Over the past two weeks I have started assembling and building a new fantasy army for a tournament in a weeks time. The problem with this is I have had no time to play test the list to see if it is competitive and I know how to use it.
I have now remedied this by playing two games, against high elves and vampire counts. I had to proxy in quite a large number of empire figures, so it looked a bit daft, but my opponents were very gracious. I lost both games but both were competitive and I thought that I was close to winning both.
Based on this vast bank of experience (!) I have formed the following verdict on the various units.
Grey Sear. The Magic worked very, very well. I managed to take grave guard down to two figures and a banshees unit down to one wound, until they had a great magic phase when they rebuilt both units... I have not yet used the skalm, but I was a bit alarmed when I reallised that I had not given him any saves at all.
Clan rats. I have large units and they appear to work quite well. I suspect that board and sword would be better than spears, but I am working from the starting point of two Island of blood starter sets, so you work with what you have. In both games I used them 5 wide in very deep columns in an attempt to gain the stubborn ability. This worked quite well but they did bounce rather sickeningly against grave guard! I guess most things would.
Weapon teams. In the first game the high elves shot the flayer apart before he could do anything and the poisoned gas teams were fried by a stray lightning bolt from the wheel. In the second game the gas team was my MVP with direct hits with almost every shot. The problem with the gas team is that they quickly move out of 3" when the clanrats march.
Doomwheel: In both games this scared my oponents and made them do daft things. Suffered a lot from missile weapons and the grave guard went straight through it, but worth it just for the oponents reactions.
Warp Cannons: Whilst they did not make their points back in either game, I just love the concept, so they stay.
Gutter Runners: I have not yet had a war machine to face but they have quite an effect on oponents making them worry about a fast moving skirmish force. Worth keeping.
Based on this and comments made by my oponents I have changed my force to the following;
35 Clanrats with full command, handweapons & shields and a poisoned wind team
36 Clanrats with full command, spears and shields and a poisoned wind team
2 warp lightning cannons
two lots of 5 Gutter runners with slings and poisoned attacks
Grey seer with 4+ ward talisman
Battle standard with enchanted shield and 5+ ward talisman.
Chiefton with Halberd.
Warlock Engineer with doomrocket
The good news is that I now need to paint less clanrats.
The better news is that I have managed to swap a large collection of various celt figures (brought for Warhammer historical, but frankly I was never going to get around to painting) for a random box of old Skaven.
When I got home, I unpacked and found a massive collection of rat shaped goodness (see photos)...