Next up for review is my skaven deck, as I recently got a few games in with them, and while it wasn't straight back to the drawing board, I did go back and alter the deck slightly.
First up it has to be said I have my priorities. my Orks are my first party, and get all the cool toys. my undead come second, but they're such a different playstyle they still pretty much get their first picks. In their case, lots of objective cards - with that many regenerating bodies, why wouldn't you?
So I happened to build my dwarf deck before my skaven deck, and with fighters that are inspired by being on objectives, it made total sense to build a deck around being on objectives to score some points. I may come back to that deck as I had to leave out a lot of cool, flavourful cards for the deck I wanted to build, and will need a few test games with it to see if it works.
So then it comes to the skaven, a fast moving warband that can get fighters behind enemy lines, that's perfect for objective grabbing... ah. I've used up my objective cards...
Not wanting to swap cards between decks every game, and not having another copy of the Base game yet (although I am considering it) I had to come up with a plan B...
Noticing that the skaven, unlike most warband, generally don't hit much harder when inspired, I built my objectives around three core themes - precise use of small force at distance, grabbing many objectives for good points, keeping my leader alive.
So, on the first theme, I have "The Bigger They Are" "Arm's Length" and "Precise Use of Force" objectives that are score immediately objectives, worth 1 point each, for killing something with a damage characteristic of 1, killing someone not adjacent, and killing with precisely the amount needed to kill.
With objective grabbing in mind, I have "Cover Ground" to score immediately if I move 6 or more hexes. I have "Supremacy" for holding three objectives, and "Making a Statement" for holding all objectives in enemy territory. As these inevitably involve sending rats into harms way, I also have "Lives are Cheap" which I score if someone kills two of my fighters in a single phase.
With the goal of keeping my leader alive, I have "Leading from the Back" and "Live to Fight Another Day" a couple of third phase objectives that reward me for my leader being in his own territory with no adjacent enemies, and being the only survivor.
To round out my objectives I have "Brilliant, Brilliant" which rewards me for completing two other objective cards in this phase, with so many score immediately cards I'm hoping to daisy chain this. And as Skaven are inspired by having ploys played on them, I have gone with "Ploymaster" (score for 3 or more ploys played) and "No More Tricks" (have no power cards left)
So, what weapons and tools of war have I given myself to achieve these objectives?
The first thing I noticed from my games the other night was that I didn't have enough self influencing ploys. I had a few, but I had others that messed around with the enemy, same as any other deck. Now this was a multiplayer game so perhaps 1 vs 1 my opponent will have to use his enemy targeted ploys on my fighters rather than others, but I don't like this being in his control. It certainly didn't seem like much of a deterrent value, and given my rats increase in survivability when inspired, I wanted to activate that asap.
So a tweak to the deck later, I now have 10 ploy cards, 9 of which can be used to interact with my own models. Some two at once.
I have "Sprint" and "Sudden Skittering" two cards that do the same thing, double the move characteristic of the first model to move. This should come in handy with my "move 6 hexes" objective and with grabbing objectives my opponent thought were well out of reach. And of course, whichever rat is picked to move is thus affected by the ploy and inspired, so a mad dash into enemy territory, at least you're rolling two defence when you get there.
"There Are Always More" let's me bring a skaven (apart from the main two) back from the dead and put them on any starting hex, so the same as the leaders ability, but because it's a ploy, it also inspires them...
"Sacrificial Pawn" is a ploy that let's me pick a fighter (inspiring them) which means if the enemy kills them in the next activation, I gain a glory point. Good for deterrence, or compensation.
"Heightened Caution" gives the first friendly target an extra defence dice... handy, although I have less control over who is the recipient of this one.
"Aversion to Death" is a reaction card to when a friendly fighter dies... I can push two friendly fighters on hex each. Handy if someone is planning to swing into a horde and kill several, to scupper their plans. But also it's a ploy affecting two rats, so very action efficient. Similarly, "Confusion" let's me switch any two adjacent fighters... handy for objective grabbing, but in a pinch can be used on two of my own to make them more likely to live long enough to hold the objective. "Sidestep" is push a friendly fighter one hex, again nice for reclaiming objectives and for inspiring.
"Last Chance" is a reaction that gives a one dice roll to get a result that would normally be a failure, and if so, you survive. Given the majority of my models are defending on dodge this is a very good card for them. Finally, I have "Duel of Wits" that let's me draw more power cards if my opponent plays a ploy, which could be quite handy.
So, what upgrades have I selected for my rats? Well, as with most decks, there were several upgrades to make my basic fighters hit harder... but with my plan to attack with a nibble from range approach, this didn't suit my needs. So I have been quite selective in my upgrades.
To bolster my leader, who already has a ranged attack, I have a plan to equip "Flee" which is an action that let's himself and an adjacent fighter move away from the enemy, handy for pulling his bodyguard with him. I also plan to give him "Skitter-Scurry" which let's me push him one hex each time he makes an action... so if someone is getting too close I can take a pot shot at them AND back away too. I plan to give him the "Vampiric Weapon" which let's him heal for each casualty he causes - not a great deal but he's my hardest hitter with a ranged attack and probably a high priority target for my opponent so, giving him the potential to heal a wound or twois probably a good move. I then have two more that might go on the leader or potentially other rats... "Ethereal Shield" to change my defence characteristic to Shields, and "Acrobatic" which gives me an extra defence dice if i'm looking for dodges, or am on guard while looking for Shields.
In keeping with the goal of leader survivability, I have set up krrk with "Bodyguard For a Price" which means that if Skritch is adjacent to him, he is on guard, even if he charged. I have also given him "Swarm of Rats" an attack all adjacent models that is strength 1 as opposed to Krrks base attack strength of 2... which ties in nicely with my precision nibbling approach.
The lowly skaven I see as having the most potential for my list is the lurking skaven... he starts more survivable, and can be equipped with "Throwing Stars" a range 3 str 1 attack, perfect for my long range precision nibbling goals. I also plan to put "Sneaky Stab-Stab" on this fighter as, for one, it sounds like his approach, and two, it let's me push him one hex before making an attack. With a range three attack I can imagine there will always be plenty of targets within 4 hexes I can potentially stalk, and if they've moved already I can advance on an objective while picking at them nibble by nibble...
Finally, I have "Expendable" which I would put on whichever rat I was sending most into harms way... it let's you sacrifice the rat if they're about to take damage (which on a 2w model almost always means death anyway) and inflict 1 damage to the enemy, which may kill them, or better yet, soften them up for a "nibbling" on my next turn...
So that is my deck as it currently stands, until I either give up on scoring objectives with the fyreslayers, or pick up another core set... which to be fair I am watching on ebay as I'd like a second set of board anyway, it'd be handy to be able to play four player without the only other person I know with a copy having to be there... plus we could potentially houserule some six player shenanigans, or a mini tournament...
But in the meantime...
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