• Aman

Product Review: Hrothgorn's Mantrappers

Updated: Feb 3


Premiering the second half of the Beastgrave warbands is Hrothgorn's Mantrappers - a motley warband led by a very, very hungry Icebrow Hunter Ogre, his ferocious Frost Saber, and his Gnoblar "companions."


In this article, I will be reviewing all the contents that come inside the Hrothgorn's Mantrappers Expansion. This includes the models, fighter cards, faction cards, and universal cards. Furthermore, I will be sharing my thoughts on how to best pilot the warband.


I would like to thank Games Workshop for sending me a copy to review early so that I could share this awesome information with you all.


Get over here!

Models:

As we have come to expect from the Beastgrave series, the production quality on the box is top notch. Packaged at a high level, the faction outwork is prominently displayed on the front. The artwork displays the a very menacing Hrothgorn with a vicious looking Thrafnir dominating the center. The gnoblars, despite being diminutive in size, look quite formidable as well.

Here we have the models fully assembled. Unfortunately, I do not have a sprue shot as I got a bit too excited to build these guys. 😅As you can see here, they look amazing. Thrafnir is by far my favorite model. Honestly, he is everything Lighaen could have been. The gnoblars look great too - full of character and dare I say, charm as well.


I think Hrothgorn could have been bigger. Still, he looks great, imposing, and that crossbow/trap launcher is sick! I am a big fan of the trap model as well. It's a nice touch.

The warband is fairly easy to assemble, especially when following the assembly guide. Look out for the pegs when building Hrothgorn - he can be a bit finicky. Still I had them ready in minutes. The hold was quite tight as well. The models I built above are dry-fitted. I recommend glueing your models together for a maximum hold, though.

As you expect, the lore for this warband involved Hrothgorn getting hungry. As he was on the trail for some food, he ends up in the Beastgrave. In typical fashion, he gets mad and goes on a rampage while trying to find an exit. I'm sure he eats his fair share of "snacks" along the way.

Warband:

The big man himself, Hrothgorn is a force to be reckoned with. As befitting his ogre lineage, he's got a monster of a profile - he's got a whopping 6 health with a single block! Also, 4 move is fantastic.


We've got two attacks: the Trap Launcher and his Hunting Knife. The former is definitely the cooler of the two despite being not very accurate. It has a range of 3 hexes, as befitting most ranged weapons in the game, hits on 2 fury, and deals 2 damage. What makes this weapon cool though is the fact that it comes with its own baked in reaction. If the attack hits, the target of the attack can be pushed 1 hex closer to Hrothgorn. Not only does that scream Scorpion vibes from Mortal Kombat, that is also freaking awesome!


Laugh maniacally as you drag enemies closer to their doom, most likely though lethal hexes, straight into the ogre's belly!


The second attack, while not as exciting, is definitely the more reliable of the two. It hits on a respectable 2 smash, and deals a massive 3 damage. Furthermore, this attack is the key to the warband's inspire. Keep in mind you don't have to use that specific attack to inspire, it just seems like the tool that will lead to inspiration the most.


What makes Hrothgorn very menacing is the fact that he has a special rule that makes all enemies a Quarry. So what does that mean? Well that means Hrothgorn, and his good boy Thrafnir, can take full advantage of the Hunter/Quarry mechanic. There are a ton of cards whose values have shot through the roof.


Once inspired, Hrothgorn goes from a great fighter to a terrifying one. He gets more accurate with ranged attack jumping up to 3 fury while his melee attack goes 3 smash. Furthermore, he gets an additional defense dice putting him to 2 block.


Mantrapper is a powerful fighter who, in some circumstances, can wipe out a whole warband singlehandedly. Be smart with your positioning, wait for the right time to strike, and watch as he carves his way through opposing fighters. Don't overcommit him as he isn't invincible. 6 wounds is awesome but 2 solid hits can take him down quick. Also, be sure to take advantage of that ranged attack. We all know 2 damage at range is awesome but the movement shenanigans the hits can provide are also nothing to scoff at.


Thrafnir, my favorite model and certified thicc kitty, is another powerful member of this warband. He's got a melee attack that hits on 3 fury and deals 2 damage. That's pretty accurate!


He's also pretty survivable as well as he starts off with 2 dodge and 5 movement. Although I would have liked to see 4 wounds, as he is huge, 3 wounds seems fair. If you are lucky he will tank a hit before going down, too.


