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boli
05-10-2011, 15:56
Before you all call out with the obvious answer of "as many as you can!"; allow me to actually rephrase the question better.

The Clanrats Boxed Set (http://www.games-workshop.com/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m500760a_99120206007_SkavenClanratsBox_445x319.jpg ) contains 20 models. Of which 10 are armoured and 10 are not - the unarmoured ones; many actually have metals collars and/or chains as such are more "slave-like" in appearance.

I know I could just paint them all up as slaves or clan rats but I would prefer the clanrats in my army to have armour on and less chains around the ankles. Likewise I don't want all the slaves to be kitted up with decent gear.

So I'm going to paint up and use the armoured ones as clanrats and the unarmed ones as slaves; so every box set purchase I will gain an additional 10 clanrats and 10 slaves.

I currently have 2 of these box sets (20 clan rats, 20 slaves) which I am currently in the process of painting. I've read a lot of the tactics concerning skaven over the last week but there doesn't seem to be a concensus of how many or indeed what proportions would make a perfect "core".

So given a 1:1 ratio of clan rats : slaves in your army what sort of numbers and unit sizes are we talking about? If i know the numbers and the unit sizes I can decide how many banners I would need or weapons they will use.

Right now I'm at (glued up and 13/40 of the way through painting)

20 slaves (w. musician)
20 clan rats (w. musician, banner, champion)


My current thinking right now is for an eventual "core target" of a wallet groaning 140 slaves 140 clan rats:

100 slaves (w. musician) 10 x 10
20 slaves 5 x 4
20 slaves 5 x 4

40 clan rats (w. shields, musician, champion, standard) 5 x 8
40 clan rats (w. shields, musician, champion, standard) 5 x 8
60 clan rats (w. shields, musician, champion, standard & screaming bell) 10 x 7.5

Are the 2x20 slave units to "direct the flow of battle" still viable or do other units do this better; and perhaps more importantly are they needed? Do slaves need musicians in the large formations or do they just rely on steadfast?

Is it best to have some clan rats with spears... perhaps a larger unit in with the screaming bell? Given they would be much harder to break I could prob survive much longer even if my rank bonus was reduced e.g 21 clan rats with spears would be just as effective as 80 clan rats with spears.

Should I split up into smaller clan rat units *just* to get more weapons teams if I do would they need banners musicians etc? then I could offload the screaming bell to my eventual stormvermin?

NOTE: this is just the CORE units I do plan to expand it with other units and goodies in the future; this is more of a long term painting project to do after work but I do want the force I create to be a viable working model should I need it.

Feedback woul be more appreciated; as you can see I have a lot of questions - truefully I haven't really played since about 1996 and a lot has changed.

russellmoo
06-10-2011, 20:09
A horde of slaves is useful against dark elves, high elves, and empire- other than that you always want your slaves ranked deep

I would run 70 x 2 groups of slaves, instead of the 100, 20, 20, and large units of slaves probably won't need a musician-

Clanrats on the other hand can make an effective horde unit- you could take a group of 80 with spears, and two smaller units of 30 each with a weapon team

boli
06-10-2011, 21:52
so what would be the mininimum horde of slaves needed?... I've heard 100 slaves thrown aout a lot; likewise would the 20 slave units be useful to co-ordinate attacks in the 8th expansion or does another unit perform that role (giant rats?)

Obvioulsy since I am buying in a 1:1 ratio how are peeps using clan rats... small units for ratling guns?... or larger for staying power?

I plan to get a screaming bell at some point... would shields or spears work for that sort of unit... as I am thinking of painting before playing it would be nice to know if I am needed to use 80 clanrats with shield+spear or just spear or just handweapon+shield before I start.

This is actually a valid questions which any would-be skaven player would ask so I'm surprised the proportions and/or ideal unit size is not that easy to find.

Surgency
07-10-2011, 01:26
personally I find the 100x blocks of slaves to be way to unwieldy to use. even the 5x15 blocks are a bit much. I try to stick to 60 or fewer in my units, 5x12 at the most, as otherwise it sometimes gets kinda hard to maneuver them.

Loopstah
07-10-2011, 11:02
Buy some Gnoblars and use them as slaves, then you don't end up with too many clanrats sat on the shelf.

Oogie boogie boss
07-10-2011, 11:14
2 blocks of 70 slaves will work better for you than 100 and 2x20. The 100 block will get in the way, and the 20 blocks will be limited in effect. As for the clanrats, that seems a good set up. I'd horde the biggest unit, and then set the 40's up 8x5. And give them all spears, as 8th's all about combat attrition, and you'll need the extra attacks against anything with armour.

Jolly Puggles
07-10-2011, 12:49
I've found that Slaves work best in units around the 40-50 mark. More than that and the unit becomes unwieldy and anything less and it doesn't have the required survivability to achieve much.

