View Full Version : Why not to use hoards in a beast army

20-03-2005, 22:39
Ok I never use hordes in my beast army. This is mostly for fluff reasons which have been well documented so I won't state them again. There is however a tactical reason I don't like to use anything from the list apart from the occasional magic item.

Warriors: I find they are too slow to keep up with the speed of the beasts and cost too much to get the full benifit of infantry (3 ranks, banner, outnumber) They also have too few attacks to make a difference. A small unit of chosen however can dish out alot of hurt but I find that thier speed moves them into the mop up/ support role which I don't like spending 200+ points on, much better would be chariots and minos.

Marauders: While these guys are cheaper than warriors so they can get 3 ranks, banner, outnumber more eaisly again the lack of speed make them not a great choice. In most armies units like these that rely on combat res to win get them for core and I don't like spending a special slot on them. Again the speed means that they don't get there untill a couple turns after the rest of your army and a unit with 4+ save and 5 basic combat res should be hitting the emeny first to get stuff pinned.

Chariots: These are tanks with t5 4 wounds and 3 save but you don't take chariots for these type of stats, they hit as hard as a tuskgor chariot for alot more points (35 more!). They can take marks enabling marked characters to hop in them but I find these type of chariots come with a bit shoot me sign. I use my chariots in support of a unit or in pairs. Neither of these roles need a character in them so beast chariots are IMO just better, they also have the advantage of being core choices. If running an all chariot army I guess these would have a place but that's a moot point.

Marauder horsemen: In a mortal army these guys are indespensible. They run along on the flanks and support chargers. I think thier uses are neglible in a beast army. Hounds can flank as well and although the suffer a bit from not being fast cav you shouldn't need it if all you want is to hit stuff in the flank. Centigor can also be used for flankers and for almost the same points cost. Thier ability to run through trees can be more useful than the free reform marauder cav get. And when they get on the flank of stuff them might be able to break them without another unit in the front, something marauder horsemen struggle with.

Knights: These guys are the largest hole in my "don't take mortals" argument. They are fast, provide an armoured unit to an army that doesn't have any, and hit like a really spiky truck. Why not take them then? Well in my opinion you don't need them. As flankers they aren't great for three reasons. They only move 7 inches, lack the manouravabilty of fast cav of centigor, and cost too much to be dancing around hoping to get in the flanks of stuff. A unit of 5 undivided knights with full command comes in at a hefty 215 points. Now at nearly 200 points you cant afford to wait four turns of moving around trying to get in the flanks of units, 30 points of hounds or 100 points of centigor are a much better investment. They are also IMO a bit too hefty to be flank hunting. You don't need the statline of a demi-god to take out ranks and drag down a casualty which is all you want a flanker to do if supported by unit to the front. This makes them not flankers but head on charge guys. Great they have a ws5 s5 attack which is great but then the horse gets a ws3 s4 attack as well! Against a unit of infantry with ws3 t3 and a 4+ save you will cause, with the knights, 4 hits and then say 4 wounds none of which would be saved, so 4 wounds and the horses will get 2.5 hits so say 3 and two wounds with say one save. 5 wounds and a banner. Not bad you win by 1 against 3 ranks banner out number. The clostest alternative in the beasts list are the minos. They move a bit slower and have less save but lets see how a 215 point unit will do. With 216 points you will get 4 minos and a banner. Against the same opponent the minos will get 12 attacks which is 8 his and say 7 wounds none of which are saved. 8 combat res against the 5 from the infantry unit. Now I was a bit generous on the saves from the infantry against the knights but the minos still come out on top in combat. The minos move only 6" but that should be enought to get the jump on infanrty and they pursue 3d6 as well as the knights. That takes care of the combat bit. If you want to up the anti a bit a choose the knights (for 60 points!) I get two units of warhounds which I could use to set up a flank charge on the infantry unit with the minos or support the minos with a flank charge. This is adding it a bit more variables but most players could do it and the 5 more attacks will translate into probably 2 wounds while the warhounds in the flank remove 3 from the infantries combat res and add another to mine.
Now lets address the armour issue. Knights can have a very impressive 2+ or 1+ armour save, something beasts just can't do. The best beasts can do is 3+ save on ogres when they are in combat. If you ask me armour isn't that great an advantage (I can make the rolls anyway). In combat you are expecting you knights to cause casualties to win as they only have a banner going for them and if you are getting hits back it is because you have fluffed your attacks or you have been charged, either way you are in trouble. The style of a beast army, that of manourvrability and concentration doesn't require armour.

