I've managed to get in a lot of games with my Kromac led, Tharn inspired Circle Orboros force over the last month. Whilst I have had my share of thrashings, overall I feel I am performing better with them than I did with my Cygnar.
A big thank you to Paul, Kenny, Jim, Nick, Chris, Mark and Ben for the practice games (and anyone Ive missed out). I came away with 7 wins, 1 draw and 4 losses from my first 12 games (if only Hull City could do the same) and thought I would record my thoughts on how the different units I have used have performed.
This might not be the best idea as it gives all my opponents an insight into my tactics but who know's maybe some of you will follow suit on your blogs to help me understand your lists?
I really like Kromac. He has a great spell list and a powerful feat aswell as being a really great model.
He has been responsible for dealing the final blow to the opposing warlock or caster in most of my wins. Unless he is against the toughest of warlocks if he can get into combat he generally has enough fury with his feat to beat down most casters.
His spell list provides an interesting counterpoint as with 'Bestial' which I tend to cast most turns he has the ability to shut down spells and arcing within his command radius. I assume this is going well as he is yet to be spell assassinated, but as it prevents the opponent from even attempting to use spells I cant be sure how many games it is saving him.
He has 'War Path' which has come in handy in every single game I have played in, usually on every turn after turn one and before the last turn.
'Rift' is a very situational spell, I would use it a lot more but generally can't find the third fury needed - if it cost 2 fury it would probably get cast a lot more but it is useful to have in the toolbox. I have been told some people have used it for assassination but I haven't found an opportunity to try this yet.
'Inviolable Resolve' is a spell that allows me an armour buff for a model or unit. I am hoping this will make my Tharn Ravagers a little more survivable but may end up using it on a Warbeast in the fullness of time. I generally cast it early and keep it up-kept so it is a nice addition to the spell list without being too exciting.
'Wild Aggression' is a nice spell which boosts a war beasts melee attack rolls - this combined with the stalkers frenzy can be very useful against high def targets.
The Warpwolf Stalker has the ability to be an absolute monster when combined with Kromac's warpath spell, he can charge a target, kill it with one swing of his whopping sword and then use his frenzy ability to get a free attack and kill again and then use his frenzy ability to get a free attack... Rinse and repeat until everything within 2 inchs is dead. Then why not use the death of the last available model to trigger warpath - move 3 inchs into the range of more baddies and keep swinging where you left off. In theory you can kill swathes of models and still have enough fury to use his animus to make a full advance at the end of your activation.
This apetite for carnage has seen me keen to get him into the fray which while effect does leave him open for counter attack. As with most Circle warbeasts he is very fragile and he has proven relatively easy for my opponents to take him out on the next go if I play him too aggressively. I have had more success in recent games by holding off on the frenzy ability and instead using prowl to give him stealth in terrain and using warpath and his animus to move him 9 inchs at the end of his activation with the aim of minimising retaliation.
I included the Gnarhorn Satyr after reading his rules and being so amused by the amount of abilities he has regarding slamming. I have always found slamming to be one of the most entertaining parts of Warmachine and the Gnarlhorn must be the king of the slam.
This has lead to some amusing situations in games, using the free warpath move to set him up for the perfect angle before his activation and then slamming a jack or beast into the heart of an enemies army. This has not yet won me a game but it has come close and I have one or two ideas for support pieces to make the Gnarlhorn into a more versatile tool... but that is for another post.
The blood trackers have been my main unit of infantry and I have been impressed with them. In some games they have not faired well but in others they have been fantastic. The key to getting the best out of them seems to lie in picking the right unit to be their 'prey'. The prey ability grants the blood tracker unit addition bonuses to hit and to damage their prey. Once they have killed their prey they can immediately choose a new prey.
I have found when using the full 10 woman unit that the ability to choose a new prey can be very handy as it is likely that with 10 shots you can kill your existing prey with the first handful and then switch to the next target that you intended to shoot at anyway and get an extra bonus.
I have found that the 6 woman unit instead of the 10 is not very survivable and I wont be counting on them for end of game play - whereas the full 10 generally seems to be able to be around to try and effect things later in the game. They even managed a caster kill against an unfortunate Ben and his Skorne horde.
Also these girls are the first Weapon Masters I have owned and even though their effectively only power 9 - 3 damage dice is just very cheeky. I just wish they got it in melee too!
Nuala Blood Tracker Character UA
Nuala offers a lot to the blood trackers. The main two bonuses are quick work (allowing them to throw their spears after combat) and Reform (a free 3 inch move at the end of their activation). I have not managed to use quick work to any great effect but reform is a hugely useful tool and can allow the ladies to hop off an objective - kill a load of stuff and then hop back onto the objective. This combined with stealth can sometimes put them too far away for retaliation.
I have used a war wolf to fill out lists as he only costs 1 point. He is useful for running in to contest an objective when you need to stop someone scoring a command point but I have not really used him for much else yet.
Tharn Ravagers (Late Additions)
I have only had a few games using Tharn Ravagers but I felt I needed some medium based infantry to protect Kromac. They have filled this role well so far and it was a problem I had decided definitely needed solving as his medium base left him very open to assassination as he could only hide behind the two war-beasts. Until I have had more games I will not comment to much on what their strengths and weaknesses are beyond this.