New Sons of Behemat Battletome (2022) Review – Warhammer Age of Sigmar 3rd Edition
Stomping across the battlefield, the towering Sons of Behemat have returned! Up for pre order today is both the new 3rd Edition Sons of Behemat Battletome and also a brand new kit for King Brodd!
Massive thanks to Games Workshop for sending us a free review copy of both the new book and the King Brodd kit to take a look at and review! In this post we’ll be going over the new book, looking into what has changed and how it shapes up compared to the previous volume
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Matt has also filmed a full video review of the new battletome which you can see below or over on YouTube
Before we dig into the new book however, Matt also took a look at the new King Brodd kit with our full unboxing video!
Brodd is an awesome kit that can build any of the 5 Mega Gargants including Brodd and the new Beast Smasher
Matt had a great time painting this one up, and I know he is eager to pick up a second box so that he can paint up the other Mega Gargant!
Well with the might of King Brodd looming over us let’s crack on with the New Sons of Behemat Battletome review!
So Andy has been playing Sons of Behemat now for almost eighteen months and it has been the only army I have played in the current edition of Age of Sigmar so when this battletome was announced I was excited to say the least. Diving into the battle traits with the Mightier Makes Rightier rule which still sounds awesome is probably the biggest change in this new battletome, previously Mega Gargants would count as twenty models for contesting objectives whether they were on one wound or thirty five now they have a degrading profile which starts at twenty and drops down to 12 on its lowest bracket. Playing SOB it was always a game of can my opponent kill my Gargants before I can rack up enough points to win the game now every wound matters and I think that is a lot fairer, my one criticism of this rule is that it only applies to Gargants in a sons of Behemat army so there is no real incentive to take a mega Gargant in my Ogor Mawtribes or Maggotkin of Nurgle armies as they do not really add anything.
The Lords and master battle trait refers to the individual tribe abilities that you get, we still have taker tribe, breaker tribe and stomper tribe but we now have the new smasher tribe. Each brings a different flavour to a Sons of Behemat army which we will talk about later in the article, I’ve played a lot of the taker tribe as I felt it boosted the strength of the army overall what’s good can be great after all by making your Gargants better at taking objectives; like I said more on that later.
The last battle trait Wrath of Titans ( which was a great film ) consists of three unique monstrous actions (mega gargant only) and who doesn’t like monstrous actions, the beast grapple allows you to make your mega Gargant and an enemy monster suffer the always strike last rule on a 3+ which at the very least will stop your opponent charging multiple Gargants in the same combat. The Earth Shattering Roar basically only works on one or two wound infantry but can make some of the flee before combat so could actually be pretty good against the right target, the last has a lot of potential it’s called Colossal Slam and it allows you to reset up an enemy monster with half an inch of this model at the cost of -1 to hit on a 3+, now where this gets good is if you have two mega Gargants near to each other and your opponent doesn’t want to charge both you can force them into combat with the other mega Gargant its still on a 3+ but it has the potential to be incredible with a bit of set up and luck.
Reading through this section I was extremely happy to see that Sons of Behemat get generic enhancements that you can have regardless of what tribe you go for, in the previous book if you took a taker for example then only kraken eater’s could take their unique artefacts, which is still the case but giving the other mega Gargants in your tribe generic enhancements adds a lot to the army and I am happy for this change.
The command traits are pretty useful especially for Gargants, we get one that gives your general 40 wounds ( allows good to have more wounds), a once per game fight on top row of damage chart which again could make a big difference in a vital combat and the last one gives a +1 to charge bonus for units within 18″ of your general. A t first I was a bit disappointed that there’s only three command traits but when you add in the tribe specific ones it works out at the average amount.
