The Skaven are the children of the Horned Rat, an infamous race of ratmen specialised in the most vicious warfare tactics.
They invade every corner of the realms and their smallest warbands, Scurrypacks, can be found even in the Eighpoints.
Will you embrace Chaos in its purest form and power your own creations with warpstone?
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What changed in Warcry: Agents of Chaos Book for the Skaven Scurrypacks Warband?
Note: The new Warcry books released with Tome of Champions 2020 brought some changes in how Thralls, Monsters but especially Allies work. The roster of available leaders has been massively increased and it’s now possible to use more than one as a “Hero” (1 in matched play and up to 3 in a Narrative campaign).
Link to the 4 new books:
– Warcry: Sentinels of Order (all Order warbands updated)
– Warcry: Harbingers of Destruction (all Destruction warbands updated)
– Warcry: Agents of Chaos (all non-warcry specific Chaos warbands updated)
– Warcry: Bringers of Death (all death warbands updated)
In the Agents of Chaos book, Skaven Scurrypacks saw their already noticeable size of fighters almost double: from 20 to 36 fighters of which 11 are leaders (against the previous 3).
The new fighters are:
- Plague Priest
- Grey Seer
- Warlock Bombardier
- Warlock Engineer
- Master Moulder
- Warplock Jezzail
- Skryre Acolyte
- Warpfire Thrower
- Gutter Runner
- Plague Censer Bearer
The new abilities are: Consume Warpstone Token, Warp Lightning, Flesh-mend, Poisonous Fumes, Running Death and Expend Warpstone Spark Canister.
Background and Lore of the Skaven Warband
The Skaven are a race of mutant ratmen whose history starts in the world-that-was to which demise they were great contributors.
Saved by their deity, the Hornet Rat now ascended to the pantheon of the Chaos Gods, they were then liberated in the Mortal Realms with the duty to multiplicate and feast on everything they could touch.
Their strength is not only in numbers, of which they have plenty, but also in trickery and cunning.
Their foul devices or flesh creations are fuelled by warpstone, a dread substance that represents magic corrupted by Chaos, that if touched brings complete insanity.
Skaven live underground, not necessarily within the Mortal Realms as they are able to tunnel the void using gnawholes and move between realms.
Their capital, Blight City, is created on top of a warpstone field and is populated by uncountable numbers, all busy scheming, fighting or otherwise creating the next diabolic invention. At the heart of Blight City sits the Council of Thirteen, the apparent leading government of Skavendom.
However, hidden away in a sub-realm, the Shadow Council composed of 13 Verminlords, constantly changing, really influences and manipulates the decisions of all Skaven.
Their society is divided in clans belonging to one of the 5 Great Clans constantly in war with each other.
- Clans Verminus have their strength in hordes of Clanrats and Stormvermin to throw at the enemy, with Clanrats being the body of many rat swarms and the Stormvermin representing the elite of the clan often employed as bodyguards.
- Clans Pestilens venerate the Horned Rat as the Great Corruptor, and scurry the realms in packs of plague monks and censer bearers guided by priests, in search for the Thirteen Great Plagues that, once assembled, will cause the destruction of all realms.
- Clans Moulders are specialized in twisting flesh and creating monsters of all sorts, of which the most famous are the hulking Rat Ogors, a fusion between an Ogor and a Rat. Swarms of giant mutated rats are also sent into the fray. The Packmasters are then tasked to array in battle these creatures.
- Clans Skryre took a powerful weapon like a Rat Ogor and perfected it by adding “skaven-brains” to their body and link them with tubes to better direct these monsters in battle. Armed with different destructive weapons they become an efficient artillery instrument. But their arsenal is full of other marvellous weapons loaded with Warpstone, although not always reliable…
- Clans Eshin specialize in assassins and spymasters, and while no one knows their secret agenda, in battle they attack furtively from the flanks, ready to scurry away to attack from another side.
Even the Eightpoints cannot escape from Skaven presence. Indeed they built an entire colony Under-Carngrad, also called Screaming Delve, where multiple Clawlords and Grey Seers vie for power.