Once inspired, the saber tusk gains cleave and is able to re-roll one dice in his attack rolls. I'm getting some serious Riptooth vibes from this fighter and as a result, he is probably used in the same way. Bide your time, and when they moment is ripe, strike with a ferocity. While Thrafnir isn't a bruiser, he can surgically charge in and get some quick take downs. If he manages tot survive his charge, he can potentially do some serious damage to your opponent's backline.


Don't forget, he is a Hunter! That mean's you could potentially get alpha strike assassinations with this attack plus Snare. Nice kitty...


At first glance, Bushwakka doesn't have the greatest profile. In fact, you could argue that it is in fact, quite subpar. We've got a melee attack that hits on 1 fury and deals a measly 1 damage. Then we've got 3 movement, which nowadays is pretty slow, and a single dodge. Oh, and 2 health! A swift breeze will knock over this gnoblar.


But! What makes Bushwakka the potential MVP of this warband is his special reaction. After an activation, as long as he doesn't have any charge tokens, he can place a trap model adjacent to himself. This is awesome because if a fighter ever enters, is pushed, or placed on a hex in which a trap model is present, the fighter suffers 2 damage and the trap is removed. That's insanely powerful and, you guessed it, combos exceptionally well with Hrothgorn's trap launcher ability.


What makes this trap especially juicy is that it can also hit ethereal fighters like Thorns of the Briar Queen and Lady Harrow's Mournflight. Even ghosts can't escape the masterful traps of Bushwakka!


Once inspired, he bumps up to 4 movement and two dodge which makes him a bit more survivable. He also gains a dice on offense though I doubt you'll ever use it.


As a utility fighter, Bushwakka is best used to either zone out certain hexes or to amplify his warband's damage output. Keep him safe, drop a trap, and try to maximize the potential gain from it. It will pay dividends (and glory).


Sporting similar stats to his gnoblar brethren, Quiv isn't the most attractive fighter. He's got a movement of 3, 1 dodge, and 2 health. He is more accurate than Bushwakka in that he has a 2 fury attack that deals 1 damage.


Quiv's real use is that he allows Hrothgorn to re-roll a dice when the big guy is using his Trap Launcher as long as they are adjacent to one another. This makes the ogre's ranged attack a lot more accurate.


Once inspired, Quiv gains a dice on his attack and his defense, while also bumping up to 4 movement. As a support piece, keep him safe and next to Hrothgorn. If the warband can get inspired and Quiv is still around - Hrothgorn is going to do some bloody work with that crossbow.


Last, but not least, we have the gnoblar duo Luggit and Thwak. Again, we have got a fighter with 3 move and 1 dodge but this time, it would appear that 2 gnoblars are (slightly) better than 1. The 3 health is nice and we've got a somewhat accurate attack that deals 1 damage off of 1 smash.


This fighter gains an extra dice when making their attack roles as long as they don't have more than a single wound. That makes sense thematically and is a neat touch. This means, off the bat, Luggit and Thwak can be a frontline fighter. Even if you don't manage to hit anything, as long as you have less successes than your opponent, you can still use these guys to push enemy fighters a hex away.


Upon inspiring, the duo upgrade to 4 movement but their attack seems like it got a bit of a downgrade. Sure, 2 fury is more accurate than 1 smash but I can never ever roll fury. I guess we can hope for crits.


As I alluded to earlier Luggit and Thwak, alongside Thrafnir, will be your harassers and combat initiators. If they can get some solo takedowns, awesome but don't count on that. These guys are distraction pieces for Hrothgorn. If you get bogged down with them, then you've played right into your opponent's hand.


Faction Cards:

Always Moving: I suppose I do see this warband as an ever advancing group of death but I do find that sometimes it is better for the opponent to come to you, especially if they are the beatdown. While I see potential uses for this card, I don't know if it's that reliable.

Rating: C


Arm of the Everwinter: I really like this card. While draw dependent, it can give your warband some easy, and early, glory in order to start stacking upgrades on Hrothgorn. Plus, it hurts objective play.

Rating: B


Boxed In: While this could come up, I don't see it happening consistently enough. Most of your warband is weak and slow. Unless someone comes in and charges at you, I don't see you scoring this that much.

Rating: D

Butchering: I think this is a matchup dependent card. While you definitely have the tools to takedown anyone you could be playing, you also have 2-3 weak fighters who could potentially get eliminated very easily. So with that being said, unless you are going full aggro, I don't like it that much.

Rating: C


Dinner Time: This is a great card. Placing a trap model is easy enough and using a combination of drive backs and gambits to engineer this eventuality to occur seems pretty likely. The problem is, you have to keep Bushwakka alive, at least till you can drop your trap.

