Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Modular Movement Trays...decisions, decisions!


Images from 
I finally picked up a set of some of the most important Wargear any self-respecting Skaven warlord should have...
...movement trays!

Yes, I know that by buying some movement trays I have probably gone down in your estimation...
Yes, I could have made them myself from cardboard or any other material at almost no cost...
but the GW sets weren't too expensive. A couple of sets cost 12 pounds and provides enough trays for almost all my currently painted models.

So my nice new trays are sitting in front of me, unmade,  but now I have them the burning question becomes:
What size should I make them up as? (Remember, I haven't yet played a game of 8th edition yet!) Everywhere I look there seems to be different information about the "right" number of troops to have in a unit and the different frontage etc...

5x5? (25 is far too few for any self-respecting horde I suspect...)
6x5? (Hmmm, 30 Clanrats is more like it.)
5x8? (40? Sounds about right)
10x5? (50? 10 troops wide to take advantage of the horde rules?)

...and of course, I'm sure this depends on the troop type. Clanrats will be a totally different proposition from Skaven slaves I'm sure.

It would be great to hear from some experienced Skaven Warlords about what sizes of unit you have found most effective (or at the least, the minimum size for a unit of Clanrats) AND how you have arranged your unit trays.

Any ideas?



  1. Hi Squeek,

    My recommendations (after 60 games of 8th ed) are:

    Clanrats 5x6
    Slaves 5x8

    I'm typically running my Clanrats at 25 to the unit...the back rank on the tray lets you slip characters into the units.

    With Slaves I find 40s the most useful. With the 5x8 you also have the option of dropping to 35s and filling out the back rank with empty bases.

    Hope that helps

    Pete (from TheFieldsofBlood blog)

  2. hey there,

    I´m not as experienced as the person above me, but having played a significant amount of battles against lizardmen, I must add that when you are skaven, anything below 50 is screwed.. Well, if you prefer the ´horde´ rule that is, where you get to fight in an extra rank. Since 8th edition is pretty much about fielding big hordes, the only way your skaven are gonna last is by the ´steadfast´ rule. (having more ranks than your enemy). Taking in regard that skaven tend to die by in rows, large ranks are crucial. If you don't want the skaven horde rule, you should go for something with atleast 6~7 Ranks deep. If you prefer the horde rule, go for atleast 10x5, but a 10x6 is preferable.

    Hope it helps!


  3. Thanks for the recommendations Pete Dunn and Shendar!
    ...but I gotta tell you, this illustrates the problem!
    @Pete (love your blog btw) I don't think I have read of someone running at 25 to a unit. Could you give a bit of info about the typical points that you are playing to? Also, how many units at x25 of clan rats do you take? I wonder if all the marketing hype from GW about hordes and the rules haven't brainwashed me into believing that the minimum size would be around 35 to 40.

    @Shendar - it sounds as though you have had success with those large blocks. Is it against Lizardmen in particular that would mean you are screwed with under 50? Or do you think that applies to when playing all opponents?

    Really appreciate the ideas and input everyone. Just what I was looking for!


  4. Guess it comes down to how you use your Clanrats. I tend to use them as bunkers for my characters - Grey Seer, BSB - rather than frontline fighting troops. Turns 5-6 they may see battle but only vs. weakened foe.

    Typically I'm playing 2400 point games, sometimes dropping to 2000 points.

  5. Hey Squeek,

    concerning your question, I think the ´under 50 units is screwed´ part is mostly the case for lizardmen and other hard hitting units like Chaos warriors, demons and the like. When fielding such a unit against them, I tend to last 2 turns and than the leadership of the nearby general really starts to count. As I´m still in the process of expanding my army, this has created a lot of problems.. My clanrats are okay in stalling the units for 2~3 turns, but if by then no special units are attacking in the flank, the situation becomes truly dire. (And like true rats, where on flees.. all flees).

    If you read the article posted on games workshop about a horde tactic, you'll notice that skaven totally fit the bill. (If your model has 2 attacks each, you shouldnt use that for a horde as a rule of thumb.

    My advice, what do you want/expect of that unit to do? Should it stall the the enemy as long as possible? be able reasonable punch back? (I've read on multiple blogs that even skaven slaves were able to punch chosen warriors of chaos off their horses!, Not kidding).

    If you want it to be hardhitting, and want it to be allround, and being able to field against all type of armies. go for 10x5. (10x6 if you can spare the points and want it to last longer).

    If its there to stall the enemy for several turns so your doomwheels, skavenvermin and rat ogres can turn em to dust with the flanking rules, go for around 8x7. (you can play with this number, but I preferable like to keep more ranks than widths.

    sorry for making it a tad long, let me know what ya decided! (By the way, I haven't done it yet, but magnetic bases seem very practical to me, and very handy during gaming.

    Kind regards,


  6. Hi Pete and Shendar,

    Your last comments raise a really important point to think about that I guess new players like me would easily miss:
    What do you want a unit to do? Is it going to be a "bunker" for heroes? or is it a unit that is going to be the anvil that holds up and "Tar pits" the enemy while your "Hammer" strikes from the side?
    I guess a lot of these choices would be made either to match a particular play-style, a playing environment (competition or casual) or a particular enemy.
    As it turns out for my first two trays I went for 5x8 just to see how they would work out...


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