Start Competing: Skaventide Tactics

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Did you ever want to field dozens or hundreds of infantry in one game, not caring if they did much on their own, but just wanted to completely overwhelm your opponent with models? Or maybe you wanted to see what sort of insanely stupid but surprisingly effective sorcery based engineerings could exist in a fantasy setting? Maybe you just like rat people. Well if you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then Skaventide might be the army for you. In this article we are going to talk a lot about rat people and this is a hell of a book to pour through so strap in. 

 

Giant Rats, Packmasters, Rat Ogors, Clanrats, and Plague Monks

Giant Rats, Packmasters, Rat Ogors, Clanrats, and Plague Monks
Credit: Pendulin

Faction Overview

Skaven as a whole have had a wide variety of competitive builds since their first and only battletome released in early 2019. As an army they’ve had very little in the way of support from supplements released on their behalf, and they only partially play with other chaos books, and when they do, it is usually only in very specific circumstances. The majority of their “updates” have solely been points adjustments up/down in General’s Handbooks, with the one exception being the FAQ/Errata adjusting the range for one of their endless spells, and how many Stormfiends can be taken per unit. In the period between the 2018 winter FAQ and 2019 GHB, Skaven had 12 podium showings at events, with 3 of those being first place finishes. Those lists would range from Quad-Verminlord builds with a ton of endless spells (taking anywhere from 4 to 6 different endless spells) to combined arms with Stormfiends + skryre support heroes with bells and clanrats. During this time they were sitting comfortably with a win-rate of around 58%. Two General’s Handbooks later, Skaven have been hit with points adjustments, Warplighting Vortex saw its range cut in half (though understandably so), Endless Spells now limited to a maximum of 3 per army, and new armies have been added to the game that are able to bypass their power plays. And so these days Skaven are sitting at around a 44% win-rate.

Strengths

  • Massive unit selection. Even if they aren’t all worth playing, you’ve got a large variety of units to choose from.
  • Powerful ranged attacks. Stormfiends may not be what they used to, but they’re still pretty nasty.
  • Cheap, board-filling units. Few armies in Age of Sigmar can put more models on the board than Skaven.

Weaknesses

  • Poor Saves. Turns out that “filthy rags” do not in fact make good armor.
  • Old Models. Skaven need a range refresh pretty bad.
  • Low Bravery. Skaven are not the bravest warriors in the Mortal Realms and you will not forget that when you’re playing them.

Competitive Rating: Medium

The current win percentage for the faction is around 44-45%, making the army semi-competitive, but not reliably so. 

 

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Allegiance Abilities

Teachings of the Horned Rat

Lead from the Back

The Look Out, Sir! rule applies to an attack made with a melee weapon as well as an attack made with a missile weapon if the target of the attack is a Skaventide Hero that is not a Monster. Look, Skaven are not brave beings. They do not believe that a leader’s place is in the front, leading their forces to war, but instead they cower behind their kin and push them into harm’s way instead. To represent this, the Look Out, Sir! rule applies to both melee weapons as well as ranged weapons, making your non-Monster characters much harder to hit as long as there are nearby rats to shove in the way. 

Scurry Away

In the combat phase, when you pick a friendly Skaventide Hero to fight with, you can say it is going to scurry away instead of making a pile-in move and then attacking. If you do so, that Hero has to make a normal move and it has to retreat. Along the same idea of the bravery of the rat men, if your Hero does get into combat and doesn’t want to be there then it can just leave instead. This is something that can be very helpful if you have multiple heroes in combat or if your opponent needs to attack elsewhere first during their turn. However knowing this is an option your opponent will likely just choose to attack and kill the Hero before it gets the chance to run away. 

Overwhelming Mass

Add 1 to hit rolls for attacks made with melee weapons by SKAVENTIDE units while they have 20 or more models. In addition, add 1 to wound rolls for attacks made with melee weapons by SKAVENTIDE units while they have 30 or more models. Skaven are a horde army. You can build it so they’re not so horde-y but really, it’s a horde. This rule underlines that by giving you benefits for fielding massive hordes. 

Strength in Numbers

When a SKAVENTIDE unit takes a battleshock test, add 2 to its Bravery characteristic instead of 1 for every 10 models in the unit. Just in case it wasn’t yet clear that this army is made to be a horde, have another rule that helps them while in large units. Getting +2 to a unit’s Bravery for each 10 models in the unit instead of just the normal +1 is a nice little boost to get Clan Rats from Bravery 4 to actually meaningful numbers. 

 

Skaven Clanrats

Skaven Clanrats
Credit: Pendulin

 

Ways of the Great Clans

Each portion of the Skaventide works entirely separate from the others, while still being in the same army together. You can focus on only a few of the clans, or only one if you really want to, but this allows you to take a mix and they still play as they should. 

Masterclan – Skilled Manipulators

Each time a friendly Masterclan model uses a command ability, roll a dice. On a 5+ you receive 1 extra command point. A very simple little buff for an army that wants to be using a lot of command points.

Moulder – Prized Creations

This one is a bit wordy. For each of your Master Moulder units you get to then pick one Clans Moulder Fighting Beast and roll a D3. That Fighting Beast then adds that many wounds to their wounds characteristic for the game. 

Eshin – Masters of Murder

The assassin clan get to actually try and assassinate enemies, which is pretty cool. Each Clan Eshin Hero can nominate an enemy Hero at the start of the first Battleround and for the remainder of the game all Clan Eshin units re-roll all wound rolls against that enemy Hero. 

Verminous – Mighty Warlords

TAKE ALL OF THE CLAWLORDS. Seriously just take a bunch. Up to 6 Clawlords that are not your General get to take a command trait, for free, they just get one. Can’t take the same one twice and can’t have a model with more than 1 command trait, but this does mean those Clawlords you are taking will always have a trait, and means you get to take something else as your General and still give them a command trait too. 

Skryre – Warpstone Sparks

If you have any Clan Skryre Heroes then you get a smattering of Warpstone Spark Tokens (D3+3 to be exact) which can be used throughout the game but only one used per phase, for any of the following effects:

  • During any hero phase pick a Clan Skryre Wizard and that model can re-roll any or all casting, dispelling, or unbinding rolls but at the end of the phase you roll a dice and if you roll a 1 then the wizard suffers D3 mortal wounds.
  • In any shooting phase pick a Clan Skryre Hero and then choose any 3 Clan Skryre units wholly within 13” of the aforementioned hero. Those chosen units add 1 to all the Damage of all of their ranged attacks for that phase, and again roll a dice at the end of the phase and on a 1 the hero takes D3 mortal wounds. 
  • During any fight phase pick a Clan Skryre Hero and re roll all hits for that hero until the end of the fight phase, once more rolling a dice and with a 1 take D3 mortal wounds. 

