This review was completed using a free copy of Reign of the Brute provided for free by Games Workshop.
The next part of Reign of the Brute is a brand new Army of Renown for Sons of Behemat, focusing around King Brodd’s own legion of his most trusted guard. How does this fiercesome force hit the table? Read on.
What are Armies of Renown?
Reign of the Brute contains a new way to build your army for a handful of factions in the game. “Armies of Renown” are themed lists built around a particular unit or type of unit, in exchange for their own exclusive allegiance abilities. Each Army of Renown will name a specific keyword restriction you must follow for list building in order to be able to use it.
While Armies of Renown still count as part of their parent faction (effectively functioning as a brand new subfaction), there are some differences. Armies of Renown have their own Army Rules which replace the core battletome the faction comes from. This means you cannot use the following from the original battle tome:
- Battle Traits
- Command Traits
- Artefacts of Power
In addition, you cannot use the book’s original:
- Grand Strategies
- Battle Tactics
- Core Battalions (Core Rule and General’s Handbook core battalions are still OK)
- Warscroll Battalions (if in Narrative Play)
You can still use the army’s terrain piece, if applicable. Ultimately this means that the factions portrayed in Rise of the Brute are standalone. Since all the necessary Warscrolls and pitched battle profiles are freely available you do not need the original Battletome to play any of the Armies of Renown in this book.
Army of Renown: King Brodd’s Stomp
In the original battletome for Sons of Behemat, each type of Mega-Gargant got their own subfaction. Whichever one you made your General decided which subfaction you used.
King Brodd’s stomp is a bit of an oddity in that it’s much more flexible than any of the others, and arguably more flexible than the original Battletome. There are no requirements for unit composition, other than that they must all be Sons of Behemat (so no allies). Despite the name, King Brodd is not a requirement!
One ofthe biggest gaping flaws here is that you lose all your usual Monstrous Rampages. while you do get a new one, the beloved Beast Grapple and Colossal Slam are out. Second, you do lose access to Bosses of the Stomp which is a huge blow to you, losing both a bonus artefact and your one drop.
These Realms is Ours
This is just Mightier Makes Rightier with a different name, for some reason. For those unfamiliar, every Mega-Gargant has a Mightier Makes Rightier value on their wound table, check how many wounds the model has suffered and refer to the value, that’s how many models they count as.
Small Gargants also count as 10 instead of the usual 5 for a Monster.
The World Titan’s Prophet
If you included King Brodd, he gets a 5+ Ward when he is within 3″ of a friendly unit. This is not a negligible bonus if you include Brodd. This means that if you do want to include him, you probably want to include some Mancrushers instead of that fourth Mega-Gargant so you don’t need to keep 2 of your Mega-Gargants so close together to gain the benefit.
Smash It All To Bits
Now this is the fun one. In the shooting phase a Mega-Gargant within 1″ of a terrain feature may pick it up and on a 2+ hurl it across the field! Any units standing on it or garrisoning inside of it are moved and take D3 mortal wounds, then the Mega-Gargant may make an 18″ shooting attack with D6 attacks that is 4+ to hit, 3+ to wound, Rend -2 Damage D3+3. Ouch!
It is important to note that unlike most “Destroy terrain” abilities this one physically removes the terrain from the board. Unlike say, Smash to Rubble the terrain feature is picked up and placed aside. So if your cheeky opponent thought they could create a chokepoint with two huge walls placed 3″ apart in the middle of the field, throw one of those at them!
Wrath of Brodd
While you do lose your other Monstrous Rampages, you do get access to a new one, which is arguably better than any of the others: The King’s Stomp. They just took this from the Stonehorns in Beastclaw Raiders, after a successful charge you can have a Mega-Gargant move 3D6″, flying over all units in the way as long as it ends within 3″ of an enemy unit, dealing mortal wounds on the way.
Absolutely killer for Sons of Behemat in the same way Stonehorns like it, give the middle finger to screens and get right into the juicy center of the castle.
Interesting to note here is that Unique characters (i.e. King Brodd) can take any of these command traits, so if you want him to be General hell, go for it.
