We was just about to call a halt for the night when the wagon in front of me shattered into a mess of broken wood and screaming horses. The brigands came at us from the rough scrub bordering the road to the West. The sun was so bright behind them that we couldn’t make them out at first. Then there was another explosion at the back of the caravan. It was then I saw two of those beasts standing almost twice as tall as the biggest farrow I had ever seen. They had cannons strapped to their back and as I watched they fired again, this time in unison. I broke and ran, but the damn explosions and all that screaming haunt me to this day.
Ah, the gun boar. The oft-maligned light warbeast choice for the Thornfall Alliance. He is 3 points cheaper than the war hog (2 in an Arkadius theme list) and I think that is where much of this comes from. It is hard to compare him to the war hog and think, for only 2-3 more points I can have that?!?
So, for the purposes of this writeup we are going to ignore that fact. Instead of looking at what he isn’t, we will look at what he is. He starts off with a decent speed but as a light warbeast his stats are all pretty mediocre across the board up until you come to his armor rating. It comes in pretty high – almost as high as heavies in other factions. When you consider the Carver’s spell Batten Down the Hatches it actually pulls him up to Khador level armor, which is no joke.
Okay, so we know he can take a punch so let’s take a look at how he deals it back out. He has a big gun (seriously, that is what it is called). It is a decent range, ROF 1, 3″ AOE with a pow 13 (making blast damage that critical 7). People tend to underestimate the value of this gun. Do I wish it were a better in any of the categories? Of course I do, but it’s not that bad and does give you a way to deal with annoying high def models and it is boostable.
In addition to this gun he also has 2 open fists. I am not 100% sure on this, but I would be willing to bet that the P+S is among the lowest on warbeasts in the game. As open fists you have the full range of power attacks available but as a light warbeast it can’t throw or headbutt anything on a larger base. His speed (especially buffed) does enable you to get off some nice slams from time to time, though.
He does have the special rule “Bacon” which means that if he is killed, each warbeast in b2b with him heals d3 wounds. Note that “friendly” is not specified anywhere in the description so if your opponent goes all the way to base to base, they will heal too, so it is something to be aware of if you are facing them. You might want to go all the way in, rather than just stopping at melee range and support beasts base to base will also heal, so if you are running two together, may as well have them touching bases.
Finally, his animus – counterblast. The first downside of this animus is that it is a self only animus, meaning that the bonegrinders won’t be able to harvest it. Just as a fluff aside here, it is pretty annoying that we have a unit that lets us use a dead beasts animus, and then half of our animi have a range of self. This is a bit of a digression, though.
This is actually a pretty decent animus however his low command and the fact that it takes 2/3 of his fury means you won’t use it on him very often. It is a really interesting addition to the warlocks, though. Dr Arkadius can use mind control serum and if you get off a hit you can place the attacking model (assuming it is living) somewhere to block LOS or charge lanes to the good doctor. With Carver an extra spray can be pretty brutal. You have to remember that it is an optional use ability so you don’t have to fire at the first thing that comes into range. Note however that you DO have to target the model that triggered it.
Overall, he is a utility beast. He isn’t really great at anything, but he does his job adequately. If he were 1 point cheaper he would be an auto-include but that probably means he is priced correctly. I guess I can sum him up by saying he’s not that bad – which isn’t the same as saying he’s good, unfortunately. He is the only game in town for Farrow when it comes to light beasts though. I had hoped Domination would change that, but apparently it won’t. Don’t be afraid to include him in your lists. He will have a place and do okay, just don’t ask too much of him.