The Clans most interested in the region are however the Moulder as they discovered that varanite, Eighpoints realmstone, can be used as an alternative to warpstone for their biological experiments.
But how do the Skaven play on the tabletop?
If you are not going to rat them out, let’s have a look at them in detail.
Overview and Points for the fighters in the Skaven Warband
Note: if you haven’t read the basic rules for Warcry before reading this article, it might be helpful to know that the game’s abilities are activated by using 6 dice that you roll at the start of your turn.
If two of the dice show the same value, they can be used to activate a Double ability. If three show the same value, they can be used for a Triple ability, and so on.
So, when this article refers to an ability being a Double, a Triple or a Quad, it refers to this system. It might sound a bit confusing, but takes no time to get used to when you start playing
The Skaven warband is made from several kits with 36 fighters of which 11 are leaders.
While Skaven Scurrypacks can be formed by any Clans, for easiness of consultation this guide will be split by Clan.
Clawlord: 180 points
In Clans Verminus, the Clawlord is your main leader option.
He has higher damage output than a Clawleader or a Fangleader (4 Attacks at Strength 4 for 2/5 damage), more Wounds (20) and same Agility (Movement 6″ and Toughness 4) than the rest.
He has access to all base abilities (Scurry Away to allow a free disengage action and Lead from the Back that increases the Attack of surrounding units) but none of his own making him a good melee fighter but nothing more.
Grey Seer: 175 points
While technically part of the Masterclan, it fits with Verminus quite well providing some ranged attacks up to 7″ range for 3/6 damage that can be further increased with the use of a Double. Consuming Warpstone Token allows the damage to go up to 9/12 with a bit of luck.
Luck is key here since you roll as many dice as the value of the ability and for each 1 you self-inflict 1 damage, while for each 4+ you increase by 1 the damage on your next attack.
Despite the 20 Wounds, keep him afar from melee combat as his melee profile is definitely not in par with the ranged (despite the 4 damage on critical hit).
If you do get engaged, you can always Scurry Away at the first occasion.
- Clawleader: 145 points
- Clanrat with Rusty Blade: 75 points
- Clanrat with Rusty Spear: 75 points
The Clanrats have the one of the cheapest leader option available for Skaven.
A Clawleader has an identical profile to the Bringer-of-the-Word but no Quad ability.
Regarding the troop options, the difference between blades and spears is that a Blade offers 3 attacks at Strength 3 for damage 1-3, while a Spear has only 2 attacks but at 2” range and for damage 1-4.
Apart from this, Clanrats have average stats: Toughness 4, 8 wounds and movement 6″.
Compared to Plague Monks they can survive a bit longer thanks to their higher Toughness but they also do less damage. However in Clan Verminus you probably can’t go out without a few of them and in numbers they can make a difference.
As a leader the Clawleader has access to Lead from the Back and as most Skaven all Clanrats have access to Scurry Away.
- Stormvermin Fangleader: 170 points
- Stormvermin with Rusty Halberd and Shield: 115 points
- Stormvermin with Rusty Halberd: 105 points
The Stormvermin are the elite of the “normal rats”, with an excellent movement (6”), decent wounds (10 or 20 for the Fangleader) and higher than average damage (2-4).
Except for the Fangleader they are both armed with Halberds that provide 2” range, however the Shield increases the Toughness from 4 to 5 losing one attack (2 instead of 3).
The Fangleader has 4 attacks at Strength 4 and access to Lead from the Back.
Combined with the Stormvermin Hired Bodyguard ability that for a Double prevents the Leader from being targeted as long as it stays within 1” from the Stormvermin activated, makes a really close swarm of Stormvermin lethal and the leader more durable.
For more durability the Stormvermin with Shield protecting your leader is an interesting option as Toughness 5 can prevent most enemies from really hurting him, however critical hits can quickly get rid of most Skaven.
And the 2” range Halberd means the Stormvermin can still attack while keeping himself disengaged and protecting the leader.
Plague Priest: 180 points
The Plague Priest is surprisingly one of the few magic users with no ranged attack but he does have a 2″ range on melee.
