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 Using Beasts

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Pippolele
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Soulless Samurai
Incubi
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PostSubject: Using Beasts   Using Beasts I_icon_minitimeWed Dec 01 2021, 12:52

Is anyone running Beasts at the moment?

I was looking at them again recently and wondering if the recent balance patch had left them in a better spot (with other units and transports becoming more expensive).

Clawed Fiends are cheaper than Grotesques and don't need a transport (and have the same melee profile) but they have worse WS and don't benefit from either PfP or Insensible to Pain, which is a pretty big blow (not to mention they don't get Coven traits).

Khymerae are perhaps a little more interesting in that they're now 2pts cheaper than Wyches and while they don't have combat drugs they do come with better strength and toughness, plus a native 5++. They attack at the same strength as a CB Wych with Grave Lotus, albeit with 1 fewer attack per model. Still, they don't require a transport.

Razorwings are hard to compare as they're sort of their own thing.

I guess there's an additional problem in that they're competing with Hellions and Reavers (and possibly Scourges) in the same slot. They're a unit I'd really like to get some use out of but it often feels like they're missing some key abilities (as they don't get Cult bonuses, PfP, Combat Drugs, Insensible to Pain, or really anything else that comparable units get, yet also don't seem to get anything in return.)

Regardless, I wanted to hear if anyone else here had had any success with them - especially Clawed Fiends or Khymerae.

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Kalmah
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PostSubject: Re: Using Beasts   Using Beasts I_icon_minitimeWed Dec 01 2021, 17:14

sadly i don't play (or even own) them at all Sad
but i gotta say that your point about the Khymerae really makes me wonder if they could become something. I think your comparison with the Wyches is legit and something to consider.

Do you still need a Beastmaster to play them? If yes then i think this is where you will start losing on the point value as you will need to pay a tax.
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PostSubject: Re: Using Beasts   Using Beasts I_icon_minitimeWed Dec 01 2021, 19:10

Kalmah wrote:
Do you still need a Beastmaster to play them? If yes then i think this is where you will start losing on the point value as you will need to pay a tax.

Unfortunately, yes. You still need 1 Beastmaster for every 3 Beast units, and for 40pts you really don't get a whole lot.

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sekac
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PostSubject: Re: Using Beasts   Using Beasts I_icon_minitimeThu Dec 02 2021, 07:18

Beasts are purely a flavor choice these days, but they're not terrible. They're just terrible compared to the rest of our codex--especially when you factor in the hoops that you have to jump through to get them in.


If you want to try them, you have 2 choices (which is essentially the same fork we always have). Either include them in the kabal or coven detachment so they don't compete directly with Hellions or Reavers and just lose the Cult obsession on the beastmaster (shrug); or put them in a BH Archon Realspace Raiders with the Writ to juice them for every drop of efficiency you can. The only problem with that is with only 3 FA slots, they do compete with Hellions and Reavers....but hey, at least the beastmaster is free, so you can have 7 Elites!  Neutral


Points and CP do get tight, but to compensate for the competing FA slots, you can take a patrol of Cult of Strife as well as the RR detachment (Drazhar makes a great HQ here since he also loves BH archon's with the Writ) and it opens up the Book of Rust strats too.


As far as what beasts to take, it's hard to say. Clawed fiends benefit from Realspace Raid perks the most, since they have the best value attacks, but their stock is slightly down as grotesques got more attractive (in their own grotesque way). 


As you Khymarae stock is up but that profile on a 40mm base is a tough sell. They're so fragile, you want a lot of them, but you can't take more than 6. That's just not enough to do anything and won't last long either.


Razorwing Flocks are fine but you don't want large swarms due to Ld risks. Granted, they can use the Beastmaster's Ld but you don't really want them tied to him, they're just chaff, hoping to slow your opponent's ability to respond. They do that by blocking charge lanes or charging vehicles that want to shoot. They don't have a realistic chance of tarpitting anything for long, so take small squads and let them sacrifice themselves for the greater evil.


