View Full Version : Beastherds- really any good?

10-04-2007, 14:02
I've been having a few problems with beastherds.

On paper the fact they can skirmish and have a rank bonus seems a great idea.

However, in practice I find they can't really take on even the weaker fully ranked units on their own- even with flank charges they have a pretty tough time of it.With their low strength they don't cause that enough wounds to compenstae for their poor combat resolution. with little armour they're quite vulnerable to return attacks also.

As a skirmish unit used in conjunction with a frontal charge by a ranked unit (like Bestigor) they don't do much other than provide the flank charge bonus- which a much smaller and cheaper unit could provide (although obviously chaos doesn't have a choice in this matter).

I'm far from the best warhammer general in the world, so I'd like to know what everyone else thinks of beast herds.

10-04-2007, 15:35
I think that beastherds are great. The only problem is that they are S3 and can't really take on armor.

It is for this reason that a herd really needs a character or two. My favorite is a herd with two heros of Tzeetch. One guy has the staff of Darkoth and the other has the BSB/Vitriolic totem.

My favorite herd is one that is about 25 model big with about 8 gor and 15 ungor and full command. At around 151 pts it is super solid. And with the fact that these two heros can really add the punch, it tends to break more units than most of my other units combined.

The beauty of this unit is that it is big enough, has enough hitty models to last a while and has 360 LoS. That means that my mages can shoot in all directions/ herd can charge in all directions. So once you break a point in the enemy line, you can really run their flanks very fast.

There are also a few "speed-bump" tricks that you can use with warhounds and chariots in combination with the beastherd.

The smaller stand alone herds are alright if you wish to ambush or screen your expensive troops. A 4pt ungor can take a bolt thrower alot cheaper than a 45 pt chosen chaos knight.

But, like I said... the problem is that they can't handle armor so get some characters that can. Khorne with great weapons are also good.

Alot of people don't like the BSB--Vitriolic totem combo for the beastherd, but I think it is great. Often I find it a toss up between the BSB combo and another character with great weapon. Usually, I like the balance of both. The vitriolic totem is very handy when you fail your fear tests, that is for sure. Plus, you wind up getting alot of models in contact with a unit when you fight. So this helps you get the most out of those models that would normaly only be there for static CR.

Lastly, the herd is excellent at protecting characters. You don't need to tool up a character to protect him. Because the herd is a skirmishing herd, you can place your characters in the front line how you like. This means you can avoid a nasty character or set up to kill a mage or get whatever kind of match up you like. So you can save points. I usually like to use a beastlord of Khorne with a great weapon only. Maybe the armor of Damnation to protect against killing blow and nasty monsters. Otherwise, less is more.

10-04-2007, 15:40
I bring 3 in my BoC army and they serve well for their point cost. I've easily broken dwarfs with flank charges even when the dwarfs outnumbered me. The WS 4 and T 4 with 2x HWs make them fearsome in CC when compared to ordinary core choices. Remember, very few armies have their 'normal' troops with T 4. I've found they do very well against light infantry. (Anything with an AS of 5+ or worse) This isn't a problem since most armies are made of such units (spearmen, halbreds, skinks, marauders, elves, etc.) In essence, you're losing 1 of the static 5 to gain a massive mobility boost. If the herd is large enough, and for their cost, it should be, you'll have outnumbered (+1), 2 ranks (+2) and a banner (+1) for a total of (+4) with any kills you get with 2xHWs with WS4 attacks.

10-04-2007, 15:43
I have extreme success with beast herds. They are extremely cheap skirmishers who can also get rank bonuses, what isn't to like? Sure, they lose against chaos warriors but so do all the other fodder infantry in the game.

What's most important is their manueverability. They have a 360 charge, so no one can run around behind them. And after they break a unit and overrun beyond the battle line, because they have a 360 charge, they can immediately charge again, unlike ranked-up infantry that must spend a turn getting a new target in their front 90.

Casters in the unit can cast 360, and can see through the rest of the unit. Fantastic for Tzeentch casters and their magic missiles.

Seventh edition nerfed them quite a bit though, more than I first realized. Against a dragon, or a chariot, or a single model on foot (like an alter wood elf character), they only rank up 4 wide and won't get rank bonuses, which is catastrophically bad. In fact, an alter character is one of the beast herd's worst enemies in the entire game.

Comparing gors at 7 points a model to a wood elf glade guard at 12 (in melee) is a joke. The gor is practically twice as good for almost half the cost.

My beast herds regularly win against all kinds of infantry units. I often field them with 1-2 beast characters who add important hitting power for combat resolution. Standard, 2 ranks, and unit strength is a great place to start from. Again, just don't expect them to win against infantry that cost more than they do.