Despite the appearances he is a decent melee fighter with 4 attacks for 2/4 damage, Toughness 4 and 20 Wounds.
As all Skaven Pestilens he can Scurry Away for a chance to avoid a fight and as all leaders he can pump up the Attacks of nearby fighters (Leade from the Back).
His strongest ability however, shared with the Bringer of the Word, is the Quad Recite from the Book of Woes, that prevents the use of any ability within a 3″ radius from him. Extremely powerful to shut down resurrection or other area of effect damage dealers, but at the same time 20 Wounds would not allow him long life.
- Bringer of the Word: 150 points
- Plague Monk with Foetid Blade and Woe-Stave: 70 points
- Plague Monk with pair of Foetid Blades: 70 points
The Plague Monks are some of the cheapest units available to the Skaven and present interesting options for you. They are also the base troop for Clans Pestilens.
Blade and Stave guarantee 2” range, 3 attacks at Strength 3 and damage 1-5, while the pair of Blades have more attacks (4) but less range (1”) and damage (1-4).
All Plague Monks have movement of 6”, 8 wounds and Toughness 3 making them quick, but squishy.
The leader, the Bringer of the Word, the model armed with a book, compares with the Plague Priest: for less points the combat profile is similar decreasing only the range (1″) and the Wounds (16).
As the Plague Priest he has access to Lead from the Back and Recite from the Book of Woes that for a Quad neutralizes every single ability within 3”.
Pending some clarifications, the exact wording is “enemy fighters cannot use abilities within 3” of this model” meaning that prevents abilities to be activated while in range, but they can be activated outside of the range and then still be effective once inside the 3” bubble.
For example, an enemy 5” away could activate his ability to damage at the end of a movement, move in contact with the Bringer of the Word and damage him ignoring the Quad ability restrictions.
It is surely an important ability if used correctly but depends on a 16 wounds leader (or 20 with the Plague Priest) with Toughness 4 that has to be close to the enemies to disable. Also, quads are rare so you need to make sure it is worth it!
A Stormvermin used as a bodyguard can keep him alive longer but using both abilities in the same turn requires a Quad and a Double and 2 activations.
Plague Censer Bearer: 90 points
The Plague Censer Bearers are the “elite” fighters of Clans Pestilens.
They have more consistent damage (2/4) than a Plague Monk, higher Strength (4) and the 2″ range that guarantees survivability on a 8 wounds fighter with Toughness 3.
On top of that for a Triple, they can fumigate nearby fighters for up to 3 damage (on a 3+).
Master Moulder: 140 points
Master Moulder is an upgraded version of a Packmaster with more damage both on melee (2/4) and on ranged attacks (1/3 on 3″).
He has also much better Wounds (20) on par with other leaders but Toughness 3 would mean he is still fragile.
Apart the traditional abilities to run away or improve the attacks of nearby units, Master Moulders and Packmaster for a Double can prompt a nearby Beast to perform a bonus attack (Crack the Whip).
While this ability is a bit wasted on Giant Rats (they are mostly used as cannon fodder), it can also be used on Rat Ogors (4 attacks for damage 4/8, anyone interested?).
If you are playing narrative you can also recruit Chaos Warhounds and Razorgors. The former are more expensive Giant Rats with more Wounds but same attacks, but the latter are a bit cheaper than Rat Ogors and hit hard: 2/5 on 4 Attacks at Strength 4.
Master Moulder can also heal up to 3 wounds to a nearby Beast for a Double (Flesh-mend).
Rat Ogors, Giant Rats and Packmasters
- Rat Ogor with Warpfire Gun: 235 points
- Rat Ogor: 225 points
- Packmaster: 65 points
- Giant Rat: 35 points
This collection of diverse fighters comes from the same box with the Rat Ogors being slightly cheaper but still effective elite fighters compared to Stormfiends.
The Packmasters are there to boost Rat Ogors or Giant Rats and Giant Rats are the cheapest unit in the entire game(!)
Rat Ogors have 2 profiles: one exclusively melee and one ranged.
Both have attacks at Strength 4 for 4-8 damage in melee, however the simple Rat Ogor has 4 of those, while the Rat Ogor with Warpfire Gun only 2.
