The Duardin’s greatest Slayer is back and he’s looking pretty darn scary – so how do you deal with Gotrek? Let’s chat.
Let’s face it – Gotrek will wreck you. This little guy is a murderball on steroids and there isn’t much that can take him in a straight-up fight. He’s got a lot of advantages going for him! So how do you deal with him? That’s what we are here to talk about. The first step is knowing your enemy.
If I’m honest, depending on the battleplan, you might have already lost – unless you’ve got an equally tanky hero/monster/behemoth on your side. Duality of Death will be almost an auto loss and Places of Arcane Power won’t be easy either. So if you roll one of those battleplans try to have some fun with the game at least – or hey, maybe embrace the challenge and see what you can do!
But we are here to talk about how to deal with Gotrek and not dwell on your impending meeting with Zangrom-Thaz’s business end (it’s double-sided for twice the business). In my initial article my advice was simply “play the objectives and RUN!” and that still holds true. But let’s break that down even further.
Playing The Objectives
Gotrek’s got one major flaw – he’s only one model with a Move of 4″. That means he can’t be everywhere at once. You’ve got to use that to your advantage. For example, even in Place of Arcane Power, he can only camp on one objective. There are two others for you to focus on. If you can muscle a hero on top of both of those, and do it early enough, Gotrek can’t win that game by himself.
When playing AoS, the battleplan objectives are always important and when you’re facing off against ANY power unit, you’ve got to play that objective game or you will lose. Heck, even without a power unit, objectives are literally how you win games! I don’t care if your army has no models left, if you’ve got more objective points than your opponent, you win.
On the bright side, Gotrek is also 520 points. In a 2k list, that’s more than 1/4 of their army. Let him take that objective in the corner (or even the middle) – but keep a hero in striking distance to pressure him to stay put. Looking at it like this, you’ve now got your 1900-ish points vs their 1480 points to face off with. You’ve got the points/numbers advantage. If you can’t beat your opponent with a 400-ish point advantage (again, taking into account the lack of hero/unit ‘pinning’ Gotrek), then you might have bigger problems my friend.
Running Away from Gotrek was the other part of my advice. As mentioned above, he’s 520 points of murder that you need to avoid if at all possible. There are some tools in your arsenal you can use no matter the faction. Unless you’re Khorne…in which case you better get ready to offer up some skulls. Why? Cause these tools are magic, baby.
The Soulsnare Shackles are available in Malign Sorcery – you know, the big Magic Expansion for AoS. It the one with all the Endless Spells and rules in the box. Anyhow, It’s got the nasty ability of Bound for the Great Oubliette. If a model is within 6″of one of these two models, on a 3+ they get nailed with a movement debuff of 1/2 speed! That’s going to cripple Gotrek from a 4″ move to a 2″ move!
And there is the off chance that he takes a random mortal wound, too. If you can’t run from him, you can at least slow him down. With some smart placement, you should be able to really control his speed. And by the way, these are only 40 points and are totally worth it in pretty much any army. Who DOESN’T want to slow their opponent’s big blob of pain down?
Shards of Valagharr is another speed-reducing Endless Spell. This one is from Forbidden Power. It also has the added benefit of messing with Gotrek’s to-hit roll. It’s ALSO only 40 points and works similarly to the shackles – you do have to aim a little better, but it’s not that bad. So use either of these spells (or both – hah!) to slow down Gotrek.
Here’s another option when it comes to Running From Gotrek – don’t. “Wait, what?! Facing him down isn’t going to be good for my health!” Correct – but sometimes you do have to feed the Duardin. So what do you feed him? Cheap, throw away units that you can afford to lose! Ideally, you toss them in positions that will tempt Gotrek into poor position later.
Again, he’s only got a move of 4″ – force him to deal with a unit for a round or two away from the main fight (if you can get to him) and draw it out for as long as possible. If you can tie him up away from the battle for a round or two, hopefully by turn 2-3 you’ve got the edge everywhere else and it will take him another turn (or two) to get back in the fight. By that point, if you’re playing the objectives, you’ve hopefully got a big enough lead not even the Greatest Slayer Alive can stop you.
“But he deals a boat-load of damage and he will KILL anything!” Yes. However, if you have access to units that don’t care about Rend then they are even better for tanking Gotrek. The Nighthaunt army in particular has all the tools to deal with him (don’t care about his rend AND can get a 6+ save vs mortal wounds). Lots of armies also have the ability to summon stuff – toss some of that in his face and let him chew on free units. And they die, so what? They were FREE.
Death By A Thousand Cuts
This is the final trick to dealing with Gotrek – KILL HIM. There are some units in the game that can deal out a massive number of attacks. Ideally, you’re tossing out 40-60 attacks at him that have at least -1 rend and 1 damage. Now, that’s not really possible for everyone, I know. Plus his base will actually protect him from getting hit from your 40-man battleline unit. But there are some units in the game that can pump that out with a relative few number of models (looking at you Witches).
You can’t really kill Gotrek with shennanigans – you just have to do it the old fashioned way. Lots of dice and hope he fails saves. He’s only got a 4+/3++ and 8 wounds. You can do it! Just don’t let him hit you first…
I know this was a pretty long winded article explaining some pretty straight forward concepts. Just remember:
- Play the Objective
- “Run” Away
- Or Kill Him
This is pretty true for pretty much ANY problem unit in AoS, too. Pretty much every army in the game can pull off two out of three of these tricks – it just depends on what your army does best and making that work for you.
And if you can’t beat him…he’s only an ally slot away!
How do you plan on dealing with Gotrek Gurnisson? Share your tips in the comments!