Challenge 14: A Beast Herd tale

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  • Greetings, dear reader.

    It's this time of the year again, where old and forgotten armies are dusted and re-glued and taken to the battlefield. The Belgian T9A scene has been booming lately, with two tournaments per month on average and as many game nights if you're up for it. So it was the right moment to bring something new: a Beast Herds army!

    I have had the idea to try out the Beasts for some time now, seeing as I normally avoid shooting and offensive magic anyway. So after finding a good deal online I took the plunge and bought an army, that I'll be trying to touch up and complete over the coming months. With the modelling side of the project decided, I had to come up with a suitable list for tournament play. I did not want to go down the netlist route for various reasons, so I thought I'd try out the army "from scratch" and see where it got me.

    You can read all about this journey here: Pack Tactics 2020! MSU musings and list discussion

    After playing some test games with various MSU lists, I settled on the following based on the models that I had:

    SmithF wrote:

    CHARACTERS:
    Beastlord, General, GW, Destiny's Call, Blessed Inscriptions, Crown of Horns, Dragonfire Gem
    Minotaur Chieftain, BSB, Greater Totem Bearer, HA, Shield, Willow's Ward, Talisman of Shielding, Eye of Dominance
    Soothsayer, Adept (Evocation), Dark Rain


    CORE:
    2 x 8 Feral Hounds
    25 Wildhorns, Shields, Full Command, Banner of Speed, Gnarled Hide Totem
    30 Mongrel Herd, Spears, Full Command, Banner of the Wild Herd


    SPECIAL:
    18 Longhorns, Musician, Champion, Blooded Horn Totem
    2 x 10 Longhorns, Ambush
    2 x 5 Centaurs, Lances
    5 Minotaurs, Paired Weapons, Musician, Champion, Blackwing Totem
    2 x 3 Minotaurs, GW
    1 Razortusk Chariot
    Key points:
    - Wildhorn Bunker with Shields: combined with Gnarled Hide you get a very tough block, whose fighting ability is bolstered by the Beastlord.
    - Medium-sized Longhorns and Minos; whether this is the ideal size remains to be seen, but so far it has worked ok.
    - Magic: instead of trying to render naked beasts more survivable, I decided that my magic would focus on making them killier. Evocation has two spells perfect for the occasion (Spectral Blades and Whispers of the Veil), and the added veil token will help with channel.
    - No good targets for cannons and magic targeting single models.

    I took the list above to one of the biggest local tournament, the 14th Challenge in Roeselare. The tournament is run by friend and teammate @IHDarklord and has over the years evolved to be a staple in my T9A calendar: good venue, always a good crowd of very strong players, plus barbeque for lunch and excellent local beer to drink.
    Here are some short reports for your enjoyment:

    Game 1 - Ogre Khans

    Display Spoiler
    590 - Shaman, General, Gut Roarer, Shamanism, Wizard Master, Light Armour, Iron Fist, Lygur’s Tongue , Magical Heirloom
    410 - Mammoth Hunter, Trolleater, Leader of the Pack, Light Armour, Wrestler's Belt, Iron Fist, Hunting Spear, Dragon Staff
    390 - Khan, Cult Leader, Battle Standard, Banner of Discipline, Heavy Armour, Iron Fist, Crown of the Wizard King
    370 - Mammoth Hunter, Spinesplitter, Leader of the Pack, Light Armour, Basalt Infusion, Iron Fist, Hunting Spear, Talisman of Shielding, Lucky Charm, Scout
    827 - 10x Bruisers, Standard Bearer, Pennant of the Great Grass Sky, Musician, Champion
    175 - 3x Tribesmen, Musician
    175 - 3x Tribesmen, Musician
    80 - Sabertooth Tiger(s)
    80 - Sabertooth Tiger(s)
    80 - Sabertooth Tiger(s)
    185 - 3x Bombardiers
    185 - 3x Bombardiers
    475 - Rock Auroch, Ogre Crossbow
    475 - Rock Auroch, Ogre Crossbow


    For the first game I got to play Robin @Haemoglobin and his (WiP) Ogre Khans with a greenskin theme.
    This was a difficult game on paper, the Ogres had the range for charges and superior chaff. To have the upper hand, I needed to play first and luckily I got this option (the deployment was Marching Columns and the scenario is Flags, always bad for me).





