Sons of Behemat: Building Competitive Lists

How good is this book! Man I’ve been buzzing with list ideas for Sons of Behemat all week, so today I’ll be going through my process for putting lists together with Giants; and then putting it in practice with three competitive lists, each exploring a different theme of the army.

Again, this article assumes you’re already familiar with the contents of the book. If not, I recommend AOS Coach’s preview (linked last week), so go check that out.

Ready? Let’s go.

Listbuilding Structure

UnitPoints
King Brodd580
Beastsmasher Mega-Gargant520
Gatebreaker Mega-Gargant520
Kraken-eater Mega-Gargant490
Warstomper Mega-Gargant450
Mancrusher Mob450
Mancrusher Gargant150

First thing to point out is that old formula of “you get four things” has broken down somewhat.  I mean, you can, but if you run multiple Warstompers for example you can generally squeeze in an extra Mancrusher at any given stage, all the way up to 4 Warstompers leaving enough points for one loose Mancrusher with a Triumph bid on top.  So that’s pretty cool.

I think a very popular structure will be Brodd, a Beast-smasher and then two chunks of 450 to work with (which sits nicely with Warstompers and Macrushers in various configurations) – and that’s definitely something I’ll be looking at – but there are loads of different shapes your lists can now take. 

Battalions

Second thing to mention is that the White Dwarf Battalions were copy pasta’d across into the book, so we will have access to a few Enhancements if we want them (we do).  Shoutout to Joel McGrath for pushing Vial of Manticore Venom on your Warstompers – I’ve been chatting Gargants with Joel and he’s ran the numbers on this one. 

If you’re only taking one aggro artefact it’ll usually bump up your output slightly more than Extra-Calloused Feet from the book, but just as importantly it gives you that reliable pulse damage from a decent volume of attacks at 2s and 2s that your army might otherwise lack.  You’ve got access to high rend and spike damage elsewhere in this book, so don’t sleep on this artefact.

Speaking of Artefacts…

I’ve done the numbers on the Ward artefacts, and the headline is that Amulet of Protection is better on models with 35 wounds, but if you take the Command Trait for 40 wounds, you’re better off with Club of the First Oak:

Effective WoundsAmuletFirst Oak
With 35 Wounds40.8340.00
With 40 Wounds46.6747.50

Now, this is a slightly crude measure, because it doesn’t include the healing from First Oak. As soon as you heal a single wound, you’re better off with the Club than the Amulet; so in the real world, I would say always take First Oak, even if you’re not going for a 40 wound beast.

Next thing to note is that doubling up and taking both is a perfectly good option. Grabbing the Crouching Gargant, Hidden Stonehorn on your General plus the generic Amulet on a second 35-wound Mega puts you above 88 effective wounds, compared to 70 wounds for two dudes at the basic 35 each. That’s not counting whatever you heal on your 40-wound wall of meat, so in most games you’re looking at 90+ wounds from two big boys.

If Megas came with stock 45 wounds people would be having kittens, and you can pretty much achieve that with these Enhacements – but not against my Drakkfoot list, I’m afraid.

And finally, as an observation, I think this is a pretty neat situation: the book artefact outshines the generic artefact, but only very slightly, and both are perfectly viable. An elegant outcome.

Gatebreaker vs Beast-smasher

I’m slowly working my own way through the stages of grief with the Gatebreaker, because even post-nerf he might still be your best damage piece.  That being said there’s really not much between him and the Beast-smasher once you consider that he hits on 4s base, so I’ll be sticking with the new guy for now: his Perfect Plex shenanigans are the kind of thing that doesn’t show up on a damage table, and that coupled with his wild spike damage is enough to tempt me over.  The Smasher just seems about equally as good but way more fun

If you’re worried that “your opponent might not even run any monsters”, don’t be.  I’ve heard the same thing said time and again about the Mork’s Boney Bits artefact in Bonesplitterz, and in the real world it’s roughly a 45:45 split between getting +1 and +2 to everything. 

