Monday 30 June 2014

Skaven 3rd Edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle Army List.

A little later blog update than usual as I have had a very busy weekend and returned late on Sunday. This weeks update follows on from the one last week where I stated I was re-embarking upon my project to complete one 3,000 point army for each of the main army list entries in the Warhammer Armies book from 3rd Edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle. The first of the final armies I am tackling is the Skaven.

I have always liked the Skaven from when I first read about them in the 1986 Citadel Spring Journal (which I never got hold of until 1987, and now my copy has been sadly lost over the years :(  ). I liked the slightly industrial look of the rounded style of armour and masks, the technological weapons, and that feeling of dark menace from vast almost unstoppable armies.

 It was however that vastness of army which stopped me from properly collecting a Skaven army at the time. With all the other armies I was working on, Warhammer, 40k, and other things, I never could commit to financing what I assumed would be an expensive project for my at the time. Apart from the plastic Skaven in the Warhammer Regiments box, it was only possible to get plastic Skaven from the Heroquest range via (the slow) mail order. So it meant collecting a metal army of about 200 odd models, which leaving aside the trouble carrying it, would have been pricey on my budget even in the 1980's. So I placed the idea on the 'to do list'.

With myself undertaking the Warhammer Armies project, and with the relative ease and cheapness of buying 1980's Skaven on e-bay, I decided now was the time. The bulk of the infantry, Clanrats and Slaves, are made up from plastic Skaven from the 1980's Warhammer Regiments boxset, or from the Heroquest Skaven. For the Strormvermin I have used a mixture of the 1980's metal Skaven. All of the regiments have metal commands from the 1980's (except the Slave who will have a converted plastic standard bearer). I made a conscious decsion to only use 1980's models to give a feel of a Skaven army from the time (approximately 1988 to 1991). In essence the army I never got around to collecting then! I don't know how much the army has cost to buy in bits from e-bay (I only had 20 or so Skaven which I bought in the 1980's), but I doubt if it was more than the price tag of 25 years ago :) .

The 3,000 point Skaven Army List.

Army General: Level 20 Skaven, Hellhoned Blade, Spell Tempered Heavy Armour = 158 points.

Level 25 Wizard = 327 points.

Level 15 Wizard = 147 points.

Magically bound Wyvern = 180 points.

19 Stormvermin, light armour, shield, double handed weapon, Standard Bearer, Musican = 189 points
[to be led by the Army General]

30 Clanrats, hand weapon, light armour, shield, Standard bearer, Musican, Level 15 Hero with heavy Armour, Hellhoned Blade = 296 points.

30 Clanrats, hand weapon, light armour, shield, Standard bearer, Musican, Level 10 Hero with heavy Armour, double handed weapon = 239 points.

30 Clanrats, hand weapon, light armour, shield, Standard bearer, Musican, Level 10 Hero with heavy Armour, double handed weapon = 239 points.

30 Clanrats, hand weapon, light armour, shield, Standard bearer, Musican, Level 10 Hero with heavy Armour, double handed weapon = 239 points.

40 Slaves, hand weapon, shield, Standard Bearer, Musican, Level 15 Hero, heavy armour, double handed weapon = 200 points.

6 Rat Ogres, with 3 Skaven Beastmasters with light armour, shield = 261 points.

4 Warp-Fire Throwers, 324 points.

3 Jeazzailachis = 117 points.

3 Poisoned Wind Globadiers, light armour = 78 points.

Total 3,000 points.

As you can see, it's a lot of models for a 3,000 point army, 180 foot soldiers, 7 weapon teams, 3 globaiders, 6 Rat Ogres with 3 handlers, and 2 Wizards and thier bound pet Wyvern.
The main tactics for the army is simply to advance and engage in melee with the covering fire from Warpfire Throwers and Jezzails. Difficult enemy units with be deal with by the Rat Ogres and/or Stormvermin. I avoided the 'trap' of just taking the minimum 20 Slaves. I have read in articles and from discussions that the 20 Slaves are usually easy to rout and then take the Clanrats with them in panic. 40 Slaves, plus the nasty suprise of a Level 15 hero will help stop that.
Painting wise there is a lot to do, but I have chosen a very simple paint scheme. I painted up a few test models and the Clanrats and Slaves will not take too long to paint once I get started. I do however still have to undercoat them (which I still like to do by hand). I also have paint strip about half of the metal models before repainting. I intend to have the army finished by the end of July.

