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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 9:00 am 
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The enemy of October is Skaven.

We are looking for any and all information you have on the underempire and servants of the horned rat. What are their strong units? What are good combinations and items? What are strong lists? And, most important of all, how do we beat them.

A whole month to discuss and find out.

In your post, aside from information about Skaven, please also specify what kind of environment you play in. What comp do you play? What does your local meta look like? Do you play in tournament settings or just in your local shop? And how tough are the lists you regularly run into?

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 9:47 am 
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Death or High are 2 good lores (depending on what sort of list you are going for).
Death for obviously snipes and D&D are useful (remember you can't use SiN for Spirit Leech).
High is good for a) mobility (WBW), b) Arcane unforging c) Fiery Convocation
PGs is a good choice as it a) hard to kill b) can grind anything Skaven throws at it
BotWD is a must as majority of their weapons do magical attacks
Flaming attacks is useful as HPA needs to be put down fast
They have alot of toys in Skaven but once it's spent they are some what of a useless army.
Toys include
HPA
Doomwheel
Warplight Cannon
Doomrocket (1 use only)
Brass Orb (1 use only) not effective against us
Magic
Warp Lightning Condenser
Cheap Warlocks
Tooled up Assassins
Storm Banner
Gutter Runners
Big Blocks of Slaves.

Weakest link is that their General (usually Grey Seer) and BSB if taken out early will disintegrate the army really quickly.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 9:54 am 
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Skaven. Let's start with the technical stuff: This is the one army in Warhammer where it's more important to read their FAQ than their rulebook. Many of their things have changed here and the changes are hugely important, for example the reversal of the randomly allocated hits when models with the expendable rule are shot in combat.

Secondly, Skaven have some of the most broken units and equipment in the game. Learn how the following work, and at least you know what their insane potential is:
- Screaming Bell
- Assassin
- Warp-Lightning Cannon
- Skavenslaves
- Hellpit Abomination
- Doomwheel
- Storm Banner
- Howling Warpgale
- Doomrocket
- Brass Orb
- Warlock Engineer

Their book is packed full of stuff that is super-powerful and can easily devastate our frail elves. However, we do have a couple of good counters to them. My next post will detail some of these configurations. For now, the lesson to learn is "know thy enemy" ;)

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 4:47 pm 
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I have never actually played Skaven and so will be following this closely. I have, however, heard a word bandied about with Skaven that has not yet been mentioned - FellBlade !?

I'd be interested to hear this things potential (D6 wounds?) and how it is most commonly run.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:53 pm 
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TheValheru wrote:
I have never actually played Skaven and so will be following this closely. I have, however, heard a word bandied about with Skaven that has not yet been mentioned - FellBlade !?

I'd be interested to hear this things potential (D6 wounds?) and how it is most commonly run.


100 point magic weapon, S10, reroll successful ward saves, D6 wounds. At the end of each owning players turn roll a D6, on 3+ nothing happens, on 1-2 the bearer takes a wound with no armour saves.

It is a hell of a weapon that's for sure, but it takes a warlords whole magic point allowance, so that leaves him with just heavy armour and a shield for protection. He can be mounted on a war litter or a bone breaker for more protection. But he is still a t4 model with little protection.

Everything in our army except for our monsters can hit him first (ASF eagles and griffons can and so can the frosty) so taking him down before he can swing is a must. Assaulting him with single wound models such as infantry is the best bet as it doesn't make use of his d6 wounds. It's also magical so banner of the world dragon gives a unit great protection from him.

So the only thing I would avoid chucking into him is a dragon, unless a frosty is in the same combat as he will munch it. Apart from that, hit him first with everything you have and it's an easy 190 point kill.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:20 pm 
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Dreaded 13th is unbelievably dangerous (broken?!) when running an infantry-heavy list. That spell has ruined my day several times! I found more cavalry to be the way forward. Silver Helms are pretty good in this match-up.

