Friday, July 22, 2016

Minotaurs

 In the tangled depths of the Tulgey Wood, a minotaur war band assembles for a raid on the hated human settlements of the Sudmark...while keeping a sharp eye out for the Jabberwocks!
It's hard to say no to including units of minotaurs in one's chaos army.  They have so much visual appeal, looming above the ranks of lesser creatures like beastmen and chaos thugs, and what with their beer bellies and big ol' horns...
Minotaur Chief rallies his Bully Boys for battle...
One thing about Minotaurs in 3rd Edition, however...
I sometimes wonder if the combat power of a minotaur really warrants a 40mm base.  Minotaur units do seem to whither away to nothing damnably quickly in my games. Part of it may simply be that being big and threatening, they tend to attract more attention.  I don't think it's just that, though.  Compare the Minotaur to his lowlier cousin, the chaos Beaman, who costs 10 points.  The Beastman has strength 3, wounds 2, and 1 attack.  The minotaur costs 4 times what the beastman does in points.  His advantage over the Beastman is that he has strength 4, wounds 3, and 2 attacks. His toughness and initiative are no better than his smaller cousin's, but he has a dramatically increased frontage due to his large base so that, if if a rank of 3 minotaurs were fighting, say Elves, the Elves would be able, from their 20mm bases, to bring at least 6 attacks to bear against the Bull-men, meaning that the minotaur's extra attack is no advantage at all in many cases.

The minotaur has a couple of other things going for him.  He has move 6, which makes him almost as fast as an Orc Boar Boy, and he's large, so he causes fear, which is good, but being large also means he's a large target for missile fire.
Minotaurs are further hamstrung by the fact that you can only have 5 per unit.  That's it, and their Blood Greed special characteristic is a mixed blessing at best.  So are minotaurs really worth the points?

I wonder if the designers of WFB3 weren't a little bit unsure of that themselves.  In the Rule Book, the base size given for minotaurs is 25mm, the same as the beastmen, and some of Citadel's earlier Minotaur models, such as the fellow above, were well suited to a 25mm base.  But the book also shows several photos of Minotaurs mounted on what are clearly 40mm bases.  By the time we get to Warhammer Armies and Realm of Chaos, the requisite base size has been changed to 40mm, and by then Citadel was producing considerably larger minotaur models. 
We know that there was confusion about the desired size of the Fimir models.  The sculptors created models that were larger than the game designers had intended, with the result that you ended up with a figure which some players felt was underpowered for the 40mm base which the model's size demanded.
Was there at some point a confusion with minotaur figures similar to that which occurred with the fimir?  I've always wondered about it, but I suppose I don't care that much.  I still like minotaur models, so I'm pleased to add these Bovine Belligerents to Buzzgobb Phesterlicks's chaos horde.
Happy Hackin'!

6 comments:

  1. Well aren't they just splendid, fabulous unit Mr. Mouse.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Interesting post, and nice work on those minotaurs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks very much! They were a lot of fun to work on!

      Delete
  3. Hey Mouse, Nice Minotaurs! My son and I were just going through your pics saying, got him, got him...until we got to photo 5 and we both hollered, WANT Him! What a wonderful Minotaur! I dont recognize him, but what a great fig! And I agree, minotaurs are woefully underpowered in 3rd, especially when they are so cool!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, its sort of a bummer, isn't it? They just aren't very good. But they LOOK good! The minos in pics 5 and 6 are from the same manufacturer. I bought them together in the early 90s in a little game shop in California. I THINK they are from Heartbreaker miniatures. Not positive about that, though.

      Delete