Loot 'n' Scoot
Tabletop - Post HM/Wurmspat
Skritch looked at his assembled throng of rats. Yes-yes, he was the greatest. But could he also be the richest? Reaching into his tattered rags, he retrieved 3 keys and threw them to his verminous horde...
What up my people it me, your resident rodent recidivist.
A while ago I was chatting about a version of Festering and Hungering with someone (Wiggz if you must know, yes, I know famous people) who observed that they quite often won games without any successful attacks. It also reminded me of a conversation I had with another, much hairier player, about his attempts to make key Skaven viable. Finally, it reminded me of one of my crackpot theories, that if enough 3-4pt endphase cards come out, it'll be better to trade 1pt reliables for 3-4pt maybes. Maybe.
This prompted me to reconsider a lot of stuff. Firstly, the rewards in the current meta for attacking in raw glory are fairly miserable unless you have the R slots for Tome and faction objectives to support it. Not many factions do. Secondly, most warbands efficacy isn't reduced that drastically by killing something. Some are, to be sure, but a lot don't give a damn if even their leader dies. Heck, there are several inspire conditions and reactions and objectives which make attacking really, really dangerous. Not to mention people are running defensive upgrades, extra wounds, crown of avarice, and good lord that list just goes on.
So why are we bothering attacking stuff? Because it's a wargame? Because we have attack action profiles? Because we always have tried to kill the enemy? We like rolling dice with hammers on? Fallacious reasoning at best. Self-defeating at worst.
Let's just loot n scoot! Better a rich rat than a dead rat. Skritch is the richest, yes-yes.
(you can click the image for a deck builder link)
deck building guide
So, first up a disclaimer - this version of the deck hasn't been tested thoroughly.
Edit: stick to CR + TV + Musk of Fear over Rebound + steadfast defender. The tested version is best.
The previous (and thoroughly tested) version had Musk of Fear instead of Rebound, and Calculated Risk instead of Steadfast Defender. I suspect both versions are entirely valid, as this doesn't affect efficacy in any way. If your local scene is overrun by pacifist rats or the equivalent, consider reverting to Calc Risk and Musk or Sidestep.
That said, I have achieved some vulgar results with this deck, against Rippas, Wyrmsplat, Thundricks, Cursebreakers, Ghouls and Beastmen.
You ideally want to longboard your opponent, and have a board with at least one pair of adjacent spawns. You want lethal hexes (especially if you're running Calculated Risk, see above) and as much obstruction as possible.
If you get wideboarded against aggro, you may wish to put an objective deep in their territory towards the back for Faneway and respawn. Ideally an aggro opponent should have to choose between advancing or guarding their rear - don't let objectives get bunched up.
No matter the board, make sure you have objective hexes next to spawn hexes where possible for Two Steps and Mischevious Spirits synergy.
Skritch should be deployed in safety; be aware this means different things in different matchups. Against an opponent you suspect to be using Shifting Reflection, don't deploy him near objectives.
A great starting hand would include Mischevious Spirits, Two Steps, and then anything else at all.
The strategy is simple - scramble for objectives. Use moves where you think you may need to save a ploy to recover an objective. If Skritch is safe, put the defensive upgrades on rats. If skritch is at risk, save them all for Skritch. When he's got 3 dodge, is on guard and has 6 wounds he's quite the distraction carnifex.
Please note that this deck very unlikely to score all objectives. There is intentional redundancy to deal with different opponents. You may have key objectives removed from the board. Don't worry, that's normal. Also don't worry about the 11/11 split. There aren't any dead cards, nor are there any you cannot win without.
Stunningly powerful. Use it early to move objectives onto spawn hexes. Use it late to disrupt enemy scores. Be mindful of how you are going to recover from your opponent moving your objectives in a non-optimal way. Remember you can only guarantee the very first push.
There Are Always More
Don't just use it to save an activation, use it to res onto objectives, or adjacent to objectives and then use a push or confusion to steal it, or use it to teleport a rat across the board. Remember walking through 2 different lethals can score you Calculated Risk and Marytred, and this card can inspire and return a rat to the board ready to score an objective. If skritch dies, this is your only way to bring back key bearers.
Two Steps Forward
Use to push two rats and inspire them. You did put your objectives adjacent to your starting hexes, right? :D
Giving away a push is less bad than you might think. Enemies will often use it to take an objective. You have the tools to turn this into an advantage.
Thank you GW for another hugely undervalued S1 faction card. Like Expendable, this card is stunning. IT's slightly more limited than confusion in that one target must be friendly and it only inspires the first model, but this is awesome. Shortcut and stealing objectives.
Steal an objective, inspire a rat while you do it, and score shortcut. What's not to love? Can be used to inspire two rats, but that's the least optimal use case.
Use to steal a particular objective from an objective horde, or stop ghouls inspiring, or teleport skritch to safety, or score shortcut. Or inspire a rat. Combine with confusion, distraction or Two Steps.
Not explaining this one.
Distraction/Scratching in the Shadows
Use to score Coveted Spoils, Uncontested, to free an objective for a grab, to make Gathered Momentum possible, whatever you want. Be patient with them.
