Today we continue with the 2nd part of our Warmahordes 101 article written by Chris Pymm, this time we explore the faction from the more monster based side of the game; Hordes.
Background: The closest thing in the setting to actual good guys. The Trollkin, and their various related races (from the tiny whelps to the massive Dire Trolls and Mountain Kings) are big, brash, blue, and very resilient. They drink hard, they eat a lot, and they get screwed over by most of the other factions. The poor trolls are just looking for a land to call their own; hopefully, their recent settlement in new lands will give them that.
Playstyle: Traditionally, troll armies are tough ‘bricks’ of high armour beasts and tough troops. More recently, they’ve been branching out into hard to hit forces. They are strongly communal, which is expressed as mutually supporting and buffing models. They also hit really hard!
Band of Heroes – the elite warriors theme.
Kriel Company – the shooty theme; the trollkins first attempt at a standing army.
The Power of Dhunia – the warbeast theme; mostly big stampy monsters.
Storm of the North – the Northkin theme; trollkin from the far north, who drink a lot even by troll standards, and burn stuff.
Essentials: You will want a Krieldstone Bearer, as the faction is built around it.
New Player Notes: With its drunken trolls and ambushing bears, Trollbloods is characterful as heck and a solid starting faction. Painting tartan is a pain in the butt, though.
Legion of Everblight
Background: Everblight is one of the dragons, but not part of the Draconic Alliance which holds back Toruk the Dragonfather. Unlike the other dragons, he lacks a body and is currently residing inside a mutated ogrun. He uses his draconic blight to enslave entire cultures and create eyeless abominations. He hopes to kill other dragons and absorb their power, which he has managed once, but avoid being eaten by other dragons.
Playstyle: Very much the glass cannon faction. Generally, they use a lot of warbeasts that can go far, hit hard, but die easily. They also have a lot of the Eyeless Sight ability, allowing them to see through cloud effects and the Stealth ability.
Children of the Dragon – the Nephilim theme; based around the smaller beasts called Nephilim and the Blighted Nyss (nyss are a cold adjusted elven subrace).
Oracles of Annihilation – the Warbeast theme; mostly big flappy monsters.
Primal Terrors – the Blighted Ogrun theme; they big, hungry, and bring their tentacle monsters.
Raven of War – the hit & run theme; fast moving, often flying, and fairly shooty.
Essentials: Varies by theme.
New Player Notes: The glass cannon nature of the faction punishes positioning mistakes, so it might not be the best place to start. But, it has cool dragon monsters.
Background: The Blackclad Druids of the Circle are trying to keep civilization and the wilds in balance, because otherwise the Devourer Wurm will either win his war against Menoth and then return to the world and destroy all intelligent life, or he will notice his weakening and return to the world and destroy all intelligent life. No one knows if they’re right, but they are sure of it. They use mighty wild beasts, towering stone constructs, and enthralled savage races, and are the only faction capable of teleportation, using the ley line network to fight a guerrilla war. Plus, they have warpwoves, which are cool.
Playstyle: Circle armies are tricky, fast, and make great use of terrain. They’re not a very forgiving faction, as they rely on trickery and careful placement, but can be super effective.
The Bones of Orboros – the Wold theme; the wolds are the stone constructs of the Circle, and are the exception to the generally delicate Circle warbeasts. Mostly big stone monsters.
Call of the Wild – the living warbeast theme; mostly big fuzzy monsters.
The Devourer’s Host – the Tharn theme; heart eating savages from the wilds, the Tharn worship the Devourer Wurm and regard the druids as its priests.
Secret Masters – the Blackclad theme; honestly, I’m not sure what this theme force is supposed to do.
The Wild Hunt – the Wolf of Orboros theme; the Wolves are human warriors from the edges of civilization who are sworn to the Circle. Plus Skinwalkers, who are big and fuzzy.
Essentials: You’ll likely want Shifting Stones for teleportation shenanigans and Fury management, but otherwise varies by theme.
New Player Notes: Even more than Legion, requires super careful positioning which makes them a tough place to start.
Background: The Skorne Empire is the largest of the non-human nations, and covers most of the lands to the far east. The Skorne, through their unique magical tradition of Mortitheurgey (magic of death and pain, distinct from necromancy), long ago found out that their souls don’t go to an afterlife when they die, likely due to their lack of gods. Instead, their souls go to the Void, which is considered a Bad Thing. Their society is built around being found worth of Exaltation, the process of capturing a dying Skorne’s soul in a Sacral Stone so it is preserved; it can then be put into an Immortal (man-sized stone warrior body), or an Eternal Guardian (really big stone body) if the Skorne was particularly badass. To be worthy, you must follow the code of hoksune, a warrior code of overcoming pain and dying well. The Skorne are Bad Guys, and use torture and Mortitheurgey to push themselves and their warbeasts beyond normal limits.
