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 Beastmasters vs Reavers

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SCP Yeeman
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PostSubject: Beastmasters vs Reavers   Sun Jul 24 2016, 18:43

I see a lot of people post about 3 man Reaver Squads with Caltrops.  They talk about their effectiveness and small point investment.  Myself, I have played Reavers a lot with our current book and found them to be great in most cases.  I usually run mine 6 or 9 man strong but have run the 3 man smaller squads as well.  I see the merit in running them (cheap, harrassment, fast, etc.)

My question is, a unit often overlooked, Beastmasters + Beasts, can they do it better?  If looking at comparative costs (3 reavers + caltrops= 63pts) I could get 5 Khymera + 1 Beastmaster for 60pts.

Pros for Beasts:
Strength 4
5++ Invuln
Fleet
Ignore Terrain effects
6 models vs 3
More attacks
Bigger footprint (I like this for DP armies or screening; could be a disadvantage for hiding)
3pts cheaper

Pros for Reavers:
Turbo Boost
Skilled Rider
Caltrops
Better shooting
Power From Pain
Hit and Run
Combat Drugs
Arena Champ Upgrade
Hammer of Wrath

If wanting to get into CC, Beasts are just as fast (12'' move and ignore terrain) plus they have fleet which I hate that Reavers do not have.  I usually write off Beasts as I miss my old Beast Pack and the way they used to play.  But, seeing all these 3 man squads people are using has piqued my interest got me thinking.  I am coming around to 3 man Reavers more and more, but could Beasts do it better?

Is this a fair comparison and if so, are Beasts superior to 3 man Reaver squads or do Reavers' advantages outweigh the Beasts?  

If running 2 CADs like some people are, could running 3 & 3 of each be worth it?

Let me know what you guys think! Let me know if I missed something for the pros.  I am not a Math Hammer guy, so if someone wants to Math Hammer this out, that might help!
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Evil Space Elves
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PostSubject: Re: Beastmasters vs Reavers   Sun Jul 24 2016, 18:51

The big thing that you lose with Beastpacks: turbo boosting. You have a 48" move to go grab an objective with a unit that can be 63pt disposable investment if you are playing a Maelstorm mission. The Caltrops also can potentially wreck or finish off a vehicle with decent reliability.

I've had a really hard time using Beastpacks as anything but fast, solid distraction units. They soak up bullets like there's no tomorrow but rarely give that big close combat payoff.

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tegs
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PostSubject: Re: Beastmasters vs Reavers   Sun Jul 24 2016, 18:54

I expect Reavers to be priority targets that end up having to jink, which removes the better at shooting benefit.

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SCP Yeeman
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PostSubject: Re: Beastmasters vs Reavers   Sun Jul 24 2016, 19:01

@ESE
The turbo Boost is the thing that the Beasts lack the most, I agree. But are Reavers really the "big CC payoff?" They are very hit or miss, even more so with 3 man squads. Rolling bad on the Caltrops is just demoralizing. Rending helps, but with 3 guys, the chances are slim for something magical.

With Beasts, you will get consistent Str. 4 attacks. Do those for sure Str. 4 attacks beat out the possibility of Rends and the meager Str. 3 attacks you get?

In CC, I think the Beasts are better at surviving because of the more bodies and invuln.
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Evil Space Elves
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PostSubject: Re: Beastmasters vs Reavers   Sun Jul 24 2016, 19:11

@SCP Yeeman wrote:
@ESE
The turbo Boost is the thing that the Beasts lack the most, I agree.  But are Reavers really the "big CC payoff?" They are very hit or miss, even more so with 3 man squads.  Rolling bad on the Caltrops is just demoralizing.  Rending helps, but with 3 guys, the chances are slim for something magical.

With Beasts, you will get consistent Str. 4 attacks. Do those for sure Str. 4 attacks beat out the possibility of Rends and the meager Str. 3 attacks you get?  

In CC, I think the Beasts are better at surviving because of the more bodies and invuln.

I hear you. We are in agreement on Reavers not being a solid close combat unit. I used a unit of six yesterday in fact to charge Skitarri Dune Crawlers three times. Two of the rounds I scored 17 hits with the Clatrops (3 time they died to overwatch)..... Zero 6's! It was a desperate move that I had to do to tie up the walkers that could have paid off, but didn't in spectacular fashion. I've found Reavers to be very subpar as you mentioned the rending Bladevane hits just aren't reliable.

I think where we are talking past each other is that I don't use both of these units for the same roles in my armies. Reavers always serve the roll of objective grabbers/desperation suicide units/desperation transport poppers. They are kind of my "Oops unit" that I use plug holes with their speed as to where I use Beastpacks as a dedicated cc unit.

