Takers Tribe yesterday got me pretty fired up: breaking all those scenarios wide open felt pretty good, in my head at least!
I’m going to be up front after that and say that Breakers is the Tribe where I personally see the least competitive potential, even though the Executioner has the coolest look; if Lotan had a Sons of Behemat tribe, it would be Breakers.
But that being said, Breakers Tribe does at least lean into bumping up the big boys, so let’s see where it can take us, and have some fun with the Megas.
What do they do?
They do this:
They break scenery. That’s their thing. Faction terrain springs to mind, but unfortunately a lot of that is well behind enemy lines, and you’ll never get to it. Exceptions to that rule being Wyldwoods (finally: I don’t care if Sylvaneth are shit, I’ve always wanted to smash those stupid trees into splinters) and Skaven Gnawholes (you really can’t afford to leave one quarter of your army behind standing behind in them).
Sadly, Idoneth shipwrecks will still ruin your day. It’s been pointed out in the Sons WhatsApp that these boats are >4″ tall at the point of the mast, so you can’t walk over any part of the boat for free with Longshanks. And there you have the tragedy of the Longshanks rule in a nutshell.
You can break them to Rubble, but there’s nothing in this book saying what that actually means; it looks like a pointer to 3rd edition (whenever that may be), but in the meantime we can’t actually use the rules in our own book.
Seriously though, how can you literally smash terrain into rubble and then still not walk over it? The book really should have had a rule that just let you walk over Rubble; or better yet, a Longshanks rule that didn’t just get switched off so easily and unthematically by so many things.
You can potentially get some juice out of smashing scenery in Realms, if you play them; the main application I can think of is removing Entangling from terrain features in Chamon, so you can chase down a gunline with any models you still have standing.
For going in Allegiance, you get a dicey opportunity to break terrain with Mancrushers (not really worth planning around when the Mega-G himself does it so much more reliably), and your Mancrushers do extra damage against enemies wholly in terrain or garrisoned.
Meh. The terrain thing could be good for forcing small Heroes out of cover, but otherwise this is most likely to be a thing against KO in their boats (unless, as is more likely, they’ve already hopped out and massacred all your Mancrushers). If your opponent forgets that you have this rule, you might screw them over with a gotcha moment in terrain. Once. I guess.
Of more interest is the Fierce Loathings ability: this grants +1 To Hit for your Gatebreakers and Mancrushers against a target of your choice (which must be selected at list building stage). This is a prime example of the disconnect between the passion and creativity coming from the background writers on this book, and the often half-arsed rules writing: they have cool, thematic and genuinely funny descriptions, but then they’re all just +1 To Hit something. Ho Hum.
What’s a little bit sad is that the Gatebreaker only hits on 4s to begin with on his main attack, whereas everyone else hits on 3s. So it can feel like this book takes rules away from you, then makes you jump through hoops to get back to where you should have started.
It will get your Mancrushers hitting on 2s though, so for a Big Waaagh player like me it’s nice to know I’m not leaving that crutch behind completely!
Like any table of 6 things in a GW book, there is some solid gold, some worthless dross and a little bit inbetween. My picks here are Bossy Pants and Clever Clogs (+1 vs Heroes and Wizards), Idiots With Flags (units with command models, which is a lot) and Shiny ‘Uns (anything with an armour save of 4+ or better). The danger with Idiots is that your opponent can pluck out their command models after you’ve done your Mortal Wounds on the charge, but even that is having its own impact.
What I do like here is that we have an ability that makes your Megas fight harder: with a pretty punchy rend -3 damage 3 per swing and a decent number of attacks, this might just be the Tribe for those determined to have a Mega-G that feels like the wrecking ball it should.
And also for people who hate Wyldwoods. Fuck Wyldwoods.
40 Wounds is always a good ‘un, and there’s a tempting option (Louder than Words, cool name yet again!) to give yourself two extra attacks with the Flail. I’d generally avoid aggro options with these guys at all costs, but if we’re looking to kill shit and make Megas feel fun – and if we’re not doing that, we probably shouldn’t be playing Breakers – then it’s not a bad old choice.
Extremely Bitter lets you choose two different Fierce Loathings, again an aggro option but a good ‘un. Worth noting is that you can sometimes overlap these effects, getting +2 To Hit. I’d stick to picking from those three.
Enchanted Portcullis delivers a 6++ aftersave, combining nicely with the 40 Wounds CT to give you a true pain in the ass to deal with. 6++ is decent enough when you’ve got a high wound count and don’t chart hard.
The Great Wrecka is absolute garbage: it gets slightly easier to smash terrain, and delivers 1 puny mortal wound on natural 6s with your Flail. Oh that’s in addition to the normal damage, and not instead of? Stop spoiling us!
I genuinely cringed when listening to Facehammer trying to pretend that they liked this thing. OK new rule: anyone who claims that this is a good way to use the only Artefact you can possibly have (remember, no Battalions) has to both run this army and actually use that Artefact for the next 12 months. Then talk to me about how good it is.
The last one is also a crappy, situational reroll wounds thing. Forget about both of those and run the Portcullis, every time.
Part of the reason I’m so keen on the Gatebreaker is that he reminds me of the modern classic Gutbusters Tyrant. Me and the Little Big Man had a lot of fun and took some decent scalps over the years:
So our list today is going to lean into the making Mega-Gs feel like Mega-Gs should. Minimum baby giants, because that’s not what we’re here for; and the luxury of an aggro CT to put the cat amongst the pigeons.
- Gatebreaker (General) 490
- Command Trait: Extremely Bitter
- Artefact: Enchanted Portcullis
- Fierce Loathings: Shiny ‘Uns, Bossy Pants and Clever Clogs
- Gatebreaker 490
- Kraken-Eater 490
- 3x Mancrushers 480
- Extra Command Point 50
2000 Points, 141 Wounds
Hitting on 4s against anything where you don’t have a Fierce Loathing makes me nervous for these guys in general; even a single neg 1 to hit will pretty much switch them off. But at least with two Executioners we’ve got two chances to cover off the right units.
Flailing away pathetically at a Tzeetch Hero would just feel bad, so we’re going after them with Bossy Pants, and Shiny ‘Uns can help our General to layeth the smacketh down on tough units, and hopefully keep him feeling like a force of nature.
The Kraken-Eater is the best thing in the book for my money, so he’s our pick for the third Mega slot.
Minimum Mancrushers have to go in a single block to stay under points, so we have the choice between a Triumph or a CP. Triumphs are amazing, but so is keeping your babies on board when you face Turn 1 firepower, so we’ll grab a safety CP instead of bidding for the Triumph with this particular army structure.
As a combat army, I’m not sure that this is quite the best this book can offer; across the course of a few games, or a tournament, I do think you’ll get more mileage out of Mancrushers in Stompers. But if you want to steer your Sons back in the direction of Mega Gargants – running multiples of the sweetest model, looking epic on the tabletop, and with the big boys doing the heavy lifting – then this is the way I would go.
Within the next few days I’ll be aiming to wrap up my SOB coverage with an overall look at the release, what I liked about it and where I think it could have been done better. That’s going to take a little while to gather together because like a lot of you, I’m conflicted in multiple ways about this release; so please do bear with me if it doesn’t hit the press straight away.
Until then: May Gork bring you strength, may Mork bring you wisdom.