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About this blog

A blog dedicated to following the development, both hobby and competitive play, of Aiden Nicol's Clan Pestilens army, as well as other Skaven related content. Aiden is a hobbyist and active tournament player in Wellington, New Zealand.

Entries in this blog

Warscroll Spotlight: Lord Skreech Verminking

Something a little different this time, we're reaching out of the pestilent pond and talking about the model that literally made me want to play Skaven as an army (Pre AOS even), the dreaded lord of all Verminlords, Skreech the Verminking. Royal Introductions Skreech is the skaven named character that does a little bit of everything. He has a solid combat profile, he has a toolkit of abilities that let him recieve a small buff of yur choice each turn based on each skaven clan that switches up his utlity, and he's a spellcaster packing the infamous Dreaded Thirteenth Spell. He has a command ability that will be at least slightly useful no matter what type of skaven force you take and he's exceptionally reasonably costed at only 300pts. Boons of the Rat-King The reason to take Skreech in the old edition was his surprising kill capabilities in close combat and his unleashing the Dreaded Thirteenth Spell to chunck a unit for between 5 and 10 wounds on average. In this edition, said sell now summons free clanrats because I don't know, it wasn't strong enough before or something silly. He also went down in cost and contributes as a spellcaster to deal with the new Endless Spells. He no longer has to be the general to use his command ability, a relief considering he can't take a command trait or artifacts. Drawbacks of Monarchy I mean, Skreech's only reaal weaknesses are the same as all the other Verminlords. He only has 12 wounds and a 4+ save, which honestly isn't even awful. He can't take traits or artifacts being a named character, but given his comman ability isn't tethered to being the general that doesn't come into play. Beseeching the Lord Taking Skreech is a no brainer if you've made the call to not use Thanquol and Boneripper (don't use both, it's cool but its 700pts). The real dream however is not taking Skreech, taking a Screaming Bell and summoning him for free, then instantly using the Dreaded Thirteenth Spell to kill a bunch of enemy troops and throw down a line of Clanrats in front of Skreech to cover him from a charge. Mixed Skaven can awlays find a home for the Lord Skreech, do so often and without hesitation.  

Skaven in AOS2 - Mixed Skaven

Welcome to Age of Sigmar second edition people. Lets kick off the first blog post for this edition with how mixed skaven measures up thanks to the chages to Grand Alliance: Chaos rules. Allegiance Ability The GA: Chaos allegiance ability is nothing too overpowered, par the course for the Grand Alliances. "Unbridled Malice" is a slight rework of the old ability they had, in this edition you roll a dice for a unit when you select it to fight in the combat phase if that unit is within 12 inches of your general or 3 inches of a hero, and on the roll of a 6 they add one to all their hit rolls. I like this one (on the event anyone remembers to actually roll for it) because Skaven field a lot of heroes and a lot of units that really benefit from +1 to hit like Clanrats, Plague Monks and Gutter Runners, and I'll be adding this to my reminder sheet. Command Traits Dark Avenger - This grants +1 to hit against order units for the general. Not great really. Spiteful Duelist - Reroll one wound roll per combat for the general. Somehow worse than the above. Cunning Deciever - Roll a dice at the start of your turn, with a 5+ netting you a free command point. This is pretty cool to be honest, great for a pasive long range force like a heavy Skryre or a Moulder force that needs all the command points it can get. Lord of War - Pick a unit within 3 inches and roll a dice, on a 4+ it gets +1 to hit. Definitely neat, this one will usually not ever be a waste especially considering Unbridled Malice as a rule. Terrifying Pressence - Enemies within 3 inches of the general suffer -1 to bravery. Not awful, definitely not better than Lord of War or Cunning Deciever. Malicious Conqueror - Add 1 to all Unbridled Malice rolls made within 12 inches of the general. I like this one, and in my army that runs a heavy amount of minimum size Plague Monk units i'll be taking this every time. Artifacts I literally have no interest in covering 5 out of the 6 artifacts in this list because they're absolutely worthless. However one of them is a classic from the last two editions of the GHB, and it got one HELL of a remake. The Crown of Conquest - Friendly CHAOS units within 6 inches of the bearer don't need to test for battleshock. I'm sorry, what? How on earth did this get past the design team? Did they think the new coherence rule somehow would make this not completely broken? I'm switching from Pestilens Allegiance for this. That's how big a deal this is. This takes Strength in Numbers and kicks it out the door. This thing on a Plaguesmog Congregation Plague Furnace pushed by clanrats for the Look Out Sir rule? Totally broken. This is now a 12 wound model with -2 to hit it providing a 6 inch bubble of NO BATTLESHOCK. This is stupid. I basically wrote this entire blog post to cover this ridiculous artifact.  

Warscroll Spotlight: Plagueclaw Catapult

Skaven armies are famous for two things; the collosal numbers they slap on the table and the ramshackle war machines they drag behind them. The Plagueclaw is one such machine. You may be more familiar with this weapon of war from seeing it shoehorned into a Maggotkin list, or spamming them to win Mortal Empires in Total War Warhammer (I have no regrets, Mazdamundi had it coming). It isn't often fielded in any chaos list not of Pestilens or Nurgle, a distinction that seperates it from the Warp Lightning Cannon and Stormfiends. Shooting for the Moon This catapult outranges 90% of the units in Age of Sigmar, and doesn't even need to see those units to hit them. Furthermore, as appropriate for something that lore-wise just carpet bombs the enemy with sludge, it gets significant benefits for targeting units that have more than 10 models (Not 10 or more, MORE than 10). It's rend is -2, shockingly brutal for a ranged weapon, which compensates for not recieving the anti-horde bonus if targeting elite units with good armor saves like Stormcast Paladin units or Kurnoth Hunters. Landing in the Dumps Thank god this thing got a point reduction going into AOS2, or I wouldn't even be bothering to write this in the first place. Despite the above benefits, the thing just cost far too much to have more than 1 of as a token threat to hordes during AOS1. 160pts is much more bearable for it's often unreliable nature, and while it's unreliabilty can be directly combatted with the Foulrain Procession batallion, it's also a 700pt sink that will prevent you fielding a decently sized force, something critical to victory with Clan Pestilens. Plaguelord's Verdict I personally plan to be upping my catapult count to 2 heading into AOS2, the point reduction was nice and makes it easier to justify this unit as a support choice.
 

