Hordes Gargantuans Review: Circle of Orboros

Hordes Gargantuans Review: Castrate with Circle!

IN SHORT: The Horde Gargantuans rulebook is here, and once again Privateer Press shows their top shelf support for an excellent gaming system.

As with previous releases, every Hordes army gets a host of new additions that mix up the game in exciting ways. In the past, Privateer Press has shown their skill in maintaining game balance while still adding tons of exciting new options. Fortunately, this rulebook does not disappoint. Every main faction gets a new warlock, one of the new gargantuans, and a mix of beasts, units, and solos. The rulebook itself is full color, and the artwork is absolutely gorgeous!

Today, let’s take a look at the new additions to the Circle arsenal!

MORVAHNA THE DAWNSHADOW: Morvahna is back and she’s riding a goat! Okay, granted it’s a really cool looking mountain goat, but it’s still a goat.

As before Morvahna is most comfortable surrounded by lots of infantry. At first glance, she looks like a risky warlock that can either really pay off or blow up in your face. She has no less than 3 abilities that drain her health. Her feat, Blood Sacrifice, returns infantry in exchange for health at a 1 for 1 ratio. These models lose their actions the turn they come back.

Second, Scales of Fate allows friendly attack or damage rolls in her control area to be rerolled. Very powerful, but pricey. This ability costs her d3 damage each time. And last, her weapon has Life Trader, allowing her to gain an additional damage die by suffering 1 damage point. She’s also squishy with DEF 15, ARM 15, a large base, and only 16 damage points. Ouch!

To counterbalance this, she has two abilities that help her regenerate health. Imperishable Conviction gives her 1 damage point for each friendly killed in her control area. Carnivore gives a friendly model or unit +2 to MAT. Any living models they kill means d3 damage points for Morvahna.

Is this enough? I’d say that’s up to player skill more than anything else. Liberal use of Scales of Fate can be absolutely devastating under the right circumstances (say, an assassination run), but if the attack goes south, it can leave Morvahna very vulnerable.

RAZORWING GRIFFON: It slices! It dices! It’s a trampling light warbeast!

The Razorwing Griffon has a slew of rules that make it appealing to trample with this light warbeast. The very fact that it can trample at all is novel, though I picture it swooping over its enemies while slicing their heads off.

First, it tramples over anything, regardless of base sizes or obstructions. Second, it adds the POW of its weapons to the trample, which gives it P+S 12. Third, it has Amuck, which means all those trample attack rolls are going to be boosted.

And if you can’t trample, it has 3 P+S 12 attack. For 5 points? Yeah, I’d buy that.

RIP HORN SATYR: At 9 points, the Rip Horn is the most expensive Satyr to date. It also hits the hardest and has the best ARM. Basically, there’s not much to this guy. He’s a solid beat stick. Nothing too flashy. He has the typical Satyr Hard Head rule, so slams from this guy are going to hurt. His animus, Bulldoze, helps him get to the target of your choice, and Aggressive gives him a little extra Fury efficiency. SPD is excellent for a heavy. Just point him at a target and smash it to bits.

THARN BLOOD PACK: Here’s a new type of heavy infantry for Circle, and they’re built for offense. They have high SPD, MAT, and RAT scores, but their DEF and ARM aren’t too great. However, they have the potential to put out a lot of attacks.

First, they can shoot and then charge thanks to Assault & Battery (Order). Next, they share the Lord of the Feast’s Heart Eater rule, allowing them to collect corpse tokens from living enemy models and use those tokens to buy melee attacks or to boost rolls, including ranged attack rolls. Did I mention those ranged attacks are POW 13? Imagine boosting a few of those, eh?

Given that this unit relies on corpse tokens to maximize its effectiveness, and is kind of squishy, I think they’re a little tricky to get the most out of.

WARPBORN ALPHA: At 3 points, this unit attachment is pricey, but he greatly enhances his unit of Warpborn Skinwalkers. First, they hit harder thanks to Tactics: Rapid Strike. Every Skinwalker gets an extra attack! Second, they have some added resilience thanks to Granted: Blood Drinker. When they kill living enemy models, they get to heal a little. The Warpborn Alpha is a fantastic addition to this unit, and really helps bring it to the next level.

Finally, I assume the lack of Reach on his Pole Axe is simply a typo and will be corrected in a future FAQ.

WOLDWRATH: Now that is a health spiral! And ARM 20 too! Nice!

Okay, let’s get this out of the way. Spell Ward is a double-edged sword. You’re either upset Circle buffs can’t affect it or you’re glad enemy spells bounce off its stone hide. Me, I think Spell Ward is worth it because it’s a powerful denial tool. There are a lot of absolutely nasty spells out there that can really cripple a gargantuan’s effectiveness.

Imagine Warwitch Deneghra’s Crippling Grasp on this model, dropping its SPD, DEF, STR, and ARM. Not a pretty sight. Now let out a sigh of relief, because this guy can’t be targeted by enemy spells. Gargantuans are prime debuff targets, but not the Woldwrath!

Its animus is also pretty neat. Magic attack rolls against models within 10” of the Woldwrath gain an additional die, which can then be boosted for a total of four attack dice. Many warlocks and especially Druids can benefit from this synergy. Extra accurate Force Bolt rolls? Bring it on!

On top of this, its ranged attack can put down electric POW 10 AOE’s, and its fists will knock down nearby targets. You don’t even have to hit your target. Just hit something near them. This is great for setting up assassination runs. All in all, I really like this gargantuan.

SUMMARY: Privateer Press continues to release exciting new models for every faction at roughly the same time. They have shown a strong commitment to game balance and to supporting owners of all factions. The releases in this rulebook are a fine example of their dedication to the game and to the fans.

All in all, Gargantuans is another top-notch release for a top-notch game.

Check out the complete list of Warmachine and Hordes articles here.

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