    TURN 1 - Beast Herds

    My opponent used the hunters and cats very well to limit how much of his army my Feral Hounds could redirect. I had to settle for both Aurochs (hoping for a failed frenzy) and the Trolleater Hunter. The rest of the army pushed forward, wary of the big block with Swiftstride on the hill. In magic I lowered the Discipline of the left Aurochs to make failing the Frenzy check more probable.




    TURN 1 - Ogre Khans

    Both of the Frenzy checks were passed, and my opponent elected not to commit the aurochs: the tribesmen to my left spotted the flank of the hounds and charged in, while the free hunter charged into the Mino Conga, hoping to overrun behind my lines.

    Turn 1 magic and shooting was not enough to wipe out or panic my unengaged Feral Hounds thanks to Dark Rain, leaving them alive for another turn. The Hunter got Children of Umi cast on him though. In the ensuing combat he killed a minotaur and got 3 wounds back, but I then failed my break test and had to flee: the Hunter rolled high enough to get out of my Razortusk chariot's arc of sight, deep behind my lines. The tribesmen broke the feral hounds on the charge, but failed to catch them in pursuit.




    TURN 2 - Beast Herds

    With both of my chaff still alive, I could now take some risks: I used my general's block to clear the way (tribesmen and sabertusk sent fleeing), meaning that I had a 10+ with Centaurs into the right Auroch, 11+ with a mino conga and 11+ with my BSB's unit into the same target. If one got in, I'd probably kill the Auroch on the charge, while if two got in I'd have the option for overruns into the trolleater hunter's flank and into the Bruiser bunker flank.
    As luck would have it, both the big minotaurs and the Centaurs made it in!



    The fleeing hounds rallied and reformed to block the bruisers' charges if my plan didn't work out. A unit of ambushing Longhorns arrived just behind the bruiser star, positioning itself to threaten as much of the ogre army as possible while also ensuring that any flee moves would result in the bunker fleeing offboard. Finally, I pushed the Mongrels right in front of the Rock Auroch to prevent it from charging into my smaller blocks: the reasoning here was that either the Mongrels would manage to pin the Auroch down, or at least seriously weaken it. I then placed the Centaurs 12" behind, which meant that if the big beast charged it would be dead by the end of turn 3.

    In magic I started off with a high casting of Spectral Blades on the charging minotaurs: my opponent elected to dispel that, leaving me with enough dice for 2 totems: The charging minotaurs got Gnarled Hide and the charging Centaurs Blooded Horn totem, sealing the Aurochs' fate.
    Predictably, the Auroch died before striking, leaving my minotaurs free to pursue into the Bruisers' flank and the Centaurs into the flank of the Mammoth Hunter.



    TURN 2 - Ogre Khans

    The Rock Auroch failed its frenzy check this time and had to charge my mongrels. The Bombardiers charged into my Feral Hounds and cleared them out, while the wounded Hunter moved towards my left centaurs. The fleeing Tribesmen failed to rally and fled out of the board.

    In the magic phase I had to let Break the Spirit off on my big minotaur block, as well as Children of Umi on the Trolleater hunter. However, this proved to not be enough:

    The charging minotaurs weathered the Bruisers' attacks thanks to the Gnarled hide, meaning that they kept their second full rank and disrupted the Bruisers. So when a good 12 wounds were dealt to the unit, it broke automatically and was sent running through my Longhorns and out of the table. The charging Centaurs performed admirably as well, killing the Hunter outright thanks to the Blooded Horn totem.

    In the final combat of the turn, the Rock Auroch started off by killing a handful of mongrels with its impacts. I activated the Wild Herd banner for that extra point of AP, and replied with my attacks: to the astonishment of both of us, the Mongrels dealt 6 unsaved wounds to the beast and killed it outright!



    TURN 3 - Endgame

    After such a catastrophic turn there was not a lot left to do for Robin: over the next couple of turns I'd mop up the Bombardiers (charged them with my Minotaur BSB), leaving just a Sabertusk tiger and the wounded Hunter alive.

    The game ended up being a 20 - 0 victory for the Beasts!

    AFTERMATH :

    That went unexpectedly well! If I had to pinpoint a decision that turned the game from a difficult game to a massacre it would have to be how the Ogres chose to deal with the redirectors on turn 1. I strongly believe that killing redirectors in combat is way more reliable than just trying to magic/shoot them off. As it were, the fact that my right-hand Feral hounds survived (while unlucky for my opponent) allowed me to declare the long charges without fear of retaliation. That turned out to be enough to win me the game, so in a way the 2 surviving Feral Hounds are the MVP of the game!


