The Tome of Champions 2021 is here, and it’s quite a hefty book in comparison to previous years! This is mainly due to the enormous appendix though, which has the Bladeborn Fighters rules.
The book is split into the usual Open, Narrative and Matched play, and incorporates all of the stuff we had for free on the WarCom website back last year, such as the Cursed City content, the AoS Dominion content, and so on. Open Play is a very short section, giving the rules for Siege Battles and using the example battleplan of the Siege of Carngrad. Narrative Play can be split into two, really, giving four more Branching Quests for each faction, different to those initially presented in the Red Harvest book, and four more Fates Quests, again one for each faction. The second part of the Narrative Play section is Narrative Campaigns, and reproduces the online content while also giving another one, which can be played co-op or solo, where you play against marauding Skaven in the city of Excelsis. It’s an interesting idea, although does require players to have 1200 points of Skaven and the Agents of Chaos book that shows their profiles. However, I imagine it could be quite easily adapted for Nighthaunt or something, as you’re trying to clear out an infested city. Matched Play introduces a new tournament pack, The Fell Nyroth, but without being a tournament kind of player, I can’t really offer much in the way of comment there.
There is a lot of content here, and it’s interesting to see how the various battleplans continue to make use of the vast array of stuff that’s out there for Warcry. There are points adjustments across the board as well, making this much more akin to the General’s Handbook for AoS. In the Appendix, we get the fighter cards for the Lumineth Realmlords, Soulblight Gravelords, Dominion armies, and Bladeborn Fighters, which I’m sure will be the big draw for the majority of folks picking this up.
The rules for Bladeborn Fighters allow you to include the fighters from Warhammer Underworlds warbands within your games of Warcry, which is kinda fascinating as it opens up so many more options for playing the game. The way this works is to align each band to their Age of Sigmar faction, and then presents fighter cards that can be used when mustering a Warcry warband from that faction. So for example, the Thorns of the Briar Queen belong to the Nighthaunt faction, which means they can be added into the mix just like any other Nighthaunt model that has a stat card for games of Warcry. Each warband has one or two unique abilities that can be used, although they have access to the full suite of abilities from their parent faction, anyway.
I find this approach quite interesting, because it means that the Underworlds warband can be split up, they don’t come as a unit as I had initially expected. I suppose that makes sense, because some warbands are only three fighters, so could potentially have a very hard time going up against other warbands in the game. But it somehow loses a bit of the flavour that I like about those guys, and I think if I were to ever play with Underworlds warbands, I would try as much as possible to keep the band all together, if you know what I mean. Even the larger warbands are only around the 700 points mark (the Thorns are closer to 800, but still) so would need some bolstering from the more “regular” models from the range.
That said, I think I still prefer to keep things to the Warcry-specific warbands whenever possible, anyway, so it probably won’t turn into that big of an issue for me!
In other news…
I’ve finally built up all of the Tarantulos Brood miniatures! I think they’re one of the bigger Warcry warbands, which should be interesting to see how they play as they have a lot of lower-level fighters, it seems. I do love the look of these models though, and I think I might try and get them painted up sometime this year, rather than letting them languish like the rest of my Warcry stuff! However, I did kinda decide around summer last year that I would try to get the Iron Golem painted up next, so I don’t quite know how it’s all going to fit in! Unfortunately, I do seem to have stalled a bit with my Tau painting project, since I spent the beginning of the year painting nothing but Sa’cea Sept colours – I think I could well be due a change!
I think I’m going to try and get another game of Warcry in soon, as it has been quite a while since I last played. I think it could be fun to try out the new Red Harvest stuff as well, so hopefully I’ll be able to report back soon on that!