Skaven Matchups: Updated for AOS2

Here's the 2018 Matchups list as i see it, I'll be updating as the year unfolds.   Idoneth Deepkin - Neutral Look man I dunno. This army is just weird. We wreck their infantry with sickening ease but the eels are annoying. Their magic is good and the Ishraan Rites are pretty non interactive. The big turtle thing goes down like a sack of cheap seafood but they never take it so it's irrelevant. Stay away from the shipwrecks, kill the support heroes. And on the High Tide they'll wreck us so retreat away or prepare for it with buffs like Rabid Fever. Daughters of Khaine - Neutral You know that image of the two spidermen pointing at each other? This is gonna feel a lot like that. A prayer based army that uses cheap, low survivability infantry taken in large numbers with hero support to charge across the table and try and sweep the opponent away while being supported by close range war machines, low reliability shooting and a single large hero character who forms the lynchpin of the force. Was I describing us or them? Doesn't matter. Target blobs of infantry with Plagueclaws and dump the Plague Spell on them. Form a line of Plague Monks to catch the Witch Aelves and buff em up with Rabid Fever and Bless with Filth. Maggotkin of Nurgle - Major Advantage to Clan Pestilens LOL this one almost feels unfair. Half of their spells and AOE damage effects can't even affect you due to Pestilens also having the NURGLE keyword. Their vulnerability is massive amounts of attacks to combat their saves, and that's our whole thing. These two things are enough to tilt the balance towards us, but there is one last itsy bitsy detail. That buff wheel they get to work through each turn? All nurgle units. Not THEIR nurgle units. ALL nurgle units. Laugh at them and drink their tears. Blades of Khorne - Minor Advantage to Blades of Khorne A combat based army, and a good one. Ordinarily Pestilens will blenderize anything that fancies itself a combat favoring army but these guys are a little different. They have a massive range of options, we have 6 models all up. The build paths open to them let them be MORE than a combat army, something Pestilens can't actually do. Essentially it boils down to who hits who first. This is one the few matchups were Plagueclaws are actually good due to the favoribility of Bloodletter Bombs and Bloodreaver Hordes. Overall you want to be the one who gets the first charge off and make sure your units have the Furnace prayer that lets them fight one dead, you'll need it. Disciples of Tzeentch - Major Advantage to Disciples of Tzeentch Lol don't even get me started, the weakness of Clan Pestilens is no ability to deal with long range and movement shenanigans. Run up, charge to get closer to objectives and pray you can last longer than they can throw spells. Skyfires are the devil, Horrors are just annoying and the Gaunt Summoner will quite literally light you on fire and roast marshmellows on the corpse. The best strategy when facing Tzeentch with Pestilens is to either avoid it or whine about balance in chat groups. Take an Arch Warlock with a Balewind and try play them at their own game, but ultimately this one is a little skewed. Sylvaneth - Minor Advantage to Clan Pestilens This one used to feel on par with Disciples of Tzeentch until playing them a bit more, and of course the meta no longer favoring Kurnoth with bows. The trick is to take the field before they take the field, by any means necessary. Run in the first movement phase, charge anything within reach if you went second, do anything you can to get in their face. They put wildwoods in front of you? ****** em, run straight through it. Charge through it ideally. If you think the Dangerous Terrain effect is something to be afraid of, you are a coward or too considerate of your rat's lives, and neither of these traits are found in good Pestilens players. Get on top of 2 or so objectives and refuse to leave like a disenfranchised family member on Christmas, and god willing victory shall be yours. In a perfect world they'll run lots of Revenants over dryads and you drown them in dice, asking your opponent with a smug smile if he'd like to use Martial Memories to reroll one of the failed 30 saves. Kharadron Overlords - Neutral This is a weird one. Kharadron Overlords are dwarves, but only in the sense that they're short. They aren't slow, they aren't sturdy and their beards are a solid source of iron intake. Kharadron are like life, they come at you hard and fast. This is sometimes a good thing, sometimes terrible. So basically, what it comes down to is if the Overlord player invested in weight of shots (good for you) or they invested in high damage weapons like Drill Cannons (You're screwed). With weight of shots they can't actually kill enough rats for it to matter before they're on the recieving end of a plague monk charge, and oddly despite those boats being in the sky we can still smack them back down. Surround the boat and they can't deploy it's contents, which is even better. However with the Drill Cannons and so on we lose our Plague Furnaces on turn 2, Corruptor turn 3, and the game shortly after. Their weakness is the terrible range of pretty much all shooting that isn;t on a Thunderer or Ironclad, ours is they actually have guns. Play the objectives and bait them into range. Flesh Eater Courts - Major Advantage to Clan Pestilens This one is fun. They have no shooting, and they want to be in close combat. Naysayers would say "but Aiden, they can bring back their troops and we can't!". To that i say, ever seen Ghouls put out 40 wounds + several mortal wounds before saves are made? Probably not. Yeah Ghouls can regnerate lost troops, but only when a nearby Courtier does it for them. A wee, little Courtier with a weak save and fewer wounds. Slash him down to size with prayer spam. Flesh Eater Courts are an infantry spam buff army, just like Clan Pestilens, we just happen to be WAY better at it than they are. Butcher what they throw at you and take the field, if their characters get wise deal with them by throwing a Plague Furnace their way. Ironjaws - Minor Advantage to Clan Pestilens Ironjaws are a semi-elite army that don't put out massive damage but make up for it by being relatively tricky to kill. This is the matchup where discretion is the better part of valor for Pestilens. Try and go around them to get to objectives, don't hesitate to retreat if it means snaking behind them to get where you need to go. Multiwound infantry means no half measures, if you engage them engage them with all possible force and sweep them aside. Time spent fighting them is time wasted and that's what they want. Use prayers to make sure your monks can easily wound and trigger dice roll of 6 or more effects, don't waste time trying to d3 mortal wounds them to death it takes way too long. Bonesplitterz - Major Advantage to Bonesplitterz Interestingly this is an easy game really if they don't take Kunnun Rukk. Jokes on you however, they pretty much always do. Theyre surprisinly resilient and tying them up in combat doesn't stop them shooting you. And dear god will they shoot you, again and again and again. It's like facing the easier to batch paint version of Free Peoples. Try and kill the leaders to stop the batallions workind and take a Plaguesmog with Vexlers Shroud on the Furnace so it's -2 to hit. Thats basically all the counterplay there is here. Stormcast Eternals - Minor Advantage to Pestilens The boys in gold, a very diverse force with a lot of options. If we assess Stormcast at their base weaknesses, which is having to deal with weight of numbers and mortal wounds, we have a clear and easy advantage. If they play Vanguard and keep running away and shooting us it's a bit harder. If they play Aetherstrike it's an uphill footslog through the shittiest parts of Chernobyl. Play the game to the objectives, take the table to prevent Borne by the Storm and Lightning Chariot and do your best to retain your high numbers. Fireslayers - Major Advantage to Fireslayers If they're smart and take a bucketload of Vulkites you'll drown in them. If you can get around that or maybe pepper them with Plagueclaws it will be ok and you'll pull an objective victory. Magmadroths are terrible, 20 plague monks will wipe one out easily. They can't get their axes into range (unless under runic effect) without coming into charge range so bear that in mind. They're hard to shift, and they'll outlast you ten times out of ten. Avoid getting bogged down and charge the less defensive stuff like Auric Bezerkers and Hearthguard, and for the love of god stay away from the Grimrath Bezerker. Seraphon - Minor Advantage to Seraphon Our mortal foes, the artist formerly known as Lizardmen. Their strengths are defense against rend, their weakness is mortal wounds, so you might think, where is their advantage. Lords of Space and TIme. They can retreat across the table without it even being a retreat, dump a line of Saurus Guard in our way, and abuse long range magic which we can;t really unbind, as well as unbinding any few attempts we make at casting. Also the Verminlord is a Chaos Daemon which they specifically do well against.   Comment what more you'd like to see, fellow Pestilens player.

Warscroll Spotlight: Plague Censer Bearers

Most armies have their dedicated elite infantry, and from the Freeguild Greatswords to the Kharadron Grundstock Thunderers they bear an infamous reputation on the battlefield.  Each of the Skaven Clans have their own as well, and those fielded by the Clans Pestilens are known as Plague Censer Bearers. Swinging High The standout strengths of the Censer Bearers are evident. Unlike Plague Monks their weapon range is 2 inches, meaning they can actually swing over the top of themselves when taken in large groups. Their base rend on their weapons is -1, above the Plague Monks who need wound rolls of 6 to compete with that. Topping this off, in the hero phase each unit near them has a chance to take a mortal wound on the side.  They also reroll all failed hits and battleshock outcomes as long as they hang close to a unit of Plague Monks, which in any smart list they'll have at least 2 or 3 units nearby. Falling Short No save, and unlike Plague Monks, no way of acquiring one. Furthermore, they're 60pts for 5 models, and that's 60pts that can be erased by merely average shooting. This is an elite unit that cannot withstand ANY level of pressure, so they need a stack of buffs to hit their full potential. Plaguelord's Verdict With the Verminlord Corruptor's command ability, the Plague Furnace's Rabid Fever and Bless with Filth, and maybe an enemy debuffed with Wither for good measure, these guys will literally EAT anything they go up against. A unit of 10 swinging for 40 attacks rerolling all of it's failed hit and wound rolls is going to blitz ANYTHING short of a 2+ save rerolling fails. Taken in the Plaguesmog Congregation they will be -1 to hit with shooting and putting out far more proximity mortal wounds in the hero phase. However without these buffs, they'll get swatted turn 1 or 2 and you'll lose your high cost point sink. Take them in a group of 10 and a group of 5 as part of a Plaguesmog for the extra artifact and command point or don't take them at all.
 