    Game 2 - Kingdom of Equitaine

    After a very successful first game, I'd be facing harder opposition: @Valmir Von Eisendorf with a MSU KOE list! François is a fellow ETC Belgium player, who after an entire year playing Vermin Swarm decided he'd try out the knights for a change!

    Display Spoiler
    495 - Damsel, Army General, Druidism, Wizard Master, Barded Warhorse, Crystal of the Valiant Charge, Storm Clarion
    435 - Paladin, Barded Warhorse, Battle Standard Bearer, Lance, Might, Shield, Divine Judgement, Dragonfire Gem
    230 - 5 Knight Aspirant
    230 - 5 Knight Aspirant
    230 - 5 Knight Aspirant
    479 - 9 Knight of the Realm, Standard Bearer, Champion, Banner of Discipline
    220 - 3 Knight of the Grail
    220 - 3 Knight of the Grail
    460 - 9 Knight of the Quest, Standard Bearer, Champion
    440 - 9 Knight of the Quest, Standard
    420 - 9 Knight of the Quest
    375 - The Green Knight
    135 - 5x Yeoman Outrider, light armor, shield
    130 - 5x Yeoman Outrider, shield
    4499


    An army I wasn't looking forward to facing: The Kingdom had as many units as I did, better charge range and potentially more disruptive magic. We got Dawn Attack and Breakthrough, which was a mixed blessing: The way that the table was designed we'd both have an impassable terrain anchoring the flank where we couldn't deploy, but that was more problematic for me (bigger unit footprint) than for the Kingdom. Breakthrough against KoE is an issue, but at least my ambushers could score or contest the objective.

    For magic I got Whispers of the Veil and Spectral Blades, while the Damsel took Stoneskin, Summer Regrowth, Entwining Roots and Breath of the Lady.

    We exchanged drops for a while, ending with a pretty central deployment overall. I was happily surprised that my opponent elected to force me to play first when he finished deploying, as doing the opposite (claiming first turn - perhaps even at the expense of the Ward Save) would see him block my entire battleline with the fast cavalry and lock me into position for turn 2 charges.



    TURN 1 - Beast Herds

    Given the potential charge range of the Knights, I had to send my dogs forward to prevent any turn 1 charges: this meant that I could push forward with my Fearless units without fear of giving potentially game-winning charges that I wouldn't be able to flee.
    The rest of the army formed a semi-circle around the knights, claiming battlefield space and tempting them to charge. Magic was relatively uneventful, only resulting in the Blooded horn totem being cast on the Mongrels in the forest.



    TURN 1 - Kingdom of Equitaine

    The Aspirants were sent to clear out the dogs, and then the rest of the Knights backtracked: this was a brilliant strategy, as it would again put enough space between the beasts and the knights to make my first turn push irrelevant. As a plus, it denied me any good places for my ambushers, if they chose to arrive on turn 2. The Aspirants and Yeomen to the right performed an outflanking maneuver, out of the charge arc of all my units.



    In the magic phase the Damsel cast the Hereditary on the left aspirants, and that was enough to wipe out all the feral hounds without taking any casualties back. The Knights overran and got the 11+ required to hit my leftmost minotaurs with GW.

    TURN 2 - Beast Herds


    The big longhorns flanked the victorious aspirants, while the right minotaurs with GW charged into the second unit of aspirants that had just dealt with my hounds. These fled to safety inside the ruins, losing a knight to dangerous terrain.

    With no fast chaff left, and reluctant to sacrifice my Centaurs that early, I went with a different approach: The ambushing units both arrived, and deployed to the right, where they'd threaten the Questing Knights' and Aspirants' advance respectively.

    Then the Wildhorns with my general moved up aggressively, tempting the knights to charge them. The Minotaur BSB moved out of his unit and near the Wildhorns to provide a reroll in case the enemy chose to charge.

    In the magic phase I managed to get 2 totems off: Gnarled Hide on my Wildhorns and Blackwing totem on the right minotaurs. In combat the charging aspirants killed a minotaur but were wiped out in return by the longhorns' and minotaurs' combined attacks.



    TURN 2 - Kingdom of Equitaine

    Once more my adversary showed restraint, not falling for my traps: The yeomen to the left moved up to redirect my general's unit, while the right-hand yeomen and knights both moved past the Mongrels.The questing knights to the right reformed to face the ambushing longhorns. The fleeing Aspirants fled some more, losing one more knight to terrain; they'd rally on the following turn, however.

