When it comes to finding a distraction in these times, most of us find a reprieve in our tabletop gaming, regardless of if it is roleplaying, strategy, board games, or war games. Finding the time and partnering up with a group of friends for our social interactions is difficult at the best of times and just by or very nature of being gamers, we are not always the most reliable individuals. Some are more punctual than others and my group is no exception. I have a mixed bag of gamers in my group, with myself being the most punctual. Now take on the reality that is COVID and the restrictions that have been put in pace and getting together for any sort of gaming has become even harder to accomplish. I have been lucky enough to have a small group of friends that fall well below the threshold put in place by the state of Virginia (five, including myself). We meet up every other weekend if we can, for a round of some sort of war game before launching into our RPG night. I hope that during your time under these restrictions that you have been able to ‘scratch the itch’ of gaming in some way, shape, or form. Please stay safe and observe the regional guidelines put in place for the safety of you, your family, and your friends.
Enough of the obligatory check in on reality, lets head into the realm of the fantastic.
I love Warcry. I can’t stress this enough. I…LOVE…WARCRY!\
It is simple to learn, cheap to get into (Relatively speaking), fun and fast to play. I have bought into the game of Warcry…just about all of it actually. Remember that ‘relatively speaking’ thing I said in the previous sentence? Yeah, I left that behind, waaaaay behind, and blew past ‘relatively speaking’ in no time flat. I dove in whole hog, all in, hook, line, and singer. Totally okay with that too.
If you don’t know what Warcry is, I suggest you go take a peak…HERE and HERE and HERE. You’re welcome and enjoy your time in the deep end of the pool. It is a skirmish battle-game that uses the same models you would use for your Age of Sigmar army. GW Sells small kits that contain warbands or you can purchase the bits and pieces you need. Every army is represented, and I believe now that the other ‘Order’ tomes have been released, just about every model is also represented.
For as simple as the game is, it can become incredibly complex due to the random nature of how the game is set up. FYI: Pro Tip…play the balanced scenarios, they are called balanced for a reason and while it does limit your game play, it also means both players have an equal chance of winning the game. Of course, this is all pending on tactics, strategy and the twist!
What has me super excited is that my small little group is going to be starting a new campaign for Warcry. The Tome of Champions (ToC) 2020 just released and in its august pages it contains a new narrative campaign; Soroth Kor, the Silent City. In the campaign each warband is vying for dominance and the ultimate prize, the Heart of Silence! You fight battles, claim territories, accumulate Glory Points, recruit more members (and monsters) for your warband and wage war within the Chaos-ridden realm of Eightpoints.
With a new campaign comes the obligatory new warband. I have been playing the Cypher Lords pretty much from day one. I dabbled with the Stormcast Eternals (A Vanguard Hunter plus six Gryph-Hounds equals lots of movement shenanigans) but I have always gone back to the Cypher Lords. For this campaign though, I am going to branch out, LITERALLY, and play a Sylvaneth Warband. I really enjoy the aesthetics of the models and their playstyle is very different from the fast, agile, hard hitting style of the Cypher Lords.
The Sylvaneth have access to the Arch-Revenant, Branchwych/wraiths, Kurnoth Hunters, Tree-Revenants, Spite-Revenants, and Dryads. Each one has a different ability that has the right ‘feel’ of the army that comes from its Age of Sigmar roots (HA!). I think my favorite ability is the one that allows the Spite-Revenants to freeze the opposing fighter in place because the Spite-Revenant scares the fighter. It is aptly named, “Shrieking Terror.” Like the Cypher Lords, the Sylvaneth can spike damage as seen by the 3/6 Great Scythe or the 2/5 Great Sword/Great Bow that the Kurnoth Hunters can wield. The Arch-Revenant can fly and hits as hard as a Hunter. The Dryads can help boost other Dryad’s attacks and the Tree-Revenants can teleport.
GW has done a great job of supporting the game with downloadable warband rosters and updated rules with hot fixes via the ToC 2020. They have taken the previous ToC 2019 rules and kept them valid while expanding upon them in a very organic fashion. When I was reading through the ToC 2020, I didn’t think to myself ‘Oh great a new broken thing,’ it was more along the lines of ‘That makes sense why they did that.’ I appreciate the care that the team working on Warcry has taken to keep the game simple.
I am going to double down on how much I like how GW captured the feel of the Age of Sigmar abilities in Warcry. It is not on a one-for-one basis but it gives the right feel in the Warcry rules set. Again, I will say…don’t think that this game is that simple just because the rules are reduced in complexity. The streamlined nature of the game means each game I play is as satisfying to me as playing on of the ‘big boy’ games like Age of Sigmar, Warhammer 40k, or Warmachine/Hordes.
Pardon the mess, but as you can see I am working on getting the Warband painted up. I did take it out for a practice run this past weekend and while I lost on Victory Points in the third round, I had a blast playing them. I will need to get a few Tree-Revenants and once I get some extra points by capturing territories, I will be adding Dryads to the list (and maybe a Stormcast ally but don’t tell my opponents).