Tournament Tactics: Reminder Sheet

When I first started playing tournaments I would usually finish on a comfortable 4 or 5 Major Defeats. This was happening to me because I wasn't just a new player, I was a bad player. Losing doesn't make you bad, but losing consistently and not taking steps to improve does. My first step to improving was to read my warscrolls. Not just read, but really dig in and memorize them (Clan Pestilens has about 6 warscrolls, so no excuse not to really). From there I constructed a small phase by phase flow chart to remind me of all the small rules that I would sometimes forget that culd have shifted the balance of a game, and as soon as i made this chart i went from an average of 1 Major Victory to 3 Major Victories almost overnight. This can be applied to any army, but I've posted below the flowchart I was following for the NZ Masters tournament last year (Adapted for AoS2) where until Round 4, i was one of the favorites to win the event (Fate is fickle, ****** you Tzeentch).   Pestilens Turn Progression   Hero Phase   ·        Choose whether to spend command abilities (not advised in the first battle round, save them for turn 2 charges). ·        Use all prayers of all priests (If first battle round things won’t be in range of Pestilent Breath, however you can still do it targeting nowhere to potentially get The Neverplgaue great plague). ·        Cast spells with the Verminlord Corruptor. ·        Choose whether or not to use one-use only effects in the Plague Monk and Plague Priest warscrolls, ideally the Plague Monk tome that deals mortal wounds or the enemy debuffs from the scroll. ·        Check if any enemies are within range of proximity-based damage (Plague Furnace, Plague Censer Bearers). Movement   ·        Plagueclaw Catapults can move without a penalty to its shooting. ·        Move Plague Monks and Censer Bearers forward, however if they cannot possibly make a successful charge stay out of enemy charge range or bubblewrap with Plague Monks that have the Rabid Fever prayer active. Shooting   ·        Prioritise infantry blocks with good saves as the Plagueclaw target, or soften up targets about to be charged by your Plague Monks. ·        Verminlord has a shooting attack, it isn’t awful against low save units. Charge/Combat   ·        Command points can be spent to reroll failed charges, so roll charges before spending the points. ·        Charge in groups of 2 or 3 units, avoid sending you entire army in in a single phase. Battleshock   ·        Remember that Pestilens allegiance gives you 2 bravery for every 10 monks in a unit, not 1. ·        If you wish to use Inspiring Presence it has to be done before any battleshock rolls are made.   If you play Pestilens, I recommend taking this and adapting it to the list you run. If you don't play Pestilens (Normies leave reeee) I recommend constructing one for your own army regardless of how good a player you are. It only takes one lapse of memory to lose a game.  
 

Useful Idiots: The Ally Choices of Clan Pestilens

In this blog entry I'd like to explain the best options we have for ally choices when running the Clan Pestilens alleigance. As a Skaven army, we can ally with all the other Skaven factions (Clans Verminus, Eshin, Skryre, Moulder and the Masterclan) as well as Nurgle Daemons. Obviously covering every single model we can ally in is a bit fruitless, so I'll just be talking the best options for matched play. Clanrats (Clan Verminus) Oh Clanrats, don't you ever go changing on me. These guys really just pull their weight in any list they're in. 200pts for 40 bodies with a buffable armor save. Sit these blokes on an objective, screen your army with them, or just run them forward and let the plague monks flank and smack the enemy from the side. Clanrats retreat and charge, and add 2 to their run and charge rules, making them shockingly mobile for getting in the way of the enemy. I will never not recommend these, and every pestilens player should have at least 40 painted and ready to go. Arch Warlock (Clan Skryre) 140pts for a caster that knows 2 spells, I still feel a little dirty taking this guy because surely his costing is a typo. Factor in his unique spell is 3 Arcane Bolts to fire at your leisue, and you've got a sneaky, durable and brutal hero skulking around the back line obliterating any enemy that dares to come at you and forcing battleshock tests on 3-4 enemy infantry blocks every damn turn. Screaming Bell (The Masterclan) The bell tolls for FREE SUMMONING. I mean sure, it's on the roll of a 12, but imagine spending 200pts on a versatile mobile buff/debuff/damage output machine and accidentally summoning the Lord Skreech Verminking 100% free of charge and him dropping the Thirteenth Dreaded Spell on some poor unsuspecting elite infantry block. But I digress, even without the free Verminlord gimmick this is the bell for you, random damage output, a unique spell that puts stormcast in the oven and sets it to fanbake, and a command ability that can pretty much always be at least slightly useful. Lord Skreech Verminking (The Masterclan) Getting your ass royally beat? Reach for the king. Verminking does everything you'd expect from the lord of all Verminlords, he'll duel any character in the game and shred them (if he fights first, but that's just the Verminlord deal), he'll move across the board with incredible speed to lock down objectives, he'll heal himself if he has to and if anyone even DARES to come at him without a reliable dispell, the Dreaded Thirteenth Spell will blast a hole in anything it hits and then replace the casualties with FREE clanrats.  His command ability will always be useful in any skaven army (Skaven units reroll wound rolls when near Verminking) so that's nice. Gutter Runners (Clan Eshin) These guys weigh in at 60 for 5, or 200 for 20. Cheeky backfield bombers that pop in from a board edge in your movement phase and get to run and shot where necessary. Essentially what Gutter Runners are is the only reliable backfield mobility skaven has, given everything else has a dice roll or too many conditions. They're a niche, meta dependent pick but having a full strength unit of 20 in your list is basically never a waste. They're average when they're not needed, and amazing when they are. Verminlord Warpseer (The Masterclan) This lad wouldn't have made the list during General's Handbook 2017, but free summonig made his command ability at least not pointless, and being the Verminlord dedicated to being a wizard he's going to come in handy during the hype phase of Endless Spells. Also, watching his unique spell burn holes in the unique named characters that can fly (Pro Tip, all of them except ours) is always satisfying. He can rip through infantry with his Warp-Glaive, and he's surprisingly survivable getting to reroll all his failed save. A niche pick, but not a bad one. Warpgrinder Weapon Team (Clan Skryre) Fresh off the assembly line with a points drop for Generals Hanbook 2018, this beast can put 40 plague monks directly behind the enemy and essentially force the opponent to adjust their plans or get rammed by 240 points of absolutely balanced, totally fair and family friendly foetid blades. Which for reference will wind up being around 120 attacks. And lucky last... THANQUOL AND THE BONERIPPER You read that right, Mr Chosen of the Horned Rat himself just got yet another point reduction, 400pts for the greatest and most clever seer to ever live and his walking, chittering battering ram. Thanquol is an absolute unit, he does everything and he does it well. His unique spell is Arcane Bolt at greater range (before it got gimped), he heals himself every turn with no condition, he knows the spells of every skaven wizard near him (oh hey Arch Warlock) and casts those spells better, because he has the warpstone token rule the Grey Seer model has but with absolutely no negative consequences should it fail. His command ability is the AOS equivilent of an invulnerable save on any unit of skaven that gets better if there's more than 13 models in the unit, absolutely insane. And all these benefits are just the bloke on the top, lets talk about the four armed gentleman down bottom. Boneripper is one HELL of a beatstick, he comes with two weapon loadouts, one is a melee attack that outshines any weapon in the entire Skaven line. The other option is a ranged attack that does 2D6 mortal wounds to anything within 8inches. No aiming, no hit rolls, no mercy. Whichever you choose, he has a second melee attack that's respectable as hell. These two will consume your entire ally choice points at 2k, but ****** he will do work.

