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The Skaven Challenge...

Blutsauger

Vampire Count
Joined
Apr 10, 2013
Messages
1,091
#1
I'll be playing a match against Skaven in the near future.

He'll be running a Vermin Lord, a Plague Priest on Plague Furnace, three big infantry blobs, a big blog of plague priests, a hell pit abomination with magical attacks, and some other bits and bobs. Oh, and a unit of Stormraven with the Storm Banner.

I'll be running a Vampire Lord on a Zombie Dragon with QB, RF, ToP and OTS (with a lance and heavy armour/shield)

9 Black Knights with a Vampire Hero (level 2, QB, Enchanted Shield, Dawnstone and a Lance)

5 Blood Knights with flag of blood keep

Four units of wolves

40 skeletons

2 x 20 zombies

level 1 necro with the cursed book

3 Vargheists

5 Hexwraiths

If I get lucky, the Vampire Lord can take the Vermin Lord. But I really need to get lucky and roll at least three hits (needing 4s with no re-rolls) and then do well with the wounding. At the same time, the Blood Knights can probably take the HPA, if they get lucky. Regeneration and Magic attacks are going to make this thing a tough nut to crack.

I've got enough wolves that I can keep most of his units out of the game until I'm ready to deal with them, but I just don't know how to deal with all his units. There's so many threats to deal with and they're all such a high priority. The Vermin Lord is his only level four, and if I take him out then I can start to take control of the magic phase as well as removing a large threat, but that Doom Glaive and S6 is scary! If I wiff my attacks and he rolls even half well, he'll obliterate my general and it's game over. Not to mention he's toting the Storm Banner so he can just shut down my charge if I look like I'm in a good position.

If I can get a double charge with my Black Knights/Vampire Lord off on any given target, I think I can take it. The two QB vamps should be able to pop the Vermin lord in a single round, and hopefully they can then turn around and apply themselves to another unit. Given that the HPA has random movement it's a lot harder to pin it down, but I can keep it screened away from the rest of my force with my wolves. Hopefully I can strip some wounds off it by applying Vargheists to it and then in a later turn smashing it with my Blood Knights. I'm happy to bog down his infantry with my infantry, and I will be running more chaff than him. I don't expect my Hexwraiths to last long, but who knows? If they make it past the first or second round they might be useful to throw into the Plague Priests.

Thoughts? How would you deal with this army with the tools I have at my disposal?

A couple of questions: Can the Storm Banner be activated more than once? Or is it a one use only item? Can the Plague Furnace be put in any unit, or must it go inside the Plague Priest unit?
 

Adam_Barrow

Sleepless Knight
True Blood
Joined
Dec 25, 2010
Messages
3,071
#2
Storm Banner goes off, then has a chance to stay gone off. Also, no Warp Lighting Cannons + no Doom Wheels + Vermin Lord = very less than scary rat list. The Furnace must be with the Monks, and that's his only hammer unit. Stormvermin are a lot softer than he's hoping.

Frenzy bait that expensive Plague unit. You don't even have to sweat killing the Vermin Lord. He can never be the General. Gank his General and the BSB if it's there. Then watch a whole rat army run off the table.

Get into combat, take out his Ld guys, avoid endless Slave bogs. Rinse, repeat.
 

Blutsauger

Vampire Count
Joined
Apr 10, 2013
Messages
1,091
#3
So I should be aiming to plow my Lord and Black Knights into the plague priest block, to take out the priest and the furnace? How to deal with the Vermin Lord though? Just tie him up with wolves and ignore him? And what about the HPA?

If I frenzy bait the Plague Monks so that they expose a flank or rear to my hammer units, then I can plow into them and beat them in combat, robbing them of their extra attacks, but unless I kill the plague furnace, the unit is still unbreakable, and I won't be able to kill the plague priest on the first round of combat. And unless he reforms to bring his furnace into combat (and why on earth would he do that?) then I will be stuck in combat trying to kill 40 unbreakable plague rats.

Am I better off just plowing into the front of the unit and trying to kill the furnace on the first round?

Sorry for all the questions, this is the first time I've played against the rats in this edition, and only the second time I've played against them ever.

