Beastmen - Sweaty, Stinking and Awesome!
So I've been asked, "Why Bestmen?" by quite a few people, especially when I say that I'm bringing them to a competitive setting like the Bay Area Open. My usual response is braying, snorting and defecating, but I suppose that confuses some people, so allow me to translate for those who don't speak the Dark Tongue, "I like the look of the army and they can be surprisingly competitive in the right hands." I will elaborate a bit.
Individually, Beastmen all have a good balance of different textures on each miniature. You have smooth flesh, fur, wood, cloth, horns, smooth metal and chainmail. That may sound like a lot of work, but if you are an efficient painter, it's really not that bad.
As an army, I think it's one of the most impressive in the game (up there with Brets). You have a large number of big models, with all those different tones and textures sprinkled throughout the units, you end up with what looks like a chaotic mass of flesh and horn. The overall effect is quite effective as you can probably see in my army. As well as having some fantastic infantry models, you also have plenty of monsters to paint and sculpt, such as the Ghorgon, Cygor and Jabberslythe. While they may not be the most competitive choices, they do offer some great painting opportunities.
On the battlefield, everything changes.
As an army, their performance is a bit less than thrilling. Their most effective units are their core infantry and Bestigors, and rather unfortunately, their monsters are among the most ineffective units in the book, especially when you factor in their staggering point cost.
So what does this army have to offer competitively? Their basic troops are M5, WS4, T4, usually have hatred and a pair of hand weapons. That makes a pretty solid block of troops that are going to hit with some respective force. Their bestigors are striking with S6 great weapons, and when you're re-rolling those hits, you're going to beat the tar out of something. They do suffer though from being S3 and fairly low LD. To overcome this, you use your level 1/2 shadow spell casters, they will save you the game and the enemy wont realize it until it's too late...
When you have scary spells like Pit of Shades, Occam's Mind Razor, Transformation of Khadon and Savage Beast of Horros floating around, people will often overspend dispel dice to get rid of them, or let you get off spells they perceive as weaker to keep their dice in reserve for the big ones, and that's where the Beasts really take advantage of their stats. If you manage to reduce someone to WS1, which isn't hard with 2 shadow casters throwing out Miasma, then the enemy is hitting you back on 5's, combined with T4, this makes you stick around quite a while, alternatively, a well placed Wildform will grant your unit S4 T5, which also means you'll live a lot longer and dish out some extra pain. To enhance magic, some players will take a Shard of the Herdstone and several level 1 mages, to generate a ton of power dice and spam miasma like it's cool, but I find that this requires my army to remain more static than I like, so instead, I upgrade my Level 4 for combat and give him the Jagged Dagger to generate some dice for himself. It may be slightly less effective, but it fits the way I prefer to play more.
When you combine small buffs and debuffs with the effectiveness of Gors and Bestigors, you turn a slightly above average unit into a bunch of psychopathic killers.
So there's my quick rant on why I love my Beastmen. Stay tuned next week for how I actually do at the Bay Area Open, here's hoping for the best!
PS - Sorry about the crappy picture, I still haven't replaced my camera, so I had to use my phone. :(