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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.

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Clan Pestilens: A list for the Masters

NZ Masters Tournament 2018 Road to the Top     Overview With the New Zealand Masters Tournament 3 weeks away, and list submissions due in 6 days, I figure it’s close enough to talk about my preparation for this tournament. Unsurprisingly, I’ll be running the Pestilens allegiance and going for the top, with the goal yet again of being the first Clan Pestilens player to win or place a major event. Over the last 2 months my list has gone through a heavy amount of changes, and I ran a version of the list at the recent Notorious Hammer tournament to test the waters as well as countless practice games with close friends to streamline the list and reach a standard of consistent performance I’m happy with. The NZ Masters tournament is an invitational tournament, where the top 20 players n the NZ rankings are offered places at the event and then the invites work there way up from 20 if people decline. The New Zealand tournament meta is relatively consistent and features roughly 20 consistent contenders at most tournaments with a few more players that make the odd tournament here and there, and most people are known clearly for the lists they take and change them rarely. The most popular armies currently are Stormcast Eternals, Nurgle and Legions of Nagash, with the rest of the players displaying a wide variety of forces from all Grand Alliances. This being the case, for anyone to be a contender for the top spots they have to pack tools that let their force deal with decent armor saves, long-range magic and large numbers. All the recent winners of local tournaments will be attending the Masters, and with every player being in the tier of rankings where they on average win 3 or more games in a 5-game event the competition is guaranteed to be fierce.   The Event The tournament follows the same pattern as most tournaments, 5 games with 3 on day 1 and 2 more on the second day. Realm Artefacts are available for list building, but the Realm Spells and Realmscape effects will not be. While most NZ tournaments have relaxed painting standards, 3 color minimum at most with the incentive to paint your army being bonus hobby points for the soft scores, at the Masters a model that is not painted to a degree that demonstrates completion (based, highlighted, washed etc) will simply not be allowed to be used. The tournament is in the Kapiti Coast region of NZ, a 45 minute drive from the capital city hosted by the local wargaming club there, who hosted the event last year as well to great success.   My List So without further ado, here is the list I’ll be taking in the tournament. Allegiance: Pestilens
Mortal Realm: Aqshy

Leaders
Verminlord Corruptor (220)
- General
- Trait: Master of Rot and Ruin
- Artefact: Magmaforged Blade
Plague Furnace (180)
- Artefact: Liber Bubonicus
Plague Furnace (180)
- Artefact: Thermalrider Cloak
Plague Priest with Plague Censer (80)
Plague Priest with Plague Censer (80)
Plague Priest with Plague Censer (80)

Battleline
40 x Plague Monks (240)
- Foetid Blades
10 x Plague Monks (70)
- Foetid Blades
10 x Plague Monks (70)
- Foetid Blades
10 x Plague Monks (70)
- Foetid Blades
10 x Plague Monks (70)
- Foetid Blades

Units
5 x Gutter Runners (60)
- Allies
5 x Gutter Runners (60)
- Allies
40 x Clanrats (200)
- Rusty Spear
- Allies

Battalions
Congregation of Filth (170)
Congregation of Filth (170)

Total: 2000 / 2000
Extra Command Points: 2
Allies: 320 / 400
Wounds: 181

So to start from the top. The general of the list is the Verminlord Corruptor. I chose the Verminlord because him being the general means I can give him Master of Rot and Ruin, which means he can pray in the same manner as a Plague Priest (and as of AoS2, also generate Great Plagues on a 6 to pray), as well as him being incredibly mobile so his 12” range auto-pass battleshock range can get where it needs to go. While I would rather give him Sword of Judgement over the Magmaforged Blade, I needed to pick Aqshy for another artefact in the list so I reached a compromise.   The twin Plague Furnaces each fulfil a different role. One has been given Liber Bubonicus, shoring up it’s prayer capabilities so it can follow the large unit of Plague Monks around and keep them buffed up. The second has been given the Thermalrider Cloak, a devastatingly useful artefact for a Plague Furnace by giving it an extra 4” move as well as granting it the ability to FLY. By snaking 10 rats around the furnace you can fire the thing out of the deployment zone and halfway up the table, potentially into a devastating charge onto an objective.   The 3 Plague Priests are here to spam their breath prayer on turn 1 to get the Neverplague Great Plague nice and early, then spend the rest of the game harassing unit clumps with their breath and stacking debuffs on vital targets. Keeping one of these lads near the two 40-man units ensures battleshock tests won’t ruin them utterly.   The Plague Monks are the life of the party. One unit of 40 that can have buffs stacked on it easily and refuse to get off objectives and four units of 10 to run around and suicide into targets and harass flanks. Plague Monks really aren’t something opponents can afford to ignore, but spending time killing them is time spent not targeting the enormous 12 wound threats in the leader slots. If the 40-rat unit isn’t bled down in the early game, the opponent has to deal with an enormous footprint that will tear a hole in anything that can’t commit to destroying it in a single turn, and even then, the Rabid Fever prayer means they’ll still get to take a swing before they die.   Gutter Runners are, for lack of any better description, a pain in the ass. They pop up behind the enemy ranks and throw a bunch of throwing knives into them before running in and shanking them. The shooting attack isn’t exactly Skyfire tier but their melee attacks are nasty with decent hit and wound chances and innate -1 rend. Their main strength is that the enemy needs to spend troops on zoning these bad boys out, while dealing with the massed Plague Monks hurtling towards them from the front. Caught between a rock and a very stabby place, such as it were.   Clanrats, god bless them, rarely need any kind of explanation why they’re in a list. They’ll run, they’ll charge, they’ll run away and they’ll do it all again. Retreat and Charge is a crazy feature of a very cheap unit, meaning they won’t get tied up fighting other chaff and their big unit size means getting rid of them means a hefty commitment. The only weakness of Clanrats is their propensity to cut and run the moment they start taking casualties. Well, it would be, if we weren’t living in glorious AoS2 and a battleshock test is one Command Point to get out of jail free. The battalions in this list are 2 Congregations of Filth, each comprised of 1 Plague Furnace and 2 or more units of Plague Monks. The only reason I’m taking this is to shave the list drops down to less than 10 to out-drop other armies that don’t take battalions and for the big unit of 40 getting to reroll its charges. Also I needed a bunch of artefacts and command points. Cheers congregation.   List Building Process The list above is actually no less than the 17th Pestilens list I’ve ran, with the goal of creating the ideal list for my meta. After every tournament and serious practice game I have gone over what works, what doesn’t, and made the necessary adjustments. The list has gone from no less than 240 wounds at the start of the year, to running multiple endless spells and allied wizards with the Malign Sorcery drop, and for about 2 weeks dropping it completely and angrily painting my Gautfyre Scorch. The end result is unlikely to be a perfect list but is the most streamlined for my current situation and hopefully will prove as much at the masters.   Conclusion I’m hoping this will be the even where I at last bring in the big win for my Clan and the group of very scary people breathing down my neck expecting results. If I win or at least podium, I will have completed the goal I set for myself 2 years ago when I finished the second tournament I’d attended with 0 victories and risen to the top of the highly talented NZ Warhammer scene. If I lose I’ll probably nuke my army from orbit and start an Eshin army for the memes. Anyhoo, see you all after Masters in my new blog Clan Eshin Best Clan!

