Wednesday, December 29, 2010

8th Edition Skaven: Plagueclaw Catapult

Yet more reinforcements for the Skaven elite. This time they bring the big guns. a full pledge plagueclaw catapult, made up of several different parts found in a huge bucket of bits I have.
I originally was going to use a different ball of flame that comes normally with the screaming bell tower, but then last minute decided to go with the ball of flames from the plague furnace. Sad thing is I dont know where all my bits come from, there was a plastic bit grab fest on the last day of the bunker, and I got 3 full bags of stuff, some of which I have no idea where it came from, but gathered it anyways, though I do know some are from scenarios of 40k, and LOTR and other random stuff..
The one thing I haven't figured out totally was deciding on extra models to put with it, I had the bell ringer rat ogre at first, but there really was a lot of room left for the guy, then i tried the plague rats that have the rope from the furnace, and it just didn't look right. So for now here it is, and i may modify it later.

I am hoping to use this guy this weekend.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

8th Edition Skaven: Rare

The final chapter of the Skaven Units is here, and what a show we got for you today. Although there is only 4 rare units, each one has a purpose, and each one are very viable options to take.

Hell Pit Abomination (9/10)
I didn't give it the 10/10 for one reason, Skaven should never have had access to the creature. The hell pit does not fall in line with normal Skaven theatrics. The only random thing is which attack he will do and how far he will travel. Games work shop just added him to the Skaven because everyone else had a giant/big thing, so why not the Skaven? Well I Skaven really do not need him, yet you will find him in 80% of the competitive list out there, because he is actually really good. Worth every point you spend on him giving him an optional 6+ ward save against magic. His weakness is of course fire magic. Any time an opposing wizard cast a fireball type spell at it, your gonna wont to do whatever it takes to dispel those spells, because once the hellpit has taken any fire damage, he will not be able to respawn.
At 2500 points you will see very often 2 Hellpits, usually going up the side flanks, though I normally will just point him towards the nastiness big unit the enemy has. Even if its in the middle. If it can get a charge, you get those d6 str 6 impact hits which are nice, on top of some random amount of damage. With the regeneration and being stubborn at ld 8, he is a very viable solution. Try keeping a BSB near buy, so he can roll doubles for that stubborn LD 8. One m,ore thing is try to get in combat asap, to limit the long range attacks against him.
My suggestion is to only take one at 235 points, and then perhaps a double Doomwheel threat. More targets the better, as your can divert the focus of your opponent.

Doomwheel (8/10)
I personally love the doomwheel, especially at times when it takes on a poor charge from a steam tank, and then lights it up the following with warplightning Zzzzzap!!! :)
Oh the joys this doomwheel as brought me. I have taken down the likes of steam tanks, hydras, and other large daemon creature rolling the sweat 3 d6 Str 10 hits, of course I have also failed with str 2 hits, but they are what Skaven is about, unlike the hellpit. Hellpits attacks are usally always good, no really bad ones.
The doomwheel also has a nice 4+ armor save, does d6+1 str 6 impact hits and causes Terror. On top of all that it has a toughness of 6, which is nothing to sneeze at.
When deploying the doomwheel, i usually will either have it way out on the flanks so that it does do too much damage to me, and I also make sure that there is a small slave unit near by to take any Zzzzap hits. You can also deploy one in the middle, but if you have a DW in the middle(for purposes of taking out a big bad unit), I suggest having at least two in your army, as they excel at goping up the flanks.
At 2500 points, I can see myself taking 2 doomwheels because they are so kewl to have on the battle field, which still allows the option to take other rares, even a hellpit if one was so inclined.

Warp Lightning Cannon (9/10)
At a reduced price of 90 points from the 7th edition to 8th edition, WLC have quickly come a fan favorite as I can put two of these out. Especially now you can measure and not have to guess, they excel as snipers, as I have sniped out a general (yes he rolled a 1 on look out sit)in a large unit, to sniping hydras, highly damaging steam tanks, and other large targets. Zapping a unit with a potential of d6 str 10 hits is too good to be true, and as I was saying earlier. And with the small template at the end is very nice indead. Of course, every 1/6 times it blows up, but what normal Skaven thing doesn't? (stupid hellpit)...
When aiming, it is probably best to aim around 8 inches in front of a unit or 12 inches from the front of the back rank.

