I’ve been watching Warcry (the Games Workship, Age of Sigmar skirmish game) from afar for a long time. I first played a demo at GenCon almost 2 years ago. Then I jumped in early last year by picking up the Untamed Beasts faction. During the painting binges of 2020, I also printed out and painted terrain as well as finished up painting the models as well. And now almost a year after completing all of that, I got in my first game.
I got in a masked real world game earlier this week. This was our first foray into the full game rules, playing a Matched Play game with all the trimmings.
We drew up the battle lay and pulled the Knife to the Back setup. In Warcry, you set up your band into three sections, Dagger, Hammer, and Shield. These groups will matter in the setup and rules/victory conditions of the future cards that you draw to set everything up. The scenario setup would see our Dagger grouping held in reserve and our warbands deploy in the middle areas to quickly engage. The reserve units would come in from the side corners at round 3.
The Victory condition was to wipe out the opponents Shield group and starting round 4, any Shield figures would instantly die if 4 inches from the board edge. The Howling Winds “Twist” component was that the battlefield created a negative penalty to ranged attacks farther than six inches.
We set up appropriately with my Untamed Beasts pitted against Colton’s Splintered Fang.
Overseeing it all was the big man himself, Archaon the Everchosen. He would be here to make note and see if anyone was truly worthy.
Being our first game, we just decided to try and get through the game and not agonize about the setup too much. This is hard for me but I tried. The game helps relax this quite a bit as things are pretty easy without a lot of rules complications to get in the way. The card draw setup is nice too as you don’t get to consider what the victory conditions are until you place.
We rolled up the first round and at the end of it, I got the initiative. With Archaon watching, I figured I had to bold. I had rolled up a set up triples and doubles, giving my Hammer group (Beastmaster whip girl and Murder Lion- not to be confused with Infinity’s Murder Kitty… I’m sensing a theme in my army selection process) a perfect one-two punch.
I launch Murder Lion into the fray and use my triple power to pounce, dealing automatic damage to my first target. I then follow up with a nice attack only to come up dealing a little more damage. Colton responds by double attacking the Lion. I follow up again with my lion tamer whip girl by getting into position to both spur Murder Lion to more attacks and whipping those that survive.
After an impressive series of total whiff from my Hammer group, Colton concentrates all fire and destroys Murder Lion. I can feel Archaon’s complete disapproval of my Untamed Beasts.
After some maneuvering, we push into the second round and I bring my Shield group in to start trying to take down some Splintered Fang fighters and get back to even ground. My leader takes down a weak Fang fighter and follows up to get in and also take down the Murder Lion’s target. Things start to look good until the same mistake shows itself as the Fang land several double attacks on my leader.
The Fang don’t want to lose their biggest Shield fighter so they run him off but bring the rest in to support their wounded Hammer friends. I later bring Mortal Kombat Scorpion wannabe out and yank a Fang fool across some spikes with his special power. Both spear attack and spikes fail to do anything and I burn the rest of his turn spear chucking him to death.
Reserves arrive and I clean up the remaining Fang members and move in to engage the Fangs new Dagger fighters. These are the real meat of Colton’s team so they start ripping through my forces. I fail to position Not-Scorpion and an epic Quad power sends the Fang leader to avoid my Beast roadblock and launch a fury of attacks to take him down.
The remain Shield fighter for the Fang is up on high and I totally forget about his silly little 1 die, 1 wound ranged attack and watch as he picks off a severely wounded 2nd member of my Shield group. This leaves me with my half-dead Beast leader in the group against the Fang’s full health kiting fighter. The next to drop will end the game, granting victory to the survivor.
My Beasts eventually overwhelm the Fang elites (mostly due to my weakest Beast members doing a bunch of crit damage) and they climb up to start on the main prize: the remaining Fang Shield member.
In epic style, my leader rushes up and uses a Quad power to completely destroy the Fang snake handler. Victory!
Archaon is mildly amused and then flies off to whine about all the new Be’Lakor love everyone is hyping. Did Be’Lakor ever take down might Sigmar? No. He did not. That was all Archaon and yet Be’Lakor’s new model is pretty damn awesome…
So with our first game in the books, I learned a few things.
- Archaon is a pain in the ass to transport
- Murder Lions need to take down their targets or get rolled in the counter attack
- Warcry is a great skirmish game: light enough to play easily but still crunchy enough to not feel like a beer-n-pretzels random dice fest.