By David Kuijt
Home Topography: Forest Wilderness.
Stronghold:Crude, but defensible, Timber Palisaded Camp.
The Beastmen are brutal raiders from beyond the bounds of civilization. They have little culture or technology of their own, stealing what they need from other races, primarily humans. They treat humans and other races as cattle, raiding for slaves, treating them harshly and finally using them as a food source when they no longer are useful for other tasks.
Beastmen glory in warfare, as suited to their powerful physiques. Any Beastman is a fierce, terrible opponent, but those who rise to leadership of a Beastman horde must be the most skilled fighters of them all, as their Warlords are subject to constant challenge from within the horde.
Beastmen sometimes ally themselves with other groups of wild unhuman raiders, like my Mountain Monster army for an attack on wealthy (and well-protected) targets like human cities. They can also sometimes be bribed or overawed by very powerful evil figures, although such an alliance is usually brief because of the fractious nature of Beastmen.
The most common enemy of Beastmen is the civilized human powers upon which they prey. The Beastmen are mighty in battle, but are weak against more advanced military technology. In spite of their tremendous strength and resilience and ferocity, if their first charge is answered by sturdy foot they can be defeated, and they are vulnerable to armored knights and various warmachines if fighting in the open. In the deep woods from which they spring, however, they can rarely be defeated.
The Beastmen have a terrible enmity towards the Centaurs. They kill them whenever they find them, and raid them whenever they can. Such raids are often deadly for the Beastmen, because the Centaurs are also strong warriors and their mobility on the plains is unmatched.
This army was triggered by a purchase of a GW plastic Beastman box at a massively reduced rate. GW puts out very nice figures, although their prices are exorbitant. For a HotT army, though, some of their figures are brilliant - and a single boxed set of Beastmen (normally $25 or so) provided 90% of this army. Better still, the GW plastics are a bunch of bodies and a wide variety of heads and arms with different weapons, and a bunch of shields. So with some glue, every single figure in your army can be a different pose. With lead figures, that's very difficult to achieve. See some of the variety in the image at left.
The ease of gluing and pinning also allows additional creativity. One of the figures in the back rank of the image on the left is wielding a large axe two-handed. The axe is custom-built from multiple pieces. The front blade is plasticard, the back spike is a modified hand weapon, the shaft is a collection of weapon and staff shafts, and the rest is put together with greenstuff, glue, and dental floss. The arms and hands of the axewielder also required surgery to look natural in that position.
Two of the figures in the army are lead - the Beastman Lord is a GW figure, and the large Cyclops is an old Ral Partha figure I had hanging around. The Beastman Lord (see image on the right) is clearly a Hero General -- mighty in battle, slaughtering enemies, etc. etc. etc. He has an enormous two-handed axe, better armor than most Beastmen, and his own banner-carrier. What a stud!
But what about the Cyclops? As you can see from the whole army picture at the top of the page, he's clearly much bigger than the other Beastmen in the army. I like that, but it creates some difficulties classifying him. I could make him a Warband by himself - that would fit with his power and strength. But this is an army which is already replete with Warband - adding another wasn't very interesting. He can't be a Behemoth - sure, he's bigger than the other guys, but is he big enough to squish them by accident just backing up? If you check out the other armies I have and see the size of the figures I usually class as Behemoths (for example, this Mountain Troll or this Warforged Titan) you realize that Mr. Cyclops would be the runt of the litter. But hey, he looks like he's a very, very good fighter. So I made him a Hero instead. Sure, he's not very smart (I mean, look at the size of the space between his ears -- not a lot of room for brain there), but still a good fighter. And that makes the army as a whole a little vulnerable to Wizards, since both the best elements in it are Heros. And that is fine with me - a vulnerability to Wizards fits in well with my concept of this army, just like its terrain dependency and vulnerability to Behemoths or Knights.
Page created December 2, 2008.
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