Warp lightning cannons and the Doomwheel are also nasty.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 11:33 pm 
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Doom Wheels, cannon which can fire into combat 3 times, random str, it is also a chariot so impact attacks. Shoot it in the first 2 turns and hope to get a W, as it then has to take a panic test and could run into its own units. Random movement, shoots the closest target. Will normally be out on the flanks.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2014 1:40 am 
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My main opponent frequently brings skaven and i have found a few things that really work. Granted he's not a pro tourny player or anything but during our frequent battles have noticed a few things.

Cavalry- I usually run a 12-15 unit of silver helms, 5+ dragon princes and 1 or 2 small reaver units. The reaver units usually get shot off the board early but it means the heavy cavalry often get into combat unmolested. They cannot be targeted by dreaded 13th and princes have a great save vs scorch. I could see globadiers, plague spells and such being a problem but he doesn't run them much.

Shooting- I run 2-3 bolt throwers, 10 sisters and a block of archers. The target the nasty toys as shooting slaves and clanrats are a waste of time. I have had great success shooting doomwheels off the map.

Swordmasters- These are the only melee infantry i use against skaven in a unit of 20 and they blend them up good. I give them BotWD and as long as i can avoid the dreaded 13th they cause havoc.

High Magic- High magic has done well for me overall and vs skaven has done very well. I find all the spells to be useful and often have a hard time with spell selection, even when the support caster uses high as well.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2014 2:31 am 
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Numbers is the key. Man, when i see every unit nearly numbering 50, it scares the crap out of me...
Also, the fact that slaves can be shot at when in close combat means that Warp Lightning Cannon can potentially hit many more elves, more often.

I would (if i had the models) max out bolt throwers and plenty of archers to thin the numbers before hitting combat. Those Hellpit Abominations really hate sisters of avalorn as well.

Despite what some people have said before me, knights would get targeted heavily by weapons teams, most of which negate armour, so I'd only take them to give the opponent something else to think about.

Most of the army is infantry, so monsters are good too

Those are my findings :)

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2014 12:56 pm 
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Sackree wrote:
TheValheru wrote:
I have never actually played Skaven and so will be following this closely. I have, however, heard a word bandied about with Skaven that has not yet been mentioned - FellBlade !?

I'd be interested to hear this things potential (D6 wounds?) and how it is most commonly run.


100 point magic weapon, S10, reroll successful ward saves, D6 wounds. At the end of each owning players turn roll a D6, on 3+ nothing happens, on 1-2 the bearer takes a wound with no armour saves.

It is a hell of a weapon that's for sure, but it takes a warlords whole magic point allowance, so that leaves him with just heavy armour and a shield for protection. He can be mounted on a war litter or a bone breaker for more protection. But he is still a t4 model with little protection.

Everything in our army except for our monsters can hit him first (ASF eagles and griffons can and so can the frosty) so taking him down before he can swing is a must. Assaulting him with single wound models such as infantry is the best bet as it doesn't make use of his d6 wounds. It's also magical so banner of the world dragon gives a unit great protection from him.

So the only thing I would avoid chucking into him is a dragon, unless a frosty is in the same combat as he will munch it. Apart from that, hit him first with everything you have and it's an easy 190 point kill.



Very comprehensive, thank you Sackree.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 3:45 pm 
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Banner of the World Dragon helps us out here tremendously. I play regularly against a couple Skaven players and that is the one thing they have essentially 0 answers for. Knight bus + BotWD = sad Skaven. All of their shooting and lots of nasty tricks are magical! My tactics are similar against Skaven no matter my list. Focus the Stormvermin with range, break them with combo charge and then hunt for the Grey Seer if he wasn't with the vermin. Chaff helps me deal with the HPA/Doomwheel and I usually don't focus on them until after I have dealt with the main combat block.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 6:57 pm 
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Quote:
Knight bus + BotWD = sad Skaven


