View Full Version : New Skaven Player

05-08-2005, 13:35
Greetings all. Mods: not sure whether this should be in 'army lists' or not.

I'm brand new to Skaven and WHFB in general (used to play first edition when I was a kid, but that was obviously a long time ago). I've played 40k a fair bit though - and come seeking a deeper, more tactical game.

Anyway, I was looking for advice on my fledgling swarm. I want a balanced, non-minmaxedlist (I don't like to say cheese).

So far I have:

60 clanrats
20 plaguerats
2 ratogres
2 rat swarms

I'm aiming for 1000pts and was going to by a warlord to lead and possibly an engineer, plus a ratling gun and some censer bearers.

Any suggestions on other purchases to round off this list?

05-08-2005, 13:58
Hmm. Being a newbie to WHFB myself I'm not sure how worthy my advice is. However, I would be tempted to attached some ratling guns to those clanrats.

05-08-2005, 14:01
Yeah, ratling guns look really cool and I'll certainly be getting one, or maybe 2. I'll be playing a gainst Chaos warriors and high elves the most, so I reckon I need to be able to shoot stuff up a bit.

05-08-2005, 14:19
A pair of ratling guns would fit in nicely. Also consider a small unit of gutter runners. They have done wonders for me. Great for flanking and can also take out smaller units/shooters by them selves.

05-08-2005, 14:22
So gutter runners for speed, and a pair of ratling guns for some firepower (and to stop armoured units)

Would you suggest 2 characters at 1000pts or just 1?

05-08-2005, 15:52
Definately 2: a chieftain and WE with storm daemon + dispel scroll.
I'd use your 3rd unit of clanrats as slaves. When you have enough place on the field for them (they rock in small battles!) they work really well.

I suggest you buy the night runners box instead of gutter runners. You can make 6 gutter runners by giving them the coolest stuff (capes) and 14 night runners. I think a team of 7 night runners with 5 gutter runners is far enough for 1000 points.

Then, you have to choose the clan you prefer. If you like Moulder, buy the Moulder units... You know! A good thing might be to buy another bataillon soon. You'll have enough clanrats/slaves, rat-ogres, giant rats and plague monks for a long time.

For skaven tactical advice, look at the WarSeer Council of 13. Right here in the tactics section.

Warlord Gnashgrod
05-08-2005, 18:29
For your larger sized army, I would suggest getting two more swarms. A rat Swarm size of 4 is ideal, IMO. It can hold up most enemy for a few turns and allow you to shoot into the combat or arrange other flank charges.

I would suggest having a BSB character as well. Once skaven flee, they're very hard to rally. The BSB will give you a 2nd chance to pass the LD tests from losing hth combat rounds. Very helpful.

I also agree with Skavenguy13's advice. And definitely check out the Warseer Council of 13. There's a lot of tactics discussions on the Skaven there.

May The Great Horned Rat be with you. ;)

05-08-2005, 20:39
I am a seasoned Skaven player (I have been playing skaven for over 2 years) and in 1000 pts this is what you could take:

2 warlock engineers, all the gizmos no pistol. 1 with storm daemon, 1 with dispel scroll
220 pts

24 clanrats + standard + musician + ratling gun 195

24 clanrats + standard + musician + ratling gun 195

26 slaves + musician 56

25 slaves + musician 54

9 jezzails 180

warplightning cannon 100

total 1000 pts.

It gives you over 100 bodies to play with in 1000 pts and it rocks.. People fear this kind of list. It's SAD (Skyre Army of Doom). The trick with Skaven is to combine as much different aspects of the Skaven army in to 1. Anybody can play SAD, the trick is to play Skaven balanced. It's very challenging and very rewarding to play with it. Balanced Skaven in 2000 pts comes down to masses and shooting, with a touch of magic. You setup baits with your slaves and draw the opponent's units out. If your Slave unit get's beaten up and it flees and run down by pursuers, so be it. They're only slaves and now you have your meaner units to flank charge the enemy unit.
BTW, don't hesitate to cast warplightning at 9+ on an enemy unit in contact with one of yours... Do it! even if your own unit panics this means that the enemy unit can be shot at in the subsequent shooting phase. I killed lot's of knight units this way... People with knights or dragons/manticores will fear jezzails. ;)

I hope this little rant of mine gave you some ideas...

good luck and make the Horned One proud!!!