    Finally, the Green Knight appeared, right in front of the Realm Knights and within charge distance of the minotaurs. In magic he was buffed to resilience 6, making any charge plans I may have had futile. In the shooting phase 5 yeoman shots managed to kill 2 of my centaurs in the middle: who said that they were only good for being thrown to the wolves?

    TURN 3 - Beast Herds

    The KoE were still not collaborating (aren't they supposed to charge??), which made my life infinitely more difficult: I was running out of chaff and the BSB with the virtue of Might and the Divine Judgment was zoning all of my minotaurs very effectively.

    So I went on the offensive: The rightmost Longhorns charged the Aspirants, who fled right in the middle of the board. I then redirected into the yeomen, who also fled. That left my GW minotaurs to the right with a couple of interesting charges that forced the aspirants to flee through 3 units of questing knights and out of the board (everyone passed their Ld check), then redirected into the fleeing yeomen: these landed right in front of the Questing Knights housing the Might BSB, blocking any turn 3 charges! The second Longhorn ambusher unit declined the charge: odds were they'd kill a couple of Questing Knights and then get butchered in return.

    Finally, the Beastlord's retinue charged into the second yeoman unit and swiftly dealt with them. This time I had to sacrifice the Centaurs to redirect the Green Knight: I didn't want him combo-charging with the Realm knights, as it would probably be enough to break any of my units!



    TURN 3 - Kingdom of Equitaine

    The questing knights charged my longhorns, and I held since fleeing would mean potentially giving them a reform out of line of sight of my mongrels. The leftmost Questing Knights charged into my centaur redirectors, freeing the Green Knight for a far more important mission: blocking my general's unit.

    In the middle the yeomen rallied, and the Paladin BSB relocated inside the Realm Knights.
    In combat both charging knight units dealt with their targets. The Questing Knights overran straight into my lines, blocking both my Longhorns and the two units of minotaurs.

    TURN 4 - Beast Herds

    With my options getting even more limited, I had to hope for a breakthrough: The Wilhorns charged into the Green Knight, while the big longhorns, along with the BSB's retinue and the leftmost GW minos charged into the Questing knights. Finally, the remaining minotaurs charged into the yeomen in the middle.

    In magic my opponent dispelled the Gnarled Hide on the Wildhorns twice as well as the Blooded Horn Totem, leaving me with enough dice to cast a boosted Spectral blades on them instead.

    Combat started with a failed Fear test for my Beast Lord against the Green Knight, allowing the knight to deal 2 wounds to my general. He then proceeded to save all but one of the wounds that I dealt back to him: I had won combat but the Stubborn knight held.

    The longhorns and minotaurs easily crushed the Questing Knights, giving my BSB's minotaurs a short overrun into the Yeomen with a potential second overrun into the Questing knights. I failed to make the roll, though, so it was all for nought. The minotaurs with GW killed the Yeomen easily and overran, blocking the path of both questing lances towards my general's unit.

    TURN 4 - Kingdom of Equitaine

    Françpis retaliated by sending both of the questing lances into the mino conga's flank, with a 9+ overrun into the flank of my general's unit. The Grail Knights and Realms also charged into the Wildhorns, sealing my general's fate.



    Things went worse than I'd expected in combat: the questing knights predictably slaughtered the minotaurs, and the top unit made its overrun into the Wildhorn combat. The combination of the charging knights was enough to kill around 15 Wildhorns, for minimal casualties back. I was hoping that I'd at least get the Green Knight in the challenge, but it was not to be: the Spectral Knight struck first and put my general out of his misery.
    The Wildhorns fled and escaped pursuit, but the Equitaine knights hit the flank of my 2 remaining minotaurs with Great Weapons.

    TURN 5 - Beast Herds

    While the previous turn was a disaster, it had left a lot of knight units within striking distance: my BSB's retinue fell into one unit of Questing knights, while the Mongrels charged into the flank of another. The latter chose to flee, but was caught in pursuit by the (swiftstride) mongrels. Finally, the Centaurs to the left, having completed a long wheel around the building, spotted the Grail Knights' rear and charged in.

    The Wildhorns failed to rally and carried on fleeing. Finally, the big Longhorn unit took one for the team and reformed into a long line to protect the rest of my troops from the turn 5 KoE charges: by now time was running out and I'd need to only weather the following turn's charges before we called the game.

