Warhammer Army Project/Beastmen
- 1 Beastmen: Warhammer Army Project, 9th Edition Tactica
- 2 Why Play Beastmen
- 3 Notable Changes from 8e
- 4 Magic
- 5 Equipment
- 6 Army Rules
- 7 Unit Analysis
- 8 Regiments of Renown
- 9 Building Your Army
- 10 Tactics
- 11 External Links
Beastmen: Warhammer Army Project, 9th Edition Tactica
(had copied pased the 8th ed page to save time on framework)
Created by Mathias Eliasson, this project was a homebrew attempt at giving many of the units, nations and factions that never got Armybooks of their own (and those left behind and never got one in 8th Edition) such a thing.
It should also be noted that Eliasson is constantly updating his work, so don't expect this page to stay current forever. If anyone wishes to actually update this page and the items that need it later on, go ahead.
Why Play Beastmen
Let's say you like Chaos in Warhammer Fantasy, but you're not that hell-bent on winning every game you set out to play. A strange thought to many, I know but let's entertain this one. What would an army of this sort look like? I'll tell you what it would look like - it would look like Beastmen! Like Daemons and Warriors, Beastmen have all that cool chaos flair, like spiky bits, evil and malice, awesome looking models, etc. - and none of the cheese! If you like an army of angry, bitter, drunk pseudo-furries (it's actually a lot cooler than that sounds), you will like the Beastmen.
Also, if you like tough, fast-moving cores supported by awesome lords and heroes, one of the most bad-ass special units and literally terrifying rare choices, Beastmen are for you.
Notable Changes from 8e
- All of your rare monsters have a 50-100 pt price cut.
- Minotaurs are 19pts cheaper.
- All special characters are cheaper, some slightly buffed.
- Marks of Chaos are back from 6th edition.
- Many more choices in Rare and Special.
- Better costed and more powerful magic items.
- Bestigors are significantly more flexible in load out.
- Primal Fury can gain frenzy on any double that passes the LD test.
- Your heroes and lords are as overcosted as ever but, just as necessary. Spending the maximum 35% on characters is not unheard of.
- Returning Bestigors to their former load outcomes to one point more than 8e.
- Still no way to take Minotaurs as core.
- Mostly missed out on the gamewide buff to spears and cavalry.
- Less magic item choices. Including some powerful ones, such ass the jagged dagger and totem of rust.
- New rule 'Unruly' which only includes the bad parts of frenzy, but can re-roll failed charges.
Lore of the Wild
Attribute: Primal Onslaught: Casting allows any units within 6" to add a bonus die to Primal Fury rolls. This can make the waves of horns quite dangerous.
- Signature: Bestial Surge (7+): Allows ALL friendly units within a whopping 6" to get an additional 2-7" in movement directly towards an enemy unit. Useful if you are under threat of missile fire or you just need that little extra bump to get into charge range. Remember that Beastmen survive by being aggressive, so this can't hurt. However, when compared to other Lore's signature spells, this spell leaves a Beastman underwhelmed, unless you are using more than one Bray Shaman to cast it per turn, in which case it decently useful. IF you augment it, you double the spell's range, but at 14+, you're not going to be seeing this a lot.
- Viletide (5+): An easy to casy 24" magic missile that hits an enemy for 5D6 S1 hits. Great for hunting warmachines, as a S1 hit is still a hit on a 6+, horrible for everything above T2 (Read: practically everything else). For anything else, you want Flock of Doom from Beasts instead (5+ 2D6 S2 and boostable to 48" range).
- Devolve (8+): You know the Jabberslythe's Aura of Madness? This is the spell version of that. All enemy within 12" take a Ld test, if they fail, the unit takes wounds equal to the number failed by. Combos nicely with Doom and Darkness from Lore of Death. Don't plan on using this around any generals or BSB, since they'll have the IP to bust your groove.
- Bray-Scream (8+): The third spell gives the caster a S3 breath weapon, no armour saves. Fuck awesome, use on Malagor after flying into a flank to turn those Phoenix Guard or large hordes into mincemeat, or use it on a character in close combat against any well armoured enemy, gaining 2D6 armour ignoring hits against Heavy Cavalry is huge.
- Traitor-Kin (10+): All enemy cav within 12" (basically, anyone on a mount or chariot) gets attacked by their own mount at its strength and attacks (KILL THE STAR DRAGON RIDER!) while ignoring anything offered by the beast. Engage trollface when playing Bretonnia or up against a monster happy army (monsters with handlers on it like Sphinx's and Araknaroks attack themselves)... otherwise sit down and wonder why you didn't take Lore of Beasts.
- Mantle Of Ghorok (10+): One friendly character within 6" gains +D6 S and A.... but takes a wound for rolling any 6s for those characteristics. It's useful for making that Doombull into the unholy rape train he was always meant to be without paying for magical weapons, but if you're packing a quite a few strength/attack boosting weapons (aka what every weapon in the beastmen armoury does) then you can safely skip it. You could use it on your caster if you get stuck in combat- takes him from S4 and A2 to possibly S10 and A8 (although at that point he's deader than dead)
- Savage Dominion (15+): This spell has awesome potential, it lets you summon one Giant, Ghorgon, or Jabberslythe (your choice). Sounds good so far... but any wound suffered by your beastie means that the caster has to make a T test for each wound taken, and a failed test means taking a non savable wound, that's not too terrible. With the removal of that asinine restriction that forces the caster to not attack or cast, this becomes actually more preferable if you grab it.
Lore of Tzeentch
Attribute: Boon of Magic: For every 6 you roll when successfully casting a spell, you get another power die in the pool. Unlike 8E, this is finally available to other wizards, making this attribute not shit.
- Signature: Blue Flame of Tzeentch: d6 flaming Sd6+1 hits. Yeah, see that randomized strength? That's why this sucks. Sure, you'll never have to deal with useless S1 fire, but that doesn't mean that your fire's actually going to hurt those monsters.
- Pandemonium: Treason of Tzeentch under a new name. Forces the enemy to take their lowest leadership value, ignoring all Inspiring Presence and Hold Your Ground. If you're looking to begin a domino reaction by forcing a unit to break with their shit Ld of 6, then you've got a way. But Shadows and Death have similar spells and don't demand you to buy a mark.
- Pink Fire of Tzeentch: Shoots out a flamer template and hits anyone under it with a Sd6+1 flaming hit, making it just as bad, if not worse, than Blue Fire.
