Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Skaven 8th ed book out now!

After toiling away like a Skavenslave, I'm finally finished with version 1.0 of the 8th ed Skaven book! Clocking in at 168 pages (maybe should have tried to make it 169 (13x13)), this is my longest book to date. Most of the changes have already been detailed in the previous blog post, but there are quite a few new ones not mentioned, so it's best to see for yourselves. Certain things were buffed, others were nerfed, and most stayed relatively the same. The book should hopefully be a bit easier to use without the need for a 6 page FAQ (and if need be, I'll patch the book as usual). Let me know of what changes you like, dislike, and want to see me fed to a Rat Ogre for, as well as the usual bugs that I'm sure are still present.


Updated: 16th Oct
Changes are in the comments.



  1. There's a typo in your army list where the special rule for the Skavenslaves is written as "Corned Rats" rather than "Cornered Rats".

    Also, you book seems to have suffered a bit from copy/paste syndrome. Here's a list of statline inconsistencies:
    *Usually a Lord version of a Wizard type character choice has +1 toughness over its hero counterpart which isn't the case in the Plaguepriest.
    *Plague Monks/Plague Priests/Plague Lords have I4 base for some reason, the reason that they are less initiative in other books is because their pestilential nature addles their reflexes.
    *The Master Moulder/Master Mutator have +2/+3 WS more than their Packmaster subordinates. They shouldn't be the best infantry fighters that you have, that's what Chieftains and Warlords are for.
    *Warlock Masters should only +1BS/T over the Engineers. Unlike the Plague Priests/Lords the are not wizards that can also be used as fighters.

    1. Maybe add the Exalted Vermin Lord to bring the number of pages up to 169.

    2. - The Plague Priest should be looked at as more of a Warrior Priest than a Wizard. Giving the Plague Lord T6 would be way too much!
      - Plague Monks should have I3, yes. Plague Priests have I5, same as the last book, which is 2 more than a basic trooper of their kind.
      - They also had one attack less. I'm fine with nerfing their WS by 1 though.
      - I gave them stats similar to the 6th ed appendix where they had better stats. But I'm fine with nerfing them a bit too.

      If I would add the exalted Vermin Lord, that would screw up a lot of the layout, meaning it would still be more than 169, so it's not really worth it ;)

    3. I meant that making the Plague Lord be +1 toughness over the Plague Priest would be accomplished by lowering the Priests toughness by 1.

  2. I consider this, the first true warhammer release since GW Wood Elves.


  3. Thanks Mathias!

    A few things that I've noticed:
    - Screaming Bell: There is no maximum regarind how many dice one can roll (I suppose you simply forgot the sentence with 1 to 3 dice?)
    - The Plague Furnance is unbreakable and thus cannot join units that are not unbreakable. There is no rule conferring this to the monks. Also, I'd change it to stubborn because unbreakable core troops are a little bit meh...
    - Hell Pit Abomination: Too Horrible to Die 4 - 5: There is the number indicating the strength of the hits missing.
    - Lore of Stealth: Warp Stars are ridiculously overpowered! Even though they are just level 1 wizards, this is just too good in my opinion. What happens to a unit of ogres or a monster with T5 that is hit by this spell?
    - I also dislike Stormfiends...
    - The Jezzail Profile is not placed correctly
    - Favour of the Horned Rat (Lore Attribute): Personally, I believe it should be instead of a double 6.
    - Warp Lightning is also ridiculously overpowered! Doombolt is just like this spell simply too good for a signature spell. Therefore, I'd increase the casting value to 6+ and completely get rid of the second version.
    - Wither: The spell is good enough as it is. There is no need for a greater range, since it makes the spell even more powerful. Alternatively, it is possible to add a minimum of 1, so that the spell cannot get rid of entire units all by itself.
    - The Grey Seer can get additional Warp Tokens. I did not find any points for them, though.
    - Verminlord is still quite overprized with 500 points. I'd lower it's cost to 450 and increase its T and W to 6.
    - Gutter Runners were one of the best units with 17 points per model in the originl book. Now they're at 14 points, that's way too cheap. Poison should stay at 5 points per model.
    - Brood Horror seems a little bit overpriced. Also, it doesn't really benefit from its stubborn special rule with Ld 6. Theredore, I'd increase its Ld to 8 and lower the cost to 175 points.
    - Hell Pit Abomination: As far as I realise its only nerf was the revival with only D3 wounds. I still consider it to be too strong... Maybe lowering the wounds to 5 would be a good idea?

