Warcry musings

Ml2sjw

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So I'm currently trying to show restraint and not pick up a copy of warcry....

That said popped into my local GW to pick up some more paints and had a little flick through it's contents.....

The terrain is fantastic, it covers the battlefield nicely and is well and truly modular slotting together in a number rod combinations that would put the card of original.necromunda to shame.

Didn't see the models in person but of note they aren't push fit.

Didn't have time to play and the store manager also hasn't had time to mess round with it but it looks like a tight skirmish rule set, as apposed to necromunda which is increasingly (if your feeling kind) an inquisitor style and box that you need lots of "friendly" rules interpretations. From some quick maths in-store you get two complete forces, although they may not be optimal in the long run in the box.

I'm now sorely tempted to pick up the starter set......


Also first review I have seen online

 

Thorgor

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The miniatures from the starter set add up to two 980~1000 pts warbands so the game is playable out of the box. This is also true for the one currently separately available warband (the Cypher Lords) and presumably for each other upcoming warband box (The Unmade, the Splintered Fang and the Corvus Cabal) that should be released in the coming weeks/months. Each should give you a 1000 pts-ish warband out of the box.

If you want some options for list-building or if you want to partake in the campaign system (where you can use glory points to purchase the ability to field more than 1000 pts of dudes) you'll need more miniatures though (I reckon a second box should give you enough options to play with, so if you are into the Iron Golems or Untamed beasts trading warbands with another starter set owner should do it)

Also of note, they have yet to announce any plans for making the starter set plastic kits (Untamed beast, Iron golem, Chaos beasts and terrain sprues) available separately (presumably to avoid undermining its sales), but I'm sure they will be in due time (see for instance the Shokkjump Dragsta/Kustom Boosta-blasta from Speed Freeks).

I've read (most of) the rules and they seem clear and well-written to me. The game is very (very) streamlined which I think is a good thing (complexity, in itself, is not desirable). What remains to be seen (and I think it's too early to draw a conclusion one way or another) is whether or not those streamlined rules still allow for satisfying gameplay depth.

The one important thing to keep in mind is that this is not Mordheim 2.0 and was never meant to be. If you buy into this game expecting complex list-building with lots of options for each of your dudes and/or an old-school campaign system with resource management where your characters evolve/get injured/die in a meaningful way, you will be disappointed.
 

Thorgor

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Here is what I think is my favorite review so far:
I'd just like him to elaborate on why he thinks Terrain cards shouldn't be used for matched play.
 
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Ml2sjw

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Thanks for sign posting this @Thorgor I'd be interested I the terrain cards are bad for competitive as well.

In theory they should provide a balanced pre thoughout set up which for matched play would be really useful I would have thought.

I've had plenty not games of necromunda where despite trying to generate a fair set up patches of deadground or lines of fire we have missed have created a one sided game. This is fine when you're playing for fun and narrative less so competively
 

Thorgor

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Cards for some of the non-chaos faction have finally been leaked:

1564418682884.jpg

1564419028688.jpg

1564418859664.jpg
Those Orruks are sluggishly slow...
o16qf1yqhed31.jpg
 
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Ml2sjw

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I had a mess around with the kit in store there are lots of push fit bits that you don't want to glue together to maximize your options fro what I saw it was loads of corners peace's you could then combine as nessecary

Also I've pulled the trigger and ordered it currently telling myself it's just the starter set.....
 

Deckard_2049

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GW releasing this around the same time as wood elves for BB and enforcers is just killing me. I can only afford to full dive into one of the three, I just can't keep up with these releases at all.
 
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Ben_S

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Most of this stuff is not limited edition, so I'd advise prioritising the things that are (like dice and cards) if you want them. You can always pick up models later.
 

Thorgor

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For people with AoS minis who want to theory-craft, I made a spreadsheet with all known information for non-Chaos factions (pretty much everything is known by now, except for the point cost of the Raptor-Prime with Longshot Crossbow)
Last four columns are Average Damage per Action (versus T3, T4 and T5) and Maximum Damage per Action (if every dice crits)

Also, added 3 tabs that let you quickly see where each unit stands in terms of Movement/Toughness/Wounds relative to others (blue on the Movement tab are flyers, orange on the Toughness tab are shieldless, and red on the Wounds tab are leaders)

Will try to add Chaos factions later

Edit: added a tab with suggestions for mapping Warhammer: Underworlds warbands to Warcry. They give you about half a Warcry warband each, sometimes even more!
 
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Ben_S

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How competitive do Legions of Nagash look? (They're probably the only ones that I could field out of models that I already have to hand.)
 

