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Rudra34
15-02-2013, 19:41
The future of Skaven Slaves was briefly mentioned in the current thread about Chaos Marauders and then point increase. I wanted to get some more opinions on this issue without thread-jacking.

As a Skaven player, I don't deny that the book has glaring issues which can be exploited and taken advantage of. The 8th ED book is probably far, FAR off from happening, but it is still interesting to think about what might happen when, or if, it is redone. Certain things will certainly see nerfs (HPA's, Warplightning Cannons, take your pick really), but I am more interested in the changes that might come to normal infantry.

As I see it there are two options which are possible.

1 - Slaves will go up in cost. They are clearly worth more than 2 points for what they can do, but how much more? I don't see them ever going above 3 points, but GW has known to pull some curve balls in the past.

2 - Slaves will be removed from the book. They have always been a part of the Skaven army, so this doesn't seem likely. However, clanrats are already incredibly cheap for what they bring to the table, so it's not completely unreasonable to think that slaves might meet the chopping block.


What sort of changes would this bring to the army as a whole? Skaven have often relied on outnumbering the enemy, would dropping the numbers put them more in line with other 8th ED armies? What changes do you think are coming, and what would you like to see?

13713
15-02-2013, 19:47
As a Skaven player I absolutely detest slaves. I understand their importance in army synergy. I understand that the cost is something to keep in mind for fielding such troops and why many players pack in as many slaves as possible as the unit is just too good to pass up given the current enviroment. But I cannot help but hate the unit to death when our army has such cool toys.

I see a point increase in skaven slaves as well as possibly a change in how many units a person could take. Both a point increase and unit ammount limitations would really change the way the army is played but it would also put a stop to blatent abuses of such a cheap unit.

I know that I am in the minority when it comes to the slave argument so I will take a lot of heat for my views.

IcedCrow
15-02-2013, 19:50
Slaves will go up to about 4 points. Individually they are worth 2 points. Its when people put them in groups of 100-200 that they are broken. And by broken I mean broken. They were never meant to be leadership 10 stubborn units (and then add the reroll for army standard). IMO.

When you put steadfast into the equation, slaves are easily worth 4 points.

The alternative is to take the strength in numbers rule away from them. Which I would also be behind 100%. Either that or not let them use the general's leadership.

Rudra34
15-02-2013, 20:02
@13713 - I completely agree, although I do use slaves in my armies. They are an incredibly useful tool, but have become a symbol of what everyone hates about Skaven. At 2500 I'll take two units of 50 with spears, and they never fail. More often I've been trying to replace them with Giant Rats, which are infinitely cooler and more interesting.

@IcedCrow - Will 4 points kill them as a unit? Also, if they go up to 4, then what will the cost on clanrats go up to? This is why I think that they may be dropped from the army. If they become a replacement for clanrats, then people will be less likely to bring clanrats. But if they go away, then people will start trying to use clanrats as slaves. It's a weird limbo area. Taking away SiN seems a bit extreme, though it makes sense to me that slaves should be the most cowardly unit in the army and not the most likely to be steadfast. I could see taking away the ability to use a BsB reroll, or only being able to use character leadership if a character is physically IN the unit.

IcedCrow
15-02-2013, 20:12
Basically the ability to make them leadership 10 stubborn with a re-roll for the entire game is bent for a 2 point model. I can see clan rats sitting around 5-6 points. The way they've been buffing up infantry costs to offset the deathstar nonsense, this to me is something I can see.

I prefer that slaves just lose the ability to be an eternal tarpit that lasts the entire game reliably for the discounted price of 200-300 points. No other 200-300 point unit in the game can sit there all game in combat and never run. That especially shouldn't happen with a skaven slave, a cowardly model that would run at the sight of its own shadow.

underscore
15-02-2013, 20:14
The alternative is to take the strength in numbers rule away from them. Which I would also be behind 100%. Either that or not let them use the general's leadership.
My thoughts exactly - either of those or some kind of reverse-Cold Blooded rule (so the worst of 2 of 3D6). Seems like the simplest solution to me.

Artinam
15-02-2013, 20:19
Maybe indeed remove the use generals leadership rule. Or add some kind of handlers to the units for a certain cost to compensate a bit.

Lance Tankmen
15-02-2013, 20:20
or maybe skaven slaves can never be steadfast?or not get the reroll/generals Ld.

Ratarsed
15-02-2013, 20:44
Basically the ability to make them leadership 10 stubborn with a re-roll for the entire game is bent for a 2 point model. I can see clan rats sitting around 5-6 points. The way they've been buffing up infantry costs to offset the deathstar nonsense, this to me is something I can see.

I prefer that slaves just lose the ability to be an eternal tarpit that lasts the entire game reliably for the discounted price of 200-300 points. No other 200-300 point unit in the game can sit there all game in combat and never run. That especially shouldn't happen with a skaven slave, a cowardly model that would run at the sight of its own shadow.
It's not the 2 point cost or the steadfast ld10 that breaks the slaves IMO, but the shooting and casting into combat with slaves that does it. I don't think slaves are worth more than 2 points each. You have to bring back randomisation if you are going to allow shooting into combat with slaves. If you want to stop the silly 100+ massive units you could tie their numbers in with clan rats or make them not count toward the core allowance. Probably we will see a solution no one guessed. Maybe a combat unit that can go toe to toe with Savage Orc Big'uns or chosen chaos Warriors, or gut stars will make hem less appealing. As of now shooting and Magic are the Skaven's main weapons backed up by the abomination. That being said they have their own distinctive play style so maybe not. Well see I suppose.

laribold
15-02-2013, 20:46
Could they be Unstable? Just to represent the unit melting away at the slightest hint of resistance?

Or something along the lines of a reverse Unstable, losing models for each point that they pass their test by, to represent slaves being whipped to death to keep them in the fight.

Skaven slaves need some sort of special rule to make them sufficiently different to clanrats (beyond what they already have)

IcedCrow
15-02-2013, 20:47
a unit that costs 200 points should not be able to lock down practically everything in the game for the entire game. I will never get behind that and will continue to use ETC comp rules to keep slaves from getting that abuseable. Considering how every former abuseable unit in the game like mark of khorne marauders have been brought up to compensate for the steadfast rule (and discourage massive hordes like that) it will not surprise me a bit to see this done to skaven.

Sadly skaven aren't even on the horizon.

MasterSplinter
15-02-2013, 21:08
A lot of good ideas you guys have.

I think a little price hike would solve at least one problem: the cost efficiency relation between slaves and clanrats. To be honest, in a competitive style of play clanrats wont make it into the list, maybe a bunker for the prophet but thats it.
Since Warhammer got away from a size restriction of units, iguess that wont happen, but i am also not sure if it would be the solution, since there was the faq for overrunning units like undead, slaves etc.

I think slaves should not be that reliable, for they are just slaves.
The inverted cold blooded rule seems pretty good to me, i just had the same idea before reading you post underscore.
Somekind of a handler would make sense fluffwise too. For example that they just get the benefits of the generals ld and army standard, if the handlers still alive.

Kayosiv
15-02-2013, 21:22
Slaves shouldn't be expensive, that defeats the purpose of them over clanrats.

What slaves should be is cowardly. People have mentioned lack of steadfast, lack of strength in numbers, and lack of ability to use inspiring presence. These all make sense, although not all 3 at once.

The balancing factor to slaves was of course that they are leadership 2 and the entire unit dies if they run away instead of being able to flee. Strength in numbers and steadfast do make sense for slaves, because everything about the way they fight should be they are confident if they vastly outnumber their opponent. Personally I'd take away their ability to use inspiring presence. Why should the slaves care if the general (whom they probably hate) is nearby? If you want to put a character in the unit to lead the slaves then fine, you can use his leadership, but already that's balancing the slaves by forcing players to pour more points into the unit to make it more reliable, which it shouldn't be unless you pay points and risk characters.

Shooting into slaves without randomization is also unquestionably broken and needs to be gone.

Fear Ghoul
15-02-2013, 23:26
Make the Slaves 2.5pts each and unable to use General's or attached character's leadsership but keep Strength in Numbers and Steadfast. Also bring back the old rule where one unit of Slaves has to be fielded alongside a unit of Clanrats. That would be the best way of representing their overwhelming numbers and cowardice, whilst also limiting the exploits currently utilized by people.

mr.hardrada
15-02-2013, 23:51
Totally off the wall but maybe skavenslaves will have a unit size restriction as a unit of 100 "slaves" would rebel, or better than that there is a "Skabbicus" special rule and every turn a unit of skavenslaves must take a leadership test to see if they rebel and plus one to that ld for every rank. Once again just a thought.

Grey Seer Kwokka
16-02-2013, 01:46
I don't see the sense in removing the Strength in Numbers, Steadfast or Inspiring Presence capability from Skavenslaves. Skaven generals live and die by their leadership bubble and there are plenty of means to counter these.

Restoring the Mainstay rule from 6th will probably curb some of the abuse back.

Also, Clanrats were base 5ppm in that book, so I don't know why people believe that a potential increase in Skavenslaves costing would render them pointless compared to Clanrats; the points of all the base troops will probably rise in tandem with the new costing of Skavenslaves.

Skavenslaves have been around forever in one incarnation or another. Any logic you apply that they will be removed entirely is comically misguided on your part.

StygianBeach
16-02-2013, 06:15
The balancing factor to slaves was of course that they are leadership 2 and the entire unit dies if they run away instead of being able to flee.

The anoying thing about the unit exploding if it is beaten in combat is that it is actually an advantage compared with the Slave unit actually fleeing... I think that rule should be dropped and replaced with the Cowardly special rule (inverse cold blooded).

Ratarsed
16-02-2013, 06:50
The anoying thing about the unit exploding if it is beaten in combat is that it is actually an advantage compared with the Slave unit actually fleeing... I think that rule should be dropped and replaced with the Cowardly special rule (inverse cold blooded).
I like this suggestion, and definitely agree slaves should go back to fleeing as normal.

BlackPawl
16-02-2013, 11:44
As a skaven player for the last 20 years or so I can not see that they will drop one of the core units in the army book.

I can understand people that fielding massive huge and cheap units of slaves can be frustating, but Skaven where in all edition an army with not-so-good combat skills but could compensate it with their masses. If you double the points for skaven slaves (and for clanrats) than this would be a way to a more "elite" style (less numbers) army. And I can not see this.

Look at it: if you rate them with 3 points, take away SiN, can't be steadfast, can't use BSB / IP then what would they be? WS2 / S3 / T3 / Ld 2 troops for 3 points - same vost as but weaker in all aspects as a zombie but without the possibility to raise their numbers in any way. There would be NO reason to take them because they can not fullfill any purpose (they would loose against zombies in every fight), and for redirecting we have giant rats.

If they do "one unit of slaves for every clanrat unit" as they have done it in the 6th edit. armybook then you would see mostly 2 small bunker units of clanrats with a weapon team and two huge units of slaves.

In this edition where many armies have better core choices then our "elite" stormvermins (and our lack of any real S5 attacks (don't count PCB / rat ogres)) we have to trust in our numbers. If we know that we have no chance in combat to kill anything (and clanrats can not kill anything with S3) and our slaves are not there to stop anything then we would go back to the "Gunline style" of 6th edition where most skaven armies where composed of max numbers of ratling guns to kill the enemy before they reached close combat - in these days even a block of 30+ Clanrats could not stand a charge of 5 empire knights.

In this edition where there are so many ways to kill masses of T3 AS5+ (slaves / clanrats / stormvermin - and I mean 20+ per turn) numbers are our only friend. Skaven have no way of protecting their own troops in close combat - because the warlords don't care for their own troops. Nearly any other army have some possibilities to get a ward or a regeneration (or other kind of protection like the -1 to hit nurgle have for their troops) we don't have. Even empire has some prayers to give troops a 5+ ward.
And we can not trust our lord or hero choices that they do the damage - they are no elf lords and certainly no ogre / chaos / vampire lords which can go against a unit of their own.

Skaven where from the beginning an army which work different from other armies. Take away their numbers and you have a brown O&G army but with worse rules ...

sninsch
16-02-2013, 12:01
I think 3 points are about right for them and a general rule change to the steadfast rule: steadfast troops can only use their own LD. A charakter in the unit(or within range of inspiring presents) with a higher LD raises the profil-LD of the unit by 1.

So slaves are steadfast on LD 5 and steadfast on LD6 when a charakter is in the unit or the general nearby.

warplock
16-02-2013, 12:16
I think if they just said 'the number of slaves in your army may not exceed the number of clanrats' you'd be good to go. Call it 'Fear of Uprising'?

Asensur
16-02-2013, 13:00
I would simply change a bit the cornered rats rule and maybe rise them up to 3pts each.

The cornered rat rules will use the bonus ranks, instead of the ranks of 5+ models, to decide the amount of hits. This will put a maximum of 3 rank bonuses, eough to make them 'balanced'.

Also, i think steadfast should be also related to the rank bonuses instead of the ranks themselves.

BlackPawl
16-02-2013, 13:05
I think 3 points are about right for them and a general rule change to the steadfast rule: steadfast troops can only use their own LD. A charakter in the unit(or within range of inspiring presents) with a higher LD raises the profil-LD of the unit by 1.

So slaves are steadfast on LD 5 and steadfast on LD6 when a character is in the unit or the general nearby.

But that would hurt some armies too - empire and goblin player.

The reason steadfast is there is, that some weak and cheap troops can do something against strong units - and if it is only to hold them up one or two turns. With this rule gnoblars, goblins, most human ld 7 units, most beastman etc. which receive a charge will have a ld check on a 5, 6 or 7 and will break most of the times. This would lead to the "good old times" where a 5 men cavalry unit charge will kill weak units of 30+ goblins / skaven etc.

Then we will see only strong units of bloodletters, knights, graveguards, chaos warriors again and again. Then you don't need numbers but only a few very strong units which will win the first or second round of battle. Goblin armies would only have ld 6 at best ...

sninsch
16-02-2013, 13:23
But that would hurt some armies too - empire and goblin player.

The reason steadfast is there is, that some weak and cheap troops can do something against strong units - and if it is only to hold them up one or two turns. With this rule gnoblars, goblins, most human ld 7 units, most beastman etc. which receive a charge will have a ld check on a 5, 6 or 7 and will break most of the times. This would lead to the "good old times" where a 5 men cavalry unit charge will kill weak units of 30+ goblins / skaven etc.

Then we will see only strong units of bloodletters, knights, graveguards, chaos warriors again and again. Then you don't need numbers but only a few very strong units which will win the first or second round of battle. Goblin armies would only have ld 6 at best ...

Sure other armies would take a hit too. But I think steadfast as a rule is way to strong. At the moment there are hugh units everywhere which test on 9 or 10 with a rerole from a BSB, so nearly never flee. With my rule adjustment humans with a charakter or near the general are steadfast on 8 and with a rerole from a BSB thats very reliable.

IcedCrow
16-02-2013, 14:20
Steadfast is fine as it is. Going back to the powergaming days of 7th where armies were small blocks of elites is not where i want to go back to.

2 pt models that are leadership 10 stubborn rerollable that can mathematically keep steadfast for most of the game is the problem

BlackPawl
16-02-2013, 14:22
Sure other armies would take a hit too. But I think steadfast as a rule is way to strong. At the moment there are hugh units everywhere which test on 9 or 10 with a rerole from a BSB, so nearly never flee. With my rule adjustment humans with a charakter or near the general are steadfast on 8 and with a rerole from a BSB thats very reliable.

Yes, if they are within the ld bubble of general AND bsb. But what will happen on the flanks?

There are at least two scenarios where you do not know at which flank your units will be or if they start at the beginning of the battle.

And goblins can only be ever ld 7 with support from general (even the unit the general in in), nightgoblins are only ld 6 if they are within the general (and do not get any chance to get any better regardless what they do), Ungors get only ld 7 (even if they are within 9" from a ld 9 general). Most of it apply to most skaven units which have not the SiN rule.

Then there is the chance that someone brings along a vampire with the -1 ld ability / chaos demons with siren song / or just someone with the base spell from heaven (-1 ld) or doom & darkness and you know that you will never ever see skaven, goblins or any army without ld8 core units again. This is at this time strong enough (to drop ld by one or two points), but with this rule it would be a game winning.

I do not think that steadfast is too strong. You are only use it if you are loosing (!) a fight. You do not need it if you are winning! And now you want to hurt the units which are already loosing the fight even more? If I want this then I would play 7th edition again ...

I have fun with steadfast (and rate it one of the best rules in 8th), if I use it with my skaven or if I do not need it with my high elves. With it we have now prolonged battles and not fights which are over in the first or second round.

If you want to break skaven then try to charge them in the flank and try to get these units which are away from the general.


But yes, 2 point slaves are too strong now, but that is another problem, not steadfast. Maybe 2 1/5 - 3 points (maybe with shields), take away the cornered rule or give them the inversed coldblood rule.

Echunia
16-02-2013, 14:49
Steadfast is fine as it is. Going back to the powergaming days of 7th where armies were small blocks of elites is not where i want to go back to.

2 pt models that are leadership 10 stubborn rerollable that can mathematically keep steadfast for most of the game is the problem

I think the heart of the matter is - no steadfast is not fine as is. Given that skaven will probably not be updated until after 9th ed release I think that our outlook will be very different. Say for example they made flanking /disrupting break steadfast, that would give people a reliable way to beat the slaves. In my opinion suggestions about increasing skaven points wildly are daft. The army is a numbers army, increasing slaves to 4 pts and clanrats to 7-8 would break the theme entirely. Also I would hate to see the shooting into combat rule go entirely. We used to be able to shoot into any combat, now only with slaves. I would much rather see shooting into any combat and making slaves worse (inverse cold blooded or some of the others) as an incentive to take other troops. The problem with clanrats atm is that they don't do any damage and they don't allow you to shoot into the combat they are involved in, thus disabling you from doing damage. So basically it's almost always better to have slaves. But if you would make slaves less reliable and not unique then you would make people field more of the expensive troops and thus decrease the numbers.

But the problem with skaven isn't purely slaves it's also some of the toys. I mean seriously, why does the lightning cannon explode at the end? It's a bar of lightning not some kind of bomb.

IcedCrow
16-02-2013, 15:19
That will be debatable. There are a lot of people that are fine with steadfast as it is. (My group uses disruption cancels steadfast but that is only used in my group so going outside of the group you have to deal with the 100-200 model slave blocks)

I don't have any real problem with any of the skaven book other than with the slaves. There are ways to deal with anything else there. You are right in that it is infinitely better to field slaves over clanrats which I feel is wrong.

Jadawin
16-02-2013, 15:47
How about if slaves were WS1 S2 and T2, this would make them useless in combat, very easy to kill for even the lowest troops therefore a less effective tarpit due to them being killed off so quickly? Also means they are even more vulnerable to spell like dwellers etc? I think increasing pts would defeat the purpose of them, also if no Inspiring presence or BSB reroll it would see them removed entirely from the game and they are a fluff mainstay. Alternatively I like the reverse cold blooded idea.

Also as a skaven player myself I was wondering if someone could tell me how it is possible for at all times in every scenario everyone of my units ican be within a LD10 rerollable bubble? It might be me but at 2400+ pts with over 250 models it is a bit of a squeeze to get everything in there:D

theunwantedbeing
16-02-2013, 16:10
So long as slaves are cheaper than clanrats, they'll have a purpose.
Even at a whopping 4pts/model with their current stats & rules they'de still be useful, we'de just see less in the way of large steadfast blocks of them that seem to litter the board.

However, possible solutions...
1. No benefit from steadfast
2. No benefit from the generals leadership
3. No benefit from the bsbs re-roll
4. Bump to 4pts each
5. Make them 0-1 unit per clanrat unit
6. Make them 0-1 model per clanrat model

In anycase, skaven won't get re-done for years so it doesn't exactly matter.

Warlord Gnashgrod
16-02-2013, 17:06
I would like to put in my 2 cents about the Inspiring Presence rule in regards to Skaven. TBH, for Skaven, this rule should be called the Intimidating Presence rule.

Skaven are inspired by no one. They look up to no one. They think only of themselves. What Skaven Leaders and generals do is make their subordinates/army more afraid of themselves than afraid of the enemy. This is something that a Skaven Leader/general learns how to do early and well. Skaven are bribed, threatened, tortured, intimidated, but never inspired. If the rule was truly "Inspiring Presence", then no Skaven unit could use the LD of ANY Skaven character. And as such, Skavenslaves are even more intimidated, beaten and coerced than other Skaven, so it makes sense to me that they get to use the general's LD.

I would say, to fix Skavenslaves, that they need to make them not count towards the core requirements(I always found it strange that Skavenslaves counted towards core, but giant rats did not. I say switch them), or bring back the mainstay rule, where you need a unit of clanrats for each other unit in the army. That would limit the skavenslave hordes a bit. Bringing their cost up, especially to 4pts a model, makes no sense as they would then be worth almost as much as clanrats, and they certainly shouldn't be worth as much as clanrats. And raising the costs of clanrats makes no sense to me either.