Freak Ona Leash
05-08-2005, 20:42
^That list is one of the cheesiest lists I've ever seen. But yeah, it would dominate. It would also be incredibly boring to play :rolleyes:

EDIT:Balanced Skaven are the way to go. But thats just becuase the feeling of a horde army is just to cool. Though drybrushing fur gets old after the first 200 models or so I would imagine.

05-08-2005, 21:02
i know, and that why i decided to start a balanced 2000 pts Skaven list. It works too but you don't get the accusations about cheesiness. Eventough you play balanced doesn't mean you can fit in 3 ratling guns, a warplightning cannon and 9 jezzails in the list... hehe ;)

08-08-2005, 08:10
Thanks for the advice guys. So it's looking like I'll be fielding:

1 Warplock Engineer

1 Chieftan with Battle Standard

2 Large units of clanrats with Ratling guns

1 Unit of slaves

2 units giant rats

2 Rat ogres

20 Plaguemonks

I'll spend any points left over on gutter runners with poisoned throwing stars.

08-08-2005, 11:03
This looks like a very nice list. Though you might want to drop the 2nd unit of giant rats for a 2nd unit of slaves and put the remaining points in plague monks. Giant rats are fast, yes, but they are rather weak, no armor and no banner, so they lose combat very easily.

And again, you might want to take a look at the discussions we're having about heroes in the Council of 13.

08-08-2005, 12:40
Cheers skavenguy - I've checked out that thread. Man is it long :eek:

The slaves look cool, and everyone seems to rave about them (especially as they cost half of what a giant rat costs!). I'll certainly be getting some more.

So many models to paint though...

And my two opponents have got half as much to paint as me before we're up and fighting.

Speaking of which - anyone got any advice on not getting slaughtered by High Elves Chaos Warriors? I'm distinctly worried, but then maybe a good skaven general should be a bit nervous...

08-08-2005, 15:04
Learn how to use your slaves. At the beginning (I assume you never played before) you will only know how to go straight forward, charge, and maybe shoot. As skaven are weak but hordish, you will get destroyed. As you play more games, try things such as wheeling, magic, war machines, flank charges, skirmishers, etc. THEN you will be able to use your troops together and you will see skaven are equal to any other army.

I recommend that you learn the rules slowly. By that, I mean try to learn 1-2-3 new rules each game you play until you know enough to have a good battle.

Example: game 1: 20 clanrats vs 20 clanrats. Just go forward, charge and make a CC. Then pursue.
game 2: 20 clanrats + command against 25 clanrats. See what CR is all about.

game 3: add in some jezzails. learn how to shoot. And even the shooting in combat rule.
game 4: try weapon teams. Deadly weapons if used correctly, but with a lot of rules!

game 5: put a chieftain on each side. Equipped differently. And try a challenge.
game 6: try magic items. A ward save would be nice. And put more jezzails: it should cause a panic test.

game 7: put a warlock engineer on each side. Learn how magic works. Again, a deadly thing with lots ( LOTS!!! ) of rules
game 8: give each side 2 or even 3 units of clanrats. Learn how to wheel and flank charges. Also, you'll see it can be better to stay back sometimes, or even flee.

game 9: try gutter runners. One side has tunnelers, the other are normal. Learn skirmish rules and tunnelers.
game 10: Try plague monks. See what frenzy can do.

games 11 to 15: Try the other units, see what they can do, what they are best for. Every skaven unit has to work with the units around in order to work. Maybe try rat-ogres to see what fear does. And plague censer bearers for hatred.

games 15 yo 20: Play against other races. As you said you have a chaos and high elf opponent, play small games, like 500 points. You'll see what skaven have or (or less) than other races. Ask the high elf player to take some cavalry, as skaven are one of the only races not to have any. Yes, cavalry is very strong, but not essential to win.

game 21 and 22: Ask the chaos guy to take a giant. Yes, a giant! You will encounter many terror-causing enemies, learn how to deal with them.

game 23 to 25: Ask the high elf player to take eagles and bolt throwers. Learn more about other units.

game 26+ Well, you should begin to know a lot now. Ask more players to play with you, with other races. By then, you should have painted a couple rats and your friends too, so begin to play real games, even if they're small!