Credit: Games Workshop via Wahapedia

I reckon I’ve had maybe one game where it did nothing, more than offset by various times where I’ve played something like Sons of Behemat with some Mancrushers and been +8 to everything.  So if you want to run the Gatebreaker, run the Gatebreaker, but I wouldn’t let any perceived lack of Monsters in the meta put you off. 

Anyway, the key point is you could sub a Gatebreaker neatly into the 520 point slot in any of these lists – and please let me know how it goes if you do, because if I’ve given up on The Executioner too quickly I definitely want to hear about it.  I love that guy.

Joyful and Triumphant

It’s always worth pitching in a strong Triumph bid with Giants, so never feel like you have to spend close to the full 2k just to be efficient.  If you do take an Endless Spell, it should be because you want to, not because you have points to squander.

Credit: Games Workshop via Wahapedia

Slapping +1 to wound on 25% of your army is not to be sniffed at, and that would generally be my pick. If you’re running Mancrusher Mobs you might be glad to have Indomitable, and that’s exactly why Triumphs are so big for Sons: your shiny new Terror rule can be bypassed with Indomitable, so denying your enemy that opportunity is worth at least as much as any direct benefit to your own army.

Honestly, while it’s not something I’ve been game enough to do in any of these lists today, you wouldn’t be insane for pitching in at 1900 or thereabouts with an extra Triumph Enhancement and double Inspired.

A Note on Krondspine

What I won’t be doing is putting the Incarnate into any of these lists – not because I’m above running generic filth (I’m more than happy to do that), but because we all know it’s about to get blammo’d.  Maybe we can revisit that one after we’ve seen the Battlescroll update, but for now let’s focus on what we can do with the book we’ve got in front of us.


King Ding-A-Ling

Smasher Tribe

We wanna enjoy all the new things, right?  So let’s burst out of the blocks with a list that maximizes all the new tech, all the new toys and all the new crazy things you can do with this army.

Allegiance: Sons of Behemat
– Tribe: Smasher Tribe
– Grand Strategy: No Place for the Weak
– Triumphs: Are For Losers

Leaders
King Brodd (580)
Beast-smasher Mega-Gargant (520)*
 General
 Command Trait: Monstrously Tough
 Artefact: Marrow-Drinker

Battleline
Mancrusher Mob (450)*
Mancrusher Mob (450)*

Core Battalions
*Footsloggas – Unified

Additional Enhancements
Artefact

Total: 2000 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 0 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 152
Drops: 2

The great paradox of this book is that it wants you to run more Mancrushers, but it nerfed their damage output while leaving them as fragile as ever.  With this list we’re going to call their bluff and run two blocks of three.  I’m also making the call here that the Battalion requirements are in keyword bold, so it’s OK to put Mancrusher Mobs in the Footsloggas Battalion (since they do have the required keyword) – if history shows me to be full of shit, adjust accordingly.

I want this army to be a great showcase for Mancrushers and a chance to unleash the insanity of the army. Your two 40-wound Megas give you a really solid platform to cut loose:

  • Everything you need for the Perfect Plex to smash that enemy centrepiece from pillar to post
  • Those Mancrushers have the 4D6 swing each. BANG! Fucking cop that, you 25-wound edgelord
  • Mini Death Frenzy on the Mancrushers? Don’t mind if I do!
  • Loads of high-risk, high reward big swings from the big boys for those dramatic moments
  • Kill a monster, crack open its bones and feast on the marrow within. Like the dominant alpha beast you are

I know Jim Field has already had a lot of fun with this last artefact: granted it’s situational, but it can single-handedly turn Magmadroths from a terrible matchup into a good one. I like it a lot.

Is that too many Mancrushers?

Quite possibly. A single unit of 3 might be a bit tighter, with a Warstomper slotting right in there. At that point you would take the Bosses of the Stomp Battalion to give him his own artefact – most likely the Vial of Manticore Venom for that rhythm damage we talked about.