Pestilens – Echoes of the Great Plagues

This is by far the longest one, but very thematic, very cool, and potentially very good if they go off. When you’re chanting a prayer with a Clans Pestilens Priest and happen to roll and unmodified result of 6 then you get to choose on the Great Plagues to also go off, as well as the prayer you were originally attempting, it’s just a nice little bonus. Each of the Great Plagues can only be chosen once per game, and you can only have one Great Plague manifest in each hero phase, so don’t roll too many 6’s. The Great Plagues are as follows:

  • Bubonic BlightplagueThe nearest enemy unit within 13” of the Priest that enacted this plague is hit by it and suffers D6 mortal wounds. If that unit is killed by those wounds then pick another enemy unit within 6” of the unit that was just killed and that unit suffers D3 mortal wounds, if that unit is also then killed then keep choosing enemy units within 6” of the slain unit to suffer D3 mortal wounds until it either doesn’t kill a unit, or there are no more enemies within 6”. 
  • Crimsonweal Curse – Again hits the nearest enemy unit within 13” but only inflicts 1 single mortal wound. Then in each of your hero phases thereafter that unit suffers 1 more mortal wound as well as any enemy unit within 1” of them. 
  • Redmaw PlagueThis one causes the nearest Hero within 13” to be infected. During each combat phase if that Hero is within 3” of any models from its own army and is not within 3” of any models from your (the Skaven) army then that Hero is treated as a friendly model until the end of the phase, so can pile in and attack models from its own army. 
  • Undulant Scourge The nearest enemy unit within 13” gets hit and you roll 1 dice for each model in that unit, for each 5+ rolled the unit suffers D3 mortal wounds. 

 

Skaven and skaven and skaven and skaven and skaven

Skaven and skaven and skaven and skaven and skaven. Credit: Pendulin

Command Traits

There is a table of 6 Command Traits for each Clan and are specific to heroes of that Clan. The first 3 come up in each table but I’m going to list them again and again because their effectiveness varies a bit depending on the hero. 

Masterclan

  • Malevolent- Re-roll wound rolls of 1 with melee weapons. Simple but not very effective considering the heros that this would go on. This trait comes up on every table and is better on other heroes, not Masterclan. D
  • Verminous Valour- After save rolls or rolls to ignore wounds, pass wounds off of the hero to a nearby friendly Skaventide unit within 3” on the roll of a 4+, or a 5+ if the hero is a Monster or War Machine. You want to keep your heroes alive as long as possible and should have hordes that can die in their place, especially with a larger base like a Screaming Bell or Verminlord Warpseer. A
  • Savage Overlord – +1 Bravery to all Vermintide units wholly within 18”. Useful, but a simple +1 Bravery is only saving one additional rat from your unit of 40 and there are better picks. C
  • Master of Magic In each hero phase (friendly and enemy) add +1 to a single casting, unbinding, or dispelling roll. Since this was FAQ’d to be clarified to let you add this after you’ve rolled it this is very useful to making sure the spells you need go off. The fact you get this in your own phases to unbind or cast, as well as then in the enemy phase to dispel makes it a solid pick. B
  • Cunning Once the game has started, each time your opponent receives a command point roll a dice and on a 6 you receive one instead. On average you’re only doing this once per game unless your opponent is generating more command points, it could be useful and could help to stop your opponent from getting off clutch combos but there are better picks that are more reliable. B-

Clan Skryre

  • Malevolent – Re-roll wound rolls of 1 with melee weapons. Skryre heroes don’t really want to be in melee range and don’t have great weapons to use in it, so pick something else. D
  • Verminous Valour – After save rolls or rolls to ignore wounds, pass wounds off of the hero to a nearby friendly Skaventide unit within 3” on the roll of a 4+, or a 5+ if the hero is a Monster or War Machine. Skryre Heroes have a smaller footprint so not as useful as it is on a Screaming Bell or Verminlord. B
  • Savage Overlord – +1 Bravery to all Vermintide units wholly within 18”. More useful here if your plan is to take some Stormfiends so that you don’t lose them as easily to battleshock. C+
  • Masterful Scavenger When generating Warpstone tokens at the beginning of the game you get 2 extra ones. Since you can only use these once per phase you might struggle to really use all of them, however turn after turn getting to re-roll casting dice AND also getting extra damage on weapons in shooting is very nice. A
  • Deranged Inventor Beginning of each shooting phase choose a Skryre unit wholly within 13” and re-roll all hit rolls with ranged weapons. Great to buff a unit of Stormfiends or Acolytes without relying on magic going off. A
  • Overseer of Destruction The same as above except you pick 3 Weapon Team units instead. This would be a lot better if weapon teams weren’t so fragile and short ranged, overshadowed by the above just being better on jezzails. B
Skaven Plague Monks

Skaven Plague Monks
Credit: Pendulin

Clan Pestilens

  • Malevolent – Re-roll wound rolls of 1 with melee weapons. Useful on the Verminlord Corruptor, kind of, still not really. C-
  • Verminous Valour – After save rolls or rolls to ignore wounds, pass wounds off of the hero to a nearby friendly Skaventide unit within 3” on the roll of a 4+, or a 5+ if the hero is a Monster or War Machine. Best on a Plague Furnace to help it stay on the table longer while surrounded by plague monks, but there are better options here. B-
  • Savage Overlord – +1 Bravery to all Vermintide units wholly within 18”. Same as before, and before, stop reading this one; not great and better picks. C
  • Master of Rot and RuinThe general gets to re roll the dice when chanting its prayer. Something that makes those prayers more reliable which is something you’re already planning to use anyways, great pick. A
  • Architect of DeathRe-roll all wound rolls for all missile attacks made for Pestilens units wholly within 18” of the general. If you’re taking multiple Plague Claws then this could be a decent pick making their low attacks more reliably getting through. B
  • DiseasedAt the beginning of each of your own hero phases roll a dice if the general is within 3” of any enemy units, on a 4+ then one enemy unit within 3” suffers D3 mortal wounds. Most Pestilens characters don’t want to be in melee range that long and with Scurry Away you’re likely not going to be within 3” of enemies during the hero phase. Take something else. C

Clan Verminous

Keeping in mind that up to 6 Clawlords can each take one of these traits as discussed above:

  • Malevolent – Re-roll wound rolls of 1 with melee weapons. If you’re taking this trait ever you’re starting to look at a better place for it, but best on a Verminlord Warbringer to make those attacks stick when not surrounded by a horde of ratsand already getting re rolls. B-
  • Verminous Valour – After save rolls or rolls to ignore wounds, pass wounds off of the hero to a nearby friendly Skaventide unit within 3” on the roll of a 4+, or a 5+ if the hero is a Monster or War Machine. Another pick for the Warbringer to help shrug off wounds onto nearby rat hordes to stay on the board longer, but will keep a Clawlord alive much longer as well, good if that Clawlord also has a relic weapon that’s worth keeping him in combat. A
  • Savage Overlord – +1 Bravery to all Vermintide units wholly within 18”. Are you seriously still reading this trait? Still not great and still better picks. C-
  • Brutal FuryGain an extra 3 attacks on all melee weapons wielded by the General once per game. This could come in clutch at a vital point in the game. If running multiple Clawlords then maybe a second or third pick. B+
  • Powerful Super simple. +1 Wound. Never a bad thing but often not going to save the hero from death either. C+
  • Devious Adversary For each unmodified hit roll of 1 that targets the general, then that general gets +1 attack with all of its melee weapons until the end of the phase. Humorous to shove onto a Verminlord Warbringer and then shove it into a horde that won’t likely do much damage to it and hit back with multiple Spike-fist attacks. If you have a Clawlord that needs a trait and have already taken the better ones above, it’s not bad. B-

