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Siegeworks Skaven

By Tommy Punk
With Jeff Moore, Bob Lippman and Vincent H. Coffey.

This article is based on a discussion between the above mentioned persons on the Direwolf mailing list on what a Skaven Castle should look like and how the Skaven would defend it. The first part of this article was published in Total Power 4 and I was encouraged to write up the rules to use in a Siege game. I have received a lot of useful and helpful comments from players all around the world. I would especially like to thank the members of the Direwolf and The Council mailinglists for their invaluable comments.

A Skaven Castle features Warpfire throwers in the towers, Jezzails lining the walls, warpfire liquid run through gutters as in Hunchback of Notre Dame, poison wind globes dropped through murder holes and tossed over walls. Rat Ogres bursting from secret tunnels to wreak havoc and assassins sneaking forth in the dead of night. Metal and stone pipes are connecting different parts of the fortress, ramshackle wathtowers instead of firm stone towers and ladders leading to higher levels.

Skaven Castles

Siege Rules

Siege Campaigns

Siege Equipment


A Note on Frenzy

Skaven Castles

This article is based on a discussion between the above mentioned persons on the Direwolf mailing list on what a Skaven Castle should look like and how the Skaven would Defend it.

Skaven don't need to defend much in a siege. Sure the "castle" can be defended but its only an outpost and the entry tunnel have been designed to collapse so it will be hard to follow the Skaven underground. Most assaults against Skaven strongholds are conducted not to occupy, but to destroy. Besiege the stronghold, kill all the Skaven and destroy the underground facilities.

Why a castle?
So the first question I have to ask is why would the Skaven ever build a stronghold above ground. If I knew that, I'd have a better idea of what one would look like. Then, what possible scenario there could be for a Siege on a Skaven stronghold?

Most of a Skaven's life is spent underground, in tunnels, sewers, caverns, and only occasionally do Skaven venture aboveground. Either to wage war or to conduct secret missions of poisoning, assassination, and so on. Therefore, forts and castles for the purposes of guarding borders, storing supplies, garrisoning armies, protecting peasants, and so on, are largely unnecessary to Skaven.

Sometimes a factory cannot be built underground, a surface factory is needed. Skaven Doomwheels are too wide and tall for the underground tunnels! These factories have to be located on the borders of Skavenblight, otherwise they would sink into the marsh if built too near the interior. This makes them vulnerable to attack so they need to be fortified and protected.

Warpstone refineries can function perfectly normally underground, but they generate excessive amounts of noxious gases and liquids. Even if they don't affect Skaven they must still be vented above ground. However in doing so they serve as a notice to any intelligent race that Skaven are operating in the vicinity. In such a case the Skaven might build a fortress around the main aboveground entrance/exit/exhaust vents, so that opposing armies couldn't just roll some casks of gunpowder down the exhaust vent and blow the factory to pieces.

The "castle" is a former human or dwarf castle, outpost, hunting castle, fortified brewery or whatever small structure. The "castle" have been attacked and overtaken by the Skaven. While a large structure would be too important to the owner who would mount attacks on it, a smaller structure can be considered lost as it hold little strategic value. The Skaven have simply moved in and have yet to be thrown out.

Skaven have good cause to build at least modest strongholds in swamps or plains to grow crops (like the black cornfields near Skavenblight) to feed the truly incredible numbers of Skaven below ground. They are food sources below ground, not to mention cannibalism, but the food is scarce and life is grim in the Skaven life. Perhaps heavily fortified and well hidden fortress farms grow the crops that the truly influential and powerful Skaven glut themselves upon while their lessers starve, as well as stockpile the grains that will feed their personal armies when they fall upon hard times.

Occasionally Skaven must venture, and even build, aboveground because building underground is too impractical for one reason or another. The ground may be too wet to build easily underground or the area is too rocky.

The Skaven fleet has to have harbors, dry-docks and protective enclosures. The fleet will be vulnerable to an attack and need to be protected.

Some Skaven activity requires quantities of fresh water, either as a raw ingredient or as a power source, so they build a fortified dam or millhouse on a nearby stream.

Food supplies may need to be stored aboveground. Perhaps the ground in a given area is too damp, and food rots if stored underground, so the Skaven build fortified warehouses and granaries in the area. Crops and livestock may have to be raised that require sunlight and/or fresh air.

Inherited castle
Metal and stone pipes connecting different parts of the fortress, ramshackle shacks tacked one atop the other, ladders leading to higher levels, and the whole thing looking like a good stiff wind would blow it all down.

