- Living engines of rage, warbeasts are the greatest assets in a warlock’s arsenal. They are equipped with a broad variety of melee and ranged weaponry and embody the primal power of their respective Factions. A single warbeast can annihilate dozens of warriors, and several warbeasts working together comprise a threat no enemy can ignore.
Warbeast and Gargantuan redirect here. This article is a copy-paste of nearly every warbeast-related rule in the core rulebook. It is a reference aid, not a teaching aid. Teaching aids are linked below:
- Related topics
- Warbeast-related copy-pasted rules
- Teaching articles:
- 1 Battlegroups
- 2 Power Attacks (pg42)
- 3 Damaging a Warbeast
- 4 Warbeast Special Rules
- 5 Gargantuans
- 6 Warlock & Warbeast interaction
- 7 Minion Warbeasts
- 8 Caster Death (Wild warbeast)
- 9 Other
- Page 22 of the 2021.08 version of the core rulebook pdf
Each warcaster in an army controls a group of warjacks and each warlock in an army controls a group of warbeasts. A warcaster and the warjacks he controls and a warlock and the warbeasts he controls are collectively referred to as battlegroups. There is no limit to the number of models that can be fielded in either a warcaster’s or a warlock’s battlegroup.
Warjacks must begin the game controlled by a ’jack marshal (p. 84) or assigned to a battlegroup controlled by a model with the Focus Manipulation special rule (p. 69).
Warbeasts must begin the game assigned to a battlegroup controlled by a model with the Fury Manipulation special rule (p. 76).
Because a warcaster can allocate focus points only to warjacks in its battlegroup and only warjacks in a battlegroup power up, it is important to distinguish which warjacks are controlled by each warcaster and which warjacks are controlled by each ’jack marshal. When composing your army, specify the controller for each of the warjacks in your army. For more information on battlegroups, see “Warcasters & Focus,” p. 68.
Likewise, because a warlock can leech fury points only from warbeasts in its battlegroup, it is important to distinguish which warbeasts are controlled by each warlock. When composing your army, specify the controller for each of the warbeasts in your army. For more information on warlock battlegroups, see “Warlocks & Fury,” p. 75.
Power Attacks (pg42)
- Page 42 of the 2021.08 version of the core rulebook pdf
Power attacks are attack options available to some models, such as warjacks and warbeasts. The power attacks available to other models are described in their special rules. Warjacks and warbeasts can make power attacks as follows.
- Lesser warbeasts cannot make power attacks.
- A light warjack or a light warbeast can make head-butt and slam power attacks. A light warjack with at least one non-crippled weapon with the Open Fist weapon quality can make throw power attacks. A light warbeast with at least one weapon with the Open Fist weapon quality can make throw power attacks.
- A heavy warjack or a heavy warbeast can make head-butt, slam, and trample power attacks. A heavy warjack with at least one non- crippled weapon with the Open Fist weapon quality can make throw power attacks. A heavy warbeast with at least one weapon with the Open Fist weapon quality can make throw power attacks.
- A colossal or gargantuan}} can make head-butt, slam, and trample power attacks. A colossal with at least one noncrippled melee weapon that has a location of L or R can make sweep power attacks. A colossal with at least one noncrippled weapon with the Open Fist weapon quality can make power strike and throw power attacks. A gargantuan with at least one melee weapon that has a location of L or R can make sweep power attacks. A gargantuan with at least one weapon with the Open Fist weapon quality can make power strike and throw power attacks.
A warjack must spend 1 focus point to make a power attack. A warbeast must be forced to make a power attack.
Unless otherwise noted, a model can make a power attack only during its activation. A model cannot make a power attack during an activation in which it charges. A model cannot target a friendly model with a power attack.
When a model makes a power attack, do not apply the special rules on its weapons unless they specifically reference power attacks.
A model that is able to do so can make additional melee attacks after making a power attack. A model cannot make a power attack as an additional attack.