AIdenNicol444

AIdenNicol444

Lore Post: The Roiling Horde

Acolytes of the Withered Word The Fecund Hordes of the Ashen Wastes     The Skaven Clans, and most particularly the teeming hordes of Clan Pestilens, are infamous for their Gnawholes, unstable tunnel-gates that run between the realms chiselled into being by the twisted claws and sorcery of the rat-men and guided by their insidious Verminlords. They can be seen dotting the realms, particularly great sites of battle during the Realmgate War, leaving warping and twisted effects upon the nearby landscape. However despite their repeated attempts to achieve such, the clans have yet to successfully penetrate the dark and mysterious realm of Ulgu, the infamous realm of shadow.   The Roiling Basin Deep within the twisting ash-storms of Aspiria in the fiery realm of Aqshy lies the realmgate known as the Shadowhame. One of the few stable realmgates that runs to the realm of Ulgu, it sits deep in the centre of a shattered volcano in what appears to be ancient azyrite ruins. The crater, known as the Roiling Basin due to the ash storms that whip around it’s interior walls as they blow in from the eastern plains before churning out over the western seas, has been settled by an enormous contingent of Skaven Great Clans hailing directly from the Blight City itself. Towering and haphazard Skaven constructions are piled atop ancient Azyrite heritage sites as the industrious Skaven claw the skies with their fell machinery, their destructive and corrupting presence going so far as to warp the nearby landscape and even the weather. Wealthier members of the clans have their residences and bases of operations in the high towers, with Skryre and Pestilens holding dominion over their respective supporters from on high. Moulder Clan members prefer to practise their disgusting bio-science in the depths of the crater and Clan Eshin’s base naturally remains a mystery as to its location. The lowest members of the system such as Skavenslaves and lowly Clanrats eek out an existence in the Depths, killing one another for scraps that fall from above and mysteriously disappearing into the Moulder surgery-labs. The Shadowhame realmgate itself lies in the Pestilent Knave known as the Prior Vermalanx, deep in the structure and well-guarded by acolytes and the Plague Guard.   The Church of Contagion Skaven city-warrens are usually inhabited by clans belonging to a single Great Clan or an uneasy alliance of multiple clans present for their own interests. While the Roiling Basin is inhabited by representatives of all the Great Clans, Clan Pestilens is currently ascendant amongst the group due to the overwhelming ranks they currently count in their faithful throng. No mere no-name virulent procession, Clan Morbidus of the Pestilens are an ancient and wealthy clan that proudly boast of heritage that dates back to the World-That-Was. Faithful to their god and mindless in their devotion to his ascension, Morbidus offers it’s prayers up to the Verminlord known as Vermalanx, a legend among the pestilent clans who lead the Pestilens Clans during the Realmgate Wars and dared to scheme against the Glott Brothers and Nurgle himself, all while seeming to aid them in their goals. Allegedly defeated by the Stormcast Eternals at Rotwater Swill, Vermalanx has since arisen once more by the Corruptor’s claw to lead his most faithful of children. Bearing twin Plaguereapers forged from raw warpstone dipped in the filth of the Horned One itself, plague monks gladly throw themselves to a gory death at the orders of the dark servant of The Great Witherer itself. The dominance of Morbidus has forced the other Great Clans to toe the line against them feebly for now, with them offering up gifts of arcane ingenuity, shadow operatives and hordes of lowly rats to break against the ranks of the enemy before the Plague Monks destroy all opposition.   Ruler of the Rat-Race Ruling over the Church of Contagion and by extension the Roiling Basin itself, Archdeacon Skirik Vileclaw presides over his “beloved” flock with sharp claws and a tendency to hurl those who oppose him from the high points down into the Depths. Quite unlike most rulers of his race, Skirik has little in the way of cunning or subtlety. Prone to fits of deranged madness due to the fever in his brain and the poison in his veins, Skirik’s temperament veers wildly between the faithful servant of the Great Corruptor and behaving like a rabid animal. Riding an enormous Plague Furnace into battle known as the Altar of the Redmaw, named for the Great Plague Skirik so famously brought back to the faithful long decades ago. His lifetime long enhanced by the righteous fury in his body and the ministrations of the absolute pinnacle of Skryre and Moulder sciences, Skirik has plagued Aqshy for as long as many in Aspiria can recall.   The Shadowhame Gate The focal point of the entire settlement, deep within the Pestilent Knave lies the Shadowhame Gate. One of only a mere handful of stable gateways to Ulgu, and one of the scant few held by the forces of Chaos, this gateway represents an incredible potential advantage to the chaos forces as Malerion and Morathi’s machinations are kept secret beyond the twisting fold of the realm they rule over. Forces from the Roiling Basin have established a foothold on the other side of the gate, a continuous supply of troops marching through to man the defences and fortify the location further. Known as the Rotted Claw warren, Malerion has been forced to drop his façade of bored contempt for the Skaven to actively destroy the gateaway, knowing that while he faces Plague Monks and baying Clanrats today, tomorrow it could well be the Varangard riding through the mists.   Schemes Within Schemes With Malerion and Morathi throwing their forces into the fortification of the Rotted Claw bastion and increasing aggression from the resurgent forces of Order in Aqshy, the Roiling Basin’s constant threat may yet be dealt with by the allied forces of Order. However, while the fighting forces of the rats hold back their aggressors Clan Skryre has begun a grand undertaking in the Warpstorm Tower, the only tower to rise higher than the Prior Vermalanx (a fact that Skirik has hurled many a warlock engineer to their doom over when reminded), with their research into the construction of a stable Gnawhole built using the arcane secrets gleaned from the Shadowhame Gate that will lead directly to the Blight City, enabling an enormous horde of Skaven without number to storm through. The completion of this gate will see all of Aspiria brought to it’s knees by the Skaven, and Ulgu flooded with resurgent forces to bring an end to the God of Shadow’s dominion.  