Thorgor

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How competitive do Legions of Nagash look? (They're probably the only ones that I could field out of models that I already have to hand.)
Take it with a grain of salt as I've not seen all the deployment and mission cards (or, you know, played the game) yet:

They look quite gimmicky. They seem to rely a lot on their leader (the Necromancer) to do anything.
Most of their unique abilities can only be used by the Necromancer (Necrotic Siphon, Summon Undead and Vanhel's Danse Macabre) and/or only work for fighters within 6" and LoS of the Necromancer (Shambling Horde, Chosen Champion and Vanhel's Danse Macabre). Only the Grave Guards' Cursed Weapon (and the 4 universal non-Leader abilities) are not Necro-reliant.
Now, those abilities are very good, especially Summon Undead ([triple] : bring one of your dead dude back in the game with X Wounds within 6" of the Necro) and of course Danse Macabre ([quad]: X dudes within 6" of the Necro can make a free Move or Attack action)

So, what you probably want to do is have a big blob of bones around you Necro both to protect him (at T4 W25 he is not particularly squishy, and can heal with Triples through Necrotic Siphon or the universal Respite, but your opponent will want him very dead) and to benefit from his powers. However, I can forsee two problems with this strategy:
  1. If the scenario requires you to control multiple objectives, it will be very difficult to control more than one
  2. In Warcry, you have to divide your warband in 3 groups (Hammer, Shield and Dagger) that are deployed separately. Some of them may not be deployed at the beginning of the game and will only show up from a table edge at the beginning of the second turn (and it can happen to all 3 of them, there is no rule that, for instance, the Hammer is always deployed turn 1). If it happens to your Necro's group, the first few turns will be harsh.
Also, abilities not-withstanding, the warband is tied for slowest with the Ironjawz (everyone but the Necro is M3). Since mobility is apparently quite important in Warcry, you will have to rely on your abilities to move around at a decent pace. It also means your opponent will be able to engage you on their own terms most of the time, so your guys will have to tank an attack action to have a chance to strike back.

Now, let's talk about the fighters themselves:

The skellies are not very killy nor resilient, but they are cheap! They have the exact same stats as a goblin Stabba (except they are slower) and are 15 points cheaper. I don't think there is a big difference between the Sword and Spear versions: both do pathetic average damage (~2 damage per action) and I'm not sure what to think about the extra range on Spears: on the one hand it gives you +25% "threat" range, but on the other hand I think the main job of the skellies will be to get within 1" of the opponent's best fighters and force them to waste an action either to kill them or Disengage.
I don't think the Champion version is worth the extra points. He gets +50% Wounds, +50% killiness and an ability, but he is still a relatively subpar fighter, and for a few more points you can have:

The grave guards! With an average of ~5 damage per action (4 for the shielded version) that can be buffed to ~7 with their Double ability hey are way better at killing stuff than the regular skellies. The Seneschal is even better with ~7 ADpA (buffed to ~11). And they are relatively cheap for this damage output. However, they are a bit of a glass canon (T3 W10 for the 2H-sword, T4 W10 for the Sword-and-Shield, and T3 W15 for the Seneschal), and they won't always be able to tank that first hit.

A few examples of lists:

Balanced list (11 bodies, 1000 pts):
FighterNumberUnit costTotal cost
Necromancer1195195
Skeleton Warrior with Ancient Blade455220
Grave Guard with Great Wight Blade385255
Grave Guard with Wight Blade and Crypt Shield19090
Seneschal2120240

Glass canon list (10 bodies, 995 pts):
FighterNumberUnit costCost
Necromancer1195195
Grave Guard with Great Wight Blade885680
Seneschal1120120

Corpse party list (15 bodies, 1000 pts):
FighterNumberUnit costCost
Necromancer1195195
Skeleton Warrior with Ancient Blade1355715
Grave Guard with Wight Blade and Crypt Shield19090

Seneschal army list (8 bodies, 1000 pts):
FighterNumberUnit costTotal cost
Necromancer1195195
Grave Guard with Great Wight Blade18585
Seneschal6120720

As you can see, it's literally impossible to have less than 8 dudes in your list, and you should probably have around 12, outnumbering most opponents.
 
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Ml2sjw

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My copy arrived, initial thoughts are as many have already said the terrain is excellent and densely fills the kill team sized mat far more so than kill team sets I have seen. Kit went together easily and whilst I glued most of it various push fit parts have been left unglued for future flex. Did have rather a lot of mold lines but nothing to major.

The warbands sprues are great and covered in depth elsewhere. Plenty of opportunity for kit bashing in the future as many have covered. Rules are simple and well laid out with the cards acting as your primary references for stats etc.

As people have covered hitting wounding and armour is all covered by a single dice roll of ST Vs T which minimises the amount of remembering and working out hit rolls etc.