I would definitely agree with that! In one battle against a 2500 pt Skaven army I was using a large unit of White Lions with BotWD, which ended up being decimated by dreaded thirteenth. :cry: A large unit of Silver Helms or Dragon Princes with BotWD is harder for them to deal with, partly due to being immune to that spell. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 7:45 pm 
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Agree with what has been said - knights with BotWD is tough. Watch out for the abomination, though. And slaves, always watch out for slaves ;)

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 8:34 am 
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RE.Lee wrote:
And slaves, always watch out for slaves

To expand it bit more on this, I think the tricky thing with skaven is that the regular troops are dirt cheap. Where a unit of 25 elves is usually about as big as elven units go, it is more or less the minimum size unit for regular skaven infantry. And killing those units takes a long time and doesn't get you very far. After all, 25 slaves costs as much as a whole eagle and is used in more or less the same role.

So, when fighting skaven try not to get bogged down in cheap infantry units but instead aim for the points. They generally are in the toys and lord level characters.

Of course, if you can disrupt a unit by flank charging (to take away strength in numbers), break steadfast or have units outside of the generals LD bubble then go for it. Being steadfast on 5 (for slaves with ranks outside the generals LD bubble) doesn't take you very far after all.

Rod

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:03 am 
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I have found that in action, the cavstar builds are our greatest weapon, by far I might add, to fight Skaven. With a properly tooled bus, there are only 2 things you fear in the Skaven army: Combat resolution vs the Screaming Bell-star and the Hell Pit Abomination. Everything else just bounces off a BOTWD-protected bus and its size means it'll go through Slaves relatively quick as well.

Dealing with combat resolution is easy: You take the Crown of Command. Dealing with the HPA is a different story. Sisters and RBTs are your best friends here, but unfortunately they don't synergize that well with the rest of the list and they will almost always die vs Skaven as well because Gutter Runners are so insanely strong. The HPA at stubborn LD8 and I4 isn't trivial to deal with by ways of magic either, but it can be done. The most important thing is that it is focussed from the very beginning.

The Star Dragon build is semi-decent vs Skaven. Brass Orb is a huge X-factor, but if the Dragon can start munching on the Bell... It's bad for Skaven. It can easily turn into nasty business though, especially if the Skaven bring Doomwheel(s).

Infantry builds I have zero experience with against Skaven. Combined arms can work, but WL are largely useless here apart from being stubborn. PG are golden, but struggle vs the Bell because of combat resolution. Dreaded 13th is, as always, a huge issue.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 3:50 pm 
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Infantry lists can work against skaven, but unlike against most armies the swordmasters are probably such lists' best bet against the rats. A swordmaster unit with, BotWD, annointed, lvl 4 high mage with book and 4++ is going to cut through almost any skaven force.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 12:55 am 
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Curu Olannon wrote:
Dreaded 13th is, as always, a huge issue.


I've actually been less concerned with dreaded 13th these days, +25 to cast is actually not that easy to get even with a L.4, and if you book of hoeth you have a decent chance of stopping it. Of course if he gets it off with IF nothing you can do.

Biggest problem when I face skaven is always the hellpit. Really nasty monster that's going to ruin pretty much any elf's day, I think a frostheart would be up to the challenge of taking it on though.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 12:38 am 
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Defeating Skaven.
Kill their General and BSb then their Leadership folds.
If the Grey Seer is the Army General then you also wipe out their Magic phase.

Dealing with Hellpits
Magic: Fireballs, Ruby Ring
Shooting: hit it with Sisters then shoot with Boltthrowers, and archers
Close Combat: Banner of Eternal Flame

Grey Seers on Bells
If you can get a frontal charge with cavalry then kill the Grey Seer off the top of the Bell.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 7:35 pm 
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Eltherion2 wrote:
Defeating Skaven.
Kill their General and BSb then their Leadership folds.
If the Grey Seer is the Army General then you also wipe out their Magic phase.