Rating: B


Extra Crunchy: Thematically, this is awesome. In practice, not so much. A fighter with 3 upgrades is already hard enough to eliminate. Once your opponent knows you have this card, they won't give anyone more than 2 upgrades.

Rating: C

Flush Them Out: Pushing an enemy fighter to where they are adjacent to Hrothgorn is pretty thematic and can help your warband inspire if the ogre can do the deed the following activation. It does require some set up and could potentially be draw dependent. Surges are nice though.

Rating: B


Hunter's Feast: This card requires Hrothgorn to take out 2 opposing enemy fighters via attack actions. Even for the big guy, this is tough to nail consistently. Although I think he can do it more often than not, it's not something you can guarantee.

Rating: C


Momentarily Sated: An in-faction version of Annihilation. While neat, it is no where near consistent and often hard to accomplish. Rating: D

Surprising Competence: Another aptly named card and thematic card. What it makes for humor, it lacks in application. Your gnoblar attacks suck - it's a tall order.

Rating: D


Top of the Food Chain: Hrothgorn is a very survivable fighter, especially if you manage to inspire him. If you've got a way to get aggressive while keeping the big man alive - then this could potentially be reliable. Maybe.

Rating: C


Unexpected Cunning: One of things we learned from Grymwatch (and we learned a lot) is that Pervasive Delusions is busted. The same concept applies here. Especially when playing upgrades counts towards this as well.

Rating: A

Carnivores Senses: Ensnare is nice but it's kind of hard to ensure you next attack will land. Could probably see use after you tool up Hrothgorn.

Rating: C


Driven Onwards: This card is probably quite useful in many cases but I don't know if it makes the 10/11 gambit cut. If Transfixing Stare wasn't restricted, it would probably see more play. Even then, it's not a bad option. I just think, I will either be attacking with Hrothgorn or charging.

Rating: C


Frozen Earth: Denying your opponent the ability to capture objectives is powerful, especially when you know which specific ones they are going for. Plus this can lead to some easy glory via certain objectives.

Rating: B

Gnoblar Scramble: Extra maneuverability is always useful, especially when the fighters being pushed have special abilities that amplify your force. You'll probably use this on Quiv and Bushwakka the most for obvious reasons. Not an auto-include though.

Rating: C


Gotcha!: This card can actually be pretty devastating. It's like Transfixing Stare but tied to an attack action. If the game gets tight and Hrothgorn can go first and play this card, I think the Mantrappers win just off of that. It's a great way to isolate/stall dangerous enemy fighters.

Rating: A


Icy Breath: This card is pretty similar to Sphere of Aqshy in that the roll requirements are pretty similar. Unfortunately, there is no way to guarantee this. A 66/33 to deal damage isn't bad, I suppose. But does it make the power deck cut? I don't think so - too many other gambits that are more reliable.

Rating: C

More Traps: Another in-faction way to deny objective play. Could Hrothgorn be the objective meta killer we've been waiting for? In regards to this card, Bushwakka in't very survivable and this could be a dead card in your hand often.

Rating: C


Near Miss: There are a lot of applications when it coms to this card. Personally, I like it as push tech seems integral to the Mantrapper plan, especially when there is a trap model nearby.

Rating: B


Quick Snack: A decent way to keep fuel in the tank that is Hrothgorn. Since he is going to be your workhorse, it makes sense to invest in a way to keep him alive as long as possible. Unfortunately, I don't know if this is it. Healing a wound is the same as adding a wound. I think the upgrade route is better.

Rating: D


Ravenous Fury: An awesome card that allows you to redo an attack action should he miss a range 1 attack action. Keep in mind his "redo" can be a range attack as the card does not specify range 1 the second time. Hrothgorn smash!

Rating: A

Desperate Parry: It's a 50/50 to save a gnoblar's behind. While really cool in application and could possibly be quite aggravating for your opponent, I just don't see the need in investing in an upgrade like this. Your upgrades are probably going towards Hrothgorn.

Rating: D


Famed Hunter: Re-rolling an attack dice in any attack roll is very good - hence why most of those cards have historically been restricted. This is giving reminding me of my PTSD from Mollog.

Rating: A


Hunting Beast: A thematic card that allows Thrafnir to "herd" opponent towards Hrothgorn. Again, while cool - I don't see the point in investing in a specific fighter upgrade other than Hrothgorn.

Rating: C

Living Avalanche: An in-faction Hrothgorn specific Great Strength. Oh boy, that is scary. I think the universals are better in the off chance that Hrothgorn goes down. That way, you can put the damage buff on someone else.

Rating: B


Massive Bulk: So an in-faction Sudden Growth... I am mean really, need I say more? 10 health Hrothgorn incoming! Busted.

