Warbeast

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War-Nouns (Edit)
Warmachine Warcaster "Junior" Warcaster 'Jack Marshal   Warjack Colossal   Vector Monstrosity
Hordes Warlock Lesser Warlock     Warbeast Gargantuan   Warbeast Pack  

This article goes over the core rules of warbeasts. The content is a repeat of the core rulebook (as of version Sept2017v2.pdf).

See also the Basic Training article Your Battlegroup

Warbeast types[edit]

Warbeast Special Rules[edit]

Life Spirals & Recording Damage[edit]

Warbeasts have life spirals consisting of six branches of damage boxes (represented by circles) labeled with the numbers 1 through 6. A warbeast is not destroyed until all the damage boxes in its life spiral are marked. Different life spirals will be slightly different in shape and number of damage boxes, but they function the same way. When a model with a life spiral suffers damage, roll a d6 to determine which branch takes the damage. Starting with the outermost unmarked box in that branch and working inward, mark one damage box per damage point taken. Once a branch is full, continue recording damage in the next branch clockwise that contains an unmarked damage box. Continue filling branches as required until every damage point taken has been recorded.

When a rule specifically states a model suffers damage to a particular aspect, find the lowest numbered branch on the model’s card that has an unmarked damage box for that aspect. Within that branch, mark the outermost unmarked damage box of that aspect.

Crippling Aspects[edit]

Life spirals are divided into three aspects that can be crippled as a warbeast suffers damage: Body, Mind, and Spirit. As a warbeast’s aspects are crippled its performance on the battlefield suffers. While all the boxes corresponding to an aspect are marked, that aspect is crippled. The effects of crippled aspects are as follows:

  • Crippled Body: The warbeast rolls one fewer die on damage rolls.
  • Crippled Mind: The warbeast rolls one fewer die on attack rolls. Additionally, the model cannot make chain attacks, power attacks, or special attacks.
  • Crippled Spirit: The warbeast cannot be forced.

If 1 or more damage points are removed from a crippled aspect, the aspect is no longer crippled.

Warbeast Constructs[edit]

Warbeasts with the Construct advantage never make threshold checks (see the Frenzy section, below) and cannot be healed.

Fury & Forcing[edit]

General
A warbeast is a primal creature that reaches its full potential only when under the control of a battlegroup commander such as a warlock, who impels it through strength of will for a desired effect, such as an additional attack. This is called forcing.

Only a model with the Fury Manipulation special rule can force a warbeast, and then it can only force a warbeast that is part of its battlegroup. A warbeast can be forced only while in its controller’s control range, but it does not need to be in its controller’s line of sight to be forced.

When a warbeast is forced, declare the desired effect and place a number of fury points on it according to the rules of the effect. A warbeast can be forced several times during its activation, but it can never have a fury point total higher than its current Fury stat, or FURY. A warbeast cannot be forced if the fury points gained would cause it to exceed its current FURY.

If a warbeast’s current FURY is reduced for any reason, immediately remove excess fury points. Fury points remain on warbeasts until removed by leeching, reaving, frenzying, or a special rule.

Wild warbeasts cannot gain fury points or be forced.

Forced: Additional Attack
A warbeast can be forced to make additional melee attacks as part of its Combat Action (p. 50). It gains 1 fury point and can make one additional attack each time it is forced. Some warbeasts possess special rules that also enable them to be forced to make additional ranged attacks.

Forced: Boost
A warbeast can be forced to boost any of its attack rolls or damage rolls during its activation. Add an extra die to the boosted roll. Boosting must be declared before rolling any dice for the roll. A particular roll can be boosted only once, but a warbeast can boost as many different rolls as you choose and can afford to force it. Each time a warbeast is forced to boost an attack or damage roll it gains 1 fury point.

Forced: Rile
During its activation, a warbeast can be riled, or forced for the sole purpose of gaining fury points. When a warbeast is riled, it can gain any number of fury points but cannot exceed its current FURY. A warbeast can be riled even if it runs.

Forced: Run or Charge
A warbeast must be forced in order to use its Normal Movement to run or charge. When a warbeast is forced to run or charge it gains 1 fury point.

Forced: Shake Effect
During your Control Phase after resolving threshold checks and frenzies, a warbeast can be forced for the following:

  • If the warbeast is knocked down, it can be forced to stand up.
  • If the warbeast is stationary, it can be forced to cause the stationary status to expire.
  • If this model is suffering an effect like Blind or Shadow Bind that can be shaken, it can be forced to cause the effect to expire.

A warbeast gains 1 fury point each time it is forced to shake an effect.

Animi[edit]

Warbeasts have dormant arcane spells called animi that can be tapped by the warlocks who control them. A warbeast can be forced to cast its animus, or the warlock whose battlegroup the warbeast is part of can treat the animus as if it were one of its own spells while the warbeast is in its control range.