If I wanted to fit beasts in and still have a solid list around it, I'd do something like:




++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Aeldari - Drukhari) [90 PL, 9CP, 1,577pts] ++
Obsession: Cult of Strife: The Spectacle of Murder, Kabal of the Black Heart: Thirst for Power, Realspace Raid
. *Custom Coven*: Artists of the Flesh (All-Consuming)
+ Stratagems +
Stratagem: Alliance of Agony [-1CP]
Stratagem: Prizes from the Dark City [-1CP]
Stratagem: Prizes from the Dark City [-1CP]


+ HQ +
Archon [4 PL, 70pts]: As Detachment (Kabal), Overlord, Power sword, Splinter Pistol, Warlord, Writ of the Living Muse
Haemonculus [4 PL, 70pts]: As Detachment (Coven)
Succubus [3 PL, 80pts]: As Detachment (Wych Cult)
. Agoniser & Archite Glaive


+ Troops +
Kabalite Warriors [3 PL, 40pts]: As Detachment (Kabal)
. 4x Kabalite Warrior: 4x Splinter Rifle
. Sybarite: Splinter Rifle
Wracks [3 PL, 40pts]: As Detachment (Coven)
. Acothyst: Wrack Blade
. 4x Wracks: 4x Wrack Blade
Wyches [3 PL, 60pts]: As Detachment (Wych Cult)
. Hekatrix: Hekatarii Blade, Splinter Pistol
. 4x Wych: 4x Hekatarii Blade, 4x Plasma Grenades, 4x Splinter Pistol


+ Elites +
Beastmaster [2 PL, 40pts]: Agoniser, As Detachment (Wych Cult)
Incubi [4 PL, 90pts]
. 4x Incubi: 4x Klaive
. Klaivex: Demiklaives
Incubi [4 PL, 90pts]
. 4x Incubi: 4x Klaive
. Klaivex: Demiklaives
Incubi [4 PL, 90pts]
. 4x Incubi: 4x Klaive
. Klaivex: Demiklaives


+ Fast Attack +
Clawed Fiends [10 PL, 100pts]
. 4x Clawed Fiend: 4x Clawed fists
Razorwing Flocks [2 PL, 36pts]
. 3x Razorwing flock: 3x Razor feathers
Razorwing Flocks [2 PL, 36pts]
. 3x Razorwing flock: 3x Razor feathers


+ Heavy Support +
Talos [12 PL, 210pts]: As Detachment (Coven)
. 2x Talos: Talos Gauntlet, Talos ichor injector
. . Two heat lances


Talos [12 PL, 210pts]: As Detachment (Coven)
. 2x Talos: Talos Gauntlet, Talos ichor injector
. . Two heat lances


+ Dedicated Transport +
Raider [6 PL, 105pts]: As Detachment, Dark Lance
Raider [6 PL, 105pts]: As Detachment, Dark Lance
Raider [6 PL, 105pts]: As Detachment, Dark Lance


++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Aeldari - Drukhari) [19 PL, -2CP, 375pts] ++
Detachment Command Cost [-2CP]
Obsession Cult of Strife: The Spectacle of Murder (Restricted)
+ HQ +
Drazhar [8 PL, 145pts]


+ Troops +
Wyches [3 PL, 60pts]: As Detachment (Wych Cult)
. Hekatrix: Hekatarii Blade, Splinter Pistol
. 4x Wych: 4x Hekatarii Blade, 4x Plasma Grenades, 4x Splinter Pistol


+ Fast Attack +
Hellions [4 PL, 85pts]: As Detachment (Wych Cult)
. Helliarch: Hellglaive
. 4x Hellion: 4x Hellglaive, 4x Splinter Pods
Hellions [4 PL, 85pts]: As Detachment (Wych Cult)
. Helliarch: Hellglaive
. 4x Hellion: 4x Hellglaive, 4x Splinter Pods


++ Total: [109 PL, 7CP, 1,952pts] ++



Created with BattleScribe


43 points to splash upgrades/Master HQs or keep it tight and put in more wracks. Relics to taste, aside from the Writ which is making Incubi and Drazhar sing and beasts less of a flavor burden. Animus Vitae is hot right now, might be worth considering on the beastmaster.
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Soulless Samurai
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PostSubject: Re: Using Beasts   Using Beasts I_icon_minitimeFri Dec 03 2021, 17:19

Thank you, sekac, I appreciate the thoughts and advice.