Musk Of Fear/Rebound
Depending on preference - Musk of Fear can put a rodent on guard after a charge, and inspire them. Going from 1 dodge to 2 dodge on guard is *massive*.
Rebound is just ultimate cancer. Your call.
Burn a card you can't use to draw 3. Swap if you want.
Combines with guard or Survival Instincts to make a rat very hard to kill.
Put on a rat with a key or companion. Force your opponent to waste their activation attacking a worthless target. Bring the rat back on a spawn hex that is also an objective. Be accepting of your opponent's harsh words. Agree and sympathise that it's unfair. Or just put it on a rat and put the rat on an objective. Do not always use the reaction. If you have sudden growth and took a single wound, you may not have to trigger it.
Do not put this on Skritch unless he's fully tanked up, and do not put it on krrk. Enjoy the card until the next Bait and Restrict list is released, cos it is going to get Restricted. I feel if you're capable of reading this many words you can probably work out how to use it.
This is part of the "scoot" philosophy. Use it to sieze an objective for Swift Capture or just run away. Can't really go wrong, create opportunities using Mischevious Spirits or Distraction.
The Blazing Key/Hallowed Key/Dazzling Key
Apply to rats. Apply Crown of Avarice, Expendable, Survival Instincts, Musk of Fear, whatever it takes to keep them hard to kill and hard to drive back. Don't spend too many defensive upgrades on them unless it's lategame or skritch is completely safe. Oh, also, Skritch is never completely safe.
Man this is going to get restricted. Synergises with 2 or 3 dodge to a broken degree.
Crown of Avarice
Reworded to be sane, still broken when used on immortal keyholders with 3 dodge.
Apply every game to Skritch, unless Skritch is safe (he almost never is) in which case give it to a key holder. IF you can longboard an opponent and get 3 keyholding rats into their turf , one of which is sudden growth'd, it's almost game over.
Tome of Glories
Another great way to score lazy glory.
Calculated Risk/Steadfast Defender
See above for discussion on this - CR is great, and with 2 lethals you can suicide for 2 glory if you have Martyred in hand.
Steadfast Defender works really well with Rebound and so forth. Tailor your deck to your preferene, both will work.
Ban please GW
Hold 3, don't hold less.
Have we had a restricted 3pt end phase yet? Not sure. Anyways, this is harder againt objective decks than aggro, but with careful planning, distraction x2, confusion x2, spirits and two steps you can sometimes still do it. Feel free to jettison in an endphase. You still have 19 objective glory, 3 2pt keys, tome of glories and companion, for a potential 31 points.
Tactical Supremacy 1-4/3-4
Like Uncontested, don't be afraid to dump these. You still have armfuls of glory to score. Don't sweat it. You can sub out one of them for like 1-2 if you want resilience at the cost of expediency.
Anti-objective deck tech. Use your ploys to control if it's scored. You can often distraction aggro players onto the final objective. Aggro players will even sometimes push themselves onto objectives if you play two steps just to confound uncontested. Feel free to dump in an end phase. You have glory to spare.
Careful who you charge. Attacking is for simpletons, there's just armfuls of reaction ploys, inspire conditions and so forth which will punish you. Against Rippas, Cursebreakers and Gundorfs, think very hard about that charge action.
Welp, you're not likely to kill them are you?
Combine with stealing an objective or YEET'ing skritch to safety with Shifting Reflection for maximum lols. Remember it's scored in the power phase.
With a move of 5 and an arsenal of tricksy nonsense, you're not going to struggle.
This is easier with Calculated Risk than Steadfast defender, so think about that when deciding how to build the deck. However, it's superbly easy to achieve. Don't freak out if you don't score it round 1.
Stuff that isn't in the deck:
Quickening Greaves - good card, just can't be arsed with it. I've found defensive upgrades and scoring upgrades to be more efficient.
Anti-Push upgrades - yeah, nah. half the time objectives are pushed out from under you anyway. Don't try and resist pushes, use your ploys to recover. Save them if you must.
Any attack action upgrades - you're reading the wrong guide dude
Buried Instincts - doesn't inspire, musk is better
I've had a load of fun with this, and my opponents haven't. Shout out to my playtesters/ideas people, without whose suggestions, occasional frustrations and patience this wouldn't be possible:
Rich T (sorry)
Matt thingy from America
Rich B (sorry)
Anonymous Hairy Dude Who I Don't Know Would Appreciate A Shout Out From Me
Games Workshop for accidentally sending their game in entirely the opposite direction to S1's absurd aggro problem
& countless players on Discord, Vassal and other places. I'm superbly shite with names so I'm sorry if I missed you out.
If you use this deck and win something, come tell me on Discord. If you use this deck and get roundly humiliated, come tell me on Discord. If you've developed feelings for me as a result of these rodent-centric deck guides, Discord.
If you've played against this deck and would like to complain, please come tell me on Discord.
Oh, the discord community for UW is here: https://discord.gg/qMq8RH7
If you're reading this you should almost certainly already be a member,.
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