The generic artefacts available to Sons of Behemat are actually pretty good, we get an improved almighty stomp attack profile artefact called Extra-calloused feet ( the old krackenskin sandals artefact ) that at first might get overlooked but it does add some much needed (in my opinion) combat punch, we get a new artefact that reduces -1 rend to “-” and against melee weapons an unmodified 6 to save does a mortal wound back which again adds some much needed damage while also adding to the longevity of your Gargants is very nice. There’s a once per game mortal wound artefact that does on average 5 mortal wounds to a 10 model unit in the combat phase which I can’t see myself ever taking over the others which are not one use, if it wasn’t one use then I would consider trying it out in a couple of games but its not so……. and last but not least we get an artefact that allows a mega Gargant to run a charge super useful to be able to do and adds a lot of speed to your giants, overall I really like 3/4 of these which is a great ratio.
So each of the four tribes gets their own battle traits, command traits and artefacts of power which we will cover below.
This tribe was the best at capturing objectives tribe thanks to the battle trait and it thankfully still is, Mancrusher Gargants still count as 15 models for the purpose of contesting objectives and Mega Gargants add 5 to the Mightier Makes Rightier value on their damage chart. This could be game winning so it is worth thinking about but from my own experience I always found that I outnumbered most people on objectives even without the extra capping power so I think I’m going to try out other tribes, but in the mirror match it will be game winning. The other battle trait gives a unique command ability that gives Mancrusher Gargants +1 damage against heroes with an artefact of power but I personally would prefer an all out attack instead so I’m not sure how useful this will be; still I prefer it to the extra triumph you got for killing a hero with an artefact in the previous book. If you could do it to Mega Gargants then I think that could be very cool.
We get 2 command traits both of which are good and I think we will see, the first allows the general to take two artefacts of power which is very good the only restriction is that they must be different, the other stops enemy units within 6″ from issuing or receiving the rally or inspiring presence commands. At first I thought this was silly as enemy units probably won’t be within 6″ when they try to rally so I think stopping units within 6″ from issuing or receiving command abilities might have been a lot more useful kinda like an automatic roar on an enemy unit that lasts until the end of the turn.
The artefacts unique to a Taker Tribe are very thematic, we get the Wallopin Tentacle that on a 4+ makes an enemy hero strike last and take D3 mortal wounds which at first glance I thought it was a bit meh but its actually quite good as it could give you the upper hand against those super killy monsters (Mega-boss on Mawcrusha for example). The other artefact is the Glowy Lantern that allows the bearer to cast an endless spell and double the range when you do which could be good with the right spell but I like the previous version that just made you a wizard which you still have access to (arcane tomb) so in the sense that they have given us something new without taking anything away is a good thing.
The Breaker Tribe was the tribe that got bonuses against units in terrain or garrisoned units which has been toned down and they now feel more like a super aggressive tribe which is good and I think this will be my go to tribe to begin with. The battle traits are interesting and I think add more than the taker tribe ones do, to start with Mancrushers get +1 damage against units in terrain or part of a garrison which is a rule I will most likely forget most of the time but not why I like this tribe. There is a command ability that allows Mancrushers to charge enemy units up to 18″ away and roll 3D6 when they do which is very aggressive and again adds to the speed of this army; the last part of the battle traits are the fierce loathings which give Gatebreakers and Mancrushers +1 to hit against certain unit types (Heroes,Wizards,Totems, units with command models or Monsters and bizarrely War Machines). Looking at both of these warscrolls I think the +1 to hit will make a big difference to the army.
The Command traits are a mixed bag I really like the Extremely Bitter trait that allows you to take a second fierce loathing for your general an almost must take for a Gatebreaker to maximise the +1 to hit while the other allows you to fight on your top profile against units that are on terrain, the second not being as useful, I like the second fierce loathing trait to get +1 to hit against units with command models and the +1 to hit against monsters. The artefacts are okay overall there is one that gives the Gatebreaker’s flail the ability to do D3 mortal wounds on a 6 to hit in addition to the normal damage which is pretty good but you only et 6 attacks with the flail so its a good choice but not an auto pick, the other artefact gives a +1 to wound vs enemy heroes which again is good especially in combo with the fierce loathing o get +1 to hit but its not an auto pick.
