+ Pro: Very hard hitting unit
+ Pro: Great second wave to clean up
+ Pro: Able to resource-starve an opponent through Takedown
- Con: Single damage light infantry
- Con: High cost margin for only 1 damage box each
- For infantry they have average movement, but higher strength, ok MAT and ok DEF/ARM. However, they have only a single damage box.
- Cost per model is the highest of the farrow options (double bone grinders per model).
- The cleavers are on the lower side of P+S but this is helped out by their abilities.
- The cleavers have Reach and this offers up many cruel tactics.
Skills and Abilities:
- Bumps them up to a very respectable MAT when you can get off their 10" threat range on a charge
Fearless and Tough:
- They do what you need them to do. They will fight to the last hog and not go down easily; however, never rely on Tough to keep them around. On average this means they can soak up 8 damaging hits rather than just 6. That is not that much.
- This is the ability everyone is talking about. Finisher grants them them pseudo-weapon master against injured targets.
- This is the ability everyone should be talking about.
- Remove From Play (RFP) means a whole lot more then their ability to ignore Tough models.
- A model normally gets Damaged, then Disabled, then Boxed, then Destroyed, then removed.
- With Takedown however it goes Damaged, then Disabled (ignoring Tough), then Boxed, then immediately removed.
What does RFP really mean on the table?
- It means no Souls, no Corpses, no Rage tokens
- It means no Reviving through spells or feats
- It means no Reaving
- It means no wreck markers, so no Cryxian salvaging, and easier lane clearing
*It means that having multiple RFP models on the board is to starve the opponent of whatever resources (s)he was relying on.
Warlock Specific Synergy:
- MAT8 Damage 5d6+11....does there need to be any more text?
- Quagmire is an option, but not a great one compared to any other model choices in the farrow arsenal
- A target that suffers Crippling Grasp is going to die to a SH charge
- Beyond that he does not offer them much
- They offer him Tough and Fearless bodies to stand and die between him and the nastiness of battle
Sturm and Drang
- Tier lists can see advance movement for SH units. Although not as good as AD (since terrain affects and is 1" shorter) it is very important to let these otherwise slow(er) infantry keep pace with the very fast Road Hogs.
- Deflection brings their ARM up to a more respectable Gun Boar level against Ranged and Magic Attacks
- Killing Grounds grants them all PF on the charge (still cannot see through forests)
- Can TK a few of them for a 12" threat.
- Worst case, with Deflection up, a SH can be the target of a Road Hogs Spray attack to get off unexpected sprays into engaged or LOS-hidden units and the SH will likely survive (perhaps to then be the target of Targ's ancillary follow-up spray).
Worth its own section for the SHs. The ability to AD and get 6" up the board can make all the difference to whether these farrow get into play. Their speed means that Turn 1 they can be charging threat of 16" (Reach) or simply engaging up to 18" (Reach and Run).
- Against high DEF warbeasts he can ensure they get carved up.
- KD from the bola is always a sure way to be sure Warjacks gets taken apart
- He can grant PF when they need it to get to targets
- He can stand toe-to-cloven-hoof with the SH against Warbeasts with his Dismember and Takedown.
- Skinning Knife's Inflict Pain makes sure they are Fury-starved
- Beasts will fear you. Lets that initial damage get placed to ensure Finisher.
- You do not want the SHs stuck in with a tarpit unit of light infantry.
- Gudrun both scares off the opponents willingness to send lights at the area and can effectively clear a path
- Rarely exactly what you want, but in Thornfall three units of BG and Spells from Caster could grant the entire squad, or part of, Massacre or Sprint
- CRA to make sure target is injured before Hog Wild getting out of the way to allow the SHs the charge to take it down.
- Like the Brigands, it has the Range and LOS to try and damage targets for the charge. (but it should be clearing infantry, solos etc)
- Though not a direct synergy per say, it is interesting that we are now a faction that wants to throw our light infantry at heavies and direct our heavies to light infantry. If nothing else, it may screw up opponents' plans.
