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Starmarket



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PostSubject: Skaven Warband   Sat 22 Aug 2015 - 7:46

Hello!

I'm new to Mordheim and decided to start out with a Skaven warband. I'm trying to collect some models, but I'm not sure of how many models i need and which type of models. How many swordsmen, verminkin do i need etc? Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Skaven Warband   Sat 22 Aug 2015 - 8:00

Hey,

welcome to the forum! Do you have a copy of the Skaven warband? If so just read the section titled Choice of Warriors and it will give you a broad outline. If you don't have a copy of the warband just let us know and someone will post a link to the warband online.

For example warband may only field 20 warriors total. So the maximum number of models you need is 20. (Unless you have a Halfling Cookbook, then you may have 21.)

Perhaps a friendly mod would move this to the Rules and Gameplay section where more players will see it, too.
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PostSubject: Re: Skaven Warband   Sat 22 Aug 2015 - 8:57

Thanks for the answer!
I found a copy of the Skaven warband, and that "Choice of Warrior" section was pretty much what i needed Smile

Can someone give me an example of a good first warband setup? I really have no clue of how many models i should use and what kind of equipment to give them.
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PostSubject: Re: Skaven Warband   Sat 22 Aug 2015 - 9:07

I can't help you with your question. HOWEVER, I will move this thread to the Rules & Gamesplay Section where you will find some response to your queries.   What a Face
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PostSubject: Re: Skaven Warband   Sat 22 Aug 2015 - 11:49

Hopefully more experienced Skaven players will comment, but I will put my two cents in:

Take all of your starting heroes. The skaven can start with 6 so take advantage of that. If you have a rat ogre model, then take that too. Its expensive, but its nearly indestructible in the early game and not worth beans near the end of campaigns. After you have 6 heroes and a rat ogre, then take whatever else you can afford. It won't be much, but you won't need much in early games.

If you do not have a rat ogre model and can not afford one, take lots of verminkin and giant rats. Arm the verminkin with daggers and slings to start (if your group allows dual wielding).
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PostSubject: Re: Skaven Warband   Sat 22 Aug 2015 - 12:28

I would quibble with VK in one respect; don't spam sling-armed Verminkin unless you play in an ultra-competitive group or you heavily houserule slings, because Slingspam Skaven are one of the least fun warbands to play against in vanilla and, particularly in the early campaign, a lot of other warbands have no real way of dealing with them.
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PostSubject: Re: Skaven Warband   Sat 22 Aug 2015 - 18:28

Slings are -1 to hit when firing double shots, so I find them almost useless compared to bows most of the time. Just my 2 cents, but then we play Mordheim with so many house rules they might actually be "op" in an vanilla environment.
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PostSubject: Re: Skaven Warband   Sun 23 Aug 2015 - 3:29

Thanks for your input!
It's good to see that you guys think different of how to build a skaven warband. I guess I should try to build something that seems fun to play and then evolve it from there.
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PostSubject: Re: Skaven Warband   Sun 23 Aug 2015 - 7:22

Excellent plan!

As for sling spam, that ceased to be an issue in our games back when the rules review introduced the -1 to hit when firing twice rule for slings. Slings are a poor second to bows in most instances. A skaven warband can still dominate our campaigns, but its usually because they are overwhelming in melee.
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PostSubject: Re: Skaven Warband   Sun 23 Aug 2015 - 21:37

Hmm. In my experience that change helped somewhat, but at the end of the day taking loads of them is still tons of shots, and as you say those shots come(cheaply) on a warband that can be extremely competent in melee AND will usually outnumber the opposition by a substantial margin.

I'm not saying "don't use slings", just "don't be 'that guy' that takes the max possible number of slings", unless as I said your local scene is no-holds-barred competitive.
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PostSubject: Re: Skaven Warband   Mon 24 Aug 2015 - 16:48

As von Kurst said, take all of your available starting heroes.  That is pretty much a rule for any warband, actually.  I don't take rats (I almost always pass on models that cannot earn experience and improvements), so I would kit out my 4 good heroes moderately well, and then buy lots of cheap verminkin - clubs and maybe slings.  Your captain has a low leadership, so once they have taken the 25% casualties and have to start making leadership checks to rout, they will probably break pretty quickly.  So pack in some numbers, so that it is harder for your opponents to push you into "rout territory".  

The tradeoff I wrestle with is between good kit for the Assassin and his best minions (the two Black Skaven and the Sorcerer) and adding more arrow fodder verminkin.  Numbers are important in Mordheim, but you want your best guys to be able to put the boot in (well, the claws at any rate) and earn experience, so you do want to give them some decent kit.

