Ennies 2011

Way back in the mists of time, there was a podcast called Shotgun or Grapple. They had just started out, when along came GenCon and the Ennies. GenCon is still the greatest gaming event of the year, in which the gamers themselves get to vote for their favourites at the Ennies Awards.  At the time, it was noticed there was little in the way of wargames; the awards being dominated by RPG’s.  Having just started out in Warmachine, I was surprised; considering the timing of MkII it should have been nominated. It wasn’t, neither was Privateer Press as a whole.

As part of the podcast, we got to learn a lot about the Ennies; how they worked plus some plans for the future.  One of those plans, was to create new categories and redefine others.  So it was with great joy that I saw Privateer Press nominated in several categories – Best Miniatures Product (Khador Gun Carriage), as well as the chance to vote for them as your favourite publisher.

There was no question about the publisher, Privateer Press have continued to build on MkI; with MkII and now Wrath.  The one I had problems with, was the Miniatures Product.  I found this really tough, as up against the Gun Carriage; was the Battletech 25th Anniversary Introductory Box Set.  I played Battletech for over 10 years, only losing interest in it; when Wizards got their grubby corporate hands on it.  With the re-launch from Catalyst Game Labs, Battletech is looking to have revived that old feel I enjoyed so much.  I have to admit that I cracked, Battletech got my 1st vote; with Khador BE getting my 2nd.  I beg forgiveness, as I AM a Cryx player; so its not in my nature to vote for some limp wristed namby-pamby faction (just kidding lol).  There is another reason I voted as I did, that is because the category is Miniatures PRODUCT.  While the Gun Carriage is a miniature, I don’t feel it is a complete product.  You still need other things to use it, where as the Box Set is a complete system; with miniatures included.

Whatever you think, go vote; show your support to all the hard working people.  Irrespective of what games you play, all the publishers deserve recognition for their time and effort.  So go vote here



Wrath Review Pt3 – Last bit…..

It’s worth reading the fluff stories for each faction, as it can give you a flavour of what the warcasters and units are like.  Being a Cryx player, this was obviously the first one I read; so probably makes more sense to me.


WarcasterLord Exhumator Scaverous

As always with Cryx, the artwork looks cooler then what the stats seem to indicate.  Scaverous appears to be a support caster, with several debuffing upkeep spells (Feast of Worms & Icy Grip).  Death Ward supports friendly faction troops with a +2 ARM buff, while Excarnate can resurrect grunts to a small based unit.  There is another spell – Telekinesis, which is both offensive and defensive; depend on who it is cast on.  Scaverous’ feat though is a clever one, called Black Gate it essentially makes magic much ‘easier’ for your troops; but harder for the enemy.  Stats wise, low DEF with high-ish ARM.  He certainly won’t be fighting, if he can help it.

Character WarjackErebus

Scaverous’ jack Erebus, is just going to be a combine harvester for Scaverous. The affinity allows Erebus to feed souls to Scaverous, while in the control area.  Add in Overtake, Erebus will be eating through infantry; like cheap candy.  With a DEF higher then a Slayers, Poltergeist is more likely to trigger; allowing Erebus to push enemies d3 away.  Built on the Slayer chassis, it has the standard MAT and P+S of the Slayer.  While it’s nice, it just doesn’t make it seem unique against a Slayer.

Retribution of Scyrah

WarcasterLord Arcanist Ossyan

I quite like the look of this Caster, which first thoughts brought to mind Prince of Persia.  His spell list is balanced, even though it seems he only has one offensive spell (Arcantrik Bolt).  Shatter Storm, isn’t directly offensive; being cast on friendly faction models.  However, boxing an enemy model triggers AOE 3 (unboostable) POW 8 blast damage; on adjacent models.  The big spell though, is Chronomancer, giving models in the battlegroup; Future Sight (add dice to an attack/dmg roll after rolling).  This is where the Persia bit comes it, winding back time; you know you miss so try again with 3/4 dice.  Ossyan’s feat (Gravity Well), gives friendly troops an extra dice, while enemy troops get 1 less.  Be aware though, this is only for ranged attacks; not melee.

Character WarjackHypnos

Of all the new character jacks, Hypnos is the only one with an arc-node. It seems a waste, with Ossyan’s one lonely offensive spell.  However, the devils in the detail; when you look closer at Ossyan’s spells.  Shatter Storm for instance, instead of the caster being 6″ from target; he can channel up to 20″ away.  Front line infantry, suddenly find a walking bomb next to them; when Hypnos fires it’s ranged weapon.  Stat line is average for Retribution jacks, low DEF; but high ARM.  MAT on the two Arcano-Pulse Fists; will certainly hit most things.  Hypnos, can not be targeted by enemy spells either; with Sacred Ward ability.

Mercenaries – Free Company

WarcasterCaptain Damiano

The Steelhead warcaster, doesn’t appear to be very special; certainly not in the league of Ashlynn D’Elyse.  That said, he is going to work well with most units/models, specifically Steelheads.  With both ranged and melee support spells (Deadeye, Death March and Surefoot), he gives them a better chance of hitting, surviving and taking Vengeance (with Death March).  Stats are average for a caster of any faction, though Paymaster makes it a little better. His feat (Conquest), is all about holding the line.  +3 to STR and ARM, while denying any move by the enemy in their turn.

