[Archive] Dealing with Skaven

Lord Fokke:

How do we deal with Skaven. Admittingly my earthshakers were busy shooting chaos knights last game, but with our lack of mobility with anything hard hitting the normal tactic of dealing with skaven by outflanking is out the window. Their two tower units are insanely nasty. Two of their towers(with characters) killed two units of Annihilators, a hellcannon, earthshakers, bolt thrower, Astrogoth, an Obsidian Guard unit, and a throwaway unit of sneaky gits, two daemonsmiths. I even managed to inflict 18 kills on the plague furnace in one round of Annihilator fire(and he screamed cheese) and it kept coming at full strength. By the end of the game I had the PF knocked down to 5 plague monks, and the screaming bell at 1 remaining wound(both the seer and tower). With both the Storm Banner(most broken item in the game), and the Howling Gale spell, insane ward saves on the bell, we really cant effectively shoot them reliably. We hurt ourselves hitting the furnace(auto-toughness test wounds every round, battering ram itself, impacts hits), and anything big wounding the bell makes it ring.

How do you get around this as right now I am refusing to play against skaven in the future(yes it means I will walk away in a tourney and anyone playing skaven gets auto-comped just for playing storm banner or more than one tower. Call me a bad loser but they are so OP it isnt funny.)


I haven’t fielded my Chaos Dwarves against Skaven yet but…

I’ve found Death Magic is the key to Cauldrons, Anvils, and other assorted nasty things. You can snipe the towers with any of three spells to destroy them fairly quickly. It may require you trying to throw enough dice to pull off an irrisistable force/miscast but it is very doable. Or the Chalice of Fire to suck up all his dispel dice. But it’s doable! The Hellblade of Hashut is also pretty awesome if you can challenge the rat on top (think Hobgoblin hero!).

Border Reiver:

Earthshakers - slow 'em down and keep doing S9 hits to the tower under the hole.

and their horde units really don’t like them either.

The other option is horde it up.

CD warriors with GWs do nasty things in a horde

Any magic item that forces fear tests works as well, and the Lore of Shadow with it’s multiple hexes can make that seemingly nasty unit much more vulnerable.

Lord Fokke:

No. With the towers they are unbreakable and with three casters(in this case) they tend to dominate the magic phase especially since unless we bring a level 3 or 4, our magic comes in the form of Daemonsmiths and their bound item. Which if you miscast, your bound item is toast along with your weapon.

I can see earthshakers doing and i guess a combined game really isnt the place for truly getting a feel for the enemy. The real problem with shooting is the silly underpriced Storm banner which shuts down own shooting effectively.

-Horde might work against the bell, against the plague furnace you are still looking at about 9-12 dead dwarves a turn if he charges.(D6 toughness tests, d6 impact hits, 8 frenzied monks, 7 attacks from the furnace crew, d6 battering ram hits at the end). Flanking seems like a great idea, unfortunately they have better movement than we do. Seeing as 25 warriors with shield is already 250 points, horde is expensive.

-not sure if you can challenge the rat on top. Be interesting to see.

-I want a rematch against the guy in a one on one game so hopefully i can get it in in the near future just to see how it works before I totally write off skaven.

-This is my current 2500 point list

Overlord great taurus, hammer of hashut, armor of Furnace, potion of speed, shield

Daemonsmith shield, Helm of Azgorh, Talisman of obsidian(2MR) shadow lore

Overseer BSB Stone Totem, shield

Annihilators x15 MS

Annihilators x 15 MS

Obsidian Guard x 20 FC Banner of Daemonic Tides

Chaos Dwarves x 25 FC Shield

Bull Centaurs x5, FC, GW


Bolt Throwers x2

Earthshakers x 2

Deathrocket x 2


One thing which may be quit fun is having a hobgoblin hero with terrifying mask of eeek.


i’ve been desperately trying not to say ‘mousetrap’ on this thread since it started.

i have now failed :frowning:

Lord Fokke:

Against old skaven that might have worked. Now days they have a base leadership +1 for every rank so you are looking at at least a 7 minimum except for maybe slaves. Thats just the line units. Run them with bells and furnaces and they are unbreakable. Then you have doomwheels and hell pit abominations to deal with. I am sure a few direct hits with hellcannon and earthshakers might take it out before it hits and destroys your line(provided you arent playing horde dwarves like me) but while you concentrate on them, the three towers of doom get closer with no time to thin their ranks to stop them(they need less than five escorts to cease all movement and become pillboxes). Annihilators only get one roll against either of them. Great weapons will probably take them out used enmass although I think HPA gets regen so you have to do alot of damage to a multiwound monster to get it to actually die(and then it might get up again). If i ever come across the HPA in my case the best best is my general with a potion of speed and make a beeline for it, strength 6 flaming plus breathweapon from the taurus.


If a character wounds a Bell or Furnace with the Phantom Blade (reduces their entire profile by 1), would that auto-destroy them?


If a character wounds a Bell or Furnace with the Phantom Blade (reduces their entire profile by 1), would that auto-destroy them?