- Bolt of Change: A powerful, single shot magic missile that acts as a bolt thrower shot, penetrating ranks and causing multiple wounds. Has a respectable if random strength, and can chew up a unit of monstrous things. With Warpflame being no more, you can actually make use of this one without worrying about it backfiring.
- Glean Magic: Another awful spell because there is so much that can go wrong with it. If cast, you duel an enemy wizard by rolling a D6 and adding your respective wizard levels. If you win, he loses a wizard level, eats an S4 flaming hit, and you steal one of his spells. It can screw up your opponent if you steal the right spell, but the spell you nick is (say it with me) random. Also, the caster has to have a high wizard level if he wants a chance at winning the duel. Note that this spell can be hilarious against VC. Lick up tears as you pluck away Invocations from his supporting necromancers. Emphasis on 'can be.' You've gotta get the spell off, hope it isn't dispelled, win the wizard duel, and be lucky enough to get Invocation as the random spell you steal.
- Treason of Tzeentch: Now a somewhat different spell! Now you can make an entire unit hit itself, though it's not factoring anything that falls into effect during the first round of combat and fails against steeds, characters, and those immune to psychology. Sure, it can wipe out a unit of greatswords or dual-wielders, but it's meaningless against spears, lances, and bows.
- Infernal Gateway: A bigger version of the signature spell of the lore. If you roll 11 or 12 for the strength, it’s Strength 10 and does 3D6 hits. Far too unreliable and not quite as threatening as its previous version, where it could nuke a unit on a lucky roll.
Lore of Nurgle
Attribute: Bloated with Disease: After casting a spell, roll a d6. On a 6, gain another wound. Makes a shaman more durable.
- Signature: Stream of Corruption: Flamer that forces Toughness tests or take save-ignoring wounds. While not a breath weapon, it will melt down mobs of light or mid infantry all the same.
- Miasma of Pestilence: A simple augment spell that nerfs any and all enemy units in base contact with the target. Considering the loss to Initiative Nurgle-marked models have, this will knock enemies down to your level. You can boost the spell to cause a debuff of D3, but it’s often not worth going that far unless you really need to land your combat hits.
- Blades of Putrefaction: Makes the unit's attacks poisoned or makes the poison trigger on a 5+ to wound(Confusing with the change to poison?). Considering how melee-centric you are, you'll be bound to push some wounds in there.
- Curse of the Leper: Either ads +d3 to a friendly unit's Toughness or robs an enemy unit of d3 Toughness. Either way is helpful, but since Stream of Corruption, Rancid Visitations, and Plague Wind rely on your targets failing their Toughness tests, this is a good spell to open a magic phase with if you’re heavy on the Nurgle theme.
- Rancid Visitations: This is a potentially powerful magic missile. After causing its hits, it can potentially carry on going if the target fails its Toughness test. Of course, this combos with Curse of the Leper to cause the most amount of damage possible. Makes Elves cry, if you get it past their Wizards. Cast it on a block of spearelves and enjoy drinking your opponent's tears.
- Fleshy Abundance: Nurgle’s final augment spell suffers an increase in difficulty and a reduction in effect from the last WoC book, granting 5+ regeneration to a unit for a turn. However, this time it stacks with any existing regeneration the target has, and oh, it appears Festus gives regeneration to his unit.
- Plague Wind: Nurgle’s final spell is one of those wacky vortexes. It can go Night Goblin Fanatic through your own army if you’re unlucky, but WoC can at least withstand this one if it goes wrong. Plague Wind forces toughness tests on its victims and inflicts armour-ignoring wounds on those that fail. Get in close and fire it off into a horde for maximum carnage, but Plague Wind is overshadowed by the utility of the rest of the lore.
Lore of Slaanesh
Attribute: Bliss in Torment After casting a spell, roll a d6 plus an additional one for every unsaved wound you caused. On a 6, add +1 to your caster's WS/I/A. Considering how many of these spells can't be cast in combat, you have 2 Direct damage spells to work with.
- Signature: Lash of Slaanesh: Draws a line from the caster, and anybody under that line takes a S4 hit with armour piercing 1. Awkward to use and unlikely to affect many models, this is a rather flimsy signature spell compensated by the addition that makes a unit who suffers casualties incapable of movement. Thus does an awkward magic missile turn into a means of locking up a unit from fleeing or charging.
- Acquiescence: Useful in and out of combat, this hex spell gives the target Always Strikes Last and Random Movement (d6"). Easily stalls an impending charge, and can severely nerf enemy units in combat, as well as being easy to cast.
- Pavane of Slaanesh: This spell targets a single enemy model and forces them into a LD test on a 3D6. If they fail, they take a wound with no armour saves. Good for attacking enemy characters and sniping unit champions. Since the Beastmen lack Eye of the Gods, this won't see as much use but it can help avoid a challenge where one's not wanted.
- Hysterical Frenzy: Like Curse of the Leper, Hysterical Frenzy can be cast on your unit or an enemy unit, granting Frenzy and a small number of hits at the end of each magic phase. Hysterical Frenzy stacks with existing Frenzy too, meaning that this can be useful to bolster a mob of Gors. So why would you want to give Frenzy to an enemy unit? Firstly, it can force a unit into charging you, great for pulling in units of shooting guys that would rather stay out of combat. Secondly, having Frenzy stops you from using the parry save granted by shields, which can assist you in cutting down any annoying shield users. Cast it on a war machine crew for Maximum Fun. Thirdly, D6 S3 hits might not sound like much, but they will cause trouble for small flimsy units like the average fast cavalry or skirmisher unit. Note that because the hits are not melee attacks, they will roll to wound against a War Machine's Toughness, not the Toughness of its crew. Unfortunately, since these hits are caused after the spell is cast, this spell does not count towards the Lore Attribute.
- Slicing Shards: Slicing Shards functions in the same way as Rancid Visitations. The target takes a few S4 Piercing 1 hits, then has to pass a LD test or take some more. Not quite so effective as Visitations as the target will likely have their General and/or Battle Standard nearby, but these spell combos with Phantasmagoria below or Tzeentch's Pandemonium. Catch a unit of zombies or other undead away from their general and laugh as he loses that meat block until he manages a roll of double ones.