Skaven often occupy enemy castles after they've poisoned or slaughtered the previous occupants. You could just do a plain old fortress for any other race and paint on some Skaven symbols. But that wouldn't be very Skaven looking. As stated in the Siege book, the bulk of a Skaven fortress is underground.

There are in fact two kinds of Skaven castles the first is a low castle. The center of the surface constructing will be the main tunnel leading down below. The entrance may take the form of a mound, a building or a crude rock construction. Around the entrance will extend a trench-systemtype with walls built out of materials at hand such as sections of old walls, logs or haphazardly stacked bricks. Among these will be bunker-like emplacements. However this looks more like a WWII trenchwar then a castle, perhaps a single center tower or tall building but not a fullblown castle.

Lots of pipes for them to scurry through! Look at he Doombringer model from Man O War - That's pretty much how I envision large scale Skaven constructions.

The second castle is a full or high castle, it is an existing castle that have been overrun by Skaven. Barricades have been created by collapsing structures so the walls are protected at the base by difficult terrain. These barricades have also been dug out to form trenches and include tunnels or small holes where ambushes can be laid. Of course some lengths of the barricade are not suitable for digging in and have had fake tunnel entrances and traps set in them. The walls themselves are in a ruined state after decades of neglect. The walls are lined with balconies that function as battlements and tall wooden ramshackle towers house Clan Skryre snipers. There would also be several gates, or rather openings, tunnel entrances and large passageways. These may be barricaded and can sometimes actually have some form of gate. Connecting everything would be ladders, poles, ratwalks, tunnels, and pipes for the Skaven to move around with, in addition they would provide many ways to sally forth behind enemy lines or escape attackers.

Skaven architecture
Skaven are marginally better craftsmen than Orcs, but much worse than Humanworks.

The outer defenses will consist of lots of dirt, sandbags, random stones, whole logs, barrels, boxes, haphazardly stacked brick and stone walls, rough wooden walls and beams. Much like the bunkers of WWI trenches or Vietnam revetments.

Features of Skaven architecture:
Lots of carved and painted Skaven symbols
Lots of spikes and spears planted point-outward in the walls
Impaled enemies
Rickety ratwalks joining sections of trenches and the central keep
Lots of rats scattered around the fortress
Gleaming white marble that is cracked, pitted, & blackened
Methane-burning cressets
Huge solitary buildings
Narrow slit windows
Mills under warpstone wheels driven by slaves (Skaven, human, and other)
Lines of old walls and arches still visible
Broken houses
Shattered halls
Cracked & tilted paving stones
Pocked with dark tunnel mouths
Gouting flames
Foul vapors
Pale lights in the tallest buildings
Monstrous belfries
Assymetric buildings
Many different architectural styles and stone colors
Skryre-lightning contained in glass spheres on poles
Forges, labs and workshops
Mine railways and treadwheel elevators
Not to mention lots and lots of rats and other vermin

Modelling tips
Grendel does a number of beautiful resin ruins, including a Ruined Cathedral, Ruined Acropolis, Ruined Keep, Aztec Ruins, Ruined Gothic Archway and Ruined Greek Temple. Armorcast also does some very nice Ruined Cathedral pieces, bone walls and trenchworks.

For black cornfields, Dixon makes some great corn plants. I don't think Skaven would be all that neat so I wouldn't "plant" the corn in rows, but rather in clumps and singles scattered around a board, as well as some random giant rats, some ubiquitous mushrooms and maybe a skull or two. Or what about rice paddy-like conditions with flooded fields surrounded by low dikes, then surrounded by the walls and trenches. There are also lots of O-scale railroad and 1/12 scale dollhouse fruits and vegetables available. How about making some fields of giant mutant veggies, with appropriately bizarre colour schemes.

The trenchwar look can be made with modular trench sections (probably 12"), wall sections, 6x6" or 12x12" fields, bunkers, "nicer" buildings and tunnel entrance. Make each separate and they can be mixed-and-matched for many Skaven battles, even non-Siege ones.

