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Horns

Horns (Mutation)

A player with horns may use them to butt an opponent. This adds 1 to the player’s Strength when he makes a block. However, the player may only use this ability as part of a Blitz, and only if he has moved at least one square before he makes the block (standing up at the start of your Action does not count!). If the player has the Frenzy skill, then the Horns bonus applies on the second block if it applied on the first.

Overview:

Horns has had a slight change under LRB5 in that you no longer need to move a square to get the +1ST bonus when you blitz. This doesn’t have a massive impact but there are certainly times that you will benefit from it. Clearly then it is a skill that benefits players who are going to be blitzing a lot. It is no good sticking it on a blocking guy who will usually just be next to a player already they can just hit. On the same token it loses value for players who have low movement and can’t dodge very well, if you can’t get to the target you can’t use it!

As most turns it is fairly obvious which player on the other team you want to blitz you then look to the best player on your team to perform that blitz. This for a fair amount of teams is usually fairly obvious to you, especially on more developed teams where you have skills that benefit a blitzing player. Horns is one of those skills, though you may have things to consider about blitzing with a player who just has Horns, compared to one has Wrestle. The Wrestle player may need an assist to get an extra block die and if you don’t have anyone who you can spare you have to weigh up your options.

There isn’t a great deal of extra decision making in blitzing with a player who has Horns, it is just a case of treating them as though they have the extra strength for the hit. One thing to bear in mind though is if your player will be left in enemy tackle zones after the blitz, meaning they may get his back next turn. So if you are deciding between using a ST3 player or a ST2+Horns player, that is something you need to bear in mind.

Benefits:
  • Lowers the need for Blocking Assists
  • More Reliable Blitzes
Useful to:

Obviously as Horns is a Mutation skill there is quite a small selection of players who can take it. Chaos teams can now pick them on normal skills though Beastmen and Minotaurs start with it anyway so I can’t see them selecting it. Chaos Dwarf Blockers can take it on a doubles but I wouldn’t bother, they are slow and easy to mark. The Pestigors do most of the blitzing for Nurgle teams (partly because they start with Horns already).

So the other teams that can take mutations are Skaven, Chaos Pact and Underworld. Skaven can get some good use from Horns, though it is a doubles roll. The blitzers may be doing a lot of your blitzing as they can get Mighty Blow on a normal skill roll, so Horns will help them if you build up this way. Gutter Runners are also a good player to consider it for, there are other good choices for them, but having at least one with Horns can be really helpful. They move fast and can often get to their target. Often times the target will be ST3 though and it may be harder to get an assist there, so you can get an even block, or if you get an assist there as well you get the block in your favour instead. Because of the distance that they can move as well the opposition will have to be wary of them. On a side note Horns no longer combines with Dauntless (you add the Horns bonus first), so Dauntless may be a better choice if you have a league full of ST4 players. Against ST3 though, Horns will always work on blitzes while Dauntless may fail, though Dauntless can be used on normal blocks as well. The Linemen don’t often do much of the blitzing and the Rat Ogre is already usually strong enough and has better options for double rolls.

Chaos Pact players can take Horns on a normal roll (apart from the big guys) and it is a great choice for whoever you choose to build into blitzers on the team. The Goblin can get into cages easily, the Dark Elf is mobile and has AV8 and the Maurauders have AV8. The Skaven may not be the best choice as you are only AV7 if you end up having to stood in a place where you can get blocked back the next turn, though he is the fastest. As it is only a normal roll though I would get the more staple blitzing skills like Wrestle and Tackle (in Dodge heavy leagues) before considering Horns.

Underworld teams can all take Horns on a normal roll, I would look to getting it on a couple of Goblins. Their ability to dodge through tackle zones to the ball carrier is great. It may be worth waiting for some to roll a double skill first so they can take Wrestle, then get Horns on this player next. If you get Horns first then you may not roll a double skill on this player later on. If you also get a Goblin with Guard in there as well you can really disrupt some teams. Again the Skaven blitzer on this team for the same reasons as standard Skaven, though he can take it normally without needing a double roll.

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11 Responses to Horns

  1. Sectux June 12, 2009 at 4:27 pm #

    It says in your quote that it “only if he has moved at least one square before he makes the block (standing up at the start of your Action does not count!).” – this contradicts what you put in the first paragraph: “Horns has had a slight change under LRB5 in that you no longer need to move a square to get the +1ST bonus when you blitz.”

    Otherwise a good article. One choice you might consider is horns on a Chaos Warrior – for hunting down those st4 black orcs. i usually have 1 Warrior with Horns to be a big guy assasin.

