View Full Version : Skaven or LizardMen

25-01-2007, 20:55
Hey all,
I went back and re-read all the posts that you all had sent me. Now I am almost ready to go out and pick up an army. Right now I am leaning toward Lizardmen, but something about the character models of skaven kinda appeal towards me. Within the next week or so I will be picking up one of the armies battalian box sets and the army book. Is getting the Battalian box set worth it or is it better to just buy your own models set? Also being Very new to warhammer and this being my first army. Which would be the better army to start with?? also how is the leadership of skaven? Would skaven be an all around army?? meaning magic, projectile, and H2H?

Thanks in advance.

25-01-2007, 21:35
as a liz player, i desperately want a skaven army. however, too many skaven models and less tactical flexibility have left me sticking with liz.

25-01-2007, 23:24
Battallion boxes are the best deals in the GW store. Usually you get 4 plastic boxes for the price of less than three boxes. Playing Skaven, you need masses of rats, so you need one or two battallions (if you can take two monk regiments, and even if you do not need 6 rat ogres->bits).

For both armies, consult the Tactica threads to get a feeling for them.
And Skaven are well known to have very low leadership.

26-01-2007, 10:04
Well with a tight set up there is nothing stopping you have Leadership 10 on all your Units. But Skaven Hordes tend to be big, so its hard to get all your units with a toe in Ld range of the general.

26-01-2007, 14:48
There is no choice.

We all know that the master race will ultimately dominate the surface world as much as it dominates underground.

Lizards are a stupid, backwards people that should have been extinct ages ago. A true pity that clan Pestilence didn't wipe them of this world entirely :D

but serious: the skaven battalion box is very good. 2 boxes + a general, a warlock and perhaps a weapon team will give you a very solid 1K point army.

26-01-2007, 15:06
So far it seems the consensus would be to go with skaven. ;-) I was looking at the plague monks and the rat ogres and census bearers.. cool stuff. anyway not sure yet if I am completely convinced on the skaven over the lizardmen yet. any other comments or advice??

26-01-2007, 15:58
Not convinced on the Lizardmen from the last thread eh? :)

I think you should go with the one that is going to be the most fun for you to paint. There is going to be a lot of them. And you *do* want to have a good looking army.

It sounds like you'd actually probably really want to get into a Bubonic Court of Nurglitch army. Crazy rat ogres running lose without handlers. Swarms of rats. Plague monks and pusbags aplenty. You could grab the Lustria book or just download the Bubonic Court of Nurglitch army list if you wanted to do some Plague-monk themed Skaven. If you do though, be sure to go buy yourself a bottle of Rotten Flesh and a bottle of Catachan Green, as well as a spare empty bottle. If you make a pre-mix of these two colours in the proper ratio (up to you what ratio of each you want for the base green colour, if you go with green at all), it will save you ages of time.

When I'm stuck in situations like yours where I cannot pick one, I just flip a coin. I tell myself I'm just going to stick with the result, no matter what it is, and just toss it up and let it hit the ground so that I never had a chance to interfere with it. That's how I chose between Eldar and IG for 40k.

26-01-2007, 16:23
I will definitely go look at the nurglich download. One thing I was really thinking about is I would like to have a more or less assassin type army that can infiltrate and utilize poisons and disease to kill with. I heard gutter runners were good for this but not sure. I think I like the whole stealth type thing.. my army would also have to be able to stand up H2H and magically as well. It seems skaven have a much more assassin feel unless I went with dark elves or something like that .. but I am coosing between lizardmen or skaven.

26-01-2007, 17:43
I was at this very crossroads when I started WHFB: Skaven or Lizardmen?

Lizardmen are a very reliable force. Saurus rarely run and will mince most basic troops in combat, Skinks are fantastic skirmishers, all the critters/monsters make for a nice variety, and Slann are the ultimate magic users. The fluff is also nice: ancient warriors who strike from the forgotten parts of the jungle according to the will of the Old Ones. Plus, who doesn't like dinosaurs :D

Skaven are all about the horde of chittering ratmen, evil and incompetent to the extreme with no regard for life and an unquenchable desire for destruction. Large blocks of expendable Slaves head up the army while even more Clanrats come in to overwhelm the enemy. Zany contraptions blow huge holes in lines (yours or the enemies!) and all sorts of nutty stuff running around to kill in the name of the Horned Rat.