- Phantasmagoria: Essentially inflicts a unit with the opposite of the Cold-Blooded rule. They roll an extra D6 when taking LD tests, discarding the lowest dice. Very helpful at breaking enemy units, this spell can be boosted so it hits all enemy units within a certain distance of the caster. As the Lore of Slaanesh is Leadership focused, consider using this spell first to get the most out of your spells. Actual Cold-Blooded units (aka Lizardmen) will be rolling 4D6 for their LD tests and discarding both the highest dice and the lowest dice if they're affected by this spell.
- Cacaphonic Choir: Holy shit this is powerful. A hex spell, the Choir can cause quite a lot of damage even when the caster is in combat. It causes a bunch of hits that wound on a 4+, regardless of toughness, and ignore armour saves. On top of that, the target is slapped with Acquiescence’s effects too! Bliss in Torment gets the most use out of this spell, and if you’re feeling really mean you can boost the Choir to hit all enemy units in range as well. It can often finish a game by itself and will totally cripple units hit by it.
Spoils of the Herdstones
- Axes of Khorgor: Re-rolls on hit and wound rolls? Piercing? 60 points? Well, this is some damn reliable killing here for a Doombull with a small list.
- The Black Maul: adds +2 Str (not resolved at, so works with characteristic test and additional hand weapon), Frenzy and CANNOT be destroyed. For 50pts? Basically a Berserker/Ogre Swords. If you're going against any weapon destroying ability you want this at your side.
- Stonecrusher Mace: HERE we go. Great for a combat Lord, especially if you're going to face Empire and you want to see the look on your opponent's face when you break his Steam Tank.
- Great Fang: 35 pts. Pretty meager. Only +1 to wound and Armour saves must re-roll?
- Fur of Shaggru: 40pts for a 4+ armour save vs shooting and a 5++ ward. Can be combined with other armours. If for some reason you have a solo character, take this to avoid getting shot to pieces.
- Ramhorn Helm: AWESOME, again 10/10 would bang. Sweetness when combined with Gnarled Hide, Heavy Armour and Shield, giving you 1+ Armour Save that gives you an extra attack every time you make an armour save. Very good with this combo. Send a Doombull out on his own with this combo while he's saying "come at me bro!" and watch him decimate rank and file troops.
- Chalice of Dark Rain: Pretty much your alpha-enabler as it blunts ranged attacks, even if they don't use BS to hit, all over the map for one turn. Use it and make a mad, mad rush to the meat.
- Shard of the Herdstone: Extremely awesome. This, with a Shadow and Beast Shaman is how you add a cannon and bolt thrower to your army for 200pts.
- The Dark Heart: Adds +d3" to any charge, pretty much saving you in the fringe cases where you fall just a little short of the mark.
- Beast Banner: Really good for a unit you NEED to survive or cause casualties, especially a large Gor unit when combined with Wyssman's Wildform. Can only be taken by your BSB as its 60pts.
Gifts of Chaos
While not quite magic items, these still give properties that combo well with them. Also, the sole way to make your Beast Banner BSB tougher and deadlier. Near mandatory to stick Gnarled Hide and Gouge-Tusks on him to give him a chance in a challenge. Never forget that the Beast Banner increases his S too.
- Crown of Horns: Steadfast makes this mostly pointless unless you're taking on Horde armies.
- Slug-Skin: Not very good, you're paying 20 points for a S3 hit on 1-3 models (unless you are on a chariot which makes it a lot better), usually the casualties don't add up enough to make the points back.
- Many-Limbed Fiend: Useful on anybody S5 and higher, not so useful on others. Combines nicely with a Gorebull with an extra hand weapon for 7 S5 attacks.
- Gnarled Hide: This one is excellent, 10/10 WOULD BANG, especially when combined with existing armor.
- Gouge Tusks: Here we go. Helpful for breaking through heavily armored fuckers and keeping you from fluffing those important rounds of combat.
- Rune of the True Beast: Unless this is on a Doombull with the Armour of Destiny (or Glittering Scales), they are unlikely to survive against even the weaker monsters and their rider/handlers.
- Uncanny Senses: Good if you're combining it with The Swift Sword of Slaying and might face initiative 5 troops to make sure you get those rerolls. Just be sure to NOT combine it with a Great Weapon if you intend to fight Elves.
- Shadow-Hide:If you have 5 points to burn on a Gorebull or Doombull you could do well with this to prevent archer spam against him, making him virtually impossible to hit with normal troops.
Primal Fury: The common rule of almost all Gors and Ungors. In close combat, the unit takes an Ld test and if successful, gets the hatred rule for the round (can re-roll to hit for the turn). If the success was a double, gain frenzy for that combat round. While this sounds good, you must understand that one of the Beastmen's major weaknesses is their low Ld, so they won't be passing as much as you want them to without a Lore of Wild shaman. Keep close to a general and enchanted BSB to maximize results.
- Prob this gose off: Ld6: 41.67%, Ld7: 58.33%, Ld8: 72.22% Ld9: 83.33%
Unruly: Your Gors and Ungors have the Berserk Rage part of Frenzy active at all times. If they ever fail the test relating to this (which tends to be pretty easy with how low their Ld is), they can re-roll their charges.
- This, unfortunately, robs them of the ability to stack with other sources of Fury in most cases, but it's entertaining since it actually gives you a reason not to worry so much about their Leadership if you're prepping a charge.
- That said, this will fuck up your plans if you find yourself wanting to prioritize targets. Since this forces you to charge the nearest units, you will need to play it smart with unit placement.
Mark of Chaos: At last (again), the beastmen can claim marks for themselves, as well as the appropriate God-Lores. As with the WoC, these marks are priced differently from Characters and units, but only Beastlords, Doombulls, Wargors, Gorebulls, Bestigors, Minotaurs, and Bray Shamans can buy a mark (Bray Shamans must take god's lore if they take a mark, Khorne's prejudice is still in effect). Your Warlord and BSB must be of the same mark, and your Marked units treat each other as Suspicors or Distrusted Allies if they have different marks. (Keep in mind that having your wizard have an opposite mark to your frontline, can let you do some friendly fire shenanigans.)
- Mark of Khorne : Grants frenzy.
- Mark of Nurgle : Adds +1 to Toughness but -1 Initiative, making walls of gors.
- Mark of Slaanesh : Grants Immunity (Psychology) stubborn. While not ASF-tier godly, this allows your furries to keep giving and taking without fear and without busting your bank.
- Mark of Tzeentch : Provides a 6++ Ward save and wizard's channeling roll of 1. Grants another layer of protection for your guys if you don't need more toughness and want to stack Wards on characters.
