I ‘ummed and ahhed’ for ages on which army to take. The misinformation posts, although obviously a bit tongue in cheek, were written as I genuinely couldn’t decide what to go with. Writing down a bit on each army was meant to help me decide but probably made the task more difficult! If I could have entered twice into the second stage, using different armies, I would have done.
It probably will come as no surprise though, that in the end I went with the Beastmen, if only because they are what i’ve been working on recently and are the latest toys.
This choice of army will automatically put me at a disadvantage. I lose 10 bonus points before I even start by not keeping my original list or not using a Dwarf army. Add to that, it is not fully painted so I will lose a further 2 points per game until that is done (approx 50 Gor, 10 Harpies, 1 Razorgor and the 2 Shamans to go). So already i’ve potentially lost 16 points, the equivalent of a game win!
The main disadvantage however is the fact that i’ve never used Beastmen before which does give a small handicap before we even start. Sometimes my genius knows no limits! I do have 1 practice game lined up against a new club member on 4 Nov, so hopefully that will be enough to show me the mistakes i’ve made in my list selection when it is too late to do anything about it.
With that said, i’ve had to rely on internet trawling, forum posts, battle reports, combined with my own thoughts and what I actually own, to put together my army. My reasons for taking what I did are given after the list.
I also think that i’m pretty safe posting this list early as it is likely most members have already sent their list to Steve to maximise points and if they haven’t, well it’s not like we’re using closed lists.
The Herd of Khazbar the Magnificent
Khazbar the Magnificent – Great Bray Shaman – General
(AHW + Jagged dagger + Talisman of Preservation + Level 4 – Lore of Shadow) – 294pts
Zhuroc the Shifty – Wargor – BSB
(HA + Sh + Beast Banner) – 191pts
Bloodhorn Thunderfeet – Doombull
(HA + Sh + Ramhorn Helm + Gnarled Hide + Dragonbane Gem + Sword of Battle + Arabyan Carpet) – 353pts
Wazzock the Lame – Bray Shaman
(AHW + Chalice of Dark Rain + Level 2 – Lore of Beasts) – 152pts
(38 Gor + FC + AHW) – 329pts
(19 Gor + FC + AHW) – 177pts
1 Tuskgor Chariot – 80pts
1 Tuskgor Chariot – 80pts
(24 Bestigor + FC + HA + GW + Standard of Discipline) – 333pts
1 Razorgor Herd – 55pts
1 Razorgor Herd – 55pts
5 Harpies – Scout – 70pts
5 Harpies – 55pts
1 Ghorgon – 275pts
Grand Total – 2499pts
List Build Reasoning
I was very close to using the 2nd list that I posted here: Sowing Misinformation – part 3. I really wanted to use minotaurs but in order to include the additional items such the chalice on the Shaman and additional chaff, I had to cut something from the list and they drew the short straw (the choice was between them, the Bestigor or the Ghorgon). A perhaps controversial choice but i’ll cover reasons below.
So why take what I did?
The first decision was who to take as the general. Lvl 4 GBS, Beastlord or Doombull?
Each had pro’s and cons. The Beastlord’s advantage was due to the higher leadership. However I had already made the decision to take a lvl 4 shaman (this was a no brainer having been magic starved as a dwarf in the first group!). Realistically this meant only having enough points for one more lord and having made the decision to cut the Minotaur unit and due to my love of them (they have always been my favorite Chaos unit), it meant that I had to include the Doombull so they were represented.
With no unit to hide in I would however, have to rethink his load out and having seen the idea of a flying bull online I stole and adapted the idea, of course ignoring the conventional agreed load out (no charmed shield for me, instead a veritable mass of attacks with a 1+ save which would probably result in further attacks). He would be acting as a super chaff and would likely be able to stall entire units of low str models.
With the Doombull roaming free, this meant the GBS was the only choice as general. The logical place to put him would be in the Bestigor unit to take advantage of the standard of discipline so that other units would test on an LD of 9. A 4++ talisman would help to give him a bit of survivability, either in combat or from miscasts. The AHW and jagged dagger were to give him the chance to gain additional power dice for each kill he made (at a very low cost). I chose Shadow over Beasts on him as I like more of the spells and i’m a relative magic novice and it seemed a more straight forward lore. Beasts has some great spells but seems more reliant on being able to get those specific ones.
This also meant that I could also take a lvl 2 Shaman on Beasts who would then benefit from the +1 to cast lore attribute, effectively making him a lvl 3 for free (at least for casting at the beastmen). Everyone loves the signature (Wyssans) and any other spell would be an added bonus. He was given the Chalice over a dispel scroll. I’m still not entirely sure this was wise but my army relies on getting into combat (and in one piece) and with taking a Ghorgon, I needed something else to help mitigate warmachines (especially cannons and stone throwers).
