Hordes: Prelude to Battle Reports

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This week I got in my order of Hordes miniatures, consisting of the Circle Orboros starter Warpack and a unit of Tharn Bloodtrackers. Actually, the Tharn Bloodtrackers came in separately (since I placed my order the day before Privateer Press officially allowed distributors to sell them) and so I haven’t had a chance to use them yet.

The starter Warpack consists of a Warlock, one Heavy Warbeast, and two Light Warbeasts. For the faction I chose, this means that I get Kaya the Wildborn as my Warlock, a Warpwolf, and two Arguses.

-Kaya is, from what I can tell, a finesse sort of character: She has Pathfinding which allows her to pass through rough terrain unhindered, and a spell to give units under her command stealth, or to allow them to teleport from one location on the battlefield to another. She is pretty strong, as all Warlocks are (since they’re your most important units on the field), but she’s more of an assassin than a brawler.
-The Warpwolf is the standard heavy unit for any Circle army. It’s pretty fast and hits quite hard, but can’t withstand much damage. It has a limited ability to warp its physical characteristics, allowing it to warp for speed when not in combat and to warp for strength or armor when it is.
-The Argus is a two-headed dog whose primary feature is its speed. The Argus is relatively fragile and doesn’t hit that hard, but it’s not something you can afford to ignore. Its bark, while not a tremendous threat, gives the starter warpack a bit of ranged capability that can paralyze enemy units.
-The Bloodtrackers (although I haven’t played with them yet) are savage humanoid women who can toss javelins with deadly effect. They can pass through rough terrain without penalty and get to deploy ahead of the main bulk of your force. Though they’re fragile, collectively they pack enough punch to take down even heavy targets.

One thing I’m noticing with Warmachine/Hordes and Privateer Press is they pretty much actively encourage people to play the game with what are called “proxy” units. Privateer Press publishes all of the attributes for upcoming units in Warmachines/Hordes in their magazine No Quarter, which means that you can take those stats and play the game without even owning the miniatures. For example, the Bloodtrackers, which were actually formally released last week, have been being used in play for months already by people proxying the models.

Maybe it’s just my bad experience to the elitist “WYSIWYG” attitude of Games Workshop, but I think it’s kind of nice to see a game company which encourages people to play the game first and foremost, with the impetus to buy the models being convenience and appreciation for the quality of the models. Not to mention that my decision to purchase the Bloodtrackers was formed pretty much by accounts of players saying they have used them to great effect in their own battles.

Anyway, my starter Warpack comes in at 275 points, and adding on a base unit of Bloodtrackers puts me at 335 points. Although this is a playable level of troops, obviously tactics and strategies become a little more interesting when you’ve got more to work with. I’m looking to build up to 500 points in the next couple of months or so. In June a new unit is coming out called the Pureblood Warpwolf, which comes in at 124 points. I am definitely looking to add one into my own army. I’m also looking at adding in a unit of Standing Stones (although I don’t recall their points cost offhand), and possibly taking out an Argus to add in Druids (points allowing) or a Lord of the Feast solo unit, or a Gorax warbeast.

So many options…

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