Joining me for the first in our series on Mercenary Mega Gargants is Pat Nevan. No doubt familiar to many of you from the Bush Radio podcast, Pat is one of Australia’s top competitive players. Pat specializes in Mortal Khorne and his tournament wins include SAGT 2020, as well as piloting the faction to an excellent 4-1 result at Australian Masters 2019.
Pat has already had the balls to run a Merc Mega-G at Summer Smash, a 50-player event in Feb 2021, going 3-2 at the event and defeating Seraphon along the way; his narrow defeats came against my own Big Waaagh and a regulation S-Tier Tzeentch build. There was a bee’s dick in both games against armies that made Top 10 at the event, so this army is way more than a novelty. Let’s see how he did it.
– Slaughterhost: The Goretide
Mortal Realm: Ghur
One-Eyed Grunnock (480)
– Artefact: The Brazen Rune
– Blood Blessing: Blood Sacrifice
– Blood Blessing: Killing Frenzy
Doombull of Khorne (100)
– Command Trait: Hew the Foe
– Artefact: Thronebreaker’s Torc
10 x Gors of Khorne (70)
10 x Gors of Khorne (70)
10 x Gors of Khorne (70)
5 x Wrathmongers (140)
6 x Bullgors of Khorne (280)
Ghorgon of Khorne (160)
BATTALIONS AND OTHER
Brass Despoilers (180)
Extra Command Point (50)
Hexgorger Skulls (40)
Total: 1960 / 2000
Extra Command Points: 2
Allies: 480 / 400
How It Works
The Giant was in the list because I made a pledge to the Dice Gods to take one in a Khorne army to our first event back after Covid, and I don’t fuck around with the Dice Gods.
Brass Despoilers was as good a place for him as anywhere in non-Thirster Spam Khorne. The Slaves to Darkness Khorne list is strongest at the moment, but the required support and unit costs for that build rule out a Gargant.
In so far as the list works at all, it operates off a super-buffed unit of Bullgors delivering maximum carnage for a turn. In practice it worked through vintage Khornate scrambling. I was pretty happy to come within a 5th turn priority roll of a 4-1 finish in a decent field.
From the get-go with Sons of Behemat, I didn’t think the Warstomper was the weak sister of the faction so I was pretty happy to take him as a Merc. I really took this as a fun list and he was definitely fun, particularly in conjunction with Gary the Ghorgon eating models as well. On a side note Ghorgons are awesome in Khorne, that thing overperformed in both hilarity and death-dealing all weekend.*
Performance wise Geoff’s Merc ability with the neg one to hit bubble is actually really useful, and the 3 inch range on all his weapons makes him ideal for fighting from behind chaff; he could still get all his attacks in behind Bullgors on a 50mm base which is pretty good.
That said he was at this best charging around the flanks and bullying big units full of things much smaller than him. Combat wise he consistently came in at about 10-15 high rend wounds, but this could blow out with Damned terrain, Triumphs and so on.
I only lost him once when I foolishly exposed him to mega melee damage from some flog running the Big Waaagh**. 35 wounds seemed to go a lot further as a Merc, probably because there were a lot more targets in my army than a classic SOB army.
The Warstomper’s signature ability to destroy a model at any point in the combat phase is awesome in terms of hilarity and utility. My main complaint with the Warstomper is the difficulty of his insta-kill compared to something like a Ghorgon. Other than blowing units out of coherency I used it to force my way on to objectives, kill Command models and finish off units before piling in.
Overall Geoff was a lot of fun and surprisingly useful once I got past the idea of throwing him into the thickest part of the battle, and instead ran him as an opportunistic bully.
Picking up a Bloodcrusher on a 6 after four turns of trying, and finishing off a Herald of Khorne on Blood Throne with the resulting four mortal wounds was pretty cool.
Geoff’s signature moment of the whole event was against a Fangs of Sotek Seraphon army, where he had the hopeless task of holding down a flank. I got double turned so he was lit up by a unit of three Salamanders (twice), taking 22 wounds in total – the second attack was a whiff.
The Salamanders charged in to finish him off, but Geoff activated first and hammered the unit down to one Salamander. He then rolled a six to pick it up and launch it into the nearby Skink screen, leaving seven lizards in the unit.
Next turn Geoff charged the Skinks and did 6 mortals, so he picked up the last Skink threw it at Kroak for another mortal. This in turn freed him up to pile into a 40-blob of Skinks 5 inches away, out of which he killed 20-odd.
The wound on Kroak really was the icing on the cake: this was Geoff’s Leonidas moment. “Yes Kroak, even a God can bleed”.
I think Mega Mercs definitely have a place in some armies, but a traditional Khorne list is not it. When you throw in a Mega on top of the high support cost inherent in a Khorne list (about 600 odd points in this case), what’s left is just too thin from a top-tables perspective.
Gargants will do their best work in armies that can put together a decent list at 1500 points. Khorne-wise, if I run him again competitively it will be in a list without buff pieces. I keep having dreams of Geoff and an Exalted Bloodthirster in a low-drop build of some description.
I also don’t see him bringing much to Slaves to Darkness in any Allegiance because of the aforementioned support costs. It pains me to say this but the best place for a Chaos Gargant is probably in a Tzeentch Daemon army, with a bunch of Horrors where his high rend will fill a major gap. Slaanesh is off the table at the moment but he might have a place as a Depravity generator once their points settle down.
Is This List Competitive?
On the Fangs of Sotek / Kroaknado scale no, but you knew that anyway. Are they fun? For myself as a competitive player I won’t have fun with a useless unit like a Thundertusk but I was able to get enough out of Geoff competitively to enjoy the fun stuff he does brings to the table, so I rate it as a positive experience.
Also the kit is awesome to build and paint. I’m a pretty indifferent hobbyist but I was happy with my finished product. Everybody should have at least one of them.
Thanks for that Pat! Next week I’ll be taking you through my own take on how a Merc would work in a Destruction army, then we’ll have lists for Death and Order from JP Ganis and Theo Jansen respectively.
*Can confirm that the Ghorgon was taking names in our game, that thing is no joke. Also Pat has been a little coy about his Ethereal Doombull, but that thing caused havoc and was a major pain in the arse to deal with.
**This flog right here