Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Skaven review

I'm just home from my 3000 point game vs Orcs and Goblins and should go to bed, but I just ate a cupcake so I am WIRED and ready to type. After playing between 10-15 games of 8th edition so far,  figured I would be better off to review what I have been using so far. I started off by playing moderate lists, but lately I have been playing all 3000 point games to try out some different builds for 'Ard Boyz. So without further ado, here are the ratings:

5/5 Grey Seer. Magic has become more powerful in 8th, imo. A level 4 is almost mandatory. Not only for the +4 to cast, but more so for the +4 to dispel. The Grey Seer is pretty expensive coming in at 240, but the 13th Spell always being available puts one of the strongest spells in the game in your arsenal every single game guaranteed. The Screaming Bell also got a boost this edition as well, even though I prefer to field him on foot. The bell chart is better suited for this edition (hello T8 Saurus, how about you rethink that Life magic next time!), the Leadership range of your Seer is 18", and the ward of 4+ gets bumped to 2+ vs spells.

4/5 Warlord. You can build a great combat Warlord, or a very durable one with the much improved magic items in the BRB. I prefer the Grey Seer, but when I am not running dual Seers at high points levels, a Warlord is a good non-Bell General when you are putting your Seer in the line of fire (due to miscasts). Put him on a War-litter for the great extra attacks. Pox Rats and Bonebreakers took a hit... no more Look Out Sir.

3/5 Vermin Lord. Vulnerable to cannons, and vulnerable to miscasts. It would be pretty horrible to lose your 500 point rat demon to a miscast roll of 2-4 then another 1-3. Terror is toned down, but he still is a combat monster. Initiative 10 means you will almost always strike first (stinking High Elves), and the D3 wounds are great.

4/5 Warlock Engineers. Lots of great uses for these guys with the new and old magic items. I often use them for scrolls (dispel especially, but sometimes the feedback scroll), but the forbidden rod is an interesting choice on a sacrificial warlock. The warp energy condenser is always a great choice for an extra channel roll that gives a power die on 5+.

3/5 Plague Priest. Their stock went down in my opinion. No armor, and no other saves unless you spend points for a ward... but you want to keep the good ward saves on your Lords. For me, PP's now are a Plague Furnace delivery system, but even their value decreased. Still very good in combat... but you will get hit back in 8th edition and die. The Plague Furnace is very expensive and has no save. It's still very good with smoke attacks and crew attacks, and the big wrecking ball all dealing out tons of damage. But again, everything gets to attack back and will grind you down.

3/5 Assassin. They are better in the new edition, but they are much too expensive. And that is before you give them gear.

5/5 Chieftain. Every Skaven army should have a BSB. Every single army. I like to tool mine up with defensive magic items to increase survivability. A magic resistance item is nice, then attach him to your Grey Seer with a 4+ ward, now your Seer has a 2+ vs the deadly Death Magic you know you will see.

5/5 Clan Rats. Infantry is king in 8th edition, and the Skaven made out pretty well. I think all of the Skaven choices are great in the Core section, but the ability to add weapon teams makes them top 2 in the Core section. I love my move and fire poison wind mortars.

4/5 Storm Vermin. Much improved over last edition. Striking at initiative 5, Strength 4, and the ability to take a magic banner have kept these guys in my list every game.

5/5 Slaves. 60 slaves with a musician. 122 points. Steadfast Leadership 10 with a bsb nearby. The ultimate Anvil to hold up a unit. I deployed mine in horde formation tonight, only because they wouldn't fit in the deployment zone! After I lost a round of combat, I reformed into 5-wide and TWELVE deep. They stayed there for the rest of the game.

4/5 Giant Rats. They don't count as core, but 5 rats and a packmaster for 23 points make excellent MSU's to protect/roadblock on flanks, speed ahead to draw out Fanatics, or race down the flanks after war machines. Plus all the extra MSU's increase your deployment count to get your big bad stuff where you want it across from your enemy.

5/5 Gutter Runners. These guys are my top special choice in 8th edition so far. I need to be better about using them as Sneaky Infiltrators rather than only as Scouts, but they are KEY to fighting the war machines that are so much more powerful in 8th edition.

3/5 Plague Monks. I love plague monks, but it hurts me to see them now. Low initiative, no armor save. They die sooo easily with everything not only striking back, but usually striking first against your monks.

2/5 Plague Censer Bearers. Even worse, these guys took the biggest hit in the army. I used to run 10-15, now I leave them in my case. I3, no armor. They get plague attacks at start, but they have to be fielded in much smaller units than Plague Monks, so die much much faster.

3/5 Jezzails. I just think Jezzails aren't for me. I dislike the lack of mobility, and I just don't want to spend enough points to field a unit large enough where their firepower will actually make a difference.

4/5 Rat Ogres. Monstrous Infantry got a big boost, and I think our fast Rat Ogres are excellent flanking units now. In units of 3 or 6 running down the flanks. Though they still suffer from the Packmaster shooting rules. A smart opponent can render them useless with some shooting, but at least it takes shooting away from your other units.

4/5 Hell Pit Abomination. Fairly expensive, hurt by the easy availability of flaming attacks, but he is still a powerhouse that can sometimes win you games. Thunderstomp added to impact hits, added to hit crazy attack chart? Scary.

4/5 Doomwheel. The Doomwheel FAQ'd movement did nerf it's movement, yes. But I play my Doomwheel as a mobile gun platform more so than a flanker. D6 wounds is a straight up monster killer, and he can still hold out most of the time against a charge, getting to shoot back next turn.

5/5 Warp Lightning Cannon. I think this is one of the best rares in the game right now. Amazing for 90 points. The Skaven rares are all great, but the WLC tops them all with the new no-guessing for war machines.

There are some units missing from my review, but these are all of the things I regularly use, or have experience with. Things left out are unfortunately units I just don't field.

Also, happy birthday to me. I turn 28 in about 19 minutes. I am of course asking for more Skaven!


  1. I think you need to try out the Plague Claw Catapult. It is amazing in the new edition. Large Template at S2 with no armour saves? It destroys infantry blocks. In addition, it fires as a stone thrower and hence is much more accurate in the new edition.

  2. I want to. I haven't converted one up yet. I'm hoping it's one of the new plastic releases for Skaven this year.

  3. I am going to make one using a Brettonian Field Trebuchet and another out of a O&G Rock Lobber. Hopefully they have arrived at my FLGS.

  4. Happy Birthday! Great article, was an interesting read in foresight of my own Skaven army :)

  5. I've been running magic light with a Warlord / Engineer (Lvl 2) / Engineer (Lvl 2).

    This post has me trying out a Seer / Warlord / Engineer (Lvl 2) this week. We'll see how it goes!