I've played Skaven for 19 years now. Their theme has always been about large numbers supported by wacky weapons. I can't see them changing that. But I do agree these Skaven armies mostly composed of Skavenslaves makes no sense. If the slaves outnumber the rest of the army 2 or more to 1, then why wouldn't they rebel and take over? Each Skaven, even a slave, wants more power and as soon as possible. So they would rebel.

IcedCrow
16-02-2013, 17:38
How about if slaves were WS1 S2 and T2, this would make them useless in combat, very easy to kill for even the lowest troops therefore a less effective tarpit due to them being killed off so quickly? Also means they are even more vulnerable to spell like dwellers etc? I think increasing pts would defeat the purpose of them, also if no Inspiring presence or BSB reroll it would see them removed entirely from the game and they are a fluff mainstay. Alternatively I like the reverse cold blooded idea.

Also as a skaven player myself I was wondering if someone could tell me how it is possible for at all times in every scenario everyone of my units ican be within a LD10 rerollable bubble? It might be me but at 2400+ pts with over 250 models it is a bit of a squeeze to get everything in there:D

You have two mega blocks of slaves blocking off the general and his bsb who are behind them. The slaves typically push forward mindlessly as flanking means nothing to them and they are trying to engage with the nastiest thing coming at them that can threaten the general's unit with his BSB. With their decent movement, that's not a given thing but its' not difficult to accomplish either.

Going around the skaven slaves is possible but difficult (see above)

That leaves your primary tactic being to throw warmachine fire over the slaves and into the general's unit, hoping for a lucky failed look out sir on either him or the BSB (dropping a slave unit from stubborn 10 reroll to stubborn 7 reroll helps, so i find that killing the BSB first is my usual goal)

That doesn't account for the things on the flanks of the skaven army like the Hellpit that you have to also deal with.

It makes the scenario seem kind of ridiculous because you wouldn't expect a crappy slave to be able to hold the entire game without fleeing, but often they can, especially if they are fielded in groups of 100-200 models. I've seen chaos knight units get tarpitted for the duration of the game from these guys. It doesn't matter if you made slaves WS1 S1 T1, their job isn't to kill anything its to hold whatever they want in place for the duration of the game pretty much reliably.

Urgat
16-02-2013, 17:46
I think 3 points are about right for them and a general rule change to the steadfast rule: steadfast troops can only use their own LD.

So 20 night goblins against 5 mounted marauders are stuck to Ld5, they lose by 14, they roll on a rerollable 4. Way to go. I guess I'd just shelve all my armies because only ogres would almost never be steadfast and screwed the moment they lose a fight.

Ratarsed
16-02-2013, 18:04
So 20 night goblins against 5 mounted marauders are stuck to Ld5, they lose by 14, they roll on a rerollable 4. Way to go. I guess I'd just shelve all my armies because only ogres would almost never be steadfast and screwed the moment they lose a fight.
I think he meant own unmodified leadership or the generals leadership, modified. A bit like 7th ed stubborn. That way the goblins would need to lose by 5 or more to be better off with steadfast. However losing by 14 they don't deserve any better than 5 break test, cowardly goblins!

King Arthur
16-02-2013, 18:09
The strength in numbers only is equal to the rank bonus so they can only have a maximum of +3 ld which without inspiring presence is ld 5!

Gromdal
16-02-2013, 18:34
Just make sure that they cant use insp pre. or any other char ld

sninsch
16-02-2013, 18:43
I think he meant own unmodified leadership or the generals leadership, modified. A bit like 7th ed stubborn. That way the goblins would need to lose by 5 or more to be better off with steadfast. However losing by 14 they don't deserve any better than 5 break test, cowardly goblins!

yes you are right!

Voss
16-02-2013, 19:01
As I see it there are two options which are possible.

1 - Slaves will go up in cost. They are clearly worth more than 2 points for what they can do, but how much more? I don't see them ever going above 3 points, but GW has known to pull some curve balls in the past.

2 - Slaves will be removed from the book. They have always been a part of the Skaven army, so this doesn't seem likely. However, clanrats are already incredibly cheap for what they bring to the table, so it's not completely unreasonable to think that slaves might meet the chopping block.

4 points seems pretty likely to me, with extra for equipment. Cheap infantry is ridiculously good in 8th, regardless of poor statlines. And skaven have some easy buffs laying around, and the ability to toss missile attacks into locked units. The army factors have to be paid for as well.

On the other paw, IIRC, slaves have been taken out of one past army book. But at this stage the difference between slaves and clanrats is more a matter of cost and equipment than anything else.



What sort of changes would this bring to the army as a whole? Skaven have often relied on outnumbering the enemy, would dropping the numbers put them more in line with other 8th ED armies? What changes do you think are coming, and what would you like to see?
Even with the cost doubling, they would still outnumber other armies. Base cost for most 8th ed infantry is around 6-8 points- units have to be really subpar to be less than a basic human

Jumbo
16-02-2013, 19:48
Let them stay cheap, that's the whole point of slaves. But put a maximum unit size, maybe 40-ish. That way they could be used to slow the enemy down a few turns, but not keep him pined down the entire game.

pippin_nl
16-02-2013, 19:55
I personally think that slaves should not cost more than night goblins as they are worse (no free shield), no nets either. I do think that Skaven characters should only be able to grant their LD to units of their own clan, untrusted as members from other clans are. Also LOS should be worse if hiding in another unit.

Also all characters should have a lower LD, Grey Seers should not have LD 7, no one trusts them. Basically slaves will be all right at 2 points and LD 8 with no reroll possible or LD 7 with reroll. Clanrats and the elites should have access to LD 9, but LD 10 should cost something (no Grey Seer for instance)

Dante blackfur
16-02-2013, 19:58
Let them stay cheap, that's the whole point of slaves. But put a maximum unit size, maybe 40-ish. That way they could be used to slow the enemy down a few turns, but not keep him pined down the entire game.

I like this idea best so far, I play skaven and I think a unit cap as well as maybe a 1 for 1 with clan rats might be giod

underscore
16-02-2013, 20:00
So long as slaves are cheaper than clanrats, they'll have a purpose.
Yep. And of course the other side of all this is that, when none of your core can really kill anything, why bother taking anything but tarpits?

(the answer is, of course, for fun. But... y'know) :)

Aéquitas
16-02-2013, 20:07
I think letting them have a cap and requiring a unit of either clanrats or stormvermin for each unit of slaves would be a good solution.

Balerion
16-02-2013, 22:44
A price increase isn't the answer. Slaves should always remain one of the (if not the single most) cheap model types in the game, alongside things like Zombies, Goblins, and Gnoblars.

People don't seem to have too much of a problem with 8th edition Zombies, which are the unit that works most like Slaves, so I think the answer is to draw inspiration from the Z's.

Keep slaves in the 2 to 2.5 points range. Cap their leadership at around 7 or 8, regardless of buffs. Give them a less punishing version of Unstable. Problem solved.

They need to stay an effective tarpit unit, otherwise they have no purpose in the list, and won't work in accordance with their fluff. If people get caught by a unit like Slaves or Zombies, they should expect a tough grind to get rid of it, because that's the nature and purpose of a tarpit. The problem right now is that the tar is a little too sticky.

IcedCrow
17-02-2013, 00:19
Effective tarpit sure. Unbreakable tarpit hell no

Ratarsed
17-02-2013, 06:53
I don't see slaves ever being priced at more than a goblin.

pippin_nl
17-02-2013, 07:20
The popular unit of 50 slaves and musician will go up from 102 to 110 anyway, which is a price increase already. I wonder if they will make the champion and banner worth it. Changes to the slaves might depend on how the Clanrats will be changed. I think Clanrats will go slightly up in price, now you pay 155 points for 30 with FC, while Empire Swordsman cost 240 points. 210 points for Clanrats would be justified (+1WS is far better than +1M & +1I), this will break down to 5 points for a Clanrat with shields costing +1 and I hope spears will be free or +0.5 (or they will remain absent). Slaves will be alright at 2 points as long as their LD will be 7/8 and not 9/10.

My expectation:

Stormvermin / Plague Monk: 8
Clanrat: 5
Giant Rat: 3
Slave: 2

The rat darts should be fixed as well by the way, while larger giant rat units should become an option (so they should be Core).

Lord Solar Plexus
17-02-2013, 07:45
Help me out here, do Clanrats come with LA and shield? In that case, I don't see how WS is better than I and M.

pippin_nl
17-02-2013, 08:09
Help me out here, do Clanrats come with LA and shield? In that case, I don't see how WS is better than I and M. They have to pay for the shield (+0.5). WS is much better as it means they will win combat almost every time when facing similar troops; in a fight Swordsmen versus Clanrats with shields, the Swordsmen will do an average of 1,9 wounds and the Clanrats of 1,4 wounds (assuming 10 attacks each), going first does not mean much with defensive units.

BlackPawl
17-02-2013, 09:23
I compare clanrats with spearmen. Both came with LA, clanrats have +1 M and +1 I, spearmen +2 ld.
With spears clanrats are 0,5 points cheaper.

If we have clanrats base cost raise to 6 or more they would be worse in any case and Skaven would end with being a "horde" army. For 6 points you can get an Ork warrior with LA and choppa (and with 6 points each I would bet everytime on an Ork).

pippin_nl
17-02-2013, 10:16
I compare clanrats with spearmen. Both came with LA, clanrats have +1 M and +1 I, spearmen +2 ld.
With spears clanrats are 0,5 points cheaper.

If we have clanrats base cost raise to 6 or more they would be worse in any case and Skaven would end with being a "horde" army. For 6 points you can get an Ork warrior with LA and choppa (and with 6 points each I would bet everytime on an Ork).

Not so sure about the +2 LD, often the Clanrats have LD 8/10, but I do agree that 6 is far too expensive.

m1acca1551
17-02-2013, 10:56
Very simple;

They are slaves, not trained warriors so do not benefit from steadfast
They are slaves, treated like crap by there captors, they should not be inspired by captors banners or leaders, infact they would be looking for any chance to escape. Cannot use General's LD after the 1st round of combat.

Strength in numbers... this is a funny one, i for one think it should stay but with a catch, being slaves and drawn from varying clans with a skaven's natural cowardly attitude they should benefit from this for the first round of combat only. After this well the slaves each seek there own way and the unit breaks down to a gaggle of individuals not a military unit.

I cant remember the last time i actually faced clanrats on the table... the last time i saw them on the field was because i bloody well fielded them!!

pippin_nl
17-02-2013, 11:03
Very simple;

They are slaves, not trained warriors so do not benefit from steadfast
They are slaves, treated like crap by there captors, they should not be inspired by captors banners or leaders, infact they would be looking for any chance to escape. Cannot use General's LD after the 1st round of combat.

Strength in numbers... this is a funny one, i for one think it should stay but with a catch, being slaves and drawn from varying clans with a skaven's natural cowardly attitude they should benefit from this for the first round of combat only. After this well the slaves each seek there own way and the unit breaks down to a gaggle of individuals not a military unit.

I cant remember the last time i actually faced clanrats on the table... the last time i saw them on the field was because i bloody well fielded them!!

I do not think LD 2 tarpits would really work, unless unbreakable (which would be overpowered).

Artinam
17-02-2013, 11:24
Maybe a rule that they can switch sides ;)?

Lord Solar Plexus
17-02-2013, 12:00
They have to pay for the shield (+0.5). WS is much better as it means they will win combat almost every time when facing similar troops; in a fight Swordsmen versus Clanrats with shields, the Swordsmen will do an average of 1,9 wounds and the Clanrats of 1,4 wounds (assuming 10 attacks each), going first does not mean much with defensive units.

I cannot follow you. Swordmen cannot possibly defend anything against Clanrats with their supposedly better stat.

underscore
17-02-2013, 12:05
Eh - Supposedly better stat? It is better, no? Or do you mean that it doesn't offer any defenseive bonus?

Lord Solar Plexus
17-02-2013, 12:22
Yes, of course supposedly so. That's why I asked why pippin thinks it is far better to start with.

underscore
17-02-2013, 12:30
I'm guessing because 4 > 3?

Edit: D'oh, I was mis-reading what you meant. My bad, carry on, nothing to see here! :shifty:

Jadawin
17-02-2013, 13:21
. The slaves typically push forward mindlessly as flanking means nothing to them

This is a common statement, I assume that you know that flanking the unit and disrupting it would reduce its LD to 7? Skaven do not get SiN if they are disrupted and rerollable 7 isnt that good of a tarpit. I do agree that slaves are a problem, maybe they should always count as disrupted, so at best they can be LD 7 far less reliable then.

BlackPawl
17-02-2013, 13:37
Very simple;

They are slaves, not trained warriors so do not benefit from steadfast
They are slaves, treated like crap by there captors, they should not be inspired by captors banners or leaders, infact they would be looking for any chance to escape. Cannot use General's LD after the 1st round of combat.

Strength in numbers... this is a funny one, i for one think it should stay but with a catch, being slaves and drawn from varying clans with a skaven's natural cowardly attitude they should benefit from this for the first round of combat only. After this well the slaves each seek there own way and the unit breaks down to a gaggle of individuals not a military unit.

I cant remember the last time i actually faced clanrats on the table... the last time i saw them on the field was because i bloody well fielded them!!


If this is the simple answer then it would be better to erase them from the book and use the space for something different. Or do you mean that a unit which can stay a maximum of one round against anything stronger then zombies will be in any armylist?
After the first round and with this rule they would be a WS2 T3 unit without steadfast and a Ld 2 - amazing!

Just for info: Spartacus was also a slave and he defeated several roman legions and nearly brought the roman republic to their knees ... :-)
So slaves meant not that they are not trained in the art of war.

I field clanrats in nearly any list, just to have a bunker and a WFT!

theunwantedbeing
17-02-2013, 13:38
This is a common statement, I assume that you know that flanking the unit and disrupting it would reduce its LD to 7? Skaven do not get SiN if they are disrupted and rerollable 7 isnt that good of a tarpit. I do agree that slaves are a problem, maybe they should always count as disrupted, so at best they can be LD 7 far less reliable then.

Maybe they shouldn't be a tarpit unit at all seeing as they are undisciplined slaves.
Then they can be unable to get steadfast, the generals leadership and still benefit from strength in numbers (because while they're slaves, they'de be happier with more bodies around them).
They get to be cheap and when they break, they're dead (so the enemy cannot overrun or similar).

Sorted at 3pts each with their current stats and no extra equipment.
Unit size 20+

Jadawin
17-02-2013, 14:08
If this is the simple answer then it would be better to erase them from the book and use the space for something different. Or do you mean that a unit which can stay a maximum of one round against anything stronger then zombies will be in any armylist?
After the first round and with this rule they would be a WS2 T3 unit without steadfast and a Ld 2 - amazing!

I quite agree, some of the suggestions on here are shall we say, biased.

If people think that a unit of WS2 T3 Ld2 that cant be steadfast or use inspiring presence is EVER going to be seen on the table, even if they were free, you are grossly mistaken.

Some of the posters here need to ask themselves What do you want slaves to be? A cheap tarpit? Chaff for redirection or meatshield/mangler trap?

IMHO some of the better suggestions are reverse cold blooded, and 0-1 units per clanrats, and maybe a point increase to 3.

Also units of goblins are capable of being stubborn LD10 with a nearby orc general/Ld banner, they are only 3pts with a shield and no one seems to get as angry about them. It makes me think that the ire directed towards Skaven slaves is purely because they are Skaven, and the Skaven book has a number of abusable elements to it that, quite rightly in most cases, upsets a number of people.

Baluc
17-02-2013, 14:24
To be honest if they lost equipment, like shields and spears it would be a start, thematically it might seem fine, but mechanically giving slaves a 6+ ward is a bit much. A unit cap or 1 slave unit per clan rat unit would also be fine. In this case slaves would support clan rats, not HPAs.

BlackPawl
17-02-2013, 14:25
Maybe they shouldn't be a tarpit unit at all ...

Yes, slaves should not be a tarpit unit. They should be the skaven hammer unit next edition. WS9, S10, T10, A10, AS 1+ and doing each d3 wounds and of course magic attacks and can even stomp dragons to death ... and only for 3 points .... ;)

What should skaven slaves be if NOT tarpits? What are other cheap units in other armybooks?
I have never heard from a goblin unit munched trought a choosen star last edition or from a goblar unit which killed a greater demon without help.

If they get no steadfast they will be dead first round. Nobody will use such a unit.

I think some people would want to have 10 points for slaves but without any special rule and with the same stats as now - just to be sure that they will stay away from any battle.

Baluc
17-02-2013, 14:25
I quite agree, some of the suggestions on here are shall we say, biased.

If people think that a unit of WS2 T3 Ld2 that cant be steadfast or use inspiring presence is EVER going to be seen on the table, even if they were free, you are grossly mistaken.

Some of the posters here need to ask themselves What do you want slaves to be? A cheap tarpit? Chaff for redirection or meatshield/mangler trap?

IMHO some of the better suggestions are reverse cold blooded, and 0-1 units per clanrats, and maybe a point increase to 3.

Also units of goblins are capable of being stubborn LD10 with a nearby orc general/Ld banner, they are only 3pts with a shield and no one seems to get as angry about them. It makes me think that the ire directed towards Skaven slaves is purely because they are Skaven, and the Skaven book has a number of abusable elements to it that, quite rightly in most cases, upsets a number of people.

There is a key difference here though, goblins break.

Jadawin
17-02-2013, 14:54
There is a key difference here though, goblins break.



Not sure what you mean, do you mean that goblins flee? ??? If so im not sure that is better or worse than the unit being destroyed if it fails a break test, pursuing is not always advantageous.

Or are you suggesting Ld10 goblins break more than LD10 slaves? Maybe the dice gods have Skaven armies:shifty:

Urgat
17-02-2013, 14:54
I think he meant own unmodified leadership or the generals leadership, modified. A bit like 7th ed stubborn. That way the goblins would need to lose by 5 or more to be better off with steadfast. However losing by 14 they don't deserve any better than 5 break test, cowardly goblins!

I meant lose by 1, sorry

yes you are right!

Well, be more clear about it, because there's been many people up till now that have advocated a straight steadfast=no IP, which means any unit that outnumbers an enemy is stuck to default Ld. Considering how many units are 20+ (and how these units typically have low Ld), ram anything slightly killy into them and they'll run the second they lose a fight. Which is "funny" because steadfast is supposed to be there to make them stay if they lose combat, but that suggestion means it achieves exactly the opposite. Not that your version is much better, because it means it's just pretty much back to how it was before, more or less, and only benefits elite units with high Ld in the first place, which is, again, not the purpose of steadfast, it's supposed to make chaff stay around, not basically give stubborn to high Ld troops. Yeay for promoting deathstars ;)

Aéquitas
17-02-2013, 15:08
If slave leadership is lowered then people will just stop running 3 units of 50 slaves and start running 7-8 units of 20 slaves which will effectively do the same unless they face a unit that does 20 or more wounds in one turn.

theunwantedbeing
17-02-2013, 15:12
If they get no steadfast they will be dead first round.
That's true of most units that have rubbish combat stats.


Nobody will use such a unit.
You won't, but plenty would.

Having a cheap unit that doesn't need to get into combat, is 100% allowed to die and that when it does denies an overrun move by the enemy is a very useful tool to have within the army. Plus nobody is going to take a giant horde of them as a cheap alternative to clanrats when they want to tarpit the enemy. They're going to take a much smaller unit, one big enough to not get slaughtered completely, but not so big that you're paying excess for the (admittedly cheap) models you're using to pin an enemy down for 1 turn (not several like now).

pippin_nl
17-02-2013, 15:14
Yes, of course supposedly so. That's why I asked why pippin thinks it is far better to start with.

I am not quite sure what you are implying, what I am saying is that +1 WS trumps +1 M & +1 I for units like Swordsmen.

BlackPawl
17-02-2013, 16:05
That's true of most units that have rubbish combat stats.


You won't, but plenty would.

Having a cheap unit that doesn't need to get into combat, is 100% allowed to die and that when it does denies an overrun move by the enemy is a very useful tool to have within the army. Plus nobody is going to take a giant horde of them as a cheap alternative to clanrats when they want to tarpit the enemy. They're going to take a much smaller unit, one big enough to not get slaughtered completely, but not so big that you're paying excess for the (admittedly cheap) models you're using to pin an enemy down for 1 turn (not several like now).

With dead I mean dead - other units can hold out with steadfast, but Slaves are not allowed steadfast so they die (not even a small chance to escape fleeing). Units which have "rubbish combat stats" depend on steadfast against better / stronger units. You do not need it if you are a chaos warrior most of the time, slaves need it in every fight (ok, not against zombies, but against nearly all other units).