RE sling spam: it has never really been a problem for us, wither with Skaven or Sisters.  Being dog er, rat-piled by a bunch of Skaven - now that has been a problem.  The dirty rats...


Last edited by mweaver on Mon 24 Aug 2015 - 16:49; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : cleaning up a typo.)
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PostSubject: Re: Skaven Warband   Thu 27 Aug 2015 - 18:47

+1 for taking all the heroes. Mordheim is less about *winning* scenarios and more about *surviving* scenarios over the long haul.

Your leader is irreplaceable and melee combat is fickle so keep him out of it as much as you can. To this end, I recommend making your Leader a ranged attacker and lead from the rear while sniping enemy heroes (also happens to be a particularly Skaven thing to do). Because you will be giving your leader shooting weapons this means you *cannot* equip him with Fighting Claws. Best bet is to give him Weeping Blades and another melee weapon that makes you happy. For a ranged weapon he should start with a sling and either throwing knives or a warplock pistol, whatever you like the look of best. Later on he will need a crossbow, but you can attach one to his back with bluetac so you should only need one model for your Assassin Adept.

Your Sorcerer will need a sword for defence, a sling for just in case, and another melee weapon that makes you happy. You will probably only need one model for your Sorcerer.

You know how I said melee was dangerous? Well, it is your Black Skaven that will be bearing the brunt of it. I find it most effective for one Black Skaven to specialise in monster-killing (high Str and AP) and the other to specialise in meat-grinding (high number of attacks). Ideally they should both be armed with slings, spears, and swords (spear if you are charged, sword and dagger if not), then Double Handed Weapon for the monster-killer and either Weeping Blades or Fighting Claws later when you have the skills to support them. If you are not using the optional crit rules then you could possible start the monster killer with a halberd of a design that could be either a halberd or a Double-Handed axe. If you *are* using the optional crit rules (recommended - they are a lot of fun) then you will need to have a double-handed Mace or Hammer and will need a second model for it because you can't start with it. This is because the monster-killer works best with Art of Silent Death, Web of Steel, and a weapon that uses the blunt crit table to insta-out regardless of remaining wounds. The meat-grinder just has to stack the skills that give him more attacks e.g. Combat Master, Pit Fighter, etc. Skills like Strike to Injure, Lightning Reflexes, and so forth will benefit both. You will need 2-4 models for your Black Skaven depending on your strategy and groups rules.

Night-Runners are the poopiest heroes you have and should be replaced by TLGT verminkin at the earliest opportunity. They should start with slings, spears, and clubs. TLGT heroes are difficult to replace at best and because they only get two basic skill lists they are best used as shooters rather than punchers or stabbers. You have three options for your two shooters. Bow sniper, black-powder sniper, or close support. A bow sniper will have a longbow and a crossbow, later upgrading to Hunting Arrows and an elf bow. A black-powder sniper will have a handgun and a crossbow, later upgrading to a hunting rifle. A close support shooter will have two of throwing knives, brace of crossbow pistols, brace of warplock pistols. The key skills for both snipers are Scale Sheer Surfaces and then Quick Shot for the bow rat and Hunter for the BP rat. The close support shooter will need pistoleer, knife-fighter, and sprint.

Oh yeah, all of the heroes will at some point need to learn the relevant 'use any weapon skill'. I have been taking it as read, but that is probably not wise with someone new. Silly me Very Happy.

Skaven can have up to 20 members in their warband. DO NOT BE DECEIVED BY THIS! IT IS A CRUEL TRICK TO LURE YOU AWAY FROM THE PATH OF MAXIMUM FUN! The optimum number of members in a warband in most circumstances is either 9 or 12 depending on whether you prefer gold or numbers. More than 12 members of your warband and it gets too hard to earn decent gold in a timely manner. Less gold means fewer toys and therefore less fun. At the end of the campaign you can pad you warband as much as you can afford to inflate your warband rating as much as you can, if you like.

You will need at least 3 giant rats in the event your Sorcerer gets the Children of the Horned Rat spell. As for paying gold for models that don't gain xp or can't carry weapons, well, generally you don't want them. That being said, one of the main jobs of henchmen is to act as meatshields for your heroes. Since their main job is to die you want them to be as cheap as possible to replace. 15 gold is pretty good for a M6 S3 meatshield.
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PostSubject: Re: Skaven Warband   Thu 27 Aug 2015 - 22:19

I forgot, on the subject of slings:

Do not do your opponent the disrespect of assuming they cannot deal with a few rocks. Take all the slings you can.

