-By: Scott (PG_Sc077y)

Working with fury, and managing it on the table, is probably one of the most important skills to have as a Hordes player, and can require some additional forethought before you burst into action.  In this article, I’m going to discuss the key fury management models, some basic strategies on how to manage your fury, and simple solutions to fury math!

Fury management, and everything I will tell you in this article, is my opinion only. There are several play styles and different solutions on how to manage the fury in your army, these are just some easy ways I go about it.

Rule number one for fury management, is to never bite of more than you can chew.  There may be some times where it’s a good idea to let a beast frenzy, but for the most part, frenzying beasts is double jeopardy.  Not only do you not get the work out of them you need because their frenzy uses their activation, but they also can be ignored for a turn by your opponent because he knows EXACTLY what they will be doing next turn.

The next basic rule of fury management is to count out your fury.  Make sure you know what your warlock needs to spend and what spells to cast, and what beasts need to be not maxed out on fury so you can transfer to them.  I have seen plenty of games end far too quickly (and a lot of mine I might add) due to not having a beast to transfer too, not because they were all dead, but because I can’t do math and just maxed them all out.

Mind your support.  Using powerful abilities like condition to remove fury from models is awesome and allows you to get more work out of your beasts than you maybe normally could, but the problem is that it also puts a target on their head.  It certainly wouldn’t be the first nyss shepherd that a widowmaker has claimed as a victim, and I doubt it’ll be the last.  Many times, especially with low fury warlocks, like Absylonia 2 and Xerxis 1, they rely on that fury management to help them get a measurable amount of work out of their beasts.  It’s dangerous though, so make sure you protect your support staff, because if you lose them, not being able to run your battlegroup to the peak efficiency might be enough to lose you the game.

Use different tokens for beast fury and Warlock fury (and even krielstone fury if it applies).  It’s easy to get things messed up and mixed up on the table during a game, especially when fury is being thrown around everywhere, but remember to keep a clean table. I have seen way too many situations where a player thought they were safe, only to forget the last point of fury on the table where the model started their activation.  It seems silly, but good clean play can solve some fury management issues.

Each faction has some method of fury management, and here is a really quick and basic break down by faction I to manage fury and how they interact with the game:

  • Legion of Everblight – Blighted Nyss Shepherd and Forsaken.  Blighted Nyss are 1 point models with condition, a special action that allows this model to remove a fury point from a war beast.  They are also FA3.  Forsaken are 4 point solos, that can use stored fury they pull from warbeasts to increase the range of their attack.  Seeing both, either, or in any legion list is very common. Also, watch out, cause that nyss shephard can force models in her command area the same way a Warlock can, so she can increase the effective range of your opponent’s beasts.
  • Trollbloods – Trollblood whelps are the primary source of fury manipulation available to trolls.  (Calandra does have the spell soothing song, but well cover that a bit later).  They do have annoyance (-1 to hit if within an inch for enemy models), and you get 5 of them for 4 points, but they are a one use fury removal tool.  The good news is that you can also sacrifice them to heal your beasts too.  They do not have to be deployed at the beginning of the game, but instead can be placed into play when a beast of yours takes damage, and they are solos, so they can capture and contest scenario elements, but other than that, these guys aren’t seen very often on the table.
  • Skorne – Paingiver Beast Handlers are the classic fury management and beast support team in the game.  They can enrage a beast to give it +2 str, condition to remove one fury, or medicate to heal the beast D3.  In addition to that, they are Mat 5, with anatomical precision and a 2” melee range, so they are really a very versatile support unit that can actually handle other support units in melee… if the situation gets desperate enough…
  • Circle Orboros – Shifting Stones, much like the skorne beast handles, are great at many things.  They can heal, pull one fury off of a beast, and even teleport a beast of theirs 8” ignoring intervening models. The downside is they are immobile, and have to use their action to move if they choose to do so.  The good news is that they are arm 18 and have 5 boxes each, and cost very little, so they can contest flags and scenario zones long after their usefulness has been played out.
  • Minions – The Gobber Chef doesn’t really do anything else other than fury manage, but that’s ok, because he is REALLY good at fury managing beasts.  Sacrificing a friendly faction model to the beast you wish to manage (remember, friendly faction to the warbeast, not the chef.  If you wanted to pull the fury off of a Dire Troll Mauler, you would have to sacrifice a trollblood friendly faction warrior model to do so) and you can pull all of the fury off of the warbeast, setting them up to go another turn and run hot, maxing out their fury with no risk to the beast.  He is also very cheap, that’s definitely another plus.

And another one done. Enjoy the fury management basics and as always, if you have questions, please let us know, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter!