Hrothgorn’s Mantrappers

It’s about to get a lot hungrier.

Welcome to my Warband Review of Hrothgorn’s Mantrappers. This is the 6th Beastgrave warband who represent the rampaging force of the Beastclaw Raiders. As always thanks to Games Workshop for providing me these for free to review. With that all out of the way, onto the review!


Narrative

Hrothgorn and his Mantrappers were scouting ahead of their Alfrostun when suddenly they picked up the scent of bountiful pray beasts. Darting off into the maze-like tunnels in search of the bounty, Hrothgorn soon realised he was now trapped within the Beastgrave. After taking out his rage on the Beastgrave’s residents due to being lured in, he soon set out for escape with his ragtag crew.


Miniatures

Hrothgorn’s Mantrappers are a 5 fighter warband consisting of Hrothgorn, his Sabretusk Thrafnir and his 3 Gnoblars. Each miniature comes detailed with the standard trappings of the Beastclaw Raiders with various bones, teeth and jagged weaponry. Hrothgorn is my favourite model of the bunch. He truly looks like a veteran Ogor Icebrow Hunter thanks to his numerous trophies and grizzled face.

The miniatures come in baby-blue coloured plastic. They go together fairly easily with minimal contact points to the bases making them easier to paint. Hrothgorn really is a marvel for how he goes together with not too many parts and works even as pushfit only despite all the extravagant detail such as the Trap Launcher.


The Fighters

Hrothgorn’s Mantrappers are a mixed warband which are middle-of-the-road in terms of numbers at 5 fighters. I call this kinda the tough spot as you’ll always have 1 fighter within reach of the opponent from the start of the game which opens interesting choices for both players.

Due to their varied composition the fighters share very little in common apart from their inspire condition which is when an enemy fighter is taken out of action adjacent to Hrothgorn. This means if Hrothgorn dies before inspiring then your warband can’t inspire. It also means Hrothgorn doesn’t need to kill the adjacent fighter, they just have to go out of action adjacent to him. This is allows a lot of exploitability with the right cards or using lethal hexes. It also means you have to take risks with Hrothgorn. Having him sitting back doing nothing means you’ll never inspire but charge and whiff will leave Hrothgorn at the mercy of your opponent.

Hrothgorn Mantrapper

Hrothgorn Mantrapper is your leader and mighty Ogor! He’s armed with a Trap Launcher which is range 3, 2 fury, 2 damage and can push a target 1 hex closer to Hrothgorn after the attack action if it succeeded. He also comes with a Hunting Knife which is range 1, 2 smash and 3 damage. He has a move characteristic of 4, defends on a single block and has 6 wounds.
His real bonus is that he makes all enemy fighters a Quarry. As a Hunter this really opens up the Hunter/Quarry mechanics allowing for some amazing combos. It helps people get a grip around how these all work in tandem. Also funny in the mirror match where both Hrothgorns are Hunters and Quarries.

Hrothgorn Inspired has his Trap Launcher go up to 3 fury and on a successful hit he pushes the target up to 2 hexes closer instead. Get over here! His Hunting Knife goes to 3 smash which makes him even more reliable. He also goes up to 2 block, increasing his durability.

Thrafnir

Thrafnir is your noble Frost Sabre. He’s armed with his Elongated Fangs which are range 1, 3 fury and 2 damage. He’s also movement 5, 2 defence, 3 wounds as well as being a Hunter. He can’t be given attack action upgrades or hold objectives.

Thrafnir Inspired has his Elongated Fangs gain Cleave and can re-roll a single dice in the attack roll. Other than that he remains unchanged.

Quiv

Quiv is 1 of the 3(4) Gnoblar fighters in the warband. He’s armed with Harpoon Bolts that are range 1, 2 fury and 1 damage. He’s movement 3, 1 dodge and has 2 wounds. His special ability is that while adjacent to Hrothgorn, you can re-reroll 1 dice for the Trap Launcher. Give da boss more bolts! Positioning is important with this but not crucial. Deploying him adjacent to Hrothgorn is the easiest way to maximise the effect but a more optimal way is planning where you want each fighter to end up and charging Hrothgorn after moving up Quiv.

Quiv Inspired has his Harpoon Bolts go to 3 fury, goes to movement 4 and gains 2 dodge.

Luggit and Thwak

Luggit and Thwak are the deadliest combination of fighters in Warhammer Underworlds; 2 Gnoblars stacked on top of each other! They’re armed with a Beatin’ Club which is range 1, 1 smash and 1 damage. They are movement 3, 1 dodge and have 3 wounds. They have the ability that as long as there are fewer than 2 wound tokens on this fighter, the Beatin’ Club gets +1 dice. It also has a special reaction. If you have fewer success rolls in the attack roll compared to your opponent’s defence roll, you get push the target. In any direction. It’s a big club.