For chaff we have (cheaper) giant rats, so the only possibility would be to bring 10 - 15 minimal slaves units to hold other units up one turn and explode. Did you think that people would not complain about "how broken slaves are" when skaven will only use this tactic again and again? It change only from 3 - 4 units 50+ strong to 10 units 20 models strong.

theunwantedbeing
17-02-2013, 17:08
Did you think that people would not complain about "how broken slaves are" when skaven will only use this tactic again and again? It change only from 3 - 4 units 50+ strong to 10 units 20 models strong.

Some will complain, probably you.
Most won't though, people like being able to completely destroy entire units.
What they don't like is being stuck in combat with something for lots of turns.

I also wasn't aware that giant rats are less than 3pts/model.

underscore
17-02-2013, 17:17
Giant Rats come in much smaller units and so would come in at little over half the price - You'd basically be trading 1 movement and 17 points for the ability to stop overruns.

Aéquitas
17-02-2013, 20:57
They don't count for your 25% core though...

Vipoid
17-02-2013, 21:14
People don't seem to have too much of a problem with 8th edition Zombies, which are the unit that works most like Slaves, so I think the answer is to draw inspiration from the Z's.

I'm not sure zombies are the best comparison:

For one, they're 50% more expensive than slaves. Also, unlike the slaves, they didn't gain a massive boost from the steadfast rule.

And, because of unstable, they die much faster in combat - their losses are basically doubled at the end of each round of combat.


Aside from possibly making slaves 3pts per model, I'm not sure what you can really take from the zombie design.

TheDungen
17-02-2013, 21:22
easy let slaves not benefit from strength in number and they'll go down much in efficiency.

Or if they already do not plug any other means they can get ld 10.

Slaves are meant to be throw away troops not your standard rank and file, maybe ot joinable by characters and cant benfit form generals ledaership.

Of if slaves have a character in them, they may only benefit from his leadership if he directs his attacks on them in close combat.

underscore
17-02-2013, 21:29
They don't count for your 25% core though...

True, but under 50 points for 2 units of fast-moving suiciders is hardly an issue in that regard.

Spinocus
18-02-2013, 02:41
I just don't see Slaves getting a price bump, and if they do it won't go beyond 2.5 or 3pts. Shields, slings & spears and no standard... wow, how underwhelming. And you want to charge 4+pts for that?!? Lowly Gobbos cost 3pts, can have full command and sport a wider variety of equipment and upgrades. Now I wouldn't be surprised to see the Cornered Rat rule getting kicked to the curb. That single rule makes a large block of 50+ slaves deployed 5 wide deadlier in death than when they're alive!

Taking SiN away from Slaves doesn't make sense either. With Ld7 being the likely limit for the average Slave unit within range of the general it's only going to encourage a return of the pre-Steadfast era MSU spam for Slave units to make up for the fact that they'll be easier to panic and flee off the table before contact. Why put all your Ld7 eggs in one basket? Didn't like 50+ Slave blocks? Now you'll have 3 units of 20 near the general, re-directing and soaking up WFT and ranged fire in melee. Enemy armies will be up to their eyeballs in 20 rat blocks of Slaves thus giving people another reason to whine about them.

Speculative food for thought, what if GW dropped Slaves to T2? After all, they're the scrawny, underfed, overworked, much abused and highly expendable bottom caste of Skaven society. However T2 would be weird given that Zombies got a bump to T3.

Here's an internal balance problem for the 'make Slaves more expensive crowd'... Given the 8th ed book trend to remove limitations & qualifications for certain Core units you can bet that Giant Rats will become a 'proper' Core unit that counts towards the 25% minimum. Once this happens it's going to be really hard for GW to justify notching up the cost of Slaves without it triggering a mass migration from Slaves to Giant Rats. It's a safe bet GR will be continue to be priced somewhere in between Slaves and Clanrats and let's face it, they're more utilitarian than Slaves whose sole purpose is to tarpit the enemy and soak up ranged damage. Speaking to Giant Rats can you really justify more than 3pts for a naked mutant T3 rat with no armor, equipment, command or unit upgrades?!? Bump Slaves to 3pts and then you have to bump GR to 4pts... and then Clanrats have to be bumped to 5pts... and suddenly your horde of horde army's mainstay core unit costs more than unbreakable Skittles! See? Giants Rats WILL rule the earth!

Skaven will be nerfed in other areas for sure; their more powerful spells will be nerfed and/or given more appropriate casting values, their warpstone box of fun will be scaled down dramatically, their artillery price adjusted and the Abom's fangs are certain to be filed down a bit.

Warrior of Chaos
18-02-2013, 05:25
or maybe skaven slaves can never be steadfast?or not get the reroll/generals Ld.
^--They need a rule to the effect:

Cowardly: Units of skaven slaves can never be steadfast.

This would probably fix a lot of the problem without raising their base cost.

Ratarsed
18-02-2013, 06:24
^--They need a rule to the effect:

Cowardly: Units of skaven slaves can never be steadfast.

This would probably fix a lot of the problem without raising their base cost.
if they do that, what then is the role of slaves in the army?

TheDungen
18-02-2013, 07:20
Slaves keep enemy elites in place while you fire into close combat with your ratling guns and warpfire throwers. that's their role, to die in the most beneficial way possible (to the skaven player). if there are slaves left alive at the end of the battle then they're not properly designed.

Warlord Gnashgrod
18-02-2013, 08:06
Giant Rats come in much smaller units and so would come in at little over half the price - You'd basically be trading 1 movement and 17 points for the ability to stop overruns.

Ahh, but slaves have one big advantage over giant rat units; no other skaven unit, apart from other slave units, cares if slaves are destroyed or run away from magic/shooting. Giant rats will cause panic tests in all other Skaven units when they're destroyed, flee from combat, etc.

I still feel bringing back the mainstay rule is best, or maybe that inverse cold blooded for slaves.

underscore
18-02-2013, 11:22
Ahh, but slaves have one big advantage over giant rat units; no other skaven unit, apart from other slave units, cares if slaves are destroyed or run away from magic/shooting. Giant rats will cause panic tests in all other Skaven units when they're destroyed, flee from combat, etc.

True, very good point actually - for some reason I always have a blind spot for that rule (I've even had one kind soul remind me not to take a panic test when he broke them)!

Ratarsed
18-02-2013, 12:21
Slaves keep enemy elites in place while you fire into close combat with your ratling guns and warpfire throwers. that's their role, to die in the most beneficial way possible (to the skaven player). if there are slaves left alive at the end of the battle then they're not properly designed.
Remove steadfast and they can no longer perform that role. What needs to happen is hits from shooting and magic whilst in combat with slaves need to be divided equally between salves and enemy

Voss
18-02-2013, 12:48
Remove steadfast and they can no longer perform that role. What needs to happen is hits from shooting and magic whilst in combat with slaves need to be divided equally between salves and enemy
Why would that matter? Loss of slaves to shooting would still be irrelevant, in terms of both unit size and cost.

IcedCrow
18-02-2013, 13:10
Blowing up slaves with half and half shooting doesn't matter when you have 200 slaves. The issue is that they are holding up every unit in the game, from weak to the most powerful, for the entire game with their stubborn leadership 10 with re-rolls if the BSB is nearby (and against a smart opponent, the general and BSB will always be in a small unit behind a pair of those protected)

Slaves should never be stubborn leadership 10 with a re-roll to boot.

Spinocus
18-02-2013, 14:45
Ahh, but slaves have one big advantage over giant rat units; no other skaven unit, apart from other slave units, cares if slaves are destroyed or run away from magic/shooting. Giant rats will cause panic tests in all other Skaven units when they're destroyed, flee from combat, etc.

I still feel bringing back the mainstay rule is best, or maybe that inverse cold blooded for slaves.

A fine point but Gnoblars sport a similar rule (Beneath Contempt) and despite their intrinsic value as a cheap Steadfast tarpit no self-respecting OK player takes them in meaningful numbers nowadays, even for use as cheap re-directors. Why? Because the wildly popular Sabretusks do a better job of re-directing for less and can fulfill other roles as well. All this in spite of the fact that Sabretusks are Ld4, cannot use the general's Ld and can cause Panic among OK units. Also given that Gnoblars are dirt cheap (2.5pts), come with a default throwing weapon, can have full command, sport an upgrade to Trappers and don't have any restrictions on how many units may be taken I really wouldn't place any faith in anything more than a tiny price increase for Slaves and similar lack of restrictions.

GW has greatly simplified Core rules for all 8th ed armies so I seriously doubt the Mainstay rule or similar limitation (i.e. 0-3 per 2000-2999pt game, etc.) is going to make a comeback.




Re: Skaven Slave Discussion
Quote Originally Posted by Lance Tankmen View Post
or maybe skaven slaves can never be steadfast?or not get the reroll/generals Ld.
^--They need a rule to the effect:

Cowardly: Units of skaven slaves can never be steadfast.

This would probably fix a lot of the problem without raising their base cost.

With all due respect that's way too extreme and entirely unrealistic. Let's say the cost of Slaves stays the same but GW denies them Steadfast and/or SiN. So now you're asking a horde army to field an expendable infantry block that will never win combat and never be able to tarpit an enemy unit. If a Slave unit's ranks mean nothing for Steadfast then why would anyone in their right mind use them as tarpits?!? It utterly destroys the purpose of having them as cheap, expendable tarpits in the first place and renders them utterly pointless for anything other than re-directing and speedbumps. As I stated earlier, if this happens few Skaven players will ever place more than the minimum sized blocks on the tabletop and you'll rarely ever see them outside the general's bubble. To compensate for this don't be surprised if GW extends the Expendable rule to all other Skaven blocks (just like the good old days).




Re: Skaven Slave Discussion
Quote Originally Posted by TheDungen View Post
Slaves keep enemy elites in place while you fire into close combat with your ratling guns and warpfire throwers. that's their role, to die in the most beneficial way possible (to the skaven player). if there are slaves left alive at the end of the battle then they're not properly designed.
Remove steadfast and they can no longer perform that role. What needs to happen is hits from shooting and magic whilst in combat with slaves need to be divided equally between salves and enemy.

The Expendable rule was amended to remove randomization because Skaven players were gaming the system by dropping fat war machine & magic templates almost entirely on their large Slave blocks only to have ~50% of the hits carry over to the enemy unit due to randomization. It wasn't fair to opponents and was wisely FAQ'ed. The removal of randomization also forced Skaven players to put their weapon teams (especially WFTs) in more vulnerable positions with proper LOS to the target instead of firing from relative safety while taking cheap shots that carried the template directly over the Slave unit.




Re: Skaven Slave Discussion
Blowing up slaves with half and half shooting doesn't matter when you have 200 slaves. The issue is that they are holding up every unit in the game, from weak to the most powerful, for the entire game with their stubborn leadership 10 with re-rolls if the BSB is nearby (and against a smart opponent, the general and BSB will always be in a small unit behind a pair of those protected)

Slaves should never be stubborn leadership 10 with a re-roll to boot.

??? :wtf:

So what about Gobbos and Gnoblars? In most instances they're Ld9 or Ld10 re-rollable (w/Standard of Discipline) and both can have the same effect as Slaves. That was the whole point to Steadfast, to give Core troops the ability to hold up stronger units for multiple rounds. The proposal to nerf them so they can never get more than Ld7 (Ld8 on rare occasions) with no Steadfast means nobody will take them. It's just not going to happen. There are so many ways to bring the Skaven down to reasonable levels, nerfing a bedrock of their Core units and making wacky exceptions to their traditional army-wide rule isn't one of them.

TheDungen
18-02-2013, 15:03
so just say that in order to cast/shoot into cc you need to target the enemy unit.

IcedCrow
18-02-2013, 15:12
So what about Gobbos and Gnoblars? In most instances they're Ld9 or Ld10 re-rollable (w/Standard of Discipline) and both can have the same effect as Slaves. That was the whole point to Steadfast, to give Core troops the ability to hold up stronger units for multiple rounds. The proposal to nerf them so they can never get more than Ld7 (Ld8 on rare occasions) with no Steadfast means nobody will take them. It's just not going to happen. There are so many ways to bring the Skaven down to reasonable levels, nerfing a bedrock of their Core units and making wacky exceptions to their traditional army-wide rule isn't one of them.

Stubborn isn't the issue. Its the fact one can take dual giant blocks of slaves and hold up anything in the game for the entirety of the game by simply mindlessly shoving them forward. With their high movement they are likely to be able to engage whatever they want, and flanking them means nothing.

I'm not proposing leadership 7 with no steadfast. I'm proposing they should never get near leadership 10 stubborn with reroll all game long, which is what 200 slaves can do even in an 8-10 turn game, much less a standard game.

Xerkics
18-02-2013, 15:14
Steadfast is fine as it is. Going back to the powergaming days of 7th where armies were small blocks of elites is not where i want to go back to.

2 pt models that are leadership 10 stubborn rerollable that can mathematically keep steadfast for most of the game is the problem

I agree i think they should stay 2 points and deserve their place in the book, they should just be easier to break to discourage taking huge hordes of them. Making them cost more would just be lazy , if they actually rework the rules for the way their leadership work i think they could still stay viable and not broken.

underscore
18-02-2013, 15:20
With disruption removing SiN I wouldn't dismiss flanking slaves completely. Plenty of room along the bus! That HPA covering the wings might want words, mind.

IcedCrow
18-02-2013, 15:21
Now the rule where you have to have as many clan rat models as slave models is good, because if a joker wants to run a block of 200 slaves, then he has to also take 200 clanrats.

It still doesn't fix the issue with leadership 10 stubborn re-roll on 2 point trash all game long but I'm betting that the 200 slaves drop to a more reasonable number.

In our campaign we limit unit size to 60. Sixty slaves tarpits well for a couple turns but then will die as opposed to tarpitting anything it wants all game long. However I don't realistically see them implementing size caps which is unfortunate, so the rule where you have to have clan rats with slaves at equal numbers works for me as well.

IcedCrow
18-02-2013, 15:21
With disruption removing SiN I wouldn't dismiss flanking slaves completely. Plenty of room along the bus! That HPA covering the wings might want words, mind.

If Disruption removed SiN this would be a different conversation :D then you'd have tactical ways to break the slaves. As it is, disruption does not remove SiN and therefore flanking does nothing.

underscore
18-02-2013, 15:30
Check out the first faq. :-)

Jadawin
18-02-2013, 15:32
Read.The.Rules/Faq

FAQs
Q: Does a disrupted unit with the Strength In Numbers special rule
get to add its rank bonus to its Leadership? (p33)
A: No.

pippin_nl
18-02-2013, 15:32
Maybe speaking about this is easier with some percentages:

LD 02 03% with reroll 03% (currently with no ranks and outside Inspiring Presence)
LD 03 08% with reroll 09%
LD 04 17% with reroll 18%
LD 05 28% with reroll 31% (currently outside Inspiring Presence)
LD 06 42% with reroll 47%
LD 07 58% with reroll 68%
LD 08 72% with reroll 82%
LD 09 83% with reroll 93%
LD 10 92% with reroll 99% (currently)

Jadawin
18-02-2013, 15:34
There was a big discussion about disruption/SiN around the time of the FAQ, I cant believe that some players are still cheating and keeping their SiN even when disrupted, no wonder posters like icedcrow are so up in arms.

STOP CHEATING SKAVEN PLAYERS YOU DONT NEED TO!

leopard
18-02-2013, 15:43
T:2 I like the idea of, unarmoured models so no save as now, but also underfed ans unfit, possibly even S:2 - they can still tarpit but will drop like flies. possibly provide a significantly better unit champion for them (or even allow pack masters which may be better, with a defined min/max ratio - pack master drop below that level and they can no longer use the generals IP or BSB re-roll as they no longer care) - then ban characters from joining them.

You could even up the minimum size to 30-40, force them to be large blocks but make spamming them harder

IcedCrow
18-02-2013, 16:26
I guess that's my fault for not having read the skaven FAQ (I took it for granted since most people I know operate that skaven SiN is like rank bonus and I don't have the skaven book).

That makes the slave issue a *little* better but I am still opposed to a block of 200 slaves. Slamming into the flank of that does drop them from holding from 99% to 68% on turn 1 before they simply combat reform after with the reroll (thank you for displaying the odds). That is still holding roughly 7 out of 10 times though (and then the reform that happens after combat brings it back to 99%)

hamsterwheel
18-02-2013, 16:40
Keep the cost, keep the Ld10 rerollable, add Unstable. This would reflect the slaves fleeing as more of them are slaughtered. Losing a break test would still cause them to explode, but it would be an indication that they're more afraid of the unit destroying them then the General leading the army.

underscore
18-02-2013, 16:48
I'm not sure that being against units of 200 Slaves requires much in the way of justification, whichever way you cut it.

IcedCrow
18-02-2013, 17:02
Keep the cost, keep the Ld10 rerollable, add Unstable. This would reflect the slaves fleeing as more of them are slaughtered. Losing a break test would still cause them to explode, but it would be an indication that they're more afraid of the unit destroying them then the General leading the army.

Does adding unstable deter someone from taking 200 of them? Or encourage it?

Ratarsed
18-02-2013, 17:06
Do these Skaven armies of 200 slaves actually exist? I never seem to see them except in debates on forums. I'll keep my eye out for them at ToS in march. No restrictions 2000 points pure out the book Warhammer. I'd expect to see some if they are a competitive build.

Col. Tartleton
18-02-2013, 17:14
Clanrats are the skaven warrior caste. These guys are bad ass. They're about as good as empire state troops (faster but worse leadership), they get Scurry Away, Strength in Numbers, all that brave honorable skaven warrior ethos in action. Unit size is a minimum of 20. I'd give them more weapon options personally.

Slaves are complete crap but extremely characterful. New Statline: Movement 3 (Chaingang), WS/BS 2 (untrained mob), S/T 2 (malnutrition and disease), Initative 3 (malnutrition and disease.) Otherwise the same.

Slaves should be a unit of 5-10 packmasters who can each be allocated 5-10 slaves. That gives a reasonable unit size between 30 and 110. Drop the normal pawleader and musician options. Instead you can upgrade one packmaster to a Master Moulder. Slaves are 2 points each. Packmasters are 8 points each. Master Moulder costs 25 for the upgrade. So the unit is 90 points minimum for 30 wounds or 305 before weapon upgrades at maximum size with 111 wounds.

They do not get strength in numbers (this actually will encourage them to fight in horde rather than deep formations), but may use the general's leadership as usual, so they should have a leadership between 5-7 (this really only effects the packmasters). However fortunately the slaves themselves are expendable and unbreakable. However the slaves take 2D6 wounds when they would normally take a break test. This makes them fairly amazing as tar pits, so long as the packmasters stay alive...

If the packmasters are all killed however one model in the front rank becomes the pawleader and the unit gains the special rule Cornered Rats. This now makes them a neutral hostile unit that will fight to the death for freedom. They gain leadership 10, fearless, and Hate Skaven. Fortunately for your own men, the rule also triggers an armywide "Hates Slaves."

You run the risk of (semi) serious slave rebellions if things start to fall apart, but there's no better tar pit than 20x5 slaves with 10 packmasters.

The interesting thing would be slave heavy skaven vs skaven battles. Potential for Roman Civil War level backstabbing.

13713
18-02-2013, 17:15
Do these Skaven armies of 200 slaves actually exist? I never seem to see them except in debates on forums. I'll keep my eye out for them at ToS in march. No restrictions 2000 points pure out the book Warhammer. I'd expect to see some if they are a competitive build.

They do exist outside of forumhammer. Two of the Skaven Generals in my meta play slave heavy lists... They are expensive and they are painted and they are a giant pain in the ass for other armies. As a Skaven player it has hurt peoples perceptions of me just because I play Skaven. Oh well each army has it's cheese per say.

IcedCrow
18-02-2013, 17:24
Do these Skaven armies of 200 slaves actually exist? I never seem to see them except in debates on forums. I'll keep my eye out for them at ToS in march. No restrictions 2000 points pure out the book Warhammer. I'd expect to see some if they are a competitive build.

I know two guys here that do it, and won't play in a comped event that prevents them from doing so as they feel that it screws them over to not be able to take 200 per unit and multiple units of them. One read up on it on the internet back in the beginning of 8th and began doing it and saw how ridiculously easy it was to use and the other watched Guy #1 do it and how easy it was to use so also began doing it.

Spinocus
18-02-2013, 17:34
Keep the cost, keep the Ld10 rerollable, add Unstable. This would reflect the slaves fleeing as more of them are slaughtered. Losing a break test would still cause them to explode, but it would be an indication that they're more afraid of the unit destroying them then the General leading the army.

Hmm, that's not a bad idea! On the other hand it will definitely encourage fielding even larger blocks of Slaves to compensate for the effects of Unstable. IcedCrow's obsession with the endangered 100+ Slave block species may actually bring them back from the brink of extinction. ;)

Hell, this simple rule may even compel Skaven players to buy shields for the little buggers to offset Unstable with the 6++ parry save... provided of course they're still a 1/2 pt upgrade. Odds are most Skaven generals will still opt for more rats though. This would also justify giving them full command. Hey, if Zombies can have standards...

