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Wesser
26-09-2013, 17:08
Hi all

A Little intro to start.

In my gaming we're fortunately pretty well matched. Noone stand out as they the best or the worst.

Now my problem is with our resident Skven player. With our other armies we have a roughly even track record against each other, but when his Skaven faces my Vampire Count he has always without exception had his army massacred... usually before the end of turn 4 too.

This happened Again today, and I really couldn't put my finger on what he should have done differently.

Now I play a themed Blood Dragon list (although not extremist). As such he never faces, ghoul Kings, ghouls, zombies, crypt horrors, Black coaches,coven thrones or mortis engines.

A typical list will be roughly

Blood Knight unit

Grave Guard or Black Knights

1 very large (80 or so) skeleton unit and 1-2 supporting ones

2 units dire wolves

Terrorgheist

corpse cart necromancer

Mounted vampire lord (almost always on dragon if 3k+ pts)

Commonly either vargheists or a vargulf or two in support of the rest


More occasional than common are spirit hosts, bat swarms, fell bats and banshees/wraiths for the skelly units


Now we aren't uber-competitive, and the above selection misses some units that I understand is pretty tasty, but still its just massacre after massacre.


Can anyone more versed in Skavendom help us out here?

PS. Don't suggest rat darts or similar to re-direct Blood Knights/vargheists. Well you can, but while I may not be a stellar player otherwise, I'm very very good at preventing frenzy-baiting. Noone has managed it in tournaments or otherwise.

But apart from that..anything really

underscore
26-09-2013, 17:22
What kind of things does he usually run? Has he tried the Stormvermin/Razor Standard tin-opener, for example, does he skimp on the Cannons and HPAs, does he lack models for big slave busses?

The bearded one
26-09-2013, 17:32
The title and the content of the post confused me momentarily. Do you need help because skaven destroy you, or because you destroy skaven? :p

Wesser
26-09-2013, 17:38
He varies builds a lot (all-comers list for both of us)

Today he ran:

He had two 40-man slave trains (got whacked by skeletons)
HPA(tar-pitted by skeletons until it was his only surviving model)
Two doomwheels (one killed by terrorgheist in turn 1, the other charged my vanguarding dire wolves and its overrun left it complete at the mercy of my blood knights)
Plague Monk horde with furnace and priest and reroll banner (killed the coven throne I was trying out, but it was the charged by my Blood Knight which dispatched priest and furnace and ran Down the monks)
Grey seer with small clanrat bunker (eventually charged and killed by vampire lord)
2 weapon teams that couldn't
55 Stormvermin with razor standard, warlord on litter, asssasin and BSB (these got charged by my vampire lord and a full horde of Grave Guard sword'n board with Barrow Banner. I got off reroll to wound spell bubble with a corpse cart nearby thus also having ASF too. Result All characters killed stone dead before they coul lift a finger along with about 15 vermin. The remainder was actually death frenzied next turn, but was still murdered in close combat)
5 censor bearers (that died killing off a spirit host)

He didnt have double a-bomb (just one) or any Warp lightning cannons though

Wesser
26-09-2013, 17:42
The title and the content of the post confused me momentarily. Do you need help because skaven destroy you, or because you destroy skaven? :p

Help Skaven destroy me.

They need help

Not me... battles end early and I must drink my beers myself. I'm alone and I cry...

FatTrucker
26-09-2013, 18:53
Wither. Plague. Doomwheels. Aboms. Dreaded 13th. Queek buffed stormvermin. Plague Wind Mortars. Plague Wind Catapult. Warp Lightning cannon. Plague Monks and Furnace. Plague Censer Bearers. Gutter Runners with poison and slings.

Any or all of the above should bring pain to your army.
No armour save stuff like PCC and PWM are great against Knights and armoured infantry.

Gutter Runners, Doomwheels and WLC for the big multi-wound models.

Everything for your rank and file.

First couple of turns aim your mobile and shooting stuff at anything with a scream attack and the buff carts.

Aim template artillery at the blood nights.

Use a bell and/or furnace to make big unbreakable units. Get them into combat and hit the flanks with all your hammer units and toys.

Looking at his list he has everything he needs to win he's clearly not targeting the right stuff with the right stuff.

dementian
26-09-2013, 20:50
At a certain point it doesn't matter the list a person brings. If they are not a very competent general than they are unlikely to beat a seasoned and smart general.

Skaven have a lot of access to tricksy items. Doomrocket, Brass Orb, WLC, Warpfire thrower, Gutter Runners.

