Grymkin: The Wicked Harvest

Hey everyone! I know I haven’t written a lot lately but, I’m back in the action. I want to let you all know that my good friends over at The RPG Academy have once again been nominated for an ENnie Award for Best Podcast! You would make me the happiest bearded guy if you’d saunter on over and throw a vote their way. Here’s where to go and VOTE. Under each option are the numbers 1-5, be sure to mark The RPG Academy number 1 before voting! While you are there please also consider a vote for Spirit of 77 — A Very Special Episode: Masterpiece 77 under Best Electronic Book as well. Lastly, in the absence of my own blog, sadly no nomination this year, I’d gladly recommend Gnome Stew as an option :). Now, on to my review of the excellent Grymkin line of Hordes! 

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Privateer Press has given us some new toys. That’s right, the new Hordes faction that has been teased at conventions and online has finally come to fruition and I have to say it’s grabbed my interest. The characters in the Grymkin line look ripped from the darker recesses of nursery rhyme lore, a child leading a beast named “Dolly”, pigs astride wasted men, and a carriage cart adorned with ringing bells. Yeah, this stuff is pretty dark!

One thing Privateer Press does, that I feel overshadows any other tabletop wargame, is carefully address the lore of their world. Everything has immense backstory, and it all fits well in the world without getting too wildly out of place. When I first saw the package that had arrived at my door, with these strange looking models and the Forces of Hordes book with dark fantasy artwork adorning its pages, it took me a moment to realize it was a Hordes faction. I was kind of concerned, I thought it looked a mite out of place for the Iron Kingdoms. Once I dove into the source material though, my fears were immediately assuaged.

Cast down to the hells of Urcaen by Menoth long ago, the Defiers and their grymkin armies have risen again to punish the wicked across all of Immoren. Freed by the Old Witch, Zevanna Agha, the Defiers now work toward their own ends. Each is a self-made godlike being who wields uncanny power to reap what is due from the corrupted denizens of Caen. The harvest of the damned will not end so long as the hearts of humankind remain tainted and debased.

Basically what the smart folks at Privateer Press have done is to weave a living nursery rhyme into their world. Perhaps cautionary tales the small folk of the Iron Kingdoms told their children at night to teach them lessons about disobedience. I especially love the mention of how people would issue worship to these Defiers in order to hopefully appease them into leaving them be. So in the end I find myself loving the lore as much as I always have.

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In any event, as much as I can find myself enjoying the well written backstories of these models the main question comes to mind, how well do they stand on the battlefield? Thanks to the new Card Database I can look up every unit (currently availiable) now, not just the models given to me for review! One of the biggest changes people will notice comes from the fact that Grymkin Warlocks (the Defiers) do not come with Feats. Instead they have what are called Arcana. Each Warlock is issued three Arcana at the start of the game, one must be an Arcana unique to them while the other two are chosen from a list of available ones. With rare exception Arcana is something triggered by an event on the enemy turn and are typically less powerful effects than Feats, but you get three. I like this variant of the Feat because it gives some variety that you don’t always see with Warlocks and Warcasters.

The units, solos and warbeasts are not just cool looking nursery rhyme horrors that want to scoop your eyes out with spoons, they also pack a punch on the table! I was personally handed two Grymkin model sets. The Hollowmen & Lantern Man and a lil’ ol’ Glimmer Imp.

First up, the Glimmer Imp

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So fresh off the floor that Privateer Press doesn’t even have a blurb about them yet. The Glimmer Imp is very scary in theme, I mean he scoops eyes out with spoons (and you thought I was joking above). This solo has a pretty good Def and four boxes of health but it’s not really meant to be around for long. It has a Paralyzing Gaze that gives enemy units in its command range a -2 to Def and when successful on attacks the debuffs granted by Eye Thief are nasty. It gives the model Blind for one round. With only a MAT of 5 the chances of hitting someone is somewhat slim, add in a PC of 4 and I’m not entirely sure how often you would field this model but jamming it into the ranks of a high Def unit to lower their Def by 2 might just be worth it.

Next up, Hollowmen & Lantern Man

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Available as of 07/19/2017

MP $49.99

From Privateer Press’ site:

Cowards who flee their posts in war their comrades do betray. Lured by golden lantern light, they die while off astray.

Deserters often follow the alluring glow of a strange lantern as they stumble through the dark—and perish. They rise again as empty husks, stripped of hate and fear. Now they bear rifles and march beneath that lantern in the ranks of the Hollowmen.