Keep in mind that fluff-wise Slaves are usually more afraid of their Skaven overlords than the enemy! Slaves have been cited as being a source of food for Skaven society during leaner times... :eek:

Ratarsed
18-02-2013, 17:35
IceCrow, I hope you insist on only playing with painted models!

hamsterwheel
18-02-2013, 17:35
Does adding unstable deter someone from taking 200 of them? Or encourage it?

Well, everyone seems to be comparing them to the VC cheap unit, zombies? I figured it would be ok to be cheaper than zombies because the stat lines are similar, the slaves would suffer from not getting unbreakable, and there is no way to raise more of them. Are VC players taking hordes of 200 zombies?

Urgat
18-02-2013, 17:44
Make slaves not count towards core, is all I'd do.

13713
18-02-2013, 17:46
Make slaves not count towards core, is all I'd do.

This is a simple and fantastic/easy way to perhaps fix the problem. I like it.

IcedCrow
18-02-2013, 18:01
Are VC players taking hordes of 200 zombies?

VC Zombies aren't 2 pts a pop (are they? I don't think they are but haven't looked at the VC book in a long long time) and also slaves are not unstable so you actually have to kill about 160 of them or so before their steadfast goes away.

VC Zombies are more expensive and due to instability actually evaporate rather quickly which is why VC players don't run them in groups of 200.

Jadawin
18-02-2013, 19:10
When people field units of 200 how do they deploy them? (How many ranks and files)

IcedCrow
18-02-2013, 19:17
10x20 deep

IcedCrow
18-02-2013, 19:17
They start out wider then reform

IcedCrow
18-02-2013, 19:18
Though ive seen them also 15 or even 20 across to net more units

Ratarsed
18-02-2013, 19:40
I think that you have a particular issue unique to your gaming circles. I don't know anyone who would buy and paint 400 slaves in order to play the army in a certain style. It's going to get boring very quickly and I think easy to counter when you know what you are going to face and can tailor your army to it. The investment in time and money is just not worth it. More so when you realise there are many more ways, which are much more fun ways, to play the army.
I only ever see 40-50 strong slave units. Enough to hold the enemy for a turn or to of combat, but that's about it.

Waagh Rider
18-02-2013, 20:44
I had never encountered them until I made the unwise decision to enter a local tournament....Then I got slave blocked while a grey seer cast Dreaded 13th on all my main units repeatedly.
Rat darts ensured nothing of mine could charge anything of his except his slaves. The game was won at the list building stage I'm afraid. I won't make that mistake again.
Bring back the mainstay rule, or make slaves not count towards core (the second seems more unlikely - they seem to be removing these restrictions of late, witness chaos hounds as proper core in the new book)

Malrog
18-02-2013, 21:11
I'm just starting up my army and considering how people react to slave spamming I won't even try it. Besides clanrats are the main unit for skaven just as night goblins are for a night goblin army, and you miss out on the fun stuff like ratling guns! Personally I would never bring more slaves than clanrats, for ingame logical reasons mostly. Though those I play with are kind off non-competative so I don't have to/want to powergame.

Ratarsed
18-02-2013, 21:50
I had never encountered them until I made the unwise decision to enter a local tournament....Then I got slave blocked while a grey seer cast Dreaded 13th on all my main units repeatedly.
Rat darts ensured nothing of mine could charge anything of his except his slaves. The game was won at the list building stage I'm afraid. I won't make that mistake again.
Bring back the mainstay rule, or make slaves not count towards core (the second seems more unlikely - they seem to be removing these restrictions of late, witness chaos hounds as proper core in the new book)
How big we're these slave units? Have you ever encountered then since? We're the models all painted?
I am convinced the money, time and effort involved in buying, assembling and painting such stupidly big units is disincentive enough. Not only that there is a big risk involved. Kill the general and you have 400 point units that struggle to win combat and are Ld5. If you keep taking these massive slave units a) your opponents will get wise and build counters into their lists. b) it will soon become boring as hell to play and you will realise you have wasted a years hobby time and a months wages on stuff you don't want/need any more.

I think what we have here are just a few clever dicks going to tournaments with too much time on their hands and an embarrassingly large amount of spare cash to spend. However not having ever seen one myself I would not be the least bit surprised to find these units consisted of significantly fewer than 200 models with so called unit fillers with but a few models on them but counting as 15 or so. All unpainted of course. If so why are they being allowed to get away with this, and at tournaments too!

i think it's important the baby is not thrown out with the bath water so to speak. Fixing slaves just because of extreme builds like this might just end up ruining them altogether. I think it needs to be remembered that Skaven do not have any powerful hard hitting combat units apart from the random Hellpit abomination. In terms of pricing units if slaves are to maintain any sort of function within the army I don't think they can go past 3 points a model. If we see corresponding price increases in the rest of the infantry, for an army consisting of nearly all infantry were are the counter balancing reductions going to come? Hellpits? Warp-lightning cannons? Doom wheels? It's not much of a horde army that has its troops priced so high you cannot take hordes of infantry.

Waagh Rider
18-02-2013, 22:14
How big we're these slave units? Have you ever encountered then since? We're the models all painted?
I am convinced the money, time and effort involved in buying, assembling and painting such stupidly big units is disincentive enough. Not only that there is a big risk involved. Kill the general and you have 400 point units that struggle to win combat and are Ld5. If you keep taking these massive slave units a) your opponents will get wise and build counters into their lists. b) it will soon become boring as hell to play and you will realise you have wasted a years hobby time and a months wages on stuff you don't want/need any more.

i think it's important the baby is not thrown out with the bath water so to speak. Fixing slaves just because of extreme builds like this might just end up ruining them altogether. I think it needs to be remembered that Skaven do not have any powerful hard hitting combat units apart from the random Hellpit abomination. In terms of pricing units if slaves are to maintain any sort of function within the army I don't think they can go past 3 points a model. If we see corresponding price increases in the rest of the infantry, for an army consisting of nearly all infantry were are the counter balancing reductions going to come? Hellpits? Warp-lightning cannons? Doom wheels? It's not much of a horde army that has its troops priced so high you cannot take hordes of infantry.

Bout 50 -80 strong and painted , yes. Methinks the lady doth protest too much. If these things are as rare as you claim, fixing them won't make much difference....Yes there are players out there who have indeed assembled and painted scores of slaves. They don't care whether it's a boring game, as long as they win said game. Hence I do not go to tournaments.

IcedCrow
18-02-2013, 22:20
Painting 200 slaves for a tournament takes a weekend. You buy clanrats or slaves preassembled on ebay. You prime them all brown with spraypaint, then you dip them.

When dry you drybrush metal weapons and splash color on clothing.

They are very potent in no holds barred tournaments and also many dont even require painting these days.

Ratarsed
19-02-2013, 06:17
Bout 50 -80 strong and painted , yes. Methinks the lady doth protest too much. If these things are as rare as you claim, fixing them won't make much difference....Yes there are players out there who have indeed assembled and painted scores of slaves. They don't care whether it's a boring game, as long as they win said game. Hence I do not go to tournaments.
50-80 is very different from 200. Saying fixing slave units of 200 won't make a difference because they are rare is missing my point entirely. The danger is you fix them for 200 strong units but ruin them for 40-50 strong units. Any fix should not be based on how a small number of people use them, it should be on how most people do. Changing rules to fit in with tournament play is not good practice because tournament play is not normal.

IcedCrow, it sounds to me the issue is not with the rules for Skaven's but with the rules for no holds barred tournaments. If you just include a reasonable percentage of the scores for painting, plus some more for sportsmanship, you will probably never see this number of slaves in a unit ever again. No need to change the core rules for everyone just to satisfy a tiny minority.

Lord Solar Plexus
19-02-2013, 06:22
This is a simple and fantastic/easy way to perhaps fix the problem. I like it.

If it only *might* fix the common problem of 2-300 Slaves, it cannot possibly be simple and fantastic.

Balerion
19-02-2013, 07:07
The issue is that they are holding up every unit in the game, from weak to the most powerful, for the entire game with their stubborn leadership 10 with re-rolls if the BSB is nearby (and against a smart opponent, the general and BSB will always be in a small unit behind a pair of those protected)


Stubborn isn't the issue. Its the fact one can take dual giant blocks of slaves and hold up anything in the game for the entirety of the game by simply mindlessly shoving them forward. With their high movement they are likely to be able to engage whatever they want, and flanking them means nothing.
I think you're contradicting yourself a bit here. Slaves aren't really as mindless as some of the other mindless units in the game, because you need to coordinate them with your general and BSB. If you don't, they're suddenly not even worth the pitiful amount of points you paid for them. You definitely can't mindlessly shove them forward against, to borrow your terminology, a smart opponent, because he will place units that the Skaven player would be interested in tarpitting on both ends of his battle line, forcing a choice.

Granted, in smaller games it becomes much easier for the Skaven general to force the issue, since the ratio of Slave :: power units is much more favourable in those cases.

Urgat
19-02-2013, 08:27
If it only *might* fix the common problem of 2-300 Slaves, it cannot possibly be simple and fantastic.

200 slaves being 400 pts, and you needing 500 points to reach 25% in core at 2K point, I think it would be kind of efficient. Now anybody's welcome to take 25% core + 200 slaves, but, well, I somehow don't think that'd be a great idea.

BlackPawl
19-02-2013, 09:31
Some will complain, probably you.
Most won't though, people like being able to completely destroy entire units.
What they don't like is being stuck in combat with something for lots of turns.

I also wasn't aware that giant rats are less than 3pts/model.

I do not complain about slaves - if I use them or if I fight against them. They are T3 without a save so they will die in droves.
If people want to destroy entire units and not want to being stuck in combat for lots of turns they should play 7th edition again.



^--They need a rule to the effect:

Cowardly: Units of skaven slaves can never be steadfast.

This would probably fix a lot of the problem without raising their base cost.


Yeah, and they should also fix the 3++ reroll 1s stubborn 1+ AS guy and should note: Deamon Princes can only ever deal one point of damage each turn ... that would also fix two (broken?) units ... ;-)



Stubborn isn't the issue. Its the fact one can take dual giant blocks of slaves and hold up anything in the game for the entirety of the game by simply mindlessly shoving them forward. With their high movement they are likely to be able to engage whatever they want, and flanking them means nothing.

I'm not proposing leadership 7 with no steadfast. I'm proposing they should never get near leadership 10 stubborn with reroll all game long, which is what 200 slaves can do even in an 8-10 turn game, much less a standard game.


Nobody complains about a 400 point unit of chaos warriors with (possible) 5 attacks each which can put out 70 (!) S4 attacks per round - people expect that 400 points (a huge size of your total points) can kill things.
But people complain that 400 points of slaves - which can not kill anything better then a zombie - but keep the enemy a few rounds in place (and you need a General and a BSB too for it).

If you fight a slave unit in the front and charge them in the flank then the skaven unit did not get SiN AND can NOT combat reform because they are in combat on two flank. So it is not possible to get any better as ld 7 and the chances to break them are better.


For a T3 no save unit there are solutions for it: spells & warmachines

Gromdal
19-02-2013, 10:35
Slaves should simply not be able to use any heroes ld (generals or otherwise). Then we would not see the most cowardly unit in the game be the bravest.

Tbh that slaves are way overpowered isnt what sticks out the most to me. What sticks out the most is that they are braver when led by a wizard than chaos knights led by a chaos lord.

Or a grail lord and grail knights, or an orc warboss leading his big uns.

It is a travesty.

underscore
19-02-2013, 10:43
A leadership 5 tarpit? Sounds.... interesting.

Vipoid
19-02-2013, 10:56
Yeah, and they should also fix the 3++ reroll 1s stubborn 1+ AS guy and should note: Deamon Princes can only ever deal one point of damage each turn ... that would also fix two (broken?) units ... ;-)s

Thing is, one broken unit shouldn't be an excuse to keep other units broken.


Nobody complains about a 400 point unit of chaos warriors with (possible) 5 attacks each which can put out 70 (!) S4 attacks per round - people expect that 400 points (a huge size of your total points) can kill things.

1) How 5 attacks?
2 Base
+1 from Extra Hand Weapon
+1 From Frenzy (with MoK)
Where's the 5th attack coming from? :confused:

2) Ok, let's say that they have the above loadout (plus whatever gives them the 5th attack), how many Chaos Warriors are you actually getting for 400pts? I'm guessing around 25, but I don't know the exact costs in their new book.

Avian
19-02-2013, 11:04
A leadership 5 tarpit? Sounds.... interesting.
At TWO points each, there is a distinct limit to how capable the model should be. If you are looking for a unit that is good at anything, you'd better be prepared to pay for it.

I think you should have a look at Gnoblars to see where Slaves are likely going. Gnoblars are slightly more expensive, will do nothing 1/6 turns, are slower (not to mention significantly slower than the rest of the army) and have a lower maximum Leadership (unless you want to mix in very specific magic items). Also they won't do damage to units around them if they should happen to break.

I'm predicting 3 pts and some sort of special rule to make them less reliable.

BlackPawl
19-02-2013, 11:09
Thing is, one broken unit shouldn't be an excuse to keep other units broken.



1) How 5 attacks?
2 Base
+1 from Extra Hand Weapon
+1 From Frenzy (with MoK)
Where's the 5th attack coming from? :confused:

2) Ok, let's say that they have the above loadout (plus whatever gives them the 5th attack), how many Chaos Warriors are you actually getting for 400pts? I'm guessing around 25, but I don't know the exact costs in their new book.


WoC get a (Slaanesh) spell for +2 attacks if you have frenzy.

You get 25 warriors for 400 points (without FC). The point is that they (or many other choices: knights, ogres etc. worth 400 points) can kill something and score points, slaves can not. They are only there to hold up something, not to score points.

underscore
19-02-2013, 11:16
At TWO points each, there is a distinct limit to how capable the model should be. If you are looking for a unit that is good at anything, you'd better be prepared to pay for it.

A unit which can't perform it's role at all is useless at any price, though. If you're going to hit Slaves that hard then there needs to be a bit of internal balance adjustment, imo. Its all well and good pointing to Gnoblars and Goblins, but both of those live alongside some pretty effective infantry as alternatives. Whereas Skaven have... Storm Vermin...

Edit: don't disagree with your last statement though

Urgat
19-02-2013, 11:28
Nobody complains about a 400 point unit of chaos warriors with (possible) 5 attacks each which can put out 70 (!) S4 attacks per round - people expect that 400 points (a huge size of your total points) can kill things.
But people complain that 400 points of slaves - which can not kill anything better then a zombie - but keep the enemy a few rounds in place (and you need a General and a BSB too for it).

The difference is that slaves vastly outperform their cost, unlike warriors. They basically do exactly the same as goblins for 2/3 the price, w/o animosity and with SiN instead, since you're fond of comparing similar units.

That being said, preventing slaves from using inspiring presence, BSB rerolls or steadfast makes them useless all the same (well, maybe the BSB could go, but that would be one unelegant special rule, a rule that forbids the use of another special rule...) so these are bad ideas. Unless they're redesigned to perform a different task, of course, but as they are, they're tarpits, and tarpits need to stick around, it's their purpose. Well my opinion is that tarpitting should be the clanrats' job and slaves should be used for things completely different, but I'm not the one writing the book so...

IcedCrow
19-02-2013, 11:28
400 pts of chaos warriors is about 25 models. While a good unit they can (and have) been broken in combat. Not to mention its vastly easier to shoot snd magic 25 models to bring it down to 15 or so before it touches anything, while 200 slaves cannot really be mathematically affected in a normal game until roughly the fifth or sixth combat phase.

Due to their large frontage they can snare pretty much anything they want. Hitting their flank is not that easy. Ive watched a slave unit hold a unit of chaos knights and a full unit of warriors for four turns because with stubborn rerollsble 10 leadership they werent going anywhere.

They were dying by the handful but theres not enough time in a normal game to get through them all.

Thats a 400 point unit pinning down about 1400 points when you added the characters as well.

Avian
19-02-2013, 11:34
A unit which can't perform it's role at all is useless at any price, though.
Well, I am not suggesting that Slaves be limited to Ld5, but even if that was implemented, they would still have uses - they'd be slower Chaos Hounds that wouldn't disappear if hit by a basic magic missile. They could stand in the way of enemy support units trying to contribute. They could get in the way of missile units. They would be a bloody annoyance that was barely worth any points and would still take some effort to remove.
If the cost is low enough, ANYTHING becomes useable. And Slaves have a lower cost than EVERYTHING else in the game.


If you're going to hit Slaves that hard then there needs to be a bit of internal balance adjustment, imo. Its all well and good pointing to Gnoblars and Goblins, but both of those live alongside some pretty effective infantry as alternatives. Whereas Skaven have... Storm Vermin...
Oh, I am sure that internal balance will be looked into. Though I'm not sure Skaven players will enjoy it. :p

Vipoid
19-02-2013, 11:47
WoC get a (Slaanesh) spell for +2 attacks if you have frenzy.

But unless warriors can automatically cast that on themselves, you can't include it in a discussion of this kind.


You get 25 warriors for 400 points (without FC). The point is that they (or many other choices: knights, ogres etc. worth 400 points) can kill something and score points, slaves can not. They are only there to hold up something, not to score points.

25 warriors isn't a lot. It might still make for a good unit, don't get me wrong, but it's hardly game-breaking. They have 4+ armour, but no shields or ward saves. They get a lot of attacks, but only at S4 (so they'll struggle to damage many units with good armour saves and/or high-toughness). Magic and shooting can damage the squad significantly (when you've only got 25 models, you really can't afford to take many losses), and anything that ignores armour can hurt them a lot. In fact, there are still many combat units that will give them a run for their money. In addition, as units go, they're relatively slow, and frenzy can be a weakness, since it allows the unit to be led. Finally, WoC are an elite close combat army, so them getting some elite CC units is hardly surprising.

On the other hand, removing 200 skaven slaves is much harder. For starters, there's simply a practical limit on how many models you can realistically remove - there are only so many attacks you can make, etc. There are some spells that could work (although they're hardly widely-available), but should you really be expecting people to waste their magic phase, trying to kill units of chaff that cost 2pts per model?

In addition, unlike chaos, they're actually very fast and don't have frenzy; making them difficult to avoid, and impossible to lead. Now, the slaves might not kill units themselves, but why would they need to? Their only purpose is to hold up units for most (or all) of the game, and they can achieve this very efficiently. Meanwhile, the rest of your army can take part your opponent's piece by piece, whilst his best units are stuck in combat, killing chaff.

Finally, if you do want to kill a unit in combat with slaves, then you can simply choose to shoot it to death, while it remains locked in combat. This is an option that certainly isn't available to WoC when they're in combat. And, yes, you can hit slaves as well as the enemy. But, considering that everything in the game is more expensive then slaves, it isn't much of a loss when you kill a few of them with friendly-fire.

underscore
19-02-2013, 12:08
Oh, I am sure that internal balance will be looked into. Though I'm not sure Skaven players will enjoy it. :p
Funnily enough, after posting that I went though the buffs available to Skaven - there's some decent banners, Skavenbrew, death frenzy, bless with filth, the Bell and the Furnace. Certainty stuff to play with there. Skim off a layer of cheese and we might see a bit more of it!

IcedCrow
19-02-2013, 12:25
Oh, I am sure that internal balance will be looked into. Though I'm not sure Skaven players will enjoy it.

That rage is shared by any army's players that get used to exploiting something that is broken and then lose it in the next book.

Gromdal
19-02-2013, 12:44
A unit which can't perform it's role at all is useless at any price, though. If you're going to hit Slaves that hard then there needs to be a bit of internal balance adjustment, imo. Its all well and good pointing to Gnoblars and Goblins, but both of those live alongside some pretty effective infantry as alternatives. Whereas Skaven have... Storm Vermin...

Edit: don't disagree with your last statement though

Skaven slaves are useless and treated as such by the skaven. To throw them against the enemy mean nothing to the skaven. Sure they will flee and die quickly enough. But that time is used to profit by the skaven.

That the skaven use them as unbreakble unstoppable masses is wrong on so many levels.

Gromdal
19-02-2013, 12:46
Well, I am not suggesting that Slaves be limited to Ld5, but even if that was implemented, they would still have uses - they'd be slower Chaos Hounds that wouldn't disappear if hit by a basic magic missile. They could stand in the way of enemy support units trying to contribute. They could get in the way of missile units. They would be a bloody annoyance that was barely worth any points and would still take some effort to remove.
If the cost is low enough, ANYTHING becomes useable. And Slaves have a lower cost than EVERYTHING else in the game.


