So whaddya reckon? Hot takes on this book are all over the place, from lacklustre to Plz Nerf and everything inbetween. Personally I love it – I think it’s interesting and quite competitive. My own idea of a competitive army is one that I believe I can regularly pilot to 4-1 and Ogors hits that mark, so I’d be happy to take it to an event next weekend, no worries.
Rather than going top to bottom in one huge article, I’ll be pushing out a few smaller pieces for this book starting from today: this article will launch into an Executive Summary on the Gutbusters side of the book, then pick up on some nuance that might have been harder to pin down when you’re listening to the audio-visual reviews, because I think that’s the strength of this medium for people whose brains work
to same the extent in the same way that mine does.
STOP PRESS: After I’d written this article (but before publishing), Warhammer Weekly went live with the one and only Heywoah. I haven’t had a chance to watch this yet myself, but given that Heywoah is a genius I am happy to recommend it blind:
So Gutbusters Then?
Everyone wants to know if the Gutbusters side got good, and the answer is yes – with an asterisk. The warscrolls were significantly revised – very little copy pasta – but on top of the raw stats there’s some nice rhythm damage from enhanced charge and chomp mortals which I think will really stack up across a game, just like Nurgle disease damage.
There are challenges, for sure: you fight fair, you don’t get much on the table and what you do have will often be butchered horribly at first contact. Gluttons and Ironguts seem a bit spenny for what they are but the most important thing is that they do have good rules, because if they are to prove overpointed, that’s an easier fix.
I would argue that it’s really important that the army has Gnoblars, so you can dictate the terms of engagement; without access to those efficient screens I think the book would easily drop one whole tier (minimum) in the current meta, and I’m putting two units in every list right now. Gutbusters units generally get a bit of extra rend, a bit of extra reach, a bit of extra pulse damage and a bit of extra everything except durability. So when you smack ’em, make it count.
There’s a lot of heat and light around Ironblasters currently, driven to a large extent by shameless flogs parading their new filth on Twitter and the curious case of connected people having a bunch already painted before the book dropped. Are they too good at 170 points? Probably, so allow me to reiterate my proposed bargain with the world:
Once Ironblasters have won as many events as Bastilodons have, they can have the same nerf Bastilodons just got.
I doubt Ogors will get the same kind of weaponized favoritism that Seraphon and DOK enjoy, but the army overall doesn’t seem overpowered to me. If you asked me to stick my neck out and give you a letter, I’d put the army right now at Low A Tier / High B Tier which is probably about where an army book should land.
The rhythm mortals will stack up, the Battle Tactics will get you over the line in a tight one and the Grand Strats are dogshit and best forgotten. Long story short, Ogors will make some podiums but they won’t dominate. I can see a world where Ironblasters go up in points but the Gutbusters troops come down, and you end up with a similar amount of stuff on the table and a solid competitive army.
Let’s see whether I’m full of shit – it has been known.
Top Five Power Plays
So that’s the Executive Summary. I’m assuming you’re aware of the contents of the book, so I’m not going to spew it back out on the page here. And if you’re not already across it, as always I recommend Coach Reads Book for all your Reads Book needs:
The meat of today’s article (he said meat!) is a bit of nuance and detail about what you can do with this army. You’ve got the book in your hands, so what are you gonna do with the damn thing? Let’s fucking go!
1) Zeppelin Down
Mournfang have a neat rule that means they are only wounded on 6s in overwatch. This won’t help you much against flogs banging out mortal wounds on 6s – your best tool there is still relentless list shaming – but Namarti Reavers for example can get in the sea, and I’ve personally played against way more of those fuckers than Krondspines recently.
Where it gets funky is the wording of the rule: it kicks in when they are targeted by a unit that has received Unleash Hell in that phase. Brilliantly, this means that The Last Word is also affected, because the opportunity to Unleash Hell comes as soon as you complete the charge, while Last Word is not until the end of the phase:
So if they try their dumb double overwatch gimmick, it’s 6s across the board. All aboard the Hindenburg!
2) You Can’t See Me
If you’re running the black powder, you obviously want the Gruesome Trophy Rack to get them all hitting at +1. So that means you want a Gutbusters Hero – and you want a way to keep him from being sniped out. A Tyrant with the 5++ ward is pretty rugged, but what about the new Hunter who can’t be seen while in cover? Can we reliably place him in cover where we need to?