 Birds eye view of the army, nearly 200 Skaven.
 Two painted test model plastic Clanrats. 
The one of the left from the Warhammer Regiments box set, the other from the Heroquest range. I have kept both of the different types in seperate regiments, working out as having two regiments of each.
I have also gone for Warpstone glowing green eyes.
 Skaven Slave. 
All the Slaves (apart from the unit leader and Musician) are from the Warhammer Regiments box set. To differentiate them from the Clanrats I have added plain wooden looking shields bought from Hasslefree Miniatures. I will also not paint the armour metallic unlike the Clanrats, but keep it brown as they are not equipped with armour.
 Two of the Beastmasters with shield added (although I will paint the shield more colourful than the Slaves ones). In the centre is the Citadel solid based C23 Slave Ogre which I am going to use as one of the Rat Ogres to add a bit of variety into the army, and to also get to use the model.
 Two Skaven Wizards, in need of paintstripping.
 Bound Wyvern, which is Citadel and is listed in the 0801 Young Dragons range as 'Rock Dragon'.
On the right is the army General, one of the few metal Skaven I bought in the 1980's.
I think he's pointing saying "Look, a Wyvern in a Skaven Army!"
 Some of C47 Chaos Ratmen and Skaven Command miniatures. Most of the C47 Ratmen will end up as Stormvermin. 
 I have two complete crews, and decided to use a Leader Model with Warlock Musket as a third. There is a second crew member for him with the gun rest in the post from e-bay at the moment!
I have test painted the one on the left.
 Warpfire Throwers.
I have always liked the idea of these and wanted to include them in the army. 

This week I shall be undercoating Skaven, and if time allows paint stripping and then painting Clanrats.


  1. I just love your casual tone when you announc eyou're painting 200+ skaven models by the end of July. You make it sound like a human could do it !
    Skaven have always been the source of mixed feelings for me : fantastic Jes Goodwin sculpts in one hand, a horde of models to buy and paint on the other, I can understand why little Goblinlee delayed that one !

    1. True, I never thought of it like that. If I focus on painting the Clanrats and Slaves will be easy to paint, the time will be taken up by the Stormvermin and Command models.
      Next update I might do a step by step guide on speed painting a plastic Skaven. I will be painting them in the basic manner of the test models.

      I totally agree with you, the models, especaily the metal ones, are lovely, but the task of collecting and painting up a large army can be a challange. Poor little Goblinlee had his hands full with Slann, Goblins, and other odds and ends at the time!

  2. Always nice to see another skaven player, and a nice collection of old lead to boot.It's going to be truly embarrassing that u finish your 3k list by the end of July and I've been working on mine since last march. Best of luck sir.
    I'm not one to ever criticize another's list but there are a couple things I could point out if ur interested. Again good luck with your army, Clan Scourge looks forward to seeing them finished.

    1. Don't be too worried, I have'nt got there yet!

      Feel free to comment on the army list compostion. :) I was thinking of tinkering with it. I am looking to modify it if I can by adding an Assassin, some Gutter Runners, and a Plague Censer Bearer.

      I may reduce the Stormvermin to Black Clanrats, reduce in level one of the Wizards, and reduce in level a couple of the heroes.

      I would like to know what your ideas and comments on the list are as it a list I have never written or used before.

