Shape of the herd: Winning with Beasts of Chaos

Ross muses on how to get tactical with a C-grade army

One of the main reasons for choosing Beasts of Chaos was to win more games Age of Sigmar (eventually). Not necessarily with Beasts of Chaos, but to learn the tools to win Age of Sigmar games with any army. Sadly, we’re all still in lockdown in the UK, so I’ll issue a theoryhammer warning right up front, but I wanted to give an overview of the direction of travel for my army and winning with them.

The problem

While I’m always slightly dubious of ‘metawatching’ or army power levels, you’d have to be a fool not to accept that there’s a difference in quality baked into armies. Unfortunately, Beasts of Chaos weren’t fully cooked and represent the soggy bottom of Age of Sigmar power rankings.

There’s a lot of reasons for this but it’s primarily down to a combination of poor warscrolls, stunningly mediocre casters and little synergistic abilities. But as I said in my first post, choosing an underpowered army was an intentional choice – if you can learn to win with a ‘C’, you’ll be able to smash it with a better army in the future.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar army rankings


I’m not really one for wargaming podcasts or YouTube channels, but there’s so little out there about Beasts of Chaos tactics (and little opportunity to get them on the field for a few more months yet) that I went looking.

This video, by Doom & Darkness, came up and included a guest who had taken the Beasts to top placements at major events. To paraphrase, likely incorrectly, Joel McGrath essentially summarised the armies (relative) strengths thusly:

  • Fast with good deployment options: Most Beast units, especially Brayherd ones, have high base movement speeds with bonuses to run and/or charge. In addition, the army’s ‘ambush’ rule allows you to drop threatening units in challenging positions to keep backfield scorers and artillery units worried. And finally, although not bringing in particularly powerful units early, the army’s summoning function can bring in units from board edge with the ability (just – according to an FAQ) to reach objectives near the edge of the board.
  • High potential spike damage: Now, Beasts of Chaos are going to lose a drag-out fight with basically any other army, but with the Gavespawn allegiance command ability activated multiple times on a 10 man Bestigor or 6 man Bullgor unit, they can kick out a deeply upsetting amount of hits with good rend.
  • One, two dropping: The Desolating Beastherd Battalion may not have the strongest bonuses, but critically contains a large selection of the army’s better units. With a spawn added, you’re looking at an easy two drop army, which research indicates is going to get the choice of turn most games.
  • Cheap, fast chaff: Ungor Raiders have incredibly mediocre damage output, die when looked at wrong, but critically they get a scout move. And with the almost guaranteed first turn, you can take the initiative with claiming objectives straight away.

The shape of the beast

This is my first punt on an army list. Hopefully there will be some chance to test some of this out before finishing off to 2k. I don’t mind a little redundancy because I’ll have a summoning method and need to stock up on units.

Allegiance: Gavespawn

  • General Shaman, Command Trait: Unravelling Aura, Artefact: The Knowing Eye
  • Shaman
  • Beastlord, Artefact: Mutating Gnarlblade
  • 10 Bestigors
  • 30 Bestigors
  • 6 Doombulls
  • 10 Ungor Raiders
  • 10 Ungor Raiders
  • 30 Ungor Raiders
  • 10 Ungors (to be sacrificed to the Herdstone)
  • Tuskgor Chariot
  • Ghorgon
  • Battalion – Desolating Beastherd (containing everything except the Spawn)
  • Chaos Spawn
  • Wildfire Taurus
  • Extra Command Point – 50

2000 points

Puts me at 163 wounds, which isn’t too shabby.

By Ross

Find more of my stuff at vexed_to on Instagram.

All images used without permission from Games Workshop Limited.

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