One alternative would be to make hollowed out hill formations, somewhat like barrows with lids that could be taken off to reveal the models inside and with holes and hatches in the hillsides that would allow access and fire from. You would have to plan how the whole thing would look very carefully, but construct it like a modular terrain project. first deciding on a size and getting foam layers to represent the base and gluing the interior wall plan to the boards. Then layout the styrofoam interior walls once you have "cells" of appreciable size and shape with connecting tunnels you can build up the outsides of the walls with either textured filler to add a slope or spray-can expanding foam, which you can later contour into a sloped hill shape. Once that is done a bunch of boards which look like they have several interconnected decapitated igloos, make sure the hills are tall enough to comfortable store models with the lids on or off. You can make tops for them with other layers of carved polysterene. Flock the whole thing and decorate to taste, maybe even putting crags or trees on the surface of your "hidden fortress".

Siege Rules

A Skaven Castle features Warpfire throwers in the towers, Jezzails lining the walls, warpfire liquid run through gutters as in Hunchback of Notre Dame, poison wind globes dropped through murder holes and tossed over walls. Rat Ogres bursting from secret tunnels to wreak havoc and assassins sneaking forth in the dead of night.

The rules in this section only apply to the high or full Skaven castle. The low Skaven castle is treated like a normal WFB battle and the Siege rules do not apply. You could however place a central tower and treat it as a castle and spend points on a trench and a tunnelsystem. In that case both players will be given the same amount of points in the Final Assault.

Crumbling construction
A Skaven castle is always in a neglected state and parts of it may already have collapsed. Some areas may have been given a makeshift repair but they still buckling. This is represented by special rules for walls, towers and gates. The Skaven castle also features a large tunnel system with ambush holes and often a trenchsystem. To compensate the Skaven player for the damaged fortifications he has +15% more points to spend on defending troops. He can also spend up to 40% on Warmachines and Siege equipment to allow him to create a tunnel system and to have more missile weapons such as Jezzails.

Army selection:
Characters: 0-50%
Regiments: 25%+
Warmachines: 0-40%
Monsters: 0-25%
Allies: 0-25%
Siege equipment: 0-40%

Broken ground
The ground 2-3" from a wall or tower consist of collapsed pieces of the wall or tower and a multitude of scrap and debris. This area is treated as difficult ground and may hinder the attacker just by being there. EG a Siege tower may not be able to move close enough to the wall to lower the ramp. The inside of a castle do not feature broken ground but may, depending on the actual modelled castle, not have an open courtyard. A Siege Tower or other warmachine that moves over the broken ground or a defended obstacle in the trenchsystem suffer D6 S7 hits. The Skaven need to be able to move in and out of the castle freely, especially with carts or large goods. Therefore the ground before the gates are free of broken ground and a trenchsystem may not be constructed there.

To allow the attacker time to reach the walls within the turnlimit and to breach and move into the castle the "Final Assault" scenario lasts 9 turns instead of 7. This may be increased even further if the terrain is particular difficult and may be decreased to 8 or 7 turns if the terrain is lighter or as a normal castle. The players should play the "Testing the Defenses" scenario before they try the "Final Assault" to get an indication on how tough the castle is. The broken ground has been taken into consideration for the Skaven defense and you should try to represent it as terrain features.

If you decide not to use broken ground the attacker do not get extra turns and the Skaven player may spend +30% more points on troops (this includes the initial +15% bonus). If you do not use broken ground you should not use trenches either as they are built in the broken ground.

Models in the ambush holes, tunnelsections or in the broken ground do not test on an unmodified Leadership value as do Skaven inside the castle nor do they receive the Leadership bonus. However Skaven in a tunnelsection get a +1 Leadership bonus to account for being on homeground. If Skaven flee they flee toward the nearest ambush hole and bolt through to the safety inside the castle. In the Skaven players next turn place the models in the courtyard of the castle and they have automatically rallied. If the castle is a low Skaven castle then the models fall back to the next line of defense and rallies there. Units that break or flee in the broken cause panic tests as normal to other units in the broken ground but not to models on the rampart or inside the castle itself. A unit that flee near or into an ambush hole will cause panic tests on the units in that tunnelsection.

The walls are often lined with balconies that function as battlements and tall watchtowers or in rare cases a still standing stone tower. Skaven models may be placed on the balconies and if the balconies are placed lower than the ramparts this will allow more Skaven to fight. An attacker must attack the ramparts; he is unable to attack the balconies in hand-to-hand combat. The attacker places models as usual but the Skaven player may fight back with models on the ramparts and on the balconies. Characters may not be placed on the balconies.

