Thanquol is ready for battle! In this post I'll show off the conversion for his throne, and share some of my thoughts about the Skaventide.
I had painted the Boneripper with the intention of using him as a second Hell Pit Abomination. Its hands were all magnetized so the warpfire throwers and braziers could be interchanged. I'm really happy to see that Thanquol now has the option to equip any configuration of the two. You can see my assembly process for the Boneripper itself in these two posts: Skaven Project Queue 2017 andThe Boneripper!
I decided it was finally time to add Thanquol, and I still wanted to retain the option to field Boneripper without his rider so I could use him as a Hell Pit Abomination. That meant pinning Thanquol on top, but his tiny ankles wouldn't be very "pin-friendly." A throne-howda would be much more appropriate and regal for the master Grey Seer.
I built a platform out of styrene plastic card. The bottom was bent to curve over Bonerippers back and connect to the fuel tank on his back, a flat platform was set ontop of that, and then the back and armrests were attached.
The armrests are made from the front railings of a Screaming Bell, and the backrest is made from styrene rods. The seat cushion was sculpted over a flat platform. I added rips and tears (it couldn't be too nice; this is a Skaven construction after all).
On the back, I added a variety of spikes, some clipped off of my Skull Forge Scenics resin pieces, and the center bit is from the classic Ork Battlewagon track sprue. A few bells and Skaven icons were added at the last minute, prior to painting.
Thanquol himself received a slight re-pose. I adjusted his feet to stand on the floor and armrest of the throne. And, since he wouldn't be holding Boneripper's leash, I swapped his left hand for a Crypt Ghoul hand holding a rock. The rock would be painted like warpstone to represent Thanquol's warpstone addiction.
Here he is in all his glory!
I've had had a look through the Skaven battletome, and played one battle so far, and in true Skaven fashion, there were no survivors! (More on that below...)
I've been struggling to build a decent army list with the new battletome. It seems that everything I want to take is JUST out of reach, points-wise. To start, unless you build a clan-specific list, you have to use Clanrats for your battleline choices.
Speaking of which, one thing I've seen some confusion with online is people asking questions about using Plague Monks in a Pestilens army, or Clanrats breaking the army's Skryre allegiance. First off, there is only one allegiance in this book– Skaventide. Even if you build a list with only Skryre units, the allegiance is still Skaventide.
Some of the clan units can be fielded as battleline if the army is composed entirely of units with that clan keyword, and a general with the keyword for that clan or Masterclan. But the army allegiance remains Skaventide.
The drawback is that many of the clans don't have massed bodies for their battleline choices– Skryre, for example, only has the (very elite) Stormfiends and Skryre Acolytes, which are great ranged support behind infantry, but cannot survive a round of combat themselves. So you need something like Clanrats or Plague Monks to put up a screen of bodies. But then you can't count the Skryre units as battleline, so now you're stuck including three units of Clanrats to fill the battleline requirement.
The Pitched Battle Profile pages in the book are organized like a shotgun blast, alphabetized by battlefield role, and then in alphabetical order by unit name, so you wind up with Jezzails at the top of the list because they are "artillery" and then the rest of the Skryre units are scattered across two pages because of their names.Some units take up too much space because there's a paragraph after each explaining their "battleline if" requirements.
Last night, I cut-and-pasted the profiles together, and was able to arrange everything on a single page, organized by clan and much easier to navigate. In doing so, something I discovered is that Stormvermin are "Battleline in a Skaventide army." (Clanrats are just "battleline" because in a Chaos Grand Alliance army they could still be battleline. But Stormvermin are also Battleline in a Skaventide army.) That's great because the battleline roles don't need to be filled with garbage Clanrats (Stormvermin are more than twice as expensive, however).
Back to what I was talking about with regard to fitting everything I need in an army– Three units of 20 clanrats are 360 points, or 600 points if you bump them to 40-man units. That's around a quarter of the army eaten up by chaff units that are only there to screen the "good stuff." Characters, elite units, and artillery also eat up points fast. Jezzails, for example, are 140 for three. A unit of 12 is 560 points. (I've got THIRTY of them from back in the day that will NEVER all fit into an army.)
So, about that massacre I mentioned...
I put together an army led by Thanquol, with three 20-man Clanrat units, a 40-man Plague Monk unit, A Warlock Bombardier (as the general), 15 Skryre Acolytes, and the Foulrain Congregation (three Plagueclaw catapults and a Plague Priest). My friend Don was using Destruction Ogors, with a block of 12 Ironguts, and blocks of 12 Ogors and 6 Ogors. He also had a Huskard on a Thundertusk and two Butchers.
I was forced to take the first turn, and missed all three of my Plagueclaw shots. I had also moved my Plague Monks a little too far forward, which allowed the Ironguts to reach them with a turn one charge thanks to the Destruction move. The Ironguts wiped out the monks, leaving nothing between them and my Plagueclaws. Then Don got the double turn and that was the game. I powered through with Thanquol, casting Plague and hitting the Ironguts with Boneripper's three warpfire projectors, hoping I could at least take out that unit. It wasn't enough to finish them off though, and the Ogors were soon feasting on rat-meat. (But the joke's on them– we're lousy with parasites!)
A few things I took away from the battle– Thanquol didn't seem to be doing anything that I couldn't do with a regular Grey Seer and a few Warpfire Thrower Weapon Teams, which would cost fewer points. If that Grey Seer was on a Screaming Bell, it would also make the nearby units immune to battleshock. I also really need to screen my important units better– My plan was to keep everything behind the Clanrats, but I made the mistake of blocking them up, instead of stringing them out in lines.
Ogors move so fast, I really need to stack three long lines of Clanrats across my front to prevent them from breaking through in a turn or two. That will allow my more powerful ranged units time to inflict some damage. I'm also looking at some endless spells that can slow enemy movement and create barriers in front of my units.
So, what's next for my Skaven? I'm putting together some more Warpfire Throwers:
This is an older one given to me by a friend. I'm going to repaint it to match my army scheme.
And I'm converting a third Warpfire Thrower using the plastic fuel rat from the Island of Blood model and a metal Rattling Gun gunner. (The actual warpfire projector was converted into my Warlock Engineer's doomrocket.)
I clipped off the rattling barrels and I'm working on a way to model a warpfire projector on the front. The options I've tried so far all seem a little too thick, so I might just have to sculpt a barrel from scratch.
To slow the enemy movement, I'm putting together the Soulsnare Shackles and Vermintide endless spells. That should help a little. Hopefully, I can get my Skaven collection to a place where I can just play games with different army lists while my hobby time is focused on painting my Nighthaunt models.