Looking Back: 2018 NICon

Last weekend I took the rats to the North Island Convention (NICon) tournament in Napier, New Zealand. The event was a competitive matched play tournament utilizing scenarios made out of the Games Workshop Open War cards, so they were not like anything most competitive players were used to and made for interesting list building.  I myself took the usual list of Verminlord Corruptor, 2 Plague Furnaces, 3 Plague Priests, 2 units of 40 allied clanrats and filled the rest of my list with as many Plague Monks as I could (8 groups of 10, 1 group of 20). I finished on 3 Major Victories,  2 Major Defeats. My victories were against Mixed Destruction, Blades of Khorne and Seraphon (remove the lizards). My defeats were against the Sylvaneth and Clan Skryre. I finished 5th out of 12 people, keeping up with my goal to always be in at least the top 5 no matter how many players, but regrettably fell short of my goal to stand on a podium once again. Lessons Learned While we are reaching the end of AoS in it's current iteration as we know it, and therefore any tactics I explain may be short lived, there were definitely a few takeaways from this tournament. Clanrats remain without a doubt a vital ally choice to any Skaven clan, being able to squat on objectives or conga line around the table to prevent the opponent teleporting or using alternative deployment abilities is phenomenal, and at 200pts for 40 of the wretches why wouldn't you? Minimum size unit spam with Plague Monks is the superior way to utilize them, they are fine without having buffs stacked on them and they can easily mobilize around the board. Also abusing the plague scroll by having one each in 10 units mean potentially pinging every enemy model within 13 inches with 10 mortal wounds is pure cheese. Speed is not this force's forte, and any scenario that sees you having to walk across a table for several turns probably isnt going to favor you. Consider deploying as close to the enemy as possible and running your units wherever possible if they won't arrive ag comfortable charging distance.  
 

Disorganised Religion: Clan Pestilens Tactics

Today we're going to talk about the strategies available to the enterprising Clan Pestilens player and the tricks and tools of the disease trade. Some of these aren't exactly unique to Pestilens, but all of them are useful to them. The Prayers of a Righteous Rat Did you know you can cast the damage prayer on the Plague Priest scroll without an actual target? It targets an area, not a unit. Interesting info, but not really useful right? Wrong. Spam this turn 1 with no valid target and go for a great plague, and select the Neverplague. The only excuse to not be spamming plague breath on empty spaces is of there's actual targets available or you already have the Neverplague. Weather the Storm So the enemy is unpacking his Beastclaw/Khorne/Daughters of Khaine. Our rats don't have a chance against such famous combat geared armies right? Wrong, they're as good as dead already. When the enemy is running an all charging minimum shooting list there is but one answer. Lines of single file plague monks across the edge of the deployment. Ideally 2 or 3 groups of 10, 6" gaps between them to stop the enemy squeezing past. Behind this line, 6" back (for safety) is a gigantic blob of plague monks. The first line will gey hit like an avalanche and they will almost certainly die. The enemy is now within range of a fully buffed, fully packed Plague Monk swarm. Chuck on some prayers of Wither on the enemy, move forward into range and charge (taking the Congregation of Filth will prevent double 1 rolls). Doesn't matter what they're running, they're dead. Conga Line of Death Never move your rats around in squares, this isn't fantasy battle. Squeeze as much use out of the rat squads as possible, form a long line and hold an objective while also screening for a priest and keeping an enemy tied up in a dud fight. Form circles around objectives, wrap monks around furnaces to prevent units with 1" range weapons bringing the furnace to battle. It's not dirty, it's alternative tactics. Discretion is the Better Part of Murder Retreat, it's the golden move no one ever uses to their advantage. Charge an enemy, then retreat around the side of them the next turn. Your enemy is likely to know he can't actually beat plague monks in a fight and won't charge them, so if you're already holding an objective don't charge off it. There isn't always a nees to fight. Know when to fight, and when to wait. Below are some pictures of silly rat movements that would win me the game. Doesn't matter if it looks stupid, as long as you win.

AIdenNicol444

AIdenNicol444

 

Warscroll Spotlight: Verminlord Corruptor

Striding above the lesser rats as they charge screaming into battle is a monster the skaven fear more than any other. Verminlords are the truest incarnation of the Horned Rat, be they ascended champions rewarded for excellence, shards of the Horned Rat given form and function, or the hideous Lord Skreech Verminking, an abomination formed from the essence of the entire original Council of Thirteen. These entities lead the skaven, from the front and from the shadows, and of their number none are fouler than the Verminlord Corruptor. A Nurgle Daemon Unlike Any Other  The Verminlord Corruptor is the centrepiece model of a Clan Pestilens army. As the only unit in the book with a command ability, if they're in the list they'll be the general. Before Pestilens recoeved alleigance abilities this guy didn't see much use, he was an awkward out of place model that simply cost too much. Now, with a point reduction and command traits and artifacts that bring him into line with the rest of the army this chittering monstrosity makes for a formidable leader indeed. Disease Strides the Battlefield The Corruptor is best played thematically. He stalks behind a line of plague monks, casting his command ability on them while casting mystic shield to preserve nearby Plague Furnaces and unleashes his unique Plague spell on anything close, or anything close to his nearby expendable and targetable swarm. He only fights in close combat when victory is assured, and given his game changing command ability is willing to expend every last rat to preserve his own well-being. Equipped with the Blistervious, the Living Cyst and bearing the Master of Rot and Ruin trait this potent support general will stay alive on the back field, casting prayers and spells to support his minions and dealing with any enterprising assassins foolish enough to come close. Points to Remember 12 wounds and a 4+ save is not that durable. If the Corruptor tries to trade blows with anything bigger than a support hero, he will lose. The idea of this mighty creature cutting down hated Allariele the Everqueen is pleasant, until her beetle takes him out in literally one round of combat. Prayers used by a Corruptor who has Master of Rot and Ruin or the Liber Bubonicus cannot trigger Great Plagues. Can't fathom why, but rules as written he doesn't. Don't try it. We might be scum skaven players, but we aren't cheats. His unique spell can be chained through your own troops to reach the enemy. Not always smart, but always funny when it goes off and causes the enemy even more casualties. Parting Shots (With a Prehensile Tail) I've begun the hard task of repainting my corruptor, shown here in his original, if somewhat rough glory, and halfway through his new paint job with lovely crystalline horns.

AIdenNicol444

AIdenNicol444

 