    These are just my opinions and rules I'd change.

    Apart from these points I really like the book. Especially that Grey Seers now have Ld 6, which gives Warlords their purpose again. Again thank you for your work!

    1. - I will re-add number of dice, it got lost in the editing.
      - Completely fine with making both Screaming Bell and Plague Furnace stubborn only, it's more in line with other altars too.
      - You are right about the Warpstars, must have been really tired when I wrote that. Lowered the range to 12", hits to D3.
      - Dislike the concept, or the new rules?
      - Will fix.
      - In that case, it's not really a bonus like other attributes, in fact it would be worse since it's practically impossible to get 13 if you are trying to use lots of dice to cast high-level spells. Now it's more of a fluffy bonus.
      - I haven't heard any complaints about the doombolt actually, but I'm fine with making the casting value 6+ like the old book. Second version is twice as difficult to cast, so I don't see what the problem is there, it's the same with many official lores.
      - I can increase the casting value to 11+, that way it's considerably harder to get it through 3 times on a single unit.
      - Will add cost for tokens.
      - End Times have them at 500 pts with T6, W6 (missed that before), so lowering their cost to 450 pts with the current stats would be fine. I want to get in some playtest results before making them any cheaper than that.
      - Is the issue with Gutter Runner that they can have poisoned slings? Because I can add an exception to that, poisoned rocks does not make any sense anyway.
      - It currently has it's official cost, but I do think it's a bit pricy. Will lower it to 175.
      - Abomination is also 15 pts more expensive and have a much higher chance of going berserk then before, but I'm fine with lowering it to 5W too.

      Thanks for the feedback!

    2. Sorry to bug Mathias, but shouldn't the Rat Ogres cause Fear?

    3. Yes, ofc. Noticed they lacked it in the army list, will fix that soon.

  4. Great Mathias! Thank you! Will you do any additional updates to this 8th edition? I would like it if you left it as is, but we will see. I'll download this immediately, thanks again for the hard work!

    1. Do you mean the Skaven book, other army books, or the game in general? I'm currently planning on remaking all 8th ed books to include more background and units and balance them out where necessary.

    2. Mathias, I am trying to find out Lore and Army Lists for the following armies: Pygmies, Zoats, and Gnomes.

      Also for Blood Bowl: Fatties and Judges. Do you have anywhere I can go to and read about the lore? Any links? Thanks.

    3. Also Mathias I noticed that the Screaming Bell (moved by Rat Ogre) has a Movement of 5 shouldn't be a 6?

    4. Pygmies, Zoats and Gnomes had some background in 3rd ed and 1st ed of WFRP, you can find pdf's of them online. Not that much info though.

      Screaming Bell ogre is M5 because they will be in a unit with M5, but I can change it to 6 to be consistent with other rat ogres.

  5. Thanks so much! I hope I can test this book soon!

  6. Nice work Mathias! I would like to comment something I think it´s important. I consider that Rat Wolfs should be like "Monstruous Arcanum" (same atrributes and skills). What do you think?

    1. I thought about that at first, but seeing as they are the size of Giant Wolves/Warhounds, I thought their stats should be similar to that.

    2. Of course. But maybe you could change the name of this unit such us: "Mastin Rats" in order to make difference with "Wolf Rats" of Monstrous Arcanum Book. Which you consider that?

    3. Not really, the fluff and art is based on the Wolf Rats from Monstrous Arcanum. If you want to use those rules for your Wolf Rat models instead, then just go ahead and do so. Alternatively, you could call the MA Wolf Rat for Giant Wolf Rats since they have more wounds than the ones in my book :)

    4. I agree to Miguel. Change the name and a little the fluff for no confrontation with Monstrous Arcanum rules.
      Lesser Wolf Rats

      "Though Clan Moulder often claim to create rats the size of wolves, it is rare indeed for them to supply other clans with the largest and strongest of this relatively stable breed. Those that are truly lupine are kept in spiked cages and fed on their own dead, so that when they are finally unleashed into the outside world they attack anything in their path in a bloody rage."
      Another produce of the Clan Moulder's diabolic breeding program,
      the Wolf-rat combines the cunning and viciousness of a rat with
      the power and ferocity of a wolf. Used in packs led by Skaven animal
      handlers, these horrible beasts are known for their remorselessness
      in combat.

