The Beasts of Chaos are known throughout the Mortal Realms as some of the most vicious predators you're ever likely to meet. Made up of beast-men who's bodies are a twisted mingling of man and monster, these creatures strive only to kill, butcher, and ruin all around them. It's been a while since we've seen new content for them in Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, but Games Workshop just provided us with an advance copy of their brand-new battletome - up for preorder this weekend - and we're taking a dive into the changes and updates to this army, as well as looking at the new model released for this line. So shine your horns and clean your hooves to join us as we preview new options for the Beasts of Chaos.
How Has The Lore Changed For The Beasts of Chaos?
It seems like there haven't been any major changes to the lore of The Beasts of Chaos, but we do learn how the Era of the Beast (the current game-wide big event effecting everyone in the mortal realms) is effecting this motley crew. First, there's the Turnskin Plague, a new curse the Beasts of Chaos have brought upon the realm that slowly transforms ordinary humans into beasts. As it takes root, victims of the plague begin collecting strange trophies -- fur and teeth -- or can be found in pens of herd beasts, "muttering in a strange, grating tongue that seems to captivate the creatures," as the Battletome explains.
There's also new information about the ruinous progeny of the Gorfather, three bestial warlords who were spawned with the horned brand of the mythic beast. There's also new lore about Ghorroghan Khai, a Bray-Shaman who seeks to enslave elemental Incarnates, and a brand new Greatfray called the Quakefray, led by huge Cygors hurling stones and smashing cities.
All in all, the level of detail and in-depth examination of the Beasts of Chaos is on par with the rest of Age of Sigmar's new Battletomes, and fans of the Beasts of Chaos will find tons of inspiration for their army in this book.
What New Rules Are In Play For The Beasts of Chaos?
There are plenty of new rules for the Beasts of Chaos, including a new sub-faction for your army comprised of the aforementioned Quakefray, but one of the most exciting additions is the "Beastherd Ambush" Battle Trait. Essentially, this Battle Trait allows you to set up your entire army in reserves, ready for an ambush! And if your Commander of your army is in reserve, you still gain 1 command point at the start of your hero phase.
There are also new Rituals you can use as Heroic Actions with your Beasts of Chaos Heroes (including those in reserve). To do so, that Hero first suffers D3 Mortal Wounds, but these effects are powerful. You can deal D6 mortal wounds to an enemy unit within 12" of the Hero, taunt your enemies to force a move, give friendly units a 6+ ward save, or ignore Battleshock tests until the end of the turn.
A few classic units also get new abilities, including the Ungor Raiders who can now fire a volley of arrows from reserve, the Gors who now have a charge ability that could potentially force their enemies to suffer strike-last effects when charged, and the Slaangor Fiendbloods who can, once per game, attack twice in one combat.
All in all these new rules additions give a bit more tactically-minded options to an army that normally prides itself on using brute force to overwhelm their foes, and we think these few changes (especially all the playing with reserves now available) could hugely impact the look and feel of this army, making them much more competitive.
What New Unit Is Included in the Beasts of Chaos Army?
Enter the Beastlord! This double-axe wielding monster has a movement of 6", 6 Wounds, a Bravery of 7, and a 4+ Save. Armed with "Paired Man-ripper Axes" which have 5 attacks, hit and wound on a 3+, with a -1 Rend and 2 Damage, this model's weapon skill alone sets him apart from the flock. But his special abilities truly make him stand apart, as he auto-wounds for max damage on an Attack roll of 6, adds 1 to Attack and Wound rolls to friendly units near him when they strike out against enemy Heroes, and can string together his attack with the attack of a nearby friendly Brayherd unit.
He's a force on the battlefield, and the model is so gloriously detailed and dripping with personality that we're instantly drawn to him.
There's so much more to dive into and discover in the new Beasts of Chaos Battletome, but we'll leave that for you to discover!