Beastmen Ambush: Gone is the shitty-ass restrictions that ruined this tactic for Beastmen players! Now all this does is add a +1 to all rolls to determine whether your Gors and Ungors arrive from reserves, which is a far better gift. Improves Ampush arrivals by +0.166%, arriving 5/6 of the time.
Forest Strider: A lot of your models can walk through forests with no trouble.
Lords & Heroes
Note: Under the current edition, named characters tend to be overpriced; you can pretty easily emulate most named characters from scratch and save yourself some points. That said, a few named characters do have abilities and wargear or wargear combos unique to them, so if you absolutely need to have them, go ahead. Just make sure you're really getting your points worth.
- Gorthor, The Beastlord: This bastard's undergone a bit of a rework to become a smidge more worth his 300-point pricetag before considering a chariot. While he keeps the 18" IP and re-rollable impact hits, his spear now deals d3 wounds that auto-wounds on any doubles to-hit, which works out a good deal better than merely KB, and he casts a random Death spell each turn. His chariot (You can take a Razorgor or Tuskgor one) also re-rolls pursuit and fleeing rolls as well as nullifying any multiple wound attacks. Questionably, he gets a Ward save where the save is equal to the strength of the weapon used - while this makes him useless against monsters and the competent Chaos Lord, he can easily go to town on Empire Generals and Elves with abandon. Do beware that he's always the Warlord with this, so taking him requires grabbing a retinue of some sort to distract the heavy-hitters.
- Khazrak, the One Eye: Here we go. 50 points less than Gorthor, helps your Ambushing units to arrive better (never roll a 1 again) and can actually join units and help keep them from fluffing rounds of combat (and unlike Gorthor, he can actually survive the odd round of combat with another lord). If you want a special character Beastlord, this is the one. Also, he has a surprisingly good combat ability, while his base stats are very little above a regular beastlord, he comes with a free 2+ armour save and just to give him that little extra challenge boosting bonus, he completely nullifies enemy magic weapons; his whip is also something to strike fear into the hearts of hordes because it will tear them in 2.
- Morghur, the Master of Skulls: He has essentially become the walking wasteland. His ability to turn allies into gribblies has now become an aura that can affect ANYONE within 12", but that same aura also lets his team re-roll to Rally, penalize any enemies hiding in a forest, and protects him from shooting. Perhaps the most important thing he offers for your team is the ability to re-roll Unruly for your troops, which is well worth the risk. If you grab him, make sure you maximize on the dead zone he exudes and make sure you have plenty of warm bodies to mutate.
- Malagor, the Dark Omen: Not too bad as far as Beastmen Special Characters and lost 10 points in the rewrite. If he starts casting, he gets hard to stop. He helps your guys around you get Frenzy and he helps hold up your enemy's general. Maybe a little on the pricey side, but worth it for his abilities, especially since he can fly around and troubleshoot. Not bad, not bad. Also, you need to be careful of magic missiles and even normal missiles because toughness 5 but no saves means that he can get shredded if he's on his own, and if he's in a unit
then it kinda wastes his wings,(harpies bro) but he's fun. Also do not forget that once he starts to build momentum he starts becoming unopposed by any wizard because he suddenly realises that he's proud of what he's done (or some shit like that) so he starts being better than Nagash somehow?
- Taurox, the Brass Bull: THIS RAPE TRAIN HAS NO MODEL! An awesome chance for you to practice your modelling by upgrading and NMM painting a Doombull model. So - Taurox is really here for those players who want to run a megaton-grade Minobus (see tactics). Probably not seen in games less than 2500 points, Taurox really comes to the fore when supported by egregious spending of points and magic, and a horde of Minotaurs following him in. Some feel that he is quite worth it his high price tag: Tons of S6 attacks that are magical, flaming and ignore armor saves. He hits like no other and is more than capable of destroying entire units by himself, but other players feel that a kitted out Doombull beats Taurox, as you can emulate him fairly well with the Armour of Silvered Steel and the Ramhorn Helm (works out to 40 points less, you get more attacks but are slightly less durable since a doombull is T5 and Taurox is T6). His weak spot might look scary considering his points, but it doesn't happen that often (it'll only happen about 1 in 216 times against normal and Strength 4 Spearmen Hordes, and 5.55% of the time against normal S3 and S4 hordes). One of the better special characters in the Beastmen book without a doubt. Remember though that the amount of points invested into the Bus means that your Gors now will be less well led, so you'll need some buffs for those Gor blocks.
- Ghorros Warhoof: Spend 155 points to make your Centigors slightly less shit! He's so shit his main advantage to your list is the +1 to Primal Fury checks every else gets after he dies. While this strategy likely won't make your army all that competitive (unless you're playing the higher points games) it can be very fun in casual games, and is the only way in your basic army to take Primal Fury checks on LD 10.
- Version 1.3 finally gives him a (slightly) good reason to keep him alive, at last! Only took the death of Warhammer to do so! That reason is because he can grant the unit he's stuck to +1 to WS, which is...well, it's not bad, and he can use those idiots to act as a meatshield, but that's still gonna leave your other beastmen not that well led.
- Molokh Slugtongue: Slugtongue costs nearly 80 points more than a level 2 Bray Shaman for a 50 percent chance to cause up to D6 wounds (usually D3) to all enemy units within 36" before the game begins, which is awesome against heavy cavalry lists or MSU spam. Other pros are that he has Regeneration (making him marginally less squishy than a normal Bray-Shaman) and has poisoned attacks (for what that's worth). Sadly, he loses access to Lore of Beasts, which is one of the main reasons you take a shaman. On the other hand the lore of Shadow isn't all that bad, and Lore of the Wild is actually respectable now. He is a situational Bray Shaman, but doesn't mean he is useless.
- Moonclaw, Son of Morrslieb: As low LD is one of the major weaknesses of a Beastmen army, his Stupidity aura is finally free from hurting your boys, though the enemy's bound to be just as likely to resist it. His once per game ability to drop stone throwers could be fun, if he's inside a unit, you're gonna end up firing at the same unit 3 times (and if you're in combat then your opponent is just going to laugh at you). Oh and did we mention he's Level 1 for 125 points more than a Bray Shaman?
Skip him hard.BUT WAIT, crack AND insanity, very useful and practically essential (you're playing beastmen what did you think I would say, something useful?)