The hero dice that let you use abilities are reminiscent of spacehulks command dice for me a fun house rule might be to keep your dice hidden until you use them...

Will have to play some full sized games before I can pass judgement but it's seems a solid little skirmish game system
 

Thorgor

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For those interested, I upgraded my previous spreadsheet with more stats (the great thing with Warcry's simplified attack system is that it's relatively easy to calculate those things). Used them to separate units into 5 'Lethality' tiers add added a 'Lethality' map tab ('Toughness' and 'Wound' tabs have been merged into the 'Durability' tab):

I also made another spreadsheet to list all abilities available to each warband in a more palatable way (merged universal and faction specific abilities on a single page and got rid of the icon system):

Btw, this highlights some strange stuff with faction-specific abilties:
For instance, compare Onslaught (Universal) and Stormfire (Deepkin). There is no reason to ever use Stormfire as it does the same thing as Onslaught except with some additional restrictions.
Loadsa Arrow (Bonesplitterz) is even stranger as it's akin to Stormfire but uses a Triple instead of a Double. It doesn't state a duration tough, so some have speculated it lasts until the end of the battle and can stack with itself (and Onslaught) but this looks like a typo to me as it would be the only ability that spans multiple battle rounds.



I've not added Chaos warbands to those spreadsheets yet but I'll do it soon™
 
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Thorgor

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Was curious about the actual chances to get Doubles/Triples etc. during the initiative step so, here goes:

SinglesDoublesTriplesQuads+ExampleChance
22A B CC DD34.72%
41A B C D EE23.15%
31A B C DDD15.43%
111A BB CCC15.43%
21A B CCCC3.86%
3AA BB CC3.86%
6A B C D E F1.54%
11AA BBBB0.96%
11A BBBBB0.39%
1AAAAAA0.01%

Or:
At leastChance
1 Double+98.46%
2 Doubles+55.62%
1 Triple+32.87%
1 Quad+5.22%

Number of abilitiesChance
01.54%
142.84%
251.76%
33.86%

(Double+ means a Triple or Quad also counts as you can spend them as Doubles)
So, most of the time, you'll get 1 or 2 abilities to work with, and they'll be doubles and/or triples

Note that those are the chances before wild dice are applied, so you'll be able to use Quad abilities at least once in most games (as you get a 38% chance to either get a Quad or be able to force one from a Triple each turn, you only have 24% chance to see no Quad during a 3 turn game)

Also, the spreadsheets above are almost complete now (only a few Unmade and Crow dudes are still missing)
 

kendoka

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I have the box and all six warbands and have played a full 1000p game using all the rules.

My personal reflections:
+ Fantastic looking sculpts.
+ Card-based choices (deployment, assignments and twist) for games are great.
+ Good layout of the book and simple / quick rules

- Unfortunately, the figures are very small. GW has used the same height as before but made the minis more realistic in scale (think Blackstone) - making an Empire handgunner beafier than the members of the Untamed beasts.
- The printed board is awful (like a print on A3).
- Terrain cards limits the game to the wc terrain.
- Deployment cards only supports two players.
- There are so few stats on the guys that almost all the difference between teams lies on their special abilities. These are complex and linked to specific individuals which means that you spend to much time thinking about the abilities and how to use wild dice. For me, the card based rules/abilities focus everything becomes more Magic than Warhammer
- Many special abilities are quite useless so even if you get a triple you may not even want to use it. Would have been much better if each team had three different types of abilities (move, fight and heal/defend) for doubles, triples & quads.
- The rules have two really big flaws that are a result of the same flawed mechanics: you cannot neither defend (!) nor fight back in close combat. This means that the charging player gets only one attack (due to no charge action forces two actions: move + fight) and when the victim strikes back at a later stage he gets two attacks (fight + fight). This means that you are reluctant to charge and also removes most of the tension in close quarter fighting. For me, attacking and (hopefully) removing opponents without them getting to defend or fight back, regardless of their skill, is more chess than tabletop.

The fact that minis do not even have a weapon skill IMHO destroys the whole game idea and experience. CC is just resolved on no. of attacks, strength and toughness. The characters just stand and brace for impact, getting hit, hoping to survive until it is their turn - i.e. like Stallone in a typical Rocky movie.

Note: I have only played one match - but I do think that house rules are needed in order for the game to be enjoyable.
 

Ben_S

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- Unfortunately, the figures are very small. GW has used the same height as before but made the minis more realistic in scale (think Blackstone) - making an Empire handgunner beafier than the members of the Untamed beasts.
That is a surprise. I assumed things would be in the same rather large scale as just about every other GW release over the last few years.