The new season of Warcry launched with a box set in Ghur, the Realm of Beasts. The Horns of Hashut are the vanguard of Hashut’s armies and they are ready to reduce the Gnarlwood to ashes.
While initially they tried to have the best of Ghur the traditional way with burning and soiling, they soon realised they needed something more powerful if they wanted to succeed.
Background and Lore of the Horns of Hashut Warband
Hashut is a Chaos god, called the Father of Darkness, and a god of tyranny and fire, often depicted as a blazing raging bull. While his godhood is questioned, his power is not and his armies are extremely ingenious and able to create nightmarish weapons by binding daemonic entities to their war engines.
While most of his followers are duardin (dwarves) corrupted by the forces of Chaos, any race can be enrolled in Hashut quest to transform everything in ashen wasteland. In particular all those that choose survival instead of uttermost destruction as Hashut’s armies leave nothing standing on their trail.
The Horns of Hashut are the vanguard of those armies. They prepare the terrain for the forges to be built, using their blacksmith physique and tools not for creation but to scorch the land and destroy everything. The most prominent fighters are allowed to wear the bull-horned war mask called hashutaar, a ritual that provides increased strength if the wearer survives putting it on while the metal is still red-hot.
They have been tasked to destroy the Gnarlwood as a starting point for Hashut conquest of Thondia, an alpha continent in the Realm of Beasts. But this task proved too difficult for them as every tree they felt, every stratagem they adopted to wound the land, was rebuked by Ghur.
For the first time facing the prospect of failure, that in Hashut terms means a punishment worse than death, hope was rekindled by the discovery of the existence of the ruins of Talaxis in the core of the Gnarlwood that is rumoured to be able to change reality itself. And so the Horns march forward destroying everything in their path, in the search of these ruins.
But how can you fulfil Hashut’s design on a Warcry battlefield? Let’s find out.
Fighters in the Horns of Hashut Warband
Note: if you haven’t read the basic rules for Warcry before reading this article, it might be helpful to know that the game’s abilities are activated by using 6 dice that you roll at the start of your turn.
If two of the dice show the same value, they can be used to activate a Double ability. If three show the same value, they can be used for a Triple ability, and so on.
So, when this article refers to an ability being a Double, a Triple or a Quad, it refers to this system. It might sound a bit confusing, but takes no time to get used to when you start playing
The Horns of Hashut warband is made of 7 different fighters, of which two are leaders.
- Ruinator Alpha with War Bident: 165 points
- Ruinator Alpha with Heavy Flail: 165 points
The Ruinator Alpha is the leader of the Horns of Hashut and comes with two profiles:
- The War Bident provides less attacks (3) but higher damage on critical hits (2/5)
- The Heavy Flail provides more attacks (4) but more consistent damage (2/4)
Both weapons have 2″ range and come on a profile of a leader quite survivable (20 wounds on Toughness 4). Normally we would recommend more attacks as more attacks increases the chances to land critical hits, hence more damage.
However, in the case of the Horns, for a Double you are able to score critical hits on a 5+ instead of a 6 (Merciless Cruelty, it requires the target fighter to have at least 5 Wounds). This changes a bit the statistics behind it and since they have the same point cost the right answer may lie in personal taste.
But Ruinator Alpha abilities don’t stop there, he basically has access to all warband abilities except one. As a leader he gets a bonus move or attack after taking down an enemy (Lay to Waste, Double).
The entire warband, except the Shatterers, have also access to 2 abilities and 1 reaction:
- Stampede of Iron is the usual damage after-charge, basically a chance to do some damage on an opponent after terminating a move next to them. It costs a Double, and while for the Ruinator could make sense, the Ruinator Alpha has 2″ range weapons, meaning that he may not be interested to engage an enemy sometimes.
- Ash Bomb is a Triple that can strategically debuff enemies around an objective. You can set a token within 6″ of the throwing fighter (choking points guarded by your units, objectives, and so on) and in a radius of 3″ from it, all enemies will suffer -1 Toughness and -1 Attacks (to a minimum of 1). It lasts only a turn and enemies can move away but guess what else has 3″ range? The radius to control an objective…
- The reaction Breath of Cinder and Smokes, allows to subtract 1 from Strength used in melee and allocate 3 damage on a fighter ending a move within 3″ of a fighter with this ability, if the roll of the dice is equal or grater than their Toughness. Considering it costs an action, it can be useful to further weaken an enemy that is engaging you, hoping to get to the 5 wounds that would enable Merciless Cruelty. However, since you can’t do more than 3 damage, your best chance is to reduce Strength taking advantage of the average Toughness 4 of the warband. Ruinator Alphas in general would to more damage on their action and rather not use this reaction.