A unit of 5 chosen knights of khorne with full command will set you back 320 points. This is a huge amount that can be neutralised by using chaos hounds or other fast cav and throw away units fairly eaisly. Now lets say that you neutralise these threats with herds or centigor or whatever. If this unit hits in the front it will dish out 16 ws5 s5 attacks which against the same unit of infantry afformentioned (ooh, snazzy word) this will translate to 11 hits and say 9 wounds one will be saved, the horses get 10 ws3 s4 attacks so 5 hits 4 wounds one save. Thats a combat res of 12 against 5 definantly enough to break the unit so no argument on the combat side.
If you think this unit will reach the enemy unscathed you are dreaming. Every thing capable of killing from afar warachines, magic, anything will be thrown at this unit. Pretty much every army out there can march block and hit from afar. The knights will be march blocked if possible and that means you will have to take that much more shooting and magic. a typical khorne army will get 6-7 dice to dipell which will go a long way to stopping magic and the 1+ save will help as well but throw enough stuff at the unit you will fail a couple of saves and this will hurt you. Same goes with shooting but with a greatrer risk I think as there are alot of no save or very little save ranged weapons, bolt throwers, cannon, stone throwers, jezzails etc...
I'm not saying Knights aren't a good choice for a beast army but I think the options in the beast book can do what they do better.

Unfortunantly I don't have much experiance with daemons but I think they fit the fluff so I don't have that much of a problem with them. I do think the instability tests are a major weakness and the lack of speed in the infantry is a let down. Daemonettes on steeds, furies, and screamers can be great additions to the army for warmachine hunting and flanking I just prefer to use ambushing herds, warhounds, and centigor!

User Name
21-03-2005, 02:13
I use beasts in my mortal army so I think I do not have as much experience as you do with them but I find that mixing the two has many advantages.

Marauders are there to die, and with a higher LD than beastmen they are more likely to stick around. They go in a spot that is vulnerable to allot of shooting but needs a sizeable unit to plug a hole. Just let them march into the guns and take casualties because it is your only large ranked unit which can usually fool people into thinking that they are important, especially if you give them a good paint job(speaking from experience) leaving the important things unharmed. Now they are much slower which is not too bad of a thing they arrive a turn later than your beasts and can plug a hole where something has gone wrong if they are centralized enough in a battle line. There purpose is completely different from the beast herd who should flank and use combined charge, act as a meat shield, or bait, at least that is how I use them.

Warriors, I completely agree with you they are way to slow for there point cost but I agree abut the small (12 dose nicely) unit of chosen is seriously bad ass. The unit can be a game breaker if used right, arriving just before your herds break to hit something in the flank and crushing it. The unit is also totally capable of holding a flank for 3 or 4 turns on its own against just about anything. I cant count the times my 12 chosen have won me the game by holding up my opponents badest unit until I can set up multiple charges. Warrior units without chosen are limited in advantages and donít rely have a useful place in a beasts list. They are not suppose to get the full advantages of infantry, they are suppose to be big enough to take a few wounds and have a large enough frontage to cause damage, like with heavy armour ahw and mark of korn giving them 3 attacks each, or halberds and a banner of rage, 2 s5 attacks each regardless of if they lose or not is hella painful.

Marauder horsemen are a hell of allot more manoeuvrable and reliable than centigors, seeing as they have a higher ld, are fast cav, and do not drink heavily all the time. If you need to have charges go off on a specific turn then they are better than centigors, although they are allot less hard hitting they do have a place.
On chariots I completely agree with what you said, in a few special cases it might be nice to use a mortal for a mark (extra DD or PD) but tuskgor chariots do the same job for less points.