Maybe ask him if he has tried a Double Grey Seer list. 3000 point there is plenty of room for 2. One with a power scroll and d13 is a sneaky way to get a VERY powerful spell off. Plague + Wither is another ridiculous combo.

Kain187
26-09-2013, 21:23
From what you mentioned in your game it just seems like the play needs to be more experienced. You really can not prevent him from casting a naked warlock engineer getting skitterleaped in front of your blood knights and if your stopping that spell your not stopping his other more devistating spells. If he runs two packs of gutterrunners and a couple of cannons he should take down your terrorgheist and your dragon fairly easily. Then chaff up your bloodknights and he should sit back and just keep out ranging you with spell damage and shooting.

Wesser
26-09-2013, 21:49
Hmm

Gutter Runners - Ehm. It's not like I'm going to allow anyone putting scouts in my deployment zone and at what 12+ points a models with Ld7. What exactly are they supposed to achieve? They just sound desitined to leg it in Turn 1

Skitterleap - Somewhat beardy tactic. And it has the weakness that you are only likely to get one shot with it. Thing about Skaven is that I don't need to hold back my Blood Knights. With the exception of razor standard stormvermin I can throw Blood Knights at anything in the Skaven army and fully expect to utterly crush and not really have to fear counterattacks. Chaffing up Blood Knights is very difficult as long as I got vanguarding Dire Wolves

Now the Plaguewind mortar and Catapult.. Don't they only have Str 2? Blood Knights have T4 and a fairly small footprint, and will commonly feature Flag of Blood Keep. Isn't it kind of a long shot to expect killing more than the odd model?

Plague Monks and Furnace are just easy points for me


So.. 2 a-bombs and Warp-cannons and rat darts to at least try delaying tactics?

Wesser
26-09-2013, 21:49
Hmm

Gutter Runners - Ehm. It's not like I'm going to allow anyone putting scouts in my deployment zone and at what 12+ points a models with Ld7. What exactly are they supposed to achieve? They just sound desitined to leg it in Turn 1

Skitterleap - Somewhat beardy tactic. And it has the weakness that you are only likely to get one shot with it. Thing about Skaven is that I don't need to hold back my Blood Knights. With the exception of razor standard stormvermin I can throw Blood Knights at anything in the Skaven army and fully expect to utterly crush and not really have to fear counterattacks. Chaffing up Blood Knights is very difficult as long as I got vanguarding Dire Wolves

Now the Plaguewind mortar and Catapult.. Don't they only have Str 2? Blood Knights have T4 and a fairly small footprint, and will commonly feature Flag of Blood Keep. Isn't it kind of a long shot to expect killing more than the odd model?

Plague Monks and Furnace are just easy points for me


So.. 2 a-bombs and Warp-cannons and rat darts to at least try delaying tactics?

Kain187
26-09-2013, 22:31
Gutter runners- You dont need to be in your deployment zone. They can wait for you to commit your dragon or your terrorghiest and then march 10 and shoot. 2 packs of 10 would do 7 wounds - regen saves on poison alone to your terrorgheist. You would have to randomize for the dragon but would still probably put 3-4 wounds on the dragon. He is out shooting if he has cannons and his other tools he does not need to come to you.

Skitterleap- Not sure what beardy means. He can have plenty of 35 pts heroes do it every round. Worst case scenario its a mandatory spell you need to stop allowing him to unleash more of his damaging spells to your expensive units.

Grey Seer Kwokka
27-09-2013, 00:21
Wither. Plague. Doomwheels. Aboms. Dreaded 13th. Queek buffed stormvermin. Plague Wind Mortars. Plague Wind Catapult. Warp Lightning cannon. Plague Monks and Furnace. Plague Censer Bearers. Gutter Runners with poison and slings.

You know, rattling off the best stuff in the book doesn't really offer much help. A weapon is only as good as you're taught how to use it. With that said, some of those choices versus VC are exceptionally poor (I'm sure those panic checks from the PCC will do wonders... Oh wait!).

Wesser, what concerns me is the stuff you've mentioned the Skaven player takes seems to lack an overall cohesion in terms of synergy. I find VC a regular opponent of mine with a decent track record and can offer the following advice.

