02 March 2010

Skaven Review (and Procrastination)

I'm procrastinating. I have some last minute stuff to do for my WAB demos at Cold Wars. Like painting German cavalry & typing up unit reference cards for the players. I just can't get into it, though. The fact that Dexter, Season 3, just arrived from the library and is due back this weekend is not helping my motivation to be in the back room painting, either.

I wrote some comments on my opinions on the Skaven army to a friend of mine, and thought that as long as I typed all of that up, I'd share it here as well. I haven't tried everything in the book, and still only have about 10 games under my belt so far. I've also barely touched anything in the magic items section. So I'm willing to listen to disagreements & opposing views.

The things I like:

Helpit Abomination. It's the new thing everyone's complaining about more then the DE hydra. They put out a boatload of damage, can effectively charge in any direction (as long as you roll enough distance for their movement) and are tough to kill.

Plague Furnace. I've had good luck with mine. I'ts a bit vulnerable because it (and the unit with it) is frenzied, and neither the Furnace nor the guy riding it have any kind of save (and the hero only has 2 wounds) but if you can crash into something on a charge you've got a decent chance of doing enough damage to win that initial round of combat by a big number. It can't face off against some of the tougher/armoured stuff as well, though.

Plague Censer Bearers. If they're within range of a unit pushing a Plague Furnace, they're stubborn. They've gained an extra attack since the last book, plus they've gone down in points.

Grey Seer. He's got the same LD as the Warlord, so there's little reason to take the Warlord unless you want to make a combat oriented Lord. But the Warlord would never stand up to most of the badass combat characters (Vamps, Chaos, etc.) I tried the Screaming Bell once, but wasn't too impressed with it. A couple of the guys at the store seem to think it's good - it makes the unit pushing it unbreakable, it rings and gives benefits, and it's got a 4+ save. I may try it again to see if I have better luck with it.

Warp Lightning Cannon. It's still got the random strength roll like before (which has screwed me a couple times) but it works like a cannon plus a catapult template at the end. And it also got cheaper since last book. And the new Skaven templates don't have partial hits anymore -- anything touched by the template is automatically hit. If you can guess cannon ranges decently, the WLC is good. One of the other Skaven players I know argues with me that the Doomwheel is better. I'm not sure I like it as much, but I haven;t tried it yet. I may give it a spin (haha) just to see how it works.

Warplock Augmented Weapon. (Item) It gives +1A and +1S. I've been putting it on the Plague Priest, giving him a total of 5 S5 attacks. Not bad for a crappy little Skaven hero.

Assassin. He's not that great, but he can wander in from off any table edge, he comes with a 4+ ward (dodge) save, and can take down minor heroes, wizards, artillery crew, etc. pretty well.

What I *don't* like:

Stormvermin. I still think they are too many points and don't do anything impressive. Some people take them because they can get a magic banner and can push the Screaming Bell. I'd leave them at home unless I really needed the magic banner. (The BSB and Monks can also take a magic banner.)

Rat Ogres. Just like the Stormvermin. They got a little better, but still don't seem like that great of a buy.

Ratling Gun. Went from being a must-have in the old book, to only so-so in the new one. Still vulnerable to being taken down with missile fire, like all the other weapon teams.

Jezzails. They're still OK, I guess. But they don't skirmish anymore, so they have to be pointed at the right target to shoot. Even under the old rules they tended to be vulnerable to panicking off the table if they took a couple hits or if a terror-causing flying critter landed nearby. I'd rather use the Special slots for monks, Plague Censor Bearers, etc.

What I'm ambivalent about:

Clanrats. They're still worth taking for their ranks, outnumbering, etc. And they got a bit cheaper. Just watch what they get into combat with, because they still can't fight.

Slaves. More of the same, plus they are instantly gone if they break from combat. They have a chance of doing damage when this happens, but I don't think I've caused any wounds from this.

Giant Rats. They fight in two ranks now. Actually, they've got some potential to be cool. I just haven't had it work out yet. Someone suggested casting Warp Frenzy on them, giving them +2A, since they fight in two ranks. I might have to try that.

Globadiers. They can be good if they get the right target.

Weapon Teams. I've had no luck with the Warpfire Thrower, though it should do OK against some stuff. The Globe Mortar seems decent if you can nail heavy cavalry with it, since they get no armour save. I used the Doom Flayer once, in a small game, and it did great. But I need to see it in action more before I decide.

Gutter Runners and Night Runners. Both seem to have their uses, but I don't have enough experience with them in the new book yet. I keep forgetting to roll for my Gutter Runners to come on the table, so they never actually get in the game.

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