Thursday, 9 February 2012

Mournfangs vs Maneaters.

I often ask myself, should i really keep playing the mournfangs? I mean, they are nice and all, but are they really the best possible option? I think its often a question to ask yourself to keep on improving both your skill and your list. After all, our best answer might not be the absolute best, and if you look at all the forum on warhammer, there's about as many playstyle as there are players.

I consider myself as a movement controller, taking my time to get just the right charge off, and more often than not, trying a very long charge for the surprise effect it can produce. There's nothing scarier than realizing your unit in the far back wasn't as well protected as you though, and 9 Ironguts heading straight for your naked lvl4 can be pretty scary.

So i use many Gnoblar and sabertusk units, and rarely move my other units straight ahead. It allows me to control the battlefield (most of the time), and pick my fight. Horde often have to spend one or two turn going through my trash before they get to charge anything worth more than 50 points, and usually at that point i'm well placed to avoid any flank charge, and also well placed to get an easy charge myself.

With that in mind, i often ask myself if i wouldnt be better off with a unit of Maneater to replace one of my Mournfang units. Redundancy is not as big in warhammer as it is in 40k, so that's why i often ask myself if its a good idea to have 2 exactly similar units with relatively the same role (grinding S3/S4).

So i decided to compare my current unit, with what i consider the bare minimum Maneater i could fit in my list without too much alteration.

Mournfangs (230 pts);
3 Mournfang
Heavy Armor + Ironfist
Banner + Musician.

Maneaters (317 pts)
5 Maneaters
Heavy Armor + 3xAdditional Weapon + 1xGreat Weapon
Full Command.
Lets assume no special rules.

First thing i'd notice is that even if Maneaters have 6 extra wounds, their armor will quickly run out, and they'll die in drove. The extra weapon skill does help, with some ennemy hitting on 4s instead of 3s, but its not a very big factor imho. Second, the difference in number of attack, and strenght, is not that big. WS4 does help a bit, but not really on the offense.

So on to compare with 2 units, that i think we'll see the most in tournament ;
50 Khorne Marauders with Great Weapon in horde formation;
10 Black Knight with Barding and Lance ;

Mournfangs vs Khorne Marauders
Bull Charge ; 6 wounding on 2s. 5 wounds.
Rider hit first ; 9 attacks hitting on 4s, 4 1/2 hits wounding on 3s. 3 wounds.
Mournfang hit next ; 12 attacks hitting on 4s, 6 hits wounding on 2s. 5 wounds.

Marauders hits back ; 27 attacks hitting on 3s, 18 hits wounding on 3s. 12 wounds.
Off the 12 wounds, 6 are saved with AS, 1 is saved with Parry.

Mournfang stomp twice, wounding on 2s. 1 2/3 wounds.

total ;
Mournfang 14 2/3 wounds.
Marauders 5 wounds.

Mournfang won, but Marauder are still steadfast, and most likely beating them down to pulp next round.

Maneaters vs Khorne Marauders
Bull charge ; 3 wounding on 2s, 2.5 wounds.
Maneater hit first ; 19 attacks, hitting on 4s, 9.5 hits wounding on 2s.
Maneater hit ASL ; 3 attacks, hitting on 4s, 1.5 hits, wounding on 2s. 9.2 wounds.
Maneater stomp three times ; wounding on 2s. 1 2/3 wounds.

Marauders hits back ; 24 attacks hitting on 3s, 12 hits wounding on 3s. 8 wounds.

total ;
Maneaters 13 wounds.
Marauders  8 wounds.

2 marauders dead, one nearly dead too... there's another round left of full attacks before they run out of attacks to win combat.

Final result ;
Neither can take on Marauders headon points-for-points.

Mournfangs vs Black Knights.
10 Black Knight with Barding and Lance ;

Black Knight hit first. (we'll assume Black Knight got the charge, with their ethereal mount and high movement).
Rider hit first. 10 attacks, hittings on 4s, 5 hits wounding on 2+. 4 1/6 wounds.
Mount hit with 5 attacks, hitting on 4s. 2 1/2 hits, wounding on 5+. 1 wound.
3 unsaved wounds total.

Mournfangs hits back
Rider first with 6 attacks hitting on 4s, 3 hits wounding on 4+. 1 1/2 wounds.
Mournfang then hits with 8 atacks hitting on 4s. 4 hits wounding on 3+. 2 2/3.
1 5/6 unsaved wounds total.