PlagueClaw Catapult (6/10)
At 100 points, they aren't as good as Warplightning cannons, but they do have their uses. Against elven/human players that have low toughness scores, these catapults excel. If you need extra firepower then taking one of these can also help, but I probably would go with poison wind mortars, and not take up Rare percentage points here. I might be missing something with them, as I have only played with them once. But as you will soon find out, I will probably be trying them out more, so that I can come back to this post and update this if I find that they are worth their 100 points. But for now I would pass as there are other options more viable to take.


As different combinations that i take for my rares, it depends on how cheesy, or or themed i like to be. I have done well with the following combinations:
2 Hellpits and Doomwheel : Gives three targets opponent has to worry about, and can by them selves wipe out entire armies.

1 Hellpit and 2 Doomwheel and WLC: Gives me a little more options to play with, as I still have 2 toughness 6 Doomwheels coming for you up the flank, and a hellpit headed for the opponents general. Also adding that WLC will allow me to snipe or weaken other units.

2 Doomwheels, 2 WLC, 1 Catapult. Gives a TON of shooting and may be a little cheesy, but what combination isn't.

Maxing out on your 625 points for rares isn't a must, but is fun to watch. Well atleast for you. Playing friendly games against your friends that are also playing none cheezy list, dont do the first option above. 2 Hellpits are just mean. But hey, we are Skaven. Want some Wine with all this cheese?

Monday, December 27, 2010

8th Edition Skaven: Special

In this segment I will cover the special units of the Skaven.
Since the 8th edition rule book came out, it made several units more viable then when we were playing in the 7th edition. I will cover these and more.

Gutter Runners (7/10)
For me they are a must, because in almost any good list you will have either or both the Plague furnace and Screaming Bell. Which means the opponent will usually have at least 2-3 war machines/catapults to take them out. Along side the storm banner, the gutter runners will bide you more time, and will usually get your towers into battle.

Gutter runners are very fast with a movement of 6, and have pretty good initiative at 5, and due to skirmishing, have a 360 degree line of arc. They are excellent at hunting down war machines and other specific units. I will avoid taking their champion because if you are attacking another unit that has a character, they can issue a challenge, which will limit how many attacks you can get in a a specific model.
The warp grinder is an ok option, but may be too expensive to be a solid option. I recommend using either the scout rule or the sneaky infiltrator.
A descent setup is slings with poisoned attacks. I also like taking at least 2 units of 7 to better you chances of getting one out the second turn.

Rat Ogres(7/10)
I give them the 7 because we are playing now with the 8 edition rules that allows the rat ogres to wreck havoc. They were almost a waste to take in the 7th edition rules, but now that you can attack with extra ranks, and perhaps if you are bold enough to go with 18 rat ogres (6x3) that could potentially get you 60 Strength 5 attacks. What!!! That is awesome. Further more, if you are spending that type of points in this unit, you may also want to spend points a packmaster skweel gnawtooth, who can potentially give this unit regeneration, poison attacks or 1 extra attack. Bringing the 18 rat ogres is also a big point sink that your opponent will eventually have to go after. And I have done it before, and will probably do it again. After saying that, what I normally will take when taking rat ogres is between 6 or 8 rat ogres along with Master moulder and a great weapon, running them up against the flanks of your enemies. With the awesome movement of 6, they can really do some damage as a hammer.
The only real cons is the frenzy of the rat ogres. Allowing opponents to bait them in certain directions, and having your pack masters killed causing stupidity among the ranks.

Plague Monks (7/10)
There are two ways I have seen plague monks used. The first being the protector of the furnace. When building this unit, I will normally take between 27 and 35 monks. Full command and a magic banner.
The second use I have seen is taking 10-12 monks and using them as a hammer option pairing these guys up with Censer bearers is not a bad option either. The main thing I do not like about the plague monks is the low initiative they have compared to the rest of the Skaven army. Sitting at 3 isn't so hot, and may prove to be vital if taking smaller units.

Plague Censer Bearers(8/10)
The Censer bearers have always been one of my favorites. As a popular choice in many lists, they are worth every point that are spent on them. Along with having the fumes of the censer, they have hatred and they hit hard. They are a nice option to take as a hammer unit, along side the furnace.
Normally I take 7-8 per unit, with a champion.