- Ungrol Four-Horn:A 75 point Ungor that occasionally turns into a Wargor or a shittier Bray Shaman and allows you re-roll Primal Fury tests against Empire, Bretonnia and other Beastmen. Oh and he traps the unit he's with at his basic LD, IE 7. Spending 75 points on a unit that will still break under any direct pressure is not a good call. Skip him hard, middle finger raised high.
Note: While named characters are judged against their generic counterparts, generic characters are examined based on their role in your army.
- Beastlord: Leadership 9 is what this guy brings to the table and holy shit are you paying for that privilege. He has a respectable S and T of 5, but that's really the most outstanding part of his statline. Properly kitted out he can bring the hurt just like any other combat Lord but toe-to-toe he will get put down like... well, like an animal. Having to pay for Gifts and Magic Items from the same pool limits your ability to outfit him a lot. Almost mandatory for that Ld 9, though. Also, do watch out because while he has good attack he has worryingly low initiative which means anything moderately fast with a giant's blade will kill him before he even realises he's getting attacked.
- Great Bray Shaman: The wizard lord of the Beastmen. Useful as far as Wizards go, but a tiny bit on the pricey side. His LD8 could help in a pinch, but don't rely on it. Lore of Beasts is an incredible choice for him for reasons which should be obvious. Expensive for what he does, but still useful.
- Doombull: Doombulls bring the murderfest to the table for those players who really want to center their army around the Special Units section (MINOTAURS, BABY!). These powerhouses have a gnarly stat line, are mean as a starved dog, and give a LD buff to any unit of minotaurs that they lead. There are some downsides: they're expensive and hard to keep in line (Frenzy plus Bloodgreed means he and his unit are easy to strand, and will be abused by experienced opponents). As well, being Lord level, you now have less access to that LD9 that your Gors need. LD8 makes him unreliable after a fluffed round of combat, BUT they can become a rape train under the right circumstances: kit him out to the max (Ramhorn Helm and a magic weapon are almost mandatory here) and engage trollface while you steamroll rank and file troops. They should almost never be run as solo characters - they're not the lone ranger and can be crushed or led astray too easy. He needs to be stuck in with Minotaurs, but remember that when you do this you need to think about screening units: odds are you're spending a lot on that unit, you don't want it to get isolated and shredded. However - with back up and screening, you are looking at a lawnmower that can really bring the pain to the enemy. Kit him out with some gear and consider some sort of magic banner to boost that LD8/buff his unit, and you could be looking at the reason why the Beastmen have one of the most awesome Special Units in the game!
- Wargor: What with Beastmen LD being both critical and piss poor, and your Beastlord being unable to be everywhere at once, you're going to be buying a lot of these guys to do unit babysitting and troubleshooting. As with Beastlords, most people can kick their teeth in, so be careful with them. Also, get a BSB. Seriously, you need it. A lot.
- Bray Shaman: Cheap level 1/2 wizards are always useful for when things go tits up for your Level 4's and Bray Shamans fill that role nicely. Worth taking. Don't be fooled though, they can't fight in combat so don't try it. Also try putting him with a unit of gors and leave him a level 1 to spam wildform.
- Gorebull: He has all the issues of a Doombull with none of the advantages. At least a Doombull has a brutal statline and higher base LD than the Minotaurs' weak base LD of 7. Combined with limited access to magic equipment, makes the Gorebull just a fucking awful choice. Frankly, the only reason you should ever see this is in a Minotaur themed army, specifically a Minobus (see the tactics section at the end of this article), where you want a Minotaur Hero as a BSB. Otherwise ignore with prejudice.
- Tuskgor Chariot: Your cheapest and probably most reliable of mounts. Tuskgors are some nasty mofos, you get a Gor to back you up.
- Razorgor Chariot: The stronger chariot, with d6+2 Impact Hits. Take everything you get on a Tuskgor chariot, then slap on Fear and Thunderous Charge, making it even more of a scare on the charge. However, it's just as fragile as the other chariot.
- Ramhorn: Beastlord and Great Bray-Shaman only. This thing's a big fucker, even more monstrous on the charge than any chariot. However, the thing has a laughable WS3, meaning the majority of the blows will have to fall on your boss and his Bestigor groupies, and the groupies all chose to use greatweapons.
- Gors: Still toughness 4 infantry. 1pt costlier but include shields, can swap for AHW for free. Just like 8e take the AHW. Although the shields now give +5 armour against missile fire in the front arc. Take them in big hordes and buff them with Lore of Beasts (preferable) or debuff their enemies with Lore of Shadow. Throw in leaders in the form of heroes and lords to try and bolster that weak LD - you'll need it so you don't lose a huge block due to a flubbed round of combat.
- Ungors: 1pt cheaper than 8e makes them an easier pill to swallow. Half the price of Gors and a third the price of Bestigors with an armour upgrade. Take in small units to redirect and march block. Cheapest bunker for a Shaman. Also, one of the more durable due to shields.
- Mutants: You now have a unit even less liked than the Ungors! These freaks act like Forsaken, except these mutations are permanent and never suck (+1 movement, +1S, +1T, 6+ Natural Armour, +1 Attack, Piercing 1) but also aren't as superpowered at their best. At 3ppm, you can use these as your screens while letting your Ungors become your ambushers. They are Expendable, so enjoy seeing them die and run in droves while your real stars finish the job.
- Ungor Raiders: For 60 points you get a small unit that can pepper lone characters, ambush, and March 10" to protect your flanks. These are great for turning enemy elites in the wrong direction, sniping war machines, trying to appear in the rear with the gear as ambushers, and in general, making a giant pain in the ass out of themselves (fitting, as that is what they would be good at in the fluff). Take 4+ units of these in MSU form and get to work. Unruly will make them think they're berzerkers, so keep them out of potential charge range. if you can't play keep away, taking the javelin and Shield is better as you still get a javelin barrage that turn even if you successfully charged, but they're still more expensive Ungors in melee - that is, they're a bunch of dead Ungors.
- Warhounds: They make okay screening units. Also, they are good with flanking, as well as hunting down siege weapon crews and being distractions for lone Lords and Wizards to deal with. Or keep them with your Minotaurs as they suffer from bloodgreed and will stop dead in their tracks after breaking a unit, the Warhounds can chase down the retreating unit. Khazrak gives them Ld6, which amounts to maybe another round of fighting, and Ambushers, which gives another slightly beefier units to use as distractions, but it's nothing to tip taking them anymore with him around.