I picked Skaven because I enjoy the wackiness of the army and its background and I've never really played a horde army. They're just the most fun army ever and I'll never look back!

26-01-2007, 17:53
Well, both armies are good. I play skavens, so i will say go skavens, but they are not as flexible as lizzies. If you are looking the assasin way, remember, its not an easy way, but its a fun one. One recomendation, Skavens players ussually tend to make SAD armies ( shooty army of death ) Dont go that way if you wanna keep playing nice people.

Hope this helps


26-01-2007, 19:08
Here is another point: For Lizardmen background material you just have the Codex and possibly the Lustria campaign book (with Skaven also prominent there). For Skaven you have in addition to Codex and Lustria book: a good "Grotek&Felix" novel (The Grey Seer), a background book written in medieval style (and even mentioned in the novel as best source for Skaven info): "The Loathsome Ratmen and all their vile kin" (OOP). And then you have the fantastic and probably best book on Skaven: "Children of the Horned Rat" for the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Game, which enables you to create every possible RPG Skaven character including much background info on clans, mentality etc. If you read all this and do not fall in love with these little buggers, then take Lizardmen ;)

27-01-2007, 02:52
Do what I'm doing! BOTH!

Actually I started off with a Liz. army which I love.. and still have to finish, but now that I don't actually play 40k anymore (lack of any kind of decent, non-d*ckhead opponents), I'm ebay-ing my 40k armies and using the proceeds to expand the liz. and do up a nice little rat-horde.

But seriously, Lizardmen are great - a nicely balanced, very tough army with great flexibility and some sweet magic. I think being a beginner and playing lizardmen was good, since I find them to be pretty forgiving of rookie mistakes. However, I just wish i didn't have such a hard time against my friends high elfs. pointy eared bastards.

27-01-2007, 04:26
i am going to say lizardmen.

start off with the army that came to the old world (the actual planet not that basis of the empire).

i think Almost Famous summed up the scaly beasts nicly.

27-01-2007, 06:48
As a regular Skaven opponent, I can give you a little bit of advice about them.

1. Although yes, they do have low leadership, they have the all around best leadership thanks to their strength in numbers rule, which gives them an extra point of leadership for each rank they have, up to 3. That means that your CORE units of Slaves and Clanrats should be running around with leadership 9 I believe! That's really good for you're core units.

The problems with Skaven leadership are the fact that the leadership can be taken away through anything that negates ranks. Unfortunatley, since they are so hordy, it's hard to get flank charges on them and such. That, and I believe their highest hero leadership is like 8.

2. They have numbers, and they have magic! They have the best magic missle in the game, and the Grey Seer can get some very devastating spells as well with Skitterleap, Plague, and Death Frenzy. My friend who plays Skaven gets a more powerful magic phase as Skaven than I do as Necrarch Vampire Counts! I somehow feel there is something wrong with that.

3. They don't have combat. They are going to beat you through numbers, numbers, and more numbers. Because their units are so *******' cheap, they can amass an amount of units that makes Warhammer look like Return of the King.

4. They also have very powerful shooting, but here is where you have to be careful. Skaven shooting is so powerful, and can be completely exploited, that these are where the cheese armies are. If you don't want cheese armies, limit your numbers of Jezzails, Ratling Guns, and Warp Lightning Cannons. But these are some very powerful shooting.

Honestly, as a regular Skaven opponent, against a Skaven player who doesn't cheese their army, I think they have more advantages than disadvantages. I don't believe that the drawbacks they have nearly balance the advantages that they get. While Skaven aren't an inherent win if using a non-cheese army, I do think they have a leg up, as I see them as a better than average army. They obviously can be beaten if you are able to exploit their weaknesses, but it's getting the oppourtunity to exploit them is the problem.

They can be a very fun army to play, and even to play against, when not cheesed out.

My same friend also plays Lizardmen, but not nearly as regularly, so I couldn't really give you much info about them.

27-01-2007, 09:51
3. They don't have combat. They are going to beat you through numbers, numbers, and more numbers. Because their units are so *******' cheap, they can amass an amount of units that makes Warhammer look like Return of the King.

That reminds me: If you play Skaven, you need lots of them, so this ain't cheap moneywise. A Lizardmen army might be a bit cheaper, I guess.

