Warcry up for pre-order

Hey everybody
It’s finally time for Warcry to emerge from the haze of the fairly bland internet previews and come up for pre-order! I thought this day would never come – I’d actually been growing a little bored waiting for the announcement, and had begun to lose faith it would be of any interest, given the complete lack of anything beyond previews of the models themselves.

Don’t get me wrong, those previews were showing off some pretty spectacular models, I just wanted to know more about what the hell the game is, and so it was with no small measure of joy that I discovered the “how to play” video finally uploaded yesterday:

Visual Appeal
The game looks amazing. I mean, I’m really blown away by the aesthetic that GW have captured here. The warbands included in the starter set have a totally unique look to them, and while there is definitely something to be said for the classic Slaves to Darkness look of the old Warriors of Chaos, these new models really capture the look of the classic Warhammer berzerkers of old. While it is of course set firmly within the Age of Sigmar universe, taking place at the Eight Points (more in a bit), there is still something very Old World about some of these minis. I think the Untamed Beasts warband in particular give off that Conan vibe that was almost the hallmark of old GW, pulling together and synthesizing so many disparate elements from classic fantasy into their own setting.

The terrain is just mind-blowing, though. I mean, sure, we’ve had ruins and archways like this before, most recently with the Azyrite Ruins set, these things are just phenomenal. I think the most impressive aspect we have here is that the terrain is designed to be multi-level, so we have all of these walkways, bridges and ladders that bring up the idea of Mordheim from all those years ago. Is Warcry meant to be Mordheim for the modern era? I have no idea, having never played the older game. But it has the feel of a classic in the making, with some fairly straightforward rules that should get you up and playing very quickly.

The Rules
Warcry uses a fairly straightforward system of rules, with some flavour from the current 40k set in terms of the strength vs toughness mechanic. The initiative is a very interesting idea, where you both want the duplicate rolls so as to employ powerful abilities within the game, but you also want to roll singles so as to give you a higher chance of going first. The additional die you get to add to your pool will lead to some pretty difficult tactical decisions, I’m sure!

The actual rules seem to be quite straightforward, and predominantly close-quarters focused. While there does appear to be some ranged combat possible, from what I’ve seen so far it does seem to be around the 3″ max range. Which is in fitting with the sort of skirmish game that a board densely packed with scenery like this would suggest…

All of the glyphs and runes that appear across the fighter cards really add something to the feel of the game, being as it is set in the realms of roving Chaos bands. It was a really nice idea to provide that additional feel to the game, I think.

First thoughts
There is a definite boardgame feel to this one, I think. People have been calling it Kill Team for AoS, including the designers, and I can sort of see that, but it also feels like much more its own thing. There are elements of Kill Team, though it feels a lot more like Necromunda to me – instead of gangs, we have warbands, but these are models that are specifically created for this game. I’ve heard somewhere on the e-grapevine that there will be rules for these warbands to be used as Slaves to Darkness stand-ins in regular Age of Sigmar games, which is cool and all, but I do like the idea that we have a distinct and separate game that is its own thing.

At first, I was one of those people a bit surprised that this was solely a Chaos vs Chaos game, and while there are rules to include other factions such as Stormcast Eternals, Idoneth Deepkin and Nighthaunt in the game, I get the impression that the design is really focused on these individual Chaos bands, with the six we’ve already had previewed as well as two additional bands that we have yet to see any models for.

Even the new scenery feels like it is intended purely for these Chaos warbands to fight over. The game is set in the Eight Points, what was once the Allpoints, the mystical crossing-point between all of the Mortal Realms, but that has since been captured by Archaon and fallen into Chaos and ruin. Warring factions now compete for the favour of the Everchosen, and that’s really what the game is all about. It feels almost weird to be bringing in Daughters of Khaine into this, though I must admit that the idea did cross my mind to pick up some models…!

The Future
I had kinda forgotten about this game. I’d certainly lost some interest in it, after waiting for months since the initial announcement with no news on what it was, beyond the fact it features Chaos on Chaos violence and had some very attractive miniatures. With the ability to add in regular AoS miniatures, the game will have a lot of traction, I’d guess, and while there does seem to be some mixed reactions overall, I think the general impression is a favourable one of the new miniatures.

With the two additional warbands – Spire Tyrants and Scions of the Flame – as well as the promise of further warbands for the game coming, I’d guess there will be a decent amount of life in this one. Kill Team has the benefit of having a wealth of miniatures to choose from across the entire 40k range, and so far GW have only seen fit to create two brand new teams for that game. As such, it has really taken off and flown with the number of expansions available for it already.

I get the impression the opposite may well be in store for us here. We’ve seen six warbands, making me think those miniatures are ready to go now, and it won’t be too long before all six of them are out in the wild (three of them are available for pre-order this weekend, even if the Wild Beasts and Iron Golems are stuck within the core box). A Kill Team-like approach has been taken with repackaging older terrain sets for this game, with the second such pack announced at today’s AoS Open Day, but I could totally see something like the Rogue Trader box coming out later in the year with those final two bands, side by side with some more terrain to supplement that from the core box, as well as maybe some rules tweaks or something.