Oh, I am sure that internal balance will be looked into. Though I'm not sure Skaven players will enjoy it. :p

Indeed and they would still be useable. Their ld could be raised to ld3 as base. ld6 reroll with bsb for 80 points speed bump, chaff is okay. A huge downstep from being unbreakble unstoppable 100 man units for 200 pts. But that says nothing

Spinocus
19-02-2013, 12:50
Well, I am not suggesting that Slaves be limited to Ld5, but even if that was implemented, they would still have uses - they'd be slower Chaos Hounds that wouldn't disappear if hit by a basic magic missile. They could stand in the way of enemy support units trying to contribute. They could get in the way of missile units. They would be a bloody annoyance that was barely worth any points and would still take some effort to remove.
If the cost is low enough, ANYTHING becomes useable. And Slaves have a lower cost than EVERYTHING else in the game.

Oh, I am sure that internal balance will be looked into. Though I'm not sure Skaven players will enjoy it. :p

The Skaven army book is fine with regards to internal balance, it's the external balance that's the problem... ;) Nobody enjoys a beating with a nerf bat but for reasonable Skaven players a balanced book will be welcome... provided of course it's reasonable (and to GW's credit most 8th ed books have been just that). Internal balance aside I thought their power level was decent with the 6th ed army book & 7th ed BRB so I can't imagine the next book putting them on the low end of the 8th ed power scale with TK (fellow TK players, I hear your cries!). The power gamers and tourney minded Skaven players that only picked up the army to beat other people over the head with it probably won't like anything remotely resembling a nerf but f em!

On the other hand I wouldn't be surprised if the new Skaven book puts them on a power level with Ogres. After all, it's become a fairly popular army and GW invested a crap ton of $$$ into revitalizing that line with several plastic kits. The 8th/9th ed Skaven book will probably include another lovely kit or two (or three) when it's released (i.e. newfangled Monstrous Inf/Cav/Beast dual kit whatitz and the existing Rat Ogres, Nightrunners, Gutter Runners, Plague Monks, etc. are in dire need of a facelift). Those monkeyrats must GO! Also consider that increasing Slaves to 3pt means fewer rats on the table = fewer Clanrat boxes sold = GW accountants no likey. Yes, I know this can be a hotly contested issue but ultimately GW is a model company first and gaming company second.

Von Wibble
19-02-2013, 12:54
I think the best fix wuold be to change the way SiN interacts with steadfast. If you made it so that the bonus for Ld granted by SiN cuold always be modified by CR regardless of if you are steadfast all would be fine.

This would mean slaves are at Ld 7 with reroll if in range of general, with 3 ranks, and assuming they lose by 3 or more (which seems reasonable!).

Alternatively, reduce skaven characters Ld by 2 across the board (pull clanrats to 4 also). Probably a simpler way to get a similar effect.

Also make shooting nito combat randomise hits - that way teh enemy unit targetted has 50% less casualties making it a bit weaker.

Finally, I'd love to see a rule of 0-1 unit of slaves per unit of clanrats, but GW seem to be moving away from such things.

IcedCrow
19-02-2013, 13:00
Also consider that increasing Slaves to 3pt means fewer rats on the table = fewer Clanrat boxes sold = GW accountants no likey.

That makes absolute sense but I'm thinking its a tossup.

If they stay at 2 pts (I feel is possible but not likely) then they need to lose the leadreship 10 stubborn re-roll ability. If they were capped somehow at leadership 7 I would have less of a problem with it. It would still be very annoying but it wouldn't be anywhere near leadership 10 stubborn re-roll. (68% vs 99%)

The leadership 7 cap bringing down the odds from 99% to 68% I feel would be too much of a drawback for most people, who would simply stop taking 200 slaves since it is no longer a given thing (which is why they are taking 200 in the first place)

Avian
19-02-2013, 13:04
Also consider that increasing Slaves to 3pt means fewer rats on the table = fewer Clanrat boxes sold = GW accountants no likey. Yes, I know this can be a hotly contested issue but ultimately GW is a model company first and gaming company second.
The WoC book disproved this theory a couple of weeks ago when Marauders got 50 % more expensive.

Balerion
19-02-2013, 13:05
At TWO points each, there is a distinct limit to how capable the model should be. If you are looking for a unit that is good at anything, you'd better be prepared to pay for it.

I think you should have a look at Gnoblars to see where Slaves are likely going. Gnoblars are slightly more expensive, will do nothing 1/6 turns, are slower (not to mention significantly slower than the rest of the army) and have a lower maximum Leadership (unless you want to mix in very specific magic items). Also they won't do damage to units around them if they should happen to break.

I'm predicting 3 pts and some sort of special rule to make them less reliable.
No, that's completely wrong. Gnoblars appear in an army that has some of the most potent and reliable combat damage output in the entire game. Ogre Kingdoms do not need an effective tarpit unit, or at the very least don't need one to tarpit anything for very long, because they have multiple tools to eliminate enemies via pure combat damage.

As Skaven players sometimes point out (often only to be ignored) our options for ranked damage output are pitiful compared to most other lists. Our absolute cream-of-the-crop, big ticket, most maximum premium dynamic choice (Queek and a horde of Stormvermin) would still get its teeth kicked in by many other armies basic damage dealers (usually sans special characters) in an equal points scenario. I'm thinking of Ironguts, Chaos Warriors, Swordmasters, Savage Orcs, Grave Guard, etc.

Now before anyone counters this with, "But Skaven have other non-ranked combat damage dealing tools!"... yeah, sure, you're totally correct. But most of those things appear right alongside Slaves in the list of things everybody (including most Skaven players) want toned down in the next book. Now I'm thinking of WLCs, HPAs, the D13th, Doomwheels, Doomrockets, etc.

So if your proposal is to eliminate cost-effective tarpits, while also nerfing some of the evil damage-dealers, how exactly do you imagine the Skaven army is going to function?

I often see people lamenting the fact that all armies are starting to resemble one another, and I think Skaven are brilliantly and uniquely realized at the moment. Sure, I suppose they can release an updated Rat Ogre/Bonebreaker dual kit, and Plague Monks w/Great Staves, and make them extremely potent units, but I kind of enjoy having crappy troops that can't kill anybody. Frustrating the enemy with huge blocks of worthless fodder is a perfect representation of Skaven warfare. If you can't beat 'em, gum them up with a mountain of dead bodies (who you couldn't/wouldn't feed even if they survived the battle). I know that can be a daunting playstyle for an opponent to have to endure, but I don't really see how it's so much more taxing than some of the other frustrating strategies like Undead who come back to life, Ogre who can decimate anything that stands directly in front of them, or Wood Elves who flit around refusing to let you catch them.

IcedCrow
19-02-2013, 13:09
A 400 point unit reliably able to pin down 1400 or more points of enemy unit whenever they want is in no way balanced. Cost effective? Sure. Its as cost effective as letting me field a warhound titan in a game of fantasy. That also would be cost effective for me.

Avian
19-02-2013, 13:11
You are just arguing contrary to your position. If Gnoblars (objectively worse than Slaves) are fine as-is in the Ogre army because the Ogres don't need them, then Slaves should be more expensive in the Skaven army. If an army has a weakness, they shouldn't get a unit that fixes that weakness at a discount. That's the cake having/eating situation.


So if your proposal is to eliminate cost-effective tarpits, while also nerfing some of the evil damage-dealers, how exactly do you imagine the Skaven army is going to function?
You add in a unit of Monstrous Cavalry. Duh! ;)

stirogiperogi
19-02-2013, 13:34
Skaven Slaves are fine at the current points costs. The Skaven Slave unit offers the Skaven general a way to handle elite enemies and is easy enough for opponents to defeat. (The way to unwind the LD-10 slave brick is pretty simple -you flank it.) Without these bricks of slaves the Skaven army will become a door-mat to any army that can field elite infantry.

Balerion
19-02-2013, 13:36
A 400 point unit reliably able to pin down 1400 or more points of enemy unit whenever they want is in no way balanced. Cost effective? Sure. Its as cost effective as letting me field a warhound titan in a game of fantasy. That also would be cost effective for me.
Part of the problem with this example is that there shouldn't be 400 or 1400 point units (actually, a 400 point unit is perfectly normal and acceptable, but not when it's made up of 199 models). Wouldn't unit caps or a minimum Clanrat to Slave ratio be better ways of fixing this than messing with the basic role Slaves play in the list?

Another problem with the example is that it's just fundamentally unstable in a game that has so many rock/paper/scissor aspects to it. A couple of hundred points of Ethereals could hold up a 10,000 point unit. A cannon can erase a 250 to 600+ point monster. Skaven aren't ever going to be likely candidates for fielding a 1400 point damage-dealing deathstar themselves, so it's perfectly reasonable that their counter to such a thing would be to clog it up with a cheaper unit and take advantage of the points imbalance that causes on the field.


You are just arguing contrary to your position. If Gnoblars (objectively worse than Slaves) are fine as-is in the Ogre army because the Ogres don't need them, then Slaves should be more expensive in the Skaven army. If an army has a weakness, they shouldn't get a unit that fixes that weakness at a discount. That's the cake having/eating situation.

As an aside, I don't really think Gnoblars are fine. If they were they wouldn't be so hard to find in Ogre lists.

I also think your design philosophy is totally backwards. If an army has a weakness, they must be given something else to make up for it (at least as long as we're pretending we live in a world of armies that are balanced against each other ;)).


You add in a unit of Monstrous Cavalry. Duh! ;)
I'm enjoying the Monsterhammer era as much as the next guy, but sometimes you'd just rather put down 400 incompetent sociopathic buffoons who are at their most useful when they're getting stabbed in the head to keep that knife away from somebody more important. :cheese:

kylek2235
19-02-2013, 13:37
Drop SiN or the ability of slaves to use the General's leadership. Honestly I don't care which. The price cost is fair as long as we're looking at approx ld 7ish slaves. GW could even do something radical like having the unit crumble in addition to break tests (rats defecting as the battle goes poorly for them). I'd rather the slaves be worth 2pts per model instead of upping their point cost because that could be a pretty high hike as is. All of this and the Grey Seer's LD needs to return to ld 6, it was stupid to take the only advantage a warlord had and give to the seer.

Avian, Gnoblar animosity is gone, so no more 1/6 chance of bickering. Now they just only have a 5/6 chance of letting me down and throwing my army into disarray

IcedCrow
19-02-2013, 13:47
Skaven Slaves are fine at the current points costs. The Skaven Slave unit offers the Skaven general a way to handle elite enemies and is easy enough for opponents to defeat. (The way to unwind the LD-10 slave brick is pretty simple -you flank it.) Without these bricks of slaves the Skaven army will become a door-mat to any army that can field elite infantry.

I wish I could draw a picture for you. Having seen these units in action, "flanking it" is not as easy as you make out. Especially when the players I have seen use this have one flank protected by a table edge and the other flank protected either by another skaven slave unit or something like a hell pit.

Assuming you do flank it you have one turn to maybe break it. You should be able to beat the slaves no problem but then have a roughly 30% chance to break it. Then it reforms in your face and you're back to a 1% chance of breaking it.


Part of the problem with this example is that there shouldn't be 400 or 1400 point units (actually, a 400 point unit is perfectly normal and acceptable, but not when it's made up of 199 models). Wouldn't unit caps or a minimum Clanrat to Slave ratio be better ways of fixing this than messing with the basic role Slaves play in the list?

1400 point unit in this case was my above example. Warrior unit, knight unit, handful of characters. The 400 point unit is the 200 model slave unit.

I don't want to remove their role. I want to remove the fact that they have a 99% success rate at stopping any unit in the game (and in the example above, enemy units that cost double or more their cost) for at least half if not the full game length as the game is measured in turns and you can't kill enough of them to get through them. If the game was fought until there was a winner we'd have a different story altogether.


Another problem with the example is that it's just fundamentally unstable in a game that has so many rock/paper/scissor aspects to it. A couple of hundred points of Ethereals could hold up a 10,000 point unit. A cannon can erase a 250 to 600+ point monster. Skaven aren't ever going to be likely candidates for fielding a 1400 point damage-dealing deathstar themselves, so it's perfectly reasonable that their counter to such a thing would be to clog it up with a cheaper unit and take advantage of the points imbalance that causes on the field.

They *can* do those things. A cannon *can* erase a 250-600+ point monster. A skaven slave *will* hold up whatever unit it wants to for the entire game.

A deathstar *can* put out a lot of damage. A skaven slave unit *will* tarpit multiple units the *entire game*.

The difference is between *can* (the possibility) and *will* (a certainty). If I didn't have to fire my cannon and just said "your monster is dead", we'd be in the same neighborhood as what a slave unit can do.

With their immense width they are like a giant fishing net. Pair them together (which I have also seen used to great effect) and you basically play the game "don't bother moving, lets just see if I can cast enough spells for six turns to fry enough points to pull the win off, it'll go by faster that way and we can move on to the next game"

Balerion
19-02-2013, 13:57
Assuming you do flank it you have one turn to maybe break it. You should be able to beat the slaves no problem but then have a roughly 30% chance to break it. Then it reforms in your face and you're back to a 1% chance of breaking it.
Maybe I'm misunderstanding your scenario, but I thought a flanked unit couldn't reform.



I don't want to remove their role. I want to remove the fact that they have a 99% success rate at stopping any unit in the game (and in the example above, enemy units that cost double or more their cost) for at least half if not the full game length as the game is measured in turns and you can't kill enough of them to get through them. If the game was fought until there was a winner we'd have a different story altogether.
That's fine. I'm on record in this thread as being in favour of a leadership cap for the Slaves, or a BSB prohibition. My main problem is with people who are suggesting combinations that would take Slaves completely out of the viable unit category (like mixing a price increase with a leadership cap and a BSB prohibition and a steadfast prohibition).


They *can* do those things. A cannon *can* erase a 250-600+ point monster. A skaven slave *will* hold up whatever unit it wants to for the entire game.
Only if it's crazy huge, like the 200 model unit you keep using as an example. Which brings us back to a unit cap or a revamped version of Mainstay as the best solution.

I've never used more than 60 Slaves in a unit, and while they reliably hold something down for a turn or two, after that they've lost enough models that they *will* break.

archie-d
19-02-2013, 14:08
I hate skaven slaves as much as the next guy, seeing those blocks of 90 across the table ready to get stuck in to my skeletons and never run has stopped me bothering to play games of 8th for the time being, however i do sympathise with the folks defending them.
Making them expensive or liable to run does defeat their purpose.

Surely the best tweak suggested is the 'these dont count towards your core allowance' one.
The slave based lists i faced generally had, at most, 1 unit of clanrats to push the bell around in. With 180 odd slaves and then everything else spent on cool toys. If you had to drop some of the cool toys to field the slaves, theyd still be good at what they do, but would you field quite so many when you also had to field 40-60 extra clanrats or a unit of stormvermin?
That really seems the best solution to me.

Or would they need changing at all if steadfast got a nerf?

I'd be pleased as punch if disruption stopped a unit being steadfast.

IcedCrow
19-02-2013, 14:17
Maybe I'm misunderstanding your scenario, but I thought a flanked unit couldn't reform.


That's fine. I'm on record in this thread as being in favour of a leadership cap for the Slaves, or a BSB prohibition. My main problem is with people who are suggesting combinations that would take Slaves completely out of the viable unit category (like mixing a price increase with a leadership cap and a BSB prohibition and a steadfast prohibition).


Only if it's crazy huge, like the 200 model unit you keep using as an example. Which brings us back to a unit cap or a revamped version of Mainstay as the best solution.

I've never used more than 60 Slaves in a unit, and while they reliably hold something down for a turn or two, after that they've lost enough models that they *will* break.

You can perform a combat reform to remove a flanking unit from your flank. Again though a 200 model (even a 100 model) slave unit is not easy to flank.

Our group uses a cap of 60 models and at 60 models the slaves do as you say, they hold for a couple turns then break. This to me is what they should do. I have no problem with that.

I don't want to take slaves out of being viable. I want them to not be what they are now with a 99% success rate. There's just no way (currently) to counter someone taking a giant unit other than to say "please don't".

Urgat
19-02-2013, 14:30
Our group uses a cap of 60 models

Really? I wouldn't play you after all.

Tarian
19-02-2013, 14:38
I run 4 blocks of 35 slaves and get complained at sometimes... I think it's just that a lot of people really hate slaves. (I also run 4 blocks of Clan Rats, so my core is well covered.)

IcedCrow
19-02-2013, 14:39
Really? I wouldn't play you after all.

That's cool. Our last campaign had two skaven and two goblin players. Both of which ran lots of blocks of sixty models.

The overall winner of our campaign league was one of the goblin players. He did quite well without needing to go into the hundreds of models per unit. I don't really enjoy or want to ever play games involving mega blocks.

Urgat
19-02-2013, 14:43
Fine for him if he agrees to get caps while watching the others with elite units enjoy no caps of any kind. I'm not talking about efficiency there, I'm talking about principles. I'll accept arbitrary unit caps when there's similar caps based on what makes the opponent unit's useful. Easy for people to say "let's cap units at 60" when they play ogres or demons, heh.

IcedCrow
19-02-2013, 14:46
Well actually we cap units at 400 points or 60 models, whichever comes first.

I also recognize after 15 years of playing and running events that its important that you play with like-minded people. I'm not interested in trying to get everyone on the same page because frankly you have a better shot of building a homemade rocket and flying to Mars then ever getting gamers to 100% agree with each other.

We had 21 people participate and the campaign ran for six months. It was a lot of fun, mainly because everyone was on the same page with each other.

I had a skaven player get nasty via email at how i was destroying the game by doing this and he'd never ever ever play in any of my events because not being able to take 200 skaven slaves crippled his army and horde armies like skaven and goblins *need* megalithic blocks of 100-200 to even have a remote chance of winning. :shifty:

Spinocus
19-02-2013, 14:48
The WoC book disproved this theory a couple of weeks ago when Marauders got 50 % more expensive.

Mmmmmmm... Yes! No! Sort of! See GW produced these 'gorgeous' plastic fug1ies called Forsaken which count towards Core, come 10 to a kit and sport the low, low price of $50! *squeals with delight* It's hard to persuade the kids to buy these new lovelies when they've already got huge blocks of Marauders that all the cool kids at the tourneys used to swear by... :cool:

So how do you convince the kids who already had or planned to buy the more cost effective Marauders to pony up more $$$ for Forsaken and Warrior kits? Nerf the f'ers! Nerf them hard enough and the demand on secondary markets (Ebay, Craigslist, etc.) dries up too. Nerfed Marauders = 16 minis/box, always uber Warriors = 12 minis/box... both at $35/box. Suddenly those extra 4 Marauders/box aren't such a great deal after the nerfage and the customer should react in a method favorable to GW's bean counters. Will Marauder box sales suffer? Absolutely! But sales will be made up with more Warrior & Forsaken boxes moving off the shelves. And thanks to the last WoC army book those Marauder sprues probably paid for themselves several times over by now... leaving GW to work on new plastic Marauder models whose sprues neatly fit 10 to a box...

Sure, the Marauder points hike redressed a horrible balance issue (some would say GW took it to the other extreme) but it may also reinforce the notion that unlike Slaves, Marauders are not considered crucial to GW's vision of what an elite, quality-over-quantity WoC army should look like on the table top.... and a very small but expensive elite army at that.

stirogiperogi
19-02-2013, 14:52
I wish I could draw a picture for you. Having seen these units in action, "flanking it" is not as easy as you make out. Especially when the players I have seen use this have one flank protected by a table edge and the other flank protected either by another skaven slave unit or something like a hell pit.



I know the picture you are going to paint. The slave unit kills nothing - it just pins units in place and relies upon other units to get the job done. The slave units force a change in the metagame - they even the playing field for the Skaven general - who has no elite anything. (A 200 model brick of slaves will hold-up all kinds elite troops, but they do not look as effective when holding zombies or other tar-pit style troops.)

The trick to beating the army is getting on the flanks - you may have to go through a Hellpit Abom. to flank - but that is a fight that you can win. Why go head-to-head with a unit you can not beat? (The slave heavy army is designed to isolate and destroy elite laden enemies - such as the Gut-Star or Chosen-Star. The slave heavy army is useless against equivalent units of levy quality troops such as goblins, zombies ect...)

Lord Solar Plexus
19-02-2013, 15:02
The way to unwind the LD-10 slave brick is pretty simple -you flank it.

In tin foil hat land perhaps. In reality it is rare to outnumber Skaven in terms of units. The *problem* is pretty simple: You need to throw more points at them. When you also need to throw more points at a HPA and the other ranked units while taking crippling casualties on the way in AND during combat - because those Slaves are still Ld 7 re-rollable, which while much more palatable has a good chance to stick around - and you might see a trend.



The trick to beating the army is getting on the flanks - you may have to go through a Hellpit Abom. to flank - but that is a fight that you can win. Why go head-to-head with a unit you can not beat? (The slave heavy army is designed to isolate and destroy elite laden enemies - such as the Gut-Star or Chosen-Star. The slave heavy army is useless against equivalent units of levy quality troops such as goblins, zombies ect...)


