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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-16-11, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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Default Versus... Skaven Slave Spam

Hi everbody

Continuing our revamped Versus... series we have the humble skaven slave, as requested by experiment 626.

Some people might not understand the fear that goes along with these rubbish little guys. Poor stats, easy to kill and low ld... sounds like nothing right?
Well yes, individually there is very little thats easier to kill then a slave, but you don't need to kill 1 slave, you have to kill hundreds.. literally.

So, let me spell out a 'nightmare' type scenario. You're playing a 2-3k game and the opponent has put 4 units of 10*10 slaves with spears in front of his army, with a general and BSB pumping up their Ld.
Every unit is going to be steadfast Ld10 with a reroll, you can't really manouver around the flanks of them because they are making a near continuous wall of flesh and no matter how many you kill you'll be looking at up to 40 attacks hitting you back, which at WS2 and S3 might not be that scary... but 3-4 turns later you'll surely be feeling the pain.
AND THEN... just when you are stuck in a combat you cann't see yourself getting through anytime soon the skaven 2nd line starts shooting into teh combats, shreadding all your men.


So how do you deal with skaven spam (either my example, or others that you've seen)? Do you rely on magic to destroy those slaves, artillery to start reducing them down or combat to just smash through them eventually? Do you just target everything at taking down the Skaven's general and BSB so that the slaves will start to run away (and explode..)?

How do you go about beating a slave spam list, or if you run one how do people go about beating you... please share your tactical genious with your heretical brethren

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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-16-11, 05:53 PM
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the way i deal with skaven, which is only situational at best, is to charge in with a suicide squad, and kill the bsb. then charge as much as i can into one unit, and hope i can break them, because with a huge blob, they're not gonna be able to do much except for march forward. but i've had too few experiences to consider this reliable, especially since skaven wiped me off the board last time i played them.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-16-11, 06:41 PM
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I tyr and beat them at their own game roughly by having about the same amount of numbers with night goblins (with nets and a few fanatics). The nets make it even harder for the slaves to hurt my gobbos, making them wound on 5s and also the fanatics help do some damage to any scouting units or the blobs of slave themselves to help soften them up. Besides that I rely on a couple of Rock Lobbas and Spear Chukkas to aim for his second wave. The problem for me is that with this I don't have anything too effective against his incoming HPA which means I often have to drop 2 or 1 warmachines to get a unit of BO with the Banner of Eternal Flame in reserve to chop him up.

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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-16-11, 09:20 PM
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Depends what army I'm using, with Empire I concentrate some serious artillery on 1 or 2 units then follow up with a few hammer units as if your opponent has 3 or 4 large slave blocks and you take out 1 or 2 then it's easy enough to avoid the remainder as they are so unweildy you can then push on through to the squishy stuff behind them for the game. Admittedly lot of longrifles targeting the bsb after the've killed the wizards help.

Any other army I just use a massive hammer unit to push through the first unit of slaves
preferably well supported and missile troops soften the chosen unit, then just try and force as much as my force through the gap while pinning the other slaves with throw away units for a turn or 2.

Slaves are jut annoying tarpits so if you can break 1 or 2 or failing that redirect them a little to push your better units past or through then you can generally ignore them.

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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-16-11, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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I love my ogres for playing this type of skaven- no 8th ed army is compleet without at least 1 hoard unit of bulls. I like to cast bullgorger to buff my ogres (+1S) since its the only buff that doesn't wound me in its casting (and people rarely bother to dispel it). The net result of this is that my ogres average 40 kills by the time you add impact and stomp attacks to their basic attacks... additionally to that I normally have 3 characters in my primary hoard (tyrant, BSB and slaughtermaster) which should up the kills to about 45, more if I have the tenderiser and/or dragonhide banner (reroll 1s to ht, wound, save on charge)...
Killing about 45 slaves on charge, then about 40 the next phase (unless I get serverly hammered by shooting/magic) means that there are only ~15 slaves left, which will have a lower Ld, but more importantly won't be steadfast anymore. That lets my charge through into the second rank and win the game (its over as soon as the skaven general falls- all slaves are at max Ld5 from then on...)

The slight problem with this is that it requires flank guards to stop a huge unit of slaves from hitting my flank... which means that if I fail a charge I'm in trouble. I'll never lose a round of combat and slaves don't do enough dmaage to really kill off my units but they'll tie me down for far too long...


