With the rise of the Warhammer Underworlds Rivals format it’s now easier than ever to pick up and play with any warband. Skittershank’s Clawpack dropped on to the battlefield as part of the Nethermaze boxed set, with a number of tricks up their sleeves.
If you’re here reading this, you’re no doubt hoping for some sneaky tips to elevate your game. So get those poisoned blades and smoke bombs ready as we prepare to learn how to win with Skittershank’s Clawpack.
How they play
Skittershank’s Clawpack are a mostly aggo warband with some control capabilities. You have five fighters at your disposal. While some are definitely better than others, they’re all still competent enough that you can still win a game even after a few casualties.
As the Clawpack was released after Rivals format was created, they have a fairly decent set of faction cards at their disposal, which makes them a fairly good choice. If all goes well with this warband, you’ll be getting loads of re-rolls in your attacks, thanks to the ‘Marked for Death’ ability and plenty of ways to inflict Stagger. The warband also has two ranged fighters, which is fairly uncommon in Underworlds, and gives you more options with your activations.
To inspire this warband you’re going to be targeting the enemy leader.
There are two different inspire mechanics to be aware of. Slynk Skittershank and Snyp Padpaw (the two Assassins) inspire when the enemy leader is out of action or has four or more wound tokens. The other fighters also inspire when the enemy leader is out of action, but can also inspire when they target the leader with an attack. In most games you’ll probably end up inspiring one or two fighters early, with the rest following all at once when the leader is out of action.
This is an inspire mechanic which should occur during the course of a normal game, but if your opponent plans in advance they can make it a little harder. Just avoid rushing to inspire, as you might risk running into a trap and putting your own leaders at risk.
Slynk Skittershank is your leader and has the Marked for Death ability, giving him a single re-roll against a leader. He starts off with pretty good stats, with a three dice attack dealing two damage with Grievous. Slynk gains an extra attack dice when inspired, which makes those crits more likely.
Snyp Padpaw has a similar profile to your leader, but instead of grievous, on his attack, he has a smoke bomb reaction, allowing you to stagger adjacent enemies. Once inspired he gains Grievous and Cleave, which helps pick out any remaining fighters.
Kreep Kinwhisper is an interesting one, with a range three attack and a reaction that places a net counter on an enemy. If that enemy tries to make a move action that round, they take a damage. It’s a nice way to dissuade your opponent from being aggressive. When inspired he also gains Grievous and the Marked for Death ability.
Skulck is your second ranged fighter. Being one of the two minions, he’s not going to put out a lot of damage, but when inspired his attack action does gain Stagger.
Krowch’t is the other minion. There’s nothing particularly special about him, but his attack will put out two damage, so he can still contribute a good amount to the fight.
Key Cards and How to Use Them
Sweep the Leg and Spitting Cobra Technique
One of the main things you’re going to want to do is dish out stagger tokens. Stagger tokens let you re-roll one attack dice against a staggered opponent, which stacks with the Marked for Death ability’s re-roll. Essentially, once fighters are staggered your attacks have a better chance of landing, and it becomes easier to land those critical hits needed for the fighters with Grievous.
Snyp Padpaw already has a way of staggering people, but cards like Sweep the Leg and Spitting Cobra Technique give you options to let your other fighters inflict stagger. Sweep the leg is obviously more reliable, but the additional range and chance of inflicting damage with Spitting Cobra technique makes it a great card. Because the damage is applied before the stagger, you’ll want to consider using this before an attack rather than to finish an opponent off, in order to score certain objectives.
Daggers in the Dark, Dazed and Confused and Rattled
Speaking of objectives, Skittershank’s Clawpack come with a load of ways to capitalise on all of those Stagger tokens you’ll be dishing out.
The issue is that some objectives require you to keep fighters with Stagger tokens alive, and some such as Daggers in the Dark require you to take them out of action, so you have a bit of a balancing act around when to kill fighters and when to keep them alive. Again, Snyp Padpaw is going to be crucial to scoring some of these thanks to his Smoke Bombs reaction. If you can set it up right, you can use Snyp for a last minute dash across the battlefield and stagger two fighters at once in order to score Rattled easily.
Dazed and Confused is probably the hardest of these to score. If you get this card in your first draw, I’d consider a re-draw. Unless you’re fighting against a horde warband or another warband who uses Stagger a lot, this one is going to be tricky to score. You’re better off leaving it until a few of your own fighters are out of action.
Way of the Striking Fang, Collateral Damage and Misplaced Optimism.
- What you want to achieve
- How the cards let you do it
- Natural synergies
As well as dishing out Stagger tokens, the other main aim of Skittershank’s Clawpack is to take out the enemy leader. As well as inspiring your fighters, it also ties in with a few objectives.
Both Way of the Striking Fang and Collateral Damage are pretty straightforward cards. You want to kill the leader and as many other fighters as you can manage. Ideally you want these cards in the second or third rounds though. It might be a stretch to kill the leader early on, and having four or more fighters out of action will be far easier in later rounds when both yourself and your opponent have taken casualties.
The beauty of these cards is that as long as you’ve killed the leader, you’ll be able to score these cards even if your fighters are all out of action. An extra four glory after your opponent thinks they’ve won could be a game changer.
Special mention to Misplaced Optimism here. Again the card is pretty straightforward, but it’s always fun being able to mess up your opponent’s gameplan. This gives you a bunch of options to pull their leader into a fight, out of a gloom hex, or even push them into a lethal hex.
Probing Attack, Way of the Lashing Tail, and Impressive Students
As with most warbands, it’s often best to be aggressive with the weaker fighters first, especially when cards like Unsurprising Fate reward you for being reckless with your Minions.
If you plan things out well though, you can easily use your minions to score some easy objectives. There are a few push cards in the deck, but the best for this is probably Probing Attack. It allows you to potentially push both of your minions by two hexes, provided they’re then next to a fighter.
This can help you to easily set up to score Way of the Lashing Tail, a surge objective for a quick two glory. It also makes it easy to score Impressive Students. Both of these objectives are great to have in your initial five card draw. If you happen to have both at the same time, you’re off to an incredible start.
Follow the tips here and you might just be able to execute your sneaky schemes when playing Underworlds.
How are your games using Skittershank’s Clawpack going? Have these tips helped you find success? What advice would you give to someone struggling with these sneaky Skaven?
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