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Inspired by the great work over at the Wood Elf section (seriously, they are doing a great job, and you should go check it out if you haven't already) and the horror of ending up in last place in the Nemesis Crown Campaign, I have decided to throw my hat in the ring and help out my fellow beastmen and beastwomen.
Every Beasts of Chaos army varies greatly between each player, but hopefully with a number of other writers we can get an informative and helpful tactica.
For those wishing to contribute Submission Guildelines
1. The Basics1.1. Starting Beastmen Strategies
1.2. Beastmen only Playstyle
1.3. Beastmen and Mortals Together
1.4. Beastmen and Daemons
1.5. Marks of Chaos
2. Characters2.1. Lord Choice Guides2.1.1. Beastlord
2.1.2. Doom Bull
2.1.3. Great Bray Shaman3. Units
2.2. Hero Choice Guides2.2.1. Wargor
2.2.2. Bray Shaman3.1. Core3.1.1. Beast Herds(this one is very important and varies widely between players, I may break this down into multiple guides)
3.1.3. Tuskgor Chariots (Librarium Online Beasts Of Chaos Tactica)
3.1.4. Warhounds (Librarium Online Beasts Of Chaos Tactica)3.2. Special3.2.1. Chaos Trolls
3.2.2. Chaos Ogres (Librarium Online Beasts Of Chaos Tactica)
3.2.4. Minotaurs (Librarium Online Beasts Of Chaos Tactica)
3.3. Rare3.3.1. Dragon Ogres
3.3.2. Dragon Ogre Shaggoth
3.3.3. Chaos Giant
3.3.4. Chaos Spawn
4. Magic Items4.1. Common Magic Items
4.5. Arcane Items
4.6. Magic Standards
5. Beasts of Chaos Magic5.1. Lore of Beasts (Librarium Online Beasts Of Chaos Tactica)
5.2. Lore of Shadow (Librarium Online Beasts Of Chaos Tactica)
5.3. Lore of Death (Librarium Online Beasts Of Chaos Tactica)
5.4. Lore of Nurgle (Librarium Online Beasts Of Chaos Tactica)
5.5. Lore of Slaanesh (Librarium Online Beasts Of Chaos Tactica)
5.6. Lore of Tzeentch
6. Advanced Tactics6.1. Get the most out of Ambushing
6.2. Using skirmish movement to your advantage
6.3. Beastmen BSBs: why, how, when, and when not to
6.4. Doombull and Minotaur Army
6.5. Chariot Army
7. Dealing with A Specific Enemy
Chaos Ogres are what I like to describe as the forgotten middle child of the Beasts of Chaos armybook. They are often overlooked for the higher weapons skill, and more importantly, the higher leadership of Minotaurs. One might look at them and Minotaurs and think that they are both there to perform the same role, but they are not.
Chaos Ogres take up a special slot, and because of this they are competing against some pretty tough competition. What ogres bring to the table is something that no other unit in the entire armybook can, a 3+ armor save. With heavy armor and a shield Chaos Ogres are the toughest unit you can have. In an army that is always lacking in the 'taking a hit' department having a unit or two on the field that can actually be a rock-hard anvil is definitely a tactical boon. With Toughness 4, that one of a kind 3+ save, and 3 wounds each, they will not go down easily. Chaos ogres can weather a hail of low strength hits that would normally wipe out your beast herds. This will be our answer to High elves and their SoA; I expect to see many more Chaos Ogres in the future.
Chaos Ogres are also a ranked unit which means they can deny rank bonus if given the opportunity. They may not be skirmishers, but with movement 6 they will often not be left behind.
Due to their wounds they have a rather high unit strength and that combined with fear can win you a battle if you are lucky enough to attack a weakened unit or are able to flank(oh come on this is a beast army, when are you not flanking).
Chaos Ogres do have rather low leadership, and should always have a musician and maybe a standard to alleviate this. Also, babysitting them with a unit that has a BSB also helps. Panic checks will kill you with these guys just like the rest of your army, they are tough at taking a hit, but are easily scared. Never field them with great weapons or two hand weapons as those weapon options are better suited for Minotaurs. Chaos Ogres do come with a pretty heafty price-tag, but need enough numbers to be able to accomplish anything, so units of 4 are best.
Very resilient, with high Toughness and wounds and the only 3+ save you can get.
Only Beasts of Chaos unit that can act as an anvil to hold the line.