    • Coach June 12, 2009 at 11:06 pm #

      Ah good spot, got muddled up with the proposed change for LRB6. I’ll have to be more careful!

      Regarding the Warrior, I usually prefer to build my Chaos teams with plenty of Block and Guard. With AG3 the Warriors skill up easier than a Black Orc would and you should be able to out hit them being ahead in the skill progression.

      For big guys you have a Minotaur who already comes with horns so he can take them on. I’ll elaborate on the player types in their own articles. Though you can certainly consider horns on a Warrior, personally it is further down the skill progression.

  2. Sectux June 14, 2009 at 5:01 pm #

    True – the Warriors do make better scorers than Black orcs. this probably comes from me not liking the minotaur. wild animal always fails for me… good articles though. i am learning more every visit.

  3. Wanderer September 22, 2009 at 6:28 pm #

    Wild Animal, in my opinion, is actually one of the best negative-traits, because a failure doesn’t result in the loss of a tackle zone.  Plus, on a Mino, you can pick up Tentacles on a normal roll, so there’s no reason you shouldn’t be in position to throw a block or blitz.

  4. BoBliness October 16, 2009 at 3:09 pm #

    Wild animal is the best and worst.

    Its not bad at all for minotaurs, but its a pain in the backside for rat ogres.

    Mainly cuz minotaurs tend to have a much more clear-cut roll in a chaos team, they just hit stuff…..sure you can play around with giving them tentacles and break tackle….but generally most people stick to hitting stuff with claw and doing the more fancy work with their warriors who have agi 3, no loner and general skill access.

    For skaven the rat-ogre is one of only three players with guard on normal rolls, and he comes base with a mutation that is handy but only in a positional sense.
    So you have to move the bugger around a lot, put him in places where he’ll be the most use. But if you dont blitz, its a 4+ to move him…which is painful.
    If you DO blitz, then he’s got frenzy which makes it all the more likely he’ll end up causing the turnover and makes it harder to end him in the spot you wanted to.

    So for my rat ogre, I’d much rather any of the other ones, including probably really stupid, since hes close to other players almost all the time.

    But for mino and snow troll, wild animal aint bad

  5. Coach October 16, 2009 at 3:54 pm #

    That is all well and good but this is about Horns not Wild Animal, you guys are keen!

  6. Wanderer October 16, 2009 at 5:13 pm #

    I think the forums will help – it’ll be easier to keep things organized with threads and links rather than only having comments in reply to existing articles.

  7. Rutger November 26, 2009 at 9:47 am #

    Horns is why I really like Beastmen. It really terrifies the opponent when he knows that all the players in your team has atleast a S4 Blitz.

    In combination with Frenzy it’s lethal. Just make sure you get Block before Frenzy.

    As for giving Horns to a Chaos Warrior for the purpose of Blitzing other S4 players such as Black Orcs is in my book a waste of skill. Usually stronger players are slow and tend to stick in the middle of the field and bash. These are not the players I normally Blitz. However this depends on the teams in your league, sometimes it might come handy especially against other Chaos teams.

    As for Skaven, Horns would be a very good first skill for a Stormvermin giving the team some much needed offensive power.

  8. Brettski April 8, 2011 at 7:39 am #

    I think horns is fairly meh skill to be honest. Not terrible, mind you, but it sucks that this is starting skill for chaos teams. Thick skull (as for dwarves) is far stronger to have on your entire team. Thick skull is helping the dwarf team each and every time they make a block, dodge, or go for it. And thick skull isn’t even a very good skill.

    I think horns needs to be reworked into something that helps with blocking in general, not just blitzes. The hitting game is one by the overall success of multiple blocks, not one flashy blitz.

  9. Exavia September 11, 2011 at 7:41 pm #

    Im going to have to disagree with you Brettski. Horns as a skill on paper maybe “meh” but what it does strategically is force your opponent to setup players at the beginning of drives, creating cages and so on and so forth differently to that of a setup against a team with no horns. It can force your opponent to clump up tighter or to mark players to reduce/prevent blitzes occurring, which is EXACTLY what teams like Chaos want. It changes the whole dynamic of the game as in the back of the defending players mind is “there is a ST4 Blitz somewhere”. It’s like playing against someone who has a wizard, in the back of your mind your wondering when hes going drop that fireball. Because your last turn he clumped up 5 of your players.

    Its like a mini psych out, combined with Frenzy it can be extremely frustrating.

  10. Coinjock October 19, 2011 at 4:18 am #

    Personally I love Horns as a skill with the Skaven. I wouldn’t put it on every lineman, but it is definately nice to be able to pull a two dice Blitz! out when you need one. Love the combination with Frenzy as well.

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