I am slightly surprised, though, that you rate Clawed Fiends more highly than Khymerae. I do get the point about base size (why are Khymerae on 40mm bases and not just biker bases?), but it still seems like they might be a better investment than Clawed Fiends - especially if (in your example list) you're using two other FA slots just for minimum units of Razorwing Flocks.

I suppose my concern is that Clawed Fiends have 4 wounds each, yet have absolutely no protection beyond a 5+ armour save. With so many weapons now tailored to killing W2 Marines, it seems like they're not going to fare all that well. Even Heavy Bolters will shred them.

Khymeras have fewer wounds for the same points, but are only 1-wound each (so all those D2 weapons won't be able to kill them efficiently) and also have 5++ saves for a little extra protection.

I don't know, you might be right, I just thought I'd share my concerns.

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PostSubject: Re: Using Beasts   Using Beasts I_icon_minitimeFri Dec 03 2021, 17:44

Soulless Samurai wrote:
Thank you, sekac, I appreciate the thoughts and advice.

I am slightly surprised, though, that you rate Clawed Fiends more highly than Khymerae. I do get the point about base size (why are Khymerae on 40mm bases and not just biker bases?), but it still seems like they might be a better investment than Clawed Fiends - especially if (in your example list) you're using two other FA slots just for minimum units of Razorwing Flocks.

I suppose my concern is that Clawed Fiends have 4 wounds each, yet have absolutely no protection beyond a 5+ armour save. With so many weapons now tailored to killing W2 Marines, it seems like they're not going to fare all that well. Even Heavy Bolters will shred them.

Khymeras have fewer wounds for the same points, but are only 1-wound each (so all those D2 weapons won't be able to kill them efficiently) and also have 5++ saves for a little extra protection.

I don't know, you might be right, I just thought I'd share my concerns.

Oh you're not wrong. Clawed fiends are as glassy as a glass hammer can get. But they ARE a hammer and present a legit threat when (IF) they get there. Khymarae would be a lot more interesting if you could take larger units of them. They are slightly less glassy than clawed fiends, but they also aren't a hammer. They don't have the numbers to ensure some make it across the board and whatever does survive doesn't have the punch to matter.


Their floor is just as low as clawed fiends (decent chance of dying before accomplishing anything), but also a much lower ceiling (if they do survive, they won't do much damage anyway).
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PostSubject: Re: Using Beasts   Using Beasts I_icon_minitimeFri Dec 03 2021, 22:38

sekac wrote:

Oh you're not wrong. Clawed fiends are as glassy as a glass hammer can get. But they ARE a hammer and present a legit threat when (IF) they get there. Khymarae would be a lot more interesting if you could take larger units of them. They are slightly less glassy than clawed fiends, but they also aren't a hammer. They don't have the numbers to ensure some make it across the board and whatever does survive doesn't have the punch to matter.

Their floor is just as low as clawed fiends (decent chance of dying before accomplishing anything), but also a much lower ceiling (if they do survive, they won't do much damage anyway).

I suppose I'm more thinking of Khymerae as being two units of 6 (compared with a single unit of 5-6 Clawed Fiends). Still, I take your point about Clawed Fiends having more punch if they actually get there. Also, you do get quite a few wounds for the points, so I suppose that's something.

There's also an unfortunate aspect in that both Khymerae and Clawed Fiends have quite similar melee profiles to Hellions, which naturally invites comparison:

5 Clawed Fiends + Beastmaster is 165pts.
The fiends have 20 T5 5+ wounds and 25-30 WS4+ S5 AP-2 D2 attacks, rerolling 1s to hit (the Beastmaster adds a few attacks but nothing really worth mentioning).

6 + 6 Khymerae + Beastmaster is 160pts
The Khymerae have 12 T4 5++ wounds and 36 WS3+ S5 AP-1 D1 attacks, rerolling 1s to hit (again, the Beastmaster adds a few attacks but nothing really worth mentioning).

