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Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Beastmen: Rulebook Review

Well Here I am back again to talk more about the Beastmen, only this time I have more information than just the White Dwarf to go on. I have finished reading the entire Beastmen rulebook and I am pleased to say I am still very impressed with this new version of Beastmen. I truly feel this new rulebook makes the Beastmen a more viable army and has made just the right amount of improvements without making them overpowered.

This will be a fairly detailed review, but I will be focusing on units I like more than others. At this point I really don't have anything negative to say about the rulebook, but If I find something I will be sure to come back and update this review.

The Beastmen have two special rules, Primal Fury and Beastmen Ambush. Both of these rules are both useful and add flavor to the Beastmen army. Units that have Primal Fury take a leadership test and if passed the unit hates the enemy until the end of the close combat phase, on top of this, if they pass the roll on a double 1 then the unit also has the frenzy rule as well.

The Beastmen Ambush works similar to the last edition with a few differences. First you must have a unit of the same size or larger that is not ambushing in order to have a unit ambush. So if you wanted to ambush a unit of 10 Gors, you would need to have a unit of 10+ Gors who are not in ambush. Secondly you must roll on an ambush chart to determine what board edge the ambushing units come into the game from.

The Beastmen Characters are pretty similar to last edition with the one exception that there is now a Doombull as well as a lesser Gorebull. I like the fact that the Chaos Gods are not as prevalent in this edition. I like that the Beastmen are referred to as the children of chaos and are not tied down to a particular deity. I also like the new Lore of the Wild and I foresee my Shamans using it more than their other options of the Lore of Death, Shadow or Beasts.

The Core units of the Beastmen are pretty decent choices. Leading of are the Gors followed by the Ungors and Ungor Raiders. On top of these decent troops choices we have some speed in the form of Chaos Warhounds and the Tuskgor Chariots. The first 3 of these units all benefit from the Primal Fury and Ambush special rules, the latter two provide much needed speed to cover flanks and go after war machines.

Another thing I like about the Gors and Ungors is the fact that they are no longer skirmishers, but instead get to use rank and file like most of the troops in other armies. The Ungor raiders are skirmishers but they also give the Beastmen some much needed missile fire.

The Special units are where some of my favorites are. My number one unit is the Minotaurs, I love this unit and I plan on having at least two in all of my lists. Their equipment load outs make it possible to design a unit to a specific need or make them a jack of all trades. Their special rules are very useful. Bloodgreed is a form a frenzy that adds an attack to the profile every time the unit wins a round of combat. They cause fear which is always useful and lastly they perform an impact hit much like a chariot on the turn they charge.

Next inline for me with the Specials is the Bestigor Herd. These guys are more expensive than the Gors but they come with Heavy Armor and Great Weapons as well as the Primal Fury Special Rule and their own Special rule of Despoilers.This rule allows the Bestigors to gain an additional +1 to combat resolution for every banner they have seized from previous combats.

Next up come the Centigors. This unit is much improved over the past edition. They come with primal fury and drunkenness, but this time around the drunken rule is much better written and never really takes anything away from the unit. My favorite addition to the Centigors is the addition of Ghorros Warhoof as a unit upgrade. Ghorros really adds to the unit of Centigors by increasing their weapon skill by 1. If Ghorros is killed all Beastmen units in the army receive a +1 bonus to their leadership when taking primal fury tests. He also come with some decent magic items in the form of Mansmasher his weapon that for each unsaved wound causes D3 wounds, and his Skull of the Unicorn Lord which gives Ghorros Magic Resistance (2)

Rounding our the Specials are the harpies and the Razorgors. Both of these give some more speed to the Beastmen and the Razorgor gives the option of another Chariot. While I like these units they will not make it into many of my lists until after the minotaurs, Bestigors and Centigors.

I am pretty disappointed by the Rare units, not because they are bad units, actually quite a few of them are pretty rock solid, I am disappointed that GW hasn't made models for any of the new units in this section. For now I will be sticking with the Chaos Giant as my selection from this section with the occasional Chaos Spawn or two when I have the extra points.

I see many uses for the other choices such as the Cygor, Ghorgon and Jabberslythe but I am going to wait to see if GW releases them or if any good conversion ideas come across the web.

This is one of my favorite additions to this new rulebook. The are nice little gifts from the Chaos Gods that make characters a little more cool. They count against the upgrade cost of your lords and heroes but none of these gifts count as magic items so any powers that nullify or destroy magic items do not effect these gifts. They come in rage from 75 to 5 points and allow you to further customize your Lords and Heroes.

This is the section that give us the magic items of the Beastmen. In here you will find many of the typical magic items in most armies. Some of my favorites are the Axes of Khorgor allowing the bearer +1 attack and re-roll any missed To hit rolls. Trollhide Armour which is light amour with the regeneration rule. I also like the Staff of Darkoth which has the bound Viletide spell.

There are some very cool Special character in the Beastmen rulebook. You have Gorthor the Beastlord, Morghur, the Master of Skulls, Taurox, The Brass Bull, as well as many others.

Of all of them, my favorite is Malagor, the Dark Omen. I like this guy because I like uses 4th level Magic Users. This guy is pretty sweet as he comes with both the primal fury and fly special rules. On top of that he has an ability called "Something Wicked This Way Comes" which denies enemy units within six inches of using their general's leadership. Malagor also has unholy Power which give him a +1 on future casting attempts for every spell cast that is not dispelled. He also come with Icons of Vilification which allow all friendly units to become frenzied on any roll of a double as long as they have passed their test.

Well there you have a more in-depth look at the Beastmen, in-particular many of the rules and units that I found useful and interesting. I would love to hear any feedback you all may have on this new rulebook. As always I welcome all thoughts and comments on the subject.



Sigmar said...

Hi BJ.

Re conversions, you might be interested in the Giant to Cygor conversion I found at Librarium:-

By the way, your blog is excellent. Our forum is always on the look out for good Warhammer bloggers, gamers, modelers/painters. In fact anyone who is keen and has something to offer the Warhammer community.

Please consider going us, you'd be very welcome - we're a small but friendly bunch. If you're interested:-

the Warhammer Battle Reporter Forum

my Warhammer blog

BJ said...


I actually have an account at librarium online. I enjoy that site very much. My name in the forums is DMJackal and I have posted a few times in the forums.

Thank you for the invite and I will try to post more in the future.


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