Who are those etc.? Slaves will always crush an equivalent number of State Troops.

The HPA is right beside the Slaves or something else. It's not alone on a flank. Against 95 % of the armies out there, the Skaven player will have 3:1 units. A rat dart to run interference, a ranked unit to break SF, the HPA, perhaps a weapons team.

Urgat
19-02-2013, 15:08
Well actually we cap units at 400 points or 60 models, whichever comes first.

I also recognize after 15 years of playing and running events that its important that you play with like-minded people. I'm not interested in trying to get everyone on the same page because frankly you have a better shot of building a homemade rocket and flying to Mars then ever getting gamers to 100% agree with each other.

We had 21 people participate and the campaign ran for six months. It was a lot of fun, mainly because everyone was on the same page with each other.

I had a skaven player get nasty via email at how i was destroying the game by doing this and he'd never ever ever play in any of my events because not being able to take 200 skaven slaves crippled his army and horde armies like skaven and goblins *need* megalithic blocks of 100-200 to even have a remote chance of winning. :shifty:

As I said, it's a matter of principles, not efficiency. Capping at 400points is a joke too. How often do you find yourself blocked by that limit? Try capping killy units at 60 attacks per unit, with an additionnal cap for higher strength and WS, and we'll talk. As it is, I do like the look of my single 100 strong unit of common goblins (I'm such a powergamer :p) that make the core of my army. You'd prevent me from doing it, hence... well, never mind, I'm OT and there's no point to make.

IcedCrow
19-02-2013, 15:11
It stops the 100-200 skaven slave / goblin units from showing up as well as the gutstar and before the new book, the chosenstar, etc... which is the direction we'd like to go with the game. Away from mega blocks.

stirogiperogi
19-02-2013, 15:19
In tin foil hat land perhaps. In reality it is rare to outnumber Skaven in terms of units. The *problem* is pretty simple: You need to throw more points at them. When you also need to throw more points at a HPA and the other ranked units while taking crippling casualties on the way in AND during combat - because those Slaves are still Ld 7 re-rollable, which while much more palatable has a good chance to stick around - and you might see a trend.



Who are those etc.? Slaves will always crush an equivalent number of State Troops.

The HPA is right beside the Slaves or something else. It's not alone on a flank. Against 95 % of the armies out there, the Skaven player will have 3:1 units. A rat dart to run interference, a ranked unit to break SF, the HPA, perhaps a weapons team.

Tin foil hat land? Slaves crushing State Troops?
Are you sure we are playing the same game?

Ratarsed
19-02-2013, 15:29
I don't want to take slaves out of being viable. I want them to not be what they are now with a 99% success rate. There's just no way (currently) to counter someone taking a giant unit other than to say "please don't".
Isn't that the same with any army build that people find hard to deal with? Not just a Skaven Slave problem. The traditional answer is to introduce comp at tournaments, peer pressure at clubs. As for saying there is no way to deal with them, I disagree. You just haven't found a way yet. It will be interesting to see how the new WoC book affects this. A couple of Chimera could hold up a 200 strong slave unit for quite a few turns whilst the rest of the army avoids them and cleans up the back fields.

I'm surprised your group are finding it difficult to flank a unit as large as 200. Maybe they are not trying hard enough, or the Skaven players are particularly skilled at protecting them? Is there no terrain on your tables? Horde units have manoeuvring issues at the best of time, and that is at 50 or so strong, I can't imagine how a 200 strong unit manages.

It seems that massive units only became an issue with the introduction of the steadfast rule in 8th. Maybe then, rather than looking hard at skavenslaves, we should be looking at the rules for steadfast. How would a change of not giving steadfast to disrupted units affect the way these units played? Something to consider.

13713
19-02-2013, 15:33
I highly doubt GW is going to change the rules to steadfast. If they did then you are right, slaves and other units like them would not be as much of a problem.

Urgat
19-02-2013, 15:37
Is there no terrain on your tables?

This is something you should not be asking. Along with using scenarios, suggesting to use terrain is usually a lost cause.

Jadawin
19-02-2013, 15:39
Assuming you do flank it you have one turn to maybe break it. You should be able to beat the slaves no problem but then have a roughly 30% chance to break it. Then it reforms in your face and you're back to a 1% chance of breaking it.

"


Of course flanked/disrupted Slaves making a combat reform have leadership 2, but you know that dont you?

theunwantedbeing
19-02-2013, 15:44
Of course flanked Slaves making a combat reform have leadership 2, but you know that dont you?

Ld7 with the general nearby, 8 if he is in a unit with the +1 leadership banner.

IcedCrow
19-02-2013, 15:48
This is something you should not be asking. Along with using scenarios, suggesting to use terrain is usually a lost cause.

We use scenarios and the terrain is typically randomly generated per the book.


Of course flanked Slaves making a combat reform have leadership 2, but you know that dont you?

The slaves are always within 12" of the general and bsb (leadership bonus + rerolls on the off chance you fail). that's the point of using them. Having them removed from the general's leadership makes them not work hardly at all.


I'm surprised your group are finding it difficult to flank a unit as large as 200.

It has a frontage of 10-15. One flank is entirely protected by a table edge, therefore negating that flank (you can't go off the table and come in from a flank). The other flank is protected either by a second large block of skaven slaves (whose other flank is protected by the table edge in a wedge formation) or by things like hellpits, which require their own counter-units to deal with first before one can try to flank the slaves.

By then the slaves, with their decent movement, have surged forward and hit you and tied you up. Or if you are sitting back, they are content to sit back as well and zap you with magic and warmachines and you play the tennis-match of who can shoot the most in six turns game. If you're playing chaos, you need to move forward.

The general's unit holds the BSB and sits behind the wedge, largely out of sight of anything but indirect warmachines or spells that have the range.

Your primary tactic in dealing with this is to try to win points either by magic / shooting the units worth points and turning the game into a shooting match, or by trying to pancake the general / bsb with a warmachine shot to reduce the leadership / re-rolls. None of these are easy as they require the skaven player failing a look-out-sir roll and you getting the perfect combination of dice to kill him.

I've seen it happen but its not common.

So your ways of dealing with this configuration are limited and this is the perfect counter-army to any combat-based army with little to no shooting/magic as it will stop most anything it wants and fry it.

Against shooty/magic based armies, it is on even ground.

So really, as I see it... what is the counter army to this? I don't see one. Which is why the guys that run it like to run it.

Jadawin
19-02-2013, 15:48
Ld7 with the general nearby, 8 if he is in a unit with the +1 leadership banner.

Afraid not

Q: When taking a Leadership test, sometimes you have to take it on
your unmodified Leadership. What is your unmodified Leadership?
(p10)
A: Your unmodified Leadership is the highest Leadership
characteristic in the unit. So the Leadership from any
characters in the unit itself (but not from outside the unit, from
Inspiring Presence for example) with a higher Leadership can
be used unless specifically stated otherwise.

From the rulebook, combat reforms are tested on the units Un-Modifield leadership P55 BRB

Jadawin
19-02-2013, 15:50
It seems to me that one of the best ways to deal with skavenslaves is to have a better understanding of the rules of the game;)

IcedCrow
19-02-2013, 15:52
Afraid not

Q: When taking a Leadership test, sometimes you have to take it on
your unmodified Leadership. What is your unmodified Leadership?
(p10)
A: Your unmodified Leadership is the highest Leadership
characteristic in the unit. So the Leadership from any
characters in the unit itself (but not from outside the unit, from
Inspiring Presence for example) with a higher Leadership can
be used unless specifically stated otherwise.

From the rulebook, combat reforms are tested on the units Un-Modifield leadership P55 BRB


It seems to me that one of the best ways to deal with skavenslaves is to have a better understanding of the rules of the game

I'll have to double check that when I get home. If that is true, great! A new nugget from the lengthy FAQ (or as I call it, the other rulebook) to bring in. It still doesn't fix the fact that in the wedge described above that the slaves practically have no flanks anyway.

underscore
19-02-2013, 15:52
So really, as I see it... what is the counter army to this? I don't see one. Which is why the guys that run it like to run it.
...another Skaven army 6-dicing Plague (and Wither, if possible)! :)

13713
19-02-2013, 15:55
...another Skaven army 6-dicing Plague (and Wither, if possible)!

It would be glorious if more people played Skaven.

underscore
19-02-2013, 16:01
It would be glorious if more people played Skaven.
In the grim, dark future there is only Skaven 6-dicing over-powered spells.

boli
19-02-2013, 16:24
Keep Steadfast and Strength in numbers, and reduce to 1.5 points a model BUT: add the following

-- Unstable, loose as many SLAVES again as you loose in combat due to running away trampling and general chaos

-- Requires a 8pt packmaster every 10 models to keep them in line, if any any point this ratio favours more in the slaves direction the surplus run away

-- Every movement and combat phase looses 1D6 slaves from the packmaster whipping them and general trampling; if a 6 is rolled remove a packmaster instead as the slaves turn on one of their "masters" and adjust the number of slaves accordingly as they run away

-- Randomise shooting on a "6" you hit a packmaster, they have light armour.

-- Packmasters do not get "look out sir" rolls.; they are more likely to be pushed in the way of things rather than away from them.


The cost/model will increase (slightly) to 2.3 but you will loose significantly more slaves/turn so whilst they are still a good tarpit they will change from a immoveable mass to a slowly collapsing bloody heap. Template weapons firing into combat will be devastating (e.g. if it took out 13 Slaves and 4 Packmasters you'll loose 44 models not 17).

Lord Solar Plexus
19-02-2013, 16:24
Sure, let's add a dozen more very special rules to that book. I'm already Lol'ing at the double-digit page FAQ.



Against shooty/magic based armies, it is on even ground.


Sorry, what? They could just stroll towards the opposition.


Tin foil hat land? Slaves crushing State Troops?
Are you sure we are playing the same game?

What's your point again?


This is something you should not be asking. Along with using scenarios, suggesting to use terrain is usually a lost cause.

We always use both but neither affects this debate.

Urgat
19-02-2013, 16:37
We always use both but neither affects this debate.

Yes they do? A very large unit has a very large footprint, and... well if I need to explain why large units are impeded by terrain (what rule do you lose when you get in forests, rivers etc again?) or why Meeting Engagement, Dawn attack and Battle for the Pass make these units problematic for the one who uses them, of course, there's no point in talking at all.

Lord Solar Plexus
19-02-2013, 16:47
No, they do very obviously not suffer from terrain.

If I need to explain why this is so, there's no point in explaining it (or, as you call it, talking).

BlackPawl
19-02-2013, 16:49
400 pts of chaos warriors is about 25 models. While a good unit they can (and have) been broken in combat. Not to mention its vastly easier to shoot snd magic 25 models to bring it down to 15 or so before it touches anything, while 200 slaves cannot really be mathematically affected in a normal game until roughly the fifth or sixth combat phase.

Due to their large frontage they can snare pretty much anything they want. Hitting their flank is not that easy. Ive watched a slave unit hold a unit of chaos knights and a full unit of warriors for four turns because with stubborn rerollsble 10 leadership they werent going anywhere.

They were dying by the handful but theres not enough time in a normal game to get through them all.

Thats a 400 point unit pinning down about 1400 points when you added the characters as well.


Why can a 200 rat unit not be affected by spells / missiles? They are T3 without a save. Even Bowmen with their S3 can hurt them and template weapons can't miss them, where a T4 AS 4 / 3+ unit (some with a ward) is much harder to deal with.
A dweller will nearly take 50% away in one turn, some other spells can do a significant damage to slaves (flames of the phoenix) where warriors have no problem with. With Doom and darkness you will wipe out slaves.

How can a chaos general charge with 1400 points into a 200 slave unit? Warriors I can understand because they are a little slower, but knights? :confused:
And was after the five rounds of combat? Warriors had won 400 points and Skaven 0!!! Wow!

And if it was only a 400 point unit holding up a 1400 point unit this would be great, but it is not alone the 400 points but also the points for the (skaven) general and the BSB (and they have to be in 12" for that). As others have said before you can not assume that the general and the BSB are always near, would be too good.

There are 3 scenarios where Skaven have problems:
Watchtower (where 200 slaves can do nothing)
Surprise attack (with a roll of one your general is offboard and your whole (slave) army has ld 5
Morning meeting (or what it is called) where your slaves could be on one flank and the general / bsb on the other





On the other hand, removing 200 skaven slaves is much harder. For starters, there's simply a practical limit on how many models you can realistically remove - there are only so many attacks you can make, etc. There are some spells that could work (although they're hardly widely-available), but should you really be expecting people to waste their magic phase, trying to kill units of chaff that cost 2pts per model?

In addition, unlike chaos, they're actually very fast and don't have frenzy; making them difficult to avoid, and impossible to lead. Now, the slaves might not kill units themselves, but why would they need to? Their only purpose is to hold up units for most (or all) of the game, and they can achieve this very efficiently. Meanwhile, the rest of your army can take part your opponent's piece by piece, whilst his best units are stuck in combat, killing chaff.



You are not "wasting" your magic phase on a 2 point model, you will target a unit of 400 points (if it is a 200 slave unit or a 25 warrior unit). You will not cast the death base spell on a single slave, or? You will try to get a big spell through to get away with slaves. A 200 slave unit is not chaff, it's a tarpit. And yes, if I know that I can not handle the slaves in close combat (or I expect it to take to long) magic is the answer.
As a skaven player I try to target high toughness / good armored units with my spells.

Why is a M5 unit fast compared to M4? And Skaven have no access to flyers or cavalry, so calling them "fast" in regards to nearly all other armies (except of dwarves) is a joke. Cavalry and flyers should not get into close combat against an infantry unit they would want to not fight.



A 400 point unit reliably able to pin down 1400 or more points of enemy unit whenever they want is in no way balanced. Cost effective? Sure. Its as cost effective as letting me field a warhound titan in a game of fantasy. That also would be cost effective for me.

Yes, it can be, but there a several character builds (vampire lord / dark elf dread lord / tzeentch lord with 3++ reroll 1s) that cost nearly as much and keep a unit they want (because they have the option to fly) also in place.
With zombies you can do it also better because you can resurrect them in masses.



I wish I could draw a picture for you. Having seen these units in action, "flanking it" is not as easy as you make out. Especially when the players I have seen use this have one flank protected by a table edge and the other flank protected either by another skaven slave unit or something like a hell pit.

Assuming you do flank it you have one turn to maybe break it. You should be able to beat the slaves no problem but then have a roughly 30% chance to break it. Then it reforms in your face and you're back to a 1% chance of breaking it.

I don't want to remove their role. I want to remove the fact that they have a 99% success rate at stopping any unit in the game (and in the example above, enemy units that cost double or more their cost) for at least half if not the full game length as the game is measured in turns and you can't kill enough of them to get through them. If the game was fought until there was a winner we'd have a different story altogether.

They *can* do those things. A cannon *can* erase a 250-600+ point monster. A skaven slave *will* hold up whatever unit it wants to for the entire game.

A deathstar *can* put out a lot of damage. A skaven slave unit *will* tarpit multiple units the *entire game*.

The difference is between *can* (the possibility) and *will* (a certainty). If I didn't have to fire my cannon and just said "your monster is dead", we'd be in the same neighborhood as what a slave unit can do.

With their immense width they are like a giant fishing net. Pair them together (which I have also seen used to great effect) and you basically play the game "don't bother moving, lets just see if I can cast enough spells for six turns to fry enough points to pull the win off, it'll go by faster that way and we can move on to the next game"

With flyers you can flank nearly every (skaven) unit. Fly over them and charge them in the rear!
And if the Skaven player can protect his flanks in every game then he is a good general and smart as Sun Szu!

As I have said before (and I think anotherone too): you can NOT combat reform if you are fighting in the front and the rear! So if there are two units in front and flank then the slaves will have only a ld7 at best.

Ok, I will suggest my next opponent that I do not have to roll for break test because there is a special rule that slaves hold every time 100% - because they *will*! :rolleyes:
Nothing is sure in a game of dices!

8th edition is a game of blocks - or more as 7th edition was. 7th edition was an edition for MSU units with a good alpha strike possibility. Charge, kill the first front row, enemy can not strike back, you win, he breaks and flees and is overrun. Not much fun - or just only fun for people who had the killing power on their side. 8th edition is a game of bigger blocks and a war of attrition.

If you have problems with slaves then kill the general (with cannons or with death spells), so you have an army with ld8 (at best) and no tarpits anymore.


It's nice that slaves are capped at 120 points (for beeing 60 slaves) but all other units can have 400 poitns - seems a fair fight for me ... :rolleyes:



So really, as I see it... what is the counter army to this? I don't see one. Which is why the guys that run it like to run it.

All armies which have access to the lore of death (sniper, doom & darkness)
All armies which have access to the lore of heaven (base spell with the -1 ld)
Tomb Kings with the Golden Mask (*shudder*)
Warrior of chaos with "Treason of tzeentch" or "Phantasmagorie"

You just have to use the tools ...

Avian
19-02-2013, 17:06
Afraid not

[irrelevant example]

From the rulebook, combat reforms are tested on the units Un-Modifield leadership P55 BRB
You haven't been keeping up with the FAQs. Steadfast doesn't use unmodified Leadership, and hasn't for more than a year and a half. :p

Urgat
19-02-2013, 17:09
No, they do very obviously not suffer from terrain.

If I need to explain why this is so, there's no point in explaining it (or, as you call it, talking).

Ok, let me rephrase as to be very clear: the thing about slaves (or similar large units) is that they're unmovable. It is so because they are steadfast. In such terrains, they lose steadfast, which makes them very movable.

Spinocus
19-02-2013, 17:12
It seems that massive units only became an issue with the introduction of the steadfast rule in 8th. Maybe then, rather than looking hard at skavenslaves, we should be looking at the rules for steadfast. How would a change of not giving steadfast to disrupted units affect the way these units played? Something to consider.

Many people have been clamoring for disruption to remove Steadfast. It's a reasonable request and one that I honestly believe GW will incorporate into the 9th ed rules. It will certainly help improve gameplay and force players to ditch bad habits and pay closer attention when sending their blocks into harm's way.




Re: Skaven Slave Discussion
Quote Originally Posted by IcedCrow View Post

So really, as I see it... what is the counter army to this? I don't see one. Which is why the guys that run it like to run it.
...another Skaven army 6-dicing Plague (and Wither, if possible)!

I think it's a no-brainer that the more egregious Skaven spells will have their casting values adjusted in the next book. Wither at 8? No way, especially if GW keeps the permanent nature of the spell. My beloved Plague is a jaw dropping bargain at 13, it's bound to get hiked up to 15 or higher. One thing for sure, the serious lack of uber-spells in the 8th ed books means the Dreaded 13th is sure to get some of its teeth pulled, and if it doesn't you can bet there will be a horrifyingly apocalyptic backlash effect to make people re-think the wisdom of 6 dicing it. The upside is at least there will should be two interesting spell lore attributes for the Ruin and Plague lores.

Ratarsed
19-02-2013, 17:14
We use scenarios and the terrain is typically randomly generated per the book.


It has a frontage of 10-15. One flank is entirely protected by a table edge, therefore negating that flank (you can't go off the table and come in from a flank). The other flank is protected either by a second large block of skaven slaves (whose other flank is protected by the table edge in a wedge formation) or by things like hellpits, which require their own counter-units to deal with first before one can try to flank the slaves.
Im having a hard time picturing this. A unit 200 strong 15 wide is going to be stopped in its tracks by just a single building on the flank.


By then the slaves, with their decent movement, have surged forward and hit you and tied you up. Or if you are sitting back, they are content to sit back as well and zap you with magic and warmachines and you play the tennis-match of who can shoot the most in six turns game. If you're playing chaos, you need to move forward.
how about my 200 point chimera has tied up their 400 point slaves leaving me 200 points better off? And free to move forward with my fast moving knights flying daemon princes, other flying chimera, chariots that wisely did not deploy opposite his slaves because I used lots of cheap units of dogs to out deploy him whilst he used silly big units at 400 points a time. Alternatively I use my dogs to divert and hold up his silly expensive deaths tar type slave unit as you would any other Death Star unit that you cannot beat in combat. It's just the same really.


The general's unit holds the BSB and sits behind the wedge, largely out of sight of anything but indirect warmachines or spells that have the range.
There is not enough room to deploy a unit with 4 or more ranks behind another unit of 20mm bases more than 9 ranks deep so how does this unit get here?


Your primary tactic in dealing with this is to try to win points either by magic / shooting the units worth points and turning the game into a shooting match, or by trying to pancake the general / bsb with a warmachine shot to reduce the leadership / re-rolls. None of these are easy as they require the skaven player failing a look-out-sir roll and you getting the perfect combination of dice to kill him.
I think you are using the wrong tactics. Why not pin/divert the silly slave units and get round behind them using the full with of the board?
However a magic duel may be the answer because if the Grey Seer is behind this slave unit he will struggle with range for his spells. There isn't really anything over 24" range in the Skaven spell selection whilst most other lords have the ability to extend spells to over this range.



