Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Skaven Army Construction- 2,500 Points

After my long post yesterday I wanted to show my concepts in action. I pulled out my netbook and opened Army Builder. Clicking away frantically I set about building a Skaven army worthy of my rantings.

My first concern was a solid core of Lords and Heroes. The ever present Grey Seer was the first on the scene. As stated before his utility as general, spellcaster, and attention magnet  all combine to keep the rest of your army a secondary thought (well, after the A-Boms). From there it was a matter of choosing his immediate subordinates.

First up is the ever-present Battle Standard Bearer. This one's a no-brainer, and should be the second mini you reach for in any Skaven army build.

From there it's a matter of spellcasting. You should never leave home without a backup spellcaster, and so I slapped together a competent level 2 Warlock Engineer.

I have a personal favorite dirty trick, that weather your opponent knows it's coming or not can be very useful. slap a Doomrocket on a Warlock Engineer (and a warplock pistol if you have the points) and Skitterleap him across the board onto the flank of the opposing battle line. The effects of this tactic are one of three options:

-Your opponent spends the whole game trying to keep you from Skitterleaping your Engineer across the table, allowing other, potentially more destructive spells through (I've forced a Dreaded Thirteenth through using this tactic).

-Your opponent doesn't see the move coming/doesn't care about the effects, in which case you get to launch the rocket down his flank assured that it's going to hit something on the way across.

-Your opponent overreacts and spreads/staggers his line allowing your sledgehammer units to take him apart one bit at a time.

Any of these options is great, as the model only costs from 45-53 points (depending on the presence of the Warplock Pistol) and can cause all kinds of havoc. Once he's fired off his rocket you can even use him to take pot-shots at artillery, or if he's feeling particularly brave he can gum up charges.

Finally there's the model I only include if I think I have enough points (and as I'm building a 2,500 point army here I do). The "card up my sleeve" if you will. I toss in an Assassin for good measure, as he's great for taking up challenges (or even issuing them) with his high Initiative, Always Strike First, and good number of attacks. With his usual loadout my assassin is Strength 5, doubles wounds he inflicts, and forces enemies to re-roll successful Ward Saves. He's a pretty lethal dude.

Next up you have Core choices. In this department you can never have too many warm bodies. Here I've opted for 182, but you may wish ti go even higher. There's the 60 strong Clanrat regiment with Poisoned Wind Mortar that my Grey Seer and Battle Standard Bearer reside in, my 40 strong Clanrat block with a Warpfire Thrower that my Warlock Engineers run, and two 40 strong blocks of Skavenslaves. The Clanrats provide bunkers for characters and Weapon Teams for adden firepower. The Skavenslaves not only tarpit enemies, but since you can shoot into combats involving only Skavenslaves they set enemies up to be decimated as well.

Now we're on to Special choices. I start with seven Gutter Runners. I don't know why but this seems to be the magic number for them. As discussed in a previous article, they require both slings and Poisoned Attacks. No discussion here.

My next addition is probably my most controversial one. Rat Ogres. Many people will say that they're over costed, under perform, or are too unpredictable (with few ranks they have low Leadership and are more likely to go charging off and leaving your battle line all out of whack). I find all of this (except for the unpredictable part) to be bluster. I have never been disappointed in my Rat Ogres' performance except in the games they don't make it into combat. When they don't get their paws on something It's usually my fault any way. The 21 attacks an unmolested unit of 6 Ogres and 4 Packmasters crank out more than makes up for a little mystery as to what they'll do in the Movement Phase.

Finally, Rares. I start here with two Abominations. In they go, no questions asked. They hit like a ton of bricks when they make it to your enemy's line, and they soak up a ton of firepower when they don't. Your Gutter Runners' first priority should be to silence cannons and any flaming war machines (Dwarf war machines, Screaming Skull Catapults) your opponent has, because without Regeneration these fellows die quickly. With it however, two of them is more than enough to deal a death blow to even an elite unit.

Finally, a Warp Lightning cannon. for its point cost the thing is a bargain. If you get a Strength 10 blast in the middle of your opponent's unit, feel free to give yourself a pat on the back. You've just severely weakened his battle line at that point. Aside from that, it's a cannon. Use it accordingly. Point it at tough, multi-wound stuff and blow it sky-high! Also keep in mind that if you fail to kill a multi-wound monstrous model with a cannon shot, the attack stops there. If the attack stops, the template is placed. What you want here is for the lightning blast to kill the first Ogre, then fail to off the next. Place the template where the shot stops and fry a bunch more!

My next post will have exact numbers and point values of units, but for now I just want to let you in on my thought process. For your entertainment, here's a picture of the army.

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