    In combat both the Grails and the Questing Knights were dealt with, allowing my Minotaurs and Centaurs overruns straight into the enemy deployment zone. In retaliation, the charging knights killed the Great Weapon minotaurs and overran into my Longhorns.

    In the final turn of the game the knights would kill the big Longhorn unit as well as the last remaining small unit that had been chilling to the right. In the end, we had both killed around 2200 points, but I was holding on to the scenario. The final result was a 13-7 win for the Beasts.

    AFTERMATH:

    The biggest disappointment for me had to be the Green Knight/Beastlord duel: with S7 AP4 Divine and rerolls for all his rolls, I was hoping that my Beastlord would come out on top. As for the rest of the game, my opponent played it brilliantly, biding his time and taking away my options one by one. This showcases one of the drawbacks of this BH list, which is lack of second-turn chaff.

    All in all a very enjoyable, tactical game!



    Game 3 - Empire of Sonnstahl

    With 2 wins and 33 points in 2 matches, I found myself on table 2 for the last game of the tournament. I would be facing another ETC team mate, @Jaina with his Empire of Sonnstahl.

    Display Spoiler
    325 - Marshal, General, Great Tactician, Crown of the Wizard King, Binding Scroll
    265 - Marshal, BSB, Shield, Death Warrant, Blacksteel
    200 - Prelate, Plate Armour, Shield, Willow's Ward
    200 - Prelate, Plate Armour, Shield, Alchemist Alloy
    200 - Wizard, Adept, Alchemy
    460 - Wizard, Master, Pyromancy/Divination, Binding Scroll, Essence of Free Mind
    135 - Artificer, Long Rifle
    436 - 36 Heavy Infantry, Halberds, FCG, Flaming Standard
    235 - 21 Heavy Infantry, SM, Household Standard
    226 - 17 Light Infantry, Crossbow
    135 - 10 Light Infantry, Crossbow
    135 - 10 Light Infantry, Crossbow
    551 - 29 Imperial Guards, FCG, Rending Banner
    250 - 1 Cannon
    475 - 1 Steam Tank
    90 - 5 Imperial Rangers
    90 - 5 Imperial Rangers
    90 - 5 Imperial Rangers
    Total : 4498


    We got to play Hold the Ground and Refused Flank. Good scenario for me, bad deployment (overall bigger distance to cover and also more space for the Empire to flee charges). My opponent deployed expertly despite me giving him the bad side (house in the middle, so cannot go full castle in the corner due to Line of Sight), using the house and the table edge to anchor his battleline with no way of me to get around his flanks. He also kept his Steam Tank behind his lines to prevent any ambushers from assaulting the shooters/ cannon. I replied by deploying in the small corner right opposite his forces, going for a frontal assault.





    For magic the Pyromancer got Scorching Salvo, Pyroclastic Flow, Flaming Swords and Cascading Fire, while the Alchemy adept took Fireball and Word of Iron. The Crown of the Wizard king gave the Marshall Know thy Enemy, very useful in this situation. I picked Spectral Blades and Hasten the Hour for my spells.

    TURN 1 - Empire of Sonnstahl

    Movement was minimal for the Empire, as was expected. Magic was also particularly underwhelming, only managing a couple of wounds on my middle Centaurs as well as a single wound on the left minotaurs with Great Weapons. Both cannons fired at my Razortusk chariot, and the Steam Tank's weapon managed to deal a single wound on it.

    TURN 1 - Beast Herds

    I spotted an error in my opponent's deployment: the closest Rangers were visible by the Centaurs, and fleeing the charge would open up a redirection into the Crossbows with Engineer and Alchemy Adept right behind. So the Centaurs went into the Rangers, while the Hounds charged the closest crossbows in an attempt to block them and the imperial guard unit behind them.

    In the magic phase I started off with Hasten the Hour on the halberdier unit, taking a wound off the Pyromancer. Then the Spectral Blades were dispelled, leaving me with an opening for a single totem: I cast Blooded Horn totem on the Centaurs, giving them an extra attack.

    The centaurs made short work of the Rangers and overran into the Halberds waiting right behind, ready to assassinate the Pyromancer. The Hounds fared worse, getting 5 casualties for only 2 wounds back! They held their ground thanks to the general's presence, and reformd to block the Imperial Guard.



    TURN 2 - Empire of Sonnstahl

    The Empire lines held their ground, and the second unit of Imperial rangers stepped right in front of my mongrels and Minotaurs with GW to prevent them from charging the halberdiers in the following turn.