The final choice was a Wargor BSB. For a low leadership army, that relies on passing LD tests in order to reroll ‘to hit’ in each round of combat, the BSB is mandatory. Giving him the Beast Banner (+1 Strength to the holder and their unit) is one of the most obvious Beastmen BSB builds but is very effective when put in a Gor unit (The banner together with HA + sh + Gnarled hide combine to make the infamous 206 build. As i’m using the hide elsewhere, his defense will have to suffer somewhat).
Credit to users of the Herdstone for the image.
Honestly there was no real underlying strategy behind the core choices. I own 2 chariots, 60 Gor and 10 ungor raiders. That pretty much defined my choices. Of these, the 2 chariots were auto includes as I have always loved Chariots since picking up Grom and some other goblin wolf chariots back in 4th ed. Likewise a horde of Gor with AHW seems to be generally accepted as the best core unit and honestly who doesn’t like a horde! 40 odd attacks with a slim chance of boosting them to 50 at str 3 (or 4 if the Beast Banner is in the unit) is nothing to be sniffed at. A smaller unit of Gor allows me to have the option of ambushing it (should I want) or using it as a Shaman bunker. It is generally just more versatile than the horde.
I did think about dropping a few Gor from the smaller unit in order to include some raiders but I would have wanted 2 units in order to make use of ambushing and the cutting of troops to allow this would have hamstrung the 2nd Gor unit too much.
I read somewhere that Beastmen are kings of the chaff. I’m not sure of the truth of that but they do have some good options. 2 units of harpies give me some much needed speed. 10 initiative 5 attacks for each unit, should be enough to beat other chaff. Giving one of them scout, together with their high move gives a very good chance of getting them into any warmachines too. The chaff are rounded out with 2 individual Razorgors. They are affectionately called pork rockets by many Beastmen players. 55pts for 4 str 6 (on the charge) attacks is a bargain. These can be used on a flank, to assist existing combats or even as hard cover for other units. If nothing else perhaps I will have learnt how to use chaff by the end of the comp! (I will also give recognition to SELWG member Alex Mountain who is
downright dirty highly effective in using his chaff and has definitely inspired me to step up my game with them. If I can get half as good with them as he is I will rate that an overwhelming success).
Bestigors are a solid dependable unit. Good leadership (for Beastmen), armour(!), great weapons, the ability to take a magic standard and being able to add in Beastmen characters meant that with the greater versatility, I had to favor them over the Minotaurs, especially with the high cost of each Minotaur.
And now we come to the elephant (Ghorgon?) in the room. It is almost universally agreed that the Ghorgon is overpriced by at least 50 points and with the ability of any strength attack to wound on a 6, poison avoiding toughness and no save, it just isn’t durable enough to include in a list. So why the hell did I take one?
I’ll be honest, I almost didn’t. For the same price I could have almost 5 Minotaurs with additional hand weapons that would pump out 19 str 5 attacks (if the doombull was in the unit giving frenzy) and 2 str 5 impacts (on the charge) and 2 str 5 stomps (+ whatever the Doombull added). That is a lot of attacks and putting it down here now I am almost trying to work out what on earth I was thinking. The Minotaurs do have some issues though. They only have light armour (may as well not have any – so on a par with the Ghorgon there) and more importantly only toughness 4. That makes it relatively easy to cause wounds on them, especially with the type of matchups opponents would favour. The 295 cost for 5 Minotaurs also doesn’t include a standard/musician, which, with a LD of 7 they really need. They also need to be near the general/BSB to ensure they aren’t frenzy baited (or break easily).
So we then come to the Ghorgon. I could talk about the advantages of it over the Minotaurs (and I will) but the long and short of it is I have a model I really love and wanted to use it. That’s it.
Now having said that, it does have some advantages over the Minotaurs. First off it is LD 10 and Stubborn. That means it can operate independently on the flanks, something that very few other Beastmen units can. It is unlikely to fail a frenzy test and in combat it will hardly ever break. WS 4, Str + T + W’s of 6 means most units will need a 4 to hit and 6 to wound. Even cannons have only a 1 in 6 chance of killing it in one go and with the Chalice in the list, they will need a 4+ to even fire on one turn which might give it a chance to get into combat. The other way of looking at it, is that it is a large monster (something i’ve also not used having been playing Dwarves, so another point in its favour) and such an imposing model, he will likely be a magnet for fire and anything aiming at him will not be aiming at other units that are potentially more integral to the army synergies (I even managed to write that with out cracking a laugh as most of the list was picked based on what I own or really wanted to use…). So for better or for worse, he has been included.