Clan Moulder

  • Malevolent – Re-roll wound rolls of 1 with melee weapons. Moulder generals don’t exist to get into combat, they exist to spur on the monsters. D
  • Verminous Valour After save rolls or rolls to ignore wounds, pass wounds off of the hero to a nearby friendly Skaventide unit within 3” on the roll of a 4+, or a 5+ if the hero is a Monster or War Machine. There are much better picks for Moulder generals here so don’t. C-
  • Savage Overlord +1 Bravery to all Vermintide units wholly within 18”. Stop reading this one. Just stop. If packmasters didn’t exist then you might consider this, but you’re still not. D
  • Moulder SupremeWhen you pick one of the Fighting Beast models as part of the Moulder trait above, instead of adding D3 wounds you can choose to either add 3 or add D6 to any single one. This only works for one single model and wouldn’t work across a unit of Rat Ogors or else you might take it. Making a Hell Pit Abomination a flat 15 wounds is tempting, however you’re really taking the next one instead. B
  • Hordemaster This goes on a Master Moulder when using its command ability (discussed below) so that it brings back an identical unit on a 4+ instead of a 5+. Take a lot of Rat Ogors and watch them just come back time and time again. A-
  • Burly+1 Wound on the general, not something you’re going to ever choose for a Moulder general. D

Clan Eshin

  • Malevolent – Re-roll wound rolls of 1 with melee weapons. You would think the Assassins would be the ones that could make use of this trait, but there are just better choices. C
  • Verminous Valour After save rolls or rolls to ignore wounds, pass wounds off of the hero to a nearby friendly Skaventide unit within 3” on the roll of a 4+, or a 5+ if the hero is a Monster or War Machine. Same as above, nice on helping keep a Verminlord alive if near hordes. B-
  • Savage Overlord+1 Bravery to all Vermintide units wholly within 18”. Last time you have to see me say this is bad: it’s bad. D
  • Unrivalled KillerRe-roll hit rolls against the enemy Hero that was chosen as part of the Eshin clan trait. Useful against larger enemy heroes on a Verminlord to get a full set of re-rolls to hit and to wound. B
  • Shadowmaster If the general is within 1” of a terrain piece (any at all) then no enemy unit can see it as long as they are more than 6” away from the general. This pairs super well with the Skaven terrain pieces you get to deploy and shoot around the board to stay safe from magic and missile weapons. A+
  • Incredible AgilityGains the Fly keyword. If Skaven had less ways of moving around the table than they do this would be great, as it is it’s still fun but not a must take. B
Rat Ogors, Giant Rats, and Packmasters

Rat Ogors, Giant Rats, and Packmasters
Credit: Pendulin

 

Artefacts

Like everything else with Skaven, there are a lot and are split by clan. Due to how many ways there are to taking Skaventide armies these artefacts will be graded solely on how they work on the models that are able to take them, as well as based off of each other in terms of effectiveness. Masterclan artefact ratings will have no bearing on Moulder Clan artefact ratings for example. So, let’s take a look.

Masterclan Relics of Ruin

  • Warpstorm Scroll – One use item in your own hero phase; roll a dice for each enemy within 13” and on a 4+ it suffers D3 mortal wounds. I’m not a fan of one use items that maybe might ping off a couple wounds, there are much better choices. D
  • Suspicious StoneEach time the bearer suffers a wound or mortal wound then roll a dice, on a 5+ the wound is ignored. The big units you’d put this on like Screaming Bell or Verminlord already have this roll built in, so less useful unless you need to keep a foot-hero alive for some reason. B-
  • The GnawshardOne of the bearer’s melee weapons gains this ability: if the weapon wounds a model that is not killed then at the end of each battle round that model suffers a mortal wound. Not going to get much mileage out of this unless you’re able to hit combat turn 2 or sooner. C
  • SkavenbrewOne use item in your own hero phase; pick a friendly Skaventide unit within 3” and it suffers D3 mortal wounds but then adds +1 Attack to all melee weapons until your next hero phase. Useful before charging in on a big horde of Stormvermin or Clan Rats at very minimal loss, but once per game can be tricky to time it right. B-
  • Snoutgrovel Robes – Friendly Skaventide units within 13” don’t take battleshock tests. Very useful when you’re running max units of rats and not a Screaming Bell and also don’t want to need to use command points when a unit of clan rats is half wiped in a turn so the other half doesn’t skitter off. B+
  • Staff of Rightful SupremacyAll enemy Wizards within 13” of the bearer subtract 1 from casting rolls. Also a dispel (unbind?) scroll: once per game an endless spell within 13” can be unbound without having to roll the 2D6. Nice that this doesn’t take away from a spell the rat would cast too. B+

Skryre Dark Inventions

  • The Brass Orb – One use item in hero phase; roll a dice and on a 6 the nearest enemy model is removed. A few armies do/have had this kind of item and while it can be hilarious, it’s not reliable at all. D
  • Warpstone ArmourEach time the bearer suffers a wound from a melee weapon that is not negated, roll a dice and on a 5+ the attacking unit suffers 1 mortal wound. Skryre heroes don’t have many wounds so you won’t get much mileage out of this really, only doing a few wounds back. C-
  • Esoteric Warp ResonatorThe bearer generates an extra Warpstone Spark token at the beginning of each battle round and must use that before the round is over or else the token is lost. More re-rolls for spells and more +1 damage ranged weapons? Hell yes. A
  • Skryre’s-breath BellowsStart of any/each hero phase the bearer can use the relic and roll a dice for each enemy unit within 3” of it, on a 4+ the unit suffers D3 mortal wounds. Unfortunately this does also hit friendly units, so probably not worth killing your own models to maybe kill an enemy or two. C
  • Vial of the FulminatorIn any hero phase choose a Skryre War Machine within 3” and double that unit’s move characteristic for the turn, at the end of the phase on a 4+ it suffers D3 mortal wounds. Useful to make a Doom Wheel really cross the field averaging then a 28” move at the expense of maybe losing some wounds. C
  • Vigordust InjectorPick a Skaventide unit wholly within 12” (I guess we gave up on the 13 thing here?) and add +1 to charge and hit rolls made for that unit, which then suffers D3 mortal wounds in your next hero phase. Again: Stormfiends with +1 to hit on all attacks? (from spells or command traits, also rerolling all hit and potentially wound rolls, teleporting through gnawholes, shooting and then punching everything on the other side of it. A