AIdenNicol444

AIdenNicol444

Notorious Hammer Tournament

Notorious Hammer       Just got home from the Notorious Hammer event in Johnsonville, Wellington and I’m here to let everyone know how it went. The tournament went overall exceptionally well, big props to Shaun from Notorious AOS (https://notoriousaos.podbean.com/) for T.O’ing the event and running a tight ship. Once again, the New Zealand Warhammer scene is better for your efforts. Everyone had a great time and there was a great field present for 2 days of great games.       Game 1: Shaun T – Daughters of Khaine Scenario: Focal Points Outcome: Major Defeat 720 Kill Points Wow. Set up my army with a Clanrat screen 40 long and 4 lines deep to brunt the massive Witch Aelf assault and Shaun just wasn’t having it. Smoothly punching through my lines and delivering a powerful follow up punch making use of the army’s ability to pile in effectively, and supporting his front line with the Cauldron of Blood and Morathi herself, Shaun schooled me hard on playing an all melee army. This tips the balance towards Shaun in our ongoing tug of war for supremacy, and I’ll absolutely be gunning for him next tournament.     Game 2: Shaun B – Stormcast Eternals Scenario: Better Part of Valor Outcome: Major Victory 2000 Kill Points Shaun (Big Shaun for Notorious listeners) opened with the same strategy he used to wipe the floor with me at Call to Arms 2 months ago. Deploying his Sequitors and Evocators along the line ready to charge in after absolutely smacking the hell out of me with an Everblaze Comet, Shaun lined my head up on the block from the start of the game. Unfortunately, his comet failed to cast and his alpha-strike play was unable to clear me off the objectives due to burning a command point to pass battleshock (cheers battalion people said not to take). This prevent Shaun burning my objectives on turn 1, and I retaliated with a lethal counter-surge with Plague Monks that saw Shaun pushed backward and eventually cleared away.     Game 3: Regan – Stormcast Eternals Scenario: Shifting Objectives Outcome: Major Victory 2000 Kill Points The Realmscape rules here saw units unable to fly banned from run moves, forcing myself and Regan to aggressively footslog towards the objectives shooting each other nasty glares. Regan arrived first, scoring an early lead and building a wall out of Anvils of the Heldenhammer, but my counter-offensive benefitted from some choice dice rolls and superior mobility with the Clanrats retreating and charging around their slower, more powerful opponents. With the points under lock, I turned my focus to exterminating the lethal Anvils before they could use their formidable command ability in conjunction with their Evocators to send me packing.     Game 4: Cameron – Seraphon Scenario: Starstrike Outcome: Major Victory 2000 Kill Points Cameron and his 3 Engines of the Gods opened the game by summoning 60 Skinks to the table to shore up his middle position while I spread my army out without committing to any one side. This proved to be a wise move, with the centre and enemy objectives being in the left board side and my own on the far right (appropriate). My Clanrats on the right retreated immediately to secure the home point while the rest of my army slammed into his endless ranks of Skinks and set about punching through them. With a gap formed, the Verminlord darted through and artfully brought the Astrolith Bearer and an Engine to the ground, while blocking the summoning range of the other engines and the Slann. With all objectives tightly in my grip and staring down the barrel of a slow and steady death at the hands of pestilence, my opponent conceded to save time.     Game 5: Lee – Sylvaneth Scenario: Total Conquest Outcome: Major Defeat 1450 Kill Points Match of the century at the top table, with the winner set to win the whole tournament, nothing about this match was carefree. Me and Lee are actually neighbours and play each other more regularly than any other opponents, so this was set to be a great game. Lee artfully matched my playstyle of massive aggression followed by retreats and more aggression with his defensive, never committing to any one area till late-game style. The points were neck to neck with the leader changing each battle round, each of us making counter-moves we’ve practised against one another a dozen times to throw the other back and upset their plans. Highlights were Lee committing allied Idoneth eels on a suicide mission to kill a lone Plague Priest who was actually a core component of my left flank strategy (Lee never throws units away, so he knew he could set this up without me expecting it) and the would-be assassination of the outlaw Verminlord Corruptor by the Treelord Ancient into that scene from Avengers where Captain America tears a log in half. Lee won with a clever last-minute commitment to my crippled left flank and took the game, a well-earned victory.     Final Placings   1st Place: Lee W – Sylvaneth 2nd Place: Shaun T – Daughters of Khaine 3rd Place: Matt B – Legion of Blood Best Sports – Regan Best Painted – Sloane D     Everyone had a great time and there were no dramas or last-minute point corrections. I ended up 4th, almost clinching the title of first Pestilens player in the world to podium at a registered event, and learned a lot on how to improve my play. Looking forward to the next events of the year, and to the upcoming Notorious AOS GT coming next year. If it’s as good as this event, it’ll be one I can’t afford to miss.

Notrious Hammer Tournament List

Hey guys, Aiden here again after my long hiatus learning how Microsoft Excel works and when it is or is not appropriate to assault office workers with a list write-up. Next weekend myself and the majority of Wellington’s die hard AOS scene will be competing in Notorious Hammer, a tournament set up by the members of the widely popular Notorious AOS Podcast (https://notoriousaos.podbean.com/). It’s also one of the last tournaments of the year that offer points contributing towards the 2018 National Rankings, which in turn decide who gets invited to the Masters Tournament in December. And let’s just say this Plague Priest right here needs a good result if he wants to be slinging filth with the big boys in a few months. After having poor results with the Mixed Chaos Skaven list I threw together for Call to Arms, I’ve decided to stick with what I already know and am confident with in my standard Clan Pestilens list. It’ll also be the first tournament in a while where I won’t spend the week beforehand aggressively painting Clanrats, so win-win. With the lists out for the tournament it also gives me a chance to compare and contrast what I’ve put forward and see which of my list building tactics paid off and where I should have spent more focus. There are a grand total of 7 Stormcast armies, which I’m sure (Evocators) isn’t related to the release (Evocators) of some crazy new undercosted (Evocators) unit that is absolutely broken and unfair (EVOCATORRRRS). On top of that there’s a good friend of mine and his iconic 4 Zombie Dragon list and an absolute Mad-lad running a magic themed Bonesplitterz army. Also a boatload of Ironjawz players and a solitary Skaven player besides myself running the Skryre Clan, which is a shame because he seemed nice. But with the exposition complete, here’s a peek at what I’ll be running. Allegiance: Pestilens
Mortal Realm: Ulgu

Leaders
Verminlord Corruptor (220)
- General
- Trait: Master of Rot and Ruin
- Artefact: Sword of Judgement
Plague Furnace (180)
- Artefact: Liber Bubonicus
Plague Priest with Plague Censer (80)
Plague Priest with Plague Censer (80)
Plague Priest with Plague Censer (80)