The stomper tribe focuses on Mancrushers a little bit more than the other two previous tribes as all three of the battle traits give bonuses to Mancrushers only, to start when your general uses a command ability on a unit of Mancrushers they can in turn use issue the same command ability to another unit of Mancrushers which is great considering this tribe can now use generic command abilities now instead of being locked behind tribe specific ones. There is a command ability that gives Mancrushers +1 attack with their throwing rocks shooting attack which couples nicely with the previous trait and finally the Get stuck in battle trait gives Mancrushers extra damage against units of certain sizes (10+ models or 20+ ). If you want to take a lot of Mancrushers then I would consider taking a stomper tribe but I like the fierce loathings +1 to hit more than these bonuses.
The command traits for the stomper tribe are a bit weak to be honest the first allows you to re roll the dice for The Warstomper’s hurled body ability which isn’t that great to begin with and the second which is better allows your general to charge 3D6 and from 18″ away now, great you might think but if your general is rushing off on his own he won’t be supporting your Mancrushers so I’m not sure its a command trait I would take, having 40 wounds to keep your general alive longer seems more worth it to me. The artefacts both buff your Mancrushers, by giving units within 12″ bravery 10 is okay ( I have had Gargants run away because 1 died in combat) and help keep your general alive, heal a wound in your hero phase and while you have 25 or more wounds you have a 5+ ward save is nice especially with 40 wounds.
The Smasher tribe is the new tribe on the block and they are geared to wards hunting monsters the battle traits are built around this concept, Mancrushers in a smasher tribe get to substitute their mighty club attacks ( they have 4 on their top profile) for one attack that does 4D6 damage against monsters only. That seems a bit too good to me against monsters. The other trait they get is a command ability that allows Mancrushers to fight on their top bracket and more importantly they can fight when they die if they haven’t fought already that phase, so attack with the Beast smasher first and let a few Mancrushers die knowing they can still attack on their top bracket is pretty good, not sure why this trait is in this tribe and not in the Stomper tribe but it is still useful. Just keep your general away from anything that can roar otherwise you won’t get to make use of this cool command ability.
The command traits are the weakest of all the tribes in my opinion, one gives your general a 4+ ward save for a single phase and only against mortal wounds, if it was against all wounds it would be worth taking but as it is it’s too situational for me, the other triggers when you kill an enemy monster ( if they have one ) and you roll a number of dice equal to the wounds characteristic and on a 5+ you heal a wound so on aver you should heal about 3-4 wounds when this happens which sadly might not be very often.
The artefacts are quite interesting and make up for the command traits, the Shatterer can break a enemy hero, monster or war machine’s armour and stop them from benefitting from any positive modifiers to their save which is very unique and helps a lot against those god level characters like Archaon or Kragnos but I think you’ll find the beast smasher will most likely just kill whatever he hits from those categories so it might not come into play, the other artefact gives a once per game +1 to hit buff to all Sons of Behemet units table wide which if I take this tribe is an auto pick for me.
When it comes to grand strategies I find they are either pretty hard to do or very easy and the four in this book feel pretty hard to do, one involves having King Brodd in your army, keeping him alive and then on top of that using all 3 of his prayers over the course of the game which is not the easiest to do, I like “Show Em Who’s Boss” the best which involves killing the model with the highest wound characteristic in your opponents army which might not be too hard to do, the other two are not really very appealing as you have to have all surviving models in your opponents territory at the end of the game or run/charge every turn, overall pretty hard to do but then that asks the question of should grand strategies be hard to do which to me yes they should to make them important to winning your game.
We get six battle tactics in this book and after reading the Disciples of Tzeentch book I thought to myself ” wow really” with these, there is one which is okay to do which is have a Mega Gargant do the titanic duel action and then kill the monster you dual, then the rest are pretty hard. Kill an enemy hero with a shooting attack…. I’ve played a lot of games with my Sons and never done that, demolish an enemy terrain piece and kick an objective into your territory seem very difficult so again pretty hard to do overall.
