IN SHORT: Hordes Exigence is here, so let’s take a look. As with previous releases, every Hordes army receives a host of new toys, this time throwing out powerful character warbeasts, lesser warlocks, and two of the new warbeast packs. Like all Privateer Press releases, the book is printed in full color with page after page of impressive new artwork.
So, let’s take a look at the new Circle of Orboros models.
BRADIGUS THORLE THE RUNECARVER: Bradigus is a dedicated Construct warlock through and through, and boy does he bring the tools to get it done. First, all of his warbeasts (which must be Constructs) get a 1 Fury discount on their animus casting. Second, he can repair said Warbeasts d6 damage points with a skill check.
Synergize goes great with a healthy number of Woldwatchers, and allowing them to quickly boost melee attack and damage for the rest of the battlegroup. Rift gives Woldwardens an impressive 4” AOE spell to chuck out en masse. The spell even leaves rough terrain behind as an added insult. And speaking of insult, this guy can shut down enemy casting, channeling, and upkeeping within 5” of his whole battlegroup. Ouch!
Now, Bradigus is on a large base and his defensive stats aren’t particularly stellar. However, this is a manageable problem. Between Woldwatchers soaking up hits for him and/or Bradigus using a Wold Guardian’s animus to reduce ranged damage, Circle players have the tools to keep him safe at range.
The biggest downside I see (more about the hobby than the gameplay) is that Bradigus doesn’t synergize well with the Woldwrath. Given what an awesome centerpiece model the gargantuan is, it’s a little sad to see how poor a fit it is for Circle’s new dedicated Construct warlock.
ARGUS MOONHOUND: Want to field a Circle army with lots of shooting? Well, here’s the warbeast for you! First, the Argus Moonhound can Mark Targets, granting other Circle models +2 to ranged attack rolls against enemies within 5” of him. He can also perform a special action that strips Camouflage and Stealth from those same nearby enemies. It’s a perfect one-two punch prepping the enemy for a rain of incoming fire.
With Pathfinder and SPD 7, the Argus Moonhound can easily reach those targets and get them ready for the incoming fusillade. All this for only 4 points? Not bad at all.
ROTTERHORN GRIFFON: Here’s another 4-point light warbeast, but one with wings and a more offensive tilt to it. The Rotterhorn Griffon’s most notable feature is its Shrill Shriek special action. This hits all models (friend or foe) within 2” of it with POW 8.
Okay, so it’s just POW 8. But, it auto-hits and it can potentially affect a large number of clumped up models. With average damage rolls, the Rotterhorn can take out ARM 14 models half the time. This guy is tailored for eliminating high DEF models, and most of those won’t have much armor.
BRENNOS THE ELDERHORN: Brennos is not meant to go toe-to-toe with enemy heavies. With low health, ARM, and really bad DEF for a Circle non-Construct heavy, he’ll get torn to pieces by pretty much any enemy heavy in the game. But that’s not why you’d take him. Instead, he’s meant to hang back and support the rest of the army, with the epic version of Morvahna being the clear favorite given his affinity for her.
Brennos can heal Morvahna when he kills something (preferably with his ranged attack!) or when he takes damage. Given how much of a yo-yo Morvahna the Dawnshadow’s health can be, these extra damage points can be a big deal.
With his 1-Fury animus, this character satyr can reduce the cost of friend warbeast animus casting by 1 Fury, as long as they’re within his 8” command range. Not bad. He can also cast those same animus spells himself. Sacred Ward helps keep him safe at range, and his ranged attack comes with d3” knockback and a critical knockdown.
All in all, Brennos brings some interesting tools for Morvahna’s game. Just make sure he doesn’t get obliterated before he can use them.
THE DEATH WOLVES: The main currency of this 3-model character unit is corpse tokens. They each start with one, gain one when they kill a living enemy model, and can spend those tokens for boosts, extra attacks, or to reduce incoming damage to 1 point. They also grant each other Overtake (for their PacMan impersonations), Prowl (to help keep them safe), and Gang (for some extra hitting power when they need it).
They’re a character unit that can absolutely mulch through living light infantry. Not exactly the most exciting of jobs. There’s plenty out there that can grind through living light infantry, but the Death Wolves do what they do very well.
UNA THE FALCONER: Una is a lesser warlock who likes griffons. Really, really likes griffons. In fact, if it can’t fly, she can’t take it. But if it can, she gets it for a 1-point discount (3-point Rotterhorns, anyone?).
That said, she doesn’t really bring much to the table to enhance those griffons. She also doesn’t come with much in the way of defensive abilities. Bird’s Eye allows her to see everything in her control area, so hiding her behind terrain doesn’t hinder her. With those two facts, I’m thinking Una and a single griffon (maybe two) is probably the best route to take.
With RAT 6, three boostable birds of prey to “fire” at the enemy, and clear line of sight within her (admittedly small) control area, she can provide some decent ranged support. And with Black Penny, she can fire into melee without penalty. Nothing too special, but not bad either.
SUMMARY: Privateer Press introduces another set of new models that bring fresh possibilities to each faction. Less warlocks and warbeast packs may not be as exciting as gargantuans, but there are still plenty of fun releases in this book.