The Circle Orboros has always had a special place in my fanboy heart. Yes, I’m dedicated to the glory of Menoth in all things, yes, I have spent time in the forests of Ios meditating at the Fane of Scyrah, but let’s all be honest here, werewolves are one of the coolest supernatural/mythical beasties out there, tapping into the feral side of humanity and bringing out the predator within, while at the same time balancing it out with an uncontrollable urge to sniff each other’s butts and urinate on fire hydrants. Thus, while Warmachine has always been my preferred system, I’ve constantly found myself looking at the druids of Orboros over the years. Accordingly, last month’s “Circle Christmas”, complete with the new MkIII Command book, made me smile.
Look at that magnificent beastie. Doesn’t he make you you want to howl at the moan and chase down your foes with your pack and right all the wrongs mankind have wrought on the world?
The Circle Orboros has always straddled a very fine line between good guys and bad in my head. On the one hand, they want to save the world by stopping the Devourer Wyrm from waking and cracking the planet open. On the other hand, they seem totally open to destroying civilization as we know it in the process. I don’t know about you, but I *like* having functional plumbing.
Back to the topic at hand, the Circle Orboros Command book has dropped. The third Command book to hit shelves, the Circle book introduces players new and old to the Circle in MkIII. The dragons have had their spat, Cygnar has a new kings, and the Circle are back to business after dealing with (or perhaps barely coping with) the gatorman Barnabus’ mad plan to achieve godhood. The book is light on fluff compared to the MkII books, but with more writing moving to the Skull Island Expeditions team this is to be expected – but don’t expect to be left wanting. The Dominions are mapped out, power structure bared for all to see, and of course, there’s lovely theme forces all before we even get to the model entries.
As with the Protectorate of Menoth and Trollbloods books, there are two theme forces – one focused on warbeasts, and one focused on infantry assembled from the core infantry of the faction, the Wolf Sworn. It bears mentioning that the warbeast theme – The Bones of Orboros – is limited to the Construct warbeasts; more than any other faction the circle has a dividing line in its gribbly ranks with the Constructs on one side and the living warbeasts on the other. Mayhap we’ll see a Goat theme force in the future.
The command books introduce us to the entire stable of warlocks, including one of my favourite grumpy old men, Mohsar the Desertwalker. Did Leto ever hit the tabletop? Ayn Vanar? Nope, they’ll forever live in the shadow of the warbound eldery. Much like Heirarch Severius leads the Northern Crusade from the front lines, Mohsar – one of the three Omnipotents that preside over the Circle Orboros – kicks butt and takes names with his scythe swinging. New blood like Tanith the Feralsong and Una the Skyhunter may be all the rage, but there’s gold in them thar hills… or dunes, I guess, we are talking desert stuff here.
Glorious new art and model entries aside, another of the highlights of these books is the alternate colour schemes. The studio scheme is beautiful in itself, but one of the joys of the hobby is expressing your own creativity and painting the models in a manner that appeals to your own aesthetic senses.
From the frozen North to the blistering South, the Circle’s holdings cover Western Immoren, so it makes sence that their Wolf Sworn and more would reflect that in their populace. I’m seriously tempted to use the one on the right as my new Protectorate scheme…
One last note on the Command book, but not on what it entails so much as what’s absent: The Tharn. None of the Tharn units or solos are in the Command book, making it pretty clear what we can expect from a theme book in the future. Also notably AWOL are the Druids of Orboros. The Construct-centric models are there – the Stoneshaper, the Stoneward – but the core unit of Druids of Orboros and the Mist Riders are off lurking somewhere with the Lord of the Feast…
We’re going to finish off with a pic of Mohsar, cos he’s so badass he keeps a whirlwind in a glass bottle strapped to the weapon that he uses in melee. You know, because Health & Safety are foreign concepts when you’re roaming the Bloodstone Marches. The Circle Orboros Command book is in stores; if you wanna save the world at the same time as tearing down civilization, there’s only one faction for you…