Clan Pestilens Befould Boons

  • Blade of Corruption – One of the bearer’s melee weapons gains the ability to re-roll all wound rolls. None of the Pestilens heroes want to be in combat that much to begin with. C
  • The Foul PendantThe bearer is allowed to attempt to unbind 1 enemy spell in the same way a Wizard would. If you’re going mono-Pestilens then this is a nice little piece that allows you to stop at least a little magic. B
  • Brooding BladeOne of the bearer’s melee weapons; roll a dice for every model wounded but not killed by that weapon, on a 2+ it suffers an additional D3 mortal wounds at the end of the combat phase. Again, not many Pestilens heroes want to be in melee to begin with or they’ll just die, however this could be useful on the Verminlord’s 10 attacks to strike at different units around it and try and spread some of those extra mortal wounds around. C+
  • The FumigatousBeginning of each combat phase pick an enemy unit within 6” and roll a dice, on a 2+ that unit suffers a mortal wound but on a 5+ it suffers D3 mortal wounds instead. Not needing to be in range to be smacked makes this a better pick for a Pestilens hero that wants to stand in the middle of a hoard of Plague Monks and just plink off mortal wounds from a safer distance. B+
  • Blistrevous, the Living Cystwhat a wonderful name. The bearer adds 2” onto its move characteristic as well as re-rolling all hit rolls with all weapons that this character is armed with. Could be useful on a Verminlord Corruptor or Plague Furnace, maybe. However if there are any other Pestilens Heroes within 13” at the beginning of the Hero phase then this artefact is transferred to them instead, even ones that already have a relic so you’ll need to be more careful with placement so this doesn’t ping over to a Plague Priest who doesn’t really want or need it. C+
  • Liber BubonicusThe bearer gains the ability to use the Plague Prayers ability from the Plague Priest Warscroll, if the bearer is already a Plague Priest then it can instead use the Plague Prayers ability twice instead of only once in each hero phase. This would allow a Priest on Plague Furnace to chant one of its own prayers then also 2 plague prayers from the on-footwarscroll, or allow a Verminlord Corruptor to chant a prayer, any way you take it it’s pretty useful and a solid take. A

Clans Verminus Warp-Touched Wargear

  • Things-Bane – One of this hero’s melee weapons becomes +1 damage. This is alright on a Clawlord making its only melee weapon Damage D3+1 however it’s a solid take on a Verminlord Warbringer’s Doom Glaive to also make it Damage D3+1 so that you can more reliably hit heavy infantry and heroes and wipe them.
  • Shield of DistractionThe bearer re-rolls all saves of 1 and also in each combat phase nominates one enemy unit within 3” to suffer -1 to hit the bearer for the entirety of the phase. Keeping heroes alive longer is always great, especially big ones like the Verminlord. A
  • Screechskull TrophiesEnemies within 13” of the bearer suffer -1 penalty to Bravery. There are too many ways to just ignore battleshock in this game to make it a better pick than any of the others. D
  • Flaypelt CloakRe-roll all hit and wound rolls of 1 for melee weapons carried by the bearer. The Verminlord is already re-rolling to hit most of the time otherwise this would be an amazing pick, still ok for the rolls to wound though. B-
  • Rustcursed ArmourBearer re-rolls all saves of 1 like the Shield of Distraction, which is helpful in staying alive a bit longer. Also, at the beginning of each combat phase you can select an enemy Hero wielding an artefact of power and roll 3D6, if the result is EXACTLY 13 then that artefact cannot be used for the rest of the game. This is funny but it’s a 9.7% chance of working, so if you like horrible odds or don’t like to think about odds then you can go ahead and rank this one letter higher in your head. C+
  • Warpstone CharmThis is actually terrible, but fine. Pick 1 unit within 3” of the bearer in the beginning of each Hero phase and roll a dice. On a 2-5 it suffers 1 mortal wound and on a 6 it instead suffers D3 mortal wounds. If there are no enemies within 3” you have to either pick a friendly unit within 3” or the hero carrying it. Why? F
Skaven Rat Ogors, Giant Rats, and Packmasters

Skaven Rat Ogors, Giant Rats, and Packmasters
Credit: Pendulin

Moulder Monstrous Arcana

Just to be clear here, all of these relics only have one potential user which is the Master Moulder and are graded accordingly to how useful they are on that one Hero. 

  • Lash of Fangs – One of the bearer’s melee weapons inflicts 1 mortal wound in addition to normal damage for each 6 rolled to hit. Best weapon this would go on would be the lash since it has 6 attacks, however that’s a model that you want behind the monsters buffing them, not in melee himself so take something else. C
  • FoulhideEvery hero phase the bearer heals D3 wounds to the bearer. If this could go on a hero with more than 5 wounds and a 5+ save it could maybe be nice to have, but not on this guy. C-
  • Snap-snap SnarepolePick an enemy model within 3” at the start of each combat phase and it suffers -1 to hit rolls for the phase. A nice defensive ability that can be put on any size model, so even massive things like Mega-Gargants which seems insane, but ok. B
  • Rat-tail SnakeFor each unmodified save roll of 6 made for the bearer the attacking unit suffers 1 mortal wound. With only 5 wounds this will not come up often enough to be worth using an artefact of power slot on. Take something else. D
  • Rabid CrownAll Moulder Pack units wholly within 13” re-roll all wound rolls all of the time. This is amazing. Maser Moulders are buffing characters and this gives even more buff, buff for your buff. A+
  • Fleshgift VialOne use only; pick an enemy unit within 6” and roll a dice on a 1 the bearer suffers 1 mortal wound, on a 2-5 the enemy unit suffers D3 mortal wounds, and on a 6 the enemy unit suffers D6 mortal wounds. Even if you rolled that 6 for D6 mortal wounds it can just come up to be 1 wound, and it might hurt yourself. Take the Crown. C-

Eshin Tools of Murder

  • Shadow Magnet Trinket – One use only; bearer can be chosen to fight at the start of any combat phase, before either player picks a unit to attack with, and cannot fight again later in the phase unless it has some other ability allowing it to attack twice. With Eshin non-Verminlord heroes being so easy to kill this is a solid strike-at-the-heart type relic that could let you actually assassinate an enemy character before dying. B
  • Farskitter CloakOne use only; at the end of your own movement phase remove the bearer and set them up again anywhere on the table more than 9” away from any enemy units. Skaven have a surprising amount of ways of moving quickly around the table so not something you’ll really need, but could be useful. B
  • The Three FangsOne use only; pick an enemy Hero within 6” at the start of your own shooting phase and roll 3 dice. If those 3 dice are all 3+ and also the total of the dice (minimum 9) is greater than the chosen Hero’s wounds characteristic then it is slain immediately. This has about a 30% (I’m rounding up) chance of going off on a character with 8 or less wounds, so actually not terrible to be able to just remove a minor character. B-
  • Warpweeper StarsOne of the bearer’s missile weapons gains: each unmodified wound roll of 6 inflicts D3 mortal wounds along with any normal damage. Best taken on a Deathmaster’s throwing stars which already cause 2 hits per 6 rolled to hit, so has potential to cause a surprising amount of mortal wounds from 12” range.  B
  • The Cube of MistsOne use only; pick an enemy unit at the start of a combat phase within 6” and that unit will not be able to pile in and also suffers a -1 to hit with all weapons until the end of the phase. Could be great at stopping a unit or hero of yours from getting bubble wrapped as well as helping keep them alive, especially if that pile in would have helped an enemy unit get more models within range of capturing an objective in the late game. A
  • GnawbombOne use only; choose a terrain feature within 6” of the bearer in your own hero phase, that terrain feature has the scenery rules from the Gnawhole warscroll in addition to any rules it already has. Turning any piece of terrain into another portal to transport troops around the table is awesome, and fun, and means you can just spit a whole unit out somewhere else where your opponent won’t expect it. A

 

Spells

Skaven spells come in two flavours, the Lore of Ruin for your Grey Seers, and the Lore of Warpvolt Galvanism for any of your Skryre Science Wizards. Each Wizard Hero you have gets to take one spell from their respective lore.