Rating: A


Plucky Pair: While increasing the attack action of Luggit and Thwak is probably the fun thing to do, I don't see them winning you games.

Rating: D

Savage Instincts: If the meta continues to be dominated by dodge warbands, then this card will be worth its weight in gold. Not sure if its an auto-include though. The upgrade slots seem tight with this warband.

Rating: C


Scion of the Everwinter: Super thematic and cool. Could really hinder an opponent's game plan, especially in the third phase. Probably not needed though if Hrothgorn is surrounded by enemies. Someone is going down, regardless. Plus, it's an action.

Rating: D


Toughened Hide: As if a faction Sudden Growth and Awakened Weapon weren't enough, let's give Hrothgorn Eldritch Ward too. Very powerful.

Rating: A


Veteran Hunter: I can see the applications here, but I think if you really want to draw cards, there are easier and more reliable ways to do it. Not to mention less costly as well.

Rating: D

Universal Cards:

Against the Wall: An interesting objective - I like it because it's a surge. I do think it's tricky to plan this out perfectly but I suppose it can come up more often than not. You'll probably use it with an aggro deck or at least one that likes ping damage. Encroaching Shadow and Collapse can work wonders with this.

Rating: C


Aggressive Strategy: So this is kind of tough. Before the 6/6 rule, I would have loved to see a card like this but now, I think it is kind of risky as you might not cycle deep enough into your deck, especially if a couple surge cards are at the bottom. I do think it is a better version of Combination Strike in terms of consistency but it's not as big of a glory spike. I look forward to messing around with it. I do see the potential.

Rating: B


Blaze a Trail: Another interesting surge card that is kind of like a mini Conquest. I do think it's a bit harder to pull off as usually, if you want to be in enemy territory, you're most likely charging. And, as we all know, sometimes the dice don't go your way and you can end up next to an enemy fighter. Doubly so if they know you are trying to score this.

Rating: C

Rising Power: So there are a couple ways to score this card. The most obvious way is that you can throw Well of Power onto a level 2 wizard like Stormsire and try to cast anything. Another way you can do it is use an accuracy inducing card, like Potion of Rage, that give you extra dice when making an attack. If your fighter has a spell attack action, you can cast it like that as well. This way is a bit more risky as your spell will no cast if your opponent defends against it. The last way, at least that I can think of, is by playing Arcane Savant on Theddra which bumps her to a level 3 wizard. Generally this card requires a bit of set up but I see this going into magic heavy warbands like Cursebreakers. You might need card draw though to score this reliably or even a tutor like Bag of Tricks. Still, I like it and you can hold it if you want to as it is a surge and it'll cycle your deck whenever you score it.

Rating: B


Skilled Duelist: Landing an attack on enemy fighter when you really need to can be often troublesome, having two land two successful attacks via combo sounds even trickier. I am sure some fighters can do it but I don't think it's consistent enough.

Rating: C


Team Effort: I like this card as it can potentially provide smaller warbands with a consistent end phase card. As long as you've got 2 fighters alive and ALL of your fighters have activated, you are good. I don't reccomened taking this card with a warband that exceeds 4 fighters.

Rating: C

Triumphant Hunt: As of now, there is no way to guarantee an enemy fighter is a Quarry other than when playing as Hrothgorn's Mantrappers. As a result, I don't see you taking this card outside of that particular warband. For them it's solid, for everyone else - it requires too much setup.

Rating: D


Uncontested: The glory reward on this objective is nice, the conditions in which you must score it are not. In a world where objectives are key, I don't think you can reliably score this card. I suppose you could slap a ton of pushes and objective shifting cards into your deck but I think your deck would suffer for overall when you are just trying to score this card. I guess you could make a deck, probably with Guardians, that could flip/destroy a bunch of tokens but I just don't see that being worth it either.

Rating: D


Unexpected Pitfall: This is an awesome card for aggressive warbands. If you're able to take an enemy fighter out via a lethal hex or a gambit (Pit Trap, Snare, Lethal Ward, etc.) then you've scored this card easily enough. Individually, both conditions are rather weak but when presented with options, the use of this card jumps through the roof.

Rating: A

Blindside: A great card for larger warbands, it could potentially save a life or two, especially with fighters who have more than 1 defense dice.

Rating: C


Buried Instinct: Going on guard as a reaction is pretty neat, especially if you've got a decently defensive fighter. The re-roll combos nice too if your fighter is a Quarry but this card is a bit redundant with Survival Instincts flying around.

Rating: C


Chain Attack: Combo seems cool but I think the investment is too high at this time. I think innate combo would be cool but we have yet to see it.