Battleline
5 x Plague Censer Bearers (60)
5 x Plague Censer Bearers (60)
30 x Plague Monks (210)
- Foetid Blades
30 x Plague Monks (210)
- Foetid Blades
30 x Plague Monks (210)
- Foetid Blades
40 x Clanrats (200)
- Rusty Spear
40 x Clanrats (200)
- Rusty Spear

Battalions
Plaguesmog Congregation (140)

Endless Spells
Chronomantic Cogs (60)

Total: 1990 / 2000
Extra Command Points: 1
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 219


With the Stormcast Meta in full swing, I no longer need to run minimum sized Plague Monk units to dodge getting immolated by the lethal spell of a roaming Gaunt Summoner. Great Plague spam is once again the name of my game, because Wither is potentially my favourite ability in the whole game I’ve made sure every single character in my army can use it, and with a grand total of 6 prayers per turn it’s incredibly likely I’ll be getting the Neverplague on turn 1. As the Clanrats don’t benefit from the Strength in Numbers buff they’ll either be forming a highly disposable screen against Ironjawz and Sacrosanct or sitting behind the army holding objectives and refusing to leave them while the Plague Monks do all the actual work. Sword of Judgement Corruptor can more or less do whatever he wants. If the enemy knows anything about what he does to any hero or behemoth he encounters they’ll build a wall smack between him and their Lord Arcanum / Alarielle / Glottkin to prevent him from running in and basically tearing it in half. Those that don’t know what he does will lose said characters by the end of turn 2 after they try to “smash the rat” with their big guy. The Plague Priests and the Furnace will roll around slapping anything within eyeshot of a Plague Monk to make sure they rip and tear them to pieces. When this isn’t the case, the enemy is going to have a LOT of Pestilential Breath raining down on their clustered units as they try to form a shield wall against the swarm. The Censer Bearers will shunt the Furnace up, the battalion providing their survivability against shooting, so they can advance in the centre. The Furnace can more or less serve as the ideal hammer and threat magnet while shooting Rabid Fever and Wither down on the soon-to-be victims of the monks accompanying it. Here’s hoping all goes according to plan and I can secure myself an invite to the Masters Tournament, or I won’t be able to do another write-up.

AIdenNicol444

AIdenNicol444

Building a Skaven Army: Clan Pestilens

Building a Skaven List Clan Pestilens   The only Skaven clan with a “battletome” (it doesn’t feature any of the stuff modern tomes do, only warscrolls and a small handful of battalions, you need the General’s Handbook for the rest), Clan Pestilens were one of the first armies in the game to receive a book and their line repackaged into the new boxes with round bases and so on. Pestilens takes the existing theme of Skaven being mostly high damage, low durability and escalates it severely. Everything in the book is a melee powerhouse but lacks any form of self-defence.   What Makes the Perfect Virus Plague Monks. Everything about this army hinges on and builds around it’s most numerous battleline option. The army features a whole SEVEN warscrolls (people with other armies will think this is a joke, but only Clan Skryre has more options than Pestilens), and all of these bar one are either Plague Monks, or something that makes Plague Monks more useful. It’s unsurprising that the exception, the Plagueclaw, is awful and almost never sees use. Plague Furnace and Plague Priests have access to prayers that buff Pestilens units, or debuff the enemy to make your army more effective at harming them. These prayers are also integrated into the army’s allegiance abilities in a key way.   Allegiance to the Great Corruptor Pestilens have 2 allegiance abilities, one is extraordinarily simple and the other is somewhat more complex. Strength in Numbers gives 2 bravery for every 10 models in a unit instead of 1, which makes I far more viable to take 40 stacks of Plague Monks. Echoes of the Great Plagues is where the thinking comes in. Every natural roll of a 6 when praying allows a once per turn use of one of a selection of super plagues. Bar one, all of the Great Plagues hit the nearest target within 13 inches and have devastating effects like body blows of mortal wounds or even making enemies pile into each other. As your army will usually feature a stack of priests who will all be praying their maximum amount every turn, the odds of receiving these are good.   MC Corruptor, Straight outta Ulgu Malign Sorcery gave us new artefact tables to draw from, and these come in handy as only 2 of the Pestilens artefacts (Liber Bubonicus and Vexler’s Shroud) are useful. My personal favourite is the Sword of Judgement from Ulgu, which causes d6 mortal wounds on every hit roll of a 6 or more, which single-handedly makes the Verminlord Corruptor the best Hero/Behemoth hunter in the game. Play around with these tables and find what suits you best. Ghur and Ghyran have some gems as well.   Unfurling the Plague Scroll Given I’ve actually played well over 100 games with Clan Pestilens and started playing AoS with them, I feel somewhat confident in writing an example list. Over the course of my time in the NZ scene, I meant from 5 Major Defeats with this army to maintaining a win-rate of 3/5 games or better. While most wouldn’t consider this an impressive brag by any stretch, I feel it’s pretty good in a meta that mostly only features the battletome armies.   Allegiance: Pestilens
Mortal Realm: Ulgu

Leaders
Verminlord Corruptor (220)
- General
- Trait: Master of Rot and Ruin
- Artefact: Sword of Judgement
Plaguesmog Furnace (180)
Plague Furnace
- Artefact: Liber Bubonicus
Congregation Furnace (180)
Plague Furnace
- Artefact: Doppelganger Cloak
Plague Priest with Plague Censer (80)
Plague Priest with Plague Censer (80)

Battleline
5 x Plague Censer Bearers (60)
5 x Plague Censer Bearers (60)
40 x Plague Monks (240)
- Foetid Blades
10 x Plague Monks (70)
- Foetid Blades
10 x Plague Monks (70)
- Foetid Blades
10 x Plague Monks (70)
- Foetid Blades
10 x Plague Monks (70)
- Foetid Blades
10 x Plague Monks (70)
- Foetid Blades

Units
10 x Gutter Runners (120)
- Allies
10 x Gutter Runners (120)
- Allies

Battalions
Congregation of Filth (170)
Plaguesmog Congregation (140)

Total: 2000 / 2000
Extra Command Points: 2
Allies: 240 / 400
Wounds: 166


Plan here is simple. Charge the enemy with the 40-man unit of Plague Monks with both the Bless with Filth and Rabid Fever buffs active. This unit will likely die to counter charges, but the active buffs will ensure it takes well over its own point cost with it. This is followed up in the next turn by both Furnaces hitting the enemy. Both will get full chance to fight as the one activated second has Doppelganger’s Cloak and so can’t be fought till it’s activated. The small units of Plague Monks and the Censer Bearers are there to follow up aggression and take objectives, and the Gutter Runners coming on behind the enemy force them to split their deployment, so they can’t present 100% of their defence against the front charge. I myself have ran this list several times and can confirm it will have no trouble taking down combat armies, but has trouble against heavy magic lists. To counteract this, utilize Gutter Runners to harass backfield mages and split the enemy’s focus. Don’t forget to remember the Plague Monk’s once per game activations and the radiant mortal wounds on the censers and furnaces. Go forth, and embrace the 3/2 glory that only an army getting absolutely murdered by Tzeentch can know.