To compensate the latter can shoot up to 8″ away with the other 2 attacks at Strength 5 for 6-8 damage.
In addition, both models have access to Crushing Charge that allows them to do damage at the end of a movement phase for the cost of a Triple. They do lose Scurry Away as a consequence.
Rat Ogors also have an impressive number of wounds (30), good movement (5”) and average Toughness (4).
The Packmaster is there to “Crack the Whip”, helping the Master Moulder to keep the beasts in line by giving them a bonus attack action. See above for details.
In a Moulder warband a Packmaster is an essential fighter to help the Master Moulder. They can also work in tandem if nearby, with Master Moulder increasing the attacks of nearby fighters, freeing the Packmaster to send Rat Ogors to devastate enemies: for a Triple and a Double the Rat Ogor can do up to 7 Attacks (damage 4/8) before it’s even his turn… Or after he moved towards an enemy running out of actions.
But be careful on placing the Packmasters, because apart from that they are poor fighters and 8 Wounds with Toughness 3 would mean melting like snow in the sun when engaged.
Finally, the Giant Rats win the prize for the cheapest and squishiest unit in the game (4 wounds at Toughness 2).
A double edged sword: on one side they can give numbers and allow superiority and mobility to capture objectives (movement 8”), on the other in a context of who kills the most or faster you are going to sorely lose.
In a fight they can bite the enemies with 3 attacks at Strength 3 and 1-3 damage that makes them similar to a Clanrat at half the price. Ah, and they can ran away from a fight if you want to waste a Double to save them…
- Stormfiend with Ratling Cannons: 285 points
- Stormfiend with Grinderfists: 265 points
- Stormfiend with Doomflayer Gauntlet: 265 points
- Stormfiend with Shock Gauntlets: 265 points
- Stormfiend with Warpfire Projectors: 265 points
- Stormfiend with Windlaunchers: 265 points
The Stormfiends are the most expensive Skaven unit and also some of the biggest hitters of the entire game. They are technically both Moulder and Skryre.
You have many weapon options roughly divided in 3 melee options and 3 ranged options.
While Verminus and Pestilens specialize in numbers, Skryre in ranged attacks and Eshin in a mixture, Stormvermin represent the toughest ranged options available for Skaven. So independently from the Clan you are building around, you may want to consider at least one of them.
35 wounds, Toughness 5 and Movement 5” makes them quite resistant with solid speed.
Starting from the three ranged options, they all have in melee 2 attacks at Strength 4 for 4-8 damage that by itself would be almost like an Ogor Breacher of the Iron Golems.
- The Warpfire Projector is the one with the shortest range (3-8”) but greatest Strength (5 in 2 attacks) and damage (3-6).
- The Ratling Cannon increases range (3-10”), attacks (4 at Strength 4) and loses a bit of damage (2-4).
- The Windlauncher has an impressive 3-20” range, less attacks (2 at Strength 4) and same damage as the Ratling.
The 3 melee options can really do some damage, some of the best in the game.
- Grinderfists provide 4 attacks at Strength 5 for 4-8 damage.
- If you need more attacks for the same damage the Doomflayer Gauntlets provide 5 attacks at Strength 4.
- Finally, the Shock Gauntlets have “only” 4 attacks at Strength 4 but 4-10 damage! A lucky dice throw can do from 16 to 40 damage in a single action.
Stormfiends also have Crushing Charge that for a Triple allows them to do damage when finishing a move next to an enemy model but they cannot Scurry Away.
- Arch-Warlock: 185 points
- Warlock Bombardier: 170 points
- Warlock Engineer: 155 points
The Warlocks are the leaders of the Clans Skryre specialized in use of warpstone in their machines.
All Clans Skryre have access to Expand Warpstone Spark Canister, that for a Quad allows an extra attack (no range limit!!) with increased damage (up to 3 on both hits and critical hits).
This ability on some weapons can really do some damage. Stormfiends, despite being technically Skryre as well, don’t have access to this ability (luckily).