Mediocre Weapon Skill.
Witch elves, Plague Monks, High Elf Spearmen, Fast Cavalry.
Knights, Bolt Throwers, Cannons, Great Weapons.
Last edited by frozencore; March 1st, 2008 at 14:29.
Minotaurs are almost always in every Beasts of Chaos army, and for a good reason. They have many beneficial traits that make them an essential part of a beast-centric or Doombull army. With a great number of attacks at high strength they are the ideal Beast of Chaos "hammer," and the ability to have them be marked gives them even more flexibility.
At a first glance it is easy to see why including Minotaurs would be helpful. They have a good weapons skill, strength, toughness, 3 attacks, and 3 wounds. Most importantly of all they have a higher leadership than the rest of your army and come with the mark of chaos undivided as standard. This makes them much more reliable than any of your other units, and it is nice to know that at least one can be counted on to pass a leadership check. Minotaurs have a few equipment options, but more often than not they should be equipped with a great weapon and no armor. Two hand weapons does give an extra attack, but with 3 to start off with one more doesn't add much. Light armor is nice, and can be given if you have the spare points, but unless you have nurgle minotaurs adding a 6+ save won't help you that often. The reason for equipping them with great weapons is to get the very important strength 6. Strength 6 is what I consider one of the "cut-off" numbers in warhammer, the others being 4 and 7. Strength 6 wounds most units in the game on a 2+ and gives -3 to armor saves. -3 armor save also being important against to 4+ save of light armor, hand weapon, and shield. Having a large number of high strength attacks gives you opportunities to take out units that your normal beast herds can't.
Of the command options none are really necessary. A standard will only allow your enemy to get some extra points if your Minotaurs fall, because you will be getting most of their combat resolution from kills. A champion only gives an extra attack and the points are better spent elsewhere.
Minotaurs are not without their downsides, however, the biggest one being that they are just as poorly armored as the rest of your army. Don't forget that you can flee as a charge reaction to keep your minotaurs safe (and with their higher leadership they are more likely to rally) because with their poor armor if they are going to take casualties they will most likely flee anyway. If they flee as a charge reaction you really haven't lost anything and you might just end up putting their unit that failed the charge in position to flank with your other troops. While movement 6 will keep them safer from unfavorable charges than your standard beast herds, minotaurs die easier from shooting. A lot of care must be used when fielding them and they should be one of the last units you place on the board, because they are often vital to your ability to win against certain opponents.
Marks of Chaos can give your Minotaurs some useful skills, and may change their optimal weapon options and uses on the field. It is important to note that all marks that you buy are double edged swords because you are loosing the mark of undivided ability to reroll. It is also important to know that marks get cheaper per model so units of 4 are best when marking your Minotaurs. All Minotaurs come with the Mark of undivided for free. The mark gives you the ability to reroll failed psychology tests. This means that Minotaurs can be one of the only units that don't need to be babysat by the army general. The mark of Tzeentch is cheap and gives you an extra power dice, and putting it on minotaurs is really the only place you can effectively to get those extra dice. Mark of Khorne is the most expensive and potentially the most powerful. It is the biggest double edge sword of them all as frenzy can leave you in a bad filed position and doesn't allow you to flee a charge. The extra dispel dice and extra attack are really nice, and because of the number of attacks this is the only unit that is effective with two hand weapons. Nurgle Minotaurs are often a favorite of someone who wants their can opener to be safe from shooting. Equipped with that 5+ scaly skin and light armor they have a 4+ armor save which is pretty respectable. It essentially makes them an Empire greatswords on crack. Slannesh makes them immune to psychology, which seems nice at first, but considering they had the reroll before for free and immune to psychology means they can't flee any more it is actually worse.
Minotaurs have 3 special features about them, they cause fear, they have something called "bloodgreed," and they can be taken as a core choice if your army general is a Doombull. Fear is nice, and with unit strength 3 outnumber isn't impossible, and it keeps them safer from low leadership troops as they might need 6s to hit. Bloodgreed is very interesting. Minotaurs can never overrun, but will always pursue 3d6 instead of 2d6. This is almost always beneficial as you will almost never be able to kill a unit to the man, but chasing 3d6 can often mean wiping out an fleeing enemy and charging into another. Having the ability to be taken as a core choice in a Doombull army can free up some of those important special slots for other units which is nice.
