The Skaven Screaming Bell is both a war machine and a carriage for the Grey Seer that rides on it. In this section we will have a look at the Skaven Screaming Bell and Tactics on using in it Age of Sigmar battles.
Because the Screaming Bell carries a Grey Seer the Bell has the Masterclan keyword and it’s stats can be found in the Skaven Masterclan warscroll section of the Age of Sigmar app.
When buying the Screaming Bell Model remember that the box for the Skaven Plague Furnace can make the Skaven Screaming Bell instead. It is one or the other and both.
General Screaming Bell Tactics
The Screaming Bell has a number of options when it comes to attacking. There is the bell it’s self, there is the Grey Seers magic, and there are a number of close combat attacks too.
The main use for the screaming bell it to provide some monster killing close support for your clan rats.
The Screaming Bells main use is when you roll to see what effect ringing the bell has. This is the ‘Peel of Doom’ special rule and is done in the Command Phase. As this roll may effect other Command Phase actions (like the effectiveness of your wizards) I recommend that you do it at the beginning of that phase. There are more notes about the Peel of Doom special rule below.
How Does The Screaming Bell Move?
Left to it’s own devices the Screaming Bell is slow. It can move 4″ a turn at full strength and this reduces as you suffer wounds.
There is help at.hand though. With the ‘pushed in to battle’ special you can get the Screaming Bell to move an extra 1″ for each 3 SKAVEN keyword models within 1″ of the Screaming Bell model at the beginning of the movement phase. This loose wording does give a broad range of options.
The rules are expecting that you will have a ring of Clan Rats encircling the Screaming Bell and that the Bell and the Clan Rat will be moving together. Also note that you can get more Clan Rats within 1″ on the old 1″ square bases than you can on the 25mm round bases, even when you overlap bases.A way to abuse the slack rules is to add outboard planks to your Screaming Bell big enough for Clan Rats to board. This means that the Clan Rats can move along with the Bell. With 18 Clan Rats onboard you can move at 6″ plus the Bell move roll. As the Clan Rats are onboard they will be there at the beginning of the next turn too.
To be really tricky you could have two Screaming Bells side by side. In this formation the Clan Rats can be counted as being within 1″ of both Bells and they can both gain the benefits.
Ringing the Skaven Screaming Bell and Peel of Doom Range
The Skaven Screaming Bell is not used in the shooting phase like most artillery. Instead of shooting in the shooting phase you use the Screaming Bell in the Hero Phase. This is great because you can discover the effect it has before you move or shoot with your other units. If you plan the order you activate units in the Hero Phase correctly, you should be able to peel and Screaming Bell before you do your other Hero Phase actions.
To ring the Screaming Bell you roll 2 dice and look up the result on the Warscroll. Remember that the average of a 2D6 roll is 7 so this is the result that you will get most often ( 6 in 36 times or 1 in 6 ). However with the Screaming Bell table rolls of 5 and 6 get the same result, so does the rolls of 8 and 9. The change of getting one of these results ( 5,6 or 8,9) is 9 in 36 each, or 1:4. This means that you will want to get familiar with these 3 results.as you will get one of them 2/3rd of the time ( 66.66% ).
How do I get a roll of 13 using the Skaven Screaming Bell?
On the Screaming Bell results table you will see an entry for a roll of 13. This is. here as a joke only. The Peel of Doom roll can not be modified in any way, so yo can never roll a 13!
Screaming Bell Peel of Doom Range
When you roll for the Peel of Doom results some of the results have a range quoted as the ‘Peel of Doom Range’. This range starts at 13″ and decreases to 5″ as the Screaming Bell looses wounds. But 13″ from where? I suggest that you measure from the edge of the model and not from the Bell it’s self.
As the Peel of Doom Range is in all directions it means that the Peel of Doom actions are area effect events with the Screaming Bell being ground zero. This means that for the best effects you want the Screaming Bell to be right in the middle of the thick of the action. This leads to a strategy of g punching a hole in the enemy lines with shock troops, forcing the gap wider with massed clan rats, and then push the Screaming Bell in to the gap where it can cause chaos in all directions!
When You Have Had Fun With The Screaming Bell Remember The Grey Seer
With the Screaming Bell you get a Skaven Grey Seer too. The Grey Seer is a Wizard and can be a very useful general too. You may want to note at this point is that because the Grey Seer and the Screaming Bell are one model, the whole model has both the Wizard and Hero key words and not just the Grey Seer on the bell.
The Skaven Grey Seer / Screaming Bell can cast one spell in each of your Hero phases and attempt to unbind one spell in your opponents hero phase. The Grey Seer knows the two basic spells and his signature spell ‘Cracked Call’.
How Does The Cracked Call Spell Work?
The Grey Seer rang the Screaming Bell with all his might and it replied with an Avalanche of Energy. Feeling the surge of magic the Grey Seer unleashed his Cracked Call spell on a nearby mob of Grots. The earth shook and heaved and ripped apart crating a chasm down to the boiling magma below. Grots threw themselves away from the chasm in a desperate clamour to escape their doom. Most escaped but two slipped howling to their fiery fate.
The Cracked Call spell has a casting value of 6. Remember that a 7 on the Screaming Bell’s Peel of Doom roll will add 1 to your roll result so do that first! As you only need to roll 5+ or 6+ on 2D6 this will activate most of the time (69.4% on a 6+, 83% on a 5+).
If the Cracked Call spell does activate then you can select a enemy unit in 18″, roll 2D6 against that units Move score and cause 1 Mortal wound that you beat the Move Score by.
Here is an example. If you target a unit of Ork Gits that have a move of 5″ and you roll 7 on your 2D6 then you cause 2 mortal wounds. If you target a unit with variable move rate like Grot Squid Hoppers that move 2D6″ per turn, ask you opponent to roll for the units move distance first so you know what you have to beat.
How Does The ‘Alter Of The Horned Rat’ Command Ability Work?
If your Screaming Bell Grey Seer in your army commander, or you have some other trick up your sleeve that enables this Grey Seer to use his Command Ability then you can call upon the ‘Alter Of The Horned Rat’ special rule. If you do then all the SKAVEN units that can see the Screaming Bell can add one to their Move and Bravery ( and I can not see a reason not to! ). The trick here is that the more viable the Screaming Bell is the more Skaven can see it. So if you plan to use this Command Ability frequently have a thing about custom modelling that may make your Screaming Bell higher!