Warmachine/Hordes has taken off among my local gaming groups, in large part due to the complete demise of Warhammer Fantasy. I looked back at my old Warhammer blog recently, at a post where I was prognosticating about Warhammer 9th edition and saw just how wrong I was about the Warhammer Fantasy change. Yet it worked out relatively nicely, as there was a whole assortment of players who wanted to do tabletop miniature wargaming within a fantasy-ish setting, who decided to check out Privateer Press’ offerings.
The photos in this post are from my most recent outing to Drawbridge games where one local gaming community is getting into the game. I squeezed in another game against Dan’s Retribution force, and then taught a relatively new player how to play the game. Battle report and comments about both follow.
For the 50 point battle against Retribution of Scyrah, I decided to bring Lord Assassin Morghoul. I’m pretty happy with how I painted him, and I like his play style if only because it runs really, really fast. Until you commit with him, you’re not really weighing what spells to cast. It becomes three quick questions: which (if any) animi you’re doubling by having him cast them, how much fury are you banking in the Agonizer, and how much fury are you sitting on should a surprise attack reach him and he needs to transfer damage?
The battle started as usual when facing Kaelyssa: the elves rushing forward and my forces having to struggle to contest the objectives with all the limits on running and charging. This game ended with a caster kill, but was much closer in objectives than my previous matches against Kaelyssa. Before I’ve achieved the caster kill in the nick of time, being dreadfully behind in objective points. This time the game ended much closer in points, thanks in large part to my warbeasts.
The Bronzeback’s Trainwreck animus and the Gladiator Titan’s Rush animus were the two critical elements. The first let me push foes off of objectives, and the second let me get the two inch speed boost that helped me reach the front faster. I had forgotten in past games that the Warlock can also cast the animus, so two models with Rush instead of one makes a huge difference. The Bronzeback was able to roll up and get its Smash and Grab to activate and throw a Phoenix off the central objective. The speed of the Cyclops Brute on the right flank also helped me get to and contest objectives more effectively.
Kaelyssa was a cagey foe, so it took a fair amount of luck to take her down. By closing with a Rushing light warbeast and Morghoul2 up on my feat turn, Kaelyssa was left with bad options. The force tried desperately to hurt Morghoul, but his defense 19 on the feat turn was too tough a nut to crack. He took some hits, transferred some damage, and survived. With Morghoul2 close, and the ability to heal the nearly dead Bronzeback at least a point in the crippled aspects, it was curtains for the elf caster. All in all it was the closest game I’ve played against Retribution.
It’s actually the very first time I’ve fielded Lylyth and her starter box. While I’m a long-time Everblight player, I jumped right to Absylonia and Vayl as my casters of choice. Lylyth is a lot like Morghoul2: it’s pretty clear what to do every turn. There’s a bit more nuance than he has, but not much. Especially with the starter box. It’s about sending the little Shredder missiles out for free to targets she’s hit with her bow, and biding time to come sweeping in with the raw might of the Carnivean.
The game was a good one, as I think Trollbloods are the best starter box army for players to learn Hordes with. They have a reason to do everything: shoot, charge, animus, spells, feat, boost, and more. While my force won the game (I don’t count demo sessions in my record, note), it was more about getting the player familiar with the system. He said that he picked up Cryx, so the next game it’ll just be a matter of learning the Focus mechanic instead of Fury for him.
Battles (Privateer Press):
Overall Total 2015: 17 (Win/Loss: 14/3/0)
7 Wins (Fiona, Sorscha, eMorvahna, Ossrum, Borka, Kaelyssa, and Stryker)
2 Losses (Kromac, Kaelyssa, Kaya)
Protectorate of Menoth:
3 Wins (eMorvahna, Kaelyssa)
Legion of Everblight:
4 Wins (eCaine, Kaya, Sorscha)
1 Loss (Fiona)