You may place models from the same unit on the balconies and on the ramparts or you may place separate units. If the unit on the ramparts and the balcony is the same unit then casualties on the balcony may be removed from the rampart unit as Skaven move down to the balcony to replace the casualties. In the movement phase Skaven on the balconies may move up to the ramparts. If the unit on the balcony is not the same unit as the one on the rampart above, then it may not consist of more models than will actually fit on the balcony. Note that it may be difficult to keep the models from falling off and in that case just declare that the models are there. As the balcony may be too small to fit a whole a unit, you can field units with less than 5 models. A unit may also be deployed on several balconies that are no more than 2" apart.

All walls start the game being damaged, add +2 to further rolls on the wall damage chart.

The original stone towers have often collapsed and wooden watchtowers have been erected in their place. These are sometimes fortified as wooden towers. In some cases not all of the stone towers have collapsed, often because the castle haven't been occupied for very long. Stone towers start the game being damaged, add +2 to further rolls on the tower damage chart. Some towers have collapsed halfways and they count as being a wall rather than a tower. See rules for attacking wooden towers on page 30 in the Siege book, a wooden watchtower adds an additional +1 to rolls on the damage charts.

The Skaven castle features several gates or rather openings, tunnel entrances and large passageways. These may be barricaded and can sometimes actually have some form of gate. A gate starts the battle as being crunched, add +2 to further rolls on the gate damage chart, but may be reinforced to make it only +1 to further rolls.

A wall section with a gate can be volountarily collapsed at the start of the Skaven player's own turn. A unit under or near the gate will take damage as from a collapsing tower. All models under or in basecontact with the gate takes a S5 hit and each model within 4" takes a S3 hit. The gate now counts as difficult terrain and a defended obstacle. If the gate was volountarily collapsed it doesn't count as the castle being breached.

Some gates contain a ramp that will allow a Doomwheel to gain speed as it sallies forth. These gates halve movement for an attacker moving upwards and Skaven defenders at the top count as being on higher ground.

Connecting walkways
Connecting the walls and towers of the Skaven castle are ladders, poles, ratwalks, tunnels, and pipes for the Skaven to move around with. Skaven models may move to any part of the castle that they can reach with their movement, even moving up or down a level. The attacker may not use these ladders and pipes, as they are either to small or are collapsed or thrown down if the attackers come to close. These ladders, pipes and ratwalks should preferably be modelled on the castle itself and you should at least place lots of ladders and poles around the castle.

Breached Castle
The Skaven are very confident that their preperations will keep the attackers at bay. However should the attackers breach the castle then more than one rat will make a dash for the tunnels to try to get into the safety below ground. While the castle is intact all Skaven inside the castle or on the ramparts and towers receive a bonus of +3 to their Leadership value. Models in the broken ground, ambush holes or trenches do not get this bonus.

However if the castle is breached every unit and independant model must take an immediate panic test or flee off the table. Once the castle has been breached the Skaven loose the Leadership bonus for the rest of the battle. The castle is breached when a wall or tower is collapsed or if a gate is destroyed. If the castle is breached when the battle starts, from a testing the defence scenario, then the Skaven do not need to take a panic test but the Leadership bonus is lost. If the undermine scenario was won and the undermining causes a wall to collapse then take a panic test for each unit to see how many are left to fight. Only units that passed the panic test may be deployed for the final assault.

Siege Campaigns

The nature of the Skaven castle makes some of the options for the besieged Skaven player awkward. These rules try to add a reason for the options, additional rules or clarifications.

"Send for help" isn't really necessary if you can send messengers through tunnels. You can assume that the tunnels are not connected with the other tunnels and therefore you need to send messengers above ground or assume that the tunnels are blocked and the messengers must move around the block above ground. The Skaven are not favoured above ground with no cavalry and they have very cheap infantry so allow the Skaven force an escort of up to 60 models. You can also assume that there are no reinforcements within reach, or rather no Warlord within reach that is willing to send troops to aid a rival, so you are prohibited from chosing a "send for help" action. If the attacker is a Skaven then assume that the fight is fought in the tunnels themselves, maybe using Warhammer Quest floorplans to lay out a small tunnel system.

There is not that much difference between an Empire castle and a Dark Elven one, they both have walls, courtyards and sewers. However a Skaven castle can best be described as a sewer with the courtyard in the middle of that sewer. An attacker is not likely to know his way around the mazelike tunnels or in fact know anything about how the Skaven live and store supplies. This cause problems for the "Infiltrate" scenario so either assume that the attacker is prohibited to chose that action or use Warhammer Quest floorplans to create a tunnel system for the attacker to move through with the Skaven player being allowed to setup a few sentry posts. You might even want to play a full Warhammer Quest dungeon to locate the ammunition questroom. However if the attacker is a Skaven then infiltration is a favoured action. Use the Warhammer Quest floorplans to let the attacker move around. However each time the meet a sentry roll a D6 on the roll of 4+ the sentries assume the Skaven are friends or they have been bribed to let them pass.