Clan Pesiltens: Tournaments

Today we're gonna talk about building a Pestilens list that can handle a standard 5 game, two day tournament event. There's a lot of considerations to take into account, and you aren't going to get it right the first time. Me personally, I had to get my ass handed to me in no less than four consecutive tournaments before I started doing well. So lets get onto it. Threat Management Can you deal with the common threats of the game? Are you ready to get turn 1 charged? Are you able to face a list that doesn't place a single model in deployment then appears all around you and within you? The good news is yes, you have access to these tools. Almost as a given you'll have a lot of bodies (If you're playing 2k games and have less than 90 models I will reach through this screen and trottle you degenerate Plague Priest) and lots of bodies are how we deal with this. Turn 1 charge? Ok, heres a line of monks the length of the table, and another line 3 inches behind it to immediately countercharge after the first line is wiped and immediately erase the enemy army. Deep Strike list? Neat, try and find an area NOT within 9 inches of a rat after leaving us turn 1 and we run our troops and spread them maximum cohesion across two thirds of the table. Deal with that Clan Skryre you heretics. Your army only has 6 different warscrolls oh faithful follower of the plague, so it's time to start learning what the wascrolls everyone else uses. Learn their strengths, their weaknesses, and exploit both. Being a Threat A good friend of mine who has won more games than I've painted monks likes to say, can you reach out and touch your opponent? Now he doesn't mean literally, though a future article will indeed cover poisons that can be ingested through the skin to be smeared on sticks. What he means is can you make your opponent feel threated at all stages of the game? Can you make them hesistate and stumble rather than charge confidently forward? Again, the answer is yes. Sadly you're at a tournament, so the opponent knows that line of dimminutive weak looking robed rats will absolutely ruin their day given half a chance ad won't underestimate them, but we can exploit this. Waste a few rats on charging forward erratically at the enemy, it will really freak them out. They won't want to come within 12 inches of them and this is exploitable. The big question however is, can you strike them in all turns and phases in some way? Only one concern jumps to mind, Turn 1 Battle Round 1. Pestilens have no reach, and no real way to guarantee a turn 1 charge. We have a catapult, but it mostly isn't great. So your choice is to take a catapult, or ally in something else. Consider Gutter Runners, an Arch Warlock or Warplock Jezzails. Know when to hold em, know when to fold em So you're matched with a hard counter. It's never fun watching the Tzeentch player deploy Skyfires or Bonesplitterz player sifting through his models with a shovel trying to find that last Arrow boy. Don't give up however, generalship is everything and when the warscrolls fail you, you have psychological plays. If you approach a game feeling already beaten your opponent will pick up on it and play all the harder (some say Tzeentch players can smell poor resistance to shooting). If they clip your wings and you can't win objectively, don't fold. Don't pack up your models prematurely. They immediately get full kill points, and you lose the chance to score more. Do your best to score a minor defeat, not a major, which are still worth something and therefore money in the bank, and failing that... Take every damn model off them you can, play to the last rat. Get every kill point you can, these can push you up the rankings in the event of ties and are not to be underestimated. Have Fun Yeah it's cheesy but ****** it, at the end of the day you're spending a small fortune and considerable time painting for fun, and you should have just as much fun playing the game. Don't play where the only way to have fun is to win, play to enjoy your army and learn to be better. Accept that you can lose and push forward anyway, because the win you didn't expect is a win more treasured.

AIdenNicol444

AIdenNicol444

 

Clan Pestilens: Matchups

Todays post is all about matchups, and how Pestilens fares in them. Now because of the nature of the army, matchups are more important than I would like to be honest, so it helps to know them. These are based primarily off experience, I haven't faced all the armies (popular ones at least) in the game so some of these will be experience and some will be educated comparisons. I'll grade them in advantage, major and minor. Blades of Khorne - Minor Advantage to Blades of Khorne A combat based army, and a good one. Ordinarily Pestilens will blenderize anything that fancies itself a combat favoring army but these guys are a little different. They have a massive range of options, we have 6 models all up. The build paths open to them let them be MORE than a combat army, something Pestilens can't actually do. Essentially it boils down to who hits who first. This is one the few matchups were Plagueclaws are actually good due to the favoribility of Bloodletter Bombs and Bloodreaver Hordes. Overall you want to be the one who gets the first charge off and make sure your units have the Furnace prayer that lets them fight one dead, you'll need it. Disciples of Tzeentch - Major Advantage to Disciples of Tzeentch Lol don't even get me started, the weakness of Clan Pestilens is no ability to deal with long range and movement shenanigans. Run up, charge to get closer to objectives and pray you can last longer than they can throw spells. Skyfires are the devil, Horrors are just annoying and the Gaunt Summoner will quite literally light you on fire and roast marshmellows on the corpse. The best strategy when facing Tzeentch with Pestilens is to either avoid it or whine about balance in chat groups. Take an Arch Warlock with a Balewind and try play them at their own game, but ultimately this one is a little skewed. Sylvaneth - Minor Advantage to Clan Pestilens This one used to feel on par with Disciples of Tzeentch until playing them a bit more, and of course the meta no longer favoring Kurnoth with bows. The trick is to take the field before they take the field, by any means necessary. Run in the first movement phase, charge anything within reach if you went second, do anything you can to get in their face. They put wildwoods in front of you? ****** em, run straight through it. Charge through it ideally. If you think the Dangerous Terrain effect is something to be afraid of, you are a coward or too considerate of your rat's lives, and neither of these traits are found in good Pestilens players. Get on top of 2 or so objectives and refuse to leave like a disenfranchised family member on Christmas, and god willing victory shall be yours. In a perfect world they'll run lots of Revenants over dryads and you drown them in dice, asking your opponent with a smug smile if he'd like to use Martial Memories to reroll one of the failed 30 saves. Kharadron Overlords - Neutral This is a weird one. Kharadron Overlords are dwarves, but only in the sense that they're short. They aren't slow, they aren't sturdy and their beards are a solid source of iron intake. Kharadron are like life, they come at you hard and fast. This is sometimes a good thing, sometimes terrible. So basically, what it comes down to is if the Overlord player invested in weight of shots (good for you) or they invested in high damage weapons like Drill Cannons (You're screwed). With weight of shots they can't actually kill enough rats for it to matter before they're on the recieving end of a plague monk charge, and oddly despite those boats being in the sky we can still smack them back down. Surround the boat and they can't deploy it's contents, which is even better. However with the Drill Cannons and so on we lose our Plague Furnaces on turn 2, Corruptor turn 3, and the game shortly after. Their weakness is the terrible range of pretty much all shooting that isn;t on a Thunderer or Ironclad, ours is they actually have guns. Play the objectives and bait them into range. Flesh Eater Courts - Major Advantage to Clan Pestilens This one is fun. They have no shooting, and they want to be in close combat. Naysayers would say "but Aiden, they can bring back their troops and we can't!". To that i say, ever seen Ghouls put out 40 wounds + several mortal wounds before saves are made? Probably not. Yeah Ghouls can regnerate lost troops, but only when a nearby Courtier does it for them. A wee, little Courtier with a weak save and fewer wounds. Slash him down to size with prayer spam. Flesh Eater Courts are an infantry spam buff army, just like Clan Pestilens, we just happen to be WAY better at it than they are. Butcher what they throw at you and take the field, if their characters get wise deal with them by throwing a Plague Furnace their way. Ironjaws - Minor Advantage to Clan Pestilens Ironjaws are a semi-elite army that don't put out massive damage but make up for it by being relatively tricky to kill. This is the matchup where discretion is the better part of valor for Pestilens. Try and go around them to get to objectives, don't hesitate to retreat if it means snaking behind them to get where you need to go. Multiwound infantry means no half measures, if you engage them engage them with all possible force and sweep them aside. Time spent fighting them is time wasted and that's what they want. Use prayers to make sure your monks can easily wound and trigger dice roll of 6 or more effects, don't waste time trying to d3 mortal wounds them to death it takes way too long. Bonesplitterz - Major Advantage to Bonesplitterz Interestingly this is an easy game really if they don't take Kunnun Rukk. Jokes on you however, they pretty much always do. Theyre surprisinly resilient and tying them up in combat doesn't stop them shooting you. And dear god will they shoot you, again and again and again. It's like facing the easier to batch paint version of Free Peoples. Try and kill the leaders to stop the batallions workind and take a Plaguesmog with Vexlers Shroud on the Furnace so it's -2 to hit. Thats basically all the counterplay there is here. Stormcast Eternals - Minor Advantage to Pestilens The boys in gold, a very diverse force with a lot of options. If we assess Stormcast at their base weaknesses, which is having to deal with weight of numbers and mortal wounds, we have a clear and easy advantage. If they play Vanguard and keep running away and shooting us it's a bit harder. If they play Aetherstrike it's an uphill footslog through the shittiest parts of Chernobyl. Play the game to the objectives, take the table to prevent Borne by the Storm and Lightning Chariot and do your best to retain your high numbers. Fireslayers - Major Advantage to Fireslayers If they're smart and take a bucketload of Vulkites you'll drown in them. If you can get around that or maybe pepper them with Plagueclaws it will be ok and you'll pull an objective victory. Magmadroths are terrible, 20 plague monks will wipe one out easily. They can't get their axes into range (unless under runic effect) without coming into charge range so bear that in mind. They're hard to shift, and they'll outlast you ten times out of ten. Avoid getting bogged down and charge the less defensive stuff like Auric Bezerkers and Hearthguard, and for the love of god stay away from the Grimrath Bezerker. Seraphon - Minor Advantage to Seraphon Our mortal foes, the artist formerly known as Lizardmen. Their strengths are defense against rend, their weakness is mortal wounds, so you might think, where is their advantage. Lords of Space and TIme. They can retreat across the table without it even being a retreat, dump a line of Saurus Guard in our way, and abuse long range magic which we can;t really unbind, as well as unbinding any few attempts we make at casting. Also the Verminlord is a Chaos Daemon which they specifically do well against.   Comment what more you'd like to see, fellow Pestilens player.        