Building a Skaven Army: Clan Moulder

Building a Skaven List Clan Moulder   Rats on rats. Moudler is the Skaven clan characterised by two things; the massive weight of monsters and numbers it can bring to the table, and the staple reliance it’s players have on Forgeworld. A cursory look at the Moulder GW line will give you an entire Online Order Only army, most of which has lacklustre rules. Fortunately, daddy Forgeworld has our back. Brood Horrors and Wolf Rats are massively underutilized Skaven units but are both absolutely fantastic units, and very strong in the current meta.   Building a Better Rat Moulder have no battalions since the gutting of the clawpacks, and no allegiance abilities either. This means we’re going high drop counts, and we’re going in with one artefact. A Moulder list hinges on it’s Packmasters, a specialized hero who provides a swathe of buffs to nearby Moulder monsters. He can whip a nearby unit to make it charge further and hit harder, and Moulder units near him double their bravery during the battleshock phase. Their battleline options are the cheap swarms of Giant Rats that get better the more there are, and the hard hitting Rat Ogors.   Go Big or Go Home You have 4 behemoth slots at 2k games, and we need to fill all 4. The best unit for the job is the Brood Horror, a Forgeworld warscroll who boasts an impressive combat profile and the ability to heal itself for d3 wounds every turn. The Hellpit Abomination is also a contender for this slot, but their higher points cost, lack of durability and random modifiers tend to make them subpar compared to the Brood Horror. You’ll need speedy units for objectives, and again Forgeworld provides with the Wolf Rats. These fast moving units hit hard on the charge and are great targets for Packmaster buffs. The final piece of the puzzle is something that can tie the enemy up and keep them from counter-charging your Horrors and Wolves, and what better for this than massive units of Giant Rats. Their stats decline horrifically as they lose models, but at their best these things will slam hard into enemy infantry.   Imperfect Monsters The army’s weaknesses lie in it’s vulnerability to battleshock and bravery shenanigans, it’s lack of wizards and absence of reliable shooting. Strong units to ally can be the Verminlord Corruptor, who’s command ability will aid your army while also providing a valuable wizard, and the Gutter Runners of Eshin who flank behind your horde and harass support heroes. Pestilens Plague Priests can buff the army’s wound rolls and allow rerolls to wound, making Giant Rats and Wolf Rats even more lethal on impact.   The Horde Unleashed Here I’ve constructed a list designed to capitalize on the impact of the army. Given the enemy will be deciding who goes first more than likely, the best case scenario is going second and setting up a double turn. Praying for Wither on the enemy and then hitting them with the Giant Rats, as well as flashing the same enemy with the Plague Tome, will ensure the Giant Rats annihilate the front row. This leaves the Brood Horrors free to advance and take hit buffs from the Packmasters.   Allegiance: Moulder

Leaders
Packmaster (60)
- General
- Herding Whip & Blade
- Trait: Malicious Conqueror
- Artefact: Crown of Conquest
Packmaster (60)
- Herding Whip & Blade
Packmaster (60)
- Herding Whip & Blade
Verminlord Corruptor (220)
- Allies
Plague Priest with Plague Censer (80)
- Allies
Plague Priest with Plague Censer (80)
- Allies

Battleline
40 x Giant Rats (200)
40 x Giant Rats (200)
10 x Giant Rats (60)
10 x Giant Rats (60)

Units
10 x Wolf Rats (200)
10 x Wolf Rats (200)

Behemoths
Brood Horror (160)
Brood Horror (160)
Brood Horror (160)

Total: 1960 / 2000
Extra Command Points: 0
Allies: 380 / 400
Wounds: 195


This is one hell of a lot of bodies. Hit up your local Pestilens player for their spare decorative rats to get a lot of Giant Rats quickly. Purchase a can of Mournfang Brown and a small bucket of Agrax Earthshade. And finally, develop both an intimate understanding of the British Pound exchange rate and the virtue of patience as you deal with our Forgeworld Overlords.

AIdenNicol444

AIdenNicol444

Building a Skaven Army: Clan Skryre

Building a Skaven List Clan Skryre     Gautfyre Skorch. Done. Go away. Ok fine, I’ll do this properly. First up in my series on building Skaven armies to a specific allegiance will be Clan Skryre. I chose Skryre because so far, they’re the most popular Skaven clan and actually see a lot of exposure in the percentages of tournaments. They’re also a relatively easy army to build, given most of the thinking is done for you with the Clan Skryre Enginecoven system.   Allegiance to the Skryre Clans The Skryre ability gives you a bunch of tokens you can use to either reroll casting rolls, reroll hit and wound rolls, or add 1 to the damage characteristic of an attack. Essentially, they let you reroll casting rolls. The other two options are almost entirely pointless. As for traits and artefacts, the Cunning Creature trait will keep the Arch Warlock alive and Vigordust Injector will let you buff the Stormfiends, who by now you will understand are the army’s poster child.   Start Your Enginecovens Clan Skryre features a battalion that is unique amongst the battalions of the game. It’s composed of one battalion, Clan Skryre, and 2 “Enginecovens”, which are sub battalions. A Clan Skryre battalion must be composed of at least 2 of these.   As we can see from the image, the battalion requires at the very least an Arch Warlock and two Warlock Engineers. You’ll also need some Stormfiends and probably a Warp Lightning Cannon. From there you decide what kind of army you want to go with.   Clan Skryre The Arch Warlock gets to reroll any one dice for himself each turn. He can however pass on this to give it to a Warlock Engineer on the table, who can in turn use it on any model in his Enginecoven. Handy for Arkhspark and Gautfyre who can hurt themselves with bad rolls.   Whyrlblade Threshik Pick a Doomwheel or one of the Doomflayers and roll 2 dice, it moves that distance. If it’s a double, it also takes D3 wounds. Meh.   Arkhspark Voltik Popular because it’s the cheapest Enginecoven. You shoot the Warp Lightning Cannon in the hero phase and roll a dice, on a 4+ it hurts itself. Pretty decent as you get more uses out of the cannon and its stats don’t decline with damage. It probably won’t die the first or second time, so you can get 4 shots out of 2 turns easily.   Gascloud Chokelung The acolytes / wind-mortar battalion. This lets you throw a warpstone nuke at the enemy each hero phase, dealing D6 mortal wounds with a chance to fail and deal D3 wounds to the thrower.   Rattleguage Warplock The dakka battalion. Lets a unit in the battalion fire during the hero phase, then take D3 wounds which can’t be avoided. Good on the Stormfiends as they won’t die to D3 mortal wounds.   Gautfyre Skorch Hooooh boy, it’s the big bad wolf of Skaven competitive lists. This is the battalion that takes the concept of winning or losing the game on a single cheese strategy and just runs with it. The Warp Grinder can be set up anywhere on the table and then everything else gets to come up within 8 inches, with everything within 3 inches of the enemy taking wounds. Basically, this lets you drop a full unit of Warpfire Thrower Stormfiends right in front of the enemy, hose whatever you want with 18d3 mortal wounds, and then leave whatever happens to even survive boxed in with fiends. You can use this to kill every single hero in the enemy army. You can use this to obliterate everything in the enemy army via shooting, charging then the battleshock phase. Essentially, this gives your opponent cancer.   Adding Allies Clan Skryre is the Skaven clan that doesn’t need to ally wizards, already having the best wizards in the Skaven line-up. Usually what Skryre needs is objective holders as the most effective Skryre build is the Gautfyre + Arkhspark build. Consider Clanrats, Gutter Runners and Plague Monks. A melee focused Stormfiend army will roll around on the enemy if you ally in Packmasters (Stormfiends have both the Skryre and Moudler keywords).   Assemble the Doom Machine Here’s my take on Clan Skryre. I’ve gone for the most meta build, but have swapped out the usual 20 Clanrats for 2 units of 5 Gutter Runners. Their mobility and the fact they appear in the movement phase means they’re deployed after the Gautfyre comes down enabling you to better position them for taking objectives. The Acolytes are only there to take backfield objectives.   Allegiance: Skryre