Again with the presence of tunnels with the "Starve out" action why move above ground and use a gate? If the tunnels are too narrow just take your time moving through them. You can assume that no tunnels extend under the castle and that they therefore are forced to move up to the castle. The gate could in fact mean a tunnel entrance, maybe the only tunnel that is not blocked or the only one that is large enough for the slaves carrying supplies. If you decide to use a tunnel entrance it will be more fun to let the last 1' of the tableedge be represented by a single 4" wide tunnel. The slaveunit must exit the tableedge at the end of the tunnel for the besieged player to win.

The Skaven suffer from having no cavalry so the "Sally out" scenarios objective can proove to be a bit too far away. You should allow the Skaven 6 turns to destroy the objective. Another idea is to allow a sallying force of Doomwheels!

Besieged Players Options
When you chose "Counter Bombardment" resolve "bowfire" with Jezzails. The number of Jezzails used in the "Final Assault" doesn't matter. It's assumed that a small number of Jezzail teams are sniping the enemy throughout the siege to account for the 2D6 hits.

The Skaven do not repair structures, only very important and holy structures such as temples are given some attention. Thus the "Repair Defenses" option will not repair any damages done to walls, towers or gates. However you may throw up a barricade to block a destroyed section. This barricade count as a defended obstacle and the barricaded section do not count as having breached the castle.

Siege Equipment

The Skaven player need to make a map of the castle and the broken ground to mark equipment such as pits and Warpfire mines. The map and the marks don't need to be exact as long as they show the rough location of the traps, the location may differ by an inch or so to where the trap is finally revealed.

The Skaven player can keep troops in reserve off the table and these can be deployed using tunnels or small holes leading through the castle walls. These holes can also be used to spring ambushes or sally forth through. Some lengths of the barricade may not be suitable for digging in and contains fake tunnel entrances with traps. The tunnelsystem and its size determins how many troops can be kept in reserve. Each Tunnel section that you buy allows you to place 3 wounds of troops in reserve ready to spring ambushes or sally forth, count the full number of wounds for Monsters and total number of wounds for warmachine crewmen. Total up the number of tunnel sections and multiply the number by 3 to get the total number of wounds that may be placed in reserve. I have chosen to limit the reserve by wounds as it prooved to hard to come up with restrictions based on models when you can deploy multiwound monsters and warmachines with two crewmembers. 3 Chimeras in reserve is different from 3 Clanrats in reserve!

If you want to you can allow the attacker to move into the tunnelsystem to fight the Skaven. Though in this case you need to set up a table with a small tunnel complex laid out, you can use the floorplans from Warhammer Quest to create the tunnels. Lay them out and have the Skaven player mark traps and entrancies on a seperate map (lots of bookkeeping for the Skaven player). Each square equal 1" and you can fit a single 20mm or 25mm base per square, 40mm bases takes up 2*2 squares. The tunnels are difficult grounds for non-Skaven. Now these suggestions are only meant to allow fast tunnel fights and they do not simulate tunnelfights very well. There is an excellent system on to handle proper tunnel fights.

You must buy the troops in the tunnel system seperatly but they do not need to be bought in legal units, IE they can be bought in units of less than 5 models. You can't buy standards, musicans or Characters but you can buy lone assassins. You can buy large monsters but they may not be taller than 10', or like a Rat Ogre, so no Dragons, Chimeras and similar sized monsters are assumed to fit into the tunnelsystem. You may buy portable Warmachines like Warpfire Throwers and Jezzails but not Doomwheels or other tall or stationary warmachines. Giant Rats need to be accompanied by a handler but Rat Ogres may be bought on their own. It's assumed that large monsters or Rat Ogres are chained to a wall in the tunnel or trapped in a cage and that they are released when the time is right.

Points cost: 10 points per tunnel section, each section allows you to place 3 wounds in reserve.

Ambush holes
The Skaven castle contains a tunnelsystem that allow the Skaven to keep troops in reserve off the table. The Skaven castle has tunnels or small holes leading through the castle walls and these holes can also be used to spring ambushes or sally forth through. The ambush holes should be roughly 60mm wide and 40mm deep to allow three Skaven to fight abrest or a single large Creature to fight alone, you should be able to fit in three additional skaven in a rear rank. The total number of models that may be kept in reserve is restricted by the size of your tunnelsystem, each section allow you to place 3 wounds in reserve.