Luggit and Thwak Inspired have their Beatin’ Club go to 2 fury while retaining the same abilities and goes up to movement 4.

Bushwakka

Buswakka is your final Gnoblar and most likely Australian. He’s armed with a Beast Trap which is range 1, 1 fury, 1 damage. He’s also movement 3, 1 dodge and 2 wounds. What makes him really special is his reaction. After any activation, there is no trap model on the battlefield and Bushwakka has no charge tokens, place a trap model in any adjacent Empty hex and give him a charge token. Any time another model moves, is pushed or placed in that hex they take 2 damage. There’s so much skill and freedom related to this. Dump the trap in a lethal hex for 3 points of damage muahaha. Use it to block-off objectives as well. Remember your own models can be hurt by it though!

Bushwakka Inspired has his Beast Trap go to 2 fury and gains movement 4 with 2 dodge. His trap ability remains unchanged.


Faction Cards

Now we’re at the card part of the review! As always faction cards then universals. Special note, Hrothgorn’s Mantrappers contain 8 Surge cards. For Championship Format a deck cannot have more than 6 Surge card. Sadly some things happen in orders you can’t foresee. For friendly games just let it slide but even then the universal cards come with enough objectives for you to make a legal Championship Format deck.

Faction Objectives

Extra Crunchy is a Surge that gives you 2 glory for killing an enemy fighter with 3 or more upgrades. Great reward but actually quite difficult to do reliably early.

Hunter’s Feast is another Surge for 2 glory that you score if Hrothgorn kills 2 enemy fighters in a single round. Great against horde warbands and a dice-empowered Hrothgorn but just quite situational, in a good way.

Momentarily Sated is faction Annihilation. Double Annihilation Mantrappers? Be the aggro player you were destined to be.

Top of the Food Chain is a 1 glory objective if your leader is the only surviving leader. It’s alright just not always easy to score.

Faction Objectives – Top Picks

Always Moving is a tough but quite reliable 2 glory objective for having no friendly fighters in your territory. Your Gnoblars let you down for scoring this early but you could always sacrifice them for the greater good…Arm of the Everwinter is a Surge you score for removing or flipping a feature token. As it works for both effects, the objective is very reliable.

Boxed In is a Surge scored when an enemy fighter is adjacent to 3 friendly fighters. Swarm with Gnoblars or draw people in with Hrothgorn.

Butchering is a nice 2 glory objective for when more enemy fighters are out of action than surviving enemy fighters. Great against horde warbands but not so good when facing elite warbands.

Dinner Time is a Surge for when you get an enemy fighter with the trap. Situational but great if you’re using the trap effectively.

Flush Them Out grants you 1 Surge glory for pushing an enemy fighter adjacent to your leader. Very easy and can be done via attack actions and power cards.

Surprising Competence shows you how amazing the Gnoblars really are. Rock them up with weapons and go to town!

Unexpected Cunning is a 1 glory Surge for playing 3 power cards in a single phase. Power cards means upgrades too. Phase means action phase as well as upgrade phase. Super easy.

Faction Gambits

Quick Snack is a reaction played when adjacent enemy fighter is taken out of action adjacent to your leader. Heal him depending on their wounds characteristic. Same wording as the inspire mechanic so Hrothgorn doesn’t need to attack in order to trigger.

Faction Gambits – Top Picks

Carnivore’s Senses grants a friendly Hunter Ensnare in the next activation. Have Hrothgorn or Thrafnir punish those dodge fighters.

Driven Onwards removes all move tokens from a friendly fighter allowing greater mobility and freeing you from opponents trying to pin you down.

Frozen Earth removes a feature token that is within 1 hex of Hrothgorn. Freeze it so it’s useless to everyone!Gotcha! gives a move token to an opponent after a successful Trap Launcher attack. Helps pin-down tougher fighters to ease with inspiring.

Gnoblar Scramble pushes each Gnoblar up to 2 hexes. Great for speedy objective captures or getting them out of your own territory.

Icy Breath is a spell that’s not a spell. On a channel or crit do 1 damage to a fighter within 3 hexes of Hrothgorn. Sub-zero.

More Traps. Fred would be proud. Flip a feature token within 1 hex of Bushwakka. It’s great.https://youtu.be/baR-VdBPzzo

Near Miss is a reaction Distraction that you play after a failed Hunter’s attack action. Limited in range of use but still really strong.

Ravenous Fury lets Hrothgorn attack again after a failed range 1 attack action. You can make an attack with a different weapon (e.g. Trap Launcher) but you’ll most likely attack again with the Hunting Knife.

