Spoiler alert: if you suffer of arachnophobia, this article is not for you!
Anyone else interested in spiders and how chaos can take full advantage of the incredible characteristics of this eight-legged animal: this is the warband for you!
This warband was originally available in the Red Harvest box but has been now released separately.
What changed in the new edition for the Tarantulos Brood Warband?
As all warbands, Tarantulos Brood saw some point adjustment, notably the Spider Swarm went up in points while weakening his overall profile. Only the normal Broodkin didn’t lose something.
Some abilities changed, so please read the article carefully to see new take on this warband.
Background and Lore of the Tarantulos Brood Warband
The Tarantulos Brood worship a representation of Chaos called the Eightfold Watcher. Their favourite number is 8 as it is represented in many iconographic places like the number of Mortal Realms or the points of the Chaos Star.
And so it’s only natural that they venerate the eight-legged and eyed spider. They use blood of tainted arachnids and other transmutative ingredients, like varanite, to perform dark rituals to enhance their bodies with the same characteristics of the spiders sacred to them. As a consequence of all these transformations, they are able to act in unity like a single mind and to communicate with spiders.
If all the above didn’t scare you, keep reading! We are going to see in detail how this warband plays!
Fighters in the Tarantulos Brood 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 Tarantulos Brood warband is made of 7 different options, of which only one is a leader.
Broodmaster: 200 points
The Broodmaster is the only leader option available to this warband. His 6 arms allow him a greater speed (6″) and more Attacks (5 at Strength 4 for 2/4 damage).
He is however squishy with Toughness 4 (quite average) and 18 Wounds (slightly below a Leader average).
He has access to 3 abilities, the first of which everyone in the warband except the Spider Swarm have access to: Scuttling Symbiosis. This one, for a Double, allows to give an extra move or attack to a nearby Spider Swarm as long as the ability’s value is at least 4. You may think those tiny little animals as worthless, but with 4 attacks per action you are bound to roll some 6s…
The second ability is really thematic but so situational you may forget it soon: Skittering Ascent, that for a Double allows you to ignore the vertical distance when climbing. It is useful to mount the various scenery, however not all scenarios have scenery that can be climbed, or not always make any sense to do it since those with this ability don’t have any ranged weapon…
The third ability can seem weak: for a Triple allows to restore back to life a dead Spider Swarm (Creeping Summons), however it can be really useful in certain situations: for example when your opponent has to take down certain fighters of your warband. Then this ability would deprive them of victory right when they thought they had only one opponent left to kill. It can also be useful to just swarm your opponent or keep him busy with spiders that continuously come back. Spiders that for a Double can attack again as long as there’s some friends nearby that can still activate.
As a leader the Broodmaster is quite anonymous, the only interesting ability being the spider resurrection, he does have however 5 attacks that are not to be underestimated.
- Doomweaver with Trident and Net: 105 points
- Doomweaver with Flail and Goad: 105 points
The Doomweaver is the elite fighter of your warband and comes with 2 weapon profiles:
- The Trident allows for 2″ range, 3 Attacks at Strength 4 for 2/4 damage, while the Net allows the use of Silken Strangle-nets that for a Triple can prevent (on a 3+) a fighter within 3″ from performing move or disengage actions until the end of the round.
- The Flail has 3″ range, 3 Attacks at Strength 3 for 1/4 damage, while the Goad has only 1″ range, but a better profile with 4 Attacks at Strength 4 for 2/4 damage.
The Doomweaver with Trident and Net can be useful to keep an enemy at distance while keep poking it with the Trident. Good Strength and damage also allows him to be consistent in the damage provoked.
The Doomweaver with Flail and Goad has the flexibility to choose which weapon profile to use depending on the enemy in front and the distance. 1 more attack on the Goad compared to the Trident is enticing, but you need to be careful as these fighters are quite squishy with 10 Wounds and Toughness 3. Overall, the Doomweaver with Trident and Net covers a more interesting role in the warband.
