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I have been looking into getting fantasy for awhile, and have decided that I want to play skaven. From the research I've done they play the way I want, but i don't know where to start.
I'm thinking of getting the following
The island of blood
One Screaming Bell
and I'm not sure what else would be advised, or if this is even worth doing
though it looks like it would give me plenty of clan rats, some plague rats, and some other random things that may or not be useful.
Any advice and help would be appreciated
including tactical advice, in particular, what units are a must, and what units to avoid.
I'm fairly new to Fantasy and Skaven as well with only some experience (10ish games and a tournament) so I'll impart some of my advice until the veterans show up.
In regards to what you're getting,
Island of Blood is great, especially if you don't have the rulebook yet, and most things in it are usable in one way or the other. I'd recommand picking up at least 1 more Skaven Army from it through eBay if not more (or just the Clanrats components after the 2nd one). All of the Clanrats, both Weapon Teams, Warlock, Chieftan (either as is or converted into a Battle Standard Bearer), and even the Packmaster (if converted into another Warlock) are all good adds for your army.
The Battalion is a little less great, and you may only need 1 at most if even that. Skaven melee is a little lackluster and the main highlight of it is Slaves tarpitting the enemy so that you can continue to shoot and magic them. That said, the Monks, Ogres, and Giant Rats may not be needed. The Monks are alright in a big block pushing a Plague Furnace but are little too pricey for what you'll get in return, the same with a big block of Rat Ogres. Some people like using small Giant Rat units to play deployment delaying games, though you may have enough Slave units not to need this. Though I'll get to another use for the Monks further down the post.
The Screaming Bell, despite being an awesome model, it's a little overpriced as well for what you get play-wise. Its effects are ...okay though a little underwhelming especially with the randomness of the table.
As for what you should get or look into...
A Grey Seer (without the Screaming Bell) is almost a must as its our only high-level wizardry and especially because of its Dreaded Thirteenth spell, which you'll probably want to take always and cast always (unless against Ogres) due to its potential lethality.
A Battle Standard Bearer is a must in just about every list you take as you'll be relying a lot on units holding the line, especially the Slaves.
100+ Clanrats/Skavenslaves at 1,000 points with even more at higher levels. Hand Weapons can be enough on them, though Shields can be worth the minor investment as well. Mixing the spears in with the rest of the mob will generally camouflage them leaving no need to convert.
Gutter Runners are a good unit, a unit of 8-10 with Slings and Poison is great at harassing an opponent's rear and destroying any artillery he might have. You can take 2 units if you really want to be annoying, but just 1 is more than enough to get the job done. Model-wise, you can either use a box of Night Runners or convert the Plague Monks that you'll already have from the Battalion.
Jezzails are another great unit to have on hand for dealing with small heavily-armored units, though I'd suggest looking around for alternative sources to get them or ways to convert them because 3 for 50 is an outrageous price to pay for the failcast models.
2+ Warp Lightning Cannons are another must-have unit, they're inexpensive and can be devastating with decent rolls and placement.
1-2 Doom Wheels or Hellpit Abominations, both are great at holding flanks, just with different ways of going about it.
That said, most of the other units in the army list are just as useable, just usually in a more friendly/fluff-themed list.
In general, Magic and Shooting are where Skaven shines, as aside from the Abomination our combat is more or less of just a grind/tarpit to keep the enemy in place until you either Magic/Shoot them or are able to throw additional units into their flank/rear.
Warp Cannon, Hell pit and Doomwheels are all awesome...
Grey Seer with dreaded 13th is great but the spell is difficult to get off (watch out for dispel scrolls on the first successful casting...) The Bell is over priced and I have never played one...
You can also pick up ANY models with 20mm bases to be used as slaves...I really like the BfSP goblins (you get 60 models for cheap... AND dwarfs also (x20-25 models maybe?) for like $30 or less..., and the 5th edition starter has skinks, the elves from IoB would work too). Night goblins from BfSP are the fluffiest btw... it is always fun to play slaves of the opponents army against them!!
Night runner with warp grinder can be used as poor man Gutter runners with saving in points but losing effectiveness, but still provide distraction in the backfield to keep heat off the front lines/warmachines
Jezzails I have taken out of my list, they are OK, but they are expensive for my taste...
As far as Rat Ogres(watch out for Stupid and take extra packmasters)...I run a unit of rat ogres x5, with a warlord on a rat ogre mount with great success in the center, and the warlord can accept challenges if they expect him to run... and it is always a surprise if he issues the challenge as well. He is a great combat character, 4 wounds with Skalm is scary! 4-5 attacks plus the mount gets 4-5 as well. The Orges get 4 each, with monstrous support 3/ea. That is 18+ str 5 attacks...
This unit is a great close combat and it catches opponents off guard who don't expect us to have a unit like this. theyhave to target select badly either way.. pick to shoot at the cannnon while this units marches into their front lines, or this unit draws fire and the cannon live longer, we win either way!
This unit was charged by a WoC Hellcannon and I killed it first turn without taking one casualty, it is I2 so we went first
Giants rats can be deployment delayers as well as redirect units
I run my slaves naked, and with slings, 10 units of 20/ea with slings, and 2 big blocks of 50/ea for tarpitting (40 shots each, crappy BS though but they provide speed bumps and overwhelming target selection...), you just need to keep general/BSB close or they will ALL flee easily like dominos)
Last edited by warhammerpainters; May 9th, 2012 at 15:50.
What they said. If you want more detail, check out the tactica in this forum (currently in development), named Skaven Tactica 2012 (and some other waffle). Welcome and good luck!
The IoB box, and the battalion, are good starting points . I'd also go for another clanrat box, or two, to represent skavenslaves .
You're better off having your grey seer on foot, inside a unit of stormvermin .
Two warp lightning cannons, will start you off right, regarding your war machine choices .
Your looking at large blocks of troops, backed up by weird weapons, and corrupted magic .