There are two battalions in this battletome which are the same as the White Dwarf update something I am very happy about as they are very useful, the first is the bosses of the stomp which is 2 compulsory Mega Gargants and 2 additional Mega Gargants. If you have 4 Mega Gargants though I would just take two of these battalions as that would give you access to two extra enhancements, super handy in this book; the other is the Footsloggas battalion which is 2 Mancrusher units as a compulsory choice with an additional Mancrusher unit and a Mega Gargant as optional extra’s with the on drop benefit this can be quite useful if you want to keep your drops down.
Kragnos – The god of destruction finally appears in this battletome and still remains a power piece that will appear in Sons of Behemat armies for sure, he still counts as 30 models on objectives which is more than any of the Mega Gargants in the book, while his war scroll has not changed much I will be running Kragnos in a couple of lists for his damage output which has been toned down a bit in the rest of the book.
So before I continue I think it’s important to talk about the changes that affect all of the Mega Gargants so I’m not missing anything, first of all the melee ranges for Mega Gargants are now 3″ for all of their weapons which makes things a lot simpler when working out who to attack. They are all movement 10 to start with which is a great change in my mind as I used to deploy a lot of the time in order of movement value across the board from lowest move to highest. The Mightiest makes Rightier value starts at 20 and then drops to , 18, 15 and finally 12 on the bottom profile regardless of type, of course the taker tribe adds 5 to that value for kraken eaters.
The all mighty stomp now adds +1 to hit against anything with 3 or less wounds instead of being a re-roll against non monster units which I think will work out better in most circumstances, the death grip now allows you to roll 2 dice for the damage against monsters and pick the highest which really helps the damage output against monsters and finally the Terror rule which used to reduce the bravery of enemy units by 1 now prevents enemy units within 3″ from receiving the inspiring presence command……. a truly terrifying change.
King Brodd – After making his first appearance in a Warscroll Battalion back in first edition of Age of Sigmar King Brodd finally gets a model and what a model, rules wise he is solid. To start with he has 40 wounds as standard is a priest with strangely access to one prayer that can only be done 3 times in a game, each time you pick an ability from a list of three and apply the effect, these range from improving rend on certain weapons ( not just his but other Gargants as well), healing wounds to every friendly Sons of Behemat units and finally adding 2″ to the move of every friendly unit. The other unique things about him are he is a Warmaster just like Kragnos and he has these little creatures called creepers who can stop enemy monsters from performing monstrous actions pretty reliably. Overall I think he is super solid and will get played a lot, is he better than Kragnos no I don’t think so but he still has a place.
Beast Smasher – This anti monster….. monster is truly frightening against most things in the game but especially against enemy monsters, he has 3 damage 5 attacks that he can substitute for one attack that can do 5D6 damage to an enemy monster
not only that but he can perform 2 different monstrous actions against an enemy monster in a turn so I like titanic duel and roar to really improve the odds of killing most monsters in the game, over all pretty solid choice to take.
Warstomper – The Warstomper really hasn’t changed from the previous book apart from the generic changes that apply to all Mega Gargants he is still pretty solid at clearing infantry blocks and with the changes to the almighty stomp he is now even better at killing infantry.
Kraken Eater – Well I was expecting some changes to this guy and we did get one but not the change I expected, he used to have 8 attacks with his club that was damage 2 and now he only gets 4 attacks that are damage 4 each. Exactly the same potential damage but less reliable damage on average, using the Kraken Eater in my games I’ve always found his damage out put was pretty average and now I feel it will be lower. He still has the ability to kick an objective around the board which I felt should have changed or just been removed due to the weird interactions it causes plus I use objective rings and it is a nightmare to move an objective when there are models on them so I don’t usually use that rule.
Gate Breaker – Wow this guy has been toned down a bit, to start with his flail is now damage 4 which is good but he used to have 10 attacks ( potentially 12) and now only has 6 on his top bracket and still hits on 4’s which still doesn’t sit right with me, he gets some extra bonuses against units on terrain or in a garrison still which is fine but forgettable in my mind; the big change is he can now roll a dice instead of attacking normally and on a 4+ you pick 1 enemy unit within 3″ and they take 4D6 mortal wounds of course if you roll a 1-3 you don’t do anything and probably regret your decision to make that roll. I can see myself doing that as part of a hobby resolution next year for fun but I would just roll your attacks normally rather than risk a 50% of wasting a large amount of your damage out put.
