01 December 2009

Sevwall's Fieldtest Thoughts: Warbeasts

My thoughts on each model as it is now in MKII, with potential Feedback possibilities if the model fails to live up to my expectations. I will try to evaluate all models as if it were the only rules they ever had, unless I am suggesting feedback, in which case I reserve the right to draw on old rules. I will revisit this later on.

Models I have not played with are left blank

Models rated 1 to 5.
1 = Total Junk
2 = Underpowered
3 = Balanced
4 = Overpowered
5 = Broken

Mauler – 3
Perfect. Expensive, but with a killer animus and capable of trashing most heavies in a turn, especially if he gets his own animus thrown on him. Great stats. Good chain attack. Pretty close to perfect, ina balanced way

Possible Feedback: None

Blizter – 3
Another model that I feel is fine. I will say that I think its high time they standardized all of our heavies at 5 fury, but I would really hate it if his points increased, so I’m fine with 4. The ability to charge and boost is extremely good, especially since instead of riling he can just boost shots at people and hope for a hit. And if he hits, a boosted 13 can really put some hurting on, well, anything. Two handed throwing a model (maybe your own) followed up by a boosted 13’s and 0-2 additional unboosted 13’s is a pretty cool and efficient way to end a game. Again, he suffers for his cool ranged junk with reduced, but still effective, melee potential.

Potential Feedback: Make his animus push people 3”, to standardize it with ‘bump’ and affect people with reach. That, or make it cost 1.

Eathrborn – 3
We have some pretty balanced heavies. At the cost of 1 point, he trades the reliability of the Mauler’s animus for the ability to steal the POW of opponents weapons. This will easily get him to P+S 17 or higher against most heavies, so unbuffed he exceeds the Mauler, minus the chain attack. He is also a pathfinder, and has a great animus, which he gets inbuilt. He is incredibly versatile, and well worth the extra point over the mauler while being a completely different type of model. A wonderful way to create diversity in a faction

Possible Feedback: None.

Mulg – 3 (Flawed)
Mulg is an interesting model. He has the distinction of being one of the few models almost guaranteed to kill [I]anything[/I] in his melee range, almost more so than a buffed Mauler. Reach is incredible, as is his MAT and the P+S on his weapons. The main problem comes with his SPD, which is very slow at 4, and AYGTET (Are You Going To Eat That) makes up for it in a way that is quite possibly broken. You see, AYGTET is a nifty cornercase thing, and its hard to trigger it yourself because tough will screw you up a decent amount of the time. In come the whelps. With poor DEF and no tough, they easily trigger AYGTET. So, Mulg moves 4”, and starts charging around corners 16”, which is a problem.

So remove it, and give him snacking, right? Well, no, because then he is lackluster. Sure, he kills things, but he costs a ton, isn’t too much more survivable than a Mauler, and has an animus that is possibly the worst in the game.

So he is a 3, because overall he is both underpowered and overpowered, like two huge weights on a balance beam, and as such sort of balances out. But he could be tweaked to be a balanced model

Possible Feedback: Remove AYGTET for snacking. Increase SPD by 1. Change Runebreaker animus to be a 3” ‘disenchant’ that causes Enemy Animi and Enemy Upkeeps within 3” of the caster of the animus to immediately expire. He gets a bit better overall, gets a real animus that is worth paying heavy points for, and loses the insane threat range while still retaining a threat advantage over normal trolls.

Axer – 4
Okay, reach thresher on a MAT 6 beast with POW 15 is a touch over the top. Just a tiny, tiny touch. The real problem is Befuddle, because in combination with an Axer, you can arrange units in semicircles and get an axer a backstrike thresher at MAT 8 ignoring shieldwall. Pop the feat and you cannot miss DEF 14 or less with this tactic. Add a Mauler animus and there is hardly a unit you will not completely remove from the table.

But enough about that. The axer by himself is almost fine. Its not the beast so much as the animus that really puts him into ‘always take’ territory. But that’s just because it’s an animus that fits us so well, its not really a broken animus. So he is fine. Mostly. Boy this one rambled.

Possible Feedback: Reduce POW of the axe by 1. He is less effective at killing heavies, but not much else.

Bouncer – 3
Its funny. He hasn’t done much in my games, but his reassuring presence makes me fear range much less. Personally, I’ve stopped taking him so much, because I’ve been facing more melee lists that ranged lists. But in a tournament I might take one to help guard my caster. Bump is a slightly underpowered animus because most opponents can position around it, but its acceptable. He hits well enough for a light. Another all around good beast.

