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About a month into playing DEs, a Skaven player at my local game club has become my "Arch-Nemisis." Of the nine or ten games I've played, six have been against the Skaven player. Of those six games, all of them have been major defeats or massacres save for two (which I actually won ). I've come to Hate Skaven and their bloody "overpowered" magic and shooting - and not just because DEs hate everybody .
I've tried a lot of different angles - the most recent spectacular failure being a Dreadlord on a dragon who, upon charging a warp lightning cannon, overran the cannon only to wind up a grand two inches in front of a unit of Plaugue monks ready to flank me with Boneripper. In hindsight, it was very stupid to throw away a Dragon just to take out a warp lightning cannon.
Regardless, the problem I face now is a question neither my victories nor defeats have answered clearly: When you know your opponent can outshoot / outmagic you, should you advance with all speed, or hold back to force him to close in? Forcing him to move in negates the ability of rattling guns for example, but opens you up to another turn of magic. Against Skaven, warp lightning magic is deadly in impressive ways for elves.
In my last game, I tried to nullify the shooting / magic threat by screening my warriors with Harpies. It worked very well on turn 1 when the Ring of Hotek caused three miscasts - but turn two resulted in fleeing or dead harpie units that hardly contributed their points in protection. Someone told me "I need more large core blocks" but I don't understand how that will help - after all, any player with half a brain would shoot at the biggest threat no matter how many weak blocks of core are standing around.
So, what should DE deployment look like against a Skaven army (or any army for that matter)? Should you advance at full march, or try to stay out of range of the short range weapons such as rattling guns?
Thanks for the time.
As on OK player, I have to agree that Skaven shooting is nasty.
However, I find them to be like warmachine crew. Hit them Turn 2 or so, and they're not so scary.
So, use almost anything that you'd use to pick off warmachines (Dark Riders with Repeater XBows are great here- shoot them as you advance and charge the survivors). Take 3 or 4 cheap, fast units and he'll have to either entirely blast them, allowing you to get a Turn 3 or so charge if you're clever, or let his guns die.
So yeah, treat them like warmachine crew, and you shouldn't go too far wrong. You don't sit back out of range from them. Granted, I've never faced a rattling gun
If you are playing the right way, they will have a single chance - they kill you or later you slaughter them. They are no match for you, only Stomverin or Plague Monks can be opponents for Warriors.
Use Shades. Use fly. Most importantly of all, use TERROR.
Do you even enjoy playing that guy? If not then just refuse to play him. You collect warhammer to have fun don't let some guy with an cheesy skaven list ruin it for you. The skavens can be very very cheesy with their magic and shooting, to a point that if the skaven player is skilled your only chance of survival is the dice gods. If that's the case then just refuse to play him, you're not going to see those kind of lists in any tournament and there are always other players you can play at your local club.
Tip for surviving shooting is having cheap 10 man corsair screens and the general/bsb close by to provide them with Ld boost. Try and lure one enemy unit out and engage in combat with it, remember combat block LOS. Remember that DE shooting have longer range better bs and skaven barely have any armour. Use magic and spam some chill winds, soul stealer and black horror deals huge amount of damage. lore of fire is a good damage dealer lore.
Plus Skaven shooters have no armour and T3. One good shooting/magic round will obliterate them.
@ Zhaf - Playing this Skaven guy is either a really good game, or a really bad game. My two wins were massacres, so I know it's possible to win. Generally, I loose becasue I do something stupid so I can't blame my track record (entirely) on my opponent's list. Still...
On the subject of cheese, it appears that my entire gaming group is a bunch of powergamers (myself included I suppose...). There are alternate people to play, but even then it's hardly "friendly" competition. One game I was litterally 1/32nd of an inch away from making a charge and I was denied the move by three persons. What's worse - it was a game altering combat that I lost because of the failed charge. Oh well
@ Other people - I've been told by two Skaven players that the erreta states you cannot target attatched weapon teams with magic / shooting if they are within 3" of their parent unit. They can, however, be charged individually.
Rattling guns are devistating against harpie units and anything else in my army with T3... Each team usually gets between 8-18 hits at S4 AP. I got lucky on my last game - at least to begin with - he rolled doubles a lot and misfired.
Yeah, you can't shoot the ones attached to a unit, but my opponent generally will take at least one big unit of Jezzails at 1K, in addition to any Detachments.
Weapon Teams can be picked out like characters by shooting and magic, they are exceedingly vulnerable now.
Skaven shooting is nasty (if unreliable and dangerous) but approach it like other war machines and you have no problems. DRiders shooting kills them, Chillwind sees them off, Harpies can kill them in combat, etc. Alternatively, screen your units with Harpies to keep from getting shot and munch them in combat. Ld5 also hurts them, so a simple panic test will have them running.
If you really want to piss off a Skaven player, charge his WLC with your Harpies. It must always flee, so it runs off the board and you have no more problems.
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Phycology.... When playing skaven this is your best tool and there weakness.
Now think of what Darkelves have that affects an enemies phycology. "Hydras"... now think about how to make a hydra be the most effective...keep his butt covered with a lot of covering fire. Im talking darkriders, xbows, mages... now to back the hydras up take a unit of black guard (make them strong).
Now set all the shooting up in a line, place the hydras on the flanks of the blackguard, keep the magic and arrows raining on anything threatening (ratling guns), and make sure to torch any block unit of those weak skaven. You get to make them take a panic test, if they pass, then they have a terror test. With a skavens ld based on numbers, make them lose enough numbers to fall off the board. Cause you sure arent gonna kill them all.
or make it cheese and take mr. shadowblade, kill the heros at his back ranks, or take out a lightning cannon and move on. His shurikens will most likely take out a ratling easily
If you not comfortable with popping him in a unit, give him a body guard of shades.
Find a way to toss some of these tools together and but that rat in his place
When your fighting cheese, fight back with a bigger block of cheese
Darks Elves 6000ptsWood Elves 500pts (WIP)
Imperial Guard 5000pts
Nice pep talk Mal!
It all sounds good, but remember - weapon teams attatched to units cannot be targeted by shooting! Lucky for me, this Skaven player doesn't believe in Jazzails. I don't usually take Shadowblade, but I may. One question on that: Can Shadowblade hide in a Warp Lightning cannon? I've been told the cannon isn't accutallu a "war machine" per se, but a "chariot with a big gun" and you can't kill the "crew" either. Still, scaring the cannon off the feild turn 2 sounds nice, if it's possible.