- Tuskgor Chariots: Tuskgor Chariots are exactly as the lore would describe them: utterly brutal (if used properly, of course). Be advised, there will be that one guy who thinks that you can never have enough of these filling out your core choices... DO be THAT guy, beastmen need some sort of heavy mobile unit, and it's certainly not their Centigors. You're not Tomb Kings, you can't make an entire chariot army (at least to have it work efficiently). They are effective at flanking and skirmishing, but they are not going to replace the Gors, Ungor Raiders, and Bestigors any time soon.
- Minotaurs: A whopping 19pts cheaper than 8e. Although they lost shields, but you can buy them back for 3pts (all monstrous infantry lost stomps too). With the price reduction, it is no longer mandatory to build a fuck-huge bus of them and commit a couple of characters to it (although you still should). All beast-men armies should include a unit of at least 6. Can take marks, and a 50 pt magic banner. Nurgle with Greatweapons is a fearsome combo. For 48ppm you get a T5 S7. Always take the Banner of Shielding and stick a Gore/Doombull in it with the Ironcurse Icon (If you're against Dwarfs, stack a Mark of Tzeentch on this for a +4 save against warmachines for the whole unit. Pheonix-Taurs.)
- Bestigors: One point cheaper than 8e, to gain shields, Devastating Charge (why do Bestigors have this but Beastlords and Wargors don't?). At the expense of an armour downgrade and loss of Great Weapons. Still best in big units, as they will be getting shot to pieces. With the option to take something other than Great Weapons, there is some validity for your Beast Banner BSB to join the unit to up that STR. A Balanced option is to upgrade to Medium Armour, Mark of Tzeentch, equip the Razor Standard and pack in a Beast Banner BSB. With this, you'll have S5 AP(1) unit with a 4+ 5++ in close combat and a 3+ 6+ from missile fire. All for 14ppm.
- Razorgors: Units of 1 should always be an auto-include. For 45 points you get a unit that can kill lone characters in the front ranks of units, such as wizards. Good at clearing chaff, combo charges to help run-down units, and flank protectors. Only LD6 so keep 6" away from other units so they won't flee; for this same reason, never take razorgors in units of 2, because if one dies, the other little piggy will run all the way home.
- Razorgor Chariot: For 50 points more you could get 2 Tuskgor Chariots, which is the better choice. Overall though, not a bad choice, as it provides a fairly nasty blunt-force hitter. Just, as always, be careful.
- Centigors: Dropped to 18 points per model. They'll still crumble if they hit a unit head on that's not made of cardboard. Their irritating drunk rule was reworked to be rolled every turn, giving more chances of being tough to move. If you are getting them then give the throwing axes (almost mandatory) for a S5 shooting attack, and make sure they cover your flanks! A plus for them is the option for light armour so they can have a passable save in combat.
- Harpies: Identical to 8e but have expendable making them the Chaff they need to be. Redirecting, march blocking and flanking, all with no risk of chain routing your Gors.
- Chaos Trolls: 4pts more than a Minotaur. They gain 6+ Natural Armour and 4++ Regen. They lose 2I, 1Ld, and 1WS. Always take Great Weapons and make sure to keep the option to vomit in the back of your head. Doom/GorBulls giving them frenzy and 1/2 extra LD is a beautiful thing. A relatively cheaper option for Minotaur walls, trading attacks for Regen.
- Chaos Spawn: Worthless here, Cheap and occasionally strong, but Worthless. Their inherent movement unpredictability might work with another army but since everyone in your army has Movement 2 minimum you'll usually be zooming right past them by just by marching and even if they do stay ahead of the rest of your army somehow they'll be destroyed by any competent combat unit (T5 and 3 wounds does NOT make them survivable since they have no saves and d6+1 attacks does NOT make this acceptable). Can take marks that all give it an edge in combat, non that help it get in combat. Every time you take a Chaos Spawn, Tzeentch kills a kitten. Think of the kittens. Why are you not taking a Razorgors?!?!?
- Preyton: Suposavly a Flying Distraction Carnafex. Truth be told, you're also better off without these things. All their rules fuck it over, from adding wounds inflicted on it in your combat resolution and being forced to test Leadership (Ld 6 here) in order to actually pursue a unit. The one decent feature here is that that last rule can also force enemy units to test panic. can take ambush, Frenzy, and 5+ armour as upgrades.
- Cockatrice: You now have a flying piece of harassment. You really don't want this thing fighting, you just want it to pelt foes with it's two magical 12" S4 HKB shots from its eyes of doom. The shot's even deadlier since it calculates its roll to wound based on Initiative and it negates all armour and regen saves, making it perfect against low-init armies, and with HKB you easy slay monsters.
Beastmen Rare choices got alot better in 9th edition with more choices and a price reduction across the board. Additionally, with unit strength returning they can help in taking away steadfast. They still have relativly high leadership and are what you're going to want on your flanks away from the BSB and General.
- Dragon Ogres: Hauled back from the WoC list. They're more expensive than regular Ogres, hitting at S5 without using Great Weapons will bring the pain upon any lesser unit you'll face. They're fast too: at M7 you can slam them into your enemy's juicy units with ease. They're immune to lightning-based attacks as well, use this to troll gun-heavy Skaven armies. Don't waste these guys on regular infantry; maul your enemy's biggest units, counter-charge knights, slay monsters, and kill anything worth a lot of points. Be careful though, these guys are tough, but not invincible.
- Dragon Ogre Shaggoth: The big brother of the Dragon Ogres, the Shaggoth will fuck shit up. 5 attacks at S6 murders everything it runs into. Combining with either another hand weapon or a great weapon, there's nothing a Shaggoth won't murder. The obvious downside is that the Shaggoth is relatively vulnerable (T6, 4+ save and no way to regain wounds), it is the magnetic pole for shooting. Get this guy in combat fast and keep him there, otherwise, he'll be headbutting cannonballs from turn 1. He is rather pricey though, so have a plan before you field this guy.
- Chaos Giant: You know him, you love him. In all seriousness, the Giant is a safe and colorful rare choice and combines with any of the other big choices for a perfect 500 points in Rare units. In most cases, you will want the Giant!
- Cygor: Unchanged from 8e, except 100pts cheaper. This a monster that decided instead of being able to hit anything in close combat, it will be a stone thrower and a miscast catalyst. With the 100pt drop, it is viable and what you'll want to be using to kill enemy warmachines, wizards and other high-value targets.
