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 Skaven Sling Spam?

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Murray145
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PostSubject: Skaven Sling Spam?   Sat 23 Apr 2011 - 16:15

So I was at the local game store, and I over heard this guy talking about how he wont play Mordheim because he believes that he'll never win because (apparently) everyone plays Skaven Sling-Spam.

I personally find this tactic stupid, but I was wondering if anyone has ever faced/played this warband, it seems to be to unreliable due to most of the army having Bs 3 and then on top of all the to-hit modifiers.

I could see this tactic being deadly if you happen to be facing an army in a open area with all your 20 skaven in short range to be able to fire all their shots with out any negative modifiers on their To Hit rolls.


So what do you guys think about Skaven Sling Spam?
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PostSubject: Re: Skaven Sling Spam?   Sat 23 Apr 2011 - 16:49

I think the general -1 to hit that the Living Rule Book put on slings' being fired twice has robbed this tactic of much of its worth, because, as you already pointed out, a model with low BS in the first place is certainly not the beneficiary.

But even before that rule was changed, I never had problems with it when I faced Skaven (oh yes, those were the times ... Razz) - I mean, how often do you have someone at such close range who is not engaged in close combat? Wink

So as a supporting drop to tip over the balance in concert with other means, aye, surely, but Teh Winning Tacticz™ on its own? Nay, won't happen.

And I wholeheartedly agree that this unbeatable deadliness of the Skaven Slings is one of the most persistent rumours I have heard about Mordheim. Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Skaven Sling Spam?   Sat 23 Apr 2011 - 17:25

I truth it is no more deadly than a bow at range. If you are within 9 inches for the double shot you are more likely to charge than shot. The real cheese is the cost at 2gc. You can arm an entire warband of 20 Skaven with a range 18" strength 3 missile for 40gc.
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Mephysto
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PostSubject: Re: Skaven Sling Spam?   Sun 24 Apr 2011 - 4:07

On a side note, and a bit off-topic maybe, but when I recently saw that (still relatively) new mini-series of Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth, in this scene where the rabble defends the cathedral building site against the looting warband of knights, I involuntarily had to grin - because that is exactly how I always imagined and experienced a Sling Spam: Lots of projectiles at very short range, missing the targets by miles, ineffective at anything over fifteen metres, and only one or two lucky hits in the face or some place where it hurts (then a Voluntary Rout on part of the knights, and bang, Exploration time Wink).

Oh, and old David's player must have had a lucky hand at rolling crits, too. Rolling Eyes
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PostSubject: Re: Skaven Sling Spam?   Sun 24 Apr 2011 - 5:10

I find slings a bit hit and miss... as it were, with my rats the real firepower comes from s4 knife fighters with eagle eyes, with the m6 and no range or movement modifiers they can be real killers with a range of 12.
That said I try to give out as many slings as possible as not everyone can use throwing stars and blowpipes suck (hoho). My skaven are far from unbeatable.
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PostSubject: Re: Skaven Sling Spam?   Sun 24 Apr 2011 - 7:13

I've played skaven for years, and have never gone for the everyone armed with slings approach. Note the two shots only apply at half-range and when you remain stationary, and my skaven usually miss!

The wise player always uses cover to negate the opposition's firepower, the not-so-wise usually learn quickly.

As Mephysto pointed out, it's a rumour.
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PostSubject: Re: Skaven Sling Spam?   Sun 24 Apr 2011 - 8:22

On a sidenote (waht I think about Skaven has been pointed out here repeatedly): Tell the guy that Mordheim isn't all about winning but about the great fun you can have, and the stories and RPG elements in the games. And with such a lot of warbands available, I don't think that too many people play Skaven, especially not the more experienced players who are long past their Skaven years back in the days when the boxed set was released Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Skaven Sling Spam?   Sun 24 Apr 2011 - 8:44

The manager of the local game store loves to regale us with tales of his unbeatable skaven sling-spam warband from back in the day. He won't play it now though, cause the game is out of print (even though we play every Thursday at his store.) scratch

We face a lot of sling shots, but they have to survive the hail of arrows, bolts and bullets and not rout. I've not played a skaven band that didn't upgrade its heroes to crossbows or long rifles as soon as possible to cover their advance.
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PostSubject: Re: Skaven Sling Spam?   Sun 24 Apr 2011 - 15:59

I find it interesting that the people telling us that its only a rumour... are the skaven players *coughs* wich tells me that there is no smoke with out fire Very Happy

However, Skaven bands have been a bit on the heavy side, and allways have felt as not being tought over really when created. But in the end, I win some and loose some. Some of the losses are against Skavens, and that is only fair, slings or not.
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PostSubject: Re: Skaven Sling Spam?   Sun 24 Apr 2011 - 22:58

Well, Skaven with lots of slings are tough in the early games in a campaign. A warband can easily start with 15 sling-armed models and that is a lot of shooting. Even the BS 3 and the relatively short range do not hurt that much when you have that many shots. Which other warband can match that in early games?
But are they unbeatable? No, just do not play on an empty table. A good amount of terrain will balance things out between shooty warbands and the close combat oriented ones.
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PostSubject: Re: Skaven Sling Spam?   Sun 24 Apr 2011 - 23:30

I totally agree with Horatius!
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PostSubject: Re: Skaven Sling Spam?   Mon 25 Apr 2011 - 0:02

My main warbands are Marienburg and Orcs and I have never had a problem going against sling-spam. As a warband with multiple crossbows I am more than happy for my Skaven opponent to sit unmoving at the top of their tower while I take potshots at them from out of sling range, and that is only on the rare occasions I go to someone elses place and they don't have enough terrain.