High strength and number of attacks
Can be Marked
Pursues 3d6 inches
Low armor makes them a "Glass Hammer"
Knights, Elite infantry, Other monsters
Shooting units, Unbreakable units, getting counter charged
Last edited by frozencore; March 1st, 2008 at 14:28.
A Tuskgor Chariot is clearly one of the most cost-effective (point-wise) units to field. Beastmen generals usually take at least two of them in a 2000 point army unless they are playing an army composition that moves the chariot to special choices.
Taking a look at the numbers, one quickly discovers that the chariot have top marks in both defense and offense.
A Toughness of 4 is average, but 4 wounds and 4+ armour save is clearly amongst the best. Usually, however, the defense of a chariot does not play as much of a role, as long as it is decent. The usual banes of chariots are strength 7 hits and getting run down, obviously.
It is the offensive capability that makes this chariot stand out. It produces 1-6+1 impact hits with strength 5. Add to that; two charging tuskgor attacks, and the crew, who are not to be underestimated. The beastigor's attack has good chance of causing a wound with his high weapon skill and strength. One of these potent chariots can easily remove the entire first rank of a unit of toughness 3 troops!
All this hitting power, and still it remains pretty cheap in points...
Although few, the chariot does have some downsides. It has low leadership, for one, and although the "undivided" mark gives it a re-roll on psychology test (hence about a 75% chance to overcome), it does not help the chariot against break tests. If beaten just slightly by bad dice rolls, you can be almost certain that the chariot breaks from combat. Keep the general and battle standart bearer close!
It it also somewhat a problem that fleeing tuskgor chariots only have a 55% chance of rallying, unless the general is nearby. Make sure that you get the charge!
The movement of the chariot is not great either compared to others of its kind. The tuskgors have a move of only 7', and there is a risk that the chariot falls slightly behind your battle line as you advance, because of marching rules. It compensates however with a 14' long attack, so it should not be much of a problem.
Most of its other weaknesses are common to nearly all chariots: strength 7 hits, can not negate ranks, obstacles and terrain.
Like all chariots, the tuskgor chariot works well in collaboration with ranked units who do not have the punch to overcome the enemy alone. Beastherds come into mind... The chariots also break about everything if they attack in pairs. Very violent indeed.
Good overall defense
Impressive hitting power
Relatively low point cost
Chaos Undivided mark
If a combat is lost, it most likely flees!
Low movement, compared to others of its kind
Susceptible to high strength hits
Ranked infantry units mostly, but nearly anything goes
Terrain, cannons, kroxigors (and alike), unbreakable units, getting charged
Magic: Lore of Beasts
The Lore of Beasts is often the ideal magic lore for a Beasts of Chaos army, it offers many unique spells that compliment a beast army very well. When I look at the lore I can't help but think that the list was written with Beasts of Chaos in mind. It fills in many of the flaws a normal beast list has. It is mainly supportive in nature, so it is ideal for a low level caster who doesn't absolutely need to get their spells off, though after playing with the lore for a while you might find that you become more dependent on it than any other lore because of how it fixes Beasts of Chaos armies disadvantages.
1. Bear's Anger.Bear's Anger is a great character buff spell. It turns your nonthreatening bray shaman into a formidable close combat damage dealer. While he might still be lacking in the armor department (and what beast isn't) he has a nice round profile of 5s. It makes a bray shaman a nice addition to any unit as they will have the benefit of spells on the way in and extra punch once they hit the enemy. Another nice feature is that is does not have to be cast on the wizard himself, which means you can cast it on another character who is in close combat as long as they are in range. Lastly it has a rather low casting value which means you can throw just one dice at it at the end of your turn and have a decent chance of success if you really have to.2. The Oxen Stands.The Oxen Stands is a good spell that solves one of the main problems with a beast army, poor leadership. While having units flee off the board is a calculated risk when playing Beasts of Chaos, sometimes you will just roll poorly, be having a bad game, or just really want to keep something alive. Having a spell that can automatically rally any unit on the board is a godsend. There are two problems with the spell, though. The first is that is goes off in your magic phase, which means the unit you are rallying has run at least twice by now and is going to take time to get back with the rest of your army. The second is the casting value. It is rather low, but not low enough or inconsequential enough to be comfortable with only throwing one dice. Using two dice for it is pretty much a guarantee.3. The Crow's Feast.Decent Magic missile that has many low strength hits and good range. Good for getting rid of lowly armored low toughness units. Fast cavalry comes to mind as a prime target for The Crow's Feast, as they are a threat Beast of Chaos armies might have problems with. It is a good counterpart to the other high strength magic missile, The Hunter's Spear. Two dice are needed on average, three if you want to be sure.4. The Beast Cowers.A very situational spell, that can come in handy. Stopping a cavalry unit or chariot from charging is nice but won't help in every game. Cavalry and chariots are faster than most every unit we can field so removing their speed can be very beneficial.5. The Hunter's Spear.A good range high strength magic missile that does what a beast herd can't. The Hunter's Spear allows your bray shaman to act as a bolt thrower. It can really help against high armored ranked units that beast herds can have trouble with. Its casting value is slightly too high for me to be comfortable with only throwing two dice at it, but three dice is almost always a guarantee.6. The Wolf Hunts.Probably the least useful spell in the whole list. It allows a cavalry, chariot, or single monster a random extra move. It can give you a bonus charge if you need it, but the randomness of the movement and the limitations on what units you can target make it questionable. It has a moderately high casting value that would need 3 dice but is fairly certain to succeed.
