Age of Sigmar/Tactics/Old/Chaos/Skaven/Clans Pestilens
These are the rules prior to the release of the Skaven Battletome, and as such are no longer matched play valid.
- 1 Why play Clans Pestilens?
- 2 Rulebooks
- 3 Allegiance
- 4 Warscrolls
- 5 Battalions
- 5.1 From the Skaven Pestilens Battletome
- 5.2 From Box Set
- 5.3 From The Realmgate Wars - Vol. 1 - Quest for Ghal Maraz
- 6 Army Building
- 7 Matched points
- 8 Allied Armies
Why play Clans Pestilens?
Everyone's favourite rat-men, just slightly more ill and covered in suppurating infections, here to kill man-things and stab each other in the back in the Age of Sigmar. This is a pretty complex army with lots of special rules and abilities that interact with each other, but it can be a deadly one if you learn how to use it.
•You get to play crazed ratmen zealots covered in disease.
•You get to play a plague army that isnt Maggotkin.
•You have crazy plague bullshit to fuck up your enemy with.
•Most people will have no clue how Pestilens works and not know how to counter, giving you an advantage.
•You got some sick looking models. (ba-dum-tsch)
•Conversion potential is pretty high. (as with most skaven)
•You fucking love good positioning, massive hordes and a metric fuck-ton of passive buffs by late game.
•You work well with Maggotkin as they wont be affected by your plague shit.
•Not many people field these guys.
•You love skaven and want to field a proper skaven army .
•You enjoy the modelling and painting aspect of the hobby just as much as the gameplay, if not more so.
•You want to save money when building an army.
•Plague skaven are best-best.
•Fighting Maggotkin can be misery for both parties.
•some people think Pestilens is just an ally army for Maggotkin.
•Your plague monks get no saves.
•Bad positioning can really disable you.
•Your only shooty unit doesn't work well against monsters and heros.
•Your verminlord sucks at melee.
•You don't have much diversity in units outside of allies.
•Any non-Blightkin can fall under your diseases and plagues. This includes your allies.
The Clans Pestilens Battletome has all the Warscrolls and Battations.
- This should be supplemented with the Clans Pestilens Errata and Designers' Commentary from the FAQs.
- Replace all summoning rules with those in the General's handbook 2018.
- Allegiance Abilities are in the General's handbook 2018.
- Matched play points are in the General's handbook 2018.
- Alternatively up to date warscolls can be found in the WH AoS app. Warscrolls on the GW webstore match those in the Battletome.
As with all factions you'll want:
- The core rules are either downloadable or in the Core Book.
- Games taking place in a Realm need the Realm of Battle rules from the Core Book.
- In you want to take advantage of realm specific artefacts you'll need the Artefacts Of The Realms section from the Malign Sorcery book.
- Matched play battleplans are split across the Core Book and General's handbook 2018.
- All books should be supplemented with any updates from the FAQs.
- Strength in Numbers: your Skaven Pestilens units gain two bravery for every ten models in a unit instead of 1. With your plague monks dying from even the slightest breeze, you would probably want them to be as brave as possible.
- Echoes of the Great Plagues: Once per turn, when a Pestilens Prest makes a successful prayer roll of a natural 6, you can manifest one of six Great plagues, but if you do, you can't manifest it again for the rest of the battle. 4/6 of the plague's effects the nearest eligible unit so have placement in mind and bring a lot of Priests to more reliably get a six once per turn.
- Redmal Plague: The nearest enemy Hero within 13" becomes infected. If within 3" of friends but no enemies at the start of the combat phase, gain ownership of that hero for the rest of the phase.
- The Neverplague: Pestilens Priests add 1 to prayer roll for the rest of battle.
- Bubonic Blightplague: the nearest enemy unit within 13" suffers d6 mortal wounds. If the unit is then destroyed, pick another enemy unit 6" of the last model removed and inflicted D3 mortal wounds. Repeat this prosses until no unit gets wiped or their or no other units in range.
- Undulant Scourge: the nearest enemy model within 13", its unit takes a mortal wound plus 1 more for each other model in the unit that's 3" of the infected model.
- Crimsonueal curse: the nearest enemy unit within 13" suffers 1 mortal wound, and it and other enemy units within 1" of that infected unit suffer a 1 mortal wound during your future hero phases
- Malevolent: Re-roll general's wound rolls of 1.
- Diseased: Roll a dice if there is an enemy unit within 3" in your hero phase. on a 5 or more inflict D3 Mortal wounds on one enemy unit.
- Master of Rot and Ruin: If a Priest, can re-roll pray rolls. if not a priest, gain the Pestilent Prayers ability form the Plague Priest's warscroll.