Lore of Ruin

  • Scorch – Casting value 5, roll number of dice equal to casting roll, for each 6 one enemy unit within 13″ suffers 1 mortal wound. You’ll average 1 mortal wound, making this a short range alternative to Arcane Bolt. C
  • Splinter – Casting value 6, roll a die against a model within 6″ and if you roll over its wounds, it is slain. You get to pick the model that dies here – You can remove the command models from a unit, pluck out those special weapons, or even pull them off an objective. Especially funny if your opponent is daisy chaining – kill a model from the middle of the chain, and watch half the unit disappear in the Battleshock phase! The short range makes this risky to use, but it’s not a bad choice in a pinch. B+
  • Skitterleap – Casting value 6, 1 Skaventide Hero with wounds characteristic of 12 or less can be placed anywhere on the battlefield more than 9″ from enemy units. Now we’re talking! This lets you bounce around with any heroes except the Screaming Bell, the Plague Furnace, and Thanquol. You can grab objectives, send in distraction rats, or use it as a big red ‘panic!’ button when the enemy gets that little bit too close to your general! Absolutely hilarious with Gnawholes – bounce a Verminlord Warpseer over in the hero phase next to a Gnawhole in enemy territory, let the spells fly (with +1 from the Gnawhole!), and then jump back in your movement phase like you were never even there… A+
  • Plague – Casting value 7, roll a die for each model in an enemy unit within 13″, on a 5+ that model suffers 1 mortal wound. Only targets 1 unit, but if you’ve let your caster get charged and surrounded, it could do a lot of damage to a 1 wound unit. If the unit is multi wound this is basically never ever worth it. C
  • Death Frenzy – Casting value 7, pick 1 Skaventide unit that is not a hero and wholly within 13″, any model slain until the next hero phase can pile-in and attack. Skaven care not from where this death comes from, anything that slays you will trigger it – Shooting, Combat… Friendly fire!?…To get the most out of this, make sure you charge that turn, strike first, and strike again as they punch you back. If anything, 6” combined pile-ins really help trap the opponent! B
  • Warpgale – Casting value 8, D3 mortal wounds against an enemy unit within 26″, and they half all run and charge rolls, and can’t fly until your next hero phase. Great range, good damage, and awesome effect – get it on the opponents biggest scariest unit turn 1 (if you both deploy at the edge of deployment, you’ve got 2 inches leeway usually!), and watch their speed half – that’s now a problem for a future Clawlord. And by that point, someone else is probably in charge anyway! A

Lore of Warpvolt Galvanism

  • More-more-more Warp Power! – Casting value 7, 1 Skryre unit within 12″ can re-roll hit and wound rolls until your next hero phase. Then suffers D3 mortal wounds. Hilarious on a big blob of Warplock Jezzails, but this isn’t only for shooting attacks! Throw it on a unit of Stormfiends, who will be able to use the re-rolls for their shooting and their combat, and will shrug off the D3 mortal wounds much more easily than any other Skryre unit! This is also probably the only spell worth duplicating in a list so you don’t lose it later on. A+
  • Chain Warp Lightning – Casting value 6, select D6 enemy units within 18″, each suffers 1 mortal wound. Not bad, but very random. If you treat it as an alternative to Arcane Bolt, it’s not bad… But the base Warp Lightning/Warp Lightning Storm spell on the warscroll is better, and overchargeable! D
  • Warp Lightning Shield Casting value 6,  the first 3 wounds allocated to the caster are negated, but on a 4th wound the caster suffers D6 mortal wounds and the spell is unbound.This resets EVERY PHASE! So now you can shovel down every Warpstone Token without any fear at all. And it makes your Power Armoured Arch-Warlock a nightmare to take down! B

Endless Spells

  • Vermintide –  Casting value 7. When a Non-Skaventide unit ends a normal move or charge within 3”, or the spell itself finishes a move within 3”, roll 13 dice and each 6 deals a mortal wound to the target unit. But that’s not why you’re taking this. It’s a 120x92mm base, which blocks movement but your Skaventide units get to move over as if they had fly. So set it up in a choke point, or put it out infront to make a charge much harder, it has a great amount of utility. It is predatory though, so your opponent could get the chance to move it if you don’t plan your spells right! B
  • Warp Lightning Vortex – Casting Value 8. It’s range has been nerfed down to 13”, but when cast it creates a 7″ equilateral Triangle. Any units that are within 6″ of it takes D3 mortal wounds on 4+, or D6 mortal wounds on an unmodified 6 (Skaventide aren’t immune to this!). Each vortex they are in range of adds 1 to this roll, so if you’re in the middle, firstly ask yourself why and what you’ve done to deserve it, and secondly take D3 mortal wounds on a 2+! If any units start their turn within 6″ of it they can’t run or fly. For extra hilarity, throw in the Warp Gale spell from the Lore of Ruin, and even Soulsnare Shackles to really keep the opponent in place. If you want to lose some friends, Skitterleap a wizard next to a Gnawhole deep in your opponents territory, drop this in the middle of their lines, then in the movement phase, jump in the Gnawhole to get out! A+

Bair: Can confirm, this sucks and hurts slow moving units so badly. 

  • Bell of Doom – Have you ever wanted a Screaming Bell without all that pesky scaffolding around it? It has a chance of exploding and doing damage to everyone (friend or foe) each time it moves, if you roll a 13 on 3 dice. Otherwise it is a 13″ no battleshock bubble which also reduces enemy bravery by 1. Not that great with how many ways Skaven already have to negate Battleshock or buff their bravery into the double digits, definitely the weakest of the 3. But if you’re taking some blobs of rats without any of the immune to morale rules that already exist, it’s definitely an option… C

 

Skaven - Skritch Spiteclaw’s Swarm

Skaven – Skritch Spiteclaw’s Swarm
Credit: Pendulin

Battalions

Warpcog Convocation: 

A big multi-battalion for your Science Wizard-Rats! At its core is 1 Arch-Warlock, and then 2-5 of any of the Enginecovens below! It makes it quite expensive to just slot into an army, but if you build around it for a Skryre force, it does make for some fun one-drop shenanigans!  Overall not bad, depending on how hard you lean into it – the more you do the better it gets. C+/B

Arkhspark Voltik:

1 Warlock Engineer/Bombardier, and 1-3 Warp Lightning Cannons. Nice and simple cannon battery! It lets you subtract 1 from the power of the Warp Lightning Cannon’s Warp Lightning Blast. This can be either hilariously good, or underwhelming (but if you’ve made it this far, I’m sure you’ve noticed that theme already…) Only lets you target 1 of the Warp Lightning Cannons with it, so any others you take would purely be as a backup really – and any smart opponent will target the Warlock out anyway to stop it from working, but it’s one of the cheaper battalions to take! B+

Gautfyre Skorch:

1 Warlock Engineer/Bombardier, 1-4 units of Stormfiends, 1-5 Warpfire Throwers, 1-5 Warp Grinders. It lets 2 units join the Warp Grinders in ‘deep strike’ instead of the usual 1. It’s not awful… But it will drop the Warpfire Throwers outside of their maximum range, and will also hurt any units that come with it. By the time you’ve paid for the Warlock and the Enginecoven, you might as well just buy another Warpgrinder instead if you want 2 units dropping in. D