The other ability Warlocks share as leaders of this clan, is Warp Lightning, that for a Double can damage 1 Wound to up to 6 enemies provided they are in a chain. Useful only against horde warbands like the Skaven themselves.
As Skaven they have access also to Scurry Away (but not most of their minions except the Acolytes) and Lead from the Back that is however useless with ranged weapons and therefore some of Clan Skryre best attacks.
The Arch-Warlock is a more melee focussed fighter, with 3 attacks at Strength 5 for 2/4 damage. 20 Wounds at Toughness 4 do not guarantee him survival however if he is not quick to get rid of nuisances.
The Warlock Bombardier has 2 weapon profiles, with the melee being forgettable but the ranged hitting up to 15″ away for 2/4 damage at Strength 4.
The Warlock Engineer reduces the range (8″), Strength (3) and damage (1/4) but he is also cheaper and a better melee fighter with 2/4 damage on Strength 3.
Both have 20 Wounds on a Toughness 3 and Wounds 6 fighter profile.
Skryre Acolytes: 105 points
Acolytes are the basic infantry of Clans Skryre and one of their cheapest units.
However their maximum efficiency is in their single ranged attack for 3/6 damage.
In melee with 1/2 damage and 8 Wounds will not live much and are outclassed even by the cheaper Giant Rats.
Warplock Jezzails: 165 points
Whoever has seen the introduction trailer of Total War Warhammer 2 expansion “The Prophet and the Warlock” cannot have forgotten all Skryre wonderful machines including the powerful Jezzails.
Indeed those long “rifles” have a single shot up to 20″ range for 4/10 damage!
In melee they are not efficient at all so keep them far from the action and don’t forget for a Quad you can do a bonus attack for as much as 13 damage!
- Doom-Flayer: 175 points
- Warp-Grinder: 120 points
- Warpfire Thrower: 105 points
Of all weapons the Skryre realized there’s not many as evocative as these (even if the absence of the Doomwheel or the Ratling Gun is painful).
The Doom-Flayer is a real melee fighter with 5 Attacks at Strength 5 for 2/4 damage.
For some reason it counts as a Mounted unit but with 7″ Movement and 18 Wounds is a veritable good fighter.
The Warp-Grinder is another melee machine, cheaper than the Doom-Flayer, but less attacks for more damage (3 for 2/5). Toughness also goes down to 3 and Wounds to 12 making it less survivable.
Finally the Warpfire Thrower is the ranged machine, with 8″ range for 1/4 damage. The rest of the profile is similar to the Warp-Grinder.
But do not underestimate them as a Quad can provide an unexpected free flurry of attacks. The melee options can even be powered up by Lead from the Back when in range of a Leader with a spare Triple.
Deathmaster: 200 points
The proud leader of an Eshin Scurrypack is the Deathmaster. The most expensive leader available for Skaven is equally able to ranged and melee attacks.
His 8″ range 3 Attacks are more for harassing the enemy (Strength 3 for 1/4 damage) before closing in with 5 Attacks for 2/4 damage.
His special ability, Running Death, for a Triple allows him a bonus move or disengage action and +1 to critical hit damage. While being better than Scurry Away, it does not qualify as best ability for a Skaven leader and you may want to use more often Lead from the Back, otherwise Eshin Scurrypacks will not do much damage…
As an ability would have been perfect on the entire warband, not just the leaders.
- Nightleader: 165 points
- Night Runner: 75 points
Night Runners are the expendable units of Eshin Scurrypacks of which the Nightleader is the chief.
In Clans Eshin the Nightleader compares with the Deathmaster and, while being cheaper, he also has less attacks in melee (4 at Strength 3 against 5 at Strength 4) and less damage on ranged attack (1/3 instead of 1/4).
He has same 7″ Movement but also same Toughness (3) and low count of Wounds (16) making him a poor choice for a leader in almost every Scurrypack, unless you are struggling with points because you took too many Stormfiends.
Indeed if you don’t have Stormfiends, then a few Night Runners can torment the enemy from a distance or pick up the wounded or isolated ones without committing with their 8″ attacks. 1/2 damage at Strength 3 are however not a great commitment, but they are cheap.