- As has been said, your opponent needs to choose targets carefully with his units, but most importantly with the Skavenslave buses. 40man at the point level you seem to be working at doesn't seem high enough. I would recommend 50+ w/o or 45+ w/ shields. I actually find the shields invaluable against VC as there's a lot of S3 stuff that the slaves can handle that the re-rollable 6+ save can help to make those tarpit combats last. With that said, your opponent should always be seeking to tarpit the biggest, meanest, scariest stuff you got; namely units with Vampires in them.

- Beating things in CC goes a long way to helping kill off VC units through Unstable. The Plague Monks with Plague Banner are great for making that once-off push against a unit, so much enough to finish it off the next round. The Furnace... I dunno. I don't see it's value here except as an giant *******' target. The S7(?) attacks it offers aren't going to add anything significantly except against units that are going to murder it and the Monks anyway. Also, the Censer Bearers are stupidly expensive for what they do so I'd recommend ditching them entirely. A Warlock Engineer with Lv1 and the Warp-energy Condenser offers much more for less points.

- Still on combat, Assassins aren't really a good choice against VC as the things they're usually good for killing are all faster, stronger and tougher than they are. The Stormvermin do work well with the Warlord thrown in though, although I don't think the unit will work without Death Frenzy on it at all, which means your opponent needs to think his magic phase through carefully to ensure he gets it thrown on (recommend rolling his Grey Seer full in Ruin to get it). Stormvermin generate far too few attacks for what they cost without the boost so either plan for it or get rid of them. You could always Skavenbrew it if you don't trust magic but that's as equally unreliable and costs too much for what it offers and risks. I would also choose a different banner for the Stormvermin as the AP offered by Razor Banner rarely makes a difference (VC stuff is either lightly-armoured or are over-the-top). The Shroud of Dripping Death may help versus the heavily armoured stuff, Banner of the Underempire is great for weaklings.

- Controlling the magic phase will go a long way towards helping your Skaven friend. A Grey Seer with a Lv1 Warlock Engineer (one of which with Warp-energy Condenser) gives three channels, one at 5+. Make sure he uses his Warpstone Tokens on the Seer cleverly, maybe even take a few more for security. Take a Power Stone. With a lot of these choices, if he can drain your dispel pool through use of his normal power dice early in the phase, he can almost guarantee buffs or a Plague with little to no opposition. Plague, I find is risky though because of it's backfiring potential (namely that it dominates horde armies like Skaven), but can be a game winner if cast at the right target and time. I personally wouldn't risk Dreaded Thirteenth against VC either unless it's needed against a Grave Guard unit (and even then, I'll bet it's too large to do much). Finally, he needs to prioritise dispelling your raising! No sense in grinding down a unit only to see the hard work undone in seconds.

- Big stuff like Hell Pits and Doomwheels should never be charged in recklessly. Save them for a flank or rear. Those impact hits can make all the difference with heavily-armoured units, particularly if you can then minimise the attacks back on it (particularly Doomwheels with the consistent S6 grind and the bolts, but unlike the HPA, lacks Stubborn so you need to choose combats carefully so it doesn't flee from a severely lost combat while the bus block holds firm).

- Definitely take at least one Warp-lightning Cannon. Even if it fails all game, it's presence alone can be unnerving.

- If he's having trouble with flyers like Terrorgheists, taking a Stormbanner can be a lifesaver. While the anti-shooting potential is completely wasted, waiting for the big bats to get into position only to be locked down and then charged by rank-and-file is golden. No bigger smirk have I had since doing exactly this, charging a 'Geist with a slave bus to then run it down after only losing two of the little buggers. Even if you don't win combat, locking these things down is a prize in itself.

- Final question; is he maintaining his leadership bubble without issue? Positioning is everything!


That's as much as I can gurgitate at the moment. Hopefully that gives him food for thought.

Kinasty65
27-09-2013, 03:22
Looking at his list he has everything he needs to win he's clearly not targeting the right stuff with the right stuff.[/QUOTE]


I second this, I have hand similar issues when facing things like elite cav and flying nastys...(i play HE alot and Dragon Princes / Eagles and Dragons are bummers) use the template weapons likw Trucker said and also tell him to bring a Storm Banner.... shutting down flying even for a turn gives him the advantage of getting his toys into combat.

I (and I know it seems counter intuitive) also would recommend smaller units. Three reasons:
1) maneuverability: he moves 4" you move 5" 2 units of 30 stormvermin/plague monks and 3-4 units of 25-30 clanrats gives you the ability to tar pit the things that scare/eat you and which allows you to more fightier rats into combats that they can win/combo and flank attack. (this goes w/o saying a minimum of 2 blocks of 40+ slaves)
2) Increases your ability to bring weapons teams which will help you kill lots of his important things(cav, elite inf, etc.)
3) Increases the likelyhood of getting people where they need to be. Drastically limits the effects of horde-killer spells

My only caveat is that you run a bell so that you can get an 18" Ld bubble, also takes some getting used to having a congested deployment zone.


oh and BRING CANNONS AND DOOM WHEELS!!!

