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How to defeat Skaven ? 
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Malekith's Personal Guard
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I am preparing myself for a tourney in April and will therefore fight my second battle in the local store with my current list. The enemy players is an experienced tournament winner with Skaven, Empire and Warriors of Chaos and I will face Skaven next week!

I have no armybook of skaven besides some wikipedia knowledge, so I need your help ! How to deal with Skaven ? What to expect and what to fear ?

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Fri Jan 23, 2015 12:54 pm
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I'm not the best player to advise on this with my record against them :P

Basically, they will swamp you with troop numbers, they have durable and highly dangerous warmachines, some decent combat units, and dangerous magic.

I'd recommend:
- Witches galore to chew through all those rats
- Some flying or mounted heavy hitters to deal with his warmachines i.e. Cloaked Master, Steed Lord
- Something with flaming incase he brings an Abomb
- Some Reapers
- At least 6 levels of magic and the Ring of Hotek
- Hydra for breath weapon and Tstomp rat squishing (and also target for his warmachines :P)
- sneaky flanking unit of SoS (possibly flame banner) for rank breaking


...do you know if you'll be up against any of the new toys? Like the Space Marine Rat Ogres?

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Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:18 pm
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Malekith's Personal Guard
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Quote:
Characters 583

Supreme Sorceress 250
- General
- Level 4
- Heavens Magic
- Talisman of Endurance

Master 329
- BSB
- Manticore (Iron Skin upgrade)
- Halberd
- Heavy Armor
- Shield
- Sea Dragon Cloak
- Cloak of Twlight


Core 570 (25%)

10 Darkshards 120
10 Darkshards 120
10 Darkshards 120
5 Dark riders, shields, repeater crossbows, musician 110
5 Dark riders, shields, repeater crossbows 100


Special 630 (25%)

5 Shades, additional hand weapon 90
5 Cold One Knights 150
1 War Hydra, fiery breath 180
3 Reaper Bolt Throwers 210


Rare 470 (21%)

5 warlocks 125
10 Sister of Slaughter, champion, standard Bearer, lichebone pennant 185
1 Bloodwrack Shrine 175

Total: 2249


This is the list I am going to field, three units (Manticore, Hydra, Sisters with Shrine) with Terror, Cold One Knights causing fear. I feel Dark Magic is very effective against Skaven with Bladewind, Shroud and Black Horror but I am set on the Heavens Magic as that is what I want to learn for coming tournament.

For warmachines I have Manticore BSB, two units of Dark Riders and Shades (AHW) + Heavens spells.

Initial battle plan is to hold enemy hordes with War Hydra and Sisters with Bloodwrack Shrine (Shrine of Slaughter) formation, especially the last one able to break enemy slave hordes because of neglecting rank bonus and - 1 LD + (another -1 LD from heavens signature). Cold One Knights combined with Manticore to kill the big things (Ogres) or smash into flanks.

Warlocks and Reaper to shoot any big thing like Doomwheel or Bell. Darkshards shoot anything besides slaves.

But, I have no idea what Skaven has to offer besides dangerous war machines and big hordes, so all help is welcome !

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Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:43 pm
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You really don't have enough attacks, and you also are a bit low on bodies. One warmachine hit can obliterate any of your units.

Shooting also doesn't do a lot versus Skaven -- Witches on the other hand...

Heavens lacks killing power vs Rats; Dark as you say is better; you can always learn Heavens later...

@ D.net

Can someone who plays Skaven regularly add their thoughts to this thread.

Ta :)

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Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:42 pm
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Skaven have a lot of random movement monsters. Hellpit abominations and doomwheels to be precise. I learned a very good tactic against them and I will share it with you.

If you place a cheap fast unit on the side of a hellpit one inch away, you will railroad it in going in the direction it is facing. The hellpit has to wheel before it moves its random distance and if your cheap fast chaff (warlocks or DR) are placed properly, the unit can't wheel (1" away rule) and must then move forward. They are very easy to chaff up if you have enough mobility. This can allow you to focus your firepower into his screaming bell and then wait to get his doomwheels/hellpits.

