Age of Sigmar: Sons of Behemat – Review

My humble house shook and trembled as the delivery man hammered on my door last week. This seemed only fitting, as he bore the latest preview samples from Games Workshop. Today, I’ll be reviewing the impending Sons of Behemat Battletome for Age of Sigmar, along with the brand new Mega-Gargant Kit!

With their new battletome, the Sons of Behemat are the latest faction introduced to Age of Sigmar. Players were keen to point out that this book, along with the accompanying new kits, were offering some of an Imperial Knight-style army for those in Warhammer Age of Sigmar. I can confirm that this comparison is rather apt.

For those unaware, the Sons of Behemat are the giant-kin wandering and raiding the Mortal Realms. Those of you who would want an impressive-looking army with a low model count, these guys are for you! The battletome for the army is quite trim, at a mere 80 pages. However, all the information you need is there.

Biggest Is Best?

The book does a wonderful job of exploring the background and lore of the giants, or “Gargants” of Age of Sigmar. Delving into their history, their behaviour and even their tribal composition, the book does everything that it needs to in that regard.

With such a small unit count (four total different warscrolls), it’s no surprise that the book isn’t exactly a tome. The rules for each form of Gargant are similar, but have slight twists to imbue a sense of individuality into each form of Gargant. Mancrusher Gargants are the more-established giants as seen in the game up to now (Aleguzzlers, Chaos Gargants, etc). However, the spotlight is firmly on the brand new Mega-Gargants! These new units are the Kraken-eaters, Gatebreakers and Warstompers.

The basic stats are the same across the board for the Mega-Gargants. 35 Wounds, Bravery 7 and Save 4+. Their rules help to provide some semblance of uniqueness across them but, ironically, there’s nothing truly groundbreaking between them to stand out against one-another. The individual rules for each Mega-Gargant may not contrast starkly against each other, but there’s enough flavour here to set them apart; at least, at first.

There’s something amusing about the “biggest” faction in Age of Sigmar seemingly getting the smallest battletome…

Whilst their rules don’t imbue any stellar sense of diversity, they work well enough to provide that sense of variation. The weapons are slightly different between them. The Warstomper’s Titanic Boulderclub deals more attacks and damage dependent on the number of enemy models nearby. The Kraken-eater has a net that he can stuff enemies into, slaying weaker enemies in droves. Whereas the Gatebreaker can pick up terrain features and throw them at enemy units!

Monstrous Mercenaries

With each Mega-Gargant being monstrous to fight alone, having these slightly-tinted rules to separate them could help to stop them from stagnating when fielded on the table. They can be fielded as a full army, with Mancrusher Gargants acting as battleline. Alternatively, you can hire them as mercenaries alongside other factions! When considering this, you can certainly see the correlation between them at the Imperial Knights of Warhammer 40,000.

You can even field different “Tribes” based on who your general is. There are tribes to be led by each different Mega-Gargant, each with unique battle traits, artefacts and command traits. Again, this will encourage you to field multiple Mega-Gargants in your army whilst further instilling a sense of differentiation between them. The sense of difference will not feel huge, but it’s welcome nonetheless.

In reading the Sons of Behemat book, something leapt out at me quite early on. This army is high-cost, with low-model count whilst featuring units that are fairly straightforward in their use. Whilst I’m sure the financial barrier to entry for Sons of Behemat will be high, the actual complexity and gameplay barriers feel fairly non-existent. In some ways, this could make them a very viable starter army in a handful of regards.

Big, But Not Strictly Stupid

That’s not to say that Sons of Behemat are completely one-dimensional. Fielding some Mega-Gargants alongside some Mancrushers can imbue some keen strategies. You’ll want to ensure that the right traits are picked for the job. This is whilst also being wary of holding necessary objectives with such a small amount of models. However, due to the sheer power and devastation that these models can bring, it certainly makes them feel quite accessible. They may struggle with board possession, but they’ll certainly clear a big portion of it, given the chance!

Whilst the book is indeed light on pages and may not be as substantial as other battletomes, there’s all you need here for your desired army of giants. There’s even a rather comprehensive painting guide in the middle section of the book. This covers everything from painting Gargant toe nails, skin tone and the countless trinkets each colossal fighter is adorned with.

