Skaven Teams

They may not be all that strong, they certainly aren’t tough, but boy oh boy are Skaven fast! Many an opponent has been left in the starting blocks as fast-moving Skaven players scamper through a gap in the line and run in for a lightning fast touchdown.

QTYPositionCostMASTAGPAAVSkills & TraitsPriSec
0-2Thrower85k733+2+8+Pass, Sure HandsGPAMS
0-4Gutter Runner85k922+4+8+DodgeAGMPS
0-1Rat Ogre150k654+9+Animal Savagery, Frenzy, Loner (4+), Mighty Blow (+1), Prehensile TailSAGM
0-8ReRolls50kApothecary: Yes
Special RulesUnderworld Challenge

Skaven Team Overview:

Skaven are the fastest team in the game and are also have quite cheap players. The Gutter Runners are by far their best players and can be a right handful for the opposing team to deal with. Skaven teams can also have mutations, though not as easily as chaos teams and these can be really useful. With the right skill combinations and a movement increase the Skaven have the ability to score in one turn with a player capable of moving half the length of the pitch. Their cheap players give means you can have a fairly deep bench to account for the inevitable injuries, or you can use disposable player to foul the other team.

Skaven however are rather fragile and apart from the Gutter Runners, they have quite average agility. So while most of the team is as fast as the Wood Elves, they don’t have the agilty to move like them. You will also find the Gutter Runners are frequently targeted for fouling by the opposition. Thankfully they are easy to skill up so don’t be too worried about losing them.

Skaven aren’t a bad team for beginners, the cheapness of the players means you can have some substitutes and scoring comes easy to Gutter Runners. You may not develop outstanding tactical understanding with them though and some games the team may get destroyed if the other team can get lots of blocks in.

Skaven Team Strengths:

  • Very Fast
  • Cheap
  • Mutation Access

Skaven Team Weaknesses:

  • Fragile
  • Can develop really one sided

23 thoughts on “Skaven Teams”

  1. Not really a fan of Skaven… To easy to score with, I prefer a challenge! question is Rat Ogre – Yes or No in starting line up?

    • Yes! Mine is my leading player in terms of SPP because it inflicts so many CAS with MB, especially if you can get it Block/break tackle. Used correctly and skilled up it gives the Skaven team punch that it otherwise lacks. Putting it on your front line is not using it correctly, it needs to be mobile.

      Sure Skaven scores easily, what it doesn’t do easily is defend, that is what takes some time to learn. But I play as Skaven in one league and I have allowed the fewest touchdowns and I am sitting on top of my league standings. I have replace a couple of players but they level pretty fast, especially the gutter runners so its not a huge deal.

    • I would say no. The rat ogre gets ranked as one of the worst big guys and the skaven can do without him, especially at the start.
      That is to say, he is not a bad on paper. With access to strength, prehensile tail, and access to claw, his job is to sit in the back and kill catchers, which he is very good at. And the skaven can use all the strength players they can get. The problem is he is expensive and has 8 armor, so against a bashing team he offers nothing besides a fouling target. You are better off saving the tv for refills. Finally, the skaven have no shortage of blitzers with grs and svs so you don’t need a big guy to blitz, which means he will be standing around for a portion of the game. All in all one of the worst big guys but a fun one to use.

    • If you play skaven without a rat ogre, you are a coward and a cur and should probably play elves instead. I find that he exels in low TV where he can get the odd cas and keep the playing field more even. Also, allthough expensive he is somewhat of a DISTRACTION CARNIFEX that takes attention away from your stormvermin and gutters, plus that he is a superb surfing dude that scares the opposition away from the sidelines. He will most likely die horribly after a while and that is all fine and dandy, you won´t need him when your stormvermin have claw and MB, but up to that point he fills a niche role in the team.

  2. I’m confused they look like a great beginner team. I’m a little concerned that they it says they have one tactic. I don’t want to get stale and bored over the course or a season.
    I’d also like to hear what people think is a good starting line up…

    • You can see suggested starting line ups if you go to the Starting Rosters category. Skaven don’t just have one strategy, though they aren’t going to be the best team at the bashing side of the game. I wouldn’t say they are any more boring than any other race is, though as different people find they enjoy difference races more, the only real way to find out what you prefer is to give different ones a try. Good luck with whatever you decide to go with. If you want more advice on which team to select try asking on the forum listing which ones you had in mind.

  3. Skaven – boring???
    Of course, it depends, what style of play you like most in order to find the right team. But I think of Skaven being the most fun to play with.

    There is not only one tactic with them – all the opposit: Playing Skaven means that there is always still a possibility to turn around a game, where other teams would have no chance anymore. With Skaven you will find yourself again and again in a situation, where you look at the board, and after some thinking, you might find one (sometimes almost impossible) solution, how you could still steal the ball and make a TD. Skaven in offense are pretty straight forward – yes. But since you will score (or fail scoring) fast, your Team will be in defense almost all the time. And this is, where the fun starts: Playing Skaven means not to follow a simple strategy-pattern over and over again – but to react on every move of your opponent – trying the high risk move at the right moment on your opponents offense that results in a TD for you. You have to play “rat-stile” though – not fearing to loose any of your players and waiting for the moment going for some high-risk moves that could turn around the game.