27-01-2007, 18:12
Hmm.. Well So far I am pretty much thinking that skaven will be a lot of fun. I was looking at the army information and have a few questions. I am thinking about starting out with the 2 boxes of batallions, a general, and a warlock and a weapon team to get started (like was recommended). As I was looking at the cannons I noticed that they have a very good chance to blow themselves up and everything near them. EEK!! For a general would I use characters or would I use assassin and seer? or can i use both?I would probably throw in some night runners or gutter runners. I really want to try to stay in line with the assassin type of army. would I follow the clan eshin for this or would it be better to mix it up with stealth, nasty magic, and artillery?? I think this is where i want to be.. Any help will be greatly appreciated. thank you all.

27-01-2007, 20:32
Assassins are definatley Clan Eshin, but there is nothing wrong with mixing in some Skryre and Pestilence or the other clans. I believe in Skaven fluff, they can work together, but usually only if there is mutual interest at hand. But it's not against the fluff to field mixed clan armies, despite the fact that the Skaven war against themselves as much as they do each other.

I believe that the Skaven general just needs to be the character with the highest leadership. So yes, it is possible to have an Assassin as a General. But probably not in the same army with the Grey Seer.

Skaven shooting can blow itself up (and Skaven mages can as well), but it seems that the power that you get for it more than makes up for the slim chances you have of actually blowing up.

Not only that, but when your Warp Lightning Cannon blows up, it's hardly the focal point of your army, so you won't be suffering much.

I've had these debates with my friend. I play magic, and was very upset with the harsher miscast table that could outright kill your mage. He said "Well as Skaven, I can blow up as well", to which I replied "Yes, but your Warp Lightning Cannon blowing up hardly has the same impact as my Necrarch Vampire Count General blowing up on me".

My friend tries to argue to me that the fact that mages can hurt themselves with Warp Lightning, and the Cannon, Ratling Guns, and Warpfire Throwers have the possibility of blowing up as huge penalties to the Skaven army. As an opponent of Skaven, I know that those things don't blow up ALL that often, that when they do, it's is not in the least bit devastating to the army, and the increased power that you get for that small risk is well more overpowering than the minor drawback that comes with it. So while your Warp Lightning Cannon may blow up, and take some Clanrats with it, it will hardly be detrimental to your army.

Skaven can be a lot of fun. I've only actually played with my friend's army once, and I didn't exactly know what I was doing with it, but when not cheesed out (and I am lucky that my friend doesn't try to cheese out his army) they are even a very fun army to play against. I feel that they are inherently one of the better armies, because I think they have more bonuses than penalties which makes them a little over powered compared to other armies, but not so much that they can't be beaten. I fear few armies the way I fear Skaven. As Vampire Counts, Dwarves are probably the other army that I really fear.

If you have any other questions, post 'em and I'll be happy to give you all the knowledge I have of the Skaven, and what I don't know, I can talk to my friend about, who knows his army really well.

Good luck with whatever decision you do make, and I hope you enjoy your horde of ratmen!

27-01-2007, 22:10
Thank you very much for the information. It is very good to hear that for the most part your cannon blowing up isn't too detrimental. If I wanted to make an army based on assassin like skills.. granted throwing in plague monks and censer bearers, throwing in some jezzabail, and an assassin maybe even master assassin. Would the box set be able to give me the pieces I need?? also what recommendations do you have into the units i should have.. I want to be a well rounded army and be able to do well magically as well. Would night runners or gutter runners be better to have?? or should you have a box of both? Thanks so much for the feedback.

29-01-2007, 15:10
any other comments or advice?? or should i post in the army section for what characters and pieces i should get to make my army what i want?

29-01-2007, 20:08
Most people seem to be saying skaven. Probably because skaven get +1Ld for each rank they have, are really cheap (point wise) have all sorts of special abilities, and are frickin' rats! (how cool is that?)

Since your pretty much gonna get the Skav's now this may be pointless, but don't underestimate the Lizardmen. Liz's have 3d6-lowest-two Ld tests, ld 7 for most core units, Awsome Slann spell (level 4 wiz that can cast any lore), a crapload of scout units, and many a dinosour. (there Initiative is awful though)

30-01-2007, 07:41
Thank you very much for the information. It is very good to hear that for the most part your cannon blowing up isn't too detrimental. If I wanted to make an army based on assassin like skills.. granted throwing in plague monks and censer bearers, throwing in some jezzabail, and an assassin maybe even master assassin. Would the box set be able to give me the pieces I need?? also what recommendations do you have into the units i should have.. I want to be a well rounded army and be able to do well magically as well. Would night runners or gutter runners be better to have?? or should you have a box of both? Thanks so much for the feedback.

I'm not sure what comes in the box sets or anything.

As far as what to run, well, I can kinda tell you what my friend runs, and tell you how that works out.

The more common list my friend uses usually has about 3 regiments of 25 Clanrats, all with weapons teams (usually 2 Ratling Guns and a Warpfire Thrower, sometimes all Warpfire, never more than 2 Ratling Guns) 3 regiments of 20 Slaves, 2 Warplock Engineers, a Grey Seer on the Screaming Bell, and Plague Monks, and Plague Censor Bearers. He gives the Plague Monks a banner that gives them Hatred, which is usually pretty detrimental to me. He has taken out entire regiments of 20+ Zombies of mine, getting an overrun, and usually a flank charge into my Grave Guard or something else.

He does sometimes run the Tunneling Teams, but mostly when he's going to be going up against an army with artillery or something, and he needs them to get behind enemy lines.

He has ran Assassins in the past, but not recently. He'll often use their ability to hide in a unit, and use that unit to charge one of mine, with an important character, reveal the Assassin, strike first, and take out my character. Quite
often my general. If utilized well, it's a VERY good tactic.

With the list that he runs now, he has a very powerful magic phase. His Grey Seer gets about 4 spells I think, because he's tooled up to the max. That gives him a good chance of getting spells like Plague, which is a really devastating spell.

The Warp Lightning spell is the most powerful magic missle in the game, and when he has 2 of them, plus an item that does a weaker bound spell version of it (1 D6 hits instead of 2 D6), even the toughest of magic defense armies will have troubles stopping all of it.

He doesn't play a lot of shooting. I think the max I've seen is 4 Jezzails. He also runs the Warp Lightning Cannon which can be very devastating.

I don't know what all units come in the box sets or anything. As far as what you SHOULD buy; LOTS AND LOTS of Clanrats.

Suggestion; go on eBay and try to find some deals. You'll need Clanrat figures for both your Clanrats and your Slaves, and you'll need lots of them. Try to find some deals on eBay. You can usually find good, pre-painted stuff there for cheap(er than Games Workshop), and if you want to paint it yourself, non-painted or even unassembled stuff goes for cheap. I got 3 Fell Bat blisters once for like $10. They go for $10 a blister at GW.

My friend isn't big on Storm Vermin. I don't know too much, since I really only know what he plays, but he says they are just like Clanrats, except with better armor, and he doesn't think they are worth it. I also don't ever really remember him using Night Runners.

But Plague Monks are very good. So are the Sensor Bearers. The Skaven don't have much in hand to hand combat, but a Plague Monk regiment, tooled up properly, can be a handful. Although, I also play Vampire Counts who may be the only army worse than Skaven when it comes to hand to hand.

If you want an Assassin themed army, I'd probably run an Assassin, and then maybe a couple Warlock Engineers. Lots of Clanrats and Slaves is always good. I dunno about them, but Night Runners SOUND stealthy and assassiny. The digging teams will help you get behind enemy lines, and if you want a good solid block of hard hitters, Plague Monks can be a good friend of yours.

That's the advice from someone who gets beat by Skaven on a regular basis, but doesn't play them himself, at 12:36 AM :) I'll have to talk to my friend to get some more pointers, probably, to be of better help, but it won't be for a few days, as I have a family emergency I need to attend to for a few days. But when I have a chance (perhaps next Tuesday, as Tuesday is our GW day) I'll bring your questions up to him and see what he says.

30-01-2007, 11:41
rhank you so much for the infromation. I found clan eshin list for stealthy but not sure if it is a legal list any more. plus i want to make sure i have a decent magic phase as well. so i might end up mixing it up a bit to make a legal list and.. more powerfull. any help will be greatly appreciated.