Leaders
Arch Warlock (140)
- General
- Trait: Cunning Creature
- Artefact: Esoteric Warp Resonator
Warlock Engineer (100)
- Artefact: Vigordust Injector
Warlock Engineer (100)

Battleline
9 x Stormfiends (870)
5 x Skryre Acolytes (60)
5 x Skryre Acolytes (60)

Units
1 x Warpfire Thrower Weapon Team (70)
5 x Gutter Runners (60)
5 x Gutter Runners (60)

War Machines
Warp Lightning Cannon (180)

Battalions
Clan Skryre (80)
Arkhspark Voltik (70)
Gautfyre Skorch (150)

Total: 2000 / 2000
Extra Command Points: 1
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 99


This was a really long way of typing out Gautfyre Skorch is da best. Seriously, it’s super flexible and good in a meta where you don’t need to roll to hit with the Warpflame (get rekt look out sir). You will win or lose the game depending on how your hotdrop on top of the enemy goes. If they’re a static elite army like Stormcast or Sylvaneth, GGEZ. If they’re a bubblewrapping horde army like Moonclan or any chaos horde army with Crown of Conquest, touch luck buddy. Go with the Horned Rat and cheese in his name.  

AIdenNicol444

AIdenNicol444

Skaven Elites: Premier Skaven Troop Choices

Skaven Elites Premier Troops of the Skaven Clans     Across the 5 Great Clans of the Skaven, there are a variety of powerful and varied units that when combined allow a Skaven army to manage itself against various threats. Among these units, each clan has an “elite unit”, a costly and specialized warscroll that best represents the strength of the clan they hail from.   Stormvermin Specialization: Damage Focused Support Infantry   Starting with the most recognizable, Stormvermin are the clenched fist of the Verminus Clans, forming the centre of their sizable infantry force. They come with a respectable attack profile that features both rend and decent range, and their 5+ save that grows stronger against attacks that are only 1 damage.   Pros ·        A powerful attack profile that heavily rewards being buffed by command abilities like Gnash Gnaw Their Bones and Tyrants of Battle. ·        2 Inch range allows large clusters of Stormvermin to all fight or even fight over the top of lines of Clanrats. ·        Their ability to retreat and still charge, as well as the +2 to run and retreat rolls make them insanely manoeuvrable for elite horde infantry. ·        Murderous Ferocity gives them a bonus if they outnumber their victim, which they almost always do.   Cons ·        140pts for 10 rats is a very hefty price tag. They receive a discount for a full-size regiment but that weighs in at 500pts. ·        Other elite infantry will smash them aside with their poor save and single wound each if they don’t fight them first. ·        No protection from being shot at and no resistance to battleshock built in.     Plague Censer Bearers Specialization: Objective Holding and Harassment   The glass cannon version of Stormvermin, they pack the same attack profile but also receive bonus attacks for charging and rerolls for being near Plague Monks. Their presence is deadly, radiating mortal wounds on nearby opponents.   Pros ·        2 Inch range weapons on a 32mm base unit makes for a very large footprint capable of tying up multiple units. ·        One of the few sources Clan Pestilens has of guaranteed, unconditional rend. ·        Can be taken in a Plaguesmog Congregation, further boosting their damage output with their radiant damage and giving them a protection against being shot at. ·        60pts for 5 is a very affordable cost, especially for their purpose as harassers and objective holders.   Cons ·        No armor save means any successful attack against them, no matter how lowly, will kill them. ·        No mobility steroids means a very slow, expensive unit. ·        Must be selected first in combat or they won’t likely fight at all.     Stormfiends Specialization: Wound Output and Game Closing   The big baddies of the Skaven roster. People who know nothing about the Clans know what Stormfiends are and what they do. The centrepiece of many comp lists, nothing about this unit is subtle. They’re big, they’re nasty and they put out one hell of a beating.   Pros ·        The most powerful weaponry in all the Skaven Clans. Warpfire Throwers that fountain mortal wounds on the enemy, Ratling Guns that mow down infantry and a range of brutal and horrific melee weapons are just mere options for the Stormfiends. ·        Massive durability, packing both a 4+ save and 6 wounds as well as decent bravery. ·        Synergy with Clan Moulder Packmasters to further enhance their damage capabilities.   Cons ·        290pts for 3. Maximum firepower isn’t cheap, and every loss will be severely felt. ·        Large unit footprint but slow moving, it is easy for the enemy to tie these up with cheap chaff. ·        Poor choice for allying from other clans due to their prohibitive cost and lack of utility. This is a luxury unit, not a support one.     Gutter Runners Specialization: Flanking and Harassment   Ninja rats that emerge from the board edge and drown the enemy in a storm of throwing stars and poisoned knives. Mobility, speed, shooting and utility are just the order of business for the lethal foot soldiers of Clan Eshin.   Pros ·        Emerging from any board edge on turn 1 is massive for an army that has no flying or high movement units. ·        A powerful combat profile that benefits well from being allied into other armies, synergizing well with Pestilens to-wound buffs and Verminus command abilities. ·        Running and shooting makes them a very fast and mobile harassment unit. ·        60ps for 5 is very cheap. 200pts for 20 is even better.   Cons ·        Not the most survivable, the armor save won’t save them from much and low bravery means large unit sizes are easily punished. ·        Requires buff assistance from units like Plague Priests or Skaven Warlords to be effective. ·        Little to no synergy with their own heroes, Skaven Assassins don’t help them, and they will often be out of range of the Verminlord Deciever’s command ability.     Rat Ogors Specialization: Line Breakers   The hulking masterworks of Clan Moulder throw themselves savagely at the enemy, using their superior durability and destructive strength to bat aside enemy chaff. Synergizing strongly with both their own clan and others, Rat Ogors are a force to be feared.   Pros ·        Benefitting from Packmasters, Plague Priests, Skaven Warlords and more, their basic stats are a solid foundation to buff and build on. ·        Under the effects of buffs, their ability to gain bonus attacks will see them laying the pain. ·        Chaff will have trouble chipping them down due to multiple wounds, and won’t stand up to their 2 damage attacks.   Cons ·        Too expensive and bought in lots of 2. Not good enough to warrant allying. ·        Awful bravery means if a Packmaster isn’t near, one casualty will see them buckle. ·        Shooting attack looks good on paper but will rarely come into play.  

