With my first run of games now finished, I thought I pop some thoughts down about my Beastmen and how they performed, what worked well and what didn’t. It may incorporate a bit of a mini army review. (Marks have been given based on my opinion of the unit and influenced by how effectively I can use it!).
WHFB Stage 2 outcome
I’ll start with my results and take it from there.
Game 1 – loss – 7pts
Game 2 – win – 17pts
Game 3 – loss – 15pts
Total – 39pts (out of a possible 75 with an additional 3 points for hobby if Steve reads the bat reps or painting updates here). So just over 50%. Not great and against the competition in the group, has a good possibility of being in last place.
Dan is probably on his way to win as I believe he has 2 out of 2 wins so far (With 2 out of 2 secondary objectives). Neil has one win and one loss but I believe achieved secondary goals in both games so still has a good points haul. Paul may have lost his game against me (game 2 – above), but he achieved the secret mission so earnt 15pts in the game. Obviously this is based on comments from opponents and my games against them. Until Steve sends round the first of the stage 2 updates I cannot be sure of the exact results.
The Herd Of Khazbar
Khazbar – Level 4 Great Bray Shaman (Shadow). 4/5
Overall he worked really well. The lore complemented the army and is fairly easy to use. The only issue is, i set the army up for him to go in the bestigor, so he could take advantage of the standard of discipline. This meant he was often up against foes with high toughness/multi wound models (as that was the units prime target) which wasted his jagged dagger item. Making him a lvl 4 beasts and keeping the same loadout but with fencers blades so he was a more oriented combat character, would probably make more sense. When placed in a different unit, the one point drop in leadership was really noticeable.
Wazzock lvl 2 Shaman (Beasts). 4/5
Was surprisingly effective, he has the same attack stats as a Gor champion so with an AHW, acted as a combat multiplier and wyssans is just such good value. Going forward I would definitely drop the chalice of dark rain and put in a dispel scroll, as the former is too situational (though in fairness I didn’t compete against any particular shooty army builds). Depending on how I take the level 4 going forward, I’ll either swop Wazzock to a lvl 1 shadow or perhaps even run a second lvl 1 also with beasts for a second wyssans.
Zhuroc BSB (Beast banner). 5/5
Hardly ever made combat but he was never meant to. His sole task was to provide a buff and reroll. The banner really made a difference to the horde with the +1 Str bonus and I was surprised he wasn’t targeted more, especially as he only had a 4+ basic save.
Bloodhorn – Doombull 4/5
I get the impression my opponents were far more experienced in facing doombulls than I am in playing them. Either that or he has a certain fear factor as a lot of effort went into getting rid of him. In terms of his load out, I think I made the right choice, especially as he was a lone character. The magic weapon meant I could use him to clear out ethereal, something the rest of my army would struggle with.
The problem was in my selection of targets. He should have just ploughed into standard rank and file, where his high save and basic stats would rip them apart. Saying that, he made a solid dent in Paul’s great Unclean one and it was just bad luck he didn’t muller a chunk of Dans empire. If I ran Minotaurs, I’d definitely be tempted to put another one in the unit as well as having him fly around. I only gave him a 4/5 mainly down to my use of him. Aesthetically he’s a 5/5.
38 Gor horde 4/5
Complete beast, especially with the banner. Over 40 Str 4 attacks (if the BSB is in the unit) will tear through most things. Only one real way to play it, pick an opposing unit and get into combat as soon as possible using your chaff to eliminate his blockers, something I didn’t always do and it normally cost me when I didn’t. If we didn’t have a competition 40 wound restriction, I’d likely boost this to 50 models as it takes a lot of punishment from all directions. What I didn’t appreciate was how much opponents feared this unit in each game and adding another 10 models might just make them avoid it more so might actually be counter intuitive.
With the beast banner this unit is definitely a 5/5.
19 Gor herd 3/5
The unit was fine but you have to pick fights with care. It mainly got used as a bunker for the level 2 and wyssans helped it a lot. I would be tempted to either boost the size by at least 5 models if only to help survivability, as I do find that extra rank can make all the difference, especially in 8th. The other option would be to drop the unit completely and run a couple of 30pt ungor raiders. At that size/cost I wouldn’t care about the random Beastmen ambush rule.
I like these a lot. Yes they get targeted by cannons quite a bit, need to be in BSB or generals LD bubble and their combat effectiveness is somewhat debatable (if only down to my single die rolls). However they are reasonably cheap, are there mainly to support other units in combat and can be used as chaff if needed.
I can see why this unit is a go to in most competitive lists. WS4, Str 6, primal fury and a 50pt magic standard allowance make them as good as we will get. LD 8 maybe average for most armies but it’s gold standard for Beastmen. ASL does mean they should apply the maxim go big or go home. Having one of the only saves in the army generally means nothing when they are fighting the high str/toughness preferred foe. The unit of 24 I took worked well in most cases. It was the right size to be flexible and absorb some casualties, however in half my battles, the magical cascade from having the lvl4 embedded there, effectively took it out of the game before it reached combat! So the moral is: 24 is fine but go 40 if your shaman is in there!
I’ll admit I struggled to use them effectively. A combination of unfavourable matchups or good deployment by my opponents didn’t help (and I kept forgetting I had scout on one unit). I can see how in the right hands they can be used very well (perhaps that will be me with more practice) and Neil taught me a nice trick with them (or with his furies) using them in a 3*2 rank for character assassination.
Compared to the harpies I generally had much more luck with the porkchop express but only once I realised it actually has limited use in combat. Sure it has 4 attacks and a good str, which increases on the charge but I found it averaged out to one wound. I found the best way to use it was run it in front of a combat unit and stick it in the face of the nme unit, always remembering to angle it so if they charge you can counter into their flank (he may be mediocre in attack but he is surprisingly survivable) or if they don’t he can stay there and block them or help with a combo charge. In theory, harpies could be used the same way but I found it easier to do with a single model and it is for this reason I’ve given it such a high rating.
I have 2 models I completely love and use as Ghorgons and it was purely for this reason I took it. I want to love the rules but after using it I’m struggling. The truth is I’ve not yet used it effectively and wonder if I ever will. When you deploy it you always worry that it will be one shotted. It just isn’t survivable enough, especially when anything can wound on a 6+ (although ironically he survived 3 out of the 4 battles I used him in). There is also the points cost. 275. That’s a lot. For just over that, I could bump up the size of the Bestigor unit (the standard option) or get 6 minotaurs with AHW. Yes they are also massively overpriced, especially if you compare them to trolls or Ogres and suffer from frenzy baiting with a much lower leadership but you get far more attacks and wounds. He also fills roughly the same role as the doombull in my list.
I’ll definitely be trying out builds with minotaurs. Dropping the Ghorgan (or using 2!). Beastlord in Bestigor to get the maximum LD bubble. Double units of 5 raiders.
Lots of options to try. I’m definitely not finished with this army. I still have lots to learn but the army is immense fun.