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In playing Orcs n' Goblins, Goblins (because they are so cheap "points-wise") are used as meat shields...does HoC have such a thing?! Marauders?!
Marauders and hounds are the typical "cheap shield" for a mortals list. However beast heards are often used against extremely shooty armies, as their skirmishing ability alows them to cover a much larger area.
For simple screens, (blocking war machine fire), you're best with hounds, as their speed allows them to get in the way of whatever is threatening you. For actual soaking up wounds, you're best with marauders or beasts.
The Hierarchy Chaotica: Kinky Sex > Change > Disease > Blood
98% of the population actually believes these stupid statistics. If you're part of the 2% of humanity with a brain, put this in your profile.