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HORDES! Primal

 Post subject: HORDES! Primal
PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 4:28 am 
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Hi all,
I bought some Skorne Praetorians for this game long ago, figuring I'd use them as elite Chaos Cultists, the personal guard of Genestealer Patriarch (with their cool bald heads :D ) or something similar.

More recently, after they've languished sadly in their box waiting for a paint job, my gaming group has realised we have each of the factions reasonably covered based on similar 'cool miniature' purchases. So we're thinking about putting some forces together and having a game.

I've never played the game or really been interested in it previously, although the minis look cool, and was wondering if anyone knew how it played or could give some advice for a starting Skorne player? Particularly where the hell to start?

I've looked around other forums and the little I find, including on the official forums, is like another language (no doubt because they all know what the stats and figures mean). Is there anybody out there? :sad:

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"Sort of like back in 2nd where you would face a space wolves army with 20 wolf guard terminators mostly with assault cannons or cyclone missle launchers. Or how 2nd for alot of people boiled down to cramming as much into ur character and vehicle allowances as possible while filling ur minimum troops requirements."


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 1:17 am 
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No one plays this or knows what the hell I'm talking about? :(

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More people cry about 2nd ed. 40k than actually played it. Don't YOU be fooled:

"Sort of like back in 2nd where you would face a space wolves army with 20 wolf guard terminators mostly with assault cannons or cyclone missle launchers. Or how 2nd for alot of people boiled down to cramming as much into ur character and vehicle allowances as possible while filling ur minimum troops requirements."


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 10:02 am 
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You could be having some trouble because you are asking about a fantasy game on a sci-fi forum. Hopefully one of the mods can move this with their magic mod powers.

Anyhoo, I play Warmachine, which is very similar (in that you can fight a Warmachine force against a Hordes force), and I have played against a few Hordes armies, including Skorne.

Something you must have is a Warlock... you have to take one to lead your army, and they do all sorts of spiffy stuff. All the factions have four Warlocks available - for Skorne they are Morghoul, Makeda, Hexeris and Xerxes. I don't really know what they do, so you are probably best picking one that you like the look of.

After that you really need some warbeasts. One of the key things in Hordes is the manipulation of "fury". When warbeasts do something particularly strenuous (like running, charging, boosting an attack roll or damage roll, or doing something special like picking up a model and throwing it) they accrue fury points (upto a maximum, based on their size). Warlocks start with a pool of fury that they can use to cast spells and transfer damage they suffer to a warbeast.

In order to get fury back a warlock must leach it from a warbeast at the start of a turn, but if a warbeast still has fury on it when they start their turn they have to take a threshold check (like a Ld test in 40K), and they can go wild if they fail and rampage through your own troops.

Each faction in hordes has two types of warbeast - heavy and light. Skorne have the big four-armed elephant things for their heavy warbeasts, and they have Cyclopses (which look like big samurai guys) and Basilisks (which look like crazy toad men) as their light warbeasts. I personally don't like the elephants very much - they look stupid to me. But you'd put yourself at a bit of a disadvantage if you didn't use them. Cyclopses look pretty cool, but for me it's all about the toads. They look great IMO. Again, it is really upto you. I can't really say exactly what they do, so choose some that you like.

Finally you have troops and solos (which are just one-man units). Hordes and warmachine are quite different to most games in that you really don't need troops to play the game. They are very useful, but they aren't a necessry part of the army. I have found that this makes the choice of units a lot more free than some games, where the units can sometimes pick themselves. The skorne infantry are pretty nice models, and the cavalry (which are brand new) look pretty tasty, but I'd hold off a little on the troops.

I'd recommend either getting the starter box (which is pretty good value compared to the individual costs) or if you don't like the look of those models I'd get a warlock and a few warbeasts that you like. I'd practice using just these models to start with - they should add upto about 300-350 points. They will make for fairly quick games while you get used to the models, and they will get you used to using what should be the crux of your army whatever size game you play. About my first 5 or 6 games of warmachine used nothing more than a warcaster, a heavy warjack and two light warjacks, and the game plays fine if this is what you fight against as well. Of course, you'd need to recommend similar things to your opponents as well, so you all get a similar crack at the game for a while.

