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Infeston

Stonehorn still viable?

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Hi everyone,

I just want to discuss if the Stonehorn is still viable after the new changes or if it has become utter trash. I also wanted to talk about your thought on the points cost for the Stonehorn. Are they now overcoasted or still reasonibly priced?

I have to say I am still a bit salty about the changes but I still want to talk about the changes to find out if I am just overreacting or if these changes were reasonable and not just an unnecessary nerf.

For me it would also be very interesting if anyone has ever fielded or battled a Stonehorn after the changes and could tell if it still makes sense to bring a Stonehorn to the table or if it's now all about Thundertusks.

On the other hand it also doesn't make sense for me fluffwise that a giant Stonehorn with a stone skeleton can be pierced and totally annihilated by some soldiers with little knifes. I think the playstyle now doesn't fit the Stonehorns fluff at all. 

Sorry if I am ranting. But I played Ogors for a long time (not because they were used in some unfair lists, but because I love Ogors and have collected them since Ogre Kingdoms 6th Edition) and I feel they have lost a lot of their uniqueness just for balance reasons. 

Edited by Infeston

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Don't despair just yet Infeston. While the resilience of Stonehorns has taken a pretty big hit, the damage output has not been changed (no, I haven't forgotten about Battle Brew). Many other units that were considered OP have been scaled back too - Mourngul springs to mind. Also many armies that relied on Battalions for effectiveness have taken a hit. So overall it feels that GW have been trying to reel in the 'OP' units and have been helping less effective units e.g. the new massive hordes stuff. The changes in the Stonehorn rules is part of this and needs to be seen in the wider context.

We need to play them with new rules before deciding they are pants. I played in my last GHB1 tournament yesterday and ran 4 stonehorns (2 with frostlords and 2 with beastriders). I've been running a similar list recently at tournaments, and I've been running Beastclaw and StoneRukk for the last 18 months (It started when I took 3 Stonehorns and 3 Thundertusks to SCGT2016). So I have a fair bit of experience with them, and I know how they have worked under GHB1. I am taking pretty much the same list to Blackout next weekend - an 80 player tournament under GHB2017 and that should start to give me a feel for how they perform in the new world. There is no doubt they will not be as effective as they were, but let's be patient and calm and see what happens.

On another tack, GW got a lot of pressure regarding how 'broken' Stonehorns are. They are a responsive commercial company. Not many people use Stonehorns compared to the number of people who play against them. If GW felt the stonehorns are impairing the enjoyment of the majority of players, then it is to be expected that they would do something about it.

Furthermore, from the commercial view, most people who were going to buy Stonehorns have probably done so by now. Those of us who have them will buy different models to replace them if they turn out to not be points effective rather than rage quite, so GW get to sell more product - a very sound business strategy I would say.

On a more positive side the change should encourage the use of Beastclaw units that don't normally see the light of day. You can drop a Beastrider Stonehorn and now fit 4 Mournfang and a couple of Frost sabres in it's place and use them in a different way. Or take a Skal instead with it's very useful ambush tactics.

My final point is also positive. The change in the rule has been made through the FAQ method. This means it can be changed again just as easily if the circumstances are appropriate and GW feel the need.

So I genuinely hope that it is not 'The End' for Stonehorns. And if it is, then we must all remember it's just a game of plastic models, give a Gallic shrug and declare "C'est la guerre"

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46 minutes ago, Soup Dragon said:

So I genuinely hope that it is not 'The End' for Stonehorns. And if it is, then we must all remember it's just a game of plastic models, give a Gallic shrug and declare "C'est la guerre"

I hope you are right. I have moved away from playing competitive Matched Play, because I find playing narrative or Open Play scenarios a lot more enjoyable. I often like to play "unfair" games just to challenge myself if I could still win. And I often don't like the competitive mindset. Because it often takes away creativity and builds around a certain meta. I find it a lot more enjoyable to experiment with different things than just stick to a certain meta.

I am lucky that my gaming group is very open about that. I stay away from local stores, because they only play "Matched Play" and often have no interested in playing interesting open play or narrative scenarios just for the sake of building up an interesting story. 

For me the problem is that if you try to cater to the competitive audience too much I have the feeling that many armies will become very similar, because the only way something could be "fair" would mean that both sides fight under similar conditions.

But I think that kills a lot of the fun when playing different armies. I don't like the +1 to hit, to wound or save buffs, because they simply aren't creative or fun. They just add stats and modify different rolls. 

And for me as a gamer who also plays narrative or open play scenarios the Stonehorn has lost a lot of its fluff. I mean i could always still play with the old Warscroll rules. But I don't think my friends would accept that if there are "official" rules which contradict the old Warscroll. The old Stonehorn playstyle made the game a lot more intense and challenging. Now the Stonehorn is propably dead before it reached it's target. Especially against shooty armies.

Edited by Infeston

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Stonehorns are still going to be good, but they will require a more tactical approach. Charging them headfirst into something with lots and lots of Damage 1 weaponry is going to kill them, but getting a charge against something with bigger damage output and targeting enemy monsters are going to be something they excel at. They need more positional awareness and consideration now.

