Warcry – Bloodhunt

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This weekend the new box for Warcry Bloodhunt goes up for pre-order.

The box has the Vampire Warrior Monks of the Askurgan Trueblades up against the Claws of Karanak, a Khorne warband who worship the Fleshhounds above all.

So we’re going to have a quick look through and see if it’s worth picking up.

This is the second expansion box for the season. So there was an intial big box The Heart of Ghur, then Sundered Fate was the Hunters of Huanchi versus the Jade Obelisk. The Bloodhunt box does not have the core rulebook, dice, or tokens. You do get two full warbands, a board, and scenery. You get the ability and fighter cards for the warband and you get some scenario cards although very few. So you could use this as a limited pool of scenario cards, but really they’re for adding to your collection from the bigger Ghur box.

If you’ve never played Warcry before but like the look of this box, you really only need some dice and the pdf rulebook which you can find online. You’ll also need some wound tokens and some activation tokens, but that’s about it.

We should see another box called Nightmare Quest in about 3 months after which presumably we’ll see a new big box and theme. Unlike with Killteam, where the terrain has been 90% repeated the Warcry boxes have been very good. You’re not getting a ton of scenery in this box, but if you’ve been keeping up with all the releases each box is bringing new options and building on the collection.

In this video we’re going to look in depth at the two warbands. These are the Askurgan Trueblades and the Claws of Karanak

ERROR – This should be called an Askurgan Exemplar, not a Templar! The triple is also Magistorial Poise not Pulse.

Let’s start with the Askurgan Trueblades and the Askurgan Templar. With speed 5 this guy is fast and with 9 damage is the top damage hero in the Death faction. As a hero, you can take him as an ally for any Death Warband and you might just be doing that. He’s just short of Monster level so he’s bringing one hell of a punch.

He does have a triple unique to him Perfect Strike which will let him crit on 5s instead of 6s but if you look at his damage, you’re only just adding 2 damage to a crit so that’s not really impressive. Unlike with kill team, there’s nothing special about crits beyond more damage. This triple will increase his average damage by a mere 1 while instead taking a normal onslaught will increase damage by 3.

He has access to all the other Askurgan Trueblade abilities. So the reaction will improve his toughness to 5, the double will get him a free move or attack after a kill, while the quad increases his movement and attacks by two. The quad is quite interesting as normally you’d look for a Rampage to get a free move and attack. If you have to move to get to your target, then Rampage will always be better, the bonus move is 5 and the bonus attack is 3 dice. If you’re already on your target though, and know one attack isn’t going to get the job done then this quad will give you an extra 4 dice which is just slightly over the 3 of a bonus attack. For the Templar that’s an extra 12 damage rather than the 9 so that could be worth it. That said, you’re looking at an average 30 damage so you must really want something to die. Basically, it’s a nice option to have, but will probably be rare to actually use.

The ability unique to this fighter is the Triple Magistorial Poise, he can only use it if he takes down an enemy fighter but it gives +1 attack dice to all friendlies within 8 inches. As we’ll see later, many of the other fighters in this warband  have only 2 attack dice, so getting an extra one is a big damage increase.

Moving over to the Ascetics and the Acolytes, these are the standard foot troop of the Trueblades. The Asectics are a little harder to kill with 4 toughness and 15 wounds for 115 while the Acolytes are a little cheaper with 90 points 3 toughness and 12 wounds. Everyone has the Elite runemark for the reaction and quad while the Ascetics have the Destroyer runemark for the triple Perfect Strike. Again, the damage increase is actually so minimal that you’re better off using the universal double onslaught instead.

Weapons can be changed without impacting points which is great for list building and assembling your first box. The choice here essentially is between reach or a little extra damage. Wounds are what you’d expect for the points and the damage is also pretty competitive. At 100 points I’d look for 4 damage as a top tier fighter, so these are about right especially when you take the reach into account. They’re all very fast at 5, so this is pretty competitive. All of them have access to Moment of Savagery, so anyone getting a kill gets an easy extra action for a double.