You can add units to the list at a later stage - two units should add another 150-200 points to the list and you can start playing 500 point games then, getting used to how units interact with the rest of the army.

So there you have it... take this advice with a pinch of salt because hordes is not my game, and I only started playing warmachine properly a few months ago.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 7:46 pm 
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Im sorry I frankly have no idea what youre talking about :(

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 1:51 am 
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http://www.privateerpress.com/HORDES/default.php

You can have a read at the link above if you're interested. Best to check out the galleries, some amazing figures (which got me started).

Is HORDES considered fantasy?

I always figured since its in the same vein as Warmachine (which is Steampunk if I've heard right) and there are cannons and guns and such, it was sci-fi? But with all the beasts and stuff (and those goofy, noseless trolls) I suppose you're right.

Thanks for the tips, I've got the rulebook and starter pack, along with a finished squad of Praetorians I was talking about. Looks like the locals are getting into this, so I'll give it a run and see how I go.

Having played against HORDES players, including Skorne, do the different dynamics meld ok? I've heard mixed reviews of how well the two games go together.

I figured there'd be more Warmachine players about, I've heard that's where many of the disgruntled 40k vets (like myself) went to when the editions...how shall I say...got crap (just IMHO of course).

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More people cry about 2nd ed. 40k than actually played it. Don't YOU be fooled:

"Sort of like back in 2nd where you would face a space wolves army with 20 wolf guard terminators mostly with assault cannons or cyclone missle launchers. Or how 2nd for alot of people boiled down to cramming as much into ur character and vehicle allowances as possible while filling ur minimum troops requirements."


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 11:18 am 
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The dynamics meld together in that you can play a Hordes army against a Warmachine army without much of a problem. The rules are made so that you can do that - there aren't any awkward moments where the rules from one game directly contradict the other and leave you scratching your head. At least not that I've seen.

I do think there are still problems with fighting a Warmachine army against a Hordes army. The base dynamics of your core forces are pretty much the opposite. I have described fury manipulation - focus manipulation is basically the opposite way round.

In Warmachine a warcaster gets a number of focus points equal to their focus stat (generally 6 or 7 for most, but can be as low as 5 or as high as 10). They assign these focus points to their warjacks and keep the rest for themselves. Warjacks use focus in much the same way that warbeats use fury (to charge and run, boost attack rolls and damage rolls and perform special attacks), and warcasters use focus in much the same way as warlocks.

It doesn't sound all that different on the surface, but there are some fundamental differences. For example, let's say you have a warbeast that wants to charge but ends up out of range... all you have done is put a point of fury on that warbeast, which will most likely be removed by the warlock next turn before it can go wild. But let's say you have a warjack that wants to charge. Firstly you must use one of the warcasters focus points to make the warjack charge, and a lot of the time you'll give it more so it can make additional attacks or boost attack/damage rolls. If it ends up out of range you've just wasted those points... the warcaster can't get them back that turn, and the warjack can't use them.

Another difference is that your warbeasts can be forced to do stuff without any cost to the warlock. The warlock keeps all his fury points to cast spells and make extra attacks and all that gubbins. Warcasters usually have to spend focus at the start of each turn and can easily be left with just a few points to do other funky stuff with.

"But warcasters get all those points back for free each turn, and warjacks can't go mental and squish your own troops" you might say. And a warlock only gets fury points by taking them off warbeasts, and if he overstretches himself he could have his warbeasts going mental. It won't take you many games to get the hang of making sure your warlock can always restock his fury at the start of a turn and your warbeasts aren't left with fury points at the start of their turn to go wild. See, the thing is that warbeasts can freely generate fury points ( they don't have to do anything special) and warlocks can freely drop fury points, so you can almost always arrange it so that you have exactly enough fury points on your beasts as your warlock needs to refill his fury stat at the start of a turn.