This unit and its commander are an interesting lot. I’m wondering if Grymkin are going to thrive on mostly cool abilities over high MATs and RATs, remains to be seen as I haven’t delved into every card just yet. Our Hollowmen have a low MAT of 5 but do get to make use of Apparition to get them 2″ closer to their prey and Brutal Charge to give them that +2 to damage rolls after using a much needed charge. The addition of the Lantern Man, who of course also packs Apparition, is where they get interesting though. He grants his unit a special effect called Blood-Bound that essentially allows for destroyed models in that unit a chance to come back into the fray if they star killing off enemy models. The Lantern Man can also use his Ghost Light special magical attack from up to 10″ away to take control of a living model (non-warcaster\warlock) for the turn and even move it up to 3″ before doing whatever nastiness is intended. To top things off the Lantern Man can keep using Obscuring Mist to conceal the unit until the moment they want to strike, ensuring they aren’t immediately the targets of ranged fire before they can close in. Certainly a unit to worry yourself over if it’s up against you. The only thing about this unit that scares me personally (someone who still crumbles under timed turns at times) is using Apparition, moving an entire unit 2″ in my Control phase seems a mite daunting.

I love this faction, love it so much I might abandon my plans to make my Hordes faction be Legion of Everblight. Though, I must admit at this point my love might be pure shininess of a new toy and admiration of the lore. I need to take a deeper dive to see if the way these guys play will be my style or not. I have no doubt they will slip into play easily alongside the other factions available. Kudos Privateer Press, your new faction looks great!

-Melvs

Find all your new Grymkin products at Miniature Market (located in my hometown of St. Louis!) and if you want to buy me the Army Box just let them know I can pick it up in person ;P

 

 

Fresh To War: Uboxing the Warmachine New Releases for May 2017

Privateer Press has a new batch of fightin’ bastards to liven up the ranks of numerous factions! This month’s offerings hail from not one, not two, but four warring coalitions from the Warmachine line. All solos too. As always I’ve linked each new selection to their corresponding page on the Miniture Market webpage, my personal favorite shopping spot for all things Warmachine & Hordes. So pull up a stool, because your old pal Uncle Grumps is going to bend your ear for a moment or two and give you his thoughts on these combatants. – Melvs

What’s up, Jerks?  Your friendly neighborhood Uncle Grumps is back with another quick look at some new releases from Privateer Press.  We have a varied selection of solos to scope out so let’s get started!

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First up, we have the Deliverer Arms Master:  

32122 Deliverer Arms Master

From Privateer Press’s website:

“Few deliverers survive long enough to gain true mastery of the weapons they wield, but those who do can earn the distinguished title of arms master, directing their charges in combat from the back lines. Tasked with the upkeep and repair of Skyhammer rockets and Sunburst artillery, they also train the faithful in the use of these devastating weapons.”

The Deliverer Arms Master has a similar stat line to the Deliverer Skyhammer unit.  His MAT, RAT, DEF, and ARM are 1 point higher and his CMD is 2 higher.  He also has the Tough ability.  The Master is armed with a short range, POW 12 fire bomb that causes the Fire continuous effect on a crit.  He also has a POW 7 sword, but if you’re using this something has most likely gone terribly wrong.  The Arms Master has two special ability actions.  The first is Combat Coordination [Deliverer] which allows a Deliverer model in the Master’s command range to re-roll one attack or damage roll.  The other is High-Angle Fire which gives a friendly Faction model’s ranged, AoE weapons Arcing Fire.  (Arcing Fire allows a model to ignore intervening models further than an inch away when attacking.)  The Arms Master also has the Veteran Leader [Deliverer] ability which grants +1 to attack for other Deliverer models in this command range.  

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The Deliverer Arms Master greatly increases the effectiveness of several of the Protectorate of Menoth’s ranged options.  The most obvious is the Deliverer Skyhammer unit.  Combat Coordination allows the primary attacker in a Combined Ranged Attack to re-roll his attack or damage as necessary.  Additionally, the +1 to attack rolls helps offset the -4 penalty from Inaccurate.  Keep in mind that these abilities can also be applied to the Deliverer Suburst Crew unit.  Veteran High-Angle Fire can help your models with AoE ranged attacks reach vulnerable parts of your opponent’s army.  Keep in mind that High Angle Fire will work on any friendly Faction model.  The Judicator, Revelator, and Vanquisher could all greatly benefit from Arcing Fire.  The Deliverer Arms Master is a solid support solo and an auto-include for anyone who wants to get the most out of Deliverers.  

Next up is the Winter Guard Artillery Kapitan:

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From Privateer Press’ website:

“The artillery kapitans of the Winter Guard understand the true strength of Khadoran artillery. Under their command, crews lay down fearsome barrages just ahead of their advancing troops, decimating enemy lines while creating a chaotic environment that Khadoran forces can turn to their advantage. Often friendly troops are caught in these blasts, but a kapitan knows such losses are a necessary price of victory.”

The Winter Guard Artillery Kapitan has the same stat line at the members of the Winter Guard Infantry with the exception of 1 additional point of STR, MAT, RAT, and CMD.  He is armed with the traditional Winter Guard Blunderbuss and Axe.  He also has the tough ability.  The Artillery Kapitan has access to three special action abilities.  The first is Artillerist which gives a friendly Faction model in his command range +2 RAT on its next ranged AoE attack.  The model affected is also able re-roll the direction or distance if the attack doesn’t directly hit and deviates.  The Close Fire action gives a friendly Faction weapon crew unit the Clear! Ability.  Clear! causes ranged attacks from the affected model to automatically miss friendly models.  (And before you ask, yes the exclamation point is absolutely necessary when discussing Clear!)  Finally we have Fire & Displace which gives a friendly Faction weapon crew Reposition [2″].  