Slings become less and less relevant as the game goes on. They are cheap so you can start with the maximum amount of them whereas other warbands will take time to build up their ranged attacks. However, once they do, you will feel the pain.

If there is a lot of terrain you will not be able to bring your numbers of slings to bear. Also, your opponents will be able to use it to hide as they approach. If there is not very much terrain they will be able to easily outrange you.

Slingspam is one of those things where the strengths are obvious and the weaknesses are less so, so with new players it is a while before they learn to take advantage of the weaknesses. Rest assured though, they are there and once they learn to play, you will have to trouble with sling spam.
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PostSubject: Re: Skaven Warband   Fri 28 Aug 2015 - 9:12

Thanks for a great answer! The more I read, the more excited I get. We'll start playing in about 4 weeks, and i can't wait to get started! Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Skaven Warband   Fri 28 Aug 2015 - 23:17

Lord 0 wrote:
I forgot, on the subject of slings:

Do not do your opponent the disrespect of assuming they cannot deal with a few rocks. Take all the slings you can.

Slings become less and less relevant as the game goes on. They are cheap so you can start with the maximum amount of them whereas other warbands will take time to build up their ranged attacks. However, once they do, you will feel the pain.

If there is a lot of terrain you will not be able to bring your numbers of slings to bear. Also, your opponents will be able to use it to hide as they approach. If there is not very much terrain they will be able to easily outrange you.

Slingspam is one of those things where the strengths are obvious and the weaknesses are less so, so with new players it is a while before they learn to take advantage of the weaknesses. Rest assured though, they are there and once they learn to play, you will have to trouble with sling spam.

Wow, you can see the condescension literally dripping from this rubbish.

Hilariously, I don't even need to argue the point, because you refute it yourself in your own previous post, in your very first line, no less. Mordheim is very much about surviving battles more than winning them at first, so this idea that slingspam "only" being good at the beginning of a campaign is somehow an argument against it being problematic is laughable; very few warbands are going to have an answer to heavy slingspam for a fair few number of games, other than running and hiding with your heroes to try and keep them alive. That's not particularly fun for your opponent(and this assertion that considering whether that's going to be a factor is "disrespectful" is truly giggle-worthy), and it has the potential to give the Skaven band a huge advantage in post-game for multiple games before other bands begin to catch up, an advantage which with the RNG nature of many parts of the game ends up being insurmountable.

But go on, since you're evidently such a master tactician, compared to us mere mortals, how about you enlighten us as to exactly how we can "learn to play" in a manner that removes the problems with slingspam? Rolling Eyes
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PostSubject: Re: Skaven Warband   Sat 29 Aug 2015 - 11:23

You big silly Razz, I am not even the first person to post on this thread that my group has found the tactical solution to sling-spam, so I am hardly a master tactican for having found it. Heck, when I first started playing Mordheim I started with Skaven so it wasn't even *me* that found the counter in the group I play with.

Slings have a range of 18" and just about all warbands have access to at least bows, if not longbows and/or crossbows. If you are standing in range of their slings then you are doing it wrong. Keep out of their range and pot-shot them until they realise they are going to have to come to you.

Granted, *some* warbands have trouble on their first game getting the ranged weapons they need, particularly warbands like Possessed that have a high demand for starting gold, but all you need are 2-3 long ranged weapons to counter it, and I don't think it is too much to ask of a warband to have that many after 2-3 games. Heck, as an extreme example, I have seen my friends Possessed warband counter sling-spam with just two Mutants and his Magister with bows, and that was with no BS upgrades. He pot-shotted the Skaven with his shooters while his Possessed and Bretheren moved and hid until they could charge.

Now, that was an extreme example because bows are only slightly longer range than slings so it took a fair amount of skill to pull off, but even so, it illustrates that even a Possessed warband has the tools to counter sling-spam. Now, there are counters to that and I am sure even now you are thinking of Hunt the Sniper and Fox and Hounds, but *those* and those like them have counter too, and you see? It has already gone from 'Slingspam is unassailable' to tactic, counter-tactic, and counter-counter-tactic and for any given game it comes down to who can execute their tactic the best (or make the fewest errors, depending on perspective) and if a thrilling game of tactical back-and-forth isn't fun for you, well, I guess our tastes are just too different and we will have to agree to disagree.