Finally, as a Ruinator, he has access to the warband Quad, that provides a bonus attack with improved damage on critical hits. As all abilities of this type, unless it was previously combined with Merciless Cruelty, it competes with the universal ability Rampage that provides a bonus move AND a bonus action. Which one to use will depend on the current position of the fighter (if already engaged, there’s no need to use Rampage).
Ruinator: 125 points
The Ruinator is another powerful fighter, with a profile similar to the Ruinator Alpha with Heavy Flail but only 1″ Range and 15 wounds instead of 20.
He has also access to all same abilities except the Leader one, meaning he is a better target to use both the warband’s reaction and Stampede of Iron. The plan is always the same, trying to wound as many fighters as possible so that the big guys, like the Ruinators, can try their luck with improved critical hits.
- Demolisher with Flamehurler: 125 points
- Demolisher with Crushing Weapon and Shield: 105 points
- Demolisher with Crushing Weapons: 105 points
The Demolishers come in 3 different versions, but the one with Flamehurler distinguishes himself from the group. He is the only fighter of this warband, apart from the leaders, to have his own ability: Engulfing Flames of Dark Artifice. For a Triple you can select a fighter within 6″ and roll as many dice as the ability’s value, for each 4+ allocate 3 damage. Then select all enemy fighters within 2″ of your target and roll half of those dice for the same outcome.
He is also the only fighter of this warband (and of the entire Heart of Ghur starter set) to have a ranged attack up to 6″ Range. It is not extremely damaging with 1/5 damage on 3 attacks, but Strength 5 should guarantee few hits. Keep him away from the front line however, since his melee profile is quite weak.
The other two Demolishers are pretty similar to each other, trading Attacks for Toughness:
- The Crushing Weapon and Shield brings the Toughness to 5 but loses 1 attack.
- The Crushing Weapons express the full damaging potential with 4 attacks at Strength 4 for 2/4 damage, but Toughness is left at 4.
All 3 Demolishers have access to most warband abilities, including the Reaction, Stamped of Iron and Ash Bomb. The last one is probably the most significative use of these fighters as they would be cheap enough to be in the front line and in better position to protect the spot identified for the bomb token.
Shatterer: 55 points
The Shatterer is the basic infantry of the warband. A cheap profile with no special abilities, he doesn’t even have access to the Reaction… His profile is in line with his cost: 3 attacks at Strength 3 for 1/4 damage. And the possibility of improving your chances of critical using Merciless Cruelty, although it is most probable you are going to use the Shatterers to inflict the 5 damage required to activate that ability rather than using it with them.
Abilities for the Horns of Hashut Warband
- Merciless Cruelty (Double, Everyone): If the target is wounded, count critical hits on 5+ instead of 6 on the next attack.
- Stampede of Iron (Double, Everyone except Shatterer): A chance to do up to 6 damage at the end of a move action after engaging an enemy.
- Lay to Waste (Double, both Ruinator Alpha): After taking down an enemy perform a bonus move or attack action.
- Engulfing Flames of Dark Artifice (Triple, Demolisher with Flamehurler): A chance to do up to 18 damage to a near-by enemy and half of it to close-by fighters.
- Ash Bomb (Triple, Everyone except Shatterer): Determine a point on the battlefield, every enemy close to it have -1 Toughness and Attacks until the end of the round.
- Unleash the Raging Taurus (Quad, both Ruinator Alpha and Ruinator): A bonus attack action with +1 damage on critical hit.
Reaction for the Horns of Hashut Warband
Introduced in the new season of Warcry, Reactions are things that can be done in certain circumstances, but always during the enemy turn. They cost one action, so they can be used only by fighters that have not activated yet or are waiting. There are 3 universal reactions and one specific to each warband:
Breath of Cinder and Smoke (Everyone but Shatterers)
- When: After an enemy ends a movement close-by.
- What: A chance, depending on the enemy Toughness, to do 3 damage and reduce Strength on melee by 1.
Strategy and Tactics for the Horns of Hashut Warband
The Horns of Hashut are an interesting warband. The first fact we should mention immediately is that they are a nice provocation to all Chaos Dwarves players who venerated Hashut during Warhammer Fantasy and that have been waiting for a relaunch of their favourite army since they were first mentioned in the many lore bits.
Now their vanguard is made of… human slaves. Interesting twist.
Setting this aside, this warband came out with the Warcry Starter Set and immediately draws comparison with the Rotmire Creed. They have a ranged unit, that can make the difference in some contexts, although not extremely damaging (1/5) and not that great of a range either (6″), but it is a flamethrower so you can’t expect much more.