      Physique: Wolf-rats are about the same size and build as one of
      the great wolves of the Old World, and may be mistaken for wolves
      at a distance. Close up, though, their origins become clear. They
      have long, rat-like tails. hairless Legs which are as long as a wolf's,
      and end in rat-like clawed feet. Their heads arc almost entirely ratllke, except that the snout is broader and more powerful,
      accommodating a fearsome array of sharp teeth. Wolf-rats are
      generally brown or g.rey in colour, although mottled and even white
      individuals are not unknown.

      Alignment: Horribly mutated and definitely Chaotic.

      Base Size: 25 x 50mm"

    5. MMMM Wolf Rat and Giant Wolf Rat. It convinces me. ;)

  7. There's a lot that can be done for beastmen, in fact, I have a list:
    *Make Primal Fury be similar to Ogre Charge, Hatred when charging and Frenzy if the charge range is higher than 10. Makes it less unreliable and also means that a Wargor isn't mandatory for every beastman army.
    *Manbane instead grants the whole unit Hatred (Humans) that lasts for every turn.
    *Beastman Ambush replaced with Gor and Ungor units being able to purchase Ambusher deployment for 1pt per model. Special Characters that modify Beastman Ambush instead modify the Ambushers rule.
    *Ungor Raiders get moved to special and become Scouts.
    *Ungor Raiders may spend a point to upgrade their short bows to bows, slings or javelins.
    *Ungor units no longer have a shield by default and are dropped to 3pts per model (they can spend a point to buy it back) they also gain the options to purchase throwing weapons/shortbows for 1pt and can purchase bows, slings or javelins for 2pts.
    *Gor and Ungor units can be changed to Skirmishers for free.
    *Gor units can purchase either Javelins or Throwing Axes for 2pt each.
    *Wargors and Beastlords become BS4 and also have the option to take Javelins or Throwing Axes.
    *Gor units can purchase Light Armor for 1pt each.
    *Centigors have Drunken removed and replaced with Initiative 4. They also become Fast Cavalry that start with a Hand Weapon and have the exact same list of options as the Centaurs from your Albion dex.
    *Chariots ridden by a character can join Chariot units.
    *Tuskgors ridden by a Gor are added as a special unit.
    *Razorgors ridden by a Bestigor are added as a Rare unit. They may replace their Great Weapon with a spear and shield for free. Wargors and Beastlords can also purchase a Razorgor to ride.
    *Chaos mutations draw from a separate pool instead of the magic items pool. 25 for heroes, 50 for lords just like in the Chaos Warrior book.

  8. if the "Age of Sigmar" can get Mathias Eliasson to make all Warhammer Fantasy Army Books his way. I think that the "Age of Sigmar" is one of the beste thing that ever happened to Warhammer Fantasy. I love your work.

    1. Haha, thanks. Only issues with redoing the other 8th ed books is that it will be difficult to make them look better in terms in graphic design since I work with zero budget, and don't have access to GW's original documents. But you can look forward to having extended background sections for all books, as well as more fluff for each unit (none of that squeezing 4 units in on 2 pages stuff that some 8th ed books have).

  9. To my opinion Skaven ally Ld to important. Reconsidered all the test with 3 dices.

    1. If they have a negative Ld rule as well as a positive Ld rule, then they really just take each other out, and don't really add anything. If also results in Skavenslaves had just as good a Ld as Clanrats, which is something I wanted to avoid.

  10. Page 158 is blank. Thought you'd like to know.

  11. Mathias, I absolutely love your work. The production of your books is amazing...sometimes too amazing! I'm a guy that really needs hard copies of books (my well thumbed Nippon and Araby ones will attest that!) and was wondering if it would be possible for you to release the 'premium' ones you currently do, and 'printer friendly' versions, with plain backgrounds etc?

