Following on from my blog the other day, I thought I’d continue the theme here today and talk some more about what I’m doing with this tremendous game!
I’ve talked a lot about the fact that I love this game for the Chaos-y feel it has, and gaming in the Eightpoints was what had really grabbed my attention back when it first came out. The move into including the Age of Sigmar stuff has long given me mixed vibes – while on the one hand it makes thematic sense for Lumineth or Stormcast to try to purge the forces of Chaos, on another it always feels a little bit tacked-on, especially if you don’t even have Chaos warbands present on the table. I suppose, though, that this has always been where my hipster self wants to keep the game as a Chaos-centric masterpiece, and so I was rebelling against the inclusion of other races from the mortal realms.
Since Warcry moved to Ghur, though, and we’ve had warbands that have been much more diverse in nature, I have slowly been getting over myself, and have started to think about other warbands. With the compendium available for free via the WarCom website, it’s a fairly straightforward process to build a warband and then work out what models you need to buy, although due to the fact AoS units can be equipped in multiple ways, it sometimes needs some thought as to what is what!
Now, I have somewhat dabbled with this process once already, when I assembled a Khorne Bloodbound list for use in a game. However, this time, I wanted to go through the whole process anew, especially to make sure I’ve not been missing anything important!
So as we know, warbands in Warcry come in at 1000 points. You start with a Hero, who is the warband leader, and can include no more than three heroes including the leader. Warbands must be between 3 and 15 fighters strong, and all fighters must come from the same faction. And that, my friends, is that!
I’m going to start by revisiting the Khorne Bloodbound warband idea that I had back in 2021. I think that warband was led by a Wrathmonger, but let’s see what’s on offer for us in the new and updated Warcry 2.0. To begin, I should say that I have all of these models, so I’m not going to end up buying more plastic to fuel this project!
I’ve started out with an Exalted Deathbringer with Ruinous Axe. This chap comes in at 185 points, and is the hero and my leader. I have decided to take the max number of heroes allowed, so have also got a Bloodsecrator (the guy with the massive banner of Khorne) and a Bloodreaver Chieftain. I’ve then got three Bloodreavers, two Blood Warriors, and a Wrathmonger, which gives me a 1000 point warband. I had hoped to split it naturally into three parts, for the hammer, shield and dagger, but the way I had thought it could work wasn’t an entirely equal split, as the Bloodreavers form a group of four. But I’ll have a think about that. It could be that I have each of the heroes leading one of the three groups, then the three Bloodreavers allocated one to each, then the Wrathmonger paired with the leader as a kind of bodyguard, then two Blood Warriors into each of the other two squads. But that distinction will be made when it comes time to field them.
That was good, let’s do it again!
My next warband is going to be Slaanesh Sybarites, for which I bought the Warcry dedicated box a couple of years back and promptly did nothing with. It comes with a unit of Blissbarb Archers, and a unit of Myrmidesh Painbringers/Symbaresh Twinsouls. For this warband, I think I’ll be going for a mix of stuff, starting with the Shardspeaker hero as the leader. The Shardspeaker is a wizard, who can reduce the number of attacks coming in within a 6” range, which sounds like it should be quite powerful, defensively. The rest of the warband is made up of Blissbarb Archers of various flavours, and Myrmidesh Painbringers. The second hero is a Myrmidesh Painmaster, which I think sounds glorious. It surprises me how expensive these Slaaneshi hosts cost – the cheapest unit is an archer at 95 points, so there’s no option for a basic cultist around the 60 points mark. However, the Painbringers do have heavy armour, and they have the ability to increase their damage output for a Double. I’ve gone for one of the Symbaresh fighters, the guy with the twirling Excrutiator Lash, simply because the model looks awesome. He has access to the Quad ability Ego-Driven Excess, which allows them to move or attack if they take a fighter out of action, so I’m hoping for some delightful agonies coming from this guy! Finally, we have three archers to round out the band. The first is my third hero, the Blissbarb high tempter, and she comes with two friends plus a haemonculus, who can increase the strength of the archers’ attacks when they use their Triple ability. Using archers in Warcry seems a bit like cheating – the game is predominantly melee focused, after all, but these guys have a range up to 15”, which could near as damn it cover the board. I suppose I could make a warband out of Painbringers and ignore them, but the models look so lovely it’s hard to ignore! However, they still don’t quite sit right with me…
So what does all this mean?
The basic game of Warcry saw the original warbands fighting for dominance in the Eightpoints, and they were all very distinctive warbands that had a clear leader, champion, heavy infantry and so on in their numbers. With the addition of Age of Sigmar miniatures, however, things are a bit different, because while units are generally led by a sergeant of some sort, there are generally better heroes available who are much more fancy than their squadmates. This has led to profiles being created for such Hero units as the Shardspeaker, or the Exalted Deathbringer, and it does feel a little bit like we’re now playing Age of Sigmar Skirmish rather than Warcry as a distinct game. I suppose this is where a lot of the noise about Warcry warbands being slightly outclassed by AoS warbands has come from.
However, by including profiles for a whole host of models, it does make things rather exciting, now that I have looked into it properly. Sure, the Warcry warbands don’t have Heroes per se, but when AoS warbands are going up against each other, I would imagine that this isn’t so much of an issue. See, in addition to the general suite of faction abilities that each warband can access, AoS-based warbands also have a set of Hero-specific abilities they can access. The more I have looked into this, it doesn’t actually seem to be all that bad in the new edition. For instance, in the Slaanesh Sybarites compendium entry, we can see that there are a total of 6 faction abilities, plus 3 hero abilities. That sounds a lot, when you consider that original factions like the Iron Golem only have their 6 faction abilities. But those AoS faction abilities only seem to extensive because their possible roster is correspondingly larger. The Slaanesh Sybarites can draw models from across a total of seven kits, while the Iron Golem only have the one. So a lot of the abilities we’re seeing for Slaanesh fighters can actually only be utilised by one fighter type each. The Corvus Cabal has two abilities that any fighter can use, whereas there is only one universal ability for Slaanesh, and every other ability is tied in to a specific fighter type.
It’s interesting to see how things have worked out, to give the best kind of representation without going too crazy. I mean, Slaanesh Daemons can actually field The Contorted Epitome as a unit, which seems a bit excessive…
Anyway, I think that’s all for now. I still need to look into allies, monsters and all the rest of it, but I think for now I have two warbands that will need my attention!!