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SCP Yeeman
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PostSubject: Re: Beastmasters vs Reavers   Sun Jul 24 2016, 19:20

Gotcha! I understand now. I am used to having Reavers in bigger groups (6 or 9) so they become dedicated CC units with a character sometimes attached.

I know some people on here advocate for the 3 man units or Reavers and speak of their CC upside, I guess my goal here in this thread was to see if the Beasts could fill that same role, only better.
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PostSubject: Re: Beastmasters vs Reavers   Sun Jul 24 2016, 19:35

I totally agree that in the role of dedicated close combat units Beastpacks are the better of the two in terms of damage output and survivability. The problem that I've run into with them is that to do legit damage you really need to take larger units. Small units like you describe don't draw as much fire, but larger ones do. It's probably a matter of playtesting more to find that unit size sweet spot of large enough to do damage, small enough to not be perceived as a threat.

GW should just give them Rend Razz

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SCP Yeeman
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PostSubject: Re: Beastmasters vs Reavers   Sun Jul 24 2016, 22:28

In our last codex, I ran all 3 different beasts in my pack. I enjoyed the Rending of the Flocks, the Toughness 5 of the Fiend and the 4++ of the Khymera. It was a sweet setup and one that could deal with any fire coming at it.

I wish you could make bigger than 12 man squads. I find this to be the biggest problem with the unit. And the obvious nerfs to Flocks.
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amishprn86
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PostSubject: Re: Beastmasters vs Reavers   Sun Jul 24 2016, 23:52

@SCP Yeeman wrote:
In our last codex, I ran all 3 different beasts in my pack.  I enjoyed the Rending of the Flocks, the Toughness 5 of the Fiend and the 4++ of the Khymera.  It was a sweet setup and one that could deal with any fire coming at it.

I wish you could make bigger than 12 man squads.  I find this to be the biggest problem with the unit.  And the obvious nerfs to Flocks.

Beastpacks in last codex were amazing.... Sad I miss it so much.

Being on topic, it looks like you guys already hit the nail on the head.

You said about Reavers in larger units, there is a bonus for them being in 6 man units, you have wounds to allocate more so and you dont need to take a test if 1 dies.

I dont care for doing this personally, but I do know people that swear by it and for them it works really well.

Edit: Spelling, english hard for me.

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PostSubject: Re: Beastmasters vs Reavers   Sun Jul 24 2016, 23:58

In my last game, I had a pair of Reavers and a beast pack assault a bunch of Guardians, expecting to hit and run with the reavers and take an objective in the process. Reavers assaulted first because the Guardians didn't have LOS to them. Then the Beasts rolled 3" for assault distance when they need 5. Fleet re-roll was 4".

The Reavers didn't do well. :-p

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PostSubject: Re: Beastmasters vs Reavers   Mon Jul 25 2016, 10:03

The thing with reavers, if given Claptrops and a heat lance, they become a threat that can't really be ignored easily. I use 3 man squads, 6 of them in fact, and all the units move and flat out putting them in positions to threaten pretty much everything. Tanks, infantry, those cheap backfield objective holders.

They become a unit that quite simply can't be let to have free reign. If someone spends a turn shooting such a cheap almost throwaway unit, that's them more than made their points back for me.

I loved beast pack, so much so I fell in to the 25 man squad backed up with the Baron and Farseer blob. The new codex hit them by lowering the invul but if you want to use beasts, take max squads, and take 6 units for the sheer lolz. I wouldn't bother with the clawed fiend or flocks anymore.

Some people have suggested using only beast masters with agonisers...
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PostSubject: Re: Beastmasters vs Reavers   Tue Jul 26 2016, 08:38

@Evil Space Elves wrote:
[I hear you. We are in agreement on Reavers not being a solid close combat unit. I used a unit of six yesterday in fact to charge Skitarri Dune Crawlers three times. Two of the rounds I scored 17 hits with the Clatrops (3 time they died to overwatch)..... Zero 6's! It was a desperate move that I had to do to tie up the walkers that could have paid off, but didn't in spectacular fashion. I've found Reavers to be very subpar as you mentioned the rending Bladevane hits just aren't reliable.

I find reavers to be a solid CC choice, up there with grots and talos but I do take a lot of them and pick my targets. 3x6 (or 6x3 or a combination) often kills more units than the grotesquerie they are escorting and score more obj pts too. FAQ will make them good vs walkers too. Cool

Ive had those times like you mention where the dice just say no but rarely with reavers.
Dice do that with any unit sometimes.
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