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The Winter Guard Artillery Kapitan brings an interesting mix of abilities to the table.  Fire & Displace greatly increases the mobility of both the Winter Guard Mortar Crew and the Winter Guard Field Gun.  Reposition [2”] can help these units line up a shot for next turn or keep some distance between them and the enemy.  Artillerist is an extremely powerful ability that can help any of Khador’s ranged options.  Putting Artillerist on a Victor will partially eliminate the Inaccurate penalty of the Siege Mortar, and if you do miss, the re-roll on the deviation will help ensure that the 5” AoE lands where you need it.  The Conquest, Destroyer, and Mortar Crew all benefit from Artillerist in similar ways.  The Winter Guard Artillery Kapitan is a powerful support solo that will give you plenty of bang for your buck.  (I couldn’t resist)

The next solo that we’ll be looking at is the Venator Dakar:

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From Privateer Press’ website:

“With exaltation a remote hope at best, the ruthless warriors of the Venator caste take to the field for survival and victory instead. Relentless and cunning, Venator dakars are stern leaders with exacting standards. Under the watchful eye of a dakar, other Venators march quickly and take precise aim, proving they are every bit as skilled in dealing death as the more respected warriors of the skorne.”

The Venator Dakar has a similar stat block as a Venator Reiver with the only differences being his higher RAT and CMD.  The Dakar is armed with the standard Reiver and Sword but the Weapon Master ability on his Reiver means he can dish out more damage than a standard Venator.  The Dakar has two special action abilities.  The first is Combat Coordination [Venator].  The ability works just like the Deliverer Arms Master’s Combat Coordination but it affects Venators instead of Deliverers.  The second special action is Desperate Pace [Faction Weapon Crew].  This ability grants +2” of movement to a friendly Faction weapon crew in the Dakar’s command range.  The Venator Dakar also has the Veteran Leader [Venator] ability which gives friendly Venator models in the Dakar’s command range +1 to attack rolls.  

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Just like our previous two entries, the Venator Dakar is a ranged support solo.  Combat Coordination can help you Venator Reivers land an important combined ranged attack.  It’s also handy for increasing the accuracy or damage of the Venator Catapult Crew and the Venator Flayer Cannon Crew.  The Venator weapon crews also greatly benefit from Desperate Pace.  An extra 2” of movement may not seem like much but the added threat range can take your opponent by surprise.  Veteran Leader provides a +1 to hit for every Venator within nine inches of the Dakar.  This includes the two weapon crews, the Reivers, and the Venator Slingers.  I highly recommend bringing a Venator Dakar if you want to get the most out of the Skorne’s Venator units.  

Last, but not least, we have the Hellslinger Phantom

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From Privateer Press’ website:

“A malevolent specter born of Cryxian magic, the Hellslinger Phantom bears a striking resemblance to the Cygnaran warcaster Allister Caine, and rumors suggest it was made from a sliver of his very soul. The Hellslinger Phantom mimics Caine’s style on the battlefield, firing runeshots akin to the ones employed by gun mages. First spotted in a remote town in northern Cygnar, the phantom slaughtered a large number of innocent civilians, and now every day it roams free, the body count grows.”

It looks like Caine has been moonlighting as a pistol wraith.  Speaking of pistol wraiths, the Hellsinger Phantom has the same stat line as a standard wraith but with +1 RAT, DEF, and ARM.  The Phantom also shares the pistol wraiths’ Undead, Incorporeal, and Gunfighter abilities in addition to Soul Taker: Body Count which allows the Hellsinger to claim enemy souls and Strength of Death which allows it to spend soul tokens to boast attack and damage rolls.  The Hellsinger Phantom also has the ability Swift Hunter which lets it move 2” after destroying an enemy model with a ranged attack.  The Phantom is armed with two Wraithstorm Pistols.  These mid-ranged, POW 12 guns have three different attack types to choose from when making an attack: Critical Grievous Wounds which causes models that are hit to lose tough and the ability to be healed on a crit, Ghost Shot which ignores line of sight, concealment & cover, and Incendiary which changes the damage type to fire sets models hit ablaze.  On top of all this, the Pistols also have Reload [1].  This allows the Phantom to make 1 additional ranged with each pistol per soul token spent.  

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The Hellsinger Phantom excels at hunting down enemy infantry.  The Phantom’s first order of business should be to gather souls to make the most of Reload and Strength of Death.   Just be careful after attacking.  The Phantom loses Incorporeal after making an attack leaving it open to retaliation.  Swift Hunter can help keep you safe by allowing you to re-position after destroying an enemy.  This combination of powerful abilities makes the Hellsinger Phantom one mean combat solo.  

Well folks, Old Man Melvin is tapping his foot and glaring at his pocket-watch* which means it’s time for me to wrap things up.  ‘Til next time!

– Uncle Grumps

*Melvin does not own a Pocket Watch but now wants one.