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!
At the moment this warband is available only in the Red Harvest box set collecting Varanite for their dark rituals while fighting off the Darkoath Savagers, but it should be soon released separately.
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: 180 points
The Broodmaster is the only leader option available to this warband. His 6 arms allow him a greater speed (6″) and more Attacks (6 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. You may think those tiny little animals as worthless, but with 8 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 moving. It is useful to climb 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 these 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 keep coming 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 6 attacks that are not to be underestimated.
- Doomweaver with Trident and Net: 105 points
- Doomweaver with Flail and Goad: 95 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, same Attacks but greater Strength and damage (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. A good Strength and damage allows him also 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. However there is not much difference between the 2 and 3 inches and since the Goad is the same profile as the Trident but with lower reach, the Doomweaver with Trident and Net covers a more interesting role in the warband, considering also the 12 Wounds on Toughness 3 that makes them quite weak.
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 has no other special ability.
- Broodkin with Scythe and Spider Claw: 80 points
- Broodkin with Sai: 70 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 Sai is an improved Scythe (3 Attacks at Strength 4 for 1/4 damage) but closer range (1″)
- While the normal Broodkin increases the Attack to 4 but loses in Strength (3) and damage (1/3)
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 extra damage to an enemy otherwise unreachable that turn.
Regarding the weapon profiles, the normal Broodkin with extra attacks are more consistent, but statistically the Sai performs better against Toughness 3 or 4. 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: 35 points
The Spider Swarm is the cheapest unit in the warband and the whole game (together with Giant Rats and Pot-grots). You may look at the card and pass over it: Toughness 1 and 8 Wounds, 8 Attacks but at Strength 1 for 1/2 damage.
However is the combination of the warband abilities that makes them useful. First of all, they can always move or attack for free when another fighter of the warband is in range to use Skittling Symbiosis. Now it will only hit with 5 or 6s, but that is still 33% of the rolls on 8 dice total… To give you an idea statistically a Spider Swarm would do more damage than any Broodkin.
Now combine this with the Gifts of the Eightfold Watcher, that, sure, it costs a Quad, but gives a bonus attack action and if you are lucky enough to roll any 6, will also prevent any move or disengage action to the enemy, forcing him (or her) to spend the round squashing spiders. That is assuming he survives: if you roll 3 or more 6s that is an extra 10 damage on top of the already allocated damage (minimum 6 because of the 3 critical hits). Unlikely but possible and not many would survive that spider bonus round…
Add to that a 6″ Movement that allows them to get to the distant objectives faster than other models and you have a versatile fighter.
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.
- Silken Strangle-nets (Double, Doomweaver with Trident and Net): A Chance to forbid move or disengage actions to a close-by enemy.
- Skittering Ascent (Double, Broodmaster, all Doomweavers and Spider Swarm): Do not count vertical distance when moving.
- 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. On a 6 the target cannot move or disengage or even be further damaged.
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 average Strength. They don’t have any big damage dealer and rely instead on swarming the opponents with Spiders (being slightly more point-cost effective than the 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 6 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. By comparison the Spider Swarm Quad is 5 times more likely to do 16+ damage than a Projectile to do 12…
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 that 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 afar 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.
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 control at least two territories before mustering your first hero.
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 the Red Harvest box.
How to buy a Tarantulos Brood Warband
Tarantulos Brood are available only in the Red Harvest box set together with the Darkoath Savagers warband and some really cool scenery. The box costs £130, so that is a steep price, but should be available soon a separate 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.