30-01-2007, 20:32
Hey all, I know we have been hammering this, but being my first army i want to try to do it right. Will I be able to make a skaven army that is good on all fronts for like a 2k game?? Or would there be a better army to go from. I just went and looked at the models for every army. If i was going to choose anything over skaven right now these are the armies I would choose from:
Dogs of war
dark elf
Vampire counts
hordes of chaos

I think I like the idea of some mounted on horseback or dragon, I would also like to have some stealth, and good use of bows and magic.

Sorry for any inconvenience.

06-02-2007, 17:22
Well if you're interested in Vampire Counts, I really CAN help you with that, as that's what I play, and I'd like to think that I know the army pretty well.

So if you have any VC questions, let me know.

06-02-2007, 18:37
Will I be able to make a skaven army that is good on all fronts for like a 2k game??

You can make a good list out of each and every warhammer army that is out there.

People seem to keep thinking that some armies are "better" then others.

They aren't. Your succes depends on army selection, terrain, deployment, and what your choices as general are in the various phases in the game.

pick an army you enjoy playing, and you will do well. If you pick a army with a style that doesn't feel "right" for you you will struggle.

06-02-2007, 23:23
Alright, it'll also take getting used to and understanding your army better before you just win alot. Don't get discouraged if you loose alot at first. Skaven, my first and only army for fantasy, and they were my beginner army. I looked through the book and decided upon an Eshin list at the start. I tried it had fourty night runners, two tunneling teams and three assassins, or sometimes an eshin sorcerer (from the list in the back). In the end I found that I wasn't too happy with the list.

Aside from that, Plague Monks are fairly good at CC, keep in mind WS 3 and S 3 will make it a little annoying when combating dwarves or a blood dragon. Frenzy although double with two hand weapons will eat away at a good deal of enemies. Censer bearers are arguably the hardest CC unit for the Skaven, their censers allow instant wounding of BtB enemies if they fail a toughness test, ones always a failure, so your going to be able to crack some tough buggers with these fellows, especially their censers being flails, giving them +2 S in the first turn of combat, if I remember corrects its been over two years since I have played fantasy, will make a mess of a lot of enemies, plus they can hit ethereal creatures aswell.

I run a goofy 500 pt list for my Skaven, two units of Clanrats in 20s, two tunneling teams of three with posioned weapons, a Warp lightning cannon for kicks, and a plague priest tooled for CC support. Rather fun and awkward force to use, but I like it.

Skaven are a great army with character, but by all means pick the force you enjoy most. As for me I love painting clan rats, and well they are there in numbers.

On a side note, Storm Vermin have their uses, they are not ment to be the back bone of CC for the Skaven to rely on. A good unit if used correctly in the numbers of a clan rat block, the Vermin with 4 S will help with the heavier armor. Plus they got some cool minis.

06-02-2007, 23:55
Dogs of War are cool, ArmandB. i dont see alot of those armies.

07-02-2007, 01:21
From what you have said, I would definetly go Lizardmen.

Reasoning is:
1) You said you liked the Skaven characters, for every one character you paint you will paint 75 normal guys. So pick the army where the rank and file appeal to you the most.

2) An effective Skaven army often does not include alot of sneaky stuff. Clan Eshin have only 2 units and they are not the highlights of the list rules wise. Assassins are less than impressive, especially for their cost. They are basically a normal character that cannot wear armor. If you are attracted to the sneaky aspects you may find yourself disappointed.

3) Much like point 2, if you like ratogres you will most likely find yourself frustrated as they do not play out particularly well.

I love my Skaven, but I am drawn to their treachery, shooting their own guys, randomness, technomancy and the screaming bell. What I love (and hate) most about them is that they are almost incapable to winning a straight up fight. Without a trick or two to soften up the enemy they will seldom come out on top.

07-02-2007, 15:18
Thank you so much for the input. Currently I am making a list of a skaven army.. not sure yet if it is the correct army. if you all had to pick one army that was the most cost effective to build and well ballanced which would you pick??

It is funny that you mentioned dogs of war. I have really been looking at them since it seems that have a bit of everything. I think if i triecd to make an army for them I would have to take a unit of drow manflayers. anyway It seems the models are nice just wouldn't know where to start. not sure the rules of pikemen and crossbows. I think if I was going to do them I would want a darker style army. ;-) any thoughts ??