In melee they fare slightly better with 3 attacks and a profile similar to the Clanrat with Blade. They are however more fragile with Toughness 3 so better keep them shooting instead.
Gutter Runner: 95 points
The Gutter Runner is an upgraded Night Runner with better ranged damage (1/3), more melee attacks (4) and damage (1/4). He has also more wounds (10), making him slightly more durable.
If you don’t have Stormfiends, Gutter Runners can be used as an alternative to introduce some ranged damage.
Did you know we make guides for all Warcry Warbands?
Abilities for the Skaven Warcry Warband
- Scurry Away (Double, Everyone except all Stormvermins, all Stormfiends, all Rat Ogors, Warplock Jezzail, Warpfire Thrower, Warp-grinder and Doom-Flayer): Enables a bonus disengage move on a 4+.
- Crack the Whip (Double, Packmaster and Master Moulder): Pick a visible fighter with the Beast runemark (Rat Ogor or Giant Rat, but also the Thralls Razorgor or Chaos Warhound) to make a bonus attack action.
- Hired Bodyguard (Double, Stormvermin but not the leader): Until the end of the battle round friendly Leaders within 1” of this fighter cannot be targeted.
- Consume Warpstone Token (Double, Grey Seer): A chance to power up the damage on ranged attacks (or self-inflict damage).
- Warp Lightning (Double, all Warlocks): Damage up to 6 enemies in a chain for 1 Wound each.
- Flesh-mend (Double, Master Moulder): Heal up to 3 Wounds to a nearby fighter with the Beast runemark (Rat Ogor or Giant Rat, but also the Thralls Razorgor or Chaos Warhound).
- Crushing Charge (Triple, all Stormfiends and Rat Ogors): Damage a nearby enemy at the end of the next Move action.
- Poisonous Fumes (Triple, Plague Censer Bearer): Chance to damage up to 3 Wounds to nearby enemies.
- Running Death (Triple, Deathmaster and Nightleader): Perform a bonus Move or Disengage action and add +1 to your damage on critical hits.
- Lead from the Back (Triple, all Leaders): Add up to +3 to the melee Attack characteristic of nearby friendly fighters.
- Recite from the Book of Woes (Quad, Plague Priest and Bringer-of-the-Word): Until the end of the battle round enemies cannot use abilities while within 3” of this fighter.
- Expend Warpstone Spark Canister (Quad, all Warlocks, Skryre Acolyte, Warplock Jezzail, Warpfire Thrower, Warp-grinder and Doom-Flayer): Perform a bonus attack adding up to +3 to the damage.
Strategy and Tactics for the Skaven Warband
The Skaven can count on many different units and strategies depending on how you form your warband.
Reaching 15 models (the maximum in a Warcry warband) is actually super easy even without involving Giant Rats, the cheapest unit available in game.
On the other end of the spectrum, you can have a warband made of only a leader and 3 Stormfiends for some bloody carnage!
As always the most appropriate tactic is to correctly balance the different options without forgetting that high numbers can allow for superiority when you count bodies for objectives and similar, while they can really hamper you if you are fighting for who kills the most.
This guide was split by Clans for easiness to read, but you can mix and match whichever units you prefer to form your Scurrypack. We will keep considering each Clan strategy but feel free to adapt to your own strategy.
Clans Verminus have probably the best leaders in the warband and they can count on massive numbers on their side. Clawlords provide a good melee leader, while the Grey Seer, and his ability to increase his ranged damage, provide a good support unit.
Clanrats are cheap expendable units with less output than a Plague Monk but Toughness 4.
The Stormvermin however provide survivability to any leader thanks to their Hired Bodyguard ability.
Be careful that the latter has to always stay 1” close to the leader hence there will be at least one enemy activation where the two are not close-by and the leader can be attacked if they need to move.
But when it works, 10 wounds and Toughness 5 guarantee to shrug off some of the damage otherwise destined to your leader, until he is in position to launch Lead from the Back giving up to 3 extra attacks to all nearby friendly fighters.
Clans Pestilens specialize in numbers, and while they are less tough than Verminus, they can also perform more damage.