Warplock Jezzails(5/10)
Going from the 7th edition Skaven rulebook to the 8th, they have lost a lot of their mojo, and now are a very expensive long range option to take. Mainly because they lost skirmishing ability and shoot in rank and file. They still do descent damage to high toughness opponents, but not enough to warrant how much it cost to take them. But I do give these guys more credit than their brothers Poison wind Globadiers mainly because of the range, and they can possibly wound on 2's rather than on 4+. On larger creatures though its more even, but if you need long range, these guys are ok.

Poison Wind Globadiers.(4/10)
With the ability to take a poison wind mortar, one unit of these may be worth the cost of taking a minimal sized unit. Globadiers as mentioned earlier, are not as good when attacking weaker opponents, but do still have some uses for units that have toughness 10, as they still only need a 4 to wound, and remove any armor saves unit would have. (So if those man things have their steam tanks, you now what to do)
The biggest downside is their range of 8 inches. If its possible to tie up a unit with slaves, then come form behind and get some pot shots in, i can see these guys as a very useful unit.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Skaven 8th Edition: Doom Wheel

For more reinforcements I have called upon the mighty Doom Wheel to join my ranks.
Being that it is the holidays and i have some free time on my hands, I thought I would dust off a couple boxes I had and start putting them together. This week, I shook the dust of the mighty Doomwheel, which I will cover neatness in my Lore updates within the next week or so. (And again I apologize for the horrible camera resolution, someday I'll get me a real camera)
Here is my progress so far:

Monday, December 20, 2010

Skaven 8th Edition: Screaming Bell

Taking a break from my Skaven Lore, I thought I would bring in some reinforcements to my army. Currently I only have been playing with the old Skaven Scream Bell Model which is basically all metal. It also only fits on the 50x100 instead of the 60x100 that the new Bell is on. So I took it upon myself and brought into my new army the new Skaven Bell.

Basically from the original package, one gets a 60+ multi-piece set that allows one to choose between either the plague furnace or the screaming bell. Since I have already the Plague Furnace built, I of course went with the screaming bell option this time.

Now I admit, my camera is awful when it comes to taking pictures of miniatures, so I will try to put up the best pictures I can of this model. I had meant to take pictures of the progress, as I have been working on it everyday for the last couple weeks and finally got to a point where I am happy enough to deploy it, but as all painters know, there is always more that can be done, and probably more that will be done. Here are a few pictures of my screaming bell so far. The pictures don't at all give it justice, because you cant really see all the details but you will get the general gist of what I tried to do.

I also worked on my furnace which is better than it was before, but mostly just touch up. here are a couple pics of my furnace.

On both models I still have some work to do. Mostly fine level painting, and some highlighting which I attempted to do on my bell, but a long ways to go. I also have another model I am working on so stay tuned for that one as well. So much to do, so little time. Cheese anyone?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Skaven 8th Edition: Core

In this edition of my Skaven 8th edition review, I will be going over core units, and how much I love 'em. I will even share some cheese with all the rats reading. Lets start at the beginning, the main stay of the Skaven army.

Clanrats (8/10)

Clanrats use to always had to be in the army in 7th edition, now in 8th edition its more of a choice rather than a requirement. I still love putting clanrats in, they are very afforable at 4 pts a piece, and have access to some awesome weapons that some other units do not. In this portion I will cover both clan rats then the weapon teams to be complete.

With Clanrats I usally like to go 25 models for the 5x5 block with full command.

Now depending if they are pushing the bell or not, I like to equip them with just the shield and hand weapon for the 6+ ward save, but I do see merit for the spears to be an option if your pushing the bell. Since you aren't likely to break, those extra attacks can come in useful.

As for the weapon teams, there are two I usually will take and leave the others at home.

1) Warpfire thrower. I really like this solution especially against other big blocked opponents and against armies such as the Darkelves who have hydras with regeneration. Now that you can measure the distance away from a unit, its best to be around 8.5 inches away from intended target, and fire away. And as long as you do at least one wound, it causes panic which is nice.

2) Poison Wind Mortar. One of my most favorite weapon teams to take. Since long range guess work is no longer the issue, these guys are quite awesome. Having 2-3 of these guys makes a lot of cheese and wine from your opponents. For sportsmanship I would only take 1 maybe two, but not more. Oh and for further advice, never use the parents line of sight as this could very well mean disaster for you, as it has for me a couple times in the past till i learned :)

3)Doom-Flayer, the only non ranged weapons team the clan rats of to take. It is OK in combat, but I do not think it is worth 55 points to take.

