View Full Version : Skaven Newbie

14-04-2006, 05:22
Not only am I new to Warhammer Fantasy, I'm new to my army of choice... which is Skaven. I'm very familiar with 40k, however, and have a *basic* understanding of WHFB, its designers, the ramifications of upcoming 7th ed and other good stuff.

My plans for Skaven are to create the army which allows me to field the maximum number of rats. Simple as that. No one model will get fielded when I can replace him with two or more. Basically, a carpet of rats... the more, the better. That's how I wanna go with Skaven.

If anyone would like to give me some simple advice on what to expect, what to plan for, what I'm going to love, what I'm going to hate, etc... I promise to listen very carefully.

And thanks!

14-04-2006, 08:40
Learn to drybrush, simplest way to paint that many rats. Also remember that for maximum numbers, take a unit of slaves for every unit of clanrats. What other tricks were there? Take a BSB. I like to stick him in the back of a unit of slaves. Let them suck up the casaulties while he sits their and keeps the unit from breaking. Learn to spread the leadership bonuses. Although a unit with Ld 10 and reroll break tests is nice, too many rats and too many units will be left in the cold. And one more thing, slaves are desposible. Get them into combat and shoot the ***** out of that combat.

14-04-2006, 10:55
My plans for Skaven are to create the army which allows me to field the maximum number of rats.

Well, it is possible to field 400+ models in a 2000 point army, if you really want to go that way. Deploying them all on the table would take a while, though.

14-04-2006, 13:18
The drybrushing tip is going to be a life saver. I'd also highly suggest magnets. I have all my rats mounted with magnets and I store them on metal movement trays. Taking out a whole regiment at a time is a LOT faster.

As for the skaven horde, it's a very good army, though a 100% horde might get pretty boring to play. (Your opponent will love you though, he'll kill 200 rats and still loose!) I would highly suggest getting some of the special units in the skaven army. Ratling guns, warpfire throwers and warlocks are all very effective, won't ruin the game if used in moderation and add a lot of diversity and style to the army. Half the fun of playing skaven is watching your units destroy themselves, the other half is watching them devastate entire regiments. Just pray that the former happens after the latter.

14-04-2006, 14:19
Grab a battle standard bearer and take a lord, they're cheap and it lets you keep up that morale which is damned important. Take slaves where possible.

Pick a theme though: if you don't you might find yourself becoming bored all too easily. You could take a few weapon teams and use the plastic plague monks as slaves painting the bone metal to make them seem "enhanced" and skyrey (skyre doesn't just mean weapon teams and warlocks). Pestilens may be fun, a large block (30-35) of plague monks with 2 hand weapons is a daunting thing to have to face down and 10 censers bearers is still fairly hordey while not being too generic.

Also go to the tactics forum and ask any other questions on the council of 13.

14-04-2006, 15:08
I'm also in the process of creating a Warlord Clan army myself, so I will share what I have learned so far. Firstly, always take a War lord as your general, don't be tempted by the seer. With the points saved getting him over a seer you could buy a clan rat and a slave regiment, and that extra point of leadership is vital in the Skaven horde. He is also uncharacteristically dangerous in combat for a Skaven, so he adds much needed punch in the legions of mediocre rats.
Aswell as outnumbering your opponent in unit size (25-30 being best), you should outnumber him in units too. This is vital as it makes it allot easier to play the flee & flank game. And if you didn't know, charging a unit in the flank or rear is devastating in this game, so pull of any tricks you can to get to that juicy spot.
In terms of unit choice, max out on clan rats, slaves (take them unupgraded and minimum size, their there to be sacrificed) and giant rats (packs of 3-4, a nice tip is that you get 16 free on the plaque monk sprue). Support should come in a couple of weapon teams, rat swarms (to tie up elites and protect your vulnerable areas), plaque monks (lots of attacks, but not good enough to take on elites with high toughness or armour saves) and censor bearers (hardest things we've got). Warp lightning cannons and jezzails are useful for taking out monsters and cavalry, but expensive for their effectiveness, I would advise a unit of jezzails as a little firepower is always good, but you'll have to take add least six for them to have any effect because of their relatively poor BS. Night runners and gutter runners offer great support for your large rank and file blocks; tunnel teams in particular cause all kinds of chaos and are great at getting those annoying war machines. Stay away from storm vermin and rat ogres, although being our nicest models, they are just too venerable to missile fire and too expensive. For characters you should get a minimally equipped war lord (great weapon/halberd, heavy armour, and a ward save if your paranoid), two warlocks for magic support (one with too scrolls, the other with a scroll and storm daemon), and possibly an army battle standard bearer (without an expensive magic banner).
That pretty much covers it. Always remember: everything should be expendable (slaves more then most), so donít spend too many points in any one unit, as you should be willing to sacrifice them to bring you closer to victory. Never be afraid to allow an enemy unit to over run your plague monk unit, if it will give you a flank charge with a unit of slaves. Be deceiving (in gaming terms), set traps, sacrifice troops, do anything you can to over run the enemy in a tide of fury death!!!