Dealing with Hellpits
Magic: Fireballs, Ruby Ring
Shooting: hit it with Sisters then shoot with Boltthrowers, and archers
Close Combat: Banner of Eternal Flame

Grey Seers on Bells
If you can get a frontal charge with cavalry then kill the Grey Seer off the top of the Bell.


That's easier said than done, when their leadership bunkers are surrounded by 3-4 blocks of 50 skaven slaves, all of which have Ld10 with BSB rerolls and sreadfast. And the Warp Lightning Cannons can still shoot at you. It's like using a 100mm x 200mm dragon slayer as chaff. Except they can still shoot you. And they're core.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 8:39 pm 
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Tullarion wrote:
Eltherion2 wrote:
Defeating Skaven.
Kill their General and BSb then their Leadership folds.
If the Grey Seer is the Army General then you also wipe out their Magic phase.

Dealing with Hellpits
Magic: Fireballs, Ruby Ring
Shooting: hit it with Sisters then shoot with Boltthrowers, and archers
Close Combat: Banner of Eternal Flame

Grey Seers on Bells
If you can get a frontal charge with cavalry then kill the Grey Seer off the top of the Bell.


That's easier said than done, when their leadership bunkers are surrounded by 3-4 blocks of 50 skaven slaves, all of which have Ld10 with BSB rerolls and sreadfast. And the Warp Lightning Cannons can still shoot at you. It's like using a 100mm x 200mm dragon slayer as chaff. Except they can still shoot you. And they're core.


Skaven aren't easy to deal with depending on the army unit match ups.

Combo charges are probably one answer so the damage out put gets rid of the slaves steadfast.

Try to get Reavers and or Eagles around the Skaven flanks to deal with the WLC's.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 12:07 am 
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Sorry for the thread necromancy, but I felt like chiming in since Skaven are my most frequent opponent where I play.

Like others have said, Skaven are a hard counter to most elf lists: their low points cost makes our shooting ineffectual, their massed ranks will allow them to stay steadfast against even our deadliest combined charges, their magic and warmachines shred T3 elves like paper, and their reasonably high speed makes avoidance lists hard to play.

However, what really annoys me about Skaven isn't just how powerful they were intended to be: it's how much more powerful they've unintentionally become due to their out of date book!

I mean, the Abomination was still horrendously powerful in 7th. Hits like a ton of bricks, stubborn, and nigh-impossible to kill even with massed RBTs. But with the change in Random Movement rules, it has also now become impossible to evade or redirect! This means the Skaven player only needs to keep their abomb puttering along next to one of their main blocks, and our attempts to disrupt the Skaven line using reavers and eagles completely fall apart to the 3d6 charging mound of flesh whom our reavers are not allowed to declare a Flee! reaction to! This was explicitly allowed in the Army Book entry, but GW has kindly FAQed the option away.

Furthermore, spells lacking a spell type allow them to be targeted in ways which no 8th edition spell is allowed. I mean things such as Wither, Plague and Cloud of Corruption affecting enemies in close combat, despite the fact that they would be classified as direct damage spells under 8th, anomalous persistent effects (namely Death Frenzy and Wither), which have neither set durations nor the "remains in play" tag, and therefore apparently can't be dispelled and probably can't be removed by Drain Magic either. The rules changes have left things like that without a counter, they exist in a sort of gap where everything that kept them in check has been removed, making them impossible to counter in 8th.

There are plenty of other armies in Warhammer that are stupidly powerful and are difficult for elves to deal with, but I can't think of another one that is simply so broken at a fundamental rules level. I'm perfectly happy for Skaven to be a powerful army, but when they're allowed to do things that nobody else can like cast megaspells capable of nuking a 60-strong unit into close combat, or mindlessly smash through redirectors without giving them a chance to even react, I just feel like driving to Nottingham with a truck full of Skaven army lists and having a book burning outside GW HQ.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 9:37 am 
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Given the release moment, many people consider the Skaven army book to be written with 8th edition in mind. So it's possible that a lot the effects in there are actually by design, not chance. Take for instance dreaded 13th. The casting cost of 25 was just impossible to achieve in a normal way under 7th edition magic rules. In 8th, it fits with the other big spells.