As for the comment about the disrespectfulness of it? I stand by that. Sling-spam only works if you don't move and your enemy comes right at you in the open, or at least not hiding. Now, we were all newbs once and sometimes it takes a game or two to realise the threat, but after two or three games expecting your opponent to make the *same* mistake again and again and never counter it? Yes, that *is* disrespecting your opponent.
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PostSubject: Re: Skaven Warband   Wed 2 Sep 2015 - 9:09

Lord 0 wrote:


Slings have a range of 18" and just about all warbands have access to at least bows, if not longbows and/or crossbows. If you are standing in range of their slings then you are doing it wrong. Keep out of their range and pot-shot them until they realise they are going to have to come to you.


20 slings costs 40 gc so it is incredibly cheap to equip the whole skaven warband with them. They gain a lot by doing that and lose almost nothing (max 40 gc invested in them at a time).

Also by your logic countering bows-> using long bow etc., countering long bows-> using elven bows.

I think that early on a campaign even if you manage to get the sling wielding skaven to come at you it really doesn´t make much difference as they can for instance stop near you and fire with their slings (might be as much as 40 shots!) and if you stay foot you lose (as almost nothing can match the firepower of slingspam at least on the first few games) if you advance they either charge, go backwards and shoot later or stay foot and shoot and you lose again. This is a slight exaggeration, but still the point becomes clear.

What I am trying to say is that equipping slings to every member of your skaven warband can be easily seen as exploiting the rules in a bad way. It just gives them a huge boost in versatility (even with the -1 to hit for multiple shots), costing next to nothing. I would recommend that you use some house rules for slings to make them worse or/and more expensive.

Good luck with the skaven warband. In my opinion it is a very nice warband to play with Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Skaven Warband   Fri 4 Sep 2015 - 17:15

Skaven are fun to play, but I would not recommend nerfing slings at all. In fact, in my group we buffed slings because they were somewhat boring and now they are kind of cool to give to certain heroes. A more detailed response is here.

GLHF, or whatever it is the cool kids are saying these days.
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PostSubject: Re: Skaven Warband   Thu 10 Sep 2015 - 2:35

Lord 0 wrote:


Night-Runners are the poopiest heroes you have and should be replaced by TLGT verminkin at the earliest opportunity.

While this does seem to be internet wisdom, personally and within our group nightrunners are preferred of vermikin purely down to M6 and I5 (albeit I5 can easily be gained).

Experience has taught me that Mordheim is a tactical battle of movement and access and an extra 2" of running or charging is highly valuable no matter what stage of the campaign you are in.
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PostSubject: Re: Skaven Warband   Wed 4 Nov 2015 - 17:34

Generally speaking, there are a few ways to equip your warband.

RECKLESS STRATEGY
Buy a Rat Ogre. Max out Heroes or go for numbers, but the strategy revolves around abusing your tough guy and murdering enemies. As a henchman/henchrat/henchmonster, going out of action on a 1 or 2 on a d6 is a 33% chance, so you have to make the most of him or lose 210g, which is crippling.

Assassination Strategy
9 members, with an emphasis on special weapons and maximum heroes. Use the excess to get more Skaven. You want to make economics and assassination your strategy - it's more important to keep your Skaven alive than to win fights, but you should make a focus on doing what the Eshin do best. Assassination. Terrify your opponent with the prospect of sacrificing henchmen to put his heroes OOA. Make him make mistakes. Put him off-balance. A few warpstone pistols, claws, or poisoned swords in the face of somebody important will do the trick.

The Swarm
Aim for 20. You will want maximum attacks, so load up on daggers. Slings are good too.

This is the easiest strategy. Against new players, you will just win - not because the strategy is broken, but because it abuses the easiest stuff to do in the game. Getting an extra attack is brokenly powerful compared to getting parries, shields for armor, or a 2-handed weapon. Using the simple crit system, your little dagger can perform critical hits that the advanced critical hit system reserves for monstrous two-handed weapons! Additionally, new players forget to take advantage of some rules (specifically, hiding, removing enemy models from hiding, retreating out of combat, and All Alone). With new players, especially players who ignore the 'numbers' and make thematic warbands ("I spent all my money on only 3 men, but they all have gromril armor and a full complement of weapons, many of which they'll never use!") instead of strategizing.