So I listed what you should try in your first 20+ games. This seems a lot. However, think that once you read the rulebook a couple of times, these games won't take more than an hour each. Like the first one: move forward, declare a charge and make a close combat. This can take like 20 minutes, even if you read the book while playing.

Also, I gave the example of clanrats in the first games. Well, it would be easier at first if the models would all be the same, it's simpler. If you don't have that much minis, use only bases. Remeber, you're learning, not playing at a tournament in your first game ever.

And now, as you asked: how to beat elves and chaos. Well, both of these armies cost a lot per model: about 10 points for a single spearman/archer and 15 points for a single chaos warrior. There are many ways to beat them, but essantialy:

Jezzails are very good against "elite" units. For me, an "elite" unit is one that has few strong models, like chaos warriors, cavalry, monsters, etc. Both chaos and high elves are that way. The same goes for weapon teams.

Magic can be useful. But sometimes it won't do anything.

Slaves are said to be one of the best units in the game. At 44 points for 20+musician, and a sacrifice rule, it's normal. Use them for flank charges, for traps, screens or even for fleeing. Often, "elite" armies have 1 unit while you have 2-3 for the same points. Flank charge with one, front charge with another. If you don't roll too bad, you should win against most enemies. However, flank charges are sometimes tough or even impossible to obtain. You have to deal with it another way.

08-08-2005, 16:02
Wow, thanks Skavenguy! :)

I've got my 20-point plan and just need to get a few units painted (being strict with myself about not firelding anything unpainted).

The jezzails look cool, but I'm wary of making a SAD...no need to avoid ranged weaponry completely though I suppose.

09-08-2005, 09:12
ratling guns and warlock enginneers no one can escape the 15 power dice sad (scaven army of doom) list

09-08-2005, 09:28
...must...resist...skyre.....army....of.....dooooo oooom!

(Zoink almost chews his left paw off)

I like all the shooty units for skaven, but I'll lose two of my best friends (the guys I'll be playing 90% of my fights against) if I make an unbeatable shooty-shooty-magic army. I want it to be fun for everyone if possible.

Plus I converted form 40k looking for a more tactical and varied game and want an army that can at least try different stuff...

10-08-2005, 15:48
Sorry to doublepost, but it doesn't really merit a new thread.

Can anyone give me a quick rundown of what special rules are available for skaven in other publications.

I've obviously got the armybook, but what else is there?

I know there's a Lustria supplement with clan pestilens stuff in. Is there anything else I should get my claws on?

10-08-2005, 17:56
Storm of Chaos clan Eshin. It's official, but very difficult to play (I tried it). Also, you can get the rules for 5th edition stuff on the GW website: characters, doomwheel and verminlord. Maybe get the magic cards while you're in that site. Also, there has been a small errata for the storm banner, you should check it out (it only changes that magic artillery also need 4+ to shoot I think)

Yes, there is the Lustria stuff, but I don't think it's official and it's rather useless since you must be in Lustria to play it.

Warlord Gnashgrod
10-08-2005, 18:22
Also, the old Citadel Journal Magazine, Issue number 49, has the rules for all the old 4th/5th ed special Skaven Characters. I think they may be available at the GW website as well.

Unfortunately, they are not official, and you'll need your opponent's permission to use them.

10-08-2005, 22:00
Actually I think that since they've been reprinted on the website you don't need permission anymore. I know you don't for Snikcth anyways...

Warlord Gnashgrod
11-08-2005, 08:13
Yes, but Deathmaster Snitch was in the Storm of Chaos book, meaning he was made official. The others haven't been. At least, not yet.