With proper amounts of terrain to block LOS and so forth they will be getting one or two models to shoot and so will I. They are welcome to their sling shots while I shoot at them with duelling pistols as we close.

The only people I have ever seen having difficulty against sling-spam are those people that are very rigid in their sense of fun and can only enjoy a 'Graaaagh-smash' kind of game and therefore run straight at the skaven in their emplacement and get shot to pieces trying to climb up to them. Because they are so rigid and can only have fun with this playstyle they will refuse to alter it and adjust their tactics and this is fine - everyone is entitled to have fun in their own way, but to then insist that the game is broken because they refuse to change their tactics when they fail to work; instead insisting that the rules be changed is a bit unfair, I feel.

Which is not to say that I think Mordheim is a shining tower of rules perfection - it certainly has a few bits that are broken, but sling-spam isn't it.

I must admit that when I first ran my orc warband into a hail of slingfire as an experiment to see if trusting on numbers and T4 would be enough (it wasn't) I didn't fare very well. But all I had to do was man up and grow a pair, and then rub a few braincells together and Viola! Cunning Planz and a refinement of 'Graaaah-smash' and I was back in the game.
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PostSubject: Re: Skaven Sling Spam?   Mon 25 Apr 2011 - 9:25

I agree - unless you're playing all your battles in an open field, Skaven Sling Spam are far from being impossible to beat with a balanced warband. I would even say that Shadow Warrior Warbands are similar, but I've long since given up trying to argue against that - I'll just play Reiklanders and arm them as elves.
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PostSubject: Re: Skaven Sling Spam?   Mon 25 Apr 2011 - 13:35

Didn't the rules revisions (circa 2002) make it so that it was a -1 modifier to both shots, on top of having to be only short range and the model not having moved? I believe the errata is available on tabletopgeeks, as well.
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PostSubject: Re: Skaven Sling Spam?   Mon 25 Apr 2011 - 13:45

Max out on models armed with Slings and nothing else = broken strat.
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PostSubject: Re: Skaven Sling Spam?   Mon 25 Apr 2011 - 21:29

Question for people since the one time I played against a skaven sling spam was way back when and my marienburgers just sniped their heroes with the Hochland. Hiding works wonders.

How does a Skaven compare to a Sister sling spam? I HAVE played against a sister sling unit. My Pit Fighters got bloodied badly. Until the sisters moved into some ruins... It was a butcher. Poor sisters went crying home to mommy.
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PostSubject: Re: Skaven Sling Spam?   Tue 26 Apr 2011 - 6:30

Sisters fare largely the same as Skaven when facing a lot of terrain - their whips have pretty much the same effect as high initiative, and their slower speed is somewhat offset by their better armour, but their shooting ability is somewhat hampered by their lack of shooting skills.
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PostSubject: Re: Skaven Sling Spam?   Wed 27 Apr 2011 - 5:47

I have played against a lot of skaven warbands through the years, and rarely seen a rat without a sling. They are a good viable warband, but hardly broken. I I have only rarely seen them as one of the stronger warbands in a campaign.

We play with a fair amount of terrain on the table.

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PostSubject: Re: Skaven Sling Spam?   Wed 27 Apr 2011 - 5:54

BalrogTheBuff wrote:
How does a Skaven compare to a Sister sling spam?
It takes the Sisters a lot longer to get into position to fire, so they get even more shot-up than Skaven do.

Neither is a problem as far as I'm concerned. There have been Skaven bands in nearly every campaign we've run and none of them has ever won a campaign!
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PostSubject: Re: Skaven Sling Spam?   Wed 27 Apr 2011 - 15:44

In our campaigns, Sisters tend to do well. To the extent it is the warband's rules and not the players, the whips and SIgmarite hammers seem more significant than the slings. In fact, generally you are better off if they hang back to throw dinky little rocks at you. Being pounded by those hammers HURTS. And the whips just add insult to injury. Nice models, though.
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PostSubject: Re: Skaven Sling Spam?   Tue 3 May 2011 - 19:16

Just occurred to me - one of the reasons nobody in my circle cares about the sling spam is because Skaven, with their max Ld of 7, tend to do pitifully with Tarot cards. This is seen as a massive disadvantage, so the fact that they get access to a crappy short range weapon that has no special skills is not seen as much of a compensation.
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PostSubject: Re: Skaven Sling Spam?   Tue 3 May 2011 - 21:10

Lord 0 wrote:
Just occurred to me - one of the reasons nobody in my circle cares about the sling spam is because Skaven, with their max Ld of 7, tend to do pitifully with Tarot cards. This is seen as a massive disadvantage, so the fact that they get access to a crappy short range weapon that has no special skills is not seen as much of a compensation.

Hah! That's just golden story material!

Not only do the cards clearly indicate that someone's switched out your stormvermin for slaves, but said slaves are ALSO out to kill you. Best send them out on a suicide mission while you scutter off to hide!
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