Saturday, 22 December 2012

Skaven Weapon Teams Roles and Comparisons

All dem weapon teams... Which one do I choose? Should I mix it up? How many? Well, let's find out!

Warpfire Thrower
The most expensive team you can buy, and for good reason. At S5 it cuts through armour and wounds better than any of the other Weapon Teams, as well as causing D3 wounds per unsaved wound. This thing is a monster against the likes of Ogres and Monstrous Cavalry and it can be put to good use against Monster-riding Lords/Heroes if you must. Doing just that won me a game once, actually.

Unfortunately, however, the Warpfire Thrower is a move or fire weapon and its Misfire Chart is brutal. If you roll a misfire you only have a 1/6 chance of not losing your Weapon Team instantly.

Despite its downsides, the Warpfire Thrower is my favourite Weapon Team. It causes huge damage with a high strength and D3 wounds, and being a Template Weapon it hits huge amounts of models. It can also Stand and Shoot if anyone decides to charge it, which is nice. There's really no army the Warpfire Thrower isn't good against.

Preferably fire it into large clumps of expensive Infantry, but really it can be used in any situation you need it for.

Ratling Gun
The cheapest option, and on the surface it doesn't look too bad, but once you dig a little deeper I don't think it's as great as it first appears.

The first issue is that it is very random. You can either play it safe and only roll 2-3 time to see how many shots you get with a small risk of getting a misfire or you can roll 4+ times for maximum shots but put yourself in a very dangerous situation in terms of misfire chances. The first option, while safer, means fewer shots and less casualties, while the latter is a more high risk, high rewards kind of thing.

Random shots aside, you also have to roll To Hit and with the poor BS of the Weapon Teams only half the number of shots will even hit. Then with only a S of 4, it won't wound as much as the Warpfire Thrower team either.

With all that taken into account, the Ratling Gun really won't do a whole bunch of damage.

Either way though, I do think Ratling Guns have a place in an army. I'd consider taking 1-2 in a list as chaff-removal. Unlike the Warpfire Thrower there's no chance of the Ratling Gun over shooting and it has a lower chance of a misfire, so you'll almost definitely get some hits on the target and against a lot of chaff only 1-2 wounds are all that's needed. 6 is the most number of wounds I can think of for a small chaff unit, and that's our own Rat Darts. So while not extremely powerful, Ratling Guns do have a place!

On-par with the Ratling Gun in points, and a very, very interesting option as well. It's the toughest of the Weapon Teams with a 3+ armour save to the front and a 5+ to the side, it does D3 Impact Hits as well as an Artillery Dice worth of S4 auto-hits in combat and it has Armour Piercing.

I haven't used this Team, but I think it'd be good fun to use. Considering its superior armour save, I'd say throwing it into the side of a unit that some Slaves have held up would be a good use, otherwise I'd use it to take on Archers and chaff. It seems fairly flexible in its roles, being able to take on just about any lightly-armoured opponent, just avoid anything heavily armed and armoured and it should do alright.

I think I'd only use it in friendly games though. Save competitive games for the Warpfire Throwers and Ratling Guns.

Poisoned Wind Mortar
The most mobile of the standard Weapon Teams, but it's really my least favourite.

It may be able to move and fire, but it only fires a small blast, and with the way things scatter in Fantasy it's an extremely inaccurate weapon. It rarely hits anything, rarely wounds what it does hit and then explodes horribly.

It looks good on paper, but in my experience I don't think it's worth the points. If it was cheaper than I think it'd definitely be worth it, but as is you'd be far better off forking out the extra 5 points for a Warpfire Thrower.

Maybe you've had better luck with it than I, but it has been extremely lack-lustre for me.

If you do want to use it, however, I suggest targetting any large, heavily armoured units first. Things like Knights make good targets if you're feeling lucky and think you can get some hits, while hordes will almost definitely get you some hits but the innate armour-ignoring abilities of the weapon will be wasted and you'll have a hard time killing many. The Warpfire Thrower is better in just about all situations.

An interesting one. It can only be taken on Night Runners and Gutter Runners, and is only taken for its deployment capabilities.

So let's look at those capabilities, shall we? The unit goes into reserve and comes in on a 4+ from turn 2 onwards. They come in from a marker that's placed at the beginning of the game and scatter using a Scatter Die and an Artillery Die. So it's extremely random, and the enemy can avoid you or place a big, fat combat unit right on top of the marker. If you pop up and didn't scatter too much you'll be in combat with someone who will wreck you instantly.

Personally I'd never take a Warp-grinder with either Night or Gutter Runners. It's too random and you have a good chance of losing the entire unit with a misfire. In combat it only does D3 S4 hits too, so barely anything noticeable. Too random and far too dangerous for the Skaven player to be considered if you ask me.

Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions?


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