    1. I might do simple game-booklets for that in the future. Otherwise, you could easily just copy the rules you need into a work doc and print it out for use in your games :)

  12. you might want to go through the fluff parts again- its full of spelling mistakes, contradictions and entire sub paragraphs being repeated.

    at the bottom of page 13, for instance, the paragraph stops mid sentance

    1. The paragraph on page 13 had some rows mixed up, fixed it now, and some repeated sub-paragraphs have been fixed recently. Are there any contradictions and spelling mistakes in particular you could point out so I could fix those too? Proofreaders are much appreciated :)

  13. hey there,
    I have a question ,why did you remove the stormvermin upgrade option?

  14. but you did a great job there.

  15. Can you please send an updated version to email? filipswennen1@gmail.com

  16. why do you make an unofficial skaven army book?

    1. Well, seeing as GW has decided to can WFB, that means there won't be an official 8th ed book. Hence I decided to update the book myself.

  17. Mathias, Let me start by echoing the great work you did here. I see a nice balance between buff and nerf that is common in book updates that help balance the game. That being said, I am curious if making the Screaming Bell and Plague Furnace chariots was for simplicity or intentional. As a chariot, these alters cannot march and slow down the unit. Like wise the units cannot swiftstride with the chariot which would have been wrong anyway for these devices.

  18. Great job! Is it possible that you upload a version with all the changes in it.

  19. Hi Mathias,
    By increasing the war machines toughness to 7 this exposes them to the screaming bell's deafening peals attack... was this intentional?
    This kind of forces Skaven players to choose between taking screaming bell or taking war machines, which isn't cool :(

    1. i agree with you... this sound strange...

      it should also add the brass orb option to all globadier champion like the v7...

    2. Hi, the deafening peels is a result you might get once every game at most, it's supposed to be risky, and also help deter gunlines. Frankly it does not make sense that all armies WM are T7 except for skaven who would have T6.

      As for the brass orc, it's a unique magic item, bringing back the orb spam from 7th ed would be a bad idea since the skaven book needed nerfs rather than buffs.

  20. warlock engineer can use the mighty 13 spell??? this also sound strange. you should keep this option to grey seer only... and no warlock should be more than 3 lvl to respect the idea of grey seer mastery

    1. I will limit the spells the Engineer can have to only be the ones that use warp energy. But limiting engineers to level 3 makes them pretty bad choices compared to plague lords who can be level 3 as well as decent fighters.

  21. Hi Mathias,
    first I am really glad you are doing Skaven 8th as well. You are doing an amazing job.
    During my first overview about this project here are my opinions and wishes to some of the units which haven't been mentioned in the comments above yet:

    - Do you consider adding the new Vermin Lord rules specific for each clan?
    - Maybe doing a clause to not give Master Assassines the possibility to euip with the fellblade? It would be one of the strongest characters in the game, as well being pretty save while hidden.
    - Multiple shots 3D6 for the ratling gun has a probability for a miscast of 42% which is pretty high. Changing back to the old one? The gamble was was one of the most fun parts ;)

    As well do you already know when we can expect your new version?
    Im looking forward to it. :)

    1. - Yes, they will included in thew update.
      - Good idea, will add that.
      - Maybe, I'll into it.

      I will release the new update later this week, just need to give it a little more polish first :)

  22. Something else to get into the update if there's still time: The Dreaded Thirteenth Spell.

    Maybe I'm just a fool, but the only mention of it I find in the book is in Skreech Verminking's special rules, under "Master of Ruin". The actual text of the spell is not listed under the magic lores, on the page of the Grey Seers, or anywhere else for that matter, and any magic users who should have access to it other than Skreech make no mention of being able to elect to take it.

  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. as of 11/11/16 I can't download this.

    1. Try the "8th ed army books" tab, it works there.

  25. About the warp lightning canon , in my tests this 4xartillery dice nerfed the unit :s it has a 65% chance of not firing far enhough and on top of that a 36% chance of misfiring plus a 36% chance of not charging enhough Power with low strenght outcome !!!

    I would suggest to use (4xd6)x2 and the roll of an artillery dice to determine the power that is generated and to determine a misfire that gives it near 65% chance to reach it target at least all other mishap odds stay the same , witch makes it still a risky but skaven style function

    1. I think you misunderstood it a bit: "Roll one Artillery Dice to determine the range (multiplied by 4) and strength of the shot."

      You only roll 1 Artillery dice, not 4. Before, the range was between 6-36", now it's 4-40", and the strength is the same as the official version. It's supposed to be a random, short range cannon. On average, it will reach 20" and have S6, so I think it works quite fine.