So really, as I see it... what is the counter army to this? I don't see one. Which is why the guys that run it like to run it.
but they don't do they, because you don't let them, you limit unit size to 60. ( And i think very sensibly too) So you have in effect created your own solution and are really only arguing for a change on theoretical grounds as in your gaming group it is no longer an issue.

Lord Solar Plexus
19-02-2013, 17:18
A unit of 200 or even a 100 Slaves cannot possibly be hurt by magic missiles or archers. There are simply not enough arrows for all those bodies nor enough turns. Yes, they're killing a few models...and then?

In the same vein, this unit is fairly resistant against other spells. I remember well when you explained how killing 40, 50 of the buggers doesn't matter. 50 are still enough to tarpit for some time. What's more: In order to achieve even this, an opponent need to 6 dice the spell and risk his Level 4. Does that reward really justify the risk? I don't think so.

Skaven suffer no more from Watchtower than everyone else. While Slaves suffer a bit from the loss of ranks/SiN in a watchtower, it's nevertheless quite difficult to dislodge them and impossible to kill them all once they're in.

Surprise attack / Unexpected encounter isn't a huge problem either. Roll for your General first, and if he stays in reserve, deploy to the rear. Not a lot will cause a panic check at distance. Granted, no General + a successful Dwellers might hurt the Slaves - and nobody else since they do not cause panic in Clanrats or the ItP stuff. You also only have Ld 5 with no other characters in the units.

The same goes for Dawn Assault. Only a very small handful of spells can kill 25-40 Slaves on turn 1.

Ratarsed
19-02-2013, 17:25
I'll have to double check that when I get home. If that is true, great! A new nugget from the lengthy FAQ (or as I call it, the other rulebook) to bring in. It still doesn't fix the fact that in the wedge described above that the slaves practically have no flanks anyway.
Can you better describe this "wedge" please. Warhammer units are squares or rectangles. A wedge I picture as more a slice of cheesecake or the old Bretonnian lance formation.

Urgat
19-02-2013, 17:27
snip

It doesn't have to be shooting. If they don't have steadfast, anything somewhat killy can make them leg it if they don't have steadfast through simple combat resolution. As for the scenarios, they'll be out of position, or creating a bottleneck, that's what matters. I never said terrain or scenarios made it possible to kill them right away on first turn, but it certainly forces them to do more than just move forward and not care about the rest of the world.

theunwantedbeing
19-02-2013, 17:32
A unit of 200 or even a 100 Slaves cannot possibly be hurt by magic missiles or archers.

Dwellers is the best for killing them off when they're at their largest.
But who gets dwellers?
Anyone who took the lore of life

So Dark Elves, Dwarves, Orcs&Goblins, Tomb Kings & Vampire Counts are all stuck.
Warriors of Chaos I believe as well (haven't seen the new book so I can't be 100% sure)
As is anyone who didn't put "Lore of Life" as their chosen lore out of the armies who can take it.

2pt models shouldn't be spammable, certainly not in giant difficult to shift units.

Ratarsed
19-02-2013, 17:37
Skaven suffer no more from Watchtower than everyone else. While Slaves suffer a bit from the loss of ranks/SiN in a watchtower, it's nevertheless quite difficult to dislodge them and impossible to kill them all once they're in.

skaven do struggle big time with watchtower. They have a hard time winning the combat in the tower, even against modest troops. Every time they lose the best break test they can hope for is on a 7. It's a toughie.


The same goes for Dawn Assault. Only a very small handful of spells can kill 25-40 Slaves on turn 1.
you just need the 1 wound is a panic and without the generals leadership that test is on a 5. Very dangerous.

IcedCrow
19-02-2013, 17:37
Can you better describe this "wedge" please. Warhammer units are squares or rectangles. A wedge I picture as more a slice of cheesecake or the old Bretonnian lance formation.

Pick a corner of the table.

Put a skaven slave megalith unit so that one flank is against or mostly against a table edge.

It is around 15-20" in width depending on frontage.

Put second slave unit so that they are mirroring the first where their flank is against the other slave unit and the remaining flank is towards the rear of the table. Forms a kind of triangle. There is a small gap up front but not big enough for a dedicated unit to get through (you could put single fliers or fast cav through it but if they see that coming they close the gap)

Put the general's unit in that middle portion. Deploy HPA on the flank away from the first skaven (where there is a weak spot on the flank)> deploy war machines etc behind this barricade as well.

Extraordinarily difficult to maneuver around. Text doesn't give it justice.

Urgat
19-02-2013, 17:37
Dwellers is the best for killing them off when they're at their largest.
But who gets dwellers?
Anyone who took the lore of life

So Dark Elves, Dwarves, Orcs&Goblins, Tomb Kings & Vampire Counts are all stuck.
Warriors of Chaos I believe as well (haven't seen the new book so I can't be 100% sure)
As is anyone who didn't put "Lore of Life" as their chosen lore out of the armies who can take it.

2pt models shouldn't be spammable, certainly not in giant difficult to shift units.

An alternative is to field a unit that is not expensive but can still win against the slaves (shouldn't be too difficult). They too are stuck after all. Once this is done, you can just disregard them, they won't give you many VP after all. Marauders, goblins, skellies, spearmen etc, they should all be able to do that fairly well, they merely need to win by 1 (or be unbreakable in the case of undead/demons). I might be wrong of course, but that's math-hammer and I'm not good at that.

Lord Solar Plexus
19-02-2013, 17:47
Ok, let me rephrase as to be very clear: the thing about slaves (or similar large units) is that they're unmovable. It is so because they are steadfast. In such terrains, they lose steadfast, which makes them very movable.

That might apply to rivers, which are in fact very, very rare. Woods aren't nearly as bad because you need the majority to be in it to lose SF. Sure, if the front ranks are in and the rear ranks die it might happen but it's even more likely that it's the other way around since the Skaven player would want to avoid that situation, or the wood isn't big enough to start with.

This means that using terrain isn't the solution. You'd need special anti-Slave terrain.


It doesn't have to be shooting.

In the scenarios BlackPawl mentioned, combat is unlikely to occur on turn 1.


Dwellers is the best for killing them off when they're at their largest.
But who gets dwellers?
Anyone who took the lore of life


Flame Cage is even better if they act, and can be a boon if it prevents them from acting. Just saying.

So Dark Elves, Dwarves, Orcs&Goblins, Tomb Kings & Vampire Counts are all stuck.
Warriors of Chaos I believe as well (haven't seen the new book so I can't be 100% sure)
As is anyone who didn't put "Lore of Life" as their chosen lore out of the armies who can take it.

2pt models shouldn't be spammable, certainly not in giant difficult to shift units.[/QUOTE]

Damocles8
19-02-2013, 17:53
The anoying thing about the unit exploding if it is beaten in combat is that it is actually an advantage compared with the Slave unit actually fleeing... I think that rule should be dropped and replaced with the Cowardly special rule (inverse cold blooded).

I think that should be an army wide rule\

Urgat
19-02-2013, 17:53
In the scenarios BlackPawl mentioned, combat is unlikely to occur on turn 1.

Sorry, I thought you were replying to me but forgot to quote.


That might apply to rivers, which are in fact very, very rare. Woods aren't nearly as bad because you need the majority to be in it to lose SF. Sure, if the front ranks are in and the rear ranks die it might happen but it's even more likely that it's the other way around since the Skaven player would want to avoid that situation, or the wood isn't big enough to start with.

This means that using terrain isn't the solution. You'd need special anti-Slave terrain.

I honestly don't remember how the terrain chart is, but I feel like I've rolled a river almost every battle I've played in 8th :p. As for the forests, mine are quite large usually, but as you say, the skaven player will want to avoid it, and if he does so, he'll have to maneuver and with such big, unwieldy units, you should be able to take advantage of it somehow. Well in theory, of course.

Jadawin
19-02-2013, 17:56
You haven't been keeping up with the FAQs. Steadfast doesn't use unmodified Leadership, and hasn't for more than a year and a half. :p

If i I'm wrong fair enough but could you explain or paste in the FAQ that overrides the FAQ I quoted just for clarity please. I'm aware that steadfast can use inspiring presence for break tests but not combat reform as I understand it.

Von Wibble
19-02-2013, 18:02
You haven't been keeping up with the FAQs. Steadfast doesn't use unmodified Leadership, and hasn't for more than a year and a half. :p

He was referring to combat reforms not steadfast- in response to the claim that flanking the unit of slaves gives you only 1 turn before they have a chance to reform and negate the flank charge.

Though I'd add here that even if the slaves did reform, if you charge flank and front at the same time it won't help. Yes you are throwing lots of your points at a few of theirs, but if you break through quickly that could make the restof his army more vulnerable and score you the victory. There are some armies that win through concenterating their force in this way.

Lord Solar Plexus
19-02-2013, 18:02
An alternative is to field a unit that is not expensive but can still win against the slaves (shouldn't be too difficult). They too are stuck after all. Once this is done, you can just disregard them, they won't give you many VP after all. Marauders, goblins, skellies, spearmen etc, they should all be able to do that fairly well, they merely need to win by 1 (or be unbreakable in the case of undead/demons). I might be wrong of course, but that's math-hammer and I'm not good at that.

200 points of naked Marauders (horde) lose against 200 points of Slaves (horde) in round 2 and are run down. Marauders in bus lose right away and are run down.

200 points of Empire Spearmen (horde) lose in round 3 and are run down. Not bad from a tactical vantage point but it still shows how crazily good Slaves are.

200 points of HE Spears cannot even form a horde I gather and will be crushed in short order.

Skellies have superior armour and parry, so suffer less but just like above will start to lose attacks first and then go down hard.

Holding up Slaves with some sort of reliability often involves more points. That's the problem with them right there. It isn't and shouldn't be solved by adapting the terrain or taking triple mortars. Even that tailor-made approach is NOT a satisfying solution; I've tried it more often than I can count, and it is something only two armies - incidentally, Skaven amongst them - could possibly do, and one of them most certainly never will.

Lord Solar Plexus
19-02-2013, 18:07
Sorry, I thought you were replying to me but forgot to quote.


No worries.



I honestly don't remember how the terrain chart is, but I feel like I've rolled a river almost every battle I've played in 8th :p. As for the forests, mine are quite large usually, but as you say, the skaven player will want to avoid it, and if he does so, he'll have to maneuver and with such big, unwieldy units, you should be able to take advantage of it somehow. Well in theory, of course.

Sure but terrain goes both ways. He's not steadfast but I'm T1 from some stupid well or spring or rose garden. Apart from that, I haven't seen any unit be affected by the loss of SF from terrain in the last 50 games or so. BlackPawl - my regular opponent - might have a better memory though.

Avian
19-02-2013, 18:10
He was referring to combat reforms not steadfast- in response to the claim that flanking the unit of slaves gives you only 1 turn before they have a chance to reform and negate the flank charge.
Well, that test isn't unmodified either. :p

theunwantedbeing
19-02-2013, 18:11
Flame Cage is even better if they act, and can be a boon if it prevents them from acting.

Yes, if they move that's a big if.
No 100+ model unit needs to move so badly it can afford for 2/3rd of it to die as a result.

You still need to have taken the lore of fire, it's not the most popular lore and Orcs&Goblins, Tomb Kings and Dwarves still haven't got access to it.

That's why I focussed on dwellers being the best for the job.
The unit doesn't get a say in whether it takes the damage or not, the damage may be less than what the flame cage can do but that's irrelevant if you're unlikely to ever suffer that damage.
Magic normally isn't able to deal with such massive units unless you have tooled specifically to deal with them.

Slaves shouldn't be viable in units that size.

Jadawin
19-02-2013, 18:16
Well, that test isn't unmodified either. :p

Well it is on p55 of my rule book, once again Avian can you show me the FAQ that changes that, please.

Avian
19-02-2013, 18:22
http://www.games-workshop.com/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m2940055a_WARHAMMER_RULEBOOK_v1.7_JANUARY13.pdf

Page two, left column.

Ratarsed
19-02-2013, 18:24
Pick a corner of the table.

Put a skaven slave megalith unit so that one flank is against or mostly against a table edge.

It is around 15-20" in width depending on frontage.

Put second slave unit so that they are mirroring the first where their flank is against the other slave unit and the remaining flank is towards the rear of the table. Forms a kind of triangle. There is a small gap up front but not big enough for a dedicated unit to get through (you could put single fliers or fast cav through it but if they see that coming they close the gap)

Put the general's unit in that middle portion. Deploy HPA on the flank away from the first skaven (where there is a weak spot on the flank)> deploy war machines etc behind this barricade as well.

Extraordinarily difficult to maneuver around. Text doesn't give it justice.
All well and good until you play scenarios. Dawn assault, meeting engagement, watchtower, and possibly blood and glory ( as slaves do not have banners) all put a spanner in the works. As do just a couple of buildings!

I must say if someone was to pull this off with properly painted slave units, I don't think I could feel anything other than admiration for the dedication they must have. However I still am of the mind that this is all a theoretical situation that is so contrived as to be unworthy of serious consideration. I think the real issue is players hating their expensive units being neutralised by a much less expensive one. Much like they hate cannons that kill their big monsters and complain how they are just too good, or how spells kill their characters, or frankly anything they don't like really!

shouldn't we be focusing on units of 40-60 slaves? After all they are the size of slave units most Skaven generals field.

Jadawin
19-02-2013, 18:32
http://www.games-workshop.com/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m2940055a_WARHAMMER_RULEBOOK_v1.7_JANUARY13.pdf

Page two, left column.

Errr, I think we may have cross wires here, I am aware that if you are steadfast then you don't have a modifier for combat reform tests. However the BRB specifically states that the test is taken on the units unmodified ld, which according to the FAQ ,page 4 I think, cannot use inspiring presence. I know that break tests use inspiring presence but as far as I can see it combat reforms cannot.

Avian
19-02-2013, 18:43
Errr, I think we may have cross wires here, I am aware that if you are steadfast then you don't have a modifier for combat reform tests. However the BRB specifically states that the test is taken on the units unmodified ld, which according to the FAQ ,page 4 I think, cannot use inspiring presence. I know that break tests use inspiring presence but as far as I can see it combat reforms cannot.
It references Break tests and Steadfast, both of which allow Inspiring Presence and BSBs.

Jadawin
19-02-2013, 18:49
It references Break tests and Steadfast, both of which allow Inspiring Presence and BSBs.

But I'm not referring to break tests, combat reform does allow bsb reroll but not inspiring presence!!!

Xerkics
19-02-2013, 21:26
Maybe they ll get rid of SIN as is skaven are more courageous than dwarfs with their ld10 with reroll on everything.

Tarliyn
19-02-2013, 21:41
Maybe they ll get rid of SIN as is skaven are more courageous than dwarfs with their ld10 with reroll on everything.

That is a bit overkill since sin as been with the skaven for a long time but nerfing it is in line. I would do something like when the skaven unit has more ranks than the opposing unit it is fighting in combt it gets +1 leadership for the corresponding break test. Inspiring presence and bsb rerolls may be used as normal.

I would also make it where slaves could not use inspiring presence or have charactera join the unit but attach a slave master to the unit that has leadership 7 and can lead from the back.


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Ratarsed
19-02-2013, 22:02
Maybe they ll get rid of SIN as is skaven are more courageous than dwarfs with their ld10 with reroll on everything.
Only when there are a lot of them and that's the point. Dwarfs are ld10 if there are 20 or just 1, unless they are backed up by numbers Skaven are pretty cowardly with Ld7 the best they can hope for. Outside inspiring presence range even 20 Skaven are not as courageous as a Dwarf all by himself, heck even 200 Skaven are not as courageous. A Skaven army that does not outnumber the enemy is probably running away.

pippin_nl
19-02-2013, 22:17
Some people are claiming that the Skaven book has internal balance. Have these people taken a look at: Night Runners, Rat Swarms, Rat Ogres, Warplock Jezzails, Ratling Gun, Warp Grinder, Doom Flayer, Plague Censer Bearers, Poison Wind Globadiers and the Plague Claw Catapult? I would not mind changes to Slaves (max LD8), Clanrats (+1), Stormvermin (+1), Plague Monks (+1) if they would improve all those other units.

Tarliyn
19-02-2013, 22:46
Some people are claiming that the Skaven book has internal balance. Have these people taken a look at: Night Runners, Rat Swarms, Rat Ogres, Warplock Jezzails, Ratling Gun, Warp Grinder, Doom Flayer, Plague Censer Bearers, Poison Wind Globadiers and the Plague Claw Catapult? I would not mind changes to Slaves (max LD8), Clanrats (+1), Stormvermin (+1), Plague Monks (+1) if they would improve all those other units.

I don't think anyone would mind getting the weaker units buffed. This kind of comment comes up in all discussions about op units, heck lol I have said it myself even when talking about the slann and lizardmen. The reason that you hear more complaints about the op units is since more people see the op units than the weak units. For the most part the only people who deal with the weaker units are the people who play with the army.


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underscore
19-02-2013, 23:00
Meh, I rarely leave home without my Doom-Flayer. Even Plague Censers have their moments.

Xerkics
19-02-2013, 23:29
Only when there are a lot of them and that's the point. Dwarfs are ld10 if there are 20 or just 1, unless they are backed up by numbers Skaven are pretty cowardly with Ld7 the best they can hope for. Outside inspiring presence range even 20 Skaven are not as courageous as a Dwarf all by himself, heck even 200 Skaven are not as courageous. A Skaven army that does not outnumber the enemy is probably running away.

Dwarfs are ld9 i believe with a Lord giving ld10. Correct me if im wrong: most of dwarfs units outside of one with king and his aura will be ld9 while most of skaven units will be ld10 through just sin?

Spinocus
19-02-2013, 23:39
Dwarfs are ld9 i believe with a Lord giving ld10. Correct me if im wrong: most of dwarfs units outside of one with king and his aura will be ld9 while most of skaven units will be ld10 through just sin?

Sort of. Skaven units must be within range of their general or sporting a non-general Ld7 character in the unit to get Ld10 (after SiN is calculated of course). The overwhelming majority of Skaven ranked units sport Ld5. The exceptions are Slaves w/Ld2 and Nightrunners w/Ld6. So for most ranked Skaven units outside the general's Ld bubble with no characters in the unit you're looking at a maximum of Ld8 w/SiN.

Xerkics
20-02-2013, 00:19
Sort of. Skaven units must be within range of their general or sporting a non-general Ld7 character in the unit to get Ld10 (after SiN is calculated of course). The overwhelming majority of Skaven ranked units sport Ld5. The exceptions are Slaves w/Ld2 and Nightrunners w/Ld6. So for most ranked Skaven units outside the general's Ld bubble with no characters in the unit you're looking at a maximum of Ld8 w/SiN.

So how much would it cost to put a chieftain in a unit then to give them ld10? Like 30 points?

Spinocus
20-02-2013, 00:24
So how much would it cost to put a chieftain in a unit then to give them ld10? Like 30 points?

Chieftans are Ld6 so they won't give Ld10 unless you take the Standard of Discipline. A Warlord or Grey Seer will boost Ld to Ld10. Warseer's admins prohibit the posting of point values on this forum but a Chieftan will cost you 22.5 Slaves, a Warlord 45 Slaves.

Warrior of Chaos
20-02-2013, 04:59
if they do that, what then is the role of slaves in the army?

What they should be....expendable chaff. Kinda like the rat swarms.

Ratarsed
20-02-2013, 06:48
Dwarfs are ld9 i believe with a Lord giving ld10. Correct me if im wrong: most of dwarfs units outside of one with king and his aura will be ld9 while most of skaven units will be ld10 through just sin?
You have been brainwashed, by the anti-Skaven propaganda by the Skaven haters. Saying Skavenslaves are re-roll Ld 10 is false misrepresentation of the truth. Skavenslaves are Ld2. If they have at least 3 ranks they gain a +3 bonus to leadership tests making them effectively Ld5. In order to get up to Ld10 you need to use the inspiring presence of the generals impressive leadership of 7 ( even goblin warlords have higher leadership than that!) and have a minim of 20 models in the unit. The result of all this is you only ever see Skavenslaves within inspiring presence of the general because outside they pretty much fail to function and will break and run off the board at the first opportunity most of the time. Rallying on a 2 (3 with musician) is not a common occurrence, trust me!
So your opponent will almost always see your slaves near the general in big units, thus they only tend to see the Ld 10 slaves.
slaves are also some of the worst troops in Warhammer. They will lose just about any combat they are involved in and against an elite unit with multiple attacks they will die in droves. So for example against 12 High elf Swordmasters 6 wide you can expect to lose about 12 slaves but only inflict 1 casualty back. As you can see against that rate of attrition you are going to need significantly more than 20 in a unit to maintain your leadership. 32 should give you a Ld 10 roll on the first round of combat, then 7 on the following round. 40 will probably give you 2 rounds of combat with ld10, 50 3 rounds and at that level you have tied up the Swordmasters for at least 2 off their game turns. Once you get to 3 of their turns (70 or so slaves) the frustration will set in and the hate grow.
The Swordmasters are a medium hitty example. Your gutstar, savage Orc big'uns, chaos warrior star will probably work through them quicker, but then conversely your Empire State troops, undead ( vampire knight bus excluded) dwarf clansmen and the like will take significantly longer. Hordes will also increase the attrition rate.
The problem the Skaven general has is all the time the slaves are in combat it is dangerous to commit other troops to the fight because the slaves are likely to lose so many of their numbers he will still lose the combat despite flank and rear charges from other units. Also once another unit other than slaves is involved you cannot shoot into combat. This adds to the frustration of the opponent. Not only are his troops locked in combat by a near worthless unit, they are slowly being whittled down by the Skaven wizards, Jezzails and warp lightning cannons!