There are other factors that leave the forces unbalanced. The fact that a warlock can transfer all the damage from one hit to a warbeast, by spending a fury point, makes it almost impossible to kill them while there are warbeasts still in play. Killing a warcaster isn't easy, but unspent focus points only add one point to their armour, and killing a warcaster makes all their warjacks shut-down.

Another thing is that killing a warbeast is quite different to killing a warjack. To kill a warbeast you have to fill in all of it's damage boxes. You'll have seen their card has a funny little spiral on it which is filled in when the model is damaged. The spiral has six branches relating to the D6 location, and each pair of branches constitutes one of the warbeasts aspects - mind, body and spirit. Losing all the damage boxes in an aspect means that aspect has gone, reducing the warbeasts effectiveness. Lose all the aspects (i.e. all the damage boxes) and the warbeast is dead. Trouble is, a warlock can heal a warbeast by spending a fury, and he can choose which damage box is healed with each fury point spent. So if a warbeast has lost an aspect the warlock spends one fury point and picks one of the damage boxes on the warbeast to heal and the aspect isn't gone any more - so no more negatives.

With warjacks the damage is recorded in a similar way. You have a grid that is 6 wide - each column relating to the D6 location you hit when the model is damaged. These columns are of varying heights (never more than 6) and the lower boxes in the grid will have letters in them, relating to the warjacks systems. Once all the lboxes for a system have been damaged that system has gone. Fill in all the M boxes and the movement has gone, which means the warjack must impotently limp along and is easy to hit. All the R boxes get filled and the right arm has gone, with whatever weapon it had being useless now. To kill a warjack you only have to disable three systems, and the blank boxes constituting the hull count as a system. Moreover, apart from a couple of very mediocre mechanic units and possibly a few spells, warjacks can't be healed.

Basically, hordes is a much more forgiving system. Playing hordes againt hordes this doesn't matter, but forces from hordes and warmachine face one another the inbalances are pretty prominenet. Not to say a warmachine player can't beat a hordes player. I have a few times. But as a rule hordes armies can outclass warmachine armies most of the time. Circle is the biggest offender, because they have some horrific units and warbeasts. Skorne aren't so bad IME. They have some good stuff.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 5:47 pm 
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Wowsers, cheers for the massive responses. Very, very helpful.

On the comparison side, I've seen a lot of whinging that since Warmachine, having been out longer with more expansions, have a large number of selections available which Hordes doesn't have a counter for yet (and many are hoping 'Evolution' will remedy this).

It's also interesting how you've demonstrated Fury vs Focus, I always saw that Hordes players were at a disadvantage since they had to leech fury, it wasn't always generated each turn, and losing beasts was much more crippling than losing Warjacks. It's good to see a balancing argument, having never played Warmachine, I think I was only getting the Hordes perspective.

Whinging has never bothered me, all games have whiners who aren't worth listening to, and Hordes/Warmachine, blissfully seems to have fewer than most systems.

Don't think I mentioned, I received my warpack, my 6 praetorians are fully painted (now I have to paint 4 more, damnit), and I got the book. I like the attitude it has (if a book can have attitude) and a lot of the rules seem very common sense/easy to remember. The strategy side will take a bit of getting used to (learning which to activate, what works well with what) but having played confrontation, it shouldn't be too hard.

Also watched a couple of games and I see the "man, it's brutal" side people were talking about. A nasty Circle caster kill on the trolls on turn 3 was just like "Wow...ouch...". Crazy spirit dooring and about 5 tough rolls required (one of which he made). I think I'm going to like this system, and all the guys are psyched, along with a slew of long time Warmachine players that welcome the new blood.

The official forum is getting better on the strategy side, but people are pretty snappy at each other. Lots of grammar and rules nazis about, so probably won't post there much. I think I understand the system fairly well now, any specific Skorne advice? Or just general things to watch out for?

Cheers :D

_________________
More people cry about 2nd ed. 40k than actually played it. Don't YOU be fooled:

"Sort of like back in 2nd where you would face a space wolves army with 20 wolf guard terminators mostly with assault cannons or cyclone missle launchers. Or how 2nd for alot of people boiled down to cramming as much into ur character and vehicle allowances as possible while filling ur minimum troops requirements."


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