Two fighters do not have the Elite runemark, so they don’t get to  use the reaction or the quad. These are the Askurgan Pariah a Vampire who was a Trueblade who failed in their vows but has now returned and is attempting to make penance. The model has the cutest little bat buddy which makes everything worthwhile. This fighter is almost mid way between the Ascetic and the Acolyte. He loses the runemarks and is almost the same as the Acolyte with Bonehilt Falchion but with 8 more wounds for 15 points.

The scout runemark opens up the Beast Familiar ability. This is very cool. It’s a double with  a 20 inch range, so easy enough to do and massive range. It doesn’t even say visible, so there’s no hiding from it. It means your target cannot disengage, so as long as you have someone in melee with the target they are stuck there. Net abilities are always useful and while this doesn’t stop a fighter outside of combat,  it’s still a fantastic addition.

The Curseblood is more expensive at 190 but has a ton of damage and 6.67 average and lots of health at 25. It’s even faster than the others with 6 move and has a very interesting Double ability Terrifying Howl. Reactions came into the game at the start of this edition and every fighter gets three universal reactions: Counter, Take Cover, and Strike Them Down; along with a reaction unique to the warband. Take Cover is against range attacks and Strike Them Down is a reaction to enemies disengaging so Terrifying Howl is really only useful against Counter or specific warbands reactions. As the Curseblood is strength 5 Counter isn’t too much of a concern as you have to miss with attacks, so really this ability is specific meta against certain warbands. Interesting to have but you’ll probably only use it once in a blue moon.

Overall, fast with good health and decent damage. This is a solid fighter. Note that since it has the Beast runemark it cannot carry treasure or move through doors, not always a big deal but important to remember.

And that’s the warband. Fast and deadly. With the low number of dice I imagine they will be quite swingy,  but their high strength they should still be hitting a lot for 2 base damage. This also means they get a lot of value from bonus dice like Magisterial Pulse of even just Onslaught.

It does look like you can build 3 of the Acolyte and have the options for the Acolytes and Ascetics to be built with either weapon. As with all current GW miniatures they are mono-pose but a second box wouldn’t be crazy to round out the options. Alternative, you can recruit in some Death heroes as allys or one of the Underworlds warbands which will get you additional fighters. I’ve just put up a video talking about the Death Undwerworld warbands which I’ll link at the end of this video.

Next up the Claws of Karanak.

And first up we have the Pack Lord. He is the same cost and base characteristics as the Templar but has a slightly better damage profile pushing out 9.17 average damage versus T4 targets, although he’s worse versus T5 of higher. He’s actually identical to the Heart-Eater from the Untamed Beasts, although 5 points more. That’s a pretty good place to be. He’s fast, tough, and a bucket load of damage.

All the Claws have a reaction to someone disengaging that will add 1 to the attacks made by all friendlies that go after that target. I think this is a bad option, although there are potential scenarios where this can work. First, disengage is a rare enough action to take, so chances to  use this ability will be rare enough. Using this reaction will take up an action, so you’ll want that +1 dice to be worth more than taking an action. You also need this ability to be worth more than just using the Universal Strike them Down which is a 4+ chance of doing D6 damage. So I think in matched play, this will almost never be used. The circumstances to actually get value out of it will be way to rare. Now where it will see play is in Narrative, where your fighters have Renown that can be used to trigger reactions for free. Most warbands like the Askurgan Trueblades have defensive reactions, but the Claws can turn it into an offence which is very useful.

The Claws Double is the classic Blood for the Blood God giving anyone in the warband an extra action after they kill something. 

The Triple is unique to the Pack Lord and gives a +1 attack dice boost to nearby friendlies. That 8 inch range is actually pretty big, so you could get a lot of value out of this but you always have to wonder if maybe you’d be better off using the Double  instead to get another action with the Pack Lord.

