Today we look at how to play Beasts of Chaos in Age of Sigmar. Trample your enemies under your cloven hooves!
It’s hard to love an army that seems to be ignored by even the company that makes it, but avid Beasts of Chaos players do so nonetheless. As a fellow fan of the Beastmen, I can respect that, and while you might not build the most competitive list, you can definitely have a lot of fun with them. That said, here are a few tips and tricks to get the most out of your goatmen/bullmen/OHMYGODDRAGONCENTAURS and which units you should prioritize.
What Are Beasts of Chaos?
Mutated creatures twisted in both mind and body, the Beasts of Chaos consider themselves the true children of Chaos and have made it their sole mission to tear down and despoil the trappings of civilization wherever they find it. From the goat-headed Gors to the massive Thunderscorn Dragon Ogres, they stream from the forest in a braying tide, wielding crude axes and spitting vile curses that leave their foes as twisted as themselves. Wherever the Herds march, only destruction is left in their wake.
Why Play Beasts of Chaos?
The Beasts of Chaos are actually a collection of three different armies, and each brings a distinct skill set to the battlefield: the Brayherds can ambush their foes and bury them under a sea of bodies, the Warherds unleash ferocious Minotaurs and massive horned monsters, and the Thunderscorn charge forward under baleful storms, absorbing the energy of lightning strikes to empower themselves and their weapons. Since GW hasn’t given them a decent book in a while, you will surely be underestimated, and you can use that to your advantage.
- A variety of playstyles means this army can mold itself to almost any general
- Ambush is a powerful mechanic
- Surprisingly powerful combat and magic heroes
- New table size rules make the Herdstone even better
- Endless Spells are finally worth taking!
- Ambush is not as strong as a lot of the other reserve deployment
- The Beasts of Chaos book took a lot of heavy hits from FAQs
- Distinct lack of decent ranged options
How you play and what rules you worry about depends on your subfaction, but these are the basic rules that you need to know for this army.
- Brayherd Ambush – You can set up a Brayherd unit in ambush for each Beasts of Chaos unit you set up, arriving at the end of the first movement phase within 6″ of a table edge and more than 9″ from enemies. Not the strongest deepstrike option, but it is a great way to threaten warmachine crews or backline wizards, and your opponent will have to maneuver around it.
- Blood Gorge – Whenever a Warherd unit destroys an enemy unit in the combat phase, they heal d3 wounds. This is a great way to keep your Minotaur wrecking balls fighting.
- Creatures of the Storm – Thunderscorn units can make a d6″ move at the start of the hero phase, so long as they are not within 3″ of enemies and don’t end the move within 3″. This lets you move your devastatingly powerful Dragon Ogres up the board extremely quickly.
- Primordial Call – Beasts of Chaos generate Primordial Call points every turn and can generate more by sacrificing friendly units close to a Herdstone. You can spend these points to summon more beasties to the battlefield in the same manner as the Ambush ability above, from a few Ungors to a Mighty Chimera.
The Beasts of Chaos have access to the Herdstone, a baneful idol in the shape of a horned beast, which is a pretty cool piece that gives your Beasties immunity to battleshock and deteriorates the armor of all enemies within its increasing aura. With 3.0’s smaller table size, this piece will become a real threat much faster than before, so make sure you don’t leave it at home.
The Subfactions for the Beasts of Chaos are called Greatfrays, and each is built for a different style of play. Whether you prefer the hyper-aggressive Allherd, the twisted Gavespawn, or the stealthy Dark Walkers, you’ll find something that fits your playstyle.
5 Key Units
You might not see all these units in the same army, but these are units that can’t be overlooked.
Dragon Ogre Shaggoth – An incredibly powerful hybrid caster hero that buffs all Thunderscorn near him and can lay down a withering hail of damage. He’s a little low on wounds, but his healing abilities easily offset that, and while you have him, whenever the turn roll is a tie, all Dragon Ogre units heal d3 on a 4+. That is extremely situational but can lead a beleaguered army to victory, and his serious damage can’t be ignored.
Bestigors – Battleline if you have a Beastlord general, and well worth taking in a single reinforced unit. Their Despoilers ability makes them nightmares against Order armies, and their extra attacks on the charge combined with their banner and musician abilities make them a surprisingly dangerous ambush piece.
Great Bray-Shaman – Your primary spellcaster, probably the one you want close to the Herdstone slitting throats. He has an awesome range of spells and a signature that lets him pull a unit closer to combat. Watch what happens when you throw Titanic Fury on a Chimera…
Bullgors – Battleline under a Doombull general and some of the most devastating line infantry in the book. Can choose between axe and shield, dual axes, or great weapons, and on a 6 to wound their attacks deal an additional mortal wound. In Dark Walkers, they can ambush, and I assure you that will shatter almost anything you point it at.
Ghorgon – The true murder cow (looking at you, Lumineth) this thing is an incredible force of destruction. It shares the Bullgor’s mortal wound ability but deals d3 instead of just 1 and can swallow a model of your choice if it can roll above their Wounds characteristic on a d6. Watch him ingest an enemy unit champ or minor hero and laugh in monster.
Sample Army (1000 pts)
Army: Beasts of Chaos
*Note: This army does not factor GHB 2021 as it was built with Warscroll Builder*
Leader: Beastlord. General. Command Trait: Malevolent Destroyer. Artefact: Volcanic Axe
Leader: Great Bray-Shaman. Spell: Titanic Fury
Battleline: 20 Bestigors
Battleline: 20 Bestigors
How to Play Beasts of Chaos
Ambush with your hardest hitters but keep a few scary gents in play just in case. Try to find the balance between the three keywords, and take out shooters first. When all else fails, summon more scary things
~Tear down their walls and standards!