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So I had a 3000 pt mega battle against Skaven today and felt good to get a draw, although I was in a position to win it but made some bad choices.
Even so, I always have a hard time dealing with Skaven numbers. With their rules, their being "low leadership" seems like a joke. They are always at LD 9 or 10 against shooting and magic.
Starfire arrows seem like a waste, as does a befuddlement of mischiefs.
I did manage to run off two of his three clan rat units, taking out the general, BSB, and two engineers, but I still couldn't muster enough VPs to win.
The treeman's terror did nothing, and as soon as he popped out from behind a rock, two gatling guns, throwing stars, a warp lightning cannon, and several jezzails all opened up, and down he went.
So how do you folks handle horde armies, Skaven in particular?
Well my personal horde-experience is primalyry vs. Gobbo's but at my club i have wistnessed some Skaven/WE battles.
I have seen taht Woodies strugle vs. skaven due to the large numbers of chap units (slaves for example) they can field.
i have seen that fast cav and skirmishers works quite well since all the large units have difficulty manouvering around.
About the shooting indeed skaven sruff is deadly but also to themselves.
also a unit of EG can outclass everything the skaven have in CC.
i have seen a unit of EG holding up a unit of Ratorges and two clanrat units for 4 CC fases.
Stubborn at Ld 9 is a big plus.
And about their Ld indeed their special rules give them high Ld vs. shooting and magic.
I would suggest just having some solid magical defense and focus on EG, wildriders and wardancers.
The EG can hold up a lot while the Wardancers and wildriders make mincemeat of low T low Armoursave rats.
Beware of gutterrunners though since they are damn fast.
Could you give a bit more of a report of the battle?
i am curious how the skaven player wielded his army.
Hope it helps
"Ask not the Eldar a question, for they will give you three answers; all of which are true and terrifying to know"
As for the battle, I stacked a flank, putting a couple of token units to my far left and a few in the middle. Everything else went to the right and the units in the middle and to the left redeployed during turns one and two, leaving half of the opposing army stranded, which worked great.
It allowed me to avoid the two warp lightning cannons and 15 jezzails for almost the entire game--along with swarms, gutter runners, and various other small units. Once he saw where my eternal guard, treekin, and treeman were going, he placed all his ranked units across from them.
So essentially I was able to combat half his army with almost all of my army, which would have worked perfectly had I not made some mistakes with movement and placement.
The EG unit was great, taking out his general's unit and another in the same combat.
I used a highborn with netlings and rhymer's harp and noble as BSB in 18 strong EG unit.
But the treeman never killed anything, nor did the treekin--my mistakes.
WDs chumped a couple of rolls but did okay, not as well as I'm accustomed to. Alter noble bit the dust, and I failed to protect my two mages. Usually one of my tactics is preserving points, especially in characters like a spellweaver or spellsinger. But not this time.
With the Skaven, ALWAYS kill their general first. He's the reason why the army has leadership 9 or 10. Once you kill him, the army drops to an 8 (still respectable). Then (or at the same time), mass your attacks towards the center of his line. Their units aren't really that good, so you should have a pretty good chance of defeating them.
Once you break a few of his units, exploit the hole and start flanking.
As for their shooters (Jezzails and ratling guns), you can now pick them out, so have at them with your bows on turn one. They shouldn't survive too long.
The other option is to tool out every unit to single out characters. Things like Hunters Talon, Lamentation of Despairs, and Pagent of Despair. To be fair I did this in 6th, for 7th I haven't really reviewed the rules or character targetting.
For Skaven I think one of the real tricks is to force the Skaven to want to bring their character out for a challenge or forward to the front of the unit(remember they lead from the back). The only other way is to sandwich the unit from front and back.
ive found that when I go against scaven the bow of loren and starfire arrows are as good as gold. but one thing i never do with it is use it agains units that have a decent chance of not running. things like clanrats with the general not to far from them are going to have a leadership 9 or even 10. so you need to take it after the weak links. slaves may not seem like much but ive been flanked by them enough to know i hate them. shoot the ones that you are sure are out of range of the general and they are only going to have a leadership 5. also take some shots at the units that dont have the rank bonus. globe throwers, tunnelers, or the big money the jezzails. nothing like watching 100 points or more worth of S6 shooting run off the table because you killed one.
So how about this for a partial army build...
Highborn, lt armor, great weapon, shield, bow of loren, starfire arrows, befuddlement of mischiefs
Noble with wraithstone, lt armor, shield
Noble on mount (or foot) with callach's claw, lt armr, shield, helm of the hunt
Branchwraith with cluster or singer with two scrolls
The highborn could take out units outside the skaven general's influence, panicking globadiers, jezzails (if I can get past their blasted armor save), gutter runners, and the like.
The wraithstone noble would go with eternal guard.
The second noble could go with glade riders or with the eternal guard.
The anti-magic would deal with warplock engineers, though I think I'll still get fried.
I have a friend that plays at our local game store and ive seen him run a magic heavy 2000pt army. GreySeer, 2 engineers with all the gear, and a bell. and on top of that he caries the Eye of the Horned rat on his grayseer(roll D6,on 2+ gets 1power dice, on a 1 looses 1power dice) and the Storm Demon on a engineer(lv3 bound spell, dose D6 S5 scaven lighting). Thats on average a total of 13dice. Its crazy. I would almost say that when he takes a magic heavy army you may need to run 2 Spellsingers with 3 dispell scrolls and have one take Divination Orb. Also be sure to kill his weapon teams with our superor ranged shooting.
Just a few things to remember.
1. Challenges Challenges Challenges.
2. They have a lot of poison and magical attacks. Beware with your huge targets like Treemen and with your Dryads as there Ward will not save from the Magical attacks.
3. There Strength in Numbers rule often will get confused. It is Leadership(either units or borrowed from lord/hero) then the units Rank Modifier(not the generals units rank modifier) then any adjustments from magical items. Fleeing units do not have ranks, so they do not get the Strength of Numbers advantage.
4. Jezzails have good ranged defense thanks to the huge shield. They also skirmish, so they can see 360, so you can't flank them easily.
5. As always for horde armies your shooting should be combined on 1 target. if you have 3 or more squads of GG you should combine as many shots as possible on 1 target, the key is you break them one squad at a time. Divided attacks will only would the surface and will not get you the decisive results you seek.
For you army I would recommend that you take lots of Wardancers and/or EG. This is necassary as you will need to take advantage of the rank bonus of EG or the very high WS of the WD. Also, no treemen or treekin, they die to easily to skaven. Instead use your Rares on WW or possibly the Great Eagle. For the eagle be careful as a balanced Skaven army will have good volume of shooting to offset accuracy. If you are taking GG, be sure to take either 15 and use them in a 10-5 formation(going 5-5-5 when CC is possible), or 12(6-6) with musician and banner.