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Skaven Elites: Premier Skaven Troop Choices

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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.



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.



·        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.



·        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.



·        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.



·        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.




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.



·        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.



·        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.



·        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.



·        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.



·        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.



·        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.


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Nice write up, I think the price on rat ogres is fine for their damage output though. Also, gutter runners do not benefit from verminus buffs since they lack the clan verminus keyword.

Edited by Kugane

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Great writeup! 

Stormvermin are in a weird spot where big blocks of 40 are disgustingly brutal, but then you've got 25% of your entire army's points tied up in a single unit of infantry that die way too quickly

I think if you run Stormvermin, you have to bring Thanquol for that 5+ feel no pain save. But then you've got basically half of your total points in two units... that just feels like too much

They're brutal in theory and as you said, great movement shenanigans for such elite infantry. Just hard to figure out in practice! 

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Thanks for this  well-written piece! 

Skaven warlords´ command ability only works on Verminus units though, so unfortunately you can´t buff neither Gutter Runners nor Rat Ogors with them :/

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