Age of Sigmar 3.0 FAQ: Skaven

Credit: Robert "TheChirurgeon" Jones

GW released a bombshell of new FAQs today, covering errata for the core book and lengthy FAQs for each faction. And as always, we’ve got you covered with the rundown of what’s changed and what it means for your games. In this series of Hot Take articles, we’ll be covering the changes and our initial reactions to them but for more detailed analysis, check back over the next two weeks as we dive deeper into how these changes affect the game and its factions.

Skaven are perhaps one of the most iconic fantasy races in GW’s line, but they are also an aging roster of miniatures that don’t always gel together, and 2.0’s attempt at Skaven resulted in some lopsided results. Some clans did amazing, while others were simply not worth bothering with at all, and establishing a unified Skaven force never really materialized, and their model range has only seen a single new model (who rules) endless spells, and the gnaw hole terrain. What 3.0 holds for Skaven remains to be seen, but since they were mostly absent from Broken Realms, that can be viewed as either good or bad. 

Either way, everyone’s favorite human nature allegories got a few changes in the FAQ here, and perhaps a few hints at what’s coming next for them (or just wishful thinking). Let’s take a look at what 3.0’s update means for the killers of man-things, yes yes!

The Good

  • A lot of rule clarifications. Skaven are, if anything, a flavorful army who can quite literally blow themselves off the table on their own first (disastrous) turn. Because of that, they have a lot of really weird rules about what can or can’t be done, and who can or can’t do things. There are also the various clans and allegiances for Skaven units that make things even weirder, so a lot of these questions help clear up some of these edge cases (Although the quarter page explanation for More-more Warplead!, a fairly clear rule, is weird).
  • Bye bye Skaventide? Perhaps reading more into this isn’t worth it, but “Replace all references to a Skaventide army” with “Skaven army” might imply some attempts to make the army more coherent (and maybe hint at something new coming soon?).
  • Pestilens Party! Here’s my hot take: I think Pestilens are the most boring Skaven army and just feel like Nurgle but Rats. Anyway, if plague rats are your jam, then this FAQ has a lot of updates and changes for this faction. Plague Monks got updated to the App warscroll, Priests have newer prayers to work with, and other quality of life changes have appeared. 
  • Jezzails and Verminlord buffs. Both small, but Jezzails now get a 5+ (with Pavise taking a hit from a +2 save against missiles to +1 to compensate), and Verminlords got some changes to make taking their various weapons more attractive. 

The Bad

  • Screw other clans, apparently. There are almost no major changes of updates to any other clan but Pestilens in this FAQ, other than a few wording updates. This FAQ is 90% Pestilens. 
  • Skaven spells are still kind of weird. A personal complaint maybe but Skaven’s wizards and priests are a little odd. Their Endless Spells are locked to Skaventide Wizards only (of which Verminlords are not eligible), but then other spells and abilities are locked behind clans. The lack of cohesion is thematic, but sometimes annoying or confusing. 

The Ugly

  • Gnawhole placement. With smaller table sizes and an emphasis on faction terrain in almost every army, the restrictions on how to set up Gnawholes (3 from all other objectives AND terrain, 18 from all OTHER gnawholes, and within 8 of the edge) feels like there will either be restrictive or almost rote placements for Gnawholes. While this makes sense as they are impassible, it does make one wonder how often a Skaven player will be screwed out of placing their Gnawholes at all. 

FAQs are hard to read as far as the future for a faction, but a lot of this FAQ is devoted to Pestilens, which is the sub-faction of Skaven that have the most “modern” models (read: almost entirely plastic). That said, the FAQ being almost all Pestilens doesn’t give the other factions many changes or updates to 3.0. The Gnawhole placement issue will have to be played to see how much of an issue, if any, it actually is. 

Until then, snort that Warpstone, double double your vocabulary, and rats off to ya in 3.0 Skaven players!