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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-19-11, 09:35 AM Thread Starter
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Beasts of Nurgle

Hi everyone, I wanted to discuss Beasts of Nurgle as you probably guessed from the thread title.

How come everyone hates them so much? It seems to me a unit of 2-3 Beasts makes an ideal flank guardian, bounding alongside their Plaguebearer friends so they can ram into the sides of an enemy unit which faces the Plaguebearer block head on. Even if the Beasts don't kill anything (and 3 Beasts would be dishing out around 12 attacks) they are still making a flanking attack, they Regenerate and don't suffer penalties for being outmanouevred themselves due to their Slime Trail.

Not only that but the shocking, otherworldly appearance of the original models is a total attention-getter, much better than the unfortunately turd-resembling new versions. (Is it me or do they just keep getting Nurgle daemons wrong?) I remember finding Beasts the most loathsome, disgusting and fear-inspiring of all creatures in Warhammer, and the fact that they bound towards you and won't go away makes them all the more horrible.

Maybe they do cost too many points... you could have a fully tooled-up Herald of Nurgle for the cost of two Beasts. What do people think?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-19-11, 05:45 PM
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Beasts are expensive, dont put out a particularly high amount of attacks and are nothing special. They are comparable to PBs in damage output, but dont have the ranks (so cant break steadfast), haven't got access to the magical banners, and the +2 movement doesn't count for very much anymore (+4" march distance, +2" charge distance).

Basically beasts are too expensive and dont do enough damage to mitigate their lack of SCR (banners and ranks). They are meant to be very hard to kill, but its not that difficult to kill them off, especially if you can hit them with a fire based attack to negate their regen...
Most people would either just take PBs to block up, nurglings (a wonderful unit) to flank or bloodcrushers.

Personally instead of a 300pt unit of beasts I would take a 280pt unit of 2*4 nurglings. They can use scout to get forward quicker, and have 24 attacks in combat (at high I). Sure they have lower S but with poison and 8ths reliance on cheap infantry that isnt much of an issue. They also have 24 wounds with ward save... they're very hard to get rid of

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-20-11, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
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Well what I was thinking of was Beasts as a "detachment" for another Daemon unit. I would not consider using the Beasts on their own except to take down light skirmishers, small regiments of archers etc, or to tie up swarms (although I admit the very high points cost of the Beasts would seem to be a waste in this role).

Beasts get the Regen save against the majority of attacks, and if an opponent targets them with flame-based attacks he isn't targetting my Great Unclean One upgraded to Regenerate or my large units of Plaguebearers led by Heralds (which allow the entire unit to Regenerate). Fire-based attacks are not hugely common. And I'd still get Ward saves against these, since you can CHOOSE either Regen or Ward saves.

If a canny opponent started bringing Bright wizards or flaming weapons I'd simply replace the Beasts with Fiends for a battle or two, or simply use the Beasts as multiple-wound diversions (I'd rather lose 2 Beasts than my Great Unclean One).

So the Beasts get an average of 4 attacks each, plus an automatic Stomp attack each, they cause Fear, they get a 4+ Regen save, they have a ton of wounds... If I hit a large block of Clanrats or Swordsmen in the flank with 3 Beasts while 20 Plaguebearers and a Herald are already locked in combat, the Beasts would be shovelling out between 6 and 21 attacks plus up to 3 Stomps.

