With the new book will be out in October. If you haven’t seen the trailer here is a link. https://youtu.be/3RtyjjXyEj4 I thought I would offer a few thoughts without giving away any spoilers. I rather enjoyed looking over the battle boards and the few test games we had. I would like to thank the good chaps at Studio Tomahawk for allowing us the opportunity to help out and offer our thoughts. We enjoyed testing the armies and I loved the Persians although I think I shall settle on another list as the models have grabbed my eye. I was also good to travel many miles east to Fort Birch where Mark offered us battle for the day with Andy L and Richard M. We enjoyed the company and the thrashing.
We may be recording soon so I shall just share a few of my thoughts on each War-band represented. Obviously all rights etc belong to Studio Tomahawk who have worked hard to make this another successful book and I do not wish to spoil the release by giving spoilers.
When we first looked at the boards, These caught my eye and I knew instantly how I wanted to play them. As with many factions they favour good planning in the build, pay special attention to the new unit type of combined arms. There is a balanced amount of abilities on this board with will favour a small number of well executed activations. My personal favourite was called “one volley after another” you can almost imagine that scene from 300 “Then we shall fight in the dark”. I managed to do some serious damage and turn some rocky ground into a fortress with this ability that allows a unit to shoot twice (three times and the third gets a bonus with the rare). Then remove a fatigue at the end. This is a balanced board that supports the Combined formation but also allows elephants and has good ability’s for those taking a lot of mounted. My tip is have one big combined unit and then build round it.
While I enjoyed the Persians, I feel it will be the Indians that I shall be fielding first. This Warband is bringing more new rules the the game such as light chariots and Orders/tactics. And yes, if you saw in the preview you can take a warlord on an elephant, I have a few elephants on order. Getting the hang of these may take a few games but I feel it will be worth the effort. With warriors having the option of the light chariot it will also prove to be a small War-band and probably expensive too. One of the abilities I liked on here was called “Shock” it is on a rare but it allows you to double the number of automatic hits, to a max of 8. Warlords beware. I had looked at a few suppliers for models and blitzkrieg miniatures look good unit Gripping beast get their models out. My tip for these is think about how many resilience units you can use without sacrificing flexibility.
The Thracians bring in an interesting dynamic known as the Pillage marker which does appear to hinder them somewhat and infiltrates most of there abilities. I would be interested to hear what other people thought of it. Joe did a lot of the testing with them in our group, They are challenging but I think they won him over in the end. Not to say they don’t have their perks of course. One of my favourite abilities for them is, “Wedge formation” this forces your opponent to re roll a defence dice for every two models, twelve mounted warriors could make a brutal mess with this and certain other options.
The first of the Greeks and coming in packed with options, I still haven’t decided which one of these to do first. If you have your old Greculi models hanging around these would go with them and give the pikes a new boost of life. “Lines of battle” is a rule that will place a big role in your Warband design and will impact many of the abilities, I think they will look great on the table one ability that drew my eye for these was called “Aspis Koile” it’s for a Phalanx unit and it is an orders reaction. Your units will be benefiting from light cover that round.
The faction of the boss right here. And you get that feeling playing as them. Plenty to get your teeth into and I feel very good against the other factions within the book without being overpowering. For example and one ability that I though would be a good one to highlight was “Slayers of Kings” allowing you to re roll half the attack dice not scoring a hit, if your opponents unit has resilience you can re roll all the dice which don’t hit. Thinking about all the types of chariots that come into the game here in addition to the heavy and light chariot, we will see the scythed chariots, this ability may get a lot of good use.
This faction will require some reading before you happy people start throwing orders in. There are different ways to play the board, I don’t mean like Carolingians, they have three symbols for the different styles and that is reflected in different ways through the abilities, I like this as it means even the mirror matches may be different. This can go a long way to representing the fall out between Alexanders Generals in the void of his leadership. If I was to pick a favourite ability for these it would be “Alexanders Heirs” and its a basic ability not an advances one. Done in the orders phase you can change an uncommon or common die to a rare die. Think about that for a second or two, a basic ability. Also you really get your monies worth from the rare dice on this board.
I hope that’s a happy little teaser for you to read. At the time of writing the book is up for pre order. Myself and the members of Northern Tempest are not sponsored for what we put in regards to this book. By which I mean our opinions are not influenced and we are free to praise or grumble as we wish. With that in mind I do recommend this book and say that it is another success for the chaps at Studio Tomahawk. Hopefully I can lure the lads round with sweets and alcoholic beverages and we shall have a proper talk around the mic like the good ole days. Till then happy gaming.