Similarly, Clanrats work well in units of 50. A 10x5 horde gives you that little bit of extra punch and can happily shrug off most incoming missile fire without losing any combat efficacy.

If you're wanting Core troops advice though, don't forget to field Stormvermin. Point for point, they are one of the most cost efficient infantry units in the game. A unit of 50 Stormvermin with the Razor Standard, backed up by a Warlord, will have a decent chance of chewing through most enemy units. Against inferior troops, they'll steamroller over them and against superior troops, they'll grind them down with superior numbers. I've had just such a unit of Stormvermin take a charge from 2 units of Bretonnian Knights and come out shiny at the end of the combat (admitedly, I did have a pinch more luck than is usual!).

tarrym
07-10-2011, 14:42
I also split my Clanrat boxes up into Clanrat and Slave units according to how armoured the model was. I also went one step further and only had triangular shields in the army :s

In the end I think my purchases were:

2 x Island of Blood (all models armoured, some with round shields, some with traingular)
2 x Battalion Boxed Set
6 x Clanrats


And this made up:

1 x 50 Clanrats (Spear, Shield, FC)
2 x 30 Clanrats (Hand Weapon, Shield, FC)
2 x 50 Slaves (Hand Weapon)


There were plenty of models spare which could have made up more units. But I just didn't want that many! They were sold on ebay for about 6-7 (GBP) per batch of 20 models.

Personally this is more than enough "core" rats for me - especially when I have another 150+ models spread over other units like Stormvermin, Plaguemonks, Giant Rats etc.


As for tactics, my units of Slaves are generally used 40-50 strong and are great roadblocks. Personally I think the "rat dart" units would make better re-directors, and are marginally cheaper I think.

Clanrats tend to just provide a bunker, or something to push the bell. I've never yet felt the urge to use them any differently - but I'm sure they could have their uses against other infantry.

boli
07-10-2011, 15:13
@ Jolly Puggles
Oh, I've got my eye on stormvermin for sure! they're gonna stand out in their shiney red laquored armour :D thinking 2x40 supported by doomflayers unless I can only have 1 unit then 1x60 (box is of 20 :/). Likewise I've got my eye on plague monks with a plague furnace :)

@Oogie boogie boss
I was going to horde the 60 with the screming bell with shields for 7 ranks; no spears but horde will give added attacks instead; a decent bunker for a grey seer and still combat capable.

And yeah... 8x5 spears on the other 2 units ideally I could use them as flankers.

I thinking with the 100 slaves supported on both sides with the 2x40 clan rats+weapon teams that will take up a HUGE footprint on the battlefield. So massively unweildy but I thought that was the point of slaves... there to get in the way and hold the enemy up simply marchign them up the centre woudl deny that area to the enemy plus for the added phycological effect.

Or would 70 or 80 slaves do the job just as well?.. I kind of wanted the slaves to charge an expensive unit or 2 and pretty much take them out of the game as they have to spend all their turns hacking up slaves.


I was thinking of using the 2x20 slaves as fodder in front of the more expensive and combat capable units or having them purposefully be attacked and flee to open up flanks are slaves still the best units to use for that or do people prefer others (giant rats?)

Likewise on slaves... are musicians ever worth it or is it better just to abuse steadfast rules with ranks?

boli
07-10-2011, 15:38
@tarrym

5 giant rats + 1 packmaster = 23 points
20 slaves = 40 points

Giant rats have movement of 6 but the thing I was worried about most was if they break and run away they'll cause panic in my entire army a few bad rolls and I coudl be looking at my game over before its begun. I pretty much have zero chance of rallying them if anything breaks

I *was* thinking about using the smaller 40 clan rats as flankers 40 clan rats with spears is going to make a mess out of anyones day... although I suppose I could do the same with only 30.

Do you really need multiple slaves "roadblocks/tar pits" or will one large one be better?

Magot
07-10-2011, 15:46
I would go for 2x 60 slaves
3x 20 or 30 clanrats with weapon teams..

units of 10x10 are not playable....

keep in mind that the slaves explode when they lose a combat. but thats part of the FUN !!!1

russellmoo
07-10-2011, 16:24
The real problem with a unit of 10 x 10 slaves is that you are only going to want that 10x10 half of the time- meaning it is useful against elite armies with low model counts, but there are O&G players that field 100 night goblin blocks, and empire players that will take 80 spearmen/swordsmen/halberdiers

Against both of these units a 10x10 slave unit won't hold up and will explode within 1-2 rounds of combat- most likely round 1 against the NG horde-

Anyway- the point is there are going to be so many times when that 10x10 is going to need to become a 5 x20 that you might as well just bring a 5 x 14 and leave them that way the entire game- this also solves LD bubble problems- which would be the other problem of running 2 blocks of 100- you could then only keep those two blocks within the LD bubble, forcing a large portion of your army away from the BSB, and general (not a good idea for skaven)

boli
08-10-2011, 15:09
So.. do slaves ever need a muscian?... I have got 19 slaves painted and ready but obviously the 20th *could* be a muscian or they could not

