Sunday 26 November 2017

Armies of Australian Masters 2017 - Part 7


Today in Armies of Australian Masters 2017 we have the only representative of Ratkin army commanded by Dru. He switched to this force relatively recently but that was a good decision as he was very successful with it.  He won one of the local events and finished 3rd during his last tournament with it.

What is also interesting is that there are two other Master players who are known for playing with Ratkin but decided not to choose this army this time.

Ratkin - Dru - Army List

40 Shock Troops, Horde, Maccwar’s Potion of the Caterpillar
- Weapon Team, War Engine, Storm of Lead
- Death Engine, Monster, Vile Sorcery
- Warlock, Hero, Inspiring Talisman, Lightning Bolt (5), Bane Chant (3)
40 Shock Troops, Horde, Healing Brew
- Weapon Team, War Engine, Storm of Lead
- Death Engine, Monster, Vile Sorcery
- Swarm-carrier Hero, Lute of Insatiable Darkness

40 Blight, Horde, Blood of the Old King
- Daemonspawn, Hero, Fly

20 Tunnel Slaves, Regiment

20 Tunnel Slaves, Regiment

20 Tunnel Slaves, Regiment
This is an army with a large body count, a lot of shooting and 13 elements, the number that according to Ratkin philosophy should ensure good fortunes. There is a lot of melee potential due to the presence of horde units that are designed to do damage in close combat as well as thanks to Death Engines and Daemonspawn.

Visual representation of the Army

Let's have a closer look at the particular choices Dru made in composing his army:

2 x 40 Shock Troops - Shock Troops consist of those individuals who were born bigger, stronger, and meaner that their siblings.

These two units can do a lot of damage despite hitting on 4+. The combination of Elite, Vicious and Crushing Strength (1) is a very powerful combination. They also help other units to keep on fighting longer thanks to Rally (1).

40 Blight - The Blight are foul, noxious beings, infected with all manner of hideous diseases. They are accompanied by a suffocating miasma of pestilence which often assaults the enemy before the Blight even arrive.

This unit does not have a lo of armor but makes up for it with being very reliable as it cannot be wavered. It can mitigate the damage done thanks to Stealth and Ensnare special rules too. While 30 attacks alone should result in consisten amount of damage dealt in melee.

3 x 20 Slaves - Scrawny, malnourished and the lowest of the low; when they are not cannon fodder for the enemy they are just fodder for the rest of the ratkin army. These destitute beings are a rag-tag collection of many races, all as broken 2and mindless as one another..

Cannon fodder but with a very good nerve, especially in the presence of rallying units these regiments can be truly annoying to the enemy.

2 x Weapon Team - All manner of looted Abyssal Dwarf weaponry, or even bizarre contraptions of the ratkin’s own cruel design are employed by those mad enough to see what happens when you pull the trigger.

Very maneuverable with effective shooting range 18", weapon teams are close range support for the combat orientated infantry. Armor Piercing (1) upgrade should ensure that any hit does damage too.

2 x Death Engine - Strange, rickety contraptions crewed by “volunteers”; no two are ever of the same design. A bizarre mix of arcane science and cunning sorcery, the Death Engine rumbles and grinds its way through the enemy ranks striking out with dark energies at those it cannot crush beneath its churning wheels and spinning blades.

Death Engines are reliable and versatile constructions that can support nearby troops or be deployed on their own. Upgraded with Vile Sorcery it now adds to the ranged attacks of the army with efficient range of 24" for the randomly generated number of fire bolts. 

Warlock - The warlocks study the dark arts – magic and sorcery from the depths of the Abyss. They are twisted, evil individuals but cunning and dangerous too.

Warlock is a very versatile hero that supports the troops providing Inspire presence, can add to the ranged attacks with Lightning Bolt (5) or cast Bane Chant (3), in particular at melee specialists to ensure maximum damage is done.

Swarm-crier - Bones, dried skin, fur and skulls are all used in the construction of the ratkin’s war banners and totems. Carrying these trophies and decorated with the unfathomable runes of the underworld are blind, bloated albino rats that march alongside the pack screeching their hate.

Another source of Inspire and Bane Chant, the swarm-carrier may not be as versatile as the Warlock but is a very good support for the army too. 

Daemonspawn - The most powerful (and foolish) Warlocks know how to summon Demonspawn from the depths of the Abyss to march alongside the pack and terrorise their foe.

The most powerful element of the army, Daemonspawn is really dangerous in melee with a huge amount of attacks it generates. At the same time it is also source of Inspire Presence and Rallying! (2) so nearby troops will definitely benefit if it is around. On top of that it is yet another spell caster, adding Lightning Bolt (5) to the already impressive shooting abilities of the army.

Please, let me know what you think about this army!

Thanks for reading!


  1. Really enjoying your analysis of these lists - even though I ma not in Australia.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Jon!

      I am very happy to know you like them as my main goals are to advertise the event and to support Kings of War in general and to present gaming scene in Australia to wider group of players from other countries.

      I think it is interesting to see what players decided to take to that unique event. It is also good to exchange point of views as people may bring different armies and prefer different styles in other places.


  2. A very strong list in the right hands. Obviously the Slaves will screen the main line, and act as chaff. The aim here is to absorb missiles but also the initial charges by the enemy main line. Enemy chaff can be dealt with by the Death Engines, Weapon Teams and Lightning Bolts, before these move onto picking off key elements and forcing the opponent to move to the Ratkin line. The Death Engines and Verminlord can see over intervening infantry and cavalry and target mages, standards and other support elements. The Shock Troops can then pick their fights on a disrupted, chaffed up enemy (Slaves in the way), while the Blight either guards a flank or pushes up too. The Verminlord is extremely flexible and can either support and shoot, or zoom over behind the opponent's line for shenanigans. So the battleplan will be to soften up with shooting, clog up your attack with Slaves and then smash-face with Bane-chanted Shock Troops and a Verminlord.

    I haven't played this list, only seen/heard about Pete 'Fields of Blood' Dunn's version. To beat it, you might be able to run a refused flank, try to take them from the side with fast movers, while your line either stands still in cover or backpedals. His shooting is short-medium range after all. Killing the Slaves early is good too, to prevent him chaffing you up. He has fairly slow movement except for the Verminlord, so maybe a chance to run round and outmaneouvre him if you have lots of cav or flyers. Shooting has a lot of targets to choose from; probably the Weapon Teams, Death Engines and Warlock first to reduce his counter-fire, maybe the Slaves, as De2+ makes them a juicy target even for archers. Without the Slaves, his mainline will become the one that receives the first charge, and even Shock Troops won't like that.

    1. Thank you for taking time to write such detailed comments! I really appreciate that!

      This army certainly has a lot of strengths and as I have played against Ratkin only once so far, I am grateful for any advise in case I happen to play against it. :) It has something to do in each phase of the game that makes it more versatile and flexible.

      Scenarios also have a big impact on any game hence it is quite difficult to be precise in forming battle plans based on the list itself. But I agree that having some plan is good to have regardless :)

      Thanks again for your comments and advise!