Rating: D

Dragged into the Darkness: A very situational card that is also quite situationally powerful. If you've got a lot of ping damage in your deck, you could make this work. More of a novel idea in my mind though.

Rating: C


Rocksnake Toxin: Drawing this late seriously hampers it's potency. However, if you have an enemy with 1 wound left, this could be your way to finish them.

Rating: C


Sudden Scarcity: I think this is the first we have seen of any kind card that makes it harder for your opponent to play upgrades. I really like the effect but I don't know how often we will see it. This could really, really hamper an opponent's play though if they are tight on glory. Would have been better as a reaction, I think.

Rating: D

Unnatural Truce: So draw 2 and your opponent draws 1? Seems like a pretty decent tradeoff and it doesn't require you to stand on a feature token. I like it!

Rating: B


Vicious Beast: Kind of like a mini Unfocused Blast. If you get lucky with the smashes you could potentially do a damage or two. It'll be hard to get an enemy next to a lethal hex though.

Rating: D


Wildform: A very cool concept that probably won't see much play as the +1 move option is the most likely and the least useful.

Rating: C

Amberone Spear: We have finally received it! This card is an auto-include in any deck that was running amberbone weapons before. The range is nice and the glory payoff is even nicer.

Rating: B


Binding Chain: Again, a cool idea which probably won't see much play as the investment is a bit much. Innate combo would be cool but this probably won't see play.

Rating: C


Cryptic Companion: An even stronger version of Tome of Glories. This can potentially net you 3 glory and not even require you to drop a charge token. Crazy strong and will probably see a lot of play.

Rating: A

Finishing Blow: A potentially very powerful set of attacks that can deal an immense of damage. My problem with combo is that it requires too many sets of successful attack actions. And, as we all know, dice fail you when you need them the most.

Rating: C


Hunter's Caution: Being a hunter is cool, getting re-rolls against Quarry's is not. There are almost no Quarry's in the game unless they've got some serious survival instincts. 😉


Mandibles of the Ur-Grub: Part of the Ur-Grub set of upgrades. Could be pretty useful on a bruiser style fighter like Riptooth, Skaeth, or Mollog.

Rating: C

Quintok's Combative Cantrip: Another lost page! A cool upgrade but upgrade slots are very tight in Beastgrave and this doesn't compare to Iara's Instant Shield.

Rating: C


Terrifying Aura: At the moment, there isn't much incentive to not be a Quarry so it doesn't matter if you are one or not. Not being able to re-roll against a fighter is cool but not worth an upgrade slot.

Rating: D


Victor's Speed: Very, very good for aggro warbands. The extra speed boost can be very useful and the fact that it can potentially be free is pretty neat.

Rating: B

Final Thoughts:


Hrothgorn's Mantrappers place a lot of emphasis on their namesake and for good reason. Hrothgorn is an absolute unit who can, and probably will, win you games all by himself. Similarly to Mollog, you have to be smart on how you use him as if he goes down - your warband might stall out. Thankfully, he's got a nasty range weapon that can give him some extra attacks in a round.


Plus, Hrothgorn's supporting cast is pretty solid, to an extent. Thrafnir is great for initiating or finishing off a wounded fighter. The gnoblars all have their uses but should probably stick close to Hrothgorn. That way, if your opponent tries to go for those "easy" eliminations, big daddy is there to protect them.


The key to these guys is going to be getting the most use out of Hrothgorn while managing your supporting pieces wisely. You don't want to give up to much glory early but you'll also want to be gaining it so you stack Hrothgorn with as many upgrades as you can.


So, should you buy the Hrothgorn's Mantrappers expansion for Warhammer Underworlds Beastgrave?


Absolutely.


As I mentioned earlier, the warband is a ton of fun to play and has some really unique mechanics. Whether playing with or against them, you'll surely be in for a treat. Furthermore, the neutral cards in this expansion are solid and can help boost the power level in any of your decks, regardless of the warband you are building for. Plus, who doesn't want to you yell, "GET OVER HERE!" whenever you successfully land a Trap Launcher attack?


Also, these guys might be the objective meta killers we have been waiting for. Time will tell but I think they stand a decent chance of potentially pushing Thorns and Grymwatch out of the meta. Maybe.


If you would like to pre-order Hrothgorn's Mantrappers, head on down to your local Warhammer Store or gaming store. If you prefer to shop online, check this out here.


I hope you enjoy your games with Hrothgorn's Mantrappers over the coming weeks. Look out for more content coming out in regards to them over the next couple days.


Cheers,


Aman

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