Keep always some Plague Censer Bearers around because the chance to do free damage for a Triple can be extremely tempting.
Their leader ability, Recite from the Book of Woes, is quite powerful but situational. If you don’t have a Quad however you can always increase the attacks of your horde with Lead from the Back.
Since they are relatively cheap, there’s space for some heavy damage units from other Clans like Rat Ogors and Stormvermin or even a Doom Flayer.
Clans Moulder specialize in the use of their leader to get more attacks from their beasts. As such they rely on big masses of Giant Rats and few Rat Ogors.
If you are playing narrative you can increase your Scurrypack with Thralls, in particular the Razorgor allows you a decent fighters at a cheaper price than a Rat Ogor.
Stormfiends are an excellent addition but while providing massive attacks they also cost a lot and can’t benefit from the Packmaster ability making the latter useless.
Moulder allows you to go super Elite with just 3 Rat Ogors, super horde mixing up Giant Rats and few Clanrats or anything in between. But the best advantage is the ability to just buy one box plus a Master Moulder and already have enough for a warband.
The final note has to be for the Giant Rats.
They may give you problems in different situations by dying too fast, but on the other hand their 8” movement will allow them to get in places other units would otherwise struggle, and they still have 3 attacks that can do 3 damage on a lucky 6… Do not underestimate them!
Clans Skryre is specialized in machinery and their weapons provide the powerful ranged attacks that otherwise would be amiss from other clans.
Stormfiends come to mind immediately when looking at powerful units, but they also cost a lot sacrificing other options.
The Acolytes are a decent ranged unit while the Doom-Flayer excels in melee and can be used also in mixed-clan Scurrypacks.
Skryre abilities allow them bonus attacks and increased damage. Would have been nicer (and more thematic) if it was more random like the Grey Seer ability that on a 1 self-inflict damage. But this way they are more predictable and indeed a veritable force. Luckily their best ability costs a Quad so not many occasions in a match to use it.
Clans Eshin are specialised in many ranged attacks, keeping the enemy away constantly pestering with small attacks. You will struggle to bring down the tougher enemies however despite having the numbers on your side.
But on objective based scenarios you will be there before the opponent (6″ Movement) and will be a constant thorn on slower warbands sides.
For a bit more “oomph” you may considering “borrowing” some weapon from Skryre or Moulder.
The final note is for Scurry Away, a Double ability available to most Skaven, except the big guys, most Skryre machines and the Stormvermin. While it is highly unpredictable (on 50% does nothing) in the right situation may allow you a strategic free disengage.
Pros and Cons of the Skaven
+ High mobility
+ Horde abilities
+ Strong elite units
+Ton of options
– Fragile leaders and no impressive special abilities
Some thematic warband for Skaven Scurrypacks
Just for fun here we present few thematic warbands, meant more for fun or narrative context than for competitive play. Note that in narrative play you need to control at least two territories before mustering your first hero.
Power in numbers (Verminus): A Clawlord, a Grey Seer, 3 Stormvermin with Halberd, 4 Clanrat with Blade. We prefer Blade to Spear for more attacks, but you can mix and match. You also have extra points available if you prefer upgrading Stormvermin Toughness with the Shield.
In search of the next plague (Pestilens): A Plague Priest, 4 Plague Censer Bearer, 3 Plague Monks with Blade and Stave and 3 Plague Monks with pair of Blades for an 11-strong Scurrypack. Alternatively you could replace two fighters with the Bringer of the Word to have a cheaper alternative to the leader in case you have a Quad and someone whose abilities you need to disable. For more damage you can also bring in a Lord of Affliction from Nurgle warband as an Ally to replace 2 Plague Censer Bearer and 1 Plague Monk.
Mutated beasts (Moulder): Master Moulder, 3 Packmasters, a Rat Ogor, a Rat Ogor with Warpfire Gun, 5 Giant Rats. In a narrative campaign you can start swapping Giant Rats with Chaos Warhounds or even a Razorgor. If you prefer a more elite warband, then you can add to your Master Moulder 2 Rat Ogors, 2 Packmasters, 1 Giant Rat and 1 Rat Ogor with Warpfire Gun.
