On annual leave from my day job, I spent the afternoon down at my local Games Workshop store today. As well as painting and chatting with some friends, I also got to have a play test of Warcry!
With the clear caveat that it was a play test, and so I cannot say for certain the rules were used in their entirety, or 100% correctly, it was great fun, with some great concepts.
Before we get started, a massive shout out to Elliott for hosting the play test for us. Right, so the board was already set up as per one of the terrain cards. I played as the Iron Golems while my opponent, Dan, played as the Untamed Beasts. It was a little hard to differentiate models at first glance as they were unpainted, and I had not ‘handled’ them previously.
The initiative is handled in a really interesting way in Warcry. Each player rolls six dice, and then groups up rolls of the same numbers. The player with the most single rolls gains controls of the initiative. Doubles, triples and even quads give you abilities you can use during the turn (more on those later). Each player then gets a wild dice which they can give select the result of. The player with control of the initiative goes first. You can either give yourself an extra single or turn a single into a double, a double into a triple, etc. You do this at the start of each battle round.
Before deploying your models, you need to split your warband into three sub-teams: daggers, shields and hammers. Deployment is then determined by drawing a card from the deployment deck. The player with initiative picks which indicate where each sub-team will start. In our game, we each had a sub-team start in reserve.
We then drew an objective card. The game would last three battle rounds, and at the end of each round, you got a Victory Point for each quarter you controlled, by having the most models wholly within the quarter. We also drew a battle twist, which gave every weapon with three-inch range or less an additional +1 strength.
Something very familiar to other Games Workshop ‘alternative’ systems are alternating between models and the idea of orders or actions. In Warcry, each model can take two actions a turn, including move, attack, disengage or wait. You can also double move or double attack if you so wish, something which was used to good effect in our game.
With movement, four or five inches seems to be a fairly average distance and you can now jump across gaps providing your single movement action would cover the distance. This adds an interesting element of verticality to the game which was quite fun to use.
Combat itself is dealt with during the action phase, meaning the alternating element adds a similar level of tactical approach as is found in Age of Sigmar.
The combat is dealt with in a fairly interesting manner. Most units have multiple attacks, but you simply roll one dice per attack and this is based on the attack strength compared to the targets toughness. We also see an added element that was familiar to me as a Dungeons and Dragons player, a roll of a six is deemed a critical and does extra damage.
All this info is presented on a datacard for the model, which feature a range of easy to interpret symbols.
I loved it. The concept of the game is brilliant and incredibly easy to play. Not only is it something different and interesting for people already familiar with Age of Sigmar or 40k, but it is also a nice way to introduce new people to Games Workshop games.
There is no getting away from the price. £100 feels like a lot of money at first, especially when you think of it having two warbands of about eight models each. But when you take a moment to stop and think about it, it is a lot more than that.
You get a rule book which is full of information and fluff. On top of this, you get a metric butt-ton of scenery, loads of cards for various roles and some extra models for roaming beasts (one of the twists available). You also get some satisfyingly chunky dice and Games Workshop seem to have listened to the hordes and only put one icon on the dice (the warcry symbol, on the 6) so as not to confuse us anymore!
Will I be getting it? Hopefully. I know I have just said it is good value for money, but it is still money you have to spend. I will certainly be getting the Corvus Cabal warband when this is available to order.
But I may end up having to get the scenery and rule book piecemeal. The scenery is not vital, as all my games are currently down at the store, but it would be nice to have the option to play at home. I would definitely recommend you give it a go though, particularly if your local store can host a play test for you.
Right, that’s my first thoughts having played a game of Warcry. Have you had a chance to play yet? What did you think? Or are you dying to give it a go? Let me know in the comments! Until next time, peace out.