All Doomweavers have access to Scuttling Symbiosis and Skittering Ascent, while the Net provides access to Skittering Strangle-nets as discussed above. The Flail and Goad have no other special ability.
- Broodkin with Scythe and Spider Claw: 60 points
- Broodkin with Sai: 65 points
- Broodkin: 65 points
The Broodkin are the basic fighters of this warband and have 3 different profiles:
- The Broodin with Scythe and Spider Claw has two different weapon profiles: a Scythe for increased range (2″) but less attack potential (Strength 3 on 1/4 damage) and the Spider Claw for less range but more attack potential (Strength 4 for 1/5 damage).
- The Broodkin with Sai has 3 Attacks at Strength 4 for 1/3 damage.
- While the normal Broodkin increases the Attack to 4 but loses in Strength (3).
Each Broodkin has access to the default Scuttling Symbiosis but also to Envenomed Projectile that allows them to shoot an enemy within 6″ rolling 2 dice. For each 4 or 5 inflict up to 3 damage each (half the value of the ability) and for each 6 up to 6 damage (full value of the ability). It costs only a Double, but with high valued Doubles there is a 75% chance to do some damage to an enemy otherwise unreachable that turn.
Regarding the weapon profiles, the normal Broodkin with extra attacks are more consistent and normally performs better than the Sai. The Scythe is by far the worst performer, but considering Toughness 3 and 8 Wounds, keeping those 2″ of distance separating the enemy from your fighter can make the difference between a squished spider-kin and one alive.
Spider Swarm: 50 points
The Spider Swarm is the cheapest unit in the warband. You may look at the card and pass over it: Toughness 1 and 6 Wounds, 4 Attacks but at Strength 1 for 1/2 damage.
Their main trait is the ability to have a free move or attack through Skittling Symbiosis. But now you need to have at least a value of 4 on your Double, meaning that not all your Doubles will allow to use this ability. And the Spider Swarm attacks are only 4, meaning on average now performs worse than a Broodkin.
Even Gifts of the Eightfold Watcher changed. Now you get the bonus attack and then you roll as many dice as the value of the ability hoping in at least one 6. If you do get it, then you paralysed your opponent (no move or disengage actions until the next round) and 10 extra damage. As a Quad ability it is not that powerful as to make it worthwhile needs to be high enough to ensure you get the 6 on the value roll (on average a bonus attack from the spider will do 2 damage). You have better uses of a Quad, even if just a Rampage on a Doomweaver or Broodmaster.
They are still cheap and have 6″ Movement that is great to get to those distant objectives, but now they are much less feasible in battle, so use them to annoy your opponent. They still count 1 while controlling objectives…
And if someone takes a liking in squashing your spiders, you can still bring them back with a Broodmaster and a Triple to spite your opponent further.
Abilities for the Tarantulos Brood Warband
- Scuttling Symbiosis (Double, Everyone except Spider Swarm): Select a Spider Swarm nearby and make it perform a bonus move or attack, if the ability’s value is at least 4.
- Silken Strangle-nets (Double, Doomweaver with Trident and Net): A chance to prevent a close-by enemy from moving or disengaging for the rest of the round.
- Skittering Ascent (Double, Broodmaster, both Doomweavers and Spider Swarm): Do not count vertical distance when climbing.
- Envenomed Projectile (Triple, all Broodkin): A chance to do up to 12 damage to a single enemy within 6″.
- Creeping Summons (Triple, Broodmaster): Restore a spider swarm previously taken down.
- Gift of the Eightfold Watcher (Quad, Spider Swarm): A bonus attack action. Then roll as many dice as the ability’s value and on a 6 the target cannot move or disengage and gets 10 extra damage.
Reaction for the Splintered Fang 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:
Defensive Blades (Everyone)
- When: During an enemy melee attack action but before hit rolls
- What: 2 damage to the attacking fighter for each 1 and 2 rolled.
Strategy and Tactics for the Tarantulos Brood Warband
The Tarantulos Brood are a thematic warband with some good strength points. However, compared with their brethren in the Red Harvest box set, the Darkoath Savagers, are not as easy to use or beginner friendly.