A warbeast can be forced to cast its animus only once per activation, at any time. It can cast its animus before moving, after moving, before an attack, or after an attack, but not while moving or attacking. A warbeast cannot cast its animus during an activation in which it ran and cannot run during an activation in which it cast its animus.

Instead of gaining only 1 fury point when it is forced to cast its animus, the warbeast gains a number of fury points equal to the COST of the animus. A warbeast cannot exceed its FURY in fury points as a result of casting its animus. If the fury points gained by casting its animus would cause a warbeast’s fury point total to exceed its FURY, it cannot cast the animus.

A model that casts an animus, whether it is a warbeast or a warlock, is considered to be casting a spell, so if a rule prohibits a model from casting a spell, that model also cannot be forced to cast an animus.

A model or unit can have only one friendly animus in play on it at any time. If another friendly animus is cast on the same model or unit, the older friendly animus expires and is replaced by the new one when the affected model is affected by the animus. The older friendly animus expires even if only a single model in the unit is affected by the new friendly animus.

If an animus affecting a unit expires on one model in the unit, it expires on all models in the unit.

Power Attacks[edit]

Warbeasts can make power attacks as follows:

  • Lesser warbeasts and warbeasts that are part of warbeast packs ...
    • cannot make power attacks.
  • A light warbeast can make ...
  • A heavy warbeast can make ...
    • everything a light can, plus
    • trample power attacks
  • A gargantuan can make ...
    • everything a light or heavy can, plus
    • sweep power attacks if it has at least one melee weapon that has a location of (L) or (R)
    • power strike attacks, if it has at least one weapon with the Open Fist weapon quality

To make a power attack, a warbeast must be forced. When a warbeast is forced to make a power attack, it gains 1 fury point.

Threshold & Frenzy[edit]

Tapping into the primal energies of vicious warbeasts is not without risks. The fury accumulated by a warbeast can potentially send it into a blind rage, causing it to frenzy.

During your Control Phase, after your warlocks have leeched fury from their warbeasts and spent fury to upkeep their spells, each of your warbeasts with 1 or more fury points remaining on it must make a successful threshold check or frenzy. To make a threshold check, roll 2d6 and add 1 to the roll for each fury point on the warbeast. If the roll exceeds the warbeast’s current Threshold (THR) stat, it fails and frenzies.

When a model frenzies:

  1. It immediately activates.
  2. Without being forced, it automatically shakes knockdown, stationary, and any other effects that can be shaken. A frenzied warbeast also ignores effects that would cause it to forfeit its Normal Movement or Combat Action during an activation in which it frenzies.
  3. It immediately charges directly toward the closest model in its line of sight without being forced, even if the closest model is a friendly model. The frenzied warbeast cannot voluntarily stop its movement before contacting its charge target.
  4. It makes one attack against the model it charged with the highest-POW melee weapon that has range to the target. The attack roll is automatically boosted. If the warbeast moved at least 3˝ during the charge, the attack is a charge attack and its damage roll is boosted. A frenzied warbeast cannot make Assault ranged attacks or additional attacks.
  5. At the end of the warbeast’s frenzy activation, it is no longer frenzied and you can remove any number of fury points from it.

If two or more models are closest to the warbeast when it frenzies, randomly determine which of those models it charges. Because a frenzied warbeast activates in the Control Phase, it cannot activate during its controller’s Activation Phase that turn. During the frenzy activation, a frenzied warbeast can only take its Normal Movement and Combat Action as described above. It cannot be forced, cast its animus, make special actions, and so on. If a frenzied warbeast cannot immediately activate or if it cannot charge, it loses its activation and is no longer frenzied, and you can remove any number of fury points from it.

Warlock & Warbeast interaction[edit]

Warlocks are the most powerful models in HORDES. They are potent shamans and deadly warriors as effective in martial combat as when wielding magical forces. A warlock’s greatest talent, however, is controlling warbeasts.

Forcing Warbeasts[edit]

A model with the Fury Manipulation special rule can force its warbeasts as long as they meet the following criteria. The warbeast must be in the battlegroup commander’s own battlegroup and in its control range, though the warbeast need not be in its battlegroup commander’s line of sight. A battlegroup commander cannot force warbeasts in another model’s battlegroup even if they are both part of the same army.

For more info about forcing, see the Warbeast article.

Leeching[edit]

During its controlling player’s Control Phase, a model with the Fury Manipulation special rule can leech fury points from warbeasts in its battlegroup that are in its control range. Fury points leeched from a warbeast are removed from it and placed on the warlock.

A warlock can also leech fury points from its own life force during its controlling player’s Control Phase. For each fury point a model leeches in this way, it suffers 1 damage point. This damage cannot be transferred.

A warlock can leech any number of fury points but cannot exceed its FURY in fury points as a result of leeching. Leeching is performed at the start of the Control Phase before threshold checks are made or fury is spent to upkeep spells.