Power Attack Damage Rolls & Collateral Damage
Though power attacks are melee attacks, they do not resolve damage rolls the same way. Instead of rolling 2d6 and adding both the attacker’s STR and the POW of the weapon being used, roll 2d6 and add just the attacker’s STR. If the power attack results in collateral damage, collateral damage is also determined by rolling 2d6 and adding the STR of the attacking model. Collateral damage cannot be boosted and is not considered to be damage from an attack or model.
- EXAMPLE: An effect triggered by being “damaged by an enemy attack” would not trigger due to collateral damage.
- Power Attack Damage Roll = 2d6 + STR
- Power Attack Collateral Damage Roll = 2d6 + STR
Power Attack Additional Rules
- Power Attack: Head-Butt
- Power Attack: Power Strike
- Power Attack: Slam
- Power Attack: Sweep
- Power Attack: Throw
- Power Attack: Trample
Damaging a Warbeast
- Page 56 of the 2021.08 version of the core rulebook pdf
Warbeast Life Spirals
Warbeasts have life spirals consisting of six branches of damage boxes (represented by circles) labeled with the numbers 1 through 6. Different life spirals will be slightly different in shape and the 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.
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, the 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 Special Rules
- Page 71 of the 2021.08 version of the core rulebook pdf
All warbeasts have the following special rules in common.
Warbeasts have life spirals. A warbeast is not destroyed until all the damage boxes in its life spiral are marked. See “Recording Damage” on p. 56 for details.
Warbeasts with the Construct advantage (p. 15) never make threshold checks (threshold is covered in the Frenzy section, below) and cannot be healed.
Fury & Forcing
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.
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.
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.
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 (Page 72)
Warbeasts can make power attacks. 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. For the rules for power attacks and their requirements, see “Power Attacks” on p. 42.
Threshold & Frenzy
From the 2020.02 edition of the core rules.
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.
- EXAMPLE: During his Control Phase, Jack makes a threshold check for his Dire Troll Blitzer, which has 3 fury points on it. Jack rolls 2d6 and adds 3 to the roll for the Dire Troll Blitzer’s fury points. He then compares the result to the Blitzer’s THR of 9. If Jack rolls 6 or less (the Blitzer’s THR of 9 – 3 fury points = 6), the Blitzer passes the threshold check and nothing happens. If he rolls 7 or more, the Dire Troll Blitzer frenzies because the result exceeds its THR.
When a model frenzies:
- It immediately activates.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Page 73 of the 2021.08 version of the core rulebook pdf
The gargantuans are the largest and most powerful warbeasts ever to stride the battlefield. As a result of their great size and raw power, there are a number of special rules that apply to gargantuans but not to smaller warbeasts.
A gargantuan is a huge-based (120 mm) warbeast.
Controlling a Gargantuan
Gargantuans must be assigned to a battlegroup. Your opponent can never take control of your gargantuan.
A gargantuan can advance only during its Normal Movement. A gargantuan can never be placed.
A gargantuan can never gain Advance Deployment, Incorporeal, or Stealth. A gargantuan cannot be forced to or voluntarily forfeit its normal movement or combat action except to aim.
A gargantuan cannot be pushed, knocked down, or made stationary. A gargantuan cannot be moved by a slam or throw. A gargantuan is never affected by the rule of least disturbance. A gargantuan cannot be affected by the Grievous Wounds special rule. If a gargantuan would require another huge-based model to move through the rule of least disturbance, instead the moving gargantuan is moved backward along its most recent line of movement until it can be legally placed.
Ranged Attacks While in Melee
A gargantuan can make ranged attacks while in melee.
From the 2020.02 edition of the core rules (Edit)
- Fields of Fire
- Page 37 A huge-based model’s front arc is marked on its base. Its front arc is further divided into two 90° fields of fire. These fields of fire determine which models a huge-based model can target with its weapons, depending on the location of those weapons. Weapons located on a huge-based model’s left side (L) can be used to target only models in its left field of fire, and weapons located on its right side (R) can be used to target only models in its right field of fire. Weapons with locations “S,” “H,” or “—” can be used to target models in either field of fire. If any part of a model’s base is on the line separating the left and right fields of fire, the model is considered to be in both fields of fire.