Gascloud Chokelung:

1 Warlock Engineer/Bombardier, 1-3 units of Stormfiends, 2-5 units of Acolytes. This is nice and simple, re-roll hit rolls of 1 for missile weapons for the Acolytes and Windlaunchers from the Stormfiends, as long as they’re near the Warlock from the Enginecoven. It’s a solid way of filling out your battleline within the battalion, and you’re basically getting ‘Volley Fire’ on all your Acolytes without spending a command point! A

Rattlegaugue Warplock:

1 Warlock Engineer/Bombardier, 1-3 units of Stormfiends, 1-3 units of Jezzails, and 1-5 Ratling guns. DAKKADAKKADAKKA! *ahem* sorry, now that that’s out of my system…  It’s a Gascloud but with all the dakka guns! It’s effective if you get into range with your Ratling Guns,  but the random number of shots can be your undoing. This doesn’t work on the Stormfiends Ratling Guns, and your Jezzails should already be re-rolling all hit rolls anyway… C

Whyrlblade Threshik:

1 Warlock Engineer/Bombardier, 1-3 units of Stormfiends, 1-3 Doomwheels, 1-5 Doom-Flayers. It gives you an extra 3” to your move if you’re near the Warlock from the Enginecoven. It gets a bit of speed going turn 1, but you’ll very quickly outrange your Warlock, and just become normal Doomwheels/Doom-Flayers. D

Claw-horde: 

Much simpler compared to the Convocation above, this is just 1 Clawlord, 1-3 units of Stormvermin, and 2-9 units of Clanrats. While you’re probably not maxing out on the amount of units you can take here you are likely taking these units already if you’re planning for a larger Horde or even a solo-Verminus force. The Clawlords command ability now effects all of the units within this battalion while wholly within 13” of him instead of only one unit, giving more units of rats +1 attack is never a bad thing, especially a couple Stormvermin units going from 2 to 3 attacks a piece with their 2” range weapons. A bit costly though at 180 points for units that still fall apart pretty quickly. B

Fleshmeld Menagerie:

Have you ever wanted to run an army of giant rat beasts straight towards the opponent? Well now you can have More-more-more Beasts!

This battalion uses bits of everything from Clans Moulder. When your Master Moulder uses the Unleash More-more Beasts! Command ability (which would normally let you redeploy a dying Clans Moulder Pack unit on a 5+) you do it on a 4+ instead. A 50:50 chance of getting that horde of 40 Giant Rats back? Moulder is historically let down by its older model range, but this almost helps to make up for it… almost. C

Slinktalon:

Your ninja-assassin rats… This battalion wants 1 Deathmaster, 1-4 units of Gutter Runners, and 2-8 units of Night Runners.

When the Deathmaster leaps out of a unit in the combat phase, all units in this battalion get to re-roll all hit rolls in that same combat phase.This can really make the Deathmaster shine, but you’d best hope that most of your harassment units are (for some reason) all in combat at the same time to make this battalion work… When the battalion costs a little under 2 Deathmasters, you can’t help but wonder what the better choice is… D

 

Skritch Spiteclaw

Skritch Spiteclaw. Credit: Pendulin

 

Units

Leader

Arch-Warlock

A Science-Wizard-Rat in Power Armour, complete with a built in mortal wound dealing hand flamer. An auto include if you’re going pure Skryre, if anything just to keep your warlord alive, cackling maniacally to themselves, surrounded by cannons! If you’re just after a cheap buff for a bit of artillery, a plain old Engineer might serve you better! 

Clawlord

This is your Skaven bread and butter- erm… Cheese and crackers. The standard hero for the army, who gets better as he gets wounded, with the tried and tested +1 attack command ability (only for Clans Verminus). With the ability for each of these to get their own Command Traits, having a few hanging around your Clanrat/Stormvermin hordes is a must!

Thanquol

Well, well, if it isn’t the best character from Gotrek and Felix! There’s a lot to talk about here, so let’s break it down. First of all, he is the highest wound character in the book at 14 wounds. This makes him untargetable by some amazing spells, like Skitterleap, and reduces some of his potential movement tricks, like Skitterleap, and means he doesn’t have an escape plan, like Skitterleap… But with bonuses to cast and dispel, and an amazing unique spell that can see enemy heroes beating their own heads in, he’s nothing to be taken lightly. And we haven’t even got started on his ever faithful companion, Boneripper (XII? XIII? Probably XIII…). He can be hitty, he can be burny, and everything in between. Going into a horde? 4 Warpfire Projectors will see to that! Going into a blob of Ogors? Time for some Warpfire Braziers!

Grey Seer (on foot)

A unit that is easily underestimated by your opponent, the Grey Seer is a surprisingly formidable caster! Kicking out two spells a turn, with the ability to chow down on some Warpstone to get an extra d6 on the cast (and sometimes almost die in the attempt…), this little guy can knock out some spells pretty reliably! With the ability to hide easily, and access to the amazing Lore of Ruin, he’s a support caster you don’t want to miss out on! If you’re feeling a little too chummy with your friends, try Skitterleaping by a Gnawhole, popping off a Warp Lightning Vortex in their deployment zone, then jumping back into that Gnawhole and into the safety of your deployment zone!

Grey Seer (On Screaming bell)

Possibly the most iconic Skaven unit going, it brings almost everything the Grey Seer does, and dials it up to 13. The only thing that this guy can’t do is eat warpstone to buff his rolls, but with everything else he has, who needs it!? It has a 13” aura of immunity to battleshock, an AoE spell built in that hurts things based on their movement (poor Stunties), and he’s a lot tougher than his on foot counterpart, coming with almost 3 times as many wounds, and an ability to ignore wounds on a 5+, and without the Monster keyword, it gets Look out Sir! Now it’s time to ring the bell… and you get to every turn! Who doesn’t love rolling on a fun random table!? If the answer’s you, maybe this is the wrong army… The table does everything, from dealing mortal wounds to yourself, to summoning a Verminlord… SUMMONING. A. VERMINLORD! On average it’ll give all of your wizards within range +1 to cast, so remember to ring the bell before you cast your spell (hey, it rhymed!).

Lord Skreech Verminking

A big scary named Verminlord! He combines the best bits of each of the Skaven Clans, letting you pick which buff you want at the start of each hero phase as well as utilising a combination of the other Verminlord’s weapons, he can adapt to each situation as it comes, making him very scary in the hands of a cunning Claw-Leader-General! He throws out a whopping 14 attacks total in melee, split between D3 and 1 damage, and he gets a 5+ save to negate wounds and mortal wounds (as do all the other Verminlords). He also comes with an excellent Command Ability to allow all Skaventide units within 13” to re-roll wound rolls of 1. One thing of note is his spell, the Dreaded Thirteenth Spell – this lets you roll 13 dice, and for each 4+ deal a mortal wound. Then summon a unit of Clanrats, with models equal to the number of mortal wounds dealt. Yes, on average, you’ll be summoning units of 2 Clanrats. But imagine how annoying that must be, to have to dedicate fire to such a small unit!? It’s hilarious…

Plague Priest (On Plague Furnace)

The Screaming Bell’s more pustulent cousin, having a priest with a lot more wounds is not a bad thing especially with the trait to shrug them off to nearby units. The giant censer of plague is a melee weapon that hits on a 2+ and then deals out a number of mortal wounds as shown on the damage table (this starts at D3+4 and decreases). It can chant one of 2 prayers from its Warscroll as well as getting to know and chant one from the table that it chose before the game. Either a Pestilens unit wholly within 13” is re-rolling all wound rolls, or gets +1 attack with all melee weapons. The re-roll wound rolls pairs really well with plague monks weapons causing 2 saves per 6 to wound so aim for this one unless you need to weight of attacks (giving Monks 4 a piece on the charge).

