Friday, 5 November 2010

A difficult place.

Hey folks. Sorry for the lack of activity. You see, I'm in a difficult place at the moment in regards to WHFB. I cannot make my mind up about my Skaven, and I have just restarted WM. So a lot is going through my head at the moment.

From here on I'm just typing down skaven ideas as I think them. Prepare for some incoherent rambling.

So I was thinking about my MSU army and it's main problems. Sure LD and the fact I put in too many WFTS, in addition to it folding like a paper bag in CC is a problem, but the big one is how easily it surrenders VPs. That's definitely the problem.

So how can I fix it? Well making VPs much harder to obtain is something Skaven can do tbh. Taking units of 50 skavenslaves is one way. Those things take forever to get through. Ok I thought, lets try out something of that nature.

2 Furnaces
3x50 Slaves
10 Stormvermin w/WFT + Storm Banner
2x37 Plague Monks w/FC. One unit has a Flame Banner
2 Warp Lightning Cannons

Ok sure, that works. No magic? Nope, no magic. Why? Well you see I figure the spells that will be damaging to this army are going through anyway. So I really don't care enough. Besides, there's enough models in this army to soak up a few dwellers (and my heroes and hellpit don't care about dwellers or purple sun).

Right ok, so it's got some protection but it's pretty damn vulnerable to shooting. The slave units aren't really going to do anything either are they? Just sit back and take a beating, hopefully staying alive till the end of the game to score me my 102 VPs. Hurm. I also think it's very fragile to shooting and the like. Let's see how we can fix that then.

Grey Seer on Bell w/Scroll
5 Units of 50 Skavenslaves w/music
40 clanrats w/shields + fc
2 Hellpits / 2WLC + 1 Hellpit
Rest on WFTs

Something of that nature most likely. This would sit back and just not give up VPs. This list would ideally not need to close with you. See, due to the way redirection works now it's not efficient (and spreads a lot of panic) to run MSU I feel. But if a MSU army gets its way I feel it'd rape face. So what do you need for MSU these days? Cheap hitty units that don't panic at the sight of their own skin. Honestly, I think you're looking for beastmen. Skaven's problem with it is LD and not having anything that can stand up in CC.

Ahem, anyway. This is why I believe I'm probably going to be better served going back to horde. To be honest it doesn't bother me at all, as any kind of skaven is good skaven.

So I'm thinking MSU skaven is definitely a viable build, but LD and the inability to maneouvre correctly really puts me off of it. So back to LD10 stubborn which the internet says is OP.

Ok so these lists are ordinarily very vulnerable to magic. So you can either protect your heroes and lords by being cheap, or by being survivable against it. Survivable for me is a Priest on Furnace (S5, I5 for dwellers or purple sun), a Seer on a Bell (S5, I5), a Warlord (90pts and S4, I7), Warlord on a rogre BB (S6, I7) etc. See these models are all pretty good, it just comes down to finding the most efficient, I feel.

Now armies like these (lots of big units), as I've already said, benefit from good LD. The problem is a 12" bubble isn't enough. Which means I'm probably going to take a Priest on a Furnace or a seer on a bell. But this raises a pressing concern, in that I'm horrifically vulnerable to war machine fire. While gutters can handle this pretty well, for 10 gutters I could have 2 units of 30 slaves. Ha! But what would you do with 2 units of 50 slaves? March them straight at your bastarding war machines, that's what. React or die. Chances are you wont kill my bell turn one (3 cannons vs a 4+ no shooting, and a 4+ ward, as well as 6 wounds on the bell and 3 on the seer) and turn 2 it's a maybe. Problem is war machines tend to be in the back 6" of the board. Putting a whole 30" between my units and them. Meaning a unit that walks will take till turn 3 to get there. That's not acceptable. You would need cavalry speeds to get there on turn 2, which is something skaven just can't do.

So it comes back to gutter runners. God damn it. These guys (while awesome) don't come cheap. At the price of almost 150 slaves for 15. Yeah, they're valuable. I reckon I'll probably need to put them in.

"But how is this army going to function?" I hear you say. Truth be told, I don't know yet. Those slave units might not be going anywhere ever, but I don't know how I'll kill anything either. Sure, the seer can do pretty well for himself, but I have a whole army to kill!

Or do I? See here's where it breaks down a bit. All I need to do is score double what my opponent scores. If my opponent is busy hacking down 102pt slave units for the game then I see this going pretty well for me indeed. Teeny tiny reward for a lot of effort. However this kind of army hinges monumentally on the general, which is why he needs to be so well protected. As I said the bell does this, but it does make him very attractive to cannonfire.

What else is attractive to cannonfire? Hellpits. Hurm. So they're in too I guess? I suppose they're not too easy to get points off of. And they can quite happily munch basic infantry while I let elite infantry chew the cud that is a block of 50 slaves. Oh and I'll need a BSB I suppose. Ok so lets have a look at how this army turned out.

Grey Seer on bell w/scroll
15 Gutter Runners
2 Hellpits
BSB w/ Storm Banner
5x 60 Slaves w/Musician

Gah, but I need a bell unit! Ok back up a bit then...

