Warcry: First Impressions
The other day Jon and I sat down for an evening game night. Instead of busting out our usual Infinity armies, we took a plunge into the world of Warcry. I had spent the previous day assembling the various miniatures and terrain, but neither of us had taken a minute to read the rules. Equipped with zero knowledge, and a fair bit of enthusiasm, we dived right in.
Before Jon came over, I had to make sure we were adequately prepared to play a game. Using my trusty plastic glue, which hasn’t seen much action lately, I set off, clipping tons of plastic parts from sprue, cleaning mold lines, and checking fit before gluing. The first thing I built was the Corvus Cabal, which fit together fantastically, then I set off to do the Iron Golems, and have since also built the Untamed Beasts. Overall, I had no issue assembling the warbands, though I did pin the Corvus Cabal leader’s raven to the skull it’s perched on, I didn’t trust that flimsy 0.5mm leg to withstand any actual game play.
The terrain was a different ball game. The instructions in the booklet does not do you any favors, suggesting layouts which are not compatible with the terrain cards themselves. WTF. So if you’re like me, and want to use the deck of cards they provide you with for how you set up your tables (which is really a cool mechanic), you’re supposed to ignore the terrain assembly instructions. Fortunately, with minimal effort, I was able to locate a video on YouTube which demonstrates the correct way to assemble the terrain, and points out the elements which shouldn’t be glued (despite the instructions telling you to):
As we really wanted to get the out-of-the-box feel for the game, neither of us read the rules (totally not because we’re lazy), and decided to just jump right in. The rulebook seems to have been written for people like us though, and does a great job, step by step, explaining how to set up your faction and play the game. Jon picked the Corvus Cabal, a group of rag-tag fighters who attack through speed and stealth, so naturally I played the Iron Golems, who really live up to their name, being tough as nails, and fearsome in combat.
Playing the Game
Our scenario involved 4 pieces of Treasure which Jon is supposed to capture, and I cannot pick up, if at the end of any game round he is holding all 4, he wins the game, but if by the end of the fourth game round he doesn’t have them all, I win. Jon quickly discovered that the defense of the Iron Golems is incredible, and instead opted to play with maximum cunning, avoiding engaging my troops by any means. By the end of the second game turn, Jon held 3 of the 4 pieces of treasure, and it was looking grim. I decided that my only change to win it was to castle my troops up around the last piece of treasure, maximize my defense, and keep him from approaching with any of his crow-boys. Jon gave it all he had, with a last ditch effort to try and steal the last piece, but unfortunately I was able to out-activate him and crush the puny cabalist, denying him the victory.
Like we do after any game, we sat around for a while talking about what happened on the table and how we could have done better. One thing we both noticed right away was, that despite the easiness of the core mechanics, the game has fair amount of depth. Thumbing through the scenario cards we found many that were similar to missions in Infinity, all of which reward different means of solving problems. One of my biggest concerns was that the simplicity of the unit profiles would result in units feeling overly similar, through playing the game though it never really felt that way, and while some units might be similar on paper, their interactions with your faction special abilities creates a good amount of diversity. His fast and light skirmishers felt like they should, and my hulking iron-clad warriors were that by all means.
Overall, I think that Warcry is a very solid game. It’s easy to play on the kitchen table, and you can quickly get multiple games in. It’s certainly not as deep as Infinity, but it does have enough room for players to really sink their teeth into it, and come up with some cunning maneuvers and ploys during a game. As a game which will be one of my secondary systems, Warcry is perfectly suited. If you’re tight on space/time/budget, but want to itch all the scratches that mini wargames offer, I think it would also be a fantastic choices.
Next week I’ll be giving Jon an introduction on what is perhaps my favorite GW game of all time, BLOOD BOWL!