    In magic I knew I had to worry about 2 spells: Cascading Fire and Know thy enemy, since these were the spells that could potentially prevent me from assassinating the Pyromancer with my centaurs. We got a 7-4 phase, and the opening spell was a high-cast Cascading fire. After a bit of deliberation, I decided that it was the spell that i could afford to let through, since even 1 centaur would be able to do the job. 3 Centaurs died to the flames, and then my opponent proceeded to roll even higher for Know thy Enemy, getting that off too!

    In shooting nothing major happened, one cannon failed to hit and the other misfired.

    Needless to say, the assassination attempt didn't work, and the centaurs died. In hindsight, casting Blackwing Totem on them would have prevented this turn of events. The crossbows sent the last remaining hound fleeing


    TURN 2 - Beast Herds

    Both my Minos with GW and the Mongrels fell into the Rangers in front of them and the top minotaurs with great weapons forced the small crossbows to flee. The second unit of hounds stepped in front of the imperial guard and the rest of the army moved closer to the action.

    In magic my opponent dispelled the Blackwing totem on my big Minotaurs twice, leaving me enough dice to cast a boosted Hasten the Hour on the Halberdiers once more: the Pyromancer had now one wound remaining!

    In combat the GW minos dealt with the rangers and overran, blocking the entire EoS battleline but falling an inch short of the Light infantry block.



    TURN 3 - Empire of Sonnstahl

    The halberdiers charged into the mino conga, and the prelate from the imperial guard charged out of his unit and into my Feral Hounds. I elected to flee, which left the character out in the open. The Imperial Guard reformed in a deeper formation.

    Magic and shooting was a bit more eventful this time: the Word of Iron was cast on the Imperial Guard and a fireball killed a single minotaur from the big block, which exposed my BSB to cannon fire: thankfully, the Talisman of Shielding protected my BSB from the cannon ball!

    In combat the Halberdiers managed to kill all of the minotaurs before they got to strike.

    TURN 3 - Beast Herds

    So we're three turns in already, and I need to start making points back: the BSB's retinue, the Longhorns and the Mongrels all combo-charged the Halberdiers, in an attempt to break through the enemy formation and wipe out the ranged threat. The Minotaurs failed their crucial roll (8+), which opened up my Mongrel's flank to a countercharge by the detachment next to them.

    The minotaurs with Great Weapons charged into the lone prelate and a unit of ambushing Longhorns arrived to threaten the cannon.

    In magic the Pyromancer used the Binding scroll on Spectral Blades, and dispelled both Gnarled Hide and Blooded horn on the Mongrels. That left me the opportunity to cast the Blooded horn on the Longhorns, though.

    Thanks to the Blooded Horn totem on the Longhorns, the mission was successful: the Longhorns killed the Prelate and got rid of the Hatred before the Halberdiers got to strike, the mongrels attacked the pyromancer and killed her, and in the attacks between them they dropped another 7 halberds. In retaliation, I suffered around 10 wounds. We tallied up the combat, and the charging beasts had lost by 1. The mongrels fled and got away from the detachment, but the longhorns managed to hold!

    The minotaurs did short work of the prelate and overran into the Imperial Guard.



    TURN 4

    Time was running short now, so we rushed the turns and I didn't get to take pictures: The Engineer stepped in front of my ambushing longhorns, redirecting them from the cannon for a turn. The Imperial Guard managed to kill 2 minotaurs before the last one got to direct his attacks at the BSB: the imperial plate armour saved all of the AP4 wounds that the imperial character suffered, and that was enough to send the last survivor fleeing.

    In the Halberd/Longhorn fight the Halberds were now boosted by rerolls to wound from the interaction between their Flaming Banner and the Alchemy attribute. This resulted in a total bloodbath, with 13 Halberdiers and 10 Longhorns dying. The halberdiers held their ground, but on the following turn the chariot fell upon them as well, forcing them to flee out of the table.

    The cannons struck true this time, putting 2 wounds on my BSB and -along with the rest of the imperial shooting- whittling down the unit to 3 models remaining.
    So when the BSB saw the opportunity for a charge into the Crossbows he took it: he failed his 6+ roll, stumbled forward on his own and would get killed by massed shoting on the following turn. On the plus side, the Longhorns dealt with the engineer and prepared to kill the cannon on the following turn.