AIdenNicol444

AIdenNicol444

 

Aiden's Thoughts: Maggotkin of Nurgle

Thought on the Maggotkin of Nurgle As a preface, this blog post isn't how I feel about Maggotkin as a whole, that's been done god knows hw many times already by smarter men than me. Want i want to talk about is how Maggotkin of Nurgle relates to Skaven Pestilens, as both armies entirely share the Nurgle keyword. Initially, I was quite excited. My faith was low with the Corruptor, and like all wargamers the allure of new shinys was indeed a potent lure. I weighed up dusting off my 30 Plaguebearers and using them as a generic battleline while stuffing the rest of the list with Pestilens under the Maggotkin alleigance. I liked the idea of the terrain, being able to run and charge, and having the benefits of the random effect clock thing they get. However time eroded my concerns and restored my faith. Alleigance abilities often exist to shore up the weaknesses armies have, and there's no denying Maggotkin helps Nurgle with theirs. However, Pestilens absolutely do not share the Nurgle weaknesses, and have their own to deal with. Pestilens are much more mobile than nurgle, they'll easily engage the eney army turn 1/2 circumstance depending, not 2/3 like Nurgle. The cycle heals all Nurgle models and that's cool because the army is jam packed with multi-wound models like blightkings etc, again something Pestilens lacks mostly. Finally, if you've read my Pestilens Battle Traits overview you'll know I am very fond of Strength in Numbers. Can I live without the Great Plagues? Probably. Can I live with my army getting sneezed on by a Dracoth and deciding to abandon the ship? Absolutely not. If Strength in Numbers was an inate effect shared across all Pestilens warscrolls I'd probably be cutting the cover off my battletome and pasting the Maggotkin one inside. But the battleshock phase is a thing and I play skaven so no can do. Interestingly however, there is a point of interest that people haven't noticed. You know all those Maggotkin spells that do horrible amounts of mortal wounds but if the victim is nurgle it does nothing or straight up heals them, desiged as a multipurpose spell for them to heal themselves or smack the enemy? Pestilens has army wide Nurgle keyword, so not happening Maggotkin. You know the Maggotkin wheel of fortune they have for a battle trait? Doesn't specify allied nurgle, just nurgle in general. Pestilens has army wide Nurgle keyword. If you, a hardworking, blue collar Pestilens player gets matched against one of these high and mighty, has-an-actual-battletome Maggotkin preeners, they're in for a smacking. Their strengths are our strengths too, and their multipurpose utility spells are worse than useless against us. That lovely terrain feature that let's Nurgle models run and charge? Those blightkings just took a turn 1, fully buffed Plague Monk charge and exploded. In the end if asked whether Maggotkin changes Pestilens, not at all. They might take the odd Pestilens unit as a damage bomb, but as we all know a single bit of damage splashed on that will see it cut and run. Maggotkin has a lot of strengths, but all Pestilens need to succeed is grit, a dice bucket and some good old fashioned strength in numbers.    

AIdenNicol444

AIdenNicol444

 

Looking Back: 2017 Masters

The last tournament I attended in 2017 was the NZ Masters. Attended by just under 20 people (suck it 9th Age), it was a massive event attended by a host of extremely skilled players. I was there too. This is the list I ran for the event. Allegiance: Skaven Pestilens

Leaders
Verminlord Corruptor (220)
Plague Furnace (200)
Plague Priest with Plague Censer (80)
Plague Priest with Plague Censer (80)
Plague Priest with Plague Censer (80)
Screaming Bell (200)

Battleline
30 x Plague Monks (210)
- Foetid Blades
- Pestilens Battleline
20 x Plague Monks (140)
- Foetid Blades
- Pestilens Battleline
20 x Plague Monks (140)
- Foetid Blades
- Pestilens Battleline
20 x Plague Monks (140)
- Foetid Blades
- Pestilens Battleline

War Machines
Plagueclaw (180)
Plagueclaw (180)

Battalions
Congregation of Filth (140)

Total: 1990 / 2000
Allies: 200 / 400
Wounds: 153   With this list I managed to go 3/5 Major WIns, a huge achievment for me as all 3 of the players I defeated are in my eyes leaps and bounds ahead of me in skill and all people I would aspire to be as good as at the game. Frankly looking back I'm honestly not sure how i beat them. Game 1 was VS Lee and his tree people, in the GHB16 scenario "Border War". Lee took the Dreadwood Wargrove, which for those unfamiliar is the spooky sylvaneth batllion that makes use of Spite Revenants and let's the army gain d3 starting abilities, which all affect the first turn of the game. He teleported a bunch of dryads directly in front of my forces to prevent me from leaving my deployment, then shuffled his troops around the table taking 3 of the 4 available obectives, shooting up to 5 Victory Points.  As my turn begun I let loose all my firepower on the line of dryads (The Screaming Bell rung up a bonus to casting rolls, handy) and mortal wounded them into oblivion, washing away 18 of the 30 dryads. This gave my plague monks room to leave deployment, and I had my eyes on revenge. I immediately moved them in the direction of the eastern midfield objective and charged 20 rats through a wyldwood. I lost 2 rats to the trees and they immediately shoved the Revenants they reached via charge into a meatgrinder, taking the objective for the Horned Rat. I also managed to take the western midfield objective by swarming 30 rats at some Revenants over there, taking it over by weight of numbers. Once i secured these two points I essentially spent the rest of the game keeping my rats smack on the two midfield objectives and shaved down any threats at distance with my catapults and magic. In the end Pestilens won the day, dribing back the hated trees. Game 2 was VS Tim and his Skeletal Legion, playing "Starstrike".  Never been keen on facing TIm, anyone hard enough to play Death through the long winter of it's discontent and still come out on top against armies with updates and battletomes is not someone you want to take lightly. However, fortunately for me the matchup was favorable in my direction and even the dreaded 40 man skeleton bubble crumpled before the buff stacked 30 man plague monks. I got off a Great Plague every single turn, which was a massive boost. At one stage Arkhan the Black erratically turned his Dread Abyssal onto a group of Morghast Archai floating next to him, which was disturbing. I held all objectives for the majority of the game, despite losing 80% of my army by the end. Major Victory to Pestilens. Game 3 was VS Shaun and his Murderhost, playing the GHB16 scenario "Escalation". Man, this game was horrific. Shaun is a deadly player who brings actual strategy to Khorne, never good for his oponents. Shaun actually handed me my frst major defeat in a tournament,  in my very first tournament game. Being seasoned AOS players and both being aware the game is nothing more than a brawl in the middle, we did the gentlemanly thing and lined up our bloodletters and plague monks as close to each other as we could in deployment, and proceeded to throw buckets of dice at each other for the next hour and a half. Pestilens' ability to fight after being killed however assured that my troops were getting at least a chance to fight, and at best two chances to fight. Also the fact that bloodletters' mortal wound ability is what makes them lethal isn't as useful against an army with no saves anyway was quite the boon. In the end after an hour of 2 lines of troops fighting one another I pushed out my half of the table and took the field, winning objectively. Game 4 was VS Matt and his Aetherstrike Force playing "Three Places of Power". You know when looking back at life you can spot one particular moment where it all went bad? Good god it was here in this game. I didn't even leave my deployment mostly, I lost 5/6 of my heroes before my second turn, scored a single point to his 14 or something and barely even moved my army before taking it off the table. Shooting is a terrible matchup for Pestilens, and Aetherstrike is the premier shooting list. Feedback from this game? Matt should have at least taken me to dinner first. Major Defeat to Pestilens. Game 5 was VS James and his Changehost playing "Scorched Earth". I've always wanted to beat James Page, when I first started playing he was the top of the scene, and took out the first tournament I played in with 5 Major Victories handily. However today wasn't fated to be the day. He used the Changeling and the Changehost ability to swap a big unit into my army on turn 1, and destroyed 2 of the 3 objectives on my side. This effectively ended the game for me, but not knowing when to give up is one of my issues. I pulled back a respectable amount of points, bringing the table to 8/12 to him, but couldn't cope with the Tzeentch mortal wounds and went down in the end. Major Defeat to Pestilens (I'll get you one day Jim).   Overall a great day of gaming, I caused a lot of unexpected upsets and played to the best of my ability. Next year I'm going for podium at the masters, so look forward to that.