Knights and minos perform basically the same role but in different ways. Knights are great for charging into a rank and file unit and obliterating it, but against multi attack high S opponents their value is significantly decreased and minos would better because they have muti wounds and more will be left to attack after then with knights. Minos are however much more vulnerable to shooting. Personally I like both units so much I never leave home without them I just cant choose. Which is not a bad thing since they are both speedy shock units that tie in well with the rest of my list (which is actually posted on this forum as 1500 nurgle speedy death)

If you compare the stats knights move faster, hit first at a higher ws and have a great armour save there is defiantly a place for them, which you admitted yourself so there is no real point in arguing the point more.

05-07-2005, 16:52
Yeah I have learned the same thing. I haven't fielded a unit of chaos warriors or marauders since I got the beasts of chaos book.

However I field tons of chaos chariots in my beast armies. With a 5 toughness instead of 4 I welcome my enemies to fire at them. The 3+ armor save further allows them to survive. And they are a very cheap way to get a mark on the field, particularly when I am playing a khorne army.

05-07-2005, 21:12
Mortals greatly benifit from taking beastmen in thier armies. And it kind'a harkens back to the old days when the beastmen were the closest thing to basic infantry in a chaos army.

But with the beast of chaos, it seems kinda like an all or nothing sort of army. you either have to go all ambush or all minotaur-shock tatics. But, it's chaos, it has to be an army of extremes.

Can anyone think of a practical reason for taking a Deamonic Charactor with the "Unholy Icon" upgrade. I know their leadership is bitchin', but at the loss of Ambush or core minotaur units seems to defeat the point of a Beasts army.

05-07-2005, 22:05
Actually I took an exalted daemon with the Unliving Idol in my last battle.

I did it for a specific reason however.

It was a 3000 point battle, and I wanted both a beastlord of tzeentch with the staff of change AND a great bray-shaman (lord level) with mark of slannesh in the same army. If either of these guys were the general then I'd be forced to only buy their mark (and undivided).

The only way to accomplish this is to get a hero level mortal character with the mark undivided (his leadership is 8 too and he can become the general), or an exalted daemon with the unliving idol. However the mortal character will change your army to a mortal army (with mortal units as core), but the exalted daemon is a beasts general keeping beasts as core.

So there's that.

Also however the exalted daemons and daemon princes are really tough nasty bastards, and it does add a nice bit variety to have a flying, terror-causing thing in your beast army. They can do other cool stuff too.

User Name
06-07-2005, 04:59
Thats a good point, I played two battles tonight using my mortal army and alot of beasts(a herd, minos, trolls, and pestigors) and my victories were mainly due to te beastherd holding a blootthirster up for 2 turns and the minos and trolls riping through a nisty big unit of bloodletters with a 4+ ward

I havent been too impressed with my pestigors though, all they seeme to do is die in droves to magic and shooting and then fail to do enough wounds to win combat, I wouldnt mind trying out a exalted demon with cloud of flies, combine that charge with just about any chaos unit, and much death is bound to come

06-07-2005, 05:26
I'm curious, how do games go where both players are using Beasts armies?

I just can't honestly imagine what kinda game it is. Regardless of the various types used(i.e Ambush vs. Ambush, Ambush vs. Minotaur, or mixed Chaos vs pure BOC..).

User Name
06-07-2005, 05:59
I have no experience with beasts vs beasts, being the only chaos player that uses a fair amount of beasts that isnt a redshirt and it just turns into a big slugfest with whoever manouvers best wins, with beasts vs beasts i would imagine minos have the advantage since alot of minos are going to pring serious pain to alot of beastmen, mainly if the minos are protected by their own herds.

06-07-2005, 18:21
I don't like beasts armies featuring mortals. Not at all. BUT! Warriors and Knights can be good ways to boost your leadership, and bring marks to an army low on the marks anyway. And with Immune to Pysch from Slaanesh and Khorne(both of which have good reasons to be beasts armies), the pysch benefits can be major.

Daemons are good for that reason.

I find a Daemonic character /w Unliving Idol and Master of Mortals makes a good general at 3K games. You can bring mortals AND daemons, in rather large armounts. And that can really be cool.