    TURN 5 - 6



    With 4 units infiltrating the Imperial backline, the writing was on the wall: the EoS characters dodged my units to safety, leaving the infantry blocks to fight for their lives. By the end of turn 6 I had managed to kill the cannon and the two small crossbowmen units, and sent the Heavy Infantry and the big crossbows running.

    The last spells and shots from the imperial side were enough to kill the last minotaur with Great Weapon. The defensive position of the Empire meant that the Hold the Ground objective was in my hands, concluding the tournament with a 14-6 victory for the Beast Herds.

    AFTERMATH:

    Overall I'm happy with how this played out, the imperial deployment left me no other choice than run headlong towards the big blocks screaming. Had the two assassination attempts worked (the Minos --> BSB and the Centaurs -->Pyromancer), I might have been able to close the gap faster and engage the Imperial Guard for a bigger point swing.

    However, it is very difficult to storm such a castle with a Steam tank guarding the rear against ambushers and the front occupied by units that are Cold Blooded and fight in 3+ ranks with higher agility. François played an excellent game (Apart from the Imperial Ranger placement!), abandoning the scenario and aiming for a win through ranged attrition: an underwhelming first magic phase and the subsequent adventures of the Pyromancer meant that he couldn't capitalize on his ranged advantage.

    TOURNAMENT CONCLUSION

    So for the first tournament test of the Beasts I managed 3 victories, two of which were in very close games. That put me in 3rd place out of 32 participants, which was a nice surprise!

    Some thoughts regarding the list:

    - The magic investment was great: the two evocation spells are often must-dispels, which helps push totems through. In game 1 getting the Gnarled hide and Blooded Horn off really made my game easier, while in game 3 the Blooded Horn on the Longhorns allowed them to grind down the Halberdiers and kill the prelate.

    - The centaurs with lances were my MVPs: in game 1 they single handedly killed the Aurochs and a hunter, while in game 2 they kept the lances at bay and scored the objective. In game 3 the early pressure from the vanguarding centaurs allowed my other units to reach combat unscathed, and their charge could have won me the game there and then if I had prioritized the totems differently.

    - Wildhorns: very useful unit, claiming battlefield space with them is very easy as they are durable and bring very decent fighting power thanks to the Beastlord. Losing the Beastlord to the Green Knight was unfortunate, even taking into account the Druidism healing the Beastlord should prevail in that fight. But generally Ld9, Crown of Horns and the double role as an anvil and a hammer are very welcome in the list.

    - The mid-sized longhorn unit won me game 3, when boosted with Blooded Horn they become better than Swordmasters. Having a combat threat that can flee if needed is also very welcome, as the frenzy of the Minotaurs is a bit limiting in that regard.

    - Minotaurs with Great Weapons: overall they did what was expected of them, gave me a lot of charge options and had their moment in the sun when they almost killed the Mammoth Hunter in Game 1. Against the knights they were pivotal in grinding down a couple of knight units and making a third one flee. Finally, in the Empire game they had their chance to shine by killing a prelate and attempting to assassinate the BSB. They didn't manage it, but still they held the Imperial Guard in place for a turn.

    I hope you enjoyed this report, stay tuned for more Beast Herd content soon!

    Smith

    815 times read

Comments 7

  • Skarloc -

    Quote from one of your opponents: "..'tain les Beast Herds.. quelle plaie.. c'est pire que les Elfes.."

  • Dancaarkiiel -

    Nice read.
    As for EoS Battle I'm 99% sure Centaurs vs Halberdiers in T1 was illegal since they didn't maximise. If overrun takes you into the contact, it counts as a charge so you have to maximise as normal. At least it looks like you just moved them directly forward and that's it. ;))

    • SmithF -

      Hey, thanks.
      We did the wheel correctly. What is missing is the picture of my alignment against the Rangers. I aligned as far to the right as possible, which meant that on the overrun they didn't have enough space to wheel to maximize like you say. So 4 centaurs were in contact, out of which 2 with the Pyromancer.

    • Dancaarkiiel -

      That's a nice play actually, wp

  • PrinceCharming -

    AWesome read as usual bro! Glad to u have u our side!

  • Martins9thAge -

    Wow a lot of to read, thanks!
    I only read the first one at the moment and...wtf!

  • BondageGoatZombie -

    I have never touched a beast herd model before, but your reports make me want to start playing them.
    And this happens for every army you play :P
    Though I would fail miserably trying to pull off the same things as you hehe