Magic: Lore of Shadow
The Lore of Shadows does have a couple very powerful spells, and is often taken just to have access to them. Unfortunately the cast values on many of the lore of shadows spells are quite high, making it only useful for a high level caster. That combined with the fact that some of the lower spells are not very helpful in a Beasts of Chaos army makes lore of shadows one of the most overrated spells lores we have access to. That being said its powerful spells can let you dominate the game, but you will need to have to dedicate your game to magic in order to use them.
1. Steed of Shadows.Lets the caster or another character close by make a 20 inch move that can be a charge. Having a character all alone isn't that helpful unless they are casting Crown of Taidron the number 3 spell on the list. Using the spell for getting a friendly melee character into combat to help out a unit is nice but when you consider he needs line of sight and it happens in the magic phase when the units are already taking up the frontage (shuffling characters forward happens in the movement phase). This spells most reliable use is to save your caster when his unit is charged. It has a cast value that makes you need to throw two dice to be sure it is cast successfully, further limiting its uses.2. Creeping Death.A very situational spell. Great against expensive, armored Heavy Cavalry. The low strength on this magic missile means you can't harm anything toughness 5 or higher. On the plus side it ignores armor and has a lot of shots, but you will only get an average of 3 kills a turn with it. 3 wounds a turn no matter what you are shooting at makes it best for hitting the most expensive unit possible, but if they don't have one you really won't be doing much. Two dice will be fine on average.3. Crown of Taidron.Every unit friend and foe within 12 inches takes a low number of s4 hits. This spell is only useful if you used Steed of Shadows to get you caster in a proper position. Otherwise it will work best against your own units because it doesn't ignore armor and you have none to save your troops with. A moderate cast value makes this spell even less useful, as two dice might not cut it. Avoid this spell if you can.4. Shades of Death.A great spell that works amazingly well in a Beasts of Chaos list. Having a unit that causes fear can save you against a fear causing opponent. Even better those unit strength 12 minotaurs did not used to autobreak enemies by themselves, but add even a minimum sized beast herd and it puts them over the edge in combat. It also gives fear causing units terror, which can be helpful against low leadership armies like goblins. Remains in play is nice, but you really only need it to work for the one round that you charge with them. Requires three dice.5. Unseen LurkerThis is the spell people take the lore for. Having the ability to take an extra move that can be a charge in the magic phase is huge. You can move into position in the movement phase and charge in the magic phase, or save yourself from a failed charge. Unfortunately there is a magic item that gives us the exact same spell. It has a 50% chance to be cast with 3 dice, but seeing as it is very important 4 dice might be needed. A very expensive spell that will require you waste your enemies dispel dice with other casters. They will probably learn after the first time you cast it to save their dice, so you will probably only get one shot with this spell, which makes it not as useful as it could be (but you can always try and use that you your advantage).6. Pit of ShadesA spell that does huge amounts of damage to low initiative troops. The small blast can really cover a ton of troops in fantasy. Models under the template are hit, and partials on a 4+. Then it is up to your opponent to make his initiative checks or his troops are just removed, no armor, no ward, nothing. It can really ruin someone's day, but it has such a high cast value that you need 3 or 4 dice to cast it.