The Skorne were invaded by the one man army of King Vinter Raelthorne IV, former king of Cygnar and super dangerous man with OP magic items. He cut his way through their leadership until they let him be in charge, then lead them on an invasion of Cygnar. This failed, and Vinter lost control of the Empire to Makeda, who is currently the Empress of the Skorne and leading them in an invasion of Ios, the elven homeland which is generally considered to be unassailable. They’re not doing badly.
Playstyle: Varies by theme, but are generally able to buff their beasts into wreaking balls – nothing can withstand a Bronzeback Titan with Enrage, Prodding, and Last Stand.
Disciples of Agony – the Minion theme; the most unique theme force in the game, Disciples supplements the Skorne warbeasts with Minion warbeasts (see below), and represents the Paingiver caste dominating the “lesser races”.
The Exalted – the stone guys theme; the warrior statues animated by the souls of worthy ancestors.
Imperial Warhost – the warbeast theme; mostly big stampy monsters.
Masters of War – the Praetorian and Cataphract theme; elite soldiers of the Empire.
Winds of Death – the Venator theme; ranged weapons are considered less-worthy, but are gaining respect as the Skorne get shot at more and more by the more technologically advanced nations. This is their ‘new model army’ with all the shooting.
Essentials: Paingiver Beast Handlers, to keep the monsters in line.
New Player Notes: I see no reason not to start with Skorne, provided you’re comfortable with how mean they are to their warbeasts.
Background: The wild version of Mercenaries, the Minions are savages willing to hire themselves out to other factions. They’re roughly split into two halves – the pig-like Farrow, and the Gatormen. These are affectionately called “Bacon & Handbags” by many players. The head of the Thornfall Alliance, the closest thing the Farrow have to a nation, is Lord Carver, Bringer of Most Massive Destruction, Esq III; an egotistical but powerful farrow. His main advantage over the other farrow tribes is Dr Arkadius, a human mad scientist who turns the massive pig beasts that farrow use for warbeasts into cyborgs; giant steam powered pig monsters with flamethrowers! The Gatorman equivalent is the Blindwater Congregation, brought together by Bloody Barnabas, a gatorman bokor who wants to become a god. He’s getting worryingly close…
Playstyle: One of the harder factions to play, they have a wide variety of troops, but you’re unlikely to access to all of them at once. Generally, the warlocks are noticeably better than other factions warlocks, but get let down a bit by their warbeasts.
The Blindwater Congregation – the Gatorman theme; all the fishy type things, with strong voodoo flavour.
The Thornfall Alliance – the Farrow theme; all things piggy, with many puns available.
Will Work For Food – the warbeast theme; mostly big stampy monsters, of either flavour.
Essentials: Varies by Bacon or Handbag.
New Player Notes: In a similar vein to Mercenaries, but you get to make more bacon jokes.
Limited release factions
The following factions are limited release factions. The models that are out now are all that are likely to be available in the foreseeable future; they might get new releases, but they might not. This is both good and bad – no new toys, but you can collect the whole lot more easily. They were designed as complete factions, so there’s nothing “missing”, but they were also designed for experience players, and therefore have different mechanics.
Convergence of Cyriss
Background: The Convergence is the military arm of the secret Cult of Cyriss, the goddess of mathematics and logic. Unlike other gods, she exists in the real world as a planetary body that can only be seen with special alchemical filters. Her cult wants to realign the ley lines to make this world a suitable body for her; this puts them into conflict with the Circle over the energies of the world, and the Cephalyx over suitable underground lair space. They have, for the most part, moved their souls into soul vessels, and put those vessels into clockwork bodies. The fact that their soul-technology is based on Cryx necrotech is a secret within the cult. Their warjacks (called vectors) don’t have a cortex, as the CoC sees such artificial minds as heretical. Instead, they have an Induction Node, which their warcasters use to funnel magical energy between the vectors.
Playstyle: They tend to be slow but tough, and very efficient at using Focus (the warcaster resource), but the caster give their accuracy stats to the ‘jacks, so they vary with caster far more than other factions.
Clockwork Legions – the infantry theme; able to take the soul vessels from destroyed bodies and put them in new ones.
Destruction Initiative – the warjack theme; mostly big stampy robots.
Essentials: The Corollary is in every army. Every single one.
New Player Notes: Not recommended for new players.
Background: Fairy tales and dark legends, the Grymkin rarely managed to make it into the real world. Recently, the primeval entity which calls itself Zevanna Agha, the Old Witch of Khador, has brought them here in force, as well as their masters, the Defiers. No one is sure why she did this, but she claims they are our salvation.
Playstyle: The Grymkin are based around “damned if you do, damned if you don’t”, and giving your opponent difficult choices. But to do so, you’ve got to know what your opponent’s things do, and what they want to do, ahead of time. Also, puns. So many puns.
Bump in the Night – the infantry theme
Dark Menagerie – the warbeast theme.
Essentials: As they only have two heavy warbeasts, a Cage Rager and a couple of Skin and Moans seem useful.
New Player Notes: Not recommended for new players.
Well that’s everything you need to know about Privateer Press’ Warmahordes. If your interested in playing a game or want to get into the game make sure to drop by.