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3Aug/190

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Warcry – Part 1

Today is the release day of the newest boxed set within the Warhammer Age of Sigmar Universe - Warcry! Warcry is a skirmish game with smaller warbands and is offered as a starter set including terrain and gaming board, similar to what we know from Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team.

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The box the starter set comes in is one huge beast, as you can see above and weights around 9 lb / 4 kg. It is quite thick and stable, similar to the Speed Freeks boxed set. It is twice as high as the regular Warhammer Age of Sigmar starter kits as you can see in the picture below. If you have ordered your copy in a Warhammer store or local gaming store, you might be in for treat, as they have several different promotional items, like these buttons and wristbands (as long as stock lasts).

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When you open the box, you're welcomed by a lot of plastic sprues. We're unpacking in layers, to try to capture a bit of the excitement that I felt when I opened the box for the first time. Below the smaller sprues for the two Warbands and the chaos beasts are the larger sprues for the modular terrain, and below that we find a seperator, to protect the remaining gaming items from the sprues.

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As done in the last few boxed sets, this seperator has an artprint on it, covering the cover art of the Warcry box. Below that is something that is very "boardgamey", a couple of decks, the main rule book as a softcover, a card board token sheet  and in the sides, covered under the card board inlay a couple of ziplock bags, bases and 18 D6.

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Sorting the content directly on the table, look at the huge pile of grey plastic goodness. We'll dive into those further below. The rules come in a coloured softcover on 160 pages, a quick reference sheet with all the basics on just two pages (!) and a multipage, coloured assembly instruction booklet.

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The rule book covers the lore, different ways to play, rules for campaigns and a brief background on all the further factions that are part of the battles in the ruined battlescapes of the Eightpoints.

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The rulebook even teasers two further warbands, that haven't been introduced with the initial release (along with the starter kit additional warbands were shown), these are the Scions of the Flame and Spire Tyrants. Really looking forward to the models of these warbands.

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The card board sheet covers multiple tokens, among them activation and wounds, to keep track of the gaming activity. There are three sets of dice, of course with proper Warcry icon on the 6, as it it should be. There are multiple ziplock bags included to store the tokens. The game covers four types of decks, terrain, deployment, victory and twist to randomly generate battleplans.

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The two warbands, Iron Golems and Untamed Beasts, come in a set of three medium sized grey plastic sprues each. The critters / chaos beasts are spread over three sprues as well, but included twice. Casting on these is incredibly well done. Very crisp details and especially with the warbands very densily packed sprues. The Warbands have almost no mould lines.

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The Warcry starter set covers two of the total of eight warbands from the Eightpoints. Some of these warbands are connected to certain realms, like the Untamed Beasts to Ulgu or Cypher Lords to Hysh. The design of the warbands is one of the things, that I really enjoy about Warcry. It is not "just" a themed starter set for Age of Sigmar, but a self-contained game, like the former Specialist Games we had in the mid to late 90s. With factions that are determined and coined on their own. But let us take a look on those miniatures.

The first warband we are going to look at, are the Iron Golems. As the name already gives away, they are from the Realm of Metal, Chamon. The Iron Golems consist out of 8 miniatures based on different sized round bases, including a new size of 28mm round bases. They come with a skill card and battle card for each (type of) fighter. This setup is the same that you receive in the supplement warband boxes, the three sprues along with bases and the card decks to play your warband in Warcry.

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Let us begin the build with the Dominar and the Drillmaster. The Dominar has a large hammer, that looks a bit like a giant meat mallet (well, it basically does the same...) and the Drillmaster a flail and ball&chain. Both have closed helmets and a type of coin chainmal, that is kept as a design through out the whole warband. To be honest, I am a bit irritated with the way the hammer is held, as I would expect the right hand the other way around, as he would have to turn the hand to use the hammer in an attack.

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These two might be one of my most favorite models from this warband. An Armator, which is clearly a chaos dwarf, and a contrast the huge Ogor Breacher. They way the coin chains run down from the helmet connects with the sons of Hashut, both the really old models as well as the later incarnation by Forge World. And that Ogor, with the weapon gauntlets. Amazing. How he cowers a bit, just underlines the size of the model.

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But some of these miniatures have options, for example the Signifer or Prefector, and this Iron Legionary. The body of the Signifer and Prefector is the same, but they come with two different pairs of arms. The Signifer carries a shield as a banner, and a warhammer in his off hand, the second option is a large hammer and the cut off head of an Untamed Beast. The Legionary can either use bolas or a second hammer.

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Then there are two remaining Iron Legionaries, with two weapon options each as well. A club and flail for the male one, as a club or a hammer for the female one.

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And the whole set of 8 Iron Golems. To be honest, these really speak to me. I like the new design, I like the chaotic icons and the theme. It would be amazing to field a larger warband of these. And I like the variety, this is not just a leader and 7 soldiers, the idea to have a dwarfish fighter among them along with the very well fitting Ogor is just well balanced.

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But the Iron Golems are not alone in this box, there are the Untamed Beasts, a savage warband hailing from the Realm of Beasts Ulgu. They come with a skill and fighter cards as well and do have multiple base sizes from 25mm to 40mm across the warband.

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In contrast to the forged armour of the Iron Golems, the Untamed Beasts are covered in fur and bones. We begin the build with the Heart-Eater and First Fang. They have a very low fantasy, almost Cimmerian / Conan style design to them. The Untamed Beast should go well with the Godsworn Hunt and with the spear of the First Fang, that model would be great along some of the models from the Ogor range (like the Thundertusk or Mournfang).