Magic: Lore of Death
The Lore of Death is an interesting magic lore as it is remarkably average. Everything in the spell list is good, but nothing is spectacular. No matter what you roll you will not be disappointed. Whether or not you find it useful is entirely up to you, and because of this many people pick other lores instead. It is also helpful to note that the spells for this lore sound really cool.
1. Dark Hand of Death.Pretty average magic missile, s4 d6 hits 24 inch range. Does what a magic missile should do, and nothing too fancy. You can throw one dice at it, but that would be risky as it is on the cusp, two would guarantee its success.2. Steal Soul.A nifty little spell that drains 1 wounds from a single model in 12 inches. No targeting restrictions is really nice, and I am sure many uses can be thought of for it. Take out unit champions, finish off heroes, etc. Even better is that it gives the would to your caster, and can bring him above his normal wound limit. Unfortunately it is in between the cutoff for 2 or 3 dice so you might have to use three dice for a two wound swing.3. Wind of Death.A nice better magic missile. Just what you would expect as an improvement over the first spell, double the hits. I would prefer that the two magic missile spells have two different uses, rather than one just being an improved version of the other. It is pretty decent, though, so you can't really complain if you roll it. It lies on the edge of the 2 or 3 dice to cast range.4. Walking Death.A great spell that works amazingly well in a Beasts of Chaos list. Having a unit that causes fear can save you against a fear causing opponent. Even better those unit strength 12 minotaurs did not used to autobreak enemies by themselves, but add even a minimum sized beast herd and it puts them over the edge in combat. It also gives fear causing units terror, which can be helpful against low leadership armies like goblins. Remains in play is nice, but you really only need it to work for the one round that you charge with them. Requires three dice.5. Doom & Darkness.The most interesting spell in the whole list. It lowers an enemies leadership by 3 at a 24 inch range. It can target units that are in in close combat too, so that improves its uses quite a bit. It isn't exactly a remains in play spell, but the unit has to make a leadership test at -3 or still be effected by the spell in their turn too. It is great when you know you will win a combat, but not by enough to get a big penalty to the break test. It helps against stubborn units that can normally tie down your troops. It can even help your fear-causing units out by making the check to charge them harder to make. Overall it is best used to keep your beasts from being stuck in combat for many turns where they will die. It will need 3 dice to be consistent.6. Drain Life.Every enemy unit in 12 inches takes d6 strength 3 hits with no armor allowed. An interesting spell. It can be pretty harsh against knights, and heavily armored infantry. The only problem you might have is getting it into a position where it will do the best damage. It has great potential, but you need to get at least 3 enemy units in range for it to work up to its potential. It will go off with only 3 dice most of the time.
Magic: Lore of Nurgle
The Lore of Nurgle is rarely seen as its mark is probably the least useful, except for minotaurs. It has some nice spells, but overall it is weaker than the other marked lores. Considering you have to pay extra to give your caster the mark of nurgle, it often doesn't perform well enough to warrant the extra points spent. Like all chaos specific lores it suffers from having very expensive spells. This is not to say that the lore is weak, because it is not, it is best used in a list that you want to be fluffy. The Lore of Nurgle centers around debuffing you enemies, ignoring armor, and targeting characters.
1. Buboes.An interesting spell that targets any model in 18 inches. The model needs to take a toughness test or lose a wound with no armor saves allowed. Overall I find this spell to not be that useful, accept against elves as most heroes have higher toughness. Also a great number of armies have t4 on their standard troops as well, meaning this spell will only work a third of the time. Combined with a very high cast value for the first spell on the list make it less than useful. It needs 2 dice to cast, but has a decent chance of success.2. Poxes.A pretty nice debuff that remains in play. A unit in 18 inches has its WS, BS, S, and Ld reduced by 1. It can be pretty powerful for keeping your units alive as it both reduces the amount of wounds you take and increases the number you will do. You can cast it on a unit after it has been charged, as it can even be cast on an enemy in combat. This can give your chargers a dramatic advantage. -1 WS often means guaranteed hitting on 3s to get rid of your kill zone and -1S means those few attacks will do less on the return as they will be on 5s or 6s for most base troops. It is quite powerful, but needs 2 or 3 dice on average.3. Boils.Boils is a quasi-magic missile that has a good range and strength, and the best part is that it ignore armor saves. Unfortunately, it has a low number of hits and will probably need 3 dice to cast it.4. Scabs.A character in line of sight an 18 inches permanently loses 1 toughness. It can even target inside of a unit. It combines well with the first spell in the list, but to do it would require 5 dice as this spell needs 3 to cast. It could be pretty helpful to lower a character's toughness, but I don't think the price is worth it.5. Afflictions.A very powerful spell that halves an enemy unit's movement. Flyers have to use their ground movement, so feel free to cast it on them too. It remains in play, so it can effectively neuter an enemy's knights or chariot. You can also use it just for a single round so you can move in to position to charge without fear or being charged yourself. The power comes with a hefty price tag as it will definitely need 3 dice to cast on average, 4 if you really need to be certain (and this is one of those spells that you might need to be certain about).6. PestilencePestilence is cast on en enemy unit in 24 inches and in Line of Sight. That unit takes d6 strength 3 hits every magic phase, both your and your opponents! The best part is even though it remains in play it is not a remains in play spell, so you can feel free to cast other spells. Keep casting it on enemy unit after enemy unit and watch them each take 2d6 hits every turn. Great for getting rid of lowly armored units that could normally give you trouble like spearmen, or archers.