AIdenNicol444

AIdenNicol444

 

Looking Back: My 2017 List

An important part of improving play is constantly working and innoavting your list, changing it as you learn new things about your army. This post is taking a look at the force I personally ran for the majority of the NZ AOS 2017 tournaments, and an overview of how it went. Here's the list. Allegiance: Skaven Pestilens

Leaders
Plague Furnace (200)
Plague Priest with Plague Censer (80)
Plague Priest with Plague Censer (80)

Battleline
30 x Plague Monks (210)
- Foetid Blades
- Pestilens Battleline
30 x Plague Monks (210)
- Foetid Blades
- Pestilens Battleline
10 x Plague Monks (70)
- Foetid Blades
- Pestilens Battleline
30 x Plaguebearers Of Nurgle (270)

War Machines
Plagueclaw (180)
Plagueclaw (180)
Plagueclaw (180)

Battalions
Congregation of Filth (140)
Foulrain Congregation (200)

Total: 2000 / 2000
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 140   Not a terrible list, but looking back with a bit more experience this list needs a lot of improvement to be competitive. Two big errors that are immediately apparent to me now are clear, the first is the fact that Clan Pestilens is a horde army but I only have 70 rats here, and the second is the fact that I'm spending 720pts on a catapult formation that over the course of the tournament would on average only ever kill cheap battleline chaff. Furthermore, the prayers on the Plague Furnace are absolutely vital if you want to run Plague Monks in units of 30 or more, so you shoul take at least one Plague Furnace per unit of 30+, something I haven't done here. The plaguebearers are nice, but this is an agressive army and any point spent towards defensive takes away from the overall army strategy.  The last tournament this list was used was NZ Inpeticon in October last year. I went 3 Major Voctories 2 Major Defeats, which isn't a bad result at all. However to learn we look to our defeats, not our victories.  I faced a moderately elite, multi wound destruction army that I absolutely should have run over the top of, but lost due to persuing character kills and not reaching objectives fast enough. While hindsight is 20/20, i recognize the mistakes I made here and won't be making them again. My second loss however was against Sylvaneth, a good friend of mine called Lee who I regularly practise against. I went into this game fresh with a jumble of different skaven strats tumbling about in my head raring to go but Lee manipulated the table extremely well, locking me off from sections and forcing me to funnel my rats into a killbox where his Kurnoth Scythes were waiting.  This game was straight up murder, I don't think there was any stage where I had a viable method of pulling it back into my favor. Sylvaneth are often a problem for rats, especially when the Sylvaneth player is experienced. I'll get ya next time Lee. Soon I'll post my list for the NZ Masters tournament last month, and go over the results had there.

AIdenNicol444

AIdenNicol444

 

Rats in need of Makeover

decided to touch up my rats after a year of neglect. The rat on the left is from when I had a spurt of inspiration months ago, and the other one is from when I first started playing. These lads are in need of a little tender loving care to get them up to the standard the New Zealand scene often displays.

AIdenNicol444

AIdenNicol444

 

Clan Pestilens: Command Traits and Artifacts

Alrght up next on my overview of the Skaven Pestilens overview, we're lloking at the Command Traits available as well as Artifacts Skaven Pestilens characters have the option of taking. No need for fanfare, lets get stuck in. Command Traits Malevolent - The general gets to reroll wound rolls of 1. Not great, if you're putting your hopes on a Verminlord Corruptor to face down the enemy army and sweep it aside you're in the wrong army, Clan Verminus has it's dens further down the street. Only ever going to come into effect on a Plague Furnace, and there are better options. NEXT. Diseased - I like the thematic nature of this one. Basically, you roll a dice in the hero phase and on a 5+ someone within 3 inches of the general gets smacked with d3 mortal wounds. Not terrible, just remember to actually do it if you chose it. Master of Rot and Ruin - Hello hello, this is the one you want. If they're a Plague Priest, reroll to prayers. If not, they get to the Pestilent Prayers rule from the Plague Priest scroll. Neat ona Verminlord, and cool on a Plague Furnace too. Hard to go wrong with this one. Fanatical Leader- Add 1 to the attacks characteristic of all the general's melee weapons. Jesus, the Verminlord already hits 10 damn times adding 1 more isn't going to suddenly make him a Warbringer. Funny on a Furnace, useless everywhere else. Verminous Valor - You'd be hard pressed to find a more thematic ability in the entire game. On a dice roll of 4+, the general hands off any normal or mortal wounds suffered onto a hapless group of rats nearby. This is fantastic ona furnace because it's always surrounded by rats anyway. Architect of Death - Pestilens shooting missile units near the general get to reroll their wound rolls of 1. Obviously designed for the Plagueclaw Catapults, unless the Verminlord's tail has finally become a weapon to surpass Metal Gear. Artifacts of Clan Pestilens The Fumigatous - In the combat phase, someone within 6 inches of the bearer takes a mortal wound on a dice roll of 3+. Not bad on the Corruptor, his Plaguemaster ability is triggered by all damage he deals regardless of the source. Not quite an auto take, but not worthless. Brooding Blade - You pick one of the weapons of your general, and any model that took a wound from that weapon but didn't die takes d3 mortal wounds at the end of combat on a dice roll of 6. If you're a clever cookie who splits his attacks between multiple units this isn't half bad. Billious Bell - In your hero phase roll a D6 for all enemies within 12 inches of the holder, on a 4+ they subtract 1 from their bravery. Pretty cool on a Plague Furnace given they're usually in the thick of things. Blistervious, the Living Cyst - Jesus this one is fun. Gives a small buff, reroll 1s to hit and move 2 extra inches, not bad. If you're within 12 inches of a pestilens character in yoursecond or later hero phase however, it jumps to them. Give it to a dud character, then have it jump to the Verminlord who already is running about with his Vexler's Shroud. Godspeed you rabies infested murder monster. The Liber Bubonicus - Well well, the only artifact with massive lore behind it. Plaguemaster Skrolk's old book lets it's bearer be a Plague Priest if they ain't one, and pray twice if they are. This plus Master of Rot and Ruin on  a generic Plague Priest makes for a nasty little rat with a chip on his shoulder, and probably the funniest general this army can field in casual or 1k games, The Vexler's Shroud - Enemies subtract 1 from hit rolls when targeting the bearer in the shooting phase. Simple, clean and always useful.   That's it for the Pestilens Traits and Artifacts. Next I'll do a unit analysis of the HQ characters, and follow it with the rest.