Stormvermin (8/10)

The Storm vermin got a significant boost going into the 8th edition from 7th. Mainly because they have a pretty descent initiative sitting at 5. They are now a very viable choice to take, as they are the elite core unit that the Skaven have. I always take a full command and this unit is my choice when pushing the bell, and the capability to take a magical banner is a huge plus. Stormvermin are also another cheap way to get out some Poison Wind Mortars, if you want to be cheesy in that way. Ohh how much wine you will get with that cheese.

Skaven Slaves(10/10)

Probably the only 10 out of 10 core choice there is. They are a must have. They are probably the most underrated, yet broken unit (even more so than the hellpit) the Skaven have. This coming after the latest Skaven faq v1.3, where you can delete the last two lines of expendable. Which means you can shoot and kill opponents that have been "tarped" by Skaven slaves without having to need to randomize where shots go to. The Blessed Horned Rat has shown his mercifullness to the slaves, and made them that much better.

Sitting at 2pts a piece, I now like to take a couple 5x10 blocks of slaves with a musician. for a 102 points, that's a great deal. If you have a Grey Seer on a Bell, that means you can be 18 inches away, and usually be at a stubborn ld of 10. What??? That is awesome, throw in a BSB near by, and you got some awesome tar pits. Cast poison on them and frenzy, they are a unit to be scared of. I'm not convinced taking a shield or spears are worth the points, rarely will you see them in action. Slings on the other hand I have seen and can add that extra long range punch. 50 sling attacks coming at you is nothing to sniff at.
Some of my lists I will take 3 of these units of the 5x10 blocks if I have the grey seer on bell. If I'm not taking the Bell, I will probably only have two of these units. But they are very impressive, and have done me very well recently. And the exploding feature of the slaves adds just that much more fun, the Skaven way. Yes sir, here is some wine to go with my cheese.
Other tactics that are common among slave owners is using a block of 20 slaves, and marching then up and angling them next to your opponent, hoping that they will charge, and fail to catch up with the slaves. This strategy is there to expose the flanks of your enemy.

Night Runners(5/10)
Coming from the 7th edition Skaven to 8th Skaven, they took a pretty good beating, taking away their skirmishing ability, and not having much combat to go along with what they can do. The main strategy that is used is to setup one unit of them with the Warp Grinder weapons team ,I say one, because that's all that can have with the Warp Grinder weapons team, tunnel behind the enemy and go for a rear charge. Usually winning by static res due to hitting in the back ranks, plus having ranks of their own, they usually can get an enemy unit fleeing towards your own units.

Giant Rats (7/10)
Giant rats excel at flanking units with their blazing speed as they are the "fast cav" of the Skaven army. They are best used along either a unit of Clanrats or Storm Vermin. Other uses I have seen them in are what is called speed bumps for your higher damage dealing units. Basically 2+ units are lined up the rats up 2 rats per rank and like the Skaven slaves, march the them in a single filed line one inch behind the other. Forcing the enemy to either charge them or go around them, slowing them down some. If the enemy decides to charge, all the merrier, as it doesn't matter if they break through or overrun, because you will have less than 5 rats left they wont cause panic, and the enemy will run into the next set, which will again slow him down, not doing too much damage (24 points per unit or so, depending if you want to add extra pack masters and rats or not). Also adding master moulder with great weapon to the front unit pays off as he can get a couple s6 attacks in. He also adds a descent leadership in case of fear charging units.

Rat Swarms (4/10)
Rat swarms have two basic strategies.
1) They are similarly used as Skaven slaves in that they are good as tar pits. Using 3+ bases which gives a descent 15 wounds slows down most units.
2) The other use which was a little better in the 7th edition rules is it shields of units from being charged like your Jezzails, or even stops some units like your plague monks from charging due to frenzy.
For the most part, I do not see the cost effectiveness and rarely will you make up the points spent here.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Skaven 8th Edition: Heros

In this edition I will go over heroes. Heroes seem to have gotten quite a nice boost since its last edition. Before it was all pretty much the same idea, with your warlock engineers having the same magic items, and only a few at best. And there really wasn't much change. Now there is a slew of options, and I like it alot. Lets begin:

DeathMaster Snikch (1/10)
Yes I have taken him, yes he is that bad. For the points he is not nearly any good, and compared to his Dark elven cousins, he sucks the big one. And with all the stories of how good he was suppose to be, he really is a disappointment to all Eshin kind. He does have some cool items, but he still isn't worth having on your list except when you are just having fun, and your taking themed list. But as far as trying to be competitive, there is no real reason why to take him. Pass.