Balanced Strategy
You're aiming closer to 12 rats this time. Max out heroes. Get cheap weapons (slings and bonus daggers, because you're trying to put out attacks) but don't get too many skaven to start, because you don't want to stunt your overall growth. You want to grab 1-3 'special weapons' to answer important problems. I usually grab a flail for a black skaven, a pair of pistols for my leader (abuse that BS4), and either slightly nicer weapons for your chaff or 'something else' that tickles your fancy. Depending on the spell your caster gets, you might take a bigger weapon (flails or halberds with some of his Black Fury spell can take out vampires and monsters) or you might just stick with daggers and slings. Try to get some clubs for the chaff.

With this strategy, you're not aiming to be strong in any specific portion of the game. Rather, you're playing the long con - you have just enough of a numbers advantage and a few special weapons to be able to hurt any warband if they make a mistake or if you make opportunities, but you want to play it safe. Never let a hero go OOA. Only have them risk themselves for easy experience and be willing to lose. Remember, a warband that beats you that loses a hero or two, even with maximum heroes, will only be getting +1 die to Exploration and scoring 3-6 dice; you can lose every game and get six dice.

Get your leader and your wizard Wyrdstone Hunter as their first skill. Re-roll two dice every time. Focus on assassinations over winning engagements. You want to steadily hurt other warbands while you get stronger. After you have a nice head-start into generating your economy, it's time to buy 5-8 Skaven to fill up your warband all at once, since the amount of 'upkeep' at 20 is much worse than at 12. You're not looking to win the battle, but the war. You need to steadily outpace other warbands while taking a little piece of them down with you every time.

Eventually, even if they beat you every time, they're going to be burying their dead and unable to keep up with that. It's fine to exchange lose two or three verminkin and even have one die if you take their captain's eye in exchange.

Coincidentally, this is my favorite strategy and I've used it for most of the yearly Monthly Mordheim events we run.

Economic Strategy
This one I literally just came up with this week. Unlike the other strategies above, which have been done before or are very similar to what you'll find elsewhere, this one is unique (or I've never seen it before).

It's like the Balanced Strategy, but invest in extra henchmen in groups of 1 and drop a Night Runner. You'll be dropping your heroes in exchange for Lads Got Talent Verminkin, who will not become fighters but will instead immediately rush off with your sorcerer to become tutored in Academics and Wyrdstone Hunting. You're just trying to get tons of Exploration Re-rolls and items to buff your wyrdstone hunts. Your warband is about sending trashy henchmen out to scare off the other warbands, letting them get beaten up, and then immediately scrambling away while they 'celebrate their victory' to go search Mordheim for its treasures. Gunsmiths, meteorites, artifacts... you'll find them!
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PostSubject: Re: Skaven Warband   Wed 4 Nov 2015 - 17:57

Don't listen to the people poo-poo'ing slings.

They are only powerful against terrible players or poorly laid out boards ("Oh, the Skaven have created a pit of death for me to walk through. I won't go around, they're just rats..."), but 'lots of slings and off-hand daggers with more rats than humans' is the easy, obvious strategy.

Once people start to learn more rules, you'll find this strategy starts to lack.

First off, slings can only double-tap at half range without moving. Realistically speaking, you're looking at 6s to hit if you have to (pick two) move, shoot over half, or shoot through cover. All three and you can't even hit the target. Double-tapping only happens at half range and, honestly, the enemy should be able to break the Skaven up with charges.

They'll never get 40 shots off. Ever. They're lucky if they get more than a dozen and rarely get 20. And at best, they're hitting on 5s, wounding on 4s and 5s.

Secondly, slings are not all powerful. Nobody ever takes Weapon Training and then buys a sling for their hero.

If you want to counter slings, just move a little and hide (the HIDE action, or put shot-blocking terrain between you and them). If the Skaven have to spread out to get angles on you or let you creep up on them in bunches where you want, then their advantages of lots of rocks and high movement is entirely negated, while their advantage of numbers is trimmed down or negated depending on where you engage.

Finally, not all matches are out-and-out slugfests. Different scenarios punish not having any combat monsters and the last thing Skaven want is a fight in a fixed position. They like open areas and scenarios that let them abuse their high movement and disposable henchmen. Breakthrough, Chance Encounter, and Streetfight can be rough on them because you can force them into bad fights that no amount of rocks can make up for. Occupy forces them into close range fights where you can cause more man-to-rat engagements without excessive teaming up or force them to get bloody for the win (Skaven are glass cannons - they can be good at fighting or shooting or even jack of all trades, but they'll never get tough). Surprise Attack is, as always, very swingy.

Either way, remember that Skaven warbands tend to have inflated values if they have extra bodies, so you can often get the opportunity to pick the better role for the scenario, making there be a very real disadvantage to loading up on all those furry bodies.
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