Garion
08-10-2011, 15:15
Just make 1 regardless slaves look dull enough as they are, may as well brighten up the regiment plus you will need to pain another billion slaves before your army is ready :D

boli
08-10-2011, 16:35
Just make 1 regardless slaves look dull enough as they are, may as well brighten up the regiment plus you will need to pain another billion slaves before your army is ready :D

I may very well do, but is it WORTH it in points value (i.e. are more slaves better?) and do you just abuse the steadfast rules with slaves and 70 slaves in a 5x14 block is pretty much going to out steadfast most units unless they are running similar.

oh and I mastered the batch painting with slaves last night, its amazing how quickly you can get through them if you do it simply neat and with basic shading.. took me a week to do 13 models (clan and slave) but I did 17 models last night and tbh they look better than my first attempts where I took my time on them - now I just need to work out a decent batch technique for clan rats.


At the moment from the feedback I've been getting 70 slaves seems to be a number thrown about a lot but are slaves being used as screening troops or to re-direct charges still used? i.e. the cheap 40 points for 20 slaves?

And more importantly... is it better to run 2 tar pits or one big one?

Magot
08-10-2011, 18:53
So.. do slaves ever need a muscian?... I have got 19 slaves painted and ready but obviously the 20th *could* be a muscian or they could not

Yes they Do !!


B.T.W.

anny change for pictures of your army ??

Magot
08-10-2011, 18:57
I may very well do, but is it WORTH it in points value (i.e. are more slaves better?) and do you just abuse the steadfast rules with slaves and 70 slaves in a 5x14 block is pretty much going to out steadfast most units unless they are running similar.

oh and I mastered the batch painting with slaves last night, its amazing how quickly you can get through them if you do it simply neat and with basic shading.. took me a week to do 13 models (clan and slave) but I did 17 models last night and tbh they look better than my first attempts where I took my time on them - now I just need to work out a decent batch technique for clan rats.


At the moment from the feedback I've been getting 70 slaves seems to be a number thrown about a lot but are slaves being used as screening troops or to re-direct charges still used? i.e. the cheap 40 points for 20 slaves?

And more importantly... is it better to run 2 tar pits or one big one?



Im strugeling with 60..................... reduced the number with 11 due to the unit filler I made but still,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Im facing finishing the entyre unit this weekend.............................. HOERA HOERA HOERA !!!! HOUZEE HOUZEE HOUZEE,
if you are interested please have a look at my plog below.


.

boli
10-10-2011, 09:26
Unfortunally no pictures for my army... as I have no working camera :/

Finished off my clanrats and slaves last night; just need to base the slaves and finish off the shields, unfortunaly due to swapping around with the colour scheme a few times 3 clanrats are pretty messed up with the painting scheme, but I may be able to salvage 2 of them to bring me up to 19/20. One thing is for sure I'm gonna paint the arms BEFORE I glue them on next time... ugh they were a pain!

But I am thinking about what to expand; obviously I need more clanrats/slaves (thinking 60 more each); and I *do* plan to expand those but which of the following would give me more "bang for my points"?

- plaguemonks
- stormvermin
- doomwheel
- weapon teams
- screaming bell

It turns out I may be bringing them to war much sooner than originally planned as my friend has a small army of dwarves so a 500-750 point game could be in the offing soon.


I've got a unit of warriors, a unit of crossbows, a unit of thunderers, a cannon and a bolt thrower

Obviously a very "shooty army" which would cause everyone here to say: "stormvermin with storm banner" and yes that is the most logical idea BUT I plan to have many games against him whilst we both learn how to play in this edition and basing my entire army around nullifying 75% of his entire army is not going to go down very well!

So lets assume it will be a house rule in short order than the storm banner will *not* be used. Which of the above would be the best given a basic force of:

80 slaves
37-40 clanrats w. shields
40 clanrats with spear

Oogie boogie boss
10-10-2011, 15:54
A Doomwheel is a great centrepiece for your army, and will provide a good, if unpredictable, flanking force.
The Stormvermin are great for their points, and provide a bit more hitting power than the clanrats, which this army may need, but you do need to use them in units of at least 40+, as they'll be a big target.
Weapons teams are a must, as Skaven generally need to soften up the enemy before they can do some damage. Aghainst Dwarves i'd recommend Poison Wind Mortars, as the ignore armour, or the Warpfire Thrower, cos it's awesome.
Plague Monks are great fun, and tougher than anything else you'll have, but they struggle against armoured opposition, and have no armour themselves, so tend to die quickly. Again, you'll need 40+.
A Screaming bell is, like the Doomwheel, a great centrepiece, and is awesome generally as it gives your Seer a 4+ ward save and causes Terror and Impact hits, but it's very expensive and needs a big unit pushing it.