I'm also fairly sure that the Stonehorn Huskard might see some play now, to boost the Mournfang packs everyone's got loads of just lying around. I'd honestly be interested in seeing some BCR-lists consisting only of 1-2 monsters and mostly Frostsabres, Yhetees and Mournfangs, and try to build them more like a traditional army. I have a hunch this may actually be the way forward in the new edition.

Finally, just a point on what you say about open play and "the fluff" - I completely disagree. The Stonehorn is still a mighty and brutal killing machine if used right. That something that was ridiculously broken (which it was) in terms of power level is brought down to a more natural level isn't going to change the narrative of the game. Compare a Frostlord on Stonehorn with an Ironjawz Maw-krusha; they're exactly the same points, and the Stonehorn is the far better of the two.

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For me it seemed that Battlebrew nerf was enough and justified, but that additional FAQ unnessesary. I would have preferred points raise, if further nerf was required.

But from positive side: I think Stonehorns´ changes and Destruction allegiance changes force to take different Beastclaw abilities and artefacts than previously, which adds a twist to army building.

For example Ice Mammoth Skull Plate lets you re-roll Saves with Rend "-": great against those "some soldiers with little knives" (although most my opponents have rend anyway).

Also the Tokens of Everwinter are better than remade Battlebrew. 

 

Edited by Kessler
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Just now, Donal said:

@Soup Dragon are you going to run BCR or destruction at blackout? What allies do you think will work well?

My plan is take take pretty much my '7 model army' that I have been running of late. Probably swap out Hunter and put in Butcher - mystic shield should help a little against the halving 'nerf'. I've not got time for a long in depth analysis of lists, and also no idea what everyone else is bringing, so my plan currently is to stick to a familiar list. Play some games and events. Then start tweaking list if I think I can make some more competitive builds. Probably stick to BCR for some time, as I've set myself target of getting 'Top Beastclaw' on Baddice rankings by end of the year!! However, if a particular army starts to win consistently I may switch to that when I get fed of of getting beaten with BCR.

Allies are basically Ogors. Butcher is useful. 2 are more useful. Also thinking that 2 Tyrants have similar damage output to 1 Stonehorn Beastriders, and a few extra wounds. But only movement 6"........ 
The other useful allied unit is Grots (Gnoblars) 100 points for a 20 body screen is good for screening Thundertusks. Probably more mileage in turning it on it's head and running Gutbusters with a Thundertusk as an ally. If hordes are the thing, then maybe a pair of ironblasters (they get rerolls against units of 10+) but they are still too many points really.

Maybe, just maybe the reason Gutbusters didn't get Allegiance Abilities in the GHB2017 book, is because they are lined up for a battletome before next year?

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33 minutes ago, Soup Dragon said:

My plan is take take pretty much my '7 model army' that I have been running of late. Probably swap out Hunter and put in Butcher - mystic shield should help a little against the halving 'nerf'. I've not got time for a long in depth analysis of lists, and also no idea what everyone else is bringing, so my plan currently is to stick to a familiar list. Play some games and events. Then start tweaking list if I think I can make some more competitive builds. Probably stick to BCR for some time, as I've set myself target of getting 'Top Beastclaw' on Baddice rankings by end of the year!! However, if a particular army starts to win consistently I may switch to that when I get fed of of getting beaten with BCR.

 

Nice, I'm gonna take pure BCR for first time in a while.

going to take double frostlord and trollhag ally with msu MF and 2 yhettees. Really looking forward to running BCR allegiance abilities now that battlebrew is gone.

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I begin to ask myself is Mournfangs are now a good replacement to ... most things in that book. Best dammage output for the cost, 24 wounds where your beasts only have 12... wow. Yet the Stonehorn is still 3+1D6" faster but that Jorlbad bataillon seems .. appropriate now.

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1 hour ago, Donal said:

Nice, I'm gonna take pure BCR for first time in a while.

going to take double frostlord and trollhag ally with msu MF and 2 yhettees. Really looking forward to running BCR allegiance abilities now that battlebrew is gone.

That looks such a fun list. If only they had given the Hag the ability to cast/dispel twice in a turn like most wizards costing so many points, she would be fully worth the points. She will be in some of my lists going forward too.

Using Beastclaw Allegiance takes a bit of getting used to when you've been used to destruction move + double battlebrew. But it is fun, and is now better in many ways than straight destruction.

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4 hours ago, Soup Dragon said:

But it is fun, and is now better in many ways than straight destruction.

The reroll 1 to wound is golden and there is not enough BCR raiders to make use of the Destruction trait indeed.

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This has been the list I've been play testing since the leaks began. About two weeks or so, took it to an event this weekend and had some great results, even against the teleporting shenanigans of seraphon with a kroaknado (kroak on balewind). I think stonehorns are fine, but beastclaw allegiance is a must (imo) I've having some good success and plan to pilot this list for at least another 10 games before I'm ready to change parts out.   I've found having the bodies for objectives because of the obsec rules now is crucial. 

BCR Frostlord on Stonehorn - Pelt of Charngar

Huskard on Thundertusk - Blood V.
Huskard on Thundertusk - Blood V.
Icebrow Hunters - General, Everwinter’s Master, Elixir of Frostwyrm
Butcher

2x Frost Sabres
2x Frost Sabres
2x Frost Sabres
2x Frost Sabres

20x Grots (gnoblars)
20x Grots (gnoblars)

Skal

Edited by WSDdeloach

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