I think it needs to be remembered that this is the Skaven way. It's not about fair fights, honour or glory, its about sneaky ploys, ambushes and keeping yourself alive by pushing the lesser Skaven before you as a meat shield.

So after all that waffle what is a reasonable size for a Skavenslaves unit? Well I use 40-50 as I only have 95 slaves painted and find 2 units better than 1. They work most of the time, although do occasionally break at the most inopportune time! So of all the suggestions so far the one I like the best is those that limit their number. Either swapping them with the giant rats and making them not count to core, or limit their numbers to no more than the combined numbers of clanrats and Stormvermin in the army. Increasing their points is not warranted IMO although a 3 point slave would not surprise me. I'd also remove the cornered rat rule and have them flee normally and also introduce randomisation to the life is cheap rule, with the proviso template hits can never inflict more than 1 hit on a model. Job done IMO.

Gromdal
20-02-2013, 12:03
You have been brainwashed, by the anti-Skaven propaganda by the Skaven haters. Saying Skavenslaves are re-roll Ld 10 is false misrepresentation of the truth. Skavenslaves are Ld2. If they have at least 3 ranks they gain a +3 bonus to leadership tests making them effectively Ld5. In order to get up to Ld10 you need to use the inspiring presence of the generals impressive leadership of 7 ( even goblin warlords have higher leadership than that!) and have a minim of 20 models in the unit. The result of all this is you only ever see Skavenslaves within inspiring presence of the general because outside they pretty much fail to function and will break and run off the board at the first opportunity most of the time. Rallying on a 2 (3 with musician) is not a common occurrence, trust me!
So your opponent will almost always see your slaves near the general in big units, thus they only tend to see the Ld 10 slaves.
slaves are also some of the worst troops in Warhammer. They will lose just about any combat they are involved in and against an elite unit with multiple attacks they will die in droves. So for example against 12 High elf Swordmasters 6 wide you can expect to lose about 12 slaves but only inflict 1 casualty back. As you can see against that rate of attrition you are going to need significantly more than 20 in a unit to maintain your leadership. 32 should give you a Ld 10 roll on the first round of combat, then 7 on the following round. 40 will probably give you 2 rounds of combat with ld10, 50 3 rounds and at that level you have tied up the Swordmasters for at least 2 off their game turns. Once you get to 3 of their turns (70 or so slaves) the frustration will set in and the hate grow.
The Swordmasters are a medium hitty example. Your gutstar, savage Orc big'uns, chaos warrior star will probably work through them quicker, but then conversely your Empire State troops, undead ( vampire knight bus excluded) dwarf clansmen and the like will take significantly longer. Hordes will also increase the attrition rate.
The problem the Skaven general has is all the time the slaves are in combat it is dangerous to commit other troops to the fight because the slaves are likely to lose so many of their numbers he will still lose the combat despite flank and rear charges from other units. Also once another unit other than slaves is involved you cannot shoot into combat. This adds to the frustration of the opponent. Not only are his troops locked in combat by a near worthless unit, they are slowly being whittled down by the Skaven wizards, Jezzails and warp lightning cannons!

I think it needs to be remembered that this is the Skaven way. It's not about fair fights, honour or glory, its about sneaky ploys, ambushes and keeping yourself alive by pushing the lesser Skaven before you as a meat shield.

So after all that waffle what is a reasonable size for a Skavenslaves unit? Well I use 40-50 as I only have 95 slaves painted and find 2 units better than 1. They work most of the time, although do occasionally break at the most inopportune time! So of all the suggestions so far the one I like the best is those that limit their number. Either swapping them with the giant rats and making them not count to core, or limit their numbers to no more than the combined numbers of clanrats and Stormvermin in the army. Increasing their points is not warranted IMO although a 3 point slave would not surprise me. I'd also remove the cornered rat rule and have them flee normally and also introduce randomisation to the life is cheap rule, with the proviso template hits can never inflict more than 1 hit on a model. Job done IMO.

There is nothing sneaky about being unbreakable when inside the 12 bubble (considering their size an easy task). It is the opposite of the skaven way. It is incredible brave and selfless.

So skaven slaves (the most cowardly and weakest skaven) are braver than 200 year old longbeard that would shave his head and die if he ever broke faith for any honor.

They will get fixed in 8th i am sure.

underscore
20-02-2013, 12:15
That is kinda the Skaven 'thing' though - to be brave until its a fair fight. I think of it more that they're constantly trying to push each other into the front line (similar to how I imagine they accept challenges - more of a sharp shove from behind than a brave stride) with bravery only coming into it when they're down to a rank.

IcedCrow
20-02-2013, 12:17
I've never seen a skaven slave unit *not* be leadership 10 stubborn with re-rolls since the beginning of 8th edition. The point is to put them in front of the general/bsb's unit so nothing can get to them. They should always be within inspiring presence and BSB range.

A unit of 40-60 or whatever is not a game breaking thing. A unit of 100-200 can be. Then double spam that.

kramplarv
20-02-2013, 12:34
Cap slaves to only benefit from +1 by SiN? How would that affect them in the grand scheme of things?

TheDungen
20-02-2013, 12:38
I still say make slaves unable to benefit from the generals leadership and they're stuck as a stubborn ld 5

Gromdal
20-02-2013, 12:50
I still say make slaves unable to benefit from the generals leadership and they're stuck as a stubborn ld 5

I agree, make sure that the slaves cannot use leadership from any other source and they are fixed.

Spinocus
20-02-2013, 12:51
That is kinda the Skaven 'thing' though - to be brave until its a fair fight. I think of it more that they're constantly trying to push each other into the front line (similar to how I imagine they accept challenges - more of a sharp shove from behind than a brave stride) with bravery only coming into it when they're down to a rank.

Yes, the more Skaven there are the braver they are and when things go badly and their numbers reduced so goes their incentive to take action in the face of uncertainty. Fluff wise Skaven bravery also stems from the fact that many of them constantly play the odds to their advantage so concepts such as self-sacrifice and honor are practically meaningless in their society. Also many Skaven fear their own Skaven masters more than the enemy... completely understandable given the race's rigid class structure and penchance for backstabbing.

I don't see the problem with Skaven Slaves being resolute in the face of the enemy with their general nearby. When they're not on the battlefield Slaves are routinely worked to death, subjected to horrifying mutation experiments by Master Moulder breeders/scientists and are even used as a food source by their own kind! Displease that general and you and your entire unit may be on the menu later that same day!

Also per the fluff, it is not uncommon for a victorious unit of Skaven to consume their enemies after defeating them... That unit of Empire Halberdiers is pretty good eatin' to a desperate pack of malnourished & abused rat-men slaves who haven't had a decent meal in ages!

kramplarv
20-02-2013, 12:53
But Ld5 is way to little. If they can't use IP they must have higher leadership. 5 is to low. Then they wont work as intended. They must have at least a reasonable chance to hold at least one round of combat against anything.

Gromdal
20-02-2013, 12:54
That is kinda the Skaven 'thing' though - to be brave until its a fair fight. I think of it more that they're constantly trying to push each other into the front line (similar to how I imagine they accept challenges - more of a sharp shove from behind than a brave stride) with bravery only coming into it when they're down to a rank.

I cannot even see this explanation as an excuse to semi brave skaven slaves. Simply put they should never be braver than elf, chaos warrior etc. Any ld above 7 is crazy for skaven slaves. They should always be the first skaven to run.

Gromdal
20-02-2013, 12:57
But Ld5 is way to little. If they can't use IP they must have higher leadership. 5 is to low. Then they wont work as intended. They must have at least a reasonable chance to hold at least one round of combat against anything.

My opinion is that the skaven general should use the slaves for exactly this. Send em for no real cost to their deaths. Let them redirect the enemy, slow them down etc. They are worthless slaves. In a civ where life means nothing. Maybe not letting them count for core and giving no victory points to the enemy aswell. Ld 6 (with sin) to perhaps.

For halting the enemy, and getting to blow them away with evil tricks etc, send in clanrats. Little use other than to die-die but will take enemies with them.

underscore
20-02-2013, 13:03
I cannot even see this explanation as an excuse to semi brave skaven slaves. Simply put they should never be braver than elf, chaos warrior etc. Any ld above 7 is crazy for skaven slaves. They should always be the first skaven to run.
That's because you're turning their Leadership stat into a bravery stat when it's a more abstracted concept than that. They certainly do run easily when given a chance, but not when they have better odds.

IcedCrow
20-02-2013, 13:08
Ldr 5 is too low. Ldrship 6 or 7 is about right. Especially with a re-roll, the odds of sticking are still decent. It will prevent someone from putting 200 of them in a unit but that's the point (as right now they can be leadership 10 with re-roll for the price of 2 pts a model)

Spinocus
20-02-2013, 13:19
My opinion is that the skaven general should use the slaves for exactly this. Send em for no real cost to their deaths. Let them redirect the enemy, slow them down etc. They are worthless slaves. In a civ where life means nothing. Maybe not letting them count for core and giving no victory points to the enemy aswell. Ld 6 (with sin) to perhaps.

For halting the enemy, and getting to blow them away with evil tricks etc, send in clanrats. Little use other than to die-die but will take enemies with them.

Wait, how is that any different than what Slaves are used for right now? Nobody in their right mind uses Slaves to generate CR or to serve as point denial units. You can't blow anything away with dirty tricks (i.e weapon teams, war machines, magic, etc.) if it involves Clanrats because they don't have the Expendable rule.

Ld6 w/SiN = Ld9 = Won't stop the cries of OP cheese. The real problem seems to be people who don't like having their more expensive blocks held up by large & cheap throwaway units. Push Slaves down to a max of Ld7 or Ld8 and their usefulness as tarpits becomes greatly diminished. As I wrote earlier in this thread, players will stop fielding them in 40/50+ sized units and opt for multiple MSU blocks of 20 instead. Now enemy players will have tons of cheaptastic Slave blocks gumming up their charge lanes and soaking up ranged fire. It won't stop the cries of cheese and people will still demand they be comped.

IcedCrow
20-02-2013, 13:35
How is that any different than what Slaves are used for right now? Nobody in their right mind uses Slaves to generate CR. Slaves barely generate any CR beyond their ranks and usual charge/flank bonuses.

Yes but Clanrats, while more survivable, are marginally better at killing stuff than Slaves. In previous rule editions the whole point was to use Slaves to hold the enemy while weapon teams blasted them or Clanrats maneuvered into position for a flank charge. Also the Expendable rule no longer applies to Clanrats so Skaven players cannot direct their ranged fire & magic into combat to reduce enemy numbers.

As I wrote earlier, this will lead to a replay of 7th ed rules where Slave MSU spam replaces Slave hordes as the new OP'ed tactic that must be nerfed. So you'll get your timid Ld5 Slaves but they will be in multiple 20 rat blocks gumming up your charge lanes, soaking up ranged fire/magic and ***** with your game plan, thus leading to more whine & cheese.

IMO, this would be vastly preferred over the giant blocks of slaves that never flee. I'd rather see units of 20 models running around looking like an army over a megalithic block of models that can't be moved.

Ratarsed
20-02-2013, 13:48
I cannot even see this explanation as an excuse to semi brave skaven slaves. Simply put they should never be braver than elf, chaos warrior etc. Any ld above 7 is crazy for skaven slaves. They should always be the first skaven to run.
You should read some of the Skaven based black library books. There is plenty of instances where slaves are driven to their deaths by fear of their masters and hatred of their enemy. But as I said above they are NOT braver than an elf, chaos warrior or even a goblin for that matter. They gain courage from their numbers and fear of their masters. A single dwarf by himself is leadership 9, 200 Skavenslaves are ld5. The SiN rule is one of the best in the game for representing the character of the army.

Spinocus
20-02-2013, 13:49
IMO, this would be vastly preferred over the giant blocks of slaves that never flee. I'd rather see units of 20 models running around looking like an army over a megalithic block of models that can't be moved.

But that's the 8th ed dynamic at work. Bigger is better for all rank & file troops. I've lost count of how many WHFB batreps I've seen in forums and on youtube where players field hordes of 50+ Bloodletters, Halberdiers, Greatswords, VC/TK skellies, Clanrats, HE swordsmen, Gobbos, Savage Orcs, etc. that almost always seem to survive until the last few turns.

Be careful what you wish for. Over at the Khemri forum some TK players have reported complaints from their opponents when they fielded tons of 10 strong units of Skelly archers for cheap re-directors. What's worse, having your uber-block of elites get stuck in combat with a mega-horde of Slaves for a few turns or having them re-directed and/or flanked at every turn by even cheaper blocks of Slaves that prevent them from generating significant VP for the entire game?

theunwantedbeing
20-02-2013, 13:54
But Ld5 is way to little. If they can't use IP they must have higher leadership. 5 is to low. Then they wont work as intended. They must have at least a reasonable chance to hold at least one round of combat against anything.

Why must they have a chance to hold?
They're slaves, they have a special rule where they explode and die when they break, a low leadership fits this.
They're also 2pts/model and you get to shoot at enemies in combat with them.

Relying on them to hold anything up seems to be exactly the opposite of what they were intended for.

Ratarsed
20-02-2013, 13:54
IMO, this would be vastly preferred over the giant blocks of slaves that never flee. I'd rather see units of 20 models running around looking like an army over a megalithic block of models that can't be moved.
I like my units of 40-50 and do not want to see their utility spoiled by an over-reaction to stop a small clique of competitive gamers taking silly big units.

IcedCrow
20-02-2013, 13:54
But that's the 8th ed dynamic at work. Bigger is better for all rank & file troops. I've lost count of how many WHFB batreps I've seen in forums and on youtube where players field hordes of 50+ Bloodletters, Halberdiers, Greatswords, VC/TK skellies, Clanrats, HE swordsmen, Gobbos, Savage Orcs, etc. that almost always seem to survive until the last few turns.

Be careful what you wish for. Over at the Khemri forum some TK players have reported complaints from their opponents when they fielded tons of 10 strong units of Skelly archers for cheap re-directors. What's worse, having your uber-block of elites get stuck in combat with a mega-horde of Slaves for a few turns or having them re-directed and/or flanked at every turn by even cheaper blocks of Slaves that prevent them from generating significant VP for the entire game?

Having them get stuck in combat with a mega-horde of slaves, not just for a few turns, but for the entire game. Let's not downplay the fact that a mega horde of slaves can hold up a unit of the baddest thing in the game for four or five turns, which represents a majority of the game. And that one can field two of them in an army if they so desire (or more but I've not ever seen three)

Ratarsed
20-02-2013, 13:57
Why must they have a chance to hold?
They're slaves, they have a special rule where they explode and die when they break, a low leadership fits this.
They're also 2pts/model and you get to shoot at enemies in combat with them.

Relying on them to hold anything up seems to be exactly the opposite of what they were intended for.
and what do you think they were intended for?

IcedCrow
20-02-2013, 13:58
I like my units of 40-50 and do not want to see their utility spoiled by an over-reaction to stop a small clique of competitive gamers taking silly big units.

The rules need to take into account everything. The small clique of competitive gamers taking silly big units is still busting the game with it.

Ratarsed
20-02-2013, 14:00
Having them get stuck in combat with a mega-horde of slaves, not just for a few turns, but for the entire game. Let's not downplay the fact that a mega horde of slaves can hold up a unit of the baddest thing in the game for four or five turns, which represents a majority of the game. And that one can field two of them in an army if they so desire (or more but I've not ever seen three)
This mega horde of slaves seems pretty local to you. No one else seems to have experienced this size of unit, at least on this thread. And even you have confessed to limiting unit size to 60 at your club so I suspect this " mega unit" is probably so rare as to be an endangered species!

Ratarsed
20-02-2013, 14:03
The rules need to take into account everything. The small clique of competitive gamers taking silly big units is still busting the game with it.
The needs of the many out way the fears of the few! Changing things just to please you could well end up spoiling things for many more people.

theunwantedbeing
20-02-2013, 14:05
and what do you think they were intended for?

As a cheap disposable unit to get in the way of the enemy, but not in the way of your own shooty stuff.

Obviously

IcedCrow
20-02-2013, 14:07
The needs of the many out way the fears of the few! Changing things just to please you could well end up spoiling things for many more people.

The rules need to be universal. Just putting a unit cap on the unit would also fix things without changing points or rules or anything of that nature. I hear far more people complain about slaves and what they do compared with people who like them (and the people that like them are 99% skaven players so that's not a surprise)

Spinocus
20-02-2013, 14:09
Having them get stuck in combat with a mega-horde of slaves, not just for a few turns, but for the entire game. Let's not downplay the fact that a mega horde of slaves can hold up a unit of the baddest thing in the game for four or five turns, which represents a majority of the game. And that one can field two of them in an army if they so desire (or more but I've not ever seen three)

Yes but you can also field a 100 strong mega deathstar of reasonably dangerous or elite troops which, even without characters, will mince everything it comes into contact and survive until Turn 6. While its performance may be 'justified' by the mammoth price tag it is even more rare, unbalanced, unsportsmanlike and even 'less fun' for the opposing player than these 100 strong Slave blocks you're mentioning.

Clearly GW either believes the system is operating as designed or doesn't care otherwise they would have FAQ'ed Steadfast or the Slaves special rules by now. As others have mentioned, I've never seen 100 strong blocks of anything in person and have yet to see something like that fielded in meaningful numbers online. 50 Slaves per block seems to be the standard. Actually Slaves units under 50 are becoming more common now that the latest BRB FAQ disallows overruns if the defeated unit has the Unbreakable, Unstable or Cornered Rat rule and is not destroyed through actual casualties inflicted.

Vipoid
20-02-2013, 14:11
You are not "wasting" your magic phase on a 2 point model, you will target a unit of 400 points (if it is a 200 slave unit or a 25 warrior unit).

Well, firstly, it's likely to be 2 units of 100 slaves, not one unit of 200. So, you will, in fact, be targeting one 200pt unit.

Second, yes, you are wasting your magic phase, because you're killing nothing but chaff. 2pt per model chaff should not require magic to kill it in any significant amount.


You will not cast the death base spell on a single slave, or?

I have no idea if this is supposed to be a question, or a declarative-statement.


You will try to get a big spell through to get away with slaves.

Again, I have no idea what you're attempting to convey here.


A 200 slave unit is not chaff, it's a tarpit.

A tarpit of chaff...

The point is the same - units of 2pt models should not need magic to deal with them.


And yes, if I know that I can not handle the slaves in close combat (or I expect it to take to long) magic is the answer.

What exactly can handle the slaves in combat? This is the problem - they are far too hard to shift, considering that they're the cheapest unit in the game.



Why is a M5 unit fast compared to M4?

Because 5>4... :rolleyes:


And Skaven have no access to flyers or cavalry, so calling them "fast" in regards to nearly all other armies (except of dwarves) is a joke. Cavalry and flyers should not get into close combat against an infantry unit they would want to not fight.

But we're not comparing them to fliers or cavalry, are we?

The comparison that you chose was against Chaos Warriors. And, compared to chaos warriors, skavenslaves are faster.

Lord Solar Plexus
20-02-2013, 14:11
Slaves (or any other unit) as a very effective tarpit is not the problem. The problem is that Slaves, contrary to other tarpits, will also kill so many units costing an equal number of points. Anyone who does not believe it is welcome to actually do the math. Therefore, I would not touch their Ld or SiN or Inspiring Presence. All of that is necessary to make them a good tarpit. I'd simply make them WS 1 or S2 so that they will not kill their points in Empire or Elven Spearmen, Skellies, Swordmasters or Grave Guard.

Spinocus
20-02-2013, 14:13
As a cheap disposable unit to get in the way of the enemy, but not in the way of your own shooty stuff.

Obviously

So you're assuming to know what GW intended Slaves to be used for?!? If they were intended solely for that purpose GW would have placed serious restrictions on Steadfast or FAQed Slaves so their minimum number is 10 and altered their special rules by now.