We are dipping back into Grand Alliance Death. This crew represents the background for Flesheater courts as oppose to re-using the Warhammer Fantasy models. This means that we see a variety of ghouls that match the background fluff around the ghouls and their delusions, and add some much needed variety to your standard ghoul units in Age of Sigmar.
Abilities and Reactions
Reaction – Tenacious Hunters – if a visible enemy within 1″ of the model disengages, allocate D3 damage points to that fighter. This means that if enemies try to disengage, your models that haven’t activated can react to inflict D3 wounds on them when they try to run away. It means if you pile models in, and you have a reasonable number of models to do that with, if the enemy try to break away next turn you can take chunks out of them.
Double – Feed the Hounds – When the fighter takes an enemy out of action, other friendly models within 3″ are healed by an amount equal to the value of the ability. This is great for healing damage on other friendly models, and rewards operating the ghouls in groups. This is also the only ability the standard Ghoul Trackers can use.
Double – Sound the Hunt – Pick a number of friendly fighters equal to half the value of this ability within 3″ of the model, and give them a free move action equal to the ability. So if you have a double six, you can move three models six inches. The Beastflayer Baron is the only model that can use this ability, and again it rewards clumping models around the warbands leaders.
Double – Clambering Horrors – Until the end of activation, ignore vertical distance when moving. Only for the Offal Hounds, which are move 7 anyway, and this means that enemies aren’t safe when they get on top of towers. Offal hounds are one of the bitier models in the warband, and boosting them to chase enemies down is useful.
Triple – Unleash the Hounds – This ability is only on the Gore-Squire, and creates a 3″ bubble around the Gore-Squire where friendly Beast-Slayers (so not allies) add half the value of the ability (rounding up) to their move characteristic for move actions they start within the bubble. Potentially really useful if you have a lot of models bunched up to make them significantly faster, or if you move the Gore Squire next to key models you want to move forward.
Triple – Pack Tactics – This ability is on the Royal Flaymaster, and lets you pick a visible enemy fighter. You then count up the number of friendly fighters within 3″ of that fighter, double that number and inflict it as damage on the enemy fighter. Another ability that rewards piling on to your opponent with a mob of models.
Quad – No Rest till our Quest is Done – Another ability on the Flaymaster, until the end of the battle round add 2 to the strength of visible friendly models within 6″ of the flaymaster for melee attack actions. Another mobbing the enemy ability, and puts everyone in the warband at strength 5 or 6.
The leader of the force, and the only hero. You have to take at least one of these, and there are two abilities locked to this model, but it is the toughest model in the warband with the highest potential damage output. A range 2, 3 dice, strength 4 3/5 damage melee attack is the longest ranged attack you’ve got, and it has a solid damage output. The quad ability, and the abilities of the faction in general, mean you’ll be putting the Flaymaster in the middle of the action where he can do some good.
The Sound the Hunt ability is keyed to the baron, who is a bit less tough and fighty than the Flaymaster, but 16 wounds and a 3 dice strength 4 2/4 melee attack is better than almost anything else in the warband. Another key model that is best leading a pack of lesser fighters where the Sound the Hunt ability can boost them forward into combat and they can get plenty of attack actions in.
Basically equivalent to the Flesheater courts ghoul hero, this model is tougher (12 wounds) and punchier (4 attack dice and 2/3 damage) than a standard ghoul, and has the Unleash the Hounds ability to give nearby models extra movement. It clocks in at 95 vs a normal Ghoul Trackers 55, but it is a tougher, fightier model with a useful triple ability for increasing the movement of your models.
Now we’re getting to the chaff. For 55 points you get a move 5 toughness 3 8 wound model with 3 dice, strength 3 and 1/3 damage in melee. It’s the stat line of your standard sucky mook, but this is a warband about mobbing your opponents, and you can’t really do that with models that are expensive in points terms. Someone has to hold the table quarter, push the button, carry treasure or stand on the objective, and ghoul trackers can do that just as well as anyone else.
Here’s a nasty surprise. Offal hounds have move 7, toughness 3 and 18 wounds, and a melee attack with 3 dice strength 4 and 2/4 damage. They’re fast and though and nasty, and great for sending bounding off into your opponent, boosted by one of the warbands abilities that gives you extra movement. With a double they can ignore vertical distance when moving, and they’re great for hitting models your opponent thinks are safe on platforms, or far away from the action.
The models assembled as per instructions give you an exactly 1000 point warband, so any variation will require an extra box or some extra ghoul models. Ten models is a decent size for a Warcry band, and logical variations you might try would be reducing the number of Ghoul Squires and Offal Hounds to have more Ghoul Hunters, or dropping a Ghoul Hunter and turning a Ghoul Squire into an Offal Hound.
|Beast Flayer Baron|
|Ghoul Gore Squire|
|Ghoul Gore Squire|
|Ghoul Gore Squire|
I’d recommend playing the force out of the box a couple of times to get a feel for it, and then either add a handful of ghouls to your roster from the giant pile of them that you have if you’re a Flesheater Courts player, or get a second Beastflayers box and experiment.
Overview and Suggested Allies
This warband is about mobbing enemies and murdering them. You’ll want to put a character with an ability in each deployment drop, and a Gore-Squire pairs nicely with the Offal Hounds, as does the Beastflayer Baron. Every model is move 5 at least, which lets you get across the board at pace, without taking into account all the abilities that boost movement.
Think about how you split your force, and how you’ll pile in on your opponents. You aren’t a high damage output team like Slaves to Darkness or Stormcast, so you want to get in as many chipping attack actions as possible to bring your opponent down. Almost every model also has a range of one on it’s melee attacks, so trap spear armed enemy models to stop them retreating out of your range but staying within theirs and poking you. Ghouls are not hard wearing, but you’ve got decent wounds on a lot of the models in the band. Offal Hounds are going to do hard work for you, don’t let them get picked off at range if your opponent has missile weapons handy.
For suggested allies, you are tied to Death, and things like Crypt Infernals bring a lot to the party (very fast, large number of wounds, high damage output) in return for being incredibly expensive. You can add Underworlds bands or Thralls, and a Fell Bat is a 1-1 replacement for an Offal Hound in terms of points, while the Grymwatch are flavourful and a source of cheap slightly better than normal ghouls (if you have them, models are currently unavailable).
Nighthaunt gives you access to a range of abilities (and possibly missile weapons) again in return for a lot of points tied up in one or two models.
I would recommend playing the warband as is to get the feel for it, then changing the make up or adding allies or thralls.
Of the two warbands in the box, the Royal Beastflayers are the harder to use one that requires more thought about positioning, movement and synergies. Their abilities have bubbles from their characters, or reward piling in, and low damage output models need to surround and beat up tougher opponents. You have numbers, as any warband with access to 55 point models does, and you are a reasonably fast warband even before you start using abilities, but some of your models are fairly fragile.
The issue with being fast but fragile is that you have no missile weapons or long range damage ability, and no poking weapons to stay out of enemy engagement ranges. You have to get in, and this is where you will need to use abilities to get models in to contact where they can put both actions into attack to strip wounds, or utilise abilities like pack tactics to weaken opponents you have surrounded.
This isn’t a point and click warband (which to some extent elite factions like Stormcast are, as each model can do most things average to very well, you just don’t get a lot of them) so you need to plan your turn and your use of abilities to get the most from them. Remember: Plan, position and pounce – that should be how you succeed with this warband. Good eating! God any questions for us? Hit us up at Contact@Goonhammer.com.