Well you can reliably place the Mawpot, but being Impassible means you can’t just stand on it. Step up Pat Nevan who pointed out to me that you get cover just from being behind terrain:
Well I dunno about you, but I’d sailed through 3rd Ed assuming you still had to actually be in terrain to get the benefit of cover, which is not the case: just put your Bloodpelt Hunter there and he is not visible to enemy units at all (due to his Hidden Predator ability). He has the Gutbuster keyword (despite all that snow on his base) so he’s able to take the artefact, no dramas.
Per 17.0.2 you’ll need to stay within 1″ to be “behind” the terrain piece but what’s even better – and thanks again to Pat for enlightening me on this – if your opponent comes around the side to get an angle on you, you can use Unrelenting Hunter to slide around the side of the Mawpot in their movement phase and reestablish cover before they can shoot. Glorious.
3) Tiptoe Through the Tulips
We’re all rightly excited about the Stonehorn tap dancing all over your opponent’s troops: I refuse to acknowledge the possibility that I will ever roll lower than 18 for this. What are some things we can do with it?
Well firstly and most obviously, we can do some mortal wounds and hit their squishy stuff behind a screen. But what else?
Back in the day before Unleash Hell, Freeguild had their own version, where they could shoot you for ending a charge within 3″ of them. You used to work around that by charging something else nearby, remaining outside of 3″ of the shooting unit and then piling into them.
Perfect example: charge the unit circled in blue, yellow line is 3.1″ and then pile into the unit circled in red:
Where’d they all go?
That didn’t really work with Unleash Hell because of the extended range, but now you have a method to bridge that gap and it’s back on the menu. Charge a screen, pop your Rampage and use it to springboard into that shooting unit perched behind – which has already missed its opportunity to Unleash Hell, because Rampages happen at the end of the charge phase
Finally, another big one I’m looking forward to trying is the artefact that lets you do two Rampages (once per game): I can’t wait to trample across some Ungors and smash down that dumb Herdstone with your second Rampage. Fuck yes!
As a word of advice, I would recommend buying an empty Stonehorn base to use as a template. He’s on a small base relative to his power level but you’ll still sometimes need to make sure there’s a landing pad before you pick up the model, find that he doesn’t fit and then get into an argument about where exactly he started out. Use the spare base to check first and then move him. Badda bing – I’ve been doing it with Maw Krushas for years.
I can’t write a list without a Stonehorn in there right now – preferably a Frostlord (especially since mine is already Underguts themed) – but when points are tight I’ll also consider the Beastriders at a pinch, just to get access to that Rampage.
4) Friendly Unit Bullshit
Another one from ya boy Pat Nevan – the Keening Gale Prayer to give +3″ movement to a Monster or Mournfang unit has the old faithful “friendly unit” wording.
It’s not locked to any Mawtribes or Beastclaw keywords – so you can give that extra movement to a friendly Kraggy, Krondspine or Merc Mega too. Noice.
5) It’s Not a Normal Move
When you finish a move within 6″ of Gnoblars, they get to roll a dice and do D3 mortals on a 4+. Note the wording: that’s a move, not a normal move. So charges, retreats and pile ins are all in scope. Move up to them, charge and pile in and that’s three separate chances to pop D3 back at you.
Is this intended? The FAQ will tell, but in the interim I’d say yes. They changed the range (3″ to 6″), they changed the requirement (6+ to 4+) and they changed the trigger (charge to any move). That’s a comprehensive rewrite with everything pulling the same way, and all in all it looks like an intended USP for a screening unit with appropriately awful stats.
Note that this has “any unit” wording, so you can’t layer up four lots of Gnoblars and chuck a whole bunch of dice at it; note too that Gnoblars also lost an attack (presumably to shut down their effectiveness at Curse). The whole thing looks quite deliberately crafted, so if you’re good at rolling those four ups, go ahead and enjoy.
Well that’s enough for today I reckon. It’s roast lamb for dinner tonight, and like a true Glutton I won’t be holding back:
Don’t forget to send me your entries for the Listbuilding Challenge – which cuts across all four Grand Alliances – let me know your own initial thoughts on the Mawtribes book, and I’ll be back soon with some Ogors listbuilding tips.
Have a good weekend, nerds.