Verminlord Corruptor

The first thing to notice here is the whopping 10 attacks this guy gets with its Plaguereapers, which do a mortal wound for each 6 to hit instead of any normal damage. As with all Verminlords here ignore wounds and mortal wounds on 5+. This one’s spell though is something to note, casts on a 7, pick a unit within 13” and roll a dice for each model in that unit, each 4+ is a mortal wound. Most spells/effects like this are on 6’s not a 4+, on one wound model units this is usually killing half of the unit. Also the command ability gives full re-rolls to hit to Pestilens within 13”, combine with a Plague Furnace and a full unit of Plague Monks for some seriously dead enemies.

Verminlord Deceiver

Your Ninja-Rat-Assassin, in Daemon form! He carries a throwing star bigger than most people, and a nifty pair of poisoned daggers too! It’s easily the trickiest Verminlord to bring down, with a built in -2 to hit from range, along with all the usual survivability of Verminlords, it can be a pain to pin down. Especially when it uses its unique spell, Dreaded Skitterleap – It lets you teleport a hero with wounds 12 or less, and place them 6” away from the enemy! That’s a much easier charge than almost any other teleport in the game, and is perfect for dropping an assassin by its prey (be it a small on, or a Daemon one!). Couple that with the command ability, where you can pick a Clans Eshin unit in the shooting or combat phase to re-roll wound rolls, you can use this to really eat through those troublesome units! One important combination of note is the Verminlord Deceiver with the Shadowmaster Command Trait. If it’s within 1” of any terrain (including something like Gnawholes), it can’t be targeted as long as the enemy is more than 6” away. It’s an amazing way to keep your hero alive, and get the most out of all its buffs as the giant Daemon-Ninja-Rat blinks out of existence…

Verminlord Warbringer

The combat-focused of the Verminlords, if there is one over others. 6 attacks at damage D3 and then 1 hitting at damage 2 and re-rolling wound rolls the majority of the time (13 or more Skaven models within 13”). Also still a wizard though, with its own spell allowing you to pick D3 Skaventide units wholly within 13” (it can be itself) and until your next hero phase when models from those units chosen are killed, they pile in and attack before being removed.

Verminlord Warpseer

Lastly, the Masterclan Verminlord. Starting off this thing gives you more command points, and potentially a lot more, on a 3+ in your Hero phase you receive 1 or if you roll a 6 then you receive D3 instead. The orb it holds gives it full re-rolls on save rolls until you use its once per game effect, dealing D6 mortal wounds to any enemy unit it can see. The spell for the Warpseer is never going to be bad, a little more difficult to cast on an 8 however the target unit within 26” suffers D6 mortal wounds and then halves all advance and charge rolls until your next hero phase, as well as losing the ability to Fly. And very usefully the command ability which gives a 26” wholly-within bubble of auto-pass battleshock to all Skaven units, very handy to have since its probably generating that command point extra anyways, and means you’re not relying on other sources like Screaming Bells. 

Warlock Bombadier

A nicer pick over the normal Warlock Engineer for its ranged weapon, as it is identical in almost every way except for having a much worse melee weapon. The Doomrocket it fires is 18” range and Damage D6 with a single shot, before firing you can boost this to 2D6 damage however if you roll a 1 to hit then the Bombadier suffers 2D6 mortal wounds…so save for a hail mary or to use a Warpstone Spark to re-roll all hits to avoid the 1 that would likely kill him.

Skaven Clanrat

Skaven Clanrat
-Credit: Pendulin

Battleline

Clanrats

The bread and butter of a Skaventide army. 120 points for 20 or 200 for 40, these are cheap. Don’t expect them to do too much in terms of output, but swarm an enemy, bog them down with your dead bodies and watch them push past the tide of rats. These are great because they’re just cheap and numerous, easily take control of objectives in most battleplans.

Stormvermin

Big step up from their un-armoured kin, at 100 points of 10 and no horde discount on a max unit of 40 you’re going to either want to take these in small units to harass (the banner allows you to retreat and charge even) or one big block next to something that will let them auto pass morale (like a Screaming Bell). With a 2” range you’re easily getting 3 ranks worth of rats attacking any given target, with 2 attacks a piece and rend -1 these are what will put the hurt on in melee from you Battleline. 

Artillery

Warp Lightning Cannon

Very random, but when it works by the Thirteen it works. Roll 1 dice when it shoots and then roll 6 dice. For each dice you roll equal to or more than the first dice you rolled, it’s 1 mortal wound to the target unit (if you roll a 3 on the first dice then you’re looking for 3+ for mortals). You can overcharge the cannon before rolling the first dice and then get to roll 12 dice instead of 6, however each roll of 1 makes the cannon suffer D3 mortal wounds. Ouch.

Warplock Jezzails

Always try and take a unit of 6 of these, or more, if you can. 2 units of 3 is alright too, but just don’t take a unit of 3 on their own. These guys will put hurt where you need it, when you need it. Standing still with full re-rolls to hit can afford to be hitting on 5’s to target the very important support characters.

 

Free Company Militia engage Stormfiends. Credit: SRM

Behemoth

Hellpit Abomination

This is a hell of a thing. So the only downside here really is that it has a 2D6” move, so 3D6” effectively on the first turn when you’re likely advancing. Also, only a 5+ save. And it doesn’t have the Pack keyword so isn’t boosted by anything else Moulder, but this does mean slotting it into an army isn’t a terrible idea as it doesn’t need support either. Once it does hit though it’s like a truck, dealing out 6 attacks at what starts out at rend -3 and always is damage 2 and then 6 attacks (at full wounds) at rend -1 damage 3 AND THEN ALSO dealing mortal wounds based on the number of enemy models within 3” based on its current wounds (starting on a 2+ per enemy within 3”). It also ignores the effects of any spell or endless spell on a 4+. In your own hero phase it heals D3 wounds AND, when it DOES die it just might not; roll on a table and either it dies, it explodes with rats and all units within 3” suffer D3 mortal wounds, or it just is still alive with D6 wounds remaining. 

Other

Nightrunners

Battleline in an Eshin-only army, these guys can be an amazing roadblock and distraction! With minimum unit size 10, and a pre-game move of 2d6”, they can be everywhere before the game even begins! The ability to run and shoot means they’ll be harassing enemy units from turn 1, and maybe even making their way onto some early game objectives! Whilst not as good as Clanrats in combat, they have shooting to back themselves up, and do on average out damage Clanrats on the turn they get to do both! But the main use for these little assassins-to-be is to provide ample distractions and speed bumps, whilst the rest of your army does its thing!

