Jamie popped in last night for a Warmchine v. Hordes game bringing his Skarre Thrall army to take on my Circle force, now lead by the newly acquired Krueger miniature.
I don’t have a lot of experience playing against Skarre (I do now :-) and I have to say that I really did underestimate the impact of her spells. Its often quite easy to forget just how much damage a Cryx caster can deal especially when using Bonejacks to arc-node spells at you. The Skarre-bomb is also really damn effective and I think that if I had been using Skarre instead of Deneghra then I might still be playing Cryx.
The two games we played allowed me to try out Krueger as well as try out the new plastic Hordes tokens that Privateer Press is producing. I picked up a set (well one of the PP staffers quite nicely gave up theirs) while In Bellevue and wanted to see how they worked.
As you may have read online Privateer Press has not licensed any of the Hordes IP to Gale Force 9 for them to create tokens similar to the ones they create for Warmachine. Instead Privateer Press has created small plastic Fury markers and round holders for cardboard counters that are then inserted into the holders. The Fury markers and the counter holders are a translucent green plastic with small curved barbs around the edges. In fact the Fury markers are actually rather sharp.
The immediate issue with them is that they do appear “cheap” in comparison to the GF9 counters. Which really is be expected since you’re getting a hell of a lot more tokens for the price. The packs contain all of the fury and effect tokens you’ll need for all of a faction’s units from Primal so you’re getting the functional equivalent of four or perhaps five packs of GF9 tokens for the price of one pack of GF9 tokens. Obviously then you’re not going to get laser cut plastic tokens backed with felt for this price. So in terms of quality of materials they don’t compare to the GF9 products.
Where I think they have an obvious advantage, aside from price, is that there are graphic differences, either colour or design, between the various effect tokens and so its easier to gauge when a unit has different animus or spells on it. The one issue I do have with the GF9 tokens is that they are visually quite similar and often there is no easy way to see exactly what spell effect(s) are one a unit other than leaning over and ready the token.
This certainly won’t disappear with these PP produced tokens but with the various coloured backgrounds for the effect tokens its going to be easier to see a difference.
In the game the tokens did their job and did it quite well. They marked spell effects and marked fury on Warbeasts and at no point did I really have to give them a second thought. They work well at the task they are meant to perform and the only real issue surrounding them is that they aren’t made to the same quality as the GF9 tokens.
But for the cost of a pack of GF9 tokens you get all the tokens you need for all the units in your faction so its really difficult to not like them.
The first game started off well for me. I was able to eliminate one of this Bonejacks quite quickly with the Woldwarden and took out some thralls with spells. I also managed to gauge the distance between the Bile Thralls and my Wolves well and so tey were saved a second turn purging. Krueger’s Wind Storm spell was helpful in that it kept the Wolves safe from a few shots from the Bile Thralls.
The game could have been over quite quickly and would have ended in the second turn if Jamie hadn’t missed with a second Hellfire spell. Skarre typically oozes Focus after the first turn and between the Skarre-bomb and Hellfire Krueger was knocked down to four health and his long term prospects weren’t looking too good.
Luckily was I was able to knock a hole in the unit of Mechani-thralls covering her and charge in a warpwolf who managed to take her down.
The one bright point in the game for me was that my Totem Hunter was able to Leap in to attack the Bloat Thrall and take it out. I think its the first Totem that the unit has harvested in the entire time I have used it.
The second game looked quite ugly from the onset as I used Krueger’s feat to eliminate both Jamie’s Bile Thralls and Mechani-thralls. Jamie thought the game looked a little bleak but I think that was based on his relative inexperience with the game. The thralls are chaff and he still had his caster and jacks and so was in a much better position than he thought. I tried to press the advantage but due to some spectacularly bad dice rolling on my part and some effective spell casting on his part he was able to take Krueger down and win the game.
it was a pretty typical Warmachine game in which an initial heavy hit still wasn’t enough to take down the caster and their army and its one of the reasons why I think Warmachine/Hordes is such a good game. You can usually at least come up with a plan to try to reverse your situation even if you take a lot of initial damage.
Krueger is an interesting Warlock. His feat is a little unusual in that its very offensive and it seems as if it needs to be cast early to take out covering units or threatening infantry. It sure will knock a hole in anyone trying to do a Haley Turtle defense. Unlike Baldur he seems a bit more straight-forward to play and I am thinking of replacing the Warpwolf with a second Woldwarden to be able to cast three Forked Lightning spells a turn.
All in all a successful first outing with Krueger and a positive experience with the new Privateer Press tokens as well.