- When targeting a single model, if the movement/distance allows, form a half-ring around non-Reach opponents. This way even if they manage to live they take a Free Strike moving to engage any given model. Any retaliation can only charge the two leading models and they are not as lumped up and begging for an AoE
- Spread and engage ranged-focused armies as with reach a single squad can blanket down some 16" of engaging arcs. If one squad needs to run to do this, the next turn other squads and army has arrived and are ready to charge in as a second wave. With Deflection up from S&D this makes them effectively DEF16 ARM17 against range and forces each of the engaged models/units to spend an activation killing the 1 point models.
- With Thornfall getting them 6" up, they can make for fantastic Scenario winning armies. Get them into the opponents side of the board to hold things down with Fearless/Tough and let your Brigands or Bone Grinders hold the objectives. Wading through that many Tough bodies may deny the opponent the win.
Issues and Counters:
- They have but a single damage box and are useless if not engaging in melee. This means that a number of Feats or Spells that prevent them from reaching their targets makes them all but useless objective holders.
- Ongoing damage (even if they live/Tough) still knocks them down and uses up an action.
- Auto-ping damage abilities such as Sniper on Widowmakers mows them down in droves. Do not set them up across from ranged threats. Seek out melee monsters in enemy forces and meet them straight on.
How to support the 'Housers
Here is the logical flow to any way you want to use them.
1. Get them to target: With a average farrow speed, no inherent PF, no inherent defensive abilities, and no ranged ability means that until you get them engaged to a target they are useless and easily killed. Thornfall or S&D tier movement is a huge boon to them (as is S&D's deflection). So long as they get these some should hit and damage.
2. Hit Target: With effective MAT8 on charges they will usually be hitting the large/heavy targets you should be sending them after.
3. Damage Target: With Finisher and Carver's feat etc they do not need much help here. People make a big deal about damaging a charge target before charging, but really this just adds 1d6 damage from the first SH to damage as all others get Finisher anyway once the first damaged. Still a good idea.
This means that Movement>>>Hitting>>Damage
This means that Saxon/Gudrun>>>Pendrake>>Alton
-Saxon obviously helps them get to target with PF and getting engaged is their #1 priority
-Gudrun is a surprising second, but the reason he is here is to ensure they get to engage the right target.
-Pendrake can help slightly with lane clearing with magical Luck bow or by using Bola to avoid Free Strikes and ensure they make it to the right target. Mainly he is there for an accuracy buff, but against most heavies it is not needed. Against known high DEF armies such as Circle he may be a good investment to ensure hits.
-Alton comes in pretty low. He is very useful on his own and very deadly, but you are doubling up beast-killer units and risk falling to light infantry spam
Synergy in other Factions:
Baldur the Stonecleaver
A number of his abilities work well with Slaughterhousers. Stone Skin is the only exception. He can offer the SHs immunity to Knockdown to really make Tough shine along with Blast Immunity to allow them to clump up to fit in his forests. Trees can block LOS or simply grant cover. His feat also aids them with cover and hampering enemy movement to ensure they get the charge.
Basically, he helps them get to combat, which is all they really need.
Cassius and Wurmwood
Curse of Shadows allows the Slaughterhousers to either hit at effective PS13, or lets them get through to the target they need.
Hellmouth groups up annoying targets and clears lanes, while Stranglehold helps neuter threat response.
His Feat shields them with LOS blocking and cover as well as any Circle model and they can feed wurmwood themselves or with kills
Kaya the Wildborne
She can give them Stealth. This can go a long way toward getting them where they need to be to hurt things. Spiritfang can again slow a heavy's response, but most other abilities just help her beasts.
Kaya and Laris
Nothing here helps Slaughterhousers at all. Then again, nothing helps out any Circle infantry either.
Kromag the Ravenous
Nothing helps Slaughterhousers and his one infantry spell is FF.
Krueger the Stormwrath
He can grant them Lightning Tendrils for Lightning Immunity and Electro Leap, but they already have Reach and you don't usually want they going after tarpit infantry anyway. Deflection does not help as FF. They could try and rely on Tough and tarpit as he smites them in the back with Chain Lightning. His feat could help keep pesky tarpit enemy out of their path.
Krueger the Stormlord
Stormwall helps them not get shot and moves Blasts off of their position. Gallows and TK can help draw in victims for slaughter. His feat moves things back so that they can charge (again?) and helps limit counters.
