Warcry – Monsta-killaz

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This weekend we had 4 new warbands for Warcry go up for preorder. They’re all available now on the website but aren’t due for release until the 21st of October. So I have a little bit of time to get through all 4.

Unlike with Killteam, Warcry warbands do not instantly sell out and when they do go out of stock it’s usually not that long before they’re back. So we have a little bit of time to explore these warbands and work out whether they’d be fun to play.

Do remember, that it’s a good idea to have weak warbands in your collection along with strong ones. While competitive events tend to be focused on having the best lists facing off against each other, if you’re just looking for a fun game you can have weaker warbands face off against each other or you can play the weaker warband against a new player who doesn’t yet know all the strategies and tactics. So if you like the look of a warband pick it up and paint it even if it gets some bad reviews.

That is not the case for the warband we’re looking at today, the Kruleboyz monsta killaz

This is a box of eight fighters in total with a a few head variants as bonus options.

There is one Beastnob as the leader, a Bawla boy who can have a dagger or whip, a Klutcha-grot, 2 Gnarlwood Howlaz, and then 3 Neckslivcrs 2 of which can have a polearm, one a club, and all 3 can give given a harpoon instead.

Looking at the average damage plot, the Beastnob is expensive but you are getting a lot of kill for your points. When it comes to damage, most of these fighters are sitting in the upper section of the plot. For wounds they’re pretty much bang on with the curve, I tend to look for 3 wounds per 25 points and based on the plot I think we’ll be sticking pretty close to it.

There are 3 abilities that are pretty much warband wide. The double and quad require the trapper runemark, but only the Howlas are missing it. 

The first ability is the Reaction Krule Trap. After an enemy ends a move within 6 inches you can trigger this reaction. You roll a die and on a 1 to 4 the ability does 2 damage. On a 5 or 6  you get to pick between doing 4 damage or stopping the enemy from making move actions for the remainder of the turn. That’s pretty rough if they were trying to make a double move and as the range of the ability is 6 inches that’s likely to get a lot of targets. Notably this doesn’t stop the enemy from making a disengage action, although they can only take that if they’re already in melee range. It’s also worth mentioning that in addition to taking up an action or a point of reknown, only one reaction can be taken to any action. So if you have 2 or more Monsta-killaz ready to react to an enemy moving, only one of them can do it. That said, we should already be thinking about that nice Blessing Spite which would give you a free reaction each turn for 30 points.

Moving onto the double we have Krule Stabbin. This adds 1 to the damage of hits and crits if the target already had wounds. Whether this is going to be better than the universal double Onslaught which gives an extra attack dice will depend on the profile. This will usually be better when you have more attack dice which makes a nice change from Onslaught which his better when you have fewer attack dice. 

Then we have the Quad Nasty Muggin. Pick a target within 1 inch, and every Monsta-Killa within 3 inches gets to make a free attack if they can. Solid alternative to Rampage. Typically using Rampage on your biggest threat is going to be optimal, but situationally Nasty Muggin will be the better choice.

Speaking of threats, lets start with the Beastnob. Under all the kit somewhere is an Ork. Move 4 and toughness 4 are standard. The 25 wounds is just above the expected curve of 3 per 25, over by just 1. The melee damage is fantastic with 9.33 average all the way up to toughness 5. He’s up there with the Megaboss who has 10 damage for 25 more points. It’s a good place to be. He does have a ranged option which is pretty paltry but 8 range means he can attack things he couldn’t otherwise get to and do around 5 damage in total over the two attacks.

His special ability is a Double Krule Taunt. It’s limited in range by the value of the ability, so at max 6 inches. For the rest of the round, while the target is attacking anyone except the Beastnob they get -2 damage to hits and crits which is pretty rough. It’s likely this fighter is your killer, so really you want to be using abilities which will get even more kill out of him. That said, this does have the potential to completely neuter a target and force them into your Beastnob if they want to do anything at all. That could be game winning depending on the victory condition.

Overall, a fantastic fighter. I’d be tempted to drop the spite blessing on him which would make him 230 points which is crazy but would also give him a free Krule Trap each turn.

Next up we have the Neckslicers of which there are 3 option and 3 in the box. The first is the Smasha which is really straight forward and still somehow great. Toughness surprisingly a little low at 3, I guess these swamp Orks don’t have much armour. Move is 4 which is good and wounds of 15 is a little over what you’d expect for the points. Damage is fantastic, and just barely makes it into the top 10 most efficient fighters for Destruction, pushing the Beastnob out to number 11. It is melee range and you’d prefer a little bit of reach to take advantage of the reaction, but that will only happen on a 5+ so it’s not worth building the entire warband around it. The Smasha is simple and gets the job done. There’s just the one in the box, so I’d suggest making him.