In general, i find ranked-up infantry so difficult to manuever that I'd rather just have a bunch of beast herds. My wood elf and high elf opponents just run around the side of a unit of bestigors. They can avoid ranked-up units all day long. In my last battle I simply could not get a march-blocked Treeman in the sights of my 20-strong unit of daemonettes, he could always run around the side or move out of range. Beast herds are immune to that.

11-04-2007, 11:27
Thanks guys.

So large units to gain the outnumbering bonus and hitty characters is the way to go i take it.

I'd been using units that were only 12-16 strong. I think I might take this up to 20 or maybe more.

11-04-2007, 13:06
I usually field several melee-oriented units of between 25 and 30 models with full command. 12 gors and 18 ungors for example. I do this because they are so damn cheap and that way they can compete for unit strength.

Depending on my army, I also often buy a smaller unit with only musician for pure screening.

11-04-2007, 13:38
Would they be a really good bonus for a Mortals list?

11-04-2007, 13:50
I'd imagine that they'd be very good in a mortal list since they're the only skirmishers chaos can have and the mortal list has plenty of powerful ranked units for them to support. As has been seen from this thread it seems that larger hard hitting herds are the way to go for a beasts list, but in a mortals list you might be able to use smaller units for nuisance factor and possibly screening.

11-04-2007, 14:08
A friend of mine uses the a BSB with the standard that gives the unit poisoned attacks in a herd with 2 hand weapons and that is a really dangerous combo. Plus it is pretty cheap compared with what it can do.

Personally I think herds rule and wish I could take something similar in my army.

11-04-2007, 15:34
That combo is pretty nasty. With all those attacks and the fact that beastherds skirmish (line up against the opponent) so no clipping.

Also, there is no sense in going too heavy with your gors. In my experience, the beastherd doesn't last too long in combat. It either breaks the opponent or it breaks itself.

There is very little in between. The chance of it breaking an opponent is very good though with all those attacks and the static CR. If you can get some high strength attacks in there, you will have a unit that can take on all commers.

11-04-2007, 16:59
A friend of mine uses the a BSB with the standard that gives the unit poisoned attacks in a herd with 2 hand weapons and that is a really dangerous combo. Plus it is pretty cheap compared with what it can do.

Personally I think herds rule and wish I could take something similar in my army.

Yep that banner is great for hitting power.

Another option is the Gore Banner (reroll panic tests). Doesn't seem that great on the face of things, but beasts are notoriously susceptible to psychology issues, and if you are putting expensive characters (in my case often a beastlord of Tzeentch with the staff of change) with them it's an absolute catastrophe if they panic.

This particularly came up against Lizardmen. Those poisoned blowguns and javelins will cause huge amounts of panic tests. To see your main herd with two casters (give the army standard the mark of Tzeentch too) run away can cause a poor gamer to cry. I've had the Gore Banner save my ass many times.

11-04-2007, 19:51
The real problem I have with beast herds is the way they're sold. 12 Gors and 8 Ungors per box, while a good total #, doesn't reflect the number of Ungors needed adequately.

11-04-2007, 19:58
What is the ideal ratio of gors and ungors - i sort of assumed that more gors is good with minimum ungor but I hear otherwise

suggestions welcome

11-04-2007, 20:13
It depends on how you want to play, some people want more of the powerful units to attack while others want more cheap sheilds.

11-04-2007, 22:39
I play BoC and the only herds i use are of the minimum size with champ and musician. These are useful for screening and generally being a nuisance for your opponent.

Bigger herds suffer a few fatal problems i find...

The larger the herd, the harder it is to get 25% in charge range of the enemy, effectively reducing your movement.

Terrible Ld and unruly makes sinking points, especially banners, into them a risky business as they'll often flee or charge when you'd prefer them not to.

With the faqed rules about tactical wheeling, it's now very easy to force skirmishers to rank up in a way that lets a 2nd charging unit hit the flank. For herds this means a lot of ungors in base to base which = lots of kills for your opponent.

I'm not sure i could ever be convinced to take big herds again personally.

12-04-2007, 01:04
I have always used more ungors than gors. Why fill up useless ranks at 7pt when it could be done for 4. Plus they have spears and are much more useful in the back ranks than a gors.

I can appreciate why some players like big numbers of gors because they will last longer, but truthfully, I have never run out of gors before my unit broke his or mine was broken.

I agree that the box is designed wrong, but that just inspired me to shop online. I was able to get all the ungors I want now and not have to buy the box set.

Either a micro herd (5gor/5ungor plus whatever command you want) is good, or a superherd of 25+ models with heavy hitting characters is good too. But, for me (I like to min/max units) I find that the advantages of the extra points can buy me a 5 warhound unit.

That's just fine by me. Especially if they are just filling up the back ranks.

12-04-2007, 10:41
I would take enough gors to fill up a front rank plus a few more (no more than a second ranks worth) to replace casualties in the front rank. The ungors are just there for numbers and soaking up missile fire.

If the ratio in the boxed set had been the other way round I'd be a lot happier. But GW probably knew this.