06-07-2005, 20:40
I'm thinking of using the new Dyrads as a base for some "beastly" deamonetts. all I have to is take off those twigs on their backs and paint them all fleshy and pink. said twigs can be used for neat terrain and bases.

24-08-2005, 10:01
For some time I've been thinking about a BoC army full of cat beastmen (using GSM from the Sabretusks in the Ogres army) with an Indian feel - led by a Rajkumar Maha-kshatriya - that sort of thing.

With Ambush style rules, Pantherkin caste warriors can drop from the trees with their lesser leopardkin caste brothers while the tiger caste roar mightily bedecked in their proud resplendance, marching across the feild fearlessly...

Which is the problem, as Beasts are anything but fearless. Which leaves me forced to use a Minotaur Lord, simply for the Leadership, for the sake of the fluff.

Now, Mark of Tzeentch is a must, (as the Rakshasa which this lot is based on is a highly magical creature) but there is another must that makes the whole thing a little dicey:

Chaos War Mammoth. (read as Indian Battle Elephant)

Stacking on 600 points and requiring a marauder unit makes this whole escapade extremely unpalatable, particularly in anything less than 3000 points.

Which also makes multiple mortal units (read marauders) a necessity, particularly marauders, otherwise I simply won't have enough bodies on the table to allow the elephant to look good.

Anyway I cant fit all the "must have" units in?

24-08-2005, 15:45
I'd like to add that there is no fluff-wise problem with including beastmen and mortals. They cooperate frequently. I do admit its slightly weird to include a single unit of chosen knights, you'd think they'd have something better to do.

You can't fill the role of knights with minotaurs. Sure, both hit about as hard on a charge, but the knights have an unheard of armour save, while minotaurs die as soon as you look at them bad. Toughness 4 isn't stellar, and with no armour save, they're a liability if they don't break the enemy right away. Considering they are normally used to counter heavy infantry and cavalry, their enemies are usually more than capable of striking back. A knight would have survived easily, but a minotaur will usually die easily.

Marauder horsemen is the only way to get fast cav, which I won't even bother to start explaining the value of. Couple that with throwing axes for some charge denying throwey action, and you have a unit that will not only be very practical, but also hours and hours of fun.

That said, I don't mix anything into my beastmen. Exceptions include a handful screamers and six horsemen I use on occation (because they're so fun).

24-08-2005, 17:17
I do admit its slightly weird to include a single unit of chosen knights, you'd think they'd have something better to do.

I'm thinking of doing a Beast army, and as much as I'd like to include some other Chaos-y stuff, that is the reason I just can't seem to do it. I want to go almost entirely Beasts, so trying to come up with a reason to fit one or two units in is giving me a headache.

I suppose I could just do some conversions and use "counts as" to fit them in, but some of the mortal models aren't bad.

01-09-2005, 13:29
My usual chaos army is as follows:

Chaos lord on steen w. 5 or 6 chosen knights
Battle standard bearer

20 chaos warriors w. shield and hand weapons

15 chosen chaos warriors with halberds

100ish beasts in some combination or another.

Yes the warriors etc are slower but aginst anything that isnt elves your at the standard movement rate.
The beast units, in such large numbers, are in effect a mini army all of there own, and will quite happily rip most of the enemy apart and cause no end of trouble. What evers left the warriors and knights mop up.
The warrior units cost so much that if I'm facing tougher opponent, I can swap a unit or two for minotaurs/ogres and keep speed with the beastmen, but this would mean swapping the chaos lord with a beastlord (no big loss seeing as I then get to ambush...

It also makes a lot of sense and I used to use marauders in the same way - the enemy runs forward and hacks at these units knowing they'll have to fight the tougher warriors next. In the case of the beasts you can be extremely sneaky and have the units flee when charged. Even if they die it doesnt matter (there dirt cheap) as the enemy will then most likely have a unit right in the middle of some very angry warriors with plenty of beastmen right behind them (got quite a few units like this, with the fleeing beastmen running back up as a flanking unit..)