I reckon this list really showcases the fun you can have with Giants right now, and it’s probably going to be my starting point with the army. This is a list that will give you stories.


DPS Classic Smooth

Stomper Tribe

Is Brodd any good?  The thing is, you’re not just buying tech, you’re buying wounds on the board.  With 40 wounds he comes in at 14.50 ppw, which is pretty much par for this army: a smidge less than the Gatebreaker and Beast-smasher (both 14.86 ppw), and a smidge more than the Kraken-eater (14.00 ppw).  The Big Rig also counts as more bodies on objectives than a standard Mega, so he really lends himself to the modern classic Sons win condition of dying on objectives, slowly.

We’re gonna pair him up with the Crouching Gargant, Hidden Stonehorn for another 40 wound gigabeast, rocking a 5++ ward down the home stretch.  Meanwhile Brodd is going to pray for Bless a lot of the time, so that’s another 6++ ward on a big lunk when you need it – quite often himself. 

What’s next?

With the Twin Towers banked that’s 1030 spent, leaving us with 970.  There is no room for Mancrushers in this list – their 5+ save makes them entirely unsuitable for a war of attrition – so that means we’re grabbing two more Megas for their 35 wounds on a 4+.  We’ll be taking double Bosses of the Stomp to grab those sexy artefacts, and there are a couple of good defensive options: Arcane Tome to give us access to Mystic Shield, the Amulet of destiny discussed above and our own Glowy Shield of Protectiness. 

The latter can go on any Mega and gives us immunity to rend -1.  Of course we’d rather have the “good version” and reduce all rend by one, but rend -1 is still a decent proportion of all rend out there.  I’d be more than happy to chuck it in any list but after banging on about the enduring value of Wards in this army, I feel like I need to back up my big talk by running the Amulet on this occasion.

Now, you take Arcane Tome in a defensive list primarily for access to Mystic Shield, but the beauty lies in the further utility beyond that:

  • We may well end up with enough points for a defensive Endless Spell
  • We now have a native Unbind and Dispell in our army, freeing us up to use Heroic Actions for Finest Hour and banking a further +1 to save at critical moments
  • We might have the occasional crack at Flaming Weapon with the Warstomper’s big club (fuck you, Kruleghast)

Endless Spell options

You know what the most durable unit in the game is?  The one you can’t hit at all.  We’ve got a few options in that space: I’ve mentioned Shards of Valgharr and there’s even Prismatic Palisades, but today’s preferred option is the Soulsnare Shackles to switch off charges.  There’s not much in it but the trickier Dispell puts them over – it just gives you that fighting chance of having a game where your opponent butts their head up against the 8 required.

So how’s it shaping up?

Allegiance: Sons of Behemat
– Tribe: Stomper Tribe
– Grand Strategy: No Place for the Weak
– Triumphs: Inspired

Leaders
Warstomper Mega-Gargant (450)
 General
 Command Trait: Monstrously Tough
 Artefact: Club of the First Oak
King Brodd (520)
Warstomper Mega-Gargant (450)
 Artefact: Arcane Tome
 Spell: Flaming Weapon
Warstomper Mega-Gargant (450)
 Artefact: Amulet of Destiny

Battleline

Endless Spells & Invocations
Soulsnare Shackles (50)

Core Battalions
*Bosses of the Stomp – Magnificent
**Bosses of the Stomp – Magnificent

Additional Enhancements
Artefact
Artefact

Total: 1970 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 0 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 150
Drops: 4

So there you go.  We’ve got solid defensive options on all three non-named Megas; two big dudes with 40 wounds and access to Wards on top; and a bit of punch when needed too.  I’ll stick my neck out and say that despite all the deep reworks the book has had, something like this might be the most competitive direction to take.