I play OK too and use my sabertusks to do that job.

Another thing is that they have ambushers (maybe they scout can't remember ... it has been a while) that have poisoned sling shots. If you do not pay attention to how you place your RBT's they will pick them off. I recommend castling to one side with them and keeping a one or two small chaff units around deal with those pesky slingers.

Personally, I would use death magic to snipe his characters. Their ld is poor and you can snipe their guys all day. If I was tailoring a list, I would take a lv4 and a lv 2 of death so that I can have two chances at spirit leach. Shoud of dispair (from dark) and doom and darkness would be excellent and I would even try to bring the mask of EEE. Their unmodified ld is a major weakness.

Also, try to get him to spread his units out in deployment. This will reduce the effect of his ld buble.


Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:11 pm
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their Gutter Runners can choose wether to Scout or Ambush, so they are quite a pain. especially with Slings and Poison attacks.
I have Skaven myself and when I play them I play them very shooty. the problem is that they will generally have a huge body count with a good number of slaves. our normal shooting wont do much against that. your best hope is to get the Comet of right in the middle of them.

commiting your BSB to one of these units is a waste. he most likely will nvr loose combat but the rats will most likely never run and, if you have the bad luck of getting bogged down by Slaves, will bet shot to bits the following turn.

Dark is a very solid choice against them but since all its spells are short ranged you rly need a mobile SS for it.

and as Marco said, the major weak spot of Skaven is their LD, even their characters dont go higher then Ld7. Something worth noting tho is that their special rule Strength in Numbers (which adds +1Ld for every rank to a max of +3) says that if they lose their rank bonus for any reason they lose the effect of this rule. Now I don't know if this has been Erreta'd but since SoS remove a units Rank Bonus... ;)

either way with Heavens Signature and the Shrine hitting any unit of the Skaven is gonna spell hell for them.

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Sat Jan 24, 2015 5:56 pm
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My regular opponent is a skaven player an it's usually always a bloodbath. I can give u a few pointers as to what they hate an what we hate.
They hate witch elves I usually go with units of 21 7x3 corsairs are good also here.
Even more so they hate spirit leech even better when coupled with doom n darkness.
Other good things are hydras for horde bashing an target saturation.
Things I hate are doomwheel an lightning cannon. When I face skaven I prioritize their weapons in order of what I want to kill first usually goes with weapon teams first then cannon then doomwheel .


Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:52 pm
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Shorabora wrote:
they hate spirit leech even better when coupled with doom n darkness.

Spirit leach uses "unmodified" leadership. Doom and darkness is surely a modification.
Still, lore of death should be quite strong against Skaven. You can pick up abominations or cannons with in addition to characters, and once their leaders are dead, their leadership will be, what, 7 even with the bonus for ranks? Then you can just slam into combat and not care about steadfast, they will fail their roll sooner or later. The disadvantage is the short range of death spells. You would need a mounted sorceress in a decent unit of dark riders to provide look out.

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Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:22 am
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Malekith's Personal Guard

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Death is custom made to beat Skaven. Snipe out the BSB first, then the general, then whatever character is leading the block you want to break.

Use your warmachine hunters to kill his warmachines as fast as possible. The Warp-Lightning cannon is the killer, but if he has a Plague Claw Catapult, well, it may only be S2, but it's a pie-plate and we're only T3. If it hits a block you'll lose a third of the entire unit!

Some RXBs are good to kill his weapon teams. Warpfire Thrower gets priority, then the Mortar, then the Ratling. The Doomlflayer is a paper tiger, especially if you get the charge in.

Antimagic is a necessity, as is keeping your infantry units above a minimum size. The Dread 13th will wipe out any small unit (under 14 models) in one go. Likewise, keep your characters on a mount and off their feet to protect them. Plague is no fun either... and Wither can be horrifying.