12-04-2007, 13:09
But you can't benefit from the spears unless they are in the second rank... right?

I guess it's one of those things you have to test to see what you like better.

12-04-2007, 13:44
You are quite likely to get to the point where your ungor are in the second rank though. What you certainly don't want is to have ungor in the front rank.

12-04-2007, 13:57
asdf aniway the best herd is a great unit, and come on S! that is the only normal stat they have all the rest is better, and they cost teice as much as a goblin? come on, I m tired of a friend of mine that play with best, and say that the herds are bad, and that`s it`s excuse everitime he looses, but he still use them and all, why do you think he does that ... those best herd should cost a lot more for the stats and rules they have...

22-04-2007, 21:49
I don' mean to spoil peoples fun but isn't it the case that beast units can't get ranks anymore, as they have to rank up in numbers of 4, the minumum number to get a rank bonus being 5. WD UK mentioned it was a rule they invalidated when they took a look at the 6th edition rules when they first came out. Round my local area we just play that they always rank up in units as 5 as GWs casual disregard annoyed people(not even a errita to correct it)

Othe than that I find beastheards are great. Stick a charater in them and watch them go! I usually stick something like a minotaur unit/chariots/spawn in the front and than do a combined charge/next turn charge in the flank with them. And breaking dwarf hammerers with them was just beautiful.


23-04-2007, 02:49
The thing with beastherds is that they must rank up a minimum of 4 wide. But skirmishers in general, must rank up with a maximum frontage. This usually means 7 wide as many of the units faced are 5 wide. 5+2 for each model on the end of the line. So a unit of 21 has 3 ranks. Which is all you are allowed to get. If the bases of your opponent is 20mm small (human type) then you can only get 6 in combat.

The problem occurs when you get charged by a frontage less than 75mm chariot/giant/monster/lone character/ 2 horse etc). Then the max frontage is less than 5 models and you don't get a rank bonus. (asside: this is probably an oversight on GW's part, but they did produce an erratta to explain this. We will have to wait for the new army book for more clarity).

Also, if you charge a unit and less than 5 models can reach it, then you have less than a 5 wide frontage. This makes micro, herds a real issue. You can have more than 25% of your unit able to charge and less than 5 models that can charge. So you must rank up 4 wide. It is a pitty.

For a much more detailed version of beastherds look here:http://s2.invisionfree.com/herdstone/index.php?showtopic=5327&st=0

23-04-2007, 02:55
im a fan of any T4 skirmisher.

23-04-2007, 04:47
I'm pretty sure the main purpose of a beast heard is to keep an opponent on their heels and to disrupt their lines. Hopefully your opponent will waste missle fire on them while your real hitters such as Dragon Ogres, Minotaurs or Chaos Knights hit them. As far as relying on beast herds to win battles on their own...well...good luck :)

23-04-2007, 05:09
My one problem with beastherds is that they can no longer march when close to enemy units anymore. And they cant negate ranks. That being said, beastherds are amazing units. They are a unique that function quite unlike any other. When a character with a great weapon is thrown in there, they can accomplish almost any role with the right timing and positioning. And dont forget the ambush rule.

23-04-2007, 14:09
unlike most other skirmishers, the rule no march if the enemy is close has almos tno effect, as if they are that close they just charge, and given how the unit work they have a decent chance to tie and hold the enemy, or just defeat them, plus they can go in the open without caring too much as they are cheap and can soak up wounds

come on I play WE and have skirmishers that are good at HtH, but they cost at least twice as much (dryads), or cost 3 times as mcuh with T3 and save of 6+...[dice0]

23-04-2007, 16:54
come on I play WE and have skirmishers that are good at HtH, but they cost at least twice as much (dryads), or cost 3 times as mcuh with T3 and save of 6+...

And there's absolutely no reason for that to be the case, because in every other apsect Beastmen match Wood Elves, such as in Missle Fire. :rolleyes:

23-04-2007, 21:37
As no one has pointed it out (that I noticed atleast) beastherds also get to take advantage of the somewhat unreliable but extremely useful Ambush rule, so if you include several units of them (or a few units of beastherds and a few units of hounds), you may have a fairly decent size unit that appears on any table edge you like, frequently preventing the other player from getting a lot of shots off at them, and easily able to disrupt his battle line with their superior manueverability. If you can afford the models, its very easy to take 4 or 5 small units of warhounds, allowing 4 or 5 of your beastherds to ambush, which is a large enough number of them that one of them is bound to show up exactly where you want it.

24-04-2007, 18:50
I usually go for 4 herds in a 2K game; 1 herd with 7 gors, 10 ungors and full command as my main unit with the characters, 1 herd of 5 gors, 8 ungors and musician for screening my minotaurs and 2 units of 5 gors, 5 ungors and foe-render for the ambush
the support in my army comes from the minotaurs, Giant and the 4 Chariots