The book does feature a sizeable section of painting guidance, covering many parts of the impressive kits and how to tackle them into looking their best.

The Sons of Behemat battletome manages to fit nicely into two segments of player. If you’ve wanted an exceptionally elite army with a low model count but incomprehensible strength, then these guys are for you. However, if you’re also keen to provide some gargantuan support to one of your supporting armies, then there’s something here for you, too.

Go Big Or Go Home

Moving swiftly onto the second part of this larger-than-life article, I’ve been sent the impressive new Mega-Gargant kit. I’m opting for something a little different this time round. Fortunately, I had enough time to get one of these towering tyrants built and painted before the article went live.

I present to you…Ukto, the Thirsty!

The Gatebreak Mega-Gargant

The kit allows you to build one of the three aforementioned variants of Mega-Gargant, the Kraken-eater, Gatebreaker and Warstomper. The different types of Mega-Gargant are visually distinct and still maintain a semblance of cohesion when together.

Where building the kit was concerned, it began as an intimidating affair but soon became fairly intuitive. There’s some degree of customisation with the amount of trinkets and gubbins that can be built between each variant. As an example, my Gatebreaker has been built with the Kraken-eater’s net/loin cloth adornments. This will help to provide at least an inkling of storytelling between each Mega-Gargant. That would certainly prove beneficial should you wish to build numerous of them for your army.

A Tall Order

Unfortunately, the Mega-Gargants suffer the same setbacks as the older Gargant models. The parts join together as the front half and rear half across both the legs and torso. This leaves very noticeable gaps where the parts connect, which are nigh-unmissable where exposed skin of the model is concerned. Should you wish to mask this, you’ll need to make some efforts to poly-cement over the gaps or similar obscuring methods.

Bizarrely, despite being an exceptionally large kit, it also comes with some infuriatingly small and fragile components. It feels all too easy to apply a little too much pressure to some parts, accidentally snapping them irreparably. Careful hands and caution are key here. Else, you’ll find yourself with your head hung low, trying desperately to glue tiny bits of netting together.

When it comes to painting, the kits very much feel as though you get as much out of them as you’re willing to put in. The models themselves are so impressive that achieving a “battle-ready” painted state would likely leave most feeling quite gratified.

However, it’s the additional details that you put in that would help to bring these models to live. Unsurprisingly, the larger segments aren’t the most challenging to paint to a good standard. The true challenge comes from the numerous curios and adornments that present the real hurdle to overcome. The temptation to skip over them proves very real. However, in getting these done, the model truly comes unto itself and the personality of the kit shines radiantly, only reinforced by the sheer size of the Mega-Gargant itself.

It’s Not All About Size

For my attempt at painting, I went quite heavy on the zenithal highlighting approach for the sake of saving time. It’s worked quite well, but I can definitely see that patience would be key to really having this model be the true center-piece on the tabletop. This puts the Mega-Gargant in the ever-so murky spot of being something that could intimidate novice painters, alongside what will be an undoubtedly hefty price tag.

Sons of Behemat crashes down onto the Age of Sigmar scene, firmly landing on both feet. It brings with it a new way to conquer the Mortal Realms that will surely stir the scene up with both the new faction and a shake-up for some existing factions, too. Their versatility between factions will surely be a boon for the line/faction to thrive on the scene.

However, I can’t help but think that things aren’t as cut-and-dry as would be hoped. Whilst they may be desirable on the tabletop as far as rules are concerned, some would-be owners may put off. This would most likely be due to a semi-predictably high kit cost for the new models. Additionally, there’s likely to be some apprehension to those who would tackle them with a paint brush who may never have tackled such a large “miniature” before.

Nonetheless, I’m just pleased to see Age of Sigmar thrive with another new faction. The kits are fantastic and I cannot wait to unleash Ukto the Thirsty. I can imagine an immense satisfaction of seeing two Mega-Gargants hired for opposing armies, locking eyes and zipping straight for each-other to see who the biggest and best may be.

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