So, this time I’ll do a quick write up of a recent Warcry game. This as most will know is a game from Games Workshop. It’s a fast a furious skirmish game with quite a bit of tactical choices but its not poses as realistic – it is very quick and bloody. We played 2 games in an evening and had a lot of fun doing it. We actually played a couple of weeks ago but I have just got around to finish this write up.
The first game was my Undead Legion vs. Untamed Beasts and it was an objective holding scenario. I got to choose whether to the the attacker of defender so decided to defend. Undead in Warcry are numerous and so have some key advantages in that, but movement is not their strong point. So defending seemed like the best idea.
You can see the start of the game below, with my undead clustered around 2 of the objectives – the third objective was on top of the ruined building. The Untamed Beasts started just short of the middle of the table. They at this stage matched numbers with the undead on the left side of the board, while on the right they just had their leader and a powerful harpoon armed fig. Roughly a third of our forces would come in on turn 2, we knew that was going to effect things as well.
In turn 1 on the left the undead took the initiative and moved past the objective to defend it and keep the Chaos band away from it. I created a screen of Skeleton figs, all armed with spears for more range. The more powerful grave guard hanging back a bit. The idea was for him to be able to strike and effect a combat after the skele’s took the first attacks.
You may notice that there were only 3 of the Untamed Beasts above though. That was because one of them raced towards the central objective. That figure was stalked by a lone skeleton sent by my Necromancer on the other side of the table o try to hold that objective. In fact that skeleton did way more than that and although it took some damage it managed to kill the chaos follower straight out! Skeletons are not the best fighters that was a good and surprising turn of events
The slowness of the undead was shown up though by the two powerful Untamed Beasts figures on my right. They ran around to attack from 2 directions and close off options for the Necromancer. The Chaos Harpooner managed to drag a skeleton slightly towards him, but the skeleton survived that attack. This left the Necromancer a little exposed – not only as the leader but key to the undead’s chance success, as he is the most useful fig by far in the warband, that was not great. So the Necromancer decided to erm ‘hide under the stairs’ or make himself harder to attack/target at this stage. No one said Necromancers have to be brave after all.
The next turn ‘things got real’ though for both sides…
On the left side objective battle was joined and it did not go well for the Untamed Beasts. The skeletons with spears really managed to do a number of the chaos supporters. They killed one of them for no deaths in return and engaged the other with the grave guard. Some of the skeletons had taken damage but that is unavoidable in Warcry. So things were looking good on this side for the undead.
Only 2 Untamed Beasts came forward though as a second figure had chased up the stairs to avenge his colleague on top of the building. Its obvious target was that my loan skeleton on the second level had been so successful. So, although the 4 undead on this side looked good and to have secured the left objective all was not stable on the others.
That was also because a whole bunch of Untamed Beasts had come in from my table edge and raced into combat with the skeleton and grave guard which had started on the right side objective. That was along with the 2 figs already on that side. My reinforcements had come on on the opposite side of the table and even moving at a ‘run’ but were not going to get in the fight till some of these combats had been resolved. The lack of speed in undead forces again being a factor in games. You can see those at the top of the picture below.
Things were not going all the Untamed Beasts way though even on this side. The Untamed Beasts leader just failed to do enough damage to take out the grave guard. That did help the sneaky Necromancer though and allowed the grave guard and him to focus attacks on the Chaos harpooner and kill him outright. The Necromancer was slowly moving away from the objective and all the Untamed Beasts, but that was heading towards his reinforcements.
Back on top of the ruins, the skeleton which had seen off one chaos opponent in single combat fell with ease to the second who had a big axe and wanted revenge. This means that at the moment the Untamed Beasts held 2 objectives and the undead only one.
The good news for the undead reinforcements were coming (slowly… very slowly, but they were coming) and the Necromancer was still around and safe. I have found even more than some other forces in Warcry the Necromancer is key to winning with the Undead. It does ‘feel right’ that way as well. So the plan was to keep him safe and use the reinforcements to win in the end.
Those reinforcements included a powerful Grave guard and the Seneschal grave guard champion. The grave guard started climbing the stairs ready to take on the axe wielding chaos cultist. On the left the collection of undead there managed to overpower the final chaos gang member on that side as well.
On the ground on the right side of the table though, the Untamed Beasts hound (or doggie as I call it) tried to get to the Necromancer. It took a good bite of him but he survived and before the doggie could do more it was mobbed by a group of undead. They did not kill it in one round but were busy trying and at the same time worked to keep it away from the Necromancer.
To add insult to injury the Untamed Beasts leader did kill the original two undead in that area (the skeleton and the grave guard) but the Necromancer used one of his special powers and re-incarnated the grave guard (with a single hit left but still it was there). This meant it was around him to help with his own defense if nothing else. Chaos gang to deal with it as well as the undead reinforcements which were finally close enough to effect the game.
In a key point for objective control, the Undead grave guard which that had been sent to up the stairs to secure that objective managed to take down the Chaos axman. That was a big factor as that again meant the undead now controlled 2 of the 3 objectives.
Some of the undead from the left which had been cleared of the chaos host had also shambled over to contest the one objective still in the Untamed Beasts control. There was only 1 chaos gang member there so they could stop him scoring that. This highlighted that the numbers in the undead side were playing a key part in the game.
On the floor around the ruin though the unfortunate Untamed Beasts hound and leader were surrounded and taken down by the undead mob aided by the Necromancer. Yes he was brave with all his minions around… It was an epic ending for the Chaos leader in a big fight. He very nearly took the Necromancer out in that fight.
However, the reality is that it would not have mattered if they had. The Untamed Beasts had run out of figures really and the undead won because of their clear control of 2 objectives. So after 4 turns of frantic activity it lead to a clear victory for the undead.
Just for the balance of reporting we played a second game the same evening. This time saw me using my unpainted Cypher lord figures rather than the undead. I’ll not post pictures as they do not look good with unpainted models. This again was vs the Untamed Beasts. However, this time my luck (and possible skills) were not able to best the Untamed Beasts. They won at the start of turn 4 by assassinating the Cypher Lords leader, which was the mission in that game. I had tried to be clever and keep the leader safe by moving him around but it had failed miserably.
So 2 games in an evening – about an hour and 15 minutes for each game really. I have to say Warcry continues to hit that light fantasy skirmish game slot perfectly and really is a fun game. It’s not wonderfully balanced at times, but for quick games thats ok as long as it works out that one side is not with that advantage. The skirmish format with the different scenarios really allows that, and warcry does allow that. At the same time the games are quick and brutal, with lots of tactical decision points. I’d put warcry behind Bloodbowl for GW’s best game at this point, but it is better than most of them.