FatTrucker
27-09-2013, 03:38
What I'm saying is Skaven have more than enough options to deal with pretty much anything. VC in particular rely on a few staples to be combat effective which if targeted make the rest of the army far easier pickings.

Focus early turns on the corpse carts and blood knights, if he can remove them early on he should be able to roll over what's left without too much trouble.

PWM will hit 4 or 5 Bloodknights on a hit and wounds on 4+\5+ with no AS.
PCC is still great for massed infantry like Graveguard. Yes they're higher toughness but a large template with no AS works wonders against armoured troops to make them manageable by the time they hit CC. Even better if you can hit them with Wither first and even finish them off with 13th. Globadiers are also good if used correctly, wounding on a 4+ with no AS.

Not much stands up to Bloodnights with a blender vampire in CC, so a good tactic is to whittle them down first. PWM, WLC, Doomwheel, and flanking censer bearers are all viable and effective at reducing the unit into a bite sized chunk.

Gutter Runners are awesome with poison and slings for softening up hard targets or taking out stuff like Corpse Carts, terrorgheists, lone wizards, etc.
They're also not at all bad as a support unit in combat. Deployed as scouts they can mince dogs in turn one removing a fast moving redirector/charge blocker from the game.

Basically there's loads of stuff he can do. Undead are heavily reliant on magical buffs. Remove the things that provide them and they die. With the stuff listed at his disposal he should be winning at least half the time. Really needs to invest in some WLC though. A ST 6/8/10 small template doing D6 wounds per hit can ruin anything it hits.

Wesser
27-09-2013, 09:46
Hmm

A few interesting things there.

We have decided to try and switch armies for the heck of it... and may just have to try a few of the above.

Although I may only use Stormvermin for Core....

Ty guys

dementian
28-09-2013, 06:37
Hmm

A few interesting things there.

We have decided to try and switch armies for the heck of it... and may just have to try a few of the above.

Although I may only use Stormvermin for Core....

Ty guys

Let us know how it goes.

Sexiest_hero
28-09-2013, 16:30
Don't take the graveguard/black knights or terrorgiest all together, If he is a up and coming player, AND skaven, his army has a huge weakness to LD and you can lay on the hurt quick. Let him build up confidence with some Fluffier choices and slowly add back in the hard stuff. Back in the day I felt the same way about trying to fight the IG armored company with my foot chaos army. Hard counters can suck. good luck.

-Totenkopf-
28-09-2013, 17:43
So as I was reading through this I was thinking that the Skaven player needs help with target priority. You are clearly getting the matchups that you want. You said that in games with other armies that you are all evenly matched, is your opponent new to his Skaven army? In either case, I think that switching armies would see the same result.. If you want to help him win this matchup, sit down one day with your lists and talk about what needs to go after what and how he can get those matchups and how you plan to avoid them

Foegnasher
28-09-2013, 18:32
Skaven need to

A: shoot everything that is monstrous or on a mount. (WLC, Jezzails, warp lightning)
b) rank up and flank everything else (clanrats, stormvermin, plaguemonks)
c) minimize damage to expensive things by spreading thier points around so you dont get it all in one unit if things go bad.
d) pour on the hate. dont forget to sacrifice a chicken to the horned rat.

Good luck luck, my skittery bretheren!

HaYzE
04-10-2013, 00:50
It definately seems as if he's having deployment problems and/or target priorities. I agree with an above post that you and your gaming group should sit him down and talk him through what the priorities of the game are ( movement and deployment being topmost). That being said, does he have bad dice syndrome (I've noticed certain dice of mine don't ever roll high. once rolled a single dice 50 times and it didn't roll over four, still use it though). I think pushing spells through with warp tokens on plague (-1T for the game might really hurt you especially w/ no AS). you also didn't mention how he runs his blocks(10 x 5 for horde or 5 x 10 for steadfast and Ld?). Other than that PCC with -T lg template and no AS does work wonders and he should give that a go.