Variations

If you don’t fancy your chances casting Shackles or Mystic Shield from scratch, you could ditch Arcane Tome entirely and chuck Glowy Shield of Protectiness in there. This gives you a strong triumph bid and bounceback mortals on top, so it’s an iteration I definitely want to try.

This army should appeal to the crowd that just don’t like Mancrushers and want to run four Megas, but the next question is: are triple Warstompers boring?  If you think so you can easily rejig, but part of what we’re doing here is exploring specific angles – and this is the way I’d go if you want to max out your defensive tech and outlast on the objectives.


Every Day I’m Scrambling

Taker Tribe

So far we’ve had a list themed around the new stuff, and a list themed around all out defence. Now it’s time for a proper skew list, I reckon.

What if our durability came from target diversity; forcing people to split attacks, choose which one to charge and overkill disposable units? A whole bunch of models counting as 15 each on Objectives, retreating and scrambling and picking easy fights could give us a really unique playstyle.

Allegiance: Sons of Behemat
– Tribe: Taker Tribe
– Grand Strategy: Make the Land Tremble!
– Triumphs: Inspired

Leaders
Kraken-eater Mega-Gargant (490)*
 General
 Command Trait: Rabble Rouser
 Artefact: Wallopin’ Tentacle

Battleline
1 x Mancrusher Gargants (150)*
1 x Mancrusher Gargants (150)*
1 x Mancrusher Gargants (150)**
1 x Mancrusher Gargants (150)**
1 x Mancrusher Gargants (150)**
1 x Mancrusher Gargants (150)***
1 x Mancrusher Gargants (150)***
1 x Mancrusher Mob (450)***

Core Battalions
*Footsloggas – Unified
**Footsloggas – Unified
***Footsloggas – Unified

Total: 1990 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 0 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 155
Drops: 3

Mancrushers are so vulnerable, they’re just vertical Hobgrots.  They WILL die, but up steps the next one and the next one and the next one, each counting as 15 models on objectives and capable of dishing out some pain. The sheer volume of them opens up the Grand Strategy of having a unit run or charge every turn, which wouldn’t usually be possible with a handful of Megas getting bogged down.

Wallopin’ Tentacle gives us the opportunity to make something fight last and absolutely dog pile it with a whole bunch of units…or fail the 4+ and watch half your army get back-handed off the board by their deathstar. It’s gonna be a wild ride.

You only have one Mega to issue CAs, hence the +1 to charge Command Trait (in case you roll Snake Eyes on a short charge after already needing Forward to Victory). I’ve also gone with one Mob so you can at least have another channel for issuing Command Abilities, but if you wanted to go harder you could just as easily have 10 solos moonwalking around the board.

Either way, you’ll be kicking objectives around, scrambling to stay in the game and nicking objectives out from under the feet of your opponent. Mancrushers are still far too fragile so I don’t know that it’s hyper competitive, but your games will be pretty exciting and it’s something I’d love to try at a one-dayer.

Credit: Jack Davenport @JDavenpott

So there you have it! There’s a whole bunch to explore in this book – I don’t think I’ve seen the same list shared around twice, which is pretty remarkable when you consider it’s built around 2 kits. I’ll be trying out these lists myself, and let me know if you do too or what else you’re cooking up – I’m really keen to hear what’s working for you. Enjoy it.


If you’ve been around this game a long time, you might recognise the format of exploring an army through three lists as being similar to the Unlocking series that MC1 Gamer put out back in first edition.

I don’t know Mitch personally but I enjoyed his videos back in the day, so I went back and looked up his intro to the series. Mad to think how far this game has come, isn’t it?

Fair to say Mitch put a lot of energy into convincing people to give this game a fair go when it got off to a rocky start, so I believe he played his own small part in Sigmarite history. This article wasn’t intended to be an homage to Unlocking – it was originally just going to be a few lists – but as I put more flesh on the bones, that’s what it became. So thanks for the content Mitch, whatever you’re up to now.

Credit for the cover image to Games Workshop

https://ko-fi.com/plasticcraic

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