My advice for your first few smaller games is get some Stormvermin and a couple of weapons teams, or maaaaaybe a Doomwheel, and then invest in a Bell when you get to around the 2,400pts mark. I'd buy some Plague Monks after you've got your Stormvermin up to around 50-60, but again, this will be when you're playing bigger games.
Hope that's helpful.

Eddiethehott
11-10-2011, 14:31
100 slaves is generally all I really need, that and 60 clanrats total, so 2 units of 50 slaves, and 2 units of 30 clanrats, after that IU just fill up on Skrye warmachines, works pretty good for me.

boli
05-12-2011, 13:50
I thought I'll update this thread: Thanks to some ebay deals (I managed to get undamaged and unpainted models for like 30-40% of the GW price :D) this is what I currently have:

30 clanrats w. sp
60 clanrats w. hw/sh (old style)
40 clanrats w. hw/sh
50 slaves w. hw

40 stormvermin
40 plague monks

4 rat ogres
30 giant rats
7 packmasters

PWM
Flamer
Doomflayer

I understand that I am going to need the warmachines (such as doomwheels)... but right now I'm stil considering the core; more to balance out what I have than any real need to push numbers: so I have a few questions (bare in mind I will rarely play comp).

1. A second unit of 40 stormvermin a good idea? (spread the concentration of fire)
2. Having 2 units of 50 slaves worth it?... or is one just fine?
3. Is 60 Plague monks overkill?... would they last long enough to make an impact? if I only had 40? (thinking combined with a plague furnace)
4. Are giant rats useful in a large unit (like 30-40 strong)?
5. Are Rat Ogres just a walking VPs for the enemy or is it worth getting a unit of 6 (or 2x4)
6. If I field a horde of 60 clanrats with spears woud they actually be a serious threat on the battlefield or just a psycological crutch?
7. How many Clan Rats is "too much"? I'm looking at over 200 of the things for the future (and larger games) are they worth more than their war machines if I fielded multiple units of 30-40?

Hope you can help :)

Grey Seer
05-12-2011, 15:10
1. Generally speaking, slaves are a better deal than clanrats or stormvermin.
2. Yes
3. 60 plaguemonks is overkill. With the furnace, 35 is plenty.
4. Giant rats are very useful. The bigger the unit the better.
5. Rat ogres are great. 2x4 is better than 6. Their high initative and frenzy makes them great MI killers (except against regenerators).
6. Don't take spears on clanrats as it is a waste of points (unless you know you are facing goblins).
7. See 1. Clanrats are pretty useless on their own.

boli
05-12-2011, 15:58
6. Don't take spears on clanrats as it is a waste of points (unless you know you are facing goblins).

I was thinking 60 CR with spears and the BSB to be a bunker and tarpit which has the potential to do some damage (unlike slaves) I mean if I choose the war banner I would be adding +6 to any combat resolution before combat is worked out; with 21 or 28 "standard" attacks against a standard 5.

I can pretty much guarantee that my "kills" would generally never be from the clanrats ... but it sure would be fun to have these "standard boring" rats too shine for once :)... since I've got a load with spears anyways be interesting to see if they could work in a horde.

Grey Seer
05-12-2011, 18:25
You are better off putting the 0.5 points towards something else (including shields).

Giving the BSB the warbanner, in a unit of clanrats, just makes him an easy kill.

I am not saying don't go 10 wide, but the extra 0.5 points for spears is not worth the extra clanrat attack (to the front only, when not charging).

Kadris
06-12-2011, 03:01
last time i ran slaves i stuck a naked engineer in with them. kinda surprises opponents when they have a base leadership of 5 with one, leading to only needing 5 extra ranks to max leadership.

boli
06-12-2011, 08:26
last time i ran slaves i stuck a naked engineer in with them. kinda surprises opponents when they have a base leadership of 5 with one, leading to only needing 5 extra ranks to max leadership.

I was under the impression strength in numbers only confered the RANk bonus (which caps out at +3) so max LD would be 8?

Grey Seer
06-12-2011, 16:24
Correct. Max SiN is +3. Engineer's ld is 5.

lovedinplaster
06-12-2011, 20:41
Clanrats and slaves are useless in horde. You want single attack high strength. Stormvwrmin are really the only useful horse skaven have.

belgarath97
06-12-2011, 21:01
I always field my slaves with musician. Not for combat, but for other panic. for 2 points I get to rally on a 3 not a 2, triple the chance.

I never field Clanrats at less than 30 or more than 50. I never field Slaves at less than 40 or more than 60.

So If you want 3 units of clanrats I would go 30, 30, 50. And that is only because you want more rats in the unit with the bell. And slaves at 55 and 55.