Heeding the call of their liege, the Royal Beastflayer and her noble entourage sally forth into the verdant woodland to clear their lands of monstrous beasts. The reality is far from this version of events with the truth being these deluded ghouls are under the influence of an insane vampire with a monstrous hunger. Check out this post to see my painted Royal Beastflayer Warcry Warband, with some insights into how they play and a painting guide recipe card.
Flaymaster Margora’s delusion came about when she encountered a Realmshaper Engine and believed evil dragon eggs are about to hatch. On this quest to destroy this clutch of eggs the Royal Beastflayers will destroy any warband they encounter believing them to be evil druids trying to poison the forests.
The Royal Beastflayers are led by an Abhorrant who doesn’t lean into the aristocratic side and instead is pro-active in the hunts of the court. The Abhorrant is still in a position of leadership and leads a devoted entourage made up of Barons, Gore-squires, Ghoul Trackers and Offal Hounds. Barons are minor nobles and veterans of many hunts with a large monster kill to their name. Gore-squires are numerous within the hunting party and have yet to make a notable kill such as a beast or monster. Ghoul Trackers are the smallest and lowest ranked fighter in the warband. They are there for their local knowledge and tracking skills but they can still fight with a determined frenzy if they have to. Offal Hounds are ghouls who tired to steal from their Ghoul King and as punishment were thrown into pits of arcane warping energies. Forced to survive on rotten meat and bad bone marrow these ghouls transmogrified into a simian/canine beast, their sanity gone and in its place animalistic madness is all that’s left.
Royal Beastflayers gameplay
The Royal Beastflayers warband is made up of 10 warriors (1000pts). They are: Royal Flaymaster (leader 175pts), Beastflayer Baron (Brute 115pts), 2 Offal Hounds (Beast, 130pts each), 3 Ghoul Gore-Squires (Champion 95pts each), 3 Ghoul Trackers (55pts each). This warband has a lot of wounds at a total of 132. The Royal Beastflayers has a typical 20 wounds for a leader, Offal Hounds are comparable to a Hound of Wrath and other beasts with 18 wounds. The Baron gets a nice 16 wounds, the Ghoul Squires get 12 each and the 55pt Trackers only have 8 wounds.
The warband has a mix of toughnesses, with the Leader, Beasts and Brute having toughness 4. The Gore-Squires and Ghoul Trackers are toughness 3.
However speed is on your side as everyone has a movement of 5″ with the Offal Hounds having a galloping move of 7″. If that’s not fast enough for you, half of their abilities are movement based. [Double] Sound the Hunt allows models within 3″ of the Baron to make a free move action equal to the value of the ability. Clambering Horrors [double] allows your Offal Hounds to ignore vertical distances. [Triple] Unleash the Hounds might sound like a Monty Burns order but it’s actually an ability for Gore Squires. Models within 3″ of this Gore Squire can add half the value of this ability (rounding up) to their movement characteristic.
The number of attacks for this warband is ok. Everyone has 3 attacks apart from the Gore Squires who have 4. They don’t have any warband specific abilities to increase attacks but Pack Tactics [Triple] dishes out a lot of damage if you can get a lot of bodies around an enemy. That enemy suffers damage equal to 2x the number of models around that enemy. So 4 Ghouls 3″ within a Chaos Warrior, that Chaos Warrior would suffer 8 damage. This is such a nice ‘bomb’ tactic if you can get bodies on an objective or something.
The other abilities left to talk about are Feed the Hounds [Double] where you can remove damage and heal your fighters a number of damage points equal to the value of the ability. Finally there is [Quad] No Rest to our Quest is Done which will give all models within 6″ of the Leader +2 strength.
The Reaction, Tenacious Hunters, if a visible enemy fighter makes a disengage action they suffer D3 damage. I’ve rarely used Reactions because I always find the Move or Attack action more beneficial and a Reaction takes away one of your actions for that fighter in your turn. I think I would rather use an attack action and roll for damage then waste an action for a random D3 damage.
How to paint Royal Beastflayers
Overall, this fast warband will do well when fighters are grouped together in mobs ganging up on individual fighters. With plenty of wounds, good toughness and a heal ability they’ll soak up damage as more and more ghouls join the fight.
Painting the Warband was easy for me because I have already painted some Flesh Eater Court Ghouls. I bought the Start Collecting Flesh Eater Courts to build a Zombie Dragon and Vargheists for my Soulblight Gravelords and decided to paint the Ghouls as allies. TO match in with the army I painted the Ghouls in the bestial colour scheme of my Vargskyr. I just carried this scheme over to the Royal Beastflayers. I might be biassed but I think it’s better than the green tones of the official eavy metal scheme. What do you think?