Monday, August 31, 2015

New Skaven Book - Wishlist

Just been asked on the NZ Warhammer Whats App group what I would like to see in a new Skaven book....for instance in Furion's project. Here's a grab bag of some things:

  • Seer leadership down to Ld 6
  • (Re) Introduction of Mainstay rule i.e. you must have one Clanrat unit for every unit of Stormvermin or Slaves
  • Drop in points for Jezzails, Poisoned Wind Globadiers and Plague Censer Bearers
  • Drop Night Runners to 5 points
  • Weapons Teams go to two wounds and allow them to Stand & Shoot if parent charged
  • Rat Ogres buffed....even scaly skin would be nice
  • Removal of non-Mage Engineers
  • Fix Packmaster rules
  • Sort out Random Movement for HPA and just annoys opponents
  • Give Furnace a 4+ armour save OR preferably a 5+ ward - never see it otherwise
That's just off the top of my head


  1. The mainstay rule alone would fix a lot of what people get pissy at re: Skaven.

  2. Chris from Canada

    In addition to what you said:

    -Giant Rats min size of 10, either 8 rats and 2 packmasters, or 9 and 1. Does not make sense being smaller than the average unit at their cost.

    -Either move the End Times Stormfiend rules to similar to the Warpgrinder or move the Warpgrinder closer to the Stormfiends, but they should do the same thing. Maybe also the other weapons teams should be treated similarly.

    -An alternative to removing non-mage engineers would be incorporating magic items that we will be losing and making some of our less frequently used weapons, into kits you have to purchase when getting a Warlock. Something like:
    Enhanced Warlock Optics + Warpmusket (or straight up Jezzail) = +1BS, no cover or range penalties, Sniper + gun's rules [gives a chance to see them on the battlefield]
    Warlock Augmented Weapon + Warpforged Weapon + some Armour option
    Good Pistol Option (lots of isle of blood models with pistols that are almost never used, their ceremonial)
    Some bomb or rocket to take the place of the likely soon to be leaving doomrocket, brass orb, death globe.
    Warp Condenser with the only option for level 2?
    These ideas are less needed and more wish list-y but the Skaven are supposed to be diverse and I am disinclined towards changes that hurt our diversity significantly. especially in our empire of non-uniformity made of scraps and constantly modified.

    -Plague sensors on Furnace = not being a deterrent for their signature weapon on Holiest Altar (with a large unit of plague monks you are in base contact with 15 monk /6 = 2.5 wounds, in base contact with 5 elves at T3 = 2.5 wounds and less as toughness increases.) I don't have a solid solution yet, but even the fumes from the furnace are kinder.

    -A way for the furnace and bell to move into combat when engaged in the flank. Being 5 deep if you are engaged in the flank by an opponent, in order to move either the bell or furnace into combat you have to reform into 12 (5 guys + bell/furnace width of 3 + 4 guys -technically still middle) wide because you have to keep the furnace in the centre. Treating it similar to the Cauldron of Blood would be nice and help with some of the more frustrating rules of these two beautiful models.

  3. so if you had to purchase each of these improvements with a penalty, or reduction in ability, what do you think is too good?

    it can't be everything is too expensive and needs improvements.

    I'd like to see significant changes to slaves. either you can't shoot into combat, they don't count towards minimum core or they can't use the generals leadership.
    option D all of the above?

    generally I'd like to see a reduction in the variability of skaven weapons. it feels like the game is down to one dice roll, on a 3+ the skaven toys work and they win, on a 1-2 they malfunction and the skaven lose. Whatever the opponent does, make no difference.

    1. Yeah you are absolutely right John, there is no skill in is just a random die roll.

    2. Science and the experience of Aucklanders tells us this is so...

  4. Even a cursory reading of any Skaven fluff reveals that "Life is Cheap". And the backbiting in Skaven politics sees it as honorary to try and dispose of internal rivals.

    Personally I believe Skaven should be able to shoot into any combat however apart from templates that fall where they fall ALL shooting should be randomised.

    My other bitch is the obverse of John's comment i.e. everything can't be too cheap and needs powering down.

    Trying to be objective here but the intro of Mainstay and drop in Seers Ld would address a lot of "perceived" Skaven problems. This coupled with a change to Life is Cheap to allow wider shooting into combat but with negative consequences deserves consideration.

    People only remember the time the Doomrocket hit....not the times it 30 points I'd always take it , at 50 points I'd never take it. Similarly Warp Condenser works at 20 points but probably doesn't at 30-35 points.

    Funny though we never hear Sea Dragon Cloaks are too cheap.....nor Pegasus mounts......nor the Cloak of Twilight :-)

    1. These things do stick in the memory. I remember my K'daii taking 6 wounds from an Empire cannon at NZTC first shot of the game. I could just rage and go "Cannons are broken!" But I don't remember all the times the K'daii laughed off multiple shots and went on to ruin hobby.

      It is human nature.

      By the way, lots of excellent fixes to the Skaven book.

    2. I'm happy to have a conversation about the strengths and weaknesses of the elf books. I think you should discuss books in groups not individually so you can compare and contrast the different units and ensure there is some consistency for abilities.

      the perceived problems with skaven are 150 unbreakable skaven slaves that cost 300 points and allow you to contact the enemy and then shoot them with no penalty.

      I am not sure that moving the seer to LD 6 plus the banner of discipline +3 ranks of the slaves still makes them LD 10 with a reroll. I am not sure that small units of bunker rats guarding the characters and making the cheap engineers invulnerable is a huge sacrifice.

      I don't like the fact that you can take a 40 point weapon system that the enemy can't do anything about and has the potential to kill off multiples of its points value in one shot. I'm not a fan of goblin fanatics either. Either they work as advertised and wipe out the enemy in droves or they don't. It's a bit like casting purple sun down the flank of the enemy and killing off half the enemy army in one turn. Only one player will have fun.

      I think there is a lot of skill in playing skaven, especially if you took away their extreme toys.

      I'd be happy to play without magic items and cannons. sounds like a good idea.

      I think all of the evil armies should be able to shoot into combat. I don't see Malekith worried about the life of his minions.

  5. I have to say that all of those changes look good, with the possible exception of the weapon teams Stand and Shoot; not because it's a bad idea, but rather that template weapon stand and shoot seems to be a hole in the core rules. Gyrocopters are the example I'm thinking of.

    Also, while Night Runners aren't that flash when deployed normally, combined with a Warp Grinder, their ability to charge on arrival can be quite strong. I've only played against them once though, so my experience is limited.

    I also support the notion of shooting into combat with all of your units, but randomizing hits (including magic missiles). It's fluffy as hell. Mind you, I think Goblins should be allowed to do this too, it fits them equally well. Also, this might be something that all armies can do against Large Targets, though not with war machines. No reason why you shouldn't be able to shoot at a Giant or Dragon with a crossbow, just because it's fighting your Halberdiers or Longbeards.

    Overall, good ideas, I hope Furion and/or the Swedes go down this route.

    1. Gyrocopters can stand and shoot, it is just not explained properly.

      I am not sure about shooting into combat for other races, crossbow bolts lose elevation pretty quickly and then are likely to hit friendly troops. My longbeards would get pretty cross at any beardling who did that!