- Ghorgon: 50pts cheaper and the only thing lost is he only gains 1W instead of d3 from Swallowing an enemy whole. With Ld10, m7 and stubborn this unit can operate independently and should be flanking rank and file at every opportunity. If it gets into combat with high S & I models like Swordmasters they'll take you to have the board in one combat. With Frenzy and Bloodgreed, a cunning opponent will attack it in the flank with chaff and have it running around all game.
- Jabberslythe: Also 100pts cheaper, and gained the new rule 'Hover', which allows them to use their fly movement for fleeing and pursuing. Additionally, they gained 4+ armour. Probably the rare that got the most love and should be included in most lists. Although it still needs to watch out for warmachines.
- Manticore: more of a discount Jabberslythe. At T5, 4 wounds and no armour, this thing will die fast to shooting, melee, and magic. A shame, because it can really dish out the pain: 4 attacks at S5 with killing blow and stomp will put a hurt on things, but you can't really expect it to survive against anything other than puny mortal infantry. With some upgrades, it can be tougher and deal more damage than a Jabberslythe.
- Hag Tree: Monster trees are now on your side. These things have randomized attacks (but d6+2 is far from terrible), it lacks any flanks or rear, and it can heal for any models it kills in close combat. It also acts as a mobile debuff aura of -1 Ld, letting other units crush mobs in combat.
- Ramhorn: Mega Razorgors that are now huge enough to be ridden by a pack of Bestigors. These can be mounts for your Beastlords and Shamans. These things are much beefier with d6+2 impact hits and frenzy while affording a 4+ natural armour save and stubborn.
Regiments of Renown
you get none
Building Your Army
Let's get down to brass tacks here eh? Beastmen, as an army, have some gaping holes. The biggest and most egregious: They have a terrible LD across the board: every single one of their infantry units faces the prospect of easily panicking and bolting. This means that you need, need, NEED most of your units to be either within your general's LD bubble or to contain a Lead boosting Hero (and even then, don't get excited, your LD max is just about equal to Dwarf base LD). This means you're going to be concentrated in huge blobs towards the center of the board and thus very vulnerable to flank charges.
Here are some favorite unit designs that Beastmen players have used. You'll notice that the first three are Special Units - welcome to Beastmen:
- Bestigor Herd: Remember how we told you to commit? Here it is. Take 30+ Bestigors (the optimal number is usually 35, but some players go large at 40+ or 50+!). This is a WS/S/T 4 warrior with a great weapon and heavy armor in a unit that can have a magic battle standard. Got a Great Bray Shaman, Wargor or Morghur? You can pop him in here along with a Standard of Discipline, and suddenly you have the Same Ld (9) as if you were in the General's bubble, but are now independent of that bubble and free to wreak havoc. Other options are possible, but make sure you utilize your magic banner allowance. COMMIT.
- The Minobus: A favorite of players who like the awesome Minotaur models and want to field a rape train capable of boosting their murderboner into orbit. Minotaurs can be fielded in multiple orientations such as 2x2, 3x2.... but if you really want to bring the beef, the minobus is generally a minimum of 3x3. Again, commit (just like with the Bestigors) and get at least one hero/lord - you need it because if the Dice Gods frown on you, this very expensive unit of stone killers suddenly turns into a stampede for the rear that is fast enough to get off-board before you can rally it! Quite often you will see a Doombull, a Gorebull, and a second Gorebull as BSB in the front row, and 6+ minotaurs in the back. Don't just run the three characters, you need ranks to maintain the bus's ability to combat. Insane players will field 9 to 16 Minotaurs along with Taurox and a Gorebull (or in bigger games, a Doombull) BSB along with a second Gorebull for a unit capable of class 5 hurricane levels of destruction. Remember - canny players KNOW how to redirect this thing, so make sure you are screening it with ungors/gors/razorgors/harpies so that they don't get led around by that ring in their collective snouts. Obviously this unit becomes a risky proposition as a potential one-hit wonder, but it can be a thrill to see once the killing gets started. A unit this involved is around 1000 points, so the enemy must engage it if they want some serious VPs. This means a retarded amount of incoming will be directed at the bus: missiles, engine fire, magic, foul language. This will allow your Gore blocks, harpies and chariots to go and assault forward. This also means that your bus needs some serious support - Gores on the wings, and at least 2 wizards trying to keep it alive!
- Want some load-outs? Here ya go: Doombull with Heavy Armour, Shield, Sword of Striking, Ramhorn Helm, Dawnstone, The Other Tricksters Shard, Gnarled Hide; Gorebull with Heavy Armour, Shield, Battle Standard, Beast Banner; Gorebull with Heavy Armour, Shield, Sword of Swift Striking, Dragonhelm, Ironcurse Icon. Obviously, tinker with moving the Sword around, different banners are a possibility as well (but that beast banner is nice).
- Bacon cruise missiles: We told you before, and here it is again - get two units of one Razorgor each. Use them as flankers, wizard hunters or war machine hunters. They also excel at redirecting, chasing down and pinning units so your Minobus can finish omnomnoming them, and in general, running around like a .... greased pig. Single model units only: don't buy doubles because the second one will bolt with that Ld 6.
- Ungor Ambush Spam: MSU (Multiple Small Units - usually 6+ units of 5) of ungors or gors with the sole purpose of being meatshields and redirectors. Spam These guys into your enemy's rear. Now, with Glottkin's book, you don't need an equivalent unit anymore! Make sure to get Khornate or Slaaneshi upgrades for them for staying/killing power. Multiple units of these little bastards mean that eventually, you'll wind up a few of them in the enemy's knickers. Best used in conjunction with Kazrak as your General so that you are really effective on landing these where you need them. Again, risky in that each unit is essentially 25-40 points that you are giving to the enemy, but you should think of that as you are spending it so that you can cause havoc and get the enemy looking in the wrong direction or turned for flank attacks.
- Big Block Gors: Get two units of 40+ Gors and kit em out. Remember, no shields - you want AHW, and try to keep them near the BSB for re-rolls. This becomes the anvil for the enemy unit that your hammer will flank charge. It doesn't hurt to screen them - they can get weak in the knees if charged on the flanks. And you are prone to that.
- Harpy Havoc: Facing a ton of wizards or warmachines? It may behoove (nyuk nyuk) you to acquire some harpies - they make descent Warmachine and wizard hunters. YMMV. Use with caution as when they are broken, they can cause a chain reaction of panic and fleeing in your flanking units. It's an unfortunate reality that they can break, but their ability to fly allows you to pick off loners. Also, act as backup redirectors and meatshields.