Faction Upgrades

Hunting Beast lets Thrafnir push an opponent or himself 1 hex after a successful attack. 2 hex push on an opponent is strong but it’s tied to Thrafnir.

Plucky Pair makes Luggit and Thwak even more accurate and better at defence. Just depends how much you value the amazing duo.

Scion of the Everwinter makes Hrothgorn give every adjacent enemy fighter a move token as an action. Strong but situational.Veteran Hunter is for Hrotgorn or a Gnoblar. As an action draw 2 cards. It’s alright but I’d go for Bag of Tricks instead.

Faction Upgrades – Top Picks

Desperate Parry is a super Soultrap for Gnoblars. On a 50/50 the combat sequence ends. Great at staying alive and standing on objectives.

Famed Hunter is Awakened Weapon for Hrothgorn. Amazing.Living Avalanche is faction Great Strength for Hrotgorn. Also amazing.

Massive Bulk is faction Deathly Fortitude for Hrothgorn. Tank all the damage.

Savage Instinct grants Ensare to range 1 and 2 attack actions. Put it on Hrotgorn or inspired Thrafnir to have Cleave AND Ensare!

Toughened Hide is restricted to a Hunter but reduces damage taken by 1. Hrothgorn has thick skin.

Universal Cards

Now it’s time for all the universal cards that come within Hrotgorn’s Mantrappers expansion.

Universal Objectives

Skilled Duellist rewards you for investing in Combo. Great if you are but otherwise pass as it’s very specific.

Team Effort is reliable 1 glory for activating each surviving friendly fighter. Great for elite warbands but still dictates what you do in a round.

Triumphant Hunt grants you 2 glory for 3 enemy fighters being out of action with at least 1 being a Quarry. Great rewards but really situational.

Universal Objectives – Top Picks

Against the Wall is a Surge for 1 glory whenever an enemy fighter is taken out of action while in an edge hex. Lots of way to score this with careful planning. Gambits are the best way to score this. Really like it.

Aggressive Strategy is a 2 glory end phase objective for scoring 5 or more Surge objectives. Hard to do early but great mid to late game.

Blaze a Trail is a Surge that rewards you for having all your surviving fighters alone in enemy territory. Really good for fast and elite wardands, namely Rippa’s Snarlfangs.

Rising Power is a Surge that gives you 1 glory for casting a spell with 3 or more dice. Well of Power is the obvious example but you can do it with Potion of Rage and Determined Effort too! Amazing for magic warbands.

Uncontested grants you 3 glory for holding 2 or more objectives while no enemy fighters hold objectives. Aggro players hate this card. Risky but worth the reward. Opponents can play around this in a best of 3 game though.

Unexpected Pitfall is an amazing Surge objective. Gain glory via numerous lethal hex kills or with gambits like Snare. Really flexible and rewards good positioning.

Universal Gambits

Blindside is a reaction that helps get friendly fighters to support. Countercharge is better despite it only working during charges.

Dragged into the Darkness is a very situational card that only works on enemy fighters who have 1 wound left and move token(s). Super situational.

Unnatural Truce is alright. Draw 2 cards and your opponent draws 1. +1 card economy for you but also your opponent, is it worth the risk?Vicious Beast is fun but unreliable. Easy to setup with being able to place lethal hexes but only good against lots of potential targets. It can damage your own fighters though.

Wildform is the old Warhammer Fantasy spell reborn! Cast only on doubles but the result of the casting depends on the roll. Basically a free upgrade but doesn’t work with innates. Very thematic and fun but difficult to use reliably.

Universal Gambits – Top Picks

Buried Instinct lets you on guard as a reaction during an enemy attack, surprise guard! If you’re a Quarry you re-roll the defence dice too. Basically an auto-include for Thorns of the Briar Queen among other hold objective players too. Hrothgorn hates this card.

Chain Attack unlocks Combo for any weapon. Really strong when combined with the right Combo attack action upgrades.

Rocksnake Toxin is a Poison gambit that does 1 damage at the end of each action phase. There’s nothing better than playing this on an enemy fighter with 1 wound and their player now knowing the fighter will die no matter what. Slow but reliable.

Sudden Scarcity is a gambit I love as it’s full mind games. The next upgrade costs 1 glory more for your opponent till the end of the action phase. Really messes with the tempo of Surge objectives and your opponent’s plan. Does your opponent want to spend 2 glory for an upgrade or wait till the end phase to equip? Be cruel and combine this with Daylight Robbery.