- Fanactical Leader: Add 1 to the attack char of melee weapons
- Verminous Valour: on 4+, a Friendly Pestilens unit within 3" on the general takes a mortal wound instead of the general taking a wound or mortal wound.
- Architect of Death: Re-roll wound rolls of 1 for missile weapons on friendly Pestilens units within 6".
- The Fumigatous: At the start of each combat phase, an enemy unit within 6", on a 3+ it suffers a mortal wound.
- Brooding Blade: Pick a melee weapon the wielder has, At the end of the combat phase, roll a dice for each model that was wounded but not slain by the weapon, on a 6 the model's unit suffers D3 mortal wounds.
- Bilous Bell: During your Hero Phase, roll a dice for each enemy unit within 12". On 4+, subtract 1 bravery for that unit until your next hero phase.
- Blistrevous, the Living Cyst: Re-roll hit rolls of 1 and add 2" the bearers to movement. Starting on the second battle round the Artifact must be transferred to a Pestilens Heroes if there is one within 12" at the start of each battle round.
- Liber Bubonicus: a Plague Priest can use their Pestilent Prayers ability twice in your hero phase or it gains that ability from the Plague Priest warscroll.
- Vexler's Shroud: Subtract 1 from enemy hit rolls against this module during the shooting phase
The common keywords of these warscrolls are: CHAOS, SKAVEN, NURGLE and PESTILENS.
He's got 12 wounds and a powerful command ability and therefore, your preferred general. Also, that ability combined with the double weapon of the Plague Monks gives them the impressive lot of 4 attacks! He is also the only wizard that you can choose, he's able to cast twice like the Warpseer and his plague spell can cause a horrible chain of death in the enemy units. But in change of that between the Verminlords, the Corruptor is by far the worst in melee. Keep it behind the lines and use it to boost your unit and damage your enemy from the distance. Make him a priest with the Liber Bubonicus or Master of Rot and Ruin and have him provide Wither debuffs once he gets within range. And for god's sake, he's a Verminlord. Run him in alone and he's deader than Fantasy Battle. Play him like a real skaven, cowardly. Only go in when the kill is certain and the risk low.
- Thanks to Malign Sorcery, the Corruptor with the Sword of Judgment has become Meme-Level crazy, with each of his 10 attacks possibly dishing out D6 Mortal Wounds to Monsters and Heroes.
Plague Priest with Warpstone-Tipped Staff
Your standard Pestilens hero. He has the same single 4+/3+/-1/D3 melee knock that any other support hero gets, but with an extra attack on the charge because Pestilens. His prayer are great too, giving either a bonus To Wound for an enemy unit or tossing out the same Breath Attack the Sigmarine Dracoth gets. His Pestilence-Filled Censer makes all WIZARDS (except NURGLE WIZARDS) closer than 6" subtract 1 from casting rolls.
Same prayers and profile as above included the extra attack on the charge. The weapon this time is 2 attack 4+/3+/-1/1 which, with all the modifier to the hit and wound rolls used in this game is definitely more convenient. His Plague Tome makes you re-roll once for battle all failed wound rolls to a target unit within 13". Don't underestimate the Plague Tome, in an army where your baseline infantry is rerolling all it's failed hits (with the two foetid blades), rerolling wounds as well is absolutely devastating. Consider also that this Priest can use a prayer that makes it even easier to wound with the Wither prayer, this version of the generic priest is always worth taking over the other one. Clip off the brazier and glue on a book from the Plague Monks kit and you're good to go.
It's 3 Plague Monks with a Plague Priest on a huge censer-thing.
It moves only if pushed by other SKAVEN it moves by its own, very slowly, and for every 3 skavens within 1" of it increase by 1" its movement phase. If surrounded by 10, it makes 2D6 attacks with Rusty Wheels and Spikes instead of D6 when it charges. It boosts bravery of nearby PESTILENS unit by 1 and it damages all the non NURGLE units that approach it. The Plague Priest on it gets different prayers, boosting Pestilens units either by giving them the same effects as the Death Frenzy spell or by allowing them to reroll wounds. It's clearly a centerpiece. It will pack a punch thanks to the Censer, but it needs Plague Monks to push it around and pushing stuff around and not charging is something Plague Monks with their awful survivability really don't like to do. On the other hand, the Monks do very much like those tasty tasty buffs.
Your basic Pestilens troop, their main perk is that they can have two different sets of equipment for the unit, two different sets of equipment for the champion, two different standards, and two different musicians, giving you tons of flexibility. Since FAQ from GW states that you can have more than one kind of standard or musician in a unit and they still have standard weapons unless specifically stated otherwise, give them all, the more the better!