I'm thinking that, on the charge, the Vampire Lord should be able to bust the Plague Furnace into pieces. Hitting on 3's, re-rolling misses and wounding on 3s with no saves with Red Fury should see it dead, and if it doesn't I still get the Dragon attacks before it gets to swing. That takes care of the Unbreakable, and should be enough damage that I win the combat, but they'll still be testing on LD8. On the next round I should be able to finish the unit off.
 

Adam_Barrow

Sleepless Knight
True Blood
Joined
Dec 25, 2010
Messages
3,071
#4
The Abomb is T5. Blood Knights can pop it. Be wary of the Plague Banner on those Monks. Reroll To Hit and To Wound for one round. Again, the Plague unit is his hammer, but it's Frenzied, so wolf him around by the nose until you're ready to deal with them. Is his General the Plague Priest? Again, since the Vermin Lord can't be the General, that makes killing the squishy Priest a lot more important. Though I'd wager the important characters will be in the Stormies.

I guess I'd gun for the Vermin Lord with Dragon and Black Knights first. He's fast but you're faster. And I doubt he'll hold him back since you don't have any shooting. Blood Knights on Abomb. Wolves redirect Monks around. If he's got Warpfire Throwers or Poisoned Wind Mortars be wary, they mess up knights.
 

Blutsauger

Vampire Count
Joined
Apr 10, 2013
Messages
1,091
#5
That's what I was thinking.

On a related note, if I attack to the flank of a unit of plague priests containing the plague furnace, but the plague priests are depleted as such:

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can my unit (in blue) direct attacks at the plague furnace? The book is quite specific about only allowing models to attack over a gap if they are fighting to both flanks, or to the rear. It makes no mention of odd situations like this. I suppose I could mitigate the situation by using my wolves to turn the unit right around to get at it's rear, but that seems a bit optimistic.
 

Blutsauger

Vampire Count
Joined
Apr 10, 2013
Messages
1,091
#6
So I played this game today, and everything went well!

I won the first turn, and my opponent immediately opted to use the Storm Banner, which I thought was a bit premature since I wasn't really planning any first turn flying charges. A charge from my Hexwraiths sent a unit of gutter runners fleeing, and in turn panicked his HPA. Not quite off the board, but it took care of it for a turn. Wolves tied his Plague rats unit up for several turns, domino-ing it across the board.

Interestingly he charged his Vermin Lord into a unit of Wolves. I promptly challenged with the Doomwolf and the Lord was then stuck. I subsequently managed to charge him with both the Lord on Dragon and my Black Knights with Vampire Hero. He challenged with the Vermin Lord (it was the sensible thing to do, but I was hoping he'd not think of it) and I accepted with my Lord, knowing I'd need to get lucky to pull this off. As it turned out, I rolled two hits and three misses, and with Red Fury managed a total of four wounds. Not enough to kill the Vermin Lord who swung back and caused two wounds. He picked up the dice to roll a D3 for each wound, but the dice gods were with me and he only rolled a 1 and a 2, so I lived! The Zombie Dragon promptly ate the Vermin Lord and swung the game for me there and then.

Meanwhile my Blood Knights had charged into the rear of the Plague Rat unit, causing four wounds to the Plague Engine and killing a handful of rats. Oh, I forgot! He cast the Plague spell, but when we checked the rules, and discovered it was a Direct Damage spell, we realised the only target he could affect with it was the Zombies that his Plague Rats (and Plague Priest) were in combat with. I offered to let him take the dice back and cast something else, as the Skaven book is old and doesn't list spell types for the spells, but he insisted on casting it anyway, saying it was his own fault for not knowing his own book. The end result was 12 dead Zombies and 12 (or so) dead Plague Rats. I was pretty happy with that trade.

Anyway, the Blood Knights trim down some Plague Rats and leave the Engine on 2 wounds before they are wiped out. A charge from the now free Zombie Dragon into the rear of the Plague Rats seals their doom, killing something like 18 models in the first round of combat and sending them scurrying away, only to be caught by the Dragon and his rider.

The game ended with some his Warlock Engineer hiding in some Clanrats, surrounded on three sides by Black Knights, Skeletons and the Zombie Dragon.

The Hell Pit Abomination ended up being taken out by Vargheists, which was another trade I was happy to make. Good game over all, could have easily swung hard the other way if my Lord had died in that challenge with the Vermin Lord, and I got pretty lucky there.
 
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