Universal Upgrades

Binding Chain is a reliable Combo opener. Run if you are a Combo master.Hunter’s Caution is Champions Fortitude but against Quarry attacks only. It makes you a Hunter but the fighter who makes most use of this is Hrothgorn.

Terrifying Aura is a counter card of sorts. Prevents you from being a Quarry and opponents cannot re-roll dice from attack actions against you. Very defensive but strong when used correctly.

Universal Upgrades – Top Picks

Amberbone Spear is another amazing Amberbone weapon. On a successful kill, burn it for extra glory but what makes it truly great is that range of 2. Very versatile.

Cryptic Companion is a very strong upgrade, no lies about that. Makes you a Quarry but at the end of the action phase if said fighter is holding an objective you gain a glory. Watch out for push cards.

Finishing Blow is a Combo upgrade that bumps up to an amazing 4 damage when used in that way. Overkill? Maybe but it’s the only way to be sure.

Mandibles of the Ur-Grub is an Ur-Grub Aspect card that lets you heal 1 wound after a successful range 1 attack. Restricted in use but great at tanky fighters as you don’t need to kill to heal.

Quintok’s Combatative Cantrip, apart from being a mouthful, is a Lost Page with a strong spell. Cast on a focus, push an adjacent enemy fighter then yourself and gain guard! Really strong for defensive play and capturing objectives.

Victor’s Speed is +1 move but can be equipped for free if a friendly fighter takes an enemy fighter out of action. Simple, fun and good.


Decks

Now to the deck section! Once again these are sample decks to get you going and build off of. They’re not super competitive but designed to be optimal and fun. First I’ll do a deck with only Beastgrave cards and then a deck for Championship Format.
Special thanks goes to Underworldsdb.com! As Games Workshop released all the cards during the week I now have an up-to-date deck builder to use for this. It’s a lifesaver.

Beastgrave Only Cards

Playstyle: Aggro

Decklink

This deck focuses on rushing down the enemy and making their territory a mess. You pin them in then let the carnage grow. Of course this is very dependent on you winning boards but it’s still a strong goal. Objectives like Always Moving means you’ve gotta move ASAP while Gathered Momentum helps for easy early glory with Thrafnir.

The power deck has lots of objective disruption with 3 ways to flip/remove feature tokens. There’s also lots of Ensare to deal with pesky dodge fighters. I’ve also put in Amberbone Spear and Larval Lance for their range and how deadly they make Gnoblars which synergises with Surprising Competence.

Championship Format

Playstyle: Aggro

Decklink

With the Championship Format deck not much has changed, just general improvements/refinements with the larger card pool. Calculated Risk makes your brave Gnoblars even better! Solid Gains and Opening Gambit pop in as more reliable 1 glory objectives. Although now the deck is a little more dependent on Hrotgorn than before. The power deck has a little change by packing Distraction and an extra card to remove feature tokens. Tome of Offerings stacks with Trophy Belt for 2 unspent glory per kill, making the combo even stronger than before.


Accessories

I also got Hrothgorn’s Mantrappers faction card sleeves! As always these come with 10 clear sleeves (fighter cards), 20 objective sleeves (objective cards) and 40 power card sleeves (power cards). I’ve played with these card sleeves long enough to say I’m happy to recommend them. I’m not a fan of the red design as well as objective cards and power cards can be easily mixed up but they’re still a decent investment if you want to fully represent your chosen faction.


Warband Overview

Hrothgorn’s Mantrappers are a very interesting aggro warband. They blow up objectives and don’t afraid of anything. You have to play quite risky to inspire but have a lot of threat range. Having 5 fighters means you also bleed a lot of glory which results in you needing to play more carefully than with Mollog. Still you have the ability for the Gnoblars to capture objectives while you move up and Thrafnir acts as a deadly missile. Bushwakka’s trap and Hrothgorn’s Trap Launcher also offering interesting propositions for people with particularly good positioning power. Then you have the whole depth of having access to the Hunter/Quarry mechanics. It’s key to not forget that the Warband is super dependent on Hrothgorn, once he dies it’s generally over. Also the downside to being a 5 fighter warband with 4 very killable companions. The Mantrappers may look simple at first but have so much potential to explore.

In the end I’d recommend buying Hrothgorn’s Mantrappers. They’re a strong and fun warband with access to some interesting universal cards like Sudden Scarcity. If you want to get Hrothgorn’s Mantrappers you can pre-order/buy them directly from Games Workshop here or from Element Games here who I’m now affiliated with and they provide a 20% discount.

Load the trap launcher and rile up the Gnoblars. Hrothgorn’s hungry for fresh meat and freedom. Show the Beastgrave how powerful impressive bulk can be. The hunter supreme and his Everwinter crits.

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