Mohsar the Desertwalker
Mirage and Sands of Fate are FF and so FF circle infantry would serve better. Curse of shadows helps as it does anything, and Pillar of Salt can block LOS or charges.
Morvahna the Autumblade
Her feat is FF and does not apply. Harvest does not apply to them as they RFP before destroyed. Regrowth and Restoration are both FF and do not apply. Her Sacrificial Pawn is FF and does not apply. Nothing to see here.
Grayle the Farstrider
His feat is FF. His elite Cadre favours faction infantry. Gallows could at least draw in targets and Wind Blast could clear LOS
Baldur the Stonesoul
Rock Wall is a wall and as such helps many things including Slaughterhousers as they can attack across it with Reach while the enemy cannot. Oddly, Roots of Earth cannot be placed in Slaughterhousers as it is FF....however his Feat is only Friendly so on Feat turn they get a good ARM boost and cannot be knocked down. ARM18, Tough, Reach with Rock Wall for Cover and immovable means they are holding that objective!!
Special: Blackclad Wayfarer
With Hunter's Mark increases their Threat Range to 12"
Vs Similar Circle Light Infantry
They are one point cheaper for the same number of models and with Gang hit at the same PS as Slaughterhousers. They get PF and Stealth to get them into the fight however, and have magic weapons and abilities...one of which is +1d6 damage against living. This means they can hit just as hard as Slaughterhousers and do not rely on target being hurt. The only thing Slaughterhousers have going for them is 4 higher armour, Tough, Fearless, Reach and RFP. Actually, the Bloodweavers can also get RFP with a bonus if giving up the damage...so really it is down to Tough with some ARM and Reach vs a lot of other really, really useful abilities. ARM11 is trash, but really ARM15 is not going to save you except against BLAST and a few lucky rolls.
= I give the edge to Bloodweavers. We Farrow players spend an extra 2 points just to give Slaughterhousers access to Pathfinder (orrick)...and the Bloodweavers get that and so much more all for CHEAPER than a Slaughterhouser for the same effective MAT and Damage. Stealth means they get to the fight and do not need Tough ahead of time.
**I might give Slaughterhousers the Edge with the Baldurs as Tough with knockdown immunity (or ARM18) then really starts to make a difference.
Wolves of Orboros
Both have Reach and Powerful Charge. Base stats are similar (wolves a bit faster) but PS is -2 compared to Slaughterhousers. No RFP or Finisher abilities. Wolves are 1/3rd the cost per model and have CMA and Pathfinder.
CMA increases their versatility, but 2 have to combine to even match the base Slaughterhouser damage potential and they would have to CMA 5 or more to average a Finisher damage (but would have very high effective MAT).
- Edge is to Slaughterhousers who bring better damage, Tough, Fearless, and RFP
- Wolves have UA for Power Swell which basically once per game gives their 2 CMA the same damage as a Slaughterhouser's Finisher. Also gives Ranked Attacks which can help the CMA. With UA the two units are the same price. Wolves would have 1 more attack but need to CMA to compare damage so really almost 1/2 attack number. Slaughterhousers still seem to come out slightly ahead in my view.
Legion of Everblight
Absylonia, the Terror of Everblight
Well, she can grant them Carnivore if you really need to hit something, but they already have RFP. Nothing else really applies to infantry.
Bethayne and Belphagor
Her Feat is FF and the Slaughterhousers are not magical anyway. All 3 of her spells apply. Ashen Veil can help the Slaughterhousers get to and survive in combat with a respectable DEF14. Carnivore is still meh since it adds less and Blood Thorn is somewhat useless as if they hit something they will be doing enough damage to likely kill. Gallows helps draw in targets to slaughter. Despoiler as an animus can help get them concealment and even block LOS while protecting from light infantry.
Lylyth, Herald of Everblight
Parasite makes sure they can kill nearly anything, but her Feat does not help them where it would buff Legion infantry.
Lylyth, Shadow of Everblight
Nothing applies and ranged FF much better fit.
Rhyas, Sigil of Everblight
Can grant Stealth...but Feat and others all benefits FF much more.
Saeryn, Omen of Everblight
Can Banishing Word to clear off Upkeeps...