A nice article is this one by GW: http://uk.games-workshop.com/skaven/tactics/1/

P.s. just realised how many brackets I used :p

14-04-2006, 15:47
(CA prices, approx.)
1 chieftain: 45 points (8$)
20 clanrats: 100 points (45$)
20 clanrats: 100 points (45$)
400 slaves: 800 points (900$)
477 slaves: 954 points (990$ and 3 leftover models)
total: 1999 points, 918 models and 1988$ with 3 leftover models.

Knowing that I can fit around 75 gnoblars slingshots on the length of my 5feet (approx.) table... You will have to deploy them in huge blocks of 35*12. This should leave you barely enough space for your clanrats, which if you really needed, could be deployed as 10 ranks of 2.

However, Any army could just put an elite unit in front like ironbreakers, try to make you panic/terror off the board and failing that, just win in CC.

So playing this army would be very stupid and you'll get a phobia of brown paint. Most armies have around 200 models. I'm known for playing not-so-horde and I usually take between 150 and 175 models. With very satisfying gaming results. If you want to play a horde, you could have 4 blocks of clanrats, 3 blocks of slaves and 1 block of "elite" infantry, which would also leave you points and space for support units.

I learned that the skaven are all about support units: in the tourney where I finished 1st in game results, a single unit of clanrat once charged snotlings and then goblin archers. That's with 3 clanrat units in 2 games. In my last tourney, 1 unit charged horrors and made them poof. In the second game, a unit lost to a dragon and the other rolled extremely badly to lose against 10 chaos warriors. They were the only units I couldn't care of, going in CC is my last resort.

If we discount weapon teams, the unit that costs me the most is my 3 swarms at 195 points. I like playing with many small units so my enemy has to establish priorities and figure out where my units will go next as I have plenty to run around my enemy.

If you want more advice, you should look at the Council of Thirteen. It's in my signature. You should get more in-depth advice on what you want there.

15-04-2006, 08:00
The fun thing about the Skaven list is that because it's just a teensy-weensy bit overpowered* it's hard to gimp yourself by accident. So pretty much any (legal) combination of models you want to play should work.

Everyone else has given their advice, so I'll just make a few key points:

- Horde armies essentially make a Battle Standard Bearer mandatory.
- Your high numbers give you a built-in buffer against magic - they can't blast enough troops to matter, and you cover so much of the board that it's hard to manouver around you with movement spells. There's only one or two board-smashing spells like Comet of Cassandora that you'll need to watch out for. So minimal magic defense is your best bet (you don't want to spend the points on heavy magic).
- Run enough support troops that your opponent can't just engage your line on his own terms. Night Runners are the default skirmishing option, and a couple of units (with minimum points spent on them) work reasonably well.
- Make sure you have a definite plan against cavalry and other high-impact units. That can mean shooting - Jezzails work well - or it can mean setting up a clanrat block or two with magic banners or other ways of holding against a cavalry charge (Stormvermin, even?).
- While skavenslaves are great, don't forget they're subject to the Mainstay rule! Since they run easily, it's also not worth making the units too big - just big enough to get in the way, is the idea.
- Depending on how much shooting you take, you may often have to cross the board with your foot troops to reach your opponent. Make sure you know how to deploy your lads so they won't get in each other's way as they advance, even when moving around terrain.