Call to Arms Wellington Recap

Last weekend I played in New Zealand's AOS tournament Call to Arms, one of the biggest of its kind since the AOS Scene began. I had a great time, and the TO Fraser B did a fantastic job keeping things on time and running smoothly. Would happily attend another event if he was the TO. That being said, let’s do it. The List Allegiance: Chaos
Mortal Realm: Ulgu

Leaders
Screaming Bell (200)
- General
- Trait: Malicious Conqueror
- Artefact: Crown of Conquest
Lord Skreech Verminking (300)
Plague Furnace (180)
Verminlord Corruptor (220)
- Artefact: Sword of Judgement

Battleline
20 x Clanrats (120)
- Rusty Spear
20 x Clanrats (120)
- Rusty Spear
20 x Clanrats (120)
- Rusty Spear

Units
5 x Plague Censer Bearers (60)
5 x Plague Censer Bearers (60)
30 x Plague Monks (210)
- Foetid Blades
30 x Plague Monks (210)
- Foetid Blades

Battalions
Plaguesmog Congregation (140)

Endless Spells
Chronomantic Cogs (60)

Total: 2000 / 2000
Extra Command Points: 1
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 178
  For the people that read my blogs, you'll notice this ISN'T the list I said I planned to use. After the FAQ dropped the TO allowed people to submit different lists, and I took this opportunity to take an army that uses magic with the nerf to Lens of Refraction. The list also was designed to perform strongly against Death and Nurgle, the two most popular lists in the meta. While almost half of players at the tournament ran Death or Nurgle, this didn't play in my favour. I didn't match a single one. Game 1: Disciples of Tzeentch Scenario: Duality of Death Outcome: Major Loss This was the closest game of the tournament by far. The scores were close all game and the game came down to a single victory point of difference. My opponent is a highly skilled player who played Tzeentch all through their changes and does consistently well, so I went into the game expecting some seriously tactical plays. I was not disappointed, Matt consistently pre-empted my moves and was rarely caught by surprise. He sacrificed control of half the table once he had gained a majority of points and focused on heavily protecting the initial victory point from me. His Lord of Change was running the -2 to melee against it which prevented the corruptor assassinating him off the point, as well as Verminking being unable to reach him past a line of Horrors. The game continued to turn 5, with me unable to remove the Lord of Change. Solid, close game was had.   Game 2: Ironjawz Scenario: Better Part of Valour Outcome: Major Win Already a difficult matchup for the Ironjawz due to my high numbers and mortal wound output, my already disadvantaged opponent was not able to both hold a line and break my own simultaneously to win. My tide of rats shattered through the Ard Boyz and Brutes easily, shaving wounds off the Maw Krusha and easily tangling up the Gore Gruntas. Verminlord Corruptor ran in and kill-stealed both the Maw Krusha and the Fungoid Shaman with ease.  My board domination forced him to burn his points early or lose them to me, meaning all I had to do was keep pushing and burn my own a turn later. Game resulted in both a win and full kill points to me.   Game 3: Stormcast Eternals Scenario: Focal Points Outcome: Major Loss Wow, heavily underestimated the new Sacrosanct Chamber. I deployed along the line, expecting the usual Stormcast tactic of spreading onto objectives and trying to hold them for as long as possible before eventually dying off to numbers and mortal wounds. Shaun promptly told me to go ****** myself, charged across the table as hard and fast as possible on turn 1 and destroyed a third of my army. I constantly got smacked with an Everblaze Comet and any attempts at spellcasting were laughingly deflected by a Knight Incantor. I went for kill points as hard as possible after realizing defeat was inevitable and ended up taking maybe a third of his force. Easy win for Shaun.   Game 4: Legion of Azgorh Scenario: Gift from the Heavens Outcome: Major Win Always a hard game against an army that very few people play. I out deployed my opponent opted to play first, using my clanrats to screen off charges from the Taur'uk and his Bull Centaurs, as well as sending 30 Plague Monks around the side to flank Shar'tor the Executioner and block line of sight from the artillery. The Magma Cannons opened fire on the Screaming Bell, which survived with a single wound. My opponent proceeded to double turn me, easily taking out around half of my army. What remained however were Plague Monks, both the Verminlords, a Plague Furnace and my Censer Bearers. I proceeded to match my opponent's punch with a heavy counterpunch that shattered the Ironsworn's defensive line around the war machines and reached the squishy interior. I then rolled well in priority, receiving a double turn of my own and proceeded to completely table my opponent with the momentum gained in the previous turn. Mess with the Ratto, you get the stabbo.   Game 5: Daughters of Khaine Scenario: Relocation Orb Outcome: Major Loss A much-desired match for my opponent Shaun T, a good friend of mine who I was able to beat in one of the critical games at the NZ Masters. Shaun has wanted a rematch since, and he took the opportunity and RAN with it. Easily zeroing Verminking off the tale with Morathi and a Knight Venator in turn 1, the momentum continued smoothly with him simply creating walls to prevent me taking the objectives before he could reach them, ensuring that even with me slowly marching forward and killing his troops I wasn't able to score points. Shaun knew my strengths and made sure I wasn't able to use them against him and secured himself a very clean victory.   Verdict Should have kept my army as it was before changes. I knew the list well but opted to try a counter-list instead and paid the price for it. I made a few critical misplays, namely not walling against Sacrosanct Chamber and playing too defensively initially against Daughters of Khaine. Positives Censer Bearers severely overperformed in every game, either holding objectives or following up the Plague Furnace to deliver solid, consistent damage. Screaming Bell did well, the bravery immunity from Crown of Conquest enabled Plague Monks to remain in the fight for far longer than usual and Clanrats to hold the enemy off. The Chaos Grand Alliance ability went off WAY more than you would expect. Sword of Judgement is utter filth on the Verminlord Corruptor and effectively ensured the enemy had to deal with him or lose their characters. Plague Furnace was a super effective line breaker and the Plaguesmog Congregation battalion kept it safe from shooting allowing it to reach the front line of enemy armies with ease. Cons Clanrats could easily have been replaced with Plague Monks and had the same outcome, units of 20 died too quickly to benefit from their mobility. Skreech Verminking either died too early to be useful or simply didn't kill enough to warrant his cost, paling severely next to the Verminlord Corruptor. Chronomantic Cogs either were too risky to use for fear of causing the enemy to come back from defeat or allowed the enemy to out-position me and prevent valuable charges from the Plague Monks and characters. Changes for Next Time Revert to Pestilens allegiance, Great Plagues and Strength in Numbers are far more useful than the +1 to hit, as useful as it was on the occasion it happened. Instead of allying Clanrats, ally in Gutter Runners to force a fight on two fronts. Swap out Cogs for more bodies. Take Congregation of Filth for the 6+ ward save and the reroll charges as I found several times that I wished I had them to fall back on like normal.   In summary, the Great Corruptor punished me for my treason against Him and I throw myself upon his mercy. Great tournament, had a great time with my friends, and was stoked to see a good friend of mine with his new Nighthaunt army he hadn't even had a chance to test podium with 2nd. Hopefully some of his skill rubs off on me when we play alongside one another at the coming Doubles Tournament in September.        

