Posted in Spiteclaw's Swarm, Warhammer Underworlds

How to Deploy Skaven


Element Games - Wargaming Webstore

In my previous article I was asked by a reader “How do you deploy the Skaven Warband and Objectives?” and it got my brain whirring. In all my games with Skaven I’ve only ever used one board facing and regardless of which way it is flipped I’ve never felt on the back-foot – unlike slower warbands which can have a bad Turn 1 due to the lack of combat.

I’m not going to go through every board layout as that would be heck of a long read, instead I’ll go over the basic principles I use when I deploy the board first, and when I go second. To see my most recent deck list click here and that will give you some insight into why I make my choices.


Skaven rats are squishy. You don’t want to be going toe-to-toe with anyone in Turn 1 and my deck rewards non-engagement with it’s heavy focus on Objectives. If they can’t kill you for Glory, then they need to score Objectives themselves – the Skaven deck is tailored to win this particular battle.

Scenario 1: You control the placement of the Game Board

Placing Boards
Place the board so none, or just one, of your rats are in range to be charged. This provides complete denial to your opponent of potential glory to be scored other than Objectives.

Placing Objectives
You only have two Objectives to deploy, whilst not ideal, these should be deployed at the back of your board – see the diagram below for my most common placement.

Placing Fighters
Ensure Skritch & Krrk are as far back as possible. Then your minnow rats can be deployed on the remaining spaces. Every Objective is in range of at least two rats.

If you have Supremacy in hand then you want to get a minnow rat killed before it moves so leave one in range of their models to be charged and killed. Then you can resurrect it into your opponent’s territory and claim a third Objective.

Setup 1

Scenario 2: You don’t control the placement of the Game Board…but you get three Objectives

Placing Boards
Choose the same board in Scenario One, this offers you a lot of flex in your set up. It is likely that your opponent will choose the board edge with the closest hexes, as such it’s the setup I’ll show you.

Placing Objectives
I’ll provide my most common set up below – it focuses on denying your opponent access to your rats and the Objectives. The dream is a Turn One Supremacy to begin throwing out upgrades. They will always be able to reach one and you can assume it will die, but this is fine you now get to resurrect it in their territory.

Placing Fighters
Just like in Scenario 1 you always want to deploy Skritch and Krrk as far away from the action as possible whilst leaving only one, or none, of your minnow rats in range to be charged.

setup 2

If you follow my Top 5 Tips for Competitive Play and put these set ups to use then you too can feel the Glory flowing through your ratty fingertips yes-yes.

I’ll be following this article up with another showing my typical Turn 1 tactics.

Element Games - Wargaming Webstore


Community Manager. Nerd. Tabletop Games are my jam.

5 thoughts on “How to Deploy Skaven

  1. Really interesting article, lots of things to think about.

    Anyway, you said you’ve been playing Orruks before, can you share your deployment ideas with them? Or even an updated decklist.

    Thanks and keep going, great site.

    1. Hey,

      Thanks for the words of encouragement. Glad it’s turning into a resource of use.

      I’ll pencil some thoughts down for the Skaven vs Orruk Match Up, probably aim to get that out next week after I’ve done my Generic Turn One strats 🙂


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