10 CB Hellions with Adrenalight is 170pts
The Hellions have 20 T4 5+/6++ wounds and 41 WS3+ S5 AP-1 D2 attacks. They can also Advance and Charge without the aid of a Beastmaster, get +1 to hit from turn 2 onwards, have 20 Poison 4+ splinter shots in addition to their attacks, have an extra 4" of movement, can fly etc.

I mean, it's nice that Hellions are good it just makes it hard to ever pick Beasts over them beyond purely fluff/aesthetic reasons.


Anyway, I can't remember if you brought this up already but I think the strongest argument for Clawed Fiends over Khymera is that they only take up 1 valuable FA slot, whereas to get any mileage out of Khymera you'd need 2 slots at least. Razz

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PostSubject: Re: Using Beasts   Using Beasts I_icon_minitimeFri Dec 03 2021, 23:04

Things get bleak when you start comparing beasts to other units--especially top performers like hellions. The question "is this a good use of points?" should never be applied to beasts because, factoring in the beastmaster, the answer is always "no."


Beasts are a choice made for beasts' sake.


Which is sad, because I love my beasts! I have the metal 5th edition beasts, from right before they rolled out Failcast. They were my very first purchase when my friend opened up his game store. So expensive, so much nostalgia.


Anytime I'm demoing the game or otherwise playing softer lists, the beasts are always in. If I'm playing competitively, they're just too awkward to build a list around. Feels like writing an 8th edition Drukhari list--it just doesn't fit together well.
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PostSubject: Re: Using Beasts   Using Beasts I_icon_minitimeFri Dec 03 2021, 23:13

Yeah, they're one of the (many) units that feel hard-done by splitting DE into different subfactions and also just the limited selection of units in the codex (we have a lot of units/themes that feel unfinished).

And you're right, they're currently a unit you take purely for the fluff/aesthetics. Hell, the main reason I started considering them was because they're one of the only units a Succubus can actually keep up with (albeit with the aid of Hypex). It seemed like it would make a fun change from just shoving her with Wyches in a Venom/Raider as always. Having a pseudo-Beastmaster Succubus just seems like a fun concept.

It's just a shame there's so little mechanical support for it.

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PostSubject: Re: Using Beasts   Using Beasts I_icon_minitimeSun Dec 12 2021, 19:12

As someone who uses beast in every game I must say that they are one of the best units for early game objective grabbing.

I run 2 units of 3 razorwings and the beastmaster, this totals 102 points, and brings 27 wounds to the table

the beastmaster always takes the +1 Ld drug
(this make it so that the bird units will not run unless cleared)  

they are one of the best things to throw on a mid board objective in turn 1 with a single unit, and move up the 2nd unit and the beastmaster into a staging position.  Using the LD buff your opponent will have to do 12 wounds to the unit if they need to clear it.  This will often give me a turn 2 control of a mid board objective as my opponent can't kill the birds.  

I have attempted to use this load out a well
1 beastmaster, 2 units of 2 kymere, and 1 unit of 5 birbs,   this comes to 140 points, and functions much the same where the kymere go to grab an early midfield objective,  while the beastmaster and birds hold back till turn 3-4 and then dogpile on an objective in order to try to bog it down.  

the issue I had with this set up was the units of kymere didn't live through the opponents shooting phase, with only 2 wounds on each unit even with the invul and being 2 units of 2 they were to easy to kill.

( I cannot stress the number of times I have a single base of birds on the objective with 1-2 wounds left who aut-pass moral due to the master+drug combo, it may be a personal bias but it is consistent that the pool of wounds is the best defense for these units)

and from here you opponent has 2 choices: leave the objective to you, or try to charge them off the objective. This is where they truly shine they are something cheap but that can't be ignored.

In the trading game the fact that it is 36 points for 12 wounds make them invaluable, not because of that they can kill, but of how such a small points cost unit can be used to pull your opponent out in the open.

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PostSubject: Re: Using Beasts   Using Beasts I_icon_minitimeTue Dec 14 2021, 17:17

Honestly, the biggest cost to Beasts IMHO is the fact they take up FA slots.

Reavers and Hellions are simply amazing. I personally always fill up my FA slots, and am always drooling over getting a few more.

