Thursday, August 12, 2010

Skaven under 8th Edition - Part 3

In 7th army construction was driven by slots in each of the various categories - Characters, Core, Special and Rare. The move to percentages greatly changes the game. In the last post I talked about how I felt the Skaven benefited through their access to cheap characters and an expanded Common Magic Item list. The other big change is to their none-core troops.

One of the biggest constraints on Skaven under 7th was the limit to four Special choices and two Rare. A large number of these choices came in at around the 100 point mark meaning typically you had around 600-800 points in these selections. A lot of other race armies typically had 1000-1200 points. Very quickly you ascertained what was the optimal six choices for these slots - for me it was two times Plague Censer Bearers, a unit of Gutter Runners, a unit of Plague Monks, Warp Lightning Cannon and a Doomwheel (In the Australasian comp environment Double Rares were frowned on).

Now at 2400 points you have up to 1200 of Special and 600 Rare. For Rare in particular this gives far more freedom and I hope we see the blinkered view of no Double Rares disappear as people get more comfortable with 8th.

So this move to percentages I see as a win to Skaven however it is strongly balanced by the 25%+ you MUST spend on Clanrats, Skavenslaves, Stormvermin and Weapons Teams (Giant Rat Packs and Swarms don't count to Core).

The other area where I believe Skaven have got a boost is in Magic. At first glance people are likely to say "Huh? They don't get access to the eight main Battle Lores". That's true but I contend that the Skaven magic decks are made for 8th Edition.

A Grey Seer gets access to both Ruin and Plague decks with the option to change one spell for either Skitterleap or the Dreaded 13th Spell. More importantly, all these spells bar the Dreaded 13th have a casting value of 13 or less. With his +4 to cast this means my Grey Seer, Seerlord Morskitta need only roll a 9 to get off a spell. As a result he is typically getting off 2-3 spells per turn. Yes they can be stopped but generally an enemy will be pressured unless he is also running a Level 4.

Under 7th I generally stuck to spells from Ruin. My favourites were Howling Warpgale, Scorch and Skitterleap. Recently Morskitta has been dabbling in the Plague deck hoping to snag Wither, Vermintide or Plague. The last of these in particular is very devastating in 8th Ed.

All of that said, I think that magic is considerably more fickle in the new edition. As a result I don't build a game plan around it rather using it as an adjunct to the Skaven's arsenal.

However I do see the investment in a Grey Seer as necessary for magic defense and given that he now has the same Leadership as the Warlord (as opposed to one less under the old book), it is even less of a hard choice.

A number of people advocate two Lord choices however it is not a route I have found it necessary to explore yet.

1 comment:

  1. Nice articles Pete.
    I think people around here in SA are getting use to less comp / restrictions. Though I do see no double rares being a regular comp feature at tournaments due to Abominations, Hydras, Warp lightning cannons, Hell Cannons even 4 x RBT in a HE/DE gun line :). etc.. etc...
    Some of it is justified some isn't, all opinion being in the eye of the beholder of cousre :). So it'll be intersting to see where this goes.