This is the list I took Best Chaos and placed fourth at The Gateway Open. This is the second iteration of my original “Big Dumb Monsters” list I used for FLG’s LSO in Dallas.
The general idea of this list is to maximize mind games against your opponent, the high drop count adds to this and allows for counter deployment.
I chose Darkwalkers for one reason Warherd ambush. The ability to place Warherd units in ambush benefits you in two ways. It adds to the opponent’s fear of the unknown and it protects your hammer units from shooting and magic. I placed all Warherd but one Ghorgon in ambush every game. Ambushing allows for reinforcements for multiple turns which gives the freedom to stack Primordial Call points in many cases allowing for a turn 3 Chimera or Extra unit of Bullgors.
All the new Broken Realms Kragnos abilities for BoC have made a huge difference, impact damage for Warherd or Healing for Thunderscorn are welcome additions to the Best Chaos has to offer.
Artefacts, Command Traits & Abilities
This list does not rely heavily on Command Traits or any specific artifact. The Darkwalkers artifact is super situational and only came up once. The command trait isn’t amazing either. I opted to go with the amulet of destiny on the Doombull general but I didn’t get much play out of it because he rarely got into combat.
–Doombull: His primary role is to not die & issue Slaughter’s Call on Warherd units.
–Dragon Ogor Shaggoth: The Shaggoth never died. With a 4+ save and 10 wounds, an end of combat heal, healing spell, heroic recovery & hero phase move is an excellent utility caster & monster to throw on an objective that needs more bodies. Also Hailstorm is amazing but more on that later.
-Great Bray Shamans: The shaman’s are a must in any Beasts List. Giving +3” movement to Brayherd units wholly within 12” is flat out amazing. Devolve is situational but can be the difference between a win and loss if used correctly.
Ghorgons & Bullgors are solid hammer units with some solid utility as mentioned earlier. Warherd Charge, bloodgorge & bloodgreed cannot be overlooked.
Centigors I use as a Quick action force to take objective or deal a bit of damage to a squishy hero. Moving 14” base +3” from the Shaman, plus +1 to run running and charging gives a significant utility for objective taking.
Chaos Warhounds: these were a cheap, fast & large foot print unit whose primary objective was screening and buying time while the herdstone’s aura grew.
Ungor Raiders: Another fast unit that can add a few wounds to a hero early game and buy time for that herd stone. Something I learned was they can really pack on the damage later in game with an all out attack targeting anything inside the herd stone aura.
Jabbersclyth: If played properly can be the difference between a win and a loss. The army is low on anvil units so you’ve got to take what you can get. You have to be smart with where you place it and only let it get into combat when you want. I learned throwing an all out defense on him in combat can be useful especially when the Aura of Madness takes effect and hope for 1s to hit from the enemy. -2 rend on the attacks can add some much needed damage on high armor heroes. The real advantage is no one knows what it does and even when you explain it they don’t realize how much damage it can actually do. With Triggered effect MWs being allocated immediately it can bracket a monster mid combat or out right kill a hero in their combat phase.
-Line Breaker: The Expert battalion ability is a nice addition when you’re out of command points or need that extra punch to take out an enemy threat.
-Warlord: I took this for the extra artifact primarily, Strategists is a nice to have as well. Knowing when to use it is a challenge.
-Hunters of The Heartland: I placed my three bullgor units in here to insure protection from Roar or Stomp.
Magic, Endless & Realm Spells
-Wildfire Taurus: This spell is simply amazing. With it activating every hero phase, 12” movement, the smaller board size and fight last effect it is probably one of the best endless spells in the game.
-Hailstorm saved my tail once or twice but more often than not it forced the use of a command point for the Reroll of a 3” charge. A lot of utility here because it cuts the Movement, Run & Charge of the target in half.
-Tendrils of Atrophy: Stacking rend and -1s to save has a lot of play and is a major theme in this list. In plenty of situations I’ve had -2 to save on a unit with bull gors attacking with great axes for a whopping -4 to their save rolls.
-Vicious Stranglethorn: This is the one thing most people know about Beasts of Chaos and for good reason. Dealing D3 MWs to every enemy within 3” of a terrain feature is great. With it’s 24” range I keep this Shaman near the Herdstone and is a factor I consider when placing said Herdstone.
The list excels at killing one thing at a time, you don’t want to be fighting on multiple fronts. The end all be all wombo combo that saved my butt and made the difference many times is to throw my whole army at a single major threat. I’ve taken down Be’Lakor or even a Royal Terror Geist without taking a single wound in return by doing this. This plan takes patience, positioning, smart play and a little luck to pull off. Deployment mind games are crucial to isolate the target of this tactic. If you can bait your opponent’s hammer to your “weak” side and tar pit them long enough to take down their key unit else where is ideal. This most often took place at turn two or three which makes the first two turns highly stressful.
Something to understand about the way Beasts play is they’re more of a late game army. You want to push up fast and get screens up with Chaos Hounds, Centigors & Raiders using key redeploys and ambushes to keep the screens reinforced. Then when they’ve pushed through that using the Herd Stone’s growing aura you push out again taking every bonus point and secondary objective you can to dig yourself out of the probable points hole you’re in.
Things to consider would be using Finest Hour coupled with All out Attack on the Doombull near a herd stone with Tendrils of Atrophy can dish out some major hate.
Similarly using Titanic Dual on a Ghorgon with Slaughter’s Call can really help in a pinch. Don’t be afraid to retreat a Ghorgon from combat then Issuing Savage Encirclement to protect it from an approaching threat.
You need to accept that you will be playing at a disadvantage with Beasts and go for the high payoff plays using everything to your advantage. Use terrain, movement, redeploy and even endless spells to dissuade or prevent charges of large based hero’s. It doesn’t always work but when you spike 15 damage on a single unit of Bullgors and wipe a full unit of Chaos Knights in one swing there is no feeing like it.
You need to set yourself up each turn for your next battle tactic. I typically start with Ferocious Advance and go from there. Use your monsters for everything you can. Keep the Jabberscythe alive even if it has 1 wound for a speedy monster to throw into their territory with an ambushing Ghorgon for Savage Spearhead.