  3. Well here goes, mind you these tips and tricks are just from what I've learned across a couple dozen games, you may not agree and that's fine variety is the spice of life.
    1 You need a BSB and you need him with a relic banner. I give mine a talismanic standard but that's because every character except the BSB in my army is a wizard. Usually 3 and Minimum level 15
    2 - heros level 5,10,15 are unit champions not independents associating with a unit. As unit champs they must be armed and armoured exactly the same as their troops. The exception is giving them a warp lock pistol as it says ANY skaven hero may have one and for 5 Pts for S5 -2 save in CC why not?
    3- Clanrats need spears. 1/2 a point for +1 initiative and half the second rank can fight? That's 15 Pts for a unit of 30 (16 if you have mus and stn) which gives you an extra 3 attacks if u have a 6 frontage. That's dirt cheap.
    4- warp stone charms are great. 15pts +1 WP? And you can burn it to make a reroll sign me up.
    5- honestly screw the shock elites. We get the short end of the stick. I wouldn't bother, yes they can carry the all important relic banners but so can plague monks and they're 4.5 a pop?
    6- bound creature are a big gamble you're only guaranteed one combat and u have to sink in your all important spell points to bind them (yet another way talismanic is worth it's piddly 50pts) but that up to u and the figure u have is coll so I'll shit up
    7 gutter runners are the shit son. They're skirmishers, they're scouts, they get slings and EVERY attack is poisoned. I always take 2 units of ten give em shield and sling and run em up the flank. No movement penalty for shield only so they're hauling ass getting in range, stopping and then firing 2 Str 4 shots up to 18. Yum.
    8- skaven slaves 3.5 with spear and slings. Put 40 in an archery wedge. Your opponent will underestimate them until they stand and dish out 16 shots. Really nasty too if one of your mages pulls curse of arrow attraction. Delicious.
    9-forget heavy armour unless you wanna pay for galvorn which does rock. The move penalty is too great. You gotta haul ass close, blast magic release plague censers (should have 4 I think) while blasting monsters/ cavalry with your two man cannons aka jezzailachis and decimating formations with your magic barrage from the talismanic standard.

    That's all I can think of for now except get those units over 32 models so your opponents gotta kill 9 for the panic check.
    Oh and give you wizards arcane runes to raise that toughness by 1

    1. Wow, thank you for taking the time on such a detailed response!

      I cut out the Army Standard from the first draft of the list, but that was only due to points. I used to use Talismanic Standard (on a War Altar) years ago with my Slann army giving a strom of relentless magic points. The benefits of BSB will mean that if possible I will try to put it back in the army.

      If I do drop the Stormvermin then I will have enough points for reallocation. I can also redirect the models (some of which have slings) to make Gutter Runners, which I really did want to have in the army. I only really added the Stormvermin because I felt I needed a stronger unit in the army, but 20 always seem a little too dinky for a Skaven army.

      I did'nt realise that about level 5,10,and 15 heroes having to be equiped the same as the rank and file. My General has Warplock pistol on the model, something else I dropped due to points.

      I will keep the bound monster. Partly for the fun of it, and partly so it can tackle enemy flyers. I know that can be a one hit wonder, but they can be useful for flying against Dragons or Giant Eagles.

      I did plan on converting up all the Clanrat models to give them spears but decided not to chop up 180 odd miniatures. The idea of spears is a good one, and so what I will do is count the Heroquest models as having spears as the some weapons on them look quite hafted.

      Archer wedge of 40 Slaves with slings: I like that idea :) I might like that idea twice! I have a few spare spare heroquest Skaven so I could switch the some of the Warhammer regiments Skaven to Slaves and have more Heroquest spear armed clanrats. Pushing them over 32 models is a very good point.

      Maybe on the Censerbearers, I was always a little wary of them as they might have the same problem which Goblin Fanatics do, in that they can sometimes get in the way of an advance into melee.

      I will look again at the Wizards. I am very lax with equipping them, so give them better consideration.

      Again thank you for the advice, I will sit down tomorrow and have a good look again at the army list.

    2. Happy to help I very much enjoy your blog and we skaven players should stick together....until the time is right!