Magic: Lore of Slaanesh
The Lore of Slaanesh is often considered the most powerful magic lore in the entire game, and for a good reason. Every spell in the list has something that sets it apart from spells other lores have access too. Every spell in the lore has extremely potent effects, that when used properly can win you the game. The problem is that one must completely dedicate their self to the magic phase to get the most out of the lore of slaanesh because all of its spells are extremely expensive. This then leaves you with a very low leadership general in most games. Properly using the lore of slaanesh is often not possible until you have a 4th level caster, so it won't be available to you unless you are playing a 2000 point game or higher.
1. Blissful Throes.A short range very high strength magic missile that has a low number of hits. Its damage can make anyone wary to come close, and our speedy beast herds can use it to its fullest as the short range is less of a problem. It can cut through pretty much anything in its range, hit something that has a high points value. Needs 2 dice to cast.2. Luxurious Torment.Luxurious torment is a very weird spell that has two very different uses. It stems directly from what the spell actually does. It can be cast on any unit, friendly or foe in 24 inches (no line of sight needed), even if they are in close combat. It gives the unit frenzy but they also take d6 strength 3 hits at the start of both player's turns. The spell remains in play until the unit looses frenzy, but is not a remains in play spell. This means you can cast it on one of your own units to give them the edge in combat and only lose an ungor or two every turn for 3 attacks. Or you can use it on enemy units so they take damage and are forced to charge. Cast it on a warmachine crew or archer unit and make them charge your ogres or bait and flee with one of your cheap units. Slowly they will take damage and become less useful as the game goes on as well, so you can even leave them alone. 2 dice will be successful on average.3. Titillating Delusions.This spell is hilarious, and extremely powerful. Pick an unengaged enemy unit in 24 inches and force them to move to a spot on the board of your choice. They are not allowed to do anything else until they reach the spot. It remains in play, so you can be sure your opponent will try to use all their power dice to get rid of it, but at the worst it screws them over for one turn, at best it can effectively remove any unit of your choice from the game. This is one of the best spells not only in this lore but in the entire game. I would use 3 dice to cast it as it is very important.4. Delectable Torture.A nasty spell that can help destroy a character's unit. When cast on a character in an unit that isn't in close combat he/she must make a round of close combat attacks on his unit. All the normal special rules like flails, magic items, etc. all still apply. Can be devastating if the hero is a tooled out close combat monster. If the hero is not in a unit he will make a ranged attack at the unit of your choice. Don't forget that the character can cause panic on his unit and therefor screw your opponent over even more. Uses 3 dice.5. Enrapturing Spasms.A dangerously effective spell that can be cast on a number of different units because of its wide variety of effects. Essentially it makes a unit not be able to perform any action, they cannot move, shoot, attack, or cast spells. It has a decent range of 18 inches. and can even be cast into a combat. Lasts until your next magic phase. 3 dice will work more often than not, but 4 will make sure.6. Delicious Excruciation.The oddball spell in the lore, but it is still good. It can be cast on any unit in 24 inches, friend or foe. It makes the target unit unbreakable, which overrides daemonic instability and can instantly rally a fleeing unit. On your own troops it can be very helpful to rally (as beasts flee a bunch) and make something a speedbump. On enemies it can get rid of that pesky bait and flee unit, because unbreakable units cannot flee. On average 3 dice can cut it, but 4 will be better.