Probably not, but i can't see a reason why not with my VERY limited knowledge of the new 8th ed rules.

Lord Fokke:

Hmm anytime you reduce a baseline stat to zero, it is killed. It would depend on the stat of the tower i guess. I dont know what the I of the tower is. I know the Blade of Realities for lizardmen can kill it in one shot according to the skaven player but I dont have the book on me.


As already mentioned, Spirit Leech from the Lore of Death is absolutely hideous when used by a CD Sorcerer Lord (the only other Ld 10 casters are Vampire Lords). The target has to use his own unmodified Ld, so for a Seer that would be 7 :slight_smile: Snipe the crap out of him asap.

Or Lore of Fire; Flaming Sword of Rhuin can now be cast on units and that means BBs or even war machines IIRC… Flaming Earthshakers ftw :slight_smile: Also, it grants +1 to wound which means you’re looking at 5s to wound the tower/abomination maximum, with anything that targets it, even Hobgobs with bows. Handy spell :slight_smile:

I would also recommend RHs over the Indy list. Much as the Indy list is full of interesting stuff, I think it needs serious updating for 8th. The lack of Lvl 2 wizards is unnecessarily crippling imo and the Kollossus is overpriced junk.

Storm Banner should clearly be a 55pt BSB-only item imo, it just wins them games. I hope you are rolling for it each player turn and not just in your turn (I’ve seen Rat players doing that).

The Furnace is much, much better in 8th, as it can’t be redirected or baited like it used to. Dwarfs and CDs basically have to shoot it, as engaging it in melee will likely mean huge casualties.

-not sure if you can challenge the rat on top. Be interesting to see.
The Priest on the Furnace cannot refuse challenges, though he is no slouch in combat. The Seer can refuse, and also climbs up the bell if he does so and can’t be targeted in melee until that combat ends or the bell is destroyed (so don’t challenge, just hit him).
I dont know what the I of the tower is.
It doesn’t have one, but as it isn’t a war machine (obviously :rolleyes:) I assume it uses the Rat Ogre’s Initiative of 4 or the Priest’s, whichever is better. Unlike everyone else’s big contraptions which fall down Pits of Shades or get eaten by Purple Suns automatically, the Skaven machines just dodge effortlessly. Makes total sense. No, really :~


Hmm anytime you reduce a baseline stat to zero, it is killed.

Lord Fokke
I don't think that is quite correct. I think that only certain stats count for this, wounds (obviously) and I think the others are strength and toughness. As far as I know the others can be reduced to 0 without causing death.


First of all, we d have flanking units in the form of wolfriders. When playing skaven I suggest you invest in some of those bad boys. I’d also consider tkaing some of those lovely 30pt bolt throwers (you can get 8 now for just 240pts) and stock up on blunderbusses. Earthshakers are also worth taking to slow them down. I’d also invest in a sorcerer lord and some normal level two sorcerers. As has already been said ravening hordes is a much better list for taking on the skaven


I'd also consider tkaing some of those lovely 30pt bolt throwers (you can get 8 now for just 240pts)
We're limited to 6 at 2k now, because of the triple duplicate Specials limit. But yes, for Furnace/Bell killing, more machines = more 4+s rolled for Storm Banner.

Border Reiver:

Don’t fuss it if he’s invested in 3 casters, one of which is 4th lvl - no matter what he’s limited to 12 PD and can concievably end up with only 2 - lot of points tied up in models that may not have as great an impact as they used to because of the way PD were generated. The Chalice of Darkness is a wonderful way to reduce the number of dice he has as well.

The Furnace and Bell are (pricey) upgrades to characters - if he takes them he will not end up with lots of points available for other characters, and will further limit how many of them you’ll face.

Someone showing up with three of the mobile towers has invested close to half his points in three models, which is going to limit what ever else he’s got on the board. The counter is to go with large units, both to absorb his attacks and to give you options for dealing with his. With the way 8th ed is shaping up, I’d really consider dropping the elites for more core units such as warriors with GW, Wolf riders, and perhaps bulking up the annihilators - and you may wish to swap your overlord on a taurus for a high priest on foot to give you a bit of a boost with dispelling

richard barby:

if your playing 2 towers take big blocks of hobgoblins and feed them to the towers keep your bsb and lord near by. but not in combat and pin them in combat for a few turns a 250point 50 strong spear hobgoblin unit will take a few turns to be wiped out keep general near by ld 10 with a re roll from the bsb as long as you have more ranks

as the same time golems mage lord bull centurs warriors take points out of everything else as there not going to be up to much if there have heaps of points in the 2 towers

if you chuck in your blunderbusses as well at the towers your going to draw a lot of attention from the skaven leaving the rest of the army time to hammer everything else. take a earth shaker and slow the towers movment down ao by the time they get to your blocks of hobgoblins its turn 3 you get a volley or 2 from the blunderbusses ( 3 if your really lucky) and then if your goblin and blunderbusses can hold them at there expence you could lose 500/ 600 points of troops but get 1200 un return