & charge with. The upside to the horde approach is that you can get more rats and fewer PMs (just be careful not to get too few) for the same or fewer points as the formation I just described.

Deploying Packmasters to the front row in order to make use of their extra whip attack is a pretty good idea. My biggest concern is whether any will survive the first couple rounds of combat. Personally I wouldn't jeopardize them for fear of losing their Ld5 and SiN, leaving me with a masterless mob of giant mutant rats that attack the nearest enemy and sport a paltry Ld3 to boot (ok, no PMs means the unit gains Swiftstride which helps soften the blow... a bit). Furthermore why sacrifice an 8pt model when a 3pt model is available to take the hit? I must say, Tarrym's idea of splitting the PMs between the front & 4th ranks does sound like a nice middle ground.

Master Moulders are pretty good if you've got the points to spare, especially if you intend on running the GR unit outside your general's Ld bubble and want a little more Leadership to boost the unit's SiN (MM = Ld 6). By default a MM gives you three (incl. whip) WS5, S4 attacks which is nice versus crap/average troops. For a paltry 4pts you can give him a Great Weapon for two S6 attacks which can help boost your CR against tougher, armored targets that typically shrug off S3 hits. Given that GR units should always come cheap I cannot recommend giving your MM the Things-Catcher, Electro-Whip or Shock Prod. Last but not least MMs are best deployed on a corner of the front rank so they don't receive to many return enemy attacks.

SVKBaki
07-09-2011, 20:55
thanks guys for some great advice, I didnt thought about splitting them to first and 4th rank.

I am planning the horde formation of 60, with packmasters, maybe some moulders and Skweel. I assume that Skweel has to go to the first rank, correct? which means a bit trouble for him, unless he heroically refuse any challenge which will allow him to move to the back...

rakmial
09-09-2011, 22:29
Rat darts are also good fun for harassing enemy wizards in bunkers - field 6, 2 wide by three ranks with PM in the back, and juke between enemy units to charge the bunker. Charging is the only time you can get within 1" of enemy units, so even if there's only 2" or so between them, you can squeeze through! Then, laugh as you get 7 S3 attacks on the (probably helpless) enemy wizard - if you're lucky enough, you might just kill him. For less than 30 points, this is an excellent risk to take.

ftayl5
10-09-2011, 00:25
In addition to my earlier post, I'm thinking of a unit of 21 Rats with 5 Packmasters. 7 Wide, 3 deep gets 26 attacks for only 103pts. Would make great flank/anti flanking units I think.

The problem with Giant Rats is that it's hard to decide which of the many options to use. Do I do one big horde? 2 Small units? Or lots of rat darts? So many choices!!

leecutter
10-09-2011, 06:32
I like a unit of 50 rats in bus formation with death frenzy, it's great at beating other tarpit units out and losing some rats to death frenzy is worth it

tarrym
10-09-2011, 14:24
Using Giant Rats in horde formation is somewhat wasteful as the use of Packmasters' whips from the 4th rank effectively offers you the same benefits as the horde formation.

I'd agree, however if you're going for the Death Frenzy / Bless With Filfth approach then you really want every attack you can get - and those Packmasters are expensive when compared with a Giant Rat who attacks with pretty much the same profile (could be exactly the same - don't have my book handy sorry) :)

Plus the horde formation is an even bigger unit which you're enemy could struggle to avoid - particularly with M6.

rakmial
12-09-2011, 03:07
I don't see a lot of benefit for taking giant rats over slaves, if you're going to horde them. The two benefits I see are -

1. They're M6.
2. They basically have spears.

BlackPawl
12-09-2011, 07:56
I also prefer slaves because they are cheaper, but sometimes it is better to have WS 3 than 2. Against normal troops (Empire, Orks etc.) you will get 16% fewer hits with rats than with slaves, so you loose not so much. And as you said they are faster, so better at the flanks.

Feefait
12-09-2011, 23:03
Never mind. Read the errata'd lol

Anyway I never took giant rats till now. I always would rather have had clanrats. But with horde and extra attacks... the only issue is cost, monetarily. I made mine out of brown modelling clay. Took about an hour and now I have 50+ rats ready to swarm. Excellent on the flank. The sheer psychology of seeing the unit over there is a justification for it imo.