- Concealment, Cover, LOS
- Huge-Based models in melee
- Page 54 - Huge-based models never gain the Target in Melee DEF bonus.
- Page 65 - Combined Ranged Attacks cannot target a model in melee unless it has a huge base.
Warlock & Warbeast interaction
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When a warbeast goes wild, it loses any fury points it had. A wild warbeast cannot use its animus or be forced. A wild warbeast cannot gain fury points and never frenzies. A wild warbeast cannot activate and does not have a melee range. It cannot engage or be engaged by other models. A model is never in melee with a wild warbeast. A wild warbeast has no facing, cannot advance or make attacks, and does not gain an ARM bonus for shields or bucklers. Special rules that cannot be used while a model is stationary cannot be used while a warbeast is wild. A melee attack targeting a wild warbeast automatically hits. A wild warbeast has a base DEF of 5
Anytime during its activation, a friendly Faction model with the Battlegroup Commander special rule, such as a warlock, can spend 1 fury point to take control of a wild warbeast while in base-to-base contact with it. 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
- Page 73 of the 2021.08 version of the core rulebook pdf
Remember, Minion warbeasts can be controlled only by Minion warlocks. Likewise, a Minion warlock can control only Minion warbeasts.
Caster Death (Wild warbeast)
- Page 59 of the 2021.08 version of the core rulebook pdf
When a model with the Battlegroup Commander special rule is destroyed or removed from the table, the warjacks in its battlegroup become inert and the warbeasts become wild. Additionally, all upkeep spells cast by that model expire (p. 80).
When a warjack becomes inert, it loses any focus points it had, and while it is inert it cannot gain focus points. An inert warjack cannot activate and does not have a melee range. It cannot engage or be engaged by other models. A model is never in melee with an inert warjack. An inert warjack has no facing, cannot advance or make attacks, and does not gain an ARM bonus for shields or bucklers. Special rules that cannot be used while a model is stationary cannot be used while a warjack is inert. A melee attack targeting an inert warjack automatically hits. An inert warjack has a base DEF of 5.
An inert warjack can be reactivated by a friendly Faction model with the Battlegroup Commander special rule, such as a warcaster, or by a friendly Faction model with the ’Jack Marshal advantage. To reactivate the warjack, a model with Battlegroup Commander can spend 1 focus point anytime during its activation while base-to-base with the warjack. A ’jack marshal can reactivate an inert friendly Faction warjack during its activation by forfeiting its Combat Action while base-to-base with the warjack. The reactivated warjack is no longer inert, but it must forfeit its Combat Action the turn it is reactivated. If the model reactivating a warjack has Battlegroup Commander, the warjack becomes a part of its battlegroup.
If the model reactivating a warjack is a ’jack marshal, the reactivated warjack comes under itscontrol unless the ’jack marshal already controls a warjack.
When a warbeast goes wild, it loses any fury points it had. A wild warbeast cannot use its animus or be forced. A wild warbeast cannot gain fury points and never frenzies. A wild warbeast cannot activate and does not have a melee range. It cannot engage or be engaged by other models. A model is never in melee with a wild warbeast. A wild warbeast has no facing, cannot advance or make attacks, and does not gain an ARM bonus for shields or bucklers. Special rules that cannot be used while a model is stationary cannot be used while a warbeast is wild. A melee attack targeting a wild warbeast automatically hits. A wild warbeast has a base DEF of 5.
Anytime during its activation, a friendly Faction model with the Battlegroup Commander special rule, such as a warlock, can spend 1 fury point to take control of a wild warbeast while in base-to-base contact with it. 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.
|See also the Warbeast page for a recap of the core warbeast rules.
Huge Base (Edit)
Also, simply being on a huge base triggers a bunch of rules scattered throughout the rulebook, click to read them. [Show/Hide]
From the 2020.02 edition of the core rules (Edit)