If they were like last edition, and the Beastmaster took up slots instead of the Beasts, I think we would be in agreement. As it is, the opportunity cost is just a little too much for me (in a Competitive setting)
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PostSubject: Re: Using Beasts   Using Beasts I_icon_minitimeMon Dec 20 2021, 21:49

I do agree with you, but I would also say that is the same problem with Hellions and Reavers, they use our our precious FA slots. In the end I feel beasts are as much a list building consideration as taking mounted wyches, combined with how 9th edition plays, make taking them over Hellions/reavers a decision I feel that would be made early.

I.E. with my current list (see the grotesque thread) - I started from the outset with the goal of having:
10 wracks
10 heamoxcites
6 grotesques
1 cronos

I built the rest of my list around this core, and I feel that is part of the conversation on how much a unit is "worth it" or not. In my list, I feel the beasts are very worth it as they are cheap, not-coven, and fufil a role with how well they can trade turn 1-2. I would not want to use hellions in this list as they cost more, and I wouldn't have any different role for how I play. One of the early list building choice I mad was that I didn't need to take hellions/reavers and so the beasts became the indispensable unit to me.

I will completely concede that if you are taking hellions and reavers then the birds look like a poor choice in comparison, however I feel it is more a question of list building and how the early decisions in list building will often make or break what we take in our FA slots.

I would try to then say that is my main point. Part of the complexity in playing Drukhari is not in the table top mechanics, but in how the push and pull of what choices you take (in my case lots of coven means lets space to take kabal/cult) and how that should play in what units you pick.
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PostSubject: Re: Using Beasts   Using Beasts I_icon_minitimeWed Dec 22 2021, 07:36

My personal issue with Beasts it's not their role. It's that silly Beastmaster that cost A LOT. You cant count on Beasts being cheap because you have to buy that useless piece.
Worst than that, he is a character in an army of characters. I don't really need another way to give secondaries to my opponent.
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PostSubject: Re: Using Beasts   Using Beasts I_icon_minitimeSun Feb 20 2022, 09:46

I've been contemplating playing 3 units of 2 Khymerae for screening and objective grabbing: Each unit is 20 points, the cheapest screening/stalling investment I can make to protect my flanks, grab an unguarded objective, bait the opponent, lock a vehicle into combat, or use up the shooting phase of the opponent to deal with them. I don't expect them to live anything the opponent throws at them. I just expect the trade to not be beneficial to my opponent.

Beastmaster: What is it good for? How do I avoid making it simply a tax? I am unfamiliar with current missions and objectives: is there any utility in a cheap character quickly flying around and doing something?
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PostSubject: Re: Using Beasts   Using Beasts I_icon_minitimeSun Feb 20 2022, 15:41

Pippolele wrote:
I've been contemplating playing 3 units of 2 Khymerae for screening and objective grabbing: Each unit is 20 points, the cheapest screening/stalling investment I can make to protect my flanks, grab an unguarded objective, bait the opponent, lock a vehicle into combat, or use up the shooting phase of the opponent to deal with them. I don't expect them to live anything the opponent throws at them. I just expect the trade to not be beneficial to my opponent.

Beastmaster: What is it good for? How do I avoid making it simply a tax? I am unfamiliar with current missions and objectives: is there any utility in a cheap character quickly flying around and doing something?

The minimal investment Khymerae is an interesting idea and could certainly be helpful in a lot of matchups. In some matchups, if they're a nuisance, your opponent might be able to pick them up with incidental shooting. 


The problem is definitely the besstmaster. There's really not a lot for him to do, though I suppose he could Raise Banners if you take that secondary. Otherwise, he's pretty much a tax as well as a potential liability. If he puts your character count to the point where Assassinate looks tempting for your opponent, he's awfully squishy.
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PostSubject: Re: Using Beasts   Using Beasts I_icon_minitimeSun Feb 20 2022, 17:24

Pippolele wrote:


Beastmaster: What is it good for?

