After the update I started a new skaven warband and played it for about 70 battles. Here are my observtions: + - Stats increases are very nice. Finally assassin starts with truly powerfull profile (S,WS,I all above 40+). Warriors also get better profiles which is very well. Of course not all of them are great, but now there's no problem with hunting for ex. 35WS 35S warrior with 5wounds. They appear quite often. - Adding full strenght skills to the list was a great move. Now skaven can access much needed S increases (mighty blow), get fear and take armour training and that +10 defence skill. - Adding some shooting skills is also a nice bonus. Now you can take pistolier with awesome Warplock pistols and you can increase ranged weapons range by eagle eyes. Certainly helpful. - - Skaven still cannot deal with their old problems which are fear and high armour. I mentioned that now you can take fearsome to cause and be immune to fear effect. True. The problem is that it requires 4 (3 if you're VERY lucky) advances. Why is it bad? Well. From my experience fearsome models start to appear in about 15-20 battle. I know it's not a rule but these are my observations. You warriors to be effective need (at least): 1) WS incresaes so they can hit more reliably and take more attacks 2) More wounds so they won't die from halfling's fart 3) Good armour (obvious) 4) good strenght Skaven are problematic because unlike mercenaries they don't have access to S increasing weapons like greatswords/hammers/axes. By increasing strenght only to get fear, they are far less powerfull than mercenaries who can semi-reliably pass the fear checks on their own. Sure fearsome will make Skaven immune to it's effect but what are you going to do with your low WS,W and A then? I know you can go normal way of advances (I mean investing in WS till you get another attack, then S, then W, then again WS or some skill etc) but fear EXTREMELY hurts skaven. With even one strong, fearsome opponent battles are really impossible to win when you fail fear test after fear test and you're left exposed. Leader WS doesn't help for the reasons I described in other posts. Besides it's still lower than 50 most of the times. - Starting skills Skaven suffer very much because they do not start with advanced weapons training. They have to spend one advance point to get weapons that might be optimistically considered good like halberds, swords or (good indeed) weeping blades. Unfotunatelly mercenaries have much, much more weapons in their arsenal who are available to everyone and are often much better what skaven have (except equivalents). I also noticed that you increased starting xp for warriors because of thrown weapons training. That was rather a bad idea - mercenary warrior with let's say WS 35,36 needs only 2/3 advances to get a second attack. And will get it faster because he starts with 0. Skaven also need 2/3 advances but with mouch more XP which is veeery bad. - Weapons and armour Close combat. In this game strenght is very important - it makes you deal more wounds and reduces armour. Mercenaries are hands down superior in weapons department. They only thing Skaven can take is a flail which is not the best weapon and by taking it you sacrifice much in a way of: parry, protection (shields def bonus) or taking slings to have something to say in the shooting phase. All (or most) weapons that give parry or increase critical chance need an advanced weapons training which skaven do not have. Sure, there are some spears that have +5% crit/parry chance but that's it. Nothing more. The later the game the more important S is. Skaven do not stand a chance (even with weeping blades) versus heavily armoured warriors. As for weeping blades (on assassin) to make them effective can openers you need 3 skill - advanced weapons mastery, strike to injure and parry (and LOT of S). Than they might be considered good but still I would prefer great sword/flame sword any time. No S increase even with 50% parry makes you rely on luck (and 2dmg crits are most common), because opponent have parry of their own and armour. You literally cannot compete with humans without weeping blades of everyone. And humans will STILL be better. - Shooting weapons. They are definitely not worth it however you look at it. Thrown weapons have extremely short range, need a lot of skills and even though awesome, 2 warplock pistols cost almost the same as long rifle. Short range is a main bummer because plan was to stay hidden and shuriken your enemies to death. It doesn't work. As ScubaSteve pointed out in other thread you're detected before you get in range. And later, even with hidden in shadows enemies have Initiative high enough to detect you. Now about effectivnes: - Warplock pistols. On one hand they are indded powerfull. Very powerfull. On the other you need hell a lot of skills and money to make a pistolier: - At least 4 BS upgrades to hit. - Blackpowder training (unlike human marksmen skaven do not start with this skill) - Blackpowder mastery - Hunter - Pistolier - Quickshot - Eagle eyes. And (if your warband is more than 5 rats) you have to prepare more than 400gc to get 2 pistols which are quite rare to find. And now let's not forget that to stay alive on the front lines (pistolier after all) you also need those Wounds... Thrown weapons: Vary in effectivness but the point is that you also need a lot of skills to make it work. - 3,4 BS upgrades to hit. Note, that unlike Warplocks you cannot shoot in/into close combat. You may only target unangaged enemies. - thrown weapons mastery - 3 S upgrades unless you want your shurikens be weaker than a sling - knife fighter - eagle eyes ( not sure but you also need blackpowder mastery to get it , so another 2 skills) And, just like pistolier you need to survive so wounds increases too. All of that to get 3 shots at range 12. Compare it with human marksmen who can shoot you from much further. This is what I consider an effective build. Since reikland is obviously most common: - 1 (if you're lucky and start high on BS)/2 BS advances (to get quickshot) - quickshot - mastery of your choosing. Humans start with Bow Mastery and BP mstery. So 1 or two skills if you go for xbow. - If you prefere firearms you need hunter and nimble (not necessary) - If you really need it you cna get eagle eyes but it won't make much difference. Wounds - depending on a weapon. If you get long riffle and are carefull you don't even need wonds increases. And than you shoot from half across the board with range 4x/5X greater than skaven, with weapons that are much more effective. - Armour. That will be quick. I made a comparison/equivalent list between skaven and humans - verdict: skaven have no chances. With their best armour being slightly better than cuirass, best shield equal with marauder shield and their best helm being equal to comet hemet. That's lower tier of what humans can take. And skaven almost cannot negate human armour in return. That's it.