- Leader: their leader make the unit better at wounding enemies (reroll 1 to wound) or damage the units around, though both are one use only abilities.
- Standard: the Standards can either inflict mortal wounds while they attack or when they die.
- Musician: the musicians can either give you a chance for better Rend or slow enemy charges.
Let's analyze the two weapons options:
- Plague Monks with two foetid blades an average of 0,75 damages per model or 1,12 when they charge
- Plague Monks with a foetid blade and a woe-stave an average of 0,66 damages per model or 0,91 when they charge with one of the weapon hitting from 2" instead of 1", so is basically the same when you have a big unit to cover for the second rank attacks. Another bonus of the Woe Stave is that it counts as a separate melee weapon, so buffs that add 1 attack to every weapon are doubly effective on units with Stave (a unit of 20 with blade/stave in two ranks makes, unsupported, 50 attacks on the charge, and 80 with the one-more-attack-for-each-weapon buff, think about that).
Get an extra attack when charging, deal a mortal wound to every non-Nurgle unit within 3" on a 4+ and can reroll hits and Battleshocks if they're within 13" from a Plague Monk unit. Basically, Censer Bearers on their own are nigh useless, but with proper support, they are even deadlier wound-per-wound than Plague Monks. The best use for these is swinging over the top of a line of Plague Monks. Yes you won't be getting that charge bonus but these are two expensive points for point to be throwing away like, well, Plague Monks.
It's an indirect firing war machine. You know those. They have nice range and can stand waaay back. Just don't shoot it at other Nurgle units and they do just fine. Brutal against big hordes, lame against Monster/Heroes. An average war machine when used to it's fullest potential, and a terrible one when not. 200pts worth of allied Gutter Runners will put in more work than this ever will... Or will they? With it's lower point cost now of 160 and it's ability to hit on a 2+ and potentially deal 2d6 damage to units over 10 models, it might be worth taking one of them to earn it's own points back before it dies since most armies have at least one unit with more 10 models in it. It also has a phat -2 rend. Besides, Gutter Runners are a waste of your limited points for allies when maggotkin are now an option.
From the Skaven Pestilens Battletome
For now those are the only battalions with a point value for pitched battles.
Congregation of Flith
Battalion cost: 170pt. Unit cost: min. 320 pt., max. 780 pt.
A Plague Furnace and 2 or more units of Plague Monks.
For this you get a ward save against any wounds on a 6 as long as the monks are chilling close to the Furnace and the ability to reroll charges if the squad still has 20 or more rats. The verdict? It's a good way to snag an extra artifact as you'll already be taking all the models in the batallion anyway and it lowers your drop count. Don't expect it to change the game however.
Battalion cost: 160pt. Unit cost (including the 2 Congregations of Flith battalions cost): min. 1080 pt., max. 1900 pt.
A Verminlord Corruptor and 2 or more Congregations of Flith.
Used to be this was a hell of a good time in 2016, now however you're looking at a horrific high point investment for the ability to heal your Verminlord by butchering your own troops and potentially triggering unfavorable battleshock and a watered down version of the Stormcast with the trumpet ability to rattlea piece of terrain. This isn't worth it, not by a long shot.
200190pt. Unit cost: 560 pt. Total: 750pt.
A Plague Priest and 3 Plagueclaws.
3 Plagueclaws that get to reroll hits if their target has already been hit by a Plagueclaw this turn and add 1 to the wound rolls if the priest is near. No. Just no. This battalion will cost on average almost half your army for something that will never, EVER score its points back (Points have gone down since that post). It's the ultimate noob trap battalion and I definitely fell for it in the beginning. As soon as I swapped it out for more bodies and allied troops like Gutter Runners I started winning games. Wasn't a coincidence. Or will they? With it's lower point cost now of 160 and it's ability to hit on a 2+ and potentially deal 2d6 damage to units over 10 models, it might be worth taking one of them to earn it's own points back before it dies since most armies have at least one unit with more 10 models in it. It also has a phat -2 rend. Besides, Gutter Runners are a waste of your limited points for allies when maggotkin are now an option.
Battalion cost: 180pt. Unit cost: min. 340 pt., max. 700 pt.
A Plague Furnace and 2 or more units of Plague Censer Bearers.
The whole batallion gets their area of effect hero phase gas attack improved and the censers become harder to hit. This is an odd one. It's exactly like the Censer Bearers themselves, used well it will give you a significant advantage and used poorly it'll cost a massive investment that could lose you the game. I've just started running it, and my advice is go for it.
From Box Set
The Virulent Horde
Found in the The Virulent Horde box set
A Verminlord Corruptor, a Plague Furnace, a Plague Priest, a unit of Plague Monks, a unit of Plague Censer Bearers and a Plagueclaw.