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Next is the Beastspeaker and Rocktusk Prowler. The lionish beast looks a bit like the White lions from the High Elf range with tusks and horns, which isn't a bad thing. I like the aspect, that they gave the Beastspeakers whip a second connection to the base to make it more stable and less like to break.

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The Untamed Beast has two "champion" like miniatures that are called Preytakers, and similar to the Iron Golem mid sized warriors, they come with an option. You can either give him a sawtooth blade or fanged axe, and the second one has two different types of fanged axe.

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The lowest of the Untamed Beasts are the Plains-runners, the three are smaller wildlings, that would fit neatly into any Mad Max or Ashwaste scenario as well. The come with optional bone blades, that can be added to their belts.

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Once again, a lot of variety in this warband. If you wanted to extend this project, you could add as mentioned above the Godsworn Hunt, some models from the Beastclaw Raiders and Darkoath. I think the Untamed Beast has a better posed leader compared to the Iron Golems, but the bone weapons are a bit over the top, as some of them are just too twisted and overloaded with teeth to be (carved) bones or even antlers. So maybe I'll paint some of them like wood with obsidian stone splinters or so to tune it down a bit.

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Then there are the chaos beasts, that can be either added to your warbands as Thralls or be random encounters / wandering beasts in your games. There are two types in here, Furies (with one r!) and Raptoryx.

The Furies are a more slender version of the old harpies, and by that a bit difficult to assemble, as some of the glue spots are rather narrow / thin. So this might take a bit more time and patience than other models. They are a total of 6 but are two identical sets of three different sculpts.

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The Raptoryx are feathered chaos beasts, that bear some resemblance to the old chaos hounds or blood hounds of khorne with their collars. The glueing spots are rather small here as well and the connection to the base could a bit larger / more stable. If you have assembled some of the slaaneshi miniatures, you will know what I mean. They come with 5 different collars, six different heads (of which 5 nearly look identical...) and three different bodies. I mixed the collars and used the second closed mouth head to mix them a bit. With their feathers you could either give them a very natural, brown plumage or go with some fierce, colourful tzeentch paint job.

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The miniatures range from smaller 28mm to 40mm, and you can see fit with others models from the Age of Sigmar / Chaos range.

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How does it play
The game itself is very fast paced, you have a lot of direct action and as mentioned further above, the rules for the first match are explained on a single page. The best way to get a feel, if it works for you is either watch this video by Becca on WarhammerTv or give it a try at a local gaming store. The video is 9 minutes long, I already have over 100 pictures in this review, so I am not going to elongate it even further by going to much into detail.

Each warriors profile has three stats, movement, thoughness and wounds. Along with the profiles of his/her weapon, that covers range, number of attacks, strength and damage. Straight forward movement is the amount of inches you can move your miniatures. An attack is rolled with the amount of dice equal to the attack value of the weapon, it is successfull on a 4+ if the strength of your weapon and your opponents thoughness is equal, 3+ if your weapon is stronger, 5+ if your enemy is tougher. A 6 is always a crit. No armour saves, just reducing your enemies wounds by the amount of damage your weapon deals. That makes the game quite fast and quick to play. There are the skill cards, that get dice allocated to them, a bit like Saga, where you can use the results of your dice throws to active certain abilities from your battleboard.

Matches can be played either as a free game, narrative or balanced, as you will know Age of Sigmar. The scenarios are drafted from four decks and combined, one deck gives you the information on the battlefields setup, the next one on the way and sides where the warbands enter the battle, there is  twist and a card for the victory conditions. With this being compatible and mixed, you have a large variety of games and it goes faster / is self explaining compared to other methods, that use long charts and dice rolling.

There review is split here, with the warbands and a bit of game play explained in the first part, the terrain and battle board will be covered in part 2 tomorrow.

First Conclusion
It is a very charming box, with a lot of value and you can come to that conclusion even before we had the chance to take a look at the magnificient terrain (but as said above, we will do so tomorrow). The rules are compact and most of the book is filled with lore, campaign and material to keep you gaming, which is a great thing as it gives you a lot of value right from the start with just the starterset. Along with the random battleplans of the card decks, this has a high replay value and is a method, that could be transfered to other systems as well.

As I said above, I like the self-containing nature of this game, you have eight warbands that are "just" part of this part of Age of Sigmar, which reminds me a lot of games like Necromunda or Mordheim. And this going into detail, being able to follow up on smaller design ideas is a beautiful thing. If you for example decided to collect the further warbands for warcry, you wouldn't just have a lot of warbands for Warcry, but actually an interesting army of Chaos, gathering multiple, very different designed warbands and smaller tribes under the eight pointed banner. Yet the game is not limited to the 8 warbands, and I am really looking forward to see the Scions of the Flame and Spire Tyrants revealed. There are 9 further decks for several factions of Age of Sigmar, among them three greenskins, to be able to include them in your Warcry gaming.

The warbands in this boxed set are the same level of quality as the ones available seperately. So you receive a three sprue warband along with the cards. The price of 40 EUR per warband seemed a bit high at the beginning, with the Underworlds warbands just above 20 EUR and the other smaller gangs/team boxes of games like Blood Bowl or Necromunda now at 34 EUR. But these are at a even higher level of quality and the miniatures are divided into more parts, to cover more plasticity, which shows. I've build warbands / boxes of the other games, and the quality of these is even a bit higher.

Warcry is set at 130 EUR RRP and covers two complete warbands and terrain, so you are able to play directly with the content of this boxed once it is assembled. These are not easy-to-build, regular multipart models and require glue to be assembled.

Again the review will be continued in part 2 tomorrow, adding the coverage on the terrain.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar and Warcry are brands by Games Workshop

The reviewed product item was provided by the manufacturer.

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