Beastmen in the fictional Warhammer Fantasy setting from Games Workshop are humanoid creatures with a variety of animal features, usually including cloven feet, horns, excessive body hair, and bestial faces. They are mutants formed from humans by the corrupting influences of Chaos such as warpstone. The concept originated with the Broo of Glorantha in the 1978 first edition of Runequest; Games Workshop had released the early editions of Runequest in the UK under licence, and Citadel Miniatures had produced a line of Broo miniatures for the game, and so the Beastmen were included in the original Warhammer game to allow players to use their Broo models in it. Visually, Beastmen have much in common with the devils of the Middle Ages and the satyrs of Classical Antiquity.
There is a lot of variation across Beastmen although the cloven hoofs and goatlike features including horns are common. This type of Beastman were collectively known as "Caprigor" in earlier editions, but in recent years the term Gor is used to describe the basic Beastmen form.
Beastmen are found throughout the Old World in their own herds hidden in the forests and mountains. Due to the taint of Chaos they are both feared and hunted by humans and the other races.
In Warhammer Fantasy Battle, the main resource for Beastman armies is the Warhammer: Beastman book. This replaced earlier publications such as the first Warhammer Armies list (3rd edition) or the latter Warhammer Armies: Realm of Chaos and Warhammer: Beasts of Chaos.
Types of Beastmen
The Beastmen race (also known as the Children of Chaos) are a race of humanoid monsters. A fusion of animal and man that invaded the world when the Old Ones opened the warp gate at the far north of the world: their bodies are tough strong frames layered in knots of muscle. The tangled fur of Beastmen are matted with dried blood, dirt, and gore that nest countless varieties of ticks and fleas: as a result of this, Beastman live in a state of agitation and rage that always seethes in the heart of every Beastman. Ram-like horns emerge from their goat-like heads (However Ungor Beastmen only have small stubs of horns), their mouths are chasms of sharp rotted teeth for tearing flesh and the feet of all Beastmen are cloven hoofed. The very stench of any Beastman is enough to make even the most seasoned warriors gag; their brays of bloodlust and the gleam of malice in their dark animalistic eyes can unsettle even the staunchest of troops.
All Beastmen are spiteful and mean-spirited creatures that revel in bloodshed and chaos and loathe order and the very concept of civilisation in all its forms. Beastmen are not creatures of nature for there is nothing natural about their existence. The Herdstones and rituals of the Beastmen corrupt the very essence of nature itself: it is for this reason Beastmen are especially loathed by the Wood Elves of Athel Loren who the Beastmen have been fighting a long grueling secret war with for centuries.
For the purposes of Warhammer Fantasy Battle they are subdivided into various levels reflecting their appearance, prowess and ability in battle.
- Beastlords are the largest and most brutal. They command the beast herds.
- Wargors are second in command to Beastlords.
- Bray Shamans are the spiritual leaders and advisors to the herd leaders. They are also powerful spellcasters.
- Bestigors are the most heavily armed and armoured Beastmen and rate as elite units.
- Centigors have the upper body of a Beastman and the four-legged lower body of an oxen.
- Gors and Ungors make up the majority of the infantry units or "Beastherds." The Ungors, however, due to their more human appearance (in comparison to other Beastmen) and smaller horns, are on the bottom of the herd hierarchy.
Minotaurs are bull-like humanoids twice the height and girth of a man and renowned for their enormous strength. Within the Warhammer setting they are known for pausing during battle to eat the bodies of their slain enemies (such is their blood greed). The most powerful among them are known as "Gorebulls" and "Doombulls" which act as leaders of the Minotaurs. In earlier versions of the game the phrase "Minotaur Lord" was used. Also, with the 7th edition rule book, new minotaur-like creatures have been included in the book such as the Ghorgon and Cygor.
The Ghorgon, not be confused with the Gorgons in Greek myth, are mutated four armed Minotaurs as tall as giants with swords of bones sprouting from two of the Ghorgons mutated arms, overcome and driven only by an overpowering desire to feed on and tear the flesh of the enemy. The Ghorgon is one of the most powerful monsters in the Warhammer world.
There is also the Cygor, a one-eyed gigantic relative of the minotaur that can only see the world in the winds of magic, and feeds upon the souls of its victims. The souls of wizards and magic users are a delicacy to these beasts. The Cygors are also used by the Beastmen horde to hurl massive boulders into the enemy ranks.
Beastmen use a variety of animals and monsters, either trained or broken into service that follow the warherds into battle, including "Tuskgor" which are very large boar-like creatures that they use to pull "Tuskgor Chariots". There are also the Tuskgors' larger cousins, the Razorgors, monstrously oversized boar-like monsters which Beastmen use to either pull stronger, larger chariots or to charge the enemy battleline in herds. Flocks of savage harpies, packs of feral mutated warhounds, gibbering Chaos Spawn (Beastmen twisted beyond recognition into terrible new forms by the will of the Chaos Gods) and roaming giants also follow the Beastmen horde.
Recently Beastmen have learned to summon the Jabberslythes, abominations against nature that are a fusion of toad, slug drake and insectoid. Their massive bodies are borne aloft on ragged wings, and they secrete vile poison, their blood is acidic, their mouths house long chameleon-like tongues to ensnare their prey and their very appearance can break the enemy's sanity.
Prior to the release of the Daemons of Chaos army book in 7th edition, Beastmen were also allied with other Chaos forces, such as the Mortals of Chaos and Daemons. Although officially illegal, house rules may still exist allowing anyone who owns both the Hordes of Chaos (no longer officially supported by Games Workshop) and Beasts of Chaos army books they can build an army with any troop choice from both books. This gives the Chaos Armies a huge selection of troops, ranging from knights to daemons to beasts. The only restriction is the General: if a Beastman is the general then Mortals and Daemons are restricted. If a Daemon is the general then Mortals and Beasts are restricted. If a Mortal is the general then Daemons and Beasts are restricted.
Because Beastmen worship the Chaos Gods they are sometimes granted marks just like their human/mortal counterpart. Gors that are changed in this way are given different names, always based on their patron god, to separate them from their normal counterpart. Though all four chaos gods can bestow their marks, only Khorne and Nurgle worshippers are given models. They are called Khorngors and Pestigors respectively. As of the 7th edition book, Khorngors and Pestigors plus marks of the Beastmen have been dropped.
Beasts of Chaos was updated with a new Army Book in February 2010 called Beastmen. Along with new rules for the army and a new magic lore for the Beastman race (the Lore of the Wild), the book also expanded the Beastman background, added new characters and monsters. Below is the new army structure for the book along with its unique characters.
- Gorthor the Beastlord: Gorthor was the most powerful beastlord to have ever lived destroying one entire province and bringing two others to their knees
- Malagor, the Dark Omen: A Powerful Bray-Shaman born with huge raven wings
- Khazrak the One-eye: Khazrak is the most cunning beast lord to have ever lived and is the biggest living threat to the empire
- Ghorros Warhoof (A Centigor character): Bane of the unicorn prince and sire of a thousand young. Possibly the oldest Beastman to have ever lived.
- Morghur: The essence of mutation; just being close to him can break your mind; father of the spawn.
- Taurox, The Brass Bull (A Minotaur Doombull)
- Moonclaw, son of Morrslieb
- Ungrol Four-Horn (An Ungor character)
- Great Bray-Shaman
- Gor Herd
- Ungor Herd
- Ungor Raiders
- Tuskgor Chariot
- Chaos Warhounds
- Bestigor Herd
- Razorgor Chariot
- Razorgor Herd
- Chaos Spawn