They have high Movement (5″ in average with the Broodmaster and the Spider Swarm reaching 6″) but low Wounds and Toughness and average Strength. They don’t have any big damage dealer and rely instead on swarming the opponents with Spiders or Broodkin
What they do have, are numbers: a warband in general would have around 13 fighters (as recommended out of the box, but you can go adjust it to your liking) and would play on the concept that the spiders are there to be used for surprising moves or attacks (not disengage although!). And when they die they can return back, being extremely useful in scenarios where you have to avoid certain fighters from dying.
This until the Broodmaster is alive of course, so that would be your opponent first target and you should protect him as much as you can. Once the Broodmaster goes, all Spider Swarms follow immediately after and half of your warband abilities are then useless.
This is a nice conundrum because of course the Broodmaster with his 5 attacks is also the greatest damage dealer of the warband, so you can’t keep him away from melees but you will need to study well when you can afford to engage and when you should keep your distance.
The Broodkin ability to throw projectiles is nice, but works only on a 50% chance for each die roll and you have only 2 dice to roll. For a Triple you would have expected a little bit more, at least a bit more consistency: chances to do 12 damage are extremely slim. Even the Spider Swarm Quad is not that attractive unless you have a high value Quad.
Skittering Ascent, the ability to climb walls for free, is really situational and you may end up to never be in a position to use it. Unless there is an objective hidden on the top of a tower and is the last round so only the Spiders can get to it… Assuming they are still alive. Why the Broodkin cannot run on top of walls like Broodmasters and Doomweavers?
Doomweavers should be your hard-hitters but don’t perform that role very well. The one with Trident and Net can be useful to prevent enemies from engaging if you need a further round to get in position or to avoid someone from running away. At the same time this can be used also to poke enemies from a distance using the various 2″ range weapons available in the warband and guaranteeing them an extra round alive.
You will however suffer warbands with good ranged capabilities, so run fast towards them to engage and prevent further bloodshed.
A final note goes to the warband Reaction, Defensive Blades. The only reason why the universal Reaction Counter is not better is their low Toughness meaning most of the time enemies will not miss attacks against them. Interestingly enough, this is also a way for Spider Swarms to do more damage than if they were attacking causing an interesting dilemma on your opponent: avoid them and risking some pesky damage, or eliminate them but risking any miss to backfire?
Overall this warband is fun to play but really limited in their options. You need to be careful on placement but you do have high movement that allows some wiggle room.
Pros and Cons of the Tarantulos Brood Warband
+ High movement
+ Low cost of models
+ Thematic play with the spiders
– Low Toughness and Wounds
– No big damage dealers
– Hard to manage in certain situations
Some thematic warbands for the Tarantulos Brood
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: Broodmaster, 1 Doomweaver with Trident and Net, 1 Doomweaver with Flail and Goad, 3 Broodkin with Scythe and Spider Claw, 2 Broodkin with Sai, 2 Broodkin, 3 Spider Swarm, all straight from their individual box (or Red Harvest if you have it).
How to buy a Tarantulos Brood Warband
Tarantulos Brood are available in an individual box.
The sprues allow you to build:
- 1 Broodmaster
- 2 Doomweavers, either with Flail and Goad or Trident and Net
- 3 Broodkin with Scythe and Claw
- 4 Broodkin either the simple one or those armed with Sai
- 3 Spider Swarms
For a total of 13 miniatures that should allow you to have all possible combinations available.
Tips on painting a Tarantulos Brood Warband for Warcry
Tarantulos Brood are spider-y looking like humans, and as such can be painted however you prefer, from the skin tone more similar to spiders, to the pale grey used in Games Workshop art.
Tabletop Skirmish Games has a tutorial for some sample models using contrast paints and a more pinkish skin tone with colours like Magos Purple: Broodmaster, Doomweaver and Spider Swarm.
Other great resources:
Overview of all warband sin Warcry