Then we have the Quad. This one is quite interesting, like many of the Quads we talk about the first thing we do is compare it to Rampage where you get an extra move and extra attack. This version is only better than Rampage when you already are in melee, but that’s fine. You do get the extra attack but interestingly get to remove the target fighter and place them anywhere around your fighter. So you can Suplex them behind you into melee with the rest of your pack. Quite cool. The 20 wounds or less limit presumably is to stop you hulk smashing Chimera and the like, which is understandable but a shame nonetheless.

The core of the pack is made up of Blood Whelps which are fantastic looking Khorne cultists. These are fast with 5 move with average health and relatively low toughness. You get to choose between the Flail and Whip with all of them costing 90 points. So you’re looking at reach of 3 or reach of 2 with slightly better damage. I suspect we’ll have the options to do either for each fighter in the box and personally I think I’d go for the Spears as I prefer 2/4 damage even if that’s less dice.

All these fighters have the Agile runemark which lets them use the Pack Hunter Double. This lets you chain fighter activations back to back. I really do like this. There are downsides. Usually you use chaff fighters to have activation control, where at the end of the round you’ll be able to take actions without your opponent getting to do so. There can be turns where you do want the reverse though, and with two doubles you are able to chain 3 of these Blood Whelp activations back to back. This can be used to move in and attack getting some solid damage down but could also  be used to fully surround a target. In objective missions like with Treasure, you could have fighters picking up multiple treasures or even taking advantage of the drop action to move a single treasure a big distance.

Moving up the Scale we have the Brutalisers and the Hound of Wrath.

You have two variants with the Brutaliser, one with 2 Shredder Blades and the other with 1 Blade and a Meat Hook. Both are 15 wounds which is bang on expected for 120 points. Toughness is a little low at 3 but expected for this warband and easily made up for with the move 5. The damage with the 2 blades is great, 5.33 exceeds the optimistic 1 damage per 25 points I like to look for. So this is a highly efficient fighter. 

If you take the meat hook it’s 5 points cheaper, almost 1 less average damage, and you get the Terifying runemark.

That opens up a new double, Horrifying Trophies. You do need to get a kill to activate it, but it will create a bubble 6 inches around this fighter in which visible fighters cannot use abilities. That can be great to shut down the options for an opposing warband, even if it’s just popping a double for onslaught, but you need to be careful as it also stops friendly fighters. So use with care.

Last up, we have the Hound of Wrath. At 190 this is the Cursebloods counter part. The Hound is faster, doing more damage, but with less wounds. He also has the Agile runemark, so he can use the Pack Hunters Ability with the rest of the Blood Whelps.  Like so many others in the box,  he’s fast and deadly. As with the Curseblood he’s also has the Beast runemark so he isn’t going to be opening doors or holding treasure, it does mean the you can get some use out of the Skaven ally Master Moulder.

The ability unique to this fighter is the double Flaming Breath. You get to roll a dice for each enemy within 1 inch, and on a 4+ do 3 damage. Getting an extra attack die from Onslaught is on average going to be better, but if you didn’t use it and ended up rolling low of if you have 2 or more targets, the Flaming Breath is a nice option.

And that’s the Claws of Karanak. This is a fast warband that can dish out a lot of damage. They have Blood for the Blood God for extra actions and Pack Hunters to chain fighter activations together which I think is very cool.

Uniquely, they have the ability to should down abilities which levels the playing field and lets them focus on what they’re good at, killing.

 It does look like you can build some of the fighters with or without masks which I really like and we can see in this image some of fighters have different weapon options to those we saw earlier, so it does look like there is a good amount of customisation.

This looks like a great box. Both warbands are fast and hard hitting so it’ll make for a great game and a pretty cool base to build around if you’re new to Warcry.

If this is the first warcry box you pick up, look for the Warcry Rules pdf which has all the rules you need to play the game.  The dice you need are just D6 which you’ll probably have plenty around, and tokens needed are just activation and damage which are easy to have alternatives for. If you have any Underworlds Warbands, check out my recent videos to see how you could add them to this box to expand the game out.

If you have any comments or feedback please post them in the comments section below. Check us out on the Optimal Game State website, Mastodon, and YouTube channel for more discussion about the Games Workshop Specialist Games.

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