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 Legion of Everblight models.
ABSYLONIA, DAUGHTER OF EVERBLIGHT: Absylonia comes with plenty of ways to enhance Legion’s powerful arsenal of warbeasts. First, her warbeasts can charge or make power attacks without being forced. Second, if Absylonia kills something, those warbeasts get +2 SPD and +2 MAT. Third, her feat hands out +2 STR, Flight, and Reach to her battlegroup. Fourth, she can heal her entire battlegroup for d3+1 damage points at a cost of 2 Fury. That’s enough to guarantee every warbeast has every aspect active. Fifth, she can hand out Return Fire at 1 Fury per cast to allow her warbeasts to … return fire. Sixth, she can Fortify a model in her battlegroup with +2 ARM.
Oh yeah, Absylonia comes stocked with ways to make warbeasts an absolutely terror. She can also Teleport up to 8” away, which allows her to be played more aggressively, moving forward to get a kill in, then teleporting out of danger. She is an incredibly focused warlock, with basically nothing to give supporting infantry. But with a list of enhancements like the one above, why waste points on infantry?
BLIGHT WASPS: I tried. Honestly, I tried to figure out what these guys are good for. Blight Wasps are one of the two new warbeast packs, so they should be exciting, right? Well, not so much.
I mean, they’re not bad. I’m sure skilled players can put them to good use. They’re just underwhelming. There’s no wow factor here. Plus the Hunting Pack rule and Overwhelm animus don’t seem to mesh. Hunting Pack makes them a threat when they work together as a group, but Overwhelm can easily have them swinging bonus attacks at MAT 5 and P+S 8. Not exactly scary stuff here.
NERAPH: This flying warbeast is fairly scrawny for a heavy warbeast and is instead geared to taking down high DEF enemies. A single hit with its Grasping Tail means every following attack automatically hits. After that, just keep headbutting the enemy with a P+S 16 Hammerhead. Plenty of light warjacks and warbeasts have very impressive DEF stats, but suffer with low ARM. The Neraph is an excellent counter to those models, and a flurry of P+S 16 attacks can certainly do work on tougher opponents.
ZURIEL: With a solid stat line, Flight, two P+S 16 daggers, and two spray attacks that set targets on fire, Zuriel means business! His Chain Attack allows him to get in a free spray if both his initial attacks hit the same target, and his animus is powerful when used right.
Predator’s Instinct is SELF only and costs 1 Fury. It gives Zuriel an additional die to all attacks against warrior models (excluding warlocks and warcasters). This allows Zuriel to tear through enemy infantry with ease using both spray attacks (RAT 5 with a bonus attack die should not be underestimated), but can also be used by numerous warlocks to great effect.
Given his affinities (Rhyas and Saeryn), he fits in well with both of them. He gets Stealth when with Rhyas and can channel spells for Saeryn. But by no means do I think he should be restricted to their lists. Just imagine putting Predator’s Instinct on the Lylyth’s bow or Thagrosh’s spray attacks, just to name a few possibilities. Yeah, I think those combos would create quite the mess.
STRIDER BLIGHTBLADES: An ambushing unit for Legion? Apparently so!
The Strider Blightblades look pretty straightforward. Ambush allows them to enter the battle from the table side edges. They have high DEF and Stealth to help them survive long enough to actually do something, and they have Combined Melee Attack and two attacks each to give them some extra hitting power.
Like other ambushing units, you pay for that ability and suffer elsewhere in the unit’s capabilities. These blighted killers cost a point a model, so your mileage may vary.
FYANNA THE LASH: Okay, I have to admit something here. I really do like seeing models with varying attack types. I enjoy having that level of flexibility built right into the model’s rules, and Fyanna can execute three different attack types. She can beat enemies back 1” at a time, gain additional damage dies against warbeasts, or throw enemy models around. With Chain Strike and SPD 7, she has 14” threat range and can attack twice a turn. To keep her safe, she can Prowl in terrain to gain Stealth, is immune to free strikes, and gets a free 2” move when shots miss her.
That all pretty awesome. But is she 3 points worth of awesome? With only 12 ARM and 5 damage boxes? Umm … maybe?
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.
Check out the complete list of Warmachine and Hordes articles here.
A pity about the Blight Wasps. The models look so cute. Still, I really like what I’m seeing with Abby2 and Zuriel. Thanks for the overview!
I’m guessing what happened with the Blight Wasps is Privateer Press decided to error on the side of caution when releasing the warbeast packs, so as not to accidently break an aspect of the game where suddenly everyone is using nothing but warbeast packs, but erred too far on the safe side. I think we’ll see some more exciting and powerful warbeast pack releases in the future once their designers are more comfortable with the new mechanics.