Years ago, back in Mk1, I started playing Warmachine. I started out with Searforge, and quickly segued into the Protectorate of Menoth, where I learned the joy of burning heretics. My primary opponent was CaptainSpud. I played against him more than anyone else as I was setting the foundations for my Warmachine/Hordes career. Spud played Cygnar. Spud was, frankly, better at the game than I am. Spud won many of our games. Many. This, even moreso than the fluffy hostility between Cygnar and the Protectorate, formed the basis for my constant fist shaking at Morrow’s favourite swans. And now they’ve got their Mk3 book. Fine. Let’s do this.
Before we sink into this a little, can I just say how much I love the cover concept for the command books? Each has the new Battlebox caster front and center, a selection of other notable warcasters, and a pair of character warjacks or warbeasts. I love how this reinforces the new edition while at the same time showcasing the legacy on which each faction has been built. In this case, Stryker and Nemo both have three iterations in the game and Siege has played pivotal roles in multiple major story arcs as well. Maddox is, of course, the new kid on the block, and hasn’t leaned to spike her hair up like Stryker and Nemo yet. Siege gets a pass on that because, ya know, bald.
Cygnar’s Command book presents a brief history of Cygnar, bringing everything up to speed. Leto has abdicated the throne after the civil war (Seriously, read Blood of Kings), Siege is back on duty, Caine’s now rocking around with the two surviving members of the Black 13th, and of course, we have Maddox and Brickhouse (he’s mighty-mighty). Gorgeous new art entries have popped up for a number of models, with Captain Jeremiah Kraye’s winning the award for most sinister looking warcaster. His horse looks like it might steal your wallet too.
Of interest to me personally as I look at each of these Command books isn’t what’s in it, but what isn’t. As expected, the Storm Knights are absent – Stormblades, Stormlances, Stormsmiths… a clear indicator that we’re getting a Storm-centric theme book down the line… but also absent are the Trenchers. It looks like the backbone of the Cygnaran army, the Gravediggers themselves, are going to get a chance to shine in the spotlight.
That’s not to suggest that the Command book is light on niftiness for those who bear the Cygnus. Packed full of warcasters and warjacks, including the Mk3 version of Triumph who gets to make a bonus RAT7 Heavy Barrel attack during the Maintenance phase because damn, son, but the sons of the Tempest are crawling all over the Units and Solos sections. You want a gun line, you get a gun line! All the Arcane Tempest you can holster, backed up by Long Gunners and Sword Knights and their related models. Even Archduke Alain Runewood, commander of 20,000 solders in the Cyngaran Second Army based out of Eastwall, stands waiting to defend Cygnar against those pesky Menites and their zealotry… waitaminute, *I’M* a Menite! Darn you, Runewood! (*ptooie*)
The hobbyists aren’t neglected either, with three paint schemes detailed to help inspire and encourage painters new and old. The standard Cygnaran studio scheme is present, as is the yellow-plated Keller’s Lions scheme, and then my personal favourite, and the most whimsical scheme we’ve yet seen in a Command book: Bubblegum Blues.
The scheme is the work of Brendon Roy, and completely thumbs its nose at any attempt to be “military” or “badass” in favour of being obnoxious and in-your-face. I heartily approve.
As with each of the Command books. Cygnar’s newest printed tome provides a good read for setting and fluff, as well as a handy reference for models that you may be considering adding to your collection, and of course, the theme forces make my day, even as much as I loathe Cygnar. Heavy Metal encourages you to bring all the warjacks, giving you extra deployment and free solos and command attachments, while Sons of the Tempest basically says “Hey, you like gunlines?” by limiting your entire army to ranged attackers with some mechaniks in support, including enough Gun Mage Captain Adepts to make Bobby Hostile even more hostile. That may or may not be an in-joke.
So if you’re the kind of Warmachine player who likes the idea of your warcasters gathering around a fire to tell stories while Siege, for some inexplicable reason, has decided to kneel down *in* the fire, the Command book is on the shelves now.
… maybe he’s helping Darius test a new Fire Extinguisher Cannon…