Skryre Acolytes

Battleline when taken in a Skryre-only army, these little globadiers can do some serious damage when they get in range of the right targets, unfortunately that range is 8” but fortunately you can run and still shoot in the same turn. Best taken within the battalion for re-rolls of 1’s to hit while closish to either the Warlock or Arch Warlock and aimed at units of 10+ models so that you’re hitting on 3’s to just decimate light infantry, heavier infantry with use of a Warpstone Spark for D3+1 damage guaranteeing minimum 2 and averaging 3 per wound. 

Stormfiends

What was once a very destructive unit, still is, but is now a bit more mish-mashed in weapon selection to match what comes in the box. You can take 1 in 3 with Warpfire Projectors or Windlaunchers, 1 in 3 with Grinderfists or Ratling Cannons, then 1 in 3 with Doomflayer Gauntlets or Shock Gauntlets. There’s a couple ways to take this unit, in a unit of 3 you’re best off with Windlaunchers, Ratling Cannons, and Shock Gauntlets so that you have damage output while closing the gap, at things out of line of sight, and then some brutal melee if/when you get stuck in. The other way is a unit of 6 with 2 Windlaunchers, 2 Shock Gauntlets, 1 Grinder Fist, and 1 Ratling Cannon to burrow up and disrupt the enemy lines with 3 ranged weapons in range and then if you make that 9” charge 8 attacks doing D6 hits instead of 1 on 6’s to hit.  

Plague Monks

This warscroll has changed since the book has come out and you’re now instructed by the FAQ to use the downloadable version from the website. The whole thing has basically been reworked. Same move/save/bravery/wounds but the weapons have seen a big shift and you’re now taking woe-staves. Still 2” range but now wounding on 4’s instead of 5’s and each 6 becoming 2 successful wounds for the enemy to save separately. Not the same rend and tear unit they once were, however with 3 attacks on the charge each can do hefty damage on units with worse saves. Best taken in pure Pestilens forces however as Battleline. 

 

Skaven - Plague Monks

Skaven – Plague Monks
Credit: Pendulin

Terrain

The Gnawhole

Skaventide armies have access to the Gnawhole scenery piece which is really 3 pieces of scenery placed after territories are picked but before any units are deployed on the table, they are set up wholly within 8” of any board edge, more than 3” away from objectives and more than 1” away from any other scenery. The best way of deploying these is going to usually be on 3 different board edges, one on your own side for easy access to it and then the others set up to get in range of enemy units or to easily get onto objectives depending on the mission and your opponent. 

Basically, they work as portals. At the start of any of your own Movement phases you are allowed to use 1 of the Gnawholes to move 1 Skaventide unit, so long as the unit using the Gnawhole is wholly within 6” of it and there is also a Hero within 6” of it as well (this means a Hero can be next to one on their own and just step through it themselves). Take that unit off of the table and then set it up again wholly within 9” of any other Gnawhole and more than 9” away from enemy models, this does count as that unit’s move for the turn. 

The terrain also counts as having the Arcane trait for Skaevntide, but all other units treat it as Deadly instead. If that wasn’t enough, Skaventide Priests add +1 to the dice when using prayers to see if the prayer goes off. 

This terrain is incredibly useful in moving your large hordes of rats around the table for board control to claim objectives early and quickly to start scoring sooner, or to claim points to swing the game in their favour in the mid-late game. 

Or to throw bricks of Stormfiends through… whatever you need.

 

Army Lists

Bair’s Verminus:

I wanted to build a list around a horde of rats using the Claw-Horde battalion as a base, adding in the Screaming Bell to help with Battleshock tests. The Grey Seer on foot has basically one job to do, and if he dies doing it so be it, but hopefully not. Using Skitterleap to transport himself across the board near a Gnawhole to then summon the Warp Lightning Vortex in enemy lines and then hop back to safety by use of the Gnawhole. If a Gnawhole isn’t easy enough to get to, and depending on the enemy army, still very worth getting that endless spell down turn 1 to start wreaking havoc and slowing the enemy advance. In the same vein, Warpgale on the Screaming Bell is there to slow down scarier/faster units to keep them away that much longer, preferably to stagger the enemy’s charges so that the Stormvermin can pick at oncoming units one at a time, hopefully. Jezzails are there to keep distance and ping off support characters, needing 5’s to hit most of the time isn’t great but set them up so they don’t have to move for the full re-rolls and infantry characters should be disappearing. 

Leaders:

Grey Seer on Screaming Bell 

  • Verminous Valour
  • Suspicious Stone
  • Warpgale

Grey Seer

  • Skitterleap

Clawlord

  • Brutal Fury
  • Shield of Distraction

Battleline:

40 Stormvermin

40 Clanrats

  • RustyWr Spears

40 Clanrats

  • Rusty Spears

Artillery:

9 Warplock Jezzails

Warscroll Battalions:

Claw-horde

Endless Spells: 

Warp Lighning Vortex

Vermintide

 

JoeK’s List

A healthy mix of Masterclan, Verminus, Skryre, and Eshin. Eshin for pre-game scout/screens. 90 wounds in battleline from verminus + potential attack buffs if needed to the Stormvermin with the Clawlord. Battleshock immunity + magic from the Bell, and long range damage threat from the Stormfiends. 169 wounds of usually battleshock immune. The Skryre heroes will almost always all take the same spell, because the repetition is more important in case you lose one, than having more spells to cast. Skitterleap and warplightning vortex also is a brutal combo if you can get it off, especially now since its range was cut from 26” to now 13”. The named Clawlord could also be swapped out for a basic one, to save the 40 points, lose some of those wounds, but gain the ability to attempt for a triumph or another endless spell. (if you wanted to stick with this list).

Leaders

Grey Seer on Screaming Bell (240)

  • Lore of Ruin: Skitterleap

Arch-Warlock (160)

  • General
  • Command Trait: Deranged Inventor
  • Lore of Warpvolt Galvanism: More-more-more Warp Power!

Warlock Bombardier (120)

  • Artefact: Vigordust Injector
  • Lore of Warpvolt Galvanism: More-more-more Warp Power!

Skritch Spiteclaw (140)

Battleline

20 x Clanrats (120)

  • Rusty Spear

20 x Clanrats (120)

  • Rusty Spear

20 x Clanrats (120)

  • Rusty Spear

30 x Stormvermin (300)

  • Halberd

Units

6 x Stormfiends (520)

  • 2x Windlaunchers
  • 2x Ratling Cannons
  • 2x Doomflayer Gauntlets

10 x Night Runners (80)

4 x Spiteclaw’s Swarm (0)

Endless Spells / Terrain / CPs

Warp Lightning Vortex (80)

Total: 2000 / 2000 Extra Command Points: 0 Allies: 0 / 400 Wounds: 169

 

Skittering Off

There’s definitely a lot of great combinations to be found in the book, and one of the largest problems is just picking a lane and not taking too many random pieces from all over. It’s high risk with high reward, with that risk often literally just blowing back in your face if it goes horrible wrong. If you’re wanting an army that does reward you for wanting to potentially killing your own models and has the best sharpshooters in the game then them up.

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