Wesser
04-10-2013, 06:41
He know very well what he is doing. Remember he's doing great with his otehr armies, also against VC

He always runs stormvermin as horde, clanrats are usually just 20-ish as bunkers for casters. Slaves as either hordes to be death frenzied or 5x10 trains for holding

His problem is that those units aren't really battlewinners. Against other armies he relies on Doomwheels, HPA, furnace hordes and stormvermin tin openers.

But:

Gheists usually clamps his doomwheel first turn

Nothing in his army can stand up to Blood knights. HPA's and Furnace just turn into Bloody mist when I let them loose and vermin hordes tends to be mired either in a GG star or my fearbomb

FatTrucker
04-10-2013, 07:44
He needs more shooting. WLC, Plague Mortars/Catapult and poison, slinged gutter runners. Gheists and Bloodknights shouldn't be getting near combat or should be significantly depleted when they do.

Proper placement during deployment will make sure he gets the shots he needs.

Neutralising your Gheist and Bloodknight units will allow him to roll over most of whats left.

In CC with undead infantry the key is taking out the corpse carts first. Without the buffs they're distinctly ordinary.

Wither is very effective and doesn't allow a ward. Plague cast on an already Withered unit is devastating.

Engineer with a doomrocket is always a giggle if you can leap him to the end of a battle line in early turns.

Essentially his issues are tactical. There's absolutely no reason a properly deployed and prepared Skaven force can't deal with a VC army. Mostly it sounds like he needs to focus on dealing with your Bloodknight hammer early on as it sounds like its the lynchpin of your army. They hit hard but out of combat they're no more difficult to kill than anything else with the raft of armour ignoring shooting available to the Skaven general.

I would focus gutter runners and if necessary WLC on your Gheists and plague mortars and catapults on your knights.

Wesser
04-10-2013, 08:27
But like I said earlier.

Catapults and Mortars ignore armour yes, but aren't they only Str2? That means 6' to wound and Blood Knights have a small footprint (scatters are likely to miss them altogether) and they will almost always have 4+ ward against shooting. Generally he'll have two turns of shooting before my Blood knighst charges in and that's assuming he gets first turn.

Redirecting with rat darts is prolly an option, but since they don't have vanguard or scout my dire wolves are mostly able to counter that...so what then?

BlackPawl
04-10-2013, 09:42
He did not need vanguard for his rats. Just shove them into position first turn and sit back and shoot with cannons and weapon teams.

The wolves should not be a problem for gutter runners / warpligthning spell etc.

Catapult is only S2, but with a wither before it should wound on 5+. Mortar have no strenght and wound on 4+ / 5+ with no armor save allowed.

Last campaign I had my stormvermin horde with BSB and warlord destroyed by a blackknight bus with vampire lord and vampire BSB and I though "Game over". But two turn later a WLC, a WFT and some gutter runner (slings) decimated his bus, killed his vampire lord and his BSB was a frog (the hex scroll). After this round the game was over and all he had left was a 4 strong unit Blood Knights.

My plague monks with furnace rolled over his skeletons and zombies and my HPA killd his ghouls and a sorcerer in the meantime.

FatTrucker
04-10-2013, 14:23
Specifically if they're being used to protect your Bloodknights advance I would use poisoned Gutter Runners to get rid of your Wolves and either shoot your Bloodknights with WLC and Plague Wind mortars (wound on 4+/5+ no AS) or once the wolves are dead just let you waste your Knights killing slaves.
A doomwheel run with a couple of slave blocks gives you the option of being frenzy baited and redirected all over the place or trying to ignore them and putting a doomwheel at your back when you're off after something else.

Take out the Corpse Cart and a furnace/plague monk unit with the plague banner should roll straight over your Graveguard.

Similarly WLC, and poisoned gutter runners, even a well used Ratling gun should make short enough work of your Gheists.

And that's without even starting on the things you could do with Magic to enhance your combats.

As I said, he needs tactical advice. Bloodknights are punchy when used correctly but apart from the tricked out Lord/Hero leading the unit they're not amazingly special and can be readily dealt with. In an army where they're being used as the sole real hammer he should be winning more than he loses TBH.

Even toe to toe, if he can charge them with the furnace/monks and get some censer bearers or unit of Stormvermin in the flank he'll probably win CC.

Soundwave
04-10-2013, 15:35
Stopping the terror ghiest is essential,that thing can melt bells and furnaces alike.Man i wish the skaven player i new was like yours:).
Anyhow he needs to look at the diabolical weapons in his arsenal warp lightning cannons and poison wind globeadiers spring to mind and gutter runners with an assassin can help as well.