Grey Seer on bell w/scroll =475
15 Gutter Runners =270
2 Hellpits = 470
BSB w/ Storm Banner = 120
3x 60 Slaves w/Musician = 366
50 Slaves w/Musician = 108
40 Clanrats w/Shields + Full Command = 200

Something like that I suppose. But it looks so vulnerable and fragile. Ugh.

See, this is the problem I'm having with Skaven. I can't get them into a place where I'm happy with them.


P.s. Kudos if you read that. The ramblings of a madman.


  1. How do you move more than 2 big blocks of 50+ dudes? It just doesn't seem feasible.

    I like the MSU Shooty/Magic set up, but the big bad units would be much better at protecting VPs.

    Storm Banner and BSB are a must, I'd say. Slave tarpits work well too. Follow up with the HPAs and weapon teams and you should be ok.

  2. Well you see my big problem with Skaven is they're so so so glass hammery. And once the army starts falling apart, it doesn't stop. Any idea how hard it is to protect your general/BSB from being killed if the enemy really wants them dead these days? I mean, my big problem is that skaven don't have any unit that can kill stuff and doesn't die easily. I mean, look at things like Chaos Warriors, Saurus or High Elf White Lions. They're rock solid and hard as hell to get rid of. The only reliable combat unit skaven have is the HPA. Not the furnace because a unit like chaos warriors/white lions will just take the furnace out quick sharp.

    Even then, if fire is involved the HPA folds.

    So lets look at shooting. Well WLC are good, no questioning that. But you cannot build an army around 2 guns.


  3. Well, this is nice. Just as i was beginning to really fear facing 9 WFT, you ain't using them any more.
    Yeah, but I suppose that is the inherent weakness of Skaven, once the army starts falling apart, its bloody difficult to make it stop. Thats the flipside of having WLCs ad WFTs. :P

    I actually fear Hellpits, but I've never faced one. Can't imagine I'd have all THAT much difficulty killing them, Initiative tests+Banner of Flaming Attacks on WLs. That said, the amount of furore on t'internet about them makes me scared.
    Never faced a Screaming Bell or Furnace either, so can't really comment on those.
    Also, WLs are not difficult to kill. Speaking as someone who regularly has to take handful after handful of those guys off the table, they ain't difficult. T3 and a 5+ save does NOT a survivable unit make. They don't deserve to be listed as just as suvivable as Chaos Warriors and Saurus. Killy, yes, survivey, no.
    Dunno what to do here mate, i know facing a lot of slaves would bug the shit out of me though.

  4. 9 is just too many. That army falls into a big stelek shaped hole (one large glaring weakness).

    It's more once the general dies. It's kind of like kicking out a doorstop. From there the army falls apat.

    HPAs are I4, so that's not such a good option. Just kill it with fire. although you better kill it before it hits you (which WLs can, S6 ASF vs T5) cause if you don't you will die in droves.

    Bells are bad because they're designed for combat, but bring your 240pt caster into the fray where he has a 6+/4++ and T4, with 3 wounds. Sure that's not that unsurvivable. But you better fucking break that unit there and then. Oh wait, you're hitting them with clanrats pushing a chariot.

    A furnace however is something bordering on the obscene for damage potential. From a 500pt unit you're looking at (in order);

    D6 Impact hits
    D6 toughness tests
    4 WS5 S6 I5 attacks
    44 WS3 S3 I3 attacks
    Artillery Dice of S5 hits

    The unit is also unbreakable and has an inverse flamer shooting attack that is toughness test or die. The problem with this unit is it's damn weak without the furnace, and while the furnace is T6 with 6 wounds, it has no save of any kind. What this means is they die. And they actually die pretty easily. They're 60mm wide so you can get 15 swordmaster attacks on one. That's 13 hits and 4 wounds. White Lions will do about 5 wounds to one. Very fragile indeed.

    However this leads me to the target saturation idea. I reckon my next list is going to be a combat one. I want to see how that rolls.

  5. Hay man you should try swapping one of the HPA for a doomwheel and some of the slaves to upgrade the Clanrats to Storm vermin its what I would do.

  6. I'm not a fan of the doomwheel. It doesn't fit as well in the new edition because it can't run through units in combat anymore.

    Clanrats should be brought to push a bell only imo.
    Stormvermin are for weapon teams. 200pts of slaves will beat 200pts of stormvermin. ^^


  7. The doomwheel isn't for smashing units its for dealing with things like skinks and other skirmishers cos they can't run around it. As well as flanking.
    Ok 200pts of slaves WILL beat 200pts of stormvermin but 200pts of stormvermin will beat 200pts of clanrats.

  8. Agreed it is very good at dealing with skirmishers, but with correct movement, so's everything else. Even stormvermin. >_>

    This argument (about the stormvermin/clanrats) is silly. I took clanrats because slaves can't push a bell. I took them because a lot of things don't care if it's stormvermin or clanrats, both die just as easy (stormvermin easier, most often, as clanrats can get a 6++). I took the clanrats because they're about 64% of the cost of a stormvermin. Means I can have a lot more clanrats than stormvermin. Neither unit will kill anything, but one makes a much, much better anvil.