As for A-bombs, it's actually not true that you can't do nothing against them. You just do it in a different way. The random movement rules state that a move is done by pivoting and then moving in a straight line forward. If you put a unit on the flank of the abomb, 1'' away, then it can't pivot, since you can't come within 1'' of another model unless you are charging. Therefore, the abomb simply runs straight forward.

Also, flaming can put quite a number on it.

Rod

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 1:08 pm 
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Yeah, I do know about railroading, but I'm not convinced it's really legal, to me it feels like a deliberate misreading of the rules. I am aware that a lot of tournaments allow it, but I think that's done with balance in mind, rather than legality. So it's fine if you're running a tournament and are concerned with providing an absolutely level playing field, but I don't think it has a place in friendly club warhammer.

That said, it's not really a huge problem for me, as my most regular Skaven opponent isn't a completely filthy power player and has only used the abomb a few times. It just sticks in my craw that the only way you can deal with it before it hits your lines and completely pulverizes everything you own is by using most of your rare allowance for sisters and RBTs, things which are pretty useless against a Skaven army otherwise. (I mean, a multiple shot RBT is kinda overkill to take out a weapon team... :P )

I'm not so sure they wrote the book with 8th in mind, tbh. 13th was possible to cast, lvl 4s could use 5 dice after all, and Grey Seers have warpstone tokens too. But if that's true, then the least they could do in the FAQ was assign a type for each spell, surely!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 5:24 am 
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If I see a Hellpit in the Skaven list I see it as free points. Once wounded by Flaming the Abom cannot come back to life again.

Magic: Fireball and/or Ruby Ring this depends on the Lore of Magic you are using.
Shooting: Sisters, archers/Reavers + RBT's 2 rounds of shooting should kill it.
Close Combat: Banner Eternal Flame preferably on a cavalry unit to prevent stomps.

Our fast units such as Eagles and Reavers can take down the WLC's.

Phoenix Guard will chew though Slaves and Clan Rats with minimal losses.

To me a balanced High Elf army list should include a way of dealing with Regen because a number of armies have units with Regen.
WoC Chimeras, Festus blocks, Trolls
Ogre Trollguts Spell
Skaven Hellpits
Orcs and Goblins Trolls
VC's to a lesser extent
Nurgle Demons but they still have Ward Saves

The BoTWD is a no brainer vs. Skaven as most of their shooting is Magical and a lot of the Skaven Spells are also negated eg: Scorch, Warplightning, Plague, etc...

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 12:31 am 
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Just played a battle vs. Skaven this weekend and wondered how Ulthuan takes on the Plague Furnace and the Bell specifically. In my matchup, the opponent had both! Plague priests were pushing the Furnace and stormvermin were pushing the bell.

I moved aggressively to engage with my block of 21 sword masters with BOTWD. Due to also being augmented by wildform, I saw opportunity for the sword masters to destroy the furnace outright. Which they did no problem. However the result was that a ton more frenzied plague priests with poison attacks were able to strike back. They killed a ton and I ended up breaking.

So, I am wondering if there is any advice on the correct way to tackle such units? Do you go after the rats pushing and constantly win by combat res, or due you go after the large centerpieces so they can't do major damage?

By the way, there were also two units of stormfiends. Watch out for the Gatling guns! Stay out of 18" range until you deal with them through shooting or magic. The unit that popped up turn 2, didn't worry me as much since I was mindful of positioning units to counteract their arrival.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:42 pm 
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What points and restrictions were you playing?

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 7:16 pm 
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HERO wrote:
What points and restrictions were you playing?