Thagrosh, Prophet of Everblight
Fog of War helps them like everything else, but Draconic Blessing is FF. Otherwise more of a beast caster
Thagrosh the Messiah
All FF or beast oriented.
Vayl, Disciple of Everblight
All FF or not applicable
Kallus, Wrath of Everblight
None of his spells apply as FF....and Dark Guidance is a really good one for melee. His feat does apply for incubi popping...but normal incubi are FF.
Vayl, Consul of Everblight
She can Stealth them.
Vs Similar Legion Light Infantry
2/3rds the cost for equal model number. They have flight to get where they are needed and Gang, but naturally worse MAT and damage than Slaughterhousers. Slaughterhousers are definitively tougher and hit harder, and have Reach and RFP. But, there is little synergy and support overall for Slaughterhousers compared to Grotesques.
Also cheaper and understandably...less. Even with Defensive Line their ARM is just above Slaughterhousers. The only thing they have going for them over Slaughterhousers is Vengeance and the ability to make CMA. But, again they would need to CMA 4+ to average the damage of a single Slaughterhouser Finisher hit.
*UA for Iron Zeal and Set Defence now gets the Legionaires survival in melee above the Slaughterhousers at effective 14/20 for one turn. They are meant to take the front line charge...Slaughterhousers are not.
The most direct comparison. Swordsmen are 1 point cheaper and their Weapon Master is not conditional. Stats have them faster, with better base MAT and better DEF. So Slaughterhousers have Tough and better ARM plus RFP going for them...but a pretty even comparison really. In Legion the Swordsmen have the edge though.
* They also have a UA for Cleave and Overtake - which I hope Slaughterhousers gain with a UA (cleave) one day.
Lord Tyrant Hexeris
Death March can apply to them and there is no issues with his Feat. If they get to the enemy things are going to go badly for them on Feat turn.
All is FF.
Master Tormentor Morghoul
Nothing really applies, but nothing bars either
Master Ascetic Naaresh
Iron Flesh can keep them in melee once they get there. Other abilities or beast oriented
Lord Arbiter Hexeris
Ashen Veil and Black Spot both benefit Slaughterhousers to get them into melee and to help them against infantry if forced to charge them instead of beasts. They can make OK Ashes to Ashes backstrike targets since they would have some chance to ignore with ARM and Tough. Arcane Reckoning is FF and Feat is neutral.
Special: Paingiver Task Master
Slaughterhousers should not leave home without. Constant +2 STR for more damage and No Sleeping On the Job means never falling over from Tough or any other Knockdown.
Vs Similar Skorne Light Infantry
The Swordsmen are faster, +1DEF but -1ARM. They have 2x attacks and so are meant to be clearing infantry with their much lower PS. Penetrating Strike does mean they can easily wear down large targets...but Slaughterhousers would smash large targets aside faster. Swordmen are more generalized in role that Slaughterhousers and cheaper as well, but cannot bring the damage or survival of the Slaughterhousers.
Grissel Bloodsong, Fell Caller
Calamity applies for increase effective MAT and Damage, but Feat, abilities and other spells do not.
Hoarluk Doomshaper, Shaman of the Gnarls
Fortune is FF, but other abilities strip enemy spellcasting and so remain neutral.
Madrak Ironhide, Thornwood Chieftan
Feat and Spells are FF, so trolls do it better
Jarl Skuld, Devil of the Thornwood
He can grant Quicken to increase threat range and increase survival against range. Tactical Supremacy can also get them where they are needed or move out of lanes etc. Can also grant PF and camo. They partially benefit from his feat as they cannot see through the fog or move through FF units/PF, but it still gives them concealment/LOS blocking and -2 to the enemy attacks.
Grissel Bloodsong, Marshal of the Kriels
Her abilities are FF. Inhospitable ground can at least prevent some enemy charges.
Vs Similar Trollblood Light Infantry
Both Tough with similar stats other than Slaughterhousers have 1 more MAT. CMA on Warriors can help their MAT and damage, but without reach and medium base means few involved. They have Prayers for some versatility, but the Prayers only bring them comparable to Slaughterhousers abilities/Reach. They are 2/3rd the cost per model however and can screen medium based casters where Slaughterhousers cannot. With base packing the Slaughterhousers can deliver much more damage to larger targets.