The ingenuity of Hashut followers is indeed displayed in the flamehurler and the ability to throw ash bombs. This is probably the most interesting trait of this warband. Those bombs, in game terms, set a small 3″ radius around a token that you can place 6″ from the throwing fighter. In that circle, any enemy gets 1 attack less and their Toughness reduced by 1 as well. Imagine an Iron Golem Ogor Breacher or similar profiles reduced to a single attack per action…
The best thing of this ability is that almost everyone in the warband can use it. Meaning that you are likely to have someone in the right position to throw this bomb at the right moment. Provided you have at least a Triple.
The only “synergy” in the warband is the ability to show no mercy to wounded fighters. With wounds count increasing in the game overall (Shatterer, the cheapest unit, has 10 Wounds), having 5 or more wounds allocated may not be a significative loss, and ensuring a critical hit can finish off that fighter can be extremely rewarding. Statistically having the chance to score a critical hit on 33% of the rolls instead of 1/6th is a lot better. It lasts only one attack action, but there’s no maximum range (meaning even the Flamehurler could use it) and the damage on critical hit is consistently high in the warband (4 on average, including for the Shatterer). And it costs only a Double (Merciless Cruelty).
The other particularity of the warband is that two types of fighters (both Ruinator Alpha and the Ruinator) have access to all warband abilities except 1. Meaning you can adapt your play depending on the circumstances and it makes easier for new players to remember which fighters play which abilities.
The only ability Demolishers don’t have compared to Ruinators, is a Quad that can be easily replaced by the universal Rampage, denoting that there is no significative loss by not having access to this ability.
The warband reaction is also available to all except the Shatterer, and is an interesting one as it’s a trade-off. On one side you have a chance to do 3 damage and reduce the enemy’s Strength, on the other that action could be used to do much more damage. Also the chance depends on comparing a dice roll with the enemy Toughness. Toughness that could have been reduced with an Ash Bomb earlier but that can otherwise be quite high, risking to have a 50/50 chance to not do anything on a single die roll and lose the action.
It is surely an interesting bet, one that may pay off if the enemy’s Strength goes down reducing the number of successful hits, but also one that you would be more inclined to use with a Shatterer as he may not do as much damage. But you can’t. So the trade-off is definitely risky and worth assessing carefully. If a fighter is on the brink of death, could be giving him one last noteworthy action. Maybe even saving him if the god of dice smiles upon you.
Much more interesting is the Flamehurler area of effect attack with a chance to roll plenty of dice if the enemy positions itself carelessly. If you can block access to a part of the battlefield, maybe with a Demolisher with Crushing Weapon and Shield and his Toughness 5, and allow enemies to concentrate on a single spot, Ash Bomb and Engulfing Flames of Dark Artifice can make that day a terrible one for your opponent (requires 2 Triples, one of which with high value, and 2 activations).
Fighters in this warband have their own specialisation, but are still versatile enough to balance out. Shatterers are almost a different topic. They are cheap, decent fighters with no much utility apart being cannon fodder. But that is exactly what Hashut wants, as he would never waste good duardin for exploration missions. Use them to fill the gaps and sacrifice them at the first opportunity.
Pros and Cons of the Horns of Hashut Warband
+ Good movement
+ One ranged option
+ Abilities widely available to all fighters
– No big damage dealers
– No significative synergies
Some thematic warbands for the Horns of Hashut
Just for fun here we present few thematic warbands, meant more for fun or narrative context than for competitive play. Note that in narrative play you need to complete a quest that allows you to recruit a Hero before being able to add him to your roster.
Out of the box: Ruinator Alpha with War Bident, 1 Ruinator, 1 Demolisher with Flamehurler, 1 Demolisher with Crushing Weapon and Shield, 3 Demolisher with Crushing Weapons and 3 Shatterers all straight from a single box.
How to buy a Horns of Hashut Warband
The Horns of Hashut were previously available only in the Heart of Ghur launch set, but they now have their own stand-alone box that allows to build:
- 1 Ruinator Alpha with War Bident or with Heavy Flail
- 1 Ruinator
- 1 Demolisher with Flamehurler,
- 1 Demolisher with Crushing Weapon and Shield
- 3 Demolisher with Crushing Weapons
- 3 Shatterer
For a total of 10 miniatures. There’s no alternative profiles for the non-leader options, but if you want to try both leaders you need another box or magnetise the left arm.
Tips on painting a Horns of Hashut Warband for Warcry
All starter boxes of a new game get quite some attention, so there’s plenty of tutorials available online. If you want to go for a classic GW battle ready finish, then Warhammer Community has you covered. If you want to get a step further, there’s also the parade ready tutorial.
If you prefer some more professional speed painting, and you know how to use oil colours and an airbrush, we would recommend Marco Frisoni’s tutorial.