2500 points. No comp. No end times. Just the 50% lords allowance. My list was roughly:

Arch age lvl 4 high
Lore master

2x15 archers
Reavers
10 silver helms

21 sword masters, botwd
20 Phoenix guard, razor banner

Frostheart

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 7:46 pm 
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Bolt Thrower wrote:
HERO wrote:
What points and restrictions were you playing?

2500 points. No comp. No end times. Just the 50% lords allowance. My list was roughly:

Arch age lvl 4 high
Lore master

2x15 archers
Reavers
10 silver helms

21 sword masters, botwd
20 Phoenix guard, razor banner

Frostheart


Was there no BSB in there? Must have been a mistype seeing your sig :P

I would cut the Silver Helms for min core, or just run 30x Archers like I do and have 2 units of Silver Helm/Reaver darts!

This gives you room to buy more stuff, which I would then buy more SM, PG or even another Frostheart. It seems like you are outdeployed here since Skaven normally has 11+ drops because of Rat darts, slaves and what other else.

Do you own any Eagles? Eagles and Reavers do wonders against Skaven because they maul their chaff and are able to chaff up huge units like the Bell and Furnace. The Plague Monks are frenzy, so you can typically force them to overrun into bad positions and then maul them with flank/combo-charges. There's just no way around the Bell typically, but Storm Vermin are not the best of killers so if you can get a Frostheart or two in there, you will be able to grind them down.

High Magic also does wonders vs. both Vermin and Monk unit, even with the MR2 they will be losing a lot of guys.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:09 pm 
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Hero, thanks for the feedback. Yes I did have a BSB on an eagle! It was the first time running an eagle BSB, and while not really optimal, was a lot of fun. My core came to 665 which is 40 points over min and would have been a couple of extra bodies. I definitely could have used another re-director which I may address with reducing core and something else to get the points needed.

The skaven list had a grey seer on the bell. A bsb in the bell unit. A lvl 2 guy in the priest unit pushing the furnace. Two large slave units. And two units of the storm fiends. That's it so I actually had more drops in the end.

I was totally grinding down the bell unit with the PG, phoenix, and my BSB but he was unbreakable with the bell and I couldn't take wounds off it quickly enough. I understand bell units are apparently much more difficult to move because of this, so that's a learning.

The furnace was the one that caught me off guard. I was able to wipe it out easily enough, but then the priests whooped me in combat because so many more attacks were able to come in base to base with the furnace removed. It broke my sword master unit with my archmage and caught them on the pursuit. When really all the skaven points are in two huge units like this, is the best approach to kill the rank and file or to take down the furnace first? From this experience it seems like stick to the rank and file until they are reduced significantly.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:20 pm 
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I'll give you an example of how much they cost..

Greyseer in typical config is 270 points with Ironcurse and Scroll.
Lv.2 Plague Priest is typically 154 because he wants Shielding Scroll with his MR2 unit of Plague Monks.
You add +200 for the Bell, +150 for the Plague Priest, so we're at 774 already.
Then you add 40 Stormvermin at around 350ish points, and 40 Plague Monks with Plague Banner (once per game, re-roll hits and wounds) at 335.
This makes those two units 1459, two units of Storm Fiends are 255 each.

What you want to do here is frenzy bait the Plague Monks in a terrible position and then combo-charge them to death with your bird. S2 Plague Monks are just crap, and by then you should already be debuffing and burning them down depending on what Lore you take. I personally like Shadow and High in this matchup, since Death is quite crap with all the MR on the units, but Spirit Leach actually does serious work vs. Storm Fiends..

Anyways, kill the Plague Monk unit first while chaffing the Stormvermin and then reform and repeat the same thing to him. You should be able to grind them down with Phoenix Guard especially, but Sword Masters also work but I wouldn't recommend it. Stormvermin goes simul with Sword Masters and they will rip through them in most cases.

The best unit to fight Skaven is actually Spearmen, since they have ASF and keep their re-rolls vs. Skaven's best, cheap enough to kill all kinds of units, and erase Stormvermin and even Plague Monks from the game with the right buffs.

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