- Ham n' Hoof Drag Racing: New Beastmen players are usually so worried about how underpowered their army allegedly is that they forget that there is some awesomeness here: Chariots, baby! Piggy powered wheeled death means that you get some fast and powerful core choices capable of fulfilling multiple roles: flankers, anvil, hammer, Warmachine/wiz hunter. Take in 2+ units in smaller games, but try to go large here as this is a powerful core choice for you. Remember that CHARIOTS CAN'T MARCH (pg 86 BRB), so use their ability to wheel while moving to get them into prime charging position. Get aggressive with these, they can be the start of something beautiful if you can get stuck right in early before the enemy brings his magic and missiles to bear.
- Beasts: A buffing lore on your monsters to boost their straight further, and be a Bolt thrower.
- Shadow: Beastmen or an offensive army with little defense, so lowering the enemy's offense is a decent defense. Also, grant more mobility for your Shamen.
- Death: Offence that can generate more magic dice. Alos lower enemy leadership so they are easer to break while under the infamous beastman flanking.
- Wild: Design to help trigger their Primal Fury, and get them into melee, effective close-range damage, and can even summon a monster at lv4. This will force him to be close to melee, so put protection on them.
- Tzeentch: lets you throw out more magic with the necessary make giving rerolls and Atribut possibly generating more dice. It is not much with the spells dealing with random Strength, and utilities cost more. PANDEMONIUM is situational if facing Low LD army like fellow Beastmen. Overlookable unless you bring your lucky dice.
- Slaanesh: has a chance to turn your shaman into a better melee fighter when your infect damage (cast Direct damage spell if the bunker ever gets in melee). The main peruse is for your Hero wizard grabs Hysterical Frenzy to throw on your Minobuses to get more attacks out of them.
- Nurgle: each casting could increase the caster's wounds. have a lot of Tounough related spells, Give your Gors poison, or Regeneration if your Spring to Lv3.
The best strategy is to concentrate your Minotaur and Gor blocks towards the center and play big monster/screening units on the flanks. There should be no giant blocks of ungors - this is not their forte, they're not Skavenslaves: they function better in MSUs and as flankers for cheap hits or to force a unit to turn it's own flanks. Minotaurs do flank duty alright, but are unreliable and easy to strand; inherently, put them in the middle (army general helps their low LD) and put the Gor blocks nearby. Cores and Special blocks need flank support: screening units (these are your Ungor/Ungor raiders both on board and ambushing, also your razorgors and harpies, and even MSU gors) are all key to that.
Your Bestigors will likely fall into the above paragraph unless you set them up as stated earlier - with the Standard of Discipline and a Character, at which point they become independent of the General's Ld bubble (this is good). Even then, they cannot be run as a solo problem solver, or the inevitable paddling they get will be well deserved.
Cygors are decent flank units, but need the screening unit to keep dedicated combat units away. Ghorgons fair a little better but have the same problem that Minotaurs have in that they are easy to pull off in a bad direction. Jabbers are great mobile trouble-shooters, but automatically become winged shit magnets. Remember, keep all of these monsters away from dedicated combat units with lots of attacks, great weapons or poisoned attacks. They should be slamming into the flanks, not going nose to nose.
Avoiding your opponent's heaviest units is also important to your success, which naturally is easier said than done. Beastmen are at a disadvantage against pretty much everyone, so you need to strike the weak points hard with magical buffs from Lore of Beasts and huge blocks of Gors/Bestigors, while using lone Razorgors and Ungor Raiders to redirect the enemy's elites, get in the way and basically make a nuisance of themselves while your heavy-hitters crush the enemy's weaker units for the points. Don't fight defensively: you're not Warriors or Dorfs, you can't sit back and let them come to you. Strike hard, strike fast, and melt away before any real opposition comes to get you. Learn from the Beastmen in the lore, they know how it goes.
A nice big meaty unit of Bestigors (35+) or Gors (50 at the least) is very effective as a hammer for this purpose. Kit out the gors with additional hand weapons, a few heroes and Wyssan's Wildform, and run like hell towards the enemy. You should be buffing your Gors with either the Beast Banner for killing, or with the Totem of Rust when facing armies with plenty of disposable income. You need to get as many kills as possible to force Insane Courage from your opponent on the charge. Don't pull your punches, go all out on the offense. March everything forward, move to within inches of the enemy to guarantee charges, because you can't do jack sh*t when you're not in combat.
Now that you're stressed for points, let's not forget to add the fact that you should have 2-3 wizards if possible. Remember - be prepared to pay 600-700 points for a decent magic phase. You need buffs more than other armies and the way to get that is via magic. All of your magic characters will find their points allotments for magical items to be a bit tight - beastmen are poor from living in the woods after all. Buy those casters and try your best to buff buff and buff your units. And ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS try to pop Wildform.
Don't be afraid to stack the odds, no one came along and gave you a 175 point Hydra or decent cavalry. For instance, Gors will almost ALWAYS lose to their equivalent points in (fill in here)Elf Warriors. But, you toss in a Cygor or even a Chariot on the flanks, and suddenly you're doing okay. Gang up on enemy units, don't play nice.
Much of Beastmen playing will involve heavy maneuvering, unit redundancy, draw and counter-charge and avoiding getting shot to pieces. Welcome to Warhammer on Hard Mode.
VS Vampires - Kill the LoV wizards asap, kill them all. Do not challenge or accept a challenge from a Vampire with anything you will miss, there is a good chance that unless it is a Minotaur that it's going to get butchered. If you can do these things you drastically increase your chance of winning.
VS Tomb Kings - Due to your own low LD you will want to make killing skull catapults and boxes of doom (casket of souls) a priority, also Tomb Kings usually have a weak core, unless its buffed by a hero/lord or magic. Stopping the enemy's spell casters is a must.
VS Elves - If you can live through the first round of combat, your generally higher S and T will start to show, so you should use your numerical advantage to it's fullest. Get into combat fast: Elves tend to have a fair amount of shooting, the less they get to shoot at you the better.
VS Dwarves - Don't waist points on monsters, there will be far too many cannons for anything that does not fly or have good regeneration/ward save to be worth the points, unless it's there as a distraction. Due to Dwarves' generally high armor saves, any thing that reduces armor is valuable (Totem of Rust comes to mind).
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