Not much, but you could always give him the animus vitae or the helm of spite to make him a bit more useful, if you weren't going to give them to another character.
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PostSubject: Re: Using Beasts   Using Beasts I_icon_minitimeSun Feb 20 2022, 22:42

It is worse than a simple tax: it gave 3 vp to the opponent thanks to Assassination.
Until they will fix him, there's nothing you can do with him.
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PostSubject: Re: Using Beasts   Using Beasts I_icon_minitimeSun Feb 20 2022, 23:52

Cerve wrote:
My personal issue with Beasts it's not their role. It's that silly Beastmaster that cost A LOT. You cant count on Beasts being cheap because you have to buy that useless piece.

Yeah, I've so often looked one or other of the Beasts and thought 'oh, maybe these are okay for their costs', and then I remember that there's also a 40pt tax on top of it.


Cerve wrote:

Worst than that, he is a character in an army of characters. I don't really need another way to give secondaries to my opponent.

I'd be less objectionable about them being characters if they were HQs (especially if they were Blades for Hire) that could take up mandatory HQ slots.

Instead, we've got this awful situation where the Beastmaster doesn't use up an Elites slot (who even cares?) but the beasts fight for space in our highly-contested FA slots.

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PostSubject: Re: Using Beasts   Using Beasts I_icon_minitimeMon Feb 21 2022, 09:06

Let'# hope those will be better as Ynnari with the new Codex
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PostSubject: Re: Using Beasts   Using Beasts I_icon_minitimeMon Feb 21 2022, 12:09

Let's immagine we were to play it though:
How would you play it?
What would you have it do?
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PostSubject: Re: Using Beasts   Using Beasts I_icon_minitimeMon Feb 21 2022, 14:20

The khymaera I'd run as a first turn charge unit of 10 tie up either a large squad or a tank for a turn, Clawed fiends would be run in a group of 3 and basically do the same thing as grots (elite infantry hunters), take 1 beast master as non force org, and 2 as elites, each one roaming around with its own pack of beasts, the razorwing flocks would be backfield objective and area denial with their beast master
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PostSubject: Re: Using Beasts   Using Beasts I_icon_minitimeMon Feb 21 2022, 16:24

What utility can we get out of a Beastmaster alone?
fast moving, character, untargetable:
I can see it deploying teleport Homers in relative safety for example.
What else?
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PostSubject: Re: Using Beasts   Using Beasts I_icon_minitimeMon Feb 21 2022, 17:16

Pippolele wrote:
What utility can we get out of a Beastmaster alone?
fast moving, character, untargetable:
I can see it deploying teleport Homers in relative safety for example.
What else?

The beastmaster is a pretty good animus vitae delivery system.
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PostSubject: Re: Using Beasts   Using Beasts I_icon_minitimeTue Feb 22 2022, 12:52

krayd wrote:
Pippolele wrote:
What utility can we get out of a Beastmaster alone?
fast moving, character, untargetable:
I can see it deploying teleport Homers in relative safety for example.
What else?

The beastmaster is a pretty good animus vitae delivery system.

Question is: How many Relics can you take. Djinn Blade for the Archon, Triptych Whip/Dancers Edge
is the choice for Cults. Nightmare Doll or Poisoners Ampule are great Artifacts too.

So, what would you uneqip, just to give a Beastmaster one?

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krayd
Hekatrix
krayd


Posts : 1221
Join date : 2011-10-03
Location : Richmond, VA

Using Beasts Empty
PostSubject: Re: Using Beasts   Using Beasts I_icon_minitimeTue Feb 22 2022, 14:06

Zenotaph wrote:


Question is: How many Relics can you take. Djinn Blade for the Archon, Triptych Whip/Dancers Edge
is the choice for Cults. Nightmare Doll or Poisoners Ampule are great Artifacts too.

So, what would you uneqip, just to give a Beastmaster one?

Really, the same question applies to just taking the animus vitae in general. Though I think that the animus vitae probably has better all-around utility than the poisoners ampule.

I will say that I've only actually done this once, and it was in an AoF coven detachment, in a 1000 pt list as part of a doubles tournament (and my partner was playing wyche cult, so he could benefit from the animus).

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Using Beasts Empty
PostSubject: Re: Using Beasts   Using Beasts I_icon_minitime

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