Contributors: MouseC112, Frozencore
Many people look at the Warhound entry and immediately glance past them without a second thought, only to come back across them to realize they have the ambush ability. Their stat line may not be that impressive but many veteran beastmasters know that they are a vital part of a Beasts of Chaos army. Warhounds are best thought of as a wonderful support unit for your entire army as a whole.
Hounds occupy a core choice in the Beastman army as long as you have a beast general, however it is important to note they do not count towards the minimum core choices. They have a high movement rate, but the rest of their stats are mediocre at best. Lacking armor, and high toughness, hounds are easily sent running for the table edges, or easily destroyed entirely from strength 3 shooting. It’s important to note also that hounds can panic your other units. So it’s best to account for this if you think they will be targeted as they may flee through your other troops.
So with low leadership, low toughness and easily dispatched why take them? If you play an ambush army, hounds come with the ambush ability. This will let you either ambush more characters or beast herds, while deploying the hounds. This adds to the tactics your army can employ during deployment, and keep your opponent on their toes.
Do not despair, for the most important role for Warhounds is their ability to die. Their low stats are the very key to their power as a unit. It might take some time for some players to wrap their head around this, but it is the fact that they suck that makes them so powerful. For less than a cost of a gor you get a model that can move 7 inches a turn. This allows them to get into position quickly to sacrifice themselves for the cause. With their low armor and poor leadership most Beasts of Chaos units cannot take a charge. This problem is fixed by the speedy and cheap Warhounds who can let your herds and heavy hitters get the charge in many different ways. First off they can be used to protect your flanks. By placing them on the far sides and moving them up with the rest of your army you can defend against fast cavalry by angling them in ways to either send the cavalry off the board so you don’t have to deal with them or sending them off into nowhere ready to be charged by your better units. Warhounds can also be used to bait and flee against your enemies more powerful units. Put them in from of their super unit so they have no choice but to charge the extremely cheap Warhounds. You them have the option of either taking the charge with the hounds and their will either overrun to be flanked by your waiting units or will have at least moved forward a couple inches so you can use your charge distances of 10 or 12 to your advantage without being charged yourself. You can also flee as long as you make sure to keep their flee lane free (don’t forget if they run through one of your other units they will have to take a panic check). Your opponent’s super unit will then be left out in the open to be charged by a few of your units on the flank! You traded a 30 point unit for their expensive unit, definitely a bargain. This is where the power of the Warhounds lies.
It’s also important to note that hounds are a ranked unit, and can hold table quarters. For a measly 30 points you can have a unit that can hide behind terrain and hold/ contest your table quarters. Also, as a ranked unit they are one of the few units on the board that will be able to deny enemy rank bonus. This is important to note because often you will be going into a battle with a unit that will have higher combat resolution than you because of rank bonus. The ability to deny ranks in such a fast unit can send a combat that would have been a loss into your favor.
Warhounds are also great war machine hunters, their cheap cost makes them a rather low investment, and their ability to fulfill multiple important roles means that even if you opponent doesn’t have any war machines your haven’t lost anything at all.
An inventive tactic is to use your shamans to make them cause fear via lore of death/shadow’s spells. Often opponents forget that each hound is unit strength 2 for being on a cavalry base. Well if you can charge a unit that doesn’t have as high of a unit strength you can force a leadership check. Take them in a unit of 10, and your US 20. It’s an odd tactic, which may not pay off that often. However, keep it in mind for if you charge a dwarven war machine that’s stubborn (and let us not forget that as long as it isn’t shooting it is a win/win situation anyway). For example, a unit of 10 hounds charges in. Strikes in may cause a 2-3 hits, maybe 1-2 wounds. So with outnumber, rank, and a wound they score a 3. The dwarves swing back, maybe 3 crew left, hit 2, do 1 wound. Dwarves have high ground and lose by 1. Leadership 9 will probably pass. However, wouldn’t it be better if they were testing on being outnumbered by a fear causing unit? Even better, charged by a fear causes they may be force to flee with an unlucky leadership check. Works vs. Dwarves, even better vs. Orcs and Goblins, empire, and skaven.
Increase the number of ambushes
Good missile fire screeners
Bait and Flee pros
Fragile, no armor save
Low WS/Str War machines
Flankers for non-elite troops
Expensive units for baiting
Holding table quarters
Expecting them to win