Spirit Bond[edit]

After leeching, a model with the Fury Manipulation special rule can additionally gain up to 1 fury point for each medium-based or larger warbeast that was part of its battlegroup and has been destroyed or removed from play. If a destroyed warbeast returns to play for any reason, the warlock can no longer gain fury points for that warbeast from Spirit Bond. A warlock cannot exceed its FURY in fury points as a result of Spirit Bond.

Reaving[edit]

A model with the Fury Manipulation special rule is able to capture the life essence of its warbeasts as they are destroyed or removed from play. When a warbeast in its battlegroup is destroyed or removed from play while in its control range, the warlock can reave the fury points on the warbeast. Before removing the warbeast from the table, remove its fury points and place them on the reaving model. A model cannot reave fury points from a warbeast in its battlegroup that was destroyed or removed from play by a friendly attack or as a result of transferring damage to the warbeast.

Some special rules enable a model that does not control a warbeast to reave its fury points. The fury points of a warbeast that was destroyed or removed from play can only ever be reaved by a single model, however.

A model cannot exceed its FURY in fury points as a result of reaving. Excess fury points gained from reaving are lost.

Transferring Damage[edit]

When a warlock would suffer damage, it can spend 1 fury point to transfer that damage to a warbeast in its battlegroup that is in its control range. The warbeast takes the damage instead of the warlock. Determine where to mark the damage normally. When the warlock transfers damage to a warbeast, damage exceeding the warbeast’s unmarked damage boxes is applied to the warlock and cannot be transferred again. The warlock cannot transfer damage to a warbeast that has a number of fury points equal to its FURY. The warlock is still considered to have suffered damage even if the damage is transferred. Models unable to suffer transferred damage cannot have damage transferred to them.

Warlock Destruction[edit]

When a battlegroup commander is destroyed or removed from the table, the warbeasts in its battlegroup become wild. Additionally, all upkeep spells cast by that model immediately expire.

Wild Warbeasts

While it is wild, a warbeast must use its Normal Movement to run during its activations. It is not required to move the full distance of its run, however, and can even run 0˝ if desired. If a wild warbeast cannot run, it makes a full advance and must forfeit its Combat Action. A wild warbeast cannot advance outside its Normal Movement, make special actions, be forced, cast its animus, or make attacks, including attacks that do not take place during the warbeast’s activation, such as free strikes. It also does not gain an ARM bonus for shields or bucklers. A wild warbeast cannot gain fury points and never frenzies.

When a warbeast goes wild, remove all fury points from it.

A friendly Faction model with the Battlegroup Commander special rule, such as a warlock, that ends its movement in base-to-base contact with a wild warbeast can take control of it. To take control of the warbeast, the battlegroup commander must spend 1 fury point during its activation while base-to-base with the warbeast. The warbeast is no longer wild but must forfeit its Combat Action the turn it becomes controlled. The warbeast becomes a part of its new controller’s battlegroup.

Gargantuans[edit]

Gargantuans are huge-based warbeast. There are a number of special rules that apply to gargantuans but not to smaller warbeasts.

Main article: Gargantuan

Warbeast Packs[edit]

Warbeast packs is a unit, but each trooper in the unit is a warbeast model instead of a warrior model. There are a number of special rules that apply to warbeast packs but not to regular warbeasts.

Main article: Warbeast Pack

Rules Clarifications[edit]

RC symbol.png

Rules Clarification:  : Warbeast      (Edit)
(Click Expand to read)

See also the Warbeast page for a recap of the core warbeast rules.

Forcing

  • If an ability doesn't specify how much it costs to force, it costs 1. (Infernal Ruling)

Animi

  • A single Animus can be on several models at the same time. (Infernal Ruling)
  • If a model has an animus on it from any source and then another animus is cast on that model, it will lose the first instance of an animus and will be replaced by the second. It does not matter if either the first animus or the second animus is from a warlock or warbeast. (Infernal Ruling)
  • An animi cast by a warlock is an animi and spell. (Infernal Ruling)

Transferring Damage

  • If both the warlock and the warbeast are damaged by the same attack (such as an AOE), then you need to apply the 'normal' damage to the warbeast before the transferred damage. This distinction can be important when you're working out who/what actually destroyed the beast. (Infernal Ruling)

Frenzy

  • You cannot trigger optional abilities during a Frenzy (such as Cleave). (Infernal Ruling)
  • You must trigger compulsory abilities during a Frenzy ... unless that ability generates an extra attack (like Berserk). In that case, you don't get the Berserk attack. (Infernal Ruling)
  • A warbeast may not make an Assault shot as part of a Frenzy activation. (Refer latest errata)
  • If the closest target to a warbeast resolving a Frenzy cannot be charged, then the warbeast will forfeit movement and action (as per the rules of having to charge and not being able to). (Infernal Ruling)
  • If a frenzying warbeast can't reach its charge target, then it will make a failed charge and end its activation. (Locked thread)