IN SHORT: Warmachine Vengeance has arrived. Let’s dig in. As with previous releases, every Warmachine army gets a healthy heaping of awesome, this time with an emphasis on speed with exciting cavalry units and mobile warcasters. It also ushers in an interesting cast of journeymen warcasters. The book is printed in stellar full color with plenty of gorgeous new artwork.
Let’s take a look at the new Cryx models.
GORESHADE, LORD OF RUIN: Goreshade’s back and he’s on a horse! Of course, that puts him on a large base, but he’s well equipped to handle that. DEF 14, ARM 17, Focus 7, 17 hit boxes. Plenty of raw defensive power there. He also has access to Occultation to give a model or unit Stealth, including himself. Ghostly lets him ignore terrain and free strikes. And, of course, Cryx has no shortage of arc nodes at its disposal if he wants to hang back a bit.
Goreshade doesn’t have any debuffs, but that’s okay. He comes with two excellent buffs in the way of Scything Touch (+2 melee damage for a model or unit) and Infernal Machine (+2 MAT, +2 SPD, and Terror for a battlegroup warjack). Both are excellent spells. Still, he’s going to favor units that are self-sufficient when it comes to hitting their targets, since he lacks a DEF debuff.
For getting into melee, he has an impressive linear threat range. SPD 8 plus Reach lets him stab targets 13” away. And when he is stabbing, it’s with a P+S 15 sword that inflicts Stationary. He also can cause Stationary with his feat, Winter’s Grasp. Friendly warriors in his control area can be made to explode into 3” AOEs that freeze enemy models not immune to cold. And after he’s spent models in this manner, he can bring them back with Mockery of Life.
Goreshade also comes with two abilities that help with Focus efficiency. Spell Vortex lets him cast a spell for free if a living enemy model casts a spell in his control area last turn. His attack spell, Siphon Bolt, can strip Focus or Fury off the target one point per hit and give Goreshade a point of Focus in return.
All in all, a very exciting and flexible new caster. Can’t wait to try him out.
INFLICTOR: Do my eyes deceive me? A Cryxian heavy with Shield Guard and ARM 19 thanks to its shield? Wow! At 8 points, the Inflictor is an excellent option for many Cryx warcasters. On average, our warcasters can be quite greedy with their Focus. But, they also have these warjack points we need to spend. Well, have no fear! Put those points towards an Inflictor, and let it tank hits meant for the warcaster or squishy solos.
Its stinger may only be P+S 16, but that’s plenty of punch for Cryx since we have so many options for stripping ARM off our targets. And it even comes with a Soul Drive to give it one point of Focus for free every turn. Awesome. Just awesome.
BANE RIDERS: ARM 18 heavy cavalry? Yes, please!
Don’t let the lack of Weapon Master deceive you. These banes hit hard! With base P+S 13 and Brutal Charge, they slam home with 15+3d6 on the charge. Their mounts are also a hefty POW 12, great for impact attacks. They may not be as fast as some of the other cavalry in this rulebook. But when you combine SPD 7, Ghostly for ignoring terrain, Curse for an extra 2”, and Reach on their melee attacks, their natural threat range is nothing to ignore.
They’re also very self-sufficient. Per cavalry rules, they automatically get +2 to their attack rolls on the charge. Toss in Curse, and suddenly they’re at effective MAT 10! Yikes! Bane Riders definitely operate at their peak when charging.
And let me just say we finally have a unit worthy of putting Death Ward on. ARM 20 banes on horses anyone?
SKARLOCK COMMANDER: Here’s a unit attachment for Mechanithralls or Bile Thralls. For only one point, this guy is not bad at all. It’s always annoying when my Mechanithralls get hit with a nasty debuff. It doesn’t happen super often (I’m normally the one doing the debuffing, not my foe), but spending one point on an attachment that can clear those debuffs is handy. The extra bit of CMD is also a nice boon, though the model doesn’t have any rules to help keep him safe.
Still, The Skarlock Commander has a decent set of offensive abilities with Dark Fire, Battle Wizard, and Soul Taker. These can combine for a surprisingly powerful offense. First soak up some souls with kills from the attached unit. Then stab something in melee (boosting with souls if needed), then cast Dark Fire for free thanks to Battle Wizard (again, boosting with souls).
For only one point? Yeah. Not too bad.
AIAKOS, SCOURGE OF THE MEREDIUS: The Cryx journeyman warcasters comes loaded down with awesome sauce. First, he’s going to be hard to pin down with Stealth, DEF 14, and ARM 19 if he’s camping with Escort active. Second, he’s fast with SPD 6 and Jump for an additional 5” placement. Escort also gives +2” to his warjack, which is just lovely when added to the already speedy Cryxian warjacks.
And he also comes with the Deathbringers spell, which allows Aiakos and his battlegroup to ignore Tough and damage transfers. Against Hordes, that’s brutal!
But wait! There’s more! He also comes with Drag to reel in enemies. His harpoon may only have RAT 5, 6” RNG, and POW 10, but he’s got the Focus to boost those rolls when needed. There are plenty of exciting combos with this guy. Too many to count.
Aiakos, ladies and gentlemen. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a few more warjacks in Cryxian lists thanks to this guy. Finally!
Time to dust off my Leviathan.
SUMMARY: Privateer Press continues to release new and exciting models for each of its factions, ensuring that whichever army you play, you keep getting new options to bring to the tabletop. All in all, Vengeance is great release for a game that keeps getting better.