Once you get into combat, you'll do well. Witches will shred through anything Skaven can throw at you short of an Abomination.

And even the A-bomb is going to be in for a fight.


Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:39 am
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Thanks for the advice, I have a plan and know which units to prioritise.

Fast Cavarly + Shades - War Machines
Reapers - Doomwheel & Space rat ogres
RXB - Weapon Teams

A-Bomb ? Doombolt, Fire Bolts, Crossbow Bolts, Reaper Bolts = Dead A-Bomb

I will stick to Dark (and no witches) but it should work.

Let's just hope he doesn't bring a Storm banner !


I adjusted the list

Quote:
Characters 589

Supreme Sorceress 280
- General
- Level 4
- Dark Magic
- Talisman of Endurance
- Dispell Scroll
- Ironcurse Icon


Master 309
- BSB
- Manticore
- Halberd
- Heavy Armor
- Shield
- Sea Dragon Cloak
- Cloak of Twlight


Core 570 (25%)

10 Darkshards, standard, banner of eternal flame 140
10 Darkshards 120
10 Darkshards 120
5 Dark riders, repeater crossbows 90
5 Dark riders, shields, repeater crossbows 100


Special 620 (25%)

5 Shades 80
5 Cold One Knights 150
1 War Hydra, fiery breath 180
3 Reaper Bolt Throwers 210


Rare 470 (21%)

5 warlocks 125
10 Sister of Slaughter, champion, standard Bearer 170
1 Bloodwrack Shrine 175

Total: 2249

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Wed Jan 28, 2015 9:58 am
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The mistake most elf players make when playing against my skaven army is that they try to take on every one of my blocks at a time. What most people don't seem to realize about skaven is that they are NOT MOBILE. Most of our army is really large blocks of infantry that simply cannot operate outside of the generals leadership bubble due to piss poor leadership.

Get rid of indepedant units first (things that work outside general's leadership); hellpits, doomwheels, cannons ect. Once that is done (or even mostly done) begin focusing most of your army one unit at a time. Instead of putting one unit into each skaven unit, because you are after all, only T3 with barely any armor.

Always take a flame banner to get rid of hellpits. I have found that CoK with flame banner blows up hellpits in one round every time.

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Wed Jan 28, 2015 5:04 pm
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I did well against the Skaven with the defensive shooty list, if we had more time for another turn I think I had been able to massacre them to a 20 - 0.

I agree with Jvh792, as soon you delete his independent units, it is easy to pick out the others, out of range of their BSB and general they are worthless against panic tests with shooting or terror charges.

His magic and shooting was not that effective, but very dangerous.

In the whole battle there was no combat of any excitement, shooting was the key

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Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:57 pm
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I used to play against Skaven all the time. One thing I liked to do was position your so near and on the flank using fast cav. Then I would get Shroud of Despair off to cancel there LD bubble. Then cast a Black Horror through the rank and charge in with my units. after your kill a whole bunch they get run down quick.

Skaven LD bubble is very important to them for survival.


Thu Jan 29, 2015 5:20 pm
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Skaven have been my main army since I started playing Fantasy about 18 months ago. I never had much success with them, but I do have a few things that I can point out;

Storm Banner – Automatic -2 modifier to all BS shooting and no flying. Any non BS shooting has to roll a 4 up to shoot. Some Skaven guys will try and say that they don’t have to roll a 4 up for their war machines, but this was FAQed and they do. Also, they have to roll at the end of each player turn and the banner disappears on a 4up.

Howling Warpgale – I can’t remember if this is -1 or -2 to shooting, but if you’ve a shooty army you’ll want to dispel this.

Warp Lightning Cannons – Can be terrible, but their strength is determined by the second roll of the artillery dice, so they’re hit and miss. When they hit they can be horrendous because they hit and explode in a small blast template. T6 for ranged attacks on them, but T3 in combat (just like bolt throwers). Get your Dark Riders/Shades round the back asap and get rid of them.