Mancrusher Mob / Mancrusher Gargant – Oh my days, the worst unit in the previous book has got even worse which I don’t know how that could happen but it has, they now only have 1 shooting attack each instead of D3 but then every Mancrusher can shoot now instead of only 1 unit so I suppose that is better if you take multiple units of these Gargants, the big disappointment comes in two parts first of they still have 12 wounds and a degrading profile which is annoying when you take the Mob version and have to split your attacks as they have been wounded, I was hoping that they would loose the degrading profile to speed up their attacks in combat but that’s something I can live with. The second and bigger disappointment to me is they now only have 4 attacks with their clubs which are damage 2 now instead of 10 attacks that were damage 1 and that’s on their top profile.
The nice thing about this unit is there are a lot of okay buffs in the tribes to help them which is why I expect they toned them down but they were bad before and needed a buff, instead they have given them some buffs and made them worse which seems contradictory to me. The Mob version which contains 3 Mancrushers specifies that only the champion can do a monstrous action which I expect to see on other units like Stormdrake Guard going forwards. Overall I don’t think you will see these Gargants much unless you take King Brodd or Kragnos and can’t fit in another Mega Gargant which is very unfortunate.
Mercenaries – Mercenary Gargants are back and sadly haven’t really changed from the previous book for better or worse, you can still take a mercenary gargant as an ally unit that uses up all your ally allotment. There is one for each of the grand alliances and destruction get access to all four which is good if you play destruction. The new Beast Smasher variant “Odo Godswallow” is my favourite now not just for his name but he gets +1 to hit against monsters which makes him very good at killing monsters, of course you could get this by doing a titanic for free so this bonus does free you up to do other monstrous actions.
So in conclusion this is an interesting battletome for me as I have played a lot of games with the Sons of Behemat and was hoping for a battletome that gave me multiple army lists I could play and enjoy, overall I think this battletome is one that I will continue to play but I do feel that I will be relearning the army as it has changed (not too drastically). The Sons of Behemat will still be an army that will play the objective game primarily and worry about killing secondly, the changes to the damage output of the book is surprising as they didn’t do an insane amount of damage before so it will be interesting to see how that affects their ability to capture and hold objectives.
The expansion of units in the book is great both King Brodd and the Beast – Smasher are worthy inclusions in any Sons of Behemat army regardless of your chosen tribe, speaking of which in the previous I primarily only played Taker Tribe but this book does open up more options now I have ideas for both a Smasher list and a Breaker list. There are some misses in the book like the grand strategies and battle tactics which is very annoying especially when Disciples of Tzeentch got some amazing ones, with that said the Enhancements are pretty solid overall and there is only a handful of bad ones and with the Bosses of the Stomp battalion you will see a decent amount of them which again adds some much needed flavour to the army.
When the Sons book was announced I had three hopes for the book, the first was that the Mightier Makes Rightier rule was tied to their war scroll and not an allegiance ability so that there was some incentive to taking them in my other armies but sadly because Mega Gargants only get that rule in a Sons of Behemat army I can’t see myself or many players running Mega Gargants in other armies as a result which is very disappointing. My second hope was that the developers got rid of the degrading profile on Mancrushers and make them more playable instead they made them, in my opinion worse but then spent most of the book trying to make them better with command abilities etc…. This is a big shame because I find myself wanting to get a Beast Smasher in my list just so I don’t have to take any Mancrushers. My third hope was that the Kraken Eater lost the kick objective rule as it just cause more problems on the table as a result but it is a rule that I do not have to use so its not the end of the world.
Overall I like the new Sons of Behemat battletome and I will continue to play the Gargants going forward.
Games Workshop sent Sprues and Brews free copies of the new Battletome and King Brodd for review purposes
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