Why Play Skaven?Edit
- Because Skaven are an army that focuses on horde tactics and random elements with brilliant looking models. Skaven are probably the biggest horde army GW has ever produced (2nd to vampire counts) and rightly so, with most boxed sets having 20 models in them, the average clanrat unit having around 20-40 models and the elite bodyguard for the warlord clans having a 20 model unit count. An individual Skaven (if you forget heroes and wizards) is cowardly and will die to most units but the advantage of Skaven is not in singular numbers but like previously stated hordes/teeming masses. This is not to say that every unit in the Skaven army is a horde unit because skaven have access to units like Rat Ogres, Verminlords, Hellpit Abomination and Stormfiends etc which focus on small numbers and specialized roles.
From the transition of 8th edition to Age of Sigmar, Skaven have became more stable (still quite random though), with the big changes to magic and their machinery. On the other hand Skaven have lost their leadership rank perks and have lower leadship/bravery meaning that their leadership is lower than ever before and your general's inspiring presence ability does not affect units in a wide area for the rest of the game (as long as they are in that area) but instead the general can choose a unit within 12" and make them basically fearless for 1 turn, which in my opinion is worse.
- huge amounts of teeming hordes that come cheap.
- great/bizarre looking models, each with their own mini diorama.
- great shooting.
- very customizable units.
- more stable come Age of Sigmar.
- great magic.
- below average bravery values.
- units that were previously great are still good, but not as good as they used to be.
- alot of things are still random and can end up wounding the unit that uses the ability or item.
- Thanquol and Boneripper: Thanquol and Boneripper are a great, big, bag o' tricks. Thanquol is a good caster (although not as good as he used to be) despite being only able to cast 2 spells he has to consume warpstone tokens and they have a 5 in 6 chance of boosting his casting attempts by 2 and if he rolls a 1 he doesn't suffer a mortal wound which is great. Thanquol's unique spell is scorch and it has a pretty average casting value of 5. If it goes off you can pick a unit within 26" (yes even your own units!) and that unit suffers D3 mortal wounds but if it is a Skaven unit it suffers D6 mortal wounds which kind of represents Thanquols extreme paranoia. He also knows arcane bolt and Mystic shield. Last but not least he has a warp-amulet that allows him to heal 1 wound per turn but considering he has 13 wounds already it's not amazing. Thanquol's weapon is the Staff of the Horned Rat which is pretty bad becasue its just the average mage staff but with 2 attacks. Now Boneripper (keeping in mind they are 1 model). Boneripper is the main reason you take this model because he is the big, bad, close combat monster. Now he can be armed either with warpfire braziers or warpfire projectors. Warpfire projectors have a very small range of 8" (not that this matters as he is primarily focused on CC), When you fire it pick a unit within range and that unit suffers 2D6 mortal wounds. Damn that is nasty! this can wreack havoc on hordes and elite units alike what with it being able to inflict automatic htting, auto-wounding, unsavble wounds. The warpfire braziers on the other hand are for CC. They have 2" range and 4 attacks with a to hit of a 3+, a to wound of 3+, a rend of -2 and a damge of 3. That is also very nasty! In my opinion they are not as good as the projectors but are still a nasty as they can very easily kill other monsters and high wound models with ease. At the end of the day its a matter of personal prefferance. Finally their command ability is blessing of the horned rat so you pick a skaven unit within 13" (horned rat's favorite number!) and each time that unit suffers any kind of wound roll dice adding 1 to the result if it has 13 or more models. On the roll of a 6 the wound is negated. This can be really good for clanrat or slave hordes as this means they can stick around for much longer by being able to negate wounds. Overall Thanquol and Boneripper are a great and fun unit that hits hard and has lots of special abilities. I, personally, would only use them in friendly games and not competitive games simply because of their randomness but i can see how they could be competitive (especially with warpfire braziers)
- Greyseers: The agents of the council of the thirteen have gone from being very powerful spellcasters to painstakingly mediocre. The fact that they used to be able to know 4 spells and cast and unbind 4 spells a turn from going to knowing 3 and casting and unbinding 1 per turn is a very large hammer blow. They still have their warpstone tokens which is risk, high reward and also things have not all gone balls because they are now tougher with a higher save, more wounds (although wounds aren't as significant now) and a much better melee weapon (range 2", attacks 1, hit roll 4+, wound roll 3+, rend -1 aaaaannnnnddd damage D3 *breathes huge breath*). Now, they know arcane bolt, mystic shield and a unique spell called vermintide (which is pulled from the 8th ed army book). It has a casting value of 6 and if cast pick a enemy within 26" and roll a dice. For each roll of a 6 it suffers a mortal wound. This spell is deadly against hordes being able to knock quite a big chunk out of them but it is pretty much useless against elite units. Now judging that he has his own command abiity he should be used as your general. His ability is 'underlings will not flee, must fight-fight' so when you use it pick a skaven unit within 26" and each time a model in that unit flees roll dice. On a 4+ they don't flee-run. This can-could be very good for slave hordes as with their terrible bravery and crap 'to hit rolls' they WILL flee so this can really make them stick. So even if they weren't as good as previously with their spellcasting they are actually very good support characters (cast mystic shield and then use UWNFMF on a horde of clanrats/slaves and you have a very sticky tarpit unit).
- Screaming Bell: A weird and unpredictable unit but powerful none the less. If fate favours you, you can dominate the battlefield but if the dice gods are annoyed for some reason the results can either be mediocre or bad (which you don't want). Because the Screaming Bell has a loads of special rules i just dont have the time to write all of them out and you can just get them from GW's website. So, if all goes well you can summon a Verminlord or if not you suffer a mortal wound and nothing else happens. The Bell also has some other potential abilities that are quite interesting such as boosting the casting attempts of other Skaven wizards or granting Skaven within its variable range 1 extra attack in melee. Like it's Greyseer counterpart it focuses on a major support role for your unstable army. But remember that the screaming bell is not meant for close combat and is extremely slow unless pushed by a unit but the dialema is what unit you want to push it with. So if you want you can have it on its own but the thing is skaven are increadibly fast in their movement and the bell will probably get lefted behind meaning its support abilities wil be useless beacause they won't be in range but however if they are pushed into battle they will have to follow a unit that will most likely be a horde unit and their for meant for close combat, which the bell isn't (it's not to say it's terrible but jsut not brilliant in CC). I personaly would have it pushed by Stormvermin as they are very good in CC and can protect the Bell symontainiously. Over all the Bell is a very good unit that is capable of great feats of destruction but can backfire (luckily not on your surounding units)
- Lord Skreech Verminking: For what the fluff says Skreech isn't exactly amazing in comparison to other Verminlords statisticly but he does have some interesting abilities