    Once you figured out this one realy crazy move to still score and it works out, even though things looked pretty awful for you, than you will either fall in love for the rat-side of blood-bowl … or you just know, that you are a cage-loving control-freak who just likes to follow a straight forward tactic where you either suceed or fail! 😉

    • I agree. Skaven defense is the real fun. I want my opponent to feel like my guys are everywhere! I don’t care how many linemen have to die to pop the ball loose.
      Skaven are able to go anywhere on the pitch, and for GR’s that’s almost literal. My tactics on offense are the same as on defense…SWARM! You’re right about their tactics too.

      My defense is just to make my opponent roll as many dice as I can. I don’t care how many linemen have to fall, my defense is to make you roll them dice…Nuffle does the rest. 😉

  4. Nothing is ever one tactic in Blood Bowl.

    Skaven simply generally play the passing/sideline running game with their ultra fast Gutter Runners, putting up screens with their lineman. Their high movement rate means you can often get a nice full screen of players between the opposition and your gutter runner, forcing them to burn their blitz to get in base contact, which you can usually easily dodge away from.

    As coach said, they’ll usually play like wood elves, but with lower agility on the lineman, they can’t make as many dodges. Trade off, mutation access. Foul Appearance, Big Hand, and a few other nice skills down the line will add some skills elves dream of having.

    Gutter Runners having base movement 9, means with sprint and sure feet, you can often outrun harms way, causing major issues for the opposition if you ever get the ball. Also great on a Blitz! roll on the kickoff as you can blitz a hole a usually move a couple of these around the ball, making it hard to pick up.

  5. Coach, what do you mean by the “Can develop really one sided” weakness? As far as development goes they have players with access to every skill group in the game. However, I realize that their plays style is one of definite “high risk, high reward” mentality, is that what you’re referring to?

  6. Some coaches will just try and build one turn touchdown specialists with their Gutter Runners and won’t consider other offensive plays, or even worse how to play on defence.

    Doing that will make the team one dimensional and not very effective against any semi competent coach.

  7. In a league, the number of players that develop really well means that you can coustomize your team pretty easily with all those SPPs flying around. While they will never be great at grinding down a pitch like dwarfs, a skilled biltzer mauls opponents as well as any Chaos player. MB, Claw, and piling on is a combo made in heaven for causing casualties, while a wrestle/strip ball/dauntless GR can poke the ball out of anyone’s hands, opening up for the magic turnaround that Skaven thrives on. Also what Jakonius said is 100% true.

  8. I’ve really enjoyed playing Wood Elves in the past, because I like those tactical games where you’re jumping in and out of tackle zones, and people have a hard time blocking you and only have their one blitz, and their speed can be menacing when used well. But lately I’ve been playing Skaven more on the computer game, and enjoying a similar style. Much cheaper players, fun gutter runners, generally tougher, and only using the rat ogre as a mercenary player (at least at the beginning. I may buy one later if my team gets enough treasury). And the skill choices available are excellent. Of course, developing a few one-turn touchdown plays is essential, but also developing the ability to crack open a cage is crucial. Skaven are good at picking off vulnerable players using good play choices, and making opportunities for yourself. With regards to rat ogres…They can be handy for drawing off opposing players, but I generally don’t ever try to rely on it for play-making (at least until it has Block).

    • I disagree with you that developing a one turn touchdown player is crucial. Being able to get the ball off the opposition is far more important and it isn’t that hard to still score in one turn utilising chain pushes.

      Given your preference for this play style, you may also want to look at trying out a Slann team, though they are more tricky to play.

  9. I’m a complete beginner and liking the look of skaven, I’ll be playing orcs a lot, whats are the best ways of playing against such a tough team?

  10. Any ideas on how to defend against a heavy bashy league where they all cage and I take lots of casualties giving them the star player points tried staying a few spaces away to slow them or running round and hitting from back of cage to open it but strength 4 black orcs hit back hard and dwarfs kill my dodge

    • Don’t be concerned with leaving your players prone in the way where they will want to place their cage. Also Side Step is going to do a lot of work for you letting you move inside their cage. If they start fouling then they stand a good chance of getting players sent off.

  11. Hi Coach,
    I hope I didn’t fail to see an answer to my question anywhere (or ask it in the wrong place), but which players would you put on the field as soon as you had the opportunity to buy all players you wanted to buy?

    To keep the question simple, let’s reduce it to starting the game kicking and receiving, and all players available…

  12. Looks to me like the Thrower is now cheaper at 70k. This makes an Apothecary achievable at first build which is nice. Or an extra lineman on the bench?

    • Hi Mark, I think you might be looking at some old rules, as they went up to 85k in the 2020 Second Season rulebook which is the latest version as of the date of this comment.


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