The Skaven player must create a map that displays ambush holes and connecting tunnelsections. The drawing should be large enough to actually allow models to be placed there. Before the battle deploy your reserve troops on the tunnel map, you must deploy all the troops and they must be placed in units if bought as units. There is no upper limit to the number of models or wounds that may be placed in a single connecting tunnelsection, the size of the tunnelssystem is only an abstraction to determin the overall size and number of models that it can hold. In the Skaven movement phase you can move any models and units from one tunnel section to another, but only models that started their turn in a tunnel section may use that tunnel section's ambush hole.

Here is an ASCII example of a map. The numbers corresponds to the Ambush hole markings on a larger Skaven Castle map and models are placed in the tunnelsections to show where they are lurking.

| |    | |    | | 
| |    | |    | | 
| |    | |    | | 
 1      2      3  

You must reveal any reserve models in the "start of turn" phase and the models may move and charge normally in the movement phase. The models loose no movement to move out into the ambush hole. Frenzied troops must reveal themselves if an enemy unit is within charge range of the ambush hole that is connected to their connecting tunnel section. You need to draw another map and mark the ambushholes on it. This ASCII example show two ambushholes, marked with numbers that corresponds to the tunnelsections in the tunnelsystem map.

|  |___________________|  | 
|__|   1           2   |__|

There are dangers with tunnels this close to the surface and with the crumbling constructions and poor maintenance of the Skaven there is an ever present danger of cave ins. If the wall section with ambush holes in it takes damage there is a chanse that the tunnel sections will cave in. Roll once on the Cave In table for each attack on the wall section that cause a result other than "No Effect", note that if there are several ambush holes present in the wall roll seperatly for each tunnel section. The results "Severly Shaken" and "Collapse" adds +2 to this roll.

D6 Cave In Table
1-3 No Effect
4+ The tunnel section caves in.

If a tunnel section caves in its ambush hole is blocked and may not be used anymore. Further roll a dice for each model, add +2 to the roll for large creatures, and on a roll of 4+ the model is crushed and removed as casualties. Models that survive must use their next movement phase to move to another tunnel section.

Points cost: 20 points per ambush hole. You must note the location of each ambush hole on a map.

The ground infront of a wall or tower consist of collapsed pieces of the wall or tower and a multitude of scrap and debris, this is called the broken ground. Its not uncommon to find that the broken ground have been dug out to form a trenchsystem and part of the trenches has been turned into barricades by adding sandbags, logs, bricks and even doors pulled of their hinges. Skaven units may deploy in the trenchsystem if they wish to, these troops do not come from the reserve troops and they are bought as normal regiments and must be bought in legal units. The barricades count as difficult terrain and as defended obstacles if a Skaven unit has taken up position behind them. Depending on the actual tabletop terrain the barricades may also count as hard cover.

The trenches should be roughly 40mm wide to allow two ranks of Skaven or large creatures such as Rat Ogres to be placed there. The trenches are not ramparts and no rules apply for ramparts unless otherwise specified. Skaven may fight in two ranks and combat resolution is counted as normal. Troops in the trenchsystem do not benefit from the Leadership bonus but are affected if the castle is breached. Two Skaven units may move past each other in the trenches if they are both in a single line. This is done just as if they had moved past each other on the ramparts, see Siege page 7. Models in the trenches may perform a "man the walls" charge reaction and may move from a barricade to a gap in the barricades.

The barricades should be placed just outside the rim of the broken ground and the Skaven defenders should then be placed in the broken ground. However depending on the actual tabletop terrain it may not be possible to place models there and the Skaven player may then move the barricades a couple of inches out from the broken ground. Unlike a normal castle its not easy to know how each Skaven player decides to build his castle and the actual tabletop terrain may look very nice but may not be ideal for placing models.

The intention of the barricades is not to form an unbroken line of barricades that will block of the attackers from reaching the walls. The barricades should be 4-6"long and there must be a gap of atleast 4" between each length of barricades so that the attackers can reach the walls. The Skaven units can of course move to block the gaps but they will not receive the bonuses of a defended obstacle.

With the permission from the besieging player the trenches with barricades may be deployed in several lines and this may make it very tough for the attacker to reach the castle walls. This will mean that the trenches are deployed further away from the broken ground. In this case you should consider giving the besieging player more turns to reach the castle and possibly also removing the Skaven players +15% points increase for his defenders. If you are fighting with a low castle you may always deploy barricades in several lines of defense.