Tournament Lists for Pestilens in AoS2

Gidday Skaven enthusiasts, I'm headed to a tournament in two weeks time and submitted my list last night, and I'd like to write a little about what has changed in AoS2 and how it affects our ist building. What's Changed for the Better? Realm Artefacts: These have been a total game changer, over 50 artifacts drawn from multiple realms to enhance lists or build lists around. Standouts for other factions like Lens of Refraction and Aetherial Amulet have already begun to change the game. For Pestilens, the Ulgu artefacts have given us an incredible boost. Sword of Judgement, Doppleganger's Cloak and Betrayer's Crown give us access to options we previously never had. Points Changes: Plague Furnace and Plagueclaw Catapult got needed reductions while the rest of our already very affordable and well costed units remained unchanged, no complaints there. Endless Spells: Finally the fact the Verminlord Corruptor can cast twice has relevance. Also makes allying an Arch Warlock even more of a god tier selection. Chronomantic Cogs and Aethervoid Pendulum do things for our army we couldn't previously do, unlocking new ways of playing the game. Turn One charges and long range threats were never something Pestilens could do, but now it's an option. Look out Sir!: With Plague Priests now able to tuck themselves in for -1 to being hit and Plague Furnaces recieving the same benefit due to lacking the MONSTER keyword, the only hero in our list vulnerable to shooting is the Verminlord Corruptor. What's Changed for the Worst? Endless Spells: OMG Take your stupid Purple Sun of whatever the hell and leave me alone. Gemenids are a massive pain in the censer and an Aethervoid Pendulum sweeping through the Plague Furnace and both monk units pusing it will give you type 2 Redmaw Plague. Magic Meta: Wizards, wizards as far as the eye can see. Every army that can take some will take several to make sure they have unbinding potential and the ability to get their endless spells on the table. With only the Verminlord Corruptor casting, he's going to get ganged up on. Endless Spells: oh cool man you put down a Prismatic Pallisade in front of the objective, guess I'll just fly over it OH WAIT List Building in AoS2 So for a start we need to ally a wizard, and take some endless spells. That's just the game right now. Yeah it'll change eventually and we'll be in some new and bizarre meta (fingers crossed for all Maggotkin meta personally, give me your wheel you loser) but until then we need to adapt to survive. Arch Warlock, Warlock Engineers, Screaming Bell and the Masterclan selection are great picks for the ally section and Thanquol has gotten a reduction to fir into 2k ally slots. Pick one or two that you like and suit your play style and put them in. The best endless spells for our army are of course the ChronoCogs, Aethervoid Pendulum and Pallisade. Mobility, long range threats and area deniability are important and these spells cover our backsides with them. End Product So below is my list for the Call to Arms tournament in Wellington New Zealand. This is expected to be the biggest tournament in the country for the year and will have a massive range of armies on display. I'd ask for feedback, but list submissions are final so it's too late to save me. Here she is. Allegiance: Pestilens
Mortal Realm: Ulgu

Leaders
Verminlord Corruptor (220)
- General
- Trait: Master of Rot and Ruin
- Artefact: Sword of Judgement
Plague Furnace (180)
- Artefact: Liber Bubonicus
Plague Priest with Plague Censer (80)
Plague Priest with Plague Censer (80)
Lord Skreech Verminkin (300) - Allies

Battleline
10 x Plague Censer Bearers (120)
30 x Plague Monks (210)
- Foetid Blades
30 x Plague Monks (210)
- Foetid Blades
10 x Plague Monks (70)
- Foetid Blades
10 x Plague Monks (70)
- Foetid Blades
10 x Plague Monks (70)
- Foetid Blades

War Machines
Plagueclaw (160)

Battalions
Congregation of Filth (170)

Endless Spells
Chronomantic Cogs (60)

Total: 2000 / 2000
Extra Command Points: 1
Allies: 300 / 400
Wounds: 152 So my plan basically is the same as always. Spam prayers with Priests who are safer than they once were, advance up quickly and sweep away priority targets with the monks. The catapult can force battleshock tests on hordes and the cogs can have lethal spellcaster Skreech Verminking being doubly survivable in the centre of the table, wiping away units and replacing them with Clanrats. The Plague Furnace fulfills its purpose as a buff engine while the Corruptor annhilates literally any hero without a mortal wound save (come get some Alarielle). There will be a follow up to this after the tournament so we can review what went well and where to improve. Let me know your thoughts below.

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

 

Repainting the Rats

no big blog post today, just a progress shot. I've repainted 40 so far. Here's a comparison between when they were first painted two years ago and a finished repaint.

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

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