Doomwheels – Again, can be deadly, but only within 18” and mainly with multi-wound models. Fires out three lightning bolts that wound at artillery dice strength and cause D6 wounds, so you’re making three save rolls and if you fail one you’re getting D6 wounds. However, If it’s standard rank and file units it can only deal 3 wounds max. Keep your multi wound models outside the 18” and shoot it loads. Even a decent unit of witches would deal with it because 4+ armour and 5 wounds would suffer at the hands of poison. It deals impact hits in every round of combat, though.

Skitterleap and Doomrocket – Skitterleap is a spell that lets you move a character anywhere on the board….anywhere. A Warlock Engineer costs 15pts and a Doomrocket costs 30pts. Firing the rocket involves rolling between four and ten dice for distance and the blast is the large template ST5. I played it by positioning myself 12” from a unit and rolling 4 dice, it was absolutely devastating, wiped out a bus of Silver Helm twice, but even if it isn’t devastating and I lose the Warlock it’s only 45pts down the drain. Dispel Skitterleap, simple as that.

Skitterleap (on it’s own) – Another reason to dispel Skitterleap is that Warlock Engineers cost 15pts and can be moved an inch away from your Witches, at an angle, and all of a sudden your opponent has caused frenzy overrun issues by sacrificing 15pts. If he takes a few, cheesy as it would be, he’ll control the board. Definitely dispel Skitterleap.

Wither and Plague combo – Wither reduces toughness by 1, for the remainder of the game and can’t be dispelled once cast, Plague causes a wound if a toughness test is failed. Great combo magic, especially against T3 elves.

Screaming Bell and Plague Furnace – When shooting these units you can target the Bell/Furnace or the unit. Your choice. Choose the Bell/Furnace. T6, yeah, but 4+ armour for the Bell and nothing for the furnace. Get rid of them and the units pushing them are no longer unbreakable.

Dreaded 13th – 4d6 of your models instantly dead sounds horrible, but it’s a 24 to cast. I wouldn’t bother saving dice or a dispel scroll for it because the only way it’s getting through is a) a 6 dice miscast that you can’t do anything about b) a Power Scroll that you didn’t know about and your opponent probably won’t have. People go daft about this spell, but it’s really difficult to cast, you need a great winds of magic to have enough dice to even try it and you’re guaranteed a miscast if you do try it. Worry about the other spells first.

Hellpit Abomination – Watcha gonna do? It’s a beast when it gets going….but it’s only T5. Get anything S4 with flaming, or S3 flaming and poison, in on it and it’ll die before it does anything too drastic.

Challenges and the Bell – Don’t offer a challenge to the Bell unit. If you do the Grey Seer can refuse and climb to the top and out of combat.


I get a bit miffed when people give off about Skaven being broken, because when it comes down to it they are an army with nothing better than S4 outside characters and rare, no flying, no fast cav, leadership 7 that Death can eat alive, T3 that Dwellers will destroy and rely so heavily on magic and war machines that a bad dice day can ruin a game or tournament.

Doomwheels and Warp Lightning Cannons can be great, but they can also be terrible. Yeah, they’re cheap, but with my Ogres I’m guaranteed that my cannon will be S10, with my Skaven it can be ST2. I was doing well in a tournament and came up against Daemons, surrounded the Great Unlean One with Doomwheel and shot it with WLC too, rolled four twos on the artillery dice first round, one six and three misfires second round, a four and a two third round. Never did a single wound. For 60pts more I could have had three Ironblasters and would have destroyed him in turn one.

Plus, they’re an absolute killer to paint. My first tournament was 3k and I had 200 slaves, nevermind Stormvermin, Plague Monks and Clanrats. Painful.

My suggestion for magic is Life. Dwellers will destroy a bunker, Flesh to Stone will mean ST3/4 units have no chance of doing any damage etc. Doombolt and Soulblight are there to deal with other stuff and Death might be overkill because I reckon you should deal with them fairly easily without it.

Hope that helps.


Sat Jan 31, 2015 2:42 am
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