Topic of the Week: Warlock Engineer - Warhammer 40K Fantasy

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  1. #1
    Senior Member stayscrunchyinmilk's Avatar
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    Topic of the Week: Warlock Engineer

    Having noticed the topic of the week hasn't happened for a while i thought I'd bring up a much loved (by me) topic

    The Warlock Engineer
    Page 106 under Heroes in the army list,
    Page 58 in the Army book for a detailed entry
    FAQ: There's two relevant entries (He can't buy two pistols (why did you want to anyway?) and The doom rocket doesn't need LOS.

    Now, The Enginseer has not very good stats, and poor starting equipment (notably no armour at all) but he is also absolutely peanuts in points.

    In my opinion there is two ways of using the little blighters: Magical or non-magical

    Let's start with magical
    If you make your enginseer magical he becomes alot more expensive, however he's still a pretty cheap spellcaster in comparison to most other armies spellcasters. He gains spells from the spells of ruin. He can substitute one spell for warp lightening whatever happens,
    Now, They're not the best spellcasters available to a skaven player, but I firmly believe that armies in WFB should have at least 2 spellcasters in 7th ed - Extra channelling for power dice and dispel, and adding the Caster level to dispel means it's very wise to have a backup caster.

    Let's do a quick review of the Spells of Ruin

    1 Skitterleap - This isn't that bad, you can use it to ferry hero's about to whack war machines / be a nuisance. You also get to remove a endangered character from combat if needs be

    2 - Warp lightening - A pretty solid and cheap magic missile. You can always have this

    3 - Howling warpgale - In the event your opponent has flyers this can be fairly brutal, and it significantly hurts shooty armies. Those armies are norrmally quite magicaql so expect this to be disspelled, however that's a good thing.

    4 - Death Frenzy - Fairly expensive to cast, however it makes a unit pretty robust in combat, although you'll start taking wounds. You're skaven, casualties (not as part of the combat) don't matter.

    5 - Scorch - Again, pretty high casting but it's accurate, has a decent range and causes panic (and is flaming for those annoying regenerators if needs be)

    6 - Cracks call - Now this can be devastating, especially if your opponent has a nice line up of war machines on a hill / Low Initiative troops (Think Orks)

    I personally used to upgrade a Engineer to L1 and swap the spells for Warp lightening regardless, but that's a hideous waste - considering how cheap he is I like making him L2 (and decide what you want to swap afterwards)

    Equipping your Engineer
    His basic equipment and a summary is as follows:
    Warlock-Augmented weapon
    It's triple his cost. OK, It's great in melee, but he has 1 base attack and no armour. Do not equip this (On him - it's a fine choice with the rest of your army)
    Warplock Pistol
    (page 33 under scavenge pile.) Nice, for peanuts you get to stand and shoot with a S5 counts-as-magical weapon and it's a pistol.. hang on, P91 main rule book - It counts as an additional hand weapon! No engineer should leave his rat-hole without one!
    I don't mind these - It did occur to me to try to field a handful of engineers with muskets instead of jezzails, (really though, jezzails are better as they're cheaper, have a pavaise, better range and STR) but the thought has never really gone away. Maybe someone would like to try equipping your spell casting Enginseer with a musket, but i haven't been convinced enough to convert one yet (The empire militia or mordheim accessory sprue should work well here)

    Clan Skyre equipment / anything else of note

    Brass Orb
    Well that's a very expensive, one shot short range weapon that will scatter, although it is very lethal. Quite possibly to you. Not to my tastes i'm afraid.

    Now again, that really isn't very accurate. Or a efficient use of points. I modelled mine useing the "loose" rocket you get out of the Empire Helstorm battery, and consider the points well spent in entertaining me (or my opponent depending on the dice roll) It's a shame you can only have one (and it's one shot) or i'd have a little battery of them.

    Death Globe
    It's the same problem as the brass orb (very short ranged and it scatters)
    I guess you could model one out of the IOB mortar team basing mortar (or a marble) if you wanted to.

    Warlock Optics
    It would be a lovely conversion project, and look really neat. However it's shockingly expensive for what it does, and the best he'd be able to be equipped with is a warp musket. I'd rather find the change and get a second enginseer with musket.

    Warp Energy Condenser
    Now that is of use, since you can swap one of your spells for Warp Lightning.
    Not that many points, Increased magical missiles and improved channelling odds (for your power dice) make this a very viable option in my opinion.

    You can also equip your warlock enginseer with all sorts of equipment from the main rule book / other skaven gear, but I'd keep a couple of points in mind:

    1) He's pretty awful in combat. Ok, with 2 wounds he'll hang around longer than joe rat-infantry when toe to toe with someone, but don't bother spending the points making him a combat monster as he just can't do it. Your best bet is to run to the back of your unit in response to a challenge. (you live far longer too!)

    2) If you want a real mage a grey seer or a plague priest are the way to go. This is your backup spellcaster (although not to be sniffed at)

    Now, having said all of that here are a few builds I have tried:

    The Zzap rat engineer
    L1 (or L2) mage, warp energy condenser and a warp pistol
    - 93 / 128 points.
    You swap one spell for warp lightning and place in a large block of infantry (with a real character in it) Throw magic missiles at opponents forces. I also occasionally put him in a small block with a poor melee hero / "accidentally" move my companion hero out of the block so he gets charged, before revealing he has a mate called "mr assassain" standing behind him. (It does get the opponents attention rather well to spit out magic missiles every turn / whoop with delight and point out your amazing channeller)
    - I used the IOB model for this, with the R.Hand replaced with a sword leftover from the night runners box (any will do though)

    Tail-end Comet
    Warp Pistol and Doom Rocket
    - 53 points / 103 points if a wizard (extra channelling dice / possible useful spell)
    I used the spare head from my doomwheel on a packmaster body, Empire outrider pistol (as recently featured in GW conversion guide - I did it first! honest!) and the Empire Helstorm loose rocket in what was a drummers paws. For backpack a ogre kingdoms "stolen barrel" extra equipment went on, with a spare chimney stack from the watchtower kit.
    - I like the head so much I can't bring myself to put on a massive oriental style hat, although he does cry out for one.

    Please, discuss away and any uses you have for Engineers (e.g. leading skavenslaves) or any builds / tactical ideas / opinions

    - I wonder if the warp lightning cannon will have extra engineer heads?

    Last edited by stayscrunchyinmilk; January 10th, 2011 at 17:10.

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  3. #2
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    I believe another crucial role he fills nicely is cheap ld 5 in block of slaves. Sure, he'll die to anything breaking wind at him in combat, but by then, he'll have ensured your slaves are actully in the fight and not panicked of the board. Of course, this is less relevant if your general is a grey seer on a bell, but otherwise, he's quite good at being a ld machine......well, as close as skavens come to being that anyway

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