I've never played skaven with my WE and I'm very thankful about that... I play a shooty MSU army that I just dont think could deal with that number of slaves (I do have some combat, but its fragile and only meant to off-balance armies and wipe out remnants, not kill huge units). I think that I would have to just direct all my shooting over the top of the slaves while using my treeman ancient to hold up the skaven as best he can (eg charging to lock a unit into a location where the others can't get past). If the general falls then steadfast or not those slaves will break and die.
I'm going to have to look up the rules for shooting at funny units- I can't remember whether 8th ed rules allow you to shoot at screaming bells directly or if you just have to shoot the 'unit' (in 7th it was more then US5 so counted as a seperate target.. but I cant remember 8th).

... I'm not very confident that my WE could pull off a win against a real hoard of slaves. I'm probably pretty lucky that none of my meta skaven players really go in for slave spam in huge amounts, normally using 1-2 units of ~50, which are much easier to batter through.

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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-16-11, 11:00 PM
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Thanks for starting this one up Tim/Steve!

My problem with a slave spam is;
a) I play VC's, with the army themed to a Lahmian bloodline and thus, mainly skellies as the backbone.

b) the local skaven players like to run 4-6 units of 30-40 slaves as a front line. A grey seer on bell or 'survivor' warlord on a bonebreaker - always bunkered in a big clanrat unit.
- 3-4 MSU's of clanrats, simply for the poisoned wind mortars. Each unit is led by a Lv1 warlock w/warp lightning
- 2x abombs anchoring the flanks. (though I've had dcent success using a small unit 6 blood knights w/hellfire banner dealing with one of 'em!)
- a cannon or two pts permitting (at 3k it's likely to see at least 1 cannon)

So what happens is, my greatly out-numbered undead units get chased down by the slaves, and then the magic missiles & gunline open fire, obliterating my grave guard. (absolutely everything goes into this unit, to try and ensure that there's nothing left to res back...)
The skellies, if they don't get the magical buffs, just get badly outclassed by the cheaper skaven.


About the only thing I've managed so far is to play a simple pts denal by deploying as far back in corner as possible, and then throwing huge units of sword&board skellies and raised zombies into the ratmen to hold them up.
Still, this doesn't work out all that well, as the army is held hostage by the magic phase in order to replenish the troops! (plus the game is sooooooo boring!)

Really wondering how VC's are ment to deal with this type of crap since we lack almost all the needed tools?!?

Cheers!
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-17-11, 05:50 AM
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I haven't faced this combo often, but I'd probably deal with it by throwing a unit like Corsairs in, then putting a bunch of debuffs on them. 50 S3 hits seem a lot scarier when the enemy is T1. As well, if I have the Dark Lore, I can just use Soul Stealer and Black Horror a lot.

Apart from magic-based combos, I could use some hordes of Witch Elves. Overall though, I don't see many good combos to use for my Dark Elves.

Lizzies are very easy however. Dwellers Below and throw some Saurus units in. Their units are usually very well adjusted to drawn out combats. If you want, you can just surround the Slaves with Skinks and shoot the crap out of them, while Dwellers Belowing and select troubles, such as a good elite unit behind them.

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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-18-11, 04:49 PM
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The one time where the Ectastic seizures is a good spell.

Eliminates 2/3s of the swarm per turn.

Or for a more realistic list. Shadows to reduce either S or T, than Plague Touch, which means the entire unit just dies.

I keep forgetting how hilarious my old posts are.

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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-18-11, 05:04 PM
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While a lot of tactics above are handy, they're still neglecting the shooting your troops would take while in combat. Anything longer than 1 full round would be the start of a losing battle of attrition.


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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-18-11, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackspine View Post
While a lot of tactics above are handy, they're still neglecting the shooting your troops would take while in combat. Anything longer than 1 full round would be the start of a losing battle of attrition.
+1

The other big problem I have being that even if I can hex the little slaves and trash them good in combat, the fact that they don't flee & just explode means your unit is now a sitting duck to what could be either;
a) a counter charge from something nasty like an abomb, furnace monks, rat ogres or big horde unit.
b) will be left in range of a multitude of very nasty shooting and/or magic missile gallery.

Keep in mind too that some armies don't have access to shooting OR dwellers below either! Granted you could always go for shadow magic to hit their initiative for a -D3 and then pit of shades, but with random dice generation & nearby general + BSB, that's not a reasuring tactic overall...

I guess with my VC's I'll just have to suffer untill GW realises that having no shooting, no war machines, no monstrous unit & massively over-costed core doesn't cut it in 8th...
Cheers!
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