The Skaven need to be able to move in and out of the castle freely, especially with carts or large goods. Therefore the ground before the gates must be free of broken ground, trenches and barricades.

Points cost: Trenches cost 20 points for a single 4-6" length of barricades.

Warpfire mines
The Warpfire mines are fiendish devices that is something like a Warpfire thrower buried under rubble and is triggered when a lever is stepped on or when a beam or rock is removed to clear the way. The mine will explode and shower any present models with burning Warpfire. They are often placed at the base of walls to disperse attackers that tries to deploy ladders to climb to the ramparts.

The Warpfire mines may be placed anywhere within the broken ground, including the trenchsystem, or before or after a gate. This is an ASCII example of how the mines can be marked on a map.

|  |___________________   | 
|__|         M         |  | 
   Barricade        M  |__|

When a unit or model touches the mine, counted from its rough location on the map, roll on the Warpfire mine chart to see if it was triggered. If the mine detonates the first two ranks are hit. Roll a D6 for each model and on 4+ the model is hit and takes damage as if hit by a warpfire thrower.

D6 Warpfire mine chart
1 The mine fails to ignite and is removed from the game
2-5 The mine detonates, work out damage as normal
6 The mine explodes but only succeed in setting the wall section on fire forcing the defenders to abandon the ramparts. The Skaven models must move either down to the courtyard or to the adjacent towers or walls. If the mine was deployed in the trenchsystem any barricade within 2" is set on fire and must be abandoned by its Skaven defenders. The unit falls back D6" toward the nearest ambush hole, but they are not fleeing and may move and fight normally.

Points cost: 50 pts per mine, one use only. You must note the location of each mine on a map.

Punji sticks
A hole has been dug in the ground and lined with sharp sticks. The hole has then been covered and any model that steps into the hole will have his leg pierced by the sticks. Often several holes are built near each other to catch a whole unit. When the unit touches the area with holes it receives D6 S3 hits with no armour saves. The punji sticks area may be deployed anywhere within the broken ground, including the trenchsystem, and before or after a gate. The attacker can easily fill the holes or knock the sticks over sideways once they are revealed so the Punki sticks are one use only. You can link several areas of sticks to each other to form a longer length of sticks, but the entire are is removed once its activated. There must be a gap of at least 2" between each are of sticks, unless they are linked together. An area of sticks is assumed to be roughly 1" wide but this is never really used as the units takes damage as soon as they touch the area. You must note the location of the sticks on a map and here is an ASCII example.

|  |___________________|  | 
|__|       [sticks]    |__|

Points cost: 25 points per 3" area of holes. You must note the rough location of each area on a map. One use only.

Camoflaged Pit
The Skaven have dug a large pit and camoflaged it. These are often located before or after a gate, usually in a narrow passageway to reduce the chanses of escaping. The pits are often lined with spikes, sharpened sticks, starved rats or something equally dangerous. When a unit moves over a pit roll on the Breakage chart to see if the trap is sprung. If the pit is sprung each model in the unit must roll under its Iniative or fall into the pit and take a S4 hit, armour saves are allowed as normal with no save modification. The unit must spend their next turn reforming as they climb out of the pit, helping comrades up or recovering dropped weapons. The unit get no rank bonus if charged while reforming and may not move, but are free to fight normally if charged. If the trap was sprung the unit is halted in basecontact with the pit, if the pit was not sprung the unit completes the movement it was performing. This means that if an attacking unit declares a charge against a Clanrat unit behind the pit and the pit is sprung the charge is not completed, but if the pit was not sprung then the charge is completed. The Clanrat unit behind the pit must declare its chargereaction before you roll to see if the pit is sprung or not. This may leave the Clanrats in a very bad position if the trap doesn't work.

D6 Breakage chart
1 The cover breaks to early and only a single rank and file model in the front rank falls into the pit.
2-5 The cover breaks as the unit passes over the pit and all models must roll under their Iniative score or fall into the pit as the ground collapses under them.
6 The cover fails to break and the unit moves right over the pit unharmed. Note that furter units must test again to see if the cover holds.

A unit deployed right after the pit may charge a unit that fell into the pit, even though the pit is between them, its assumed that they were ready with planks to cover the hole. Once the pit has been revealed, any troops may move over it at half speed as they cover it with planks or logs, or move carefully along its edges. The pit may be deployed anywhere within the broken ground, including the trenchsystem, or before or after a gate. The pit count as being 2*2" in size and you may represent it with a template. However you must leave at least one gate without a pit as that one will be used to move in and out of the castle.