*I'm given to understatement :angel:

15-04-2006, 08:16
One thing you need to think about is unit size.

I find that slaves are best in units of 20, chuck in a musician and they are only 44 points.

Clanrats go for 25 in a unit. Deployed in a 5x5 block. This means they have to kill quite a few before you lose your rank bonus.

Plague monks go for 30 with a 6 frontage. Thats 19 attacks and give them the banner of burning hatred so taht they re-roll misses.

A BSB is a must a cheap one is about 70 points and he can hide in the back of units.

15-04-2006, 09:27
Plague monks go for 30 with a 6 frontage. Thats 19 attacks and give them the banner of burning hatred so taht they re-roll misses.
Umbranner's also fairly useful for Plague Monks, since they have no armour. (And personally, I find that they tend to hit things enough times that they don't really need to reroll misses, but I may just be lucky here!)

15-04-2006, 13:06
Clanrats can't take magic banners. You can take 3 magic banners in all:
Stormvermin (the unit is 0-1)
Plague monks (the option of taking a magic banner is 0-1)

I too found that 20 slaves with musician are a good size. And I usually don't play against lots of shooting/magic/artillery, so my clanrats are between 20 and 25, depending how much points I have left.

You need skirmishers for magge-hunting, mage-blocking, artillery-hunting and giving your opponent a headache. I usually take 1 or 2 small units of night runners (all with 2 weapons) and either scouts or tunnelers with poison.

You need some kind of defense against cavalry. A unit of jezzails can usually kill enough in 1 unit so they won't be too strong for your clanrats. The other way is to take censr bearers, but then you need plague monks and I don't like plague monks (note that this is personal, my monks ALWAYS roll very low). If there's still a bit too much for you to handle, sacrifice a ratling gun on them (it might even stay alive if you kill enough).

I said it before and I'll say it again: units should support each other. Also, I found that "elite" skaven infantry isn't much elite. Therefor I almost never take stormvermin or plague monks. That saves me lots of points for either a 3rd weapon team, more night runners, more clanrats in my units, etc.

15-04-2006, 16:43
Well, I won't comment on plague monks, since I'm doing a no pestilens army and don't have experience with them, but I see a lot of people bashing on Stormvermin.

Stormvermin for the core of my army and very rarely let me down. But it all comes down to how you use them. Use them as clanrats, but slightly better. Sure, if you go off charging Khorne Chosen Knights, you're going to get your butt handed to your, but against most R&F they really work well.

Equipped with shield, you have the option of a 3+ save in CC or S4 (with a 5+ save). 90% of the time, I take the sword for the 3+ save, that combined with the better WS means fewer wounds (vs clanrats).

I run 24 at 1K with my general included. Once I get up to around 1500+ I'll probably include a BSB and at 2K bump them up to 30. This is a nasty combo because with the right banners (warbanner and banner of the swarm) and outnumber you go into combat with a +7 in Combat Resolution. Add that to the the wounds by the general and unit, you're rarely going to loose combat.

15-04-2006, 19:35
The skaven army can be played MANY different ways. I suggest you continue posting your tactics in the Council Of Thirteen.

Major Defense
15-04-2006, 19:56
/skipped most of thread

I am not a Skaven player but I spend a lot of time thinking about their tactics because my friend devious friend does play them. I think that Ikit Claw and the Vermin Lord are two great characters to base an army on - especially the Vermin Lord with a horde army. His aura of psychology immunity is a perfect tool to ensure that your WS4 Stormvermin and Gutter Runners get into a good situation. Ikit can pretty much choose Second Sign of Amul and so his Ratling Guns become insanely powerful.

16-04-2006, 03:12
Clanrats can't take magic banners.
Sorry, I was trying to imply that the BSB in a clanrat unit was doing the carrying. Re-reading my post I can see that I probably wasn't clear enough. :o