Special - Priest on Plague Furnace can cast Deadly Contagion - 3+ it goes off, on a 1 furnace takes a wound. Causes every unit within 13" of furnace to do 1 mortal wound on wound rolls of 6+ until next hero phase.
Squal's Pestilent Congregation
Found in the Start Collecting! Skaven Pestilens box set
A Plague Furnace a Plagueclaw and a unit of Plague Monks.
From The Realmgate Wars - Vol. 1 - Quest for Ghal Maraz
A Plague Furnace, a Plague Priest and 3 units of Plague Monks.
Everyone in the formation deals double wounds on a 6 to wound, and also you can take a scenery that is within 13" from at least two units from the formation as the unit's nest: units from the formation automatically pass Battleshock tests inside it, while other non-Nurgle units have to roll a dice if they begin the turn in that terrain: on a 2+ they're save, otherwise they suffer d3 mortal wounds.
Bringers of the Rotsmog
A Verminlord Corruptor, a Plague Furnace and a Baleful Realmgate
Buying The Virulent Horde box and a Start Collecting! Skaven Pestilens box it's an excellent choice as they give you plenty of possibilities with a great discount.
*Disclaimer, Virulent Horde was limited only.
All in all, Pestilens are frankly one of the most easier and stupidly cheap armies to collect. If you run one of each battalion from their Battletome at minimum cost, the four combined only costs 2300 points.
All you need to do is buy 3 Start Collecting! kits and a Verminlord; four boxes at just £205 (or your local equivalent). As bloody easy as that.
Here you will have a Corruptor Verminlord, 3 Furnaces (each one will have a Grey Seer and a Rat Ogre spare to use, mind you), 3 'claws, and 60 Monks. Use some of those as conversion (use Woe-staves and a tiny amount of green stuff) or simple Counts As for the Censer Bearers (this is because the Censer Bearers are finecrap and only come in 5 per box, unlike monks, who are plastic, come at 20 per both regular and Start Collecting box, and are only half pound more expensive than Censer Bearers). If your LGS is Friendly, you shouldn't have problem using one Furnace without a Priest mounted on, while said Priest can be used on foot, mounted on a 32mm round base with a Warpstone-tipped staff.
That has absolutely everything you will need to build said battalions on one same army.
From there, you can keep buying additional boxes to reinforce your infantry and build Warp Lightning Cannons and Screaming Bells (this one giving you a spare plastic Priest with warpstone-tipped staff) to start expanding onto other Skaven clans.
And that's it. Really. Just buy as many Start Collecting! boxes as you want. Done. You win. Oh, yes, and from those three suggested Start Collecting! kits you just saved £85.5 (or your local equivalent).
WAIT WHAT? ACTUAL SAVINGS? is this Games Whorkshop? for real?.
As mentioned previously, you can deploy the four Battalions from the Pestilens Battletome at 2300, but you don't necessarily need to do this. Remember, take this as a reference, not as the only way to build your army.
Here the core tax is 1 Leader and 2 Battleline units. Your minimum tax is 200 points; one Plage Priest on foot and two units of Plague Censer Bearers.
With one Start Collecting! you have enough units to deploy one Congregation of Filth, and adding the Plagueclaw you will have 620 worth in units. Pick a Verminlord Corruptor, a Plague Priest and one Plague Censer Bearers unit, closing at exactly 1000.
An additional Start Collecting! will let you deploy another Congregation of Filth, costing 880, and you will only have enough points to deploy two Plague Priest or two Censer Berars units, or a Plaguesmog Congregation, letting you enough points to deploy two Plague Priests or two battleline units of any kind.
Here the core tax is 1 Leader and 3 Battleline units. Your minimum tax is 260 points; one Plage Priest on foot and three units of Plague Censer Bearers.
With two Start Collecting! kits and a Corruptor you can deploy a Virulent Procession. Buy a third Start Collecting! and you will be able to deploy a Foulrain Congregation. All of this for 1880.
Add another Plague Priest, reinforce/add one Monks unit, or add two Censer Bearers units, this last one tops you at 2000 points.
Here the core tax is 1 Leader and 4 Battleline units. Your minimum tax is 320 points; one Plage Priest on foot and four units of Plague Censer Bearers.
From the Virulent Procession, Foulrain Congregation, and two Plague Censer Bearers (2000 points), now you can also deploy a Plaguesmog Congregation.
2300 points with the four Battalions at minimum strength. 200 points free to use. Probably the best idea is to reinforce you battleline units.
Maggotkin of Nurgle are definitely the first choice, since almost all the abilities of this army that cause area damage do not affect NURGLE models. Also the rally of pestilence combines really well with Pestilence.