First, High Expectations gives +1 attack to any Mega-Gargants within 3″ of another Mega-Gargant. While +1 attacks is always a nice bonus, having to clump your Mega Gargants together instead of spreading out is not ideal.
Big Eater restores D3 wounds to a Mega-Gargant wholly within 12″ of this General if they killed any models that combat phase. This sounds small, but it can procc over your entire army over both your and your opponent’s combat phases so it can really add up when added with other healing abilities.
Finally Loud-Mouthed Bully lets you pick one Mega-Gargant within 12″ of this general to fight at top bracket for the turn. While I usually am down on “fight at top bracket” abilities due to the niche cases they come up, this can actually matter for gargants and its very flexible in who it applies to
First and probably my favorite of the lot is Brand of the Gargant King. On an 8+ to charge, they get fight first which is very helpful for the poor saves on Gargants to get to swing first.
Second and close is Lucky Shiny Hat which grants a 5+ ward against mortals. If you have 35 wounds, any ward is good to have even if it’s not an all-encompassing one.
Finally is Crafty Creepers. If the bearer is in combat with a Hero with an artefact, they can steal it on a 5+. Far too niche to be useful and will only work a third of the time anyway.
One thing seriously going for this army is the easy battle tactics. You won’t really need the book ones with these around.
Good Shot! Hur hur! Simply asks you to kill a unit by hucking terrain at them. A bit dicey, sure. You might get one shot, or miss that 4+ or not do quite enough damage. But statistically, pick a unit on its last legs and you’ll probably get this.
King’s Conquest requires King Brodd, but all he has to do is take an objective from the enemy alongside another unit – any one.
Clear Em Out! is a slam dunk. Pick an objective you don’t control and take it back with a unit that charged. Simple enough, only asking that you do slightly more than just walk onto the point.
You get one, Flatten the Lands. While I’m generally pretty up on this Army, this is a huge weakness. You have to end the battle with no terrain features on the battlefield. Which for most boards is going to be literally impossible.
The rules suggest 8 pieces of terrain for a standard battle. Assuming you throw a piece of terrain each turn, and get the 2+ each time, that’s still only 5 pieces of terrain. I don’t think this was even tested. Without the core Sons of Behemat options, you have to rely on the season’s Grand Strategies. As of this writing that’s…not very good for you!
Since Gargant list Building is pretty easy, let’s look at a possible option.
King Brodd's Stomp
Allegiance: Sons of Behemat
– Tribe: Stomper Tribe
– Grand Strategy: Slaughter of Sorcery
King Brodd (520)
– Command Trait: Loud Mouthed Bully
Gatebreaker Mega-Gargant (500)
– Artefact: Brand of the Gargant King
Gatebreaker Mega-Gargant (500)
– Nullstone Adornment: Hand-carved Nullstone Icon
1 x Mancrusher Gargants (140)
1 x Mancrusher Gargants (140)
1 x Mancrusher Gargants (140)
Total: 1940 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 0 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
We open with King Brodd and some Mancrushers. While King Brodd isn’t neccesary, he opens up a very easy battle tactic and gets a 5+ Ward basically for being included, so why not. We add some mancrushers to hang out with him so he can get that 5+ ward. After than we have room for 2 Megas. Which ones are kind of up to personal preference, but I find the Gatebreakers still impress the most so let’s double up on those.
We can’t get any of the book’s Grand Strats (including the flavorful Brodd’s Revenge, sadly) and the General’s Handbook options are not ideal for us so we’ll stick to the simple Slaughter of Sorcery and hope for the best.
Largely, I think the Armies of Renown are a bit of a wash. They lock out a lot of key options that make the army work and limit unit diversity. This ones a bit different, and might have legs. It really doesn’t cause you to lose a lot, and the benefits are quite good.
The downside is the absolute terrible grand strat and, possibly a deal breaker, the loss of the Bosses of the Stomp battalion. The ability to hurl terrain is huge though and could provide an interesting alternative way to play.