Possible Feedback: Increase POW of shield by 1. Tiny tweak to make him a bit more palatable.

Pyre – 3
Well, I’m less happy giving this guy a 3, but his animus is okay, he automatically sets people on fire in melee and at range, and he hits well enough in melee, especially if you buff him. Solid. Just Solid.

Possible Feedback: +1 RAT. I see no reason why it would overpower him, and since these beasts are supposed to be at the least all arounders, an incredibly low RAT is very painful. You will get used to this feedback.

Slag- 2
Possible Feedback: +1 RAT. I see no reason why it would overpower him, and since these beasts are supposed to be at the least all arounders, an incredibly low RAT is very painful. He is also not quite as nice as an Axer. The extra STR does not do much for him over his cheaper bretheren. That said, his animus is the same as the Pyre, so if you are expecting heavier targets, take him, and if not, take the Pyre.

Possible Feedback: +1 RAT, +1 ARM. If he is going to be a 6, lets make sure he earns it.

Winter – 2
Again, lackluster. Not bad, just meh. Really, for a ranged beast, this guy really has trouble hitting broads and barns and whatnot. The inbuilt stationary effect is quite good at preventing jacks, beasts and casters from targeting the Winter troll. Luckily for them, his bad DEF and ARM make it easy to whittle him down at range enough that a single charge attack will waste him. He just needs a little tweek to be okay.

Possible Feedback: +1 RAT, -1 point. I see no reason why it would overpower him, and since these beasts are supposed to be at the least all arounders, an incredibly low RAT is very painful. Why is this guy 6 when the winter is 5? Is auto-stationary really all that much better than auto-fire? One kills infantry, one stops models. Seems almost a wash for me, especially after playing him a few times. He drops just as fast as a Pyre. He should cost the same amount.

The Animus Conundrum – 2
So, the Slag and the Pyre have the same damn animus. The difference between crit fire and crit corrosion is so unnoticeable and meaningless that is only bears mentioning so that I can summarily dismiss it.

I get two beasts with the same animus. Both the Brute and the Protector have Safeguard. But they are in different factions. In a game where animus are important and influence what beasts you take (See: Axer) having two similar beasts (all arounders) with the same animus is so very strange. Why exactly would you take the Pyre and the Slag in the same list? If you do, why should you be punished for it by being deprived of another animus? If the animus is so critical that you double up, you damn well double up, or take Bone Grinders so that you have a backup.

One of them needs to lose the animus. Ironically enough, I think Acidic Touch works better on the Slag than Flaming fists work on the Pyre. So I’m thinking the Pyre should lose his animus for something else,

What should it be? Well, I’m not lucky enough to be a designer (yet… hire me!) so its not really in my prevue to create an entire new animus. But if the Slag is anti-heavy, and so is his animus, then it makes sense to give the Pyre an anti-troop animus. I like the idea of giving “It Burns” out as an animus. But again, I am not a designer.

Tommorrow…. Maybe nothing! But maybe Units.


  1. I happen to think critical Fire and critical Corrosion are very different things. One poses a meaningful threat to multiple-wound infantry and light 'jacks/beasts, and one doesn't. Also, Fire still kills single-wound infantry dead unless they have absurdly high ARM - Corrosion guarantees the kill, yes, but Fire will probably do it anyway.

    I'm just a jealous Cryxie, all right? ;_

  2. Either way you are hitting the model with a +2 damage melee attack. Your goal is to kill the model, since I cannot see a time when you would viably cast the animus with the intent of critically hitting something to set it on fire. It would be extremely unlikely.

    So, for all practical intents, they are the same.

  3. You guys got lower MAT/RAT thanks to the fury mechanic edging out focus manipulation. You get to boost more often without too much worry, other than your beasts going nuts anyway.

    I told ummhmmguy from the get go hordes would not see an overall RAT/MAT boost from this and I was right (for once). :)

  4. On a side note I agree with Von, fire is way better than corrosion, not even close to the same thing.

    Corrosion has a 66% chance to kill a single wound model. Fire has the same chance to kill multi-wound troops and do some serious damage to light jacks/beasts.

  5. Its only true on heavies. With the new fury rules unless they change the enemy attack only thing Focus is easily better.