Total ;
Mournfang     2 wounds
Black knights 3 wounds.

Lets assume they stay and go into Round 2.

Black knight hit first.
Rider hit with 8 attacks, hitting on 4s. 4 hits wounding on 4+, 2 wounds.
Mount hit with 5 attacks, hitting on 4s. 2 1/2 hits, wounding on 5+. 1 wound.
5/6 unsaved wounds total.

Mournfang hits back, doing 1 5/6 wounds again.

Total ;
Mournfang 2 wounds.
Black Knight 1 wounds.

Maneaters vs Black Knights

Maneater hits at the same time as Black Knight (Except the Great Weapon).
19 attacks hitting on 3s, 12 2/3 hits wounding on 3+, 8 2/3 wounds.
4 1/3 unsaved wounds.

Black Knight hits back with
10 attacks, hitting on 4s, 5 hits wounding on 2+, 4 1/6 wounds
Mount hit with 5 attacks, hitting on 4s. 2 1/2 hits, wounding on 5+. 1 wound.
5 unsaved wounds.

Maneater with great weapon hit.
3 attacks hitting on 3s, 2 hits wounding on 2+, 1 2/3.
1 1/3 unsaved wounds.

total ;
Maneaters  5 wounds
Black Knight 5 wounds.

First round is done, and onto round 2.

Maneater hits at the same time as Black Knight (Except the Great Weapon).
16 attacks hitting on 3s, 10 2/3 hits wounding on 3+, 7 1/9 wounds.
3.5 wounds

Black Knight hits back with
5 attacks, hitting on 4s, 2 1/2 hits wounding on 4+, 1 1/4 wounds
Mount hit with 2 attacks, hitting on 4s. 1 hits, wounding on 5+. 1/3 wound.
2 wounds.

Total ;
Maneaters 3.5 wounds
Black knight 2 wounds.

Resume ;

Both cant take on high Strenght horde heads on, as they'll both suffer alot of casualties. Against cavalry, once the lance charge is done, both can do a pretty good job at taking down high armor too (mournfang with their mount S5, Maneaters with their many S5 attacks).

What it comes down to is to figure out what can the maneater strikes before the maneaters, so I3 and down. At that point, they have the advantage of dealing full damage before taking casualties. This means, for example ;

Vampire ;
Blood Knight
Crypt Horrors
Grave Guard

Orc&Goblins ;
Just about everything except their characters.

So very little use to go for maneaters, except when it comes to bunker a character, or to take Cannonball to the face. But the difference is not really big, as i could easily fit 4 mournfang for 5 maneaters, with just 3 wounds difference between the two.

Final Verdict ;

No reason to go for Maneaters, unless you feel that your Ironguts isnt a good enough bunker for your character (i could see some reason, like using them with Stubborn and Immune to psychology, to give the characters a safe bunker that does not need a crown of command. A list could be tailored to include a big bunker, but i'm curious if its really worth it to spend so much points into T4 W3 Monstrous infantry.

Sure, you can give them special role such as scout, or some ability to allow them to do stuff mournfang couldnt, like Sniper+Poison, but how often can you manage to find a good spot for a scout unit in a tournament? after a few games, unless its 100+ participant, everyone will know you have scouting maneaters. And there's very little games where i see a good spot allowing me to get a good flank charge, or at least something worth it close by.

There will be shaft units, there will be small unit, there will be all kind of stuff keeping you from reaching anything worthwhile.

Going that route also means you have one less frontline unit to fight off your opponent, leaving you (well, me in this case), with just my Ironguts and a unit of mournfang to fight off ennemies. That's not something i really like to see.


  1. My mate runs lots of them mournfangs. they truly are awesome. nice models too!

    I am now following your blog, you can follow me too at

    and join the network at

  2. You know what I like on paper? (*I'm not an OK player, just theory-hammer here*) is ME with Poison, Sniper, and Brace of Handguns.

    Being able to take out hero-level casters with ease seems extremely potent to me.

    1. it does sound like a good plan, but you have to keep in mind that Brace of Handguns gives multiple shot (which is a no-no when sniping).

      So in the end, the best you can do is 6 Maneater with Handgun, Poison and Sniper. that's 6 shots for 330 pts... worth it?