Of course, there is always the possibility that we’ll see some rules, further down the line, that bring some of the Shadespire warbands into the mix. I’m not overly familiar with that game, though have been enjoying painting up a couple of those warbands, but from what I’ve heard, there is a similar feel to both – even down to the glyphs to denote the mechanics of the game. Shadespire / Nightvault (and the upcoming Beastgrave also announced at the Open Day) is also organised into these small-scale warbands, of course, and while some of them are perhaps on the smaller side (such as the Stormcast), bands like the Godsworn Hunt or the Sepulchral Guard have a similar feel as regards the model count, and the Darkoath models perfectly fit with the aesthetic of warring Chaos tribes.

Of course, if we do end up seeing a similar situation to that of Kill Team last year, we’ll be seeing all of that sweet new scenery, repackaged and expanded upon – that has got to be reason enough to want this to be the AoS version of Kill Team, right?! The terrain is already fantastic; I can only begin to wonder at how it could be expanded upon!!

At any rate, I’m really happy to announce that I think Warcry could well be the next big thing for me, and I’m really keen to get my hands on all of that plastic to get building, painting and playing!

Ah, Saturday!

Well folks, thank goodness last week is over!

A lot of junk conspired against me last week, and by about mid-week I was really feeling like the stars had aligned to just mess everything up. Didn’t help that I had an essay due for the OU degree that I’m currently doing, but had fallen behind on the course work. Catching up on three weeks’ work in one day – for the final “year” of the course, at that – was probably not the best idea. I managed to turn out a reasonable essay, I think, though of course it’s in the hands of the tutor right now, so we’ll see in a couple of weeks how good it was!

I’ve given myself this weekend off to try and recover, as I feel it’s important to try to take care of myself in this regard – something that I don’t always do, which really makes everything just bad. I find myself all too easily becoming increasingly less productive when I force myself to do things, rather than just doing whatever happens to interest me at the time. It’s interesting, of course, because working full time while also studying part time, and trying to maintain some kind of life around the two, does require some level of dedication and organisation. But I’ve noticed more and more that, if I try to study after a long day at work, or a particularly crappy day there, I get so little done I might as well have not bothered. So I’m becoming more lenient with myself, while also maintaining a degree of organisation and discipline. Which sounds like an oxymoron, but it kinda worked – until I fell behind too far because of the crisis with a leaking radiator! In the main, however, I’m not going to beat myself up if I get in from work and don’t immediately start reading Ovid’s Metamorphoses

So anyway, I’ve allowed myself this weekend off, yet I’m feeling distinctly green around the gills for some reason. Maybe those stars are still in alignment for bad…! It should have been a really great day as well, because I was meeting up with a friend for lunch in Chester before going off to wish a colleague well in her new endeavours. Sadly, halfway through lunch I really began to decline, so have come home and am now feeling distinctly sorry for myself!

Chester is, of course, where my local Games Workshop is, so I popped in there on the way to lunch, and picked up the Fyreslayers battle tome, as well as pre-ordering the next book in the Realmgate Wars series, The Balance of Power!

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Realm Gate Wars Balance of Power

If you don’t remember, Age of Sigmar has a curious sort of distribution model for its books, whereby the actual story advances through these scenario books, for want of a better description. The first, Quest for Ghal Maraz, was a really excellent book that featured a collection of stories, battle plans, war scrolls and painting guides in something akin to the old childrens’ annuals that we all enjoyed if we grew up in the 80s and early 90s.

Regrettably, I’ve yet to really catch up with the story of Age of Sigmar, having been distracted by first catching up with The End Times novels, then discovering Horus Heresy! Soon…

The website also has a bunch of miniatures in a kind of end-of-line bin, including the Skaven and Beastmen battalion boxes. Rumours before Christmas pointed to the Beastmen being dumped, and this would appear to support that! Following my game of Age of Sigmar at the beginning of the month against such an army, I’ve been interested in getting some of these guys, and I’m beginning to think I might invest for the future! We’ll see.

In addition to being responsible with myself generally, I’ve been trying to lose some weight for the past three weeks – cliche, of course, what with it being new year and all that, but nevertheless it’s something that is definitely warranted! I discovered myfitnesspal early on in January, and have been almost obsessively cataloguing my food intake since, making sure I don’t overeat on stuff, and I’m pleased to say that, over this last three weeks, I’ve lost 10lb! So that’s rather marvellous. It’s also been pretty easy, as I’m still eating pretty much what I want, just not as much. I’m also trying to exercise more, and have been doing a lot of walking, so it’s really great to have seen such an improvement with comparatively little changes to my actual day-to-day life.

2016 has so far seen a bit of a general shift towards looking after myself more in this regard, and hopefully it will carry on!