Welcome to Librarium Online!
Hey forum peeps. I'm new to the WHFB scene, done 40k in a few different editions. I have always wanted to start a Skaven army and me and my friend jumped in this past weekend. I purchased the Isle of blood set to start off, and I'm looking for where to go from here. I like the idea of Clans Pestilens and Eshin, So i want to build an army around those two clans. I'm not necessarily looking for someone to build me a list, I really just need some info about how the skaven units are used, what their potential is. Any basic tactics and info about the Pestilens and Eshin units, as well as the non clan specific guys would be greatly appreciated.
Well, where to start?
OK, so, you are trying to build an Eshin/Pestilens army. It will need to be Pestilens heavy for it to be that good on the battlefield.
Here the units you need to have in your collection to field a wide range of army for any points type, and also tips on how to use them. Take note that with all units you should have command:
Commander: Lord Skrolk
Lord Skrolk will give your opponent a kick in the balls if he doesn't focus everything on him. Lord Skrolk is a potent wizard and also crazy with his Close Combat. One great rule that Skrolk allows you to have is to count Plague Monks as core troops. This, is an awesome bonus. All this comes at a hefty price though. You cannot field him in a game below 2000 points.
Second Lord: Warlord
You would have gotten this guy from your Island of Blood boxed set. He is a very versatile model and should be used appropriately. Don't bother fielding this guy with a mount. He is your Primary commander in any game below 2000 points.
Heroes: 2 Plague Priests, Warlock Engineer, Assassin, Chieftain as a Battle Standard Bearer
Your Heroes slot is only to be around this size. Unless you are fielding at 3000+, you don't use all of these in one game. The Plague Priests are from Clan Pestilens and suit the style of your army. One should be on a Plague Furnace, the other should be either foot or mounted on a Great Pox Rat. They will be placed in your blocks of Plague Monks and and maybe Plague Censer Bearers. One should be a combat Plague Priest, preferably not the one on the Plague Furnace, and the other should have Level 2 Wizardry and appropriate magic items. The assassin can go anywhere you want in your army, as he can hide (and probably is best like that) in your units. The Warlock Engineer will be a good leader for one of your Clanrat hordes, and you Battle Standard Bearer will keep all your units in his radius in check. The best banner for this guy is the Sacred Standard of the Horned Rat.
Big Units: Plague Monks, Clanrats, Skavenslaves
These will be the main composition of your force. You should have around 100 or more of Clanrats and/or Skavenslaves. Your big units should have at least 30 rat-men in each, preferably 40+, with each Clanrat unit having an accompanying weapon team. These will be able to combat basically any army you come to face. As for the Plague Monks, you should have 80. 50 should be pushing the Plague Furnace, arranged in 5x5 blocks either side of the Furnace. Then there should be 30 to house and be the bodyguard of your Lord Skrolk. These will be your ultimate combat, with that extra toughness point really giving you a better chance to survive.
Smaller Units: Night Runners, Gutter Runners, Plague Censer Bearers, Stormvermin
Night Runners should be a unit of 20. Arm these with slings and you are good to go with a great flanking unit. With Gutter Runners, have 2 units of around 10 come in from the enemy table edge, and destroy those annoying artillery batteries or any sneaky shooting units. You can equip them however you want. With Plague Censer Bearers, field as many as your points allow to a max of 20. They will be probably the most potent hand-to-hand unit in your army, as they can gas quite a few enemies before they even get the chance to fight. Beware, however, because a cunning opponent will just run away from this unit and shoot at it, waiting until they finally kill themselves from their own gas. This gives the advantage, however, as you can almost put the enemy army in any position you want. The Stormvermin are the bodyguard for your Warlord, and a heavy armoured unit. Give them shields, however a Magic Banner may not be necessary.
Back-up: Jezzails, Warplightning Cannon, Rat Ogres, Plagueclaw Catapult
With the Jezzails, sit them on a hill somewhere, with either 2x5 or 1x10. They are best with their guns pointed at heavy cavalry and heavy infantry, especially because of their high Strength and armour reduction. The Warplightning Cannon(s) are the best rare unit in my opinion. This/these should be aimed at big monsters and characters, etc. for the same reasons as Jezzails have their target. You should have 2 small units of Rat Ogres as your outriders, just doing what they can, combating enemy outriders, etc. The Plagueclaw Catapult I haven't had much experience with, however it does go with your theme, and is great against hordes of weaker enemy troops.
I hope that this information has given you an introduction to the kind of army you should field on the battlefield. You need to start with a Battalion box or two, then buy little boxes of other troops. Don't buy until the new Skaven release in January, however.