Character WarjackRocinante

Named after Don Quixote’s horse, this jack seems to suit the name well.  A tough workhorse, it will guard its master to the death.  Affinity gives Rocinante, the ability to box enemy model in melee; then make a ranged attack. Provided it is no longer engaged that is, so swarming infantry; could cause it a problem.  That said Defensive Strike, could help in this respect; allowing it to make one melee attack on an enemy advancing into melee range.  As mentioned he is also trained Guard Dog (yes that is the name of the ability).   When within 3″ of Damiano (not knocked down or stationary), the caster is immune to free strikes, gains +2 DEF against melee and no bonus to back strikes.  With typical low DEF and high ARM, he will be a tough nut to crack.

This concludes the run through of the new Warcasters and Character Jacks. First of all thank you for sticking with it, while I may have enjoyed reviewing this; it might have been a slog for you to read.  I also apologize now, that there is little in the way of hard statistical facts; this is due to copyright issues with Privateer Press.  I have tried to give as much information as possible, without breaching the trust that PP extends to people like me.  I am sure others will have other opinions on these models, so feel free to comment or critique; I value all opinions on this great game.

Wrath Review Pt 2 – Faction Goodies

Part 2 is detailing what most players are looking forward the most – New Models!  Every faction, including Mercenaries; has a new Warcaster and Character Jack.  There are other new models, but I’ll cover them in another review; for now I’ll just do the Warcaster and the affinity Jack.


Warcaster – Constance Blaize, Knight of the Prophet.

At first glance, she appears to be a solid caster. Looking deeper, she is geared towards physical; rather than magical attacking.  Sunburst is her only offensive spell, which is pretty average.  Her feat Divine Intervention, allows Blaize to collect soul tokens from friendly faction models; destroyed by enemy models.  Sounds better, when each soul token gives +1ARM to warrior models in her control area.

Character Jack – Gallant

As with most of the character jacks, the Gallant has affinity with Blaize Constance.  It’s a melee machine,  with 2 weapons of reasonable P+S (17 + 14).  It does have Reach with the Lasting Light sword, while other hand has an open fist/buckler.  With average MAT, it’s going to struggle even with the affinity; as it only works on enemy models with upkeep spells.

Protectorate of Menoth

Warcaster – Thyra, Flame of Sorrow

Oh boy, as much I dislike Menoth; this lady is a reason I would play this faction.  Most definitely a melee caster, with some neat abilities that will have opposing players frustrated.  A high DEF, means she can get up close and personal; though she is squishy if hit.  Twin blades give a fairly decent attack, though they are weak P+S.  It’s her battlefield control that is going to be key, with Pursuit and Stranglehold; having models running ragged.  The feat (Shadows of Urcaen), will have opponents frustrated even more.  Essentially for one turn, all models in her control area; can be placed up to 2″ from present location (at start of their activation).

Character Jack – Blood of Martyrs

Putting Thyra and Blood of Martyrs together, is like a one/two sucker punch.  Taking the shifting battle front one step further, Blood of Martyrs; has several movement abilities that make it tough to pin down.  When you do have it pinned down, it should be fairly easy to take out; though be wary of the average P+S on its two Blades.


Warcaster – Kommander Harkevich, The Iron Wolf

This is definitely a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  On a cursory glance, this guy doesn’t shape up to be very much.  However, it’s not Harkevich that you need to worry about; its the heavy jacks thundering down on you; all guns blazing.  With Escort they are gaining +2 movement, then Broadside cast in Harkevich’s activation; they get to fire again (if within control area).  One model may even get to reroll attack dice, with Fortune in play.  Hour of the Wolf feat turn, gives (battlegroup) models in control area +3 ARM.  May also charge/slam free of charge; but also make one ranged attack before charging/slamming.

Character Warjack – Black Ivan

This jack compliments Harkevich well, though it will need the affinity bonus to make it work well.  Gaining boosted ranged attack rolls is going to be needed, with a below average RAT score.  With Broadside, Black Ivan can fire twice; on Harkevich’s activation and once on it’s own.  With an a normal ROF of 1, on a RNG/POW 14 weapon; that is going to hurt something..  Add Fortune, just makes it more likely to hurt something.

Wrath Review

Wrath has finally hit the streets, with lots of talk on the Privateer Press forums.  Having read through it briefly, I am once again impressed with the amount of information and fluff contained in the 175 pages.

The front cover, is gorgeously rendered by the talents of Andrea Uderzo; which depicts both the Cryx and Cygnar battle engines.  There is also several of the new models for those factions, including Constance Blaze and Lich Lord Scaverous.

The first 12 pages, contain first of many parts of fluff within the book.  This section deals with a confrontation, between Cygnar and Khador forces; near the Dragons Tongue River.  There aren’t as many rules additions as I had expected, with rules on Battle Engines taking up a page and a bit; then Ranking Officer rules filling out the second page.

Part 2 & 3 of this review will look into the new Warcasters and Character Jacks.  It should be pointed out there are a number of new models, including some that have already been released (Arcantrik Force Generator, Torch, Cpt. Jonas Murdoch, etc); are contained in Wrath.  So I’ll leave those for you to discover yourself.

As with most of the Privateer Press book releases, they have included Model Galleries of all the factions; as well as some brilliant painting guides for the Battle Engines (weathering techniques, etc).  All done in rich, stunning artwork and photography. The book may only be an expansion to MkII, but it has still received the great attention to detail that Privateer Press are known for.

Part 2 – Cygnar, Menoth & Khador

Part 3 – Cryx, Retribution & Mercenaries