Technology at your service (Skryre): An Arch-Warlocks, 2 Skryre Acolytes, a Warp-Grinder, a Warpfire Thrower, a Warplock Jezzail and a Doom-Flayer for a mechanical warband able to hit hard at any distance.
To leave Stormfiends would be a pity, so one with Ratling Cannons could accompany an Arch-Warlock, 2 Warp-Grinder, a Warpfire Thrower and a Doom-Flayer.
From the shadow the come (Eshin): A Deathmaster, 4 Night Runners, 5 Gutter Runners for a quick and pestering Scurrypack. You can even afford to drop a couple of bodies for some Skryre army “on loan” if you prefer.
How to buy a Skaven Warcry Warband
The Skaven Scurrypacks can be assembled from many boxes. For easiness here they are divided using their main Clans.
If you already have an Age of Sigmar skaven army, chances are you have enough models for a Scurrypack, all you need is the Agents of Chaos book.
Otherwise, you can start with the box that interests you the most as buying these boxes will give you lost of extra models.
In essence, it is quite hard to make a Skaven warband with a lot of different options without getting a load of extra models that you would never use in Warcry.
Also, you should know that some of the models are beginning to look ancient and they can be hard to get (at least without ordering directly from GW). You can be lucky to find old boxes in stores, but online they are rare to come by.
For easiness we divided the section in the different Clans.
For leader options you have the Clawlord, for which there are 2 miniatures available (the old Queek Headtaker for £12 and another one for £15), and the Grey Seer for which the main model costs £15 but could also be extracted from the Plague Furnace/Screaming Bell kit.
Clans Verminus (but also most Skaventide) are composed of Clanrats that are sold in 20-miniatures box (£25). Since the minimum unit size in Age of Sigmar is 20 models and you can only use one weapon profile per unit, you are forced to choose between a valid Age of Sigmar unit or few models for your Warcry warband. Either way the Clawleader is included.
If you need only a couple of models the Spiteclaw’s Swarm Warhammer Underworld warband for £15 brings Spiteclaw, that can easily be used as a Clawleader or Clawlord and 3 more Clanrats (2 with blades, 1 with spear and one at your own imagination).
The Stormvermin (£32.5) box contain also 20 miniatures, giving you enough to set at least one leader and 2 units armed with both weapon options.
Clans Pestilens is the only Skaven set with a Start Collecting box. For £55 you’ll find 20 Plague Monks and two big machinery with different assembly options, one of which allows to have a Plague Priest.
However Plague Monks (£25) are also available in a 20-miniature box, giving you enough to set at least one leader and 2 units armed with both weapon options.
Master Moulder is the old metal miniature of Skweel Gnawtooth for £10.
Rat Ogors, Packmasters and Giant Rats all come conveniently in the same box with respectively 2, 3 and 6 models for £25.
The Stormfiends come in a 3-model box (£40) with plenty of weapon options but unless you want to magnetize them you will need 2 boxes to get all 6 weapon profiles. Out of the box you can only choose these combinations: Warpfire Projector or Windlauncher, Grinderfist or Ratling Cannon, Doomflayer Gauntlets or Shock Gauntlets.
The Skryre Acolytes are also another metal model for £10 in a single blister, but there are three different models and when purchasing them from main stores is not possible to choose which.
The Warplock Jezzails are in boxes of 3 in resin for £32.5.
The Weapon teams are all in single blisters in metal or resin: Doom-Flayer (£17.5), Warp-Grinder (£10) and Warpfire Thrower (£12).
Clans Eshin have some of the oldest kits available for Skaven: the Deathmaster is the old resin kit for Snikch (£12), the Night Runners are in a 20-model box (£22.5) giving you plenty of models to work with (including a Nightleader) while the Gutter Runners are a 3-metal miniatures box for £10.
Tips on painting a Skaven Warband for Warcry
Show me your amazing Skaven Warband!
I would very much like to display them right here on this page.
All you have to do is send my some files. You can read more about how to make that happen here.
The Skaven have been around since the Old World and many of the models in this warband are years old, so you can find plenty of tutorials online about almost anything including Albino rats.