Then two of the fighters can be made with the Bonehakka. This is pretty nice, it’s range 2 but is still doing a decent 5 average damage. Ten points more but you’re also getting an extra ability. The Berserker runemark opens up the Triple Saw them up. It’s a bit of a weird one so bear with me. You pick an enemy fighter within 2 inches, so within hakka range. Then look at the value of the triple, so whether it’s a triple 1, triple 2, triple 3 etc. Then roll that number of dice. Have a look at the new values and see if you can group them into a chain, so a 2 a 3 and a 4 for example. Best case you somehow get 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and in addition to yelling Yahtzee you get to do an insane 18 damage which is 3 for each die in the chain. The values of triples are hard to control and this is high randomness. I think if I had a triple 6 though, I’d give it a shot just to see what the dice say. If you’re the kind of player who the dice gods hate, maybe stay clear.

The last option is the Harpoon. I think this is the first fighter I’ve seen where the melee and ranged profiles are the same which is very interesting. It means you can use Onslaught when you’re in close with the spear but still have the ranged option the rest of the time. I do tend undervalue ranged attacks, so it’s good to remind myself that two range attacks are often the equivalent of a move and melee attack. Here that would mean 6 average damage which is quite interesting. The ability is a double which will add a little more damage if at least one hit is scored, with only 2 dice chances aren’t great and remember crits don’t count. Based on that, I’m tempted to pass on this ability although there will be times to use it.

Given the reaction of this warband, fighters that can attack at range are fantastic as you can give up an action for the reaction and still attack without having to move. That said, I’m a little dubious and probably more in love with the Bonehakka and it’s reach of 2.

Last of the Orruks we have the single Brawla Boy in the pack. This can be built in two ways with a dagger of with a whip. I’d suggest going with the whip as the damage difference seems negligible and whips are cool. With 5 attacks, the double Krule Stabbin to give +1 on hits and crits seems like a good option bringing the flogga damage up to 5.

He comes with a pretty niche ability, nearby enemy fighters cannot use reactions. We saw this with the Claws of Karanak who have a similar ability. There are probably some match-ups, maybe a mirror where it could be good, but a lot of the time spending a triple like this ends up a waste as your opponent just keeps the actions they would otherwise spend on reactions and finds a better way to use them.

Then onto the stars of this warband, the Gnarlwood Howlas. Gnarlwood has been a pretty interesting setting and I’m delighted to see them doubling down like this into it. No doubt they will get some Age of Sigmar rules but this is very much a Gnarlwood warband. For 125 points we get a very nice 6 speed, 3 toughness, and an above average 18 wounds. Damage is fantastic at 5 damage. Raw stats they’ve got a lot going for them. They’re similar to a Spire Stalker from the Corvus Cabal but the Howlas are +1 move, +3 wounds, 1 less toughness, and 5 less points. There is a kicker of course, they do have the Beast runemark which means no carrying Treasure and no Opening doors. They’ve got Orruks to do that for them so it’s not too much bother.

Last up, we have the Klutcha-Grot, protecting the Egg like the good grot he is. Not much to say, 60 points isn’t super cheap but it’s actually a decent statline for it. He’s probably going to move into position and spend all his actions as reactions being a total menace.

Out of the box, going for two hakkas and a smasha, we hit 970 points exactly. Just enough to add in that Blessing of Spite onto our Beastnob so he can have one free reaction each turn. Perfection.

If we were to add some extra options, we always have the big scary destruction heroes like the Tyrant or the Megaboss, but honestly the Beastnob is probably up there and would make a good option for other warbands. If you were looking for something cheaper, you probably need to look at the bladeborn options so you can get some cheap fighters in. Da Kunnin Krew might be an option, giving extra nets options. Similar with Zarbags where you have Drizgit, Snirk, and Prog.

This looks like a fantastic warband and lots of fun to play. 

If this warband is something you like the look of, keep an eye out for the upcoming White Dwarf 493 which will have the background and narrative details for the Monsta-killaz and Vulkyn Flameseekers. 

I do think this is a warband that will be strong out of the box although the real question is what proxy model you can used for the Beastnob when you go for the Beastnob and 6 Howlas all monkey warband.

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