After playing much Warhammer 40K and building some Space Marine and Orks, I've been looking into starting a Warhammer Fantasy army, more specifically Skaven, because of the cool-looking models and the challenge towards my painting skills to make them look beautiful.

Although I've looked into types of armies and lore, from a strictly-gameplay point of view, I know nothing.

What types of Skaven armies work or not, and which races are they good or weak against?

2 Answers 2


This is not from me, but I approve it :) Skaven pros -

  • They have access to vast arrays of troops/troop types, and can get them in vast quantities.
  • The leadership rules they come with over-ride what would be a fatal weakness and combined with the new re-roll of all leadership tests allowed by the BSB and the general's leadership in a 24" diameter bubble they have the same Ld as dwarfs, ie impregnable.
  • They have excellent magic capacity and at least one game ending spell, which is now far easier to cast now in 8th irresistibly.
  • The new initiative strikes first regardless of charge now makes even their weaker troops likely to inflict a credible ammount of damage on all but the most heavily armoured foes.
  • The Storm Banner can, for a tiny cost eradicate their greatest weakness - being squelched by template weapons and shot to death - yes it affects their own troops to, but this is generally less detrimental to them than it is against other armies such as DE, HE, WE, Dwarfs, Empire, OK of which (generally) most of their opponents will come from.

Cons -

  • Such a large quantity of troops on the table means the potential for being bottlenecked against terrain, the newer terrain rules have nearly removed this as a problem for skaven now.
  • The ability to be lose all their Ld bonuses by being flanked was a great problem, but in 8th the most common flanking units, fast cavalry have been hit by needing full ranks to break ranks. To give the fast cav enough ranks to both survive getting to the flanks and then (as ranks are counted after combat now) last long enough to be able to break the ranks is an option. This falls under analysis though as with 2.5k or 3k skaven can build a battle line that stretches from table edge to table edge and presents no flanks to the enemy.
  • Overall I believe skaven have really been boosted a vast amount in 8th, but regardless of numbers they will die in droves in HtH against any and all opponents, it's just a case of will they fail their stubborn ld 10 re-rollable break tests over the course of the game?

Many forums indicate that Skaven are generally thought to be quite strong in the newest edition of Warhammer Fantasy due to their focus on large blocks of infantry that are difficult to break. They are strong in every phase of the game, and have some very powerful rare units.

Regarding the competitiveness of different types of armies, the extremely irreverent website http://1d4chan.org/wiki/Warhammer/Tactics/Skaven should provide some useful information to get you started.

  • Can you be more specific, and summarize the high points from that link in your answer? If that link goes dead, this answer will be empty. (Alas, links go dead pretty frequently, either due to the website changing its URL style or simply going dead. I know 1d4chan has been around for a while, but they might decide to change their wiki engine.) Commented Jul 25, 2013 at 17:50

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