AIdenNicol444

AIdenNicol444

 

Clan Pestilens: Battle Traits

Seeing as every man and his wolf-rat has done a breakdown of their favorite faction, I'm gonna put forward one of my own. The goal is to only make claims based on experience and playtesting here, not making claims built on untested math-hammer. This blog post will cover the battle traits of Clans Pestilens, which are called "Strength in Numbers" and "Echoes of the Great Plagues". Strength in Numbers No two ways about it, this is a solid battle trait. on average it'll net you an extra 2 bravery, and if your monks are near a furnace (they are) that's an extra 1 bravery again. Suddenly your plague monks are bravery 8. Is that braver than  a Stormcast Paladin? It sure is. This is a fantastic battle trait and I would expect to see all skaven alleigances feature this (Skryre does too already). I would play Pestilens Alleigance over Maggotkin or Chaos Grand Alliance just for this, even without Echoes of the Great Plagues. Which brings us smoothly to... Echoes of the Great Plagues Ain't this a treat.  Given you're already spamming prayers (What even is the Rule of 1 lmao) this is just icing on an already rotten and tasty cake. On an UNMODIFIED (don't even think about it Neverplague) roll of a 6 from a Plague Priest or Furnace when praying you get to pick one of 5 uberplagues to throw at your opponent. Almost all of these feature the clauses "within 13 inches" and "nearest possible" so don't go expecting to roll a 6 and win the game, you have to work for it Plague Priest. Let's take a look at the contenders. The Neverplague - For the rest of the game, add 1 to the prayer rolls of all PESTILENS PRIESTS in your army for the rest of the game. It's solid, non situational and best used early. The trick is to spam prayers in turn 1 with everything you have to get this. Nothing within range to debuff? Target the ground with the Pestilent Breath ability. A lucky 6 on turn one will have you praying like the pope the rest of the game. Don't be dumb however, if the enemy is nearby and you can damage them heavily with one of the other Great Plagues then TAKE THE SHOT. The Redmaw Plague - I want to love this one, but damn is it hard to get off. The nearest enemy hero within 3 inches of it's allies but not within 3 inches of you is yours during the combat phase. I've pulled it off one or two times, but the wording on it is super limiting. Maybe this will go off once in a while and be a game changer, but it's mostly just super situational jank. The Bubonic Blightplague - This one is probably my favorite. It's short sweet and to the point. The nearest enemy within 13 inches takes d6 mortal wounds, and if they die the nearest enemy to them takes d3, if they die, nearest enemy takes d3 ad infinitum. Don't expect the combo chain to happen, but that isn't what makes this good. D6 mortal wounds is a hell of a lovetap, never understimate it. The Undulant Scourge - I like this one. Kind of odd and very unique, the Undulent Scourge (or as i affectionately refer to it, Pestilens Nuke) is a tasty wee plague that lets you select a MODEL in the nearest unit within 13 inches. Yes, select a model, this prayer is one of less than a handful in the game that lets YOU decide where the wound goes, not the enemy. Anyway, the assigned model takes a wound. The fun doesn't stop there however, now every model in the unit within 3 inches takes a mortal wound too. Did you just blow a hole in a mystic shielded unit of Dreadspears sitting on an objective with 17 mortal wounds? Yes, yes you did. This isn't situationally good, it's situationally insane. The Crimsonweal Curse - Sadly GW kind of phoned it in on the last ability. The nearest unit with 13 inches takes a single mortal wound. They proceed, as well as every enemy unit within an inch of them, to take one in each of your hero phases for the rest of the game. Would be ok if the range was 3 inches, but it isn't. Use it if nothing else applies, and that's about it. Hope this helps out if you're just getting into Pestilens or you're just here to know thy enemy. Up next will be an analysis of the Command Traits and Artifacts of Clan Pestilens.

AIdenNicol444

AIdenNicol444

 

Army List: Pestilens Body Spam

I've been tinkering with the idea of using Censer Bearers in my lists (I never really have due to finecast model / no real place in the army) and I think I've figured out how to make good use of them.
Allegiance: Skaven Pestilens

Leaders
Verminlord Corruptor (220)
- General
- Trait: Master of Rot and Ruin
- Artefact: Blistrevous the Living Cyst
Plague Furnace (200)
- Artefact: Vexler's Shroud
Plague Furnace (200)
- Artefact: Liber Bubonicus

Battleline
20 x Plague Monks (140)
- Foetid Blades
- Pestilens Battleline
20 x Plague Monks (140)
- Foetid Blades
- Pestilens Battleline
20 x Plague Monks (140)
- Foetid Blades
- Pestilens Battleline
20 x Plague Monks (140)
- Foetid Blades
- Pestilens Battleline
10 x Plague Monks (70)
- Foetid Blades
- Pestilens Battleline
10 x Plague Monks (70)
- Foetid Blades
- Pestilens Battleline
10 x Plague Monks (70)
- Foetid Blades
- Pestilens Battleline
10 x Plague Monks (70)
- Foetid Blades
- Pestilens Battleline
5 x Plague Censer Bearers (60)
- Pestilens Battleline
5 x Plague Censer Bearers (60)
- Pestilens Battleline
5 x Plague Censer Bearers (60)
- Pestilens Battleline
5 x Plague Censer Bearers (60)
- Pestilens Battleline

Battalions
Congregation of Filth (140)
Plaguesmog Congregation (160)

Total: 2000 / 2000
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 176   Nothing super fancy or complicated on display here. This army sacrifices a few bodies for being a 3 drop list, which is important as having the power to decide who moves first is super important when playing pestilens. The Verminlord is the general, an obvious choice as he is the only model in the battletome with a command ability.  He takes The Living Cist to enhance his mobility and combat ability slightly as the other artifacts aren't very useful, and his trait lets him pray like a priest. All around a solid if forgettable loudout. One of the furnaces takes Liber Bubonicus for extra prayer power., and this is the furnace part of the Congrgation of Filth, so he'll be deep in a nest of rats at all times. The most interesting choice here is the Furnace part of the Plaguesmog Congregation. He already recieves -1 to hit in the shooting phase beacuse of his batallion, and the Vexler's Shroud enhances that to -2. This should keep him nice and healthy at the front of my army. Eight groups in total of plague monks mean eight groups using their Book of Woes to shoot a mortal wound at the enemy once per game. Sounds neglible right? Imagine on average about 6 of those mortal wounds hit everything in a 13 inch bubble. You just halved on average all their character's health and chunked a section of troops off each unit, guaranteeing a battleshock test all BEFORE they get hit by the monk avalanche, tasty. The censer bearers are here for one reason, their enhanced Nocious Fumes from the batallion (instead of 4+ chance to deal 1 mortal wound to all enemies within 3" it's not a 2+ chance to deal d3 mortals, nice) and their ability to swing over the top of a line of plague monks. Coupled with the -1 chance to hit them with shooting they should do respecatably.   I will be testing the list next week and will follow up with a report of the battle and any changes I plan to make (for there will always be ways to improve a list).

AIdenNicol444

AIdenNicol444

 

A New Beginning

Hello and welcome to the first entry in my Pestilens blog. Everyone who knows me knows I more or less exclusively play skaven armies, predominantly Pestilens and have played the Clan Pestilens since I started playing Age of Sigmar, right after the release of their battletome way back at the start of the game. I've played them in numerous tournaments, first at Wellington Warhost 2016, where i came a dazzling last place out of 16 or so contenders (got Best Sports however, being a good loser and all) and since then have earned a reputation as a back of the pack player who just doesn't know when to give up and start playing a top tier army.  Since the Generals Handbook 2017 I've seen a stark improvement, winning over half of my games at each tournament since (NICon, Inepticon and the NZ 2017 Masters) and after the kind words of some of the best in the NZ scene I've decided to keep at it with my beloved rats. This blog will follow the repainting of my Skaven Pestilens (I started playing on them, they are less than impressive currently), all results from games I play, interesting happenings in the NZ scene and of course, a place for skaven players to hide from the roving gangs on Tzeentch players crushing our hordes and stealing our warpstone. For the Horned Rat, and the Withered Word! Aiden Nicol

AIdenNicol444

AIdenNicol444

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