Points cost: Each pit cost 50 points. You must note the rough location of each pit on a map.

The Skaven uses the standard cauldrons filled with boiling oil but also other unpleasent things to repel pesky besiegers. All rules for cauldrons on page 21 apply.

Clan Pestilen have created a deadly stew of plagues and diseases. Some of these cause instant death and the whole stew stinks of rot. All models that are hit suffers a wound with no saving throw on the roll of 4+. In addition the unit must pass a panic test or fall back. The plague doesn't affect Daemons or Undead.

Points cost: 25 points per cauldron.

Clan Skryre often use cauldrons filled with the volatile mixture of inflammable chemicals and powdered Warpstone known as warpfire. All models that are hit suffers a S5 hit that causes D3 wounds. No armour save is possible. The warpfire inflicts double wounds on flammable creatures.

Points cost: 30 pts per cauldron.

There is no shortage of rats around a Skaven settlement. The cauldron is filled with rats but it doesn't cause damage as a normal cauldron. Instead a Ratswarm is placed on each flank of the attacking unit and the swarms will attack in hand-to-hand combat. The swarm count as a unit of their own and will pursue a broken enemy. If more swarms are poured from the cauldron they will form a single swarm. The cauldron is one use only and is bought from the Monster allowance as it is essentially two Ratswarm. The Ratswarms don't count toward the number of halfprice Ratswarms you can buy.

Points cost: 75 pts per cauldron from of the Monster allowance. One use only.


Normally warmachines deployed in the towers may not move off the tower, however portable Skaven warmachines such as Warpfire Throwers and Jezzails may move around as they wish.

Poison Wind Globes
The globes can be thrown in the shooting face as normal or be dropped at a unit in basecontact with the wall or tower as a stand and shoot reaction or in the shooting phase. When the globes are dropped place the template like a cauldron, directly below the globadier and in front of the wall. When the globe is being dropped don't roll the scatter dice. A battering ram receives its 4+ save as they can breath air trapped under the mantlet instead of the gas. If globadiers are attached to a unit they may stand and shoot against units touching the wall and they are not forced to evade. Globadiers can be placed in a unit to allow it a better place to drop the globes. A hit from a wind globe causes a single wound on the roll of 4+ with no armour save possible. Any Skaven character can buy a supply of Wind Globes as a magic item for 25 pts, this item may be duplicated.

Warpfire Throwers
Warpfire Throwers are able to burn attackers to a crisp before they reach the wall but they can't hit a unit in basecontact with a wall as the flames always shoot forward. To come around this you are allowed to aim a Warpfire Thrower down at the base of a tower or wall. In this case place the 2" template just like a cauldron, directly below the Warpfire Thrower and in front of the wall. A Warpfire Thrower is allowed to stand and shoot at an attacker using either a shooting flame or wait till the attacker is in basecontact with the wall or tower and then aim at the base of the tower or wall.

If the Warpfire Thrower explodes than all models on the same level or lower within D3+1" are hit. Models one level higher are only hit on the roll of 4+ and models two levels higher are not hit at all. EG a Warpfire Thrower on the ground explodes and the walls are showered with Warpfire but each model is only hit on 4+, the towers are not hit at all.

As a sidenote a Warpfire Thrower used to attack a castle can fire the stream of Warpfire at the ramparts and is treated like a stone thrower or any other template weapon as on page 12.

The Skaven castle features several gates or openings and large passageways. Some gates contain a ramp that will allow a Doomwheel to gain speed as it sallies forth. These gates halve movement for an attacker moving upwards and Skaven defenders at the top count as being on higher ground.

To open the gate the Skaven player need only to declare that the Doomwheel wishes to roll down the ramp. It's assumed that two slaves open and closes the gate for the Doomwheel. If any other models wish to move out the gate they need to open it as normal.


Frenzied models are a bit problematic in Siege. They must charge if they can and they must always pursue. But they are at the same time standing on top of a wall and defending a castle. Troops on the ramparts do not need to pursue and do not need to charge units that are outside the castle, a unit inside the walls must be charged. Troops in the broken ground, trenchsystem and tunnelsystem must pursue a broken unit. If they are standing behind a defended obstacle they will charge over it. Troops in the ambush-holes must charge enemies within their charge range.