Trech Craventail (3/10)
This guy is pretty fun to play with. For friendly play, definitely take this guy. For just being a hero, he can do some good damage, but you will never see him in a competitive match. Just be warned. But you gotta atleast try this guy out once. I did, and like it.
He is all about hitting the opponents ranks, and when things gets ruff, he has a descent chance to switch to another unit. He also has a descent ward save sitting at 4+

Assassin (5/10)
Again, not as good as the dark elven counter parts, but they are fun to have, and if not anything else, fun to mess with the opponents head, reminding them that there might be one in there. They are also decsent at going at your opponents Heros (not Lords).
I have run a couple different setups with them. First one that i like is with the blade of corruption. Simple, easy to get 2 wounds on that hero, not much defense. Just hope your opponent doesn't have that great of an armor save. If you are concerned about armor saves, then go with the warpforged blades. Even against Lords, this might be interesting choice.
With this first setup, basically hide in unit and have unit charge away.
Another setup I like to use is one I like to have with Gutter Runners which I call the Giant Killer. Assassin with warpstone Stars. Great against war machines and other large targets that gutter runners love to go after. Another favorite weapon is the anti-hero weapon. Giving you added str and attacks for each hero.

Warlock Engineer (10/10)
Probably the 2nd most underrated model in the Skaven army. With only being 15 points, they can caddy for Lords all the items that a lord would normally take. I usually will give them any item that effects the whole unit, such as the Shadow Magnet Trinket and the Iron Curse Icon.
Also with such being a cheap price to start out with, you can also bring your Brass orbs, Doom orbs, and any other weapons you like.
Probably my most used Warlock engineer setup is a Level 1 Wizard using the Warp-Energy condenser and the doom rocket. I also have been known to wear the ring of ruin, so that I can use the fireball spell for relatively cheap but you do not need to be a wizard to do that. The only thing with that is it takes away from the power pool, so it depends on how much power dice you roll up for the turn. Another strategy I have seen is that use can use warlock engineers to block units from attacking the rank and file of a unit. if you have a block of 25 clan rats, and put in the front rank 5 different warlocks, you enemy must attack the warlocks individually instead of the unit. There are lots of things you can do with the warlock, even if its just putting a 15 model out there, distracting the enemy because it could have a weapon or not, and the enemy will have to decide wither or not to attack it, and if not you could use them to help march block.
The rarest setup is the sniper outfit. I dont think I have seen anyone try this, nor have I. Stick with the Caddy/Warp lightning Wizard.

Chieftain (10/10)
Being the only Battle standard Bearer choice in the army, its pretty important to have one in the Skaven army especially since our Leadership isn't always top notch. It really helps out those Hellpits who only benefit from a Stubborn LD of 8.
A descent setup for the chieftain is any magic banner normally I get the storm banner if not taken elsewhere, the Shield, Poison, optional Pistol and Tail Weapon.
BSB's are always good no matter what banner they take, I advise you always to take at least a shield to get you to a 3+ save in combat while the other equipment just makes sure that while he is there he can hurt something. Keep him in the unit where you lord is, and your good to go.

Plague Priest (8/10)
The plague priest is a very popular choice, but not a definite need in your army. The plague priest is your combat wizard, who can have a few options at his feet. One of the more popular options is using the all powerful furnace. Along with the furnace I will give him the flail and make him lvl 2 so that he has a greater chance of getting a spell like wither or bless with filth. Even though the furnace is vulnerable to Catapults and other template war machines, they should on average last till turn two or three if you you deploy some gutter runners and have the storm banner in hand.
The other options is to run in in a unit of either plague monks or your censer bearers.
If I am not taking him in with the furnace I usually will set him up with the following: Make him a lvl 2 wizard with plague censer and a warp scroll. Run this guy in a pack of censer bearers, and watch him beat down some units. The warp scroll is especially effective if you can get wither off on a unit. A very nice combination against lower toughness opponents.