Finally, if I have a regiment of 3 Beasts and they undergo, say, 2 particularly punishing turns of shooting from Dark Elves with repeaters, presume they take 15 hits per turn, of which 7 Wound, of which 4 Regenerate... that's one dead Beast and one wounded Beast in 2 turns. Once the Beasts charge the archers, yeah one will die, but the other gets around 4 hits back plus a Stomp, all wounding on a 3+... I'm not saying the Beast would win, and it's not as impressive as you'd expect from a 100-point model, but it allows my 670-point GUO to lead his minions straight up the centre, laying waste to everything that gets in his path.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-20-11, 09:52 PM
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Beasts were worthy of consideration when they got both the regen and the ward save in 7th edition, but with the either or save of 8th edition, they are not points efficient. Beasts of Nurgle are simply too expensive for what they do relative to say fleshhounds and fiends of slaanesh. Think in terms of points cost per wound given the toughness and point cost per attack given the strength of each attack relative to fiends and fleshhounds. Then look at issues of movement 6 as compared with 8 for fleshhounds and 10 for fiends Both have swiftstride), the really low initiative of Beast of nurgle relative to the much greater initiatives of fiends and fleshhounds, and the lower WS of Beast of Nurgle compared with the greater WS of fiends and lfleshhounds. The benefit of swiftstride increases the charge and pursuit range of fleshhounds and fiends relative to beasts. Also, fleshounds get MR3 as a bonus.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-21-11, 09:48 AM
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Yeah, beasts just seem like an iffy mid ground between many different units. For general survivability and fighting I would take PBs, bloodcrushers make better impact units, fiends are better blitzers and fleshhounds are just generally pretty great.... when you think you can get almost 3 flesh hounds per beast it just isn't really a comparison anymore.

The only time I would think about taking beasts would be in a tally list... but even then the variability they add wouldn't sway me from the PBs/nurglings I could get instead for the same points... sorry beasts, there just isn't space for you in my armies.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-21-11, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
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Hmm, so it seems that what it comes down to is effectiveness in terms of points. You can have 2 Fiends for around the price of a single Beast, and it is very true that the Fiends would probably eviscerate the Beast before it could strike back.

At 100 points per model, the Beasts are too expensive to take as "decoys" (remember the psychological effect of the models themselves on the opposing player). I wonder how many points it would save if the Slime Trail were simply an option rather than required, or if they had a Cloud of Flies giving enemy shooting and CC attacks -1 to hit (that alone might be worth it).

When you look at the Daemons of Chaos army list it seems they were desperate to "normalise" the points costs of each unit type against one another. I don't see any real reason why a Plaguebearer, Bloodletter and Pink Horror would be the same basic points value, nor do I fully understand why a GUO, KOS and LOC are all the same points when their basic stats differ wildly. I'm sure there are good reasons for this, it's just that as a Nurgle fanboy, I am a bit gutted that a Plaguebearer and Bloodletter regiment are the same points total when the Bloodletters would have a distinct edge.

EDIT: Maybe they priced the models according to how powerful they become when joined by a Herald? Plaguebearers suddenly look a lot more threatening with Regen, for example, and daemonic Heralds look pretty nice in terms of points.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-28-11, 08:01 AM Thread Starter
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Hi everyone, I have fought a few mock battles (pen and paper unfortunately since I don't have the models!) and without meaning to push the point, I have potentially found that Beasts of Nurgle make the difference between winning and losing a combat.

I had 20 Plaguebearers with full command, plus 2 Beasts, versus 40 or 50 Clanrats with hand weapons/shields (6+ ward parry in combat) and full command. I didn't take into account any champions, magic weapons, casualties due to missile fire etc.

Now I found immediately that Tim/Steve's advice in my Nurgle army thread was sound. 20 Plaguebearers are actually quite good in combat due to their above average strength and toughness, but they struggled against such a huge number of infantry, even though the Skaven in their turn struggled to wound the Plaguebearers. The number of Plaguebearers was insufficient to take on the Clanrats alone, despite costing 3 times as much per model!

When the Clanrats were deployed in a horde their effectiveness was hugely increased due to the extra rank of attacks. An upgraded Herald with the ability to force enemy units to strike last would be immensely helpful but still could see the Herald being slain by all those return attacks! So when I first field my Skaven army I will DEFINITELY be taking 40-50 models deployed in a horde.

Now when I added 2 Beasts to the mix, their random attacks and particularly their Stomps tended to cause between 2-4 extra casualties, swinging the combat nearly every turn. The Beasts are strong and very tough for S3 models to wound. Their 4+ Regen save is a lot more effective than a 5+ Daemonic save. Also with so many Wounds each they were very, very tough for light infantry to kill off. I found it better for the Clanrats to divert every possible attack against the Plaguebearers instead.

The only thing is, it takes a 270 point regiment of Plaguebearers plus 200 points of Beasts to defeat a 180 point regiment of Clanrats. The Clanrats also get Steadfast and Strength In Numbers, even when they lose six to eight models per turn. This is the kind of combat that doesn't go anywhere fast.
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